September 9, 2011

Review: A Horrible Way to Die (2011)

"Color us impressed, and very much so..."

Let's get this out of the way before we really get going; last we saw director Adam Wingard in action, he gave us a movie that we thought sucked major dog dick, called Pop Skull. If memory serves, it was a pretentious, artsy mind-trip that grated on our nerves, and made us wish our own skulls would pop so that we could forget what we had just seen. 

That being said... 

A Horrible Way to Die is leaps and bounds better than the aforementioned Wingard flick. We aren't going to get too in-depth on plot details here, because this really is a movie that could be majorly spoiled by saying too much, and that would be a huge disservice to everyone who is going to watch it.

Super QT.
The story revolves around a sullen, recovering alcoholic named Sarah, who looks a bit like she's been ridden hard and put away wet... mainly because she has. There's also a fairly prolific Serial Killer running around who has just escaped from prison to resume his bloody, evil ways. As the fibers of the story spin and weave themselves together, a creepy -and yes, even sad- tapestry begins to take shape, and it looks as if the already dreary and tense atmosphere of the whole thing is about to become even more so. 

It gets pretty bloody and intense. That's all we're saying as far as specifics go.

No, no, no, no, no!
AHWTD is a bleak, atmospheric, and an almost disjointed movie... hell, it's purposefully disjointed in many places, using flashbacks and sleight of hand to get us where were going as an audience, which leads to a crazy good and refreshingly different sort of resolution. It's a Serial Killer movie. Better yet, it's an escaped-Serial-Killer-on-a-mission movie. And the mission? Well, it's one of blood and regret, and twisted vengeance.

AJ Bowen steals the show here playing a humanized monster who can't control his need to kill, but still manages to feel bad about it on some deeper level. Sure, it's a familiar story as Serial Killer go, but the way Bowen goes about his character made it feel fresh for us. Amy Seimetz nailed her part too, playing the downtrodden victim perfectly.

"Ssh. Crying will only make it hurt more."
Most of the movie is visually captivating, with its use of shadow and light making some of its shots near-perfect to behold.

There was one little visual aspect in this one that made us want to punch the screen though, and that's the use (and overuse) of the dreaded "Shaky Cam." Throughout the movie there were scenes and moments that seemed as if the camera man was in the beginning stages of a Grand Mal Seizure, and honestly, it annoyed the hell out of us. Luckily, the rest of the movie worked so well that it didn't piss us off nearly as much as it could have. There are plot holes to found within the narrative here too, though they were small and hardly distracting enough to be a true detriment to the movie. Then again, we're here to be creeped out and see some cool kills, so logic can take a back seat for minute or two on occasion, right?

"I told you talking would make it hurt more!"
What really got us though, and what made the movie so damned great in the end, was the actual ending itself. The way that Wingard brought everything together gave us solid justification for everything that had come before, and we were absolutely impressed with the results. It was soooooo nice to see a great ending in a Horror flick for a change, because as Horror fans we know all too well that far too many endings these days suck, and sometimes even ruin an otherwise good movie. That's not the case here.

Seriosuly, she's a super QT.
Bloody, engrossing, clever and satisfying, A Horrible Way to Die is one of the better Horror movies that we've seen this year. With about 10 minutes left in the movie we were thinking we had just watched a C+ movie, which couldn't score any higher because of some plot holes and the whole "seizure cam" thing, but the ending completely changed our minds.

This is one rewarding Horror experience that everyone should endure. Not if you're prone to seizures though. Because this movie may possibly give you one. No joke.


A Horrible Way to Die is available now on Blu-ray, DVD, and VOD.

There are a bunch of Hotties in this movie, but most of them spend their screen time dying as opposed to doing sexy things. At least they made dying look good.

No comments :

Post a Comment