Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Movies of 2014, Horror pt1

            First I will list a few movies that fit into this bandwidth that I haven't seen just to give a more complete look at what I have and have not covered, mostly because I think several of these are not straight up horror and many straight up horror movies did come out this year.  "Deliver Us From Evil" and "Dracula Untold" are the only other horror movies I would want to watch, the others seem like the sort of hack crap put out to keep a franchise in a holding pattern or to capitalize on momentary trends, "Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones", "Annabelle", and "Devil's Due".
            Let me start with the best, and then work toward what I think of as the worst, even though my bottom picks (for the year) are both showing up on top 10 lists for some critics I follow and I disagree completely.

"Oculus" (I am intentionally not linking to the trailer, as it is rubbish)
            It was basically this or "Babadook" for best horror movie and this one just did a better job in my opinion.  The acting is good, the premise is good, the balance of psychological versus outright supernatural elements is well done.  And it (along with "Babadook") joins a long list of movies in recent times that was obviously inspired by "The Shining" but deftly avoids being a boring slog.
            I have no deep complaints I can point to, it is just a well made film that I highly recommend to people.
Overall: 8/10
Not a bad poster.  Symbolic of what is happening in the movie.
            Much like "Oculus" this movie is pretty well done.  But while I feel that it has some higher highs (and is more resonant with themes) it also has some lower lows.  First the highs, the idea that the monster in question is some compulsion that gets inside of you and causes you to harm your loved ones, and that maybe the monster is not a monster it is just that the mother is cracking like an egg because her insufferable child is ruining her life... That is really strong.
            But...  They end up showing the monster too much to the point of it being a little silly.  There is also the name Babadook, initially the name seems to indicate door noises "baba" being a mild rumbling of a door in its frame and the "dook dook dook" being an ominous knocking... and then they have the monster saying "Babadook" like it is a freaking pokemon.  And I really did not understand the final confrontation or ultimate resolution to the story which I won't spoil, maybe I just need to meditate on it a bit.  It is a good movie definitely worth watching.
Overall: 7/10 
This is a good poster, but boarders on being too minimalist.
"Odd Thomas" (Awful trailer)
            I already talked about and rated this one (I initially gave it an 8/10, having seen it in the lagging months of June and July, leading to me liking it more than I do in retrospect).  Really I feel mostly the same about it now as I did then and still think people should see it.  It is a lot of fun especially to people who like shows like "Supernatural", "Sleepy Hollow", or "Grimm".
Overall: 7/10
Another shit poster.
            Strangely not the worst movie I saw all year this movie has the sort of self serious bullshit attitude that I loath with characters being overly macho and stiff for no reason.  The movie has no humor and is mostly just a grim dark obnoxious tour thru... I honestly have no idea where this takes place, clearly an alternate history of some kind, I do not feel like I should complain about that because at the very least a world in which a 700ft tall cathedral is the tallest structure for what seems like miles of maze like houses is actually a cool thing.  The strange otherworldly city and the fight scenes are pretty much all I can complement this movie on.
            Boring hack plot with a bad guy who is just awful at management, characters seem to make decisions at random with zero development or characterization.  It is a mess.
Overall: 2/10
Good Poster.  I actually feel this is not all that horror-ish, more of an action movie much like "Dracula Untold" almost certainly is, but of all my arbitrary groupings this seemed the best fit.
            Last year my favorite movie was "Prisoners" a dark and intensely well acted movie about the kidnapping of children and the means people use to try and get them back.  It was engaging and straight forward so that I had no trouble following the characters thru the story as the mystery unraveled.  "Enemy" is made by the same director and one of the stars, I wanted to like this.
            Heavy handed imagery, a plot that makes no sense, and an ultimate resolution that left me baffled.  I do not care for this sort of boring obtuse crap.  I sat thru the whole thing, but I have no idea how I managed that.  I hated this movie.
Overall: 1/10 
            Here is another one that looked interesting that ultimately disappointed me.  I walked out.
            This movie is sold on two gimmicks 1) Nudity, most notably the nudity of mega-star Scarlet Johansen; and 2) Hidden Camera Improv.
            The premise of the movie is that Scarlet plays a woman going around and picking up strangers by offering them a ride leading them back to a mysterious black room in which they are put into a stasis and then processed into blood and meat.  The people she is talking to are real people, not actors, she has to interact with and seduce them.  After a while Scarlet grows to empathize with humans and... THIS IS SO BORING.
            I have seen and heard this type of story so many times that the only thing the movie has going for it are the gimmicks and the nudity is the least sexy, most fumbling, medical type exam that you can imagine.  She is an alien and as she tries to explore what makes humans human she stumbles around in a daze with no one to talk to and no voice over... MARVEL AS SHE ATTEMPTS TO EAT CAKE AND FINDS IT MAKES HER SICK... I DON'T CARE!
            This movie has enough story for a 40 minute episode of the "Twilight Zone" or "Outer Limits", it did not have to be and 1 hour and 48 minutes.
Overall: 1/10

Not perfect, but still good.  Why are good movies saddled with shit posters and bad movies get good posters?

The long overdue part 2 to the Horror of 2014.

If you like or hate this please take the time to comment, +1, share on Twitter or Facebook, and otherwise distribute my opinion to the world.  I would appreciate it.

No comments:

Post a Comment