Monday, February 27, 2012
KILL LIST (2011)
Directed by Ben Wheatley
Neil Maskell - Jay
MyAnna Burning - Shel
Michael Smiley -Gal
Nearly a year after a botched job, a hitman takes a new assignment with the promise of a big payoff for three killings. What starts off as an easy task soon unravels, sending the killer into the heart of darkness.
While running this blog I've noticed something about my viewing of films and movies. I mean it's nothing that is noticeable from just someone reading as it seems like I do actually go through a lot of different type of films. The truth is I'm kinda picky for the movies I watch. Whenever a director or someone sends me a film to watch, I watch it with a certain amount of joy because they see what I do as a way to get their work noticed and I'm very happy to do so. Now more than when I started this I'm watching more different genre films than I ever have, while still going back through some older films I watched when I was younger. A film like Kill List I probably wouldn't have watched five years ago. Now today I have no problem watching it.
Neil Maskell, who portrays Jay, was actually quite compelling in the role. Maskell has to play a father and a parent out of work for an extended period of time. He has the same mounting problems as most people do these days as he has to worry about money and finding a job as it slowly eats away at him. As a parent Jay is very caring and loves his son, yet as a husband the strain of thinning money is causing cracks and rifts on his marriage which forces him to take a job to kill three people with his friend. Maskell for the first half of the movie does a good job, yet it's when his character goes back to work does Maskell truly show his acting ability. Michael Smiley, who play Gal, though is the true star of the film. The reason why I say this is due to that his acting is more subdued yet in a way more powerful. Gal as a character seems like someone who doesn't like his job, yet does it due to he's good at it even though the years of doing it has taken it's toll on him mentally and Smiley shows this openly. The difference between Gal and Maskell is easily visible as Gal is more reserved compared to Maskell who is more of loose cannon which makes watching how the two interact interesting which also keeps the story moving.
I'm going to talk about the actual story now and there will be spoilers but I will not give away what happens at the end as to do so will ruin it which I don't want to do. I went into a little bit about Jay and Gal before but it's when they both go out the first assassination that we get to see how the two depend on each other more and how their relationship is stronger than with their significant others which drives the story more than anything else. Now I should mention that the first 40 minutes of the film is showing the characters in their everyday life. The ups and downs are shown without making it look like they live glamorous lives, which they don't. It shows that Jay might have a drug problem and his wife is very unhappy but still stays with him for what he was and might still be. It's when the first killing takes place you find out that something isn't quite right with the job they have taken. Though it gets really weird when the second killing happens. You find out that the people Jay and Gal are sent to kill know they are coming yet neither one puts up much of a struggle to prevent theirselves from being killed. Instead they tell Jay "Thank you." This to me is just put me on edge while watching Kill List and it also made the movie take a turn in a completely different direction than it was going in. I won't go any further into the story than that as not to spoil anything. But the one big complaint I do have against the film is the story also as it leaves to much unexplained including what happened in Kiev which sets the whole story in motion. You know things went wrong there, but not what, and that bugged me throughout the whole movie.
Ben Wheatley does a good job of directing. He keeps the camera tight when it's called for and loose when you least expect it. This gives the film a disjointed feeling that adds to the feel of the movie and how things move. During certain times in the movie it almost feels like a found footage film though it still is in third person which adds a sense of unease to the whole film during the second half. The sound though is another problem I have with the film as the first half it's almost impossible to make out half of what is said when the characters are trying to be established. Also at certain times for no reason at all the background music swells to drown out all other sound which almost kills some scenes in the movie. Thankfully those sound swells die down very quickly. All around Kill List is a tense watch even with it's flaws in story and sound. The feel of the film is built up by the intrigue to find out what exactly is going on which isn't handled very well and the film does lose that momentum due to a major plot hole that comes into effect full force at the end of the movie.
The vertex bashing of the librarian.
The film is also known as Uma Lista a Abater in Portugal.
Director Ben Wheatley has a segment in the ABCs Of Death due out later this year.
Maskell's film career began in 1997 with an appearance as "Schmuddie" in Gary Oldman's writing and directorial debut Nil By Mouth.
The film cost about £500,000 to make.
