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Paul_finch (Paul_finch)
Username: Paul_finch

Registered: 11-2009
Posted From: 92.5.38.35
Posted on Thursday, June 02, 2011 - 02:09 pm:   

I've watched a hatful of new horror movies since my birthday last week (I'm still a bit of a collector at heart). For those interested, here are some initial thoughts:

THE DEVIL'S TOMB - US special forces seeking weapons of mass destruction enter an underground complex in Iraq, only to find it filled with odd, mythological paraphernalia ...

TV movie-ish both in style and execution. I think it neededed more money spending on it to bring out its full potential. A bit of inspired casting sees Henry Rollins as a deranged priest, but not the 'event movie' I was hoping for.


PROWL - Rebellious teens make a road-trip through the US (again), only for their car to break down. A compliant truck driver offers them a lift to Chicago, but once they're in the back of the truck he won't let them out ...

A supernatural romp rather than a slasher, with some quite decent action/horror sequences, but we seem to take half the film getting there, while the second half is mainly a bloodbath. There's a decent half-twist at the end, though Cathy guessed it early on.


HUSK - Rebellious teens make a road-trip through the US (yep, again), but crash into a cornfield thanks to a flock of suicidal crows. They then trek through the corn to an abandoned farmhouse, seeing lots of eerie scarecrows en route ...

I really liked the sound of this, and still think the concept is potentially very frightening. It has its moments for sure, especially early on, but once the cat's out of the bag about what's going on, it becomes a formulaic run-around. The best of the bunch so far, though.


THE GATHERING - In the heart of rural England, a Roman-era church is found which has been deliberately buried thanks to its bizarre ornamentation. A lone US tourist visits the nearby village, and becomes increasingly fearful that malign forces are at work.

An Anthony Horotwitz screenplay gets the full-on 'occult-horror' treatment. A nice looking movie this, though perhaps a little old-fashioned in its atmosphere. Some effective spooky moments, though not as balls-n-all terrifying as it perhaps could have been. Can't help thinking it was originally aimed at a younger audience than its 15-certificate eventually gave it.


Three left over from the birthday haul to watch: WAKE WOOD, THE FINAL and OUTCAST (with Jimmy Nesbitt), which I'm really looking forward to.

Hopefully the critics will be a little kinder to THE DEVIL'S ROCK than I've been to the above. For those interested, it opens in the UK - at selected cinemas, and by VOD - on July 8th this year, and comes out on DVD on July 11th. Updates and details are available, as usual, on my blog/website: http://paulfinch-writer.blogspot.com/
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Zed (Gary_mc)
Username: Gary_mc

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 195.166.117.210
Posted on Thursday, June 02, 2011 - 02:13 pm:   

I'm interested to hear what you make of WAKE WOOD, Paul. I liked it a lot, but can see why others might not. I also want to know if OUTCAST is worth a watch...
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Paul_finch (Paul_finch)
Username: Paul_finch

Registered: 11-2009
Posted From: 92.5.38.35
Posted on Thursday, June 02, 2011 - 02:16 pm:   

Will pile in with the updates, as and when, Gaz.
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Zed (Gary_mc)
Username: Gary_mc

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 195.166.117.210
Posted on Thursday, June 02, 2011 - 02:50 pm:   

Good man!
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Paul_finch (Paul_finch)
Username: Paul_finch

Registered: 11-2009
Posted From: 92.5.38.35
Posted on Friday, June 03, 2011 - 10:32 am:   

I can now add THE FINAL and WAKE WOOD to the list:

THE FINAL - A bunch of nerds plot an elaborate revenge on the jocks and cheerleaders who have tormented them during High School, by inviting them to their last ever rave party ...

A big disappointment. The trailers suggested this one would see the baddies subjected to all sorts of SAW-like traps and fiendish pranks. Horror costumes and 'ghost train' lighting effects were to the fore in the advertising, but all this is soon jettisoned in favour of dull, slow, humourless sadism, which is not only unconvincing but takes itself far too seriously given the real-life examples of marginalised groups in American schools turning murderously on their class-mates. Uncomfortable viewing, but for the wrong reasons.

WAKE WOOD - A couple who've recently lost a child relocate to a remote Irish village, but there learn about a mysterious rite which can supposedly resurrect the dead ...

Obvious similarities to PET CEMETERY don't spoil this one. It's achingly sad, as you'd expect, and the bleak, wintry locations create a real aura of lives that are now rendered meaningless. But there's a satifyingly unearthly atmosphere and some real squirm-inducing moments. The ritual elements - though never really explained - work, and the twist at the end is a corker, which, after a bit of uncertainty earlier on, projects us into full-blooded 'horror film' territory. Great to see Hammer back in action.
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Zed (Gary_mc)
Username: Gary_mc

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 195.166.117.210
Posted on Friday, June 03, 2011 - 10:52 am:   

Paul - you echo my own thoughts on WAKE WOOD. It's a very satisfying film.
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Stevie Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 194.32.31.1
Posted on Friday, June 03, 2011 - 11:45 am:   

'The Wake Wood' sounds as wonderful as I'd hoped it would be but WHY wasn't it given a proper cinema release?!?! Must get the DVD...
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Paul_finch (Paul_finch)
Username: Paul_finch

Registered: 11-2009
Posted From: 92.5.38.35
Posted on Friday, June 03, 2011 - 12:12 pm:   

Extended cinema release can be an expensive luxury these days, Stevie. It gives a movie great kudos of course, but how long that will last now that VOD is around, I don't know.

At a personal level, my local cinema - overrun with chavs chatting and sending texts all through the film, not to mention underragers breezing from one unit to the next, with no staff around to prevent it - is no place to watch a film these days. Cathy and I much prefer a quiet night in with friends, pizzas, beer, and a double-bill of new movies playing on the widescreen TV
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Stevie Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 194.32.31.1
Posted on Friday, June 03, 2011 - 12:27 pm:   

That sounds like a dreadfully run cinema, Paul. I wouldn't frequent a place like that and can't blame you for preferring to stay at home. Fortunately my local cinemas are rather more civilised.

As much as I enjoyed Hammer's remake of 'Let The Right One In' I'd have much preferred to see their big cinematic comeback heralded by something more in keeping with their legacy i.e. 'The Wake Wood', if it's as good as it sounds. But then I'd also like to live in a perfect world...
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Paul_finch (Paul_finch)
Username: Paul_finch

Registered: 11-2009
Posted From: 92.5.38.35
Posted on Friday, June 03, 2011 - 12:37 pm:   

I can't be sure WAKE WOOD will suit everyone. It doesn't feel like a cinematic movie to me, but I did enjoy it at an effective, low-key level.
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Stevie Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 194.32.31.1
Posted on Friday, June 03, 2011 - 12:49 pm:   

The more low key and subtle the horror movie the better I like it... everything you're saying has me itching to see this now lol.
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Zed (Gary_mc)
Username: Gary_mc

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 195.166.117.210
Posted on Friday, June 03, 2011 - 01:02 pm:   

It plays like an extended Hammer House of Horror episode - very TV movie-ish, but in a good way.
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Frank (Frank)
Username: Frank

Registered: 09-2008
Posted From: 85.222.86.21
Posted on Friday, June 03, 2011 - 01:06 pm:   

Paul - Outcast was a muddled affair. Nesbit is excellent though, but alas there's a rather amateurish performance from one of the female leads.It does have one of my favourite horror moments of recent years, (SPOLIER) involving a curse placed on a social worker. The results of which I felt echoed a lot of ideas in Ramsey's fiction.

For a film with a low budget it does have one truly startling effect sequence, though I'm not sure genre fans will take it seriously.

The backdrop for the film is a rundown housing estate in Scotland and is beautifully photographed, though not in an effort to lessen the impact of the film's social themes. The film is also strongly directed, and I suspect the director will be somebody to watch.

There were so many possibilities for the film to run in several directions (lots of little details hinting at whole communities existing within and next to that of the supernatural...which will frustrate some through its failure to materialize), which was for me the most appealing aspect of the film.

Its main attraction is how well it fuses its social themes with the supernatural, which, in my opinion, always felt believable, which is no mean feat.

I think repeated viewings might allow me to appreciate it more.

BUT saying that, I doubt there are genre fans here who wouldn't have guessed the outcome from the minute the film starts.

Nothing new, but it does show promise.

(It got mauled in a review I read in SFX).
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Frank (Frank)
Username: Frank

Registered: 09-2008
Posted From: 85.222.86.21
Posted on Friday, June 03, 2011 - 01:12 pm:   

Oh, Paul, I saw The Gathering years ago, but I hated it. Hackneyed, and utterly derivative. Though non-genre fans might think it worth 90 minutes of their Sunday evening viewing time (:
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Paul_finch (Paul_finch)
Username: Paul_finch

Registered: 11-2009
Posted From: 92.5.38.35
Posted on Friday, June 03, 2011 - 01:15 pm:   

No disrespect, Frank, and thanks for your contribution, but I can't read your post yet as I'm only due to watch OUTCAST this weekend.
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Frank (Frank)
Username: Frank

Registered: 09-2008
Posted From: 85.222.86.21
Posted on Friday, June 03, 2011 - 01:22 pm:   

Hope you enjoy it, Paul. (:
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Frank (Frank)
Username: Frank

Registered: 09-2008
Posted From: 85.222.86.21
Posted on Friday, June 03, 2011 - 04:49 pm:   

Apparently this is a MUST SEE horror film from Australia that got lots of rave reviews. Maybe I'm late with this one as usual, but just in case:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cb5BFm4qIow
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Zed (Gary_mc)
Username: Gary_mc

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 81.96.253.77
Posted on Saturday, June 04, 2011 - 11:23 am:   

Frank...The Loved Ones was on UK telly the other week, mate. And, yes, it was very good. Not a Must-See, but a very enjoyable slice of modern Aussie horror.
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Stevie Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 82.4.19.77
Posted on Saturday, June 04, 2011 - 12:30 pm:   

What about this one 'Red Hill' that's just out on DVD?

An Aussie horror western, by all accounts, that sounds half decent.
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Paul_finch (Paul_finch)
Username: Paul_finch

Registered: 11-2009
Posted From: 92.5.38.35
Posted on Sunday, June 05, 2011 - 11:11 pm:   

New addition to the list tonight.

OUTCAST - A Gypsy woman and her withdrawn son take refuge on a run-down Edinburgh estate, while her murderously ambitious ex-lover uses druidic magic to track her down ...

In tone a traditional occult thriller, but set amid the rotting tower-blocks of a modern urban slum. Gritty and gory in equal measure. In parts perhaps a little bit too bleak for my taste, but I liked the monster and particularly enjoyed James Nesbitt's brutal villain. Hanna Stanbridge is great as a streetwise saucepot.
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John Forth (John)
Username: John

Registered: 05-2008
Posted From: 82.24.1.217
Posted on Sunday, June 05, 2011 - 11:32 pm:   

THE LOVED ONES is pretty decent. Going in to it, I thought it was going to be the usual tied-to-a-chair torture porn rubbish, but it had a good strain of black humour running through it, and an appealingly deranged and sad villain.

Stevie - RED HILL is all right. A bit smarter than it initially appears, but it could just as easily been set in 1880s Montana. Kills an hour and a half painlessly enough, but it's not really horror.

Quite fancy OUTCAST, although I tend not to be too keen on 'broken britain' misery in my horror - shall give it a watch when the opportunity comes up.
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Zed (Gary_mc)
Username: Gary_mc

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 81.96.253.77
Posted on Monday, June 06, 2011 - 12:40 am:   

In parts perhaps a little bit too bleak for my taste,

That's me sold...I think I'll watch Outcast on Filmlex later this week. Unlike John, I love contemporary "Broken Britain" themes in my horror - last year's Heartless was one of the best horror films I've seen in decades.
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Paul_finch (Paul_finch)
Username: Paul_finch

Registered: 11-2009
Posted From: 92.5.38.35
Posted on Monday, June 06, 2011 - 01:21 am:   

The interesting thing about OUTCAST is that while it's set in Broken Britain, it has a fairly traditional theme.
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Stephen Theaker (Stephen_theaker)
Username: Stephen_theaker

Registered: 12-2009
Posted From: 92.232.184.206
Posted on Monday, June 06, 2011 - 02:29 am:   

"last year's Heartless was one of the best horror films I've seen in decades."

Not surprised to hear you say that - when we watched it, I looked it up on IMBD, to see if it was an adaptation of something of yours!
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Zed (Gary_mc)
Username: Gary_mc

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 195.166.117.210
Posted on Monday, June 06, 2011 - 09:51 am:   

Ha! I'm flattered you'd think that, actually...
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Mbfg (Mbfg)
Username: Mbfg

Registered: 09-2010
Posted From: 82.6.90.22
Posted on Tuesday, June 07, 2011 - 12:19 am:   

Back to the thread...

Why am I so jaded with horror films? I enjoyed "Let me In" because it was stark and atmospheric and emotionally engaging in an amoral way. I also loved that Korean film "The Sisters" or something similar. Yet, if I have a choice of films I never choose a horror film anymore.

I still love the dark and I love written horror, but I've found my visual taste for it satiated by the likes of "The Shadow Line", "The Crimson and the White" (that was the title wasn't it?) and "The Wave" etc.

Do I need counselling? Is anyone here qualified? Am I, God forbid, suffering from pernicious normalness?

Yours sincerely
Worried from North London
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Weber (Weber_gregston)
Username: Weber_gregston

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.144.33.42
Posted on Tuesday, June 07, 2011 - 01:15 am:   

Do you mean a tale of two sisters?
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Paul_finch (Paul_finch)
Username: Paul_finch

Registered: 11-2009
Posted From: 92.5.38.35
Posted on Monday, June 20, 2011 - 01:05 am:   

New addition

THE RITE - A young priest training to be an exorcist begins to suspect that many of the 'possessed' are in fact mentally ill. To heal this doubt, he is assigned to one of the Vatican's top men, who is currently struggling with a major opponent.

I enjoy occult horror, but this is all a little too pat for me. Hopkins chews the lovely Roman scenery excellently, but we've covered this ground before. It has some effectively scary moments, but earlier hints that the Devil's real success is convincing us he doesn't exist might have been a more profitable avenue to explore.
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Craig (Craig)
Username: Craig

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 99.126.164.88
Posted on Monday, June 20, 2011 - 01:15 am:   

Yet, if I have a choice of films I never choose a horror film anymore....

I notice I'm the same way, Worried. I think I've been burned too many times, or maybe I'm just in a place where whatever horror has to offer, it's not fulfilling my current needs. I'm tempted by the dvd cover to THE RITE, or to CASE 39... I'll remember those trailers with fascination, how they promise quality films... but I suspect I won't finally be finding them there, in the many minutes it will take to find out....

I go by recommendations now, it's all I can go on. THE SISTERS, you say? Okay. LET ME IN, mm, once was enough for that story for me. THE ANTICHRIST, that's finally available on dvd, uncut, so I must get a hold of that. That giallo John recommended on the other thread, EYES OF CRYSTAL, if I could find that somewhere... but I'm not trusting myself alone, to make decisions anymore, in this genre....
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Paul_finch (Paul_finch)
Username: Paul_finch

Registered: 11-2009
Posted From: 92.5.38.35
Posted on Monday, June 20, 2011 - 10:04 am:   

I think the Mark Gatiss programme proved to me that horror can produce some gems when it really puts its mind to it, but you could say that of any film genre. Were you to focus on the best westerns or best war films, etc , you'd probably only focus on a similar number of movies to those Gatiss chose as examples of the genre at its best.

One of the unique problems that horror has always had, and still has, is that it's seen as the genre of choice for the drive-in crowd, which means that movies are churned out on a conveyor belt basis and at micro budget. There are still some gems, but under those kinds of circumstances it becomes increasingly difficult for the demand to not outstrip the imagination of those in charge of supply.

