Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The Road: A Brief Scene of Perfection

I don't remember much about The Road other than being confused about where Viggo Mortensen was.

Oh and plus it's from the Philippines, is told more or less in 3ish parts and had a somewhat predictable "twist" ending. The funny thing about The Road is that although I remember little about it--I still can't get one tiny scene out of my head.

There's a lot to be said for quiet horror. Not really volume wise--but the kind of horror that kind of creeps up and comes out at you unexpectedly. Like those quiet kids that are secretly awesome and really smart and cool and stuff.... yeah like me whatever.

These days horror is much too in your face. It's all like BOOM SCARY NOISES SCARY FACE BOOM BOOM BOOM. And then we're all like...

Sure, it's effective for a jump scare or seven but does it really keep you up at night contemplating the vast wonders of your psyche?

That is why whenever a scene like the one I'm about to explain comes along, I get all excited. In quite literal terms, this scene from The Road really does creep up on you. I'll try to set the stage but since I don't remember anything about this movie except a road and this scene--don't get your hopes up.

Two of the three characters trapped on an eternal dirt road at the film's beginning return from investigating a house.They hold onto each other as they walk back--crying, or screaming---we don't really know which because there is no audio. There is music but it's not entirely indicative of what is happening on the screen.

Suddenly a shadowy figure shows up in the far distance...some kind of bag is on their head.

Then they start running---really, really quickly right at our characters.

Our characters do not notice this. Again, there is no audio--just music.

This scene really snagged me because it's SO QUIET and so creepy. There needs to be more of this in horror period. It's so deliciously unexpected and well done. It's not predictable--it's not a jump scare, it just keeps happening and happening. The running, the unexplained creepiness, the dramatic irony, the fact that it looks like a guy running even though I'm pretty sure it was supposed to be a girl. This scene more or less to me is perfection. A golden example of the way horror movies should be scaring us. Not by blood and guts or jump scares---by running figures with plastic bags on their heads coming straight us without explanation and very, very quietly.

Oh and yeah watch The Road I guess...but mostly watch this scene. Happens around the 26:28 mark.

Friday, September 28, 2012

The Five Stages of Watching The Tall Man (As Demonstrated by Babies)

Stage One: Excitement

Stage Two: Boredom

 Stage Three: Confusion

Stage Four: Angry Crying

Stage Five: Bitterness

You're dead to me.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

A Pointless/Awesome Post About How I Finally Watched the Cabin in the Woods

It took me so long to watch the Cabin in the Woods and I'm super embarrassed about it. Ever since it came out--heck, before it came out even, people were all like "OMG YOU GUYS THIS IS THE BEST MOVIE EVER"

 and I was all like wait a minute... I thought Ghostbusters was the best movie ever?

And they were like yeah okay maybe... but THE CABIN IN THE WOODS IS SO GOOD.

And naturally I became dubious because sometimes the hype monster takes control of people's emotions and it gets messy.

However. All of a sudden people--normal people that I work with for instance, or people that do not like horror movies started coming up to me and being like, "OMG ANDRE THE CABIN IN THE WOODS IS THE BEST MOVIE EVER".

And I was all like huh?

How is it, that people who do not like horror movies could say such a statement. Needless to say it was a cats and dogs living together kind of situation.

So fast forward to now, when I FINALLY got to see The Cabin the Woods for myself. In fact, I even bought it on Amazon instant video because I felt so embarrassed about not seeing it in the first place. I thought that maybe if I bought it, everyone would forgive me for not seeing it. And by everyone, I mean Morgan Freeman.

So what did I think.....


It really is great. It's fun, it's scary, it's weird, it's awesome, it's smart, it's stupid,---it's kind of exactly like my life when I write it all out like that... but most importantly it's something you should definitely watch. Not that anyone exists anymore that hasn't seen it. But just in case there is someone like me crouching in the corner and holding themselves while mumbling about how they don't want to be disappointed----

You won't be. Although, you should probably put on some clothes. But yes, The Cabin in the Woods is an exquisite treat of life.

Should I even talk about why it's so awesome? I don't know. I don't think I need to. The Cabin in the Woods is just so drastically different than anything that has come out in the last decade, it's kind of difficult to talk about it's awesomeness without sounding like a crazy person.

 I just love virtually everything about this--but especially how different it is. And maybe even more especially the details of everything. For instance, someday I would like to really run a fine toothed comb through the basement scene and figure out which beast each thing stands for. Of course I already tried that and it was way too dark to really do it--

but also I can't figure out how each beast could even be represented in that tiny basement. Is this just a pipe dream? Probably.

