Monday, October 31, 2011

The Human Centipede


And, as promised, my horror film for today, meaning, of course, yesterday now. Yeah... I don't get it either. 

10/30: My horror film for the evening was Tom Six's "The Human Centipede." There's honestly not much to say about this movie; it's a disgusting concept that's presented almost as stupid as the concept is. It's more than blatantly obvious that Six came up with the idea and didn't have near enough smarts to build a story around it (the movie is easily more than 3/4s filler to just fill an hour and a half movie), but to his credit, it's pretty darn tough to build a story around a plot revolving around people being sewn to each others rectums. And interestingly enough, for me at least, the concept wasn't as disgusting as Six intended it to be unless you really think hard about it; the movie doesn't give much physically for the disgust the plot entails and really only grosses when you think about what would go into it, which could be seen as a good or a bad thing. The concept aside, though, basically the movie just consists of bad acting, easily escapable situations that are even more so than most horror movies, and pretty much zero substance. But in all honesty, this is pretty much what I was expecting, and I'm sure all Six wanted me to expect and get out of it either. So... mission accomplished?
3/10 

Sunday, October 30, 2011

The Fog


Well obviously I've dropped off from watching horror movies for the past couple days-- Halloween celebrations and further school work have prevented me from having much time for movie watching. But here's my one for yesterday (it was actually viewed today, but yay for loopholes!), and I'll have one up for today (probably not until tomorrow actually by the time it's done... is your mind sufficiently confused beyond all reasoning yet?). Sadly no film for this past Friday, but can't really be avoided. Without further ado...

10/29: For today's film (or yesterday's, keep up!) I once again am venturing into John Carpenter territory with "The Fog." A very creepy, sometimes over the top film about a town that has brought a curse upon itself in the form of an evil fog that holds killer zombie-esque ghosts seeking revenge. Carpenter really achieves a great level of foreboding the film and a sense that the evil this small town has brought cannot be avoided. The story too is quite creepy and how it is told is very unusual. The "beats" so to speak are very unlike usual film making in how the scares are given to the audience and when you are allowed breathing room. Yet another great Carpenter film that I highly recommend as a late, cold night ghost flick.
8.5/10 

Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Fly


For today's horror film I watched David Cronberg's "The Fly." A really good creature, sci-fi horror film, the movie follows the story of a scientist who invents a teleportation machine and upon trying it upon himself becomes genetically spliced with a fly that accidentally flew into the machine with him. He slowly begins turning into a fly-human hybrid and losing his touch with reality. This film is typical Cronenberg, in the best way possible; lots of over the top, gory, and immensely disturbing special effects and a very warped view on reality.  Jeff Goldbloom is great as well, and the twist about three quarters of the way through the film isn't only genius and disturbing all on it's own but results in an incredibly creepy sequence, honestly one of the creepiest horror sequences I can think of. Very well done sci-fi horror given the great Cronenberg treatment.
8.5/10  

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Scream


For today's horror film I watched Wes Craven's "Scream," which I had oddly enough not seen before. I wasn't expecting much, as the film has been constantly parodied and pretty talked down by many people, but I was pleasantly surprised by how good it actually was. It's an interesting slasher in how it acknowledges the fact that it's so and sort of reveals the underlying rules and tropes of the genre. I hesitate to use the word parody because the film most certainly isn't making fun of the genre so much as Craven nods to it and dissects it a bit. I also like Craven's treatment of the killer here; unlike the Jason, Michael, and Freddy's of the slasher world who are invincible the killer here feels very vulnerable, like he's just the person wearing in the mask that he is. He gets kicked, feels pain, and is, in a lot of ways, clumsy, and it gives him a certain humanity. Despite all these good points the movie does still come off feeling slightly run of the mill but overall it's an interesting slasher take.
8/10  

The House of the Devil


Sorry about the lateness on this one again (man, I'm bad) but this one is in fact for yesterday, 10/25.

