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Pop Skull
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Reviews & Ratings for
Pop Skull More at IMDbPro »

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6 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Worth watching

Author: Alistar Baker from United States
27 September 2011

I was surprised by this film. It reminded me of some Japanese ghost stories I've seen, which are always unsettling especially after the film when you think it over, and those creepy images start to spill into your every day life. At the same time, Pop Skull featured some innovative depictions of hallucinatory states of mind which I thought were sometimes a little obscure, but other times a useful device for conveying complex emotional states in a character who is verbally rather simple. For some reasons, many of these images -- which are often juxtapositions, stops and starts, changes of speed, transformations, flickering and strobing--seem 'accurate'; in other words, though obscure, they convey a meaningful insight into the mind of a character, yet they leave a lot to the imagination, and make you wonder about the mysterious things lurking around in the psyche. Some may argue that they are just artsy, pretensions -- perhaps even a bit emoish and laughable. Perhaps. The last time I saw anything quite like it was in Gaspar Noe's 'Enter the Void', but the imagery in Pop Skull is more obscure and personal leaving a lot of mystery about exactly what the protagonist in the story is going through internally over a painful event in his life. The storyline itself is not that complicated, but the alternate realities that go along with the story add an intriguing element to the film. I think mood is the key strength of this film. There's a mood of confusion, depression, fear, and encroaching madness, that you expect from a good horror movie. I have to admit too, that I wasn't really expecting the film to go in the direction that it did. So it has some surprises, some mystery, and a good sense of pacing which builds up the suspense fairly well. To call this movie a horror story is fitting, but it is atypical for American horror films. I'll bet that David Lynch could appreciate this film for its power to suggest things to you rather than explicitly feed it to you. I would actually watch it again as I did with 'Enter the Void' just out of curiosity over the various levels of meaning the hallucinatory episodes suggest -- especially in how they tie into the plot, and relate to a characters thought process (however disjointed it may be). I'm looking forward to seeing some of Adam Wingard's other films now.

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11 out of 16 people found the following review useful:

Slower-Paced, Artsy Horror Film

5/10
Author: gavin6942 from United States
15 August 2009

A pill addict (Lane Hughes) confronts ghosts in this artsy, independent film directed by Adam Wingard. Not unlike other Halo Eight releases (such as "Devil's Muse"), this will cater to the more cultured horror fan, not necessarily the splatter-gore fan. Those who need constant, fast-paced stimulation will be bored and likely quickly become distracted. This is not just entertainment, but art put to celluloid.

Instead of giving a review -- really, what sums up this film is its beautiful vision and presentation, rather than a focus on the plot -- I wanted to clarify another review I read that says "Pop Skull" is for the viewer who "can remember your first heartache". Despite all the great things one can say about "Pop Skull", this review went over the top and needs a sense of grounding.

Hughes is compared to Jack Nicholson in "Five Easy Pieces" and Marlon Brando in "Last Tango in Paris". That's some heavy praise. I would hold off on judging Mr. Hughes until his next role, though I concur that he was the man for the job here. The film itself is compared to "Easy Rider", another Nicholson film. Again, this may be a stretch. "Easy Rider" is today a classic... "Pop Skull" is unlikely to achieve this level, and I'd be interested in hearing the reviewer's opinion after a second viewing in a few years.

The reviewer asks, rightly, "since when does conventional film-making imply superiority to something attempting to try something else?" This is a crucial question, both for this film and film in general. The formulaic structure of most movies and their film quality is accepted as the standard, but independent films need love, too, and often times the new concepts trump the tested methods. The reviewer craps on such so-called independent films as "Garden State" ("vapid") and "Saw" ("stupid"), which is unfair, in my opinion. These are both fine films, I think, just simply different from "Pop Skull". To dump on bigger budget indie films is just as discriminating as dumping on low budget indie films.

That is all I have to say. If you like the artsy films and have come to like what you see from Halo Eight, get this one. Buy it. Support indie film.

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7 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

Experimental tedium.

5/10
Author: HumanoidOfFlesh from Chyby, Poland
23 October 2008

"Pop Skull" should be an interesting film on many levels as it tells the story of alienation,depression and loneliness due to emotional breakdown.Daniel loses the one girl that he can't live without.She broke up with him to date an actor named Victor.His perception of reality is completely shattered as he trips on whatever he can get his hands on: over the counter drugs,prescriptions,tiny white pills,oblong pink ones.This results in the series of hallucinogenic nightmares...The main problem I have with "Pop Skull" is that it's pretty damn boring.The soundtrack is excellent,the acting is decent and the film leaves many questions unanswered.Admittedly the use of light and shadow is exceptional and there are some great filming techniques used,but the action is slow and lifeless.Just like a drug trip.I enjoyed Andrey Iskanov's similarly experimental "Visions of Suffering" more.5 out of 10.

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3 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Contemporary American Cerebral Horror/Psychological Thriller Gem

8/10
Author: walter radunsky from United States
16 October 2013

In the dark and fathomless depths of shallow contemporary American horror and thriller movies, "Pop Skull" stands as one of the seldom noticed beacons of light. It is not only Adam Wingard's finest picture to date, but one of the best in its genre. Like all great horror and thriller films, "Pop Skull" eludes categorization by invoking fear for something deeper and more interesting than simple jump scares. Juxtaposing hallucinogenic imagery with realistic dialogue, the film captures the essence of today's young generation, giving expression--through the strained words and cathartic thoughts and actions of its characters--to its fears within the context of it's other anxieties, such as loneliness, depression, confusion and aimlessness. Furthermore, by portraying something as common as heartbreak while illustrating a self-destructive addiction to what most people use and have easy access to, i.e., over-the-counter drugs, the narrative acts a disturbing reflection of the audience by connecting them to something they can all relate to and potentially experience. Simply put, "Pop Skull" is a film that manages to present the audience with an insightful social critique within the entertaining confines of the horror genre.

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9 out of 18 people found the following review useful:

About modern horror

10/10
Author: podolak-daniel from Poland
25 October 2008

The movie "Pop Skull" written by E.L Katz, Lane Hughes, and directed by Adam Wingard is in my opinion the example of an ideal horror. The story is about Daniel and his heartache which has been caused by his girlfriend. When they broke up, Daniel got depressed. He couldn't differentiate between dream and reality. The atmosphere of that movie is dark and creppy like the Edgar Allan Poe's prose. Wingard captured that sense of fear and put it on the screen, in every movie shot. "Pop Skull" has great music, noble photos and excellent acting.The main character Daniel played by Lane Hughes is so stunning and authentic. The movie language of Pop Skull is hard, obscure and dramatic. The Hounted motif was used very genuine and subtly. When you watch Pop skull it's impossible not to be scared.

Great job Adam.

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12 out of 32 people found the following review useful:

NEVER seen a movie so bad!

1/10
Author: milet from Poland
21 October 2008

Believe me, I saw lots of horror movies. But not even one compares to that waste of time that "Pop Skull" is. You thought "Haunted boat" or "Seven mummies" or "Chain reaction" are bad? Wait until you see this and bore yourself to death. Literally, with every passing minute of this movie you feel you life being sucked from you and you want to scream and scream again! I saw this at the cinema and half of the people just escaped from the theater after the first half, where nothing happened. Nothing happened in the second half either... And they call that horror, when there isn't a single scary moment in the whole movie!

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4 out of 18 people found the following review useful:

I want the 1 hour and 10 minutes of my life back

1/10
Author: Johnny Thrash from United States
16 October 2009

This movie has got to be the worst movie I have ever seen. Honestly I am sorry to say at and I'm sorry if the directors and actors read this, but its true. There is absolutely no horror in this film. My friend rented it and we watched along with some other friends and I'm telling you the truth out of the 6 of us that were watching the movie 4 fell asleep, including me. The other 2 left, and I then watched it the next day thinking I was just tired the day before, but no this film is lame. Im sorry to be so cruel, but I have no idea how this actually won any award or why people say it is the best low budget film made so far. If you wanna see a scary low budget movie then watch Paranormal Activity. In conclusion this movie is horrifying.... horrifyingly awful. I think the only way this movie will seem scary and good is if I'm either drunk,stoned, or a depressed emo kid. The only thing I did like about this move was the girl Morgan(Hannah Hughes) She looked really pretty.

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