The final day of the 12 Days of Halloween…about eight days after Halloween has ended. Well dates and deadlines for events have never stopped me from finishing something before! The final day of the last one saw me start my journey to eventually finish looking at all the Scream material, and I guess it is time to look at quite possibly another famous horror film franchise with a spin-off television show (weird how that worked out). Evil Dead is considered by many one of the origins of modern indie horror. Making a name for its creative gross out horror, it managed to become one of if not the biggest cult classic horror films of all time with a career defining performance by the ever charismatic Bruce Campbell. The boomstick, the chainsaw, the “Groovy” all started in this franchise. Horror has many iconic villains and some iconic heroes, but Evil Dead managed to make a name out of torturing Ashley (Bruce Campbell) back in 1981. Yet after all this time did the film age like a fine wine or is it dated upon watching it nowadays?
A good final installment of a trilogy is important and often an elusive goal for many. We have seen time and time again where trilogies fall apart by the third film and there are few films that actually succeed. This infamous cycle has plagued almost everything in the entertainment medium, and the pressure to succeed is heavy. Scream 3 feels that very pressure, falling back on material that doesn’t feel as fresh as the previous ones relying more on Hollywood criticism than horror tropes. Stripping itself of its original identity, Scream 3 attempts to tie up the trilogy with grand meta spectacle. They are pitching to the fences, yet does that strategy offer up a satisfying conclusion to one of the modern horror classics?
Our world is a traumatizing one. Unforgiving in its ability to tear apart decent humans and turn them into something monstrous. Ambition, money, power, all of these aspects is what A Cure for Wellness deals with. A Gothic tale immersed with a dreamlike reality that is completely a testament or homage to the Hammer films of old nearing its finale. Similar to the style of something like Sleepy Hollow with Johnny Depp. Though this style plays against the “realism” of the world in which the film presents itself with for the brunt of it. One idea clashing with another and creating two competing styles and tones. Akin to Shutter Island, but with a cheesier complexion. Does this mean Verbinski’s work was a failure from the start, or is there something within this mixture of styles worth watching for?
The group setting in zombie series/television shows are always surrounded by an eclectic cast of characters. Walking Dead succumbs to the rotating cast of characters more often than not in order to spice up its environment. This is why we watch a zombie movie for the most part, because we want to see the group succeed in hard circumstances of facing off against the living dead. Though when it comes down to it what is really the right amount of survivors to focus on? What is the perfect number of characters to have fun with and be fearful for? Well one could argue any such number, but for me as a teen trying to find the next horror film to watch back in the day Zombieland answered that question for me. That this group of four characters had effectively grabbed my attention in such a way that I remembered really enjoying the film as a whole. Now six years later and a lot of other films under my belt including zombie films, do I still think that the film tickles my funny bone?
So this was supposed to go up on Halloween…and unfortunately I fell asleep at my computer before posting it up. Well we do have a little bit left of the 12 Days of Halloween left so hopefully despite the time passing enjoy a few extra days of spooks.
I don’t know what to really open this one up with except for the fact that I think it is about time I watch one of the most famous zombie films ever made. Working my way back to the most important zombie films, Shaun of the Dead is considered by many to be one of the best horror comedies. Inspiring with many a love for the genre, Edgar Wright has never been one to shy from deconstructing tropes within genres much like his Cornetto Trilogy (which includes Shaun of the Dead). One could say that it ranks in a lot of top 5s for zombie films for many people making it quite prolific. So what is all the hullabaloo about then? Does this film stand out more than the films it gleefully deconstructs or does it fall into the trap of “it popularized it but that doesn’t mean it did it the best”?
The revenge story, one of the classics in horror or just in narratives in general. A horror film designed primarily to be cathartic towards a sense of evil. I checked out a karmic revenge story in the last 12 Days of Halloween, it was Audition. There is a pure visceral sense in the notion of a protagonist being hunted or hunting someone else. It can cause very tense scenarios to arise, or cause some very grey moments much like in the series the Walking Dead where vengeance is always a part of the plot when humans are involved. Terrible moments breed a sense of revenge out of necessity, purely because what someone is left with is either a hole that eats away at them or a goal to set their wrath upon. Final Girl offers us a horror/thriller based on the same principles of something like Leon the Professional, instead with a hint of revenge rather than necessity. Yet how does Final Girl handle both a protégé story and a revenge story at the same time and do they both coalesce into a solid film?
Sorry for the one day absence, but I will still be holding to me 12 posts for this event. Might mean I need to double up after my midterm is over, but I will try and get back on track by at least Friday.
It is always nice to watch film’s that feel distinctly indie, where we have the director also being the editor, cinematographer, producer and writer. These types of stories for a directorial debut are always empowering. I mean look at Stallone and Rocky, what many would have called a dead in the water production eventually given the Oscar for how well it was done. No matter the budget, there is this silver-lining that can come from it with a person with complete artistic control of their vision essentially. Yet the unhinged allowance of someone having their creative vision go wild without being reined in can prove to be fatal, much like the Star Wars prequels (even if I still enjoy them to some degree). So will They Look Like People tread that thin line of artistic freedom well, or will this psychological horror thriller be merely a misstep in a budding director’s career?