Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The 1950s Are Alive With the Sound of Screaming

Really its a shame that "Popcorn" came out at the tail end of the slasher genre craze, considering that its smarter and savvier than some of its lesser competition. The changing of directors midway through shooting, and switching actresses as well, apparently lead to this movie going from having a supernatural feel and being really out there, to instead being turned into your seeimgly typical "Killer on the loose" film with some certain twists involved. Also I have to note that "Possesor" certainly makes for one twisted and bizarre short film, although these days it would pass for a not weird enough music video, certainly outdone by say, something from Nine Inch Nails.

Despite the fact that this movie is engaging and entertaining, there's really not much to write home about. The film isn't particularly deep or truly interesting in that regard, even if its better made than say, some of the latter Jason or Michael Myers movies. There's our hapless heroine, plagued by terrifying and mysterious dreams that do not make any sense. The rest of the cast is filled out by college students, led by a teacher who's your typical college professor sleeping with one of his students. What makes this movie a cut above the average masked killer movie is really its setting, which is an abandoned movie theater cleaned back up to host a scary movie festival.

Another movie released two years after this one, Joe Dante's "Matinee," probably pays better homage to the campy 50s and 60s horror movies that "Popcorn" so lovingly displays and mocks to a certain degree. I admit not having seen that movie, so I cannot say for certain, aside from judging based on Dante's previous body of work. Still, "Popcorn" is certainly not without its charms, and certain elements were clearly taken and used by Wes Craven later on in "Scream 2," which is a more clever and better movie than this one.

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