Author Topic: Shocktober Group Marathon 2011  (Read 37939 times)

1SO

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Shocktober Group Marathon 2011 - Mr. & Mrs. 1SOs Not-So-Scary Halloween
« Reply #290 on: October 30, 2011, 05:49:47 PM »
Mr. & Mrs. 1SOs Not-So-Scary Halloween Weekend



Wait Until Dark

I saw the play Wait Until Dark when I was a teen, and I remember it scaring the crap out of me. Now, I've finally watched the movie and it's really good. Almost great. There are a couple of silly moments - a standoff between the bad guys using makeshift weapons and an overacted moment of hysterics by Hepburn - but this is a serious horror film disguised as a 60's thriller. It could almost be a dead serious take on Charade, (plot similarities are unmistakable) one where the Cary Grant character is unquestionably evil. Tension builds far past where films from this era usually go and the last ten minutes is a non-stop cavalcade of horrific images and sounds involving blades, blood and (of course) intense lighting.
RATING: * * * 1/2

MRS. 1SO
As someone who scares easily, Mrs. 1SO handled herself well. She's a big fan of Audrey, and I think with anyone else in the lead she wouldn't have been half as engaged. She thought Alan Arkin was incredibly creepy with his short, flat hair and black glasses. There's a big jump scare I remember from some list of 100 Scares. I debated warning her, but decided to let it play out. She jumped a little, but the big scare for her was a brief cutaway to a car roaring forward to hit someone full on. (The sound is quite jumpy). She's good at staying one step ahead of a plot, but aside from the various disguises she couldn't figure out the criminals plan nor how Hepburn planned to fight back.
RATING: * * * 1/2
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1SO

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Shocktober Group Marathon 2011 - Mr. & Mrs. 1SOs Not-So-Scary Halloween
« Reply #291 on: October 30, 2011, 10:47:37 PM »
Mr. & Mrs. 1SOs Not-So-Scary Halloween Weekend



Shadow of a Doubt

I remember Shadow of a Doubt being a more dangerous and sinister work from Hitchcock. It made for a rather disappointing end to Shocktober. (I'm wondering if I should have stuck with The Invisible Man.) This is one of the master's more subtle and sophisticated works, with more time devoted to evoking small town Americana than suspense. The duality between typical young teen Charlie and her dangerous uncle of the same name is set up rather bluntly as a strange psychic link. This goes away as the girl comes to realize she's nothing like her Uncle at all.

This could have led to some very interesting cat and mouse, as young Charlie tries to reason with and scare away her Uncle instead of reporting him to the police. The police story fritters away into a terrible romantic subplot, and the actor playing the male officer is death on film. Joseph Cotton is very interesting and I love how when he spouts hate similar to Charlie's, she finds it scary. Yet he remains a charmer for a good long time. Too long, really. I wish the psychic twins angle wasn't dropped because Hitchcock ends up with a rather average movie about a normal, average family dealing with a run of the mill killer.
RATING: * * 1/2


MRS. 1SO
She didn't love it, and was getting restless by the end but the wife still thinks this is a solid thriller with good performances. I think it speaks to the flaw of the film that her favorite characters were the father and neighbor, humorously trying to come up with the perfect crime. She wouldn't want them to be the focus of the movie, but found their scenes more interesting than the Charlie(s) plot.
RATING: * * *
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Sam the Cinema Snob

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Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2011
« Reply #292 on: October 30, 2011, 11:33:42 PM »
The Mist (2007)

From The writer/director pair that brought you the greatest film of all time (The Shawshank Redemption according to IMDB) and the movie about the man who has a peeing problem (The Green Mile) comes something completely different. Itís horror, itís gory, itís mired in religion and doomsday talk and itís freaking amazing.

When as small town experiences some heavy storming, the community gathers at the local grocery story to collect supplies. But when a heavy fog bank rolls in and one man insists that thereís something in the mist, the shoppers wonder what they should do. Some, led by Brent Norton (Andre Braugher) believe thereís nothing out there while a select few experience an event that leaves no doubt there is indeed something in the mist. And itís up to David Drayton (Thomas Jane) to prove there is before the whole crowd ventures out to their deaths.

