Post by SsnakeBite, the No1 Frenchman on Jun 10, 2016 15:05:53 GMT -5
Requested by @supersweetbotch
Pphhhheeeww... that was tedious. You know how some directors get accused of making movies just to get a paid vacations? I wonder if that's what's going on but since this is Harmony Korine, it's still really weird.
But man, I just couldn't get into this movie. I've got to admit I have a very, very low tolerance for this kind of "feel bad for the douchebags" story so I'm probably not the best audience for this. It can work when you have an interesting character to follow and you can really feel their moral torment but here... well, it's spring breakers so it's basically the douchebags from every shitty slasher movie who have no interest in life other than drugs, sex, alcohol and parties.
Now I think the intent was to be a satire of the teenage fantasy of living an endless party without having to care about anything and how this life of excesses could only be sustained by awful behaviour but man, the execution is really poor and you just end up following awful people being annoying and the film treats the very minor consequences they face like tragedies.
Now, it could have been very interesting if it actually went where it seemed like it was going early on and it was the story of some girls wanting a taste of rebellion and ending up losing control of what they were doing but it really doesn't and instead it's the story of some asshole girls getting everything they want by being just terrible, terrible people and getting their kicks ruining everyone else' lives. If the intent was to subvert the idealization of this lifestyle, this film fails majorly because it feels like it's glorifying its main characters.
On top of that, there is way too much nothing going on. The plot is paper-thin and it's not like the rest of the film used for much character development except for a few scenes where a lot if spoken but not much is said. Instead we have endless extended scenes of partying and the kind of general douchebaggery generally reserved for bad rap music videos and I know what people are going to say: it's about Spring Break! Of course it's gonna have partying! Well first, even with that in mind, they way overdo it and it quickly becomes obvious that it's mostly there to pad out the movie because otherwise, it wouldn't be more than 40 minutes long and second... this film really isn't about Spring Break. It's basically just a crime movie that happens to take place at Spring Break but it could take place at any other moment and it's be the same.
The one positive I can give it is that it looks very nice. There is a lot of very beautiful work with colours and the movie does a very good job of making you feel the haze of the excesses the characters go through. Unfortunately, it basically has all the style of a Kubrick movie with none of the substance.
Next time, we have a movie that, despite being about strippers, is probably going to have a lot less nudity than this one, unless it goes... The Full Monty.
It's one of those films that's strangely uplifting. It's the story of a group of steel workers who lost their job after the steel industry took a nosedive and after noticing the popularity of Chippendale acts, decide that, despite none but one of them looking the part, the best course of action is to start their own strip show, and so they train in secret, desperately trying to get their show on the road.
It's definitely a fun romp, questioning the ideals of virility while also celebrating the working class and its struggles. There are a lot of genuine emotions and dark moments, although I do feel some of the problems they face are solved just a bit too easily in order to get the plot going, especially one near the end where the wife of one of the characters mistakenly believes he's cheating on her, which is resolved in the same scene, making me wonder why it was even there.
But yeah, it's pretty fun to see how the film really makes you root for these guys to be able to make their show and have it be successful, to the point it becomes less about the money or even about being considered sexy and more about just bringing a project to its full conclusion (its full monty if you will HAA HAAA!). And yeah, as I alluded to, it makes you think a lot about manliness and being comfortable with one's own body as aside from one, none of them is particularly sexy. One's too fat, two are too old, one's too skinny and one looks like Rorschach from Watchmen. Oh and it has a fantastic soundtrack, full of all the classic fun, cheesy "stripping" classics.
There is however one thing that kind of made it difficult for me to fully enjoy this movie and unfortunately, it's the main character, Gaz. How can I put it politely? ... oh yeah, he's a twat. I know the idea is that he's supposed to be a well-meaning loser but he's just plain unlikeable to me. The few moments he has with his son (his main motivation being to be able to afford shared custody of him), he spends it making him do illegal and dangerous shit for his own profit, he whines to his ex-wife about having to pay for the shared custody and worst of all, he causes one of the other characters, a guy in his 50's, to fail his one job interview he managed to get in months, seemingly for a decently paying job he was almost guaranteed to get and I don't know if that was the intent but the way it's shown, it comes across like he did it so the guy's only option for money would be to train them for the strip show (as he gives dancing lessons as well). So yeah, i think they went rather overboard with the flawed part of the "flawed but good" character.