For tonight's film I watched Ti West's "The House of the Devil." The story follows a young college girl who is cash-strapped and takes a baby sitting job for a man who put an ad outside her dorm. However, she gets more than she bargained for, and chaos ensues as she learns of the family's dark secret. A slow-burning horror film done in style of 80s horror despite being released in 2009, the aesthetic is very well done and full of paranoia. As the girl begins becoming suspicious of what the house she is baby sitting at holds you feel it just as strongly, wondering when the fear will culminate and unleash itself. Nothing truly visually scary happens in about the first 3/4s of the film (save perhaps one scene), but the slow build is really what makes this film incredible. The tension is incredibly palpable and makes the scares that come all the stronger. The ending scene as well is chilling and leaves you feeling substantially uneasy. A nearly perfect horror film honestly; West's talent is more than evident. One small critique would be after that the long, slow, powerful build I would have liked to see the actual climax of the film to have been a bit longer. I wanted more of what West had to give me. Very well done horror.
9/10

Monday, October 24, 2011

Double Feature: Rocky Horror Picture Show and Red State


Well, I've been away for a few days and missed a couple days of movies; crazy weekend, going to Colorado Springs (which I will give a summary too as soon as I'm not pulling my hair out busy) and writing midterms. But I managed to squeeze in a film yesterday and today, so not too far behind. In the next week I'll try to double up for the days I've missed but time will tell. The reviews...

10/23: For Sunday's horror film I went to a local small theater The Guild and saw the cult classic "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Really, what needs to be said about this movie that hasn't already been said? I had seen it once before and really the experience makes the movie-- live actors, hilarious lines, crowd participation, it's just a blast. The movie itself makes no damn sense but that's all part of the fun and the music is awesome. I had a great time, even if it led to me only getting 3 hours of sleep. This movie really needs no rating as if I did I would inevitably be rating the experience instead of the film. If you haven't seen this in a live setting yet, GO.

10/24: For tonight's film I watched Kevin Smith's new film "Red State." This is arguably a horror film (really only the first half is) but it does have elements of the genre. The plot revolves around three young men who answer a Craigslist ad by a woman looking for sex and end up inadvertently becoming captives of an incredibly conservative preacher loosely based on Fred Phelps and his following. I am a pretty big Kevin Smith fan (yeah, shoot me, the guy's funny and writes stellar dialogue) and appreciate his attempt to go outside his cinematic comfort zone but "Red State" ends up a mixed bag of results. The film has a good message to give on the nature of religion taken to it's most radical even if it is sometimes heavy handed. The movie does come off preachy at times, but mostly it does keep itself under control. Probably the biggest weakness in the movie is character development save for the conservative preacher, as even the main protagonists of the movie seem unrefined and even forgotten about half way through the movie. Because of this I felt I had no one to relate to for the second half and felt lost amongst a sea of "happenings" so to speak. John Goodman is, as always, amazing, and Michael Parks is stellar as the preacher. "Red State" is far from being a bad film but also isn't near as engaging as it should have been either. 
7.5/10    

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Colin


Just a quick note before I do the review, I will not be posting a review tomorrow as I am going to Colorado Springs to see my musical idol, Devin Townsend. Way excited to needless to say. I will resume on Saturday and will be making what is I'm sure to be lengthy run down of the show that no one will read or care about haha. But hey, for me right? Anyway, on to today's review.

