Session 9

Session 9 is a really interesting movie for me. I liked the twist of events, but it all happened too slowly. I know it’s necessary to build up the story, but it still appeared a bit draggy for me. I was bored during the first half of the film almost put me to sleep. They could’ve made it a bit more exciting in the first scenes to keep the audience hanging on.

This film has a unique storytelling format. The tapes Mike found served as the narration of he story. The case of Mary mirrored what was happening to them at that moment. The filmmakers made it clear that there was indeed an analogy going on. It was seen by the way they featured each of the characters during the narration. They were deliberately matching the different personalities possessing Mary to the characters. Despite of that obvious analogy at first, it still got quite confusing in the end. Who killed whom? It was a close call between Gordon and Phil.

The asylum setting was sort of a give-away of what was going to happen. An asylum is a place for mad people; therefore, it’s not going to be a surprise if someone ends up being crazy. For me, it’s a bit cliché to have asylums as setting for psychological thrillers (e.g. The Crazies).

Instead of psychosis, this film revolved around a different mental disorder, which is multiple personality disorder. It was actually a nice break from all the mere psychotic films. Because of this, the hero also turned out to be the monster, and he wasn’t even aware of it. That’s something you don’t see everyday. This makes you wonder; whom would you side with, the hero or the monster? What if they were the same person? The audience is conflicted on how to feel towards the characters.

Who is Simon? He was the very reason this entire killing happened. He wasn’t just another one of Mary’s personalities. He seemed like a demonic possession. Simon is probably a representation of Satan. Simon said that he only refuges in the weak, in those who let him enter. Perhaps Gordon’s problems (money, marriage, and family) opened him up to temptation. He wasn’t strong enough to resist what was perpetrating him.

 

 

Let the Right One In

This movie didn’t appeal to me that much, mainly because I’m not a fan of vampire movies. These blood-sucking monsters are just too mediocre for me. There have been so many versions of vampires that the real essence of one is already lost. The variety of the characteristics of a vampire made it too unreal. When you her all sorts of different things about a certain thing (aliens, for example), you may tend to doubt its existence more.

One of the most striking revelations in the movies is the gender of the monster, Eli. Throughout the earlier parts of the movie, I thought of Eli as a mere little girl vampire. I’m sure it wasn’t only me. It was made to fool the audience into assuming that Eli is a girl. As it turns out, she, or rather, he was a boy. I think this caused a major turn in the relationship between the two. At first, their relationship seemed to be romantic. It seemed like puppy love, considering they were just a bunch of 11-year olds. But at the time of the revelation, it just seemed to be friendship, a deep, deep friendship. One may even think they’re getting in a homosexual relationship. I guess that’s understandable. I myself am on the brink of thinking the same thing. Given this, what’s really going on between the two? Was it mere friendship, or a romantic relationship?

This movie presents a marginalized hero, a kid who’s always bullied. Basically, the hero’s a loser. This kind of hero is quit common in movies, even in those not belonging to the horror genre. The hero is usually an insignificant person who rises up in the end. In this movie, the hero, Oskar, kills someone. If you don’t consider this as a rising up, maybe the scene where almost every one of the bullies gets killed should’ve convinced you. Technically, it wasn’t him who killed them. It was Eli, but Eli did that for the benefit of Oskar, so you can still trace it back to Oskar.

The ending is quite confusing for me. It was open-ended. Was it a tragic or a happy ending? I guess its up to the audience. It can be a tragic one since they seem to have committed themselves too much to each other that they can willingly kill others for the benefit of the other. It has become a quite possessive and obsessive relationship. It won’t be long before things go wrong. Of course, that’s looking beyond the movie, but it’s still a possibility and the audience might still ponder on it. However, it can still be a happy ending because they end up together. Maybe it’s kind of weird that the hero and the monster end up together, but the story evolves around their relationship.

It’s the kind of movie that leaves the audience either the feeling of disgust or satisfaction. It depends.

Tale of Two Sisters

This psychological thriller really did boggle my mind. I was thinking and analyzing the events throughout the duration of the movie. I know that’s what is expected of a psychological thriller, to mess with your mind, but this one was hard for me. I basically had no idea what’s going on. I was thinking that there must be that twist, but I didn’t even have the slightest hint what it was.

As what the title proposes, this is a story about two sisters. It’s obvious that we expect a story about sisterhood. The two sisters, Su-mi and Su-yeon, seemed to be the best of sisters. They always care and protect each other, especially Su-mi to her younger sister Su-yeon. Their bond may be compared to the one between Ginger and Brigitte in Ginger Snaps. These two movies relay the importance of having a sister who’ll be there you until the end. It’s you two against the world. I myself have a sister, but I can’t say I share the same strong bond. I love my sister very much, but I think the 11-year gap is what’s stopping us from having that kind of bond.

