Sunday, May 23, 2010

Horror Film Reviews

My son and I decided to have an all-Horror DVD night. What better way to spend quality time with the family than watching unspooling intestines and blood spatter together? I hadn't heard of any of the three we rented and so, like with all unknown horror movies, I kept my expectations very, very low (I've learned my lesson from the Paranormal Activity debacle). And I should add that all of these are from IFC Films. So, in the order we watched them, here are:

The Objective (2009): I suppose an argument could be made that this isn't technically a horror film, but I would disagree. Well, maybe sci-fi/horror. Anyway, a CIA agent with a hidden agenda recruits a small group of elite soldiers to accompany him into the heart of Afghanistan in search of...well, that's the tricky part. Something in that area has been killing people since the time of Alexander the Great, and a satellite recon photo taken a few days after 9/11/2001 shows, um, something and prompts the mission. I must say that the ending is not exactly what I expected. The production values are outstanding and the acting well above average. Definitely worth a look.  Rating:  3 out of 5

Pontypool (2008): Zombie flick. Er, sort of. In the Canadian town of Pontypool, the local radio station receives reports that there are strange doings outside a doctor's clinic. People are massing and chanting and then getting violent. The military has also become involved, according to the reports. You see, the entire movie takes place in the radio station so you don't actually see what's going on. This may sound boring, but I must say this approach makes it one damned intense film in the same manner as Orson Welles' War of the Worlds. There is some gore for those whose horror wouldn't be horror without it. Even though it's a slow starter, stick with it. Doesn't take too long to get sucked in.  Rating:  4 out of 5

Dead Snow (2009): Zombie flick. No doubt about it this time, although it isn't what you would call by-the-numbers. First of all, it's Norwegian and in Norwegian (deal with the subtitles) and boasts a surprisingly good rock 'n roll soundtrack. Yes, the songs are also in Norwegian. Second, while it is another group-of-friends-going-to-a-cabin-in-the-woods story, the bad guys here are, um, Nazi zombies. No, really. And third, the gore (and there are buckets of it) is inventive to say the least. While Dead Snow is mostly tongue-in-cheek, it does work as a solid scary movie. I just wish the ending would have been a little more unique, though. But I guess you can't have your lefsa and eat it, too. (Once you look it up and see what lefsa is, you'll see that I'm being really quite clever.)  Rating:  4 out of 5

Three small horror films that don't suck. I do believe that's a first for me. I'm beginning to think the folks at After Dark and Lion's Gate don't know what the hell they're doing anymore. So next time you're cruising for some scares, keep an eye out for the IFC label.

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