Author Topic: Shocktober Group Marathon 2016  (Read 4143 times)

oldkid

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Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2016
« Reply #20 on: October 04, 2016, 12:22:16 PM »
Yes, I enjoyed Vincent a bit more, perhaps because it so clearly pointed to the older horror classics, while this film seemed a bit harder to see.

I wonder if I saw a poor copy of it.
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PeacefulAnarchy

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Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2016
« Reply #21 on: October 04, 2016, 11:19:38 PM »
A Nightmare on Elm Street Part 2: Freddy's Revenge (1985) 6/10
Some interesting ideas here, but the performances are weak and the Freddy sequences don't have good flow.

A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors (1987) 7/10
This was pretty good. The fact that it has an ensemble cast really helps, as does the setting which adds its own extra layer of horror. Freddy feels really menacing here and the mix of dreams and reality finds a good balance. It's still a bit incoherent at times, and a bit too graphic for my tastes, but I mostly liked it.

Junior

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Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2016
« Reply #22 on: October 05, 2016, 12:58:00 AM »
Dream Warriors is the clear winner of the sequels. Part 2 has some crazy shit in it, and the homosexual under(?)tones are pretty wild.

The Witches

I should love this. Roald Dahl is my dude and I remember loving the book this was based on as a child, though very few of the details have stuck with me. Unfortunately this is a big mess of nothingness. There are like three scenes in it (boy gets turned into mouse, mouse-boy has misadventures, mouse-boy gets his revenge) and each one seems to last for an eternity. There is absolutely no pacing here. What there is, though, are good costumes/creature design by the Jim Henson studio as well as a wacky and fun performance from Anjelica Huston. There's one point where she seems to be, um, "having a good time" with the idea of a young boy being turned into a mouse and it's weird but at least it has some verve to it. The rest of the film is so lifeless in its pacing that not even the zany things actually happening on screen nor the crazy camera lenses and angles could keep my interest. Oh, and it seems like Sam Raimi was the sound guy because damn if there isn't a lot of shrieking going on. Everybody is turned up to 13 and it really starts to feel like nothing matters anymore. As far as kiddie starts to Shocktober go, it's no Monster Squad.

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PeacefulAnarchy

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Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2016
« Reply #23 on: October 05, 2016, 01:35:39 AM »
I watched The Witches in theatres as a kid when it came out being a big fan of the book. I was severely disappointed. I remember my impression of it more than any specifics, but your no pacing comment rings true. I'd like to give another chance because I like Roeg and 9 year old me had no taste in movies, but I can't convince myself it will go well.

oldkid

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Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2016
« Reply #24 on: October 05, 2016, 07:26:44 AM »
I remember watching The Witches in theatres after reading the book as an adult.  I thought it represented the book well, especially the creepy premise of these women taking their wrath out on children.  But neither really captured me, probably because of the long sequence of following a mouse's adventures.
"It's not art unless it has the potential to be a disaster." Bansky

PeacefulAnarchy

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Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2016
« Reply #25 on: October 06, 2016, 01:37:30 AM »
The Company of Wolves (1984) 4/10
This is an anthology film, framed as a Little Red Ridding Hood adaptation, all dreamt by a modern day girl, and my question is: Why? The modern day bookends serve absolutely no purpose, and the red riding hood story is cool on its own, but is destroyed by the constant interruptions. The interspersed stories are a mixed bag, but all of them fare worse because of the framing devices that draw attention away from the content. There's no real payoff for this construction, and while the content is ok it's nowhere near special enough to overcome it. The special effects are cool if weird bits of gore are your thing, but I find them really gross and I imagine those who like that sort of thing would feel there's not nearly enough of it. A supremely unsatisfying film that wastes good performances.

Intruder (1989) 6/10
A stripped down slasher with gory kills punctuating the tension, or tedium depending on your perspective. It has its moments, and I love that ending, but mostly its not very memorable. Still, at least it has a much more effective mood and momentum than the other two films I watched today.

Parents (1989) 3/10
What a tonally ineffective film. It's an 80 minute horror comedy that has neither horror nor comedy for the first hour. It's not even that it fails at being funny or scary, it's just that those involved seemed to think that bright colours and 50s americana are in themselves enough to be amusingly unsettling. It's all very tiresome to watch and the climax is more blunt, but still not very effective.

1SO

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Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2016
« Reply #26 on: October 07, 2016, 01:29:32 AM »
Back home from my secret mission. Will probably join the Marathon tomorrow. Meanwhile...

The Witches - When I saw it, reviews pegged it as an offbeat horror alternative from an unusual director. I remember liking it, though there was something off about it's visual approach. A serious director pandering to kids, creating something that would be grotesque if it didn't look so fake. (Beetlejuice - Tim Burton). I've been debating re-watching it by showing it to Mrs. 1SO, but you've nipped that idea.


The Company of Wolves - I am not a Neil Jordon fan, but the lush production values got me to watch this a 2nd time, and I really liked it. It's not my type of film - structured - but the dreamy/nightmarish look built a thick mood. I saw it as a film that repeated a lot, with variations that provided the right kind of build so that I didn't think it was spinning it's wheels. Like a cool techno song that would layer in new sounds.

Intruder - I didn't think I had seen this, but the moment I saw Scott Spiegel as the director it clicked. He never met a flashy attention-calling shot he didn't like. He came up with Sam Raimi and it shows, but he's the high school version of a Raimi film.

Parents - One of the worst films I've ever seen. Period.

1SO

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Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2016
« Reply #27 on: October 07, 2016, 12:40:39 PM »

Fingers at the Window (1942)

This is listed as a Film-Noir/Mystery, but the plot description and title suggested Horror and I was right. The dark streets are more reflective of a killer in hiding and not suggestive of an interior darkness. An axe murderer is loose in Chicago, and the film shows you within the first 10 minutes that it's Basil Rathbone, so there's no mystery to it.

There are a number of properly scary scenes with characters chasing cats into dark alleys, people watching a window shade while a light flashes outside and our two leads waiting for the train while we know Rathbone is among the group. Many of these sequences contain impressive shots that makes this one of the earliest films with Hitchcockian flair.

Less impressive are the two leads, Lew Ayres and Laraine Day. Both were famous in their time, but pale next to the enduring superstars of the classic era, including Rathbone, who does more with just his voice. (His strong profile is also well-used in the many night sequences.) I wanted to like the film more because it's a good start to my Shocktober and better with the horror than more overt monster movies from this era, but between the weak leads and a plot that needed to be more clever, this is passible at best.
Rating: * * 1/2

Sandy

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Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2016
« Reply #28 on: October 07, 2016, 07:05:42 PM »
"Don't be shy. You learn to fly and see the sun when day is done. If only you see."

1SO

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Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2016
« Reply #29 on: October 07, 2016, 08:34:41 PM »
Sandy (and everyone else), let me ask a question, because there's one scene in the film that I despise and it's never discussed. Would especially love the opinion of a horror 'neophyte'.

There's a scene where the group is playing Truth or Dare and the blonde Jules is dared to make out with a wolf's head that hangs on the wall. The rest of the film is about subverting cliche and expectations, but this scene is the worst type of sexual degradation and objectification this side of Michael Bay. The camera pans up the back of her body as she comes onto he wolf. There's a shot where she speaks seductively to the camera. I kept waiting for the subversion, the twist, but instead it's played straight, unlike the scene in the woods between Jules and Thor where the film cuts to all the nerds watching on the monitors.

 

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