Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Made my own movie!

A friend recently bought a new crane setup for his camera so he invited me over on May 21st to make a short film and test out the new equipment. Here's the link: http://www.reddit.com/r/videos/comments/hoc70/rapture_video_this_short_film_is_the_result_of_a/

Let me know what you think of it! We had tons of fun making it.

Friday, May 27, 2011

John Carpenter's The Ward (2010)

Master of Horror John Carpenter returns to the genre with a pretty darn good film. The Ward is far from Carpenter's best, but let's be honest, Carpenter's best films are pretty much flawless.

The Ward follows the story of Kristen (Amber Heard), a young woman who was recently placed in a mental hospital with four other young women. Kristen finds out that that the ward is haunted by a malevolent specter and tries to prevent it from hurting the other girls. A very simple, yet effective story. There are some great, classic Carpenter moments here and Carpenter does a great job setting the mood. Frequently the face of the ghost appears in the background, but it's not an "OMG LOOK THERE'S THE SCARY FACE" moment where the music gives the audience a huge cue and the face becomes the focus of the shot. The face is just there, watching, and it can only be seen if one is really looking for it. I thought that this subtlety was pure brilliance and very refreshing considering the fact that lately all horror movies consist of scary images popping up as stupid jump scares.

Unfortunately the acting failed in a couple of places. Amber Heard was good at looking pensive and confused, but whenever she tried to interrogate the doctors about what was going on in the ward, her acting was pretty bad. There was also some unnecessary CGI, which is always minus points in my book.

The score was reminiscent of Goblin's classic Suspiria scare and although I was sad that Carpenter didn't do his own score, I enjoyed listening to it and it wasn't horribly overbearing.

So even though The Ward is definitely not the best of Carpenter's work, it's still far better than most contemporary horror films. I hope that Carpenter's return to horror means that he has some more projects on the way. 7/10

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Trollhunter (2010, André Øvredal)

Trollhunter hails from Norway and is a satire of the "found footage" genre (i.e. The Blair Witch Project, Cloverfield, etc.). The trolls in the film are just like the ones from Norwegian myth in that the can smell the blood of Christian men, turn to stone when exposed to sunlight, and like to live under bridges.

The atmosphere of the film is great, although there are a few times where the story is just a tad slow. The characters are all fun as well as believable, and the acting is spot on. Where Trollhunter's greatest weakness lies is in the trolls. They really shouldn't have fully revealed the trolls so early on. Maybe this was deliberate in that the filmmakers wanted to poke fun at how most found-footage movies never fully show their monsters, but it really detracted from the film. The trolls would have been much scarier if more had been left to the audience's imagination.

All in all, a good way to spend an hour and a half.
6/10


Friday, May 20, 2011

SIFF 2011

I'm in the Egyptian Theater right now, waiting to watch my first movie at the Seattle International Film Festival! I'll post a review of Trollhunter soon!