Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Latest Movies I've Seen part 1001

I also took a trip back to the 80s last weekend. The 80s, that wonderful decade of colorful spandex, weird hairdos, and amazingly cheesy horror movies. House in one of them. I had ever only heard faint mentions to it in horror forums and such, and when Cosmic mentioned the movie to me yet again, I knew I had to see it. So we did

House revolves around, quite obviously, a haunted house of sorts. Roger Cobb is a successful writer with a traumatizing past: a Vietnam vet, he lost his only child in a freak event at his aunt's house, and ultimately ended up divorcing his wife. He never knew what happened to the kid: the police and the FBI never found out anything, and all his aunt could tell him was that the house took the child. She believed the house to be haunted, but everyone else thought she was just bananas. One day, she showed up dead, hung by the neck in her bedroom, and her death was dismissed as suicide. Roger took the chance to move up to his aunt's house, hoping to find the solitude and peace of mind he needed to write his new book, but we quickly find out he should have just stayed home.

Obviously, this is a haunted house movie. But the haunting is pretty weird - it's supposed to be ghosts, but all the things that Roger finds in the house are this sort of strange looking monsters made of rubber that are anything but ghosts. Demonic entity? Mischievous goblins? They could have named them something better than ghosts. But that's me nitpicking.

The movie's atmosphere is distincly 80-ish, and the top contributor to that is, in my opinion, the score. The music just made me giggle most of the time, but it gave the movie an enjoyable cheesy vibe that made everything else make sense, in a weird way, because it just brought the whole cheese factor together. There were bits that were pretty funny (a couple of them involving music - to hear Dedicated to the One I love when Roger is burying what he thinks is the freshly-killed demonic version of his wife is pretty hilarious), and I would have loved to see the movie pursue the funnier side, like Evil Dead for example, because when it tried to be serious it kinda fell flat.

Still, I enjoyed this movie a lot. I knew what to expect from it and it didn't disappoint, because I took it with a grain of salt. It was an 80s cheesefest just the way I like it, and it's a shame that horror movies nowadays almost always take themselves too serious. It takes 2.5 out of 5 demons from me.

A few days ago, the Friday the 13th reboot made its premiere in the movies. It's not like I was hyper-excited to see it, but it was a horror movie, so everyone knows I'd end up watching up. Friday was never my favorite classic horror series, so that presented an advantage to me, since I wasn't afraid of "them" ruining it. Also, regarding "them", the team behind this was the same team that handled the remake of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and that was a pretty gruesome movie that I enjoyed, and I thought this one would be in a similar vein.

The story tried to go back to the beginning of things, although it never really explains where the hell Jason comes from, but that's okay because I think it didn't explain that in the original movies either. It crams up elements from the first movies of the series: we get a bit with his mother (which was probably more rewarding for people who had seen the original), then we get Jason with the burlap sack on his head, and finally the Jason everyone knows with the hockey mask.

So we get the usual group of young adults in a horror movie, going to a house in the middle of nowhere to bang each other and get high out of their minds. They're all pretty stereotypical and predictable in behavior, but it's excusable, no one is expecting brilliant character development. Then, a random guy named Clay decided to rain on their parade and keep pestering them, asking them wether they had or not seen his sister, who disappeared 6 weeks before. Alfa-male Trent thinks it's better to give him the boot, but his girlfriend disagrees and decides to tag along with Clay and look for his lost sister. Predictably, they bump into Jason, and then things go awry when they have to get back to the house and protect themselves and their friend from the killer.

What everyone wants to know in a movie of this kind is: the killings. They're not bad. Some are pretty brutal and will make you cringe (one of the first, in Jason's old camp house, comes to mind) but others are pretty un-Jason like (the sleeping bag comes to mind). The gore is decent, I mean, there's no blood flying around everywhere, but this is not Braindead after all.
One thing that bothered me a little was that the directors tried to "cash in" again on the redneck type for this movie. It worked in the Texas Chainsaw remake for obvious reasons, but it seemed a little out of place here. Well, at least the cop wasn't a jackass, as they usually are, and he did try to go help when the kids called the police - which I was thinking he wouldn't, it would be pretty typical. I was pretty unhappy by the ending, but I see what they meant to do with it. Didn't really work this time around, for me at least.

All in all, I enjoyed the movie. It's not like I was expecting much, but it turned out to be a decent movie, and in my opinion much superior to the latest installments of the Friday series (Jason X? Seriously, what was that??). It has little substance, plot, or character development... but it has Jason and his machete. And that's what the crowd wants. I give it 2.5 out of 5 machetes.

Stay tuned for a couple more reviews. This week has been rich in movies.


Ska said...

4 dias. Não que te tivesses esquecido :P

Ska said...

E já tenho bilhetes e tudo :P