Monday, April 18, 2011

Movie Monday: Horror Edition

Ah, horror movies... once I started watching them, I couldn't get enough! Since I had planned to see Scream 4 over the weekend, I figured I would warm myself up with a couple other horror films before opening weekend. Some parts made me jump; others made me realize how some situations (on a realistic point) are truly scary. I warn you, the clips I included might make your heart accelerate...

The Crazies

In the small town of Odgen Marsh, Iowa, the residents experience a toxin that is turning them into zombie-like psychopaths. Before many of them can leave town, the army and national guard seal off the town. Four of the residents, including Sheriff David Dutton (Timothy Olyphant) and his wife Judy (Radha Mitchell), escape and try to get to Cedar Rapids while figuring out why recent events have forever changed their lives.

What I really enjoyed about this movie is how extremely realistic it was... in several ways. For the government to contaminate the water in a small town and see what would happen, then to seal off the town to conduct experiments on those that have been contaminated was executed very well. One of the residents communicated to David about escaping without his wife, who was trapped in one of the guarded buildings. That would really happen in a survival situation. As the experiment was going on, everyone was being tracked by aircraft, which made things more difficult for the escapees. As for the gore factor, it was good. There were several different parts that made the movie visually stimulating. Rating: 4 out of 5 stars


A group of backpackers find themselves stranded in a town in Brazil after their bus goes off road and rolls down a hill. Instead of waiting several hours for new transportation, they decide to look for a place to relax. After finding a secluded area which has a beach and bar, they spend the evening meeting some of the locals. By morning, the group realizes that they have lost everything except the clothes they were wearing and must travel into town. They are lured by one of the locals they befriended and follow him to his uncle's home. However, the local has other plans for the group... which turns the vacation into a survival scenario.

If you are looking for a movie with a lot of horror and not a lot of story, this isn't the movie for you. I was actually disappointed in the lack of action in this film. Other than someone accidentally hitting his head on a rock, the "good stuff" didn't start until an hour into the film (which the movie is only an hour and a half). It seemed like the exposition was way too long, but in a way it needed to be for the audience to grasp exactly what was going to happen to the backpackers. Once the homeowner arrived, with a group of assistants, I started to get scared (I don't want to spoil the movie, but the homeowner is a doctor and his professional skills come in handy). I mean, what happened to the backpackers does happen, and it put a reality check in the film... that's what makes it scary to me. Rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars

Scream 4

10 years after the Woodsboro murders, Sydney Prescott (Neve Campbell) returns to her hometown while on her book tour. As she is reunited with Dewey (David Arquette) and Gail (Courtney Cox) and family-including her cousin Jill (Emma Roberts)- she finds herself encountering the Ghostface Killer, but with a new, more social-network friendly twist.

Scream was my first real introduction to horror movies... it will always have a special place in my heart (much like how others would credit the original Halloween or A Nightmare on Elm Street). So when I heard of a fourth installment, I was torn. One, the films were made to be set as a trilogy; to add another film would ruin everything. Two, I was curious as to how it would reinvent the series, especially since the original writers teamed up with an *ingenious* story. To my surprise, it exceeded my expectations.

The first film poked fun at past horror films when it came to predictability and stupid decisions made by those trying to escape death. This movie did the same thing, but was making fun of the Stab films for coming up with ridiculous sequels just to make money at the box office (which made the first scene of the movie hilarious and full of gore). I loved that the movie kept me guessing and was completely thrown off as to who was behind the Ghostface Killer mask.

I don't think this movie would have done as well if it wasn't for the blend of comedic timing, extremely gory scenes, and the parallels to the first film (example- Jill's boyfriend would sneak into her room through the window, just like Billy did with Sidney). I also loved all the references to other horror films, like when a couple of the characters were watching Shaun of the Dead (that got a lot of cheering from the audience). I consider this film the second best Scream film to date and was disappointed to hear that it flopped at the box office over the weekend. I hope time changes that since I really enjoyed the film. Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

I am planning to do more "themed" type of movie blogs... like 80's films, movies and their sequels, etc. If you like the idea of having more Movie Monday blogs with themes, let me know. I always love getting input or new ideas!

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