21 April 2009
Movies - Last Seen
The Brøken, UK/France (2008)
This movie reminded me early Stephen King, especially his short stories. The horror doesn't come from external origin, there is no alien invasion, insane killer or supernatural vengeance. The fear slowly reveals itself from the inside, the murderer lies within yourself.
I liked this film. The camera is slowly moving through spaces, showing empty rooms and corridors, characters are standing in front of the mirrors, staring at themselves, not much talking either. It is all so atmospheric and monotonic, yet there is always a sense that something just wrong, and this sense increasing and becoming more and more intense.
Although I guessed what is going on early in the film (it is really not that hard to do) it did not spoil the ending, because, apparently, this film is more intelligent and smart to end itself with some cheap twist.
Lena Headey is looking really good and has great presence in this film, transforming herself into very fragile and classy character, it is very pleasant to watch her. Richard Jenkins is also prominent in small but heavy role, and overall the cast was very efficient, great achievement by the director.
The premise of the film is good and well executed, some visual images are truly scary, proving that some movies don't need explicit violence and gore to make a point. Although the slowness of that film has its charm, this is also its weakness. It makes the movie to be a bit boring and less effective in its emotional involvement of the viewer. It is also too enigmatic.
For me it was complex and interesting movie, that can really make your imagination run wild, but The Brøken is definitely not for everybody.
Dead Snow (Død snø), Norway (2009)
Red sure looks good one white, but nice visual aesthetics and great make up with brilliant idea of making zombies out of Nazis, cannot hide the total emptiness of the substance.
Bunch of young people, fighting cool looking zombies in the middle of white snow vastness, should also get a backup from the content - the story should be compelling, the dialogs witty and funny, the emotional complexity of the characters should be developed by their personalities and actions.
But nothing like that happens. The story is about absolutely nothing, the characters prove once again that horror films happen in the world of stupid people, even if they are all college students. The movie is not funny either, only two situations made me smile a little.
Despite having some nice and bloody sequences with lots of decapitations, brutal deaths and overall decent amount of gore, this film disappoints by having nothing to say. It is as hollow as the heart of a Nazi zombie.
Frontière(s), France/Switzerland (2007)
The recipe for making a horror film:
Bunch of troubled youngsters with personal problems arrive at remote location - check.
Crazy family, a la Texas Chainsaw Massacre, living there - check.
The family is a bunch of freaks and inbreed degenerates, whose leader is old and insane Nazi - check.
Cannibalism, brutal murders, imprisonment, torture, violence - check.
Gore, blood, deformed bodies, filth - check.
Insanity, madness, depressive situations - check.
Good horror film - ahh.... no.
It seems that the director, Xavier Gens (Hitman), has all the ingredients, but he just can't cook anything worthy out of them. Whether it's the visual style that he chose or the political angle of the story, bad writing or stupid characters. The result lacks any emotional depth, annoying most of the time and in general looks like a pile of ideas mixed without any kind of form or correct porportions. And I won't even mention how bad and ridiculous the ending is (well, I guess I just did). Bad meal.
Time Masters (Les maîtres du temps), France (1982)
Another masterwork from French animator Rene Laloux. Again he unleashes his imagination and creates some sort of philosophical sci-fi adventure, with great visuals and interesting story.
And it is not just visual imagination, it is also the creation of characters and development of the plot, there is certain adult and serious approach in his work. What makes him so remarkable, is that he puts a lot of thought into any animated person or creature that he creates. And even if they are just animation, he still manages to give them expression abilities and real personalities. Great space fantasy.
Zift, Bulgaria (2008)
European arthouse film with all the related meanings.
I personally interpreted Zift as political allegory, when the author is looking at the past and trying to analyze it from the current viewpoint of wisdom, after many years have passed. Such retrospective is usually full with life lessons and moral tales.
The story occurs between 40's and 60's in totalitarian Bulgaria, which actually is a puppet of Soviet Russia, and it's about cold and harsh reality, filled with betrayal and dishonest people.
The main hero is looking for a humane side of such society, I might say he is looking for love in more general sense, as a concept.
Interesting and symbolic movie, beautifully shot on black and white film, with many surreal characters and small crime plot.
Zift looks like a Film School graduation project, but nevertheless it is recommended for everyone that seeks small arthouse pictures with meaning and depth.