films we just saw

Chat here about anything horror related. Be it movies, news, remakes or events.
brad1000
Running Zombie
Running Zombie
Posts: 193
Joined: Wed Jun 10, 2009 2:18 pm

Re: films we just saw

Post by brad1000 » Sat Feb 27, 2010 7:47 pm

you must have gone to the wrong movie..the crazies never has a dull moment and its as pacy as possible for a character driven horror drama.the film dealt with some heavy issues reguarding isolation and relationship breakdown.the fact it delivers on gore and scares is a huge bonus and was head and shoulders above some of the dross at last years festival(shadow anyone??).
i actually agree with alans review(first time for everything) and if you cant see that the car-wash scene alone justifies the admission price then you have no business critiquing the horror genre in the first place.what does a horror film have to do please the very community its aimed at??? i despair i really do.

peace
xxx
the house shot her !!!

User avatar
sherbetbizarre
Frightfest Hardcore
Frightfest Hardcore
Posts: 1458
Joined: Sun Aug 12, 2007 11:41 am
Contact:

Re: films we just saw

Post by sherbetbizarre » Sat Feb 27, 2010 9:54 pm

Lol, chill, it's just one persons (minority) opinion :D (who thought the car-wash scene was a dud.)

42nd Street Freak
Walking Dead
Walking Dead
Posts: 57
Joined: Sun Feb 28, 2010 9:16 pm

Re: films we just saw

Post by 42nd Street Freak » Sun Feb 28, 2010 10:30 pm

Blimey...Lots 'n' lots.

I shall just cover some of the best ones.




"Hush"

Low key but very effective, well made thriller/horror from Britain that has some excellent moments and a plot that manages to avoid most of the pitfalls such an idea (kidnapping by a mysterious lorry on a motorway) brings up (Cops, CCTV, other cars/people) better than the slightly similar "Shuttle" did.

Nothing groundbreaking, but very well crafted, acted and satisfying.



"Orphan"

First off my problems with this.
I can't see why they even need to adopt a THIRD child so badly.

The Mother says she has love to spare...well give it to your 2 other, actual, children then!!! *sheesh*

The parents clearly had a dubious past (Mother especially as far as child safety and booze went) and still had marriage issues...plus two of their own kids anyway...would they have been deemed suitable for adoption?

Would the young deaf daughter STILL not say anything even after she has already gone against Esther...had decided to warn her parents when she noticed Esther had vanished in the hospital...and had now seen that her Mother believed what she already knew to be true anyway and had even attacked Esther publically.
I don't buy the fact she would still have stayed stay quiet at this point.

All this really kind of annoyed and frustrated.

BUT......

It has to be said that this film featured some damn fine moments, a truly superb turn by the young Isabelle Fuhrman that impresses on every level, some really nasty and bloody (if only occasional) violence, some well handled action (although perhaps the old cliche of the 'keeps on coming' psycho seemed old fashioned) and a damn fine twist that actually improved on the film and made everything that had gone before work better.

This reveal at first seemed like a cheat...until the very subtle and extremely well done make-up came into play and amazingly sold it all as at the same time Isabelle Fuhrman skilfully tops even what has come before as far as her uncompromising, terrifying, performance goes.

Great ending scene as well.
And in a rare case the alternative ending also works just as well (and is far more unsettling) in a different way.

Has some big frustrations and some hard to swallow contrivances but "Orphan" still manages to be a genuinely tough watch in places (it was damn hard to see the cute as a button little deaf child go through all these things and the opening sequence is really horrible), is very well made and features one of horror cinema's most impressive performances ever



"Wolfhound"

This epic Russian fantasy flick borrows (in film form at least, not read the 1995 novel) so heavily for its opening from the (superior) opening of Milius' "Conan the Barbarian" that it's almost plagiarism!

After this opening though the film (a moment of Sauron 'super blasty sword' type action aside) settles down to be pretty much its own beast and delivers some very entertaining historical/fantasy storytelling that uses some powerful music and lush visuals to wrap its numerous (if not that large scale), sometimes bloody, action scenes up in.

Wolfhound's bat sidekick (not as childish in execution as it sounds) is also a nice touch and is a superlative bit of CGI work. In fact (a few model shots aside) the effects are very good indeed and the landscape is of course stunning.