Aside from starring two sisters, another common element in this movie is the evil stepmother. We see that everywhere. We see too much of it that the society already tends to stereotype every stepmother as evil and wicked. This movie didn’t stray from that stereotype. It even took it a little too far. Eun-joo wasn’t just an evil stepmother, she seemed like a murderer. As it turns out, it really was just an exaggeration. It was all in Su-mi’s head. Since the incident, she has pictured her stepmother that way, and she has the reason to do so. Speaking of an evil stepmother, I wonder, why didn’t Eun-joo help Su-yeon? Did she really want her to die, or she just didn’t want to get involved? That moment when she stood at the balcony looking at Su-mi made me think that she wanted the accident to happen. But why? Then again, the stereotype of an evil stepmother comes to mind. She just wanted the father and wanted to get rid of the children.

Psychosis, like in most, if not all, psychological thrillers, is present. This is vital in this kind of movies because only this condition can create gravely unexplainable events that don’t seem to make sense at first.

I liked this movie because it had ghosts every now and then, although it would’ve been better if they put the ghosts in more scenes. I’ve always been a fan of those weird-looking, longhaired, creepy ghosts.

Given that I was in limbo the whole film, the ending was a relief, but at the same time, a very shocking revelation, although it didn’t give me that much needed information. There were still some blanks that needed to be filled.

 

Halloween

Halloween is a movie that I really liked because it was a very in your face type of horror movie. Not that I like being hurt or I am a masochist or what, but I think I generally enjoy the feeling of being frightened, and this is what is all about, that for me, all the slashing here and there and the blood spurts on people is what really frightens me but also in the same time hooks me into watching horror films. Halloween is another example of a trope-based kind of horror, the setting itself is scary and even if the characters are not there yet or not even there, the setting can be enough to scare already, even without the characters yet doing anything. I liked the movie because it didn’t have lack of entertainment and action, I guess with action here and there you tend to get carried away with the things you experience. Also I liked the movie because I feel that this was a change from the other movies we have been previously watching, not that I do not like the other movies, its just something different. Like for other movies, the horror for me really is when I think that if such a case happens to me what will I do to avoid such a scenario or something, but for Halloween, the end of the day situation is you’re doomed, its just a matter of time and how you will be killed. Again I am not a masochist, but that idea gives me the thrill and this is the reason on why I really enjoyed the movie. Another thing that is worth being noted is also that he came from a mental institution, and I guess this is why society deems people with mental disabilities as a weaker being. I will go a little philosophical here, but if you look how society works, it is actually funny. The oppression of society to values and to certain people is also what society is afraid of. The bullying and the frown upons that society has instilled has turned certain people really hate living in this world. This is how society acts contrafictory, in a way if society could only treat people equally and right, and probably the world can be a better place, call me idealistic, but I think it makes sense. Such as if society were to treat or treated the guy probably better and did not have any discrimination towards his mental disability, then maybe he could have not turned into that monster that society is afraid of. He could be someone different, may be even someone who could have helped society in a certain way. Sadly though, this is how society was in the context of the movie and this is how it is until today, it is really the nature of man sometimes to act without proper judgment or reflection. I guess horror is just a genre, but lessons can always be learened in any genre, and Halloween is just an example of how media has become a mirror of society and the works of man with the natural being of the character.

Session 9

Among all the movies we watched, this was something I did not enjoy I really felt that everything was slow and that everything did not really appeal to me. To be honest, I was a little bored with the movie, ofcourse that’s just my personal opinion and probably other people might have a different one from mine. I got bored because of the fact that it appeared to me that the movie was about a bunch of guys trying to refurbish an old mental institute and they would go through the days just kidding around and making fun of each other or even to would just boast around on who is better in this or that. The only freaky part was whenever the recorded interview of the lawyer between mary and/or simon would be played. I think this was the freakiest part of it, but I don’t know I kinda did not enjoy it really. One is that because mary did not really have any purpose expect for the screaming here and there and Simon had this multiple personality disorder. I did not like the movie because one I felt that the actors did not know how to act. And this is very important for the horror genre, especially that whenever an actor acts well, people would be able to in a way relate, but if not then it is sort of obvious that everything was all fake and the goal of instilling fright or horror in the viewers is failed. Another aspect that I did not like was the story itself, I mean true at the end or at the climax, Gordon becomes all this possessed killing all his other friends, but I think the build up was really slow. By the time Gordon was acting all weird already, instead of getting excited I was more of feeling a little restless. Lastly, I did not like the movie because the story was too simple, I mean yes, I know that the Horror genre can be flexible and that sometimes with limited things people can go out of their way in making it more interesting, but this time it was too obvious and u felt that even the director or script writer of the film did not enjoy making the movie itself. Everything was just left to that abuse that creativity was not really seen, well for me it wasn’t. Compared to other movies that we watched, like Pontypool, that was clear that it had the lack of resources, but it played around with the creativity of language as spreading the epidemic and all. Overall I felt that the movie itself was weak, to be actually called a horror film, and I feel that it could have done better. I mean c’mon, the setting was in a mental institute, so much more could have been done for the movie. Again, I do not intend this to be offensive or what, this is just based on my personal opinion.