For tonight's horror film I watched Marc Price's "Colin." The premise of the film revolves around a young man who has been bitten by a zombie and how he deals with his new existence. With that in mind I had very high hopes and expectations for the film but I was ultimately very disappointed. Such a great premise of telling the story of a zombie film from the zombie's own perspective is rich, original, and has great potential to give some humanity (oxymoron, perhaps) to the zombies who are usually so faceless. While Price attempts to do this with this movie he ultimately fails. Scenes drag on for far, far longer than needed, the few characters in the film are not defined in the least (save maybe Colin to an extent), and for such an original idea nothing feels original. The film was also made on a very small budget and while I understand the limitations this gives it does not excuse putting zero effort into lighting or camera movement. The film uses mostly natural light which in theory is interesting but when I can't see a thing on screen due to it either being blown out or too dark that's a major problem. The shaky handheld cam could potentially give this film a nice aesthetic as well but instead makes many scenes indecipherable as action just becomes shapeless blobs. All these factors result in, as one reviewer I read put it, the film feeling like a potentially great short film that was blown up way to big into a feature length by a director who couldn't handle it. I'm sad I didn't like this film much at all, and it makes me hope someone can take this very interesting idea and give it the treatment it deserves in the future.
4/10  

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Lake Mungo


My horror film of the day today was Joel Anderson's "Lake Mungo." A slow burning faux documentary from Australia the film follows a family who have lost their 16 year old daughter and start finding strange things happening in their home after her death. This is a very intriguing and different ghost movie in the fact that it's not so much about a haunting as it is about a family's dealing with grief and the dark secrets their daughter held. The film starts off pretty typical for a ghost film (ie spirit caught on tape, etc) but slowly begins playing with this notion and eventually arrives at a spot you never imagined it to. Deeply disturbing but not in the way you would think. Anderson doesn't rely on scares as much as just creepy material that really doesn't have to do with the ghost. I was deeply engaged the entire film wondering what new mysteries would be revealed and what exactly is truly real as the film plays with this quite a lot. The documentary aspect is very believable as well. Highly recommended.
9/10

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Black Sabbath


Well, after a day off, I'm back. I am currently swamped with midterms and the like, so yesterday I couldn't find the time to watch a film. Perhaps later in the month I'll double up but seeing as how crazy things are right now I wouldn't be surprised if I missed more days; this Friday I most certainly will be as I will be in Colorado Springs watching one Mr. Devin Townsend. But I'll shut my face, the review.

For tonight's film I watched Mario Bava's "Black Sabbath." After seeing the title, I of course had to watch seeing as how it's the inspiration for the name of one of the most influential bands of all time. This film comes in three short stories, one involving a nurse who must dress a dead woman and ends up stealing the deceased's ring. In doing so she invokes the wrath of the dead. The next follows a woman who is receiving threatening, disturbing phone calls from her dead boyfriend. The last has a man who stumbles upon a family with a serious vampire problem. Bava's influence on Argento is shown greatly here, with bright colors and terrifying, over the top scenes; the cinematography is gorgeous. The mood throughout the film is very well done and quite engaging as well. Boris Karloff's narration and cameo also give the film something special as he is at his best here. A powerful yet typical giallo film that I thoroughly enjoyed as good, classic horror.
8.5/10 


Sunday, October 16, 2011

Double Feature: The Whisperer in Darkness and Tucker and Dale vs. Evil




So as I explained in my last post I'd be missing Saturday's film posting as I was at the Telluride Horror Show and was honestly too lazy to find wi-fi anywhere to post. But now I'm back at home and I actually ended up seeing two films, one of which I'm using as my film for today. Which works out well as with driving six hours today and needing to write a midterm tonight there was not much time to find a film to watch. My life is hard, ain't it? But enough intro, onto reviews oh reader...

10/15: For this nights film I, for the third time, watched a film based on a Lovecraft story, "The Whisperer in Darkness." Is it obvious I'm a bit of a fan of his writings? This film was created by the same group that made "The Call of Cthulhu" silent film that I reviewed a few days ago and they give this Lovecraft story much the same treatment. Presented as a 1930s black and white film, and for the most part pretty convincingly, it tells the tale of an alien race of crab-like beings that appear in Vermont and attract a Miskatonic University professor who is a skeptic to investigate. What he learns when he arrives is horrifying and could potentially end Earth as we know it-- but I won't ruin it for you, it's over-the-top and very typically Lovecraft. Probably the biggest strength of this film as was the same with "The Call of Cthulhu" is the very obvious love the creators have for Lovecraft's stories. Every effort is put forth to make it as close to the original story as possible and in doing so it feels like the greatest care went into its creation. Once again, though, the films downfall lies in it's obvious lack of budget. It does well with what it has, but somethings, the acting namely, suffer from budgetary constraints. It is nice to see people dedicate so much to bringing Lovecraft's words to life, especially a story as different as this one, but one can only hope someone backs their vision more to lead it even greater success.
8/10

