Monthly Archives: December 2010
BURNING BRIGHT-United States-2010
Directed by Carlos Brooks
Story by David Higgins, Christine Coyle Johnson and Julie Prendiville Roux
Screenplay by Christine Coyle Johnson and Julie Prendiville Roux
Garret Dillahunt as Johnny Gaveneau
Briana Evigan as Kelly Taylor
Charlie Tahan as Tom Taylor
Peggy Sheffield as Doctor Orsi
Mary Rachel Dudley as Catherine Taylor
In my home I am known affectionately by the nickname The Pause King. The reason being is that no matter how good a film is I tend to pause it at least five times before it is over. However, after today I don’t think I will be deserving of the title. I just watched one of the best horror/suspense films of the last five years. It’s called Burning Bright and it stars Briana Evigan (Sorority Row) and Garret Dillahunt (No Country For Old Men) and one very large and very hungry Bengal tiger.
The film begins when Johnny Gaveneau (Dillahunt) buys a Bengal Tiger from a man whom he meets up with on the side of the road. The man warns him that the tiger is “not scary, he’s evil” and that he should starve it for two weeks to show it who is boss. Gaveneau wants the tiger for a safari park that he intends to open. He wants it because he needs a vicious animal that will attract the tourist crowd. He gets the tiger loaded up and he takes it back home. There’s a hurricane coming and he has to make sure that his house is “battened down”. The tiger draws first blood from an illegal immigrant that Johnny has hired to help with the house.
Meanwhile, Kelly Taylor (Briana Evigan), Johnny’s step-daughter, is preparing to have her autistic younger brother Tom placed in a specialized institution until she can come back from college to take care of him. This already raises issues with the boy since he was already abandoned by his mother due to her suicide. The counselor at the institution tells her that not everyone can take care of a child with special needs and that she need not feel bad if she is not able to. Tom, like all autistic children, is in his own world. It is a world where there is no touching, red is a bad color, meals are punctual and the 785th viewing of a home movie is just as good as the first. Kelly is about to start a new life without Tom; but then she is informed that the check she wrote to the institution has bounced due to insufficient funds. These are the same funds that Johnny Gaveneau has used to buy the tiger that he has since named ‘Lucifer’.
Kelly and Johnny argue about the money and he informs her that the money is not hers because her mother never left a will. He leaves and Kelly and Tom wake the next morning to a raging hurricane with 120 mph winds on the outside of the house; and a cunning and ravenous Bengal tiger on the inside of the house with the two of them.
The rest of the film Kelly and Tom must do everything they can to stay one step ahead of the tiger. That’s not easy for Kelly as she not only has to deal with the tiger but with Tom as well. She must use all her resources or else they will not survive.
Burning Bright had me on the edge of my seat from almost the beginning of the film. There were times that I felt my heart racing in anticipation of what was going to happen next. The suspense is the film is as sharp as a razor and the scare factor is turned up to 10. Any time that I thought about pausing the film I held back. I did not want to break the suspense that this film had worked so hard to build up. I felt as if it would be a crime.
The cast of the film is a talented one and there are no weak performances. Garret Dillahunt oozes a slick charm as Johnny Gaveneau. His character is the one that people will hope “gets it”. I have never seen Briana Evigan in anything before this film, but I hope to see more of her in the future. She brings a toughness to the role of Kelly Taylor that I don’t think too many other young actresses could have pulled off. Charlie Trahan does a more than adequate job as Tom Taylor. He is convincing in the part of an autistic child and never really goes over into “Rain Man” territory in his performance.
This will be the first film that I review in which I will be applying a new rating system. I will rate films from zero to four drops of blood. No drops means a film that should be avoided at all costs. One drop means a poor film with very little merit. Two drops are a film that is average. Three is a very good film with few flaws, and four drops of blood means that it is a top-notch film that any horror fan should enjoy. Burning Bright is a just such a film. I intend to tell everyone that this is a must-see film.
