Monday, January 29, 2007


--Reviewed by Lindy Loo

Plotline: Franka Potente, a brilliant med-student, begins her stint at an elite medical school. What appear to be strange pranks involving some of the dead bodies soon reveal themselves to have the markings of an old secret society, and a conspiracy ensues.

Scariness factor: Boo.

Gross-Out Factor: It takes place in an anatomy lab, so lots of bodies. And some surgery. And some cutting.

Complaints: So yeah, maybe I should've known that it was gonna be a lame-ass movie based on the tag-line ("The subject is you"), but it had Franka Potente in it, and I heart Franka Potente. So I got sucked into the illusion. But man was this movie boring. It didn't even TRY to make you curious as to who was doing what and why. It just was kinda like "Uh yeah, that's who did it. Uh, yeah, that's why they did it." So basically, there was nothing that was drawing you forwards and compelling you to sit through the whole damn thing. Other than Franka Potente.

High Points: The creepy dead-body exhibits. They were sweet and made me wish I had seen the Body Worlds exhibit while it was in Cleveland. *Sigh*

Overall: I was so extremely bored by this movie that it just didn't seem right that Franka Potente was in it to keep me watching. And it was a German flick, so I thought it would somehow be better. Damnable American-ified Germans!

Grade: D


Monday, January 22, 2007


--Reviewed by Lindy Loo

Plotline: A mad-scientist figures out a way to re-animate the dead with a special serum. When he moves in with a fellow med-student, the med-student and his girlfriend accidentally become involved in the mad-scientist's crazy scheming. End results: headless corpses that think and speak and like to go down on chicks.

Scariness factor: Creepy, though not scary. Moreso campy-creepiness.

Gross-Out Factor: Lots of blood. Blood dribbling from mouths. Blood gushing out of eyeballs. Blood exploding from smooshed heads.

Complaints: This movie makes no sense (a decapitated head is able to function, speak, and breathe without any hook-ups to the appropriate lower-body parts--um, not so much anatomically correct, I'm thinking), but then again, I don't think it was supposed to.

High Points: I like this movie. Quite a bit. I've seen it before, but I enjoyed it even more this time. You love to hate the mad-scientist. The acting is sufficiently crappy without being TOO crappy. It's funny. It's campy. It has good pacing and doesn't bore. It's silly enough to be entertaining. It makes little sense, but is unapologetic about this fact. And it has old-school special fx, which always take a warm-spot in my heart.

Overall: This movie is just plain-old fun and entertaining. If you're looking for a good, goofbally horror movie to spend 80+ minutes watching, check it out. It won't disappoint.

Grade: A


Hard Candy

--Reviewed by Lindy Loo

Plotline: A 14-year old girl meets a 32-year old photographer over the internet, and they eventually make plans to meet. Their meeting ends with her going home with him, to a rather isolated house in the hills. Nothing good can, of course, come of this.

Scariness factor: Not so much jump-in-your-seat scary (though there were a few instances of these) as it is rattling and horrifying.

Gross-Out Factor: Most of it is left up to your imagination, though there is some blood and violence.

Complaints: Honestly, I'm at a loss. At worst, maybe I could complain about the fact that this movie rides the fine line between horror and thriller, and those of you going to see it expecting horror might be disappointed. But even that isn't so much a fault of the movie as it is a fault of marketing.

High Points: This movie was fantastic. 100% bonafide fantasticness. I wish I could gush about actual plot, but I'd rather not say a word about it as it would probably give too much a way. All I can say is don't read anything about it before seeing it and you will no doubt enjoy it more. Things to gush about: the acting is wonderful. Convincing, believable, realistic. Good good stuff. The movie has a few MTV-ish shots throughout that I could give or take, but overall, it has some very very unsettling and beautiful moments of cinematography, particularly at the end. It also plays wonderfully with the color red. The plot-line is also very very well-done. It could've gone the route of being very bad or being buouyed up by just its novelty, but the characters are so complex, and the interactions are so interesting that it rises far far above this. The movie also has an incredible energy driving it forwards--my attention was completely sucked in throughout. I just kept wanting to see how everything was gonna pan out, and I found myself holding my breath throughout out of nervousness. Very nice pacing. I seriously could continue to gush, but it'd be about more literary things (like about the fact that the characters are virtually history-less and we know very little about them, which in any other book or movie would be a flaw, but which in THIS movie fits in perfectly with the themes of the movie itself), so I'll try to stop myself.