The very sexy Oksana Akinshina (The Bourne Supremacy") delivers some solid female support to Aleksandr Bukharov's brooding hero and if the film is too long it's hard to really say why as not more than 5 minutes will pass without something interesting happening or some action/fantasy element occurring.

Sometimes a bit stodgy perhaps and it has some rather airy fairy 'The Loving Power of the Gods' moments, but overall it's a well crafted, well acted, fine looking, fine sounding, action packed fantasy swordplay film that may owe many things to other sources but has an engaging Slavic quality of its own.



"Cabin Fever 2"
Not bad. Starts off slow but engaging. But then loses it's way during the Prom, until things pick up again.
Some nicely gross moments involving various body fluids, lost of blood but only some (though strong) gore.

Some of the FX are dubious (awful latex finger and chest piece) while some are very good (head smashing and drippy cock), but the end is weak and anti-climactic with a tagged on piece that's too long, though leads to an okay pay-off during the animated credits.

Nothing special, weak ending, but has enough gross moments and interesting characters (who are not as obnoxious as those in the first film) to make a good rental.




"Werewolf of London"
Before 'Universal' gave us the now iconic Wolfman with Lon Chaney Jnr we had this Werewolf flick Starring Henry Hull.

For me the design of the Werewolf here is much better than the more famous later design.
Chaney kind of looked like a teddy with a silly black snout...But Hull looks far more feral with his bottom row fangs and pointed ears and although perhaps more human looking than Jack Pierce's later Wolfman make-up it looks far more savage.

The problems here are that in a 70 minute film the Werewolf takes too long to appear, Hull is amazingly stuffy and everyone else is so overly theatrical that much of the film looks like a stage play.
The film also makes a major mistake with the way the Werewolf acts.
Despite uncontrolled howling, Hull has presence of mind the dress up in a big coat, put on a cap and cover his face up as he skulks around (in one scene, despite the fact he leaps through a window after he changes, Hull puts on his hat before doing so!!) as such the film actually plays far more like a 'Jekyll and Hyde' film than a Werewolf film.
Hull never loses control or goes totally animal like Chaney did...he's basically a wolfy looking Mr Hyde and acts like a skulking serial killer rather than a feral beast.

BUT...The film is still fun, the Wolfman looks good, there is some nice atmosphere and there are two great support characters (two gin swigging old women who spend their time trying to put one over on each other) who provide comic relief and give the film much needed energy.
Strange mix of sci-fi in this too, including a way before its time CCTV/video phone set up that lets Hull see who is at his door, and a huge meat eating plant with tentacles!

If they had got the Werewolf in quicker and have it acting more like a feral wolf this would have been improved greatly, but it has enough successful moments to pull it through and make it worth a watch.

42nd Street Freak
Walking Dead
Walking Dead
Posts: 57
Joined: Sun Feb 28, 2010 9:16 pm

Re: films we just saw

Post by 42nd Street Freak » Sun Feb 28, 2010 10:31 pm

"Tony"


Filmed in 16mm and shot almost completely on location in London (and parts of Manchester) “Tony” perfectly captures that gritty, dirty, desperate and schizophrenic existence of low lives in low places.

With various aspects of Tony’s personality and traits based on real life serial killers and with a screenplay completely embedded in everyday realism, “Tony” not only draws the viewer into its world almost to the point that you truly could be an invisible being following Tony around, but from a purely cinematic point of view it’s the closest British horror cinema has come to that grimy exploitation aesthetic not only of its own late 60’s/early 70’s output but it’s also the first time ever that a British film has truly captured that fascinating underground, everyday life, vibe of something like “Driller Killer”.

The utterly wonderful screenplay not only captures the most mundane, tacky, tragic, desperate, sleazy and dangerous moments of Tony’s existence but the finely attuned observations as well about the people he comes in contact with.

