Wednesday, February 1, 2006

The Happiness of Horror

I've seen a slew of horror films of late (and no, I'm not sick of the horror genre yet) and I've neglected my duties of reviewing, or at least mentioning them here.

The past month has included the old (by old i mean like from the 1980s-old) - The Hills Have Eyes, the new - High Tension, the Exorcism of Emily Rose, Cube and the Skeleton Key, and the more obscure - the Happiness of the Katakuris and Dog Soldiers.

I didn't like The Hills Have Eyes (Amazon), directed by Wes Craven. I had high hopes for this one, but again, I thought it was plain dumb...though it could have been really scary! I am interested to see what they will do for the remake...the trailer for it looked half-decent.

High Tension (Amazon) and the Skeleton Key (Amazon) were ok...I think High Tension would have been better if they did away with the stupid "twist" ending. It felt like they just tacked it on cuz they didn't know what else to do with the ending...psh...but it must get props for some bloody good deaths. The Skeleton Key, which i didn't have high hopes for, was mediocre but not horrible. It was not scary, but definitely had creepy elements and I liked the ending. I had a hard time looking at mirrors after watching it, so it definitely creeped me out to an extent.

A little higher on my rating scale were Cube (Amazon) and Dog Soldiers (Amazon). Cube was pretty cool, but the ending left more desired. It also dragged in places, but was overall pretty engaging. Dog Soldiers was a big surprise! It's a werewolf movie set in Scotland that had me actually caring what happened to the protagonists. Wonderfully shot, though not frightening...more like an action-thriller but I still loved it.

The highest marks go to The Exorcism of Emily Rose (Amazon) and The Happiness of the Katakuris (Amazon). Emily Rose was well-crafted, with creepy flashback moments throughout the trial. It was pretty heavy on the courtroom drama, but I liked it posed some pretty important faith questions to the audience. The Happiness of the Katakuris is film by Japanese shock director Takashi Miike, but it is very different from other movies I've seen from him! There are wonderful song and dance numbers throughout this quirky little film which add some balance to the grisly deaths that occur...heck, there's even some claymation! Wooooot!

So, there you have it! That's my round up of horror movies, or at least the ones that came from Netflix; I haven't even begun on the ones I ordered on Amazon.

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