Still, overall a fun and smart movie.
Next time, we go for a completely different style with the film that inspired pretty much the entire cyberpunk genre taking place in the far future of 2019, starring Han Solo and the Hobo with a shotgun, Blade Runner. And yes, I am aware the theatrical release has an unnecessary voice-over that everybody hates. I'll try and avoid that version.
Post by SsnakeBite, the No1 Frenchman on Jul 23, 2016 5:12:43 GMT -5
Bonus Review: The Purge: Election Year
I went to see this earlier as I loved Anarchy and was really excited for a sequel. Yes, I know the premise is very silly but I think they made it work, plus the characters are strong enough to carry the movie and make you root for them. It really feels like a spiritual successor to 80's B-movies that have an insane concept but if you can get into it, the story is amazing. And one of the good ones too, not the ones that you watch solely to riff them.
What about Election Year, then? Well, it's still great but I can't deny it doesn't quite reach the same level as Anarchy. Perhaps it's just because the novelty wore off but I also feel there was less character development, both for the heroes and the villains especially since the main character is once again Leo (you know, the Punisher-type guy from Anarchy), who has become a bodyguard for a senator running for president on an anti-Purge platform.
In Anarchy, all the characters, even ones that only appeared for one or two scenes, were memorable whereas here, only some of them really stand out. Don't get me wrong though, the heroes are still likeable and you definitely root for them, especially Joe, the convenience store owner who decides to defend his store himself after his insurance decided to raise their fee the day before the purge.
In general, it seems that whereas Anarchy had a fairly simple core plot (dude tries to take advantage of the purge to get revenge and the movie shows every way in which it can possibly go wrong), allowing it to spend more time on the characters, this one focuses on a more complex plot as the concept is that the senator I mentioned earlier is being targeted by her political opponents, who have conveniently decided to lift the exemption on class 10 political personalities for this purge so they could legally assassinate her and Leo tries to take her to safety and while I won't say too much to avoid spoilers, the story then shifts gears to a different plot point which becomes the main storyline.
So with this focus on the story, there is less time to develop the characters. The villains aren't quite as memorable either, being a White supremacist group (second time I've seen an action-horror film where people have to escape from heavily-armed Neo-Nazis in three months) who are hired as mercenaries by the bad guys, although the fact that they're Neo-Nazis doesn't really affect anything, they don't even use racist slurs to make us extra-hate them or anything, despite the fact that the majority of the characters are Black. You'd think Nazis would be all over that.
So yeah, the villains are a bit generic this time around, which is especially a shame since we do see several random Purgers, sometimes in groups, that are way more interesting and I really wish had a bigger part in the film.
Don't get me wrong though, as much as I criticized here, I don't want you to think I disliked the movie. It's still hella cathartic fun and it does get very tense at times, and it does have a few spikes in insanity, like some of the characters randomly coming across a few purgers who set up a freaking guillotine in the middle of a street. Somehow.
So yeah, still worth watching, still worth seeing it in theatres. Just don't expect it to be as mind-blowing as Anarchy.
Oh and the review of Blade Runner is coming soon! I promise!
First things first, let's specify the version I saw as apparently, the theatre version was very different and is considered the worst. I saw the Final Cut as from what I understand, this is the film as it was meant to be by Ridley Scott.
This is one of the most influential sci-fi works of all time and it's easy to see why. The core story is actually fairly simple, a cop is put in charge of eliminating several targets and grows to question the morality of his orders, but the way it's presented is incredible. Even some of the core themes likes nature vs nurture and what makes us human aren't really developed or at least discussed a lot in-universe, letting the images speak for themselves and leaving the reflection up to the audience. In fact, I believe it's because the story is kept so simple that the film can afford to be so stylistic. It doesn't weigh itself down with unnecessary details in the plot so it can spend a lot of time fleshing out the universe it's taking place in, which is what gives the film a lot of personality.