Friday, February 24, 2012
Directed by Luther Bhogal-Jones
Sarah T Douty - Heather
Sheila Stout - Ellen
Toby Lewis-Hammond - The Pioneer
It's 4 a.m. and somewhere, something has opened.
Director Luther Bhogal-Jones sent me a email Sunday about his short film Creak. And as I said in a earlier post that if a director sends me his or her work I'll try to review or post about it as soon as I can. I think with Creak, it will be the fastest turn-around I've had for something to review. So either I'm getting better at writing the reviews or I just know how to manage the time it takes more friendly to myself.
Sarah T Douty as Heather does a pretty good job as someone that doesn't quite feel safe in her house after she's woken up from her slumber. She plays sleepy very well as her acting is believable as someone who knows something isn't right yet decides to ignore her intuition so where she can fall back asleep. Her partner Ellen, played by Sheila Stout, I can't quite say the same for though. To me, something just seems off in her acting. Yes Stout can do pissed off very well, as I would be if I was woken up to check a house at 4 a.m. in the morning, yet with that there's also a tiredness that isn't present in her acting that is in Douty's though. It's as if Stout really doesn't want to be where she's at. The only time she actually seems alive is when her character Ellen is making fun of Heather for jumping at turned door knob.
I want to mention two things that bugged me a little bit before I mention what I really like about the short. The first one is the sound editing. For the most part the sound is actually quite good throughout the short, except for in two scenes where the sound from the on camera mic comes through quite loud and then disappears. The second is there a editing jump in the film where it was just a little bit jolting. The story for Creak was actually pretty tight with not a lot of unnecessary dialogue and it moves at a pretty fast pace. The shots are well set and tries to get the best of both actresses. But the one thing that stuck out to me more than anything else in the short is The Pioneer. I loved the design of it as what is a throwback to the creatures of the 70's and 80's as to what I can only describe as a cross between the Tall Man and a Dalek if it had a love affair with a Cyberman from the Doctor Who T.V. series. Even though The Pioneer is mostly in shadows most of the time it shown, it's presence once it appears on screen is ever present even when it's sticking to the shadows and not shown. If you can get a good look at it, it's actually quite staggering as how well a simple design can have a large impact. Creak is a fun five minute short that is easy on the eyes while also ratcheting up the tension with use of classic film build up technique.
Nope won't find that here this time.
Someone could be in the house.
Luther Bhogal-Jones has two more shorts in the pipeline for this year. One is Extended and the other is Knock Knock.
Tuesday, February 21, 2012
I got a press release today from writer and director Josh Heisie for his upcoming horror short The Prospector's Curse. Part of the fun in doing this site is to help out younger director's get their product out there and to get people to try different films.So without further ado here is the press release.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The Prospector’s Curse
A western-themed horror film entitled “The Prospector’s Curse” has wrapped production
near the remote town of Ponty Pool, Ontario. Set during the Klondike Gold Rush of the
1890’s, the darkly comedic short is Written and Directed by Josh Heisie (‘Mail Order
Bride’), Produced by Bruno Marino (‘Anything Goes’) and is currently in Post
Production in Toronto, Canada.
The talent lineup for “The Prospector’s Curse” includes David Roberts (‘Curious and
Unusual Deaths’), Johnny Quinn (‘Mind’s Eye: The Series’), Amanda Ives (‘I Hate
Toronto: A Love Story’) and Robert Nolan (‘Worm’).
Rounding out the creative team are Director of Photography Michael Jari Davidson
(‘SICK’), and Special Effects Makeup Artist Carlos Henriques (‘Red: Werewolf Hunter’)
of The Butcher Shop.
There’s blood in them there hills!