Maybe instead I'll just keep watching The Cabin the Woods and dancing in my bed every time. Good thing I bought this movie so I can keep watching it and dance in my bed. People should really hire me to make important life decisions for them. I'm so good at it.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Snowtown: Exploration Disturbia Returns

It's been a very long time since I sat down and watched a movie disturbing enough to make it on my "Exploration Disturbia" list. I may have even given up for awhile, purposely not seeking out anything remotely disturbing. Besides, what was there left to see? What could possibly shock me now? The funny thing was, I didn't even realize Snowtown might be a candidate. Netflix called it "grisly" but when was the last time Netflix spit truth bombs? They don't even know what the movie's title really is. Is it The Snowtown Murders? Snowtown? Snowtown Murders? Jeesh.

Well anyways, Netflix was right about the grisly part--and Snowtown has now made its way to ye olde list of very disturbing movies. Snowtown is a really, really fucking disturbing movie but not because  it's filled with gore, or people having sex with dead bodies or any of that typical stuff that comes along with the term "disturbing". Snowtown is disturbing because it is real. Real in the sense that it is based on the true murder case that happened in Southern Australia between 1992-1999 and also because the horror runs so very deep.

While Snowtown is based on the murders orchestrated by John Bunting, the film focuses more on Jamie Vlassakis---who represented a pawn basically for John. The film begins with Vlassakis and his brothers being watched by their mother's boyfriend who suddenly decides to take naked pictures of the boys. When the mother discovers what has happened she goes rightfully insane and forms a bond with a community of people all for bringing justice to pedophiles. Part of this community is John Bunting who immediately enters into the Vlassakis family by courting the mother. His primary target however seems to be Jamie, whom he prods and prods until Jamie expels anger and distress at what has happened to him.

John Bunting and a few of his closer friends, began hunting down pedophiles, drug addicts, obese people and homosexuals over a span of 7 years. Violently torturing them, killing them, stuffing their bodies into barrels and then leaving pre-recorded voicemails on the victims loved one's answering machines claiming that they're "going away". The film more or less chronicles the downfall of Jamie and the horror of John Buntings plan.

Jamie's character is a broken one. After being abused by his mother's boyfriend, he later gets raped by his older half brother. After this, John Bunting relentlessly forces Jamie to take up a life of violence--a life that Jamie seems to truly not want. It's interesting and terrifying to watch this strange cycle of abuse unfold. John Bunting may think he is helping Jamie conquer those that have wronged him---but in reality he is only further abusing him. Jamie for instance is forced to watch his half brother tortured and after watching him be repeatedly strangled to the point of almost suffocation, Jamie is overcome by disgust and rushes in to put his half brother out of his misery. The scene finishes with Jamie sobbing outside in the cold.

I think this character of Jamie above all else is what really got me in Snowtown. You feel for this kid and the terrible life he's been given. John Bunting may be a psychopath and the true star of the real murder case but in the film---Jamie almost becomes a sort of tragic hero.

It's a touchy subject though---after all what is so wrong about bringing justice against pedophiles? It's a topic that gets brought up constantly throughout the film. Yes, pedophiles are dangerous and scary but what is also scary is a close minded vigilante with a thirst for blood. And while we really only see Bunting torture and kill one victim---we get snippets of people he is about to murder. These people have mental illnesses, were in car accidents and are now physically and mentally disabled. These people yes are pedophiles but are still people. It's the age old question that Dexter tackles every episode. No matter the circumstances, is it right to kill another human being?

Aside from all the extensive moral dilemmas, Snowtown is really just a gripping and well done film. I admit--after discovering Netflix now has a subtitle button I had to use it and go back and watch a big chunk of the film over again. These Australian accents are thick--and some of the dialogue is mumbled or very low. Plus, if you aren't paying full attention, you'll miss so many things going on in this movie. Almost everything in this is quite subtle, so subtle that you might watch the whole thing and wonder when the murders happen. But once you understand the story---and tie it in to the actual case you'll suddenly realize how disturbing it truly is.

I recommend watching this only if you have a very thick skin. It's heavy. It's horrible. And at times, it's just too fucking real.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Silver Bullet: I Love You, The Peace Maker

You know what I love about werewolf movies? They are essentially just whodunit murder mysteries with more blood and psychological undertones. And I love that. I also love saying whodunit because it's one word and it looks totally made up as a real word but it IS a real word.

I believe it has been.....a very long time since I've watched a werewolf movie. And I don't know why because every time I sit down and watch one after a hiatus of not watching them--I say to myself: "Why don't I watch more werewolf movies?" Why indeed.

I remember watching Silver Bullet a very long time ago. My Dad had been watching it on TV and was enthralled by the fact that the kid's wheelchair was motorized. So was I come to think of it. That thing is badass.

I remember the ending chase scene and dual feeling of excitement and terror. The same two feelings I get when running on the treadmill past 4.0 MPH.

Taking place in a small town probably in Maine, Silver Bullet also reminds me how much I love small town horror movies. Small towns are breeding grounds for the best characters you will ever find in a movie. Here are your crazy Ralph's, your old Church ladies, your racist and politically confused neighbors. Small towns rock. Plus they make us feel compassionate for just about everyone (minus the racist and politically confused neighbor) who dies---which is quite a feat for a horror movie when you think about it.