At the film's heart though is the truly amazing, almost genius in its observational detail, performance by Peter Ferdinando as Tony.
From his look (the hairstyle, the bad moustache, the old charity shop clothes, the unflattering glasses) , his mannerisms (awkward attempts to engage others, the often despairing contemplation, the shuffled walk) and his schizo personality where the dreary awkward misfit and victim suddenly explodes into a clinical killer who briefly becomes the most dangerous person in the room, all is magnificent.
His dialogue deliver is perfect as well to give us perhaps the least flashy but genuinely unsettling and realistic serial killer essay seen in cinema. Truly.

The film’s only real failings are that this brilliantly low key approach that helps to create the masterful drama of the plot needs to be ditched (at least in part) as far as many of the grotesque and brutal aspects of Tony’s serial killer existence go.
We have followed Tony through his ‘normal’ moments and daily grind in such a realistically subdued fashion that we have almost been in his skin.
As such we need to be with him when he cuts up bodies in the bath, arranges the rotting corpses in his bed and cracks open a man’s skull.
All of which occurs in the film, but all of which (a great looking severed foot in the sink and a couple of briefly glimpsed limbs put in a bin bag aside) we are never truly party to.

That’s not to say the film does not have a couple of effective moments of (essentially sudden) violence though.
The throttling of a man with an electrical cord is made to look as painful, drawn out and hard as it would be to accomplish, an asphyxiation is pretty disturbingly crafted and an offal scene where Tony puts the guts into plastic bags is suitably in your face.

Overall though "Tony" is expertly acted (especially by the brilliant Ferdinando), astutely observed, microscopically astute, technically sharp, brilliantly directed and wrapped up in a magnificent, haunting, score (by ‘The The’ frontman Matt Johnson).

It could do with a bit more dripping meat and perhaps an extra 10 minutes onto it’s quite short running time, but otherwise this is the finest, most frighteningly, essentially low key and believable serial killer film we have perhaps ever seen (even beating “Henry: POASK” as far as realism goes) and as such has nothing but my full admiration and wholehearted recommendation.

Another gem in the crown of modern British horror.

Satans Puppy
Frightfest Hardcore
Frightfest Hardcore
Posts: 1299
Joined: Tue Oct 30, 2007 1:10 pm

Re: films we just saw

Post by Satans Puppy » Mon Mar 01, 2010 8:00 am

sherbetbizarre wrote:The Crazies - almost as boring as Carriers :evil:
Really?!?! I loved it... :) I thought the house fire scene hit the right spot with me. It's certainly flawed... Did I miss something or was the school like 10 times bigger than the actual town? lol
[url=http://www.peopleofifrit.net/]Puppy's Blog! Yes Indeed... updated regularly[/url]

[b]Disclaimer:[/b] This post may contain... more than likely contains an idiotic comment, feel free to ignore and move on :D

42nd Street Freak
Walking Dead
Walking Dead
Posts: 57
Joined: Sun Feb 28, 2010 9:16 pm

Re: films we just saw

Post by 42nd Street Freak » Mon Mar 01, 2010 8:22 pm

"Antichrist"

After the accidental death of their little boy a grieving couple try to come to terms with their loss.
As the mother (Charlotte Gainsbourg) slowly unravels her psychiatrist Husband (Willem Dafoe) decides to make her his patient and tries in vain to get her to come to terms with her loss.

The Husband decides to go and stay a few days at their holiday cabin.
And it is here, in the dark woods, where both of them will face their fear and loss and where things will change forever in a most terrible way......


Lars von Trier has perhaps his highest profile film to date...and proceeds to find it becomes the biggest millstone around his neck as far as many critics (and certainly mainstream press) go and soon hate and derision are flying.

But amazingly he (and the film) seem to have weathered the storm and come through the other side into the calmer waters of virtual acceptance.
This is probably because despite the extreme content and controversial depiction of the female sex "Antichrist" is actually a pretty damn good movie that is exceptionally well crafted and is at the end of the day a serious work.

Is it perfect? No.
There is stuff here that seems like padding and perhaps the film is too obscure and allegorical to fully satisfy as an essay on madness and loss that it could have been.
But that would ultimately not have made it “Antichrist” I suppose. Certainly not Lars von Trier’s “Antichrist”.