The vengeful corpse of an old prospector haunts two gold thieves as they struggle
Theodore “Tubby” Ellsworth and Jack smith are two criminals on the run, lost in the
untamed wilderness. When they stumble across a mutilated Prospector, dying on Indian
ground, they promise to give him a Christian burial. The fugitives break their oath and
steal the old man’s gold…but that night, the Prospector’s corpse returns to make them
Related Web Pages
Facebook Fan Page
Josh Heisie www.joshheisie.com
Bruno Marino http://www.imdb.com/name/nm3012041/
Michael Jari Davidson http://www.michaeljaridavidson.com/
Carlos Henriques http://www.thebutchershop.ca/
Dave Roberts http://www.imdb.com/name/nm3734080/
Johnny Quinn http://www.imdb.com/name/nm4144359/
Robert Nolan http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0634349/
Amanda Ives http://www.imdb.com/name/nm4424849/
Monday, February 20, 2012
LOS OJOS DE JULIA (JULIA'S EYES) (2010)
Directed by Guillem Morales
Belen Rueda - Julia
Lluis Homar - Isaac
Francesc Orella - Inspector Dimas
The story of a woman who is slowly losing her sight whilst trying to investigate the mysterious death of her twin sister.
I usually run hot or cold on thrillers. It's not that I don't like them. It's just that a lot of them have no follow through at the end. It's all about the build up to the reveal, and after that everything more than half the time just falls apart as the scripts don't know what to do afterwards. The ones that do get it right are usually classics right away, such as Silence Of The Lambs and Night Of The Hunter. Others just sit comfortably in the middle or just fail miserably. But the real good ones will stick with you after watching them.
Belen Rueda, who plays Julia, is just wonderful in this film. Whenever she's on screen you know she is and pay attention to her. It's not that she chews scenes, but actually acts. Rueda has to go through so many emotions in this film as her surroundings are constantly changing as is her state of mind. Yet there is two scenes in the film where she just shines. One is when Julia has just regained her sight, yet realizes that it would have been probably better if she hadn't due to the situation she was in. This is driven home when she has to act blind with a bloody kitchen knife just inches from her eye while being terrified and not flinching from it. The other scene is at the end where Julia fully understands her late husband's love for her. This is shown in her face as she's about to lose her sight for the second and last time while looking through her husbands eyes. There is a sadness in her face although it's mixed with a final understanding that wasn't there until that scene. The rest of the actors do a superb job as well though none stick out as much Rueda does.
Now the story is what every film really is judged on, specially in a thriller. And thankfully this one doesn't drop the ball at all. Usually when a movie starts out looking like one type of film, such as a ghost story or hints at it then switches halfway through, the feel of the film suffers. Thankfully this film doesn't get lost in that transition. In fact, it becomes a stronger film due to that reason. Another strong aspect for the film is the plot of Julia losing her eye sight slowly. By using this it helps heighten the tension due to Julia can not understand what is going on all around her and those closest to her think that she's losing her mind thanks to he her failing eyesight. The one thing I'm going to pass on talking about script wise is the antagonist, as part of the fun in this film is not knowing who that person is. The one problem I truly had with the film though is that you never really find out if Julia's husband Isaac committed suicide or was really killed. To me it just felt like that was left to far out in the open.
The way the film was shot is something I have to talk about. While most of the film is shot as most are, with the viewer as a unseen entity in the room, this film goes the extra step to actually show how Julia's eyes are degenerating by going into first person view almost every time Julia becomes unbearably stressed, which makes her lose her sight quicker. At first the view through her eyes just has a darkness around the edges, though as the film goes on a blackness pervades her vision until she's blind. It's when her vision is almost gone a second time is when it truly feels terrifying as you see her view of events. Even through all of this, two scenes that stick out visually are when Julia first starts tracing her sister's movements which puts her in the middle of blind women that easily resembles the Graeae from mythology as they are almost predatory in their movements and use of their functioning senses. The other is the final showdown between Julia and her antagonist as most of it takes place almost all in the dark which also simulates Julia's vision. The only action we see during this is when a flash goes off from a camera which lasts all of two seconds. The film surprised me from start to finish, in a good way, which is hard to do now, and I loved every second of it. Definitely one that will probably stay on my top films list this year.
Lia's piercing hanging out.
There are people with no light.
The film references the 1933 classic movie The Invisible Man.
Guillermo del Toro worked as a producer for the film.
Thursday, February 16, 2012
COST OF LIVING (2011)
Directed by BenDavid Grabinski
Brandon Routh - Silas
Bret Harrison - Jerry
Mary Elizabeth Winstead - The Computer (voice)
Two young security guards at an unusual corporation have a bad night.
