Sunday, October 16, 2011

Celluloid #130

In Theaters


Abduction (2011) Singleton - This could have been a perfectly fine thriller, but just ended up being too dumb. Taylor Lautner can't hold a movie together - he's just a dopey smile and muscles. The dialogue is really dumb and the plot gets super ridiculous (ex. declaration that there is a bomb in the oven seconds before it goes off). I was fine with the premise of a teenager discovering his picture on a "Missing Children's" website, but this delves into weird government secret spy territory. Also, the teenage romance is unwatchable. I wish she would have just gotten left somewhere. 2/5

the Room (2003) Wiseau - What to say about this cult favorite? Worst movie ever? Actually, probably not because the production value is better than I expected. However, this is certainly a great unintentional comedy about a man (Johnny - played by the director) and his fiancee who cheats on him with his best friend. The dialogue is hilariously bad, lending itself to many quotable moments. The sex scenes are also laughably bad (and one sequence is even repeated). I don't know...I feel like you should know what you are getting yourself into with this movie, but it is a "so-bad-it's- good" classic. ??/5


Take Shelter (2011) Nichols - A man keeps having nightmares and daytime hallucinations about a huge apocalyptic storm, followed by a variety of horrific events. Curtis starts expanding his backyard tornado shelter. He knows he's being irrational, but can't shake this feeling that something terrible is about to happen. His wife and young deaf daughter mean everything to him, so he feels the need to protect them  at all costs, even though they have real pressing issues. As a viewer, one gets caught up in constant tension about whether Curtis is actually losing his mind. Deliberately paced, with memorable and scary imagery. 4.5/5

In Home


Haunting (1963) Wise - A professor interested in the supernatural comes across Hill House, where stories indicate that it is haunted. He has a few people come stay at the house who have had some connection to the supernatural (ESP, poltergeists, etc). Eleanor's mother has recently died and she feels like she is finally free to live her own life. Up until this point, she feels like nothing has happened and Hill House is the thing that she has always been waiting for. Eleanor is quite sheltered and fears being left out or being alone. The house singles her out for destruction, but she still wants to stay. While not very scary, this film has held up pretty well. 4/5

Interview with the Vampire (1994) Jordan - Starting in present-day San Francisco, Louis is being questioned by a journalist about his life  - which happens to have started more than 200 years ago as a vampire. Back in 1700s Louisiana, Lestat becomes Louis' maker after he loses his wife and child. Lestat wants a companion, and Louis wants something other than his tragic life. Lestat is far more bloodthirsty than Louis, who prefers to spare humans when possible. During the Plague, Louis almost kills a girl after her mother dies, but instead Lestat turns her too. In a way, she is like a daughter to them, but even more aggressive than Lestat. I liked seeing Kirsten Dunst as a young thing, but something about this film fell fall for me. 3/5

Rabid (1977) Cronenberg - A woman who gets injured in a motorcycle crash has to undergo an experimental operation. She survives, but develops a need for blood. Her victims develop the same bloodlust. At first the community thinks there is some mutated outbreak of rabies, but in reality victims are turned through a bizarro stab inflicted through Rose's armpit. An early example of Cronenberg's penchant for body horror and a welcome twist on the typical vampire story. 4/5

Scream (1996) Craven - Casey and her boyfriend Steve are killed by a masked murdered obsessed with horror films. After their deaths, the focus is turned on Sidney, whose mother was killed just the year before. In a key scene, the rules of horror are explained (sex=death, vices=death, etc) just as Sidney is having sex with her boyfriend. In another reflexive scene, Randy is yelling "look behind you" while he's about to get stabbed himself. I hate Matthew Lillard, but I like that this film keeps you guessing. 4/5

1 comment:

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