Nothing is made explicitly clear in “Antichrist” and soon multiple possibilities for motivation and reason concerning Gainsbourg’s mental state and her past and present actions open up before us.
As such the film is never left unsatisfying as the many theories are all valid, all work for each viewer and all ultimately lead to the film‘s conclusion no matter what, thus we have a movie that never feels like a confused work despite these diversions we are free to take as individuals to reach our ultimate destination.

The extremity here that caused so much fuss and even outright hate from some quarters is actually a very small part of the film and takes a long time to appear and it is a shame that so much of what went before these scenes has been lost in all the hype and vitriol.

What we have is explicit nudity wise for both Dafoe and Gainsbourg and Gainsbourg has a strong, frenzied, masturbation scene.

Violence wise it has it’s tough moments but really it’s more the idea of what is happening than what we truly see.
Gore is kept at a minimum but it is the truly infamous scene near the end that repels but impresses with it‘s uncompromising audaciousness.
The effects are also very well done from a technical perspective which is essential in selling such moments and keeping the audience in the movie.

But amazingly none of this tough gore and violence ever seem gratuitous.
Even the most infamous scene never comes across as just there to shock. It does shock, but it does it in context and it does it in a serious, defined, justified way.

The film looks stunning (there are some truly amazing and powerful images here), is well scored, is extremely well acted, well directed and is ultimately a work to be taken very seriously.

Perhaps Lars’ self -indulgence and need to be just that bit too obscure smother some parts of the basic, effective drama that comes from such worrying, heartbreaking, events, but ultimately I was impressed and moved by “Antichrist”.

As such this tough, multi-layered, work comes highly recommended.

django
Walking Dead
Walking Dead
Posts: 85
Joined: Fri Aug 13, 2004 12:23 am

Re: films we just saw

Post by django » Mon Mar 01, 2010 8:42 pm

Had a stay at home weekend, ehrm, apart from when I went out to see the Crazies...anyway, over the weekend I watched Amelie, Deliverance, The Crazies, White Lightning and Point Blank, liked em all, probably Amelie and Deliverance were my favourites.

42nd Street Freak
Walking Dead
Walking Dead
Posts: 57
Joined: Sun Feb 28, 2010 9:16 pm

Re: films we just saw

Post by 42nd Street Freak » Tue Mar 02, 2010 7:40 pm

"The Horseman"


“The Horseman” is an Australian vigilante flick about a father tracking down the men who drugged and used his, now dead, daughter in a porn film.

At the heart of the movie is the wonderful performance by Peter Marshall as the avenging father.
And like the film, it’s a performance of two rather different aspects.
As the barely in control grieving father he is fantastic and delivers serous dramatic strengths to his character.
This is a dark, gritty, painfully realistic in its feeling, performance that gives the film genuine dramatic class.
But, despite his general look and age (though he is suitably tough in build), Marshall also gives us a thuddingly violent, murderously driven figure of vengeance who almost moves into action star territory.

Marshall’s superb, dramatically serious, performance as the broken father is so intense and all-encompassing that it actually makes sense that he can take on so many younger men in numerous, truly brutal, smackdowns.
You feel his sheer strength of hate and raging, adrenaline fuelled, power could enable Christian to do what he does in the non-flashy, frenzied way he does it.

Where we slip is in the amount of damage he takes personally. We sadly do move (sadly because it’s not really this type of movie) into Van Dammage territory as far as the sheer brutal abuse his body takes.
For all the reality of his own attacks on others, the attacks by others on him are out of a fantasy fight flick and when added to the otherwise deeply serious psychological aspects of his character these cliché action/physical traits sit badly.

The action though is stunningly brutal in its execution and content.
There are no real effects sequences here, but there’s a lot of blood spattered, bone snapping, flesh pummeling violence and again Marshall’s utter conviction and drive during these scenes (be they fights or scenes of cold-blooded, very nasty, torture) not only helps sell them but gives them much added power.

The screenplay’s slightly schizophrenic nature towards Christian’s character is also mirrored in its plot as well.
We have (again fine in cheesy action films, not so fine here) too many long-used contrivances that aid Christian and he gets out of more tight corners in the nick of time than James Bond.
These elements give the film a really strange vibe thanks to the otherwise truly dark, gritty drama they are weaved into.

