Sunday, October 21, 2012

Crestfallen (2011)

Directed by: Jeremiah Kipp
Written by: Russ Penning
Origin: USA
Genre: Realistic "Horror"
Released: 2011 

Have you ever sat down and stared at a painting, and while looking at the subjects and the backgrounds try to conjure up a story for these fictional people and places? This is precisely how I felt when watching Crestfallen, a 2011 short film directed by Jeremiah Kipp. 

I find it best to describe this short film as a painting not only because of the thoughts and emotions it arises, but also because there isn't a word of dialogue through the film. No form of diagetic sound exists at all. Instead we are treated to a hauntingly beautiful score by Harry Manfredini (known for his work with the Friday the 13th series), matched up with a series of memories of the main character of the film. 

One could argue that this isn't technically a horror film, and in their own beliefs they could be correct, however, the film deals with multiple "realistic" horrors that every one of us fears in our daily lives: infidelity by a loved one, broken hearts, suicide. Crestfallen deals with all of these realistic horrors in a way that, tragically, many would also deal with them. 

Without a word of dialogue, this short film relies on the use of lighting, framing, and scoring to invoke a sense of dread in the individual. In today's impatient society, it is hard to capture and maintain a consistant interest from the viewer in film without having a plethora of scenes of blood, gore, nudity and violence. However, Crestfallen has managed to execute this challenge beautifully, as I found myself engaged and constantly trying to figure out what has happened to this poor girl. 

Another brilliant aspect of this film is that not only does it deal with the realistic horrors of life, but there is an underlying theme of survivalism with the good and the bad. In other words, it allows us to reconsider how bad things really are, and whether our extreme decisions are really the best options on how to deal with them. If your boyfriend or girlfriend has cheated on you, should you really feel the need to end your life? Can all the good times you had counter the one soul-crushing moment you have experienced? This is just one of the many questions I asked myself after seeing this film, a film that will leave you thinking even after the final frame. 

The film can be seen here 

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Resurrected: The Director's Cut

As my recent (it's only been, what, not even twenty minutes?) post mentioned, I am back. Back after quite the hiatus, but that usually means I have been up to something, right?

No, absolutely not. I have just been so lazy. Well, kind of. 

You see, between the months I have been gone I have been participating in a massive social experiment called "college". Intriguing idea, really. It seems that the general idea is you get a massive control group of participants willing to spend money to get an education, and then set them free on a campus to interact with other people. 

Queer, isn't it?

Anyway, that's that. I actually wanted to talk about what I really want to do with this blog now. For some reason, I have gotten emails from people that were generally interested in my blog, which has given me the inclination that people want to know what it is I think about horror films. And thus, I return to reviewing films, but I also have an interest in lesser known works. In fact, so lesser known that almost no one may have heard of them. I am not talking about the obscure underground horror scene (though, that is interesting too), but I am talking about works from students in film school, or are majoring in cinema. 

I am one of these aforementioned students, and I have always been interested in seeing the works of other fellow filmmakers. At this point, I will ask anyone reading this to do the following:

If you, or someone you know, has made an original work and you want me to take a look at it, feel free to ask and I will comply! 

Because, who doesn't want to get a little (and, my God, do I mean little) exposure for their stuff? And amateur works are far more rewarding to watch than the countless amounts of popular horror films that have been wading in the sea of cinema for the past half century. 

So, shoot me an email at any time if you have any work you want me to check out. 


All right, so, I'm not dead.

Moving on.

This. I am going to watch this tonight.

Surprisingly, I haven't seen it before. 

So, Clive Barker, eh? I expect too much nudity and too much gore.

Don't you let me down, Barker. 

Friday, June 1, 2012

Screamshot Timeslot (June 1st, 2012)

Every Friday, a Screamshot Timeslot will be posted.
The purpose is to guess the name of the movie the screenshot comes from.
There will always be five different shots.
Guess them all correctly, and you win a prize! 
What is this prize, you ask?
Why, a little bit of my respect! A teeny tiny fragment of it, as a matter of fact. Whoever, you are eligible to win only once in a lifetime, thus meaning it is impossible to win complete respect from me. 

Click "Read More" for this week's answers.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Headline of the Day: Hatchet 3 is officially filming

In news that excites and arouses me way more than it should, director Adam Green has confirmed that the latest installment in the gore-spewing slasher series Hatchet is officially filming. 

Zach Galligan, otherwise known as Billy from the Gremlin series (another personal favorite), is set to star in the film, alongside horror icon Derek Mears, best known for playing Jason f*cking Voorhees. Also set to star in the film is Danielle Harris, who played the niece of Michael Myers in the later half of the Halloween series. 

Mears will be playing the chief of a SWAT team assigned to go into the swamps and contain the horrors that have happened there. In other words, it's the original Jason Voorhees vs the new Jason Voorhees. And the fandom rejoiced. 

According to director BJ McDonnell, 
“The story finds Harris hunting down the true secret to ending the voodoo curse that has left Crowley’s ghost terrorizing Honey Island Swamp for decades.”

There is no known release date at the time, but until then I will have to keep changing my pants from the horrgasm. 

Tideland (2005)

Directed by: Terry Gilliam 
Written byTony Grisoni and Terry Gilliam 
Origin: Canada 
Genre: "Poetic-Horror"*
Released: 2005

Not because it has spoilers, but you will understand after you see the film and read this.
*Genre term used by master of body-horror David Cronenberg to describe Tideland

I really did try to resist the urge to post about this film, but I feel that to keep you, the humble reader, unaware of such a hauntingly beautiful film just because it isn't straight up horror would be a crime against the cinematic principles of blogging. 

Now, I say that it is a masterful piece of filmmaking, but I can tell you that this film is not for everyone. Don't believe me? Well, when you start up the dvd, a little introduction by director Terry Gilliam (yes, THAT Gilliam) comes up on the screen and the first thing he says is, "Hey, I have a confession. Most of you are not going to like this movie. Some of you, hopefully, will." He also went on to explain that, since the main character of the film is a child, it is best to set aside your adult beliefs and understandings and see everything in the film as a child would. This is the best piece of advice he could possibly offer, because there are many things in Tideland that will either make you cringe in your seat, or giggle with glee. 

Monday, May 28, 2012

Zombi 2 (1979)

Directed by: Lucio Fulci
Written by: Elisa Briganti and Dardano Sacchetti
Origin: Italy 
Genre: Zombie
Released: 1979

In 1968, George A. Romero gave the world “Night of the Living Dead”, an everlasting testament that proved cannibalism can sell on the big screen, and singlehandedly brought zombies back into the interest of the public, or at least into the smaller percentage of the public that was willingly to admit they get off to the sight of the Undead munching on the gooey flesh-sacks that are the living.

At first, the film reached only the midnight movie crowd and would take about ten more years before zombies began to become a mainstay in the mainstream horror market, and so “Dawn of the Dead” was released into the world. And it was good. Very fucking good, as a matter of fact. I understand that using an expletive is usually unprofessional, but I believe sacrificing a few offended readers (which, nowadays, if you are on the internet you are giving me and millions of others the free will to test your morals) to express how goddamn awesome a film is says a lot about how much I appreciated the film. But I digress.