Thursday, June 19, 2008

The Happening (2008)

Oh, Marky-Mark, I love you. You were so bad-ass in Fear, so hot in Boogie Nights, and you rocked in The Departed. I could have even given you a pass on that piece of crap, We Own the Night.

Zooey Deschanel, I love you as well. Almost Famous is my favorite non-horror movie and you were so good in it. You were so cute in Elf, even though that's not really your genre. When I saw you in the previews for this movie, I was all, you go, Anita!

This movie was awful. Seriously. People have given M. Night Shamala-whatever too many chances. Yes, the Sixth Sense was awesome. Unbreakable was so damn good. But then you let yourself go, sir. The parody of The Village in Scary Movie 4 was far superior to the actual production. However, when I saw a trailer with some cool actors running around and people throwing themselves off of buildings, I was strangely entranced. I'm a sucker for end-of-the-world movies, evidenced by the fact that I have seen The Stand a dozen times, even though it's over six hours long.

I held on through the beginning of the movie, when this "virus" began in Central Park (honestly, if I have to see one more tragedy strike my neighborhood on the big screen, I'm going to lose it) I remained optimistic as the truly horrible acting of this movie dragged on and on. I laughed hysterically with the rest of the theater through all of the so-called "scary"parts. I really tried to feel for these poor bastards who kept making one terrible decision after another.

After an hour and a half of senseless dialogue, people committing suicide over and over, and trees "communicating" with everyone, I was ready for the twist. Come on, M. Knight, this is your speciality! Where's Mr. Glass? Who's really a ghost? Will Marky-Mark die and resurrect as some sort of super-plant?

There was no twist. No surprises. The ending and the explanation were truly, truly awful. The whole movie was a total joke, and a packed theater in Union Square on a Friday night were left shaking their heads.

Grade: F (Leprechaun in Space -- there are just. no. words.)

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Teeth (2007)

Teeth is the story of the very pure Dawn O'Keefe. She belongs to one of those "waiting until we're married" groups, and homegirl is all about that shit. I mean she has numerous articles of clothing that communicate her beliefs to everyone, and she appears to make a fool of herself in public on a pretty regular basis by spouting off crap about modesty and chastity.
So the movie kinda plods along for a little while with all this purity nonsense, but then takes a very sharp freakin' turn. Let me tell you, I have seen hundreds of horror movies. And I have seen a select few that involve castration. However, I have never seen a toothed vagina BITE OFF A DUDE'S PEEN AND SPIT IT OUT, OMG. Seriously, just when you thought the horror genre had run out of ideas...
Sadly, poor Dawn starts to seriously lose her cool. She attempts to go to a gyno and get this all checked out, but the guy ends up being a serious asshole. But once she gets past that pelvic exam, girlfriend jumps on the sex train, for real. She tasted blood and she wants more, baby. Unfortunately not all of Dawn's bedmates are exactly Prince Charming, and they have to pay the price.
Sidenote, the kid from Nip/Tuck is in this movie, and he looks all kinds of bad-boy hot. When this shitshow goes all Cruel Intentions for a minute....WANT.
This flick is creative, creepy, gory, and lots of fun. It's been a while since I've seen a new idea in the world of horror, and it definitely delivers. Check it out.
Grade: B+ (Carrie - seemingly strange chick gets sick revenge and it f-in ROCKS)

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Halloween (2007)

I'm aware that I'm a bit biased when it comes to Rob Zombie movies, due to my obsession with them. That said, I thought this movie was awesome.

Obviously, the original Halloween is a classic. But the remake really adds some components that really enhance the storyline. The "new" Halloween takes a deeper look at Michael's childhood and family in order to better explain how he came to be a sadistic murderer.

I mean, honestly, the whole prequel thing makes the whole movie. I loved the original Halloween...I really did. But there were so many unanswered questions. Why was Michael the way he was? How could he kick the shit out of everyone when he was so small? Why was he so obssessed with Laurie?

Amazingly, the sequel/remake explains all of these points. Michael was pretty much born psychotic. The original movie showed a white middle-class home gone wrong. This movie shows a trailer trash home led by a burnt-out stripper mom, and an alcoholic deadbeat dad. There's verbal and physical abuse, child negligence, and a general negative atmosphere. Although Sherri Moon was quickly stereotyped as a "Baby"-type character, she's broken from that mold. The performances from William Forsythe and Sherri were convincing and fitting.
The updated version of the movie shows Michael not as a normal child who loses it overnight, but a kid with obvious psychological problems who slowly descents into madness. He begins with killing hamsters, then cats and dogs, and eventually humans. The scenes in the mental hospital show an evolution of a truly psychotic individual, not just a weirdo that doesn't talk for most of his life.
I know that some people don't like that Rob Zombie uses a lot of the same actors/actresses in his films. I have no problem with this. Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino employ similar practices and I don't find that this takes away from the story at all. Plus, I always love when my man Danny Trejo shows up in flicks.
Fifteen years later when Michael gets out, I have to be almost embarssingly honest. This sequence makes a hell of a lot more sense than the just walking out and driving a car. And frankly, I think the fact that he's a big guy makes it a hell of a lot more believeable. I mean, the 70s Michael looks like 5'7" could he kick such shit out of everyone? I'm taller than that!
Now Scout Taylor-Compton is no Jamie Lee, but I think she plays a convincing role. I like the story behind the reason that Michael is looking for her. There was never really an explanation in the first one. Tyler Mane as Michael Myers is scary and intimidating, and I give him a thumbs up. I liked the recreations of some of the older scenes, as updates rather than improvements, I think they fit well. The only portion of this movie that fell flat was the last fifteen minutes which dragged on and on with the screaming and chasing.
Frankly, I loved this movie. I wouldn't called it a "remake" of the original Halloween. It has the same general storyline, but much of it is very different from the original. I would call it more of an "update", or even a sequel. I loved the actors, the Zombie-esque grittiness, and the additional background to the original story.
Grade: A (comparing it to the original would be blasphemy, but this was a great movie)

The Strangers (2008)

It's been a long time since I saw a good "new" horror movie. With crap like One Missed Call in the theaters, it's a pretty crappy time for the horror genre.

Wellll, that's until The Strangers came along. This movie was seriously freaky. It follows a young couple, James and Kristen (Liv Tyler and Scott Speedman) as they leave a wedding reception, and return to an isolated summer home. Sadly, they're not getting along and are making arrangements to sleep in separate rooms.

Even though it's four in the morning, a knock comes at the door. It's a young woman looking for someone that obviously doesn't live there. James and Kristen tell her that she's got the wrong house and presumably send her on her way. Unfortunately that's just the beginning.

The next hour-plus takes you on a psychological torture roller coaster. These whackjobs, sort of reminiscent of the Mansons, do all kinds of crazy shit to freak these people out way before even attempting to kill them. They move things around in the house, knock repeatedly at the door, and hang out by the windows to scare the crap out of them (and me) when they check what's going on outside.

This film is fast moving, realistic, and seriously scary. Liv Tyler is great in her first horror role, and I wonder why she hasn't thought about being a scream queen earlier in her career :o) Scott Speedman's hot but pretty forgettable, but it doesn't matter because this movie ROCKS. My fiancee's arm is still sore from me latching onto him every 30 seconds or so.

Grade: A (When A Stranger Calls -- scary as hell because this shit could actually happen)