Author Topic: Hal's 2010 Horror Marathon Reviews  (Read 28172 times)

hal9g

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The Descent
« Reply #15 on: October 06, 2010, 10:17:59 PM »


Title: The Descent: Original Unrated Cut
Year: 2005
Director: Neil Marshall
Rating: Unrated
Length: 100 Min.
Video: Widescreen 2.35:1
Audio: English: Dolby Digital EX: 5.1 (Matrixed 6.1), English: PCM: 5.1, Commentary: Dolby Digital: 2-Channel Stereo, Commentary: Dolby Digital: 2-Channel Stereo
Subtitles: English, Spanish

Stars:
Shauna Macdonald
Natalie Mendoza
Alex Reid
Saskia Mulder
MyAnna Buring

Plot:
On an annual extreme outdoor adventure, six women meet in a remote part of the Appalachians to explore a cave hidden deep in the woods. Far below the surface of the earth, disaster strikes when a rockfall blocks their exit and there's no way out. The women push on, praying for another exit, but there is something else lurking under the earth. The friends are now prey, forced to unleash their most primal instincts in an all-out war against an unspeakable horror – one that attacks without warning, again and again and again.

Extras:
Scene Access
Audio Commentary
Feature Trailers
Deleted Scenes
Featurettes
Gallery
Production Notes
Storyboard Comparisons
Outtakes/Bloopers
Rated Version

My Thoughts:
A less than satisfactory story of a group of female spelunkers who enter a cavern in the Appalachians which has never been explored (not likely) or we're supposed to believe may have been explored but no one has ever emerged to lay claim to the cavern.  They run into some "creatures" that I've seen countless times in other films (LOTR for one).  Zero for originality here.  The opening scene of the car accident doesn't really seem to tie in all that well, unless it was supposed to provide Sarah with some added inner strength to survive.  

Rating:
« Last Edit: October 08, 2010, 08:52:58 PM by Hal »

Najemikon

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Re: Hal's 2010 Horror Marathon Reviews
« Reply #16 on: October 07, 2010, 01:00:52 AM »
Wow, I couldn't disagree with you more. Awesome film, best British horror for years, on a par with Asian chillers and I can't think of a US release to match it recently. Properly scary in places. My mate is a bit of a claustrophobic and really struggled with some of the pot-holing scenes!

I know you didn't like it, Hal, but that's a heck of a spoiler! Can't you edit your description?  ;)

As it is, the ending I believe depends on the version you saw.
(click to show/hide)

I'm really surprised at how critical you are of the cave dwellers. They are simply humanoids who have always lived in the dark so they're appearance and actions are consistent with that. I don't think Marshall was going out of his way to be original with them, just logical. I can't think of the LotR equivalent...  :hmmmm:

Najemikon

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Re: Hal's 2010 Horror Marathon Reviews
« Reply #17 on: October 07, 2010, 01:03:13 AM »
Now, Hal, what's going on? You tear The Descent a new one, but you like the podgy, lumpen remake of classy Korean movie Dark Water better? Does not compute!  :shrug: :tease:

I just noticed, you liked The Eye too. All is lost... :weep:

hal9g

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Re: Hal's 2010 Horror Marathon Reviews
« Reply #18 on: October 07, 2010, 04:32:36 AM »
Wow, I couldn't disagree with you more. Awesome film, best British horror for years, on a par with Asian chillers and I can't think of a US release to match it recently. Properly scary in places. My mate is a bit of a claustrophobic and really struggled with some of the pot-holing scenes!

I know you didn't like it, Hal, but that's a heck of a spoiler! Can't you edit your description?  ;)

As it is, the ending I believe depends on the version you saw.
(click to show/hide)

I'm really surprised at how critical you are of the cave dwellers. They are simply humanoids who have always lived in the dark so they're appearance and actions are consistent with that. I don't think Marshall was going out of his way to be original with them, just logical. I can't think of the LotR equivalent...  :hmmmm:

Removed what I think you refer to as a spoiler.

