27 September 2009

More Horror Tricks and Treats

More Horror Tricks and Treats

By Kristin Battestella

I watch a lot of good horror movies-and I also see my share of drivel. I can’t help myself! Although I try to write in-depth analysis of every film I see, during spooky movie marathon season it’s impossible to keep up! Honestly, some pictures aren’t worth more than a few sentences anyway-so here’s another quick list of what to see and what to axe this Halloween season.

Scary Treats

The Omen- Gregory Peck, Lee Remick, satanic chants, and the freakiest nanny and kid pair you’ll ever see. Maybe not slash and gore horror as we know it today, but plenty of creeps and demonic shuddering still to be had here.

In A Dark Place- I’m not sure what the title has to do with this 2006 updated on Henry James’ The Turn of the Screw, but Leelee Sobieski is just freaky as the familiar nanny trying to protect her charges from two malignant ghosts. It’s ambiguous and ends a little iffy, but that’s kind of the point. Fans of Sobieski or viewers not interested in older, period piece film versions should enjoy this.

Joyride- Another Leelee Sobieski yarn, yes, but a creepy truck driver pursuing teens after a practical joke gone awry makes up for the young cast. Kinky CB radio innuendo and scary chases ala Duel keep this dark ode to the open road in the plus column. Do however avoid the video sequel Joy Ride 2: Dead Ahead.

White Noise 2- I’m not normally a fan of the unrelated direct to video sequel, but this tale of near death experiences, EVP, and the White Light versus Lucifer was surprisingly well done. The original White Noise wasn’t too bad, though it was played more for the scares than this one. Not super scary; but solid emotion and ghostly, freaky montages add enough for some food for thought.

Red Eye- Wes Craven and Rachel McAdams fans will enjoy this in-flight psychological thriller. It’s not horror as we know it from Craven; but the talent, emotion, and realistic scares keep you on the edge of your seat. I think the She-Ra kick ass ending amid the under-construction house does fall back on a few slasher clich├ęs, but overall, a fine departure for Craven.

Bad Tricks

The Omen: 666- Who releases their film at 6 a.m. on June 6, 2006 and expects it to be successful? Despite its fine cast, this update is almost too much like its predecessor. Why should we care if a few of the deaths are different when nearly everything else is exactly the same? Known for playing louses and baddies, it’s tough to root for Liev Schreiber and David Thewlis as the good guys. And, no offense, but neither is Gregory Peck!

The Abandoned- A very intriguing premise about deathly doppelgangers chasing twins in the Russian wilds is lost in double story talk and a completely stupid connection to the title. The pacing here was also so slow- I think I fell asleep.

The Covenant- A woeful, unremarkable cast and silly reliance on special effects fights ruin what could have been a superior story about modern boys struggling with their ancient Salem witchy ways. I couldn’t tell which boy was which, and the hip metal music didn’t make me care much, either.

Pulse- Kristen Bell is a-okay, but this scare about ghosts killing college kids via computers and cell phones is like every other film with static, strobing ghosts, and an unending, never escaping cycle. It’s The Ring without the videotape. Another intriguing premise wasted on plot holes, redundant effects, and teen angst. Wah!

1 comment:

Kristin Battestella said...

Hey there Horror Folks!

Several of these mini reviews on the fearful and the macabre are also archived at Blood Theatre in their Guide to Gore database!

Check out the entire Guide and a few of my longer reviews here