I usually check to see everyday what reviews I posted gets the hits the most and I noticed on Tuesday that Dylan Dog Dead Of Night has this honor this week so far. This caught me by surprise as I didn't think Brandon Routh had anything new coming out quite yet. Well I did find out differently once I did a little exploring online and found out that a short film become available this Tuesday. Seems like there was a short that played at film festivals last year that he was in was released online and to watch for free. So what could be better than a short genre film that's free to watch.
I'll go ahead and admit that I like Brandon Routh as an actor. Yes, he can be a little taut delivering his lines every so often and the same can be said for this short as well. But here's the funny thing. You know when Routh is on screen. He has a stage presence that not a lot of people have. Even in this he does as he plays the more bad ass of a two man security team. Routh plays his character Silas as almost like he's scene it all and acts accordingly. Routh also has most of the funny lines in the short and pulls them off great all the while keeping a straight face. Brett Harrison, who plays Jerry, is more of a short straw character as he gets most of the backlash from the action seen in the film. He also plays the smarter of the two as he likes bringing up more philosophical questions to his partner Silas. One of the more interesting questions Jerry brings up is the topic of missing time. The reason I find this interesting is because of where the two work at. Harrison does pretty well as his character is the one that questions a lot of his personal life due to his job and wanting to transfer to a different company branch location.
BenDavid Grabinski has actually created a fun first film that he wrote as well. His camera style already shows a flair that few have when they start out. I liken Grabinski's style to that of a young Ryuhie Kitamura where the camera knows that action is important and shouldn't cut away to hide what is going on and his use of angles are decent as well yet he knows when to focus on the characters also. There are plenty of monster references in Cost Of Living from were-children to cloning to gremlins. There is even an ode to the movie Aliens in the short as well which I got a good giggle at. Grabinski does something very smart with his film. Either because of money constraints or the look of the creature effects didn't look good, there are no monsters seen in the short. Yes, you hear them and see their blood splash, a lot, yet not one is viewed. This is also the one draw back for me to the film. It's a monster movie without the monsters. Thankfully what the film does have going for it is a sense of fun that is a throwback to the monster and buddy cop films from the 80s and 90s. It moves quickly, has some great one-liners, and has a air of fun running throughout the entire run time. If you can spare the 10 minutes this is a quick moving short film that is fun to watch.
Sorry you have to look elsewhere for that this time.
Never mind. We're fucked.
Cost of Living is director BenDavid Grabinski's first film.
Brandon Routh cites the movie Braveheart his all-time favorite film.
Bret Harrison's parents encouraged his interest in performing at a young age. He received an electric guitar for his tenth birthday.
Fun Credits: After the the credits stop rolling a teaser pops up saying " Silas and Jerry might return in.......Cost Of Living 2: The Nebraska Clusterfuck
Monday, February 13, 2012
Directed by Robert Olsson
A man is trying to survive as giant creatures are emerging from the sea.
I must admit sometimes I really like watching short films due to the fact they have to cut away all the fat from the script to get the point of the film across. Yes, some are done really poorly while others look like a work of art in motion. I know that most of the time these shorts are a labor of love for the people making them. Then sometimes it's just people who just want to show the world how awful they handle film making.
I usually use the second paragraphs of my reviews to the actors and acting in the films and movies I watch and the same can be said for this review as well. It's just that this time it's a little harder to talk about the actors and the job they did. I say this due to the fact that the main character played by Chris Ingersoll doesn't speak a line of dialogue throughout the film. Now granted the film is only a little over three minutes in length so it is a little harder to get a read on how the person does. Never the less from what I saw Ingersoll does a decent job as a man trying to survive a very bad situation. His facial expressions are what carries him, and with that he does what he's supposed to do and that's act. Ingersoll's body language really doesn't change throughout the short from that of someone that is scared, beaten and worn down. The other two actors that are truly shown in the short, Emilio Rossal and Emily Ingersoll, are only visible for a total of about 7 seconds and Rossal has the only speaking line in the short.
