Archive

Archive for October, 2011

Review: “28 Days Later”

October 31, 2011 6 comments
Directed by: Danny Boyle
Produced by: Andrew MacDonald, Robert How (Line Producer)
Written by: Alex Garland
Starring: Cillian Murphy, Naomie Harris, Christopher Eccleston, Megan Burns, Brendan Gleeson
Music by: John Murphy
Year: 2002 (UK)

As I recently stated in one of my (many to come) Great Scenes articles, you don’t have to be from England to recognize just how terrifying the seemingly abandoned streets of London become in 28 Days Later. Danny Boyle’s brilliant take on the zombie horror film sub-genre is as breathtaking as it is unnerving. Read more…

Update: Busy, busy week…

October 30, 2011 Leave a comment

To everyone who may be wondering –

I know you’ve all been panicking because of my 2 day absence from blogging, but it’s been an incredibly busy week and, well, I really needed to relax this weekend. Tomorrow’s Halloween, and, in my eyes, it’s still horror week. I will attempt to get most of the reviews I intended to do posted throughout the following week, but due to the fact that tomorrow’s my birthday (yep, Halloween) and I’ve got family in town, those will be coming a bit later than intended.

I know you’ve all been freaking out over this (right?) but I just thought I’d mention it.

In the meantime, why not think of any non-horror films you’d like me to review, post them in the comments, and I’ll check them out?

Thanks again, everyone, and hope you have a …

Review: “A Nightmare on Elm Street” (2010)

October 28, 2011 4 comments
Directed by: Samuel Bayer
Produced by: Michael Bay, Andrew Form, Brad Fuller
Written by: Wesley Strick & Eric Heisserer (screenplay), Wesley Strick (story)
Starring: Jackie Earle Haley, Kyle Gallner, Rooney Mara, Katie Cassidy, Thomas Dekker, Kellan Lutz
Music by: Steve Jablonsky
Year: 2010

 

I will refrain from mentioning Michael Bay… I will refrain from mentioning Michael Bay… I will refrain from… Oh! Hi! Welcome, my friends, to my final Nightmare on Elm Street review for this Halloween season. We end this streak with something more terrifying than a chainsaw-wielding maniac… more chilling than a ghost who doesn’t know he’s been dead the whole time… more evil than [EXAMPLE]. Today, we examine… A HORROR MOVIE REMAKE. *lightning and thunder*

Today’s feature is the 2010 remake of A Nightmare on Elm Street, a modern day revival of that cult classic story that, as we all know by now, I wasn’t the biggest fan of, but always held a certain level of reverence for, in the same way I do for the Final Fantasy series, and yet I do not play. Read more…

Review: “Wes Craven’s New Nightmare”

October 26, 2011 6 comments
Director: Wes Craven
Produced by: Robert Shaye, Wes Craven
Written by: Wes Craven
Starring: Heather Langenkamp, Robert Englund, Miko Hughes, John Saxon
Music by: J. Peter Robinson
Year: 1994

 

Now explain to me why more horror movies can’t be this much fun and be scary? As a prelude to his Scream series, Wes Craven goes all meta on us with the seventh Nightmare film by folding his universe into the real world with this re-imagining of the formula and the penultimate appearance of Robert Englund as Freddy.

However, I think you’d be hard pressed to figure this in with the rest of the films, even if you include the crossover with the Friday the 13th series (which I haven’t seen and really don’t plan on seeing for a while), as it’s really almost like a spin-off, sidestory, or, if you’re knowledgeable about comic books, an Elsworlds tale! New Nightmare brings back some of the most famous and beloved of the Nightmare actors, including Heather Langenkamp herself, only, this time… she’s playing herself! Read more…

“Alien” – The Human Manifesto (2007)

October 25, 2011 9 comments

I’m afraid that I might not get to a review of Alien as I had hoped, but, luckily, I can delve back into my box of treasures (i.e., the file on my computer labeled “School Files” containing everything from my freshman year of high school to my fifth and final year in college) and post this paper I wrote in 2007, my sophomore year (Aw, I was just 20 and a half years old!), about the film’s apparent feminist overtones, complete with MLA-styleworks cited! How about that?!

Wow... That's a bit of an overreaction, don't you think?

