Sunday, November 22, 2009

Drag Me To Hell Review (2009)

After taking a hiatus from horror movies, to work on the summer popcorn Spiderman franchise, Raimi decided to head back to his roots with Drag Me To Hell. But once you leave can you go back? Of course you can! In fact Ivan Raimi and Sam Raimi had written and talked about the film before Sam ditched to work on Spiderman. Its okay Sam, we forgive you. Raimi has stated that he wanted the film to be rated PG-13 on purpose. Saying that he didn't want the main appeal to be blood and gore, as he had done that before. Even though it does move away from the gore aspect we have come to know and love from Raimi, it still does deliver on subtle and dark humor. Casting Justin Long was a good start, but...I don't know, it seemed a little lack-lustery to me.

Raimi can continue to make horror movies if he likes, or he can continue to make Spiderman movies if he likes. It doesn't matter, the Spiderman movies obviously make tons of money, and Raimi does a great job directing them. When he does come back to horror though, he previous films have been a little shakey, The Gift, The Quick and The Dead, and Darkman all failed finacially at the box-office. However, with Drag Me To Hell having a budget of 30 million, and making 80 million, you can expect Raimi to Drag You To Hell Again

The plot is simple. A loan officer is competing for a managers position at the bank she is working at. Its down to her and another man named Stu (I think..?), later in her day, an eldery woman comes into the bank, wishing for an extension on her loan, even though the bank has already given her two extensions before. Wanting to impress her boss by showing him that she can make tough decisions, she decides to deny the old woman an extensions, thus foreclosing her home. As it turns out, this old woman is actually a hungarian gyspsy, and she decides that its time to use her gyspsy powers, and put a curse on this young girl. The curse lasts for three days, each day increasing in devilish torment, and on the fourth day, a spirit will come to take to burn in hell for all of eternity. Shit, now she actually has to do some work. I like the story, its quick, its easy, and its fun. Raimi always has a great eye for mythos and charaters and it definatly shows.

The acting in the film was decent at best. The main role of Christen Brown was played by newcomer Alison Lohman, she did an alright job, but she seemed almost too hollywood for my taste. Kind of typical auginu, but who knows, maybe I'm just a dick. But, I guess that Raimi had to take what he could get, when his original planned actess -Ellen Page, of Juno- dropped out due to a scheduling conflict, and I think that she would have done an excellent. Justin Long plays Christen's boyfriend, he was funny in the few scenes that he was in, but it was your regular boyfriend role where he said basically "I feel sorry for you, but I don't believe you!"

While the film was made to be a PG-13 movie, it did have quite a bit of blood and gore in it. Such as VERY killer nose-bleed, exploding eyes, and staplers to the face. So, that obviously mean that the movie tends to be a jump-scare based movie. I say this, because the MPAA gives R ratings to more mature movies with tension, because they usually deal with more mature subject matter, such as sex, and often have more language, and that is what Americans are afraid of and...ahhhh, I'll save this for some sort of topical rant.

For some reason, I felt that the pacing for this movie was off too. I don't know it it's just Raimi or what, but with both of the movies I've reviewed by him, the pacing just seems off. In this one it began pretty quick, then slowed way down, and then picked way up, and it was just strange. I don't know if it was the story, or the diolouge or whatever, it just bothered me. However, a positive of the movie was the effects. While the blood and gore described above were all done in classic on-set practical effects, while the other monsters and ghouls where done with CG, greenscreen, water puppets, and tons of other classic, and cool effect styles.
Overall, while Drag Me To Hell was better than a lot of your typical B-Movies, and a lot of popular horror films that have come out recently with the PG-13 rating, it still wasn't as good as I had hoped and expected. The acting wasn't that good, the pacing was off, and it seemed very rushed, and had a dissapointing ending, but great effects, and a cool main story save this movie from total destruction, while I hope that I don't get drug into seeing this again, it was better than actually getting dragged to hell.


Sunday, November 15, 2009

Stuff In Theatres

This is probably one of the few posts I'm ever going to do in regular if you don't like reading small font...fuck you the posts would be way to big if...anyway who cares. I've been seeing a lot of flicks in theaters lately and I've been debating whether or not I should start like reviewing on spot or not. I haven't really decided. Anyway, the stuff thats in the side bar over there---------------------------->
is stuff that I've watched but haven't had the time to write about... so look forward to that.'s the shit ive seen in the cinema!!!

PARANORMAL ACTIVITY-So, I live in like this small, country like town, and so we don't get much in the way of independent realeses, and its been almost four weeks since this things been getting all of its buzz, and my theatre still hasn't gotten, so I say "Screw it!" And I drive nearly two hours to the nearest metropolitain area, to see. For as good as this movie is, I feel that there is no way that it could have possibly lived up to the hype that was following which is too bad. That's not even the part that pisses me off, the thing that really pisses me off, is I drive four hours total to see the shit-kicker, and it comes to my local theatre the next week. FUCK!!

THE BOX-Now I've been a huge Kelly fan ever since Donnie Darko, and I think that everyone loves Donnie Darko, and then he realesed a film called Southland Tales which not nearly as many people have seen, and even fewer liked, I will go on record as saying...I liked Southland Tales. It wasn't great by any means, but it wasn't terrible. I'm very mixed on The Box, because it has the traditional Kelly universe mythos kinda shit goin' on with it, but it feels very rushed, and choppy, and very Hollywood. I've read online that this movie was cut down from like two and a half hours, so I'[m hoping for an unrated version to review, see if that would be any better.

SAW VI-I am very biased when it comes to the SAW franchise. I'm biased in the fact that I love almost every single one of them (except maybe IV) and I have a few reasons, that I feel not enough people take into consideration...but that will all be explained soon, as I have to review the first one, which will most likely lead to reviewing the second one and so on.

Anyway...just thought that I should put it out there that even though i'm not updating as much as I would like to (I aim for twice a week, and usually get once) I am still watching these PLEASE don't lose faith...peace

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Evil Dead Review (1981)

The first film in Sam Raimi's classic evil dead series, the appropriatly titled The Evil Dead, it set out to be the ultimate experience in grueling horror. The film was made for only $375,000, and that meager budget almost went to waste, as the film was denied by nearly ever American and European distributor, for fear that it would be to controverisal. The film was only moderatly successful at the box-office, making about 2,500,000, now years later, the film has become one of the most refrenced, and cult followed film of all time.

Upon its inital realese, The Evil Dead was a very controverisal film. Not because of theme, or content, not for animal cruelty (Cannibal Holocaust*cough cough*) but for its excessive use of violence and gore. Before the rating was exhumed, The Evil Dead was given the coveted X rating. When it was re-submitted in 1994, it was rated NC-17.

When a group of five friends go out on a camping trip, lead friend Ash (played by the legendary Bruce Campbell) rents a cabin in the woods. Upon arriving, they find some very strange things, a log is oddly tied up and is being swung at the wall. Later, while sitting by the fire, another one of the friends find that the grandfather clock has mysteriously stopped, defying all possible acts of gravity. Looking around the cabin, Ash and Scott find a strange recording, and bring it upstairs, and decide to give it a play. Little do the unsuspecting teens know that they have just read a passage from the Necronomicon, or the Book of the Dead, and realese and unrelenting horde of EVILL!!

Firstly, lets talk about the actors and charecters in this movie. Every single charecter seems to be based on an actual archatype of some sort, and all of the actors pull it off very well. That being said, while the actors were there for principal photography, they all left (with the exception of Bruce Campbell) and they had to use bunches of fake actors as replacments. I'll just throw this in as part of this paragraph, that most of the sets, and the cabin, were excellently pulled off. Even though they looked good for a cheap budget, if it was a bigger budget, it wouldn't be as much as a surprise.

The story while simple, is still very fun to watch and intruging. However, I still think that the pacing was incredibly strange. The beggining is slow and somewhat boring, and it left way to much to be desired. At first it was like some sort of paranormal thriller, ghost story thing, which would have been kind of cool, and right with the pacing, but eventually when it cranks up the speed, it works as a zombie film, I just thought that it was weird.

The blood and gore in this film is AMAZING! Its a classic film for that reason, and it certainly deserves it. There is literal moments where blood is just pouring out of pipes, and running down projectors. Its the simple recipe that you can make at home, Karo Corn Syrup, and Red Food Coloring. Now this may seem like nothing, but when you see it all come together at the end, with the classic uses and techniques. And again with the budget, but for a miniscule budget it still makes things even better. Also, it has some natural scares that were really fun. The laughing baby doll zombie that sits in the doorway was just creepy!

Overall The Evil Dead is an amazing film that holds up incredibly well. It is better than most stuff that comes out nowadays, and was probobaly better than most things that had come out during that time. The gore, acting, and story was amazing. But for some reason the pacing just really annoyed me, I don't know if it was because I just wasn't in the mood or what. The ending was also cool. So The Evil Dead was pretty awesome and gets: