Monday, August 28, 2006

Movie Mon. - Thrill Me.

Annapolis: Incredibly by-the-numbers film about a working class boy who fights against the low expectations of everyone around him to achieve his dreams, blah blah blah, yadda yadda yadda ad nauseum ad infinitum. Bland and predictable film that manages to smoosh together plot points from Officer and a Gentleman, Top Gun, Rocky, and who knows what else, and yet doesn't manage to do so in a manner that captures even a fraction of the quality of its predecessors. Not a bad movie: just not a good one, either.

Silent Hill: Disjointed horror film based on a popular video game follows a distressed mother trapped in the mysterious ghost town of Silent Hill. As far as video-game-to-big-screen treatments go, this one is a cut above most that I've seen, but is hamstrung by a convoluted plot and some clich├ęd characters. Still, the special effects are well done, and there are some sufficiently creepy scenes; for me, the sequence with the killer nurse creatures was worth the price of rental alone.

Poseidon: Surprisingly short (less than 90 minutes before the credits roll) remake of The Poseidon Adventure which manages to add some new spins on an old idea. While a bit predictable at times (I called the first major non-tidal-wave death fairly easily), there was at least one death and one survivor which shocked the heck out of me, as I was pretty positive they were going to be reversed. I found this one a little less grating than the original, which depended a bit too much on the group members fighting amongst themselves for dramatic tension. Nothing groundbreaking, but an enjoyable diversion.

Night of the Creeps: Horror-comedy from the 80s which I'd been wanting to see ever since James Gunn was accused of ripping it off for Slither. Well, I've now seen both films, and I'll say this much: Night of the Creeps is no Slither, that's for sure. Yes, they both revolve around alien worm looking thing jumping down people's throats and taking them over, but that barely scratches the surface of what either film is like. Creeps is definitely a product of the 80s (think Revenge of the Nerds meets Return of the Living Dead), but none the less enjoyable for it. A bit cheesy at times, but more well written than I had expected, and the leads are pretty likable, especially the gruff police detective with his great catchphrase "Thrill me." Right now this one is only available on VHS, but if you're a horror fan, do yourself a favor and keep an eye out for it. It's a little heavier on the humor than on the horror, perhaps, but the zombie sequences are still enjoyably gruesome.

Reeker: Entertaining horror flick about a group of college kids who wind up trapped in a strangely deserted rest stop while being picked off by a ghostly presence which announces itself by a horrendous stench. And no, it's not a giant killer skunk, although man, what a great movie that would make, huh? A well written and acted film which has the distinction of being about the only thing I've ever seen Devon Gummersol in where I didn't want to pummel his character about the head and shoulders. My only complaint about the film is the weak, weak, weak ending; not bad enough to make me write off the whole film, since it wasn't as badly telegraphed as most films with this particular "twist," but still, it reduced my overall rating of the film by a few notches.