Friday, October 5, 2007

Oh! The Horror (4)

Day 5: October 5, 2007

Hannibal Rising

This film was pretty graphic and gory, but I don't know how IMDB can categorize it as horror. It's not. I find that any movie where I can sympathize with the villain/hero not to be scary. Anyway, this film tells the story of our dear friend Hannibal Lecter's rise to infamy. It begins on the eastern front of WWII and follows young Hannibal's life as a rich young boy, to an orphan in a Soviet orphanage, to his life in Paris with his Japanese widowed aunt, to his hunt for revenge against the men who introduced him to cannibalism. This movie was pretty well acted, well written, and overall well made, but on a horror scale I'm afraid that I have to give it a pretty low skull rating. 1 out of 5.

Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon

Imagine a world where the great slasher film villains of our time are not fictional characters created only for the silver screen. A world where slasher is a sick profession, meticulously planned and trained for. This is the world of Leslie Vernon, a man who hopes to be the next Jason Vorhees, Freddy Kruegger, or Michael Myers. This film took a very creative angle on the whole slasher genre. Leslie invites a group of grad students to film and document his planning and implementation of a mass murder. At times it was pretty funny, but when the time came to be a slasher Mr. Vernon did not disappoint. I really liked this one. It was a real breath of fresh air into a stagnating area of film. I give it 4 skulls.

Dead Silence

Don't scream! This movie starts off really well with some early gore and creepiness surrounding the mysterious arrival of a ventriloquist's dummy at the apartment of a young married couple. Generations ago there was a female ventriloquist from the couple's hometown with a massive collection of dolls. She was murdered and is now seeking revenge on the families of those responsible for her death. The story had a lot of promise, unfortunately it gets bogged down in a fair amount of overacting and a dragging plot line about the dark history of this woman and the town. There are some decent special effects sequences involving the creepy doll collection. Don't turn it off if you start watching it and get bored in the middle, there is a nice plot twist towards the end.
This one gets 2.5 skulls.

The Abandoned

Rural Russia, 1966. A pair of twins are found in the cab of a truck next to their brutally murdered mother. Forty years later those twins both arrive at the house in which they were born to be reunited with the horror that separated them all those years ago. This movie was good! I love a good haunted house film, and The Abandoned did not disappoint. There are flashbacks and zombie doppelgangers, places that suddenly transform or repair themselves. Did I mention that it's inescapable? Cheers to Nacho Cerda in his feature length directorial debut. The cinematography was beautifully done with great usage of colors and transitions. I give this one a high mark of 4.5 skulls.

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