Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Three Films Make A Post: IN BLOODY PANIC COLOR

Prometheus (2012): I was going into this completely willing not to believe any critical word I've read about Ridley Scott's Alien prequel, for when have mainstream film critics ever gotten genre films? Unfortunately, this one really is as dumb and ill-thought out as they say, with some basic plot ideas that could have made for an interesting piece of visionary SF/horror, like Arthur C. Clarke meets Lovecraft, if any of the lavish detail that went into the production design had found its way into the script. Instead, there are character who aren't even clichés (wasting a great cast) acting like idiots, characters who also are not even vaguely believable as people, ideas that are never explored, a plot that's driven by everyone being an idiot, random crap that just came into the writers' heads and a painful willingness to be as tedious and uninteresting about everything as possible, and dialogue that could be improved by having the actors make farting noises instead. I'd go into more details, but then I have already wasted two hours of my life on this.

Chernobyl Diaries (2012): As far as horror movies about stupid, self-centered American tourists visiting Eastern Europe and dying of stupidity and because All Eastern Europeans Are Evil™ go, this one's kind of watchable. It just suffers from a way too slow build-up, with long long minutes of getting to know the main characters - turns out there's no reason to give a crap about them -, useless exposition (or do Americans really not know about Chernobyl?), and being co-written by Oren Peli, who, as I by now know, could not write a sympathetic or interesting character or an ending that's not absurdly dumb to save his life. But some of the pissed-off mutant stalk (get out of here, Stalker!) and attack scenes are realized quite well by director Bradley Parker and the locations are mildly creepy, so there is some entertainment to be had here.

I also have to give the film credit for going for a very bleak ending, even though it stretches the limits of my belief even more than the radiation mutants do.

Storage 24 (2012): A handful of people find themselves locked in with a very rude alien in a 24 hour storage facility. Unfortunately, before any monster movie fun can be had, lead actor and co-writer Noel Clarke aka Mickey from Doctor Who will have much space for a love triangle with two equally annoying partners, and many dispiriting soap operatics will occur. That part of the movie would be easier to stomach if the film bothered to make its characters interesting or even just give them actual character traits beyond "Noel Clarke is straight, and whines a lot, but he also wrote the script, so he will be our hero". As it stands, the film already had burned through all of my goodwill once the theoretically fun bits started, and just annoyed me with its alien monster by numbers, its drama by numbers and its plot by numbers, all told without any verve.

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