Tuesday, July 24, 2007

The Changeling

--Reviewed by Lindy Loo

Plotline: A man's wife and daughter die in a terrible accident, and he returns home to realize that he can no longer continue living in the house they shared without being haunted by their memory. He is a composer and heads off to a remote town to teach and hide himself away in some large, extravagant old house. Strange things begin to happen in the house, and he becomes a bit obsessed with finding out why.

Scariness factor: It has some damn creepster moments--perhaps nothing jump-in-your-seat, but it gave me chills a few times.

Gross-Out Factor: Nada nada limonada.

Complaints: The pacing was a bit slow at times. And it had its hammy moments. And the clanging noise ALMOST seemed like a cheap rip-off of the noise from The Haunting.

High Points: This is a pretty good old-school haunted house movie. It has some startlingly creepy shots. The acting is a bit over-the-top once in a while, but that's too be expected, I suppose. Nonsensicalities abound at times (with regard to plot), but you're willing to overlook them for those nice, juicy, creepy moments. And there are quite a few of those. That damn wheelchair! *Shaking my fist at it*

Overall: If you're a fan of movies about hauntings, rent this. It's a good one. It still doesn't beat The Haunting, but it's 90-minutes worth of decent haunted-house entertainment.

Grade: B


Wednesday, July 18, 2007


--Reviewed by Lindy Loo

Plotline: A woman and her boyfriend get in a terrible motorcycle accident right near a plastic-surgery hospital. The doctor there rushes her into his hospital in hopes of saving her, does so, and then uses her to test out a new way of grafting skin onto humans. When she awakens, she has an insatiable hunger for human blood, and a strange, vaginal hole under her arm through which she feeds it. She soon finds out that her hunger is spreading something akin to an untreatable form of rabies, that makes people raving mad and willing to kill without a second thought.

Scariness factor: It has its moments.

Gross-Out Factor: Mostly aftermath-shots, but a few of people getting throats ripped out and stuff.

Complaints: This movie was kind of a zombie rip-off, without being a zombie film. The folks who get infected are essentially zombies, but they foam at the mouth a bit as well. Not all that original, albeit a bit creepy.

High Points: I'm a sucker for early Cronenberg horror-flicks, what can I say (The Brood, The Fly, etc.). And Rabid was pretty atypical early-Cronenberg: horror with (apparently?) a touch of social commentary. At times though, I'm a bit lost as to what Cronenberg is trying to say with his social topics--in this case, he was clearly trying to say something about plastic surgery, but what? Other than "if it goes haywire, perhaps you'll develop an insatiable hunger for blood?" Maybe just that plastic surgery alters us in a way that's less than human? I dunno. Sometimes I think he tries too hard to put that bit of commentary in there. Either which way, this movie (like most of his early stuff) is entertaining. The acting is a bit hammy at times, but overall, it keeps your attention throughout. And it has a nice, dark ending, sort of a head-nod to, say, Soylent Green or Night of the Living Dead. And as always, I'm a total sucker for horror movies about infection (by way of zombies, rabies, etc.) on a world/country-type scale, so it had that going for it as well.

Overall: Rent it. It's 90 minutes of entertainment. And it's 1970's-ish. And it's Cronenberg.

Grade: B