Category Archives: Film Takes
The Cabin in the Woods (15)
Starring Kristen Connelly and Chris Hemsworth
Strap yourself in kids; you’re in for a real treat with this postmodern horror. Hailed as the next instalment to Wes Craven’s Scream and from the writer of the ass-kicking and stake-stabbing Buffy the Vampire Slayer to the gritty and tense Cloverfield, Drew Goddard’s The Cabin in the Woods is a film with no limitations and strikes the perfect balance between the stereotypical and the surreal.
The Woman in Black (12A)
Starring Daniel Radcliffe
Good evening and welcome to Eel Marsh House, where everything is black, covered in cobwebs and small china dolls or monkeys play instruments.
In other words, welcome to shit-your-pants-ville.
The long wait is over. I have safely landed back into the blogosphere; blame my absence on MA work, Christmas and selling books. Or just my laziness and over-tiredness. With my insomnia back in full spirit after its sip of mulled wine, I’ve taken a journey into the land of film, more specifically the fourth dimension of Heavenly Creatures.
Heavenly Creatures (1994) directed by Peter Jackson is certainly a marvel to behold. Based on a true story from Pauline Parker’s journal entries in the 50s, Jackson begins a devilish journey into the ‘fourth dimension’, where fantasy grips two young girls and leads them straight to Hell’s gates.
Returning to my series of blog posts on ‘Old Horror Movies’, I shall take you into the psychotic world of Norman Bates. It’s not a pretty one, plus he has an avid fascination with stuffed animals and birds. Let’s just say, he likes to get his hands dirty.
Snyder just got it all wrong. Again.
I’m about to give up hope; may as well just run myself off the edge of a cliff, because I know my hero won’t be there clad in all his glory to save me.
So what’s the dealio Snyder, Cavill? Costume designer gone on their vacation, to the land of no return? Took off with Supes underpants, in a hurry to take over the world!? I knew you were an evil man Lex, but stooping to that level…
In case you haven’t got the foggiest idea what I’m speaking of, here’s a clue: the latest on-set pictures to be released of the new Superman film has Henry Cavill with the iconic red underwear gone, and in its place, lo and behold, Cavill’s crotch.
The Inbetweeners have been posing nude in front of our tv screens for a successful three series, now they’ve got us hooked on the big screen ready to bare their bums (as well as other parts) in a 90 minute ‘LOL’ trip to the Greek Island, Malia.
On hearing the word ‘movie’ in the same sentence as ‘end of the series’, it is safe to say that I was a little dubious. Though it worked for Sex and the City, fully disregarding the atrocity that was the sequel, I was blindly hoping that The Inbetweeners Movie may just ride out on a high.
I wasn’t disappointed.
Snyder and his team of hard-working Supe fans, have once again fallen short of expectations. The Man of Steel originally due to be released in Christmas of 2012, now pushed back to the summer of 2013, have provided fans with a sneak-peek at the brand-spanking new costume with Cavill looking ‘edgy’.
If you haven’t already seen it, you can view the whole article in full here: http://dcu.blog.dccomics.com/2011/08/04/%E2%80%9Cman-of-steel%E2%80%9D-revealed/
At first, I was damn excited for this film, but it seems with each new cast member or each new design feature, the Snyder re-boot is certainly flying to the fortress at an electrifying pace, and unfortunately never to return. Yes, they are meant to be revitalising what is seen to Hollywood as a ‘dead’ story, but are they taking it too far? Are they stepping in the wrong direction? Are they catapulting themselves into Krypton in the midst of their war, annihilating themselves upon landing? Personally, the new ‘edgy’ look just doesn’t cut it, Snyder is trying to fit a stray puzzle piece into the wrong puzzle board.
Superman isn’t like Batman for a reason; he is not human, and he doesn’t have the same flaws as humans. So why suit him up in scales and a cape that is more eligible to win dirt collector of the year award? If they were going for the ‘alien’ look, then they’ve definitely hit it on the head. With the constant improvements in CGI and design formats, Snyder’s team have certainly forgotten one significant element: Superman can fly; what use is an outfit with bumps in the air? Maybe they should go back to basic in physics; sleek, smooth and streamlined aids flight, rather than bumpy, bulky and similar to Batman.
Yet it isn’t just the suit that looks atrocious; Henry Cavill’s facial expression looks, quite frankly, evil.
Now unless our man has been taking an extra trip on the red K, Superman should look confidently calm in the face of his enemy. Henry Cavill is not that man.
What high hopes I had for this film, have been dashed, demolished and dunked in a pool of CGI corruption. I thought I would warm to Cavill, and maybe it is just a bad picture, but Snyder hasn’t even recreated the signature Superman ‘curl’ in the hair.
So I leave a final message to Snyder and his team: Get the hair right, or lose your respect. Get the suit right, or lose your fans. Direct Cavill better, or lose the Superman we’ve grown to love.
Being a big fan of horror films, combined with having plenty of time on my hands, (as a recent graduate!) and my amazing superhuman ability to stay awake until 6am, analysing the good ol’ horrors seems like a perfect plan.
The first of this series of blog posts will focus on the 1953 adaptation of H. G. Wells’s The War of the Worlds. How can I call myself a horror fan, particularly of sci-fi horror, if I had never seen H. G. Wells’s mutant take-over? I was certainly ashamed of myself, but as of now, I can face the world of horror with my head held high… (for the time being).
For those of you who haven’t seen this spectacular vision from the eccentric director, Lars Von Trier, it is certainly one film that die-hard horror fans cannot miss.
Von Trier opens with a heart-wrenching, gut-spilling and excessively phallocentric scene, where a baby boy finds his feet to climb a second-story window. The words ‘phallocentric’ and ‘baby’ paired in the same sentence is, of course, far from normal, but normality is not this films forte.
Filmed entirely in black and white, with classical music filtering our ears, the little boy steps off the window-ledge while his mummy and daddy have mind-blowing sex … or passionately make love for those with sensitive eyes.
The pleasure of the lovers (Willem Dafoe and Charlotte Gainsbourg) is beautifully juxtapositioned with the heart-breaking moments of their little boy falling in slow-motion. Losing his grasp on the teddy, he hits the ground in the moments of Gainsbourg’s sexual climax. The music fades and we are left with a feeling of intense terror and meloncholy.
In the months after their son’s death, Gainsbourg enters a coma of grief and with the help of her husband, a therapist by profession, they begin to seek a cure for their despair.
Unfortunately for the couple, Gainsbourg has become possessed by the idea of masochism, sadomasochism and an unhealthy sexual appetite. The terrible guilt of her son’s death weighs down upon her shoulders, and she begins to have vivid dreams involving her son and a garden she calls ‘Eden’.
Horror films are notorious for their slow-building tension and suspense, and Anti Christ does not fall short of these expectations. However, if you are the type of fan that likes a ‘quickie’ (gruesome but satisfying chain of deaths) then this is not going to be your cup of tea. The film focusses on the relationship between the couple and their abiding guilt for the death of their child.
It is on the couple’s arrival at ‘Eden’ that things start to get interesting. Allegorical symbols, sex, nakedness and a whole lot of blood spills forth onto the screen whilst Gainsbourg’s character continues her psychopathic rage. There is an interesting and more accurately disgusting moment within the last scenes of the film. I would like to divulge this scenario to you, but I’m afraid it would spoil the entirety of the film and its ending. For those of you who have seen the film, doesn’t it make you wonder how Willem Dafoe survived his wife’s reign of terror?
In a nutshell, this film is one that takes a strong stomach, but the beauty of the mise-en-scene and the heart-breaking opening sequence saves this film from becoming another ‘screamo-horror-shocker’.