Thursday, January 28, 2010

Oh, The Horror! #44: The Final Destination (4)

Ugh, I'll try my best not to cuss through out this review... ah, fuck it. FUCKING TERRIBLE! This movie was beyond garbage. GAR-BAGE. This movie was such a complete waste of time that I pray to all that is holy that whoever sees this review steers clear of this movie. Hopefully anyone who isn't even reading gets some kind of force to steer them clear because this movie is a complete waste of time. Don't be tricked by the 3D special effects. This movie has no point to its production except to annoy me. The plot was nearly non-existent, no believable characters or character beats, on top of more and more crap. Why oh WHY did they continue this franchise? The first movie I felt was a solid film and stands well on it's own. The second was a decent follow up. The third they should have stopped right there. Terrible film the third one was but it wasn't as much of a piece of stinking maggot filled turb that this film was. Usually with a film I don't like I'd find something redeemable or likable about it whether it's camera work or a specific shot, or a specific character or actor or SOMETHING! This film doesn't have any of it. There's not even an awesome cameo by the great Tony Todd! Skip this piece of crap, please.


Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Oh, The Horror! #43: A Nightmare on Elm Street

Let me be first to say that although I am a Robert Englund fan, I wasn't always a Freddy Kruger fan. Since I was a kid, I never got too much of the appeal of these films. I knew they were a HUGE favorite for horror fans, but I was never enthusiastic to watch Freddy films. Now I have seen a few, many I can't quite remember except for specific scenes. About a week or so ago I watched 2.5 Freddy films and feel I was maybe a bit too hard on the it. Some time last year I tried to watch the first A Nightmare on Elm Street and really couldn't get into it at all. I felt it was fairly laughable and nothing grabbed me. Upon watching it again, I found myself finally getting into it. The characters were all there and the premise was in fact strong. As to why I had a dislike for it, I can't possibly say. The premise has such strong potential and a lot of promise for stories and the first did a rather decent job with that. A mysterious, burnt killer with knives for a hand invading your dreams is completely horrifying, especially for the fact that when he kills you in your dreams, you die in real life too. Upon finally giving this film another shot - a fair shot - I felt the movie franchise would have been extremely strong without the pointless sequels. Now, the third part of the series, Dream Warriors, had some great ideas and itself was a fine film, the series could have done without sequels period. The first film was a solid horror tale and by itself would have been a solid footnote of a scary movie.

Visually, this film was very well made, especially blurring the lines between dream and reality, creating some surreal scenes. Examples being the first victim's death, Freddy's various appearances, among other things. My favorite scene would surely be when Nancy, the film's protagonist, is asleep and Freddy's figure begins to slowly come forward through the wall atop her bed. Very creepy scene and very well done. Visual-wise, I'm actually looking forward to see what kind of nightmares and special effects are used for the up-coming remake despite my dislikes for the current remake genre. My biggest complaint also for the film was in fact the use of music. I felt most of the music used for this film were very poor choices and could have highly improved the creepiness of the film if a more subtly creepy type score scheme was used. The main musical theme is very good, but other musical pieces in other scenes I found to be quite jarring and sometimes nearly took me out of the scene.

A Nightmare on Elm Street is a creepy fun movie that stands rather well on it's own. I'm glad I gave it another fair shot after all this time of un-interest and somehow completely disliking it last time I watched it. Heck, I didn't even bother to finish it last time. But hey, if you're like me about this franchise, give the first film a fair viewer. You may like the interesting premise and may in fact like Freddy himself. The character works better as a sinister and creepy monster then the wise-cracking joke-ster he ended up being as the franchise went on. And here's hoping the remake does some justice. I'll try to give it a benefit of a doubt.

Directed by Wes Craven.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Oh, The Horror! #42: Halloween

Another wonderful classic. I'm glad I'm seeing this now. Don't ask me why, but I just am. John Carpenter directs an extremely creepy and well made craft of a little horror tale about a psychotic stalker with a weird mask on his face as he kills through local town teenagers, his target baby-sitter Laurie, played by Scream Queen, Jamie Lee Curtis. Besides that little tid-bit, there isn't too much to say of the plot for this movie. That synopsis is pretty much it along with a psychologist roaming the town in search of stopping this psychotic killer, Michael Myers. Jamie Lee Curtis, following her mother's horror footsteps, does a fine job as the very likable Laurie as she struggles to combat Myers who just keeps on coming back from whatever you dish at him.

