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horror films Tag

Horror movies derive most of their power and enjoyment (you sicko) from a combination of novelty and surprise.The novelty: how the filmmakers will have this particular bad guy stalk and kill the good guys. The surprise: OHMYGODLOOKOUTBEHINDYOUDREWBARRYMORE! Nevertheless, because horror movies are eternally popular, Hollywood remakes

What lurks inside The Cabin in the Woods? The easier question might be, What doesn’t lurk inside The Cabin in the Woods? A partial list of its winks, homages, and outright steals (committed in a loving way) includes Friday the 13th (today’s opening date was not randomly chosen), The Evil Dead, The Matrix, The Thing, The Strangers, Night of the Living Dead, pretty much every other horror movie made since the late 60s, pretty much every monster movie with a monster that has tentacles and/or elongated jaws, the works of H.P. Lovecraft, and The Wolf Man. At least I think I saw a wolf man, somewhere beneath the floorboards…

Review after review of the movie complains that it’s hard to write about without giving it all away. Pussies. I mean, the hardcore target audience already saw the thing at midnight, so…no, I won’t spoil anything. But the linkage of two separate threads is there from the get-go, and the amusement (and it is amusing, in a grisly, gratifyingly R-rated way) comes as they knot together. In the first storyline, a group of archetypal college students familiar from slasher flicks–the good girl, the good boy, the dumb blonde, the jock, and the stoner–head to the archetypal cabin in the woods for a getaway. In the second, bunkered scientists (including Richard Jenkins and Bradley Whitford) prepare as nonchalantly as possible for an experiment of some kind, one where the students are observed at close range. Very close range, as the archetypal weird occurences that befall archetypal college students at archetypal cabins in the woods begin to mount.

The Cabin in the Woods is co-written and directed (his feature debut) by Drew Goddard, but the power behind the throne

Given only the third October snowfall to hit New York since the Civil War, it’s beginning to look a lot like the holidays here at Popdose Brooklyn. But before we hand the mistletoe and holly, let’s address the nightmare before Christmas, shall we, and rummage through a few recent DVDs and Blu-rays. (And if perchance you’re seeing this after Halloween, remember that’s just a date on the calendar, while horror is eternal. And that in these here parts some communities have rescheduled Halloween for Nov. 5, so in fact this post is early.)

Attack the Block: This boisterous British romp, a low-fi gangsta variant of The Goonies for juvenile delinquents that have graduated to R-rated fare, needed more TLC than it got to click with theatergoers across the pond, and should have been brought back for weekend midnight screenings this Halloween weekend. It’s bound to catch on as a cult movie. “Inner city vs. outer space” read the ads, and that’s exactly what you get–South London gangmembers battling, as best they can, toothsome alien beasts that have colonized their stash spot. Writer/director Joe Cornish knows exactly what this needs to be and doesn’t let things drag on; it’s smart and punchy, the opposite, say, of Cowboys & Aliens. (Cornish and executive producer Edgar Wright, beloved for Shaun of the Dead and Scott Pilgrim, co-wrote the Spielberg/Jackson Tintin movie, already a smash overseas, with Doctor Who‘s Steven Moffat, and presumably brought their mojo with them.) Sony can’t be accused of stinting on the Blu-ray, which among other paraphernalia has three commentary tracks (all with the enthusiastic Cornish), an hour-long making of, and a featurette about the monster effects. (Also on DVD)

The Baby: I used to avoid this 1973 shocker when it played on New York’s Channel 9 back in the day. Rosemary’s Baby, sure, It’s Alive with its infant terror, fine, but The Baby sounded…well, like something that needed diapering, not checklisting for the committed horror fan. When I caught up with an earlier incarnation on DVD, though, boy, was I wrong. This is a sick little puppy,

The Uninvited has recently come out on DVD, and if you choose to watch it, several other words with an “un-” prefix may wander into your mind. You’ll find the film Uninteresting, and the DVD will quickly become Unwanted and Unwelcome by you or anyone within your household. Viewing it, you’ll find yourself Unwilling to become involved in this very Unwatchable film.

A bastardized remake of the Korean film A Tale of Two Sisters, The Uninvited stars Australian actress Emily Browning (Ghost Ship, Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events) as American teen Anna, recently released from a sanitarium after she attempted suicide following her mother’s death in a tragic boathouse explosion (seriously). She returns home to find her older sister, Alex (Arielle Kebbel), still angered by Anna’s supposed “abandonment” — while kid sis was away, their dad, Steven (David Strathairn), started banging the hot live-in nanny, Rachael (Elizabeth Banks), to help cope with his grief.