Tony D’Aquino’s “The Furies” is teeming with potential but is a movie that seems to be hell bent on pissing away any and all entertainment value at every turn. Everything in “The Furies” could have used another draft, from the motives of the mysterious villains, the motivation of the protagonists, and of course the final scene that ends on the presumption that a sequel is coming up the pipe line or something.
The third installment in the Devil’s Reject trilogy (or the House of 1000 Corpses trilogy?), 3 From Hell picks up from where The Devil’s Rejects left off and makes sense of connecting that ending with making a third film. Here the Rejects escape jail and go on the run until bad people catch up with them. Who’s the worst bad guy and best killer? It’s up the audience to decide.
I love John Carpenter. I love John Carpenter just as much as Spielberg, and that’s saying a lot as anyone who knows me knows I’m a big Spielberg nut. In either case, even Carpenter’s lesser efforts in the late nineties to early aughts are somewhat entertaining, if only because even when he never quite sticks the landing, he’s at least going for something different. With “Vampires,” Carpenter tries his best to rethink and remold the modern vampire and make them terrifying again. While the movie isn’t great, its ambition and ability to make Vampires primal monsters again is admirable and worthy of an audience.
Universal Studios pulled a very controversial and polarizing move recently by pulling their survival thriller “The Hunt” from its release schedule amidst the recent mass shootings, once again proving that Hollywood just doesn’t get it. In either case while many folks (me included) were excited for the film and are now angered at its being pulled and most likely shelved indefinitely, I thought I’d recommend five great films in the vein of “The Hunt.”
Films (and media) revolving around men hunting other men and or people have been in the medium since the silent era. I even read “The Most Dangerous Game” from 1924 by writer Richard Connell back in 1998 for high school. Here are merely five of dozens of great films in this sub-sub-genre.
What are some of your favorites in this ilk? Let Me Know.
Director Carolina Hellsgård wears her heart on her sleeve with “Ever After,” a movie that’s mired in the influence of femininity and women and offers up a lot of metaphysical ideas about mother Earth, nature, and our state of being. Although “Ever After” has been marketed as a zombie movie, the zombie element is mostly a background dressing for something more meditative and complex. While I adapted to what screenwriter Olivia Vieweg was leading us in to after the first half hour, “Ever After” still manages to be a mixed bag and doesn’t quite re-invent the wheel.
Jealousy, bad tempers, and violence explode between Richard, his girlfriend Sasha, and their best friend Jonah. Trying to make peace, they all head out on Richard’s family board. Soon, they find themselves stranded at sea without food or drinking water.
Munro Chambers is one of the most underrated actors working in film today. He’s been a man mostly working in the corners of film with unsuspecting genre fare and every time he’s managed to turn in stellar performances. In “Harpoon” he manages to deliver a very layered and impressive turn as Jonah, a perpetually cursed protagonist who is revealed to be something and someone completely different every time Rob Grant’s twisted dark comedy reaches a new turning point. “Harpoon” is a fantastic addition to Fantasia this year, putting to film a morbid and weird amalgam of comedy, relationship drama, survival thriller, and horror.
Gints Zilbalodis’s “Away” is one of the most dazzling and fantastic animated movies I’ve seen in years, and I’d be stunned if it isn’t appreciated as a masterpiece down the line. Zilbalodis spent years on this work of love committing to every facet of the production himself, and completing what is a tightly packed and briskly paced epic adventure film that is also deceptively simple in its presentation and delivery.