Director Robert Olsson has put together something fun with Squid. It's completely self contained and no hint is giving as to what is happening, yet I didn't really care about the explanations as I was having fun while watching the short. The camera angles Olsson uses gives the short a much larger cinematic feel. From close up of the main actor from above him, to his uses of worm's eye view to show the depth of the Eldritch horror from the earth's seas. The sound effects and sound design are spot on in the short and nothing is to overpowering. My one problem I did have with Squid is with the special effects. For the most part the special effects were very well done and looked like they fit perfectly with the world we are seeing. Then there are the tentacle effect in some of the shots that just looked unfinished. I would have to say the best way to describe them would be to say it looked like they came out of a SyFy channel original movie. The good part is those shots don't last long and everything goes back to looking correct, yet it's still those shots that took me out of the film as the special effects were so important to a short such as this one. Squid though is a fun quick watch that won't leave you stupid yet makes you wonder what could happen if it could be made into a full length feature.
Squid was made on a shoestring budget with help from many volunteers.
Almost every shot in the short has some form of visual effect in it.
You can watch Squid by following the link here SQUID.
Friday, February 10, 2012
Directed by Seve Schelenz
Rob Scattergood (Robert Scattergood) - Simon Lacey
Amber Lewis - Eva Hansen
Richard Olek - Richard Harrison
When Simon, Rich, and Eva head out on an eagerly anticipated road trip, they bring along a video camera to record their journey. What starts out as a carefree adventure slowly becomes a descent into the ominous as unexplained events threaten to disrupt the balance between the three close friends.
Well after working on this blog for over a year and a half now, I finally got my first press kit/ screener sent to me. I don't know why, yet I feel like I've actually accomplished something with the blog now. Even though I am sometimes hard on independent filmmakers and their movies, I think it's best to tell them the truth about their work. Even when I find a film bad I try to make sure I put down why I think it's bad. I don't try to sugar coat it. And yes, if I love a movie I still try to find one thing that bothered me with the movie if possible and put that in my reviews. One of the nicest thing said to me was after a recent review where the director thanked me for being honest. The reason why is because it actually helps the filmmakers find their weak points in their work. They have enough people telling them they do a great job and their work is perfect from the people around them. If I don't like something I'll say it, and if I do like something I'll say it as well. Sometimes harshly and sometimes more politely.
While the acting is actually really good for the most part in the movie, it did hit a speed bump during one scene. That one bump was thanks to Richard Olek who plays Richard Harrison in the movie. Olek does a decent job throughout the whole of the movie, as someone who gets more and more pissed off as the weirdness creeps into the story. The one point is when I was talking about takes place in the characters first hotel room stay. It's hard to say what it was but it just seemed like Olek didn't know how to handle his lines during this part. Thankfully his acting gets back on track right after that scene and he does great after that. In fact, he takes over the movie toward the end. Amber Lewis who plays Eva Hansen was the one person in the movie that I couldn't pin down acting wise until the end of the movie really. I'm not saying Lewis was off, its just that her character was off. In the end it actually makes sense why her character seemed that way because of the story which after finding out that one bit of information it brought out a different view of her character. The actor that was only on screen twice in the whole movie did a decent job from what I could tell as you never actually get to see him act. Rob Scattergood, who plays Simon Lacey, probably had the hardest role in the film due to he had to act as well as film the movie at same time, so for that and not sounding off at all in any scene he was in but character progression wasn't really there for his character.
The plot for the movie is pretty straight forward for the most part. It's just three friends that are on a trip to a wedding for another friend. The real story for the film is the disintegration of the friendship between Simon, Eva, and Richard. The cracks begin to form almost right way after Eva goes and talks to Simon's girlfriend. This is where I said her character seemed off before. Eva tried to keep at least arms length away from Simon throughout the movie from then on. Simon sees this and tries all he can to record everything on their trip with a video camera he picked up, even after his friends asked him to turn it off. This just makes him want to record them more, to their chagrin. To me it seems like Simon was afraid to face reality and wanted to view it through the lenses of his camera. Later on Simon starts to see faces skewed up through camera. After a while he finds out that those he views that are like that all die in various fashion. It's at this point Simon breaks with reality which causes his friends to try and break the camera's hold on Simon with no luck. This causes Eva to try and talk to Simon about his girlfriend and his true feelings, while Richard becomes more confrontational with Simon after he tells his friends about what he is seeing from the camera.
