It – Teaser Trailer and Trailer 1

As far as I’m concerned–at least initially–the best horror is in the sizzle, not the steak.

Keep in mind that in Steven Spielberg’s Jaws for a good portion of the movie you never see the shark at all (for the most part a fortuitous accident.  The mechanical shark, known affectionately as Bruce, more often than not didn’t work as planned, forcing Spielberg  to improvise).

Ridley Scott’s Alien followed a similar template, where the monster was gradually teased, making its reveal all the more terrifying.

The first version of Stephen King’s IT did a similar thing, doling out hints and glimpses of the evil clown, Pennywise, before the final reveal.

And Tim Curry’s Pennywise was terrifying, though why he was so unnerving is important.

First off, clowns are slightly creepy in and of themselves.  It doesn’t take all that much to make one look just a bit off…

And I suspect Tim Curry knew this. Visually his Pennywise looked like any ordinary clown, but the way Curry’s voice sounded combined with the way he carried himself made Pennywise oddly disturbing.

This new version of Pennywise looks as if they’re trying too hard to be Scary, and it doesn’t particularly work.  As I mentioned earlier, Tim Curry’s version wasn’t necessarily trying to look scary.  In fact, he looked like a clown that you’d see on just about any circus in the country.


But what the makers of is rebooted series don’t seem to understand is that having one oversized shoe in the normal world, and the other in the bizarre, is what’s terrifying.

This new version, as far as I can tell, tries way too hard.

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The Shallows – Trailer 1 & 2

Sometimes I find myself sympathizing with sharks.

Imagine that one day you’re swimming about, doing whatever it is that you do–which for a shark consists primarily of swimming, eating and every once in awhile mating–when an unknown animal suddenly starts making a ruckus nearby.

You have very keen eyesight and can smell blood in the water for literally miles away, though this time it’s motion that draws you.

Uncertain of what you’re dealing with, at first you circle the animal, maybe going in for a nose bump before taking a bite.

I get that no animal–even those that we eat on a regular basis–enjoy or desire being made into, what is for them, a very unhappy meal. That being said, what bothers me about movies like Jaws and if the trailer is any indicator, The Shallows is that they contribute to people anthropomorphizing (giving human characteristics and motivations to non-human creatures) sharks, making them out as being more much sinister than they are.

As I said, no animal wants to be eaten, though that’s just the way the food chain works.

We know, or should know, that demonizing apex predators like sharks, tigers, bears wolves, etc does all predators an injustice because it makes it easier to kill them just for existing, guilty of being true to what they are.

Besides, when all is said and done, no creature kills with the facility and savagery of human beings.

 

Spring – Review

Spring movie poster

“Be careful who you love, because Spring is coming and it’s a monster.”

Some critics has described Spring as ‘Lovecraftian,’–which is what drew me to it in the first place–and while a very good movie, Lovecraftian it’s not.  For it to be so would imply that it was based on, or somehow similar or related to, the work of H.P. Lovecraft and his Cthulhu Mythos.

And it’s not, not in the least.  Sure there are monsters, some even of the aquatic variety, and lots of water; but if that made a movie Lovecraftian, then Steven Spielberg’s Jaws could be as well (which it most definitely isn’t).

Because for a movie to be called so would mean that it not only involves monsters, but embody some of the underlying ideas of Lovecraft’s Mythos, which typically revolves around sinister forces aligned against humankind, whether on a larger or  smaller scale.

Now what Spring is is an awesomely taut, interesting love story.  It’s also best watched twice because you can see the care with which Aaron Moorhead and Justin Benson craft their story.  There’s virtually no wasted frames in the entire movie, with everything you see either helping to contribute to a feeling of dread or sell the underlying premise.

Though it’s not perfect, with its weakest scene being the one where Louise (Nadia Pilker) looks into supernatural means to cure her…condition.  The problem isn’t the scene in and of itself, more so than if a person had lived as long as she had, she’d probably have tried it already (though in the movie’s defense she might have done so because she found herself growing closer to Evan (Lou Taylor Pucci) and wasn’t thinking straight.

It’s no accident that that title of the movie is Spring, because the themes of death and rebirth run through the entire movie, most often in a very clever fashion.

The season of Spring has begun on iTunes, though be careful because while love may be eternal, you’re not.

‘Godzilla’ Review

Godzilla (2014) movie poster

Gareth Edwards’ Godzilla Isn’t The Same Monster Many Of Us Grew Up Watching, Which Sometimes Isn’t A Good Thing

In The Beginning…

I remember when I was growing that I spent many Saturday afternoons in front of a television, watching monsters like Gamera, Mothra and Godzilla.  They tended to have come into being due to the hubris of Man, as well as our tendency to use nuclear weapons, which inevitably got out of hand.

Though Mothra was most interesting because, besides being a giant moth, it was summoned by these two tiny women.  And by ‘tiny’ I mean literally small enough to fit in the palm of your hand, which made no sense at all.  Then again, Gamera could not only breath fire, but when he retracted his legs, arms and head into his shell he was capable of flight.  So really, can I complain about two micro-women all that much?

The first movies that dealt with both Gamera and Godzilla were fairly serious things, seeing that they were analogies about the dangers of nuclear weapons (which makes sense when you take into account Japan was the only nation that was attacked using them).

So if anyone was able to comment upon such things with authority, it’s the Japanese.

But a funny thing happened…as the adventures of Godzilla continued, they got goofier.  And when I write ‘goofy’ I mean that when Godzilla wasn’t throwing karate kicks, seemingly held aloft by his massive tail or talking smack at MechaGodzilla (via hand signals and attitude), he was hanging out with a baby Godzilla who instead of breathing fire, breathed smoke rings (unless you stepped on his tail, then look out).

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