It's also a problem, in my opinion, that many 'buyers' don't consider this a problem. When I see people posting their top 10 horror movies online, and the lists are of full of titles like LEPRECHAUN 4 and FRIDFAY 13TH 6, I totally despair. But when you reach the stage, as we have now, when the sequels themselves are being remade, you've gone so far beyond self-parody that there's almost no way back.

I'm not quite sure what the next step is for the horror movie, which is perhaps a worrying admission for someone whose latest one is shortly due to open, but it's too simple to just say - as so many producers and publisher do - "give me something different". Sure, we all want to be the ones responsible for kicking off a new wave, but as there have been about four successful new waves in the entire history of the genre, I think we'd all be better served if those involved - particularly at the indie end of the operation, where there is traditionally more original thinking - just concentrate on doing as good a job as they can with the money available.

There have been many classic horror movies in the past - NIGHT OF THE DEMON, THE HAUNTING, THE SECRET OF HELL HOUSE, to name but three - which were hardly original in concept, but which delivered in spades because an awful lot of thought and care went into their production.
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Huw (Huw)
Username: Huw

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 61.216.46.238
Posted on Monday, June 20, 2011 - 10:29 am:   

I agree with everything you say, Paul. Years ago I would automatically rent just about any horror film from my local DVD rental shop. These days I find myself skipping many of them, because they all look so unoriginal - they are either copies of films like Saw or sequels to films that hardly warranted one, or remakes of foreign language films or old (and often very bad) horror films. There are still good films being made, but I fear they are few and far between compared to those being made 20-30 (or even ten) years ago. Or maybe I've just become over-critical in my middle age...
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Joel (Joel)
Username: Joel

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 2.24.28.141
Posted on Thursday, June 23, 2011 - 12:18 am:   

Just seen JULIA'S EYES in the cinema, and if the film had a face I would punch it. How del Toro came to give his name as producer to such a vacant, derivative and predictable slab of product as this is a mystery – if he's saving up money for a future project it had better be a fucking good one, because JULIA'S EYES is a real turd. Bad films can give pleasure because of their ambitious ideas or their flashes of talent, but this is not a bad film: it's slick, professional, copyist and utterly hollow. Watching it is like shaking hands with an empty glove. I won't give away what happens in it except to say that the climactic sequence is a direct steal from the film and play WAIT UNTIL DARK. What happened to copyright protection? This film is only not predictable in the sense that the viewer may refuse to believe it can possibly be quite as cliched as it is. And how this vicious and sickening film got a 15 certificate I'll never know – given a couple of the scenes I'm surprised it got any certificate at all. If this film had balls I'd kick them. But it doesn't.
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Stevie Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 82.4.19.77
Posted on Thursday, June 23, 2011 - 12:54 am:   

I thought it was hilariously OTT and rather ridiculously loveable, Joel. The director showed great visual flair and compositional talent but not an ounce of subtlety. A switch-your-brain-off guilty pleasure if ever there was one.
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Tony (Tony)
Username: Tony

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 81.132.93.2
Posted on Thursday, June 23, 2011 - 12:09 pm:   

I say the future of horror should be to backtrack. It might sound crazy, but try for a PG rating, see what fear you can squeeze into such a restriction. An adult, frightening film that kids can see. That'd be my challenge.
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Joel (Joel)
Username: Joel

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 217.37.199.45
Posted on Thursday, June 23, 2011 - 01:29 pm:   

I was so disgusted by JULIA'S EYES I forgot to mention that it has the most ludicrous chunk of 'idiot plotting' I've ever seen.

Julia, a young woman, has lost her identical twin sister, Sara, who was blind. Sara was found dead in her own home, apparently by suicide. Julia suspects she was murdered by someone who had access to the house. Then Julia is stalked by someone she sees repeatedly, though she never sees his face. Then she has an eye operation, following which her eyes need to be bandaged for a week. She hates hospitals, so decides to spend that week... in her sister's house, where nobody else lives. A nurse will visit her by day and leave her there alone at night. What could possibly go wrong?

I swear I'm not making this up.
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Tony (Tony)
Username: Tony

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 81.132.93.2
Posted on Thursday, June 23, 2011 - 01:40 pm:   

I like that sort of stuff, though - but it's the way it's done that will always bother me more than anything else.
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Stevie Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 194.32.31.1
Posted on Thursday, June 23, 2011 - 03:29 pm:   

I know, Joel, the whole film was totally ludicrous - but beautifully put together. Read my review on the "Films of 2011" thread.

I went to see it with two mates (fella and girl) and we spent most of the movie grumbling, laughing, jumping at the scary bits and going yuck at the, erm, yucky bits. Then in the pub after we spent most of the time listing the daft bits, but, and this is crucial, finally coming to the conclusion that we had been thoroughly entertained. Or as we say in Ireland... it was a great night's craic.
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Stevie Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 194.32.31.1
Posted on Thursday, June 23, 2011 - 04:26 pm:   

Btw, were you talking about the "unspeakable thing being done to an eyeball" scene when you queried the 15 Certificate? If so I am in complete agreement. I can only assume that the lack of nudity negated the explicit gore. Shame that, because the heroine was rather sexy and pleasingly well endowed.
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Protodroid (Protodroid)
Username: Protodroid

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 147.252.230.148
Posted on Thursday, June 23, 2011 - 04:27 pm:   

Plots never both me. I'm terrible at following them anyway, but they're the thing that most quickly becomes irrelevant to a film's shelf life. There's almost no plot in PSYCHO.
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Protodroid (Protodroid)
Username: Protodroid

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 147.252.230.148
Posted on Thursday, June 23, 2011 - 04:28 pm:   

"Plots never both me."

Flip me hard. Plots never _bother_ me.
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Stevie Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 194.32.31.1
Posted on Thursday, June 23, 2011 - 04:48 pm:   

An original and surprising plot is always a bonus, not a necessity, when it comes to any work of fiction (literary or otherwise).
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Tony (Tony)
Username: Tony

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 81.132.93.2
Posted on Thursday, June 23, 2011 - 04:56 pm:   

Plots matter less than treatment to me, too.
Sorry Joel! ;)
I think you would have minded this film less if it had been better crafted, or rather crafted in a way that made the silly structure dreamlike or gripping.
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Huw (Huw)
Username: Huw

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 61.216.45.227
Posted on Thursday, June 23, 2011 - 05:01 pm:   

"I say the future of horror should be to backtrack. It might sound crazy, but try for a PG rating, see what fear you can squeeze into such a restriction. An adult, frightening film that kids can see. That'd be my challenge."

Tony, have you seen Joe Dante's recent film The Hole? It wasn't a masterpiece, but it was an old-fashioned, entertaining, creepy, atmospheric film that really worked quite well - sort of a mix between Val Lewton and Poltergeist (that's not a very good analogy, but I'm half asleep so it's the best I can do at the moment). It impressed me more than 95% of the stuff I see passing for horror these days.
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Stevie Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 194.32.31.1
Posted on Thursday, June 23, 2011 - 05:01 pm:   

That's how it was crafted, Tony, with stylish aplomb devoid of subtlety. The scenes in which the heroine is in the process of going blind are very dreamlike, deliriously so.

Like I said before only the Spanish could have got away with it. Basically 'Julia's Eyes' is a big daft rollercoaster ride of old-fashioned misogynistic suspense entertainment with vast amounts of cheek.
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Zed (Gary_mc)
Username: Gary_mc

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 217.156.210.82
Posted on Thursday, June 23, 2011 - 05:24 pm:   

Bum cheek? Throw in some sideboob and I'm there.
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Stevie Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 194.32.31.1
Posted on Thursday, June 23, 2011 - 05:52 pm:   

She has all her curves in the right places, she's blindfolded and being stalked through an old dark house by a sleazy sweating weirdo with a camera and a butcher knife, who only wants her to be nice to him. What's not to like?
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Tony (Tony)
Username: Tony

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.153.150.82
Posted on Thursday, June 23, 2011 - 06:48 pm:   

Huw - I have. I lost interest in it towards the end (it seemed to plod) but liked it very much till then. I feel I need to rewatch.
But yes, 'anything goes' seems to me to be restricting horror more than letting it free. I might be wrong, though. A curious thing, though, is that the more horror is free to 'let rip' the 'safer' it feels. Strange, that - maybe it's like artists become bored when they have free reign.
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Joel (Joel)
Username: Joel

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 2.24.39.20
Posted on Thursday, June 23, 2011 - 07:34 pm:   

Stevie, yes, the eyeball (of a living elderly woman), but also the child with her face pinned to the wall by a butcher knife. Gratuitous sadistic shit that has no place in any cinema.

Tony, I'm less bothered about plot than treatment as well – but that doesn't mean a storyline that insults my intelligence is welcome to me.
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Zed (Gary_mc)
Username: Gary_mc

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 81.96.253.77
Posted on Thursday, June 23, 2011 - 08:25 pm:   

Chris Fowler gives this a good review in his column in the latest Black Static.
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Stevie Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 82.4.19.77
Posted on Thursday, June 23, 2011 - 10:53 pm:   

The girl sitting next to me covered her face and squealed with horrified delight during the eyeball scene, Joel. While I laughed my head off, through waves of nausea, at the director's sheer effrontery. Horses for courses.
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Paul_finch (Paul_finch)
Username: Paul_finch

Registered: 11-2009
Posted From: 92.5.34.191
Posted on Sunday, August 21, 2011 - 08:36 pm:   

Three more to add to the list, here.


ATROCIOUS - A Spanish family arrives at their country home for the Easter break. The kids are bored and opt to spend the time ghose-hunting in the eerie, overgrown maze next door ...

Another hand-held camera, first-person perspective movie, which, though it's set in an effectively creepy locale, gets increasingly bogged down in the 'reality' of what it would mean to view someone's uncut footage. Far too much running, screaming and jerking around.


F - A semi-paranoid teacher becomes convinced that a nameless gang of hoodies is about to make an assault on the inner city school where he works ...

What a timely one this was to watch, though it's actually quite disappointing. We're back in 'Broken Britain' again, but we don't learn much about it. All the way through, the baddies remain anonymous entities who could just as easily be werewolves or vampires. Ultimately meaningless.


THE TASK - 'Big Brother' meets 'Most Haunted' as a bunch of eager TV contestants try to sit out the night in a derelict lunatic asylum, which has been rigged to scare them to death ...

A great start promises much, but it runs out of steam surprisingly and disappointingly quickly. Needless to say a genuinely evil something lurks in the brooding edifice where our heroes are marooned, but it isn't actually as frightening as some of the special effects the TV crew have set up. Still, probably the best of this latest batch.
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Gary Fry (Gary_fry)
Username: Gary_fry

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 81.107.130.149
Posted on Sunday, August 21, 2011 - 08:38 pm:   

Paul, what are the viewing figures of Indie films?
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Protodroid (Protodroid)
Username: Protodroid

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 78.152.202.42
Posted on Sunday, August 21, 2011 - 11:37 pm:   

"We're back in 'Broken Britain' again, but we don't learn much about it."

I've just realised why I have an aversion to films which try to be "edgy". They pretend to tackle difficult subjects, but they do not. They merely exploit them, sometimes perhaps even without realising it. I'd include critically-lauded films such as RED ROAD in this. The opacity of the characters is to shield the lack of thought the writers have put into them or the subject they proport to tackle. By concentrating on external acts, they are worse than useless.

And I don't accept that film is an external medium - Lynch, Cronenberg and many others have used it to depict abstraction and inner worlds quiet successfully.

Come in, Danny Boyle, your time is up.
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Paul_finch (Paul_finch)
Username: Paul_finch

Registered: 11-2009
Posted From: 92.5.34.191
Posted on Monday, August 22, 2011 - 10:52 am:   

As of this moment, Gary, I’m not sure – it all depends on which territories they’ve been sold to. Britain, the US and Asia usually do pretty well. Otherwise, they wouldn’t keep making them. However, you’ve now fired my curiosity so I put the question with regard to THE DEVIL’S ROCK to its UK sales agent, only to be told that as we’re not long into the release, it’s too early to say. I will clue you in if I hear anything, but I’m guessing that, in terms of units sold, we’re currently looking at the tens of thousands rather than hundred of thousands.

In the meantime, here are two more new horror movies to consider (or not).

EXORCISMUS – A suburban rebel-without-a-cause raises the devil to get even with her over-protective parents, and causes disaster for her family …

A well meaning attempt to do something different with the demonic possession sub-genre, but it fails because ultimately it’s too bland and unconvincing. I found it hard to accept that middle-class Guardian reader type parents would turn so quickly to exorcism just because their daughter is behaving erratically. The unquestioning acceptance that demons exist feels at odds with the overall atmosphere. Nicely shot however, and the twist is a nice one.


THE RESIDENT – A sexy ER doctor moves into a spacious downtown apartment, only to find that it has been refurbished for a sinister purpose …

An excellent original concept is here expanded to full-length movie format, but suffers to my mind because the main villain turns out to be exactly who you think he’s going to be. An interesting subtext about voyeurism and secret lives is soon forgotten as we move into the routine world of the psycho thriller. Nice to see another new Hammer title, and to see Christopher Lee again, though his part in this is only really a cameo.


On the subject of THE RESIDENT, I’m sure I once read a similar short story by a British author – either Chris Fowler or Mike Marshall Smith – but I can find no official connection to this film.
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Paul_finch (Paul_finch)
Username: Paul_finch

Registered: 11-2009
Posted From: 92.5.34.191
Posted on Monday, August 22, 2011 - 06:59 pm:   

Here's another to add to the list:

GRAVE ENCOUNTERS - A 'Ghost Adventures' type TV crew head to a derelict mental hospital for the night, determined to finally find some evidence that will put their so far disappointing show in the headlines.

Okay, okay .... here we go again. It's another hend-held camera horror, first person perspective and all that, though on this occasion there are several cameras and they are all carefully utilised to give us maximum awareness of what's going on. We're talking cliches galore; there's even a rumour about a deranged head-psychiatrist who used to perform abombinable experiments on patients. Have we been here before? Yep. Is it a visual ghost-train ride at the expense of real and coherent drama? Yep. And now the main question - did it scare the heck out of me? YOU BET.
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Mick Curtis (Mick)
Username: Mick

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.176.250.238
Posted on Monday, August 22, 2011 - 10:23 pm:   

I watched "Grave Encounters" yesterday - although it had a lot of familiar scenes (and some bits that didn't work for me) it was still good fun with some nice ideas.
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Paul_finch (Paul_finch)
Username: Paul_finch

Registered: 11-2009
Posted From: 92.5.34.191
Posted on Friday, August 26, 2011 - 09:50 am:   

Two new ones this morning, though I'm not sure they can really be called horror movies per se. Anyway, here we go -


PRIEST - In a dystopian somewhere, a warrior priest sets out to rescue his niece from the vampire tribe who have captured her.

'The Searchers' meets 'Mad Max' as Paul Bettany yet again goes into holy avenger mode. Well made, as befits the budget, but in all honesty there's not much to it beyond the action and the steampunk set design. No doubt there'll be a series of sequels, and I may even - though somewhet reluctantly - watch a few. Lightweight stuff though I suppose it does what it says on the tin.


DRIVE ANGRY - A cool dude escapes from Hell to hunt down the satanic sect who murdered his daughter.

One of those modern movies which seems, almost on its own, to exemplify the decline of western civilisation. Graphic sex, uber-violence, endless profanity, with neither wit nor wisdom to enlighten the mayhem - and that's just from the good guys. Nick Cage is as wooden as ever, but he still kills almost evern son-bitch he meets, because that's all they are. I suppose folk will forgive these failiings because, after all, it's 'grindhouse'. Well not me. Truly terrible.
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Paul_finch (Paul_finch)
Username: Paul_finch

Registered: 11-2009
Posted From: 92.5.34.191
Posted on Tuesday, October 11, 2011 - 04:45 pm:   

Not a big fan of remakes, but this was one I had such high hopes for that I even attended the local chav-pit (cinema) to watch.

