Jan. 17th, 2014

philosoraptor42: (Fatpie42)
Why do I keep doing this to myself, eh? Ghost stories. I often have a real problem with them. But then again, every now and again there'll be a big surprise like the American version of "The Grudge" or "Thir13en Ghosts" or (if it counts as a ghost movie, since I realise that's a bit of a stretch) "Hellbound: Hellraiser II".

Still, one benefit of taking part in a horror movie marathon over October is that is makes me try out horror movies which I'd normally consider beneath me. Horror movies which I'd probably pass over suddenly seem worth checking out when trying to get through a whole bulk of them.

There's actually been quite a bit of buzz around "Sinister" and while it didn't look like my sort of film at all, it definitely had plenty of fans amongst horror lovers. I had higher hopes, however, for "The Changeling", viewed as a personal favourite by Tony from the Horror Etc Podcast. Still Tony is the sort of person who takes the prospect of ghosts very seriously while I am the sort of person who has real trouble suspending belief on that sort of thing.

The Changeling (1980)

This 1980 horror movie begins with a slow burn approach. That is, after the opening it does. Before the movie has even really begun, our protagonist watches his wife and daughter die in a tragic accident. The next thing we know he's packing up the contents of his enormous apartment in New York and associates a red ball in particular with time spent with his daughter.

I have to say, at this stage I couldn't help but wonder how much money our protagonist makes (or perhaps how much his wife made). Anyway, when he's boxed up all the contents of the apartment to move to Seattle, he then visits a friend in an absolutely enormous house. Both our protagonist and his friend are revealed to be teachers (or more like lecturers). Our protagonist will turn out to teach an "advanced music" course, but he appears to be rehearsing for a concert too. Still, neither of these things explain his massive house. So it seems that either his wife had a high-paying job or one or the other of them inherited an enormous sum of money. That'll be important to the plot later.

Click here to read the rest of the review... )

Sinister (2012)

Once again we have someone with far too much money to spend. Seriously, where do they GET all this money? A writer who has had one successful 'true crime' book, followed by a string of two rather disappointing follow-ups, has decided that he'll get better results on a fourth true crime book if he buys the house where a murder took place, with one girl now missing. Sure this is recognised as a bit of a gamble, but the family have not sold their old house and the wife of the writer does not appear to have a job (hence how she is so easily able to uproot and move house with her writer husband).

Anyway, leaving aside where the money comes from, the true crime angle actually interested me. However, even if he's wrong to think this is a typical true crime story involved here, Ethan Hawke's protagonist writer character still seems to be asking the wrong questions. I don't get the impression that this person is at all thorough enough to get a massively successful true crime hit - even as a one-off.

Click here to read the rest of the review... )


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