With John Carpenter’s The Thing–based on Christian Nyby’s 1951 movie The Thing From Another World and the original John Campbell short novel, Who Goes There?–we got to see a director at the peak of his powers. Carpenter was able to combine Rob Bottin’s extraordinary creature effects with a taut story of an otherworldly threat that had the ability to mimic whomever it killed.
So you can imagine that when Universal Pictures decided to do a sequel in 2011–without Carpenter’s input–that fans would probably not be too keen on it.
And that’s a bit of an understatement, with many–myself included–hating the movie on general principal.
Having recently re-watched Matthijs van Heijningen’s prequel, it’s actually pretty good. And while I wished that it had more in the way of practical effects–though as far as I can tell the CGI is based on designs from Alec Gillis and Bob Woodruff (who are credited) and while it’s not as innovative as the practical special effects of Rob Bottin, They’re okay.
“If you go into a movie called “Sharknado” – as I did – expecting anything more than schlock with mediocre CGI, be prepared for some seriously dashed hopes.”
I recall writing a few days ago that the movie “Zombie Massacre” was pretty bad, but a least you could tell that the filmmakers loved the subject matter.
“Sharknado” is a prime illustration of what happens when no one gives a damn. It’s filled with lots of mediocre-looking CGI sharks – and even worse practical ones on occasion – and acting that makes “Zombie Massacre” look much, much better by comparison.
And the worse thing is that the director, Anthony Ferrante, actually did the pretty decent horror film, “Boo,” though I suspect that my enjoyment of that film had more to do with the cinematographer being Dean Cundey (who’s best known for his work with John Carpenter). What’s curious for me is that IMDB doesn’t list Cundey as working on Ferrante’s film in any capacity, though I am reasonably sure he did.
Tobe Hooper is back with “Djinn,” and while he is a talented director, he’s also somewhat erratic in terms of the quality of his output.
There’s a lot of debate over whether he directed “Poltergeist,” which looks like a typical Steven Spielberg film (other than the subject matter), though that could be due to the people that worked on the film, such as the cinematographer, for example.
And while I don’t entirely believe that that’s the case, it is possible. An example of which can be seen in Anthony Ferranti’s “Boo.” “Boo” isn’t a very good film, though the first half hour–give or take–looks like a John Carpenter film.