DON'T BE AFRAID OF THE DARK - An unhappy little girl goes to live with her dad and his new squeeze in a spooky, Victorian manor, but soon realises they aren't alone there.

It's not as cliched as it sounds, but the bizarre antagonists are revealed way too early and if any reason was ever given for their existence it came out at the editing stage (which might explain the ancient but never-referred-to runes with which the eerie house is engraved). I'm afraid it's expecting too much of so young a child to carry a movie intended for grown-ups, and aside from Bailee Madison there's no-one else in it who's interesting. Two steps removed from a Disney flick.
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Gary Fry (Gary_fry)
Username: Gary_fry

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 109.158.118.51
Posted on Tuesday, October 11, 2011 - 07:15 pm:   

Paul, The Resident does indeed sound like a Fowler tale I've read, too. It's in the anthology I SHUDDER TO YOUR TOUCH.
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John Llewellyn Probert (John_l_probert)
Username: John_l_probert

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.142.242.104
Posted on Wednesday, October 12, 2011 - 09:51 pm:   

Yes - it's The Master Builder from THE BUREAU OF LOST SOULS

THE RESIDENT felt like one of the old Hammer psycho thrillers - a bit low-rent, rushed and very much a B-feature.

I was hugely disappointed by DON'T BE AFRAID OF THE DARK at Frightfest
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Paul_finch (Paul_finch)
Username: Paul_finch

Registered: 11-2009
Posted From: 92.5.34.191
Posted on Monday, October 17, 2011 - 11:47 am:   

MARTYRS - Two homeless girls fall into the hands of a cult of old, rich, jaded sadists, who like to toture young people in order to learn whether there's an afterlife (work that one out if you can).

The epitome of torture-porn. It might be well made and have a subtext (of sorts), but it's so unrelentingly brutal, cruel and self-indlugently bloodthirsty that it has no place at all in any form of 'entertainment'. Not even horror. The use of photographic images displaying people in real torture and execution circumstances is particularly revolting. The sort of movie that will confirm every suspicion the mainstream has about our genre. One I will happily never be watching again.
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Zed (Gary_mc)
Username: Gary_mc

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 217.156.210.82
Posted on Monday, October 17, 2011 - 11:52 am:   

I have to disagree with you here, Paul - I think Martyrs is one of the best modern horror films I've seen.

Yes, it's brutal. Yes, it's tough to watch. But the final ten minutes justify everything that's gone before, IMHO, and elevate the material way beyond mere "torture porn". I actually think it's a minor masterpiece. It's a challenging - and polarizing - piece of work, but so often good art is.
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Paul_finch (Paul_finch)
Username: Paul_finch

Registered: 11-2009
Posted From: 92.5.34.191
Posted on Monday, October 17, 2011 - 11:56 am:   

Each to our own, Simon.

I thought it was sick, revolting shit. But life would be boring if we were all the same.
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Weber (Weber_gregston)
Username: Weber_gregston

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 194.66.23.11
Posted on Monday, October 17, 2011 - 12:02 pm:   

I thought it was a great film as well.

BTW I thought Zed's name was Gary?
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Zed (Gary_mc)
Username: Gary_mc

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 217.156.210.82
Posted on Monday, October 17, 2011 - 12:15 pm:   

Simon? Having a "senior moment", Paul.
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Paul_finch (Paul_finch)
Username: Paul_finch

Registered: 11-2009
Posted From: 92.5.34.191
Posted on Monday, October 17, 2011 - 12:24 pm:   

I'd prefer to think of it as a psychotic episode. Sorry for sharing ;)
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Simon Bestwick (Simon_b)
Username: Simon_b

Registered: 10-2008
Posted From: 86.138.6.122
Posted on Monday, October 17, 2011 - 12:39 pm:   

Don't worry- I thought MARTYRS was a brilliant, if disturbing and hard-to-watch film, as well.

If we're talking soulless cinematic dreck here, WOLF CREEK gets my vote.
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Zed (Gary_mc)
Username: Gary_mc

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 217.156.210.82
Posted on Monday, October 17, 2011 - 12:41 pm:   

Don't get me started on Wolf Creek, mate...an excellent and truly disturbing film.
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Paul_finch (Paul_finch)
Username: Paul_finch

Registered: 11-2009
Posted From: 92.5.34.191
Posted on Monday, October 17, 2011 - 12:52 pm:   

I quite enjoyed WOLF CREEK. If you think about it, the violence is not torturously prolonged. I was gripped by a protracted sense of dread while watching it rather than a sense of disgust, which is what I prefer in horror. But it's ultimately a slasher movie and there isn't any more to it than that.

I doubt I'll watch either of these two movies again voluntarily, which is really my benchmark.

Violence for its own sake doesn't do much for me. Maybe I'm just turning into an old softie.
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Simon Bestwick (Simon_b)
Username: Simon_b

Registered: 10-2008
Posted From: 86.138.6.122
Posted on Monday, October 17, 2011 - 01:00 pm:   

I'm not much of a one for slasher movies, either, with a few honourable exceptions- notably COLD PREY, but that's another thread...
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Joel (Joel)
Username: Joel

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 217.37.199.45
Posted on Monday, October 17, 2011 - 01:57 pm:   

I hated Wolf Creek – cold, shallow rape-porn for the mass market – but thought Martyrs was genuinely ambitious and imaginative, with a metaphysical element that took me completely by surprise, as well as a quite subtle real-world relevance. I commented when I saw it that it was a kind of impossible collaboration between Clive Barker and Amnesty International. It's a deeply strange, contradictory, impossible film – whereas Wolf Creek is merely an easy projection of the line where marketing meets masturbation.
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Ramsey Campbell (Ramsey)
Username: Ramsey

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 92.8.17.83
Posted on Monday, October 17, 2011 - 02:52 pm:   

I thought that in some ways Martyrs got as close to The Nameless as Jaume Balaguero's film did.
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John Forth (John)
Username: John

Registered: 05-2008
Posted From: 217.20.16.180
Posted on Monday, October 17, 2011 - 02:56 pm:   

I didn't care for either WOLF CREEK or MARTYRS. The former for the reasons Simon and Joel have already noted above - loathesome, characterless cruelty with no substance; the latter I thought opened and closed powerfully, but the I found the middle sequence torturously (arf!) boring. The justification came too late in the day for me.
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Weber (Weber_gregston)
Username: Weber_gregston

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 194.66.23.11
Posted on Monday, October 17, 2011 - 03:02 pm:   

I love a good slasher myself but...

My problem with Wolf Creek is that it's allegedly based on true events. Whether or not it's based on a particular backpacker murder or just generically based on a few similar cases, most of the events that occur could only be known by the killer and his victims. This film is basically saying to all the families of everyone who has vanished in the outback "Hey look at how much your daughters suffered before they died!".

I think Joel's right about the masturbatory feel to the film.

Martyrs however is amazing.

If you thought Martyrs was too much, don't even think about watching Inside (aka A l'Interiour)
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Zed (Gary_mc)
Username: Gary_mc

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 217.156.210.82
Posted on Monday, October 17, 2011 - 03:08 pm:   

Inside is more pulpy, IMHO - the violence is worse but it has little integrity. It's a fun ride, but doesn't cut you as deep as Martyrs.

I found Wolf Creek genuinely upsetting. And, to be fair, if my son or daughter had vanished in the outback the last film I'd queue to see would be one about people vanishing in the outback...it's the kind of film that says "You know, sometimes people are just horrible, murderous cunts. No rhyme or reason, no psychological back story to pseudo-justify their actions. Some people are just monsters."
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Craig (Craig)
Username: Craig

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 99.126.164.88
Posted on Monday, October 17, 2011 - 03:46 pm:   

INSIDE's great, Paul! It's a horribly gory mess, and crazily goes off the rails by the end, but it's a fun ride. And, despite Zed's "more pulpy," and sadly so - the kind of horror it portrays is real, and recent (this is today!!! http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2047376/Annette-Morales-Rodriguez-beat-p regnant-mother-death-cut-child-womb-C-section.html?ito=feeds-newsxml )
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Paul_finch (Paul_finch)
Username: Paul_finch

Registered: 11-2009
Posted From: 92.5.34.191
Posted on Monday, October 17, 2011 - 06:09 pm:   

All interesting stuff, but I'm afraid I draw the line at MARTYRS. However skillfully made, however cleverly conceived, those prolonged scenes of graphic, savage, unrelenting, unstinting torture and victimisation were way too voyeuristic for me.

Each to their own, as I said before, but it's not going on my shelf.
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Weber (Weber_gregston)
Username: Weber_gregston

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 194.66.23.11
Posted on Monday, October 17, 2011 - 06:12 pm:   

You know operating theatres are called Theatres because surgery used to be an audience event. The public could come and watch the operations from the sidelines...

A desire to see blood and gore seems ingrained in the consiousness somewhere
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Gary Fry (Gary_fry)
Username: Gary_fry

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 109.158.114.190
Posted on Monday, October 17, 2011 - 08:50 pm:   

Does it?
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Weber (Weber_gregston)
Username: Weber_gregston

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.147.136.178
Posted on Monday, October 17, 2011 - 09:12 pm:   

it is in mine
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Zed (Gary_mc)
Username: Gary_mc

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 81.96.253.77
Posted on Monday, October 17, 2011 - 09:50 pm:   

Drive along the M1 after a RTA and tell me the desire to see death isn't somehow ingrained in the human psyche...fucking rubberneckers cause the traffic to back-up for miles.
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Gary Fry (Gary_fry)
Username: Gary_fry

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 109.158.114.190
Posted on Monday, October 17, 2011 - 10:01 pm:   

What kind of evidence is this?
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Simon Bestwick (Simon_b)
Username: Simon_b

Registered: 10-2008
Posted From: 86.136.189.103
Posted on Monday, October 17, 2011 - 11:31 pm:   

We're curious. We all want to know. Anything death-related has the added twist of being a taboo subject. An ex-army friend of mine said that one thing soldiers hate being asked is 'the 64,000 dollar question'- i.e. 'have you ever killed anybody/what was it like?' It's considered to show bloodthirstiness on the questioner's part. But it's curiosity, nothing more. It's not proof of original sin or any of that mediaeval horseshit. (But as Peter Mullan once put it, most madness is a kind of overactive curiosity.)
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Mick Curtis (Mick)
Username: Mick

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.176.1.6
Posted on Tuesday, October 18, 2011 - 12:20 am:   

If I'm driving past the remains of an accident the last thing I want to do is gawp at it - I'm too busy watching all the other twats weaving about and trying to kill the rest of us.
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Zed (Gary_mc)
Username: Gary_mc

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 217.156.210.82
Posted on Tuesday, October 18, 2011 - 10:06 am:   

Weber said: "A desire to see blood and gore seems ingrained in the consiousness somewhere."

It's an opinion (and he said seems not is, so he wasn't making a definite claim, merely a suggestion). No evidence required. Ditto what I said: my own opinion, based on experience.
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Paul_finch (Paul_finch)
Username: Paul_finch

Registered: 11-2009
Posted From: 92.5.34.191
Posted on Tuesday, October 18, 2011 - 10:16 am:   

People once flocked to the scenes of public executions, but whether they would do that now is open to question.

Society changes even in a relatively short time. Life is no longer as cheap as it was in Victorian times, or even during the 1st World War, when massive casualties were deemed acceptable and no-one complained when 'cowards' faced firing squads. Death is not all around us any more. Many people I know have never even seen a dead body.

If public hanging was reintroduced tomorrow, I'm sure quite a few would attend on the first day - as Simon says, out of curiosity - but I'm not sure the same number would go on the second. I think (hope!) they'd feel cheapened and disgusted by it.

I'm not naive, by the way. I'm sure there are some ghouls who get off on any kind of human suffering. But the fact that the largest crowds to gather at executions after the event was taken behind prison walls were calling for its abolition says a lot. As far back as the 1950s, the circus that surrounded the taking of human life had gone.
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Gary Fry (Gary_fry)
Username: Gary_fry

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 109.158.114.190
Posted on Tuesday, October 18, 2011 - 10:16 am:   

>>>We're curious. We all want to know. Anything death-related has the added twist of being a taboo subject.

This taboo is a relatively modern one, tho. Our curiosity is probably related to the way we, in the Western world, 'shut death behind a door'.

That's what I mean about the 'ingrained in consciousness' issue. In other cultures or older cultures, there isn't/wasn't the same curiosity. So I'd argue that it this issue has a massive cultural component.

To coin Gary Mc's favourite saying: just an opinion. :-)
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Zed (Gary_mc)
Username: Gary_mc

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 217.156.210.82
Posted on Tuesday, October 18, 2011 - 10:23 am:   

I don't even think it's mere curiosity. Nor do I feel it's anything to do with a taboo.

Death is what's at the end for all of us, so we just want to look it in the face. It's a natural reaction, I reckon.

Older cultures have always had this: public viewings of the dead, massive choreographed ceremonies with the dead on display, large-scale public executions, etc...
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Gary Fry (Gary_fry)
Username: Gary_fry

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 109.158.114.190
Posted on Tuesday, October 18, 2011 - 10:27 am:   

Fair enough. But not in my experience. :-)

I have no desire to see any of these things.
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Zed (Gary_mc)
Username: Gary_mc

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 217.156.210.82
Posted on Tuesday, October 18, 2011 - 10:30 am:   

That's because you're weird.
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Gary Fry (Gary_fry)
Username: Gary_fry

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 109.158.114.190
Posted on Tuesday, October 18, 2011 - 10:36 am:   

Hahaha. I am that woman who lives with the Munsters. :-)
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Paul_finch (Paul_finch)
Username: Paul_finch

Registered: 11-2009
Posted From: 92.5.46.161
Posted on Wednesday, October 26, 2011 - 04:16 pm:   

Here's a new one for the list

PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 3 - A video from the 1980s reveals the early life of unfortunate sisters, Katie and Kristi, and explains why a demonic entity is stalking them ...

The third in the franchise, and aside from a tacked-on ending, pretty much a re-run of the first two. Lots of carefully constructed shock moments intersprese with endless (though admittedly creepy) scenes of a sleeping household, as seen via CCTV. It works on a superficial level, though I think the essential lack of narrative is a weakness. Nice performances by the children.
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Paul_finch (Paul_finch)
Username: Paul_finch

Registered: 11-2009
Posted From: 92.5.45.120
Posted on Sunday, November 06, 2011 - 10:13 pm:   

Another new one -

THE CALLER - A depressed divorcee moves into a new apartment, only to become the recipient of a series of very disturbing phone-calls ...

I almost didn't get past the first few minutes - the studied gloom, the dreary background palette of greys and browns is such a common device now in urban horror, usually when the movie offers nothing else - but I'm glad I did, because once the supernatural elements kick in, this really is an original and quite frightening ghost story. It's a pity about the ending, which was no doubt tacked on at the request of some unimaginative studio exec, but the middle act in particular places it a cut above the norm. Worth watching.
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Mick Curtis (Mick)
Username: Mick

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.176.250.213
Posted on Sunday, November 06, 2011 - 11:41 pm:   

Watched 11.11.11 last night - hmmm - maybe I should have waited a few more days before I watched it. Promising start but that's about it.
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Paul_finch (Paul_finch)
Username: Paul_finch

Registered: 11-2009
Posted From: 92.5.57.6
Posted on Wednesday, December 07, 2011 - 12:13 am:   

Another new one -

DREAM HOUSE - A guy with a perfect life takes early retirement to write a novel, but the idyllic house he and his family move into has a few nasty tricks up its sleeve ...

