Thursday, April 28, 2011

Before And After II: Insidious

Alright, after April passing like a blur of coffee and sluglines in my participation of Script Frenzy, I never really got to do any blogging, but now that I have finished my horror spec script, I'm ready to get some work done, well, blogging work. This time, I'm going to do a B&A of a horror movie called Insidious.

This one appears to be a bit of an oldschool ghosty-type flick. The IMDB synopsis reads "A family looks to prevent evil spirits from trapping their comatose child in a realm called The Further." That sounds kind of promising, and I'm kind of curious of the nature of The Further, so I guess the Elevator Pitch, if nothing else, is well-crafted. The poster's kind of cool and ominous, not something I'd be in any kind of a rush to put on my wall on sheer artistic merit alone, but it does the job nicely. "Here be scary" it proclaims, and I hope the movie can follow up.

As for the talents involved here, we have a little Saw I reunion going on here as the movie's written and directed by James Wan and Leigh Whannell, who both worked on the story and screenplay for the first three Saw movies. I'm not crazy  about the second and third one, but I maintain that Saw I is both better and more cleverly written than the movie who gave birth to the modern Gore And Nothing Else film has any right to be, so this could be a good sign. They also did Dead Silence, a movie I wasn't crazy about, but at least it had a certain charm to it.

Now, for my personal thoughts and expectations for this movie, I'm hoping it's a good one. The "Haunted House/Haunted Family"-sub-genre is one that has for the longest time been limping along with very few new and fresh ideas, more or less entirely leaning on people feeling sympathy for a family in peril, while falling back to some oddly specific scares, the bathroom mirror switcharoo, rapidly rotting food, closet doors being manipulated and of course our dear friend Mr. Jumpscare O.B.E. I'm hoping Insidious manages to try something new, potentially exciting and/or terrifying.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Marble Hornets: Season Two

So, I did write about Marble Hornets a good while back, and the series came to a subtly disturbing, but somewhat unsatisfying end end. I thought that was  it. Sure, we didn't learn that much, and the ending sorta came out of the blue and more or less relied on us piecing together just what happened, but this being an ARG, that was pretty much to be expected.

That was before season 2, of course. This time, we follow the uploader of tapes/investigator of things that be spooky, Jay, as he wakes up in a hotel with no recollection of how he got there and a camera strapped to him. The hotel is mostly empty, except our hero and  a new arrival, a girl called Jessica, who we eventually learn is going through some of the same things as Jay. Now it's time to try piecing together what happened in the seven months Jay has absolutely no recollection of. Amongst others, we meet Alex, the director of the titular indie film, again, and although nothing's made explicit thus far, it would seem the guy might not be amongst the forces of the good and sane any more. Also, creepy video auteur totheark and the odd masked man is still at large, and of course, our friend sans the face, the Slender Man.

This season, if you can call it that, is a little more character driven than the first one, what with Jay actually being a character more than an audience stand-in, although I guess he still does that too, given the series' first person nature. Also, he interacts with another character, Jessica on a fairly regular basis, which is definitely interesting, since it becomes rather obvious that they're both hiding some sort of slendy-related secret. Also, Alex gets some more screentime, and he's actually pretty subtly creepy in a way that makes it ambigous to which degree he's insane or the only one with the know-how to survive the Slenderman's... well, whatever he's doing.

Scare-wise, the show has improved, I feel. Sure, season 1 was plenty scary, but I feel the dread is just continues building in S 02. It does help that Jay finds himself in a mostly empty hotel, I guess, given my highly irrational fear of hotels, but there's still chills and thrills galore. One could argue some of the subtlety has been lost, since we definitely get less "Slendy just standing there, or is he?" and more actual sightings, but I guess the show has evolved past it's larval stage in a way, don't get me wrong, though, we get some rather tasty play with paranoia and long periods of build-up, some of them building up to nothing. These buildups to nothing could be annoying, see that godawful Alone In The Dark movie, but in Marble Hornets, it kinda works, creating an oppressive atmosphere that underlines that whatever you're dealing with doesn't like you and probably got at least one law of nature under his thumb.

I'm excited to see where Marble Hornets goes from here, as it is one of my favorite running horror series. I'm considering checking out other "slenderblogs," but that probably won't be this month, more details on why on Thursday.