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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

F REVIEW



  I saw this movie titled “F,” and wondered how this title translates into a horror movie. So I put it on not knowing anything about it. After watching the opening scene, it should have been clear to me why this movie is named “F,” but sometimes I am just a bit slow. It wasn’t until about half way through that the light bulb turned on, and I said, “Oh, F. I get it.” The F stands for a failing grade, so the question is: what grade will HorrO give this movie?
  The story opens in a classroom, where Robert, a teacher, is passing back some papers. As he does this, he talks to the class about their performance. He stops at one student, and gives him a paper with a big “F” on it (yes, I somehow missed that). Robert then proceeds to belittle the student in front of the rest of the class. The student obviously upset and embarrassed, walks up to his teacher, and punches him in the face before leaving the classroom. Robert is forced to take a leave of absence before returning to work. Since the incident, Robert has struggled with life in and out of the classroom, but that is nothing compared to what happens after this particular school day.
  Robert’s job isn’t made any easier due to the fact that one of his students is his daughter, Kate. She purposely ignores him in class, so he gives her after school detention. It is here that their real issues come to a boiling point. In the heat of an argument, he slaps her before she runs off. Apparently he does a good job at getting his students to run out of his classroom. As he walks down a hall to find her, someone throws a milkshake at the window. This scares him, but not as much as the message that is written on the window.
  Here is where my problems with the movie begin. It turns out the school is being attacked by monkeys dressed as humans. Yes, that it right, monkeys dressed as humans. There are several assailants that are very skilled at jumping, and climbing over everything. One of them scales a bookshelf in the school library with easy. They don’t knock over a book, or make a sound. I have seen enough bookshelves to know that is highly unlikely. They continue to climb things over the course of the movie in order to sneak up, and attack people. Doing this once is all right, but continuously climbing on top of things, and dropping down from ceilings becomes ridiculous.
  Another problem with the assailants is that the audience learns little about them. Besides having excellent climbing skills, they are all dressed the same way: pants, sneakers, and a hooded sweater with the hood pulled over their heads. Their faces are never shown because they also have an incredible talent at staying in the dark. They are there to kill, and that is about all the audience knows. The audience is left to assume the attacks have something to do with Robert giving that student an F, or that the assailants have something against the school. The lack of details leaves me to believe it is possible that they were in fact monkeys dressed as humans.
  As far as the death scenes, they are pretty weak because the movie repeatedly cuts away before anything happens to the victim. There is one time these monkeys corner a girl and just as they close in on her, she screams, and they cut away. They do eventually show the aftermath of what happens to her, which is not bad after seeing it, but I would rather see how they did that. They do the same thing with one of the security guards. He is cornered, starts crying, and they cut away just as the assailants come at him. There has to be something more than just showing people once they are already dead. It takes all the fun out of it.
  The final thing that I am going to complain about is the time that the madness begins. When the after school scenes start, it is about 6:30pm, and already dark outside. I don’t know, is it typical for detention to start so late? I remember detention starting not long after school ended. This confused me, which is not hard to do as you see. I thought maybe it is a boarding school, but there are only a few students still around. There is this security office with officers supposedly watching video cameras all over campus, so I thought maybe there were dorms where the other students went. It turns out they actually leave the school. So what student stays so late at school that it is dark outside? Why does one girl, with barely any clothes on, start using the gym at that time? Hell, why are there still teachers around? Go home already!
  Since Robert gets an F as a parent and teacher, it is time for HorrO to pass out some grades. The first F goes to the killer monkeys. All right, all right, they aren’t really monkeys. They still get an F because the audience learns little about them except that there is nothing in the school that they can’t climb. As far as the death scenes, they get an F because they show more screaming than killing. The timing also gets an F until someone tells me that it is typical to have students stay at school into the night. This wasn’t night school. While I am passing out F’s all around, I’ll throw out a bonus F for dialogue because I got tired of hearing Robert say, “I need to find my daughter.” Oh, and I almost forgot to give an F to the pathetic ending of the movie. All those F’s translate into a merciful 1.5 pools of blood in HorrO’s class. Class dismissed!

  HorrO

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE (2010) REVIEW



  I Spit on Your Grave comes down to two things: rape and revenge. A simple, but quite disturbing set of circumstances. The remake takes a similar yet slightly different approach in displaying these circumstances. While the original really shocks the audience with the rape scenes, the remake hits the audience more with Jennifer’s revenge. So did this slight change in approach make this movie an effective remake?
  Jennifer is an author, who decides to rent a home in the woods in order to write her next book. Unfamiliar with the area, she stops for gas and asks for directions. She asks the attendant, Johnny, but he has more interest in hitting on her than giving her directions. This causes an awkward moment in which he ends up getting embarrassed in front of his friends. Jennifer moves on to find the home, but unfortunately for her Johnny and his friends have decided to welcome her to the neighborhood.
  The first half of the movie sets up for, and concludes with Jennifer being raped. Watching the intense rape scenes in the original is pretty hard, so I knew there was no way they were going to allow that in theaters these days. Instead of showing Jennifer getting raped by each individual guy, she is emotionally tortured and taunted before the rape begins. Johnny and his friends force her do things such as, suck on a bottle and gun simulating giving a blowjob. By going in this direction, the movie basically buys time before getting to the actually rape.
  Matthew, who is handicapped, first rapes Jennifer. Not only is the rape disturbing, but the fact that he is handicapped makes it a bit strange as well. Of course, he only does it after much encouragement from his so called friends. After he rapes her, she walks out into the woods in complete shock with the guys following her. She is knocked down in front of a puddle, where once again the movie buys a little time with her face being repeatedly shoved in the water. Jennifer is then raped again. As she losses consciousness, the movie fades out, and then back in once they are done raping her. While the emotional torture and taunting adds a different element to the story, I give the original the edge when it comes to the rape portion of the movie. The remake is still effective, but it is not quite as emotionally unsettling to watch as the continuous rape scenes in the original.
  The second half of the movie is about Jennifer’s revenge. This is what I looked forward to seeing, and what would make or break the movie for me. After the rape, Jennifer disappears as she falls into the river in a scene that is a little more dramatic then maybe it should have been. The guys panic not knowing if she is alive or dead, so they spend the coming days searching for her. After some time passes, the tables turn as she begins to emotionally torture and taunt them. In Johnny’s case, she simulates birds flying into his sliding glass door, and dying. After doing this a couple of times, she leaves him one of her sandals. The guys think it is Matthew who is screwing with them, as they have not seen him in a while. It is somewhat strange how Jennifer suddenly knows where these guys live especially since she is not from that area. Apparently she spent some time stalking them before enacting her revenge.
  As with the original, Matthew is the first person she goes after, and it is done in a somewhat similar fashion. Easily tricked, he ends up with a rope around his neck, and is dragged way. It is not a very exciting start to her revenge, but she quickly works her way up to the good stuff. What turns out to be particularly effective in the deaths of each guy is how she incorporates something they did or said while they raped her. One guy films the rape, so she turns it on him and has him watch his own death. Another guy ends up face down over some water just like she was. Jennifer paid particularly close attention to Johnny’s mouth because he took an odd liking to her teeth. I don’t want to spoil the specific details of the deaths for those that haven’t seen the movie, but they definitely make the movie for me. Ignoring the fact that Jennifer didn’t look physically capable of setting up these deaths, they are better than the ones in the original. Each guy definitely gets what he deserves, as he is tortured and then killed.
  Besides some minor complaints, there is one thing that specifically bothered me. The guys supposedly burn her all of her belongs, including her clothes, but she reemerges somehow fully dressed. Where did she get the clothes? She is even wearing a belt. From the movie’s poster, they make it appear she gets her revenge while almost wearing nothing, and that she is much more dirty looking. When it comes time for her revenge, she ends up being a little too clean for someone who has been missing in the woods for weeks. It would be a little more realistic to have her dress as she is in the movie’s poster.
  I saw this movie with two women, and they were ready to kill the guys in the movie before they even finished raping Jennifer. That tells me that even though I thought the rape scenes in the original were more disturbing to watch, this movie is just as effective. Jennifer’s revenge satisfied them, as it did me. There is some good thought put into the death scenes that should fulfill your need to see the guys punished. This movie strikes a good balance between the rape and revenge scenes making it an effective remake. Besides missing out on some very minor details, this movie is well worth watching, and I give it 3.5 pools of blood.

  HorrO 


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