Author Topic: Shocktober Group Marathon 2011  (Read 37937 times)

Beavermoose

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Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2011
« Reply #260 on: October 27, 2011, 03:02:27 PM »
Scary old dwarf lady.

Antares

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Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2011 - The Unknown (1927)
« Reply #261 on: October 27, 2011, 03:08:48 PM »
Speaking of not watching old horror films, I saw The Unknown (1927), a silent horror film so inept it's laughably bad. The plot is an armless circus performer is hiding from the law because he's actually a murderer who can be identified by the two thumbs he has on one hand. His arms are poorly tucked inside his shirt, yet he fools everyone. This is considered an early classic, but it's terrible beyond a somewhat interesting climax involving a man tied to horses running in opposite directions.
RATING: *

I liked this film, it's worth it to watch Lon Chaney at the height of his star power, plus it's by Tod Browning.
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Sam the Cinema Snob

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Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2011
« Reply #262 on: October 27, 2011, 08:28:02 PM »
Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975)

At about the halfway point, I realized that Picnic at Hanging Rock would probably be a book Iíd enjoy, but as a film, I found it left a lot to be desired. While the Joan Lindsay novel would have the space to flesh out the details as well as rely on prose to establish a more ambiguous tone, the film fails to convey that level of nuance.

Thereís still something to be said for the creepy story. During the titular picnic, three girls and a teacher go missing at Hanging Rock, leaving the rest of the class in a state of panic. As the police and outlying community begin the search, it becomes clear that the details around the case donít add up and that there are huge gaps that donít make any sense.

Part of the problem is that the story exists in a languid and slowly-moving world which means that as intriguing and mysterious as these circumstances are, it never quite gets up to the speed where the audience left with the gears spinning in their head, trying to make sense of the clues or fully immersed in the world of the mystery. Yes, itís still intriguing and curious, but the whole experience is passive, making the mystery more of an oddity than anything else.

The latter section of the film does become more intriguing and there is something to be said for how the film builds mood around sound and editing as opposed to eerie visuals or dark lighting. Things are just a bit off, and that helps enhance that sense of unease that permeate the entire mystery. Thereís always something missing, something everyone is looking for but never able to find.

Cinematographer Russell Boyd should be given some credit for establishing this mood, but he seems to be much better at working with the interiors of the school where he has more direct control and precision of lighting and framing. The opening minutes of the film are easily the best looking, making everything afterwards pale in comparison. Once out on the picnic, the film is less compelling to watch.

In this regard, even though the film is effective, it is a letdown. Thereís a lot of inconsistency in terms of how good the filmmaking is. Certain sections wane in a place of placid creativity, while others come across as tightly constructed. This means from sequence to sequence, or sometimes even shot to shot, thereís a widely different quality of craft and skill.

On some level, it isnít that big a deal, but a lot of the more languishing moments of the film become visual white space. Itís almost numbingly dull, a static, soft sort of creativity that is mildly indifferent to whatever it is capturing.

Itís a bit disappointing to realize this is one of Peter Weirís early films. Given how engaging and enthralled he seems to be with his subjects in his films from the Ď80s and Ď90s, this ambivalent distance is uncharacteristic and the Peter Weir who made The Truman Show and Fearless should be able to approach this story with the same level of enthusiasm and engagement. Instead, Picnic at Hanging Rock spends too much time doing far too little.

MartinTeller

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Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2011
« Reply #263 on: October 27, 2011, 09:27:33 PM »
Picnic at Hanging Rock > Truman Show and Fearless put together
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goodguy

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Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2011
« Reply #264 on: October 27, 2011, 09:43:49 PM »
Picnic at Hanging Rock > Truman Show and Fearless put together

Yeah, I was reading the review with growing disbelief, but that comparison left me completely speechless. So thanks, Martin, I'm feeling better now.

Sam the Cinema Snob

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Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2011
« Reply #265 on: October 27, 2011, 09:55:17 PM »
So, what do people have left now that we are approaching the last weekend of October?

Mine:

Burnt Offerings
Faust
The Mist

Additions:

Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon
An American Werewolf in London
Requiem
Deep Red
Grace
The Fog (1980)
Maniac


I might have time for a couple of the additions I added, but I'm not sure which ones to watch.