And the style is amazing. This film, despite being very dark (both literally and figuratively), is just gorgeous and the music is equally beautiful. This creates an unforgettable atosphere that really sucks in and makes you want to know more about this world. It's one of those universes where if they made a movie that's just an hour and a half of looking around the city, I'd totally watch it. Some of the shots might feel a bit gratuitous and just here to be pretty but you know what? I like art for art's sake if it's done well.
And indeed, it's noticeable that it heavily influenced the sci-fi genre, especially the cyberpunk sub-genre. I saw things in this movie that reminded me of many later works like Shadowrun, Ghost in the Shell, The Fifth Element, The Matrix, etc... Hell, even Final Fantasy VI has a little bit of Blade Runner in it. Although from what I hear, part of the reason it looks so good is that Scott went and fixed some of the special effects with CGI for the Final Cut edition, although I didn't notice anything that looked out of place. My God! CGI used in a way that actually improves the film! Whatever next? So yeah, in case I wasn't clear enough, see this movie if you haven't yet.
Next is one of the few Chaplin classics I haven't seen yet, City Lights.
This is pretty much the classic Chaplin story. The Tramp meets a pretty, down-her-luck girl and tries to make life better for both of them. In this case, it's a blind flower girl and the way he improves their lives is by befriending a rich man with a serious drinking problem and through wacky hijinks.
This in my opinion isn't Chaplin's best work. Now of course, it's Chaplin so it's still good but I think he tends to be at his best when satirizing society, which he doesn't really do here. In fact, this is in my opinion one of his safest works. There's still a lot of good comedy and slapstick and I was actually very impressed with how it used sound despite being a silent movie, using instruments to mimic speech, for example.
I think my biggest issue with this film is that in most of Chaplin's movies, you do get a happy ending but the characters have to work for it and be proactive, so you really feel like they've earned it and you're happy that they did get it because you saw them sacrifice so much and face so many hardships whereas here, everything just kind of works out conveniently in the end.
So basically, if you're a big Chaplin fan, you'll enjoy it a lot but if you only casually enjoy his work and want to focus on his best stuff, you can give this one a pass.
Sorry CageKing but you were already the last person to make a request so I cannot accept another one from you until someone else has made one. Nothing personal, I just want to avoid getting too many requests from the same people in order to maintain as much variety as possible.
The Lucha Kittens: you know they'd beat your favourite tag-team.
Sorry CageKing but you were already the last person to make a request so I cannot accept another one from you until someone else has made one. Nothing personal, I just want to avoid getting too many requests from the same people in order to maintain as much variety as possible.
Post by SsnakeBite, the No1 Frenchman on Oct 30, 2018 15:49:43 GMT -5
MwahahahaHAAAAAA!! Halloween is coming and with it, the dead are rising from their grave! And that includes The Great SsnakeBite Movie Experiment! That's right, while this is not an official comeback as I'm not sure I'll be able to do this regularly again (which unfortunately does mean I'm not taking any requests for the time being either), for this night at least, I am bringing it back for a special! Here's what I decided to do: I took every horror movie from my review list and assigned them a number based on the order in which they were requested. Then, using a random number generator, I picked three to watch over the course of October 31st and November 1st. As a reminder, here is the list of potential films for me to watch and review:
Every once in a while, I see a movie that makes me think it would have worked a lot better as a short. And OH BOY this has got to be the biggest example of that yet. This movie lasts about an hour and 50 minutes but I can tell you without hyperbole that it could easily have been wrapped up in 20. And it would have gained a lot from that, starting with better pacing, but also, the fact that it explains so little might have actually worked there, as the audience might have started wondering what was going on outside of what we saw, rather than having the confirmation that the filmmakers themselves didn't have a clue and just wanted to have scenes happen.
Because oh yeah, it's one of those movies. The kind where very little actually happens, yet what little does happen is never setup, foreshadowed, or in any way explained, and to be honest with you, it doesn't have a payoff either. This is basically a feature-length tryhard film student movie, the kind made by the sort of people who think that if their movie is incomprehensible, it means it's smart and everyone seeing it, themselves included, are too dumb to get it.
