Friday, July 17, 2015


Infini (2015): As you know, Jim, I do love me some SF horror, so this Australian low budget film directed by Shane Abbess already has one thing going for it. It also has sparse yet convincing production design (in the Alien tradition of grubby, lived-in looking spaces – in space), a calm and effective soundtrack, decent acting, and a script that actually knows what it wants to do and isn’t willing to throw everything away for a dumb final twist, going for it. Sure, the film does perhaps feature a few too many scenes of crazed people bellowing at each other while the camera shakes and the editing finger wobbles, and its first two thirds do follow the genre expectations perhaps a bit too closely. However, it also has an unexpected and emotionally (perhaps even philosophically) resonant ending that’s not at all par for the course in its sub-genre, and is a film that really makes its low budget work, as well as a plot that actually works without everyone involved being an idiot.

Let Us Prey (2014): Despite clearly being a film made with great conviction and technical acumen, and far above your James Wan produced mainstream horror piece or your amateur gore movie, I didn’t really warm to Brian O’Malley’s film. It’s a temperamental thing, I think, an incompatibility between me and a film that, whenever it has to decide between a subtle and an unsubtle way to go about things, always takes the loud approach (quite effectively one has to say), which leads to something I surely can appreciate and respect but not really love. It may be I’m not its ideal audience in other regards either, the film’s exclusive interest in old testament based religion more than just a little suspect to this liberal atheist. The ending’s a bit problematic too, seeing as Liam Cunningham’s character calling themselves a mere observer is utter nonsense, unless you want to believe small towns on the British Isles have a psychopathic killer percentage of about eighty percent of the population, making the final decision of lead character Pollyanna MacIntosh really difficult to swallow. It might just be me, though.

Cowboys vs Dinosaurs aka Jurassic Attack (2015): Here, on the other hand, it’s most definitely not me, because everything about this thing is bad: the acting, the irony, the special effects, the score – you name it, it’s terrible. Which of course still leaves the decades old space for a movie about cowboys fighting dinosaurs that’s actually any good wide open. Though honestly, after having gone through this thing, I’ve finally developed much more of an appreciation for the fine filmmaking art and the love that went into The Valley of Gwangi.

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