Monday, October 5, 2009

Scare Fest 1-3

Score so far, 1 hit and 2 misses.

First up, The Burning from 1981, one of Miramax's first films and an obvious attempt to capitalize on the slasher movie craze that was going on at the time. A summer camp caretaker is badly burned in a prank gone wrong, he is released from the hospital after 5 years and goes out to seek revenge (of course!) And where does he go to get revenge? He doesn't hunt down the boys who played the prank on him, he goes to a summer camp to kill all the kids there who had nothing to do with his being burned. Oh and coincidentally one of the counselors just happens to be one of the kids who was in on the prank, I don't think our baddie knew this, it was just pure luck for him. Seriously this movie bit, I wasn't scared at all and even fell asleep during the mass murder scene and missed all the Tom Savini effects, and I like Tom Savini :( What did I like about this movie? A young Jason Alexander (with hair) and a very young Fisher Stevens. That was it. Boo

Next up in the dud list is Witchfinder General from 1968. Now I will admit I found this movie watchable, but I am calling it a dud because it's not a horror movie, there was nothing scary in it at all. This movie is a fictionalized story of Mathew Hopkins who was a real witch hunter during the English civil war, Oliver Cromwell's time and all that. I think it's classified as a horror film because they are hunting witches, but there are no actual witches in the movie. It's more of a social commentary on the historical events of the time. Vincent price does a very good job in this, he's much more serious than he usually is in films like this. There are some nasty scenes with rape and torture, the movie is pretty somber throughout, and there is no happy ending. So I am calling this one a miss because it doesn't meet my definition of a horror movie, but it wasn't bad as a drama.

Lastly we have our only scary movie this go 'round, Dark Water from 2002 directed by Hideo Nakata who did Ring and Ring 2. This is the original Japanese version, not the American made Jennifer Connelly version, I don't like Jennifer Connelly at all, there I said it.

Anyway, Asian horror movies scare me in general, I feel a lack of control that I think is brought on by the subtitles. Because I don't get all the nuances of the dialogue that I do with an English language movie, I pay a lot more attention to the actor's facial expressions, their reactions to what is happening, and all the audio cues. This causes my imagination to go into hyperdrive. Oh and also, the ghost in this one is a little girl; little kid horror movies are always scary, they just creep the hell out of me. Dark Water involves a single mom and her daughter who move to an apartment being haunted by a little girl who went missing a few years ago. It takes mom a while to figure out what is going on but the actress who plays her, Hitomi Kuroki, is simply fabulous. I really liked this one and have slept with the lights on three nights in a row, always a sign of a good movie.

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