March 30, 2016

10 Cloverfield Lane (2016)



"After getting in a car accident, a woman is held in a shelter with two men, who claim the outside world is affected by a widespread chemical attack."

We all know how trendy it is for the jealous never-will-bes to bash J.J. Abrams (or any of the other successful producers/directors such as Michael Bay, Zack Snyder, Alex Proyas, or Neill Blomkamp) with their cowardly passive-aggressive tweets and boring podcasts which nobody but their equally slimy friends listens to, so don't think for a moment that I'm going to pander to any of their kind of audience with my review. This movie was directed by a new addition to the Bad Robot team, Dan Trachtenberg, rather than Abrams himself anyway.

Although it's no secret that I absolutely hated "Cloverfield" (2008) when it came out, and think that "Gwoemul" (2006) is far superior in every way, there were some bits of it I liked. I would have liked those bits even more if "Cloverfield" hadn't been filmed in the motion-sickness inducing faux "found footage" style. Thus, the fact that "10 Cloverfield Lane" (a sequel in not much more than name only, since it started life as a standalone story called "The Cellar") wasn't filmed with shakycams makes it a whole lot better than I expected without having to do anything else.

I used to have a piss bucket this size too.

"10 Cloverfield Lane" is more or less a triple-hander featuring John Goodman, Mary Elizabeth Winstead (from "The Thing" remake), and John Gallagher Jr. (who I've never seen or heard of before). There are a couple of other cast members who appear briefly, and a few voices on the radio, but the bulk of the story is really about the interactions of the aforementioned leads, how they cope with their confinement, their suspicions of each other, and all that kind of thing. There's a hint of romance too, but not much. There's no sex or nudity, barely any "bad language" (oh, so edgy!), and not much of anything scary either. I think you can guess the certification.

As a psychological thriller, "10 Cloverfield Lane" is as full of clich├ęs and formulas as most modern movies. If you haven't seen many movies, you'll probably think it's pretty good, but those of us who are older and have seen just about everything the genre has to offer will find it all very predictable and somewhat irritating. Let's face it, we aren't the target audience for products like this anyway, so it's likely to make us even grumpier than usual.

Despite this, the cast does a great job with what is essentially a ripoff of at least one famous episode of "The Twilight Zone", and John Goodman plays the "evil all along" trope in much the same way as Chuck Connors in "Tourist Trap" (1979). All Howard (John Goodman) needs is a limp, some creepy dolls, and telekinetic powers, and "10 Cloverfield Lane" would almost be the same movie. So yeah, it's really not the same at all, but you'll see what I mean.

It's a 550 piece jigsaw puzzle called "Catfish". That is all.

Once again, there were no cats in this movie. I'm obviously not on the right blog to make a big deal out of that at the moment, but at least Emmett (John Gallagher Jr.) and Michelle (Mary Elizabth Winstead) spend some quality screentime putting together a puzzle of a surreal snorkelling cat.

Apart from bonding the two younger characters, does the puzzle have any significance other than being a puzzle? Who knows? I'm sure there are a few theories floating around the nerd sites, but I couldn't care less about any of them. Looking for subtext in a throwaway movie like this (or any movie for that matter) is absolutely pointless unless you are one of those stooges on the "big name" sites (and in magazines) who are desperate to publish absolutely anything to vainly stay relevant, spoil other people's hobbies, and get money out of their sheep.

For that reason, I don't really have anything else to say about "10 Cloverfield Lane" except that it's better than the first "Cloverfield", it's not "groundbreaking", and it certainly isn't very original. It's entertaining, the production values are way above average, and John Goodman is awesome, and you can read what you like into what I haven't written about or said in this sentence.

Clever graphics, but the bunker isn't really that far underground.

Minor Spoiler
Do we really need yet another "final girl" trope? Puh-lease! Just fuck off with this trendy "progressive" shit. We get it! Women, just like all human beings, can do stuff. Now all the SJWs can clap their manginas with glee. Oh yay, she's a "strong woman". You go, girl! Bahahahaha! Jannicke in "Cold Prey" (2006) is still much better than all of them. And Sarah Connor is pretty fantastic too. Well, when she was played by Lena Headey anyway.
End of Spoiler

I suppose, given the fact that there's nothing any better to watch right now, I have to concede that I enjoyed "10 Cloverfield Lane" more than I thought I would or ever should. There's no lag, the story plays out quite nicely until the extremely annoying ending, and it's not quite as shit as most American or Canadian movies.

