Tuesday, September 28, 2010
I write this both as an immediate place to begin and as a personal record. As this blog progresses I shall make more movie suggestions, so expect to see it often. I was considering making this first post a huge list of recommendations to lay down all at once but I thought it over and would prefer to do a few at a time and explore them as I go. If anyone would like, I could make that list in an entire post and then expand on the selections in future posts. As a forewarning I should say that I am not a fan of most slasher and gorno/torture-porn films.
The Fly. Genre: Body Horror, Science Fiction, Drama, Psychological.
This film is quite a well known classic so I will not get into the basic plot but suggest the viewer look past the mutation and surrounding horror and invest more into the main character`s relationship with one another. My friend said it best that the film is like watching a loved one die, or seeing someone fall to drugs. Here is this person you love and they rapidly change and become a monster until you no longer recognize them. Now all that you loved about them and the relationship you shared rot, become abstract and terrible. A potent parable. I would also like to mention Jeff Goldblum was made for this role and is not a bad arm-wrestler.
Hellraiser. Genre: Holy shit, did he just flay that guy? Drama, Psychological, Supernatural.
First let me address that damn near every movie after the first two lost the soul of the Hellraiser series, pardoning both Inferno and Hellseeker who returned to the roots as best as possible. Before Pinhead and the Cenobites became slasher garbage who only served the purpose to murder people in absurd ways there was Julia Cotton and her tale in Hellraiser 1 and 2. When you read the comics, and watch Hellraiser 1, 2, and Inferno you get a better grasp of the original intentions. Pinhead, the Cenobites, Hell, they were all grim backdrops to human drama and old sins. Granted, in the comics there were story lines centered around Hell`s Politics, but I personally believe Hellraiser is at its finest when it is more about the human drama that was seen with Julia Cotton and her family, followed by severity of consequence rather shitty slasher. The aesthetic of hell and the Cenobites are extremely pleasing as well. Grotesque, BDSM, polarizing, and terrible.
At times I wonder if Hellraiser was a precursor to the modern torture-porn films from it`s slasher days, and that should not be read as; Hellraiser is responsible for gorno/ torture-porn. I realize there are a lot older films that could have inspired such.
I am interested in seeing how the remake is going to come along but my expectations are not high.
At this point I feel like I should throw in some older or more obscure movies from some cred. Fuck that, those will arrive in future posts.
The Thing remake. Genre: Body Horror, Science Fiction, Suspense, That dog seems fine enough.
Wow, another horror staple that pretty much anyone who is interested in horror already has seen and adores. This movie does so much so well; Intense and desolate atmosphere, suspense and paranoia, suitable to well done acting performances, easily one of the most disturbing and horrifying monsters ever that enriches the plot and atmosphere, excellent pacing, and two of my most favorite aspects of horror films and writing: dread and doom. I think there comes a time in everyone`s first viewing of this film that the awareness that this is not going to end well at all occurs, and yet the tense atmosphere and mystery of who is infected and what will become of those poor souls carry the viewer on. If by some chance you have not seen this film, see it.
The Ring, American Remake. Genre: Suspense, Surreal, Supernatural, Burn all VHS tapes.
A remake that improved upon an original film tremendously? Who would have thunk it? Having seen both, there is no doubt in my mind the remake is the superior film. The surreal aesthetics and shots alone make me drool. The art nerd inside of me aside, what makes the remake better are a couple of factors.
If you compare the coherency and clarity of the stories in both films, the remake is strikingly more approachable to both any immediate audience, and those who like to dive deeper. Do not get me wrong, I am a big fan of movies and writing that indulge the reader to make their own connections, pick up on subtitles, and genuinely think of what is being presented, but the original is too obscure at times and this especially becomes apparent in the comparison of both films.
Secondly, the pacing in the remake is near perfection. I can still recall how the first viewing of the remake captured me and built tension the entire film. From the first flash of that face riddled with pain and fear, to the mother and child copying the tape, I was sucked in and never faltered from attention.
Another aspect of the remake that stood out to me in comparison to the original was the attachment to the characters. Naomi Watts, being the incredible actress she is, does a wonderful job as lead, you sense her fear and disbelief as she nears the ladder, you see her desperation. With the original I did not have as much of a connection with anyone, it was more of a detached observation.
There is more to mention as well, but at that point it feels like nitpicking. This is a fine horror film filled with gorgeous imagery and at the time it came out it was extremely refreshing to the genre. I feel it is safe to say that The Ring remake also ushered in the coming American/Japan horror remake exchange we see today, which in itself is a nice claim to have. It is just a shame that Pulse and The Grudge are complete trash compared to the originals, but that is something I shall get into later.
Well there you have it, the first post. Thoughts, arguments, and additions are very welcome.
Posted by That Which Haunts at 8:30 AM