I'll give it that it starts off really well, with a video made to look like an old promotional video or whatever for some sort of vaguely scientific new age retreat. And it really does look and feel like something from the 60's, rather than one of those caricatural things that look what people born later think the 60's were like. In fact, one of the film's strongest aspect is definitely the style, be it in terms of visual or audio. The film is set in 1983, but the aesthetic are very 60's, maybe early 70's. And the other way it feels like a film student's work is that it IS genuinely very well made (for the most part, more on that later).
But things quickly fall apart after that intro, as while you are still trying to enjoy the trippy visuals and gripping synthwave music, the realization slowly creeps on you that no, nothing is going to be explained, ever. And it's not the only thing that's slow, because everything in this movie is so. Goddamn. ssssslllllloooooooowwwwwwwww. The characters walk slow, they talk slow, they move slow, and that's of course after the endless shots of nothing And I say that as someone who really enjoys a slow burn but my God, when you're 50 minutes into a film and you have yet to learn who anybody is, how they relate to one another, where they come from, what their backstories are and what they're trying to accomplish is or why the audience should care, it's a bit much. Of course, it can't even be called a slow burn when there is no burn since, as I mentioned before, nothing is accomplished. There is no story, no character development, no theme.
It's clear that the films director is trying very hard to be Stanley Kubrick (hence the late 60's sci-fi visuals, no doubt), and so he wants to focus more on atmosphere and wants long silent shots but here's the thing, Kubrick, as stylish as he was, didn't have long shots of nothing for the sake of having long shots of nothing. He was still telling a story even without dialogue. When a scene in a Kubrick film is silent, much like for Sergio Leone, it's because dialogue would be superfluous. Here, it's done because the director seems to be under the impression that dreary = deep.
Not helping the unnecessarily slow pace is the fact that nothing has any energy in it. Genuine slow burn movies such as, again, Kubrick movies, still have an energy to them driving them forward, making them go crescendo until they reach their climax. But here, nobody ever emotes except for the occasional psychotic smirk from the villain, Barry, and on top of that, what little dialogue is there is almost always mumbled, to the point of being barely comprehensible, with Barry once again being especially bad, especially considering he's almost the only one who has any lines. There's one scene that's almost unbearable, where Barry goes to talk with Dr. Arboria the creator of the new age commune thing (BTW, it's implied to be a commune but it doesn't seem anybody but the handful of characters from the film actually live there), whom we saw in the promotional video, but since it's 20 years later, he is now old, sick and dying, meaning yes, he speaks in slow, weak mumbles. The dialogue seriously devolves into this:
You may noticed I haven't really brought up the plot yet. That's because there is none. There is a series of threads that go nowhere, but I refuse to call it a plot. According to IMDb, the sum-up is "Despite being under heavy sedation, a young woman tries to make her way out of the Arboria Institute, a secluded, quasi futuristic commune." And while that's technically a thing that happens in the movie, and it turns out the girl is called Elena and has psychic powers (and yes, she does have stringy black hair and a long white dress), I really can't call this a plot, because that's not what the movie revolves around, the events of the film don't lead to it, and her attempts at escaping amount to Barry letting her do it and then her doing it. Then he goes after her to try to kill her because of reasons. By the way, this Nth subplot starts about 30 minutes before the end of this 110 minutes film.
