Movie #8: Cabin in the Woods

Cabin in the Woods is the first on my list that is a rewatch. (Addams Family was a rewatch from when I was a child but I couldn’t remember a thing) The first time I watched it was just after a Joss Whedon AMA on Reddit, where he was pushing his new films, Cabin in the Woods and The Avengers. Despite being a bit of a jerk to a number of his fans, he sold me on Cabin in the Woods as I had just watched Firefly and he could do no wrong at that point. I still think he’s a bit of a jerk, and that his die-hard fans worship him a bit too much, but I am glad I was open to Cabin in the Woods, as I was not always in to horror at the time.

I don’t have a whole, whole lot to say about Cabin in the Woods. Mostly because I enjoyed it and couldn’t really find too many flaws, much like Gremlins.

I thought the standout performance in the film was by Anna Hutchison as Jules. The buildup to the makeout scene with the taxidermized wolf was priceless and it was equal parts unsettling. Also, I quite enjoyed watching the second time around as Jules gained the “weed immunity” that is revealed later in the film. Chris Hemsworth was good as always as Curt, as was Kristen Connolly as Dana.

Is that a wolf? NOPE, Chuck Testa.

Is that a wolf? NOPE, Chuck Testa.

I didn’t feel Fran Kranz as Marty was a a survivor, but a rather annoying one. I can get behind a lovable stoner (Like Shaggy or Tommy Chong), but he was just a little too despicable. Who knows, maybe this is what the filmmakers intended, but I thought his whole character arc was more annoying rather than entertaining. His humor fell flat and he wasn’t lovable in the least, making part of the movie fall apart for me. Had he been more endearing or blissfully uninterested in the world around him, I would have maybe wanted to see him survive at the end, but really I just wanted him to get pulverized by pretty much anything. Overall, the ending would have had a much different effect on me had he not been so irritating. Heck, even if you look at his character as symbolic as the viewer of a horror movie, he’s just not doing it for me. (He is seen pointing out plot flaws and inspecting film in the basement and even looks directly in to the camera)

The high point in the movie was the horror genre gauntlet. Deciding your fate in the basement was very reminiscent of Running Man to me and could be an entertaining parallel universe gameshow. The betting scenes were also fun. And it was so satisfying to see all of the monsters go wild at the end. Heck, I could watch a whole movie with various horror movie monsters attacking things. It was also a nice touch to see a unicorn be portrayed for what it is, a cold-blooded killer. (Why else would a horse have developed a horn but for to impale with?) Unfortunately we won’t be getting this satisfaction in a sequel any time soon since the filmmaker decided to be a jerk and say it couldn’t happen because he destroyed the world.

Overall, Cabin in the Woods was a refreshing look at the horror genre. If anything, it should make viewers think, all while providing ample entertainment. To me, it felt like Scooby Doo all grown up. (A lot of characters and plot points match up too!) Unfortunately I’m not too inspired to write about it because I can’t gripe and not much was quirky enough to note either. Overall, I give it 4.4 severed LEGO arms out of 5.

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2014 Movie #7: The Addams Family

When you mention The Addams Family to me, I think of one thing:

pinballThat’s right. Only the best pinball game to exist. Hands down. I spent countless hours as a child with rolls of quarters at the beach playing the Addams Family Pinball game. It’s so satisfying and very playable. I still find time to sneak over to the Asheville Pinball Museum and play it when they have it in. One day I plan on owning my own.

So, when Elizabeth and I sat down to watch the Addams Family movie from 1991, the only thing that came to mind was the pinball game. I have to think that this is the only movie where this is the case for anyone. Despite seeing it multiple times as a child, I had completely forgotten the plot. So for me, re-watching the Addams Family was very satisfying.

The Addams Family is endearing. It asks the viewers to shed any high-brow preconceived notions at the door, and just enjoy a bunch of goofy one-liners and absurd behaviors. What could have easily gone sour if done wrong (much like anything from Adam Sandler in the 2000s) was executed with grace. The film oozed fun from start to finish as everything just clicked. Cliche lines worked, as did the slapstick. The chemistry between the actors was there. Everything just clicked. Despite being one of a thousand Hollywood remakes, The Addams Family was made from the heart.