- UK DVD Stores Will Be Burning Bright This September (dreadcentral.com)
- Jarv’s Schlock Vault: Sorority Row (moonwolves.wordpress.com)
- Briana Evigan Buys a Ticket to The Devil’s Carnival (dreadcentral.com)
- Demi Supports Rumer and Costars at Sorority Row Premiere (popsugar.com)
- Tiger Tiger (thehankerer.com)
- Tyger, Tyger still burning bright (bookstains.wordpress.com)
- New Trailer for Darren Lynn Bousman’s Horror Remake MOTHER’S DAY (collider.com)
- Sinna’s Adventures in Hindustan – The Kolkata Kat (sinnaone.wordpress.com)
- Tyger! Tyger! burning bright* (andrewskelton.net)
- Tigers, burning bright… (greatcatsoftheworld.wordpress.com)
Directed by Paul Solet
Screenplay by Paul Solet
Jordan Ladd as Madeline Matheson
Stephen Park as Michael Matheson
Gabrielle Rose as Vivian Matheson
Serge Houde as Henry Matheson
Samantha Ferris as Patricia Lang
Madeline and Michael Matheson are a young couple who are making their third attempt at having a child. It is unknown just what happened the other two times, but one can assume from Madeline’s reaction that there were miscarriages. The desperation to have a healthy baby are almost too much for her to bear. Add to the fact that Michael’s‘ domineering mother is doing all she can to control each and every step of her pregnancy and Madeline’s dilemma builds all the more.
The couple is on their way home one night and are involved in an accident. Michael is killed, and the baby is diagnosed as dead inside the womb. Madeline, after years of trying to have a child, insists on carrying this baby to term. The child at first appears to be stillborn, but then is discovered to be surprisingly alive. However, looks can deceive; and anyone thinking that Madeline is raising a healthy baby are sadly deceived.
The signs are there. Madeline finds the baby’s room infested with flies that hover and swarm over her crib. She smells what she believes to be a dirty diaper only to discover that the odor is coming from the child. The clearest indicator that there is something drastically wrong with the baby is that she needs blood to survive. Human blood.
Grace is a vampire film only in the sense that it is about blood being the necessary ingredient for survival. There are no crosses, no wooden stakes and no holy water. The film is more about how far a woman will go to have a child and become a mother; and when she becomes a mother how far will she go to protect and care for her child regardless of what may be wrong with it.
Grace also raises the point of whether someone can be born evil or whether evil is learned. Who is the more evil? Grace for needing human blood to survive? Or her mother for the drastic measures she takes to get that blood for her.
The acting in Grace is well done. The actors never exaggerate their emotions. This is not a film made for overblown performances. Jordan Ladd gives what is in my opinion the best performance of her career as Madeline Matheson. Her portrayal of a woman who will do anything to keep her child and keep it healthy deserves recognition.
Gabrielle Rose is Vivian Matheson, Michael’s’ mother, who is intent on taking Grace away from Madeline. After her sons’ death, she seduces her husband to suckle her breast and spends time in Michael’s’ room. She also uses a breast pump to get milk from herself. Whether she is doing this out of grief over Michael’s’ death or preparation to take Madeline’s child from her are unclear until a scene where her weak and mentally castrated husband is shown building a crib for the new arrival.
Samantha Ferris portrays Patricia Lang, the midwife that Madeline uses to deliver the child instead of through conventional methods and doctors and hospitals. It is hinted that they had an affair years ago and it is something that Patricia has not quite gotten over. Ferris puts me to mind of another actress, Maura Tierney, in her facial features as well as her performance.
In closing, I can tell you that Grace is as original a horror film as I have seen in quite some time. It is a horror film whose monsters are all too human.