First thoughts were that they did really well to get so many A-listers into such a small, simple horror project. Second thoughts were - hang on, this isn't a horror, it's a thriller. No, hang on, it's a horror again. In truth it doesn't really know what it is and there lies the weakness. A storyline which meanders haplessly rather than twists and turns, loses its identity (and its audience) at an early stage. A big disappointment given the talents involved.
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Stevie Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 82.29.252.215
Posted on Wednesday, December 07, 2011 - 02:53 am:   

The best new cinema release horror films of the year have been:

1. 'The Skin I Live In' by Pedro Almodóvar – a masterpiece of beautifully constructed sicko horror that really has to be seen to be believed and is utterly sublime!

2. ‘Red State’ by Kevin Smith – the most shockingly visceral extreme ordeal horror movie I have seen since ‘Wolf Creek’ and with real political balls to boot, an incendiary bomb of a movie.

3. 'Insidious' by James Wan – the best popcorn horror movie extravaganza since ‘Poltergeist’ that pulls off every “jump out of your seat” trick in the book to perfection.

4. ‘Apollo 18’ by Gonzalo López-Gallego – superlative low budget exercise in “less is more” Lovecraftian horror, set on the moon, that builds by suggestion to moments of supreme celluloid terror!

5. ‘The Kill List’ by Ben Wheatley – visceral mix of gut-churning ordeal horror & brilliantly acted Loachian human drama with a real head-scratcher of an ending.

6. ‘The Awakening’ by Nick Murphy – very fine and brilliantly acted M.R. Jamesian ghost story, apart from the fluffed ending.

7. ‘Contagion’ by Steven Soderbergh – ‘The Crazies’/’Dawn Of The Dead’ scenario done as frighteningly plausible straight docudrama.

8. ‘Julia’s Eyes’ by Guillem Morales – gloriously OTT Spanish homage to Argento & Hitchcock that puts a whole new spin on the “blind girl in peril” suspenser.

9. 'The Ward' by John Carpenter – a solid return to form for the old master that mixes the supernatural oddness of 'In The Mouth Of Madness' with his trademark knack for riveting suspense.

10. ‘Troll Hunter’ by André Øvredal - an entertaining Norwegian spoof of ‘The Blair Witch Project’ with commendable use of CGI effects, for once.

And the worst:

‘We Need To Talk About Kevin’ by Lynne Ramsay – overblown pseudo-intellectual nonsense.

'Black Swan' by Darren Aronofsky – more of the same with bells on.

'Scream IV' by Wes Craven – the horror equivalent of a McDonalds “value” burger that’s gone way past its sell-by date.

'I Saw The Devil' by Kim Jee-Woon – a complete nonsensical shambles from start to finish with moments of unintentional hilarity.

'The Rite' by Mikael Håfström – offensively unscary religious propaganda that manages to make demonic possession boring.

All IMHO.
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Craig (Craig)
Username: Craig

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 99.126.164.88
Posted on Wednesday, December 07, 2011 - 03:45 am:   

I ain't seen none of those movies, good or bad. (Well, I saw BLACK SWAN, but I don't consider it horror... or good....)

However, I did see this one this year, and it's made my so-far-best-of: http://youtu.be/3-vsynsE8RQ
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Zed (Gary_mc)
Username: Gary_mc

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 217.156.210.82
Posted on Wednesday, December 07, 2011 - 10:38 am:   

'I Saw The Devil' by Kim Jee-Woon – a complete nonsensical shambles from start to finish with moments of unintentional hilarity.

I disagree completely. I though I Saw the Devil was excellent - one of the most memorable films I've seen this year.

Typically with Asian films, the tone is all over the place - but that's part of the pleasure. Any laughs in there are intentional, and there's an emotional core to the film that Hollywood genre movies fail to achieve. Great ending, too.
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Stevie Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 194.32.31.1
Posted on Wednesday, December 07, 2011 - 11:13 am:   

The ending was one of the unintentionally hilarious moments, Zed. After all that had gone before it was pant-wettingly anti-climactic, imo. Kim-Jee Woon is more than capable of supremely focussed filmmaking, as 'A Tale Of Two Sisters' proves, but 'I Saw The Devil' was a shambolic mess, worthy of Ken Russell at his most self-indulgent, that had me thinking he's maybe descended into the habitual use of hard drugs!

'Black Swan' is very much a high-concept psychological horror movie, Craig. Just not a very good one.
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Zed (Gary_mc)
Username: Gary_mc

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 217.156.210.82
Posted on Wednesday, December 07, 2011 - 12:11 pm:   

Sorry, I disagree completely. I thought it was a very entertaining.

The ending, hilarious? When he's walking along the road weeping for what he's become? I didn't find that funny at all.
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Zed (Gary_mc)
Username: Gary_mc

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 217.156.210.82
Posted on Wednesday, December 07, 2011 - 12:13 pm:   

Also, when you watch a lot of these Japanese and Korean films, you kind of get into their rhythm - which is unlike that of Western filmmaking. A lot of stuff that initially seems unintentionally funny isn't; it's bathos, camp melodrama. Hypereal rather than realistic.
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Stevie Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 194.32.31.1
Posted on Wednesday, December 07, 2011 - 12:36 pm:   

I was thinking more of what happened to the principal psychopath, Zed.

I love Asian cinema! Miike's 'Thirteen Assassins' is a remarkable example of the great work still pouring out of that part of the world but when they get it wrong... as has been happening more and more in recent genre efforts, due to lazy over-confidence in the wake of the recent boom years, then even the most formulaic of US teen slasher films (see 'Scream IV') appear models of professionalism by comparison.

For an even worse example watch this year's atrocious psychological thriller, 'Confessions'. Now that was dire filmmaking!
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Zed (Gary_mc)
Username: Gary_mc

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 217.156.210.82
Posted on Wednesday, December 07, 2011 - 12:40 pm:   

I watched "13 Assassins" the other night - it was excellent, and very reminiscent of "The Water Margin" (my favourite TV show as a boy). I've loved Miike's work for years - "Gozu" is a personal favourite.

The Korean film "Chaser" is the best recent Asian fim I've seen. It's breathtaking.
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Stevie Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 194.32.31.1
Posted on Wednesday, December 07, 2011 - 12:47 pm:   

I have both box sets of 'The Water Margin' in my DVD collection! It was one of the first TV series I bought when I started collecting. I can still remember the chill of overwhelming nostalgia I got on hearing that music and introductory voiceover again after all those years. I was hooked from then on. Absolutely brilliant show on an unfeasibly epic scale!!
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Zed (Gary_mc)
Username: Gary_mc

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 217.156.210.82
Posted on Wednesday, December 07, 2011 - 01:21 pm:   

Aye. It's canny good, like.
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Weber (Weber_gregston)
Username: Weber_gregston

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 194.66.23.11
Posted on Wednesday, December 07, 2011 - 01:38 pm:   

And Black Swan was brilliant...
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Zed (Gary_mc)
Username: Gary_mc

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 217.156.210.82
Posted on Wednesday, December 07, 2011 - 01:48 pm:   

I agree, Weber - the best film Dario Argento never made (as said by JLP).
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Craig (Craig)
Username: Craig

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 99.126.164.88
Posted on Thursday, December 08, 2011 - 12:33 am:   

I'm sorry to inform you of this, Weber and Zed, but... how can I put this?... you're both

WRONG!
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Simon Bestwick (Simon_b)
Username: Simon_b

Registered: 10-2008
Posted From: 86.24.166.73
Posted on Thursday, December 08, 2011 - 12:55 am:   

But Craig, we all know you know nothing about films...

(Sorry, couldn't resist.)
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Tony (Tony)
Username: Tony

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 81.132.169.227
Posted on Thursday, December 08, 2011 - 01:41 pm:   

To go back to The Hole - I recently put on this film and Candyman. The lads watched both and much preferred The Hole. Odd thing is, Candyman was kind of dull for them, whereas The Hole caused my oldest son to keep walking out of the room and peek back through the door. I have to say I too found The Hole to be the creepier film of the two. Better second time (and to plug my projector again, awesome on a nice big screen with surround sound). Yes, a cert 12 more frightening than an 18 - I knew it could be done.
Craig/Stevie - I'm with you on Black Swan. I was bored. A sometimes inventive director thumbtwiddling.
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Zed (Gary_mc)
Username: Gary_mc

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 217.156.210.82
Posted on Thursday, December 08, 2011 - 01:52 pm:   

Craig - how old are you again?

(shakes head and walks away, feeling oh-so superior)
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Tony (Tony)
Username: Tony

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 81.132.169.227
Posted on Thursday, December 08, 2011 - 02:00 pm:   

Craig - just go along with folk.
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Protodroid (Protodroid)
Username: Protodroid

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 147.252.230.148
Posted on Thursday, December 08, 2011 - 03:29 pm:   

"the best film Dario Argento never made (as said by JLP)."

Surely that was STAR WARS.
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Stevie Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 194.32.31.1
Posted on Thursday, December 08, 2011 - 03:32 pm:   

No, it was 'Matador' (1986) by Pedro Almodóvar.
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Protodroid (Protodroid)
Username: Protodroid

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 109.79.96.152
Posted on Thursday, December 08, 2011 - 10:09 pm:   

Or SPIDERMAN 2. He did a great job of not making that.
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Stevie Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 82.29.252.215
Posted on Friday, December 09, 2011 - 12:59 am:   

I was much more impressed by his hands off version of 'A Room With A View'.

A masterpiece of the unobtrusive.
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Protodroid (Protodroid)
Username: Protodroid

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 147.252.230.148
Posted on Friday, December 09, 2011 - 12:59 pm:   

Suspiria 2: The Dubbing was a tour de force of the ineffable, the unrealised. Haunting. If only it was available. At all.
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Paul_finch (Paul_finch)
Username: Paul_finch

Registered: 11-2009
Posted From: 92.5.34.94
Posted on Wednesday, December 28, 2011 - 10:37 pm:   

Now to start working my way through the Christmas stash. First up ...

THE TAPES - A video camera found at the scene of a multiple murder documents a journey made by three Essex chavs as they head out to a derelict farm to secretly film a swinger's party ...

All kinds of problems with this one, I'm afraid: from the cliche-ridden concept to the improvised script (which allows three decent but inexperienced actors to ramble on endlessly in rooms so dark you can barely see them); from the overall lack of pace to the too-quick and far-too unimaginative pay-off. On the upside, nice snowy landscapes early on, and the feelgood factor, which stems from my belief that a country like Britain, so overrun with chavs, could benefit from having farms like this every few miles or so.
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Paul_finch (Paul_finch)
Username: Paul_finch

Registered: 11-2009
Posted From: 92.5.34.94
Posted on Thursday, December 29, 2011 - 12:09 am:   

Here's another ...

APOLLO 18 - Three astronauts are sent on a top-secret mission to place Soviet missile-tracking devices in the Moon's polar region. But it isn't long before they start to suspect they aren't up there alone ...

Certainly a cut above the usual 'found footage' fare, in that it has a quite different concept and is very imaginatively and competently made; it genuinely feels as if we're back in the early days of space exploration. At times it's painfully slow and there is one glaring plot-hole, but despite that it's sufficiently intriguing, and it possesses one great moment so genuinely horrific that it's well worth a watch.
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Craig (Craig)
Username: Craig

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 99.126.164.88
Posted on Thursday, December 29, 2011 - 02:59 am:   

"Found footage" scripts are still hot commodities in Hollywood I hear, Paul. I read a spec that sold big earlier last year, EVIDENCE: horror/thriller ff script about a bus that breaks down on the way to Vegas, and the secret murderer that's picking off the passengers one by one... not bad overall, but the pay-off's more than a bit convoluted, and I saw the "twist" coming from a mile away - maybe we're all just too jaded anymore when it comes to films. The fad will last as long as it's not totally exhausted yet... if I could come up with a good one myself....
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Joel (Joel)
Username: Joel

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 2.24.18.186
Posted on Thursday, December 29, 2011 - 08:42 am:   

"we're all just too jaded anymore when it comes to films."

No, Craig. We're not all just too jaded. We're just tired of cynical and crass Hollywood repetition. I saw four brilliant, serious new films last year. One was French, one French-Canadian, one Irish and one British.
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Zed (Gary_mc)
Username: Gary_mc

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 81.96.253.77
Posted on Thursday, December 29, 2011 - 11:41 am:   

What Joel said.

Of the the best films I've seen over the past few years not have been Hollywood products. Hollywood can suck my shit-stained arse after a bout of alcohol-induced dysentery.
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Weber (Weber_gregston)
Username: Weber_gregston

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 194.66.23.11
Posted on Thursday, December 29, 2011 - 12:02 pm:   

Is that supposed to say NONE have? What about Black Swan - that was one of the odd glitches - a quality film from the heart of hollywoodland...
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Zed (Gary_mc)
Username: Gary_mc

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 81.96.253.77
Posted on Thursday, December 29, 2011 - 12:20 pm:   

Very good film, but not one of the best I've seen. And, yes, as you say, an odd glitch.
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Stevie Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 194.32.31.1
Posted on Thursday, December 29, 2011 - 12:52 pm:   

I've seen three films this year I would say are great modern Hollywood productions that show their directors at the top of their game: 'True Grit' (Coen Bros), 'The Secret Of The Unicorn' (Spielberg) & 'Hugo' (Scorsese). And tonight I'll be off to watch David Fincher's lastest with high hopes. But, yes, most Hollywood fare these days is bollocks.
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Protodroid (Protodroid)
Username: Protodroid

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 109.79.80.167
Posted on Thursday, December 29, 2011 - 06:58 pm:   

"it genuinely feels as if we're back in the early days of space exploration."

Sadly, given recent events this sentence would be more accurate if we removed the word "early".

"One was French, one French-Canadian, one Irish and one British."

Can you name names, Joel?
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Joel (Joel)
Username: Joel

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 2.24.30.203
Posted on Thursday, December 29, 2011 - 09:31 pm:   

I shouldn't have said 'serious' as one was a comedy. I hadn't had enough sleep this morning: got up early for a family errand and was typing in a hurry. The films, in order, were:

Outside the Law
Incendies
The Guard
Tyrannosaur

Best US film I've seen this year is The Ides of March.
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Joel (Joel)
Username: Joel

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 2.24.30.203
Posted on Thursday, December 29, 2011 - 09:36 pm:   

Sorry, I've rather drifted off topic as this thread was about horror films. But I don't see that many new horror films, at least not in the cinema. The last new horror film I really liked was [Rec]. Sure there are some good ones I've missed – but whenever a film is described as a tribute to films that I don't rate, I feel strangely unwilling to go and see it. And that takes out most new horror films.
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Zed (Gary_mc)
Username: Gary_mc

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 81.96.253.77
Posted on Thursday, December 29, 2011 - 10:25 pm:   

I watched Incendies about a month ago - brilliant, brilliant film. Thanks Joel (and Frank, too) for recommending it ages ago.
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Zed (Gary_mc)
Username: Gary_mc

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 81.96.253.77
Posted on Thursday, December 29, 2011 - 10:26 pm:   

I'm just about to watch Kill List for the second time this week. It's a very impressive film; one that's been rattling around in my head since the first viewing.
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Frank (Frank)
Username: Frank

Registered: 09-2008
Posted From: 85.222.86.21
Posted on Thursday, December 29, 2011 - 11:10 pm:   

Zed - you have to see Down Terrace by Ben Wheatley director of The Kill List. A must see. A working class family of gangsters that slowly comes apart for the most mundane of reasons, which makes it feel all that more authentic. One of my films of the year. But The Kill List is without doubt my horror film of the year, though that honour was going to go to Yellowbrick Road. Both films are up there with Triangle, Pontypool and Dawn of the Dead for my top ten horror movies of recent years.
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Paul_finch (Paul_finch)
Username: Paul_finch

Registered: 11-2009
Posted From: 92.5.34.94
Posted on Friday, December 30, 2011 - 01:00 am:   

How fortunate (or unfortunate, depending on your position) that my next review follows the last few posts.