As far as the cave dwellers, in terms of appearance, how about Gollum.  In terms of the way they move (no care for gravity or ceilings vs floors) how about the Magog of Andromeda fame.

Sorry, but I did not find this movie the least bit "scary"...just predictable.  I told you this is not my favorite genre, and I much prefer the psychological thriller aspects of Dark Water than the ghoulish gore of this movie (never saw the Korean version).  And why exactly did they remain underground when there are at least two ways out, and they go out to hunt all the time??  I know, I'm not supposed to over think this kind of thing!

(click to show/hide)

Different strokes for different folks.
« Last Edit: October 07, 2010, 05:05:36 AM by Hal »

hal9g

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House of Wax
« Reply #19 on: October 07, 2010, 04:51:09 AM »


Title: House of Wax
Year: 2005
Director: Jaume Collet-Serra
Rating: R
Length: 113 Min.
Video: Widescreen 1.85:1
Audio: English: Dolby Digital: 5.1, French: Dolby Digital: 5.1, Spanish: Dolby Digital: 5.1
Subtitles: English, French, Spanish

Stars:
Elisha Cuthbert
Chad Michael Murray
Brian Van Holt
Paris Hilton
Jared Padalecki

Plot:
Thrills and chills ooze all over you in House of Wax, from Dark Castle Entertainment and legendary horror producers Joel Silver and Robert Zemeckis (Gothika, House on Haunted Hill).

When their car breaks down on a road trip, six college friends are sidetracked into an eerie backwoods town. Curiosity gets the better of them when they are intrigued by its macabre House of Wax. They soon find out that the town is not what it seems and they must find their way out before they fall victim to its ghoulishly inventive killers.

Extras:
Scene Access
Audio Commentary
Feature Trailers
Deleted Scenes
Featurettes
Outtakes/Bloopers
Alternate Opening: Jennifer Killed

My Thoughts:
Another teenage fright fest.  It's a wonder any of them make it to adulthood.  Nick is the only interesting one in the whole group and he does a good job playing the "bad boy".  Some rather gruesome scenes and a couple of scary moments, but nothing particularly special.

Rating:
« Last Edit: October 08, 2010, 08:53:27 PM by Hal »

hal9g

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Exorcist: The Beginning
« Reply #20 on: October 07, 2010, 05:00:12 AM »


Title: Exorcist: The Beginning
Year: 2004
Director: Renny Harlin
Rating: R
Length: 113 Min.
Video: Anamorphic Widescreen 2.35:1
Audio: English: Dolby Digital: 5.1, English: DTS: 5.1, French: Dolby Digital: 5.1, Commentary: Dolby Digital: 2-Channel Stereo
Subtitles: English, French, Spanish

Stars:
Stellan Skarsgård
Izabella Scorupco
James D'Arcy
Remy Sweeney
Julian Wadham

Plot:
Having abandoned his faith in God, Father Merrin (Stellan Skarsgård) joins a British archaeological excavation in Kenya, where an inexplicably pristine Christian Byzantine church has been unearthed - looking as if it had been buried on the day it was completed. But beneath the church, something much older sleeps, waiting to be awoken. As madness swiftly descends upon the villagers and British soldiers, Merrin watches helplessly as atrocities are committed against an innocent village - atrocities he had seen before and prayed never to see again. The blood of innocents flows freely on the East African plain, and the horror has only just begun. In the place where Evil was born, Merrin will finally see its true face.

Extras:
Scene Access
Audio Commentary
Feature Trailers
Featurettes
Closed Captioned

My Thoughts:
A good prequel to the original Exorcist, this story ties in nicely as we learn of Father Merrin's history and his previous encounter with evil as referred to in the original story.  A lot less time is spent on the actual exorcism and more to character development and diversions to keep you off guard, including a love interest.  I like the way they even tie the infamous theme music into the closing credits.

