Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Capsule Reviews 12/29/10

It's been a while since I've done some capsule reviews so as today's Wednesday Matinee I'm going to post some horror films you might have missed.

Finnish horror film concerns the parties assigned by Sweden and Russia to draw the border between the two countries in 1595. The need to do so comes out of a 25 year long war that became so terrible that both sides realized that they had to call an end to it. As the party heads off into the wilderness they come upon a village in the middle of a swamp. In the town no children are born and the elderly don't die. There is also a sauna, where dark things happen. Focusing on two brothers the film is a low key film with some blood and little gore. In a weird way it's less a straight on horror film then a Grimm's Fairy Tale like meditation of damnation and absolution. It's an odd film in how it doesn't play by horror film conventions. I'm still not sure what I think of it, but there is something about the performances and the feel of the film that refuses to go away. If you look at IMDB you'll find that some people love it and some people hate it. I'm somewhere in the middle, and rolling between love and hate. Either way it's made a big enough impression that I think it's worth a try. Out on DVD.

This was originally called LESLIE MY NAME IS EVIL and there is a title card at the end of the DVD copy I saw that still read Leslie My Name is Evil. The original title is a clue that this film really isn't a horror film or even a serial killer expose. The film is actually an intriguing satire of society, specifically the late 1960's. The film tells the fictional parallel stories of one of the girls on trial with Manson for the Tate LoBianco murders. I'm not going to lie and say the film is great, its not. Actually its more a film that is better in what it's trying to do and how it's doing it.It has a wicked visual style that is intentionally artificial and to me it really works. I was surfing the ideas more than the story, which is okay. Definitely worth the shot if you don't mind a film trying to do more than it can.

SHELTER (2010)
Julianne Moore plays a forensic psychologist who makes a living debunking multiple personality claims. Her father, also a psychologist keeps showing her patients that are meant to test her. One day after the execution of one of the men she helped keep in jail, her dad brings her face to face with a strange young man... Very good little thriller is completely under the radar. Its a solid thrill machine who's only real flaw is that the film is a bit too leisurely until the the final half hour when it goes into over drive. I suggest that if you see the film you try to do so and be like me,and walk into the film knowing as little as possible. All I knew was that it was about multiple personalities and I found out that it was about something else entirely. (though I suggest you keep in mind that I have grouped this with some horror films). See the film but just try to take the journey as our heroine does and I think you'll find it haunts your psyche for a while afterward.

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