KILL LIST - Two ex-forces guys turned guns-for-hire work their way through a list of assasination targets, but soon realise that they too are being watched and, maybe, stalked ...

Brit social realism meets Brit gangster stuff meets American cult horror. At least that was my take on it. I actually enjoyed most of it, though I'm never a fan of actors being allowed to improvise their own dialogue (perhaps for obvious reasons). Ultimately, after an intriguing build-up and plenty of palpable menace, the ending lets it down for me. I get it (I think), but over-obscurity and a disappointing pay-off are a match made in Hell (no pun intended).
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Protodroid (Protodroid)
Username: Protodroid

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 109.79.100.220
Posted on Friday, December 30, 2011 - 01:25 am:   

I just read the sniffy reviews of THE GATHERING at the start of this thread. I still haven't quite forgiven Anthony Horowitz for the noticable dip in the quality of the otherwise radiant ROBIN OF SHERWOOD during his scripts. Sounds like he hasn't improved much 25 years later.
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Zed (Gary_mc)
Username: Gary_mc

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 81.96.253.77
Posted on Friday, December 30, 2011 - 02:34 am:   

I watched Kill List twice in a row this evening (second time with the DVD commentary). That's three times this week. I'm becoming obsessed. Best film of 2011 for me. Utterly, utterly fucking brilliant.

Frank - I've just ordered Down Terrace. Ben Wheatley is my new "one to watch".
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Zed (Gary_mc)
Username: Gary_mc

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 81.96.253.77
Posted on Friday, December 30, 2011 - 02:45 am:   

Interestingly (to me, anyway), the excellent commentary on the Kill List DVD reveals the reason behind the obscurity oregarding the plot. They thought there was way too much exposition, so stripped it all back in the editing process. The result is that we know as much about what's going on as the main characters.

It worked for me. Big time. It's also a film that rewards from additional viewings.
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Paul_finch (Paul_finch)
Username: Paul_finch

Registered: 11-2009
Posted From: 92.5.34.94
Posted on Friday, December 30, 2011 - 11:34 am:   

BLACK SWAN - A young dancer gets a massive break when she is cast in the lead for 'Swan Lake', but is soon being distracted by an evil doppleganger ...

A well-made, good looking, strongly sexual study of mental deterioration under the pressure of trying to create the perfect performance. The eventual dance scenes are particuarly spectacular, while Natalie Portman and Vincent Cassel give exceptional performances, but the whole thing is strangely cold and, earlier on, a bit of a yawn. It probably says more about me and how I regard ballet than it does the movie that I ended up watching it in two separate parts.
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Paul_finch (Paul_finch)
Username: Paul_finch

Registered: 11-2009
Posted From: 92.5.38.38
Posted on Wednesday, January 04, 2012 - 12:12 am:   

Here's another ...

THE WARD - An amnesiac firebug is incarcerated in a secure unit for the deranged, only to find that the other inmates are being knocked off by a gruesome ghoul ...

I hate saying this but further proof that John Carpenter really is the master of the "once was awesome but no longer" school. Zero characterisation, a tediously repetitive script and a highly predictable ending sink this one almost completely. But the other thing is ... and this is the real sin, it's nowhere near frightening enough. I didn't have high hopes - I've got past that now with Carpenter - but still a major disappointment.
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Paul_finch (Paul_finch)
Username: Paul_finch

Registered: 11-2009
Posted From: 92.5.47.7
Posted on Sunday, January 15, 2012 - 09:12 pm:   

And another ....

RARE EXPORTS: A CHRISTMAS TALE - In the depths of a Finnish winter, a rural kid becomes convinced that a nearby British/American archeology team are excavating the grave of the real Santa Claus. Not a good idea, he suspects, and guess what, he's right ...

Totally bizarre concept - I really can't imagine trying to pitch this one to any producers I know - in which the real Santa is a giant horned devil, who punishes children rather than rewards them. It sounds like a kids' film, but isn't, as it contains way too much violence and nudity, and yet it becomes progressively more juvenile in its tone. It won wide acclaim for being daring and different, but for me, though visually striking, it isn't anything like as scary as it could be.
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Simon Bestwick (Simon_b)
Username: Simon_b

Registered: 10-2008
Posted From: 86.24.166.73
Posted on Sunday, January 15, 2012 - 11:01 pm:   

Just watched Kill List. Utterly fucking stunning. Unsettling, brutal, frightening, powerful. Very hard to watch in places, but superb.

Really quite fancy seeing Rare Exports, too.
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Joel (Joel)
Username: Joel

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 2.24.30.45
Posted on Sunday, January 15, 2012 - 11:02 pm:   

Paul, I also loved 'Rare Exports' and saw it very much as a children's fantasy film with adult overtones, especially in its portrait of rural hardship and desperation. Its slow transition from grim to lovable put me in a distinctly good mood. At the time I described as a Lovecraft story filmed in Moomin Valley.
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Stevie Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 194.32.31.1
Posted on Monday, January 16, 2012 - 11:19 am:   

'Rare Exports' really worked for me as well. A wonderfully odd and unsettling kid's fantasy/horror/comedy/adventure delight. Anyone who enjoyed it would also get a lot out of last year's 'Troll Hunter'. It's not quite as memorable but still shows how Scandinavian fantasy cinema is trouncing Hollywood at its own game these days.

I can't wait to see 'The Kill List' again. My initial reaction was one of frustration at the crazed blur of an ending, after the gripping clarity of the narrative that led up to it, but the film refuses to leave my mind. An instant cult classic of extreme horror that may just amount to a lot more in time. The committment of the performances and unrelenting downbeat tone made it for me.
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Frank (Frank)
Username: Frank

Registered: 09-2008
Posted From: 85.222.86.21
Posted on Monday, January 16, 2012 - 12:18 pm:   

The Kill List, is in my humble estimation, the most frightening, and intelligent British horror film since The Wicker Man.

Rare Exports was great until what I thought was a botched ending, despite being one of the best children's fantasy/horror film's in recent memory.

I do prefer Troll Hunter, but the target audience with this one is definitely adult, so that's probably a redundant statement.

BUT once again. Please go and rent or buy YellowBrick Road. A truly disturbing horror film that stays with you long after it has 'apparently finished.'
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Stevie Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 194.32.31.1
Posted on Monday, January 16, 2012 - 01:25 pm:   

Another one to look out for, Frank.

This interview with Ben Wheatley: http://cinema-scope.com/wordpress/web-archive-2/issue-49/interviews-hammer-horro r-ben-wheatley%e2%80%99s-kill-list-by-adam-nayman/ (that Jason forwarded to me after discussing the film) is another reason I want to give 'The Kill List', and its ending, another go. I could just about buy the frenzied nature of the last ten minutes as a metaphor for the madness of battle - that Jay & Gal would be all too familiar with. But I still wish it had had the clarity of the rest of the film in the way the unforgettable shock ending of 'The Wicker Man' had.
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Frank (Frank)
Username: Frank

Registered: 09-2008
Posted From: 85.222.86.21
Posted on Monday, January 16, 2012 - 01:46 pm:   

Yes, Stevie. YellowBrick Road is uncomfortable and shocking, and in many ways quite unique. I think it's most certainly a film that people here would appreciate. Food for thought, that kind of thing. Cheers for the link. Superb.

Stevie - if you can hunt out the DVD of The Veteran. Ignore the stupid trailer which makes it look like an action film.
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Gary Fry (Gary_fry)
Username: Gary_fry

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.23.40.152
Posted on Monday, January 16, 2012 - 02:13 pm:   

Stevie, I watched YOU WILL MEET A TALL DARK STRANGER last night: excellent!
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Stevie Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 194.32.31.1
Posted on Monday, January 16, 2012 - 02:54 pm:   

Wasn't it just! And that's Woody in coasting mode. I bet you enjoyed the Josh Brolin subplot.
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Gary Fry (Gary_fry)
Username: Gary_fry

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.23.40.152
Posted on Monday, January 16, 2012 - 03:20 pm:   

Oh aye. :-)
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Zed (Gary_mc)
Username: Gary_mc

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 81.96.253.77
Posted on Monday, January 16, 2012 - 05:06 pm:   

I watched Kill List (not The Kill List) for the 4th time over the weekend, with a couple of like-minded writer friends. I said this after my first viewing, but it's easily the best film I saw last year.
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Stevie Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 82.29.252.215
Posted on Monday, January 16, 2012 - 06:53 pm:   

I'm aware they dropped the definite article from the title (something that's always irritated me) but 'Kill List' makes me think of a thriller plot to assassinate Gary's favourite composer made by someone who can't spell. And the characters do refer to the list of their targets, throughout the film, as "the list". Just ignore my retitling whims if they irritate you, Zed.
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Frank (Frank)
Username: Frank

Registered: 09-2008
Posted From: 85.222.86.21
Posted on Monday, January 16, 2012 - 10:12 pm:   

Watch closely, it turns into something unexpected. Whether or not it will live up to the hype, remains to be seen:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cQWnPVOSZKg
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Frank (Frank)
Username: Frank

Registered: 09-2008
Posted From: 85.222.86.21
Posted on Monday, January 16, 2012 - 10:14 pm:   

You Think You Know The Story...
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Paul_finch (Paul_finch)
Username: Paul_finch

Registered: 11-2009
Posted From: 92.5.50.72
Posted on Monday, January 30, 2012 - 12:19 am:   

TROLL HUNTER - Found footage reveals the amazing tale of a trip into the wastes of northern Norway to wipe out a murderous band of trolls ...

Another foray into that increasingly popular subgenre in which fairy tales are spiced up with modern horror themes, but in this case it's actually quite effective. I'm not sure the decision to make the trolls look like extras from the Muppet Show was a good one - there's an ongoing tongue-in-cheek vibe, all played dead straight-faced - but that doesn't really distract from a rollicking good action-fantasy. Fun, pacy, at times quite scary, and superbly shot. Well worth a viewing.
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Weber (Weber_gregston)
Username: Weber_gregston

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 109.158.59.201
Posted on Monday, January 30, 2012 - 02:40 am:   

I just watched Apollo 18 - found footage on the moon - quite how it found it's way back to Earth is not revealed... It was OK but Troll Hunter and Paranormal Activity are much better FF films.

I also watched Husk - Paul mentioned this in the opening post of this thread and I have to say I agree with him.

It is a good fun little movie involving killer scarecrows. The director actually seems to understand the use of sound in film-making and several scenes, instead of relying on music to build tension, he switches it off so all we have is silence and the sound of something in the cornfield. Add to the the fact that the cast list die in a completely unextected order - the character I expected to live to the end actualy became the first on-screen death - and some quite impressively nightmarish imagery - the nails for example will stick with me I think... It was certainly the best of tonight's double bill.
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Weber (Weber_gregston)
Username: Weber_gregston

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.148.240.90
Posted on Sunday, February 05, 2012 - 02:38 am:   

Why am i surprised that a film caled Johnny Sunshine: Maximum Violence wasn't exactly the best film in the world?

It was so bad i needed to watch a Coffin Joe straight after it for something a little less cass and exploitative.
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Weber (Weber_gregston)
Username: Weber_gregston

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.148.240.90
Posted on Sunday, February 05, 2012 - 02:38 am:   

*crass
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Paul_finch (Paul_finch)
Username: Paul_finch

Registered: 11-2009
Posted From: 92.5.35.232
Posted on Wednesday, February 15, 2012 - 12:13 am:   

THE WOMAN IN BLACK - A recently widowed lawyer is sent to sort out the paperwork in sinister Eel Marsh House, only to find out that it's not as empty as he first thought ...

It's a while since I saw this on stage, an even longer while since I saw Nigel Kneale's rather marvelous TV version, and an even longer while since I read it. I've always thought this a brutally frightening ghost story - as in once the chills start, there's just no let-up. They come at you one after another until you're a nervous wreck. This big screen version goes perhaps a little OTT in that department - why fix it if it ain't broke? - but it doesn't spoil things. Very traditional, very Gothic, very mist-laden, very spooky indeed. Daniel Radcliff is a bit lacking in charisma in the lead, and never really looks scared enough. But what the heck? I still liked it.
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Zed (Gary_mc)
Username: Gary_mc

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 81.96.253.77
Posted on Thursday, February 16, 2012 - 08:45 am:   

THE WOMAN IN BLACK is a rather excellent film, which was ruined for me by having to sit and watch it in a room filled with annoying strangers who can't hold their bladder for longer than an hour, can't sit for two hours without having to stuff their faces with junk food and whisper to each other about it, and feel the urge to giggle like schoolgirls every time they've jumped in fright. The whole thing made me realise how much I utterly despise the cinema "experience". I look forward to the DVD coming out so I can watch the fucking film in peace.

For me, film isn't a communal experience. Why sit with a bunch of complete strangers who keep getting up to go for a piss and disturbing your concentration? I'd rather chill out at home. I sat for 2 hours last night in a state of anxiety, waiting for someone to disturb me enough that I could get reasonably up and smack them...sadly, it didn't happen.

Rant over.
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Ramsey Campbell (Ramsey)
Username: Ramsey

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 92.8.19.252
Posted on Thursday, February 16, 2012 - 11:25 am:   

I know what you mean, Gary! But I have also seen films with a good appreciative audience.
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Zed (Gary_mc)
Username: Gary_mc

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 217.156.210.82
Posted on Thursday, February 16, 2012 - 12:07 pm:   

Ramsey, this was, more or less, an appreciative audience - they oohed and aahed and jumped in all the rght places, anyway. But that annoyed me, too. Noisy sods.

I think it's me; I just don't feel comfortable sitting with a hundred strangers when I'm watching a film.
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Weber (Weber_gregston)
Username: Weber_gregston

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 194.66.23.11
Posted on Thursday, February 16, 2012 - 03:47 pm:   

Stuff like Piranha 3d or the Final Destinaion films don't work a fraction as well on the small screen as they do at the cinema.

I did have to ask a member of staff to escort a girl out of a cinema once before I punched her. She insisted on talking to her friend at normal chatting in a pub volume through the first 15 minutes of the film. When the people closest to her asked her to keep her voice down she swore at tehm. That's when I decided it was punch her or have her escorted out time.

The steward got a round of applause from the audience as he led her out.
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Zed (Gary_mc)
Username: Gary_mc

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 217.156.210.82
Posted on Thursday, February 16, 2012 - 04:22 pm:   

In my opinion, the cinema "experience" improves no film. It actually spoils them. For me, anyway.
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Stevie Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 194.32.31.1
Posted on Thursday, February 16, 2012 - 04:25 pm:   

By the sound of it I'm going to have to see 'The Woman In Black' and I really hadn't liked the look of it. Here's hoping it's still on this weekend.

I couldn't live without my weekly visit to the cinema. Love everything about the experience and have had relatively few run-ins with noisy punters over the years. My "shut the fuck up" psycho impersonation of last year, when sitting in front of a group of chattering teens, was the worst incident I can recall. They caught me on a bad day. Comedies and good scary horror films are the best kind to share with an audience, I find.
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Craig (Craig)
Username: Craig

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 99.126.164.88
Posted on Thursday, February 16, 2012 - 05:01 pm:   

The ABRAHAM LINCOLN: VAMPIRE HUNTER official trailer: http://youtu.be/34x6m-ahGIo

Item #1 in my contention that we are entering (in film, and perhaps other forms of entertainment) the age of "spectacle," and it's not only the visuals: the very concept - Abraham Lincoln as a vampire hunter - is absurdly spectacular; so much so, it must completely trump all issues of plot and character....
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Weber (Weber_gregston)
Username: Weber_gregston

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 194.66.23.11
Posted on Thursday, February 16, 2012 - 06:14 pm:   

Surely the massive screen size, the picture quality and the excellent sound system at the cinema must be an improvement on home viewing?

