Monday, October 8, 2007

Oh! The Horror (6)

Day 7: October 8, 2007

The Marsh

Claire Holloway is an author of children's stories who was adopted at age 8 and has little memory of her life before adoption other than the story that her parents were killed in a tragic car accident. She suffers from horrifying nightmares about a swamp and one day sees and advertisement for a town which strongly resembles those nightmares. So she decides to rent a house there while she works on her next book (which are usually kind of creepy). Once she moves into the house her nightmares intensify as she discovers she has a psychic connection to this house, which is haunted by a little girl and a pedophiliac ghost with multiple personalities. This is another story of "help the ghosts so that they can pass on blah blah". The acting in this film is often overly dramatic and a lot of the story ideas aren't very original. There are stolen bits from Poltergeist, An American Haunting, etc. The special effects in the film were pretty powerfully done, but the characters rarely responded to them as though they were actually frightened, which took away from the effect. This one gets 2.5 skulls on strength of special effects.

Day 8: October 9, 2007


In the war torn and poverty stricken country of Burundi in Africa a world famous anthropologist is killed by a giant nine meter crocodile named Gustave. Across the globe in the the United States a television producer puts together a crack team to travel to Africa to cover this story AND capture the massive croc. What a crock. This team consists of a reporter who doesn't want to cover this story (played by Prison Break's Dominic Purcell, who can't seem to button any shirt past mid-chest), a wildlife reporter, a cameraman, a crocodile expert (a la Steve Irwin, but more of a tool), and a guide/poacher. According to the opening credits it's inspired by true events. Often stories that make this claim are generally about 70% BS, but claim it anyway to lend credibility to their story and trick gullible movie patrons into buying a ticket. What the focus of the story was is unclear as it went between how screwed up Africa is with its warlords and poverty, and the giant crocodile eating people at an alarming rate. Multiple times throughout the film it felt as though the story just cut scenes directly from Jurassic Park, but it was difficult to tell as the director opted for that annoying trend of rapid, slightly out of focus, and poorly framed shots during the action sequences in order to indicate the seriousness of the threat. This may have also been done because the special effects budget wasn't large enough to pay for the additional rendering and animating of a nine meter crocodile attacking everything in sight. This film gets a poor rating on the horror scale. 1 skull.

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