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

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.

This one is a downer. The orphanage is haunted by the ghosts of children, after all. And (vague spoiler alert) the circumstances of the missing boy’s disappearance are heartbreaking. The last minutes of the movie contain a corny development that practically does away with any connection I had made to the movie before.

Which isn’t to say that I disliked it overall. There were a couple of eerie moments, particularly involving the ghost in the creepy mask. The story is engaging and I was emotionally invested in the storyline involved in the missing boy. But the corny ending killed it for me.

Drag Me to Hell

Christine (Alison Lohman) is a girl from the farm trying to make it as a loan officer in Los Angeles. She’s pretty, she’s courteous, and she usually means well, but she makes a decision that’s in her best interest career-wise but is likely to put a sick old woman on the street. And that decision dooms Christine to hell.

I was a little gun shy about a new Raimi flick after Spider Man 3. That was awful and I was sure he had lost it. But people seemed to like this one a lot so I thought I’d check it out. It was no Evil Dead but it was entertaining.

Poor Christine sure does get tormented throughout the course of the movie, all for one weak, ambitious moment. This invisible demon she’s cursed with gives her frightening visions, tosses her around her bedroom, and beats the crap out of her. It’s promising stuff.

But there was something lacking overall. Maybe I was hoping it would reach Evil Dead levels of greatness, which it didn’t. I recognized Sam Raimi’s style in some of the sequences and while they worked at some moments, at others I felt like he was repeating himself.

The only other drawback? There should have been more of the talking goat.

Quartermass and the Pit

This is not a good movie to watch while you’re sleepy. It’s too complicated and talky and deals with the possible origins of the human species. It does have a great ending, though.

A crew digging in the London Underground uncover the skeletons of ancient primates. This leads to the discovery of what appears to be a spaceship with the bodies of the aliens still preserved inside. Somehow the memories of these aliens, well… I don’t know, it gets too ridiculous and everyone in the film takes it so seriously and I was tired. It was not what I was in the mood for but it was what was available to me. I wanted a horror movie with ghosts or demons or something, not aliens.

Quartermass and the Pit was made by Hammer Films, a production company that made a series of movies based on classic horror characters, including Dracula, Frankenstein, Phantom of the Opera and the Mummy. I have seen almost none of these films, however my disappointment in QatP won’t keep me from watching them. But I think I’ll wait a bit.


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

  1. Michael K vaughan Says:

    First of all, let me just say that you can’t blame Raimi for Spider-man 3. Blame Sony. They forced him to add an extra villain, changed his script a dozen times, and managed to completely fuck up his film. And because he objected…no Raimi on the next Spider-man. They are rebooting a beloved series that is barely ten years old. But I digress…
    I really think I should watch Quatermass again one of these days. It scared the hell out of me when I was just a kid though I have no idea why. Must have been those Lovecraftian themes before I discovered Lovecraft.
    Sorry to hear Drag Me To Hell was not better.

  2. I’m probably being too hard on ‘Drag Me to Hell’. There are some fantastic moments in it that make it well worth watching. I may have simply set my expectations too high.

    Though I probably should get these reviews out sooner, write them closer to the time I’ve seen the movie so my reactions are fresher and thus, hopefully, more interesting.

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