If you're looking for a psychological thriller rather than a pure horror or sci-fi movie, "10 Cloverfield Lane" is okay. Just don't expect it to be as great as something like "How I Ended This Summer" (2010) though.

March 24, 2016

The Witch (2015)



"A family in 1630s New England is torn apart by the forces of witchcraft, black magic and possession."

Agin my better reckoning, having travailed a vast ocean, I didst watcheth "The Witch". Hearken now, kindred, for the pure and faithful dispensation of mine own findings concerning this motion picture, if my conscience seeith fit to do so.

"The Witch" cannot be judged by false horror fanatics, as 'tis a work of the Devil himself to doeth so. 'Staid, thou must abandoneth prideful conceit to appreciate the lacketh of jump-scares, naked dugs, and blood herein this narrative which relieth on nothing save a thing called atmosphere. 'Tis not that such evils be not containeth in "The Witch", but blinketh and thou shalt miss them. Dost thou sayest contrarily, thou might be witched!

Verily, Colonnials wilt require subtitles to understandeth the strangeness of the Puritan accents. As anyone who doth hail from South of the Gap of Watford wilt testify, 'tis an ungodly language akin to the sounds of tupping beasts and 'twill be most unpleasant to thine ears. Shouldst thou walkest out of thy movie theatre with thy mind befuddled by gibberish, thou wilt assuredly not be the only one.

Fair Mistress Anya Taylor-Joy doth steal every scene.

If the deep Northern English tone of Master Ralph Ineson playing Master William dost not set thy nerves on edge, thou might be assuaged by the comeliness of Mistress Anya Taylor-Joy as Mistress Thomasin. Mistress Thomasin art a maiden who playeth on the Sabbath and breaketh all of God's commandments. She knoweth in her shame that she deserveth everlasting 'ellfire, yet has the fairest aspect and golden locks of an angel. Aye, there's the rub.

'Tis oft the case that a fair maiden dost hideth a secret evil, and verily, "The Witch" doth make much of this trope. Attempting to turneth it on its head to please the Warriors of Social Justice who would liken the subtext to a fallacious theorem called "feminism", doth not hold yet a pail of water carried on thy head. Such unmanly posturings haveth no place in this story which reinforceth the traditional superstitions of the patriarchy and doth not seek to quell them. Dost thou wish to oppose that contrarily with a gnashing of thy teeth? Soft now! Thou shouldst asketh thy goat!

Comely Mistress Sarah Stephens beest in it for nought but five minutes.

Mistress Sarah Stephens beest a more comely wench as the young seductive version of the evil witch in the woods, but her time on screen must be sparse. Nay, not as sparse as the complete lack of a witch in "The Blair Witch Project" (1999), but she dost not speak lest the vowels of her native Australian tongue giveth away that she be nought more than a Victoria's Secret model cast only for her titillating fairness. Thus, of all the maidens in "The Witch", Mistress Sarah beest the fairest to behold. 'Tis not only Master Harvey Scrimshaw as Master Caleb who wilt be fascinated by her countenance and come-hither bosom.

Adam's sin have been imputed to all, and a corrupt nature dwelling within, the cast doeth marvellous well with what they have to travail with. Likewise, the cinematography deserveth to be praised for its pridefulness but cannot be due to its oft-times darkness. Doeth the flaws outweigh the good? The opinion beeth by the sword divideth, and there be no consensus among them that art not afflicted by the pox. 'Tis God alone not Man who can tell thee.

Nay, there beest not cats in this film of witches.

Amidst blighted crops, addled eggs, goats bleeding instead of squirting milk from their teats, and with its grief-stricken protagonists in financial crisis, "The Witch" beest more akin to an analogy of modern life in the still recession-hit Colonies rather thanst the historical supernatural tale which it trieth so hard to tell. 'Tis hard to judge if that beest Master Robert Eggar's intent or not, since 'twas all filmed in Canada. There beest irony aplenty in that detail for thee if the Devil hold not fast thine eyelids.

Setteth in New England but filmeth in Ontario, "The Witch" looketh the part marvellous well yet falleth short on historical accuracy. Truly, 'tis most odd that in a story of witches, there beest no cats! Even a raven supping from a bloodied teat cannot be substitute for a feline familiar, and thou wouldst be smitten from the fermented juice of windfalls to suggest 'totherwise.

