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.
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 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 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.
I believe that this Korean horror film was something that made me really change the view on how Koreans make movies. To be honest, before with the Korean Pop era here in the Philippines all I thought to myself was that Koreans don’t know how to do anything except drama, I would still remember those days that Asian Film started to become popular here in the country, where for Korea drama was the way to go and for Japan horror. Fortunately though, this movie was able to prove me wrong, and make me see that Koreans can make a good story with the genre horror. What I personally liked about the tale of two sisters is the way it was really able to make use of the horror genre. In a way, there is this push and pull strategy that the movie made use of. The story itself is really interesting and it really pulls the viewers to know more about the family, the evil stepmother and of course the two daughters, namely, Su-mi and Su-yeon. The pull here that I felt was more of trying to find out on why Su-mi came from a mental institution and what made her actually see ghosts with all the events happening in her house. On the other hand, the stepmother and why she treats both sisters like this. However, like I said, there is this push strategy as well where it can be evidently seen whenever the disturbed soul, not really sure if that was Su-yeon, would show up. The ghost in the house actually is something shocking because it was depicted as someone or something that just shows itself in one glance and just disappears, unlike in other ghost films where sometimes the ghost is seen for a long time walking or just being there and all. The possibility of being shocked is what pushes us to watch the movie, but looking at it again, it is also the reason why we actually want to watch the movie. I would love to see and find out how the story goes and the element of surprise in a way makes me want to watch the movie more, and this is what the horror genre is all about. I particularly liked the scene when there was a flashback and it explained or atleast it tried to, everything, and how the mom just left Su-yeon to die after having a cabinet fallen on her. I like the scene because it really showed a conflict between two natures, one is that if the step mother really knew if Su-yeon was dying, two if she did, would she save her or not. Apparently, in the movie she did not, and this explains the ghosts here and there. This scene shows how the film has used both a push and pull strategy for the audience and how it encapsulated the genre horror. Truly a horror movie worth watching for me.
Orphanage is all about horror and in the same time feminism. The aspect of horror, to be honest for me was the freaky kid with the freaky mask. Funny as it may seem, but the scariest thing for me is actually kids, or demented kids, not that I do not like them, its just that turning an innocent kid into an evil one just really freaks me out. While I was watching orphanage, I actually had that feeling already and thank God, in a way the Simon was not as scary. Nevertheless it was still scary for me because the fact that an innocent little kid, well most of the time perceived in society, became in a way the ‘devil child’ freaks me out. Another thing I think that is very applicable on the movie is the trope-based horror. I say this because the setting, the orphanage house and even the rooms are scary. Having a chapel in a house is kinda freaky, the old furniture and old orphanage is also disturbing. The setting itself is scary and anything that happens in it can already be considered as horror due to the setting the sotry is revolving around in. Laura, eventually finds her son, but also vanishes, which for me was something that the movie lacked. I mean to do understand that her constant longing for her son was fulfilled at the end, but just vanishing, jut like what happened to Simon, I really did not get the point of it. I guess the movie was open ended and a lot of interpretation can be taken from this. One interpretation though, that I think is that both Simon and Laura, being orphans had that special bond, had that special look on the people around them when they grew up. For both characters it is about playing with their playmates since they did not really have that concept of family before. When they have finally found their playmates, the place they call home, then they vanish from the real society that in a way has rejected them to begin with. This is both the story of Simon and Laura, for Simon to find his playmates, to be in company with his friends, while for Laura, it is finding her son. The mother she wants to be, someone she has never experienced when she was a kid before. This is why when finally Going however to the feminism point of view, it can be seen that Laura was an independent woman who tried to solve the case of her mission son, Simon. It can be seen here the depiction of how different Laura is from that of the “typical female”. In history, we see that females are always treated as the weaker gender and who depends a lot on the male gender. But it can be seen that she even pusher her husband away with the hope of finding her child, Simon. She wanted to eliminate distraction for her, and the act of pushing away her husband just shows that she does not need her husband’s help and she is independent from him.
Pontypool was the only movie in class that I hadn’t watched beforehand so I had high expectations of it because it’s a relatively obscure title. It’s title was also mysterious and the opening sequence was very freaky so I think I set my expectations to high and this did not enjoy the movie while I was watching it. Sir Andrew mentioned that it was supposed to be an old school radio movie and I initially thought that yes, they should have stuck to radio because the movie was filled with so much dialogue it was exhausting to concentrate on it. There was no visual horror stimuli until about 60% into the film at that point my imagination was working over times picturing what kind of horrors were happening outside the radio station. When it was finally put in front of me I could only sigh at how underwhelming it was.
I have a lot of gripes with this film. First off the premise, infecting people because of their language. My initial reaction was “okay I’ll buy it. It’s unbelievable but I’ll buy it” and when it was finally shown to me I just though that this was cheesy and lame. It was like they didn’t have enough budget (they really didn’t I think) to get some real zombie costumes. Instead we see bleeding mouths and people repeating the same stuff over and over again. It was utterly annoying. Second was that there was so much dialogue and so many random events. There was black and white sequence featuring the citizens from town which I thought had no real point or value. For me all it added to the film was minutes and nor real revelation of the plot, no explanation, just “hey lets put in Mr. and Mrs. Nobody to fill the gaps in our film!”. Third it was so draggy; after we see this creepy woman from out of nowhere at the start of the film our expectation is set and then we are treated to an hour’s worth of dialogue and the monsters are left to the imagination before finally the radio tech is infected and we see a crappy zombie. What’s more is that some guy pops up out of nowhere explains the situation and then vanishes! How lazy can you get If you can’t even integrate a character that is vital for the plot into the film. Also after the zombies finally appear, it becomes a love story. Kill is kiss, kill is kiss, please kiss me while I am watching this movie. Quite obviously my initial viewing was very frustrating.
Only a week later when we talked about the film in more detail did I understand the brilliance of the plot. When I found out about the secret ending and how it ties in with the infection I was dumbfounded. It was very hard to understand but it was really brilliant. It goes to show that there are still some experimental ways to make original horror films. I still don’t like the movie that much but the ending really impressed me. I would not recommend this movie to anyone who isn’t willing to listen intently to the dialogue but for those who do I believe it’ll be a rewarding experience.