Monday, November 11, 2013

Carrie (2013) Movie review




I know that some hard core horror fans have chosen not to see this movie, I will throw my self on this film so other may live. Enjoy my review. 

Carrie - 100min – R

Carrie is a classic movie, so someone was bound to come along and want to do this movie again -- be it homage, or updating the story, or taking things in a new direction altogether. The 2013 remake of this movie falls into the homage category. They did not change any of the major parts of this film but they did enhance a few sections and updated the bullying for the modern age. We have more access to better special effects so the telekinesis scenes were obviously enhanced. This movie gets a Yellow light because this is a good facelift to a beloved film.

Usually a synopsis of the movie goes here but as it was pretty much the same as the 1976 film, I am going to skip it in favor of highlighting the bits that were done well.. Carrie (Chloë Grace Moretz) is an awkward, ignorant young girl with an abusive mother, Margret (Julianne Moore), who is a bag-of-cats crazy. We start off this version witnessing Carrie’s birth, which sets the tone of this film. It was not pretty and we can see Margret was crazy for quite some time.

The use of cell phones to capture the horrific shower bully scene was spot on and a perfect modernization. I enjoyed how Sue (GabriellaWilde) portrayed the regret of her actions. She was the only one who stopped during the bullying scene. I think this was not played well in the original, seeing how a person can have a change of heart in the middle of doing something wrong was great.

Chris (Portia Doubleday) was a complete and total bitch. She did have a spoiled brat mentality and realized she was in over her head but her boyfriend, Billy (Alex Russell), bore a lot of the blame of what happened. We see the blood collection that clearly highlights Billy as an evil person.

I absolutely loved Judy Greer as Ms. Desjardin. She has genuine concern for her students and no nonsense presence all great teachers have. I love how she was not fazed by anything walking around the school with a bloody hand print on her shorts like it’s a part of her outfit. When Chris beings her father in to get her prom privileges reinstated, the way Greer laid down the smack was priceless. We don’t see enough of her. In the final prom scene I am glad she was saved. I think it would have lessened the story for her to die.

Moretz is a great performer with range, but I hope she does not get pigeonholed into these kinds of movies. She will be one of the best young actresses in modern time if she keeps expanding.

Kimberly Peirce is a wonderful director and really relays a great story in this movie. You can learn a lot from her characters, and they provide lessons without feeling like a lecture. For instance, the lessons here could be that even if you are doing something wrong you don’t have to continue to do it. You always have a chance to change things for the better. Evil deeds bring evil rewards. Sometimes there is collateral damage, good people in the wrong place. Broken people should not have kids.

Peirce directed the outstanding movie Boys Don’t Cry, so I have a hard time not measuring her by her own work. This was a fine film and it maintained the cautionary tale theme of what the fruit of bullying can bring. Peirce’s direction style can be felt coming from this story. She does well with brining out the humanity in her characters.

Sue trying to save Carrie at the end was a bit over the top and it was not needed. We already feel for Sue because she had her boyfriend Tommy (Ansel Elgort), take Carrie to the prom. This seemed like a genuine gesture of restitution. Having Sue show up at her house and try and save Carrie was a bit much, even the interaction where Carrie feels the baby growing inside Sue seems way out of place unless you are planning a sequel. Please say you are not planning a sequel.

What was your favorite Stephen King book to movie? And do you think they should redo it if it’s already been done?


Monday, October 7, 2013

Hudson Horror Show 8


Official press release:

Hudson Horror Show is proud to announce our full lineup for the Hudson Valley’s horror and exploitation film festival, Hudson Horror Show. HHS #8 will be on Saturday, November 16th 2013, at Silver Cinemas South Hills 8 in Poughkeepsie, NY. Doors open at noon, show starts at 1PM.

Headliner #1 is the 1981 sci-fi/action classic ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK. John Carpenter directed one of the most amazing genre casts ever featuring Ernest Borgnine, Donald Pleasance, Isaac Hayes, Harry Dean Stanton, Adrienne Barbeau, Tom Atkins, Lee Van Cleef and of course Kurt Russell as Snake Plissken, who we all heard was dead.

Headliner #2 is the 1982 horror/sci-fi thrill ride JOHN CARPENTER’S THE THING. Carpenter and Russell teamed up again for one of the scariest films ever made, which boasts the amazing creature and special effects from Rob Bottin. 30 years after both Carpenter classics were originally released, we are thrilled to present these movies the way they were meant to be seen, off real 35mm film!

If the alien from The Thing doesn't scare the pants off you, well, you just might want to take your pants off anyway for INVASION OF THE BEE GIRLS. Starring cult film icon William Smith (Red Dawn, Grave of the Vampire) and the beautiful Anitra Ford (Big Bird Cage) this sci-fi/horror/exploitation hybrid has the sexiest murdering space aliens ever seen. With a fun script written by Nicholas Meyer (who later wrote and directed Star Trek II and Star Trek VI), INVASION OF THE BEE GIRLS is one of the best “B” movies ever made.

