After hours of watching blood, guts, extreme close ups of god knows what and artistical use of colour, I have come to a conclusion about Horror this season. Makers of Horror are getting lazy. There is a terrifying trend in the Horror genre to try to re-create what the writer/directors feel would be a real life experience for the audience. This generally results in the overused technique of first person view. Now, when I first saw horror shot this way which for me was The Blair Witch Project it worked, I was startled and brought into the movie however too many horror flicks since then have employed such tactics and what I end up with is a queasy stomach from motion sickness and a sure knowledge that something is going to jump out at me at some point. It has stolen from me the shock factor. Also I don’t know if directors really think about this, but when we are actually experiencing a situation; whatever it may be, we have peripheral vision. It’s what keeps us from puking through our life.
This is why I was delightfully surprised when I really liked the suggestions of V/H/S 1&2.
I really did not expect to like the V/H/S franchise and was pleasantly surprised by the fact that of the two I watched I was still left with a sense of “what the shit is causing people to stare at video that is killing them.” And also, “Who the fuck still uses V/H/S?” It’s a good idea, the films; I hope they end it before it becomes trite though.
Honorable mention goes to Hubbleboy who suggested Ponytpool which borrowed heavily from the style of the War of the Worlds broadcast, but not so much so that it didn’t have its own flavor. I highly recommend it. In fact this was the first film that I found myself thinking “I want to see this as a play.” Not that this thought means anything to you, but it was a different experience for me. It will stand out as one of my favorites for a long time.
There are other movies that I watched this year that I liked a lot. Nowhere in this list is Satan’s Little Helper. Please Do Not watch that movie-Ugh! But, I will share some of my favorites with you.
My favorite Monster Movie
This turned out to be The Bay a nicely put together movie about what horrific things can go wrong when you combine politics and kickbacks with corporate farming and a general “I don’t give a shit about the future.” attitude.
My favorite Spooky Themed Cartoon
My favorite cartoon of this year’s viewing season was Frankenweenie. Tim Burton managed once again to visit the world that Edward Scissorhands lives in and create a heartwarming tale that includes necromancy, coming of age and Vincent Price. I loved that it was black and white and I loved that it included almost all the elements of Saturday afternoon monster/horror movies that I used to watch as a kid on rainy days. This cartoon while fine for young ones is aimed at all of us.
My favorite Ghost Story
The Ghost Story that won my heart this year was Seventh Moon. Written and directed by Eduardo Sanchez who also wrote and directed The Blair Witch Project, Lovely Molly (A+++,but I recommended that last year) Altered, as well as a segment of V/H/S 2 ( “A ride in the park”)
The Seventh Moon was beautifully shot on location in Hong Kong, and included traditional Chinese ghosts in the form of the Hungry Ghost legends. Sanchez is really making good in the horror genre and I frankly can’t wait to see more from him.
Best Low Budget/Indie
Resolution gets this one hands down for me. When I finished watching this film I couldn’t stop thinking about it for a couple of days which is a good thing. I wish I could tell you more about this movie without ruining it for you but I can’t. It’s slow at first and then it gets complex and then it gets under your skin and then, if you’re like me, you begin treating it like a choose your own adventure story. I imagine it’s not for everyone but I found it incredibly real and disturbing and fun all at once. I’d be interested in hearing what anyone else thought about it.
Now, if I hadn’t seen Resolution, my pick would have been Shadow People which also is definitely worth checking out and might just have you walking through your house with your eyes closed at night.
So, that’s it. My best of list for this year. It wasn’t easy because I was sorely tempted to throw in blasts from the past like Phantasm (Love it!) all the Evil Deads (Ash-tastic!) and House (Cheeze factory) but we all have to stop lists someplace.
Now, go out and get your ghoul on! You only have 3 more days until All Hallows, you need to choose well what you’ll watch when the veil is thin between this world and all other worlds. And if all else fails; choose Trick r’ Treat.