Cinepub


31 Days of Horror 2: Walled In by Jamie

Part of what I was hoping to uncover during this 31 Days of Halloween adventure were some hidden gems, some little seen movies that were actually deserving ofway more attention. When I saw Walled In on Netflix, I hoped that it might be one such film. The premise seemed interesting. It was abut someone who trapped people inside walls and the image on Netflix showed a screaming woman buried up to her waist in wall. Awesome, I thought, already imaging a twisted psychopath surrounded by people wailing in horror as they were trapped halfway inside walls.

Unfortunately, this was not the film I got. It in fact takes place 15 years or so after a maniac trapped people inside the walls of a building and suffocated them by pouring concrete in with them. The film is, in actuality, an attempt to be every other film, lifting plot points, shots and even sounds from other films. Sometimes it’s Nightmare on Elm Street, sometimes it’s Psycho, sometimes it‘s The Shining. Sometimes it’s the tale of a woman haunted by the ghosts of those who had died in this building before her, sometimes it’s the tale of a psychologically damaged person torturing and tormenting another out of a twisted sense of vengeance. Walled In is many, many things but the one thing it isn’t is good.

It’s boring, the acting is about one degree above that in Birdemic, the plot is nonsensical at best and I fell asleep a couple of times, leading me to have to rewind the damn thing to try and see what I’d missed which served to only prolong my misery. I’ll admit that there were a couple of moments where I found myself a little engaged by the plot but these were few and far between. Overall a deeply disappointing experience. One pint out of five. Laterz.

Walled In

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31 Days of Horror 1: In The Mouth of Madness (1994) by Jamie

It’s the most wonderful time of year, the time when killers stalk, monsters hunt and ghosts haunt. When the deep, dark fears that dwell within the collective mind of mankind are given form and allowed to roam free on our movie screens. Yes, once more ‘tis the season of Halloween. To celebrate this year, I’ve decided to engage in an activity that I’ve seen a number of people indulging in, namely watching a horror film a day for each day of the month of October or should I say Spooktober! No, my legal team have informed me that I should not, in fact, say Spooktober. Ever.

Anyway, my criteria for this 31 Days of Horror thing is rather simple. Pick a horror film I haven’t seen, watch it and then review it. Of course, this can garner a mixed bag of results. Some movies can be so painfully middle of the road that they just kind of aren’t worth reviewing. Still, I shall soldier on regardless safe in the knowledge that there’s at least a new ‘Child’s Play’ film in my future. Anyway let’s begin with John Carpenter’s Lovecraftian tale ‘In The Mouth of Madness’.

One of my biggest regrets, other than not attempting to have sex with Scarlett Johansson that one time I was in the same room as her, is the fact that I have never read any of HP Lovecraft’s works. Every now and then I’ll get it in my head to but then I look at his bibliography and the arguments about a suitable reading order online and I eventually give up. Still I have absorbed at least a passing knowledge of the Lovecraftian mythos from the general pop-culture milieu and one day I will finally settle on where to start and actually indulge. Until then, I figured that maybe ‘In The Mouth of Madness’ might be a good place to look to satisfy that longing for eldritch abominations that I seem to harbour. Sadly, it kind of wasn’t.

Not to say that I didn’t enjoy the film, I did for the most part. I just think that perhaps the pacing was a little off. Hmmm, let me begin at the beginning. The film basically follows the recollections of John Trent, insurance fraud investigator, as he tells the story of how he came to end up in an insane asylum after attempting to find out what happened to horror author/Lovecraft surrogate Sutter Cane who has vanished just before his new book ‘In The Mouth of Madness’ is due to be released causing his rabid fans to partake in a bit of rioting.

The trail of clues that Trent uncovers leads him and Cane’s editor to a town that fans of the author’s books may be familiar with. Will Trent find Cane and his new manuscript and is there any truth to the rumours that Cane’s work can turn people mad?

Now like I say, for the most part I did enjoy this film. Sam Neil plays Trent and he can play a man unsure of whether or not his sanity is slipping away with the very best whilst still managing to maintain an air of scepticism in his portrayal. The film also isn’t short on classic Carpenter style with the film bringing ‘The Thing’ to mind on more than one occasion and even reminding me of a less comedic ‘They Live’ at times.

My main problem with the film is the pacing. It just doesn’t give enough time for the tension to build properly. It feels as though there’s an attempt to make the film feel like it’s about the slow, creeping rise of insanity and the realisation that reality may not be as real as you thought but the film moves too fast for that feeling of tension to ever really build and in the end, you can’t help but feel slightly disappointed because of that. Still, this is definitely one for Carpenter fans who may have overlooked it. Three pints out of five. Sorry that this review is a bit truncated but the idea for this came late and now I must sleep to be refreshed and ready for another spooktacular review tomorrow!… What’s that? Never use the word spooktacular either. Fine. Laterz.

 

 

SPOOKTACULAR SPOOKTOBER! MWAHAHAHAHA!



Zombie Month: The Goon Trailer by Jamie

It’s been a long Christmas period. I feel knackered. Here is a trailer for ‘The Goon’ a CGI film coming in 2011 featuring Zombies. Laterz.



Zombie Month: Wicked Little Things by Jamie

Spoilers ahead.

Children are terrifying. This is a simple fact. They are here for one purpose and that is to replace us. Hell, maybe if people stopped having children, we’d all suddenly become immortal. But I guess we’ll never know because there are selfish bastards out there who just have to have their sweet little angels running around and making noise in cinemas. Seriously, don’t take your kids to the cinema if they’re not age appropriate for the film. All you’re doing is pissing everyone else off. Get a damn babysitter.

Our ancestors recognised the threat that children presented and did everything in their power to stop them by making them do horrible, horrible jobs that would kill or mutilate them. Things like chimney sweeping or fixing incredibly dangerous factory machinery or, as is the case with this film, make them work in mines. Unfortunately some bleeding hearts passed child labour laws and so children were free to pursue their tireless quest for world domination.

So yes, this film opens with a scene of a bunch of darling little children being forced to do incredibly dangerous work in a mine. One child is forced to set some TNT and before you know it, the whole mine has collapsed, trapping the innocent little moppets and killing them right dead… or are they?

The film cuts to present day and Karen Tunney has just inherited her dead fathers family home up in the mountains and so she moves there with her two daughters Sarah and Emma with views to fix it up and sell it. It isn’t long before weird shit starts to go down. Weird shit like having their door coated in blood by their neighbour, Mr Hanks and Emma being drawn to the site of the old mine by mysterious voices. She claims to have met a new friend there by the name of Mary. Meanwhile the children from the mine emerge and begin to kill people with their pick axes and shovels which is admittedly pretty cool.

Through the course of the film, it is revealed that the children are related to the Tunneys and Mr. Hanks and will not harm their blood relatives unless really riled up. This doesn’t help Karen who, of course, isn’t a blood relative though Mary, who is a Tunney herself, tells Emma that she won’t hurt Karen though she can’t make the same promise for the other children. The fact that they won‘t attack blood relatives is also the reason that Mr. Hanks goes around smearing his own blood on peoples doors. He also sacrifices pigs to them in an effort to sate their terrible undead hunger.

The children are ultimately after William Carlton, the last surviving heir of the Carlton family who once owned the mine that all the children died in. Modern day Carlton is currently doing everything in his power to buy up all the land and kick everyone off of his property which just conveniently enough means that he’s in the area at the time. So the film culminates with Carlton, Hanks and the Tunneys all holed up in a barn together. Hanks and the Tunneys stand by and let the children have Carlton and Emma informs them that the children say that they won’t harm anyone anymore. The Tunneys leave the mountain but they don’t sell the house. It is then revealed that the children are ‘living’ there. Really? They still have to wander the Earth as the living dead? That’s not a particularly happy ending. You’d think they’d finally get to rest or something now there business is finished. Is nothing from ‘Casper’ accurate?

That aside, the film was actually pretty enjoyable. It’s a fairly neat little play on the dead seeking their revenge on the living thing and kids are genuinely quite scary. Hell, that’s what Japanese horror and their American remakes have been relying on for a while. Seeing as the film was released in 2006, I’m sure the whole Japanese kid-based horror thing was some kind of influence on it.

Still, despite being enjoyable, there is a certain sense that it’s something you’ve seen before numerous times. It’s always weird when I come across a film that seems a little original and completely unoriginal at the same time but that’s the best way I can sum up this film. There are also a few moments where it gets really, really slow. Scenes of characters just wandering through the woods for what seems like an entirely too long period of time. I’m sure it’s supposed to add the feeling of people being lost but it gets kinda old, kinda fast, especially when they’re always in the same three or four locations. Anyway, I’ll give it three pints out of five. Laterz.




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