Monday, March 3, 2014

Movies of 2013, Horror, pt2

            The medium-good horror stuff this year.

John Dies at the End, or "I feel I should take it easy on the shit effects because it is so charming and weird."
Overall: 6/10
This movie was based on a book by a contributor to the online magazine, Cracked.
Supposedly inspired by a night taking drugs.  That last part I believe.
            "Let's get high off the blood of an Old One."  Fantastic.  That is a thing we should do.
            "Dies" is so weird, that I love it a lot more than I really should.
            This is probably one of the only movies in which I will say without question: it needed more money.  The dialogue is funny, the acting is solid, tons of cool props, intriguing premise, such odd little episodes, and characters that you actually like and give a shit about.
            This thing is so in sync with how my sense of humor and action that I kind of love it, but the absolute climax of the movie looks and feels so cheap that it poisons the rest of the film a great deal.  It is so obviously green screen, so poorly cut trying to hide the issues... It looks just terrible.  If this movie had only a little more money... There are numerous episodes of "Doctor Who" that look better than this.
            If you like horror comedy ("Army of Darkness", "Todd and the Book of Pure Evil", "Hansel and Gretel Witch Hunters") then this is a must see.  But if you dislike cheap and hokey stuff give it a pass, because it really requires you to buy into the idea of parallel worlds, topless cults, and Jamaican fortune tellers.

V/H/S/2, or "Certainly better than the first one.  Still a lot of room for improvement."
Overall: 6/10
Not quite as visually offensive as its predecessor.
            When I watched the first "V/H/S" I frequently found myself having to look away from the screen because the constant camera movement made me ill.  Not all of the short films grabbed me, and the framing device of assholes stealing videos and then inexplicably sitting down to watch some was so stupid and over stylized that I actually hated it.  This movie fixes most of that.
            While the short films featured vary in quality.  The first story has the biggest issue in my opinion, a guy gets an optical implant that allows him to see ghosts, and acts as a recorder, then meets a woman with an ocular implant that allows her to hear them, and then ghosts attack... That is cool, but I kept asking myself, "So, is his fake eye recording sound too?  If so, why?  And if not, then why does this video have real time high quality sound?"  Other issues crop up, one of the stories is just non-stop horror visual bombardment and in spite of some stuff being gratuitous and distracting it stands head and shoulders above the others.  There is also the first zombie story I have seen in a while that was good (I enjoyed the zombie short in this more than I liked, "Warm Bodies" in its entirety).

            It will still cause you motion sickness from the constant camera movement.  But I never had to look away from the screen.  Big improvement, definitely worth having another sequel to further refine the franchise.  The framing story was also better, though the idea of staying in a hazardous place to watch movies is just stupid.

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