Author Topic: Shocktober Group Marathon 2014  (Read 19319 times)

1SO

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Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2014
« Reply #150 on: October 16, 2014, 01:12:01 PM »

From Time to Time (2009)

Written and directed by Julian Fellowes and featuring Maggie Smith, Timothy Spall, Hugh Bonneville this ghost story is a very classy adaptation of a children's novel by Lucy M. Boston. It stars Alex Etel (Millions) as a boy visiting his grandmother during the end of World War II who finds he is able to slip into the past, enabling him to interact with the mansion's troubling history.

This isn't a white-knuckle film, and the mixture of past and present becomes more of a framing device and less of a logical concern as it unfolds, but it's worth recommending because the mystery surrounding the place is interesting and the acting is so damn classy you want to make tea and set out biscuits before watching. The one exception is Spall, who's also good but in a more hammy, theatrical manner you would expect. He has a particularly irritating habit of playing with a handkerchief to wipe his nose and his face, often at the same time.

Because of the seasonal setting, this works as both a Halloween tale for the whole family and a warm-hearted Christmas film.
Rating: * * *
Mrs. 1SO: * * *


- the first appearance of the ghosts are scary and there's a threat of terrible violence to one character, but this is a Sandy Shocktober Selection if ever I saw one.
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Junior

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Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2014
« Reply #151 on: October 16, 2014, 01:46:32 PM »
Nosferatu the Vampyre

I guess I knew at least some of what I was in for with this movie. Werner Herzog doing Dracula can only go a few ways. So, while nothing in this movie was particularly surprising, it was an entertaining experience. It's a movie full of philosophical pondering, rats, and Klaus Kinski in some nice Orlok make up. Is this what the guys behind True Detective watched for inspiration? "Time is an abyss... profound as a thousand nights... Centuries come and go... To be unable to grow old is terrible... Death is not the worst... Can you imagine enduring centuries, experiencing each day the same futilities..." Yeah, exactly. The trappings are all there, including some fun slow motion bat photography. Kinski seemed to always have his fingers clawed and ready to strike. No shadow felt safe from his lurking. The atmosphere is fantastic. The castle in the first half is probably the draftiest place in the known universe, and the opening credits ably set the stage for one of the squirmiest tellings of the Dracula tale. I also liked the emphasis on the Black Plague as a function of the Count. It's maybe not the scariest movie you could watch, but I would advise any horror fan looking for a different take on the same old story to check this one out.

8/10.
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Junior

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Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2014
« Reply #152 on: October 16, 2014, 02:34:21 PM »
Deliver us from Evil.

The exorcism genre gets a shot in the arm thanks to an injection of police drama and bromances. Sound like fun? It isn't. The only fun to be had with this darker-than-Se7en-and-not-in-a-good-way movie is in Eric Bana's repeated claims that he hates cats. Dude really doesn't like them. You'd think, then, that a cat splayed upon a crucifix would be a happy sight for him, but he's still disgusted. Be consistent, Bana! It's hard to blame him, though, for everything outside his horrible Brooklyn accent because there's pretty much nothing that works here. From a demon obsessed with The Doors (which, like all people obsessed with The Doors, is just a drag to be around) to a silly early sequence in a darkened zoo (guess what kind of animal Bana gets to encounter via the magic of CGI?) and a long and boring exorcism at the end, the movie is a drag. It promises to deliver us from evil, but if banality with a side of stupidity is evil, this movie has only embroiled us further in it.

3/10.
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Sandy

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Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2014
« Reply #153 on: October 16, 2014, 11:46:18 PM »
From Time to Time (2009)

 :)

You know me very well 1SO. I get to watch that for Schocktober?! I'm in!

oldkid

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Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2014
« Reply #154 on: October 17, 2014, 01:51:53 AM »
Ichi the Killer

A half hour of torture porn is my limit.  I couldn't make it past the thirty minute mark, so no review, no rating.  Not my cup of tea.


The Tingler
Okay, 1SO, you convinced me.  I watched it as a part of an Elvira knock-off on YouTube called Really Scary Horror movies.  The interruptions were worse than advertisements, so I ended up skipping them.

At first, I thought the film was pretty good because Price was really taking the role seriously, as did many of the other actors.  Then I found that the director didn't have as much sincerity.  Every time Price's wife is on screen, even for a second, saxophones play sexy music.  The plot was about as innane as they come.  And every possible obvious manipulation was used to get the audience to scream.  Apart from simply having a compelling horror narrative, mind you.  By about halfway through, I was disgusted by the film.

Then something happened in the final quarter.  The film didn't get better, it got worse.  Much worse.  The manipulations became more obvious, and the film became more meta.  Instead of rolling my eyes, I was smiling.  It turns out, this is a beautifully horrible film.  Not a horror film, just a horrible one.  And I found myself really enjoying it.  I wish my daughter had watched it with me because we would have had a truly ROFL experience.  As it was, I was greatly amused.