I know that there are quite a few films where the CGI looked really good on the big screen, but when I saw it small screen the edges kind of hardened on the CGI making it stand out and look unrealistic...

And 3d only works big screen with the new system. When I borrowed FD4 I had to switch to the 2d version because it had the old style red and green lens 3d specs - they really are headache inducing if you use them for more than 10 minutes..
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Tony (Tony)
Username: Tony

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.142.192.96
Posted on Thursday, February 16, 2012 - 06:17 pm:   

I love that new format, three shillings.
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Paul_finch (Paul_finch)
Username: Paul_finch

Registered: 11-2009
Posted From: 92.5.35.232
Posted on Thursday, February 16, 2012 - 08:03 pm:   

All this cinema chat reminds me of the occasion I went to see THE WOMAN IN BLACK on stage in the West End.

It was a matinee, and Cathy and I hoped there wouldn't be too many in. As it turned out, there weren't, but we happened to be close to a job-lot of 6th formers who clearly considered it a joke that they'd been brought to the theatre in the first place. The show started, to the accompaniment of much hooting and guffawing, and people getting up and down to talk to their mates, but within a short time they were all sitting in taut silence - either absorbed in the quality of the performance, or, as I suspect more is the case, quietly shitting themselves (which gave me no small satisfaction - bunch of know-it-all wankers).

The cinema audience we watched the movie with consisted mainly of adults, because it was a later evening viewing, and were probably the most respectful bunch I've been to the flicks with in recent years. The worse thing you can do at our local chav-pit is go to an early evening show, during the school holiday, on a cheap night. That's just asking for trouble.
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Ramsey Campbell (Ramsey)
Username: Ramsey

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 92.8.18.62
Posted on Friday, February 17, 2012 - 03:52 pm:   

And more on this...

http://www.denofgeek.com/movies/1247430/are_young_cinema_audiences_ruining_the_w oman_in_black.html
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Stevie Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 194.32.31.1
Posted on Friday, February 17, 2012 - 04:16 pm:   

It was the 12A rating along with the presence of Daniel Radcliffe that initially put me off the sound of this film as some kind of kiddie's horror-lite ghost story. Having read reviews by people I trust on here, and not having realised it was a Hammer production, I now intend to see it this weekend and just hope I'm not surrounded by a mob of puzzled Harry Potter fans!
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Protodroid (Protodroid)
Username: Protodroid

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 89.19.91.40
Posted on Saturday, February 18, 2012 - 01:16 pm:   

Interesting link, Ramsey. I had a similar experience when I saw the play in the Fortune theatre. A huge number of young people (out-of-towners by their accents, though I can hardly talk...) were talking to people on seats behind them. It ruined the play, though there were polite and quiet young teens among them.
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Paul_finch (Paul_finch)
Username: Paul_finch

Registered: 11-2009
Posted From: 92.5.44.159
Posted on Sunday, March 04, 2012 - 12:02 am:   

FRIGHT NIGHT (the remake) - A high school kid gets jumpy when a guy moves in next door whom he is convinced is a vampire ...

Yet another remake that simply wasn't needed. The high school ensemble are all updated from the 1980s to the 2010s by being given permission to say 'fuck' a lot, Roddy McDowell's original amalgam of Peter Cushing and Vincent Price becomes David Tennant in faux Goth Russell Brand guise (though Tennant is actually okay given the little he has to do), and, for no reason whatsoever, we're out of that semi-decayed world of gable-housed New England grandeur into a completely soulless outskirt of Las Vegas. Colin Farrell gives his vampire a vaguely dangerous serial killer vibe, but is basically going through the motions, and what the hell is Toni Collette doing in a movie like this? As you may have gathered, I didn't like it.
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Zed (Gary_mc)
Username: Gary_mc

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 81.96.253.77
Posted on Sunday, March 04, 2012 - 06:50 pm:   

I'd feared that this one might be bad, Paul.

Prompted by it's release, I rewatched the original a few weeks ago, and it still holds up. Chris Sarandon makes an excellent, sleazy, charming and dangerous vampire, there's a great sense of moody menace to the film, and the effects scenes are wonderfully oozy.
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John Forth (John)
Username: John

Registered: 05-2008
Posted From: 82.24.1.217
Posted on Sunday, March 04, 2012 - 08:42 pm:   

Ach, I didn't mind the FRIGHT NIGHT remake. Interesting that you point out the setting as a negative, Paul, as I thought that very unusual, kit-house suburbia - a perfect square of tedium surrounded on all sides by desert - was one of the more interesting things about the film. Thought Farrell's performance was decent. He's like an animal that's not quite sure how to be human. His attempts at neighbourly small talk are almost painful.

That's not to say it's a great movie (the last act is a mess, and the CG effects are awful) but it was solid enough. Could have been a lot, lot worse.
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Weber (Weber_gregston)
Username: Weber_gregston

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 109.150.16.231
Posted on Monday, March 05, 2012 - 12:57 am:   

I just had a really fake looking meal at CGI Fridays
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Stevie Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 82.18.174.156
Posted on Monday, March 05, 2012 - 01:57 am:   

He's like an animal that's not quite sure how to be human.

That's cos he's Irish. I'm not a big fan of Freud but he had us sussed.
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Huw (Huw)
Username: Huw

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 61.216.201.7
Posted on Tuesday, March 06, 2012 - 03:18 pm:   

Am I the only one who was disappointed in The Woman in Black? It wasn't terrible, but it wasn't a patch on the Nigel Kneale version, which took time in creating suspense instead of merely cramming as many 'creepy' cliches into each scene as possible. The ending was cringeworthy, I thought.
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Stevie Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 82.18.174.156
Posted on Tuesday, March 06, 2012 - 04:02 pm:   

Read my thoughts on the "Films of 2012" thread, Huw. While enjoying it as a bit of crowd pleasing hokum I was rather underwhelmed given all the hype that's built up around the movie.

Was the ending faithful to the book? This film was the first version of the story I'd experienced in any format.
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Huw (Huw)
Username: Huw

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 61.216.44.37
Posted on Tuesday, March 06, 2012 - 07:01 pm:   

Just read your post on the other thread, Stevie, and I agree with your assessment of the film. I didn't hate it, but it was a disappointment compared to the earlier 1980s adaptation - I was expecting something a little more substantial than the 'ticking-the-boxes' approach, throwing in as many haunted house film tropes as possible (to the film's detriment, I thought). It had a good atmosphere, though.

Have you seen the earlier film? It is much better than this. The sense of foreboding is far better handled, the characters more developed (even the dog!) and it doesn't have a cheesy ending (I don't remember the ending of the novel, to be honest - I think it was as in the original film). The 'woman' is more frightening as well.
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Stevie Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 82.18.174.156
Posted on Tuesday, March 06, 2012 - 07:06 pm:   

No, I've never seen the TV adaptation or the play, Huw. Must look up the DVD.
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Huw (Huw)
Username: Huw

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 61.216.44.37
Posted on Tuesday, March 06, 2012 - 07:17 pm:   

It's one of the best TV films I've seen, and is far more grim and suspenseful than this new version. It just feels far more real - the characters have more substance, the spectre is scarier, the creepy goings-on are creepier, and the ending is a tour de force of inevitable, fatalistic horror. And the dog (named Spider) is much better (he hasn't even got a name in the Harry Potter version!). I don't know if it's still available on DVD. It deserves to be.
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Stevie Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 82.18.174.156
Posted on Tuesday, March 06, 2012 - 07:42 pm:   

I must see it! I could get the potential of the story from this new version but thought the handling was too safe and predictable. At times things became so hackneyed it almost descended into self-parody, imo.

Sadly the DVD is only available on Amazon as a US import for £245!!!!
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Huw (Huw)
Username: Huw

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 61.216.44.37
Posted on Tuesday, March 06, 2012 - 07:45 pm:   

I've just noticed that it's on youtube, in seven parts. I've just got my old DVD out ready to watch again. Another thing I didn't like about the new one is that you'd think there are only about eight people living in the entire village. Everything is far more fleshed-out in the 1989 version. It's similar in mood to the M.R. James TV adaptations, while the new film is more a typical Hollywood horror film, with little suspense or development, but an abundance of 'jump' moments and CGI effects. I liked the rocking chair in the new one, though.
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Stevie Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 82.18.174.156
Posted on Tuesday, March 06, 2012 - 08:16 pm:   

What did you think of last year's 'The Awakening', Huw?

Although far from perfect I found it much superior to this version of TWIB, reyling on subtle atmospheric chills and the talent of the cast to show fear and confusion for its effect, rather than over-egged jump moments and actors merely going through the motions.
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David_lees (David_lees)
Username: David_lees

Registered: 12-2011
Posted From: 92.22.54.91
Posted on Tuesday, March 06, 2012 - 11:33 pm:   

I can heartily recommend everyone avoid a slasher movie called Chain Letter. It sounded crap, but had Brad Dourif and Keith David in it so I thought there'd be at least a couple of good performances to watch but they were both wasted. Daft, gimmicky for the sake of it (the killer chooses his victims by a chain email, then kills them with chains. Because his dad was a blacksmith who made chains. And he was chained up as a prisoner of war. The word chain now no longer makes sense to me when I say it out loud) and it feels two hours long despite only being 84 minutes.

Chainchainchainchainchain.
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Paul_finch (Paul_finch)
Username: Paul_finch

Registered: 11-2009
Posted From: 92.5.44.159
Posted on Wednesday, March 07, 2012 - 02:33 am:   

Interesting that other folk have started comparing and contrasting the two movie versions of THE WOMAN IN BLACK.

I too found Nigel Kneale's original TV screenplay a lot more frightening than the new version - for all the reasons stated - but I found the stage version very frightening as well. I think the recent movie makes the mistake of trying to cram too many supernatural elements into its running-time, instead of giving the eerie atmosphere an opportunity to ferment.

Jane Goldman who wrote the recent movie made some comment on TV about "having to make it film-shaped", which I now take to mean drop in at least one big incident per page of script. I don't blame her for this, because that does seem to be the modern movie style. It's almost as if 21st century audiences can't be trusted to stay awake for more than a few minutes if the movie isn't constantly getting in their face.

That said, at least the new movie sticks reasonably closely to the orginal tale, and it does try to do a number on us in terms of traditional spooky chills rather than lashings of boring gore.

My main gripe was that Daniel Radcliff never really looks frightened enough, though I also agree that the ending is a big disappointment. The TV ending is far more effective.
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Paul_finch (Paul_finch)
Username: Paul_finch

Registered: 11-2009
Posted From: 92.5.40.178
Posted on Monday, June 11, 2012 - 10:12 am:   

THE GREY - A bunch of oil-workers are marooned in the Alaskan wilderness when their plane crashes, and soon face a fight for survival against a pack of marauding wolves.

Okay, the first mistake I made was assuming the bizarre and terrifying animatronic wolves we saw in the trailers meant this one was a kind of man v nature horror movie. The second mistake was assuming that, if nothing else, the action we saw in the trailers meant that it was an action movie. Wrong on both counts. It's actually a study in depression as rugged Liam Neeson tries to cope with bereavement and existentialist angst even while his mates are being ripped apart all around him. Some like it for that reason. I didn't. Too slow, too talkie and, believe it or not, not enough wolves (though animal rights folks will be glad of that at least, as they have complained that it demonises wolves to a ridiculous degree).
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Zed (Gary_mc)
Username: Gary_mc

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 217.156.210.82
Posted on Monday, June 11, 2012 - 10:47 am:   

I loved The Grey - I like slow and talkie. Neeson was the best he's been in years.
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Paul_finch (Paul_finch)
Username: Paul_finch

Registered: 11-2009
Posted From: 92.5.40.178
Posted on Monday, June 11, 2012 - 11:04 am:   

Well made for sure, but not my cup of tea. I think it was a little bit mis-sold in the adverts.
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Zed (Gary_mc)
Username: Gary_mc

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 217.156.210.82
Posted on Monday, June 11, 2012 - 04:51 pm:   

I tend to stay away from trailers and reviews. I had no idea what kind of movie The Grey was until I sat down and watched it.

This tactic worked for me with Prometheus, too. I think that's why I enjoyed it more than most people I know - I had zero expectations going in.
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Paul_finch (Paul_finch)
Username: Paul_finch

Registered: 11-2009
Posted From: 92.5.49.205
Posted on Sunday, July 29, 2012 - 02:31 pm:   

THE DEVIL INSIDE - A young American woman investigates a trio of brutal murders committed by her mother; it leads her to a lunatic asylum attached to the Vatican ...

Let's cut to the chase: this one is a massive disappointment. Again (silly me!) I made the mistake of liking the trailer, which created the impression we'd be dealing with ancient mysteries, satanic cults, black magic, menacing church folk, etc etc. None of that is true. What we've got here is a by-the-numbers possession thriller, which starts out pacily enough but for no reason ever explained is again presented as a 'found footage' piece, and even then runs out of steam with embarrassing speed. Lack of clear narrative and weak characterisation are minor quibbles when the movie you're watching simply peters out as if the makers had no idea what to do with it after the first ten minutes. Avoid!
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Lincoln (Lincoln_brown)
Username: Lincoln_brown

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 101.119.26.246
Posted on Tuesday, July 31, 2012 - 02:12 am:   

We watched a couple of newish films last weekend - 'The Ward', and 'Source Code'. I was staggered at how bad they both were.
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Ramsey Campbell (Ramsey)
Username: Ramsey

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 92.8.27.176
Posted on Tuesday, July 31, 2012 - 07:31 am:   

Gosh, we both very much liked Source Code (though I had to put "The Rounds" out of my mind!)
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Kate (Kathleen)
Username: Kathleen

Registered: 09-2009
Posted From: 86.131.45.253
Posted on Tuesday, July 31, 2012 - 07:59 am:   

We loved all of those! Thought SOURCE CODE was brilliant, THE WARD was the best Carpenter's done in years and DEVIL INSIDE - well, it's a 1970s exploitation film disguised as a modern found footage Exorcist ripoff - what's not to like?
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Paul_finch (Paul_finch)
Username: Paul_finch

Registered: 11-2009
Posted From: 92.5.56.32
Posted on Saturday, September 01, 2012 - 11:56 pm:   

THE INTRUDERS - A suburban family are terrorised by a mysterious intruder who may or may not be a figment of their imagination ...

A few arthouse pretentions don't exactly spoil this interesting Anglo/Spanish production, but they do slow it down. We spend far too long drifting dreamily over comfy housing estates to the accompaniment of 1,000 violins, and not enough in the presence of the monster. Several good moments - a la PAN'S LABYRINTH - liven things up, though it's a bit naughty running twin storylines and pretending they are happening in the same time-zone. Ultimately a slight tale - not totally sure what Clive Owen was doing in it - but worth a watch.
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John Forth (John)
Username: John

Registered: 05-2008
Posted From: 82.24.1.217
Posted on Sunday, September 02, 2012 - 10:16 am:   

I think it was a little bit mis-sold in the adverts.

It certainly was, Paul. From the poster you'd think the title of THE GREY referred to Liam Neeson's beard.
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John Llewellyn Probert (John_l_probert)
Username: John_l_probert

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.131.45.253
Posted on Sunday, September 02, 2012 - 10:20 am:   

We really liked it, but I think you've revealed a major twist there, Paul!
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Weber (Weber_gregston)
Username: Weber_gregston

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.130.83.208
Posted on Monday, September 03, 2012 - 02:33 am:   

Well today i watched Isolation - an Irish horror film about mutated killer cows. I followed it up with Chaw - a korean horror about mutated killer pigs. I couldn't find my copy of Black Sheep to continue the theme and complete the triple bill though.

