FROM MY BLOG
: Haven't posted DVD reviews in ages, but had a handful of exciting new horror/genre movies at home this weekend, so thought I'd give a rundown!LET ME IN -
the 2010 US remake of the Swedish vampire hit, Let the Right One In
, from the director of Cloverfield
, and featuring "Hit Girl" as the young blood sucker. Let the Right One In was a huge genre hit a couple years ago, but aside from having a great tone and mood, I was fairly underwhelmed and found it pretty lackluster. So, I wasn't too excited about a US version, that was going to stick close to the original. Matt Reeves' Let Me In
does just that, and I found it a challenge to sit through.
He does some nice stuff, again with mood and tone, but knowing the story arc, plot, and pretty much everything to come neutralizes any improvements. Not to mention, if most of your movie is going to have one set, please make that set believable... the snow covered apartment playground looked like, and undoubtedly was, covered in fake snow, with the jungle gym at it's center being capped in plastic/pizza dough looking snow drifts. So, every time we had those exterior shots, I was taken out of the film.
Cute story, but very tedious.NOT RECOMMENDEDHATCHET II -
The original Hatchet
from a couple years back was somewhat heralded as a slasher on par with 80's franchise originals. It wasn't. It was a generic low rent premature effort in most every way, aside from it's filmmakers passion for the sub-genre. Hatchet II, while still a bit low rent, improves in almost every aspect from the first. While it's basically the same plot, utilizing the Aliens
twist, it reverses the hunter and prey this time around, by arming the invaders into Victor Crawley's swampland, with both weapons and some knowledge for what they're getting into. Making the story pretty fun.
That said, if the sequel doesn't manage to improve upon the first film's pedestrian cast, there's no point. The original had an ensemble cast of bad and very uninspiring actors, and this time, while that's still pretty much the case, it does have a couple players who actually shine. The clown of the group Vernon, who starts out your blueprint antagonizer, turns in some genuinely inspired comedic moments (well, by comparison at least), and the much overused horror all-star, Tony Todd, aka The Candyman
, who tends to just sleepwalk through his endless b-movie roles, gets properly utilized here, so that he's not just "hey look, it's that guy from the Candyman movies". And the lead girl, returned from the first film (I think), is okay, at least portraying the stubborness and moxie necessary of her role.
But mostly Hatchet II sings for fans of slashers and gore, because Victor Crawley, while pretty forgettable as a character, does some inspired things with his hatchets and shed tools! There are several genuinely crude new kills offered up in the splattering carnage, and for that, as well as it's devilishly fun spirit, Hatchet II succeeds.
If you like dumb horror fun, Hatchet II serves up a heaping bowl full.RECOMMENDED
Here's the main event folks... MONSTERS -
Basically a mix of District 9
, and Cloverfield
, but with a much smaller budget, and is therefore quite minimal and character driven. That said, what they do in with the simple story, in terms of effects and effectiveness, is inspired, and haunting.
Yes it's a monster movie, but like any good genre work, it hangs on the core story of the people we follow, and how they bring us into their world and extraordinary journey. In this case, half of Mexico has been quarantined, and a photographer must help the daughter of the media mogul he ultimately works for cross back into the US safely.
The writer director, Gareth Edwards, has a background in digital effects, and he employs that craft seamlessly here to subtly change and build the Central American scenery and bring this extra terrestrial trek to life. Destroyed buildings, warning signs, fences, walls, shot out military or civilian vehicles, and fighter jets engaging giant creatures can be found at almost every turn.
Monsters is a rich, low key, character driven giant monster movie of the highest order.HIGHLY RECOMMENDEDBONUS RECOMMENDATION:FROZEN
- Since we reviewed Hatchet II
by Adam Green
, I should also mention his last film that only just recently hit Netflix too, Frozen
. Like Monsters
, Frozen uses a simple horrifying setup to spin gripping character driven drama... all on a lift chair (with Iceman no less!). RECOMMENDED
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