Rating:
« Last Edit: October 08, 2010, 08:53:51 PM by Hal »

Offline Achim

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Re: Hal's 2010 Horror Marathon Reviews
« Reply #21 on: October 07, 2010, 06:28:48 AM »
I side a bit with Jon on The Descent, but that's not important really. Different people like different film. However...

Sorry, but I did not find this movie the least bit "scary"...just predictable.  I told you this is not my favorite genre, and I much prefer the psychological thriller aspects of Dark Water than the ghoulish gore of this movie (never saw the Korean version).  And why exactly did they remain underground when there are at least two ways out, and they go out to hunt all the time??  I know, I'm not supposed to over think this kind of thing!
First, I like horror films, so my suspension of disbelief is already pre-adjusted. Luckily I caught The Descent during its theatrical run and in my opinion watching this in a darkened theater and on a big screen changes the whole game! For me it was the scariest thing I had ever witness in the cinema, something a home viewing cannot recreate in any shape or form.

The orginal Dark Water is Japanese, I seem to remember, and isn't gory either. Just unsettling, as it should be.

hal9g

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Dominion: Prequel to The Exorcist
« Reply #22 on: October 07, 2010, 08:30:04 PM »


Title: Dominion: Prequel to the Exorcist
Year: 2005
Director: Paul Schrader
Rating: R
Length: 116 Min.
Video: Anamorphic Widescreen 2.00:1
Audio: English: Dolby Digital: 5.1, Commentary: Dolby Digital: 2-Channel Stereo
Subtitles: English, French, Spanish

Stars:
Stellan Skarsgård
Gabriel Mann
Clara Bellar
Billy Crawford
Ralph Brown

Plot:
A supernatural evil comes to a post-World War II archaeologic dig in British East Africa. Or is the escalating toll of death and dread the inevitable result of human nature? Father Merrin witnessed man at his worst during the war, and it led him to abandon the priesthood. Now, supervising the excavation of a mysterious church, he must rediscover his faith to combat a foe who's cunning, unrelenting and immortal. 'Dominion: Prequel to The Exorcist' is the bold, eye-filling revelation of events that thrust Merrin (Stellan Skarsgård) onto a showdown course with mankind's most insidious enemy. Paul Schrader (director of 'Auto Focus', screenwriter of 'Taxi Driver') directs, bringing insight and palpable terror to the newest chapter of the famed horror series whos battleground is the human soul. The fear is here. It will shake you to your core.

Extras:
Scene Access
Audio Commentary
Deleted Scenes
Gallery
Closed Captioned

My Thoughts:
This is essentially the same movie as Exorcist: The Beginning, which was shot from much of the footage of this film, but was changed to make it more of a classic "horror" film.  Wikipedia has a good description of the relationship between the films HERE.  Dominion was completed and released after The Beginning was less than a success at the box office.

Not knowing the history when I began to watch this, I was expecting a completely different story.  About 15 minutes into it, I realized this had to be a different version of the same plot.

Each version has it's merits and flaws, but overall, I think I enjoyed The Beginning a bit more.  There was more going on and there were a couple of plot twists that kept it a bit more interesting.  Even so, I rate them both the same.

Rating:
« Last Edit: October 08, 2010, 08:54:26 PM by Hal »

Najemikon

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Re: Hal's 2010 Horror Marathon Reviews
« Reply #23 on: October 07, 2010, 08:31:42 PM »
Gollum looks like Gollum because he lived in a cave for goodness knows how long. These also live in a cave, so they happen to look similar. It makes sense to me. The type of film it is means there is no way Marshall ever thought of ripping off LotR, I'm sure. I'm not sure I know the Magog, but these fellas move the way they do because they rely on sound. It's just logical. No originality required.  :laugh:

I side a bit with Jon on The Descent, but that's not important really. Different people like different film. However...