The movie wasn’t perfect though, and I did have a few gripes. The wonderful Christopher Lloyd was totally under-utilized for his zaniness and ability to jump at you from the screen. The writing for Fester was very flat in that regard. It’s frustrating that we couldn’t see him fly by the seat of his pants as a villain like where he played Judge Doom like in Who Framed Roger Rabbit just a few years prior. Lloyd played Fester just like the filmmakers wanted, almost constipated with confusion as to whether or not he liked the whole Addams lifestyle. I also felt that Pugsley was dull, but that happens with about two out of three child actors in big roles so I’m not too bothered by it. Besides, we did get Christina Ricci as Wednesday in one of my favorite deadpan performances ever, so I can’t complain too much about Pugsley.

A massive, massive bullet was dodged by the filmmakers when deciding to cast Anjelica Huston as Morticia instead of Cher, who wanted the role. Anjelica Huston isn’t on any of my top actresses lists, but she plays the role with charm and subtlety. I can only imagine Cher sapping all of the fun and lightheardedness out of the film as she shouts “snap out of it” to a carefree Gomez. I daresay that The Addams Family would have been a massive flop if Cher were cast. Good on you filmmakers. I’m grateful to this day.

cher

Do you believe in love afterlife?

Raúl Juliá was really the standout actor for me in the Addams Family. Despite all of the quirky amusement of the movie, part of me feels melancholic as I feel like he would have gone on to do so much more in film if not for his death shortly after making the sequel, Addams Family Values. (He was the only redeeming part of Street Fighter, an otherwise useless pile of refuse) He really stole the show with his outbursts of emotion and ability to play a naive happy-go-lucky character that you feel is going to fly off the cuff at any moment. He also apparently loved being called Gomez by random children he encountered, which is heartwarming to say the least. Not only did he bring happiness to the world through his acting, but he was quite the humanitarian too. In honor of his work with The Hunger Project, I have donated a small amount in his honor to the organization. You can too at thp.org/

Overall, I was satisfied with The Addams Family. The gags worked and I had a smile on my face the entire time. It was an entertaining film and one that I will surely show my kids one day. Overall, I give it four severed LEGO arms out of five.

That's enough for two whole LEGO people.

That’s enough for two whole LEGO people.

2014 Movie #6: Hellraiser

Hellraiser is a film that I have known about forever. I remember a girl in my class winning a cardboard cutout of Pinhead in elementary school for correctly answering a question right during a fundraising event. I could imagine the look on my mom’s face if I had won that. Anyway, I wanted to see what all of the fuss was about.

Put simply, half of Hellraiser is a good movie with intrigue and the other half is a waste of time. I’ll start with the bad and go to the good, as that’s how the film progresses.

The inferior half of Hellraiser follows Clare Higgins as Julia. Unlike Lucifer in Paradise Lost or Tom from Tom & Jerry, Julia in Hellraiser is not a bad guy you can root for. She’s a adulteress, but not just any adulteress. She cheated on her future husband with his brother on the night before their wedding. In the first part of the film Julia moves back in to her husband’s old family home, the place where she committed adultery. Upon her re-entry to the room of the devilish deed, she has strong visions of the experience. She spends what feels like ages standing in the center of the room as the camera pans around during the flashbacks. This takes up a good 10-15 minutes of the film to my dismay.

It was like this from all angles.

It was like this from all angles.

After much delay, the plot thickens as her husband butchers his hand on a loose nail attempting to move a mattress up the stairs. The filmmakers make it out like it is much harder to move a mattress than it truly is too. Instead of running to a first aid kid, or having anyone go to his aid, the husband, Larry, finds his wife Julia who is still standing in the middle of the adultery room. He spills blood everywhere, and thus, brings his brother Frank back to life. Frank isn’t whole, and must gather bits and pieces from others to regain a full life. So, Julia goes on a killing spree.

It’s a boring killing spree to say the least. Grody old Julia goes to airports and hotels to seduce guys who must be desperate enough for a hooker, but not have enough cash. She brings them back to the house and hammers them to death. Nothing else really to say about her killings. They’re fit for a poor episode of a Law & Order knockoff to be honest.

All of the whores had the day off. That's how Julia seduced her prey.

All of the whores had the day off. That’s how Julia seduced her prey.

Julia’s death isn’t much to turn heads either. Re-embodied Frank takes her out not long after he’s back probably because his eyes started working again. Or maybe he had enough of her frigid and twatish demeanor. I really didn’t like Julia.

On to the good stuff.

One thing Hellraiser did exceedingly well was create an interesting lore. I felt myself wanting to know more and more about the Cenobites. Explorers of the carnal existence? Angels to some demons on others? No difference between pain and pleasure? Extradimensional? The filmmakers are hitting on something here. No wonder they made so many films, as the first one barely wets your whistle with their engrossing horror creations.

