Thursday, November 17, 2016

Three Films Make A Post: Five lives... Ten years... And a Million Tons of Thundering Suspense!

Child’s Play (1988): Of all the supernatural slasher franchises, I’ve always been particularly fond of the Child’s Play films, even once they discovered self-referantialism for themselves. Tom Holland’s first one primarily convinces through its unassuming qualities: there aren’t terribly many genre films of this era that seem to care so little for keeping the body count up for its own sake and instead go for more classic thriller and suspense methods in their goal of getting to the audience. Okay, Alex Vincent is as horrible as child actors go, but if that’s your film’s biggest problem, you are doing rather well.

Beyond Dream’s Door (1989): One might call Jay Woelfel’s film a more dream-like sibling of the Nightmare on Elm Street series whose outré qualities are decidedly enhanced by the awkwardness of some of the acting and the low budget of the production. It’s certainly coming from a related dream demon spirit to Craven’s film and what followed, though it goes much farther in the way dream and reality mix, adds a bit of Cosmicism to the mix and delights me to no end, even though its special effects are dubious, and its gore is so squishy as to be absurd. Absolutely a film that should deserve a longer piece and only does not get it from me because it is really better seen than talked about.

(Flight) 7500 (2014): The last decade or so of director Takashi Shimizu’s career has been a qualitative rollercoaster bound to confuse even the more patient viewer. This disaster/horror movie outing with the most obvious twist ending in the world (yes, it’s exactly the one you think it is right now, so spoilers, sweeties) is Shimizu at his lowest point, with the appearance of one of the man’s beloved stuffed rabbit toys as up as the high points of this one go. Otherwise there’s only wasted acting talent rather good at not showing any (hello, Amy Smart, Scout Taylor-Compton, Leslie Bibb, Ryan Kwanten et al), a script by Craig Rosenberg that’s as clichéd, badly paced and emotionally flat as they come, and direction so bland and characterless I’m not completely sure Shimizu hasn’t been replaced by DIRECT-O-BOT-1000 for this one.

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