Wednesday, December 08, 2010

A Mass of Awesome

Today I am going to talk a number of spoilers for a number of movies. If you don't want to know nitty-gritty details about "The Blair Witch Project", "The Mangler", "The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974)", "Paranormal Activity", "The St. Francisville Experiment", "Dead & Buried", "The Devil's Rejects" "Hatchet", "The Amityville Horror (2005)", "Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon" or "Silent Night, Deadly Night", then you had better stop reading and join me again next week for the final Horror on Hump Day of 2010. You're safe until the end of this paragraph while I outline what I want to cover about these movies. I make it no secret that I like a number of things and movies that others do not care for or outright deride. I thought in keeping with the upbeat trend I've been on that I would tell you about some of these today. I'm sorry for excluding some people from the fun, but now and then it's fun to talk about these spoilers.

Let's start with my favourite little story about "The Blair Witch Project" in the theatre. I went with a friend. Afterward we both agreed the following happened. As the film progressed we got colder and colder. The instant the credits rolled the cold was gone. There was no way it was anything other than psychological. I'm in a very tiny minority as a huge fan of "The Mangler". I just love it to bits, except for the incessant screaming of the girl at the end. Speaking of screaming, the first time I saw "The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974)" was on a really bad VHS. It was a poor experience when a large bit of the movie was a pair of white shorts running through pitch darkness--with nothing else visible--screaming, to the sound of a chain saw. I still think there is a bit too much screaming, though I'm sure there are some people who scream incessantly until they can scream no longer.

I thought "Paranormal Activity" was pretty good despite that it was in some ways a pretty tame haunting. It's all a matter of pacing, and successfully directing the kind of expectation the audience should have. The guy hurtling toward the camera made me jump, and I even like the demon-face morph. "The St. Francisville Experiment" gets a bad rep as a Blair Witch rip-off sight unseen, when really it's like an investigation of "Ghost Hunters" or "Sightings" in movie format--yes the ending's a bit Blair Witch. The ghost throwing the chair was really cool and the weird doll scene was a great bit of suspense. One of the freak-nastiest things I've seen is the burned man hanging upside down in the car in "Dead & Buried". There are a lot shots of him in the extras on the DVD box I have too. I call him Ham-head to mitigate some of the ick-factor, but really it makes it worse.

Stay with me, I'm going extra long today. Now for those moments where I hoped the movie would do something and did. That was awesome in "The Devil's Rejects" when he made her wear her boyfriend's face and then she chases after the maid and turns into a massive road smear. Or how about in "Hatchet" when he sticks the shovel in the ground and then uses it to spear his next victim? The best part of "The Amityville Horror (2005)" was when the ghost girl made the babysitter stick her finger in the bullet wound in her forehead. Then there is the movie where you wonder will it get to the horror goods and then--BAM--"Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon" turns from documentary making into horror movie when the real survivor girl is revealed. Finally, since it's the season, I must talk about the "Carrie" of slasher films, "Silent Night, Deadly Night" and the world's creepiest grandfather. I love that movie, and dislike none of it. The creepy Christmas carols and songs rock too. That's it. See you next week.

Mood: rebellious.
Music: Callin' The Shots by Quiet Riot and Where Eagles Dare by Iron Maiden.

Quiet Riot: Quiet Riot
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Iron Maiden: Piece of Mind
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