Thursday, February 13, 2014


Killer Toon (2013): It seems strategically unsound to me to state one's theme - the collision between reality and fantasy with reality losing out quite badly - as outright as Kim Yong-gyoon's South Korean horror film does, when all the film then goes on to deliver is a series of boringly filmed, unimaginative horror set pieces we've seen a thousand times before done better. Delivering the trite is one thing, but delivering the trite after promising at least a bit of intelligence is quite a bit worse. My annoyance with the film did not decrease through its generous appliance of unfunny humour, nor with the time it spent on your usual cliché cops doing the usual cliché cop things without an inkling of verve or spirit (not to speak of things like dramatic tension, or rather their absence).

The Monkey's Paw (2013): Brett Simmons's adaptation of W.W. Jacobs's classic short story puts a bit more effort into changing the story for a full length film than I had expected, keeping the monkey's paw and its law of horrible consequences but going off into different directions, setting it in a Southern working class milieu you don't often get to see in horror movies, and doing some pretty decent character work. On the other hand, the milieu, the paw, and the characters are then used for what amounts to your typical psycho killer thriller with slight supernatural elements, which certainly is something Simmons is competent at directing, but which also isn't all that interesting or exciting, and really doesn't do anything with the philosophical implications of the story.

Don't get me wrong, it's still a more than decent film, I'm just irked when a film seems to consciously avoid everything I'd be excited about it exploring. Make the films I want, damn it!

Embrace of the Vampire (2013): I don't generally get too angry at remakes - at least I'm trying not to - but some of them just puzzle me. Why remake a softcore vampire romp whose only claim to fame are Alyssa Milano's breasts? There can really be only two reasons. The first one would be that director and writers have found something in the original to really latch onto and explore deeper, some theme or plot element that could really resonate in new and interesting ways twenty years later. Of course, once you've seen this particular film's mixture of tits, awkward acting and soap operatics, that explanation goes right out of the window, leaving me with reason number two. Namely, the people involved thought there just aren't enough naked young women in contemporary horror anymore and set out to help change it/milk it for all the money it's worth. In so far as it contains a lot of tits and some softcore sex, Embrace of the Vampire 2013 is a total success. Too bad it’s not the least bit entertaining.

No comments: