Thursday, October 28, 2010

Three Films Make A Post: A secret hidden by time that will reap its horrible revenge

Night of the Demons (2009): Given that I'm not exactly a fan of the original, I was expecting even less of this remake. That I got. What the remake also gave me was a new appreciation of how clever and effective a film the original is in comparison.

As long as the remake keeps as close to its model as possible, it's watchable as the type of trashy, tasteless movie certain people probably think all horror movies are and that can be halfway fun if you're in the right mood, or twelve. It's very dumb, but not too painful.

Unfortunately, director Adam Gierasch decides to put his own "ideas" into the proceedings after about an hour of tits and blood have passed. From then on out, you can actually feel your brain cells dying one after the other, or can at least come to the conclusion that Gierasch has managed the seemingly impossible - he has made a film that's even dumber than the original Night of the Demons.


Altitude (2010): Hint to screenwriters: Don't be like Altitude. If you are writing a movie about a handful of characters in an enclosed environment having to face various dangers that spends much more time on said characters than on said dangers - until it turns out they are all DANGERS OF THE MIND - you're probably better off not making everyone so annoying and clichéd that your audience will want them to die as fast as possible. Oh, and please don't go for idiotic twisty psychological revelations that have no connection to the psychology of actual people nor are much good for your movie's plot, either. And please, just don't get me started on the abysmal yet obvious final plot twist.

In other words, either create characters worth spending the time on for your Twilight Zone revival movie, or just make the flying tentacle monster movie this was marketed as.


The Devil's Playground (2010): And the last film in this sad trio of movies I'd in hindsight have preferred to avoid is a British viral non-zombie apocalypse caused by medical tests pursued by a moustache-twirling evil pharma company (great Cthulhu, they even have their own little killer commando!) trying to create a performance-enhancing drug. Don't ask me what performance-enhancing drugs have to do with a non-zombie virus, please. I didn't write the script.

The rest is exactly like at least half a dozen other zombie apocalypse movies from the UK. The only twist the zombie lore gets is that the virus transforms its victims into parcours runners, which turns out to make them more ridiculous than frightening.

The direction by Mark McQueen is competent in a contemporary action movie kind of way, but there's just not anything in here I haven't seen in better movies (which is to say, movies with their own ideas about humanity, or just about what zombies mean).

Dear horror directors, please stop making zombie films if you don't have anything new to add to the sub-genre.


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