Some scary s*** up in here!
Well I'm finally able to buy some "new" games. I hadnt been able to purchase anything since Demon's Souls and Dragon Age which I beleive was back in November. The choice was hard because there are many I want.
I settled on Bayonetta and Uncharted 2. The runners up were Assasins Creed 2, Darksiders, SH:Shattered Memories, and Valkryia Chronicles. So I'll put these on the wait list and pick them up later.
I'm also picking up Pandorum and Moon on BR two sci-fi movies that I've been waiting to see for a while I guess.
...so here it is. Most recently I've played Infamous, Prototype, BatMan: Arkham Asylum, and now playing the original Silent Hill. (Thank you PSN!!!) For next week; I got in on an early screening of Paranormal Activity so I'm looking forward to that and for you horror fans into shlock, a stellar Plan 9 trailer made itself known last week. I normally hate remakes but you can't really go wrong remaking Plan 9 from Outer Space.
So, Infamous was good; overall I liked it. Although I almost gave-up during the first half of the game; I couldn't stand Cole's BFF, he sounded too much like a Parody of former president Bush. Don't get me wrong I'm all about making fun of the guy but at that point I wanted to forget the whole administration.
Next up, I played Prototype; not a bad game either and in some ways a little more dynamic than Infamous, game play-wise. However, Infamous's story was a lot better fleshed out imo.
After that I got ahold of Batman Arkham Asylum; I was truly excited for this one and was sort of let down. I was hoping it would feel a lot more like the Graphic Novel written by Grant Morrison and illustrated by Dave McKean. While it was somewhat dark it still had too much of a Joel schumacher feel to it. Harley Quinn looked stupid, there I said it. I thought the game play was all over the place trying to be the best of stealth and action and neither mechanic felt at home in the game. There where some pluses. I'll give high marks for puzzels, and inventory.
Finally, the original Silent Hill. Thank you PSN!!!!! Wow, I havent played this game since it was released in 1999. When I first started playing; I was like, holy hell what is this pixilated mud on my beautiful 40" 1080p LCD, lol. After my eyes adjusted and I got used to the controlls, which took about a half hour. I was going strong. Man, It just goes to show you story and a good soundtrack is everything, in a game, in my opinion. Silent Hill still delivers the chills guys. I was playing till about 1:00 am this morning, and I was s***ing my pants on a couple of occasions, amazing. A game hasn't done that to me since, well 2003 or 2004 and I'm thinking Fatal Frame II. This generation for gaming is a let down in some respects or I'm just old and crochety, idk, they just dont make like they used to.
Well its two blog posts in the same month for me; what can I say?
First thing is what the hell? Alone In the Dark Inferno for the PS3 was awesome here's why. (I know I'm behind the times, been busy )
1. Nice mix of free roam and 3D maps, environments were thrilling whether you were in central park or the NYC museum.
2. Switching from 1st to 3rd person
3. Really, really liked that inventory system, one of the best I've seen for a survival horror game and the freedom to build WMD's with flares and 3 bottles of gasoline taped to a car's gas tank, then jumping out right before I explode a nest of Humanz.
4. Roots of evil side quest, boosting cars, killing Humanz in Central Park = fun
Man; I guess I went into this game with some really low expectations considering the broken thing that it was for the 360, couldn't even finish, but boy was I surprised. After seeing how it was "supposed" to play I realized Atari did a great job bringing Alone in the Dark back. The game is not without flaws though. They never did fix the wonky melee. It wasn't dynamic at all nothing felt like it had weight to it and there was no power behind the attacks.
Also graphics were not that great imo; then cycling through your inventory was awkward on the fly too.
Anyway I could go on and on...
Then there was Shellshock 2? Who remembers the first one and when the hell did it turn into a survival horror FPS? lol Talk about random its not like the first one was that great and I guess it went from being a 3rd person shooter to an FPS that came down with a touch of the Jacobs Ladder vs the zombies.
Been really busy so haven't been gaming as much as I would like but I feel that I haven't missed much I did pick up LOTR Conquest and it was garbage how many times can they re-invent the wheel with that franchise? KillZone2 this weekend looking forward to that. Then of course RE5 soon after.
What can I say, surprised that AITD:Inferno was awesome and surprised that someone thought ShellShock should have a sequel so I thought I'd write about it. My surprise to GS is writing two blog posts in the same month...Its February wohoo!
5Feb 09Its not that bad in my opinion. Granted I've never been that big a fan of the over the shoulder view and the camera sucks but over all its built upon the action premise that RE4 started quite nicely. Is it survival horror? not really, but its still does alright in my book.
Definately my favorite time of year! Watching horror and doing some gaming. Finishing up on Dead Space and will start Fable 2 been so busy... Anybody planning on watching any horror movies? Which ones? Let me know haha. Have a happy and safe Halloween all!
Here are my picks; let me know if you can think of anything else that I may like and that I should add to the list based on what you see here
Alan Wake 360
Alone in the Dark PS3
Darksiders: Wrath of War PS3
Dead Island 360
Dead Space PS3
Fable 2 360
Final Fantasy XIII PS3
Fumito Ueda (Shadow of the Colossus, ICO) reveals plans for his next project to appear on Sony's next-gen console. PS3
Gears of War 2 360
God of War III PS3
Heavy Rain (working title) PS3
Infinite Undiscovery 360
KillZone 2 PS3
The Last Remnant 360
Left 4 Dead 360
Mass Effect 2 (working title) 360
Motorstorm 2 PS3
Resident Evil 5 PS3
Resistance Fall of Man 2 PS3
Shin Megami Tensei (working title) PS3
Silent Hill V PS3
Siren: New Translation PS3
Star Ocean: The Last Hope 360
Star Wars: The Force Unleashed PS3
Tales of Vesperia 360
Too Human 360
White Knight Story PS3
Lots of JRPGs comming to 360
Overall great game one of the best in the series IMO. I'm having freezes mainly online and experiencing the "stuck on loading screen" occasionally. To fix the loading screen issue I can disconnect from PSN but then I can't get online. The few times I was online it was awesome. I like quick deathmatches especially. Online is where I'm having most of my problems as far as crashes (not the car kind) so for now I'm going to stay offline until a patch is hopfully available. Sorry Mars188, Kreftain, and everyone else but it disrupts the game and is lame to constantly have to shut down my system during a game. Its hit or miss whether I get stuck on the loading screen if I dont disconnect but most of the time I just don't bother disconnecting and once I'm in I don't have any more problems.
Anyway, GTA campaign is good fun. Great graphics and the first time I flew through the car windshield was glorious. In the past I was never that into GTA series; it was fun and all but It just never clicked. I think R* finally perfected the game with GTAIV. So, those are my thoughts. This has been a no frills report brought to you by Sprunk.
*EDIT May 7, 2008 1:21 pm PT:
Ask and ye shall receive looks like R* read my mind and released the patch lol
BluRay has won the high definition format war and Sony's PS3 has gained some much needed momentum according to NPD's February North American hardware and software sales figures* The full charts are as follows:
Nintendo DS - 587.6K (from 251K)
Wii - 432K (from 274K)
PlayStation 2 - 351.8K ( PS2 out sells both 360 and PS3)
PlayStation 3 - 280.8K (from 269K)
Xbox 360 - 254.6K (from 230K)
PSP - 243.1K (from 230K)
* Source Gamasutra
It seems Sony's decision to integrate the BD drive, whilst risky, may finally be paying off for the company and with the variable price points from multiple SKUs; the PS3 is a lot more reasonably priced after all. It's really been a game of quality over quantity for Sony. Granted, Sony's not out of the woods yet with its PS3 and given that supply constraints for the 360 will ease I expect a close race for March and April. Nonetheless I don't foresee a clear winner between the PS3 and 360 for 2008. While there are a few awesome exclusives for the PS3 and an acceptable amount of multiplatform titles, Sony will need to net more exclusives to really make a significant impact in the US market against the 360.
With BluRay a clear winner in the high definition format war and seemingly acting as a catalyst for the February sales boost for the PS3. Sony is off to a good start this year. I've seen first hand the importance of having an integrated high capacity disc player on a console when I opened the package for Lost Odyssey, exclusive for the Xbox 360, and I see not one but four discs crammed within and disc # 1 was just swimming around the top waiting to fly out at me when I carelessly opened the case. It really hit home that I will not have to deal with this when MGS4 or Final Fantasy XIII are released on the PS3.
Personal preferences aside high capacity and HiDef formats will not go away. The fact that Microsoft didn't bother to integrate their HD-DVD player into the Xbox 360 and instead went with a peripheral that did nothing more than play movies says a lot of things to me. Aside from confusing the market it is instrumental in a strategy that, I believe, may facilitate Microsoft saving the consumer from themselves with digital downloading or streaming. I'm not opposed to this idea but I am curious as to how this will look. Will it be anything like what is going on XBL now? If so I'll pass, this might work for games with a big enough HDD but movies forget it. Limited selection, 720p is the highest resolution, and you have to pay every time you want to watch. For me to even consider this a viable option my game console better come equipped with at least a terabyte HDD so I can DL and save my games and movies. Also, would this actually kill BluRay? Are we even going to have the option to be a society that has discs meticulously stored on shelves to enjoy at our convenience packed with extras, booklets etc..?
At any rate, I'm a collector, I guess. I like my junk; hell, I still buy music on vinyl along with legal downloading CDs, DVDs, Games, books... well you get the picture. I like BluRay but I hope it lasts.
I just had to make a new blog in part to sort of move on from the GS / Gertsman debacle. Drama, drama, drama. Complete overkill at this point time to move on. I'm glad those who choose to stay are staying its obvious we don't have to agree with this site to continue posting and being an active part of the community oh and thank you to all who commented you guys rock.
Time to go back to what The Horror (blog name)is all about. I was bummed this year to miss Horror Fest 07. Their promtions guy should be fired. The theatres in my area were added and I s*** you not, until the day of the festival. Then the site advertised it as running two weekends. Well the theatre had no knowlege of this. What a joke. So I'll be waiting for the DVD releases in mid 08.
Hatchet comes out 12/18/07 on DVD dubbed as old school American horror. I saw it in the theatre and my impressions were that it was a good effort from director Adam Green. If your a horror fanatic like me you may have been aware of all the buzz from the underground surrounding this film. All I will tell you is that I recommend giving it a go and formulate your own opinion. I will say that if you are into gore you will be pretty happy. Characters are impaled, disemboweled and beheaded by a psycho, as well as repeatedly terrorized by half-naked women. Falls into deformed killer in the woods sub genre or DKITW
In other news I am going to stop purchasing discs in Masters of Horror series independently and instead will wait untill the box set or Bluray compilations are out.
Too many to keep up with for the amount of money they cost me and some of them are not so good.
Other than that it's business as usual I just picked up Rob Zombies Halloween DVDand has some killer extras which kind of made me appreciate it more since I saw it in the theatre and consists of how the film was made and the meet the cast featurete is done well also.
I also picked up:
I have been meaning to pick up Squirm forever. Jeff Lieberman is one of my favorite writer / directors so it was a good haul. Have a great week everyone I made this kind of long so I could push the other blog to the bottom of the page and its not staring me in the face.
Thought I'd share the latest additions to my movie collection.
Killer Killer: A slasher film that takes a detour from the usual formula in that the director Pat Higgins glorifies or "gorifies" the death scenes in a way that the viewer is actually justified in rooting for the killer.
Set in a high security prison for extremely dangerous criminals. One day for no apparent reason all the guards vanish and the cell doors open. However, the prisoner's freedom is short lived due to a mysterious mist outside that instantly freezes anyone who leaves the building (it could happen). So with nowhere to go the prisoners are free to roam about the building discussing the important differences between serial killer, spree killer, or copycat killer; their pointless bickering is one of the humorous aspects of the film for me.
Eventually, inmates start being killed one by one and for some mysterious reason the killer(s) look traditionally like victims from your typical slasher films and take on the appearances of cheerleaders, campers and babysitters.
This movie is pretty cool; I love the odd story line in this film. It's like Higgins says to himself,
"Ok I'm going to make a movie about prisoners that escape from their cells but can't leave the prison; why can't they leave the prison? Mysterious mist that instantaneously freezes you, that's why."
It's so random it just freaking works. I think Mysterious mist should be an all inclusive excuse from now on. Late for work or school- mysterious mist, forgot your mom's birthday- mysterious mist. It just works for everything. Anyway this movie rocks, with tons of gore and cool death scenes you will assuredly be entertained.
I haven't sat down with the other DVDs yet. I'm pretty busy with school and work and I'm still plugging away at Bioshock.
Frankly, I'd rather see zombies then say Nazi-vampires; there is not a more obvious plot device than using Nazis as the subject of the audience's hatred and vampires are just so melodramatic; currently the world doesn't need anything else contributing to the lack of creativity in horror and fantasy themed fiction in books, movies or video games.
Zombies on the other hand, seem to always reflect contemporary prejudices and George Romero said it best,
"When there is no more room in hell, the dead shall walk the earth"
To put it simply, now that the 21st century is in full swing; I can't help but realize the implications brought on by zombies according to popular culture. In the past, zombies were often a straightforward reflection of our culture's current prejudices and disputed religious, philosophical, and political matters. While this much still holds true the climate has changed dramatically.
Today technology has propelled the human race well beyond those days of cold war fears or mere materialism popularized in Zombie films in the 70's and 80's from directors like Romero, Fulci, and O'bannon. The world has become more and more populated things are heating up; war, crime, and reality TV inundate our media. Our culture exists by means of networking, communication, and entertainment; the immediacy of technology is the new shopping mall.
To me zombies have always represented the ugly side of humanity; the mindless masses living out their days in utter chaos. I realized something the other day while playing, of all things, Dead Rising that while playing for 4 hours I mistakenly thought only 1 hour had gone by; granted that's happened before but I guess it got me thinking.
Was I exhibiting the very same characteristics of the undead for those hours lost?
If I am transforming into a zombie; am I a new breed of zombie, a technology zombie perhaps?
At any rate, now I sit here eating this apple and tapping away at my keyboard in between bites. I realize it is unknown what the future holds for the zombie in our society. Zombies will always be my favorite archetype in film, books and games, at least for now anyway.
Zombies rule ftw.
Director: David Bruckner, Dan Bush, Jacob Gentry
Writer(s):David Bruckner, Dan Bush, Jacob Gentry
Starring: A.J. Bowen, Anessa Ramsey, Cheri Christian, Justin Welborn, Scott Poythress, Sahr Ngaujah
The Signal invades the minds of everyday citizens living their workaday lives and having their sordid affairs. Suddenly struck by the power of the insidious transmissions, they are compelled to kill or be killed. Complicating matters is a zombielike resistance some characters have to the idea of remaining dead. The story violently explodes, blending bloody gore with psychological satire, for a truly original horror experience. The Atlanta filmmaking team of David Bruckner, Dan Bush, and Jacob Gentry tell the eerie tale in three parts (cleverly called "transmissions"), shifting perspectives to draw out a larger story that explores dark secrets and fears as well as jealousy and betrayal.
A unique approach to film making each director adds their own flare to the story.The first Transmission is dark and terrifying while the second takes a more comedic approach. The third transmission was a little hard for me to swallow because it seemed to end a little too hurried. All said The Signal was a force to be reckoned with this year at Sundancewhich had a limited run in January.
Definately watch for this film's release It was recently picked up by Magnolia films and should be making a theatrical debut shortly. The Signal delivers some intense moments of gore coupled with great cinematography and original score. All of the actors deliver a solid performance and carry a very real presence thatcontributes greatlyto the realism of the film. Not for the faint of heart.
The Hamiltons Director: The Butcher Brothers
Writer: The Butcher Brothers
Starring: Cory Knauf, Samuel Child, Joseph McKelheer, Mackenzie Firgens
The Butcher Brothers aka Mitchell Altieri and Phil Flores are currently making quite a stir in the Bay area of San Francisco and the horror genre. They have already won many awards at genre and non-genre film festivals and you may remember me talking briefly about their film, The Hamiltons in my blog post on After Dark Horror Fest.
What sets this director / writer duo apart from the rest of their contemporaries? For starters they are extremely talented at writing an original story. Even without the elements of horror, torture, extreme gore, their film The Hamiltons could stand its ground as a drama about a family coming of age. Unlike most mainstream horror films from the 90’s to today; The Hamiltons doesn’t rely on big budget special effects or canned attempts at scaring the audience. The fear or dread you experience from this movie is genuine. Personally, I compare the Butcher Brothers style of writing and concept of horror to the likes of Fulci, Lieberman, or Cronenberg.
The Hamiltons; this story takes place in a small town in California. After the deaths of their parents the oldest son takes it upon himself to raise the younger brother and sisters. The story centers around Francis, the youngest, who finds an old video camera and uses it to work on a project for school. We soon see how malevolent the Hamiltons really are through Francis's eyes and though his video camera.
There is a perverse notion in this film that suggests ideal family values are a kind of claustrophobic horror in and of its self. This took me a second to recognize but set the tone in a wonderful way at the beginning of the story. I was drawn in and amused simply because in reality you want the wife to thow an axe at the husbands head from the kitchen as he spouts the cliche'd "Honey I'm home.."
The family was cast well; David Hamilton Samuel Child stepping into the fathers shoes taking care of the uncomfortably close twins Wendell Hamilton Joseph McKelheer and Darlene Hamilton Mackenzie Firgens along with Francis Cory Knauf who delivered an exceptional performance as the awkward teen complete with all the angst and indentity problems you know and love.
Some people may argue the amount of pure gore in this film is minimal. I know because I was one of those people at first. True, there is very little caught on film but that is made up for in the pyschological element laced throughout film. The finale is perfect, the horrific truth of the family is revealed in an ending that stayed with me long after leaving the theater.
It took me more than one viewing to appreciate this film. If your up for a cerebral experience The Hamiltons is for you. A refreshing new take on horror and a welcome addition to the genre. I look forward to what the Butcher Brothers have in store next.
Look for a DVD release in March 07 via LionsGate. There is even already talk of a sequel tenatively titled The Thompsons and promises to be about how the parents in The Hamiltons meet their end.
Calvaire aka The Ordeal Starring: Laurent Lucas, Jackie Berroyer, Philippe Nahon, Jean-Luc Couchard, Brigitte Lahaie, Gigi Coursigni, Philippe Grand'Henry
Written by: Fabrice Du Welz, Romain Protat
Directed by: Fabrice Du Welz
Marc Stevens Laurent Lucas is a struggling lounge singer who goes from gig to gig playng retirement homes and other dead-end venues. After an odd ecounter with a nurse he's off along the dark roads that wind through the Belgium wilderness to his next gig.
Now stop me if you have heard this before, after inevitable engine failure Stevens is forced to ask for help from a nervous local, Boris Jean-Luc Couchard who just so happened to be in the woods looking for his dog. From there Stevens is directed to a desolate town full of weird locals and inhabited by an ex-performer/comedian M. Bartel Jackie Berroyer. Well wouldn't you know; Stevens becomes trapped and is at the mercy of the town and the perverse mentality of Bartel.
Fabrice Du Welz takes the standard formula from films such as Psycho, Texas Chainsaw Massacre and marrys them with the more contemporary subversive films that use the same formula, High Tension, Wolf Creek, and Hostel. What sets Calvaire aside from its mainstream, formuliac counter-parts isn't a whole lot at first then the film manges to tip the scale with homosexual rape, bestiality, crucifixion, transvestisim, and the most explicit bar room scene in perhaps, all of film history.
With that said, Calvaire undermines what is known as taboo and delivers a quite shocking piece of cinema. Du Welz's cinematography is wonderful his reaccurance of theme placed throughout the film adds a decent amount of depth to even the most mudane character; for instance, The senior citizen who watches her nurse attempt to seduce Marc from an upstairs window later becomes Marc himself, held prisoner at the inn.
Calvaire starts much like your average horror film but quiclky spins out of control into its own bizarre madness. A slow, subtle approach carefully laying the groundwork for the more explicit horrors that are to come. Overall I liked the film; the pschosexual layer is a bit over the top for me but as a horror movie goes it delivers what it set out to do and that is offer an obsurdly grotesque film with large elements of dread.
There you have it; next week, In spirit of the holiday season and since the special edition DVD recently released, I want to look back at Bob Clark's 1974 slasher film Black Christmas. See you soon.
Hello again fellow ghouls. It's that time already; this week I'll be giving my impression of the 1st, and what I hope to be annual, After Dark Horror Fest, 8 Films To Die For which ran from 11/17/06 to 11/19/06.For those of you who didn't know about this event, I don't blame you. It was poorly advertised from the start and if you did see a poster you were probably confused by the showtimes. Nontheless, the lineup of movies were a joy to watch on the big screen whether they were good or bad.
Horror Fest is 3 days of horror films that are considered too graphic for general audiences. After Dark intially released 8 films (then added 2 bonus films) in 500 theatres in the US.
Courtney Solomon, Director of the 2006 film An American Haunting. Is responsible for creating the event in an effort to share his love of horror movies and bring some of the more obscure films to light of the general public. The idea is to create an event that takes place yearly and in the true spirit of any film festival, celebrate the medium and in this case, the horror genre.
With that said, After Dark Horror Fest is what I hope an ongoing yearly event. Despite some of the marketing problems the line-up of films were solid. I live in Seattle Washington so showtimes may have varied from state to state but here is how my weekend of horror looked that week.
10 years after the brutal murder of two girls, a killer escapes from a mental institution and returns to his turf; a theme park attraction, the Dark Ride.
I liked this one, most effective use of a strobe light since the film The Dead Hate the Living. Really sucessfull iteration on the 1970 dead teenager slasher flick.
Reincarnation aka (Rinne)
From the director of Juon and Juon 2. A suspensful psycholigical horror film that deals with the topic of reincarnation.
See my review from 11/17/06.
A med student collapses upon sensing a presence about her cadaver. Her fears are strengthened by a mysterious death. She must find out the truth before its angered spirit can wreak further vengence.
Great and spooky as hell. Excellent special effects; they even used real cadavers!!
Young Penny goes on a retreat with her psychologist. The intention is to help her with her phobia of cars. Events find poor penny in a nightmarish situation where her worst fears come true.
Just okay; Penny survives horrible auto crash that kills her parents needless to say she has some issues with the automobile. A claustophobic film that delivers small elements of dread. This chick just has bad luck.
A group of friends' lives are invaded by a trio of hostile ghosts after they engage in a drunken bout of grave dancing during a wake for an old friend.
Um no; It was fun to watch at 1:45 pm but no.
A film producer who was adopted as a baby and sent to America, returns to her native Russia and the family farm. Once there, strange things happen.
Freakin awesome. What this film wants to do is frighten you. This is done by lulling you to such a sense of complacency that your left trying to claw your way out of this subversive story. Beautiful, grotesque, and schizophrenic. A must see!!
Wicked Little Things
Recently widowed Karen Tunny and her two daughters, Sarah and Emma, move to a remote mountain home which Karen has inherited from the family of her late husband.
Well it was supposed to be another collaboration of Tobe Hooper, Jace Anderson and Adam Geirasch ala Mortuary and Toolbox Murders. Instead we saw J.S Cordone The Foresaken. This wasn't my favorite flick but it did deliver some great photography and alot of similarities to Mortuary.
A picture perfect, American family is always kind, loving, and respectful to their neighbors... not the Hamiltons.
I had high expectations for this film and unfortunately I was a bit let down. I think I'll watch it again just to make sure.
Snoop Dogg's Hood Of Horror (Bonus)
Part comedy, part frightfest, with a whole lot of "hell yeah" mixed in.
