I’m not going to sit here and tell you that “Sinister” is the best horror movie I’ve seen this year. Or how it broke new ground in the genre. Quite honestly, it may or may not be and it really didn’t do anything new. But, if I were to describe it in a few words, it would be simple, scary, effective and honest.
Somewhere out in the universe, in a vast Jungian conceptual tangle is a library. In this particular library – since it is an imaginary construct – there are only two books. One thin volume is a collection of foundational stories: these stories are the basis of ever told. The other is a massive tome that, in a less fanciful environment, would fill all the world’s libraries.
This is the thesaurus.
It contains countless variation of the core stories. A rare few of these variants are something special – evolutionary leaps in the material that make it better than the original. Most, however, are pale shades of its progenitor. Neither better nor worse, they could, at best be called, “unnecessary.”
Such is the case with “The Possession.”
Have you ever had a conversation with someone who stopped talking midway through a sentence? Not the comfortable shorthand that comes with a long term friendship but the half-mad ramblings of a drunken stranger at a party – you know the type. He’s the guy that hems you into a corner with no one in eyeshot of rescuing you. But wait, there’s more. Occasionally, your incoherent companion has a moment of clarity and in place of his mad ramblings, you now have abject tedium.
The cinematic equivalent to this would be, “the Apparition”.
A good solid rule for most movies is, “Make sense.” Even the most avant of garde films makes sense in their own kind of way. If a film doesn’t have a claim to that particular edgy conceit, then one would think it would be that much easier to follow that simple directive.
However, it’s something that “Rites of Spring” fails within its first ten seconds.
I never recovers.
from Showtime’s “Masters of Horror” series
The Fair-Haired Child (2005)
Directed by: William Malone
Written by: Matt Greenberg
Starring: Lindsay Pulsipher, Jesse Hadock, William Samples, Lori Petty
A warlock couple abduct a young teenage girl to sacrifice her to a mysterious and evil entity as an offering to resurrect their long-dead boy. (from IMDb)
from Showtime’s “Masters of Horror” series
Cigarette Burns (2005)
Directed by: John Carpenter
Written by: Drew McWeeny and Scott Swan
Starring: Norman Reedus, Udo Kier, Christopher Redman, Chris Gauthier, Zara Taylor
In this episode, Jimmy Sweetman ventures out to locate a rare film print called “La Fin Absolue du Monde”. The film once shown has been known to drive its audience into a crazed frenzy before the theater goes up in flames. He finally discovers that the film does live up to its reputation and the results are quite shocking. (from tv.com)
“Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”
This phrase is often tossed around as an admonition to learn from your mistakes so as to prevent yourself from making them again. To hear some people talk, you’d think that the worst possible sin would be to continue to make those same mistakes over and over again. But what if there was something worse? What if you not only continued to make those mistakes but also managed to use history to make them worse?
Such it is the lesson we get from “Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter”.
Continue reading “REVIEW: ‘Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter’”
Life is hard.
Math is easy.
Not including algebra, calculus or any other numeric discipline longer than four letters, I’m inclined to agree with that statement. Life can throw you all kinds of unexpected craziness – even under the most mundane and seemingly predictable circumstances. Math, on the other hand, is fairly consistent. Two and two will always equal four – no surprise there. However, there are occasions where life imitates math when all the pieces of an equation add up to the same thing every time.
A model of such consistency is “Chernobyl Diaries”.
Continue reading “REVIEW: ‘Chernobyl Diaries’”
Literary history and Hollywood go together like… well, like two things that go together particularly well. With the exceptions of perhaps Hemingway and Hunter S. Thompson, writers lead notoriously uninteresting lives. Thoreau may very well have plucked the phrase “quiet desperation” from his own life to describe the life of your average writer. So, for Hollywood to attempt to mine the life of a writer – in this case, the godfather of American Horror, Edgar Allen Poe – for an early summer popcorn muncher, they must have something special on their hands.
Well, at least they have Poe and we, in turn, get “the Raven”.
Continue reading “REVIEW: ‘The Raven’”
Welcome to quite possibly the shortest review I’ll ever write.
Continue reading “REVIEW: ‘The Cabin in the Woods’”