My absolute favorite aspect of this film is just how darn creepy this film is and just how simple it is. Great shots, great use of space and raising tension, good use of a creepy musical score, and VERY minimal amount of blood. Now, I know people may get annoyed at my annoyance with people's disapproval of horror films with no blood and gore, but here is a classic slasher horror film that doesn't rely on gore or blood whatsoever. Heck, I can't even think of any blood in this film. There's a lot more to the craft of horror then just blood and guts and I wish modern horror fans would get that into their heads. But dammit, let me not rant about this... The atmosphere and tone produced int his movie is very much masterful and pushes forth an insane amount of creepiness that still resonant to this day watching this film. The movie overall looks beautiful.

Besides a bit of a flat ending, this is a great film I'd highly recommend. I'm not a huge fan of the slasher genre, but this here is one of the very first slasher horror films that started such a great trend and it's well deserved of all the craze and acclaim this simple film gets.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Oh, The Horror! #41: The House Centipede

Okay, remember that post I made way back of Barry? Well, here's another critter, this one very much more common. So common that you can stumble upon it in your own bedroom, hell... right next to your freakin' pillow. Say hello to the common house centipede...

Creepy as all hell, how could this NOT get it's own entry on Oh, The Horror!? This thing is horrific. Nothing with all those legs should exist. Their main purpose seems to be to just creep into your house and cause you to start scratching yourself while you climb a top of a chair, praying to all your Gods that it doesn't climb onto that specific chair you're standing on.

Now, if you're not creeped out by this creature, you're set. It can in fact be very helpful around the house as they tend to eat a bunch of insects that infest your home. But it doesn't help that it's even scarier than the common spider or roach. These centipedes are harmless, but trust me, you can make a nightmarish horror film starring these things. Yulch!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Oh, The Horror! #40: The Shining

I know I've seen this before but I don't recall ANYTHING about it. But I finally bought the DVD and watched this a few nights ago and wow... just wow. This is a horror film. This is my type of horror movie. A lot of people know that my favorite horror is the one that focuses on the mind, the psychological horror sub-genre is my absolute favorite of the horror-verse, The Innocents being my absolute favorite horror film. The Shining, directed by legend Stanley Kubrick, is an automatic hit with me and is a classic from beginning to end. If you're a horror fan and haven't seen this film, what are you waiting for?

The story follows Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson) who has been hired to watch over an over-sized hotel for the winter while he gets space and time to write his novel. Along with him is his wife, Wendy (Shelley Duvall) and son, Danny (Danny Lloyd). Early on we discover Jack's previous drinking issues along with Danny's imaginary friend, Tony. Danny also seems to possess an ability referred to as The Shining, which we discover from the hotel's chef, Dick Hallorann (Scatman Crothers). It seems with these abilities, Danny can see things from the past and things that are going to happen, these things mostly being bad things. Jack is told by the manager of the hotel about the last family that stayed in the hotel and how the father went crazy and killed his wife and children with an axe then killed himself. Jack tells the manager that there's nothing to worry about and that he and his family are thrilled. Though I wouldn't quite say that as Danny starts to see weird visions of two creepy little girls asking to play with him and a hall way being filled with blood. As the months pass by, Jack slowly begins to get grumpier as he attempts to finish his story and gets incredible terrifying around Wendy who just wants to be a loving wife, so it's completely frightening when Wendy begins to fight for her life when Jack finally loses it through push from the weird supernatural elements in the hotel.

Wonderfully shot and directed, the musical score throughout is completely masterful and lends really well to this creepy masterpiece. The performances are all top-notch, my favorite being from Shelley Duvall as the very sympathetic and loving Wendy as you wonder if she'll lose her mind when both her child and husband start to crack in this mysterious hotel. Now the movie isn't without it's faults. The only fault I have with the film was that I felt a lot of beats and pieces to the story were missing. Time just goes by and we see the passage of time, but I just wish we got to see more. Jack's transformation seems to almost come out of left field although there's signs of it through gradual build up from the beginning of the movie. Also, reading how much King dislikes this film and seeing a lot of story sub-plots that was excluded for this film does make me ponder, but excluding all that other stuff, the film stands completely well on it's own. My favorite type of horror film indeed.