Ohhh the Horror!!!

Friday, January 22, 2010


  The end of the world is coming yet again! Ok, maybe not the end of the world, just the end of mankind. Does that make it easier to swallow? Probably not! God and his angels will save us right? No, actually they are the ones that want the end of mankind. Pretty depressing no? Well, that was what mankind faced in Legion.
  Out in a remote desert lies a small diner, run by a father and his son. It was so remote that it only needed two other employees to serve the handful of people that probably came in there every other day. One of those employees, Charlie, was pregnant with a child she was not sure she even wanted. The child might not have seemed important to her, but its birth quickly became important for the survival of mankind. See, apparently God had lost faith in mankind (isn’t it usually the other way around), and he sent angels down from heaven to stop the birth of this child. In turn, that would somehow be the beginning of the end for mankind. Well, not if the archangel Michael had anything to say about it. He disagreed with God’s decision, and came down from heaven to ensure that the baby was born. He found the remote diner just in time to help the employees and a few customers fight off the soldiers of God.
  So the biggest question for me going into this movie was who would win in a fight, the grandma or the ice cream man? From everyone I talked to, I think the bets were in favor of the grandma. I was leaning towards the ice cream man. While grandma was scary, I loved how the ice cream man’s limbs stretched out, and then how he ran. Not to mention the awful yell he made when he got out of the truck. Too bad his bark was louder than his bite. After seeing their full performance in the movie, I have to say grandma would win that battle.
  This movie had more people killed by guns than being sliced and diced, which was a little disappointing to me. I have to say it was an easy way for them to run up the body count though. The problem really was that since most of the evil people were just possessed humans, they were too easy to kill. Hence, all of the gun fire. Michael loaded up on guns at the beginning of the movie, which he distributed to most of the people at the diner. Even though they were greatly outnumbered by the flock of people that came to kill the baby, they simply opened fire and blew them away. It was over before they knew it.
  Speaking of that, for some reason, this movie seemed too quick. I know it was just over an hour and a half, but it just seemed to come and go so quickly. Maybe, it was because the movie mostly took place at the diner. Besides the opening scene when Michael came down from heaven, I would say 90% of the movie was at, or around the diner. It could have been, like I said, everyone dying so quickly. Also, it could have been how the chain of events unfolded. I think it was that, but I don’t want to get into specifics and ruin anything.
  What should have been quicker was some of the conversations that took place. The movie started off well. There was a good opening scene with Michael coming down from heaven. The movie then moved to the diner where we were introduced to the characters, which was fine. After that it was back to the action, and killing. It was cool how they showed the humans being possessed. Once that ended, the movie transitioned into a series of conversations between different characters. I think they were trying to strike on some religious undertones, and show why humans deserved to be saved, or exterminated (depending on your point of view). Too bad all that talk bored me, and it couldn’t be over soon enough. Don’t get me wrong the dialogue wasn’t bad. There were plenty of fun lines. They also dropped some hints on what was going to happen at times.
  There were two scenes that I liked in particular. The first happened after the evil people dragged Howard out of the diner. He, along with his wife and teenage daughter, was one of the few customers in the diner when all the madness began. After being dragged out of the diner, the evil people used him as bait to get the wife out of the diner. They strung him up to a huge cross upside down out, and his body was boiling. I am not going to give away what happens except for I liked what they did after that.
  The other scene I liked was when Michael went head-to-head with Gabriel. While Michael was the archangel that was disobeying God, Gabriel supported God’s plan, and came to help kill the baby. When Michael came down from heaven, he had to take a more human form, and get rid of his wings. Who knew those wings were such a valuable weapon? All I will say is that they can do a lot more than just help you fly. The pair put on quite an entertaining fight, and it didn’t end quickly.
  I liked that this movie took a stab at having God, and his angels wanting an end to mankind. I would have liked to see more slicing and dicing than all the gunfire. They made up for that in one of the scenes I particularly liked. My biggest disappointment was that the movie seemed too short. Maybe I was expecting something more to happen. The dialogue was good even though some of the conversations bored me. Most importantly, I now know grandma would kick the ice cream man’s ass. I give this movie 2.5 pools of blood.


Tuesday, January 19, 2010


First, I have to say it was nice to see a vampire burn and not sparkle. I almost forgot that they didn’t burn anymore, but more on that later. Let’s talk about Daybreakers. The movie centers around an interesting theory: in a world controlled by vampires, what would happen to vampires if all the human blood ran out?
  Edward, a vampire scientist, was tasked with finding a blood substitute in order to save the vampires. As the pressure mounted on the company to find a substitute, it revealed to Edward its’ real purpose for wanting a blood substitute. With this, Edward had a run in with Audrey, one of the few humans left, who proposed that Edward meet with her friend Elvis. Edward, who was not all that happy about being a vampire in the first place, was intrigued by what Elvis had to say. After vampires found him with humans, Edward had little choice but to try and help them out. There was one big difference; the humans were looking for a cure, not a blood substitute.
  The first thing the movie had to do was set up a world that was ruled by vampires, and they did an excellent job of that. Basically, they kept all the human routines the same, but just replaced humans with vampires. There were shots of vampires taking the subway to work, drinking coffee (with blood added), driving cars, and even vampire congressmen debating on a TV network. The movie was very detailed to what a vampire would need to live in our society. They had shielded walkways in the air to connect buildings. Cars were equipped with a sun shield and a camera on the roof of the car to allow the vampires to drive in the daytime. They did a good job of not overlooking even the smallest details.
  Besides the human side to vampires, the movie also brought out the ugly side of them. If a vampire did not get enough blood to drink, they would begin to turn into a mutant vampire. These mutant vampires looked like big creepy bats with pointed ears and huge wings. I liked the look, and thought it was fitting considering they mentioned that the world changed because of bats. These mutant vampires were not accepted by the vampires, and had to hide underground. They would come out in search of blood, and had no problem attacking vampires for it. In one scene, Edward and his brother were having an argument when one of these mutant vampires broke into his house. It attacked them in order to get the bottle of blood Edward’s brother had brought to the house. I thought it was cool how the mutant vampire attached itself to the ceiling of the house in the middle of the fight. Too bad they messed up the graphics, and you could tell how fake the mutant was.
  The ugly side of the vampire was not saved just for the mutant vampires. As blood got more and more scarce, the true vampire side of them came out, even in what seemed like the most civilized vampires. In one scene, they attacked the servers at a cafĂ© to get blood. Blood splattered everywhere, and you see them fight to lick whatever blood they could. In another scene, which I thought they ruined (and won’t give any specifics away to spoil anything), was a fight at the end of the movie. Again, vampires were going crazy for blood. What I particularly hated about the scene was that they made it slow motion at times. Sometimes slow motion works, but not this time. It made the scene seem almost ridiculous. Like any other horror fan, I like to see blood thrown around, but please don’t make the scene laughable in order to do so.
  The acting in the movie was good, although the writing wasn’t all that great. It wasn’t too complex, and there weren't many great lines except for the one they used over and over in the previews. One thing I didn’t like was the transition between scenes. It was like they were reloading the movie all the time. They would show a quick view of the city, sometimes a view from the research facility, and multiple times they showed the mutant vampires running around under the city. It was as if it were a TV show that was coming back from commercials. Speaking of that, I thought this movie would make a great TV series: A world run by vampires, showing their constant need for blood, and their battle to stay out of the sun. They could have humans fighting not to become food for the vampires. Today’s vampire shows have a world run by humans, and vampires hiding in order to survive. This would be different. I think that was a short fall for this movie. It was a good idea, but was limited because it was a movie. A TV series could have expanded many of the ideas it had.
   Besides some of the scenes and images I already mentioned, there were three shots in the movie that left a lasting impression on me. The first one was of the vampire children on the side of the street, who were apparently homeless. It was sad to see even if they were vampires. At the same time, the image was a little chilling because it seemed like the children only had bad intentions. The second shot was the one inside the research facility of all the humans attached to these giant machines. It was absolutely depressing to think that was the fate of humankind; to be strung up on a machine, and have the blood sucked right out of you. I think I might have chosen to be a vampire instead. The third one was a simple shot of a mutant vampire looking out of a building window as the sun had just come up. There wasn’t anything special about the shot, but it was just an image that stuck in my mind for some reason. Again, I really enjoyed viewing a different perspective on vampires. A world where they were in control, and not the humans like many of the vampire movies and shows are these days.
  Speaking of that, I said it at the start, but I want to say it again. It was good to see vampires burn and not sparkle. If you don’t know what I am referring to, then don’t worry about it. But for us true horror fans, I have to say it was refreshing to see the rules of vampires being followed again; the need for blood, not having a reflection, and burning in the sunlight. I didn’t realize it until after the movie, but the main vampire in this movie was also named Edward. Was it a coincidence that he also made an awful vampire? How about how he didn’t want to drink human blood, and eventually helped out the humans? Hum, just something for you to think about!
  I thought this was a movie worth seeing. I liked the theme of vampires running out of human blood. As far as vampires are concerned, they really went the distance in covering all of their bases with the details of how society changed to cater to vampires. They fit in the internal battle a vampire goes through fighting between your vampire and human sides. I thought they could have expanded on some of the ideas, which I think would make for a terrific TV series. The writing wasn’t great and not all the scenes were perfect, but they left some lasting images on me, which is something you hope for when seeing a movie. And one for the road, it was really good to see vampires burn! I give this movie 2.5 pools of blood.


Monday, January 11, 2010


  If you read my previous blog, you know that I made the Orphan the best horror movie of 2009. With that said, it is only fitting that I start 2010 with a review of it. Obviously, I really liked this movie; so let me tell you why.
  There is no better place to start than the beginning of the movie. It is so much easier to like a movie that gets off to a good start. The mother, Kate, was having a dream about going into labor. Her husband, John, had just wheeled her into the hospital, as her pain seemed to be increasing. A nurse took over and started to wheel her down the hall when she started to bleed. They took her to the delivery room, where in the middle of some chaos, they delivered her baby. The horrifying part of it was that when they showed Kate the baby, it was covered in blood. I appreciated this, not because I like seeing babies drenched in blood, but because a lot of movies wouldn't have the guts to show a baby in that situation. For a movie that was not about blood and guts, it set a good tone. This was also an important scene because it displayed how traumatized Kate was by losing her baby.
  Sometimes I complain about movies doing too much set up (example The Hills Run Red) before getting to the point. This time I think everything fit if you were patient enough to let the story develop. I thought they did an excellent job of giving you a piece here, and then a piece there. All of these pieces eventually led to a big twist. In other words, I would say the story was well written. It played on your emotions, but also kept you entertained. It brought out some good drama, and plenty of suspense. You couldn’t just follow the big picture; you needed to pick up even the small details of the story.
  The characters were more complex than you would think. This was especially the case with the two most important characters, Esther (the orphan) and Kate. With Kate, you learned everything that she has gone through as a mother, and how it affected raising her children. With Esther, you see how well she played the good child, while hiding the evil inside. Also, you see how Esther exploited these things to get a leg up on Kate. Other characters had complexities such as, how the little sister dealt with being deaf, and the brother having jealousy issues.
  I have to take the time to mention Isabelle Fuhrman, who played the role of Esther and is only 12 years old. I try to stay away from mentioning actors/actresses and focus on the movie itself, but I just have to applaud her. She had to act way above and beyond her age. She did such a good job playing both sides of Esther's personality. She played the sweet girl that drew pictures, paid compliments, and took care of her little sister. Then, she was the same girl that smashed a bird, killed a nun, and issued some interesting threats to the other children. Even the acting she had to do after the twist was great. Overall, the acting was pretty good by everyone, including the other children.
  The final thing that I am going to mention is the twist. Don’t worry, I haven’t given it away yet, and I am not going to. I just have to say that I really liked it, and that I am not ashamed to say that it completely fooled me. After watching it a second time, I could better see how the pieces fit, and how you may be able to figure it before it happened. I definitely got a better appreciation for how they set it all up. After the twist was revealed, the movie really picked up, and had an exciting and fitting end.
  If this was the one movie in 2009 you missed, then it is well worth your time to rent this one right now. Even if you already saw it, watch it again, and look for the clues that led to the twist. I think you will appreciate how well this story was put together. The characters were more complex than originally thought, and were well developed. The acting was great, especially by Isabelle Fuhrman. The twist was excellent, and led to a fantastic finish. I give this movie 4.5 pools of blood.