Scared of the Dark

"Last week he wanted to marry her. Now he wants to have her committed."
-Lord Arthur Holmwood in BRAM STOKER'S DRACULA, about a man who discovers the woman he loves has started to go crazy as she turns into a vampire, but really, he could be talking about any man once he gets to know his lady-love, don't you think?

It's time to Celebrate, baby!
October 31 - International Scare Someone in the Dark Day. I created this day, and came up with two TOTALLY AWESOME ways to scare someone in the dark. I demand you go to the site, try out my methods and then report back.

From the Haunted Barn
Trick-or-Treating vs. Sex (what you got?)

Halloween Lynx (carve your own pumpkins and watch cows get revolutionary!)

Pictures of the Day - Jack-O-Lantern Style!

Public Service Announcement of the Day (because knowing is half the battle....)

I have the original Monkey's Paw story you can read to someone. It's old fashioned sounding, but holds up extremely well. Really cool stuff. Appropriate for 10 years and up.

Scary Movies runneth over
I realized too late that I had just too many scary movies to get them all reviewed by Halloween. Accordingly, I am delclaring the first part of November (really, up to Thanksgiving Eve) to be Halloween Carryover Dayz. I think you should throw a few more parties, and definitely check out more great flicks. As always, I look to give you "alternative" scary movies, perhaps ones you are not as familiar with or have forgotten. (I'm keeping up my list of scary movies over on Movie-Hype for you to check out.) Speaking of which, my sister has a woefully bad scary movie experience, so we have been working to change that this week. Below are three movies we watched the last couple of nights, with tiny mini reviews since I don't have time to give them their rightful day in the sun. If you're in the market for romance, pyschological or silly scares, these films could be right up your alley. - Hyperion


#720 – SE7EN


The Plot – As the title suggests, more from the book than most adaptations, but reimagined as an epic gothic romance.

The Plot – Someone is committing seven murders to represent the Seven Deadly Sins; Morgan Freeman and Brad Pitt try to stop him.

The Plot – “Ash” is sucked into a vortex into the 1300s,along with a shotgun and an Oldsmobile, and needs to get back home and save the local village from an army of dead soliders.

Why it’s so great – Gary Oldman’s finest work. Winona Ryder at her most desirable. Anthony Hopkins running around like a madman as Ven Helsing. Dracula’s (very naked and sexual) wives, led by the immortal Monica Bellucci. Keanu Reeves attempting a Victorian accent! Most of all, Francis Ford Coppola going WAY over the top with abandon to give us an opulent monstrosity that somehow works.

Why it’s so great – Put David Fincher on the map, and established him as the preeminent psychological horror guy of the ‘90s. Amazing visuals, a tense atmosphere and dark lighting that has been copied (X-Files, CSI) ever since. Most importantly, emphasis on a taut powerful script that will leave you emotionally shattered with the ending. Pitt and Freeman have great chemistry and work well together.

Why it’s so great – Bruce Campbell is the B Horror movie’s Kurt Russell. He’s simply immortal. One of his hands has been replaced by a chainsaw. He spouts cheesy one-liners, AND MAKES YOU LOVE IT! The 3 Stooges routines with the skeletons in the graveyard. Seeing director Sam Raimi’s crazy brilliance before everyone found out about him with SPIDER-MAN.

Holds up? – Suprisingly well. Perhaps because it’s set in 1897. Unimaginably cheesy, but go with it and 30 minutes in you’re hooked. If you don’t get laid, you’re doing something wrong.

Holds up? – Because gore has become so commonplace on network TV (like CSI, others), the shock of the visuals have faded some from 12 years ago, at least for me. However, the acting and plot are still very real, and the pace is just perfect.

Holds up? – In a way. You have to know how small a budget Raimi had to work with, and then you’re more amazed what he accomplished. This isn’t supposed to be a good movie, so in that way I guess it holds up: Still Bad!

Suspension of Disbelief Index – Uh, we’re talking Vampires, and Keanu Reeves as an Englishman? 9.5 (out of 10).

Suspension of Disbelief Index4 (out of 10). The usual caveat about serial killers who spend that much time setting up their acts must be given, and no city is that depressing and dangerous. Still, those effects are for mood, and the tone here is very serious. You’re not supposed to be laughing.

Suspension of Disbelief Index17 (out of 10). I can buy the vortex sending him back in time. I can buy the army of the dead and I can even buy the chainsaw for an arm. But buddy, you call a woman ugly and expect her to take you back? That’s crazy. (True, at the time he called her ugly she was possessed by dead spirits, and later they were gone, but I don’t see a woman making that distinction, do you?)

Genre Grade – I think “Monster with a heart of gold” should be its own genre, but even if we’re just in gothic horror, A-.

Genre Grade – Crime Thriller? Psychological Horror? Either way, A+.

Genre Grade – Let’s call it Amusing Horror. You’re not supposed to be scared, just entertained. B+.

Sex/Violence/Nudity? – Yes, please. Not as much as a traditional horror film, but there are definitely some arterial sprays going on. And any movie that has Monica Bellucci naked is worth your time.

Sex/Violence/Nudity? – A little bit of violence, mostly in the aftermath (of the murders). What’s there is disturbing, if only for what it suggests. I cannot stress strongly enough how much of an adult movie this is.

Sex/Violence/Nudity? – Sadly there is no nudity,and the violence is all so fake I can’t see too many people freaking out. In all honesty most high school kids would be fine to see this.

Pantheon Percentile – I actually think this gets better over time, and the immortal subject matter, and source material, means it will stay relevant forever. Astoundingly overdone, but that’s sort of the point, isn’t it? A real treat. 85.

Pantheon Percentile – Along with SILENCE OF THE LAMBS, arguably the best thriller of the decade. Virtually every shot is perfect, and the ending will give you two hours worth of discussion at the coffee shop afterward. I know we’ve been desensitized to violence since then, but I still think this works. Very well. 93.

Pantheon Percentile – It ain’t Shakespeare, but I’ve seen it 23 times. At some point the sheer rewatchability and quotability have to earn some credit, n’est pas? 53.

"Give me some sugar, baby!"

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Just so you know, Army of Darkness has about 3 seconds of some serious side boobage. One of the women slaves in the graveyard. Yeah I know, I'm a nerd.