Posts Tagged ‘thriller’

As you all have undoubtedly figured out by now, the crew here at YDKSAF are kind of movie buffs. We love films of all genres, budgets, and levels of star power. So, needless to say, we watch alot of movies. I made my weekly Redbox raid yesterday to catch up on some new films that I wasn’t quite confident enough in to purchase. One of the films that ended up in my stack was Prisoners.

I remember seeing the previews for this film on, it seemed like, every movie I saw in theaters this summer. I was intrigued by both the plot and the cast but, somehow managed to miss it during it’s theatrical run. Now that I have watched it, im glad I spent my time and money on it.

Hugh Jackman and Terrence Howard star as th fathers of two young girls who go missing following a two family Thanksgiving dinner. There is a pretty obvious suspect and successful detective Jake Gyllenhaal is on the case. After the prime suspect is released on lack of evidence, Jackman’s character is naturally pretty pissed. Things subsequently spiral out of control and a lot of unsavory events take place followed by some pretty good twists and turns leading to an unsuspected conclusion.

Simply put, films like this are the reason I watch and films in the first place. It has an emotionally gripping story that is suited really well by the cast. The performance of the characters is almost uncomfortable to watch simply because it feels so real. This one is definitely worth your money and your time, be ready though it clocks in at just over two and a half hours. Till next time friends…

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What is horror? What is scary? What terrifies people? These are questions that writers have been asking themselves for centuries and that filmmakers have been asking themselves for the last century. The answer is…who knows? What defines horror varies from person to person because what is scary changes from person to person. What may chill one person to the bone may be laughable to another. That makes it very difficult to say whether or not a story, book, TV show, or film is scary simply because it depends on the audience.

Let’s narrow down the medium a little and discuss horror a little more. For the last month we here at the You Don’t Know Shit About Fuck blog have been discussing some of our favorite horror movies in celebration of Halloween which has raised the questions at hand. From the early 20th century, filmmakers have attempted to scare audiences with both adaptations of other works, literary and cinematic, and with original stories. From early silent works such as Nosferatu, through the Universal Monsters, and slasher Icons Michael Myers and Jason Voorhees, all the way through recent films such as The Conjuring, the film industry has always had a thing for trying to scare audiences and the audience has always been there for horror.

Horror, specifically cinema, has a wide range of sub-genres under the main umbrella genre because as we said earlier, scary things change from person to person. Some of the highest grossing and most loved horror films are in the “Slasher” sub-genre, which to me is pretty self explanatory. Characters such as Freddy Krueger, Michael Myers, Jason Voorhees, Leatherface, and the various incarnations of Ghostface have been scaring the crap out of audiences for decades. Lets face it, what’s not terrifying about a 6’5 300lb unstoppable guy in a hockey mask weilding a machete? For many though, that just doesnt cut it, pun very much intended.

In 1968, horror got a new face…a dead one. Rising cultural tensions in the United States inspired young filmmaker George A. Romero to create what is now an iconic genre of horror, the zombie film. With Night Of The Living Dead, horror as we knew it changed forever. That original film spawned hundreds of imitators and inspired hundreds more to blaze their own trail. Romero himself made several very successful, high quality sequels and they all had something to say unlike many of his contemporaries. The zombie genre has come a long way from midnight shows to big budget, prime time TV shows and blockbuster films. However, all of them owe a debt of gratitude to Mr. Romero, without whom the genre most likely would not exist.

Other sub-genres include the always popular ghost/demon based supernatural genre. With terrifying classics such as The Exorcist, Poltergeist, and Child’s Play and more modern films like The Exorcism of Emily Rose, The Innkeepers, and the Conjuring, paranormal films have always kept audiences covering their eyes as well. Other popular styles of horror include monster movies like the classic Dracula and Frankenstein films, Sci-Fi films such as Alien, Event Horizon, and Cloverfield have kept audiences screaming as well.

Thankfully for cinephiles and horror enthusiasts such as us here at YDKSAF, there is alot of shit that scares people. We are lucky enough to live in a time when studios try their best to pack the most scares into a horror film. Sometimes they hit, other times they miss and that goes back to the definition of horror changing with every individual. Over the years there have been a lot of great, and a lot of terrible, films made in an attempt to make people check their closets or turn on a light before entering a room and for that I am very thankful. A few of them have even made me check around corners or get scared at a bump in the night. Mostly though, horror is a great escape because unfortunately, the world is alot more terrifying and ugly than anything Hollywood can crank out. Thanks for being along for the ride with us this month, we have really had alot of fun and can’t wait to do it again next year. Don’t worry though, Halloween isn’t quite over yet…

-Heath

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“I see dead people”

Those four words became iconic in the summer of 1999. With The Sixth Sense, M. Night Shyamalan made his first real splash in the film industry after making a couple of heartfelt yet largely ignored films. It was a cultural phenomenon that summer raking in large sums of money and making stars of Haley Joel Osment and Mr. Shyamalan as well. As several other films we have discussed this month, this isn’t necessarily a horror film but it shares a similarly terrifying tone. It certainly scared the shit out of the 12 year old me when it was released.

The film tells the story of a young boy named Cole Sear who is dealing with being at an awkward age and having divorced parents. Oh yeah, theres that whole being able to see wandering and sometimes angry spirits as well…that can’t really help matters much. It is simultaneously telling the story of psychiatrist Dr. Malcolm Crowe who, a year after being shot by a disturbed former patient who then turned the gun on himself, takes Cole’s case. Dr. Crowe is trying to deal with the fact that his marriage is deteriorating while trying to avoid failing Cole the way he did with the patient who shot him. After some very well written and performed dramatic cinema came the incredible twist ending that nobody stopped talking about for months, which I won’t spoil in case you’ve ignored this gem.