Not only are the followers of the puzzle box compelling, but they are iconic in their look too.You would be hard pressed to find someone who didn’t know about Pinhead. There’s just something inherently frightening about them. Perhaps it is that they look like one of your distant relatives that has flown off the deep end and has really seen some shit, except exponentially worse. Or it’s because they look like the final sequence in an evolutionary line of older Hot Topic crust punks. Maybe it’s their lack of empathy and feeling that makes them so inhuman despite being physiologically similar to humans.

I think I met that guy at the mall.

I think I met that guy at the mall.

Everything told, I liked Hellraiser. I would watch it again too if there was a version that edited out Julia. I would like to see more of Andrew Robinson though. (I couldn’t get enough of him as Garek in Deep Space Nine) And I will probably check out the sequels if there is promise that they follow the Cenobites and not… shiver… Julia. I give it 3.5 severed LEGO arms out of 5.

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2014 Movie #5: Gremlins

In my last post I talked about the wonderment of viewing a film for the first time. Well, I had never seen Gremlins if you can believe that. (Although at this point in my blog I’m sure I look more like a Luddite than a cinephile) Gremlins brought out the fascination that I always hope for in a new film.

First off, let me say that I love watching things smoke. It doesn’t matter if it is a camel or a crab, if it’s smoking, it will probably give me a giggle.  Maybe growing up a son of many generations of tobacco farmers leads me to find some charm in it. Maybe, it’s just because I like rooting for the little guy in a fight and I feel like tobacco products have been treated unfairly in our court systems (especially when compared to other unhealthy crutches). Cigarette companies did everything in their power to make you smoke and make it addictive, but they didn’t make you smoke and they didn’t give you cancer. If you feel hard done by by cigarette companies, I feel no worse for you than the lady who burned her mouth by drinking McDonald’s coffee. So for me, seeing the little gremlins smoke brought a smile to my face.

They would get sued for this today. And they would lose.

Filmmakers would get sued for this today. And they would lose.

The thing about Gremlins (and Fright Night too) is that it doesn’t pander to a younger or dumber demographic in order to make it more accessible. It doesn’t expect you to endure endless demi-humor in order to conjure a laugh or two. It also doesn’t force an opaque agenda down your throat. Sure there are plenty of cheap laughs, but they’re ones that revolve around hours of intricate puppetry. Gremlins isn’t a children’s film but a childish film for adults. Kids can watch it, but they will have to keep up or zone out in all of the slow points. In fact, Gremlins (along with Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom) was a strong influence on the MPAA to create the PG-13 rating, a step above PG, but not worthy of a full R rating.

Films like Gremlins are too few and far between. In the past decade or so, agenda preaching movies with low brow humor have been more common than the fun that you get in Gremlins. (Here’s looking at you Frozen with your false-feminist whiny characters, filler-humor, and absence of fun) I didn’t watch Gremlins for the longest time, because I expected it to be just that: Preachy and no fun. I couldn’t have been more wrong. It pushed the limits of what is acceptable as a children’s film, and it did it without being overly-crude.

Now entering the no fun zone.

Now entering the no fun zone.

As far as fun is concerned, Gremlins is easily one of the best films around. I could have watched an entire movie of just the tavern and theater scenes all with the gremlins their different personalities. Seeing these little guys run amok; gambling and drinking and looting candy stores brought a smile to my face. In a way, they happily reminded me of my six-year-old nephew creating chaos but making me laugh all the while.

My favorite part had to be when Gizmo was driving around the Barbie car with the Clark Gable quote in his head. I’ve been repeating it all day. Gizmo was just cute enough without being annoying. On the flipside, Furbies (an obvious ripoff of the gremlins) were a bit too annoying without the cute. It’s a wonder Hasbro weren’t sued for the Furby line.

"It takes a special kind of man... and I'm that man."

“It takes a special kind of man… and I’m that man.”

Still, I just can’t get over the overall entertainment value of Gremlins. It’s one I know I am going to watch again and enjoy just as much the second time around. Everything from the original soundtrack to the catalog of actors involved worked for me. From Phoebe Cates to Judge Reinhold to Frank Welker, I was satisfied. I give it 4.6 severed LEGO arms out of 5.

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2014 Movie #4: Fright Night (1985)

Sorry I didn’t write yesterday. Being sick has a special way of disrupting plans. I spent most of Sunday in bed recuperating.

I’m not one who lives in the past. I enjoy nostalgic and antiquated things (I work with objects mostly from the 18th and 19th centuries for a living) but I have a better life now than I ever did before. I don’t look at the past with rose-tinted glasses. I can’t remember my first kiss, or my first time riding a bike, or my first day in college and that’s okay. If there was one thing I would go back and do again is watch my favorite movies for the first time. I would give so much to have the Men in Black temporarily erase the part of my brain that remembers The Fugitive or Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. The sense of wonderment I get from the first time I watch movies is strong. I can tell you where I was and who I was with the fist time I saw most movies. I don’t know what is wrong with me or right with me, but it’s just part of me. (I’m not a robot, I do cherish memories like my first date with Elizabeth and the first time I held my nephew) There’s hope for new wonderment though, since there are a handful of quality movies I haven’t seen. Fright Night was one of them.

Fright Night is a movie I missed in my teen years and younger life and here’s why:

fright_night_1985
Yeah, it looks demented. I saw Fright Night in the video store multiple times and never thought to try it, because I’m just not in to being that disturbed. I have to give props to Netflix, because their suggested high rating was the reason I chose to watch. Fright Night isn’t like the poster. It’s actually a charming movie.

Acting in Fright Night was mostly a hit, though some performances were stronger than others. William Ragsdale as Charley does his best Richard Dreyfuss bright-eyed protagonist in a story of the boy who cried vampire. You want to root for Charley as everything goes against him and he does everything the wrong way as a vampire attack is eminent. Evil Ed was over-the-top annoying when he could have been more complex. Amanda Bearse did a fine job as Amy, but she didn’t have the charm needed for a leading role. Really, it was Chris Sarandon and Roddy McDowall who stole the show as the Jerry vampire and Peter Vincent the reluctant actor turned vampire hunter. Sarandon was every bit as arrogant and loathsome as he was in The Princess Bride with more room to practice his craft. The role couldn’t have been cast any better as you just love to hate the guy. Film legend Roddy McDowall is a delight, and his old school melodramatic style is something on the verge of extinction in mainstream Hollywood. McDowall’s transition as Peter Vincent, reminiscent of the Cowardly Lion in the Wizard of Oz, was the best storyline in Fright Night and I wish there could have been more.

One gripe I had with Fright Night was the vampire’s trance and how it was executed. Here you have Amy, a girl practicing abstinence in a long-term relationship who is scared to death at a man she knows quite convincingly is a vampire. As Amy enters a dance club with her boyfriend Charley, she begs him not to let the vampire hurt her. It isn’t seconds later that you see her walking on to the dance floor with Jerry the vampire. Amy then dances one of the most erotic dances I can think of in a movie. The next scene we see her she’s making out with Jerry the vampire and taking off her top. The problem I have with all of this is that you can’t tell if she had a change of heart and acted against character or that she is in the vampire’s trance. There is modest evidence for either, but as the story progresses you see that the filmmakers intended to make us believe she was in a trance. Why the filmmakers couldn’t use a plot device to signify to the viewers that she was in a daze is beyond me. I appreciate that she wasn’t in a campy stupor, but we are talking about the highest budgeted vampire film to date. They could have hit some chimes or gave the vampire laser eyes or included some throwaway line about the trance at some point. They didn’t, and I spent a good bit of the film trying to figure out what was going on with Amy.

This is the face of fear.

This is the face of fear.

There were other confusing parts too. Evil Ed turned to a werewolf despite Jerry being a vampire and his assistant Billy not being a werewolf (or at least having a completely different supernatural death scene). Also, was the holy water blessed or not? If it was blessed, then how did Jerry drink it? Also, despite being a fan of vampire movies, Charley knows little of vampire lore and has to ask Evil Ed about things like garlic and wooden stakes and crosses.

Gripes aside, the thing that I find endearing about Fright Night is that it’s a labor of love. Columbia Pictures spent little time on the set and left production to the filmmakers. Vampires were not en vogue, as slasher and zombie films were kings of the horror mountain in the early and mid ’80s. The script felt as if it was meticulously written and rewritten. The actors were able to ad-lib and add depth and quirkiness to their roles. Fright Night was warm and original, and not a product of marketing and didn’t have to have blockbuster actors to have it work. Fright Night is a great deconstruction of vampire tropes and it’s easily digestible to a wide range of viewers. I watched with a sense of wonder All in all, I give it 4.2 severed LEGO arms out of five.

