To get in the mood for Halloween, I have been reading horror novels, trade paperbacks and watching scary movies. Some have turned out pretty good. Most of the movies, I rented locally.
“Subject Two” is an excellent movie that sort of borrows from the Frankenstein theme. A young man answers an ad for a lab assistant and winds up being the guinea pig for a mad scientist in a remote snow covered mountain. The scientist is experimenting with nanites (microscopic machines that can repair damaged cells) in order to revive the dead. The film is well acted and directed, and I was surprised to find out that it was shot for a minimum budget (when I listened to director’s commentaries on the DVD). All in all an excellent film.
“The Dark” stars Sean Bean as an artist who loses his daughter into the waves near his home in Wales. Bean’s wife Adele (Maria Bello) finds out that a weird cult used to live on the property whose religious beliefs were based on Welsh mythology and folklore. The people believed that a person could travel back and forth between our world and Anwyn, the land of the dead. Adele encounters a girl named Ebrill who it turns out drowned 50 years ago. Adele wonders if she can return Ebrill to Anwyn if it would be possible for her to get her own daughter back. A very spooky movie, and very appropriate for this season given its roots in Celtic myth.
“The Descent” is a horror film that doesn’t insult your intelligence. Generally speaking, I am not big on horror films because if something attacked me, it would be in more danger from me than vice versa. When six extreme sports gals on a vacation in Appalachia encounter a subterranean race of quasi human mutants, the ladies panic, of course, but two in particular do fight back. A very, very good and unusual movie.
“Big Bad Wolf” is a horror comedy featuring a talking werewolf. I don’t know that I have ever seen that before. Kind of a fun low-budget affair.
“Frankenstein Unbound” is one of my favorite horror flicks as it’s version of the famous monster is closer to the original creation of Mary Shelley than any other version I have ever seen. Ironically, it’s actually based on a Brian W. Aldiss novel of the same name, not on the Shelley classic. In it, a modern scientist gets hurled back to the early 1800s where he meets Mary Shelley and falls in love with her. He also meets the mad scientist and his home-made superman, whose many “improvements” such as two more opposable thumbs and two spines is a frighteningly large menace. This movie was directed by Roger Corman and shows that given a decent budget, the infamous B-Movie director was capable of making a high quality product rivaling any director in tinseltown.
Many episodes of the “Masters of Horror” anthology on Showtime are also available on DVD and can be rented locally.
“Incident On and Off a Mountain Road” is another example of how you can turn the tables in the horror genre and produce an intelligent and suspenseful project that goes against the typical