Posts Tagged ‘Ireland’

Media Update 10/12/17

October 12, 2017


What We Do In the Shadows

I had heard over and over how this was a movie worth seeing. Mockumentaries have a rich and varied history in the world of comedy but I had never seen one mixed with the horror/Halloween genre. This is a mockumentary about a group of vampires who share an apartment in New Zealand. In most supernatural stories, the main characters are the only ones in the world dealing with vampires or werewolves or whatever. In more modern tellings, like urban fantasy or young adult literature, there are supernatural creatures everywhere. This is the reality that I like to visit because you get to explore all sorts of personality types reacting to the supernatural. In this, you get vampires based on Interview with a Vampire, Bram Stoker’s Dracula (both Oldman and Lugosi), Nosferatu and The Lost Boys. They are part of a larger community of vampires, witches, zombies, and werewolves. There is a lot of really fun comedy based on the movies and books that I have seen. The script was written by Jemaine Clement (of Flight of the Conchords) and Taika Waititi but that script was never seen by the rest of the cast. Instead, they were given loose directions and they improved the heck out of pretty much every scene. Much of the comedy comes from the fact that the vampires are pretty lame and also they have not adjusted well to the modern world. What I did not expect was that the special effects would be so good. My mind was actually blown by some of the neat camera tricks they were able to pull. I definitely recommend it.

 


Tucker and Dale vs. Evil

A classic horror movie set up is that a bunch of dumb college kids travel out into the wilderness. Along the way, they piss off some psycho hillbillies and those hillbillies pick off the kids one by one. That seems a little one-sided against the hillbillies. What is their story? That is the question posed in this very meta horror/comedy movie. In this, two innocent hillbilly guys get mistaken for psycho killers in a real comedy of errors with each mishap leading to a worse situation. Obviously, the makers of this film have seen a lot of horror movies and they knew just how to pick them apart in a loving way. Movies like Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Wrong Turn, Mother’s Day and others are all parodied or paid homage to. The movie kind of made me think of Cabin in the Woods with its loving parody of a horror subgenre while still being creepy and suspenseful. There are so many well-done beats taken from good and bad horror movies that made the movie really fun to watch even if it was not actually very scary. A really bright spot for me was that one of the stars of the movie is the legendary Alan Tudyk who plays an excellent intelligent hillbilly opposite a big dumb hillbilly played by Tyler Labine. The two play like Abbott and Costello and really help make the movie. However, the college kids are also spot on what they needed to be and the writing is very clever. I definitely recommend it.

 


Grabbers

On my journey through the world of Horror, I keep trying to visit other countries to see what they have to offer. Earlier this week, I visited France. I have also visited Australia, New Zealand, Sweden, Japan, China, and many others. However, I have yet to watch an Irish horror film and I found a recent one. This one is a science-fiction horror movie which is hit and miss for me. This movie involves a shapeless horror falling to Earth near an island just off the coast of Ireland. The tiny community must deal with these creatures who only want to consume and humans are definitely on the memo. It is up to two Garda officers to solve the case and protect the community before the creatures can spread to the rest of the planet. Along the way, the movie confronts and plays with a lot of Irish stereotypes and employs a lot of great Irish humor. It utilizes the wet weather seen a lot in that part of the world but also shows some of the beauty of the Emerald Isle. Some of the movie plays like something out of HP Lovecraft or other stories about a horror coming to a quiet, simple village. However, it is a modern story but some out-of-the-way places are less modern than others. The movie ends up being a lot of fun even if it is a pretty simple and straightforward movie. I definitely recommend it.

Music of the Week:
The Cult – Lil’ Devil

Sir Sly – You Haunt Me

Sunmi – Full Moon

The Pretty Things – Welcome To The Monster Club

Queens of the Stone Age – The Evil Has Landed

 

Weekly Update:
– This week’s theme is “Horror Comedies”
– I finished Gotham Season 3
– I finished The Good Place Season 1
– I finished House of Cards Season 2
– I watched more Glitter Force Season 2
– I watched more Santa Clarita Diet Season 1
– I watched more Little Witch Academia Season 1
– I finished Rick and Morty Season 3
– I did not get any Mulan sauce. They ran out.