10/16: For what I'm calling today's film I saw Eli Craig's "Tucker and Dale vs. Evil." Wow... this may be one of the funniest films I've ever seen. Seriously. But before I sing it's praises... basically, this movie "Shaun of the Dead"'s "Texas Chainsaw Massacre." Two innocent, kindly hillbillies have bought a vacation house fixer-upper in the backwoods of West Virginia. A group of college students is vacationing in the same woods as well and after innocent deaths of their friends begin to think the two hillbillies are doing all the killing. This is all surrounded in a heart-warming love story that emerges with one of the hillbillies. A hilarious comedy of errors I was laughing pretty much solidly for an hour and a half. All the deaths are typically gruesome for the slasher genre and done amazingly well, and all happen completely innocently. Craig also does a really ingenious flipping around of the slasher as well. The "killers" are completely innocent and become sucked into a situation they did nothing to create, and the "victims" end up becoming the evil ones themselves. I can't recommend this enough, it's not only funny but brilliant about what it has to say about the horror genre-- and it just make you go "awwwwww" too. Really the only flaw I can find is it bogs a tad in the second third of the movie, but this is nowhere near enough to write off such a good film. I'm still stuck on deciding, but I might even pick this one over Shaun of the Dead. And that's a big statement.
9.5/10

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Paranormal Activity


Once again, apologies for posting this so late as this is the film for 10/14. But busy busy, enjoying Fall Break and horror films come last during the day. Perhaps that's how it should be, though. Also, take note, my post tomorrow will also not be posted until the next day as I'm seeing a film at the Telluride Horror Festival in the evening and won't have time to post until probably the next evening. I won't reveal which, but I am quite excited to view it. But I digress, onto the review...

Tonight my horror film was Oren Peli's "Paranormal Activity." When this film came out it slowly became huge due to the extremely effective ad campaign surrounding it that consisted of "demanding" it in your local theater. After it blew up I feel that, like with anything that becomes popular, many people wanted to write it off as an overblown, overhyped movie that really had nothing going for it. I can't disagree more. Sure, it became popular, but for good reason. This is an extremely well done, genuinely scary horror film, and, especially for that latter part, how many horror films can you say that about? But to the movie at hand. Mood is created marvelously here with the anxiety of the characters regarding the demon in their midst and just what it will do next. The mood extends to the viewer as well; every time night comes fear enters your heart just as it does the characters. The home video aesthetic that has been done enough to start bordering on overplayed is used to it's true potential here. It makes you feel the scares just as the characters do. And where I feel this films true power lies is in it's recognizing of what horror films back in the day used to understand: the less you see the more horrifying. Like Hitchcock's "Psycho" Peli realizes the power in not fully relying on graphic, gruesome gore. People fear what they can't see far more than what they can and Peli fully capitalizes on that. One thing I am glad about is that I did see this on the big screen initially as the scares are that much more powerful, especially in the sound; they boom out at you and shook the theater. At home that effect is lost (unless you have surround sound which I don't unfortunately). An incredible ghost story that actually scares and nods back to the knowledge horror filmmakers of old understood. I can't say enough about this film.
9/10   

Friday, October 14, 2011

Trick 'r Treat


Please excuse the tardiness of this post, today consisted of frantically working and then driving through treacherous Colorado mountain passes (and by that I mean second-most-dangerous-in-the-US mountain passes), so I've only just finished my movie. Technically a day late, but here ya go:

