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Underrated atmospheric horror film
There are times while watching this that it reminds me of a Spanish take on Hellraiser, or something with a similar feel. It has atmosphere to burn and decent performances. It probably got buried upon release under a number of similar feeling films, but this one stood above. The threat is kept vague through most of it, and there are some great moments that really put you on the edge of your seat. Specifically the running from the lights as they go off and cast the tunnel into darkness. This technique has been used since in movies such as Vanishing on 7th Street and a dream sequence in The Descent, but it was done best here. Check this out, you should enjoy it.
The Shrine (2010)
Solid, fun horror flick for fans of the genre
I'll get this right out of the way - this movie didn't grab me at first. The first act has some problems with dialogue delivery and generally unlikeable characters.. but I gave the film time, and it really started to win me over. Some out-of-place CG fog notwithstanding, this is a very fun effort from the JACK BROOKS MONSTER SLAYER team (though I like Jack Brooks more). Partway through I started to care about everyone more, and by the end the film totally won me over. The last act is a ton of gory fun, feeling like a hybrid of The Exorcist, Rec 2 and The Evil Dead. Great practical make-up work. See this, I fully recommend.
Amazing slow-burn thriller with great performances....
There is not much bad I can say about this film. I can understand those that tear it apart, but only because the art of the slow-burn thriller is seemingly lost on the modern audience. This is one of those films where you take time to get to know the characters, discover fascinating things about them and then get to watch it build to a big gut punch of an ending. I stood up in the theatre and exclaimed "that was awesome" when I saw it, and yet heard the crowds moaning about how badly it "sucked" as I left the theatre. So, this film may be an acquired taste.
If you have a knowledge of the language of cinema though, and enjoy what is being attempted here, you should come away with the same rich experience I did. A special nod goes to the magnetic lead performance by Michael Shannon. Wow.
The Collapsed (2011)
Something different, despite it's low budget....
Probably going to polarize critics and viewers, since I'm not sure that I have seen a flick with this kind of pacing and structure before. I'll admit now that I've known about this for a while, since I caught the director's last film (a documentary called WORKING CLASS ROCK STAR) a few years ago and check in from time to time.. was curious what he'd do with a narrative.
While the film is far from perfect, it's a good time and enjoyable. The camera-work and score are top notch, the lead is very good, and the rest of the cast does a serviceable job considering the budget. Most of all, I really liked the different take on the end of the world... I'm not so sure I fully understand what "it" was, but I definitely get what "it" does, so by the end it's clear what has happened. By the end, it all makes sense.
I've read a bunch of reviews online, and they seem split. Some really like it, some outright hate it... I'd have to say judge for yourself. It's a good movie if you're open-minded and don't go in expecting THE ROAD or something like that (considering this was made for a fraction of that flick's catering budget). I really liked the atmosphere most of all... some really great tense moments brought up because of it.
Check it out - you probably won't be disappointed.
This was really cool
Saw this as part of the Fantastic Fest Online (which on it's own is a really great idea for a festival component). German short film about a drug deal in a club that goes horribly wrong.... at first I thought vampires, but there's a whole lot more going on than that. The film looks expensive, the effects are great the stunts are awesome. Looks like maybe it's the first part of a feature, trend I'm noticing a lot lately... fest shorts being chapter 1s to full flicks... (that upcoming flick The Eternal comes to mind, also Kitamura's Down To Hell and even Evil Dead started that way). At this point I'm just writing to fill space, the flick is only 20 minutes long. Recommended.
Working Class Rock Star (2008)
Says a lot that needs to be said
I caught this at a premiere screening in Toronto back in June. It was a cool night, they even had a concert following it under the same ticket price. I couldn't go to the concert, but I'm happy I saw the film. Afterward I talked briefly with the director, and apparently he shot most of this movie by himself, with his own money. All said pretty impressive considering what he managed to pull off.
In the film you follow 3 different bands, all of which seem pretty talented and down to earth people. Bloodshoteye and 3 Mile Scream are younger, but seem to really have their head in the game. Tub Ring seem to have more experience and been around longer. Was neat to see their lives and how they clash with the life on the road and in a band. There's also a bunch of interviews with people from bigger bands, like Lamb of God and GWAR. I found Dave Brockie (Oderus' real name) from GWAR to be funny as hell, and really insightful. Classic rocker Frank Marino comes off best though, saying some pretty eye opening things.
If you're a musician artist or anything I highly recommend this. Piracy, label changes, the good and the ugly are all covered here in some way. You don't have to be a metal fan either, but it helps. More people need to see this film.
The Devil's Chair (2007)
Pretty interesting sleight of hand horror flick fun
This flick borrows heavily from a lot of other sources, and isn't exactly as clever as it thinks it is. It's okay through the middle and loses steam for a bit. It gets interesting toward the end, some of it reminded me of Silent Hill or Hellraiser. The narration seems annoying, until you realize that the entire time the film is playing a game with you. I wish I had have seen it at TIFF last year but I'm happy with what I went to. This is worth the rental, and the dude from Snuff Box being in it is nice as well. All in all I'd say it's good, and at times a very brutal horror flick. I enjoyed the lead guy, he was good. It's nice to see horror that plays with the conventions of the genre like this.