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2014 Movie #3: Bad Kids Go To Hell

For our third movie of thirty-one, Elizabeth and I decided to do a little Hulu roulette. As fate would have it, we ended up choosing Bad Kids Go to Hell. Based on a little-known graphic novel by the same name, Bad Kids Go to Hell attempts to tell a story of six prep school kids in a Saturday detention session gone awry. BKGTH is a mixed-up, jumbled mess with few redeeming qualities, and was a film that completely met my Hulu Roulette expectations. Released on December 7, Bad Kids Go to Hell is the second largest attack on America to happen on that date.

You’re sitting around your school-girl fantasy pornographic film set with nothing to do and you think… “Let’s make a movie!” Well, that’s how Bad Kids Go to Hell happened. Full of actors probably from adult films, the cast of BKGTH look about as much like high schoolers as Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield did as Spider-Man. Despite being anywhere from 22 to 31, cast has been chewed up, spat out, and stuck them under a school desk by life. They look closer to near-retirement than near-college aged. The teacher and the counselor look younger than the students even. This is all a bit mystifying to me as there is no lack of quality young talent chomping at the bit to be in a feature length film. Heck, there’s even enough older talent to portray high schoolers in film. Alan Ruck was 30 when he played Cameron in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and looked every bit the part of a teenager.

Pictured: Not High Schoolers

Pictured: Not High Schoolers

The actors weren’t really the worst part of the movie though. Overall, I thought they played their roles just fine. They all seem to be doing well enough in the business and have since landed decent roles. The real problem of BKGTH was the focus. In spite of a functional idea, the filmmakers spent about as much time developing their story in pre-production as I do ranting on my blog. After one brainstorming session where they discussed all of the things they have seen in a horror movie, they started filming, and forgot to edit it together in any coherent way afterwards. Elizabeth and I spent most of the film looking at each other and scratching our heads. Why are the characters looking around the library with awe and amazement despite having been a student there for a decade? Why would characters introduce themselves to each other at the beginning of detention when they have already carried out a homicide together?

Nice to meet you... Didn't you help me in my premeditated homicide?

Nice to meet you… Didn’t you help me in my premeditated homicide?

Instead of trying to tell a story, the filmmakers got caught up with the small things. Did we have one girl use a vibrator six times? Check. Did we have three and a half minutes of screen time showing one guy cleaning his pants to make it look like he was playing with himself? Check. Did we have a girl consume more cocaine than all of Tarantino’s characters put together? Check. Did we call the kid in the wheelchair a retard every ten minutes? Check.

In addition to the narrative vomit, Bad Kids Go to Hell is also a movie where the filmmakers don’t know how computers work. This is especially odd since they know they ram the difference between intranet and internet down viewers’ throats. Using some weird operating system that looks like a futuristic car interface from a ’90s film, one girl feels the need to print off documents to view them instead of doing it right there on their screen. Another example of their idiocy is one character exchanging a Flip Camera (a device that stopped being made a year before production) for money in order to cover up evidence of a murder. These things have a USB port for uploads to a computer. But whatever. I think most of the film industry doesn’t know anything about computers so the makers of Bad Kids Go to Hell aren’t isolated in their offense here.

Velma Ettenberg, the film's IT expert

Velma Ettenberg, the film’s IT expert

There was one truly horrifying part in Bad Kids Go to Hell. The nude scene. That’s right. Instead of just filming a naked girl, they covered her nipples and ‘shopped them on later. It’s as terrifying as you’d think. That’s right, they went through a lot of effort just to create what I think are hands-down the most alarming Frankensteined boobs known to man. They probably spent more time nailing this foray down than they did in planning. This scene left me mortified and queasy. What were they thinking?

In an otherwise idiotic film, the ending reveal takes the cake for the worst sequence of events. As it turns out, they kids weren’t demented because their messed-up family lives, but because the school’s counselor planted Rorschach-style inkblot images to induce psychotic behavior. That’s right, the kids’ murdering side was triggered by abstract images, because the high school counselor who spent three quarters of the film crapping all over himself was just an expert in the eccentricities of the human psyche. One act of violence was even triggered by a laser-show Rorschach image. Note to future filmmakers: If you think that having a student commit violent acts because they saw an abnormal shape at a laser show is a good idea, then you should follow a different career path. The whole ink blot thing worked on all of the kids except one, who said he just saw boobs.

Someone buy me a cheeseburger.

Someone buy me a cheeseburger.

