The blog of a person....yeah that sounds good.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

I'm not one of your fried chicken tramps!

My last blog post was a gigantic rant about a movie I absolutely hated. Today's post will talk about some recent movies I like! And a couple I didn't.

I'll start with the good ones.

The first is a film called We Are What We Are.
When you look this movie up you may be keen to notice theres two recent films with this title. The one I've seen is the remake. Remakes tend to be very poor compared to the original source material, but We Are What We Are was so darn good I'm actually pretty eager to see the original.
The movie is about a family in Pennsylvania dealing with grief. During a rainstorm their mother, who is clearly very sick, starts coughing up blood. She panics, hits her dead, and drowns in a ditch, leaving behind her stoic and quiet husband, two teenage daughters, and very young son. It's evident from the start of the film that the family is very traditional and rides on old-tyme religion. But we only ever get to see glimpses of it. Odd sayings, odd proverbs, and little hints that let us know they aren't your typical family.

The town coroner and local doctor named Barrow investigates the mother's body and over the course of the film slowly realizes she was suffering from a disease that only people who practice cannibalism can get. Around the same time his pet dog finds a human bone in the forest, near a river that runs down past the grieving family's home. Over the course of the flick the doctor realizes what we, the viewers, have already been seeing. Which is that this family are part of some age-old cult that kill people, bless their dead body, then prepare them for consumption. The two teenage daughters hate it, but being raised to do it they agree to help the father one last time before they attempt to run away. But things quickly GET REALLY OUT OF CONTROL.

The film is not particularly violent but it builds tension nicely. Especially with the father who is a very quiet but constantly glowering man who seems filled with a constant silent rage at those around him. Occasionally its revealed in short loud outbursts but we don't see the true extent of it until the movie's final act when SHIT GETS CRAY-CRAY.

Probably one of my favorite bits in the film is when the father is having some conversation with the friendly next-door neighbor and he quotes an odd piece of scripture.
The neighbor asks, "Is that in the bible?"

And the father, without batting an eye just mumbles, "It's in mine."

Which references the old pilgrim journal about cannibalism that the family use as their holy book.
We Are What We Are is a pretty nice little horror film that manages to be creepy through tension and not through violence or jump scares.

It's not the best film I've ever seen but compared to a lot of the crap we get these days it might as well be made of pure gold.


The next film is Europa Report.
This is a scifi film that me and my buddy Mike discovered by accident while searching through the "horror" section of the moviephone website. We don't use moviephone because we aren't neanderthals but sometimes it's nice to have an organized list of garbage to look at so you can scroll down and select the ones that interest you.
Europa report is one of those hard-scifi sort of horror flicks. There's not a whole lot of those, sadly. In literature there's tons and tons of amazing hard-scifi books and stories that would make your hair stand on end. But in the movie industry its a pretty untapped genre with very few titles. Luckily what few titles there are, are mostly fantastic.

Europa, while not fantastic, is good enough to sit with the rest.

Oddly when I first looked this movie up all I saw were people bitching about some monster in the movie which seemed to be at the end or towards the end of the film. It's particularly strange now that I've watched the film I can't really see why these complaints about it exist.

For starters Europa Report is NOT a monster movie. It's a movie about a group of astronauts who have been floating through deep space for months and months and months to get to the moon of Europa so they can drill under it's surface (where there is liquid running water) and see what life they can find. Along the way they lose a crew member in an accident who is played by the guy who was Vickus in District 9. He gets some chemicals on his astronaut suit while trying to fix something outside the ship and has no way of cleaning it off before his friend runs out of oxygen. So he helps his friend get back into the ship and he himself floats off into deep space to slowly suffocate.

Doomed forever to have his body float through the cosmos from the rest of time. Shit like that disturbs me. Anyway, as they approach Europa they start having radioactivity hit the ship and fuck with it's magnets and devices which causes it to land rather clumsily on the surface. They drill under the ice, find some bacteria and are happy. But one by one the astronauts start breaking through the ice and getting pulled deep into the subterranean ocean. Shit falls apart and eventually there's only one astronaut left. The ship sinks into the sea and we see that the radioactive thing that's been pulling people in is a big ol black tentacle monster. Sort of like an octopus but also covered in little lights much like the fish we have here that live deep deep deep in the sea where the sun can't reach.

Apparently this was REALLY hard for people to believe. I'm not sure why. It's a planet in the darkness, with giant pitch black oceans. Were people not expecting the monster to look aquatic? In a world where there's no predators on the surface would it not make sense that some sort of intelligent multilegged cephalopod or arthropod would be the apex predator?

Anyway, decent film. It's filmed in a pseudo-documentary sort of style which is popular these days. The only problems with the film really are the parts not focusing on the astronauts which are short snippets and interviews with the NASA scientists who funded and orchestrated the mission. None of their performances are believable and their grief over the dead astronauts is almost comical just because the performances are so bad.

But BESIDES that, it's a pretty decent scifi flick with some DAMN good cgi in a lot of parts.


My favorite of all the flicks I've seen recently was The Signal.
I'm not even sure where to start with this.
The signal is one of those movies where you watch it expecting it to be some sort of artsty fartsy type of film with loaded symbolism and obvious metaphors cause the way its shot and made really make it seem very....hipstery. Like a college student film.

That said, it's so much fucking fun to watch you won't give a shit about any of that.
The movie is about 3 nerds driving across the country to beat the crap out of a hacker who has been bothering them for a long time. They find his house and break in, only to be promptly abducted by aliens in what might be the scariest and shortest abduction sequence I've ever seen in a movie.