First, I like horror films, so my suspension of disbelief is already pre-adjusted. Luckily I caught The Descent during its theatrical run and in my opinion watching this in a darkened theater and on a big screen changes the whole game! For me it was the scariest thing I had ever witness in the cinema, something a home viewing cannot recreate in any shape or form.

The orginal Dark Water is Japanese, I seem to remember, and isn't gory either. Just unsettling, as it should be.

Oh, sod. Yes you're right, I keep getting Korea and Japan mixed up, I'm sure the inhabitants of both will be pleased to hear!  :-[

Dark Water is little more than a haunted house story, but I found the remake to lose the punch. I don't scare very easily, but I definitely got the biggest jump for years from the rooftop sequence! :bag: And The Descent was a close runner up when her hat is scraping across the pot hole...  :suicide:

Najemikon

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Re: Hal's 2010 Horror Marathon Reviews
« Reply #24 on: October 07, 2010, 08:32:56 PM »
The history of the Exorcist prequels is interesting. I only saw Dominion, which I thought was an enthusiastic failure (in comparison to the peerless original), but the fact it exists at all is astonishing...

hal9g

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Re: Hal's 2010 Horror Marathon Reviews
« Reply #25 on: October 07, 2010, 08:38:56 PM »
...(in comparison to the peerless original)...

Well, there you go.  Something we can agree on!!!   :tease:

Offline Achim

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Re: Hal's 2010 Horror Marathon Reviews
« Reply #26 on: October 08, 2010, 06:37:40 AM »
...(in comparison to the peerless original)...

Well, there you go.  Something we can agree on!!!   :tease:
The Blu-ray is getting good reviews (transfer and extras). ;) I ordered mine last week. The two versions are on separate discs, not seamless branched.

Najemikon

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Re: Hal's 2010 Horror Marathon Reviews
« Reply #27 on: October 08, 2010, 12:12:22 PM »
Mines on the way too! :thumbup:

hal9g

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White Noise
« Reply #28 on: October 08, 2010, 08:33:59 PM »


Title: White Noise
Year: 2005
Director: Geoffrey Sax
Rating: PG-13
Length: 98 Min.
Video: Anamorphic Widescreen 2.35:1
Audio: English: Dolby Digital: 5.1, Spanish: Dolby Digital: 5.1, Commentary: Dolby Digital: Dolby Surround
Subtitles: English, Spanish

Stars:
Michael Keaton
Chandra West
Deborah Kara Unger
Ian McNeice
Sarah Strange

Plot:
The year's most disturbing thriller explores the unsettling possibility that the dead can contact us...
all we have to do is listen.

When architect Jonathan Rivers (Michael Keaton) loses his wife in a tragic accident, he turns to the shadowy, unnerving world of Electronic Voice Phenomonon - communication from beyond the grave. But as he begins to penetrate the mysteries of E.V.P., Jonathan makes a shocking discovery: once a portal to the other world is opened, there's no telling what will come through it.

Extras:
Scene Access
Audio Commentary
Feature Trailers
Deleted Scenes
Featurettes

My Thoughts:
Michael Keaton, as Jon Rivers, is excellent in this movie as he becomes obsessed with a phenomenon known as EVP, Electronic Voice Phenomenon after the death of his wife.  Once introduced to EVP by a man who claims to have been contacted by his dead wife, Jon's life is taken over by his pursuit of further contact with the other side.  He soon learns that there is both good and bad in the hereafter as well, and his wife leads him to discover the grim truth about her own death.  When Jon discovers that he is seeing the deaths of people before they actually happen he begins a crusade to save them.

A chilling and eerie movie based on a supposedly real phenomenon.  Definitely a keeper.

Rating:
« Last Edit: October 08, 2010, 08:54:52 PM by Hal »

Offline addicted2dvd

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Re: Hal's 2010 Horror Marathon Reviews
« Reply #29 on: October 08, 2010, 08:38:39 PM »
Thanks for the review Hal... I been considering that movie for a long time... but for some reason never bothered it pick it up.
Pete