Friday, October 14, 2011

Movie Reviews!

Movie Reviews! Friday has been such an integral part of my blog here that I'm going to post a Friday roundup of my movie reviews over at, using what I think are the best snippets. Though sometimes they're not the best snippets, but just the bits that make sense outside the context of the entire review. Anyway, links in the movie titles.

The Dead End poster says, “Read the Signs.” And if you are any sort of horror fan, you will certainly be able to read the signs. You will guess the big twist of the movie at mark 2:41, because it’s very obvious and because the twist is easily the single most over-used twist in horror movies. And because you’ll get the twist, you won’t enjoy the movie, because it doesn’t offer anything else. Not character, or beautiful cinematography, or thrills, or emotional content. It’s all about intriguing you awith what the heck is going on, so when you catch it, you will spend the rest of the film totally bored. And insulted, really, that the filmmakers believed they were really getting you with such a hackneyed, lazy plot device.

At first, They Live seems to be letting the human race off the hook. It’s alien invaders who’ve done all this evil; humans are just victims. By the end, though, much of the blame rests squarely with our “screw you if I’ve got mine” mentality.

Seriously, with the state of the economy, this movie couldn’t be more timely. Except in the reality of They Live, you get the satisfaction of watching a pro-wrestler blow away those responsible with a multitude of small arms.

Commie propaganda at its best.

The next scene takes place in an SUV, with grad students and friends driving into the wilderness, where young people go to get murdered. In this SUV are such thin characters that I can’t even place a descriptor on one of them. Two are students. One is the INCREDIBLYANNOYINGASSHOLE. One is the sensitive male. One is the slutty girl. The other young woman is completely non-descript, and remains so throughout Primal. My guess is that she’s there just to increase your anticipation of seeing a boob.

When a horror franchise reaches its seventh film, you know it’s gonna be a goodie! They’ve worked out all the kinks. They’ve plumbed the depths of theme. They’ve come to understand the source of horror, and with that understanding are able to fully realize their vision.

Okay, now I planned that opening as a joke, but apparently seven really is a lucky number, because several of the biggest horror franchises have had really good seventh installments. I can barely tell the difference between most of the Friday the 13ths, but the seventh had the psychic girl, which was pretty awesome. The seventh Halloween is Halloween H20, and as I’ve already stated, in my opinion it’s the second best of the original Halloween incarnation. The seventh Nightmare on Elm Street is Wes Craven’s New Nightmare, which was Craven’s testing ground for the meta-horror concepts he would later use in Scream. It was also very well received critically.

But Revelation is certainly no lucky number 7.

It’s difficult to review a movie like Bikini Girls on Ice, because it’s not like I had any real hopes going into it. Of course, you always hope that a filmmaker with a brilliant sense of irony is going to provide a title that completely belies the genius nature of the film, but when you watch a lot of horror movies, that hope is small and frail, being malnourished.

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