Tonight my horror film was Micheal Dougherty's "Trick 'r Treat." The film basically consists of four stories happening one Halloween night roughly simultaneously that somehow all interlace together, whether greatly or less so. Dougherty obviously finds great pleasure in All Hallows Eve, and this film is essentially an over-the-top and ridiculous romp for him to explore all he loves about the holiday-- and allows him to punish those who don't. I really enjoyed how the film doesn't take itself seriously whatsoever and is not meant to scare so much as to revel in the fun that is Halloween. The set-ups to the people to the scares to even the murders don't feel so much horrifying as they are funny, for lack of a better word, in how they are presented. It is in this that Dougherty really makes a unique, B-movie-esque film, and where he finds his talent. However, I did feel after watching that the first half felt far less original/imaginative than the second. These earlier stories (the teacher and school bus massacre tales) feel like reheated told-around-the-campfire stories with not enough in them to set them apart from the hundreds of stories like them. He surely tries but does not nearly reach the imagination he finds with the latter stories (the old man story and to a lesser extent the circle of teenage girls story). These stories have an originality to them that really showcases Dougherty's love-of-the-holiday aesthetic and in the shadow of them the other two just don't stand up. Over all, though, a great, fun Halloween movie with potential for further greatness.
8/10

Edit: After thinking about it some more I've changed my rating from a 7.5 to an 8. I know, minute difference, but 8 just sounds better, and it's more what this film deserves the more I think about it. In fact, the more I think about it the more I like it. 

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The Call of Cthulhu


For today's horror film I embark once again into Lovecraft territory with Andrew Leman's " The Call of Cthulhu." Probably Lovecraft's most famous story and one of the most influential stories on many different types of media from literature (Stephen King, Neil Geiman) to music (notably Metallica songs such as The Thing that Should Not Be and Call of Kthulu) to films (innumerable to name), this film does the most justice to Lovecraft's story of any Lovecraft-based film I've ever seen. Presented as a silent film to better suit the era in which Lovecraft wrote and set his story (also surely as a way to better hide the insanely small budget this film had), Leman does a mostly stellar job in evoking the feeling of the silent era. Leman draws much from German Expressionism (my favorite era of film making) especially in the dream sequences and the final confrontation with Cthulhu. The mood and lighting of the film as well show these influences and yield greatly to this monster-god tale. However, this silent approach is not without it's flaws-- sometimes rather than yielding to the story these techniques blatantly show how the choice to go the silent route were surely influenced by budgetary decisions. The over-the-top silent acting is sometimes too much so, showing bad acting even without words. When Cthulhu is finally revealed as well as a claymation monster one can't help thinking that, while this is realistic for a film of the era, it was surely even more greatly a budgetary decision. All in all, though, Leman does a great job with what he is given and brings Lovecraft's landmark story perfectly to life on the screen. I can't help but be think, though, after seeing this film, that this story is yearning for a proper, big budget treatment. The source material is so good it more than deserves it and it baffles my mind someone hasn't created it yet. Maybe sometime soon, and this is a more than a great start.
8.5/10 

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The Woman in Black


My horror film for the day was Herbert Wise's "The Woman in Black." This film was suggested by Mr. Jeff Caxide, the originator of the October Horror Film Binge (at least that's what I'm calling it), as I've been craving a good ghost horror movie this month after I've had a string of slashers the past few days. All in all, I was not disappointed.  The story follows a young lawyer as he is sent to settle the estate of an elderly woman who has died and finds her home and the town outside it haunted with her presence-- i.e. her continued appearances watching him from afar. For a ghost film "The Woman in Black" relies less on sudden, make-you-jump scares and instead uses a heavily foreboding, dark mood, visuals, and, what I found most interesting, sounds to achieve it's horror. The most notable of these being the blood curdling scream heard repeatedly by the lawyer, a resounding sound of a youth and his mothers death, and the audience feels the chills from its piercing scream as well. However, I felt with this being so strong the film never quite reaches this level with any of it's other scenes meant to scare, save perhaps a nighttime visit by the spirit near the end of the film. The film is very strong as well in how it follows the lawyers descent into madness at being cursed with his visions, eventually leading to a very poetic and disturbing end. "The Woman in Black" is a slow burner which I did not mind, but sometimes it does linger too long on one thing or another rather than achieving an even bigger level of fear and intrigue I feel it had the potential for. Seeing the upcoming remake will be an interesting comparison.
8/10 

