Archive for suspense

The Thing (2011)

Posted in movies with tags , on October 14, 2011 by adam

Yesterday, I was a man consumed by fear. A brand new, big-budget prequel to my favorite movie of all time was coming out. Though the new movie’s course was charted 30 years ago by the hints laid down in the first film, so much could still go wrong. Pessimist that I am, I was sure it would be a disappointment at best and a soul-crushing nightmare at worst. My fears were unfounded.

So yeah, I loved this movie. It’s thoughtfully crafted, scary and visually impressive. It definitely has its shortcomings, but it remains leaps and bounds ahead of most alien horror in every way that matters.

I tend to be hypercritical of the things I love, expecting more from them than is reasonable. Still I admit that my love for the first film may blind me to the warts of the new one. It’s certainly possible the uninitiated may not see what the big deal is, finding instead only a garden-variety alien monster flick.

Fuck that noise. Go see this movie.

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The House of the Devil (2009)

Posted in movies with tags , on October 28, 2010 by adam

Remember a couple of days ago when I mentioned mixing up two movies with similar titles that came out around the same time? After surviving the mostly dreadful Night of the Demons, I was at last rewarded with the excellent House of the Devil, a taut homage to vintage ’80s horror.

I sure do miss the ’80s and all the quaint relics long forgotten in our modern world: rotary phones, tape decks, jeans that came up to your ribcage, and Satan worshipers. Especially Satan worshipers.

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The Uninvited (2009)

Posted in movies with tags , , on October 20, 2010 by adam

It’s generally a safe bet that the American remake of any Asian horror film will disappoint fans of the original. Either too much has been excised or diluted for the sake of western sensibilities or, even worse, the remake is identical to the original except it features more white people speaking English. I had pretty much figured that statement was tautological enough that we’d soon see the tide of Asian horror remakes recede. But before it goes it seems there are some stragglers that need to be panned before we’ll be rid of this crap.

The Uninvited, while not a terrible scary movie on its own merits, is just a such a remake. Modeled very, very loosely on the excellent Korean film, A Tale of Two Sisters, this hastily prepared startler is guilty of paring down its source material to an almost unrecognizable form. Sisters was fairly complicated with a lot of intellectual cul-de-sacs and unexplained, disturbing imagery. The biggest question about The Uninvited, on the other hand, is what in hell the title has to do with the plot.

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Frozen (2010)

Posted in movies with tags , , on October 18, 2010 by adam

As I sat shivering in my apartment, wrapped in blanket and straining to hear the telltale hiss of steam flowing through the radiator, I was reminded of a friend’s thoughts on one of the few drawbacks of October. It’s the month of the year when the weather gets cold enough that New York City apartments require heat, but it’s also the last month building owners can get away with not providing it.  But that’s not October’s fault, it’s my cheap ass landlord’s.

Given the climate, what better movie could I select than Frozen? I was pretty hard on director Adam Green for Hatchet II, so I thought it only fair to take a look at his stripped down suspense thriller and see what he could do when not focusing exclusively on ever more brutal ways to rend flesh on screen. The results were…chilling. See what I did there?

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The Crazies (2010)

Posted in movies with tags , , on October 11, 2010 by adam

You know what scares me? That smirking weasel, Jon Gruden. First off, it’s horrifying to see a guy get paid millions of dollars to analyze a sport he clearly doesn’t understand. But more than that, take a look at that cheeky fucker on Monday Night Football tonight and tell me he isn’t the illegitimate spawn of Dennis the Menace and Chucky from Child’s Play. Did I just blow your mind? On to the movie!

I fully admit I have not yet seen the original version of The Crazies. Knowing I had the 2010 edition on the way from Netflix, I purposely chose to sit on the original and watch it only after seeing the remake. I’m curious to see what effect reversing my usual order will have. Come tomorrow, once I’ve seen the 1973 version (holla, PA!), I’ll probably be singing Romero’s praises and cursing Hollywood’s vast recycling conspiracy. But for now I have to say: this is one damn fine flavor.

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