Among other things that happen and are never resolved or given any sort of meaning. I guess there are spoilers but since there's no real story and it's not very interesting anyway, I don't care about spoiling it:
- A doctor lady finds a weird document due to a button screwing up for no adequately explained reason. The document really freaks her out for no adequately explained reason. It's implied to be records of weird scientific experiments, but what they are is never revealed or even hinted at, and she's been knowingly participating in weird scientific experiments on the aforementioned young woman, so why more weird experiments freak her out, I don't know). She is then crumples a picture of Elena's mom that Elena has for no adequately explained reason, and is then killed by Elena for that reason, which isn't adequate;
- Barry's mom. She exists, then Barry kills her for no adequately explained reason. It isn't clear for most of her whole two scenes that she is in fact his mom;
- Barry receiving an unintelligible call (intentionally unintelligible, not just because it's mumbled softly). What it said is never explained but it sure freaks barry out for no adequately explained reason. Barry is also awkwardly framed with half his face out of frame for no adequately explained reason;
- An army of admittedly cool-looking cyborgs called the Sentionauts is revealed. Actually, there might be just one since we don't actually see more. Either way, all it does is implant Elena with a tracking chip (I think). It doesn't appear to be sentient, doesn't stop Elena's later escape and removes its visor to reveal its human face a gasp for no adequately explained reason;
- The previously mentioned entirely too long scene of Barry meeting Dr Arboria and then helping him commit suicide, I think, which has no bearing on anything else. This is Dr. Arboria's only scene outside of the promotional video, BTW, and the first time any history between the two is mentioned, making it have exactly zero impact on the viewer;
- This entirely too long scene being interrupted by an entirely too long flashback accomplishing nothing other than establish that the people doing weird scientific experiment have been doing weird scientific experiments and killed Elena's mom for no adequately explained reason;
- Barry goes crazy for no adequately explained reason and starts killing people for no adequately explained reason;
- Barry is dramatically revealed to have been wearing a wig (which was distractingly obvious the entire movie) and contact lens the whole time and to actually be bald and have mutated eyes. This appears to have no relevance to anything;
- During her "escape", Elena meets a zombie for no adequately explained reason. It fails to be even a minor inconvenience;
- Two random asshole metalheads are introduced less than 5 minutes before the end of the film for the sole reason of adding to the bodycount, since the movie otherwise had only three characters other than Barry and Elena, and only one of them had enough screen time for it to potentially matter;
- The "chase" (read: Barry slowly walking after Elena) Barry dies from tripping over his own feet and landing head first on a rock, proving the movie's own main character was irrelevant. I think this is this film's idea of comedy.
Seriously, it's incredible how aimless 90% of this movie is. The poster is a complete lie, by the way. The only accurate thing about is its fetish for red lighting. But Barry doesn't look like that until the last half-hour of the movie, the tagline "Beyond science. Beyond sanity. Beyond control" makes sound like an exciting psychological eldritch horror movie when for most of it, it's a whole lot of nothing with interesting visuals, then at the very end it quickly becomes "random slasher vs Caucasian Sadako". A more accurate tagline would have been "Beyond an adequate explanation".
Oh and I almost forgot, it's one these films that, in spite of being all artsy pantsy, is incredibly unsubtle. Barry is a giant dick to everybody the entire time, even acting very... Weinstein-y with the aforementioned scientist lady, and like I said, the only emotion ever shown in this film is his creepy smiles so you know he's evil. The scientist lady almost comes close to feeling like an actual person, but even she ends up acting like a dick to Sadak- I mean Elena, just so she has an excuse to kill her. And the two metalheads are of course vulgar beer-chugging assholes (the beer can being labelled "beer" just in case you missed it), because people who like metal are dummy dumb dumbs, in contrast to us smarty pants peoples what make the pretty movies about nothing! Oh and of course, one's skinny and the other's obese, because they're not just dumb, they also don't take care of their health because they're so vulgar and dumb!
I also brought up earlier the fact that the movie is well made... for the most part. That's because this film has this weird fascination with making things blurry, or focusing on just one small detail. Now granted, in most cases it actually does work and can create a very dreamy effect, but in some cases it feels like it's being done just 'cause, and sometimes it gets to the point where it's hard to follow what's going on or even to look at. In fact, there are a few shots that seem to exist solely for the director to try cool tricks he's just learned (which again contributes to the "student film" feel).
Now, with me ranting about the movie, you would be forgiven for being under the impression that I hate it, but I really don't. It just kind of left me nonplussed. Nothing about it matters, so why should the movie matter to me? I'm actually shocked that I found so much to talk about considering how little actually happens (I cannot stress how there is no reason for this movie to be longer than 20 minutes). And as I've alluded to before, the style really does work. The 60's sci-fi inspired look is very well realized and the synthwave soundtrack is some of the best example of the genre. I really wish it played more often because then this thing could at least pass for pretty cool 1 hour and 50 minutes long music video.
Wow, I really can't believe I've been going on for so long when i expected it to be over and done with in a couple paragraphs. Ironic considering I criticized this movie for making everything take five times longer than it needed to. Guess I just missed doing these. Anyway, tomorrow, I'll be looking at The Visit, an M. Night Shyamalan film I've been wanting to see for years as the premise sounded very interesting to me and the feedback I've heard from people who've seen has either been genuinely positive, or made it sound like a very entertaining mess. So either way I think I'm gonna have fun. See ya, everyone! Happy Halloween!
The Lucha Kittens: you know they'd beat your favourite tag-team.
Post by SsnakeBite, the No1 Frenchman on Nov 1, 2018 12:27:14 GMT -5
Holy crap, looking at the views, I'm amazed at the number of people who came to read this despite the long absence (and again, this is solely a one-off thing, at least for the time being). That said... would you guys be mad if I did the third review tomorrow? Don't get me wrong, I will watch and review The Visit today, but my computer has been making a very loud and very annoying whirring noise which makes it very hard to sit down and enjoy the film, and I've only just been able to fix it.
As I said last time, I was really looking forward to this one and I have to say, I was not disappointed. However, I will say I can imagine why other people might not be into it as it is a very,very weird film. I know, a Shyamalan film being weird, whodathunkit? But man, it's the kind of weird that I really like. As you may have guessed from the title and the poster (although once again we have somewhat of a lying poster as the rules on it aren't a thing in the movie), the movie is about two teenage kids, the older sister Becca, and the younger brother Taylor, visiting their grandparents. They're very excited about it as they have never seen them before due to them having a falling out with their mom (who's been raising them on her own ever since their dad left). Things start off well with them, but it quickly gets weird as their grandparents start behaving more and more bizarrely.
And the bizarre is done very well in this film. There's a pretty good interplay of sweet moments and uncomfortable ones, making you unsure about how things are going to go. There are a few more jump scares than I would have preferred, because I'm pretty Blumhouse makes it a contractual obligation to have as many of those as possible, but luckily, not as many as I feared, and for the most part, Shyamalan does allow the mood to settle. On top of that, there are some really good character moments, as Becca is taking this trip as an opportunity to film a documentary and is clearly trying to repair the relationship between her mom and her grandparents; and as weird and downright creepy as the grandparents can be, they can also be very sweet, and there are times you really root for them to make-up with their daughter.
It's weird, while the grandparents are not outright senile (although the grandma is stated relatively early on to suffer from some sort of chronic dementia), but I think the dynamic between them and the mom is supposed to be symbolic of dealing with a senile relative, whom seem to have lost their mind most of the time, but every once in a while there are glimpses of them regaining it and being the people you've known all your life again, making you wish you could go back to the way things were, but knowing all too well that's it's too late.
Now with all that said, there are some things I wish this movie did better. Namely, I think it blows its load too quickly with the weird behaviour. There's some really disturbing stuff going on very early into the movie, and while it's understandable for the kids to dismiss some of that as quirks of old age (or even just it being how these people are), there's stuff where it seems they, and especially Becca, are way too in denial about. As a result, there's a long stretch of the movie which is a lot of the grandparents doing something clearly deranged, only for someone to immediately give an excuse for it and handwave it as "well, you know, it's just how old people are". Maybe it's supposed to be a commentary about how people tend to be overly dismissive of the elderly, or how they tend to downplay very worrying mental issues, but there's a point where you wonder how many times they can just ignore it. I think it would have worked a lot better if it focused a bit longer on the sweeter moments, and started off light with the oddities, only for them to get harder and harder to explain away.
Last but not least, this being M. Night Shyamalan, there is of course a twist and I know people like to mock him for having nonsensical twists that are only shocking because they make no sense whatsoever and ruin otherwise intriguing stories, but I thought it worked really well here. I have no problem with it, I think it makes sense in universe and it actually does explain a lot of things and add to the story, which is what a twist should do. So overall, could have been better, but it's already very good.
And tomorrow, we end this Halloween special with the third and final entry: Pontypool, another film I've heard of before and whose premise always intrigued me. A story about a virus that apparently spreads via radio.
Post by SsnakeBite, the No1 Frenchman on Nov 2, 2018 18:40:44 GMT -5
Requested by @ricrocket
We end this Halloween special two days after Halloween because f*** you, if Christmas can butt in three months early, this holiday can stick around for a couple days. We also end it with our third entry, Pontypool, a very, very interesting and fresh take on what is essentially a zombie film, except the plague here spreads in memetic fashion (as in, the scientific definition of a meme, not what the internet turned that word into, which is quite ironic considering the film's main theme) through spoken language. Fittingly, the main characters are a small radio crew, and almost the entire movie is set inside their station, aside from the first five minutes or so, which is just one of them, Grant Mazzy, driving to said station. Grant is portrayed by Stephen McHattie, who was an excellent choice as He does indeed have an amazing low and growling radio voice. The other two main characters are Laurel-Ann Drummond and Sydney Briar.
You know, when you think about it, on the surface, it's a very standard zombie story: a small group of survivors are stuck in a building while trying to escape the zombie hordes. Rental shops have been filling their shelves with those for decades now. And yet, the simple idea of having the virus spread through words changes so much. Mainly, the story is told to us as the characters themselves discover it, being fed from their sources almost in real time, and it really, really works. It actually makes it extra disturbing that you can't see the outbreak and have to find out about it through second-hand accounts.
You know, I usually don't really agree with the claim that what you make up in your imagination is always more disturbing than anything you can see as to me, that's often used as an excuse for hack writers to not have to commit to anything, and considering how effective many horror movies, games, comics, etc can be through their visuals (because, you know, they're VISUAL mediums), I feel like if you can't come up with anything the audience couldn't think up themselves, it just means you lack imagination yourself. It's kind of the visual equivalent of saying "the audience have to figure out what it means to them" so you don't have to take any risk by actually making a statement on your own, and instead just telling the audience "heh, just think of something clever and give ME credit for it". But this... THIS is one of the few films I've seen that makes me rethink my stance.
In this case, it felt disturbingly real, like you're actually listening to a radio show about something crazy going on and you can't do anything but to go on with your day, knowing something huge is happening out there but not knowing exactly what it is. You feel as helpless as the characters, as you're powerless to do anything other than wait for more info to come in and try to convince yourself that you can just go about your daily routine in the meantime. It's like the makers of this film heard the saying "show, don't tell" and they said "Oh yeah? Here, hold my beer". It actually make it feel a little strange that it's a movie; it feels like it should be a radio play and framed like it's an actual ongoing story (which I believe the novel was first adapted as. Now I kinda want to listen to that).
Now, the zombies do eventually break into the station and we get to see them, and we see one of the characters slowly become more and more unhinged as the infection takes them over, which leads to some genuinely disturbing visuals, so moments like this make me glad that it is indeed a movie. After all, when's the last time you've seen a zombie turn actually be shocking?
The characters are also very likeable and make you root for them (also something that's becoming more and more of a rarity in horror works, especially zombie stories as they still think "what if the real monster is MAAAAAAN?!" is a mind-blowing deconstruction we've never seen before. ROMERO HIMSELF ALREADY DID IT BACK IN THE 60'S, TRY SOMETHING ELSE YOU F-), and the first part of the movie is pretty much entirely character development; it takes a solid 20 minutes before there is even a hint of the epidemic (aside from a jump scare at the beginning, which I gotta say put me off for a little while, but luckily it was the only one, which only highlights how pointless it was), which I like as it gives us some times to learn about and relate to the characters before we really dive into the horror. There are also a few quieter character moments during the movie, and again, I can imagine it being hard to pull them off as effectively in a radio play, so I can see why they did want to make a movie adaptation.
Oh yeah, and it also turns out that, in this film set in Canada, only words from the English language are infected and one of the main survival tricks is to speak French. I see no real-life social parallels, which is why I'm not bringing it up.
Well, that's it, that's the end of this three days, three movies special. You know, my original plan was to do it all on Halloween, but I'm actually glad it ended up spreading over three days, making it last a bit later. And I'm happy to say that the last film I reviewed was in my opinion the best one. As I've said before, while I would like to get back to this on a more regular basis eventually, I have no plans to do so right away. But who knows? The Great SsnakeBite Movie Experiment might be back sooner thank you think. In the meantime, Happy Easter, everyone. Oh and, what did you guys think of these movies, assuming you've seen them?
EDIT: also, can anybody tell me what that stinger was about?