Author Topic: Shocktober Group Marathon 2017  (Read 12309 times)

philip918

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Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2017
« Reply #210 on: October 29, 2017, 03:27:31 PM »
A trio of witch movies:

Hocus Pocus (1993)

Quite fun with some hilarious lines and outrageous performances. Bette Midler chews the scenery and Sarah Jessica Parker is surprisingly fun and loose as the vapid and lusty sister. The film seems designed to spark awkward conversations between 12-year-olds and their parents with a running joke about a virgin lighting the black flame on Halloween night.

***

The Craft (1996)

It's pretty incredible that Neve Campbell and Skeet Ulrich starred in two iconic horror films in the same year. I liked this quite a bit. The focus is squarely on this group of girls and the changing dynamics as their infatuation with their powers grows. It's very much a precursor to Mean Girls with its sharp dialogue and biting humor.

***1/2

The Witches of Eastwick (1987)

The 80's seemed to be a time when studios would just throw a group of movie stars together under the lightest of pretexts and just let them go wild. This basically holds up under the assembled star-power. Watching in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal sure didn't make Nicholson's seduction scenes pleasant viewing. I was cheering as Cher gave him an epic dressing down, only to be disappointed that she succumbs to his charms. The end devolves into slapstick silliness and some bizarre early CGI, but watching Cher, Pfeiffer, and Sarandon as best friends easily makes the movie worth the time.

**1/2

oldkid

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Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2017
« Reply #211 on: October 29, 2017, 06:08:55 PM »
Krampus
Missed this a couple Christmases ago, so my oldest daughter and I caught up with it.  If I had spoken to the director ahead of time, I would have recommended that he reduce the number of references to other Christmas horror films, especially those with a macabre sense of humor.  The more I thought about Gremlins or Rare Exports, the less I appreciated this film.  I could see what they were going for, and it was... fine.  Sometimes good.  The end was a cool surprise, for instance.  But mostly I wanted it to be more.  More funny, more interesting.  I suspect that by the time Christmas comes around, I'll have a hard time remembering this Christmas Vacation meets Critters.

3/5

- Slightly Scary, because of danger to kids

Martyrs

Brutally unrelenting.  Well, that's not technically true.  There are a couple pauses in the first third that we think this film will have the usual exchange between normal life and grizzly horror.  Nope.  Don't believe it.  I feel beaten.

Ten year old Lucy is found, escaping from her torturers and put in an orphanage.  Amy befriends her and cares for her.  Then she finds out about Lucy's companion, who digs trenches in her skin with knives.  Fifteen years later, Lucy is taking revenge.

I kept wondering if it were over yet.  I check the clock and it's only a third over.  After the second third, I figured it had to be almost over.  Nope, still another half hour to go.  Why am I accepting this?  Why stay with the girls, suffer with them?  Frankly, I think I owe it to them, they have suffered so much.  Not once did I remember during the film that they are fictional and that none of this is real.

Somehow, I was able to think in the midst of this.  The original Greek word, "martys" actually meant a witness, someone who observed something and then would testify. They suffer because they need to tell us significant information.  For this reason the end seems even more horrifying and pointless.  I sunk when I realized that was all there was.  First I wanted it to end, then I wanted a bit more.

It is a powerful film, so well made, and a great horror experience.  But not for everyone.  I can't recommend it, but I'm glad I watched it.

4/5

- Brutally unrelenting.
"It's not art unless it has the potential to be a disaster." Bansky

oldkid

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Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2017
« Reply #212 on: October 29, 2017, 06:27:39 PM »
Raw

This week my youngest daughter, Ideathy, got a job.  She had been nervous about the job interview for weeks.  She didn't feel ready, and it looked as if she would back out and wait until after she graduated.  The whole prospect seemed daunting to her.  We decided to pick up another application so she could fill it out and they wouldn't have to look up the last one she turned in.  One of the managers saw her pick it up and said, "You can interview right now.  No one else is here."  A look of panic flashed on her face, a deer-in-the-headlights.  I told her I'd be happy to wait and sat down while she interviewed.  I could her her throughout the process and felt pride as she aced each question.  We had reviewed possible questions, and not a one we had covered was thrown at her, but she answered clearly and confidently.  Up until that point, she was a scared girl.  But in the moment of crisis, she was a Kimes, a confident, in-charge person.  The interviewer was so impressed, he said, "You are amazing.  I am ready to hire you now."  Just like if any of the rest of the family had interviewed.  We are good at this kind of thing.

Justine is dropped off at veterinary school nervous.  She seems so young, so uncertain.  And the values with which she grew up seems so out of place.  She wants to help, but she is pushed so hard by her first week of hazing and the demands of the school.  It is all so gross, so immoral.  How could she possibly live in this environment.  Her sister fit in, but she's different, she can do what she wants.  Eventually, Justine learns that she can do what she wants as well.  And what she wants doesn't fit how she was raised, but who she really is.

At points a coming of age film, then a woman's power film, then some really gross horror, then just gross for the sake of being gross, and a family story, this film is packed.  Somehow, it all seems to fit, each piece locking perfectly with the next until we have a cohesive whole.  Despite the gross horror, I could watch this again right now and learn more about being a teen on the cup of womanhood, and how different environments make us who we are.   Probably the most thoughtful of the films I've seen this month, but real excitement and drama is included to make it a wild ride.

4.5/5

- Scary and really gross.
"It's not art unless it has the potential to be a disaster." Bansky

1SO

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Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2017
« Reply #213 on: October 29, 2017, 11:41:58 PM »
A trio of witch movies:
I tried to man up and re-watch Hocus Pocus for my wife. Couldn't do it. She can return to that one by herself.