I apologize for not having a review, but I will eventually! After all, unlike ghost stories and slasher movies, it’s a film that’s not so specific to the Halloween season, and I have a few more of those to come before the last day of October comes! I hope this proves enlightening, however! Read more…

10 Scary, Suspenseful, and/or Freaky Non-Horror Films for Horror and Non-Horror Fans Alike

October 25, 2011 4 comments

If you couldn’t tell from the past 17 days, I’ve been focusing on strictly horror films for my reviews. The thing is, I’m not really that into horror! I felt like this was the perfect opportunity for me to broaden out into the genre, however, and honestly, it’s a bit of a mixed bag. Mostly cheesy, low quality B-movie and B-movie level films that I likely will never watch again. There are a few better ones I have yet to publish reviews for, but I’m reluctant to go much further into new territory because, quite frankly, it’s burning me out.

That isn’t to say I don’t have any more horror film reviews to come. The next several reviews I have coming down the line are 28 Days Later, The Sixth Sense, Scream, The Others, Halloween, , and trio of horror-comedy hybrids, Shaun of the Dead, Zombieland, and, even one for the kids with Monster House, so there are still plenty of horror films that I’m going to be filling out the next week or so with, all of them quality films.

But I’m taking a bit of a break with this article. If you can read, then you know that this is a list of ten scary, suspenseful, and/or freaky non-horror films for horror and non-horror fans alike! If you’re feeling a little left out of the loop among your horror-loving friends, or if you’re just wanting something of a change of pace from the standard comedies and action films you’re so used to, these should sufficiently get your adrenaline going without feeling as though you’re going to have nightmares afterward. … Well, with most of them at least. Insert maniacal laugh. Read more…

Review: “A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors”

October 24, 2011 6 comments
Director: Chuck Russell
Produced by: Wes Craven, Robert Shaye
Written by: Wes Craven & Bruce Wagner (also story), Frank Darabont, Chuck Russell (screenplay)
Starring: Heather Langenkamp, Patricia Arquette, Robert Englund, Laurence Fishbrune, Priscilla Pointer, Craig Wasson
Music by: Angelo Badalamenti, “Into the Fire” by Dokken
Year: 1987

 


If the first film in the Nightmare on Elm Street series was a metaphor for the perceived innocence of childhood and American suburbia, then the third film kind of represents the opposite side of the same coin, as it centers on the inability of adults to understand the problems their kids are facing and address them accordingly.

Subtitled Dream Warriors, you’d be forgiven for thinking this would be some campy Aliens knock off, with people being jacked into a dream network to take out Freddy Krueger once and for all…. Actually, that kind of sounds awesome. Anyway, no this isn’t that kind of film. Dream Warriors doesn’t repeat the scares and themes of the first film, but rather expands upon them and delves deeper into the mythology. If you were among the people who scolded me for my ignorance of the series and suggested this to me, then, congratulations. You’ve got me. A Nightmare on Elm Street 3 is not only a pretty good movie, I actually like it better than the first! Read more…

Great Scenes: “28 Days Later” – London Abandoned

October 22, 2011 12 comments

First off, if you haven’t seen the film, don’t watch this video. Just go borrow, rent, or even buy a copy of this amazing horror film, and come back to let this scene sink in. Go on. Do it! … NOW!

Have you come back yet? Okay, then you’re ready to join the rest of us enlightened ones and watch the following clip:

(Okay, so this is an image. I can’t get it to embed, but click on the image to watch the scene!)

This is one of my favorite horror films. Hands down. And this scene is quite possibly the best in the entire film.

Though the video quality is crude in the stream, if you’ve made it this far, then you’ve seen it and know that this is just how the film looks. (And if you didn’t, you’re a stinking liar!) This English-made horror film was made using a Canon XL-1 digital camera, which was first produced in 1997 and continued to be in production until 2001, just one year before this film’s release. Director Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire, 127 Hours, Trainspotting) deliberately chose this aging technology to give the relatively low-budget film its distinctive, gritty look.

The setting of the film is, as you may have guessed, 28 days after a devastating plague swept through England. Jim (Cillian Murphy, Batman Begins, Inception) is a London courier who was previously struck by a car on his route and plunged into a deep coma before the world came crumbling down around him. The world he awakens to is vacant madness, as the hospital he finds himself in is trashed and abandoned. He cries out for anyone still around. He’s weak and disoriented and hasn’t eaten for quite a while. Some sugary sodas give him some strength as he leaves the hospital, only to find more emptiness. London has been abandoned completely, with not a soul in sight. His cries go unanswered as debris gives him a hint as to what has happened. Missing people. Vigils for those departed. Old newspapers telling of a mysterious infestation.

