Itís tricky portraying mental illness through the horror lens without being offensive. Some films make it look effortless Ė Black Swan, Angst Ė while others, like this one, canít marry the style to the substance. Also, director Eduardo Sanchez (Blair Witch Project) uses the found footage technique until it doesnít suit him, making the film even more uneven. Still, there are some effective moments, including the nicely subtle climax, which is has the same quiet power as the ending of The Witch.The Pact
I donít think this story makes sense, with the paranormal bits not fitting in with the serial killer bits. Itís like two scripts mashed together, or more like two short films that still required a lot of silent contemplation to pad out the running time. (I wonder if the genre switch works better in the original short form.) Caity Lotz is a new face to me, but she comes ready to make her mark.Cockneys vs. Zombies
Third recent zombie comedy in this marathon. Iíd put this slightly above Doghouse and Juan of the Dead, but all three are aiming for the broadside of the barn and only hit occasionally. Makes me appreciate Shaun of the Dead even more. That was a film with fully-dimensional characters and smart ideas, two things that donít come within miles of these films. Byzantium
I knew thereíd be worse films in this Marathon, but there were few I was a disinterested in as Byzantium because Neil Jordan is rarely a good filmmaker. He has style, and a sense of color, but his films often get lost in an artsy-fartsy fog and you canít expect him to provide an ending that makes the journey worthwhile. Thatís what happens here despite a strong performance by Gemma Arterton and Saoirse Ronan, an actress I have yet to see make a bad choice, in the lead.
Itís an important distinction that I have seen a couple of films from Jordan, while I have yet to see one by Rob Zombie that even rises to mediocre. However, Zombie is always someone Iím willing to indulge because I believe his heart is in the right place. He just isnít as skilled as he needs to be. Jordan is frustrating, sometimes laughable, and his few successes seem either accidental or the result of a studio keeping him on a tight leash.The Lords of Salem
3 by Rob Zombie. I regret watching more than one. I just think he's terrible... but I'll probably get bored one day and watch Lords of Salem.
I knew what I was getting into. I saw the trailer before the Evil Dead reboot earlier this year and I looked over to my friend and said, "No way will I see that." But when plans go wrong and you find yourself with some free time there's no telling what will happen. Rob Zombie hasn't made a movie I've liked yet, and this is sure to be the worst of the year for me.
This comes off as Rob Zombieís most personal film. Gone is the colorful comic book aesthetic and blatant aping of better filmmakers, while still having a particular look and feel that shows no concern for commercial success. (I canít tell if the low budget is by choice or a necessity from Zombieís lack of financial success.) There are plenty of pieces and if someone was inclined they could put them together to form of defense of Zombieís artistic vision, but this isnít an art house enigma. Itís a nearly incomprehensible, formless brain dump.