Back in 2002, The Ring heralded the mainstream Asian horror crossover trend, and earned creepy-flick immortality on the strength of its unique (to American audiences) story, complex characters well-played by talented actors, and disturbingly moody visual style, courtesy of director Gore Verbinski. A lackluster sequel followed in ’05, and after that, most assumed that malevolent, visually glitchy spirit Samara’s haunted videotape had gone the way of, well, videotape.
But this is the horror genre, where you’re never truly out of ideas, because digging up something that had some box-office success a while back and rebooting or serializing it is considered “an idea.” And so, more than a decade later, we’re offered a third look into Samara’s backstory — one that manages to exemplify pretty much everything that’s wrong with this kind of filmmaking.
The film opens with a brief plane-crash scene so hacky and unbelievable, you’re actually surprised when it doesn’t turn out to be a movie-within-a-movie playing on a screen somewhere within Rings‘ real opening scene. The wholly unnecessary vignette not only places two strangers who’ve both happened to see the same lost and urban-legendary videotape within a seat of one another on the same flight, but also features some massive collateral damage that runs completely counter to one of the franchise’s central conceits: beyond those who knew Samara while she was alive, only people who watch the video are in mortal danger.
Read the rest at Creative Loafing…
Yeah, more movie reviews than average just now. I really enjoy doing them when I have the time.
If you don’t know who Joe Dante is, he’s a director who cut his teeth working for cult-iconic ’50s & ’60s B-movie director and producer Roger Corman before becoming a horror hero himself by making flicks like Piranha and The Howling. Dante went on to do great, successful Big Hollywood flicks (Gremlins, Twilight Zone: The Movie, and many more). Now he’s returned to his roots with a cheaper horror-comedy that retains his penchant for fun and cute romance amid the chaos. It’s definitely a better-than-average flick, especially if you’re a horror-flick omnivore who likes Return of the Living Dead as much as you like old Hammer films and Shaun of the Dead.
The review is here.
My first time in a movie theater in probably two years, and I go to an advance screening full of contest winners, screener junkies and, like, five press people.
But I really enjoyed Jurassic World, and not just because I’m a Crichton fan and still have the remains of that dino-crazy kid in my old bones. It’s good, fun, exciting stuff. The review is here.
This happened a few weeks ago; I got busy with other crap, and forgot to post it here. Anyway, it’s called Rage, and it doesn’t really rage enough, per se. Here’s the review. Long story short: Diehard Cage fans will probably find some reasons to dig it, but it’s really just not a very good movie — nor is it bad enough to qualify for so-bad-it’s-good status.