This scene was filmed in the early hours of the morning. The story goes that it was so early, the filmmakers were able to capture it all while police barely had to block traffic to create the eerie effect of having a completely motionless London. The toppled bus was placed, filmed, and returned to normal within 20 minutes, which is made all the more impressive when you consider that London is pretty much England’s New York City. If you thought that the silent nature of New York City was creepy in I Am Legend, then you’re going to be completely blown away by this green screen and visual effects-free scene.

It only gets more and more unnerving the more the music kicks in. Featuring an edited version of the Godspeed You! Black Emperor song “East Hastings”, the pulsing bass, plodding keys, and, of course, the interweaving guitar combine to project Jim’s confusion and helplessness and help to sell the absolute terror one would face in this situation. The track has since gone on to be the de facto theme to the film series, showing up throughout this film’s sequel, 28 Weeks Later, which is also worth a look.

One of the great things about this scene, though, is how utterly scary it is, despite the infected having not even really made their terrifying debut. This emphasizes that the fear in this film isn’t just from the potential the characters face in getting infected or torn apart, but also their need for companionship and their fear of feeling lonely or abandoned in a world gone mad. 28 Days Later is a film about a family coming together, but at this point, Jim has no one to help him here. You don’t hear him crying out for explanations. Instead of crying out “Why?” or “How?” he simply cries out desperately, “Hello!?” And, as you watch the film, these words continue to echo throughout, as they continue to search for hope and for their cries to be answered…

Review: “Halloween” (1978)

October 20, 2011 10 comments
Director: John Carpenter
Produced by: Debra Hill, John Carpenter, Kool Lusby, Irwin Yablans, Moustapha Akkad
Written by: John Carpenter, Debra Hill
Starring: Donald Pleasence, Jamie Lee Curtis, P.J. Soles, Nancy Loomis
Music by: John Carpenter
Year: 1978

 

The original Halloween was a low budget affair. Extras were barely paid and culled from those who were already living on site in South Pasadena, California. The actors themselves were receiving significantly lower paychecks compared to what they could have made in some other production.

Despite being a fairly well-known actress today, Jamie Lee Curtis was a young, relatively unknown TV actress when this movie was made, best known possibly for being the daughter of Psycho scream queen Janet Leigh and Some Like it Hot icon Tony Curtis. Naturally, this meant a significantly smaller paycheck than what she’d get in just a few years’ time. The prolific Donald Pleasence, a name I had known but needed to look up, was the best known actor in the film at the time, known for his roles on TV and his role as the first Ernst Blofeld in You Only Live Twice, but even he had to take on a significant pay cut compared to his usual for his role as Dr. Loomis in this film. Read more…

A Big “Thank You” for the Most Popular Day Yet!

October 18, 2011 5 comments

Hey everyone! Just wanted to give a quick shout out to everyone who made today the most visited day on my site since its start!

Many of you came via Facebook, and I thank you for your continued support. I think a big thank you is in store for the guys at The Nightmare on Elm Street Companion, however, who contributed not only three whopping comments on my review of the first A Nightmare on Elm St., but also dedicated an entire forum post to my review! Now, granted, most of their visits were because they disagreed with me on my review for A Nightmare on Elm Street, and some of them rightly pointed out that I had screwed up in counting the number of films in the franchise. However, though I know it may sound like backhanded appreciation, I hope you all know I’m being sincere when I say that I welcome and really enjoy feedback and discussion, even from those of you who disagree. I truly do appreciate the attention! Sure, some of you have been a bit… severe in your responses, but, hey, you’ve been the most actively engaging people yet on the site, and I owe its popularity today in part to you!

For those of you not involved, I headed over to their forums earlier today and responded to their reactions to my review. Turns out they believe I missed a bit more from the films than I realized, and asked me to reconsider. While I’m not going to be changing the score of my review of the original film, as I still think it deserves a 2/5, I’ve come to understand that the first film led to what I’m told is a series with a deep mythology, and I was advised to watch at least the third and the seventh films. I advise you guys, if you have any interest in the series in general, to head over there and listen to what they have to say, since they know a lot more about it than I do!

Because they’ve been so nice (again, for the most part) to my visitation on their site, I’m going to take them on their word and, though I wasn’t planning on it, I’m going to review not just Dream Warriors and New Nightmare, but also the 2010 remake, just to challenge the dude who said I must like the remakes better than the originals. I’m not going to be compromising my perspective on these movies just because I have a bunch of fans breathing down my neck, but I hope that this will be just as enlightening an experience as I’m being led to believe.

Challenge accepted!

<span>%d</span> bloggers like this: