Last of the Monster Kids

Last of the Monster Kids
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Sunday, October 3, 2010

Hallowen 2010: October 1st, 2nd, and 3rd

Sorry that these are late. I've been very sick these past two days and have been too busy vomiting and sleeping to update my blog. Sorry.

October 1st:

On this chilly Autum night, I ventured from my cobweb strewn tomb to the local Apollo Theater, the near-by community theater. As previously mentioned, they were doing a midnight showing of "Dracula" that I just couldn't miss. JD joined me on my journey and, before leaving, we caught two other Universal classics to set the right mood.

Frankenstein (1931)
A sign of a truly film is when you notice something new every time. This time, I paid more attention to the famous flower girl scene. In a movie today, that scene would play with extremely heavy tones of child molestation. Once the thought enters your mind, it’s kind of hard to ignore it. However, the monster is completely innocent. Karloff’s performance is one of the all time greatest. (9/10)

Bride of Frankenstein (1935)
So what exactly was the purpose of having Ella Lanchester play both Mary Shelly and the Monster’s Mate, beyond just being a cute joke? Is that the one bit of subtext in this film that hasn’t been picked apart? Anyway, the Monster is a true horror anti-hero. He comes off as truly pitiable in several parts. Dr. Pretorius is the real villain of the piece. (9/10)

Dracula (1931)
Every time I see this film, I like it more. This time, I officially upgrade my opinion from “like” to “love.” Yes, the latter half is hella’ stagey. But the gothic power of the scenes of Dracula’s castle and the Demeter are so strong, they’ll resonate forever. This is the birth of the cinematic language of horror. Every horror film ever made owes those scenes something. Seeing this in on a big screen, one located within an old building no less, increases the atmosphere to incredible levels. (9/10)

October 2nd:

Baby Blues (2008)
I picked this up based solely on Kindertrauma’s recommendation but still had little idea of what to expect. What I got was a disturbing, intense take on extreme post-pardem depression. Considering the disturbing subject matter, the movie ends up feeling a bitch too much like a typical slasher at times, the two great lead performances and moody direction kept me interested. The ending pushed things a bit too far though. (7/10)

A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010)
About the only thing this remake has going for it is Jackie Earle Haley. While the tone of the character is as inconsistent as it is in the rest of the film, he’s revealed far too early, and the new make-up is weak, Haley does make Freddy sinister, pissed-off, and generally a nasty, mean-spirited bastard. There’s one really effective sequence, the attack in the drug store, and I will say the cast of teenagers are slightly better actors then those in the originals.

The rest of the movie? Completely mediocre. The movie is overly reliant on jump scares you see coming miles away, and flashy CGI nonsense. The scenes it takes from the original are the bigger, retarded Michael Bay version of those classic scenes. This one makes me really appreciate the original’s pacing. Lots of information is dumped on us in lazy clumps while the scenes between the kills and the info-dumps feel like filler. The new climax is really awful and underwhelming. It’s not so much the decision to play coy with Freddy’s guilt (Though that is stupid) so much as it’s just a badly constructed screenplay. Sam Bayer tries his best to build up some atmosphere but it just doesn’t happen. In twenty years, it’s still the original everyone will be talking about. (5/10)

House of Voices (2005)
I picked this up because I was a fan of Pascel Laugier’s “Martyrs” and was interested in his debut. Instead of featuring the graphic violence of that film, this is one low-key story, extremely heavy on the atmosphere and ambiguity. The setting and tone reminded me a great deal of “The Orphanage,” but while that film treats ghosts in an almost whimsical way, there is something unsettlingly malevolent about the spirits in this film. There’s an undercurrent of insanity and hostility running under the whole thing. It literally stops making sense near the end and dissolves into pretty-to-look-at visual symbolism that is difficult to decipher. Sterile underground laboratories and strong female friendships seem to be reoccurring themes in Laugier’s work. This one definitely warrants a second viewing. (7/10)


Kernunrex said...

Elm Street '10 suffers from WB's new Netflix delay, so I can't watch it until November. What you wrote sounds like everything I've ever heard about it... a wasted opportunity, though Jackie is good. Bummer. They should'a done Vs. Ash with Englund instead, bastards.

I'm always amazed at what Whale got away with in Bride. Crazy, excellent flick.

Bonehead XL said...

I honestly don't know why we didn't get a sequel to "Freddy vs. Jason." Sure they couldn't rope Ash or Myers into the movie, but I would've been up for a Round 2. It could have easily been its own franchise.