Bad Kids Go to Hell wasn’t the worst movie I have ever seen by any means. So they’ve got that going for them. And it was enough of a success that they are filming a sequel. Heck, I think Elizabeth had an easier time dealing with the obtuseness of this film than Warm Bodies, so it really isn’t that terrible. I did make it all of the way through. It’s not Shakespeare though. It was crap. I give BKGTH six tenths of a severed LEGO arm out of five.

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2014 Movie #2: The Fog (1980)

First off, let me start by saying that I love my video store. The fact that they are successful in the face of Netflix, Redbox, torrenting, and illegal streaming is a testament to their quality. They’re cheap, not judging, and willing to bend over backwards to help you out. However, I grabbed the first thing I could find during my visit yesterday since they had Peggy Hill teaching Spanish turned up to eleven as background noise. I like King of the Hill just fine, but nothing pierces the ears quite like a cartoon substitute Spanish teacher at jet-engine noise levels. So that’s how I ended up picking out The Fog.

fog
For the second viewing of thirty-one, Elizabeth and I settled down with a pot of chili that she prepared in the Crock Pot over the day and viewed John Carpenter’s sophomore film.

Created in 1980, The Fog is a horror film based in a town where everyone dressed like they were from West Asheville. (The Fog is also reminiscent of WAVL in that the fog reminds me of the made vapes there.) Everyone in the film is much more polite than West Ashevillians though. Even the monsters knock at your door before they stab you repeatedly. Hell, I would go so far as to say Antonio Bay, the setting of the film, is nicer. Their monsters only kill six people every hundred years and never menace you otherwise. West Ashevillians could take a few notes. You have no idea how old it gets with the snootiness and entitled dogs and free yoga fliers.

Horror film locales are better than you West Asheville.

What’s worse? Dealing with this every day or a few unstoppable psycho killers every hundred years?

The Fog is a great film that wouldn’t be made today in America. It’s a low-budget horror film without nudity, cursing, or gore. Instead, it relies on storytelling, cinematography, and sound editing to build suspense. Instead of being irritated with loud shrieking noises, you’re able to be absorbed by the story. There were even times I found myself yelling at the characters on the screen, not for being stupid, but because of the mood that was built by the director.

The idea of a low pressure cloud system attacking me is a frightening concept. Fog is not like a raging storm or a volcano. Fog makes you contemplate your existence as you slowly, but surely meet your fate. Fog rolls in slowly and it seeps in to every crevice without fail. Plus, it’s followed by unstoppable slasher ghosts that can’t be beaten, just stalled. The Fog is a menace I can get behind.

Boo!

Boo

I have a long list of superlatives for The Fog. Adrienne Barbeau, in her film debut, commands in the role of Stevie, a raspy-voiced late-night disk jockey based atop a secluded lighthouse. She exudes high levels of early ’80s radness with her Charlie’s Angels hair to her on-stage presence when having no other actors to play off of. Stevie provided both meaningful commentary and provided the driving force that moved the film forward.

West Asheville wishes

West Asheville wishes it could be this cool.

Jamie Lee Curtis plays a hitchhiking hooker, something we don’t see much of in the 21st century. While her role isn’t as central as in Halloween, she adds depth to the film. Trouble follows Curtis everywhere, which is no mistake since her character shares a namesake with the ill-fated ship full of vengeful ghosts. (She also shares a name with my girlfriend, but surely that’s just coincidence…)  Every scene with Curtis is tense, and it’s no wonder why she’s found so much success in the horror genre.

The Fog wasn’t perfect though. The opening scene and following credits did nothing for me, and even Carpenter admitted that they were added to pad the film’s length. I like shorter films just fine, but I understand the need for appropriate feature length.

Janet Leigh, most recognizable for her role in Psycho, and her cohort played by Halloween babysitter Nancy Loomis were the low points in the film for me. Their acting as was stiff as three- day-old Little Caesar’s pizza and they did nothing to add or progress the plot. I spent most of the film wishing they would get slashed to bits and pieces.

Just die already.

Just die already.

Father Loomis was portrayed well by Hal Holbrook in his best impression of a tall Peter Dinklage, but it is unfortunate that the legendary Christopher Lee was unable to take the role.

All in all, The Fog is a breath of fresh air. The film’s score keeps you feeling uneasy. It’s not quite on the same level as Halloween‘s, but it does the job. Visually speaking, The Fog is a true work of beauty that CGI won’t ever replicate. The control of the fog in The Fog is masterful, and the lighting and stage direction was executed to perfection. There was also a scene with frogs in fog in The Fog and I liked that too. I give it 4.4 severed LEGO arms out of 5.

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