- Proudly Announcing Our Newest and Youngest Advisory Board Member, Madeline Backus (draperevents.wordpress.com)
- Adopted children family, heritage (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
- Raising Hope: Inside Probe with Nancy Grace (tv.com)
- We screwed up: A letter of apology to my granddaughter (energybulletin.net)
- Nursery Sneak Peek (missalaneyus.wordpress.com)
- Interview with Madeline Hunter (wordwenches.typepad.com)
- Madeline’s Birth Story Part 3: Bringing her home, and Logan meets his sister for the first time… (megsamommy.com)
- The Modern Madeline. (fabsugar.com)
- 12 heart attacks, a wife half my age… now I’m a dad at 67 thanks to IVF (mirror.co.uk)
- Waffle House grace (spreadinformation.wordpress.com)
BRAM STOKER’S DRACULA-United States-1992
Directed by Francis Ford Coppola
Screenplay by James V. Hart
Based on the novel by Bram Stoker
Gary Oldman as Count Dracula
Anthony Hopkins as Dr. Abraham Van Helsing
Keanu Reeves as Jonathan Harker
Richard E. Grant as Dr. Jack Seward
Cary Elwes as Lord Arthur Holmwood
Bill Campbell as Quincey P. Morris
Sadie Frost as Lucy Westenra
and Tom Waits as Renfield
Bram Stokers‘ Dracula, directed by Francis Ford Coppola, is as over the top an adaptation of the classic novel to come along in quite some time. It is also the most faithful as well. Yes the film is over the top at times, but that works completely in its favor. Count Dracula is one of the most intense characters in literary history and Gary Oldman is the perfect choice to portray him. He brings every range of emotion to the performance and never at any point does it seem like he’s just going through the motions. Oldman has the most demanding role as he must play the Count as young and old, angry and pained, passionate and lustful, and sometimes all at once. But his is not the only worthy performance in the film. Casting Anthony Hopkins as Dr. Van Helsing is a stroke of genius. His Van Helsing is not your daddy’s Van Helsing; all stoic and proper. No, Hopkin’s Van Helsing is loud, brash and completely confident in himself and in what he believes. He does not just want to kill the Count, he needs to kill the Count. The best line in the film comes from Van Helsing and it occurs after he and Lord Holmwood have staked and decapitated the newly turned vampire Lucy Westenra and given her eternal peace. Mina, played by Winona Ryder is at dinner with Van Helsing and she asks him, “How did Lucy die? Was she in great pain?”. The good doctor does not miss a beat and proclaims, “Yeah! She was in great pain!Then we cut off her head, and drove a stake through her heart, and burned it, and then she found peace.” A brilliant line and a brilliant delivery.
Winona Ryder does a quite adequate job as Mina Murray. She is the woman whom the Count becomes infatuated with; for he believes her to be the reincarnation of his beloved and damned Elisabeta. Being an American who is portraying an English character, she sometimes forgets and it comes through in her speech. But that is trivial and her performance does not really suffer for it.
The weakest performance in the film by far comes from Keanu Reeves. The delivery of his lines is so flat and unemotional that one wonders if he didn’t watch Sofia Coppola’s performance in Godfather III as inspiration for taking on the role of Jonathan Harker. Reeves is the one actor whose success I still do not understand.
Coppola understands that the story of Dracula is the exact opposite of the story of Jesus Christ. Christ shed his blood so that we may have life. Dracula sheds blood so that he may have life. Christ was pierced for our transgressions. Dracula is staked for his own evil deeds. Christ embraces the church and its people. Dracula denounces the church and seeks to destroy it. This is not so much something that is a part of the original story; it is an addition to the film that Coppola and screenwriter James Hart have made on their own.
So, if you want to see two great performances from two of the finest actors in show business in an (sometimes) over the top and (mostly) faithful versions of the story of Count Dracula, then by all means see the spectacle that is Bram Stokers’ Dracula!
Winona Ryder saw the script when it was originally going to be made as a TV movie, directed by Michael Apted. She took the script to Francis Ford Coppola, whom she had not spoken to since withdrawing from The Godfather: Part III due to exhaustion six months earlier. Coppola agreed to make the film, and Apted stayed on as executive producer.
- Horror of Dracula (jmountswritteninblood.com)
- Old Movie Review: Bram Stoker’s Dracula by Francis Ford Coppola (atoasttodragons.com)
- Bram Stoker’s Dracula – 1992 (jdcwitherton.com)
- App Review – Dracula: The Official Stoker Family Edition (adventureamigos.net)
- Sony working on ‘Van Helsing and Dracula’ movie according to domains (fusible.com)
- Becky Cloonan illustrates new edition of Dracula (robot6.comicbookresources.com)
- Team Bela: Dracula (1931) (doingthewritething.wordpress.com)
- New Edition of Dracula Reveals Bram Stoker’s Original Publishing Contract (dreadcentral.com)
- D is for Dracula. (thehorrificallyhorrifyinghorrorblog.com)
- Jonathan A. Moody Announces Production of Dracula’s War (dreadcentral.com)
- squeakytoy’s #CBR4 Review #06: Dracula the Undead by Dacre Stoker and Ian Holt (cannonballread4.wordpress.com)
Directed by Kathryn Bigelow
Written by Kathryn Bigelow and Eric Red
Adrian Pasdar as Caleb Colton
Jenny Wright as Mae
Lance Henriksen as Jesse Hooker
Bill Paxton as Severen
Jenette Goldstein as Diamondback
Tim Thomerson as Loy Colton
Joshua Miller as Homer
Long before 30 Days of Night, long before From Dusk til Dawn there was Near Dark. This tale of a gang of nomadic and marauding vampires set the bar pretty damned high for the vampire genre in the years to come. Kathryn Bigelow has directed a white-hot knuckle gripper of a horror suspense film that runs on all cylinders like a 69 Chevy with a 396. The performances, direction and writing are absolutely top-notch. The best performances in the film come from Bill Paxton and Adrian Pasdar. Paxton portrays Severen, a vampire who has sunk so far into depravity that killing isn’t second nature to him but merely a natural instinct. Watch as he almost single-handedly lays waste to the patrons of a shit-poke bar that just happens to be on their radar and therefore in their way. His acting has just the right amount of over the top glee. Pasdar is the young farm boy who is turned by Mae, played by Jenny Wright, who still looks at the world as if it were lit by the sun even though she has left the sun behind. He is the exact opposite of Severen in that it never occurs to him that he needs to kill to survive. This is a whole new world to him and excuse him if he don’t know just what the hell is going on.
The one thing about the film that sets it apart is that it never uses the word vampire. Instead it blends the old standards (like sunlight burning the flesh of a vampire), along with dialogue that gives us hints as to just how old these murderers are (“Hey Jesse, remember that fire we started in Chicago?” or “Jesse, there’s something I been meanin’ to ask ya.” “Yeah,what might that be?” “How old are ya?” “Let’s just say I fought for the South” “The South?” “We lost.’” Brilliant.
Kathryn Bigelow won the best director Oscar in 2010 for The Hurt Locker. Before that, she honed her craft on films such as Near Dark, Point Break and Strange Days that helped her to sharpen her talents and become the first woman to ever win the Best Director Oscar. Near Dark is proof almost 20 years before that she is deserving of the honor. She has taken a genre that before that had grown stale and over-done and has given it a much-needed jump-start. If I were Robert Rodriguez or David Slade, I’d be kissing her ass and telling her thank you.
- The Twilighting of Near Dark (thefword.org.uk)
- Near Dark – The Hurt Coffin (all-things-andy-gavin.com)
- Who could realistically direct ‘Catching Fire’ now that Gary Ross has dropped out? (insidemovies.ew.com)
- Kathryn Bigelow (womenwhocreate.wordpress.com)
- Kathryn Bigelow’s Bin Laden Thriller Titled ‘Zero Dark Thirty’ (screenrant.com)
- Dark in August: three vampire films at San Francisco’s Yerba Buena Center (mrmovietimes.com)
- ‘Zero Dark Thirty’: Kathryn Bigelow’s Osama Bin Laden Movie Facing Protests In India (news.moviefone.com)
- Protest on Indian set of Kathryn Bigelow’s bin Laden movie: Report (insidemovies.ew.com)
- ‘Zero Dark Thirty’ is the Working Title of Kathryn Bigelow’s Osama Bin Laden Movie (slashfilm.com)
- Kathryn Bigelow’s Hunt for Bin Laden Drama Gets Working Title ZERO DARK THIRTY; Production in India Draws Protests (collider.com)
- Kathryn Bigelow Wins Big and Fields Questions On Directing, History and Ex James Cameron in Press Room (popsugar.com)
- Tribeca Film: The Reelist: Frightful Noise (huffingtonpost.com)
- Kathryn Bigelow’s Bin Laden Movie Running Into Trouble (huffingtonpost.com)
30 DAYS OF NIGHT-United States-2007
Directed by David Slade
Based on the graphic novel by Steve Niles and Ben Templesmith
Melissa George as Stella Oleson
Danny Huston as Marlow
Ben Foster as The Stranger
As I was midway through watching 30 Days of Night one thing dawned on me; why didn’t someone think of this before? Vampires in Alaska? Surely somebody had the idea before this. Doesn’t matter, though. What matters is that it’s an idea that works. 30 Days of Night is one of the best American vampire films to come around in a long time. The film is based on the highly acclaimed graphic novel of the same name and written by Steve Niles with art by Ben Templesmith. It is directed by David Slade and it is his second feature film. Like his first film, the controversial Hard Candy, it is a film that he can be proud of.