Come on guys its Snoop Dogg you know you want to.
The Tripper (Bonus)
The film revolves around a group of friends who escape to a modern-day Woodstock concert for a weekend of debauchery, only to be stalked by a fanatical killer determined to finish what he started years earlier.Added at the last minute David Arquette's directorial debut had a limited run in select cities and yours truly was lucky enough to get a sneak peek. As you would expect the film is funny with political under-tones. If you didn't see this at Horror Fest look for an early 2007 release.
There you have it; a great weekend. Overall, I'm very exciting about After Dark's Horror Fest as this festival is a great way to promote the horror genre and keep people going to the theatres instead of relying on the growing strength of the DVD, BluRay, and the HD DVD industry. Case and point, I walked into a restaurant the other day wearing my favorite Romero Dawn of the Dead T-shirt. The lady working runs over to me and goes off on how she remebers seeing that film on the big screen back in the 70's. I remember thinking, "Wow I've seen it digitally remasterd with commentary, 3 different versions and even in another language, along with a 2 hour special features segment on DVD but how great would it have been to see it larger than life analog style on the big screen."
Needless to say, I'll choose the big screen any day; experience movies the way they ought to be experienced and Horror Fest does just that.
In two weeks, my review of the gruesome Calvaire.
Rinne aka Reincarnation was produced by Takashige 'Taka' Ichise. The screenplay was written by Takashi Shimizu and Masaki Adachi. Its principal cast is as follows: Yuka, Karina, Kippei Shiina, Tetta Sugimoto, Shun Oguri, Marika Matsumota, Montaro Koichi, Atsushi Haruta, Mao Sasaki and Miki Sanjo.
In this movie film director Ikuo Matsumara Kippei Shiina is making a film about a hotel massacre that took place in the 1970's. The killer was a professor who killed his wife and daughter, Chisato, Mao Sasaki along with 9 other hotel guests.
The story centers on Nagisa Suiguira, Yuka an aspiring actress who reluctantly lands the part of the murderer's daughter.During filming at the Ono Kanko hotel, Nagisa goes into a dream-like state and finds herself running through the halls of the hotel; only its 35 years earlier. From there she undergoes the gruesome experience as the original murders happen around her and while the professor films his victims as he killed them. When Nagisa comes out of her dream she finds herself in room 227 where the murdered daughter was found 35 years earlier.
Already this is the classic style of what I like to call the “Shimizu narrative”. His layered story telling is really impressive and here he really puts it to good use as he switches point of view from 8mm (1970), to victim’s point of view, to the present day. He really does an amazing job and successfully keeps track of those details. It also works for him as it creates a very profound mood or atmosphere that communicates more psychologically rather than relying on pure gore.
This film worked well for me psychologically. All of the imagery is creepy enough to stay with you for a few days and Shimizu takes the time to explore his characters deeper which lends to a movie a little more dramatic than his previous films. However, towards the end of the film the pace is ramped up a bit with some decent gore.
The lack of pure gore, in this case, is not a bad thing and would almost be out of context for this particular type of film. However, if gore is somthing you just have to have to enjoy a movie. I’m sure it will be made up for in a subsequent re-make version to be released at an undetermined date. Producer Takashige 'Taka' Ichise has kept international rights and has released a worldwide version via Lions Gate. 'Taka' is also responsible for the Ring franchise and steered Shimizu’s movie Ju-on to national recognition.
Rinne is worth checking out. Although it has received mixed reviews I find it to be a nice contribition to the horror genre.At times a bit cerebral as it plays on more of a murder mystery, whodunit than a horror movie but the imagery is artful and disturbing and the story is enthralling.
Next up, my impression of HorrorFest 8 (plus 2 bonus) films to die for. Running 11/17 to 11/19.
Recently I have decided to reconstruct my blog The Horror. My goal will be:
Review a film, game, book, or event of my choice on a biweekly basis that I think contributes and best exemplifies aspects of the horror genre.
Selections for these reviews will be based on gore, originality, and overall concept.
Look for the 1st installment 11/17/06.