Archive for the Scary Movies You May Have Missed Category

Scary Movie You May Have Missed: Darkness

Posted in Scary Movies You May Have Missed with tags , , , , , on November 25, 2010 by zombiegames01

Forty years have passed after cult-like ritual killings occur in a rural area in Spain, Mark and his family move into a house close to his doctor father. As various bizarre events occur, resulting in the hospitalization of Mark and leaving his son Paul all bruised, it is up to Mark’s daughter Regina and her friend Carlos to solve the mystery behind the strange occurrence that surround the family house.
As much as Darkness is a sort of Pitch Black in a haunted house, it still manages to be unexpectedly entertaining. Even with the stereotypical clairvoyant little child role, it still looks pretty original. This is apparently a “scary movie”, so where are the scares? The elements are present. The performances and the story are pretty solid, the creepy gags work quite well but there just aren’t enough frights. It is all nail-biting suspense with no out-of-the-blue-jump-out-of-your-seat moment. There was at least one loud KABOOM and it was simply an “I didn’t mean to scare you” kind of a horror scare. The ending is quite clever, but it also too obvious to really be the last scream before credits ending. Rather it only raises an eyebrow at best.

I give credit where it’s due, the movie stuck to its ideas. The mood and atmosphere is befittingly dark. It’s just the right kind of darkness that works; there are many movies where all the lights are off in the house but everything inside is conveniently moonlit. Darkness really has great darkness.
Anna Paquin does a pretty good job as this movie’s scream queen. Some familiar faces make up the rest of the cast. Giancarlo Gianinni plays Dr. Rua, grandfather of “Regina” and “Paul” and Iain Glen is the troubled son of Dr. Rua. Although everybody here fits, I just find it strange that while it takes place in Spain, everyone speaks in English and all the accents sound Italian.

The cast does a decent enough job, the story is strong and the suspense is there but this “scary movie” just isn’t scary enough. Darkness may be worth a rent this coming weekend, but make sure to turn the volume up… maybe then you’ll really get scared.

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Scary Movie You May Have Missed: [REC]

Posted in Scary Movies You May Have Missed with tags , , , , , on November 17, 2010 by zombiegames01

You mention the words “found footage” to most horror movie fans, and they immediately sigh and recall The Blair Witch Project, which was a huge indie hit at the box office, but is most often seen as lacking in entertainment value. So, it’s a victim of its own hype, but I don’t include myself as one of its detractors, and I’m fond of footage movies. Yes, they are made cheap, but when you strip a horror movie of a large budget and studio conventions, you usually end up with a thriller which relies on tension and creativity to be highly effective. There’s usually a heightened level of intimacy with these films, especially if the film is publicized as “real”, and the more emotions you invest in the film, the easier it is for you to be scared.

I’m not certain I would call three films in one calendar year a renaissance, but in 2007 there were three really good films in this genre: Paranormal Activity, The Poughkeepsie Tapes and, the best, the Spanish import, [REC] that I’ve seen this year. [REC] is, in my opinion, the best horror movie since Neil Marshall’s The Descent.

[REC] starts with young reporter Niña Medeiros shooting a segment for her late night TV show, While You’re Sleeping, at a local fire station. It was a slow night, as Nina tries to fill her segment with interviews and a basketball game. Until a call finally comes in, it’s just a low priority call – tenants in an apartment building are complaining about loud screams coming from one of the apartments.Both police and fire department respond to the call, and Niña and her cameraman, decide to come along for the ride. When they arrive in the building, the neighbors have all assembled on the main floor while the emergency staff and the television crew investigate upstairs and find an old woman in her apartment in an enraged state. While it appears that the situation is of minimal concern, everyone inside the building as about to come face to face the most extreme fear possible.  There is something evil in the building, and there is no way out, except for death.