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SCREAM QUEEN OF THE MONTH-NOVEMBER 2012-SARA PAXTON

SCREAM QUEEN OF THE MONTH-NOVEMBER 2012-SARA PAXTON

SCREAM QUEEN OF THE MONTH-NOVEMBER 2012-SARA PAXTON

So, why Sara Paxton; why not any other young blonde actress to fill the spot for October Scream Queen of the Month? To tell you the truth I really don’t know; other than she impressed the hell out of me with her frantic, yet subdued performance in Ti West‘s slow burn of a ghost story, The Innkeepers. Or maybe it was the fact that she looked really cute in a bikini in the Sharkstravaganza* SHARK NIGHT 3-D. Then there’s also her role as Mari in the remake of Wes Craven‘s 1970′s shocker THE LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT. Whether it’s one of those movies, all three or any of the many credits our young Scream Queen has listed on the IMDb, including roles in LIAR LIAR, C.S.I.: Miami and SUPERHERO MOVIE, Miss Paxton had kept quite busy. So, that is why Written in Blood welcomes her as the October 2012 Scream Queen of the Month!!

*Sharkstravaganza-New Word, I claim it!!

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CURSED

CURSED-United States/Germany-2005

Directed by Wes Craven

Written by Kevin Williamson

Although I don’t intend to be as cruel as the majority of people who have watched and hated this film, I do intend to take it to task. I am assuming that we are all familiar with Wes Craven. You know the guy; The Last House on the Left, The Hills Have Eyes, The People Under the Stairs. Not ringing any bells? Oh, here you go; A Nightmare on Elm Street. Yes, that’s right, Freddy Krueger. Now you got it.

So, now that you know who Wes Craven is, how about Kevin Williamson? You know the guy that writes all those cool hipster horror films like the Scream series and The Faculty. Yeah, that guy. What’s that? In the back, do you have a question? Yes, Mr. Williamson did indeed write for The Vampire Diaries. That was very impressive, sir.

Now, we have it established that Misters Craven and Williamson have put together some pretty cool little horror movies both together and separately. So, knowing all this, would someone please explain Cursed to me? It has so much promise and yet it falls flat on its furry little snout. This tale of a brother and sister duo fighting the curse of the werewolf is the type of movie where the filmmakers scratch their heads and say, “Well, it looked good on paper.” Craven and Williamson try their best to make it hip and witty and each time they do it boils down to the equivalent of William Shakespeare promising “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” and then telling dick and fart jokes. The only thing I can really say that this film has going for it is a decent werewolf and Christina Ricci (Monster). Even so, Ricci looks like she wants to be somewhere else and the werewolf in Bad Moon looked better than this one. Come to think of it, the werewolf in Red Riding Hood looked better than this one. When you let a werewolf in a movie directed by Catherine Hardwicke outdo you, you’re screwed.

So, gather ‘round werewolves of old. Gather ‘round this movie called Cursed. Now, lift your legs. You know what to do next.

Hmm, I guess I didn’t like this movie a little more than I thought.

TRIVIA

When the production was stalled, many cast members were cut, including Illeana Douglas, Heather Langenkamp, Scott Foley, Omar Epps, Robert Forster, James Brolin andCorey Feldman. All of these actors even filmed their scenes which were cut when the movie was re-written and re-shot.

Props of Freddy Krueger and the Elm Street house from Wes Craven’s earlier film _Nightmare On Elm Street, A (1984)_ can be seen in the background at Tinseltown during the first scene.

The cane on display in the beginning of the movie is the same one used in Storm of the Century by Stephen King.

I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE

Cover of "The Last House on the Left (Unr...

Cover via Amazon

I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE-United States-101 Mins. 1978

Directed by Meir Zachi

Written by Meir Zachi

Starring

Camille Keaton as Jennifer

Eron Tabor as Johnny

Richard Pace as Matthew Lucas

Anthony Nichols as Stanley

Gunter Kleemann as Andy

A lot of things happened in 1978. Egypt made peace with Israel. Karl Wallenda of the Flying Wallendas fell to his death from a tightrope suspended between the two towers of the Condado Plaza Hotel in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Bruce Springsteen released what many consider to be his greatest album in Darkness on the Edge of Town. 1978 was also the year that one of the most controversial motion pictures of all time was released. The subject of the film was rape and revenge and it was called I Spit On Your Grave.

As a human male I can very quickly tell you that I do not know the first thing about rape. I cannot tell you what it is like to rape someone and I surely cannot tell you what it is like to be raped. I will never, ever tell a rape victim that I understand because I don’t. Rape is one of the most heinous crimes any one male or female could ever commit.

This blog is first and foremost a blog in which I watch and review horror films. I am supposed to be objective in my views and rate a film and its performers on the strength or weaknesses of their performances and the point that the film is trying to get across. I must therefore apologize to my readers because concerning I Spit On Your Grave that is something I cannot do. When I bought the DVD at FYE the store clerk told me two things. One, that it was the film that The Last House on the Left wanted to be when it grew up; and two that it was a life changing film. I silently disagreed with him on the first point and in the same way agreed with him on the second.

A woman from the city takes a sabbatical to the country to take refuge in a cabin for the summer. She is there to write a novel and likely chose the place for the peace and quiet. She stops for gas and encounters three men. The first mistake she makes is telling them exactly where she is staying for the summer. Later she meets Matthew, the mentally slower friend of the three original men. She makes her second mistake by telling him that she is living all alone. I understand that there are many women who feel that something like rape will never happen to them. The woman in this film is obviously one of those women.

The four men come at her like sharks as she lies relaxing in her boat. They circle her, finally moving in for the kill. On separate occasions they take turns raping, beating and sodomizing her. They take away every safe place. The lake, the woods, the cabin; there is nowhere that she can go for refuge. Finally, the men (a loosely used term) send the half-wit Matthew to kill her so that she can’t point them out. Matthew leaves her alive and it is a mistake that they will all regret.

As I said before, my job as a horror film reviewer and blogger is to objectively review and rate the films that I watch. I can’t do that in this case. All the time that I was watching this film I was hoping that these men would meet a slow and painful end. I have never felt that way about a film and I guarantee that it will be a long time before I feel that way again. When I finished watching the film I felt like I needed a shower. That’s not saying that this is a bad film. I believe that the sole purpose of this film is to manipulate the viewer into cheering for this woman. Even the tagline says that she has chopped, crippled and mutilated four men beyond recognition and that no jury in the world would ever convict her. I for one can’t say I’d blame them if they didn’t.

The 1978 version of I Spit on Your Grave is  disturbing, in your face and a masterful film. Anyone viewing it will not be able to get it out of their minds for quite some time. I know I won’t.

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