Monday, November 1, 2010

Day Twenty One: "Psycho killer qu'est-ce que c'est?"

I love my mother but Norman Bates takes wanting to be with your mother forever way to far. "Psycho" starring Anthony Perkins as Norman Bates showcases a story about an unstable, twisted and extreme version of a classic mama's- boy.

The movie starts off with Marion, a young lady who has embezzled money from her boss and searches for a hotel to hide out in. She finds the Bates hotel. Norman's mother lives in the house next to the hotel. When he asks her if Marion can have dinner with them she denies his request saying she won't allow "strange young girls for supper". Norman and Marion end up eating at the hotel and talking about his Mother. There's a heated argument between the two about the mental state of his Mother and how she should be institutionalized. Once dinner is over Marion goes to her room. Norman is creeping outside her door and watching her undress. She's heading to the bath room, anyone want to take a guess at what comes next?

Alas, the iconic shower scene. Before I even knew the plot behind this movie or heard of the character of Norman Bates I had watched this scene. It's a great scene, don't get me wrong, but I'm pretty sure we all know about it so lets move on to Norman's little secret.

Essentially, without going into great detail about the rest of the movie, Norman Bates is seriously screwed up. The story behind him is that he was jealous of his Mother's lover so he killed both of them but felt such guilt from doing so he wanted to erase what happened from his memory which then made him crack and stake on another personality; his Mothers. Marion is killed in the shower by a female who is suspected to be Normans Mother. But to my surprise it was just dear old Norman dressed like his Mama. Well, there wasn't too much surprise, Anthony Perkins is a good looking guy but he can pull off disturbed well.

This Hitchcock classic is worth a watch. Bring on the chocolate syrup!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Day Twenty: ... What?

It took me 20 days to find the original version of "Texas Chainsaw Massacre". Dear lord was I tired of being disappointed when I saw Jessica Biels name on the credit list on the back of the DVD. Although the movie itself was pretty disappointing.

This movie was the influence for Rob Zombie's "House of 1000 Corpses" which makes a lot of sense after seeing both of them. The hillbillies attacking people is always a favorite storyline of mine. Can't go wrong with a little mutilation from a guy wearing a mask made out of other peoples skin. I found it ended kind of abruptly and my friend and I both said "wait, what?" when the credits started rolling.

I think for this type of movie its a good start. I remember seeing a scene from what I thought was this movie that had a radio station playing "Goo Goo Muck" by the Cramps but when the movie was over and I hadn't heard it I looked it up and found out that the scene I saw was in "Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2". Ain't that just my luck, the one part I'm looking forward to is in the sequel. I'm interested in seeing the second movie, I didn't really get into this movie.

Day Nineteen: And we thought adoption was safe...

Creepy kids, they're on my list of things that terrify me in movies and "The Omen" has a creepy kid. He's really more evil than creepy, seeing as he's the son of Lucifer. I was a little disappointed when the kid wasn't really in a lot of the movie, just his creepy smile here and there but no actual kid killing anyone. Although I guess if you're the son of the devil you have people to kill people for you.

The movie starts of with a man loosing his son during childbirth and crying about having to tell his wife the bad news. Then a priest comes to tell him that he can adopt a child that was born at the same time but the mother died. Suspicious? Apparently not because he takes the kid and never tells his wife that their son isn't actually theirs. Then the people around the boy end up dying one by one, and eventually the father goes on this hunt to find out where his son came from.

I didn't find this movie particularly interesting mostly because it was pretty predictable. The idea for it is good, I'm all for creepy kids. There could have been more of the kid actually being evil though, that might have made it more enjoyable. All in all, not bad but very long. It has its moments of creepy but I didn't find it to be overly amazing.

Day Eighteen: "Don't watch and say you did?" God I wish I had...

It was as bad as I imagined and worse. "Friday The 13th" happened to be on AMC Monday night so I thought perfect, on my list and I won't have to purchase it. It was the very first one with Mama and Kevin Bacon. I'm really glad I didn't buy this one.

The story of Jason has never appealed to me. A kid who was picked on is ignored and drowns in a lake and his mother takes revenge on camp counselors and eventually Jason himself comes back for the other 65, 000 movies to do the same in a hockey mask. I can see how the idea would be scary, a tall silent and soulless killer would generally be my idea of a great time but there's just something about the Friday The 13th franchise I just don't care for. Needless to say, in the movie "Freddy vs. Jason" I was on Freddy's side.

As I was watching this movie I was having "bad movie deja-vu" as my friend put it. I had seen some of it already which seems to be a consistent situation throughout this movie challenge experience. At one point I was just so bored with the movie and complaining to my friend via text she suggested I "don't and say I did". I didn't that would be fair, this is a challenge damnit, I'll suck it up and watch it through. I got a great chance to yell at the TV when the final survivor was running away from Mama but never actually killed her, they just ran around for like 15 minutes. Apparently someone doesn't know what to do in a horror situation, everyone knows you kill them dead!

P.S: Hey Kevin Bacon, this was your first movie hey? So hows your career doing? Oh... that's right! Your highlight was "Footloose". Sorry, but you're no Johnny Depp, seems you chose the wrong horror franchise. Bummer.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Day Seventeen: There once was a house that sat upon a passage to Hell...