Master Robert Eggars hast been ambitious yet too pretentious, and "The Witch" cannot find favour in the eyes and ears of its target audience who didst squander over ninety minutes of their lives being bent out of grace by this arthouse drivel. Writers of Colonnial pulp horror fiction such as auld Master Stephen King ignoreth this problem, and 'tis clear that Master Brian Keene mayeth just be too stupid to understandeth anything.

How much wood doth a woodchop chop if a woodchop doth chop wood?

Here beest spoilers:

For thy scares, there art a stolen unbaptised baby who dost get killed to maketh an unguent for levitation, a dead dog dost get found, a bewitched pubescent boy falleth foul of the art of fascination, and there beest much communing of twin children with the Devil in the form of a goat named Black Phillip (voiced byeth Wahab Chaudhry). Everyone in the accursed family, save the fair Mistress Thomasin, dost dieth.

Although there beest blood hereth and thereth, "The Witch" hast no lashings of gore to speaketh of, and most audiences will be boredeth off their dugs.

Spoilers endeth.

Shouldst thou be looking to be afeared of a moving picture with nought but the talking of goats and wood-chopping Northerners, verily, "The Witch" beest the moving picture for thee.

I shall now take my leave and be glad on it.

March 3, 2016

Hudson Horror Show 13: 35mm Film Festival Announcement


"The Rules of Hudson Horror Show" Trailer:



Official press release:

Now in its sixth year, Hudson Horror Show continues to be the fastest growing retro horror film festival in New York. Fresh off another sold out triple feature at the Alamo Drafthouse in Yonkers, NY, Hudson Horror Show returns to its stomping grounds, the South Hills Cinema 8 in Poughkeepsie on Saturday, May 14th, 2016 for Hudson Horror Show #13! This all day event will start around noon and run past midnight, showing six full length horror/cult movies, all off vintage 35mm film. That’s twelve hours of movie madness for only $35.00! Tickets are exclusively available at www.hudsonhorror.com.

While theater’s around the country are ditching 35mm film in favor of all digital film presentations, Hudson Horror Show recently retro-fitted one of the theaters at South Hills Cinema 8 from digital back to 35mm film! HHS #13 will be held on two screens, but one screen is already sold out, so get your tickets for the remaining theater while you can.

So what are showing in May? Hudson Horror has been threatening to show a blaxploitation movie for years and thanks to our friends at Vinegar Syndrome we are proud to present DOLEMITE!! Be prepared for the Rudy Ray Moore classic which is easily the most politically incorrect movie we’ve ever shown!!

You’ve seen the sequel, now it’s time for the original, Robert Englund’s star turn in 1984’s A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET! With John Saxon, Heather Langenkamp and Johnny Depp this is the movie that turned the slasher genre on its head and made Freddy Krueger a household name.

Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water, HHS presents JAWS 2!!! The giant fish movie that many feels plays like a slasher flick, the shark sequel brings Bruce back to Amityville and the results are just as disastrous. JAWS 2 rarely gets any play theatrically and we are pleased to have this as part of our show.

Presented by The B-Movie Film Vault, we are excited to be screening NIGHTBREED! Clive Barker’s monster mash features more on screen creatures than any other movie ever filmed. The original theatrical cut from Clive Barker is still the most entertaining version of the movie out there and after six years we are pleased to finally have this at a Hudson Horror event.

On top of all that we will have not but TWO MYSTERY HORROR MOVIES!! Want to know what we are showing? Get your tickets and find out!

HHS is thrilled to announce that Louis R. Pisano who co-authored Jaws 2: The Making of the Hollywood Sequel (with Michael A. Smith) will be in attendance! Louis will have copies of this amazing fact filled Jaws book on hand and will be signing at the show.

Of course we’ll have vendors galore with DVD’s, shirts, toys and collector’s items; there will be door prizes, giveaways and so much more. That’s 12 hours of fun for only $35.00 a ticket! Each ticket sold comes with a free Hudson Horror Show/Leatherface sticker spoof sticker. Theater #6 is already sold out; get your tickets for the remaining theater now at www.hudsonhorror.com! If you have any questions shoot us an email at chris@hudsonhorror.com. We’ll see you at the South Hills Cinema 8 in Poughkeepsie on May 14th for Hudson Horror Show #13!

http://www.hudsonhorror.com
http://www.bmoviefilmvault.com
http://vinegarsyndrome.com