Thursday, September 8, 2011

Three Films Make A Post: So Daring We Recommend A Babysitter!!

Fear in the Night (1972): One of only three movies directed by Hammer's veteran writer, the late great Jimmy Sangster. It's a variation on the old "driving the wife insane" number, enhanced by some clever, low-key twists, a bit of Peter Cushing being eccentric, Joan Collins being not very nice, and some fine shots of autumn countryside.

If there's a real problem with the film it is perhaps that it does not make as much use of the inherent strangeness and creepiness of parts of its backstory as it could have.

Highlander: The Search For Vengeance (2007): Regular visitors to this blog will know of my unhealthy love for the work of anime director Yoshiaki Kawajiri, but as much as it pains me to say it, his untimely addition to the Highlander universe is not a very good film, nor is it a very entertaining film. Part of the film's problem surely is that it was made for the US market first and Japan second, leading to Kawajiri having to scale down his usual excesses of violence, sex, weirdness and women with vaginae dentatae. There's still a bit of his strangeness hidden away in the mess, and what the film presents of sexual subtexts sure ain't healthy, but it's all a bit timid compared to Kawajiri's usual style.

Then there's a script that suffers from a boring and unsympathetic hero, and pacing that's again and again dragged down by unnecessary flashbacks that just don't add much to the film as a whole except running time.

It's all a bit naff, really.

Elevated (1997): Vincenzo Natali really likes films about a handful of people (rather inevitably including David Hewlett) trapped in some sort of enclosed space, surrounded by unexplained danger. Case in point is this short film about a handful of people (including David Hewlett) trapped in an elevator and slowly losing their grip on reality while unseen monsters just might threaten their lives.

It's a pretty neat little film, short, to the point, pleasantly acted, and gifted with a very fine ending.


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