My first initial thought while watching "The Amityville Horror (Original)", other than wow the Brolin's are sexy men was seriously you're moving into a house that people died in? Like OK, I get if someone dies in you house you can't help that but people are murdered in this house and you don't wonder why its such a great price? And then they're surprised when bad things go down.

So if anyone doesn't know the story behind this movie, this young family moves into a house where a man killed his family. The house is filled with spirits and supernatural beings that take focus on the young James Brolin, or George the Dad. It's and interesting story and is based on a somewhat true story. I say somewhat because the people who moved into the house after the family who this story is based on left the house and all of their personal belongings behind, say there is nothing strange about this house and have never had anything happen. Makes me wonder if its really just the family then, or if they're just lying. Hard to say but hey, its a great story. In the movie there is a hidden room in the basement that they find out is a passage to hell. Don't know about anyone else but wouldn't your next move after finding out you're sitting upon hell be to get the hell out of there? No pun intended.

It wasn't really terrifying although for its time I assume it would be. My Mom saw it in theatre when she was a kid. She told me that when she and her friend went to sleep that night they woke up at 3:15AM which is the time in the movie that the people living in the house experience happenings at night. Strange coincidence hey? Or was it? *insert shocked face here*

The story alone is intriguing and draws people in. I saw some of the Ryan Reynolds version last Halloween and it wasn't bad. I think there was more shock value in that version but whichever one you go with it still has the same plot. For those who love a good house haunting it's a must. If you wake up at 3:15AM though, I wish you all the best.

Day Sixteen: Back to basics...

"The Vampire Bat" was the movie I decided to go with today. I thought hey, maybe it will be the classic vampires that are mocked nowadays for their cheesy ways. I was wrong about the movie, it was kind of a dud but it got me thinking about vampires.

Living in a time where "Twilight" has taken over with its ridiculous sparkly-dirt bag vampires, I am thrilled to see any of the traditional naive stories about Vampires where the vampires are afraid of mirrors, garlic and can transform into bats. I like vampires but I really do not like the Twilight version. I could bash Twilight for days but I'll move on.

Only since I first saw "Interview With a Vampire" have I appreciated and liked vampires. My first vampire encounter was in a movie or a TV show. I don't remember what it was, all I remember is when I went to bed I tucked myself in and covered my neck with the covers so the vampires couldn't come bite my neck. Obviously there is something endearing about vampires these days that makes us gravitate towards them and see them as an object of lust rather than something to fear. I miss the days when a vampire scared me and made me want to get out a stake and some garlic. I don't deny that the cast of "Trueblood" is hot as hell but they're no more scary than a crazed lunatic for me now.

Alright, back to the actual movie at hand. The story of "The Vampire Bat" is basically about a town where the villagers are loosing blood and the town leaders suspect vampires. There is really no sign of actual bats, and only a shadow of a vampire near a sleeping woman. I was somewhat disappointed in the lack of real vampires. Ended up being more of a Frankenstein project more than anything.

For what I thought I was in for, it disappointed. However it had its moments of being entertaining, its no Vincent Price film but, it's better than "Twilight".

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Day Fifteen: Exorcism, you learn something new every movie...

Alright so today's movie was "The Exorcism of Emily Rose". I had always had an interest in this film seeing as any exorcism movie usually puts a damper on my sleep. This movie actually did keep me awake and had me thinking.

I don't think it was a ridiculously scary movie, I wasn't jumping out of my seat or hiding my face but the fact that it was a loosely based on a true story got me thinking and feeling very uneasy. I grew up going to church and reading about the devil and have always had this uncomfortable feeling when I watch exorcism movies or read about anything that was taken from true stories. I'm no bible humper but I do not deny the possibilities. 

I learned something interesting in the movie as well. In the movie, at 3AM every morning something would happen within the house. The priest says that 3 AM is "the devil's hour" and evil spirits use it to mock the Holy Trinity. It is also said that Jesus died at 3PM so the significance of 3AM is to be the opposite. I found this interesting seeing as I have watched several movies where "the devil's hour" or "the witching hour" is 3AM. From what I've researched on this the "witching hour" can be midnight as well, but still, an interesting bit of information I'll be bringing out when trying to make conversation.

So back to the actual movie. It was loosely based on the story of Anneleise Michel, a woman from Germany who was said to be possessed and died after many failed exorcisms. She was treated for mental disorders many times and they all failed. She was diagnosed with epilepsy at one point but once her family believed she was possessed they stopped all treatment. The coroner said she died in her sleep and died of starvation and dehydration seeing as she wasn't ingesting anything. Her parents and the two priests who were there during the exorcisms were all arrested and charged with neglect for not providing her with medical care and sentenced to 6 months in prison. There are tape recordings and photographs of her during exorcisms, if you want to get creeped out look 'em up. The movie shared most of this information and just went off on another path for a more religious ending. The movie wasn't horrible, however I didn't expect it to be set in a court room. I more expected seeing the day to day of Emily Rose living with what she believed to be demonic possession.

Believe what you want about what the truth was behind this story. Whether it was a mental disorder and an over-reaction from religious parents or legitimate possession, I take all of the possibilities into mind and don't rule anything out. Just doing a bit of research on this has made me feel very uneasy so clearly I have found what truly gets me a little scared; the unknown. I may not be as religious as I was when I was a kid and don't live with much religion in my day to day life but if it comes down to good versus evil, I'd like to know some ones got my back.