October Horrorfest 2012

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As is tradition every October, I tried to watch as many horror films as possible. Since I spent a chunk of the month house sitting for my parents in Illinois, this meant I spent most of my time exploring the Netflix catalog. As is also tradition for the month, I didn’t get to as many films as I wanted. But I did use it as an excuse to watch Cabin in the Woods, one of my favorite movies of 2012. Twice. That’s okay though, I made up for the overabundance of awesomeness by watching a couple pretty shitty movies. C’est la vie.

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November Sci-Fi Marathon

Green Lantern

All I remember about November is we watched a lot of crap. Complete and total crap. Instead of sticking to the trustworthy collection, we decided to knock out a few movies we missed — intentionally or not. Bad idea.

Back to the Future (1985)

This has been a personal favorite since I was a kid and it always remains somewhere within my top 20. Some claim that it hasn’t held up over time, but I respectfully disagree. There are so many memorable and iconic moments throughout the film that I find it near impossible not to be sucked in and taken along for the ride. I think this is mostly due to the minimal special effects that prevent it from feeling too dated, plus the fact that it already seems to be parodying the ’80s. It doesn’t for one second take itself too seriously and neither do we.

A

Back to the Future Part II (1989)

Now this film has the opposite effect on me, I like it less every time I see it. In trying to be bigger and better, there are more special effects, and it ends up feeling very dated. The humor is cheapened and the plot is basically one big excuse to revisit all the moments we loved from the first film.

C+

Battle Los Angeles (2011)

This is a film that should have plunked you in the middle of the action, given an intense ride, and let the characters and relationships develop naturally through the chaos (ala, let’s say, Saving Private Ryan). Instead it forced story and drama into places they have no business being. It tried so hard to get me to like these cardboard characters it was borderline offensive. Get off my lawn bro, I came for the action.

D

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October Horror Marathon

The Thing

I got a late start this October and I resisted going crazy trying to cram in as many films as I could. As a result I can actually process the films I did watch instead of having vague memories of blood and guts while craving a Disney marathon to make me feel like less of a sicko.

Zombieland (2009)

Zombieland is one of those films that, even after multiple viewings, remains an absolute blast. It nails everything — the gore, the cast, the rules, the humor. Plus it has BILL FUCKING MURRAY. It’s rare when something feels like an instant classic, but methinks people will be enjoying Zombieland for many years to come.

A-

Contagion (2011)

Holy fucking terrifying movie. Yeah I know it’s not “horror” but it scared the shit out of me. I’m already a germaphobe and people already kind of gross me out, this film did not help. It is however, pretty fantastic. Much more documentary than drama, it simply gives an honest view of how events would play out during a global pandemic. Characters are introduced and discarded without sympathy. Everyone is a number, a piece of data, an acceptable loss.  What I most appreciated though, is the characters are human — people who get emotional and, more importantly, make mistakes. There’s no Dustin Hoffman jumping from helicopters here. These are people just trying to do their job, or do what  they think is best for their families. It’s the realism that makes it so terrifying.

Now nobody touch me ever again.

A

The Thing (1982)

One of my favorites. This was playing at the Denver Film Center and was my second chance to catch it on the big screen. I’m not sure what to say, it’s a sci-fi horror classic in every sense of the word. Fantastic effects, great cast, tense atmosphere, plenty of gore…KURT FUCKING RUSSELL.

Diabeetus.

A

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Predators (2010)

Predators (2010)

Finally, a Predator film that’s actually worthy of the title. Does that mean it’s a great film? Not particularly. In fact, it’s not even that great of a summer action film — but it’s about 100 times better than AVP, and really, that’s all it needed to be.

Predators starts off fairly well, as the main characters are literally dropped into the jungle and try to figure out what the hell is going on. Adrien Brody, beefed up and doing his best Batman voice, is sadly no Arnold..but he gets an ‘E’ for effort. He’s just believable enough to help me ignore the awfully convenient plot points that drive the film forward. Did anyone else notice how easily they figured things out in this alien world? Yea me too. Thankfully my suspension of disbelief remained intact for most of the film. I can forgive things like plot contrivances for the sake of story, but for a film that appeals to geeks, I sure wish it was a little smarter.

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