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Red Eye (2005)
Well directed
15 September 2005
I had fun watching Red Eye. It's not a masterpiece, but it's well directed and structured. Cillian Murphy and Rachel McAdams are perfect in the role. Yes, it's the same old story with a different setting but Wes Craven gave it a good pace. At least not another Scream with the usual college killer. It's nice when you can see a clean, coherent thriller even when originality doesn't stand out as its main character. Particularly from a film-maker like Craven that has brought so many innovative ideas to the thriller and horror genre in the past and that now just lends himself to bringing home what could have been a good TV movie had it not been released theatrically. Good job!
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What a bore!
15 September 2005
With all of the resources to reprise the original idea and turn it into a wonderful re-read of this true story of possession, the remake is as boring a remake can be. I wasn't scared. And as soon as I finished I went back home and watched the original again on DVD. No comparison. Lots of chills. I find it hard to believe that no one can come up with a better idea than remaking an already wonderful original. I saw "Emily Rose" the other day: that's powerful! That's new! Horror needs new ideas, and if someone dares remaking a classic they'd better do it by innovating not plainly re-filming the original. This one, in addition to a poor screenplay, employ a directorial style that is completely deja-vu. And that in its attempt to chill ends up boring you.
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Xchange (2004)
Dreams within a dream
15 September 2005
Horror needs to redefine itself. The various Screams, Nightmares-on-Elm-Streets and the like have made their time. And if the changes to the genre come from a small overseas short movie, so be it! Unlike most horror shorts - at least those that circulate at genre festivals - this one reminds you more of Jack Clayton's "The Innocents" than most of the recent horror flicks. Shot in the style of "The Exorcist" (clean, slow and accurate as a mini-documentary), it tells you about a young guy who cannot sleep due to a sequence of repetitive bad dreams. It takes a short while to find out the dream is just a box for other nightmares that use the main one as a vehicle. Accompanied by a "classic style" soundtrack (no drums and electronics, at last!) and stylish photography, it develops its little story coherently and pleasantly. Welcome back, good old horror of the fifties!
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What an idea!
15 September 2005
You can say whatever you want about this film, but the idea underlying it is worth a 10. Mixing a court drama with an exorcism is I think one of the most brilliant and original ideas I have ever seen. And I think the movie develops it well. Set aside for what I think are wonderful performances by the main character, especially Laura Linney (remember her as a lawyer in "Primal fear"?), the structure of the story is almost perfect. Yes, there are "bugs" in the story (know any movie that doesn't?), but overall it's scary, compelling and innovative. I loved this movie, especially in a panorama of high school horrors I'm fed up with, and it's a powerful re-reading of the exorcism theme that not even the Exorcist sequel was able to accomplish. I wish there were more ideas like this, mixing different genres and creating something that is not necessarily aimed at easy scares. Kudos!
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