October 31, 2009

The 31 Days of Horror- #1

And we have arrived at the top (or bottom in the case of the Train Wreck) of the heap... so sad that October is nearly over...

"The Quintessential Halloween movie, and everything that is wrong with Hollywood's PG-13 horror marketing strategy..."

The Hidden Gem:
The Master says: Shelved, held down, shuffled, abused, and kept from the world for the better part of three years, this is the Halloween movie for the ages. This is one movie that not only lived up to the years of massive hype surrounding it, but in my (and many other eyes), surpassed it. Other than A Christmas Story, I don't know that I've ever seen another movie that quite captures the magic and atmosphere of a holiday so well, especially Halloween. A fresh, imaginative, gorgeous, atmospheric, creepy little Horror movie... isn't that a rarity these days for Hollywood? It's not a remake or sequel, nor is it a cookie-cutter PG-13 Abercrombie Ad-looking snooze-fest, and yet it works, and works very well. Maybe Hollywood should stop sticking movies like this on the shelf and release them. They can keep Saw XXI, we won't mind. This movie has also given us an new all-time great Horror icon in Sam, the creepy little costumed kid who may just be the physical manifestation of the spirit of Samhain. I hope we get to see more of him in other movies, or at least comic books or something; he was a truly awesome character. Watch it, love it, and spread the word...
The Train Wreck:
The Master says: First of all, let's be clear on one point; this movie contains no haunting whatsoever. Satan is mentioned, and we hear whispering voices, but there's not anything resembling a haunting. Not in the least. Then again, this movie doesn't contain one moment of suspense or Horror either (save for Molly being stabbed by mom)... and cheap scare tactics don't count, sorry. This is nothing more than a High School drama in the guise of a Horror movie, plain and simple. There are actually points in the movie -most of the middle and the very end to be precise- that absolutely seem to abandon the Horror movie road altogether... It's almost a waste of my time trying to explain the movie and it's shortcomings to those who haven't seen it. We gather early on that when Molly Hartley turns 18, something bad is going to happen, and that's why her mother tried to kill her. Unfortunately, we never find out exactly what happens, she just turns 18, and locks her dad up in the loony bin and says "It's for the best." Then, she graduates valedictorian of her class, gives a speech about destiny, and the credits roll. I'm not being dismissive here either; nothing happens. Three fake scares in the first five minutes alone! All in the same scene! Ooh, and a scary "Just a dream" gag! Another fake scare! And another one! ...and were not even to the 15 minute mark yet. A bird, a boyfriend, a dad, a kid at school, a bathroom stall door, a frigging alarm clock... jump cuts, fake scares, whispers and the like are not what make a movie scary guys, especially when you use them every 34 seconds. Not only was the plot ridiculous, and the build up to the end shoddy at best, but when we finally get there, nothing happens. Absolutely NOTHING. We get no clue as to what Molly has become, what it means, only that she's 18 now, and it means something. Maybe. This movie exemplifies what is wrong with big studio Horror, and it should truly anger any Horror fan that has to experience it.

1 comment :

  1. http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=30606403&id=1190100659

    Loved the movie so much, I made myself a Sam costume. :D