Overall: Go see this movie. Even if you scoff at the fact that it's been marketed partially as a horror film, it is worth seeing regardless. It is very very intense and very very good. Get ye. GET YE!

Grade: A


Thursday, January 11, 2007


--Reviewed by Lindy Loo

Plotline: As usually happens in the woods, a meteor plummets into the forest and turns into a strange kind of pod. Uptight husband Grant Grant stumbles across it in the woods and is infected by a strange parasitic worm. Dogs begin to turn up missing. A young woman disappears. And very rapidly, the town is infested with wormy creatures that begin to transform them into strange zombies.

Scariness factor: Not so high on the scare-factor, but I think that might be because it was fairly comedic...

Gross-Out Factor: So-so. Lots of exploding goopiness. Some blood and dead dogs. Weird worm-like creatures impaling people's belly buttons and/or forcing themselves down their throats.

Complaints: No major ones. It didn't take itself too seriously, which made it relatively campy, so kind of hard to complain about acting or silliness or illogicalities when that's the case.

High Points: The thing I appreciated the most about this movie was that it didn't take itself seriously. It isn't funny in a oh-give-me-a-break Wayans parody kind of way. It's funny in a sly sorta dry sense of humor kind of way. And that was nice. B-horror movies that take themselves too seriously tend to be more aggravating than anything else. The plot wasn't real original though, but it made for an entertaining 90 minutes.

Overall: The humor of the movie was definitely its strong-point. There's lots of crappy CGI, but that didn't bother me quite so much, simply because the movie wasn't trying to be intense and serious. I wasn't blown away by it, but I enjoyed its lighthearted goofy weirdness for the length of the hour and a half.

Grade: B


Tuesday, January 02, 2007

The Descent

--Reviewed by Lindy Loo

I actually had a night to myself last week (surprisingly, given all the other jam-packed activity that filled up my vacation), so I decided to suck it up and rent this, despite it being on my queue list at the library. What can I say, I had the X-mas spirit in me! ; )

Plotline: A group of female friends head off to a caving expedition together. Things start to fall apart when the nature of the cave is revealed to them, by both their guide and the inhabitants lurking within.

Scariness factor: It had me creeped out in a glorious psychological and claustrophobic sorta way until about the last 30 minutes when we actually get to SEE the creatures in the cave. It was downhill from there.

Gross-Out Factor: The dvd is unrated, so they don't leave much to the imagination--particularly fingers in eyeballs.

Complaints: I was so excited to see this damn movie--it's actually been popping up on a lot of Best Movie of the Year lists, surprisingly. I was even moreso excited to see it knowing that it's pretty much an all-female cast, minus the male who dies in the first 5 minutes and the (for the most part asexual) cave-dwellers. And damn if it didn't have me going for a good hour. But then I hit the last 30 minutes and I couldn't help but be sorely disappointed. The beginning is wonderful--playing on the creepiness of the cave, of exploration, of claustrophobia. Had they kept going with this, had they played up the notion of cave-hallucinations touched upon briefly in the movie, never letting us know if the creatures were being imagined or real, it would've truly been fantastic. But instead, we get cordially introduced to them, in blinding light, free of the shadows of the cave. At that precise moment, it got all lamed up. I'd like to say that the more feminist-ish force of the movie redeemed it, but they tanked that too when, after one character lengthily explains how the creatures must've evolved to adapt to the darkness (no sight, amplified hearing, albino-skin, complete hairlessness), a clearly female creature attacks AND SHE HAS LONG DARK HAIR!!! Right then, I wanted to punch a baby. A cave-species is either gonna adapt to all be hairless for some reason that will serve to benefit their species, or they're gonna adapt to all have some form of hair for the very same reason. THERE IS NO LOGICAL EXPLANATION FOR THE WOMEN CAVE-CREATURES BEING THE ONLY ONES TO GROW HAIR, AND LONG F-ING HAIR AT THAT, cuz god forbid you the viewer thought them to be dyke-y short-haired butch cave-dwelling wormish chicks. Fah.

High Points: Like I said, the first hour is very very good. Spooky. Claustrophobic. Good acting. Really quite decent. The last 1/2 an hour, not so much.

Overall: This movie is worth renting for the first hour. If you fall asleep during the last 30 minutes though, don't rack up your late-fees at Blockbuster because it really ain't worth your time.

Grade: B/C

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