I'm going to go ahead and say that I really don't like found footage or handheld footage movies. To me it takes away from the full true development of the characters. It's shaky and you're limited be what is viewed through the camera eye only and it's being overused more and more due to the cheapness of the production of them. But I will give director Seve Schelenz a pass on this one considered that he tried to focus more on the drama aspect than the horror to me on this movie. I still would have like to see this as a true third person perspective for this film but this movie actually did manage to drag me into it by it's story more than the horror part of it. Don't get me wrong, there are horror aspects to it, such as a haunted camera. As well as some real good jump scares and weirdness dealing with what the camera sees. All in all though Schelenz has actually made a decent drama with horror elements thrown in and a story that really doesn't slow down except for one scene and a slow start to the movie.
The accidental discharging of a gun leaves a nice stain on a wall.
This camera...........It shows me things. It sees things.
For the "Hollywood" version of the film, Schelenz had developed an additional opening and closing scene. These additional bookend-style scenes were to be shot on film and the first involved an establishing shot of the video camera tucked away in a pawnshop. The same essential shot would be used at the end of the film but in a different pawnshop to show the video camera being "passed on" to the next victim. Schelenz decided to scrap these shots in the end.
Having worked with actor Bruce Greenwood in the past, Schelenz attempted to enlist Greenwood as one of the minor characters in the film but was unsuccessful.
It is never mentioned which city the characters are from or traveling to. Each time a character attempts to reveal this information, a loud noise or dropout in sound is purposely used to distort the dialogue.
After long debates over whether Rob Scattergood or the cinematographer should operate the actual filming camera, director Schelenz decided to go with the actor. It turned out to be the right choice, as Schelenz wanted to capture the feeling of a first-time video camera operator. Despite only having two hours to familiarize himself with the camera before the first day of principal photography, Scattergood eased into the role. As a result, the other actors were able to play off Scattergood's character more naturally.
Monday, February 6, 2012
THE WOMAN IN BLACK (2012)
Directed by James Watkins
Daniel Radcliffe - Arthur Kipps
Ciaran Hinds - Sam Daily
Janet McTeer - Mrs. Daily
A young lawyer travels to a remote village where he discovers the vengeful ghost of a scorned woman is terrorizing the locals.
Even though this isn't the first of the new Hammer Films I've reviewed, The Woman In Black is the fourth film the reborn studio and third to have a wide release unlike last years Wake Wood which only came out in limited release. Now I'm going to go ahead and say going into the movie I had no expectations for the film so where I didn't get overly excited as to be let down by it. Nor did I go into the theatre expecting the worst movie ever made either. I went in pure neutral to the film. The reason more than anything else is because with this movie Hammer has a chance to become a major player in the horror genre again thanks to star Daniel Radcliffe and a heavy promotional campaign. The only true thing going against it this past weekend was it opened up on a heavy genre weekend in theatres and also the weekend of the Superbowl.
Of course with this I'm going to start with Daniel Radcliffe as Arthur Kipps. With most young actors that become famous due to roles they played in their youth and the same recurring role to boot, in this case for over 10 years,most of them find switching over to more adult roles hard to almost impossible. For one, the audience will always see them as the characters they've known and grew up with. Well Radcliffe has no problem with the transition that most have in the past. Here he is completely believable as a father in financial trouble who has a take a job he doesn't want to. Even when thing start getting weird you are convinced that Radcliffe is Kipps and experiencing those emotions he is displaying on screen and the danger he is feeling. Radcliffe is almost haunting in this role and shows that Radcliffe can take on other roles that are more mature and adult as well as carry a movie by himself. The supporting cast is excellent as well especially Ciaran Hinds as Samuel Daily who lost his son, yet refuses to place the blame on anyone even when the truth is in his face until it is almost too late.