Not Scary at all , 3.5/5
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1SO

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Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2014
« Reply #155 on: October 17, 2014, 08:56:20 AM »
At first I thought maybe your method cut off the director's introduction at the beginning of the film, but I looked it up and it's still there, setting up the desire to have the audience scream, the obvious manipulation that you didn't like. Now I think perhaps it was a case of your expectations and what you were in the mood for not matching up to William Castle's playtime horror. He knows the plot is inane and the creature is cheap. Castle comes up with tricks to get you all the same, such as letting Price have his moments for freaking out and that unexpected use of color. (I think that manipulation is the serious one that gives more weight to all the silly ones.)

So, in the end do you give it a recommended grade because it becomes so bad you actually started being entertained? Like a Troll 2 experience? Were you laughing AT the film or WITH it? Because Castle wants you to have a good time. He doesn't take himself seriously as a master of scares. He's a showman.
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1SO

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Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2014
« Reply #156 on: October 17, 2014, 09:56:56 AM »

Curse of Chucky (2013)
"It's time to play!"

It was Double Feature Podcast who got Curse of Chucky put on my list. I've only seen the first Child's Play and Bride of Chucky, from what I've heard the only two worth watching. Neither are great, because there's only so much you can do with a homicidal maniac trapped inside a two-foot doll, but they're fun and clever enough in regards to setting up good horror situations. Curse of Chucky went straight to VOD, but it's as good if not slightly better than those other two.

Writer/Director Don Mancini has been living the Chucky franchise his entire career, having written every installment and nothing else. I'd heard his direction on Seed of Chucky was terribly pedestrian. If that's true then he learned a lot in the last 9 years. Curse of Chucky is a more dangerous reboot that's also a continuation of the story and a fan-pleasing final chapter. There are several endings, including a crucial one after the credits, It's enough to make the movie fall apart narratively, but it's also Mancini possibly tying up 6 films of loose ends.

The cinematography is several notches above normal, with great use of close-ups and an extended flashback filmed Sin City style. (Also the score may remind you of Suspiria in places and that's pretty cool.) I wasn't sure at first, but once we get to the dinner sequence, filmed like a game of human Russian Roulette, I was really enjoying the style.
Rating: * * *



The Curse of Frankenstein (1957)
* * 1/2
I've seen a half-dozen Frankenstein films and there are always small changes, but the same basic story. That means any horror arrives exactly when you expect it, which is more than a little dull.
« Last Edit: September 12, 2020, 01:55:25 PM by 1SO »
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oldkid

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Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2014
« Reply #157 on: October 17, 2014, 10:39:06 AM »
So, in the end do you give it a recommended grade because it becomes so bad you actually started being entertained? Like a Troll 2 experience? Were you laughing AT the film or WITH it? Because Castle wants you to have a good time. He doesn't take himself seriously as a master of scares. He's a showman.

I certainly ended up laughing with the film.  The effort in the acting put me off because I misunderstood the fun point of the manipulations.  We are supposed to laugh at them, but it took me most of the movie to understand that.  Only when the manipulations became so over the top and so clever did I give in and really appreciate them.

This year I think I'm really beginning to understand and appreciate the humor of the genre.  I expect comedians to be smarter than me, to give me a surprise I wasn't expecting.  Now I'm understanding that horror comedy often takes the low road, pretending to be stupid, but asking us to laugh at them.  That's what I didn't get with Hellraiser.  But even with the low road, I want some surprises for it to be effective.  To have the screen go black and a Vincent Price voiceover begging us to scream so that the "tingler" can be subdued was just so over the top that I was shocked at their gall, and this pleased me.  It takes me a bit, but I'm getting it.
"It's not art unless it has the potential to be a disaster." Bansky

Jared

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Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2014
« Reply #158 on: October 17, 2014, 10:51:11 AM »
The Penalty (1920)

Through watching about two dozen Universal monster movies I've seen a ton of Lon Chaney Jr., and I'd really like to see enough of his father's films to bring that about to even. I've caught a few of them, but this is one I'd been meaning to get to for awhile.

A miscommunication in a surgery leads to a child's legs being amputated, and that child grows up to be a boss in the crime underworld of San Francisco. The boss, played by Chaney Sr. eventually turns his sights toward paying back the doctor that harmed him as a child.

It's a pretty wonderful lead performance. I understand Chaney did the role with his ankles basically strapped to his back, leaving his knees with the appearance of stumps. You understand how one might become the "Man of 1000 Faces" given the pain that must have been involved every day of work for him. The story leaves a little to be desired. In particular the ending and how the good guys deal with Chaney's character feels very hokey. But ultimately this is a Chaney showcase and a very good one. Worth a watch if you want to see a great silent film actor transform himself into an absolute devil.

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Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2014
« Reply #159 on: October 17, 2014, 12:12:56 PM »
The War of the Worlds (1953)

I really had a hard time making it through this movie. I was in the mood for some shlocky 50s sci fi horror, but unlike some of the better ones I've seen from the time/genre like The Blob or Forbidden Planet, I never found this to be all that fun, suspensful, or interesting.

Special effects just feel especially corny...as bad as I've ever seen of an example of wires holding a spaceship for example. None of the action set pieces or characters are all that memorable...I watched this like 2 days ago and hardly remember anything. Just sort of a big disappointment all around.

 

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