Tuesday, March 25, 2008

30 Days of Night

--Reviewed by Lindy Loo

Plotline: A small Alaskan town, cut off from from the rest of the state, battens down for the upcoming 30 days of night that strikes Alaska every year. A gang of vampires takes advantage of the lack of sunlight and terrorizes the town.

Scariness factor: Admittedly, it's spooky in a part or two.

Gross-Out Factor: Pretty high in parts, but it's a vampire flick, for pete's sake. So you've gotta expect blood.

Complaints: Where to begin. Why are the vampires there? Where do they come from? Why are they bilingual? Why do they appear to be unable to close their mouths? Why do they eat everybody up so quickly instead of pacing themselves better? Why fear leaving survivors because "people might find out that you really exist" when there's already people that believe in you, and really, how would that knowledge be threatening to the vampire race anyways? Why do they talk so slowly? Seriously. Do you know how long I've been waiting to see this stupid movie because the previews made it look kind of understated and creepy and didn't really SHOW that much of the actual vampires? Quite some time, let me tell you. Needless to say, I was really kind of disappointed. I'm willing to suspend my disbelief about no vampire back-story explaining why they're there IF the movie was creepy enough that it distracted me from this hole in the plot. But it wasn't. (And don't even give me the whole "Well, it explains it in the graphic novel, so you just need to read that first" crappola because A MOVIE SHOULD WORK ON ITS OWN, even if based on a book.) I'm not a fan of Josh Hartnett. I like Ugly-Tooth Outsider in Six Feet Under a whole lot, but his character was *LAME* in here. The lead vampire I found to be alternately very creepy and very annoying. And the acting was no good. And THE FRICKING SNOW looked CGI-ed, for christ's sake.

High Points: The vampires look visually creepy. I kind of liked their weird faces. And I like the PREMISE of the movie: the oddity of Alaska's 30 days of night is worth creating a decent movie around. It's strange and lovely. And definitely vampire worthy. But they most DEFINITELY didn't take advantage of it as much as they could've.

Overall: *Pouting*

Grade: D


Wednesday, March 12, 2008

The Strangers

Ooh yay! Creepy-looking upcoming movie alert. Due out on May 30, 2008.

I'm not a fan of Liv Tyler, but it DOES get bonus points for somehow managing to make a Joanna Newsom song sound super-creepy.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

The Hitcher (2007)

--Reviewed by Lindy Loo

Plotline: A couple of college kids head out on a road-trip for spring break. Along the way they make the mistake of offering a ride to a man whose car has broken down. When they realize that he is psychotic, they manage to get rid of him. But not for long.

Scariness factor: It's a bit white-knuckly in parts.

Gross-Out Factor: One of the more climactic scenes is pretty nasty. Other than that, it's mostly just shoot 'em ups and neck-slittings.

Complaints: Too slick. Like all the remakes of today, they just aren't quite so rough around the edges as the originals. They're a bit more glossied up (including the shitty music). And they just don't feel quite so gritty. The original was definitely better, though it wasn't one of my absolute favorite movies either really. And I prefer Rutger Hauer to the dude who plays the bad guy here. He's not BAD, and creepy in his own respect. But not QUITE so creepy. That and there weren't as many good car-chase scenes.

High Points: There's a good cop-car chase-scene midway through that sucked me into it. But that was about it. And the climactic/shocking moment towards the end of the movie was pretty sweet and caught me off guard. (Apparently I am senile because I don't remember this scene ending the same way at all in the original, which maybe was a good thing since it DID shock me.) It did keep my attention though for the 90 minutes. And I didn't want to go on a stabbing-spree like after I saw the Halloween remake.

Overall: Not particularly good. Not particularly bad.

Grade: C


Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Halloween (2007)

--Reviewed by Lindy Loo

Plotline: We get the same plot-line as the original, infinitely better version of this movie, 'cept with a) a lot more back-story, and b) a lot of minor, unnecessary changes.

Scariness factor: Infuriating. Because the original scares my f-ing pants off. But this one I found myself ho-humming through. Not once was I white-knuckled like in the original.

Gross-Out Factor: Way more violent than necessary.

Complaints: Oof. Where to even begin? If you're gonna remake a classic movie, a movie that is in the f-ing CANON of most-worshipped horror flicks, then you better do a GOOD stinking job. And this was most definitely not the case. As I've said on several prior occasions, I *WANT* to like Rob Zombie, but dude: for someone who loves horror movies so much, HOW DO YOU NOT GET WHAT MAKES THE GOOD ONES SO VERY VERY GOOD? I mean, this remake seems to have misunderstood EVERY aspect of the first one that makes it scary. For example: Mike Myers wasn't ENORMOUS in the original. He was average-sized. And that's part of what made him scary. He was just like any one of us and yet seemingly INVINCIBLE in his destructive capabilities. Also, the very minor "backstory" we get in the original is also what lends to Mike Myer's spookiness. In the original, we are met with a stereotypical, squeaky-clean type suburban family, so when Mike Myers walks out of the house with a bloody knife in his hand and raises his mask to reveal an adorable little boy, we are SHOCKED and HORRIFIED. The disparity between the quiet, squeaky-clean perfection of suburbia/the picturesque boy, and the horrific events that just transpired is what gives that moment so much punch. In the remake, Mike Myers comes from a home where anyone in their right mind would feel the urge to stab up most of their family. (And a sidenote with regard to that: is it just me, or does anyone else, upon watching a Rob Zombie flick, just feel RIDICULOUSLY bad for the man? I mean, every time I see one, I think to myself, if THIS is how you see families in the real world, you must've had SUCH a terrible childhood. His films (and families) are just so completely inundated with the ugliness of humanity. And that's something that completely turns me off from them as well.) And of course, this movie didn't have ANY scariness propelling it forward. I didn't feel tense the whole time like I do with the original. Also infuriating is that Laurie Strode has been reduced down from a strong female character in the original film, one who is able to take on Mike Myers, rescue the kids she is baby-sitting for, etc., to a screaming, sniveling, helpless female who is barely able to take care of herself. I know at some point someone's gonna read this and think, "You need to just judge the movie as it stands and stop comparing it to the original." But I'm sorry: if you're gonna have the balls to try to take something already near-perfect and think you can make it better, then you DESERVE to be burdened with comparisons.

High Points: Really not much, other than I thought Malcolm McDowell was a good choice to play Sam Loomis, and there were a couple nice shots nuzzled in there. But even with that, I think I'm just grasping at straws.

Overall: SOOOOOO very much not worth your while.

Grade: F