Of course, the monsters exist. It wouldnít be much of a movie without it, but what becomes compelling is how the people react to it. Some start a practical defense of the store while others panic and make a mad dash for their homes. But one woman, Mrs. Carmody (Marcia Gay Harden), believes there is something more to this mist and begins preaching an end-times message that begins to fuel the flames between people and groups.

Therefore, like the best of horror, itís about how people are the monsters. The commentary isnít all that subtle, but subtly isnít exactly The Mistís gig, especially after the giant tentacle attack. What becomes compelling is seeing how fear, desperation and ego gives way to people descending into something almost worse than animals. The conflicts and fights never feel forced, constructed or illogical. Itís all an inevitable part of who the characters are and how they see the world.

That being said, not all characters are depicted equal. Mrs. Carmody is perhaps a bit overplayed and exaggerated as the bible thumping bitch who condescends to the ďsinnersĒ that surround her. At times, it fits perfectly with the tone and story, but occasionally it just seems too over-the-top and corny. Then again, Iím also talking about the film where a tentacle monster drags a boy into the mist.

Given the current state of religious crazies, sheís not that far-fetched of a character. Sheíd fit in just fine with the good ole Westboro Baptist Church. In the filmís defense, the film isnít so clear cut ideologically, giving religious people a break when a Biker says ďHey, crazy lady, I believe in God, too. I just donít think heís the bloodthirsty asshole you make him out to be,Ē which, for my money, is a notion a good number of religious people would do well to ponder over.

Regardless, The Mist works fantastically as a portrait of humanity in desperation, which makes the last act one of the most honest, brilliant and ballsy endings youíre likely to see on film. I wouldnít dream of spoiling it, but I will say that itís an ending that seamlessly finds a way to bridge narrative and theme into a raw and powerful moment.

In some ways, itís the ending which elevates The Mist as one of the most notable and well-done horror films of the past decade. However, itís a fun film throughout with strong writing, a good mood and superb pacing. Itís a new direction for Darabont, more biting and bold, which has me much more interested in his future in film.

1SO

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Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2011
« Reply #293 on: October 30, 2011, 11:57:25 PM »
You too, Sam? That film has giant plotholes you can plow a whole other film through. Andre Braugher's continued disbelief in the face of overwhelming physical evidence. That stupid lighter bit. How can you be so forgiving? You're supposed to be an analyst.
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FroHam X

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Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2011
« Reply #294 on: October 31, 2011, 01:47:03 AM »
Analyst/therapist? Analrapist?

I'm totally with Sam. Plotholes be damned, The Mist is awesome from start to finish.
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Bondo

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Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2011
« Reply #295 on: October 31, 2011, 08:53:00 AM »
As a follow up to my Mimic review, it seems in the real world we are genetically engineering mosquitoes to fight diseases like malaria. Didn't they watch Mimic? I for one welcome our new super-evolved mosquito overlords.

Sam the Cinema Snob

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Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2011
« Reply #296 on: October 31, 2011, 09:25:23 AM »
You too, Sam? That film has giant plotholes you can plow a whole other film through. Andre Braugher's continued disbelief in the face of overwhelming physical evidence. That stupid lighter bit. How can you be so forgiving? You're supposed to be an analyst.
Sam is a complex person.

Corndog

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Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2011
« Reply #297 on: October 31, 2011, 09:33:59 AM »
If I could murder one character from the history of film it would be Marcia Gay Harden from The Mist.
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jim brown

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Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2011
« Reply #298 on: October 31, 2011, 10:11:00 AM »
The Mist is fantastic.  Good scares and tensions on many levels.  Excellent performances all around, especially Marcia Gay Harden and Toby Jones.  And they clearly forgot to run that ending by any focus groups.   :P
Kevin: Yes, why does there have to be evil?

Supreme Being: I think it has something to do with free will.

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Verna: I suppose you think you raised hell.

Tom: Sister, when I've raised hell you'll know it.

1SO

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Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2011
« Reply #299 on: October 31, 2011, 04:37:24 PM »
Since I continued linking to all his blog reviews in the first post, here is Bill's annual Bloody Machete Awards.
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