The film reminded me of two other films, both directed by John Carpenter. The first is his remake of The Thing in that both 30 Days of Night and The Thing are about an alien menace that terrorizes a small group of people who are cut off from the rest of the world. The people take refuge and begin to work out a plan to either fight back or escape and that in itself reminded me of Assault on Precinct 13. I wonder if David Slade was influenced by Carpenter in the same way Carpenter himself was influenced by Howard Hawkes.
Josh Hartnett is impressive as the sheriff. His facial expressions remind me a bit of Tommy Lee Jones. Ben Foster plays The Stranger, the Renfield of the story. The vampires use him to prepare the way for their arrival as if he were John the Baptist preparing people for the coming of Christ. Only Jesus never had fangs. Foster always looks different in every role and it is sometimes hard to get a bead on him with his strange mannerisms. However, I feel that he was perfectly cast in this film. Marlow, the leader of the vampires, is portrayed by Danny Huston. Huston brings just the right amount of menace to the role without going over the top. His Marlow is one part Dracula and one part Don Vito Corleone.
Whether 30 Days of Night is considered a classic in the years to come remains to be seen. There have been better vampire films made since then (Let the Right One In) and there have been worse (Twilight). 30 Days of Night fall somewhere in between the two. Thankfully, it leads more toward the former.
According to David Slade, veteran director Sam Raimi was slated to direct the film when the script was in its earliest stages; then Raimi opted to produce instead.
A picture of Steve Niles, who wrote the original comic book, hangs in the attic hideout.
Most of the night shots were actually shot during the day, using the day-for-night process.
- Hannibal Lecter series – ‘Twilight: Eclipse’ David Slade to direct (digitalspy.co.uk)
- Steve Niles’ Remains Hits Blu-Ray/DVD July 10 (comicbooked.com)
- Steve Niles’ Remain Uncut Edition Blu-ray and DVD hit home ent shelves nationwide this July 10 from Shout! Factory (graphicpolicy.com)
- Press Release for Steve Niles’s “The Nosferatu Wars” (houseofvampires.wordpress.com)
- Eating Hard Candy for 30 Days of Night and a Twilight: Eclipse makes a cannibal (bizzam.wordpress.com)
- New ’30 Days Of Night: Dark Days’ Images: Steve Niles Brings ‘Nasty’ Vampires To Comic-Con (splashpage.mtv.com)
- Steve Niles and Menton3 Debut Nosferatu Wars in Dark Horse Presents! (graphicpolicy.com)
- Prepare for NOSFERATU WARS! (geeksyndicate.wordpress.com)
- Steve Niles Vamps It Up With “Nosferatu Wars” For Dark Horse Presents (geek-news.mtv.com)
- David Slade Directing Hannibal Pilot (dreadcentral.com)
- Review: Infestation 2: 30 Days Of Night (comicbooked.com)
Directed by Yoshihiro Nishimura
Written by Kengo Kaji and Maki Mizui and Yoshihiro Nishimura
Eihi Shiina as Ruka
Itsuji Itao as Keyman
Yukihide Benny as Tokyo Police Chief
Jiji Bu as Barbara-Man
Ikuku Sawada as Bar Independent Diner
Tokyo Gore Police is an attack on the senses that never lets up from beginning to end. It attacks sight and sound simultaneously and without mercy. The Tokyo Police have become privatized and can pretty much do whatever they hell want in order to stop crime. One scene in the film shows them executing a child murderer presumably immediately after arrest. The main enemy of the Police are the engineers. They are criminals who have been genetically altered so that when ever they lose an appendage they can replace with a biomechanical weapon. Any appendage. Get my drift. There are gallons of blood in this film and enough dismemberments and decapitations to fill five or six horror films. However, the blood flow is more stylized than your average gore fest and is more reminiscent of an anime film come to life than a horror film.
I enjoyed this film. It was completely over the top and never once did it set out to take itself seriously. This is a B-movie and it’s damn proud of it.
- Tokyo Gore Police (Foreign Horror) (livin4twink.wordpress.com)
- Ten Totally Insane, Totally Bloody Japanese Flicks [Video] (kotaku.com)
- Tokyo Shock: Helldriver (2010) (moviesfilmsandflix.com)
- New Update for The Profane Exhibit; Stills from The Hell Chef (dreadcentral.com)
- Mutant Girls Squad Slash Their Way to Blu-ray and DVD (dreadcentral.com)
- The Official Poster for The ABCs of Death Has Arrived (dreadcentral.com)
- Helldriver (foreign horror) (livin4twink.wordpress.com)
- Nostalgic for sleaze, part III: more grisly than ever in Blood Color! (jenniferlinton.com)
- Texas Frightmakers: Interview with Loyd Cryer (dreadcentral.com)
- John’s Asian Horror Corner: 3 Extremes (2004) (moviesfilmsandflix.com)
Directed by James Whale
Screenplay by Garrett Fort and Francis Edwards Farogoh
Based on the novel by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley
Mae Clarke as Elizabeth
And Boris Karloff as the Monster
Also Starring Dwight Frye as Fritz
Frankenstein, the 1931 film directed by James Whale, is a classic because it works on many levels. First and foremost it is a cautionary tale about what can happen to us when we attempt to play God. It is also a straight out monster movie that in 1931 any average guy could take his girlfriend to see on a Saturday night because he knew that fifteen minutes into the film she was going to be so scared she would be hugging him real close so he could protect from the monster. Thirdly, and I am sure that someone else has noticed this way before; it is a metaphor for the way that homosexuals were treated in the 1930’s. It is no secret that James Whale was gay. Anyone who has read about Whale should know that by now. However, if you didn’t know from reading about it Whale himself would be more than happy to demonstrate through the use of his motion picture. The signs are there, you just have to find them. Henry Frankenstein (clearly representing Whale) lives with his only companion, another man, in a very large house. Although he is engaged to be married, he has moved far away from his bride-to-be and secluded himself away. He has secrets he will not speak of and rooms that are kept off limits. When the monster is created, he is the ultimate metaphor for Henrys’ (Whales’) sexual preferences. However this is the 1930s’. All that gay stuff was kept hidden away. It certainly wasn’t talked about openly. So the monster (Henrys’/Whales’ sexual preference), was kept hidden away. His torment at the hands of the manservant (lover) Fritz is reminiscent of two things: Fritz’ jilted feelings as Henrys’ spurned lover; and of a society that thought of homosexuals as abnormal, something to be kept a dark secret and locked away. The most frightening scene in the film by far is the death of the little girl, Maria, at the hands of the monster. Now out of the dungeon (closet), it roams the nearby countryside. Finding the little girl, he plays with her by throwing flowers into a lake to watch them float. Running out of flowers, the monster decides that Maria will float just as well and throws her into the lake where she drowns. What Whale is saying here is that he doesn’t have time in his life (style) for women or children. I am sure that there are some people out there who would disagree with me about how I view Frankenstein and that is perfectly all right. These are observations that I have made and I don’t expect anyone to agree with me on them. Frankenstein is deservedly a classic film. It made a star of Boris Karloff. Whether it is a cautionary tale, a straight out monster film or a metaphor for homosexuality in the 1930s’, it is a masterwork by a master director.
- Bridging the Bride of Frankenstein (mrmovietimes.com)
- Actor Spotlight: Boris Karloff (manonmona.wordpress.com)
- Frankenstein: It’s Complicated (comppost.wordpress.com)
- Video: Boris Karloff recounts a spooky story – The Appointment in Samarra (davidjrodger.wordpress.com)
- A Sigh of Relief (patkat80.wordpress.com)
- Music for writing Dark Fantasy and Horror ¦ Soundtrack to Danny Boyle’s Frankenstein by Underworld (davidjrodger.wordpress.com)
- The Revenge Of Frankenstein (1958) (horror-movie-a-day.blogspot.com)
- Mezco Releases Another Look at Its 9″ Frankenstein’s Monster Figure (dreadcentral.com)
- What Is Alive? (tikays.wordpress.com)
- 1st hour Frankenstein Blog I (cheriedaigle.wordpress.com)
- Kubrick’s Frankenstein: HAL in 2001: A Space Odyssey (cineprism.wordpress.com)
- Mary Shelley: Frankenstein’s mother (independent.co.uk)
- Buffalo Nickel Productions Unveils Decayed, Banshee, and Frankenstein’s Patchwork Monster (dreadcentral.com)
- I, Frankenstein – First Images from the Set (dreadcentral.com)
Directed by Alexandre Bustillo and Julien Maury
Written by Alexandre Bustillo
Starring Beatrice Dalle as La Femme
Alysson Paradis as Sarah
Nathalie Roussel as Louise
Francois-Regis Marchasson as Jean-Pierre
I read a book about 2 years ago entitled Murder in the Heartland. The book was written by M. William Phelps. It told of the murder by Lisa Montgomery of Bobbie Jo Stinnett. Stinnett was eight months pregnant when Montgomery made her way into the Stinnett home and after strangling her extracted the unborn child from her womb. While I was reading the book I thought there was no way I could ever imagine the horror that this young woman, who had everything to live for, was going through in the final moments before her death. The most disturbing thing about the Stinnett case is that it’s not the first time it has happened. There are at least ten cases in the United States alone of the crime of fetal abduction. In all ten cases the mother was murdered.
