Quick Cuts (Edition 6)

And now we have come to the this week’s last edition of Quick Cuts wherein I bring you news of a good remake (what?) and an incredibly shitty original.

As I said, I watched about one million movies this weekend, and some of them were horror movies.  As a result, I am writing short reviews for many of them–as it is difficult for me to remember in detail what I think about them.  That’s the joy of Quick Cuts, my friends.  I don’t actually have to do any work to review movies when I do it in this form.

What can I say?  I am an American, and laziness suits me quite well.

The Crazies (2010)

What can I say about this remake of the George Romero classic except that it totally does not suck?  That is really saying something.  When I first heard about this remake I was all depressed-like.  I mean, who wouldn’t be?  The original was subtle and calm and had this really cool subtext about the Vietnam war.  “Woe is we,” I thought to myself as I read news that Breck Eisner, director of the much maligned Sahara, would be helming the remake.

I can officially tell you, buddies, that I was dead wrong about this movie because it’s mostly RAD.  That’s right.  I said RAD.  You may now light your torches and grab your pitchforks.  I seriously just called a remake RAD.

It’s a story as old as the hills–or as old as George Romero.  A military airplane crashes into a local reservoir, and a biological weapon spills into the water supply of Ogden Marsh, Iowa.  As the locals slowly drink in this biological weapon, everyone pretty much goes batshit insane, and the sheriff and his wife, the town doctor, try to escape their town and the chaos with their lives and the life of their unborn baby.

So it’s your typical “ragtag group of survivors” kind of story, but where The Crazies is special is that unlike other zombie and non-zombie zombie films, it’s less a post-apocalyptic mess and more a horror movie.  There are many, many scenes throughout that are downright fucking terrifying.  For example, early in the film when a man calmly locks his wife and son in a hall closet before setting the house on fire and killing them both.  And for my money, the best scene in the entire film, when four of our survivors are trapped in a car wash.  I found myself shivering in terror during this scene.

Even without these individual scenes that make the film worthwhile, there are moments that remind us why we love horror movies.  There are many “bad guy at the edge of the frame” shots.  And upon seeing them and loving the very visceral terror reaction they cause in me, I can’t help but wonder why this happens so little in horror films these days.  A man at the edge of the screen is ten times scarier than all of those jump scares Platinum Dunes seems so obsessed with; though, there are plenty of those too.

You can also look forward to a pretty awesome performance from our two leads: Radha Mitchell and Timothy Olyphant.  (Even though Radha Mitchell is no Jill Brock.)  They have a comfort and ease in these scenes that makes the situation all the more believable.

I know it must seem like I have a girl boner for this movie, and you know, I guess I would, but there is one major problem with it.  In the original film, you never know who has the disease.  They look normal.  However, in the remake, as the disease advances, people begin to get veiny, and their eyes are all black.  While they do look sufficiently creepy, it really kills some of the magic when you can identify them by their appearance.

And that… my friends… is how you dampen an otherwise awesome film-going experience.


Train (2008)

For our second film today, I have to be totally honest.  I only watched three minutes.  But I am totally sure that the judgment I levied in those three minutes is exactly right, and I am totally sure that you wouldn’t disagree with me (because if you do I will kick you in your no-no parts).

See the whole opening credit sequence just went too far.  Someone was being skinned.  Yes, you read that right.  Don’t ease a girl in or anything.  Just jump straight to the flaying.  Jesus, can you try any harder?

I’m sorry to be all unilateral about this, but you simply cannot start your film with flaying.  You have to earn flaying.  And they certainly hadn’t earned it in the ten seconds it took for the flaying to start.

When I read the description of the movie, it seemed like a simple slasher film, and it had Thora Birch, who I imperceptibly love.  So I was all, “I’m down.”  And then the flaying.  And I was like… “Um… no.  This is just too gross as a starting point.”

And I turned that shit off.

That should teach you a lesson, filmmakers.  I can watch almost anything, and I would rather shove a rusty railroad spike through my forehead than watch the rest of that movie (or A Serbian Film).

That is all.

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~ by acaseofyou12581 on December 27, 2010.

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