The story for The Woman In Black is the main draw for the film to me. The story is a nicely done ghost story that does use a few boo type scares as the beginning of the film which thankfully transitions into all around creepiness and atmosphere as the story unfolds. And what a story it is. Even though it starts out slowly, which I didn't mind one bit in this case, it picks up once Radcliffe's character arrives to his destination. The villagers treat him with disdain and want nothing to do with him and want Kipp to leave right away. Once he reaches Eel's Marsh to sift through paperwork the story get's darker as the titular Woman In Black shows up and children start dying. Kipp's isn't swayed by this as he seems to still be in shock from his wife's death from years before as he still keeps working. As more creepiness ensues though, Kipp seems to come more alive and more worried as his son is due to his is supposed to arrive in the village in a couple of days. The rest of the story I'm not going to go into as it will ruin the ending for those that haven't seen it.
Director James Watkins knows how to create genuine suspense and creepiness that permeates the entire film. From the fog covered London streets where the film starts to the off color village from the use of color palates helps with the sense of unease. But to me it's Watkins use of filters that really lend the film a air of difference than most other ghost stories that I've seen. It's also Watkins use of camera angles and tracking that also helps with unnerving aspect. A good example of this is when the camera tracks a lit candle by the eyes of wind-up toys. By doing this it, makes the toys look like they are alive and watching Radcliffe's character which creates an air of anxiety that can almost be felt. The sound as well helps with the trepidation throughout the film as little sounds can be heard when the film is shot in the Marsh House. My only really complaint is the ending of the film. Not with what happens to Kipp but what is shown when the screen goes black afterward as it was to me needless. Except for that the film was quite a great film that actually has great scares and thrills The Woman In Black is a great horror movie that relies on atmosphere other than blood and guts yet is still made for more mature audiences rather than the teen audience most wide release horror films are panning to these days.
Any film that starts with three little girls committing suicide you know you're in for something.
You don't believe in ghosts, do you?
The film was originally scheduled to be shot in 3D, but the plan was scrapped later on.
Adrian Rawlins, who played Daniel Radcliffe's father in the Harry Potter movies, played the same character in the 1989 version as Radcliffe plays in this film.
Ciaran Hinds who plays Sam Daily, was also in the last two Harry Potter films as Aberforth Dumbledore.
Friday, February 3, 2012
PRECUT GIRL (2009)
Directed by Erik Dinkian
Alexandre Leycuras - Max
Karin Shibata - Nami
A young Japanese girl discovers that she cannot die. From then she will explore the moment of death by killing herself repeatedly.
With this review, the last of the directors and producers that contacted me last year is done. Again I must apologize for the lateness of some of these to the ones that sent me their films to review. So without wasting anymore time here's the review for Precut Girl.
I really don't know where to start with this review. One of the main reasons why I put it that way is that this film is just dark. The tone of the film is set right away from the start. Nami, who is played by Karin Shibata, just found out she cannot die no matter what. What's so disturbing isn't the first time she tries to kill herself and succeeds, it's actually the second time. It's where she becomes possessed by her need to find out what lies after death. The secret to death. After getting a glimpse of it once, after each subsequent attempt to see that glimpse again fails she becomes more desperate to find ways to see it. Shibata is just wonderful in her portrayal of a junkie who can't get the fix she wants even though she has her drug of choice always available to her. Yet it's the end where we find out just how evil her character has become when she finds out a new way to satisfy her craving which is just chilling.
The look of the short is almost like looking at art, as every shot seems to have been thought of before hand and pondered over. It's as if director Erik Dinkian wanted the audience who watches his film to suffer along with his characters in their wretched existence. This is shown more by the character of Max, who is played by Alexandre Leycuras. Leycuras's character is berated and beaten on by Nami, for his inability to give her what she really wants. It's only at the end that the story takes a much more sinister turn after Nami forgoes trying to die herself and decides to see what others see. Even though every time Nami stabs herself, or Max stabs her you actually don't see the knife go in, it's as if Leycuras understands that if you leave it up to the viewer's imagination about what's happening it's usually worse than anything that can be shown. This was a storytelling device used by Alfred Hitchcock to great impact in cinema. And used here it adds a impact that wouldn't have been there if it wasn't for it. This is a short film that actually left me drained mentally and in love with the film for doing what it was able to do.
I'm leaving this one blank for this film due to the nature of the film.
I've chosen to throw myself beneath a subway train.
It's not the way that appealed to me the most. But it's the most effective.
Director Eric Dinkian has directed three short films as well as written all three of them.