Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Down A Dark Alley: The 2000s Deuce

Here's some more modern horror movie write ups. Enjoy.

As I've noted in previous reviews of horror films, comedy and horror often mix well and have a surprising number of things in common. This film, seemingly a byproduct of The Office's style of comedy and the common slasher film (with some "People go into the woods, die horribly" mixed in), falls into that category of the horror/comedy hybrid. In this case combining the two works to a degree, as while you have a really good film you also have one that I feels should have been great. There's a lot here to digest, and eventually I will give this film the proper review needed to flesh out more of my thoughts. Although I guess this one will probably do for the time being.

For one thing, although this film has many funny moments and some really cool gore, the office politics driven humor doesn't feel sharp enough at all. Thus, perhaps either the film would have been better off not including it altogether, or they should have made it sharper than the average fare. It'd be like Office Space decided not to be mean enough, and stuck with a blunt blade that doesn't get the job done (although granted that movie could have gone farther as well). Still, the characters are very likable and when the shit really hits the fan, the movie goes into creepy, suspenseful horror movie overdrive. Which is one of its strong saving graces.

Oh and the movie really doesn't adequately address some rather stark political elements that could have been further fleshed out and gave the movie some true meaning. I don't want to spoil anything, but it does have something to do with the term "Blowback," and in some ways this movie could have been further linked to thoughts on our post Sept. 11 world and how the West has been forced to deal with reaping what it has sowed. Despite some of its failings, I still recommend this movie as being one of the better horror films to come out in recent years. 84

Scare Level: 6.5

Even though I can't agree with those who call this "The Best Vampire Movie Ever Made," I do concur that this is one of the best vampire flicks in recent memory. Disregarding cheap jump scares, this film creates a rather creepy yet realistic atmosphere, as Alfredson is content to let the events simply unfold. He doesn't really pull any punches, and the effective finished product shines as a result-it is a movie geared solely for an adult audience, despite the fact that the main characters are children. When the attacks do finally happen and the violence occurs, it is depicted in a serious and eeire manner. This is not your average vampire movie, but then again these days vampire films are way different than the old gothic style ones that Hammer Pictures pumped out on a regular basis from the late 50s into the 70s.

The young protagonist has a curious reaction to the young girl who lives next door to him. He senses that she is even more different than he is, and yet that does not detract or deter him from hanging out with her or trying to be friends. The delicate balance the two strike works well at first, but it becomes complex as Oskar is forced to face his fears, while Eli must deal with her lifestyle and how it both negatively and positively impacts the pair's relationship. I must admit that there were times when I felt the film's pace was too slow, but in regards to building up and expanding upon the bound the two characters ending up forging, it does a fantastic job and therefore we care more about these people as a result.

Oh and I admire how, in the grand tradition of unexpected violence that follows moments of quiet piece, the movie utilizes its shocking moments. A particularly tragic and haunting moment is rather unexpected because the movie does not let us be prepared for it to happen, and the film's violent climax only lays out the sad consequences that follow. I was also rather surprised by how the ending is mellow, yet also a mixture of bleak and poetic. Even though I don't find this movie to be great, it is still a remarkable piece of work, and I wonder if multiple viewings will lead to me even further appreciating it down the road. 91

Scare Level=5.5

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