Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Capsule Reviews 7/28/10

Today three very good horror films from China. All were picked up on VCD and the first and third I've replaced on DVD.(I'm still looking for the second film). They are not the best horror films ever made but I had a good time watching them, especially since they only cost me a couple of bucks each. I should point out that I don't think any of these films are currently listed on IMDB


A series of possessions are being covered by the local media. into the mix comes two talk show hosts and a priest who's wife died in a car accident not long before. Good but unscary horror thriller works better as a character study with some tension. Following a familiar story line, you can kind of assume that things are not as unconnected as they first seem, the film remains watchable in that it manages to keep enough balls in the air that everything seems "new". If there is any real flaws in the film (aside from the box art which makes it look doofy) its that the plot sometimes asks us to believe things that are a little too incredulous, for example a young man who kills his mother and sister is deduced to be demoniacally possessed and is given an exorcism instead of going to prison. Worth a look if you run across it for a buck or on cable. but I wouldn't go out of my way to see it. (even if the ending is at first funny then creepy)
During a raid a cop runs across a woman who is covering herself in gasoline. Stopping to stop her the woman manages to set herself on fire and the cop is left traumatized. It soon transpires that there is a rash of suicides and all are connected to a certain website. Can the cops get to the bottom of it before anyone else dies? Good thriller that takes what is now a tired idea and makes it into something worth watching. Yes you've seen it before but there is something non-cliche about the way the story is handled. If there is anything really wrong with the film its that the denouncement doesn't really feel right and seems more tacked on because they didn't know how to end it.

Unplugged Nightmare (Aka Night Move)
Two women working for a magazine are having the same dreams. They end up assigned to write a story on haunted houses around the country. In the process they find themselves draw into events which mirror their dreams. There's more to it then that but its a start. This is a good little horror film that starts out a tiny bland (intentionally so) and then almost instantly sucks you in as it spins out its tale. Well used special effects and camera tricks ratchet everything up a couple of notches as the nightmare grows and we become less sure what is real and what isn't...and as the danger grows. Really solid in the way a good supernatural thriller should be this is a small scale movie that is much more interesting than most better know horror films. The films only flaw is that the ending didn't really seem to work for me.I can't go into it with out spoiling it, but its a bit of a let down. Still its worth a look see since the film really works until then, and the end is more disappointing then bad-certainly it doesn't ruin the experience as a whole.

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