dead snow (2009)
a group of norwegian friends get the scariest history lesson of their lives during a weekend getaway to the snowy town of Øksfjord, where the party is interrupted by throngs of nazi zombies who once occupied the area. armed with a machine-gun-equipped snowmobile, the gang fights for survival.
gross. fun. if you like gross fun, this is the movie for you. there is not much else i can write without making myself a little queasy. no joke.
let me in (2010)
i loved let the right one in. by the time i saw it, the hype was so huge that they were already talking about an american remake. i thought it was a terrible idea. i thought that it would be impossible to recreate the sense of bleak isolation of that swedish winter. i thought no actors in the world could fill the main character's roles satisfactorily. there was no way i would leave the theater as terrified or filled with dread. but the truth is i will watch most any horror movie you sit me in front of. there was no way i wasn't going to see this movie.
and i am so glad i did.
<warning - contains spoilers>
the story is the same: a bullied young boy, owen, befriends a young female vampire, abby, who lives in secrecy with her caretaker. the caretaker, played perfectly by richard jenkins, has grown weary of his role and the things he needs to do in order to fill that role. he has spent the majority of his life taking care of abby, making sure abby is fed, and moving from place to place in order to protect abby. abby realizes that she may need to find someone new to care for her and tells neighbor boy owen, "i can't be your friend," ensuring his devotion. she looks like she's 12 but clearly she's done this before.
there is a sweetness to her relationship with owen but there is always an undercurrent of dread. we've seen how things end for abby's caretaker and its not good. we can assume that owen is headed down that same path. he begins down this path when he shuts the door on a detective who is pleading for his help, for his life. then his fate is sealed in a bloodbath at the school swimming pool. abby slaughters owen's tormentors and instead of being horrified by the carnage, he sees her and smiles.
was it as good as the original? yes, because however faithful to the original let me in is, it is also a completely different movie.
set in 1983, one year after the tylenol murders, two years after adam walsh was kidnapped and the same year the movie adam came out. reagan was president and cult alarmists were everywhere. owen's mom falls asleep with the tv on and the screen reads, "its 10:00 - do you know where your children are?" i remember that world clearly. its not all that different from the world we live in now. the bullies in particular are hard to stomach with the news stories each week of bullied kids dying. and in let me in, owen survives. but at what cost?
trapped in a quarantined barcelona apartment building with residents, firefighters and a growing horde of ravenous zombies, television reporter, angela, and her cameraman, pablo, record brutal deaths and terrifying events while trying to stay alive.
when i saw quarantine last year it scared the crap out of me. i had no idea it was a remake. i also had no idea that [rec] was even more terrifying.
firefighters and cops trying to do their jobs. a likeable reporter who knows a story when she sees one. her faithful cameraman. an apartment building filled with people who could easily be my neighbors now. add a mysterious virus that seems to be the root of the ever escalating problem and the accompanying paranoia and you've got one really effective movie.
violent and bloody, although not so much that i couldn't eat my thai food for dinner. tense and upsetting but not so much so that i couldn't sleep. i loved this movie.
here's a reminder though, night vision is never a good idea. things never end well in night vision.
in the year 2019, a plague has transformed most every human into vampires. faced with a dwindling blood supply, the fractured dominant race plots their survival; meanwhile, a researcher, played by ethan hawke, works with a covert band of vamps, led by willem dafoe, on a way to save humankind.
i wanted to see this in the theater but like so many movies, it comes, i'm busy, i read bad reviews and its gone. but i LOVE willem dafoe so this was definitely still on the list. and i loved it. it was a fresh take on vampires, and they weren't sparkly, rest assured. these vampires are well mannered, as long as they aren't thirsty. the longer they go without blood, the more primal they become. the story, although not perfect, moved along nicely. the special effects were great. the fights and violence were more than enough to satisfy me. and plus, willem dafoe. you just can't go wrong there. ever.
the collector (2009)
this is the kind of movie i usually avoid. but when i saw it listed in the lineup on one of my cable channels i thought, hmmm, i remember something about that one. i read the description, "desperate to repay his debt to his ex-wife, an ex-con plots a heist at his new employer's country home, unaware that a second criminal has also targeted the property, and rigged it with a series of deadly traps." booby traps? i was in. had i seen the fine print on the poster (from the writers of saw IV V & VI), i'd have run the other way, probably screaming.
also, i'm in between netflix mailings and my laptop died so my choices were limited.
so, there i am, watching exactly the kind of movie i hate to watch and i COULDN'T TAKE my eyes off the screen. the main character, arkin, played by josh stewart, was well drawn and sympathetic. i actually cared about whether or not he made it out alive, whether or not he saw his little girl again. and so i watched. and squirmed. and was scared. and more than a little horrified. and hated myself when it was all over.
as far as movies like this go, i guess this one was "good." i'll never watch it again though.
100 tears (2007)
a large, scary clown named gurdy walks through a house and slaughters at least a dozen people with gigantic cleaver. two reporters, mark and jennifer, are covering the story and receive a tip that the killer is a clown and visit the carnival to see what they can find out.
there's loads of wildy unrealistic gore, some spectacularly bad acting, and a chase scene with a dwarf. there was a twist. i hate to admit that i kind of enjoyed this movie. sometimes, you just want to watch a movie that leaves you wondering just how much corn syrup and sausage was used in the making of it.
will i watch it again? maybe. i've certainly watched MUCH worse.
weird tidbit: i'm CERTAIN they stole music from buffy the vampire slayer for it. there are musical themes throughout this movie that i've heard before. i've seen the entire series enough times to know.