Author Topic: Shocktober Group Marathon 2018  (Read 4034 times)

FLYmeatwad

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Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2018
« Reply #60 on: October 07, 2018, 09:38:47 PM »
Tales From The Crypt

I don't mind anthologies, and think that they could really work for this genre; however, even though there are key differences between the five stories here most of them still ended up feeling kind of the same. I never watched the TV show, though I did still know what the HBO Crypt Keeper looked like, so this was a little bit of a surprise. And the framing story was fun in the way that Twilight Zone episodes always are, even if there's not a lot of breathing room or transitioning between the stories. It was fine, just kind of underwhelming.

On the scary scale, this sucker gets a...

oldkid

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Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2018
« Reply #61 on: October 07, 2018, 10:31:08 PM »
It (2018)

I watched this film with trepidation. I read the book in 1989, and it freaked me out.  For years.  I was afraid of the dark, afraid of almost everything.  Of all the Stephen King books I read, if his goal was to scare me, this is the one that worked best.  And I actually don't like being scared. It's unpleasant.  So I never watched the miniseries and only after reading a number of reviews in praise of this film did I decide I would take a chance.

I needn't have worried.

It's a beautiful movie.  A chain of wonderfully cinematic scenes that don't have, or need, much glue to keep it together.  Pennywise is perfect with his painted make up and balloons that look as if they were created by a computer.  Every scene is excellently composed and a joy to look at.  But not scary.  Well, maybe the teeth.

I realize that the reason the novel worked so well is because there are a thousand pages painting, not a monster, but the internal landscape of fear.  Fear is in the mind, which is why my dear homeless friends cause shivers to crawl up the spine of my neighbors. And Stephen King is brilliant at embedding the seed of the most irrational fears on our minds through the description of other's thoughts.  Which is what is usually missing from the films based on his works.  All his most powerful prose cannot be expressed on film.

So It is a good film, fun, exciting, and thrilling.   Mildly scary.  A thing of beauty. 

3.5/5
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1SO

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Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2018
« Reply #62 on: October 07, 2018, 11:34:03 PM »

Predators (2010)

Until now, I had never seen a good Predator movie. I like the idea of the Predator, the way he looks and the weapons he uses to hunt (a blend of primitive and high-tech), the creature design is classic, but the films themselves never did it for me. I get the uber-macho approach to the first film but it's routine action followed by dull scenes of horror. It was never a smart film, but pretty genius compared to the sequels. That's kind of still true because there are moments where you want to smack this film in the back of the head for something stupid. Not with the overall story, which has a number of creative ideas, but with some of the characters (crazy person talks to imaginary friend, crude convict, Japanese man fights Predator with samurai sword) and occasionally the dialogue, it falls short of being the inarguably best Predator film.

If I was casting a hard-ass military fighter, Adrien Brody wouldn't come to mind, but he's such a good actor that his performance convinces me that he's perfect for the part. I'm not even a big fan of Brody, but he's in complete command here, both in terms of character and charisma. Topher Grace is usually a film killer with me, but he's really good too. I was excited to see Walton Goggins, but his character is completely terrible and Goggins just amps up the bad. Always good to see Danny Trejo in a film like this and Mahershala Ali is more interesting to look back on post-Oscar. There's another big name who comes up later, but it's a paycheck performance, lacking Brody's commitment.
Rating: ★ ★ ★ - Okay

- No scares, but it gets pretty bloody.
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1SO

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Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2018
« Reply #63 on: October 07, 2018, 11:58:30 PM »
It (2018)

I watched this film with trepidation. I read the book in 1989, and it freaked me out.  For years.  I was afraid of the dark, afraid of almost everything.  Of all the Stephen King books I read, if his goal was to scare me, this is the one that worked best. 

I watched this again because I find it interesting that my wife has a deep fear of clowns. She'd like to go to a haunted house or maze this year, but it's nearly impossible to find one that doesn't include scary clowns. IT is a film she will never watch, though she asks me questions about the film because she's curious to know just how scary Pennywise is. How far does he go?

Disagreeing with many, I still think the ensemble is the worst part of the film. The writing of the characters is lacking dimension, making the parents and the bullies seemingly exist only to be horrible people. Even among the kids, only Beverly Marsh has enough substance to equal all the characters in Stranger Things.

So for me, the Pennywise scenes are the only good parts of the film. There are a number of good shocks and scares, but it's that first street drain scene where Bill Skarsgård really gets to shine as Pennywise. The rest of the time he's more about presence, changing size and shape (and in one great touch dancing up a storm while his head keeps perfectly still.) I'm not even sure my wife could listen to Pennywise's first scene, but clowns don't scare me so I find it all interesting.

I realize that the reason the novel worked so well is because there are a thousand pages painting, not a monster, but the internal landscape of fear.  Fear is in the mind, which is why my dear homeless friends cause shivers to crawl up the spine of my neighbors.
On this 2nd viewing, I was more tuned into the creature only using a clown disguise to create fear. Even beyond the moments of teeth, there are small hints that get you wondering what the hell does this thing look like in its true form? I also got a better feel for how the creature was working to create fear in the kids that it could then feed off of in some kind of non-digestive way.
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smirnoff

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Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2018
« Reply #64 on: October 08, 2018, 01:18:48 AM »
Curious if you're wife has watched The Dark Knight, 1SO? Or I guess any Batman for that matter? Does she think of The Joker as a clown?

On a related note, I think Skarsgard's performance in IT is on par with Ledger's Joker. They both achieve something similar I think. :)

1SO

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Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2018
« Reply #65 on: October 08, 2018, 02:14:58 AM »
We refer to Nicholson as the exception that proves the rule because she loves that Joker. Can’t watch or even look at stills of Ledger, Leto or Joaquin Phoenix. LEGO Joker was fine.
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1SO

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Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2018
« Reply #66 on: October 08, 2018, 11:30:49 PM »

Slither (2006)
"Uh... so... what's going on here, exactly?"

After all the stupidity of Disney firing James Gunn from the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise, I wanted to go back and rewatch his feature debut, look for that James Gunn tone with the comedy and perhaps share the experience with Mrs. 1SO. I'm really glad I didn't do the last part because the wife hates gooey and this is gooier than the entire Alien franchise. There are also a number of dead animals, including pets, which is a turn off for her and a reminder of Gunn's provocative, bad-boy behavior that got him in trouble in the first place.


I didn't like the film more on a 2nd viewing. Gunn is still learning his craft and the dialogue could afford to be a lot punchier.  The initial creepy attacks are very uninspired, but Gunn keeps dialing up the outrageousness until it stops becoming a comedy with gore and the gross scenes are what the film so funny. Nathan Fillion's attempts to stay cool eventually becomes a Buster Keaton series of deadpan reactions to the unbelievable sights. I like how the creatures aren't just space slugs, there's a hive mentality that lets the film take from the zombie genre as well.
Rating: ★ ★ ★ - Okay

- Intense and really gross
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oldkid

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Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2018
« Reply #67 on: October 09, 2018, 02:07:41 AM »
ISO, only the Pennywise scenes? What about the scene with the painted lady?  The bathroom of blood? Excellent work there, and quite shivery.
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Sandy

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Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2018
« Reply #68 on: October 09, 2018, 04:08:35 PM »
The Woman in White (1948)

Gig Young plays an artist summoned to an estate of eccentric and dangerous people, headed up by Sydney Greenstreet, who is in peak form. Everyone here is intriguing including a trio of women - Alexis Smith, Eleanor Parker and Agnes Moorehead - with questionable claims on the estate and its fortune. In the style of Rebecca, but more overtly spooky. It would be perfect for Sandy if it were only a bit better. Something lacking either in the casting, aside from Greenstreet who's an endless delight, or the relaxed pace.
Rating: ★ ★ ½

1SO, I wanted you to know I'm following along with this marathon! :) And, I have a little hope you do find something as good as Ghostbreakers, or The Others, or The Innocents. I just made it through Scream (review coming) last night :o and these other type of horror films may just be more to my sensibilities. So, that's why I'm enjoying your gleaning!
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FLYmeatwad

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Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2018
« Reply #69 on: October 09, 2018, 09:55:08 PM »
Jaws

I guess this qualifies. It does, because it has so many elements of horror, even if you also deal with a lot of typical Spielberg (though tbh Jurassic Park feels way more 'horror' than this, and even that I'm not sure I'd use the term, but it applies there too, I guess) and that John Williams score that does more than it really needs to be doing. The way that leg sinks down to the bottom of the ocean, the screaming, the quiet moments that build tension before a bloody attack (albeit a final encounter that goes on way too long, truly marking this with Spielberg's stamp), it's all there. And all PG, as well, though it was a different time or something. I'm going to let you know right now that, even compared to my other impressions, this will more be me working through things than normal.

Specifically why I have trouble with it in this marathon despite the markings of horror very clearly being present. There's a killer, for sure, and it stalks the victims, can strike pretty much whenever (as long as you're in the water, though it's fourth of July weekend, so obviously you will be, I can easily buy in to that), seems almost unstoppable in its terror. I mean it's not really scary, a result of so much taking place during the day, though that should make it more 'real' and terrifying. As a horror film that's where I might have a problem though, which is personal preference. It's just plausible. There's no supernatural twist, I'm sure you could argue that the shark knows what its doing and the attacks are a little more targeted, but it's still instinctual even if it knows how to toy with its prey, and it's not a monster, it's just an animal. I'm afraid of snakes, in a phobia way, but those are real. And so are sharks. Like I'm careful when dolphins look like they're too close in the Atlantic. It's just hard for me to feel dread or terror in a film when it's believable. It's a fear of the known, not the unknown. And it's a horror film, by the rules of the genre, I know that, but it doesn't feel like one to me.

On a scale of scary, this one gets a...