Archive for November, 2009
It’s a shame that a film can offer so much and deliver so little. The idea is a great one, with it’s roots deep in homage to 70’s horror. A couple (Beckinsale and Wilson) get lost on the way home travelling through the US countryside, their car breaks down and they end up staying in the dodgiest looking motel with a real shady manager. The room is dirty, sheets unclean and tap water runs black. (I had a recent, similar experience in Birmingham. I did not stay) The husband decides to check out some video cassettes and discovers some brutal home videos, filmed in that very room. They are in their very own reality gore TV show.
The basic idea is a great one, and original at that, taking the idea from Psycho and adding a little to it for a new audience, but as with many of the recent Hollywood horror, this one just doesn’t hit the mark. The story makes no sense and the whole situation doesn’t really add up which leaves the viewer counting down the minutes and knowing the characters every move. Kate Beckinsale makes watching this film just about bearable, although Luke Wilson also puts in a descent performance with the over edited script.
The film also fails to supply any real violence or gore which it’s crying out for, given it’s subject matter, punches and slaps are as brutal as it gets. We don’t really even have any hint of any real threat as the two main characters outwit the motel owners, dodging from room to room via tunnels and doorways, even thought the whole place is rigged with cameras. A dreadful ending also, but I cannot believe there is a sequel?!
A young couple move into a huge mansion at a bargain price, everything is looking good until they are given a baby monitor from Juan’s parents. That night, the works, ‘Follow me, Follow me’ can be heard over the reception. Treating the monitor as faulty, Juan purchases a new one with video capability. That night, he see’s the figure of a man sitting next to his baby.
Christ, this is a spooky plot and for the first half of the movie, it’s pretty damn creepy as the home owners struggle with suspected intruders, supernatural entity or insanity. The film has plenty of room to pan out and scope for the characters to explore. The direction it takes is one of multiple universes, Schrödinger’s cat and string theory style. It’s enjoyable, but for me, loses the edge and lack of suspense towards the latter part of the film, that’s not to say it doesn’t finish with a punch, which is quite a nice finale.
Alex de la Iglesia directs and does a fine job with some experimental camera work at play which compliments the story, and feels like an extended episode of the Twilight Zone, which isn’t a bad thing. Creepy, and quirky with a twist; you’ll never look at a baby monitor the same.
Week 5 already!
OK, this week we have some old and some new. Some good and some bad. Lets see how it pans out.
Zombie month will be put on hold until Easter as i had it pointed out that Christ returned from the tomb at Easter, not Christmas and also, there are a stack of Christmas horror movies building up.
- The Baby’s Room
- Witch who came from the Sea
- Nightwatch (Nattevagten)
- The Innocents
- Blue Sunshine
- The Devil Rides Out
Keep the comments coming. Thanks!
This is what this project is all about. Discovering some really cool movies which give me hope for the future of the horror genre. Cold Prey does such a task. This Norwegian gem oozes charm, style and looks beautiful. Rich believable characters suck the audience in to an amazing looking landscape of the snowy Jotunheimen mountains in this tale of frosty murder. Director, Roar Uthaug gets the most out of his young cast who must really take credit for this film, bringing depth and honesty to the roles, in what could have easily turned out to be yet another stalk n slash rehash. Uthaug takes a traditional worn out plot and breathes new life through realistic actions of character. The script is fast and clever. The camera work is sleek and the film stock has a nice low tone making some scenes almost black and white which is glorious.
The plot is a simple one. 5 friends take a skiing holiday in the mountains. After some fun on the slopes, one of them slips and breaks a leg. They stumble upon a nearby boarded up lodge to hold up for the night and get the leg set and decide to stay under shelter until morning. It soon appears they are not alone in the lodge and the trouble begins.
Ingrid Bolsø Berdal is stunningly good as our heroin in this flick, who has real screen presence. Rune Melby plays the huge monstrous villain with a preference for ice picks, a character removed from the obviousness of the likes of Jason & Freddy who brings some real chills to this movie.
I cannot speak more highly of this film. With one of my other favorite recent horror films from Sweden, ‘Let the right one in’, it’s good to know the Scandinavian film industry is alive and well. Looking forward to the sequel now.
Spooky Spanish treat set in a bunker holding the remnants of the human race as we know it. We’re not too sure what has gone before and what all of the characters know or appear to know. But we know there is little food and medical supplies left and we know there are other things lurking along the corridors and the other side of thick walls and locked doors. It’s an interesting drama mainly viewed from the eyes on an eight year old boy, dreaming of the day he will see the sea, his only knowledge of which has been passed on from stories told within the bunker.
It’s very well filmed, atmospheric and intriguing. The corridor’s fill the screen with a feeling of dread as the youngsters make their way quickly from their maths class back to the safety of their home, figures lurking in the shadows and the talk of Solitary Boy who lives on scraps of bread and hides from the light. The Strangers who live behind locked doors are infected zombie type creatures; the law being, ‘if you are touched by a Stranger, you must be killed.’ Then there are some other weird ethereal beings, with multiple legs that light up the screen, blinding. The Invisibles creep into rooms at night at the coldest of times. All of these threats are enough to mix up a tremendous plot, with the central characters living in constant fear of attack, starvation or even just loosing power and water. A perfect vehicle really for actors to get their teeth into character based roles.
The problem is there is something missing. Maybe there are too many ‘other’ threats and maybe the characters are all a bit obvious, but La Hora Fria has an element which just misses the mark slightly and it’s a shame as it could nearly have been a real classic. The acting is impressive, especially the young cast. Omar Munoz (Jesus) is a little star.
The ending is quite a talking piece too, which I won’t mention here but I wasn’t expecting the final scene. Quite a situation to be in to be honest and its some secret for the adult characters to have carried with them. There is a lot left unexplained about La Hora Fria, and that’s a good thing.
This Australian cat n mouse slasher offers some positive acting talent, realistic script and some neat camera work, although a tad amateurish and experimental at times. Based on real events which happened several years back, surrounding the disappearance of a pair of female backpackers. At the time, this was blamed on a travelling male companion who always pleaded his innocence, concocting a tale that an Ocker from the outback tricked and kidnapped the three of them and tortured the trio for kicks. The Ocker was never found and could still be out there, slaughtering backpackers, even now as you read these words. Who knows the truth, but this time round, the film follows the defendant’s story as they try to escape almost certain death whilst running through the wild plains of Australia.
It really is a harrowing thought and makes you think twice about who you trust to help you out with a broken down vehicle. If only the AA had better coverage? It should also make many students think twice about their year out.
The film is well shot, nice and enjoyable to pass the time, but there really is nothing new here. Hitcher and Hills Have Eyes come to mind as superior similar events. Acting is good though and as a modern 90 minute horror film, this rattles along quite well. The villain (John Jarratt) is an interesting character too with plenty of depth, something I wasn’t expecting and realistically lifts this film. The old Crocodile Dundee knife line is always good form and there are some quite vicious notable moments of violence. Fair dinkum.