Sunday, May 31, 2015

Hangman (2015)

Adam Mason.  On this blog, I've said some nice things, some not so nice things, and I've been totally mindfucked.  But the mindfuckery and enjoyment have outweighed the "not-so-nice" by far, and I am really excited to see his new movie, Hangman.  The official description is:

Returning from vacation, the Miller family find their home has been broken into. After cleaning up the mess they continue with their lives, shaking off the feeling of being violated. But little do they know the nightmare has just begun.

So I don't drive or own a car since I live in the city, so it never occurred to me that some creeper could watch you park your car at the airport or whatever, break into it, and just hit "go home" on your GPS.  That is frightening!  They know you're not going to be there, because you're in your floppy hat and flip flops getting ready to go chug some margaritas.

Someone breaking into your house and stealing your shit is one thing.  But someone breaking into your house and watching your home movies, eating your food, sitting on your furniture, and touching everything....ugh it's giving me goosebumps.  The victims in question are the Millers, Aaron (Jeremy Sisto), Beth (Kate Ashfield), Marley (Ryan Simpkins) and Max (Ty Simpkins).  The oddness of the break-in (nothing valuable stolen, random things moved around) creeps them out, but they try to get back to their normal lives.  But weird things keep happening, like orange juice left out on the counter, and toilets flushing at random.  Then these instances increase, pointing at adultery, breaking up couples, getting into dreams.

I'm always open to spoilers, but I really don't want to give too much away. From an overall, not-ruining-the-movie perspective, the acting was great, and the cinematic perspective was reminiscent of what I liked about Paranormal Activity, that constant wondering of where the camera will point or cut next.  There's very little blood and gore but just SO MUCH CREEPY.

The whole situation just crawls under your skin because it could happen.  Among the ghosts, jump scares, and overuse of CGI in horror these days, it's not that far of a reach that this whole movie could happen to any one of us. I was genuinely creeped out, the whole movie ties together, and it either opens up for a sequel (eh) or just to leave us all hanging.  As well as installing security systems and erasing our GPS.

Leatherface: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre III (1990)

Wow I can't believe it's been NINE MONTHS since I last posted.  My life has been a whirlwind since then.  At that time, we were wrapping up our adoption process, and in October and November we took two trips to South Korea.  Having my son home has been amazing, but during the times I wasn't taking care of him, I didn't have a lot of energy or inspiration for blogging.  Not to mention, I can't have the computer open anywhere in his vicinity or he goes nuts.  But finally, today is the day.  Its a hot and gloomy Sunday here in Queens, New York, and my husband "owes" me a couple hours of watching the kiddo so I can finally reignite my blog.  I have no shortage of movies to watch, since I've been DVRing films that catch my eye, and I have an instant Netflix queue that will keep me going until my little one is in college.

I remember being excited to see TCM 3 showing on IFC, because I feel like it's one of those that's never on, and not available on Netflix instant.  Plus, my man, Ken Foree!  This movie has a weird history, with directors and actors being hired and fired, characters that were supposed to die being kept alive in the end, and an X-rating that led to the movie being cut numerous times so it could get a release. The saw is family, bitches, let's do this!!

I haven't seen TCM 2 in a while, so I had to check the Wikipedia page, and it looks like everyone, including Leatherface, was presumed dead at the end of that one.  This sequel kicks off by talking about the original TCM, and how the only survivor was Sally, who died in a private health facility in the late 70s.  It also says that one member of the family was arrested after the massacre and was assumed to be "Leatherface," as a result of a split personality, and he died in the gas chamber in 1981.

Fast forward to the time of this movie, Michelle and Ryan (Kate Hodge and William Butler) are driving from LA to Florida, bickering the whole way.  They get held up at a checkpoint, where a mass grave is being excavated, and later, move onto a creepy gas station where they run into Tex (Viggo Mortenson), who gives them some "better directions," which we all know never to trust.  Of course, they run across some demented cannibals, but somewhat luckily, they also cross paths with survivalist Benny (Ken Foree).

We get the typical TCM "formula" for the core of the movie--the poor travelers and anyone they ran into, get kidnapped, forced to see the now very decomposed "Grandpa," and are invited to join the clan for dinner while a loved one gets strung up on meat hooks.  There's the requisite creepy family members, who seem to materialize out of nowhere after the majority of the clan is supposed to be dead in the previous two films.  With the presence of Benny, we get an extra dose of racism and the "dark meat" analogy the family's been dying to use for years.  We're left with the cliffhanger as usual, and of course more sequels, and remakes are to follow.

TCM 3 is neither as groundbreaking as the original, or as delightfully oddball as the sequel, but it has the aspects that have made us love the franchise, from the freakishly backwoods individuals to the ever-present roar of the chainsaw.    Now bring on Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation.