Friday, October 12, 2012

Scary Movie Month - Week 1

I've never had to worry about spoilers with my Scary Movie Month reports in the past, because the movies we were seeing were typically already many years out of the theaters (and because I report more on my response to them rather than details about them). But last weekend we saw two that were released fairly recently, with plot points that could, if known about in advance, perhaps lessen one's enjoyment of them. Just possibly. Not for someone like me, of course, who frequently skips to the end of books, but for someone like The Dude, who will avoid reading reviews of movies he's interested in so as not to sully his viewing experience. So I will be careful in this post.

The Cabin in the Woods (Drew Goddard, 2011)

Classic Joss Whedon. (Yes, it was directed by Goddard, but Whedon co-wrote it and it has Whedon stamped all over it.) Scary, interesting, sad, funny, disturbing. A treat to see so many familar actors used in very different ways. This is one that will stick with me... and that I had no immediate desire to see again. Because, in the end, I was left with such a feeling of sadness.

Except... as one reviewer writes about it (on IMDB):
The resolution. The end. The explanation to everything that's been going on, and also possibly the greatest 20 minutes ever shown in horror movie history. This is the part where the audience is silent and speechless as every die-hard horror fan's dream is realized on screen. All your dedication, love, and sacrifice for this genre is justified. The credits roll, you walk out of the theater saying to yourself, "Did that just happen?" - and then you buy another ticket and watch it again.
Yes. If you have any love of horror, you should see this movie. And yes, I will probably watch it again, avidly.

Attack the Block (Joe Cornish, 2011)

Fantastic. Aliens attack. Home is threatened. Unexpected alliances are formed, an unexpected hero rises to the occasion. All classic alien-movie tropes, always satisfying if done well enough. But wait! Home is British council-housing, the hero is a thug. Not so easy to root for?

I think what I liked best about this movie is the richness to the characters (and the housing estate is itself a character). Not sterotypes, not easy to sum up. Lots to think about. And then just the pleasure in watching, a visceral satisfaction that I think we then go to great lengths to try to explain, but really can come down to a bodily pleasure. This is one that we will likely own someday.

Looking forward to this weekend's viewing! And in the meantime, we've gone back to Buffy, and our seemingly never-ending quest to actually finish the whole thing. We are finally in the seventh season, and things have finally gotten good. (Though I cringed through all of the episode last night, and didn't start enjoying it until the last third. That's what fast-forward is for.)

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