Friday, October 31, 2008

Halloween Picks - The Descent (2005) and Young Frankenstein (1974)

Well, here are the two last movie picks for Halloween 2008. It hasn't been easy to narrow down all the movies I wanted to recommend to this little list, so I might just keep recommending horror movies every once in a while - after all, Halloween is like Christmas, you can have it everyday.
1. The Descent (2005)

I consider The Descent to be one of the best horror movies of the last years, and I'm sure time will make it a classic.

Directed by Neil Marshall, The Descent tells us the story of a group of 6 women who go spelunking 1 year after Sarah, a member of the group, lost her daughter and husband on a car accident. Juno, Sarah's best friend, leads the group further and further into a previously unexplored cave, and it soon becomes apparent that they won't all make it out of the cave... if anyone will at all. Revealing more would be a little sinful.

The plot is tight, and the characters are very well fleshed out, making it very interesting to see their relationships change, tear and fall apart. The suspense keeps building from the beginning, and when the action unfolds it's truly like a rollercoaster ride. The cave and the tension make this movie crazy claustrophobic, and if you're anything like me, you'll feel like you're out of breath inside that dark, ominous cave along with the 6 characters. There's a constant feeling of dread and foreboding. The Descebt will make you uncomfortable, and it will scare you, which is not something a lot of horror movies successfully pull off. If you're looking for more than a couple empty jumps, for Halloween, go with this one.

2. Young Frankenstein (1974)

Ok, so, this is not horror. It's a comedy movie - but it's a parody of some of Universal's earliest and biggest classics (Frankenstein, Bride of Frankenstein, and so on), and it's definitely worth a mention. And, more than 30 years after its making, it stands as one of my favorite comedies of all time.

Young Frankenstein gives us the tale of Dr. Frederik Frankenstein (ir's pronounced Fronk-en-steen!), a somewhat crazy college professor who happens to be the grandson of famous mad scientist Victor Frankenstein. His grandfather passed away and left Frederik his castle in Transylvania. He travels to Transyvalnia to claim his inheritance and stumbles upon a book detailing his grandfather's earlier projects of trying to create life from dead body parts. Despite deeming his grandfather insane in the earlier parts of the movie, he decides to give Frankenstein senior's projects a try. Along with him for the ride are the iconic hunchback lab assistant, Igor (pronounced Eye-gore); a young nurse named Inga, and the castle's scary caretaker, Frau Blucher.

Mel Brooks has made some of the funniest comedies ever (notably Blazing Saddles, Spaceballs and Robin Hood: Men in Tights), and Young Frankenstein ranks high on my laugh-a-palooza list. Once the laughter starts, it's hard to stop it, not only because of a great script, but thanks to the brilliant acting by the cast, particularly Gene Wilder, who is perfect as Frederik Frankenstein, and Marty Feldman, who delivers a truly hilarious performance as the hunchbacked Igor. Shot in black and white and using a lot of the same props made for 1931's Frankenstein, the movie successfully reflects the style of the Universal classic, while at the same time being side-splitting hilarious. It's one of the best spoof movies ever made, and I guarantee it'll make for a really fun Halloween night.

Well, these were my suggestions. Let me know if you choose any of these movies to keep you company tonight, and have a kick ass Halloween!

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