Just finished watching MONSTERS. It was produced in that cinema verite style I never seem to tire of, had interesting people in it, made it easy to believe in alien monsters in a realistic, lived-in world. I loved the idea of a new ecology competing with our own, an idea explored in MIST and my novel THE INFECTION. A little more action and smarter decisions by the main characters would have been nice, however.
Just finished LET ME IN. Wow, what a great movie. The lived-in sets, the acting, the realistic storytelling, the pacing, the music, the tension, the chemistry between the kids, all of it was done almost perfectly in my opinion. I hadn’t expected this. Usually the Americanized version of a successful European film is almost guaranteed to, well, suck. This one didn’t. It was excellent.
Here’s an example of a low-budget horror film done without stereotypes: SALVAGE. The film offers us believable characters who aren’t always likable but you can’t help but sympathize with; as a result, their terror is infectious to the viewer. (Unfortunately, for me the premise of the cover-up was kind of dumb and ruined the otherwise very poignant ending.) Still, it was entertaining and I recommend it.
Just watched DEVIL’S PLAYGROUND. Interesting premise–drug trials that turn the volunteers into cannibalistic infected (although connection between drug and contagion is not established). The poor character development mars an otherwise potentially good film though; I found everybody to be a zombie movie stereotype, which was a big turn off. Note to would-be zombie filmmakers: Watch THE WALKING DEAD.
Just saw BLACK SWAN with my lovely wife. The trailer looks like the typical story of an artist crumbling under pressure, but the film is more than that. Part psychological thriller, part horror film. It was very good, if emotionally exhausting. I wanted to start smoking again after seeing it. Natalie Portman should get a special Oscar for being “the most amazing actress delivering the most amazing performance ever.”
Critical elements of a religiously themed apocalyptic movie or book: 1) God/Satan easily thwarted by automatic weaponry, 2) action hero who remains agnostic even with direct evidence of God’s existence, and who intentionally thwarts God’s Plan for the Final Judgment, 3) sadistic, bloodthirsty God who nonetheless everybody loves, 4) annoying woman impregnated with a child that is inexplicably “mankind’s only hope.”