Tag Archives: Kids

“Attack the Block” the new “Goonies”?

Attack the Block is one of the current stand-out films of the South by Southwest Film Festival (SXSW) and with good reason: a film co-written and starring Nick Frost (Ed from Shaun of the Dead, who also co-wrote the hilarious Paul) about inner-city kids battling invading aliens looks like great fun. Continue reading

Summer Movies: July-August (Part II)

:you can see Part I here:

Here is the second part of my rundown of films I watched during July and August:

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Summer Movies: July-August (Part I)

Immediately following my coverage of the 2010 Edinburgh International Film Festival, my wife and I packed our tiny flat and moved back to the U.S.  We spent a month home and then finally moved to Iowa where she is now working on her PhD.

Thus, the summer was very busy and scattered; I left many films in my wake with nary a commentary post.  I will now provide a quick rundown of what you should check out and what you should chuck out. Continue reading

My Sixth Sense is Tingling: Two Eyes Staring (Zwart Water)

Lisa and Peter go see what's hanging out in their basement.

From the haunted happenings of Poltergeist to Guillermo Del Toro’s excellent The Devil’s Backbone, children in film have been regular objects of ghostly terror.  Two Eyes Staring continues this tradition, with decent results.

Christine’s mother wills her a small mansion that her husband Peter loves, and her daughter Lisa loathes.  Peter convinces Christine to move in, but the house, and Christine’s past, are steeped in mystery by Christine’s evasive attitude concerning her mother.  As Lisa copes with the move and the subsequent loss of friends, she hears strange noises emanating from the basement.  Insert creepy music here.

Without spoiling the film, it does deliver fair horror atmosphere, with the accompanying jump scares that have become a staple of the genre.  The relationship between Lisa and Christine is deftly displayed as strained and cold, in comparison to how difficult it is not to smile at the warm relationship between father and daughter.  The mother is too interested in work, but dad’s affections come through in his respect  and familiar attitude.  The establishment of these cold and hot relationships supports the film’s final act – which delivers more than most horror tales.

However, the film’s length blunts its edge.  POSSIBLE SPOILER In an effort to firmly establish the reality which is then overturned, it spends laborious amounts of time hitting the same key.  SPOILER ALERT OVER In short: The length could have been trimmed to keep taut the flagging tension.  Further, the music crowds what could develop into deeper moments of terror; these items undermine the development of atmospheric and psychological creepies.  The Sixth Sense did an impressive job of generating  mystery, sustaining tension, and horrific scares sprinkled throughout. Two Eyes Staring is almost of that caliber, but not quite.

Even though the film makes some missteps, it’s by no means a bad ride.  It leaves you unsettled and your mouth agape with “Holy Sh*t!”-ness, which is more than most films are able to achieve.  Just give it some time.