Mr. Shyamalan went on to make a couple more decent films, even one or two with a decent twist ending. Unfortunately for all of us, he never quite matched this film in quality. Fortunately for some and not so much for others, this was a high point in their career. It revitalized Bruce Willis’s lagging career and made him a huge star. After a couple of relatively well known films, Haley Joel Osment disappeared into the indie cinema abyss. Luckily, all parties involved left this gem for cinephiles to enjoy for years to come. For a film that will make you never look at a kitchen full of open cabinets or drawers the same, give this one a shot. Stay terrified, Happy Halloween to all!

-Heath

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The Strangers

Posted: October 13, 2013 in Movies, Op-ed, Reviews
Tags: , , , ,

“This film is based on true events”…kind of…well a little…fine, not at all.

The fact that this film was not based on actual events does not take away from the creepy factor at all. A troubled couple staying at a remote cabin in northern California are terrorized by mysterious assailants. The couple (Scott Speedman and Liv Taylor) return to a friends cabin to work out some issues after a wedding. Shortly after arriving a mysterious woman shows up asking for someone who doesnt live there then leaves. Surprise, surprise, shit goes way south from there. Three people in creepy ass masks show up and wreak mental and emotional havok on the couple and the rest is pretty much an edge of your seat, cover your eyes scarefest. The writer/director does a fantastic job of making the antagonists as ambiguous as possible. They never get a face or even a real motive, so they get a pure evil kind of vibe.

“Why are you doing this to us?”
“Because you were home”

This movie has a intense creepy factor. It’s shot in a vintage style that multiplies the creepiness to “make you never want to be home alone ever again” levels. Unfortunately, this movie wasn’t very popular when it was released.  Most likely due to the fact that it was more mental and emotional horror as opposed to the overly gory “Torture Porn” genre that was poular at the time. For a scary good time that will most likely make you sell your cabin in the woods, give this one a watch.

-Heath

@ShitAboutFuck
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Now You See Me has many points that piqued my interest. It has, first and foremost, an interesting concept. Add to that a stellar cast and a very stylistically and visually tallented director and you get a recipe not only for success but for a solid film. As it turns out, the results are…fantastic.

Films such as this are the reason I watch movies in the first place. Films that grab your attention and captivate your imagination. This film does both quite immediately. The cold open introducing the four main characters snags your attention and makes you like them immediately. Soon after, the film starts making you ask questions in the best possible way.

All through the film up until the last few minutes, the questions continue to build. It is very deceptively executed though to keep you from getting too close to the answers. Just when you think you have your finger on the answer, the ground drops out from under you leaving you wondering again. Unsurprisingly, magic takes center stage here in all of its various forms. The film centers around 4 stylistically different magicians who come together under an unknown leader for ambiguous reasons, unknown even to them, all the while being pursued by various government organizations.

One of the highlights here, of which there are many, is the great cast. The main group, Woody Harrelson, Jessie Eisenberg, Dave Franco, and Isla Fisher, are an unkikely pairing but they work perfectly together. Their chemistry is nothing short of cinematic gold. The main antagonist is portrayed expertly by Mark Ruffalo, as if you would expect any less from him. The supporting cast is also expertly assembled, being rounded out by huge names such as, Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine and lesser known names in Michael Kelly, rapper Common, and Melanie Laurent.

This incredibly crafted script is beautifully directed by the always great Louis Leterrier, whose Incredible Hulk adaptation is one of my favorite comic book adaptations. He has a way with making visuals just immediately draw you in. He is a perfect fit for the sleight of hand, distract you from the obvious vibe that runs through the entire film. His direction perfectly fits the vibe that the script sets up.

Solid cast, fantastic direction, a more than solid script, and a twist ending that you will quite literally never see coming make this a must see film. It is sure to make it on to your top films of the year list, It has already made mine.
5/5

-Heath
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Being a fan of a good thriller/psychological horror film, I couldn’t miss The Purge. Very strong previews piqued my curiosity. The film starts with the pretty standard introduction to the whole concept, crime and unemployment at an all time low in 2022 America due to the Annual Purge. The Annual Purge is a yearly event in which all laws are suspended for 12 hours so that citizens can cleanse their minds and souls of all the anger and frustration they build up throughout the year.

After the introduction of the premise with some “Purge Feed” footage over the credits we finally get around to character introductions. A pretty standard introduction to all of the key characters ensues showing the main family’s ritual for protection from the night’s events. After the idealistic, if not foolish, anti-purge youngest child lets in a potential Purge victim the trouble begins. The people who were hunting him are none too happy that he’s been given shelter but if you’ve seen the preview this is nothing new.

Throughout the course of the film, we get some great scares and some well done action sequences. There are also some vaguely predictable last second lives saved. The film is also full of the standard thriller twists and turns, but they never seem to get boring. The film wraps with a great final sequence and a fairly unpredictable ending.

A good script executed by a solid cast makes for a truly entertaining experience. Though slightly predictable at times, it’s easily forgivable considering just how entertaining the film is. If you are looking for some good scares and thrills, look no further, the Purge is worth your money. This one gets a fully erect.

-Heath