Isolation was much better than it sounds. it managed to create a nice creepy and tense atmosphere. The acting was good and the first on-screen death was genuinely a shock and completely unexpected.It was a tad predictable but the low budget was well used, the monster was wisely kept to the shadows for most of the film but there was some impressively realistic looking gore for fans of that sort of thing. All in all i'd definitely receommend this one.

Chaw was quite disappointing to be honest. The "humour" that pervaded the film seemed completely forced and contrived and - worst of all - just not funny. The script followed the pattern of Jaws almost to the letter - transposing can't let people in the sea because of the shark, that'll ruin the tourist trade for Can't let tourists on the mountain because of the giant killer pigs...etc.

There's even a scene where the hunters have killed a smaller boar and the good guys cut its open to examine its last meal.

There also seemed to be a problem with the subtitles in places - where English grammar and spelling seemed to have been forgotten - using "COS" instead of "'cause" was the least of these. Sentence structures went awry in places and there were a couple that just didn't make any sense.

The best I can say about this is that the giant boar looked reasonably good and there were a couple of pretty good action sequences. One for monster movie completists I think.
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Mick Curtis (Mick)
Username: Mick

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.180.123.78
Posted on Monday, September 03, 2012 - 09:31 am:   

We have ISOLATION recorded - been putting off watching it as it does sound daft, but will now dive in after your comments, Marc.
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David_lees (David_lees)
Username: David_lees

Registered: 12-2011
Posted From: 92.22.61.240
Posted on Monday, September 03, 2012 - 01:24 pm:   

Got to second the Isolation recommendation, it sounds like it's going to be a goofy horror comedy but it's actually a very good, very dark horror movie with a bit of a kitchen-sink drama feel to it.
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John Llewellyn Probert (John_l_probert)
Username: John_l_probert

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 194.176.105.133
Posted on Monday, September 03, 2012 - 05:23 pm:   

We saw ISOLATION this weekend & loved it - review going up on House of Mortal Cinema very soon.
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Craig (Craig)
Username: Craig

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 99.126.164.88
Posted on Monday, September 03, 2012 - 05:56 pm:   

Has anyone seen the indie horror ENTRANCE, from this year? Stephen King praised it very highly, called it an intentionally slow moving, but ultimately deeply disturbing horror film: "...My anxiety built up almost to Blair Witch Project levels." It's now available on iTunes and maybe other rental outlets.
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John Llewellyn Probert (John_l_probert)
Username: John_l_probert

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.131.45.253
Posted on Monday, September 03, 2012 - 10:22 pm:   

And here it is:

http://johnlprobert.blogspot.co.uk/2012/09/isolation-2005.html
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Paul_finch (Paul_finch)
Username: Paul_finch

Registered: 11-2009
Posted From: 92.5.56.126
Posted on Tuesday, September 04, 2012 - 09:41 pm:   

Apologies if I gave too much away re. THE INTRUDERS and therefore introduced an unexpected spoiler. I totally didn't think.
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Protodroid (Protodroid)
Username: Protodroid

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 109.79.119.13
Posted on Wednesday, September 05, 2012 - 08:03 pm:   

The first ten minutes of OUTCAST are over-produced with wobbly camera (I thought that had gone away for good) and that high-pitched metallic whine that is used today in every horror film instead of music (I wish that would go next). I'll slog through the rest of it.

There are so many horror films now that it feels like slashing through a thick carpet of autumn leaves.
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Paul_finch (Paul_finch)
Username: Paul_finch

Registered: 11-2009
Posted From: 92.5.45.10
Posted on Sunday, October 07, 2012 - 11:16 pm:   

Here's another one for the pot ...

THE PACT - A biker chick returns home for the funeral of her mother, only to learn that her prim and proper family had some dark, deadly secrets ...

An interesting premise is somehow lost in a ponderously slow narrative, the end denouement to which is neither exciting nor surprising. A couple of good shock moments don't allay this, nor do they forgive the non-existent characterisation; even though it's vital to the plot, you don't get to know anyone in this movie, either the living or the dead. In addition, California tract houses have to be the least atmospheric backdrop on Earth for ghost stories. Nothing here is scary.
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Weber (Weber_gregston)
Username: Weber_gregston

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 82.145.216.31
Posted on Monday, October 08, 2012 - 01:22 am:   

Picked up a couple of films at grimmfest. Siege of the dead and something called the Devil's Rock.
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Paul_finch (Paul_finch)
Username: Paul_finch

Registered: 11-2009
Posted From: 92.5.45.10
Posted on Monday, October 08, 2012 - 01:40 am:   

You'll like the second one ; >
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Craig (Craig)
Username: Craig

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 99.126.164.88
Posted on Monday, October 08, 2012 - 07:45 am:   

California tract houses have to be the least atmospheric backdrop on Earth for ghost stories. Nothing here is scary.

The price of gasoline nearby, is pretty damned scary....
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Paul_finch (Paul_finch)
Username: Paul_finch

Registered: 11-2009
Posted From: 92.5.35.162
Posted on Tuesday, October 16, 2012 - 10:57 pm:   

I finally got to see it ...

SINISTER - a true crime author rents the house where a savage multiple murder occurred, hoping it will awaken his muse. But instead it awakens something else ...

A good, serviceable, scary little horror movie, and an admirable example of what you can actually achieve with a relatively low budget. An effective combo of ghost, occult and slasher concepts, which works well on each level. I had a couple of personal issues with certain plot devices, but otherwise was thoroughly entertained - spooked and intrigued in equal measure - for the whole of its slightly-longer-than-necessary running time.
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Ramsey Campbell (Ramsey)
Username: Ramsey

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 92.8.25.245
Posted on Wednesday, October 17, 2012 - 11:52 am:   

I liked Sinister on the whole, though I did think the children (you know the ones I mean) could have used a little CGI or something similar.
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Paul_finch (Paul_finch)
Username: Paul_finch

Registered: 11-2009
Posted From: 92.5.36.73
Posted on Wednesday, October 17, 2012 - 01:15 pm:   

Agreed, Ramsey. I found the kids the least effective part of it, though overall the sustained chills did it for me, if you know what I mean.
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Protodroid (Protodroid)
Username: Protodroid

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 147.252.233.44
Posted on Wednesday, October 17, 2012 - 05:11 pm:   

I had dismissed this, but then saw Ethan Hawke was attached. He rarely chooses to be in a bad film. Looking forward to it!

PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 3 looks darned good, from the scraps of it I can bear to watch so far. It's intolerably tense simply because it's tapped into our primal nervous system. It's not completely dumb, though, at least it's largely bloodless and some of the setups are cleverly put together.

It's like a scary Turner prize winner.
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Tony (Tony)
Username: Tony

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 217.44.186.70
Posted on Wednesday, October 17, 2012 - 06:47 pm:   

It's excellent, Proto.
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Weber (Weber_gregston)
Username: Weber_gregston

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.147.142.241
Posted on Wednesday, October 17, 2012 - 07:49 pm:   

http://www.knibbworld.com/campbelldiscuss/messages/1/5930.html?1349952977

My thoughts on Sinister are in here
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Gary Fry (Gary_fry)
Username: Gary_fry

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.31.88.121
Posted on Wednesday, October 17, 2012 - 08:31 pm:   

I never thought I'd ever say this, but I agree with everything Weber wrote in that review.

I'm now going to book an extra appointment with my shrink.

Btw, "lawn work".
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Weber (Weber_gregston)
Username: Weber_gregston

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.147.142.241
Posted on Thursday, October 18, 2012 - 12:31 am:   

I take your lawn work and raise you a Pool party. That seemed more nightmarish to me.
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Craig (Craig)
Username: Craig

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 99.126.164.88
Posted on Sunday, October 21, 2012 - 05:45 am:   

My thoughts on this one not yet released (will be early 2013)? Looks good—looks mighty Campbellian.... http://youtu.be/SK5QnOdMgL4
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Paul_finch (Paul_finch)
Username: Paul_finch

Registered: 11-2009
Posted From: 92.5.51.229
Posted on Friday, October 26, 2012 - 11:32 pm:   

Here's another one for the pot -

ABRAHAM LINCOLN: VAMPIRE HUNTER - Abe Lincoln wasn't just a famous politician, he was also an axe-wielding superhero who waged a secret war against the children of the night ...

I'm not going to slag this one off, because anyone who can get an idea as patently daft as this funded and produced deserves all the praise we can heap on him. In fact, I imagine a movie like this is impervious to criticism anyway, because anyone going watching it will surely expect nothing more than embarrassing nonsense, and that's exactly what you get. Personally I hated it, but then I have an in-built resistance to American moves set in the 19th century which talk about the Native Americans being "killed off by vampires", and get moralistic about "the Europeans and their slaves".
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Mbfg (Mbfg)
Username: Mbfg

Registered: 09-2010
Posted From: 62.255.207.128
Posted on Saturday, October 27, 2012 - 12:35 am:   

I've just watched "Killer Joe", William Friedkin's latest film and an absolute, dark-hearted, brooding, savage masterpiece. If you haven't seen it, make sure youy do, no excuses. There are no vampires or demons, but it's still the best horror film, and Matthew McConaughey's Joe Cooper the best monster, I've seen this year.

Cheers
Terry
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Paul_finch (Paul_finch)
Username: Paul_finch

Registered: 11-2009
Posted From: 92.5.51.229
Posted on Saturday, October 27, 2012 - 12:36 am:   

Heard all about that, Terry. Will be watching at the first opportunity.
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Weber (Weber_gregston)
Username: Weber_gregston

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 82.145.208.227
Posted on Saturday, October 27, 2012 - 01:06 am:   

I can't eat kentucky fried chicken any more
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Joel (Joel)
Username: Joel

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 2.24.29.195
Posted on Saturday, October 27, 2012 - 08:17 am:   

Neither can I. The chicken is of such poor quality and is so dry, smothered in a sugar-based coating that puts its carbohydrate content above a pizza, that it's a dismal experience. The food weighs in your stomach like E-number coated lead, and spoils your next three meals. It was a decent enough franchise twenty years ago, but now it's bad news.

Or did you have some film in mind?
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Gary Fry (Gary_fry)
Username: Gary_fry

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 82.26.131.123
Posted on Saturday, October 27, 2012 - 08:45 am:   

My expenses at work show a decline in either a) my capacity to digest garbage; b) the quality of fast food.

Five years ago, my receipts were for burgers and pizza. Now they're for things like king prawn pasta salad.
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Mick Curtis (Mick)
Username: Mick

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.176.179.114
Posted on Saturday, October 27, 2012 - 11:15 am:   

My thoughts on this one not yet released (will be early 2013)? Looks good—looks mighty Campbellian.... http://youtu.be/SK5QnOdMgL4

Craig, I'm sure this is based on a short, just showing the kids trying to sneak out of the house ("don't look at her"). I'll try to track it down...
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Mick Curtis (Mick)
Username: Mick

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.176.179.114
Posted on Saturday, October 27, 2012 - 11:21 am:   

Ah - here it is:-

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UPmycZaJYNw

Same title, which made it easy to find!
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Paul_finch (Paul_finch)
Username: Paul_finch

Registered: 11-2009
Posted From: 92.5.51.229
Posted on Saturday, October 27, 2012 - 11:47 am:   

Next one up ...

THE CHERNOBYL DIARIES - US kids travel to Europe, end up in Russia, and opt for some extreme tourism when a former Spetsnaz guy offers to take them to the ruins of 'reactor town' Chernobyl ...

Given the very different location and the neat concept, this was one I really wanted to like, and I wasn't totally disappointed. Creepy moments abound as our heroes peruse the abandoned town - surely one of the eeriest locations I've seen used in a modern horror movie - and as usual, there is a plethora of slam-bang jump moments. But ultimately the pay-off fails to live up to the rest of the movie. Seemed as if the producers had come up with this great but basic idea, and only realised too late that they didn't really know how to finish it. A pity, when they touched several times in throw-away dialogue on what would have been, IMO, a much better premise.
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Protodroid (Protodroid)
Username: Protodroid

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 109.79.197.168
Posted on Tuesday, October 30, 2012 - 01:16 am:   

A new old film: NIGHTBREED - THE CABAL CUT screened in Dublin tonight. Down the years I've been very fond of NIGHTBREED and have a happy memory of first seeing it in the cinema in 1990. 22 years later and the running time has been expanded to 2.5 hours with (rough-looking) footage found on a VHS tape.

I'm afraid I have to report that it doesn't appear that NIGHTBREED is a lost masterpiece. In every instance, I found myself siding with the studio which made the cuts. The extra footage adds nothing. Worse, seeing it on the big screen I realised what a remarkably silly, sometimes embarrassing film NIGHTBREED actually is. There are some nice moments and a pleasant, lush score, but over all it remains the iceberg to what could have been Clive Barker's titanic career.

(Some caveats, adjust your expectations accordingly: the footage was in a poor condition. I walked out with about an hour left to go.)
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Craig (Craig)
Username: Craig

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 99.126.164.88
Posted on Tuesday, October 30, 2012 - 04:24 am:   

I had seen that short, Mick, and it was very creepy; it was totally context-less, and that made it all the creepier. I think it was truly shot that way, too, as if sliced from the center of a pre-existing horror movie that never actually existed (much like the fake trailers for Tarrantino/Rodriguez's Grindhouse)—gosh, I think I got that right. I hope so, because if so, that is just brilliant!
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Weber (Weber_gregston)
Username: Weber_gregston

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 109.156.184.175
Posted on Tuesday, October 30, 2012 - 07:30 pm:   

Those comments on Nightbred the Cabal cut are pretty much the exact opposite of the audience at Grimm Up North. The guy who's put it together was saying as well that when Clive Barker watched it, his only note was to turn down the volume of the background music in 2 scenes.

The film now is the film of the book, as opposed to the mess the producers turned it into originally, wrecking the storyline to fit the idiot demographic they assue are the only audience for horror films.
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Craig (Craig)
Username: Craig

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 99.126.164.88
Posted on Wednesday, October 31, 2012 - 03:27 am:   

I'm having Cronenberg's The Fly on in the background right now... it's towards the middle/end, when the heavy transformations are taking place... and is it just me seeing things differently, or is this film beyond shoddy? Jeff Goldblum seems to be channeling Woody Allen; Gena Davis' acting is wretched; the direction is wooden; the story, ludicrous beyond measure. Maybe it's not always good revisiting things, when they're already doing perfectly fine, not harming anyone, in your memory....
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Hubert (Hubert)
Username: Hubert

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 178.116.55.117
Posted on Wednesday, October 31, 2012 - 09:35 am:   

I have come to prefer the sequel: the effects are superior to the first film and the scene with the dog in the vault is heart-wrenching.
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Protodroid (Protodroid)
Username: Protodroid

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 109.79.182.137
Posted on Wednesday, October 31, 2012 - 10:40 am:   

Not horror... or is it?

"Disney said that the plan is to release a new Star Wars film every two to three years after bringing out Star Wars Episode 7 in 2015

If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face - for ever."
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Protodroid (Protodroid)
Username: Protodroid

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 109.79.182.137
Posted on Wednesday, October 31, 2012 - 11:05 am:   

"This transaction combines a world-class portfolio of content including Star Wars, one of the greatest family entertainment franchises of all time, with Disney's unique and unparalleled creativity across multiple platforms, businesses, and markets to generate sustained growth and drive significant long-term value."

Sustained growth? Significant long-term value?
So it's all about the art, isn't it?
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Tony (Tony)
Username: Tony

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 217.43.247.185
Posted on Wednesday, October 31, 2012 - 11:08 am:   

God - and mayhap of the quality of the Narnia films. Let's hope they're spinoffs, not canon. My kids are excited about them, though, and maybe their attitude is the right one?
I rewatched 28 Days Later last night and it hasn't aged well either. It has the punky/arty feel of a pop video from the eighties, that vaguely Channel 4/Jarman air I never really liked. And the picture quality is AWFUL.
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Protodroid (Protodroid)
Username: Protodroid

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 109.79.182.137
Posted on Wednesday, October 31, 2012 - 11:35 am:   

Actually, I'm quite looking forward to a few trashy space-operas. Realizing just how bad NIGHTBREED was and walking out was liberating. It's one of the great life-affirming actions, the walk-out.

Yes, Danny Boyle's name on a film is a useful marker, like a skull-and-crossbones to me.
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Paul_finch (Paul_finch)
Username: Paul_finch

Registered: 11-2009
Posted From: 92.5.32.182
Posted on Wednesday, October 31, 2012 - 11:55 am:   

The big problem I have with Star Wars - and it's a lasting one - is that I could never forgive them for filling the grand finale of the first three movies (which were okay in my book, if not brilliant) with living teddy bears.

Surely someone somewhere down the line lost their job for that judgement call? Or was it George Lucas himself? Possibly it was, because another epic clanger came a couple of movies later on, when we were expected to believe that Darth Vader was once Kevin the Teenager with a light sabre.

The alien who strutted around like John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever was another error, but that was a minor gripe compared to the other two, which, frankly, were deal-breakers.

Too many colossally bad calls for me. Star Wars can do one.
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Weber (Weber_gregston)
Username: Weber_gregston

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 82.145.216.61
Posted on Wednesday, October 31, 2012 - 12:25 pm:   

I've yet to see a danny boyle film that i've disliked. Even though on paper several of them sound to me like the sort of thing i truly despise, i've always found them well paced, well acted, beautifully shot and thoroughly entertaining. Oh and i love the soundtracks on all of them.
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Hubert (Hubert)
Username: Hubert

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 178.116.55.117
Posted on Wednesday, October 31, 2012 - 04:18 pm:   

I have a problem with the kiddie fodder aspect of most of the aliens in Star Wars - recall the lenghty Wacky Races sequence in The Phantom Menace. The jedi versus Sith bit (the only stuff that really matters in all six films) was well developed imho. Thank the Force for actors like Ian McDiarmid.
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David_lees (David_lees)
Username: David_lees

Registered: 12-2011
Posted From: 92.16.241.44
Posted on Wednesday, October 31, 2012 - 05:58 pm:   

The Star Wars films couldn't possibly get any worse at this stage, could they?
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Mbfg (Mbfg)
Username: Mbfg

Registered: 09-2010
Posted From: 62.255.207.128
Posted on Sunday, November 11, 2012 - 07:29 pm:   

Too many haunted houses!

I saw "Red lights" on DVD on Friday night. Fair film, good attempt at something different. I liked it although it was strange in many ways. By strange I mean the plot, the structure...

However, ther were three trailers and each one for a haunted house film. Has the horror film industry finally run out of ideas? Come on, there's more to supernatural storytelling than "Gee, this new house is where we feel we really belong, but oh no, there's a dark secret in the attic and we are now all under threat...blah blah blah."

Am I wrong, are there too many haunted houses which all seem to be exactly the same, or am I being a cumudgeon?

Cheers
Terry
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Paul_finch (Paul_finch)
Username: Paul_finch

Registered: 11-2009
Posted From: 92.5.33.174
Posted on Sunday, November 18, 2012 - 01:00 pm:   

Haunted houses are currently in, Terry.

Hollywood has several haunted house movies in development. And the reason, as usual, is financial. Just as SAW was an unexpected hit and thus kick-started the torture-porn franchise, the success of PARANORMAL ACTIVITY has caught the attention of studio execs, who are now gambling that the same audience will go and watch other similar flicks. INSIDIOUS also did well, as did SINISTER, so thus far it's paying off for them, and they'll keep it going as long as they can.

It's very frustrating for us fans of the genre, but I suppose we should at least be glad stuff is being produced that isn't all sequels and remakes (though doubtless we'll see some of those too).
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Weber (Weber_gregston)
Username: Weber_gregston

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 109.145.132.209
Posted on Sunday, November 18, 2012 - 01:26 pm:   

When stuff as good as Sinister is coming out, it's not frustrating.

Haunted houses aren't as ubiquitous as zombies yet. The fact that there are several horror films (of any type) to choose from coming from the major studios is something to be celebrated IMHO.

If you can track down Wake up and Die I think you'll enjoy that if you're looking for something different. In the Grimm Up North thread I described it as a naked and violent take on Groundhog Day. After Sinister it was probably my favourite straight horror film of the festival.
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Tony (Tony)
Username: Tony

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 217.42.53.100
Posted on Sunday, November 18, 2012 - 08:48 pm:   

I prefer haunted house movies to zombie movies at the moment. Looks like I'm not alone.
I'm glad ghosts are 'in' - a few years back they seemed something of an embarrassment.
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Protodroid (Protodroid)
Username: Protodroid

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 109.79.110.53
Posted on Sunday, November 18, 2012 - 09:26 pm:   

I really like the HorrorEtc podcast. Just discovered it over Hallowe'en. Anyone else hear it? It's mostly film-based.

Here's their ghost story episode:
http://www.horroretc.com/2008/03/18/episode-21-ghost-movies/

If you like it, this is like buried treasure, as there's a 5-year archive of podcasts from them.

(The only thing I don't like is when they report real life horrible stories from the papers around the world and joke about them, as if there's no distinction between real life and fictional horror. I was really surprised by this as otherwise they seem like decent and intelligent hosts.)
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Lincoln (Lincoln_brown)
Username: Lincoln_brown

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 121.219.67.96
Posted on Monday, November 19, 2012 - 10:06 am:   

Watched 'The Innkeepers' last night, and really enjoyed it - but it seems to be a love it or hate it film. Nice to watch a horror film that doesn't rely on 'found footage', or over the top, mean spirited violence and torture. The performances were great, and it's really well shot. Has me keen to watch 'House of the Devil', finally!
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Tony (Tony)
Username: Tony

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 217.42.53.100
Posted on Monday, November 19, 2012 - 11:46 am:   

House of the Devil is even more thumb-twiddly than Inn! I have no recollection of any incidents in either. :-(
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Paul_finch (Paul_finch)
Username: Paul_finch

Registered: 11-2009
Posted From: 92.5.37.102
Posted on Monday, November 19, 2012 - 05:11 pm:   

I should perhaps add that I'm not frustrated about haunted house movies - any new horror is music to my ears - but to the fact that these new movies only happen when the studio execs decide they're 'in', and then we get a plethora of them.

When nothing is in, we have only the independents to rely on, assuming they can cobble together the cash, and of course the ongoing rash of remakes and sequels. Want proof - the remake of the remake of TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE will be out next year (along with WOMAN IN BLACK 2).

Aren't those titles to look forward to?
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Weber (Weber_gregston)
Username: Weber_gregston

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 82.145.209.11
Posted on Monday, November 19, 2012 - 05:41 pm:   

They only remade tcm about 10 years ago. The gaps are getting shorter. At this rate in 2050 there'll be 5 seperate new versions of it released.
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Joel (Joel)
Username: Joel

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 217.37.199.45
Posted on Tuesday, November 20, 2012 - 01:20 pm:   

A long way to go before it catches up with the 793 remakes of Night of the Living Dead – 792 of them with different titles, set in other countries, etc.
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Des (Des)
Username: Des

Registered: 09-2010
Posted From: 86.146.239.121
Posted on Tuesday, November 20, 2012 - 10:04 pm:   

I just watched a film entitled SALVAGE on BBC iPlayer. Are all horror films as nasty as this one these days? I don't think I've seen a proper Horror film for some years.
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Gary Fry (Gary_fry)
Username: Gary_fry

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 2.102.69.69
Posted on Tuesday, November 20, 2012 - 11:35 pm:   

Try Sinister, Des.
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Weber (Weber_gregston)
Username: Weber_gregston

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 109.145.132.209
Posted on Wednesday, November 21, 2012 - 02:25 am:   

I watched one the other nght - probably not technically horror - but it was certainly quite a disturbing little piece.

The Scouting Book for Boys - Thomas Turgoose shows some acting range beyond his usual in a tale of a pair of teens who, when the girl is told she's going to be sent to live with her Dad, hide her in a cave nearby. Things start off amiably but Turgoose's relationship with the girl becomes increasingly warped, along with the lies and stories he tells the outside world.

The ending was ... well I don't want to spoil it, but it's certainly not one that leaves the memory easily.
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Tony (Tony)
Username: Tony

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 217.42.53.100
Posted on Wednesday, November 21, 2012 - 10:23 am:   

Des hasn't seen Donnie Darko btw. I'm starting a petition to force him to. :-)
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Tony (Tony)
Username: Tony

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 217.42.53.100
Posted on Wednesday, November 21, 2012 - 10:24 am:   

(I am joking - if anything is guaranteed to put you off a film it's being forced to watch it. But I think he would like it.)
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Craig (Craig)
Username: Craig

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 99.126.164.88
Posted on Wednesday, November 21, 2012 - 04:18 pm:   

Seen ANTICHRIST, Des? Despite its flaws (imho, and mentioned by me on another thread), it still has more the overall feel of a classic modern/contemporary horror story, than a film....
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Weber (Weber_gregston)
Username: Weber_gregston

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 217.212.230.75
Posted on Wednesday, November 21, 2012 - 05:40 pm:   

Considering how much des loves his retro-causality, donnie darko seems like an ideal film.
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David_lees (David_lees)
Username: David_lees

Registered: 12-2011
Posted From: 92.22.34.155
Posted on Thursday, November 22, 2012 - 12:31 am:   

I can top the TCM remakes. There's a direct-to-DVD sequel to the 2011 Fright Night remake in production which, judging by the plot synopsis, is itself a remake of the remake.

“When high school student Charlie attends a study abroad program with his horror obsessed friend “Evil” Ed and ex-girlfriend AMY in Romania, he soon discovers their young attractive professor Gerri (Jaime Murray) is a real life vampire. Too bad no one believes him. In fact, Evil Ed finds it amusing and it only feeds his vampire obsession. When Gerri turns Ed, Charlie seeks out Peter Vincent, the infamous vampire hunter (well, he plays one on TV) who is in Romania filming his show “Fright Night,” to teach him how to take down Gerri before she gets to Amy, who’s blood will cure Gerri of spending eternity as a vampire.”
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Tony (Tony)
Username: Tony

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 217.42.53.100
Posted on Thursday, November 22, 2012 - 09:59 am:   

I just watched and loved two very different films last night - the third Twilight film, Eclipse, which blew me away it was so good. There is a scene in a tent at one point between the three characters when suddenly it dawns on you that the makers of the film have pulled off an amazing feat; you care for and believe in these characters, and are even glad to be in their company. The Twilights get scoffed at but they have become good cinema - at least for me. The other film was Hostel 3, a film I never wanted to see because it seemed such a horrible idea - I get uneasy seeing women getting hurt in film. But here it was on the TV while I was channel hopping, and there I was being sucked into it and wincing and feeling upset. And then there it is being gripping and convincing, hoping things could turn out 'right'. Not a dumb horror film but rather one with a brain, making you think about motives and the complexity of people and poverty and greed. An excellent film.
And as I said on FB - horror is a sort of psychic litmus test; if you are upset by something be glad that you are - it means something's right with you.
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David_lees (David_lees)
Username: David_lees

Registered: 12-2011
Posted From: 92.22.10.204
Posted on Friday, November 23, 2012 - 02:31 pm:   

I remember being quite amused and dismayed at the same time when Martyrs came out and horror movie websites and forums were full of men who were genuinely angry that a movie about the torture of women had managed to upset them. They had expected to be entertained, dammit!
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Tony (Tony)
Username: Tony

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 217.42.53.100
Posted on Friday, November 23, 2012 - 07:06 pm:   

I once read a book on the sexual fantasies and experiences of women. There were women in there who had actually had sex with dogs, and one woman who used to fantasise often about the time she was raped. I wonder, this book, if it was filmed, would cause an outrage. And yet, in film, we really are unable to consider that between takes the women and men are chatting and having coffees, that film is fantasy, fiction, that the women have agreed to take part in. And yet - maybe being shocked, like I said, is GOOD?
I never used to think like this till Hostel 2.
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Tony (Tony)
Username: Tony

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 217.42.53.100
Posted on Friday, November 23, 2012 - 07:07 pm:   

Humour, I think, softened the blow in the hostel films. I decided today that you can get away with anything (and still make points) with humour to oil the cogs.
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David_lees (David_lees)
Username: David_lees

Registered: 12-2011
Posted From: 92.22.10.204
Posted on Tuesday, December 04, 2012 - 01:36 am:   

Speaking of the fad for haunted house movies, it looks like Guillermo del Toro is going to tackle one too in the next couple of years:

"Guillermo Del Toro (Pan’s Labyrinth, Hellboy, Pacific Rim) has officially announced that Crimson Peak will be his next feature venture behind the camera. The film is set to start shooting in early 2014, allowing him to finish post-production on Pacific Rim and direct his TV Pilot for “The Strain” (based on the vampire books he co-authored with Chuck Hogan). Legendary Pictures will produce with the expectation it will release through its deal with Warner Bros. In the meantime he’ll be doing a new draft of the script with Lucinda Coxon (Wild Target).

What is Crimson Peak? It sounds like a big-budget tackling of the terrain staked out by many of our favorite Haunted House movies, from classics such as The Haunting all the way up to Kubrick’s version of The Shining, which Del Toro seems to have a particular affinity for. Speaking of that film he told Deadline, “[it's] another Mount Everest of the haunted house movie. I loved the way that Kubrick had such control over the big sets he used, and how much big production value there was. I think people are getting used to horror subjects done as found footage or B-value budgets. I wanted this to feel like a throwback.”

The closest he would get to describing Crimson Peak is this, “a very set-oriented, classical but at the same time modern take on the ghost story. It will allow me to play with the conventions of the genre I know and love, and at the same time subvert the old rules.”

Does this mean his adaptation of HP Lovecraft’s At The Mountains of Madness is dead? Nope! He hopes to bring Legendary Pictures – who I’m assuming are very happy with Pacific Rim to have gone in on this project – onto that one in the future as well."

http://bloody-disgusting.com/news/3206179/guillermo-del-toro-officially-directin g-crimson-peak-haunter-next
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Lincoln (Lincoln_brown)
Username: Lincoln_brown

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 121.219.108.247
Posted on Sunday, December 09, 2012 - 01:04 am:   

Was stinking hot down here yesterday, so after working for as long as I could, I went home and watched 'Kill List'. (with the blinds down and the aircon pumping!) Wife and son went to a friends pool for the day, so perfect time to watch something that I knew she wouldn't like.
What a great film! I went in knowing nothing at all about it, so every twist and turn was a surprise to me. I'm sure most here have seen it? If not - highly recommended.
Not horror, but, wife and I went to see 'Skyfall' during the week. Neither of us are Bond fans so we weren't sure what to expect. Well, we both loved it. This is how big budget action/thrillers should be. Going to watch the other two asap.
Also found time to watch 'The House of the Devil'. I know not many liked this one - I loved it. 80's vibe, babysitter in danger, inept satanists, creepy house - what's not to like?!
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Tony (Tony)
Username: Tony

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 217.42.53.100
Posted on Sunday, December 09, 2012 - 11:21 am:   

I enjoyed Kill List after the first half hour - it felt like you could see the director developing with every scene. I loved the sound design - so many eerie, unsettling things going on in it.
Talking of haunted house films, I still have a soft spot for The Haunting remake. That house was just awe-inspiring, I felt.
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Weber (Weber_gregston)
Username: Weber_gregston

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.129.56.121
Posted on Sunday, December 09, 2012 - 01:44 pm:   

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kZUPCB9533Y

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