If you could summarize the quality of this movie quickly, it's easy to just say: it didn't need to exist, but it wasn't terrible. Not exactly glowing, is it? It's how we have to roll though: the Bourne Trilogy was just short of a masterpiece. At the moment I can't really think of any reason to say otherwise, although it has been a few years since I've watched them all. They were important to me, at least. They represent this turn from weird late 90's action movie to a more gritty, grounded and guided film that could both thrill our popcorn buckets and satisfy my need for plots that make sense. Having Damon in the lead allows the character a little more depth, as he's a capable actor and is able to balance the action and dialogue without going over the top. Yeah, there was a great team behind it too, with director Doug Liman leading the charge.
The Witch, or VViwtch - if you will - is a very slow, creepy and suspensful horror film that feels refreshing in the face your typical fare and what Hollywood is willing to throw in our faces. I know, I tend to say that a lot, but I've been trying to catch up on some "smaller" films, but I also *love* getting out to the theatres. I saw a comment online wishing that this movie didn't get a wide release, as it's not built for the mainstream audience, and to that point, I would agree. But I want to see it in theatres. It's when the audience gets all mob on you and decided to heckle the film that the entire film could be ruined. Fortunately, this was not the case when we went to see this. When my friend saw that The Witch was playing, and was sitting at a most-impressive 89% on the Tomatometer, we were sold. We also didn't know anything more about the film than what the title would tell us.
The title of the film explains itself fairly well, and should be taken with the most literal mind that you can muster up. Yes, there is a bed that eats people, but that doesn't really do the film justice. As it turns out, a demon and his lover were enjoying themselves on said bed, and when the woman died during the act, the demon shed tears of blood onto the bed, rendering it into a bed that is forever hungry, forever eating anyone that lies on it. It's really, really stupid weird. And as such, I can't help but love it, just a little.
I really couldn't tell you how this film made it into my collection, but it's been there for a while. I'm going to blame one of those "films nobody knows about" lists that I see on Reddit so often. Produced in 1977, Death Bed features an incredibly low budget with an incredibly loopy story - if you can even call it that. When I loaded it up for the first time, I thought I had hit put on one of these seventie's soft-core horror porn. We open up with a young couple on a trip into the country for a "good time," if you will. They end up on the bed and yes, they end up being eaten by the bed. Flash the title of the film on screen now.
You have to wonder, how many people are going to come to this bed, and how are they going to explain why these people end up there? Well, the movie slows down, tremendously. A group of girls are headed to the country for a picnic, stumble across the abandoned mansion and end up utilizing the bed. However, the one girl reminds the bed of his ancient lover, and forgoes eating her. He toys with them for a bit, but can't help himself.
Then, there is the narration. We're introduced to a character who is trapped behind a painting in the barren room with the bed. This guy painted the bed he was on - then was promptly eaten - and for some reason, is kept in this room by the bed. See, the bed has some powers, although they aren't clear.
As It Follows circles about the top of everyone's "best movies you haven't seen list," I found it appropriate to check it out myself. While it was on my watch list, it wasn't near the top. After all, it is a horror movie, and I always have some trepidation to plunging into one of these by myself. So far, I remain unscathed, although they have provided me with a good deal of entertaining dreams afterward. It Follows is no different, and unexpected, as it tapped into one of my core fears, and actually reminded me of a film that possibly spawned my (legit) fear of what i should now be coining: The Unstoppable Force.
I've never put together a top ten (less or even more) list before, so bear with me here. I'm frequenting other blogs and seeing some top tens being published, so throwing my hat into the ring seemed pretty fair, if not, at least redundant. There are a few problems I can think of as I prep this list.
1. I may not have seen ten films that were released in 2014.
2. I can never make up my mind.
Regardless, I'm pushing forward. It's a good thing I've been recording everything I watch because my memory isn't as good as it should be at my tender young age. Either that, or the movies that came out in 2014 really weren't that memorable, which makes the likelihood of a bottom ten list pretty high. I remember going to see Godzilla in theatres, but if you were to ask me what year that was, I would tell you 2013. It seems so long ago, and this is true for many films from 2014. This is most likely happening when those movies have received a home release and have been on store shelves for a while. Godzilla also points out another issue: I really enjoyed that film coming out of theatres, but when it came time to sit down and watch it again, I found myself turning it off. Anyway, here we go.
