Monday, May 3, 2010


Dread (2009)

I haven't seen all the 8 Films to Die For movies but I am going to declare Dread the best so far. It started off a little slow and had me a bit skeptical at first, but ended with such a bang that I have no other choice than to give it praise here.

Dread tells the story of 3 college kids out to make a documentary for one of their film classes. One of the three students has severe issues after witnessing the brutal murder of his parents as a child, and he comes up with the idea of documenting what people's darkest fears are. Deciding that the interviews are too tame, he sets out to actually put people into their scariest nightmare and says it's the next phase in their experiment. I know, the story sounds rather cliche and it is, but the execution was spot on with great acting, a phenomenal soundtrack, and superb character development.

As I mentioned, I was a skeptic at first. I felt like the beginning and middle were decent/good, but I was mostly focused on how Jackson Rathbone, the main character, really needed a haircut and shave. I'm sorry, you can be a good looking dude, but not without going to a salon stat. Besides the hair, I got a bit annoyed by the antagonist (the one setting up the experiments) because he's one of those characters that has OBVIOUS psychological issues and as a regular person you would never EVER continue to hang out with him, trust him, etc. etc. So when the main characters continue to interact with him, I tended to roll my eyes.

But once you get over that little bump, the last third of this film sets it apart from the cliched plot. There is one of the most gut-wrenching scenes I've seen in a long time... maybe ever (I don't want to ruin it here). As with the most successful of horrors, this is all psychological - no torture porn here! It's not the gore that gets you, it's the fact that you feel for the character. Phenomenal scene. Strong and dark ending (although it left me feeling rather unsatisfied/depressed). The last act of this film drove it to the finish line with me cheering. When the film was over and I was closing my eyes to sleep, I actually felt quite unsettled and even a tiny bit frightened. :)

Overall: 7.5/10
Gore meter: 5/10
Scare meter: 5/10
Uncomfortable meter: 9/10

Sunday, May 2, 2010


Triangle (2009)

Melissa George! I've had a huge fan girl crush on her ever since Alias. Well, that's a lie, because when I saw her on Alias I HATED her guts since she was the arch-enemy of Sydney Bristow (Jennifer Garner). But then I grew up and realized she was gorgeous and imagined in my head an Agent Bristow-Agent Reed sort of love. Whaaat who said I wasn't a big Alias-loving geek as well as a horror fiend? So anyway, I guess my love for Melissa George started with The Amityville Horror remake, and then Turistas, and then 30 Days of Night! I love a gorgeous horror actress with an awesome accent.

Back on track - on to Triangle. Jess (Melissa George) is a single mother to an autistic child and right off the bat she's a little wonky. Her friends encourage her to go onto this day trip sailing adventure and she agrees. Their boat gets caught in a random storm and they are forced to dock a large ocean liner that is... dun dun dun... EMPTY! Gasp! Weird shit begins to happen, such as seeing a small group of people in the water waving for help. Jess rushes to help them but realizes that it's THEMSELVES. What the fuck!

Okay, so Triangle is a film that attempts to be mind boggling and uses time loops and crazy things like that. It's a film that people might roll their eyes at, like, "time loop?! If you look here and here and here you'll realize that this movie makes no sense and blah blah blah blah," etc. Thankfully I'm not that type of movie watcher. Or rather, when I watch a thriller/horror like Triangle, I know not to over think things (unlike say, a film like Donnie Darko which begs you to analyze it). And that's the beauty - if you don't over think the time loop aspect, I think this is definitely an engaging film. Melissa George is a fantastic lead (no bias here, of course) and some of the boat scenes are definitely full of suspense. 

I wouldn't call this an original film by any stretch of the imagination. How many times have we ourselves tried to write a story using time loops and time travel and all that? As unoriginal as you might think it is though, I haven't actually seen a film recently that I can think of that uses time manipulation like Triangle. It's probably because it doesn't make much sense. Haha. But whatever, it's kind of fun. And hey would you look at that, Wikipedia tells me that Triangle has generally been well-received by critics!

Overall: 6.5/10
Gore meter: 2/10
Scare meter: 2/10 (both not gory or scary; just a thriller)