Monday, November 2, 2009

Dark Signs

When there's a movie I really want to see, I usually look for movie reviews on rotten tomatoes and then go watch it anyway.

I was waiting to see Paranormal Activity for the last 3 weeks. Everyone and his sister has seen the promos by now, and this whole viral marketing is increasingly getting on my nerves. I hate it when big studios try to act all underground and "with the times". Facebook groups, scratchy trailers, websites with "clues" are so fuckin' 2006. Night vision captures of kids screaming in the theater, movie footage bearing the cloverfield effect, limited release are now the hallmark of shitty indie horror films. There's a reason studios spend millions on a professional cast.

Anyway, we saw the movie last night. Boy did it suck. Seen those shock videos which make you look at a serene picture before a popping a frame of something ghoulish with a scream in the background? Yeah, that's all this movie is about. Just a 90 minute snoozefest for a 5 second money shot at the end. "Critics" and kids in skinny jeans will tell you it's all about pacing, but punch them in the nose and go watch.. um.. fuck it, there's nothing good playing right now. The japs have horror down to a science. Learn from them, yanks. While on the subject, stop remaking jap films. Remake =/= learning from a genre.

On the other end of the spectrum lies the movie I saw earlier last weekend. Oldboy *- which is Korean for "we're going to town on your brain with a toothpick". Every scene was stunning, unpredictable and nerve wracking. Yes, the plot twist wasn't a big surprise and I saw it coming faster than a Chinese woman in a RAV4 with a cellphone, but still it was a mighty fine watch. I'm asking everyone around me to watch this movie. My only regret is I won't have the same wondrous "what's going to happen next?" feeling since I've seen it already. I'm going to miss that emotion, and doubt if there are too many movies that can have the same effect. Brrrr, what a movie.

Next weekend movie list - Ichi the killer, Suicide club, The Audition. I've seen all three, but there's a few liberal arts majors friends still unsullied by the madness that is Japan.

* - Yes, there are a lot of really good movies and books I'm only getting to now, or will get to in due time. What's the average life of expectancy of Indian males anyway? 80?


Rassles said...

I was still highly impressed with Paranormal. Totally.

Then again, I gave up on horror movies a long time ago, because they're fucking retarded glorifications of things that I don't find interesting in movies, like blood and boobs.

I like characters. I watch movies for the characters more than anything else.

But Oldboy, I agree, is BRILLIANT.

Perakath said...

70, I think. =/= is a great find! I usually use <> when I have to, but not everyone gets it.

Thanatos said...

@Rassles : If the pacing was just a little faster, the lack of blood and guts would be all that more effective. The "horror" genre seems to be long lost to "gore" anyway.

@Perakath - yeah, the wonders of internet knowledge!

Purely Narcotic said...

Korean horror films FTW. Even on boring days when there's nothing to do but drink cheap wine and smoke stale ciggies, the Korean films (on Youtube of all places) still manage to give me the shivers. It could be the alc but I wouldn't be going back to Korean Horror so often if that were the case. Phew.

Cynic in Wonderland said...

which was that famous one - korean film? looked like it was shot on a handicam but it was fricking scary - cult movie a few years ago and was dubbed into english, hindi and half a dozen languages.cant for the life of me remember the name ( tried googling also no luck).

Thanatos said...

@Narco : Any recommendations?

@Cynic : More clues pliss?

shenanigans said...

THANK YOU! I, too, read the review for Paranormal Activity on Rotten Tomatoes and got taken in by the completely undeserved 84%. WTF. Whatever, the guys at RT were smoking, they totally deserve to do time over it. And to top it all, I chose the movie on a fucking date! Now if I never get lucky with the dude, I am so looking at you, RT!