Now, before you go getting all "Oooh, an Awesome Movie Poster Friday celebrating the beloved Scream series, coinciding with the release of Scream 4! How...4tuitous!", let me just say: that is not really what this AMPF is. I wanted to do a Scream series tribute but let's face it: the posters for the Scream films largely suck. In fact, if you'll remember (or click this link to learn), my scientific research has shown that Scream 2 is directly responsible for the sorry sorry state of the modern horror movie poster- a pit of Photoshopped, fresh-faced blandness that we're only just beginning to crawl out of several years later. At least there's a tiny effort being made with the posters for Scream 4, but I still hear the sad echoes of "wasted opportunity" when I close my eyes.
Ah...just imagine what the art could have been if Scream had been made in 1981. *tear*
The worst offender, I think, is this one sheet of fuckery for Scream 2. Come on, Germany, what is this? Who is this? It's like Neve Campbell and Amanda Seyfried had a baby and then they made a Bratz doll out of the baby and then they dipped the Bratz doll baby in bronzer.
So, no. This AMPF is not dedicated solely to the Scream films...but it is dedicated to films that scream. Hooray!
I am curious to see what kind of reception Scream 4 will get. It's been ten years since the last film in the series; are people so clamoring for more of Ghostface's killnanigans and thus will jump into his knife-wielding arms readily? Is seeing the old Scream gang up on the screen enough to block out that whiff of cash-grab, or will everyone be all "Dayum, that shit smells like cash-grab!"? Yes...curious am I.
Cash-grab, by the way, smells a bit like Aviance Night Musk by Prince Matchabelli for Women.
Yes yes, the ol' Scream gang is back- or, at least, OG survivors Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell), Gale Weathers (Courteney Cox) and Dewey Riley (David Arquette) have returned. It's ten years since the last spate of murders. Let's catch up! Gale and Dewey are married. Dewey is the sheriff, and Gale is bored playing the sheriff's wife. Sidney has written a self-help book, and her book tour brings her home to Woodsboro. Once she arrives in town, Ghostface gets busy.
Err, he gets busy killing, that is...killing and making phone calls.
If I had to sum up Scream 4 in three words, I'd use these three: "enjoyable, if rote."
Scream revitalized the horror genre and ushered in a new age of slasher flicks; it was successful because it was a damn good slasher flick, but more so, it made a point of telling the audience which genre conventions it was adhering to...you know, those famous "rules" spouted off by film geek characters. Kevin Williamson's Scream 4 makes it a point to establish new rules for this age of incessant horror remakes and reboots, and the film straddles those two categories. Scream 4 is so self-referential and meta (even dropping hints about, say, the real-life marital discord between Cox and Arquette) that it's become a mobius strip, and ouroboros feeding off of its own history and cleverness. At times, it almost sinks into the realm of complete parody. There is some seriously broad overacting going throughout, the type better suited to Scary Movie than a scary movie. Mind you, with the exception of Sidney (who, dammit, is a real Final Girl, ain't she?), the characters are little more than cardboard place holders- but that's no cause for mugging, Marley Shelton, Courteney Cox, and woman who played Sidney's publicist. As someone who knows that Battlestar Galactica is the best show ever, I found Mary McDonnell to be completely squandered in a tiny, thankless role.
Though the cast is full of red herrings and the violence is vicious and brutal, the film quickly falls into a pattern: phone call, oh no!, die. I suppose, perhaps, that was always the Scream formula, but here it just seems like a journey from beat to beat. There may be jump scares, but there's not much tension. It's capable, like all Wes Craven movies are. After it was over, I began thinking about that- what makes a Wes Craven movie a Wes Craven movie? Does anything? Scream 4 could have been directed by anyone who knows what they're doing behind the camera and the results wouldn't be much different. It's just sort of there and you like it well enough even though things slide into JUST END ALREADY-land once the killer is revealed, but...you know. It's enjoyable, if rote. Much of that enjoyment stems from an affection for earlier entries in the series (except Scream 3, because fuck you Scream 3), which is what's going to get fans in the seats.
Hey, does it smell like Aviance Night Musk by Prince Matchabelli for Women in here to you?
I've been thinking a lot lately about In My Skin. Actually, I find myself thinking about modern French horror quite a bit. Whether you end up loving or hating a film like High Tension, that shit stays with you, you know? They're anything but bland- in fact, these films stick a butcher knife in bland's guts and dig around to see what's inside.
It's the French and the Spanish that are getting me jazzed as a horror fan these days, though their approaches to meditations on the human condition couldn't be more different. Taking two films about motherhood as examples, compare The Orphanage's dreamy and dread-filled atmosphere to Inside's brutality and you'll see what I mean.
I've got Calvaire and La Horde sitting on my shelves, staring at me with accusing...err, words on their spines, but if my history with modern French horror is any indication, I need to, like, clear my schedule to watch them- meaning, they're not to be approached lightly. I wish I could say that about every horror movie I've got sitting around waiting to be seen, but unfortunately much of it feels just...there.
And one of these days, I swear I'm going to write about Martyrs. I knoooowwwww I keep saying that, but it's daunting. For now, in case you don't know my feelings on it:
The short answer: I love it The long answer: IIIIIIII loooooooooooove iiiiiiiiiiiiiiit
The Resident: Recently single Juliet Devereau (Hilary Swank) finds a New York apartment that's so (err...relatively) cheap she can barely believe her eyeholes. Before you can say "I bet that deal will turn out to be to good to be true", the deal turns out to be too good to be true: Juliet's landlord Max (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) is a major creeper who doesn't take rejection well. Stalk stalk creep creep, the end.
Two sentences: The DVD box boasts "from Hammer Studios" and "featuring Christopher Lee", which will get some horror fans' tongues wagging, but The Resident is little more than a tepid (though watchable) pastiche of thrillers those same fans have undoubtedly seen before. While it looks nice enough and there are a couple of chilling sequences, the talented cast is squandered on underdeveloped characters and a limp plot that hints at what could have been.
The verdict: I am a sucka for this kind of big new apartment thriller- it's the Lifetime Movie/The Sentinel fan in me, I think- and I will watch anything featuring Christopher Lee; this does not, however, denote quality when in comes to the film in question.
The New Daughter: After his wife up and leaves him, author John James (Kevin Costner) packs up his two kids and heads to a new house out in the woods of South Carolina. After discovering an Indian burial ground on the property, surly daughter Luisa (Ivana Baquero of Pan's Labyrinth) begins acting...well, surlier. And very strangely. John tries to find out what's what and discovers there's a rather sordid history tied in with the new homestead.
Two sentences:The New Daughter is the English-language directorial debut of Luis Berdejo (co-writer of [REC]), and maybe that's why it feels so goldurned Spanish. Equal parts family drama and monster movie, this is a slow-burn flick (read: some people might find it dull) that's big on atmosphere, chills, and great visuals.
The verdict: I kind of loved it, even though the DVD box tried to convince me I wouldn't with its Kevin Costner-ness, its hokey Photoshop pictures, and its cries of "intense!" and "pulse-pounding!"
By "these" I mean "a Tumblr page. I won't be doing any writing over there or anything...well, actually worthwhile, most likely. There's something about the platform I generally find aesthetically pleasing- the simplicity, maybe? I like that a page can be nothing more than pretty pictures. I like the immediacy of it; Camp Final Girl will be the place where I'll put up a still from a movie I'm thinking about just because. I'll probably post stuff that's not horror-related as well. There's even a link at the top of the page- a link you can CLICK- that allows people to ask questions or what have you. And as nerdy as it is, I really dig the theme for my page because I have a big metaphorical boner for Field Notes, even if they're overpriced and hipster. So anyway, check out mah Tumblr if you want to. Don't worry...FG is still number one in my coal-black heart!
Now, I don't usually post about every little tidbit that comes down the line when a film is in production. First of all, it can quickly escalate into a massive landslide of useless information as PR firms try to keep a movie's name on the tip of everyone's brain. Second, Final Girl may be many things (one of those things is even good!), but it's not a horror news site. Third, aren't numbered lists great? Fourth, I try to ignore most of the production news when it comes to movies I'm going to want to see, like...oh, say Silent Hill: Revelation I'm Leaving Off the 3D Part (Although I Just Mentioned It There, in a Way) Because While I Never Thought I'd Say It, I'm a Bit Over 3D. You know, to minimize expectations and spoilers and so on. But! I just got a press release about how the one and only Carrie-Anne Moss has joined the cast of Silent Hill: Revelation and so I thought I'd pop in here to say:
Carrie-Anne Moss has joined the cast of Silent Hill: Revelation.
Yes, yes, when you think of Carrie-Anne Moss there's The Matrix and Memento and you know, Fido was quite entertaining. However, in my awesome opinion, what's most important is that she was part of two of my favorite things in the history of ever, namely Mass Effect 2 and OF COURSE...Models, Inc. Now she's part of Silent Hill, another of my favorite things. I am so Team Carrie-Anne Moss that I should perhaps consider making (and subsequently wearing) a t-shirt that says I am so Team Carrie-Anne Moss on it.
The point is, this is sweet news, and while I was greatly looking forward to Silent Hill: Revelation, now I am even more looking-forward-y.
Oh yeah, and now Malcolm McDowell has been cast in SH: R as well, but...you know. Meh. It's not like he was on Models, Inc or anything.
...I've been pretty much MIA lately. I've recently started a new comic gig that has a crazy deadline (of which I am still in denial), and it doesn't leave much time for anything else.
Here is a picture of Macdonald Carey of Days of Our Lives. I hope this helps ease any discomfort you may be feeling due to my absence.
I have been watching movies whilst inking, however, and I'm going to squeak out a couple of teeny reviews next week no matter the cost to my sanity.
In the meantime, enjoy your weekend! Go see Insidious because why not? It's a horror movie in theaters, and you could do with a night or afternoon out. It's not a bad flick and Rose Byrne is in it. What more could you want?