Posts Tagged ‘Halloween

26
Oct
13

Room 237, Insidious, The Conjuring

Room 237

Whacked out conspiracy theories await…

If you are a fan of The Shining, then you will probably be interested in watching Room 237, a “documentary” about Stanley Kubrick’s most famous film. Room 237 isn’t so much a documentary as it is a collection of various fan interpretations about the actual film. There is no behind the scenes footage, there are no actor retrospectives, hell, the people talking about the film don’t even show their faces. What we see are various scenes from The Shining and the fans providing voice-overs as they describe their interpretations.

The thing that makes Room 237 great is the interpretations themselves. These aren’t just any run-of-the-mill kinds of things. These people go fucking crazy with what they believe the film is about. One person believes the film is a metaphor for the massacre of the American Indians, another that the movie is really about the WWII holocaust of the Jews, and yet another that the film actually exists as a subtle message to the world that the moon landing was fake and Kubrick himself had directed it.

Continue reading ‘Room 237, Insidious, The Conjuring’

26
Oct
12

Lessons Learned from The Wicker Man (AKA Oh No, Not the Bees!)

A picture of Cage running with a blank stare on his face perfectly encapsulates this movie.

The 2006 instant classic The Wicker Man starring Nicolas Cage has quite a few valuable lessons to teach us. Here’s a list of the things I took away from this thought-provoking cinematic masterpiece.

1) You don’t need good acting when the dialog is this amazing - Seriously, the dialog is stellar. It’s so goddamn good, they could have filmed the pages of the script and it would have been just as exciting. For example, in the very first scene, a waitress asks how a customer is doing. He answers, “Sorry, my mind was wandering” to which she deftly replies, “If I ate one of those burgers, I’d totally be in a trance, too.”┬áHilarious! A few moments later, Cage’s cop character pulls someone over and he asks, “You know why I stopped you?”┬áThe driver says, “Yeah.” And – scene! Amazing! Are we sure this movie wasn’t directed by Hitchcock?

2) It’s best to be as literal as possible - Cage gets a letter from Willow stating her daughter Rowan has been missing for 2 weeks. He talks to another cop, we have no idea who he is, but presumably he’s Cage’s boss or something. He explains the letter and says he is going to the island of Summersisle to investigate. The friend asks, “Who is she? An ex-girlfriend?” Cage answers, “No, we were engaged.” That’s right. Not an ex-girlfriend, an ex-fiance. How can we expect to live in a functional society unless we are being as literal as possible? I, for one, applaud Cage for being completely specific. If we don’t abide by the rules, then we are living in anarchy.

3) Drinking is good for you - Cage drinks mead almost immediately after stepping onto the island. What we didn’t see were all the deleted scenes where he got hammered on mead. In fact, Cage was probably drunk on mead the entire time he was filming The Wicker Man. How else could he have turned in such an inspired performance? Substances must have helped him along the way. And to be completely honest, drunk on mead is the only way to watch The Wicker Man.

Continue reading ‘Lessons Learned from The Wicker Man (AKA Oh No, Not the Bees!)’

21
Oct
11

Paranormal Activity Dragged Me to Hell with The Blair Witch

Kanye always be interruptin’

It’s hard to be original in the horror genre. That genre, more so than any other, requires very specific tropes. In order to create a horror movie, you must adhere to well-worn, extremely tired genre cliches. I suppose this is true for any genre, but for horror it goes to an entirely different level. Here is a list of genre tropes in general for horror movies:

  1. An average, identifiable person is the protagonist.
  2. A monster/villain will kill off the other characters, usually one by one.
  3. When the monster/villain starts murdering people and/or wreaking havoc, no one will believe the protagonist regarding what is going on.
  4. Most female characters will get naked.
  5. Any female characters that do get naked will die and therefore cannot be the protagonist.
  6. All characters that have sex will die.
  7. Black, Hispanic, Asian (any non-white race) characters will die and therefore cannot be the protagonist.
  8. The monster/villain will have exactly one weakness which coincidentally is the only way to kill it.
  9. The monster/villain must always be killed twice.
  10. When terrible shit starts happening, the characters must always “split up” in order to make it easier to be killed.
  11. Cell phones will never work.
  12. Cars will never start.
  13. Flashlight batteries will always be dead, and lighters will always be out of fluid, making it dark at all times.
  14. When running away from the monster/villain, one or all characters will fall down and be unable to stand back up.
  15. When wanting to get another character’s attention, the best way to do it is to silently approach them and quickly grab their shoulder, preferably in a dimly lit room or cemetery.

While these may be all-encompassing for horror movies as a whole, there are several sub-genres with even more rigid guidelines. For example:

  • Slasher Movie - All characters will be teenagers. The protagonist will always be female. People will die with copious amounts and blood and often times inventive deaths. The “scares” will come from the director having things pop out during tense scenes in order to startle the audience. There will be no three-dimensional characters. The only character growth allowed will be the timid, nerdy protagonist transforming into a badass monster killer. Examples include Halloween and Friday the 13th.
  • Haunted House - An unsuspecting family will move into a new home. The home will be haunted by evil spirits of previous occupants who were murdered there and/or ghosts from the Indian burial ground the home was built on. The “scares” will start off small and build up to more ludicrous things by the end. Typically a human character will be possessed at one point and go on a murderous rampage. Examples include The Amityville Horror and The Shining.
  • Torture Porn - This is the newest of the horror sub-genres. It is comprised of nothing more than the director’s attempts to gross out the audience as much as possible. To do this the director will film close-ups of the most disgusting bodily functions imaginable. The “scares” come while blood and guts fly across the screen and the audience tries to keep itself from vomiting. Examples include Hostel and The Human Centipede.
  • Exorcism Film - A young child (female) will become possessed by an evil demon and/or the devil. “Scares” come as the possessed child does crazy shit like speak in a deep demonic sounding voice, levitate, spit pea soup, etc. There will always be tons of Catholic imagery, priests, holy water, etc. These movies are ALWAYS “based on a true story.” Examples include The Exorcist and, well, anything with the word “Exorcism” in the title.

Continue reading ‘Paranormal Activity Dragged Me to Hell with The Blair Witch’

29
Oct
08

Just in Time for Halloween: Girl’s Costume Warehouse

Perhaps the greatest advertisement in the history of advertisements. This is a classic I watch every year around Halloween. It never gets old. Go ahead, watch it on continuous loop.

Verdict: Awesome




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