I have always said that the most frightening and disturbing horror films are the ones that can actually happen. Inside is such a horror film in that it actually did happen. The film stars Alysson Paradis as Sarah, a young woman pregnant and alone in her home on Christmas Eve. She is grieving her husband who died in a car crash that Sarah was also involved in four months prior. Beatrice Dalle stars as a woman who breaks into Sarah’s home and terrorizes Sarah for reasons that Sarah is not clear of until the final few minutes of the film. The woman (known in the credits as La Femme) brutally murders anyone who comes into the house to try to help Sarah. Finally, it comes down to just this woman and Sarah and her unborn child.
Inside is one of the most disturbing horror films I have ever seen in my life. Yet, I have watched it three times now and will probably watch it again at a later date. The directors, Alexandre Bustillo and Julien Maury, have crafted a film that will surely be considered a classic in the years to come. Alysson Paradis’ is brilliant as Sarah. As for Beatrice Dalle, her performance as La Femme is nothing short of tragic and demented all the way through. You cannot help but feel not only anger, but sorrow for her as well. Dalle brings out both of these characteristics from this tortured soul.
Inside is not a feel good family film. It’s gory, bloody and disturbing. It is not exploitative or sexist. It is a masterpiece.
- A Remake that Will Have You Livid! (dreadcentral.com)
- Indie Horror Month: Canadian Filmmaker Maude Michaud Talks Quirk Films (dreadcentral.com)
- Pregnant Mom Murdered; Fetus Stolen From Her Womb (socyberty.com)
- Silent House (jmountswritteninblood.com)
- ‘Pineapple Express’ Director David Green Is Finally Moving Forward With Pointless ‘Suspiria’ Remake (screencrave.com)
- Silent House, Shrieking Heroine (entertainment.time.com)
- American IRA LLC, A National Provider Of Self-Directed IRAs, Congratulates Rebecca Stinnett On Her Promotion To Office Manager (prweb.com)
- Fear Has a New Address this Summer (madaboutmoviez.com)
- Why Do People Go to Scary Movies? (thefeaturewell.wordpress.com)
- ‘True Blood’ Star Alexander Skarsgard: New Horror Film After ‘Battleship’ (hollywood.com)
Directed by Bob Clark
Written by Roy Moore
Olivia Hussey as Jess
Keir Dullea as Peter
Margot Kidder as Barb
John Saxon as Lt. Fuller
Black Christmas is the prototype for the modern day (1980′s to the present) slasher film. The film takes place on a holiday and features a group of sorority girls and their house mother. One by one they are murdered by an unseen killer who terrorizes them after each murder with obscene phone calls. One of the girls, Barb, played by Margot Kidder, is the template for the teenagers who would be hacked, slashed, and diced by the likes of Michael, Freddy and Jason. She drinks, has a foul mouth (in a hilarious scene, she tells the desk sergeant at the police station that the number to the sorority house is Fellatio 2880) and is more than likely sexually promiscuous. Olivia Hussey plays Jess, the final girl. For those of you who don’t know, the final girl is the last girl to either live or die in a slasher film. She is also the one who finds all or some of the bodies of the previous victims. You could also say that Hussey was the prime example of how the final girl should look as she is very beautiful in a wholesome sort of way. The killer, Billy, is never seen and the film is left wide open for a sequel the same way Friday the 13th, A Nightmare on Elm Street and Halloween were left open. This is not to say that it’s a bad film or that its predictable. It is quite a good film and the only way it is predictable is that we’ve seen the exact same thing time and time again in the movies that followed it. This is a very good film and I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to know just exactly where their favorite slashers got their start. Billy was their teacher and he was a good one.
Keir Dullea worked only for a week on this film, never meeting Margot Kidder and barely meeting John Saxon, but the film is edited in such a way that he appears to be present throughout.
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