To put it simply, Silver Bullet is one of the best werewolf movies out there for several reasons. It'll charm the pants off you (I'm pretty sure it's the only horror movie to make me cry at the end). The artistic splaying of dead bodies is something to gawk at.

And the werewolf is one of the craftiest motherfuckers I've ever had the pleasure of watching. I know we're in an age now where we can't expect to be surprised by the modern developments of seemingly classic movie monsters, but seeing that werewolf climb up a terrace or beat someone up with the Peace Maker is kind of the best thing that ever happened to me.

Which reminds me. The Peace Maker (captial P, son!) is my new favorite thing. I'm totally going to carry that around from now on and break up fights with it. Of course one very important thing to remember about the Peacemaker.... good for breaking up fights in bars.

Not so good for killing werewolves.

BUT, good for werewolves to kill people with.

While I'm at it. Does anyone else feel funny when they see John Locke with hair?

Perhaps not as funny as you would feel when seeing "Father" from People Under the Stairs playing a different kind of Father.

 Especially since the last time I saw him, he was wearing this.

Of course neither of those things even come close to the kind of funny you feel when you realize that Gary Busey is your Uncle.

Sorry, I'm all amped up and excited about werewolves which as we all know creates a feeling of total inhibition within me causing me to just blog my thoughts as they are directly pouring into my head. I better go now before I say something I regret.

PS: Rest in peace....the Peace Maker.

The world is a cruel, cruel place.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Piranha: It Wasn't Supposed To Be Like This

I didn't plan on watching all of Piranha. I planned on taking a moment (perhaps 5 minutes) to laugh and ridicule the senselessness of the boobs and CGI piranhas. Maybe even setting aside an extra hour to giggle at bad acting and writing. Who knows? I was open to the vast possibilities of giggles. Then all of a sudden something weird happened. There I was rolling my eyes at a horribly CGI laden opening scene when I became pulled in by the sheer ridiculousness of everything. Boobs were everywhere, Elisabeth Shue was there, people's legs were being bitten off, topless parachuting happened---it was like having a fever induced dream after eating a gigantic plate of sandwiches and falling asleep to The Grind.

Remember the Grind?

Anyways. Fast forward to now when I just realized the credits were rolling. How was it possible that I watched the entire movie? It wasn't supposed to be like this. I was supposed to hate you! Is it possible there is some part of me that was entertained???? Alright fine you got me.

My name is Andre and I enjoyed Piranha.

So listen. While the film is stockpiled high with outrageous boobs and stupidity, it also is just a healthy dose of mindless fun. Although I don't know if it's entirely mindless really. There were a few moments of good old fashioned restraint. Well, restraint as in....a topless parachuter's half eaten body hung eerily motionless in the air and I got all inappropriately excited.

Not THAT kind of inappropriately excited....jeeez. I mean like it was beautifully done in a really tasteless, awesome way. Does that make sense? I didn't think so.

My point is that I give Piranha props for:

A. Being a movie that teenage boys can masturbate happily to.
B. Using CGI to fool people into thinking the gore would be lackluster
C. Making me extremely nervous around boat propellers
D. Elisabeth Shue

Sure, it also has a rather uncanny ability to make you feel creepy for watching it. Naked faux-lesbian moments underwater. Errant penis floating in the water. Jerry O'Connell being..... creepy. That uncomfortable moment when you realize you've just volunteered to be in a Girl's Gone Wild video. There's pretty much endless amounts of creepy. But it's all creepy and fun at the same time. Or if you're  a weird pervert, then it's TITS CITY YEAH MAN.

Anyways. I couldn't help but notice that Piranha reminds me fondly of Tremors and...........huh? Sorry I just drifted off into I love Tremors land for a solid 20 minutes. I love that movie. But I also love that feeling of feeling trapped along with the main characters. Yeah so Piranha doesn't have that solid balance of horror and comedy (it's pretty much all comedy and boobs) (plus there's no Kevin Bacon) (AND EARL) but it's still a solid entry in the animals gone wild subgenre.

Honestly, I didn't think it would be my cup of tea but I was surprised that I did come away enjoying it. The gore and carnage is kind of extreme in some ways. I mean really---that beginning segment was like a giant ball of 'are you kidding me?'

It looked like a Sy-Fy original movie--you know the kind where the special effects guy lets his five year old take control? Wait, is there any other kind of Sy-Fy movie? Then all of sudden it was like BAM incredibly gross and realistic looking piranha bites. BAM I'm gonna pull your face off when your hair gets caught in a boat propeller. Barf. I don't recommend watching this while eating ribs.

Overall. I didn't hate it. Let's all rejoice! And now I'm going to watch Tremors.