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Stitches (2012)

October 17, 2016

Clowns. Why did it have to be clowns? Well, it is because I picked this movie because I have always found clowns to be pretty damned scary. When I visited the Ringling Brothers circus with my folks when it rolled into downtown Baltimore when I was little, I was always pretty excited. I mean they had all sorts of tumbling and flashy stuff going on. They also had lions running around doing what I assumed was normal lion stuff. The lions at the zoo were always just lounging around so I never was super excited by them. Here they were jumping through hoops of flame. The clowns always made me wary. They circulated into the crowd before the show and even as a kid I did not like that attention. Something about them made me nervous. They were fine doing their act in the middle of the ring but if they came near me I squirmed. Now, clowns seem even more out of place to me and even scarier. I am fascinated by them but, thanks to Batman and horror movies, I see them more as cool and creepy villains rather than the joyful creatures they are supposed to be.

I wanted to do a clown movie this year. This is the third year I have done reviews around Halloween and the first year I covered a messed-up film called Clownhouse. So, if I was going to do a clown horror movie, the obvious choice was to do the recent horror movie called Clown. However, that was produced by Eli Roth and he is kind of a cancer on the horror genre so I did not want to have a bad time. Instead, I wanted to review the movie Killjoy from Full Moon Pictures. It turns out my brand new copy of all of the Killjoy movies (and all of the Puppetmaster movies) got lost in the mail so it will have to wait until next year. Do not worry, I will be discussing some Full Moon Pictures movies later this month. So, I went back to the drawing board and found this movie on Netflix. I was sure that it was not going to be hard to find another clown horror movie I had not seen yet and the internet does not disappoint. So, we get a more recent horror film that hopefully will fill my nightmares with clowns once again. At least they are better than the than the nightmares about high school.

I was not expecting what this movie would be at all. The first thing that I did not expect is that it is Irish and filmed in Ireland. One of the things I love about Netflix and about this project is that it has opened me up to new opportunities in foreign films. That means that there was almost automatically nobody in this film I would recognize and ends up being the case. This is great because I love diving into a movie full of unknowns so I can go in with no pre-conceived notions. The actors in this movie are all pretty young, especially since most of them are supposed to portray sixteen-year-olds. This is perfect because teenagers are one of the preferred demographics for supernatural killers in horror movies. The acting was good in kind of a punk rock, All Cheerleaders Must Die kind of way. They end up portraying high school as I remember it, petty and emotional but mostly harmless in the end.

When I read the description, I was prepared for a clown that comes back from the dead to kill the kids at the birthday party where he accidentally died. At best, I was hoping for a ghost clown that would haunt them or an undead clown who would savagely murder them. What I got was something somewhere between those two options. It was like Pennywise the Clown if Tim Curry had been directed to be scary. Another comparison I could make is Freddy Krueger if he had been a party clown instead of a Christmas sweater-wearing janitor and was a little more literal. I was not ready for the movie to have so much lore and world-building when it comes to clowns. The movie creates this whole weird occult conspiracy in the first few minutes that I could never have expected in my wildest dreams. The movie used elements from a lot of horror movies I have seen to create something entirely new and scary. The way the villain moves and the unique and terrible deaths they concocted for him are definitely very memorable as well. Most of his victims were decent people for teens and definitely did not deserve to die.

Overall, this was a dark horse of a horror movie just like Horns and The Babadook from last year. This is especially funny since the movie was originally supposed to star Daniel Radcliffe right after Deathly Hallows. The movie is definitely pretty scary but it has kind of a punk rock sense of humor to it as well. That punk rock quality also extends to the violence, though. This movie does not pull any punches with how cruel the deaths are. The practical effects and other special effects are exceptional and that means that the gore is very graphic and disgusting but in a good way. At one point, Stitches delivers a tagline of ‘This Clown Isn’t Funny’ and he’s right. However, he is kind of funny in an extremely dark, offbeat kind of way because he is just amusing himself. In that way, he would probably get along with Charles “Chucky” Lee Ray. It was a great movie and I definitely knew how much it had gripped me when I had to watch something happier directly after so I could breathe again. With all the clown sightings lately, I definitely enjoyed being scared by one that could not actually hurt me. I definitely recommend it.


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