Monday, October 10, 2011

Inferno


Tonight my horror film was Dario Argento's "Inferno." I have only previously seen one Argento film unfortunately,  that being "Opera," and in comparison this film felt pretty disappointing. The second in Argento's Three Mothers trilogy, perhaps it would have been better if I had watched "Suspiria," the first in the series, before watching this one... but for some reason I doubt it. Argento creates quite the different film with "Inferno" by not concentrating so much on plot, story, and dialogue as much as concentrating on mood, cinematography, and an assaulting (in a good way) soundtrack. It is in these criteria that "Inferno" finds it's strength. Visually the movie is gorgeous and disturbing at once, with bright, unusual colors used to their highest effect and a sense of deep foreboding throughout the film. However, in putting so much time into these areas it seems it slipped Argento's mind to actually create a plot for his film; it's something about the Mother of Darkness killing people in an apartment complex, but aside from this framework story line, there are no "guts" to support it. Which is unfortunate, as the framework does have a lot of potential for an intriguing horror story. Despite my initial impressions at how visually appealing the film was I ultimately found myself bored and wanting the end to come before the film was even half way over. Argento's talent as a horror master is here, but deeply flawed; at least "Inferno"'s general story was used as a template to make a film as great as "Opera."
5/10  

Child's Play


Today my horror film was Tom Holland's Child's Play. Oddly enough I had never seen this before, despite it being a slasher classic. I was pretty surprised actually at just how good this film is, it's genuinely scary in some scenes when Chucky jumps at his victims looking for any way to kill them. Over-the-top and sometimes humorous like any slasher, and with a plot line that really can't be called anything but ridiculous (a killer gets sucked into body of a doll by Voodoo), the film actually has a good bit to say about how children are ignored and not taken seriously. It was obviously made in the wake of the slasher craze with films like Halloween but the film makes a nod at it's influences rather than hiding them. A notable scene of this is a clear homage to The Shining when Chucky is stabbing through a door, which I quite enjoyed. An entertaining film despite it's ridiculousness and adds a different supernatural nature to the slasher genre.
7.5/10 

(Apologies for posting this on 10/10, this was my film for 10/9. Not enough time in day.)     

Sunday, October 9, 2011

October Horror Film Binge: 10/1-10/8

So for October I am embarking on a mission to watch a horror film every day. A mixture of good and bad, it's still quite fun; gratuitous amounts of horror films are sure to result in that. I've just made this blog and I've been going for over a week already, so here's my films I've watched up to this point. This is all just copy and pasted from Facebook, so if some things seem out of place, that'll done be why. Also, expect photos in future postings; to avoid making this one even longer than it has to be I haven't included any. Enjoy, and try not to get as warped as I am sure to this month. 

10/1: For October I am attempting, and emphasis on attempting, to watch a horror film a day. Today a my film was Red Dragon. I guess it's more of a thriller, but hey. A pretty obvious ploy to make more money off Silence of the Lambs, it still has an engaging storyline and the ending twist for the most part takes you by surprise. Well acted as well. However, Hannibal Lector feels shoehorned in, the plot is essentially the same as SotL, and the film fails in developing a potentially fascinating serial killer (whom Ralph Fiennes plays masterfully). 
6.5/10

10/2: My horror film of the day today was "Dead Snow" by Tommy Wirkola. A fun zombie film that doesn't hide it's influences (Evil Dead, namely) like some other zombie films attempt to, it's quite entertaining with it's Nazi take on the undead. In a nutshell, group of college med students go up to mountains, Nazi zombies attack, chaos ensues, people die. Adequate amount of blood for a zombie film with an odd fixation on the multiple uses of intestines and plenty of violent zombie killings, the most memorable of which a zombie being killed with a snow mobile. The Nazi part gave it a cool, different back story and gave another level of evil to the creatures. I also enjoyed the no-light-at-the-end-of-the tunnel ending, because honestly, would anyone survive a real zombie attack? I also enjoyed that the film shook up the formula of who dies when, and it kind of took me by surprise. All in all an entertaining, albeit unoriginal even if acknowledged, zombie flick. 
8/10

10/3: Now what you've all been waiting for, and with only a half hour to spare! My horror film of the today was David Cronenberg's "Videodrome." I've only seen several of Cronenberg's films and, in typical fashion for him, "Videodrome" did not disappoint. A critical take on mass media consumption and our obsession with violence as a people, this film stands up just as strongly as it did at it's creationdespite massive changes in technology since. The disturbing gore and bodily disfigurement are very well done and have a nice B-movie schlock to them that I love (very Cronenberg). A thought provoking horror film while still laying on the disgusting in a very imaginative way. Melting into a TV screen and having a gun mechanically bond with your hand whilst a tape inserted into your female genitalia-shaped stomach hole controls you? Long live the new flesh. 
8.5/10

10/4: Today my horror film was Wes Craven's "The Last House on the Left." An iconic horror film with it's share of flaws, the movie finds two teenage girls kidnapped by escape convicts who get more than they bargained for when encountering one of their victims parents. The film becomes an odd torture-pornish/buddy cop movie hybrid and it's quite a jolt going from gruesome, hyper-realistic scenes of murder to a couple of policemen running out of gas trying to catch the criminals. However, this is what makes the movie different and sort of allows such depressing images of violence be watchable as they are balanced with some sort of humor. As previously stated the movie has a fair bit of flaws mostly due to it's budget and failing many times in the realism department (ie the vengeful parents getting the murders at the end) but when it wants to disturb it truly succeeds.
7.5/10

10/5: My horror film 'o the day today was John Carpenter's "The Thing." I had never seen this before and after watching it tonight I have to say it is easily one of my favorite horror films ever. The story is about a research team in Antarctica who are suddenly attacked by a mysterious alien creature that infects and bonds with it's host. Really awesome, over the top, incredibly gory special effects areincredibly well done and despite being made in the early 80s genuinely creeped me out a few times. Carpenter shows how a survival horror, creature film is done right by setting a mood of paranoia and unease throughout the film that the viewer truly feels. Who is infected? What will they become? I also love me some Kurt Russell, so that certainly helped. An incredibly good horror film that is extremely ingenious in it's scares and how the monster is portrayed. 
9/10

10/6: So, Sean's horror film of the day: Stuart Gordon's "Dagon." I picked this movie pretty randomly off Netflix as it's based on H.P Lovecraft's "Shadow Over Innsmouth" (that more so than the actual story "Dagon," oddly enough), and I love Lovecraft. Essentially a man and his girlfriend shipwreck and find themselves in a strange town where the people are half sea creature and worship a sea god named Dagon. A great story idea that suffers from what I'm assuming a very small budget. The acting is fairly atrocious, situations are pretty ridiculously played out/resolved, and the special effects are abysmal (save make up effects, which are actually quite well done). However it did keep me entertained and these flaws sort of feed a B-movie aesthetic in the film. Also has a few very well done horrifying scenes, one involving a man being gruesomely skinned. There also seemed to be a lack of a soundtrack which I wanted badly for some of the more horrifying scenes and to set the mood better. A potentially good horror film mostly due to it's source material that ultimately feels forgettable and lands in a place not over the top enough to be a good "bad" horror film and not good enough to be considered a great.
6.5/10

