I don’t feel great about giving a so-so star rating. I’m a fan of Adam Green’s ArieScope Pictures the independent studio behind cult classics like Frozen (the ski lift one, not that snowman one) and the Victor Crowley series. Adam Green’s podcast “The Movie Crypt” is my favorite podcast and one I would recommend to fans of the genre or aspiring filmmakers. Of course being a fan means checking out other projects from the studio. Grace is a 2009 horror/drama written and directed by Paul Solet, Produced by Adam Green and released through ArieScope. The film details a mother, Madeline Matheson (Jordan Ladd), whose child dies in the womb. Yet she takes it to term, it’s born and it wants to suck blood. There that’s the whole movie. Goodnight everybody.
Why is this called “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”? You don’t see Lisbeth’s (Noomi Rapace) back art until around halfway through the movie, and it’s not like anyone cares. She’s more recognized for her piercings or the black clothes she wears. This movie is a story about hacking, detective work, and sexual violence, not Lisbeth’s appearance. So let me propose a new title: Hackers. Oh wait…
I decided to watch Splinter after watching the 2014 film The 50 Best Horror Movies You’ve Never Seen on Amazon Prime . I’ve been chipping away at the list since June–I have 13 left–and I have to say most of the film’s recommendations have been solid. If not for that list I may have never watched cult classics like Burnt Offerings or Alone in the Dark (Not the Uwe Boll version, oh god.) Though not all of the recommendations have been good. There’s no reason anyone should have to witness the laughable onslaught of giant rats in Food of the Gods or the rapey sea creatures in Humanoids from the Deep. Splinter aka #20 sits somewhere in between good and bad. It’s not a must see movie for horror fans but it’s not a bad film. It has good performances and a unique antagonist. I just wish that wasn’t all it had.
In my last Shocktober review, I talked a lot about perspective – how horror movies especially put the audience in the shoes of their protagonists. I’d like to continue drilling into that cavity as I write about Timecrimes, because it does an exceptional job showing how depending on your point of view, these movies could just as easily be a dark (or even slapstick) comedies or depressing dramas.
I made a film this summer. I won’t disclose the details here but I will say that it was a mockumentary that utilized found footage elements. We decided upon this style because it was the best way to tell the kind of story we wanted to tell. Another reason was we thought it might be a more practical style of film on a low budget. Only now do I realize that this style isn’t easier. Do you realize how much footage you have to shoot for a mockumentary? Not to mention the variety of footage you’ll need to keep the film interesting. Noroi: The Curse helped me appreciate how much work really goes into this kind of film.
You know a movie has a good premise when your mom can sum it up and one sentence and you’re immediately hooked. “A family on a road trip stuck on a never-ending road.” That’s an idea good enough to make Rod Serling rise from his grave and give a bony thumb of approval. It’s a good film too. Dated but simple and effective. A film that by all means should have launched the career of Jean-Baptiste Andrea into the Hollywood spotlight. Yet all he did after this was a dark comedy with David Schwimmer and the script for a movie called
Frailty is a peculiar film for a number of reasons. One being that it marks the first of only two feature directorial efforts by Bill Paxton. Another being that it doesn’t entirely fit nicely into your typical preconceived notions of a mid-budget horror-thriller. On one hand, it does have a somewhat ridiculous premise (I mean, how many movies have demons as a major plot point?) And yet, it treats it’s more biblical overtones with the utmost seriousness, and despite a few pulpier moments, it comes off as this kind of father-son morality tale. Continue reading