Next stop is Poughkeepsie for the runaway train that is the HORROR EXPRESS! Starring Christopher Lee, Telly Savalas and Peter Cushing, this British/Spanish co-production mixes the Goth trappings of Hammer Studios with the blood and sexiness of Euro cult films. If you only see one movie with a frozen ape monster that shoots laser beams from his eyes and turns people into zombies while on a train, HORROR EXPRESS is it!

The fifth movie for the show will be a MYSTERY HORROR MOVIE! No kidding around this time, it won’t be blaxploitation or a giant monster movie, it’s a full on horror movie. But you’ll have to come to the show to find out what it is!

Our last show was a complete sell out and tickets for this show are already selling faster than ever before. Don’t miss it, get your tickets now! Advance tickets are just $26.00. Click here to order: http://www.hudsonhorror.com/purchase-tickets/. If any tickets remain the day of show, they will be available for $30.00, cash only.

As always we’ll have vendors selling toys, DVD’s, t-shirts and all other merchandise. If you are interested in being a vendor, or if you have a question about the show, shoot us an email at info@hudsonhorror.com. Keep watching our website and Facebook page for more info, and we’ll see you on Saturday, November 16th 2013 for Hudson Horror Show 8!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Profile of a Killer - Movie Review

Profile of a Killer - 108 min – Unrated

The producers of this movie asked me to screen this film. It was one of those movies that come at you from left field. It’s a shame that people don’t know about this film because it has some brilliant performances. I did some homework while I waited for my copy to arrive. It’s interesting that writer/director Caspian Tredwell-Owen also wrote The Island. When I saw The Island, I thought the story had potential but the heavy handed action of Michael Bay kind of ruined the nuances.

Profile of a Killer was directed by Tredwell-Owena and the story takes center stage -- not explosions. This is a movie about a profiler, Saul (Gabe Angieri), who is captured by the killer and forced into a game of wits. There have been other movies about profilers but not one that takes this kind of twist with the story. This movie has two sides, one from the point of view of the profiler and one from the special agent, Rachel (Emily Fradenburgh) who is trying to find Saul and catch the killer.

I think that in some cases the writer who directs their own stuff can really do the story justice. They can construct the film to match how it was first envisioned. However if they have too much power over the story from idea to conception it could limit your production. George Lucas is an excellent example of this. He had ultimate control but there were times where he needed to have that strong voice saying “George, this would work better if…” This doesn’t seem to be the case with Profile of a Killer. I think that Caspian Tredwell-Owen did a wonderful job imagining this movie and bringing it to life on screen.

Gabe Angieri as Saul 
Gabe Angieri is outstanding in this movie. He has a fairly short résumé but he is very talented. In this role he does a wonderful job of bringing a kindness to what is usually a very technical character profession. Usually profilers in movies have no personality of their own they are muted and try and take on the identity of the killer or get inside their heads. Saul does this without losing his identity as a character. Saul had this fatherly presence that showed concern for the killer instead of being that neutral non-judgmental entity there to talk someone down. There was an emotional investment in resolving the problem, and not just because the killer has a gun. Saul seemed to be trying to connect with the killer.

Emily Fradenburgh as Rachel
Where Saul was the compassion, Rachel was completely frigid. I think she was meant to be, but that limited the connection to her. She was focused on the job and nothing else. She is the type of FBI agent who has had a tragic past and that has pushed her to excel at her job. As a loner she lets very few people into her private life. She is methodical and driven.

The down side is she is such a talented performer this role really does not show off her depth of character. I think Fradenburgh and this character would be good as a lead in a separate film. The length of time we have with her on screen is enough to pique our interest, but not enough to truly satisfy. Because of that, I had a hard time getting emotionally involved with Rachel. She was more of a device than an involved member of the story.

Joey Pollari as David
I think in the hands of a less talented actor, the killer, David (Joey Pollari) could have been disastrous, however, with the unique approach taken, it became the linchpin to the story. There was a lot of complicity to the character. The subtext was an interesting commentary on society and how we are easily lost in the noise of today’s world. Pollari had his work cut out for him. You could tell at times the role was pushing his limits, but did a great job with this incredibly complex character. He has to engage the viewer as a puzzle, not give too much away and still maintain the emotional connection to Saul and the viewer.

The overall movie was well paced and as an independent film they did masterfully. This is a police cat-and-mouse thriller told in a completely new way. What I loved about it is that we get to see the killer right off and the real battle of wills is done face to face. Typically the killer and profiler finally meet in the climax of the movie. In this movie they are eye to eye fairly quickly. That adds an element of danger to the profiler character who usually directs things from a safe distance.

Take a look at this movie. You can see it on Amazon for rental. It is not rated by the MPAA so you need to know this type of film is in my opinion not kid friendly for language and graphic violence and gory scenes (duh… it’s about a killer). This is a great thriller for adults who are in the mood for a good police story.
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