Archive for October, 2012

‘Wrong Turn’

Posted in Uncategorized on October 31, 2012 by Justin T.

Wrong Turn

Wrong Turn (2003) Directed by Rob Schmidt. Starring Desmond Harrington, Eliza Dushku, Emmanuelle Chriqui, Jeremy Sisto, Kevin Zegers, Lindy Booth, Julian Richings, Gary Robbins, Ted Clark.

Wrong Turn has got to be one of the worst of the rural horror flicks. What a mess. After the smart deconstruction offered by Tucker & Dale, I’m now beginning to wonder how much more of these I can take.

Chris Flynn (Desmond Harrington) is traveling through West Virginia to a job interview. Finding himself and his fancy Mustang held up by impassable traffic, he takes a detour down a winding dirt road through a dense forest. Distracted by trying to pick up from the floor a mix CD of crappy music, he smashes into a stopped Range Rover. The group that had been traveling in the vehicle are surprisingly non-nonchalant by the damage done to it. Perhaps that’s because they’re more concerned about the barbed wire suspiciously laid across the road that punctured their tires in the first place. So this passel of fools head off to wander through the woods, looking for help, leaving a couple behind to stay with the cars. And I think you can probably take it from there. Continue reading

‘Dead Snow’

Posted in Uncategorized on October 31, 2012 by Justin T.

Dead SnowDead Snow (2009) Directed by Tommy Wirkola. Starring Lasse Valdal, Charlotte Frogner, Vegar Hoel, Jeppe Laursen, Evvey Kasseth Røsten, Jenny Skavlan, Stig Frode Hennriksen.

I don’t think I’ve watched any zombies for the marathon yet. The Norwegian Nazi zombie comedy Dead Snow is listed in my 333 Films to Scare You to Death book so and it’s streaming on Netflix so it seemed like a good choice. I was not let down. This is one of the most entertaining zombie movies I’ve seen in a while.

Dead Snow is your basic kids on Easter vacation getting killed off by the undead flick, except this time the corpses aren’t just zombies, they’re Nazi zombies. After all, what could be more evil than a simple run-of-the-mill zombie? Yes, a Nazi zombie. Tommy Wirkola used the real Nazi occupation of Norway as a starting point for his simple plot, inventing a Nazi force that, at the end of the war, looted valuables from the citizens of the village of Øksfjord. Fed up with years of abuse, the locals banded together and chased the Nazi force into the hills where the evil soldiers presumably froze in the Norwegian cold. Unfortunately our present day group of young partiers find a box containing some of the coveted valuables, thus drawing the attention of the greedy Nazi zombies. Continue reading

‘It’s Alive’

Posted in Uncategorized on October 30, 2012 by Justin T.

It's Alive

It’s Alive (1974) Written, produced, and directed by Larry Cohen. Starring John Ryan, Sharon Farrell, Daniel Holzman, William Wellman, Jr.

It’s time to carry through on the occasionally applied theme for this year’s marathon: babies! And if you’re thinking along those lines one of the first films that should come to you is It’s Alive, though you probably thought of Rosemary’s Baby first. But I haven’t watched that yet.

I remember seeing the TV spot for It’s Alive as a kid and it scared the crap out of me. The claw hanging over the side of the bassinet freaked me out and that scream the baby lets out still gives me a slight chill. So I’m finally getting around to seeing it, and it only took until after my second child to get me there!

Frank Davis (John Ryan) and his wife Lenore (Sharon Farrell) are expecting their second child (just like my wife and me! uh oh…). Everything seems to be going along fine during the delivery until the doctor notices that the baby is unusually large. What have we here? A killer mutant baby! Set loose from the womb, it slaughters everyone in the hospital room, except for Mommy, and is now on the loose, killing people around town. Frank tries to assist the police in tracking down the murdering baby and must come to grips with the horror he has wrought. Continue reading

‘Tucker & Dale vs Evil’

Posted in Uncategorized on October 29, 2012 by Justin T.

Halloween is getting closer and I’m running out of time to pack in the horror flicks! I’m glad to have gotten a couple of stinkers out of the way early on. These films keep getting better and better! Let’s see what’s queued up today…

Tucker & Dale vs. Evil

Tucker & Dale vs. Evil (2010) Directed by Eli Craig. Starring Tyler Labine, Alan Tudyk, Katrina Bowden, Jesse Moss, Philip Granger.

I haven’t been drawn to horror comedies as of late. The Evil Dead series, Peter Jackson’s early films, and Return of the Living Dead are great films that still have some scary moments, but I guess I’m feeling more of the full-on scary films these days. I am particularly put off by comedies that aim for a campy b-movie feel by trying to be bad. If a film is campy, I prefer that it happens by accident. Intentionally bad acting somehow isn’t as entertaining as genuinely bad acting. I’m thinking of Troma in particular, a production company whose films often incorporate some creative effects but have a goofy tone can quickly grow tiresome. But I had heard some good things about the recent comedy (not by Troma) Tucker & Dale vs Evil so I gave it a chance and discovered a hilarious, and not too campy, horror-comedy flick.

Continue reading

‘Absentia’

Posted in Uncategorized on October 27, 2012 by Justin T.

Absentia

Absentia (2011) Directed by Mike Flanagan. Starring Courtney Bell, Katie Parker, Dave Levine, Justin Gordon, Morgan Peter Brown, Doug Jones, Scott Graham.

I had not heard of Absentia until it was recommended to me by my close friend (we’ll call him Mikael). I had no other expectations, other than his recommendation, which is good enough for me. It stars actors I’d never heard of and is directed by someone I’d never heard of…  but it must be good. I mean look at all of those laurel leaves on the poster! Well, yes, it really is very, very good.

Tricia (Courtney Bell) is ending a long, dreary chapter in her life. Her husband Daniel (Morgan Peter Brown) has been missing for seven years, enough time to allow her to declare him dead “in absentia”, a process she is putting the final, complicated touches on. Her sister Callie (Katie Parker), has recently been released from rehab and is coming to live with Tricia. As they could both use the emotional support during this trying time in their lives, it seems like a good idea. But Tricia is now seeing strange things at night and Callie is having her own mysterious encounters, all of which may reveal what actually happened to poor Daniel. Continue reading

‘Trollhunter (Trolljegeren)’

Posted in Uncategorized on October 25, 2012 by Justin T.

Trollhunter

“TROLL!!!”

Trollhunter (2010) Directed by André Øvredal. Starring Otto Jespersen, Glenn Erland Tosterud, Johanna Mørck, Tomas Alf Larsen, Hans Morten Hansen.

The single-word quote above comes early in the tremendous film Trollhunter during a moment of desperate fear, an urgent warning to others to run for their lives. For me, it is a rallying cry, a shout of joy and exultation, a delirious scream of excitement for one of the greatest monster movies I have ever seen.

A film crew made up of college students are following a suspected bear poacher, Hans (Otto Jespersen), in the hopes of exposing him. They track him down one night in a forest, noting that his battered Land Rover is covered in enormous scratches. He tells them to scram but those pesky kids keep following him. They soon discover that he’s not an illegal hunter at all; Hans is a troll hunter. He works for a secret government agency but he’s growing weary of his job and he’s ready to reveal to the world the existence of these creatures. And so Hans allows the film crew to follow him as he battles trolls across the beautiful Norwegian countryside. Continue reading

‘Hour of the Wolf (Vargtimmen)’

Posted in Uncategorized on October 24, 2012 by Justin T.

Hour of the Wolf

“It is the hour when the most people die and the most are born. At this time nightmares come to us. And when we wake, we are afraid.”

‘Hour of the Wolf’ (1968). Directed by Ingmar Bergman. Starring Max Von Sydow, Liv Ullman, Georg Rydeberg, Erland Josephson, Gertrud Fridh, Ingrid Thulin, Naima Wifstrand.

So then… this movie happened. This incredible, bizarre, hypnotic movie from Ingmar Bergman called Hour of the Wolf, a phrase which apparently requires only one word in Swedish: “Vargtimmen”. I’m not sure I’ll be able to do the film justice or that I should humiliate myself by even trying. Its full meaning may remain impenetrable to me but it’s a fascinating piece of cinema. So, here I go… Continue reading