10/7: A-ha! Sean's horror film of the day, Takeshi Miike's "Audition." I hate to say it, perhaps it was too built up by others, but I was pretty disappointed in the film. For the first 2/3s the film plays out like a sort of romantic film with dark under tones, and as the last 1/3 plays out I felt underwhelmed by the horror I was supposed to feel at the love turned evil this man experiences. Potentially the idea behind Miike's film could have been very powerful, a man's wife dies and he finds a replacement for her only to find she has far more sadistic tendencies, but ultimately the scenes at the end that should have had such an impact after such a slow building film fall flat. Perhaps repeated watchings will reveal further details that change my opinion of the film, but as I stand right now I would easily pick "Visitor Q" over "Audition" for it's ability to shock and it's underlying meaning. Not by any means a bad film, but for me, "Audition" fails to live up to it's hype.
6/10

10/8: Today my horror film was "Jason X," and I'll not even mention the director because honestly, who the hell cares with a movie like this. So... I really forgot just how bad this movie was. Like it's not even so bad it's good. It's just really, really bad. The plot here doesn't really matter, but essentially Jason gets frozen in the present to be awoken in 2455 where there's cyborg women, Earth 2 because Earth 1 is uninhabitable, and women dress like 90s whores apparently. Yup, that's the future for ya. The movie consists of horrible attempts at humor (mostly involving how the futures different, i.e. hockey was outlawed in 2024! Whoa!), cheesy-as-hell murder scenes, rampant sex, and an absolutely ridonkulous story line. The biggest crime of this film is it basically shits all over what Friday the 13th is about as a slasher film and makes it into a laughably bad failure at a mishmash of genres. Oh, and the best part: Uber Jason. Yes. His official name. Really the only reason it's getting this high a rating is the few laughs it gave me throughout at it's ridiculousness. 
2.5/10


And there you go, my horror films so far. I'm quite verbose, aren't I?

Saturday, October 8, 2011

The Beginning...

Well, here I am, starting up a new blog again. With several buried blogs scattered across the internets, perhaps this one will maybe, just maybe, stand the test of my own laziness/short attention span. At the behest of several people's suggestions that I start a blog after recently beginning an October horror film binge (meaning watching a horror film every day of October. Yes, I will be quite twisted by November 1st) I decided maybe it was time to give this blog thing another go.
And you know, thinking about it, what has always killed my blogs in the past is the thought I have had each time; why bother? No one reads it anyway, and honestly who cares what I think? While I find this still to be pretty true (do you care what I think? Doubt it), I came to the conclusion that perhaps that's not really what a blog should be about. In our modern times of technology and everything being online (allow me to wax cliche here for a moment) our take on the idea of a diary or journal has changed to this arena, something anyone can read and take part in. While there is certainly a sadness at leaving this past mode of expression behind, and there is still certainly a use for it, perhaps blogging is something more meant for the self. Like the dying art of journal writing, blogs serve a purpose of letting you "put it out there." Only as it exists now any clown who wants to read it can. So instead of caring about who reads your ramblings and who cares about it maybe what it should be more about is getting thoughts out of your own head.
With that in mind, here, oh reader, are the thoughts of my own noggin-- whether you read or care about them or not. But if you do, you'll probably be wanting some sort of idea about what direction my ramblings will take. While I shy away from setting my subject in stone, I suppose what you can find here are thoughts on my interests, namely film, photography, and of course that elixir of the gods, craft beer. But I reserve the right to spew about whatever crops up,no matter how utterly trivial, and you'll damn well like it by gum!
So enjoy, if you so choose to read, and of course, feel free to shovel on any comments you like. I'm sure the tone of this blog and what gets written about will cement itself as time goes along, but until then you'll just have to suffer the bumps.
Because after all, this time it's for me.