Archive for October, 2010

Halloween Horror Movie Marathon: ‘Possession’

Posted in Halloween Horror Movie Marathon, Movies with tags on October 29, 2010 by Justin T.

Possession (1981)

Possession defies strict categorization as a genre film. It avoids the common devices used by horror but it lacks the subtlety and restraint of most dramas; hell, it lacks the subtlety and restraint of almost any kind of movie. I have to confess that when I started watching this movie Monday night, it had been sitting around for some time. I had forgotten what it was so I prepared myself for some kind of Italian demon/zombie/possession movie. I was expecting a fun, gory genre horror flick. Instead I got one of the craziest “art-house” films I can recall seeing.

Mark (Sam Neill) comes home to the news that his wife, Anna (Isabelle Adjani) wants to leave him and their son. This drives him over the edge and when he subsequently learns that she has been having an affair, he goes even more insane. He pleads with her, yells and screams at her, and he even tries to attack her but she resists him and she won’t go back to him. He meets Heinrich (Heinz Bennent), the man she’s been seeing, and he’s just as nuts as the rest of them, though with a lot less histrionics. But Heinrich suspects there is more to what’s going on than what Anna is telling either of them, that she’s living in some mystery location and possibly seeing one or more other lovers. Mark hires a detective agency to follow her and discover what she does with her time. What they find is something straight out a nightmare.

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Halloween Horror Movie Marathon: ‘House on Haunted Hill’

Posted in Halloween Horror Movie Marathon, Movies with tags on October 28, 2010 by Justin T.

House on Haunted Hill

What’s a Halloween Horror Movie Marathon without Vincent Price? Not much of one at all, I tell ya. That’s why I spent Sunday night at the House on Haunted Hill!

Vincent Price stars in this short 1959 horror film as Frederick Loren, a rich dude who has bought a purportedly haunted house in which several violent murders have taken place. Loren is throwing a party for his wife Annabelle (the lovely Carol Ohmart) and the guests are promised $10,000 each if they survive the entire night. He provides little coffins with guns to protect themselves against the resident ghosts. Will they come out alive or will they fall victim to the spirits of the house’s previous victims?

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Halloween Horror Movie Marathon: ‘Let Me In’ and ‘Black Sabbath’

Posted in Halloween Horror Movie Marathon, Movies with tags on October 24, 2010 by Justin T.

Let Me In poster

A remake of one of my new favorite movies? It seems like a doomed proposition from the start but I’d heard lots of good things so I made sure to catch it in the theater. It turns out that Matt Reeves’s adaptation of the fantastic Swedish vampire movie Let the Right One In stands up quite well on its own.

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Halloween Horror Movie Marathon: The House of the Devil

Posted in Halloween Horror Movie Marathon, Movies with tags on October 20, 2010 by Justin T.

House of the Devil

I am not averse to slow building horror films. I don’t need action and kills from start to finish. As long as the movie provides a compelling narrative,  interesting characters and decent acting I’m happy to wait for whatever the exciting climax might be. I found none of these qualities in the frustratingly dull The House of the Devil. Even the bloody finale left a lot to be desired.

This film gathered a bit of attention mostly due to its attempt to recreate the look and feel of an early ’80s horror movie. Shot in 16mm, it has the grainy look of films from the that era. The music, cinematography, clothing and hairstyles are recreated and… I suppose it’s successful. If there were any failed attempts at duplicating such a period piece, they pale in comparison to the myriad other faults I suffered through.

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Halloween Horror Movie Marathon: Deep Red

Posted in Halloween Horror Movie Marathon, Movies with tags on October 18, 2010 by Justin T.

Deep Red

It’s probably a cliché to say it but Dario Argento is an acquired taste. The first two films I watched of his (Tenebrae and Pheonomena) I couldn’t stand. They were too slow paced for my tastes and the dubbing was bad. But  Suspiria changed my mind with its over the top story, artful compositions and vibrant colors. There are few films that have such a feeling of being painted onto the screen and few, if any, horror directors whose work feels so beautifully staged.

Deep Red isn’t quite so colorful or over the top but it’s still a masterpiece, an engrossing homage to Alfred Hitchcock. It’s too bad that its beautiful face is blemished by a glaring bit of homophobia.

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Halloween Horror Movie Marathon: ‘The Orphanage’ ‘Drag Me to Hell’ & ‘Quartermass and the Pit’

Posted in Halloween Horror Movie Marathon, Movies with tags on October 14, 2010 by Justin T.

Time to round up the latest couple of horror flicks I’ve watched recently. I wasn’t feeling particularly inspired by any of these, so warning: dull reviews ahead!

The Orphanage (2007)

The slow-paced, creepy horror fest continues! This one wasn’t quite so successful for me.

Laura (Belén Rueda) returns with her husband and adopted son, Simón, to the orphanage where she was raised. They have plans to reopen the house as a facility for disabled children. But, as you might have guessed, the place is haunted. When Simón disappears, Laura and her husband begin a desperate search for the boy. Soon she begins to suspect the truth behind Simón’s new “imaginary friends” and sets out on the path to discover the terrible secrets that lie beneath the orphanage.

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Horror Movie Marathon: ‘Let the Right One’ In and ‘[REC]’

Posted in Halloween Horror Movie Marathon, Movies with tags on October 5, 2010 by Justin T.

Hey, now I have two new favorite horror movies! This is the best Halloween Horror Movie Marathon ever!!

Let the Right One In
When was the last great vampire movie? Or even the last good one? This Twilight series… well, I’ll just say that I’m not its target audience. Underworld is grand, gothic, soap opera awfulness that seems inexplicably popular enough to have become a franchise. How far back do I have to go? From Dusk Till Dawn is the last great one that I can remember. But it’s nothing like my new favorite vampire movie, Let the Right One In.

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