The film is not sure what it wants to be, dark drama or brutal action film, but decides that both things are great so embraces them both.
It should be that two such effective styles, both done exceedingly well, should meet to make the perfect cinematic storm, but in reality, despite how good they are individually, they never truly match up to make a perfect movie on the whole.

What does remain consistent in its brooding nature though is the excellent score (composed and performed by Ryan Potter) that compliments Christian’s dark journey and heartbreaking loss to perfection.

Most of the henchman roles are taken by some excellent fight and stunt men who really sell the crunching action and when added to the effective cinematography, tight direction ,excellent pacing and structure it all ensures the film looks and feels far richer than it’s meagre budget.

So what we have is a very well made, exceptionally well acted by Marshall, dark, gritty, brooding, serious revenge film but with full-on action thriller sensibilities that tend to work against the realism and grit of the central drama.

Thus “The Horseman” is a peculiar movie overall, but a movie that’s full of so many excellent and satisfying components that you can, and should, ultimately forgive the faults in tone and settle down with what is still a very satisfying, dark, brutal and grim tale of a father’s vengeance.

mamawaldi
Undead Horde
Undead Horde
Posts: 263
Joined: Sat Jan 19, 2008 10:32 am
Location: Berkshire

Re: films we just saw

Post by mamawaldi » Wed Mar 03, 2010 8:48 am

Ok here's a short review :wink:
Fireball - chopsocky crud about an underground basketball/full contact martial arts tournament. Never escapes its shoddy premise until a great final mash up which thankfully forgets all about the basketball element of this new 'sport'. Had me thinking about other sports that have just been made up purely for film....nothing beats a game of Rollerball surely?
This is a D-Notice situation

User avatar
sherbetbizarre
Frightfest Hardcore
Frightfest Hardcore
Posts: 1458
Joined: Sun Aug 12, 2007 11:41 am
Contact:

Re: films we just saw

Post by sherbetbizarre » Wed Mar 03, 2010 3:57 pm

The Treasure Hunter (2009)

This is China's answer to The Good, The Bad and the Weird, with some Mummy and Indiana Jones thrown in. Lots of old school wire-work and enough horse-falls to keep the BBFC busy.

Good fun, but a bit messy...

Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l_At5enQ ... re=related

mike108
Twitching Corpse
Twitching Corpse
Posts: 35
Joined: Sat Jul 04, 2009 12:13 pm

Re: films we just saw

Post by mike108 » Thu Mar 04, 2010 7:32 am

mamawaldi wrote:Ok here's a short review :wink:
Fireball - chopsocky crud about an underground basketball/full contact martial arts tournament. Never escapes its shoddy premise until a great final mash up which thankfully forgets all about the basketball element of this new 'sport'. Had me thinking about other sports that have just been made up purely for film....nothing beats a game of Rollerball surely?
BASEketball?

42nd Street Freak
Walking Dead
Walking Dead
Posts: 57
Joined: Sun Feb 28, 2010 9:16 pm

Re: films we just saw

Post by 42nd Street Freak » Thu Mar 04, 2010 9:23 am

"Danto 01"

It's French. It's Sci-Fi, it's a French Sci-Fi film...and that's just not a good thing for all the obvious cliche's that are actually true.
Barely coherent nonsense that shoe-horns Hell, God, Jesus, Biblical terminology and religious iconography into a basic 'prison in space' set-up.

Mysterious experiments carried out on the inmates are given much flashy visual time...and are then completely ignored as we never learn what they are for, what they do, or what happens after.
Oh well.
'Weird new arrival guy with alien stuff in him who eats all our octopus monsters' turns into Jesus Christ and puts out the universe's biggest fire, people get bashed and stabbed and nothing makes any real sense and makes no sense by using wildly over the top CGI visual effects that seem like the makers were all tripping at the time.

Looks good, has a couple of nice violence moments...nothing else worthwhile at all and at the end of the day it's a right load of up its own arse French poncy nonsense! Yes!
Avoid.



"Iron Angels"

AHHHH...........Great stuff.
Still holds up and quite frankly, truthfully, sadly...Hong Kong cinema simply doesn't make films like this any more, instead even action films nowadays are not really 'fun' and all seemed aimed at festival awards ceremonies and broadsheet newspaper reviews. BAH!