I should probably re-watch The Craft. It just always felt stuck in its time, even back in '96. It was dated before it was released.

Woefully underselling Eastwick. I can see the seduction scenes being a problem, but along with the leads what about some mention of George Miller's visual pizzazz?




oldkid, you are really on your game today. Your descriptions are spot on. Coming from the director of Trick r Treat, I also expected Krampus to be more than okay. The Art Direction touches are excellent, but there seems to be too much character comedy and not enough horror to balance it.

Your Martyrs review takes me back to my own experience. Unrelenting is the perfect word. It's horror, not realistic horror but the type of fantastical terror that often can be easier to watch because the unrealism puts up a barrier of protection. Martyrs tears right through that instantly. It made me question its existence because it's not just a parade of violence, but one that takes it all deadly serious. A true trip to the dark side that earned my respect because it's extremely well made.
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oldkid

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Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2017
« Reply #214 on: October 30, 2017, 02:18:21 AM »
A Ghost Story

"A place is a story over many times."

If a film isn't scary, can it be a horror film?  I argue that if it includes the tropes of horror, then it certainly is part of the horror genre.  The Bride of Frankenstein isn't scary at all, it's kind of hilarious, but it certainly belongs in the horror genre.  I think it can be argued that it was never scary to almost anyone. But that doesn't keep it from being horror. 

This is a movie that has a ghost.  Two, even.  But it is not scary.  Frankly, there is little to be nervous about.  For the first half of the film one would rightfully call this slow cinema.  There isn't the slightest tension when our protagonist dies. If fear, disgust and tension are emotional requirements for a horror film, this doesn't qualify.

That doesn't mean that the film isn't compelling.  It is fascinating and powerful. It reaches into the heart of human desire, to find the single thing that maintains the human spirit through eons.  It helps us understand the character of a place through many times.  It plays as many tricks on our perception of time as Arrival, and one could argue that it is more successful.

But it is quiet and plodding, not what one would expect of a "ghost story" at all.   But it is worth the time.

4/5
"It's not art unless it has the potential to be a disaster." Bansky

Pratters

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Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2017
« Reply #215 on: October 30, 2017, 03:40:26 PM »


Train To Busan


It is a thrilling ride. Reminded me of Speed. Such a tremendous action film with some thing exciting happening soon, right around the corner, at every corner. Then, they pack the emotions in it too. These make it a top notch movie. What I like most is the allegory to life. The train attendant is a zombie as she walks with the phone in her hand all the time, almost bumping into the male train attendant at one instance. The phombies, as they are called. Then, contrast between the fund manager and the blue collar or lower level worker is most interesting. At one point the worker calls the fund manager a blood sucking individual. Many have called him the same, the child says. The fund manager tells his child at one point to think for himself in times of crisis like this when he offers the child to an older woman. The old woman is herself killed later for her goodness, her friend muses in despair. So should we be good in this man eat man zombie world we are living in? A world where the senior train attendant is fine with pushing other people on to zombies to save his ass? That person too is human, it is shown, as he wants to get back to his family. We are living in such a society, for whatever reason, where people would not think another second to bite another person, infecting and ruining their lives, if it means bettering theirs. A life where only the truly loved ones are happy to sacrifice their lives for their near and dear ones. In the end, if we had time for poems, perhaps we would all have better lives. The last scene made me cry. I often cry in movies, and that is not unnatural by any means. It was a perfect ending to thrilling, yet humane movie. 4.5/5.

Pratters

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Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2017
« Reply #216 on: October 30, 2017, 03:53:41 PM »
Ragini MMS

Balaji telefilms produced some nice smaller films a few years back like Shor and Love Sex and Dhoka. I have been meaning to watch this one for a while now. It follows the same style as Love Sex and Dhoka with various cameras shooting the whole action. In that regard, it is also similar to horror films in this space.

The modern Indian horror genre is quite underdeveloped. We do not have many classics in the last 20 years like we should as a film industry. Given, that, this is a step forward. However, a lot of the movie itself is quite basic. There are far too many jump scares, so much so that I had to lower the volume.

Rajkumar Rao played the modern day rustic dick who wants to move ahead in life really well, as he does with all characters he plays. I wish we see Indian horror movies developing in the direction of this movie. Get us more horror films! 3/5.

Cabin in the Woods

Maybe this is an homage to the genre and what not, but it is just a poor film. It is predictable to a large extent and while some might be relieved that they were scared far less as it is all a reality tv show, it makes it suck for precisely this reason (among others) - it isn't that scary any more. There are far too many shots of the room from where they control every thing.

I would have liked some mystery, some intrigue, some apprehension, as I usually do when I watch a horror movie. 1.5/5.
« Last Edit: October 30, 2017, 03:59:39 PM by Pratters »

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Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2017
« Reply #217 on: October 30, 2017, 07:15:22 PM »
Ragini MMS

This continued with a sequel and a TV Series? Any interest?
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Pratters

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Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2017
« Reply #218 on: October 30, 2017, 07:34:25 PM »
Heard of the sequel which has average ratings on letterboxd. Not heard of the tv series. Not a fan of sequels usually and don't see myself watching either of the two.

pixote

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Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2017
« Reply #219 on: October 30, 2017, 10:12:41 PM »
What's the gold standard of Indian horror movies?

(I'm also interested to know the gold standard of Indian hoodie movies, which is how my phone autocorrected that sentence originally.)

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