1SO

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Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2011
« Reply #266 on: October 27, 2011, 11:12:14 PM »
So, what do people have left now that we are approaching the last weekend of October?

I have Torso and Vampire Circus at home.
Blockbuster shipped the remake of My Bloody Valentine instead of the 1981 original, so that one may not happen.
Haven't got a hold of The Woman in Black. I hope it isn't hard to find.
Had to drop The Phantom Carriage.

Mrs. 1SO is sick, which means there should be plenty of time for our Not-So-Scary Halloween Marathon this weekend.
The Cat and the Canary (1939)
The Hound of the Baskervilles (1939)
Shadow of a Doubt
Wait Until Dark
and probably adding Bell, Book and Candle

Sam, Behind the Mask is far from perfect but as a slasher junkie I have real affection for it.
If Maniac is the 1980 film, it is terrible.
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Bondo

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Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2011
« Reply #267 on: October 28, 2011, 12:35:27 AM »
The Inner Room (2011)
I don't really want to bash on a local indie horror film. Especially not one directed by someone named Jack Gastelbondo. Especially not one that stars Jessica Duffy, who I liked in Ink, another local indie film that I absolutely adore. But alas. Julianne seems to be schizophrenic and had some weird thing happen during a delivery. She's driving up into the mountains with her husband to an isolated cabin. She has visions. They probably mean something plotwise and deeper meaningwise. It actually resolves kind of okay but just didn't really connect.

Anyway, there are two pet peeves that were made clear here. The first is something a lot of films, especially horror films do, which is use the score and sudden loud sounds to get jump scares that are entirely artificial. Use the story to make me scared, not sounds that have no correlation to what is happening in the film. The second is something I've been noticing more doing these indie film screenings for my festival. The need to cut back and forth to close shots of characters between every line of dialogue. I know why they do it (because the actors apparently can't handle multiple lines without screwing up and so doing a shot for each line allows for easier editing) but it makes everything so disjointed and impersonal, as if they aren't even in the same room talking.

2/5

Tucker and Dale vs Evil (2010)
Want to hear something so unbelievable that it just has to be true? Tucker and Dale vs Evil is close to as good as Shaun of the Dead and is better than Zombieland within the horror comedy genre. This really blew me away, and it did so even though the film series director decided to show the trailers of this and the two films tomorrow before the first film of the evening and the trailers showed way too much (I'm iffy on even going tomorrow after seeing the trailer for the film I hadn't seen).

It is a great twist on the psycho hillbilly horror variant where you've got the college kids up in the hills, on edge about the creepy hillbillies when something happens to set off their fears. It isn't a spoiler to say Tucker and Dale are misunderstood guys but the misunderstandings get intense; this is a horror film after all. So many great lines, especially with Alan Tudyk, who is always class. The moments between Tucker and Dale and between Dale and Ally (Katrina Bowden) add a lot of sentimentality to the story. Bowden is also a standout here, jawdroppingly beautiful (which is plot-relevant) but pulls off the nuances of her character that allow you to believe her place in the absurdity. Just a really complete package.

5/5

P.S. Not sure what all I'll actually get to but I still have We Are The Night Misery and Mimic and Otto: Up With People on the schedule.
« Last Edit: October 28, 2011, 10:44:09 PM by Bondo »

smirnoff

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Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2011
« Reply #268 on: October 28, 2011, 08:34:25 AM »
Tucker and Dale vs Evil (2010)
Want to hear something so unbelievable that it just has to be true? Tucker and Dale vs Evil is close to as good as Shaun of the Dead and is better than Zombieland within the horror comedy genre.

Bondo, have you been at the Gaffer's home brew?

jim brown

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Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2011
« Reply #269 on: October 28, 2011, 09:26:47 AM »
So, what do people have left now that we are approaching the last weekend of October?

Mine:

Burnt Offerings
Faust
The Mist

Additions:

Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon
An American Werewolf in London
Requiem
Deep Red
Grace
The Fog (1980)
Maniac


I might have time for a couple of the additions I added, but I'm not sure which ones to watch.

I saw Burnt Offerings on TV when I was a kid.  I'm not sure how it holds up, but my 14-year old self thought it was totally creepy.  Then again, anything with both Oliver Reed and Karen Black is bound to be creepy by default.

The Mist is terrific and discussion-worthy.  American Werewolf and The Fog are both absolute fun to watch. 
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