I'll just get this out of the way right now: I'm not a Kevin Smith fanboy, and don't melt in front of any film or product he puts out. We're fine with that. I really do enjoy watching Comic Book Men, but have never listened to one of his podcasts. I do, however, listen to The Nerdist, and enjoy listening to Smith whenever he's on there. So a couple of months back I was on the road and popped the latest episode of The Nerdist on with Kevin Smith in the conversation. They talked quite a bit about Tusk, and how the film came to be which was incredibly fascinating, and promoted Tusk to my watchlist. The other day I found myself needing a break from video games, and took the opportunity to put the movie on.
It was weird, but that was expected.
Initially I prepared myself for a fairly generic - if not poor - horror movie with a unique name. It feels like there are plenty of these to go around, but man, that name. The Babadook. It invokes intrigue, terror, psychological torment. What is it? The boogey man? A serial killer? Something worse, more likely. The trailer of this film guaranteed that we would watch it, and watch we did, as we set aside a night for it. And that doesn't often happen: on a Saturday night, we're likely to browse a list of unwatched movies trying to come to an agreement on what to watch. The Babadook demands more than this though, and we wanted to satisfy him. My friend's wife made alternate plans: she had resolved to not watch this movie - the previews were just too scary. This blatent avoidance just added more fuel to our burn to see The Babadook in action. Then it began.
Hollywood has gone back to many of our beloved childhood franchises, all of which have been met with a degree of hostility. This practice is not new, and will never go away; as long as money is to be made, you can guarantee somebody will try. And it's not necessarily all bad, because it can expose a new generation to an old favourite, and allow yourself to relive some of those precious memories. Unfortunately, it more often than not ends in disaster. At the very least, disappointment. Oftentimes, the reboot/remake will make you wax nostalgic for the original, and as you revisit the past, your memories are crushed. Nostalgia is a powerful lens, and one that can be shattered easily. Personally, I don't get that upset over the process, but that doesn't stop me from participating in thrashing sessions at a dinner party with other like minded people. I can share in their sentiment and appreciate their vitriol, and for the most part, we'll all go out and spend our money on it anyway. Case in point was Transformers 4, the latest Michael Bay CGI movie. We lambasted the film, the concept, everything, but every single one of us spent our "hard" earned cash on it at the theatre. When my friend asks me a question like, "who is going to these things" the answer is simple: we are. We vote with our dollars and through this process, we've given the thumbs up to a fifth movie.
As I typically keep up on forthcoming special editions of various movies and frequent Bluray collector sites, I became aware of a movie named Nightbreed that was being given quite the royal treatment. Shout! Factory was releasing a 3 disc special edition of this film, pricing it at about $45 and stamping limited numbers on some of them upon the thriving horde of movie collectors worldwide. Never heard of Nightbreed before, so I took it upon myself to see what the fuss is all about, and most importantly, decide if I wanted to partake in this expensive special edition. After all, at a price like this, there must be something boiling underneath.
The first hit on this movie brings up the name Clive Barker, who wrote and directed the film, which was based on a short story of his own creation. It's a familiar name, especially for those of us growing up in the late eighties: a few iconic horror movies adorned Clive's name above the title, including Hellraiser and Candyman. He was also a well known author, and was involved in various comic book projects (and still is, most likely). It wasn't my type of horror back then, so I missed out on all of it, including Nightbreed.
I was awoken just past midnight with the buzzing notification of my phone as it vibrated off my night stand to the floor below. What could possibly be going on? My thoughts immediately went dark: perhaps somebody was trying to contact me because of an emergency with a friend or family matter. I grab the phone and unlock it quickly, fearing the worst. I see text messages from my friend Cale, that simply stated: 9 Days to Go. It was ominous, but clearly not life threatening - unless he was counting down to something nefarious. I asked for some details, and he responded back with one word: