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Breaking the Waves (1996)
Outstanding Faith overcoming Simple Logic
I was blown away by the story of this film, how unique it is. I'd never seen anything so compelling. The story is gripping, the performances were breathtaking, and the soundtrack truly brilliant. The way the film is set out leaves you almost feeling like you've read an incredibly engrossing novel.
It's an incredible story of outstanding faith overcoming even the most simple logic in the name of undying love. Where sacrifice begets sacrifice and ultimately without the least regret. It's powerful, heart-wrenching and disturbing, yet with so much beauty, love and heart.
This is one HELL (okay, a little pun there) of an excellent horror movie - and I really mean that. A lot of people disregard it for it's low budget, amateurish acting and poorly written dialogue.
These people however, I think are completely ignoring the fact that the story in itself was incredibly original.
A nineteen year old is brutally attacked and slain in her basement by a local madman by the name of Duke Desmond. However, after her murder, she finds herself reliving the same morning she was killed. Trying to disregard her strange sense of deja V, she convinces herself that her murder was just a terribly convincing dream, and tries to go on with her life - however going on with her life isn't possible anymore, she seems to have fallen into a strange limbo of reliving the same day over and over.
Her dream begins to turn reality, she's seeing Duke everywhere, and haunted by his presence - even after the police have assured her Duke was killed a week previous.
The ending is absolute genius, which will leave some of you thinking "what the--?" and the more perceptive of you thinking "oh, wow! Now I get it!" I really have to recommend this movie to any horror movie buff. If you like movies like "The Sixth Sense" then this is for you...it leaves you thinking. It's incredibly psychological, although there is some gore and one particularly disturbing scene. Be ready, that's all I'm saying.
Open Water (2003)
My Disappointment (containing spoilers)
This movie, widely advertised worldwide, was an immense letdown for me, I sat there in my seat at the movie theatre for an hour and a half - an hour and a half of my life I can never get back - watching one of the least entertaining films ever made.
The movie is based on a true story - a couple go scuba diving out in the middle of the ocean in water that unknown to them, is teeming with sharks. The guy in charge of the group scuba dive miscounts them and leaves them behind in the open water. If for one moment you think that just because this is based on a true story that it all ends happily ever after - think again.
The movie consists of about twenty minutes of boring set up - including a sex scene and nudity that seemed to have no place there (although I think it was the only point of interest in the movie for the male population who saw it). For the next hour and ten minutes, we have people floating in open water - floating and that's about it (and if you're lucky you might see one swim for 2 seconds). The dialogue is...particularly bad, the action is non-existant. The ending itself leaves you feeling particularly jipped altogether, and you'll be sorry you ever wasted money seeing it at all.
It's sad that the couple who this tragic story is based on have been immortalised in a badly made movie. This movie, I feel should never have been made, and I think that this couple who WERE ravaged by sharks must be turning in their graves (if they have them, God Rest their poor souls) at this.
The original "Blair Witch Project" movie was perhaps one of the frightening things to watch, perhaps because it was unexplained, it was psychological, and you were in the same boat as the students, knowing as little as they knew about what was happening.
However, with the release of this (mediocre) sequel, the original movie seems somewhat spoiled, and nothing more than seemingly descent into madness rather than a ghost/horror story. Blair Witch 2 is nothing more than violence, vulgar language and nudity and a couple of cheap special effects. However a few characters were interesting, Kim stood out, the gothic psychic who was portrayed much more realistically than goths usually are.
The plot does give some clues perhaps as to what might have happened at the end of the first Blair Witch movie, however, the possibility of what "might" have happened leaves you feeling ripped off. Not knowing is better, it leaves you with more possibilities.
Don't watch this movie if you're a fan of the first movie, it may just ruin your love for it.
The story and the characters were very interesting and while I'm sure that comic readers everywhere will be no doubt impressed I have yet to wonder if some will also be disappointed?
The acting was substantial, and the plot started out to be appealing, but the story didn't live out it's full potential and could have brought a lot more interesting elements.
I also feel there weren't enough action sequences. If there had been a little more action, it would have perhaps boosted the movie up a little.
I'm not adding spoilers here but there wasn't enough "oomph" in the finale to leave you with a satisfied feeling at the end of the movie, and as with most comic-book to movie transitions, I expect a sequel will be already planned out.
I'd give it three stars out of five ***
The Ring (2002)
Every now and then a movie comes along that blows you away, and leaves you with much thought, and astounds you with its unpredictability. This is one of those movies.
The fact that makes the film so much more psychological is that it is set along the lines of an Urban Legend/Ghost Story, and the horror is something you can't exactly see.
The film itself is full of dismal dark and dingy atmosphere, and the kind of plotline that keeps you glued to the seat (perhaps though sitting right at the edge of it).
While the movie leaves you in much confusion, as it slowly progresses it begins to all come together at the end and make sense (much as most movies do), don't let your confusion deter you from watching it right to the end, it's worth it for the finale.
Joy Ride (2001)
The story: Lewis Thomas, a freshman in college, on the spur of a moment buys a car to go pick up his love interest in Colorado. On the way stops to bail his older brother Fuller out of jail. Together they continue the journey to Colorado, and Fuller has a CB radio installed into the car. But soon, what begins as Fuller's attempt to prank a lonely trucker turns into a nightmare of simply messing with the wrong man.
Full of some incredibly well done shots, beautifully lit scenes and some witty one-liners by Steve Zahn, this movie is definately worth a watch and takes you along for the ride, with the kind of suspense that leaves you sitting on the edge of your seat. I'd give it five ***** out of five