From there we get to see these 3 kept in a laboratory somewhere in the desert and watched over by Laurence Fishburn who plays a scientist kept in charge of them. He's very vague about his motives but he explains the reason for his vagueness is because he really has no idea what happened to these 3 nerds. He wears a very thick spacesuit (as do all the staff) when he's near the kids cause he doesn't know whats wrong with them. Could they have alien viruses? Could they BE aliens? He doesnt know and even though these ideas are terrifying, Fishburn is very calm and nearly mockingly friendly with the victims of this abduction. And for the most part, despite a few attempts to escape the lab everything is going swimmingly.

Then the kids realize they have weird new superpowers.
And then they realize they aren't actually on earth.
Then shit goes bonkers. REAL FUCKIN BONKERS.

The movie is absolutely ridiculous and while it seems it might take itself seriously, the concepts are so outlandish and the soundtrack is so deliriously happy electronic music, the movie just feels like the filmmakers had as much fun as they could. The film even ends with watching a spaceship descend into some crazy alien world with gorgeous CGI and some party music playing with the bass pumped up so hard you wanna get up and dance, even though the context of the scene itself is fucking horrifying.

Amusing, silly, frightening, scary, and overall just pretty stylish.
The Signal was good.


Watched this one last night.
What a ride. Similar sort of setting and theme with We Are What We Are; a bunch of very rustic old-timey-wimey folk living out in a very forested very rural area with some sort of cult.

With Jug Face the cult worships a thing called The Pit. The Pit is exactly what it sounds like. It's a big-ass hole in the ground about 7 feet deep full of mud and blood. The villagers are afraid of it but also respect it. One of the villagers is a man with some sort of learning disability but he is also the prophet. Every now and then his eyes go white and he falls into a stupor. In his stupor he takes some pottery clay and makes a jug. The jug also has the face of one of the villagers. Whoever that villager is upon the jug now will be the next sacrifice for the Pit.

What proceeds is a ritual where the person then has their throat cut open (one of those things I always get squeamish at no matter how fake it is) and their blood then pours into the Pit, apparently satisfying it.

The main character of the film, a young girl named Ada who has sexual relations with her brother, learns that she is the next person to be sacrificed to the Pit. She also learns she is pregnant with her brother's baby. So when the jug comes out of the kiln she quickly hides it away.

Well, this makes the Pit REALLY goddamn angry and it starts killing people.

You expect at some point in the film it's going to be proven the Pit is false or a hallucination or that maybe its real and the villagers will revolt against it since they are tired of losing loved ones to it. None of this happens. In fact, the film is resolved when Ada finally realizes (after being caught) that she HAS to die to the pit or its going to keep killing people, and she is sacrificed to it. And everyones lives return to normal and jug face's keep getting produced by the local retard priest guy.

Pretty neat film.
Certainly a very original concept and all the performances in the film are very good.
Plus it has Larry Fessenden in it, a really good actor who made one of my favorite horror films from a few years ago The Last Winter with Ron Perlman.

I highly recommend all of these.

I also saw two piles of absolute twaddle which I would only say to watch if you lose a bet.

1.) Last Days on Mars
This movie manages to have stupider astronauts than the ones in Prometheus. The amount of IDIOTIC decisions these people make is absolutely amazing. They are all so incompetent at their jobs it is absolutely remarkable. I've never seen a movie get so dumb so fast. I was watching it and thinking to myself "man why did so many people hate this? its ok so far..." and then this guy appeared.

And astronaut zombie man proceeds to not only kill several people despite not possessing any strength or otherworldly traits, he also knows how to drive a car, use power tools, and even set up remote explosives, all while being a zombie created by underground rock fungus. I'm not making this up it is actually that wild and dumb.

Crappy movie #2, which was actually a huge disappointment as I was expecting WAY more out of it was The Devil's Pass.

I grabbed this movie because it was about the Dyatlov Pass Incident which is one of my most favorite real-life scary stories ever. Sadly the movie is about as scary as the fart I'm holding in writing this.

I was really looking forward to this. Silly me!
So instead of being a cool story about a group of documentary filmmakers exploring the Dyatlov Pass mystery and becoming involved in the supernatural terror surrounding it, this is a movie about a bunch of douchebags.

Everyone in this movie is a douchebag. Every character is one of THOSE types. The ones who get drunk EVERY friday, go to a nice college completely off their parents money, have no practical knowledge, call each other Bro all the time, and who play games like Black Ops 2 and think its a masterpiece. Every character in the film is one of these types. They are all assholes and almost like caricatures of horrible americans. They possess every possible stereotype of awful american people and you will not emphasize with any of them.

They proceed to travel to Russia, unprepared, act like idiots, get drunk, meet a guy named Sergei (because Vlad and Ivan were too stereotypical) and then run off to the mountain. Through their own incompetence they managed to nearly all die in the snow and about 1 hour and 45 minutes into the film they get trapped in some underground military bunker. The film pick up here considerably with some good special effects, decent monsters, and gorgeous cinematography but sadly by the time this happens its too little too late and you will HATE the movie and everyone in it so much you'll be ROOTING FOR THE MONSTERS to KILL THEM.

I could honestly write an I, Frankenstein length rant about how this movie fucks up its own story, its dumb leaps in logic, and how it manages to shit on both the Dyatlov Pass and the Philadelphia Experiment all in the course of two hours but I won't.

I will simply say it is a pile of shit and not even worth grabbing from the 99 cent bargain bin at Walmart that it is destined to travel to.
 I hope everyone involved in the production of this film gets bitten by a spider on their genitals.
In happier news a new Aphex Twin album is coming out.

1 comment:

Thomas.j Binkley said...