Saturday, October 6, 2018


Húsið: Trúnaðarmál aka The House (1983): Egill Eðvarðsson’s haunted house movie about a teacher for deaf kids and her composer boyfriend getting a house very, very cheaply and paying for it dearly is well-directed, well-acted, and from time to time oh so very 80s even though it is pretty much the opposite of what you’d call an 80s horror film. It’s also, the IMDb informs me, the first Icelandic film to have a screen credit for a stunt double, which is a bit ironic in a film that is quite as slow-going as this one. Now, I generally don’t mind a slow film but there’s being slow and careful, and then there’s slowing everything down for no particular reason, the film at hand slowly crawling into the latter category. Despite some moody moments and the exotic bonus a film gets by being one of the handful of Icelandic horror films, this one’s also not terribly effective: neither as a ghost story nor as the sort of psychological study it clearly has ambitions on being.

Ice Queen (2005): If you have always dreamed about a film that grafts bits – mostly the “jokes” – taken from atrocious sex comedies to a would-be SyFy movie said channel wouldn’t touch with a ten-foot-pole because it’s so bad, you’re in luck with Neil Kinsella’s epic. If you’re, well, sane, you’ll have to look forward to snowboarding scenes, a fake avalanche from planet fake, a monster that is basically an ice-based version of Smurfette after a very bad week, hilariously weak acting, and of course a lot of feet-dragging. It’s not pretty.

Lake Placid 3 (2010): If you’re generally not convinced by the charms of the SyFy Original movie, this second direct-to-SyFy sequel to “Ally McBeal vs. The Gators” directed by Griff Furst certainly won’t change your mind, what with it being, well, pretty crap. It goes through the usual SyFy Original dance of really bad jokes (well, admittedly there are one or two that made me snort), the usual family stuff made worse by the fact that the more typical teenage-daughter-as-portrayed-by-an-actress-in-her-mid-20s has been replaced by a particularly stupid little boy, and features blurry CGI crocodiles that seem to float over their surroundings. Unlike in a lot of the more entertaining films of the Channel, the action and suspense sequences aren’t much fun, and apart from a somewhat funny turn by Yancy Butler as a poacher, and a bit of Michael Ironside slumming, there’s really no one else on screen who either can or is willing to act. It’s still much better than Ice Queen, mind you.

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