Let the Right one In

Let the right one in is a very different horror movie since the usual vampire that is usually depicted as someone evil and someone who kills, is depicted this time as a friend, as someone who can be trusted. Here we see that we are actually in a way called to root for Eli and Oscar as both face the problems of society, the problem of society in trying to put down people to make them feel good and better. Here we see the irony that even if Eli was a vampire who would drink blood and even kill people, we still in a way root for her and Oscar to beat up and win against the bullies and society. Honestly, I did not really looked at this movie as something to be frightened about, but generally I enjoyed the movie. In a way the use of irony made the movie interesting and I wanted to find out if Eli in any time of the movie would turn evil like kill Oscar or would become society’s worst problem or something like that, of course maybe that was my imagination going around. But I like how they showed the Eli in a way did not have a choice really but to drink blood in order for them to survive. Here I see that the movie did not only change the perspective of vampires but also tried to explain the conditions of vampires. Enough about this though, I want to talk about the complicated yet nice relationship both Eli and Oscar had. I guess given that both in a way did not have that much friends, both saw how they feel at home with each other. For example, when Oscar would always look for Eli and would really look forward to meeting her. Eli on the other hand steping up for Oscar and eventually taking care of the bullies and even the sibling of the bully. In a way, their relationship also talks about the female as the dominant figure, not that I have anything against with it, but because that it is unusual that the female has a stronger personality than that of the male. In fact, this change of roles also makes the movie more interesting, to see if Oscar will eventually live up and fight against the bullies or would it take an intervention from Eli, which as seen did really happen. I also like their relationship because though it did appear that Eli was in control, but it also showed that she needed Oscar too, and despite her strong personality and in way weird like desires, well its normal for vampires to drink blood, it was only Oscar who actually really understood her. Oscar as a human, even after finding out that Eli was a vampire did not really freak out about this, and he saw the human in Eli.  This is what I really find unique and special with their relationship, that despite being two different natures, they can still act like two individuals in love, just like any other human or being in society.

[REC] 2

REC 2 is an example of an in your face horror type of film. It is very in your face that the undead have been possessed and that the characters portrayed used blood and effects to scare the viewers out. Another thing is that it was very trope-based; the very setting of being in a dark abandoned apartment was really scary. Even if they were a team and all, the fact that they were in an apartment and they knew where they were is already a scary thought. It is something like that of when someone decides to go in a horror booth in a local school fair. Whenever people do decide to do that, the mere fact that they enter and decide to ride the thrill, even if nothing has happened yet, going in there just even entering the gates or the door already makes the heart beat faster, maybe due to the fact that yes, you are expecting something, but in the same time you are not really sure on what to expect and what to exactly see. This is how the characters in REC 2 actually felt, they knew that they were going in an abandoned apartment full of undead ready to eat them alive and infect them with their disease and yet they went in. In addition to that, it even gave them even a more scary feeling when they know that they really cannot expect what can possibly happen to them or what can they possibly see. This is how humans work, that whenever there is uncertainty in our life, we tend to become nervous and frightened on what the future brings to us or even shows to us. REC 2 employs both techniques in the hopes of making itself scary to its viewers and to be honest I enjoyed this movie more than the first REC. One is that it played with religion. Not that I don’t have one or I am against to having one, but the play or religion in a way makes it a little scarier than that of undead and zombies. Second is that I feel it was shot better and well compared to the first one, especially that the first one made use of camera movements that after a while became too hard to watch already, not because of the fright, but because of the feeling of being dizzy and all that. Lastly was when they were confronted with the reporter from the first movie, who ended up killing them and actually was evil too. The element of surprise was played well this time compared to the first movie, which just made use of light and no light with the point of view of the camera. I really did not expect the reporter to be possessed too, and I think it was able to make the movie be better, not only in surprising me but also on how the story was made and depicted. Overall, REC 2 with the use of the setting and the story showed that the movie was a lot better than the first.