Tag Archives: The Descent

“Devil” not that bad

The trailers for Devil proclaim “From the mind of M. Night Shyamalan” which seems to be a purposeful attempt to disavow Shyamalan’s involvement in the directing, producing, and writing side of things after previous bombs (Lady in the Water, The Happening).  The result: a company called the Night Chronicles, which produces films based on ideas from M. Night that are further developed by other individuals.  Devil, the first of the Night Chronicles, overall manages to stay afloat (though at times some bailing is required).

In the film five strangers hop on an elevator together and once it locks up between floors, tensions flare.  Detective Bowden and the building’s security watch the group devolve into bickering children through a security camera, only able to speak to them through the one way com system.

I say “devolve,” but there isn’t a transition for these people – as soon as they’re aboard the elevator they quickly reveal themselves to be stupid assholes.  Continue reading

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Ginger Snaps Trilogy Roundup & The Problem of Genre Distinctions (part 4)

:read part 1, part 2, part 3:

Ginger Snaps: Complete Roundup

Though the final part of the Ginger Snaps trilogy is weak, it’s not Spider-Man 3 weak. Given the track record of horror film sequels, the entire trilogy stands up pretty well. The real strength of the series lies with the characters, specifically female lead characters. The male cast members are all supporting pieces to the story (though they play bigger parts in Ginger Snaps Back), so we get a fresh perspective as Brigitte and Ginger lead us through female territory: sisterhood, mother-daughter relationships, sex, menstruation, relationships with men, etc. Continue reading

Lost Gem: Ginger Snaps (part 1)

Teenage girls battling werewolves.  Nope, it’s not Twilight: it’s another horror gem like The Descent and Carriers.

Katharine Isabelle as Ginger (left) and Emily Perkins as Brigitte (right)

While I was working at a video store, Ginger Snaps was just another straight to DVD horror film: attractive girl, catchy title, some ominous background music, BOOM, you have a cover just like all the other straight to DVD features (right next to Lord of the G-Strings and Santa’s Slay).  But as I’ve been working on my dissertation detailing “unsafe” horrors, Ginger Snaps came up enough times to merit a screening. Results?  The best werewolf film since Landis’ An American Werewolf in London. Continue reading

Neil Marshall’s Centurion: Early Review

The last time we saw the Romans in ancient “Britannia” was in The Last Legion or the better known King Arthur.  The Last Legion played with King Arthurian legends, as well as the myth of the 9th legion, which is where Centurion comes in.

Continue reading

Ten You Missed

We are a rather fortunate bunch. Our grandparents only had two chances to see a film: either when it came out in theatres or if it popped up on television, which is what made the annual television screenings of The Wizard of Oz such a big deal. It was not until VHS revolutionized the industry and films could be watched whenever we desired. Combine this with the communication powers of the internet and a film that never got past screenings in New York can suddenly make a ton of cash and notoriety.

With such fortunes, I find it our job as film enthusiasts to promote our favorite smaller films as a counter-weight to the advertising juggernauts that rumble across our cultural plains. Continue reading