This is from another time, when the most outrageous, over the top, wild, violent, bloody, masses of extras dying all over the place set-pieces were the norm and at least one sequence in "Iron Angels" (aka "Angel") pushes all these essential buttons.
An attack by the Angels (including the ever lovely Moon Lee) on a house is a thing to behold!

Tons of extras and stuntmen get machine-gunned down with blood spattered abandon, good looking men and women leap through windows, hang off helicopters, slide down stairs and dive through the air with guns-a-blazing, everyone fires millions of bullets, legs and fists slam into body parts with delightfully gymtastic skill, explosions blow whole groups of stuntmen through windows at the same time (with the explosion blasting over their bodies as they fly out) and all the walls get a crimson paint job.

But we have lots of other set-pieces too;
We open with an extra, explosion filled attack by the army on poppy fields, then go into some nicely bloody and violent assassination scenes, then a few martal arts smackdowns, before we get to the babe on babe finale where Elaine Lui and Moon Lee take on the amazingly nasty and sadistic Yukari Ôshima with explosive earrings, explosive buttons, planks of wood, fuel hoses and pointy poles.
Moon Lee shines here next to the amazing legs goddess Oshima.

We will forget the awful 'comedy freeze frame' ending and the fact that the (otherwise great) R3 DVD is missing The Osh's stunt breast scene, and instead simply concentrate on the sheer good times offered with its wildly over the top violence, crazy and dangerous looking stunts, blazing guns, blood spatters, utterly unique HK action staging and energy and sexy looking fighting femmes...and relish the days when 'critics awards' were the last thing on a Hong Kong action movie's mind.

User avatar
MaxRenn
Undead Horde
Undead Horde
Posts: 478
Joined: Thu Apr 03, 2008 1:29 pm
Location: London

Re: films we just saw

Post by MaxRenn » Thu Mar 04, 2010 12:24 pm

Tried to watch The Crazies remake last night, had to leave as there were more "crazies" in Wood Green Vue than on the screen. Yak, yak, yak.

Not that fussed as the film was booorrring! Still complained and got two comps, not bad as it was Orange Wednesday and I only paid for one ticket.
There is no delight the equal of dread

http://twitter.com/MaxRenn

http://letterboxd.com/maxrenn/

Blog: http://www.chrisandphilpresent.co.uk/blogs/spectacularoptical/

42nd Street Freak
Walking Dead
Walking Dead
Posts: 57
Joined: Sun Feb 28, 2010 9:16 pm

Re: films we just saw

Post by 42nd Street Freak » Fri Mar 05, 2010 3:37 pm

"I Start Counting"

Wynne (Jenny Agutter), an adopted schoolgirl has a growing crush on her elder foster brother George (Bryan Marshall).

At the same time a series of local sex attacks on young women is haunting the town.....



Welcome to the world of dusty, long forgotten, stuck at the back of the highest shelf, British flicks that pushed new boundaries in content and subject but got lost in the shuffle between ‘Hammer’, ‘Amicus’, ‘Tigon’ and ‘Carry On’ films.

“I Start Counting” is a weird hybrid of kitchen sick drama, risqué coming of age flick and sex predator exploitation.

Don’t go expecting an explicit sex killer on the loose exploitation ride like the same year’s “Night, After Night, After Night”, as here the main focus is on Wynne’s growing realisation of her own sexuality and dispossession from her adopted family.

The other main point of the film is the changing times that Wynne’s generation are maturing into. This is the tail end of the swinging sixties and loud music you parents don’t like is the norm, skirts as short as can be without getting a clip round the ear are the fashion and more open and frank attitudes to sex are creeping into daily life.
And it is here that the film’s positive attributes shine forth.

These aspects of life in England during this time are a fascinating part of the film and anyone with an interest in such explosive times of social upheaval will find much to enjoy here.

Religious connection to sex is carried on throughout the film with many a pure white wall, or shining bright light dominating the scene where sometimes that purity becomes stained…like a fine scene where Wynne imagines what seems to be her Mother lying dead at the bottom of some cellar stairs, as the young version of herself touches the blood pooling under her Mum's head only to quickly wipe crimson trails upon her pretty white dress as blood that meant death to the young Wynne mirrors the menstrual blood of life that is about to enter the older Wynne’s life as her body catches up with her mind concerning her feelings for George.

The biggest metaphor though comes in the form of the sex murders.
The unseen killer is the danger that comes from her newly found desire.
The simplistic meaning is sex at the wrong time in the wrong place with the wrong man can be literally deadly, but they also stand for the fact that there are consequences when you become sexually active, more serious aspects to desire than just the girlish thrill of a touch or a look.
Really, I think purposely but I don’t think in a preaching way, the killer becomes the great big Catholic bogeyman of sinful sexual encounters and their repercussions.

So we have many interesting things happening within the story and the rough, gritty, look of the film also adds to the whole vibe of the time.

If the exploitation aspect of the story is tame indeed as far as the killings go, it has a bigger influence during the day to day scenes of Wynne’s life.
And it is here we just have to mention the young Jenny Agutter.
Looking as cute as the cutest thing in the house of cute in the land of much cuteness she shows that shyness has never meant much too her (as her subsequent film career would delightfully prove) as the opening credit sequence includes the 16 year old Agutter putting on and walking around in her underwear as she gets dressed into her school uniform.
I feel like a dirty old man just typing such things!

But this is not just a bit of cheeky exploitation as the carefree scene of her getting dressed shows us not only the budding young woman but that this budding young woman is still in the guise of a schoolgirl.
That contradictory time between dressing as you did when you were 12 but having the growing body and feelings of a young woman is effectively set out for us before the narrative even begins.

Agutter, away from her obvious physical presence, also delivers a genuinely satisfying acting performance as the confused, torn, Wynne.
She really comes into her own during the numerous daydream/fantasy/flashback moments and shows some real fire during the finale as the film turns into a more conventional ‘damsel in distress’ fright flick.

Away from Jenny the marvelous Bryan Marshall shows why it’s a crying shame he did not have a bigger career (his undoubted triumph is his great turn as the scheming Counselor Harris in the classic “The Long Good Friday”) as he skilfully essays George as a character we truly have no idea about as far as him being the killer is concerned.
The only other person who sticks out is the young Simon Ward (just on the cusp of a mini-breakthrough in “Frankenstein must be Destroyed”) as a rather leery Bus Conductor.

So what we have with “I Start Counting” is a real mish-mash of ideas (even genres) that sometimes works sublimely well as far as linking metaphors from one plot strand to another goes, but at times also seems to not focus enough on one aspect (the killings) while rather treading water on some of the more kitchen sink drama stuff goes.

And if the screen time is too truncated and the exploitation aspects too diluted as far as the sex killings go (away from the genuinely affective finale inside an abandoned house that delivers a couple of good, dark, shocks), the sight of a young Jenny Agutter is always going to be a big plus, as is the clever look at such a vital era in the history of Great Britain and the influence it had on those who had to crawl their way to adulthood within it.

krispyg
Frightfest Hardcore
Frightfest Hardcore
Posts: 780
Joined: Fri Mar 21, 2008 8:24 am
Location: Failsworth - it's midway between Oldham and Manchester

Re: films we just saw

Post by krispyg » Sat Mar 06, 2010 1:02 pm

City Of Angels

As part of the film compromise in my house, for every film I choose my other half gets to choose something the next time. Not too bad untill you actually realise how different our tastes in films are. So in order to avoid slushy romantic nonsense that just makes me want to scream/kill or turn suicidal, I kind of buy films "that I thought you would like" hence how I ended up with COA.

It's a simple story that angels are amongst us all the time and can be seen only when you are dying. Nic Cage and Meg Ryan give strong perfiormances in both roles and even as someone who never takes an interest in romantic films, this one kept me interested, right through to the end. It's a heartwarming story and there are times it really tugs at the heart strings, just the odd one liner here and there that really impresses.

Not the sort of film I would usually go out and watch but I have to say this was a nice film for us to both sit and watch together.

Plus it gives me an excuse to put The Horseman or Coffin Rock on next time :lol:
"With all your superstitions
And empty lines
I could be just like you
Withdrawn but alive"

Post Reply