Alien

January 22, 2012


One line review: Alien mixes mystery with creepy imagery to create an extremely good horror movie.

Movie Title: Alien

Actors: Tom Skerritt, Sigourney Weaver, Veronica Cartwright, Harry Dean Stanton, John Hurt, Ian Holm, Yaphet Kotto, Bolaji Badejo

Director: Ridley Scott

Year: 1979

Genre: Horror

Method of Viewing: DVD

Location of Viewing: Home

Viewing with: No One

Rotten Tomatoes: 96% – A modern classic, Alien blends science fiction, horror and bleak poetry into a seamless whole.

My rating: ****

My assessment (the first 101 words at least): The praise for this movie is extremely high, and it pulls some tricks with the horror genre that are completely unique. On top of that it featured an impressive set of special effects and a memorable cast. While I probably won’t put this into my personal favorites, I can recognize a well put together film. What holds me back from going all the way was just some confusion I had with the plot and details of the alien. I ended up having to look up online to understand some details. Perhaps that’s my own fault, but it’s still a great film.

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Dracula

October 18, 2011


One line review: Dracula manages to hold up suprisingly well for it’s age, dependent mostly on the acting of Bela Lugosi and Dwight Frye.

Movie Title: Dracula

Actors: Bela Lugosi, Helen Chandler, David Manners, Dwight Frye, Edward Van Sloan, Herbert Bunston, Frances Dade, Joan Standing, Charles K. Gerrard

Director: Tod Browning, Karl Freund

Year: 1931

Genre: Horror

Method of Viewing: DVD

Location of Viewing: Home

Viewing with: No One

Rotten Tomatoes: 93% – Bela Lugosi’s timeless portrayal of Dracula in this creepy and atmospheric 1931 film has set the standard for major vampiric roles since.

My rating: ****

My assessment (the first 101 words at least): Providing a great contrast to The Shining, Dracula had very little sound effects or music as it came soon after the silent age of films. Still, the silence works just as well, often making the viewer feel trapped with Count Dracula. In addition, the slow and calculating speech of Bela Lugosi combined with the manic and insane mumblings of Dwight Frye constantly leaves the viewer on edge. My only complaint is that there seems to be some inconsistencies with the powers of Dracula and what he can do to his victims, though that’s more my inner nerd talking. A great film.


The Evil Dead

October 4, 2011


One line review: The Evil Dead combines a horror, gore, and a bit of humor to make a surprisingly enjoyable film.

Movie Title: The Evil Dead

Actors: Bruce Campbell, Ellen Sandweiss, Richard DeManincor, Betsy Baker, Theresa Tilly, Philip A. Gillis

Director: Sam Raimi

Year: 1981

Genre: Horror

Method of Viewing: DVD

Location of Viewing: Home

Viewing with: No One

Rotten Tomatoes: 100% – This classic low budget horror film combines just the right amount of gore and black humor, giving The Evil Dead an equal amount of thrills and laughs.

My rating: *****

My assessment (the first 101 words at least): I was surprised to learn that The Evil Dead and The Godfather both have 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. It’s certainly an impressive low-budget horror movie. It manages to give a small amount of horror, a high amount of gore, and actually kept me interested in what will happen next throughout the entire movie. I’m not a fan of the horror genre, but this is my favorite horror movie. It’s very limited in it’s quiet and creepy moments, but instead starting kicking ass early and often. I honestly can’t wait to view the next movie, I enjoyed watching this a lot.


The Shining

September 26, 2011


One line review: The Shining does an impressive job of building up momentum through sound effects and a slow build, but it seems to fall apart at the end.

Movie Title: The Shining

Actors: Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, Danny Lloyd, Scatman Crothers, Barry Nelson, Philip Stone, Joe Turkel, Anne Jackson, Tony Burton, Lia Beldam, Billie Gibson, Barry Dennen

Director: Stanley Kubrick

Year: 1980

Genre: Horror

Method of Viewing: DVD

Location of Viewing: Home

Viewing with: No One

Rotten Tomatoes: 88% – Though it deviates from Stephen King’s novel, Stanley Kubricks’ The Shining is a chilling, often baroque journey into madness — exemplified in an unforgettable turn from Jack Nicholson

My rating: ****

My assessment (the first 101 words at least): I was ready to declare this to be one of the best movies I had ever watched in this entire experiment. This is not a movie you could enjoy if the sound was muted and you were reading subtitles. So much of this film is dependent on eerie moments of subtle music or odd effects. I was impressed that there was suspense built up so early in the movie based solely on these dramatic moments. However, the film fell a bit flat at the end, somehow all the build up didn’t payoff. I’m disappointed that this movie couldn’t hold together throughout.


Jaws

July 17, 2011


One line review: Jaws is a horror movie that rises above it’s genre to become a classic.

Movie Title: Jaws

Actors: Roy Scheider, Robert Shaw, Richard Dreyfuss, Lorraine Gary, Murray Hamilton, Carl Gottlieb, Jeffrey Kramer, Susan Backlinie, Jonathan Filley

Director: Steven Spielberg

Year: 1975

Genre: Horror

Method of Viewing: DVD

Location of Viewing: Home

Viewing with: No One

Rotten Tomatoes: 100% – Compelling, well-crafted storytelling and a judicious sense of terror ensure Steven Spielberg’s Jaws has remained a benchmark in the art of delivering modern blockbuster thrills.

My rating: ****

My assessment (the first 101 words at least): It’s become obvious that horror will never be my favorite genre, but I can appreciate this film none the less. Jaws is the father of many classic moments of fear and shock. It also has the impressive ability to keep the tension up constantly, whether there’s a shark around or not. This movie doesn’t use gore and blood to get it’s scares, which guarantees it can stay fresh for years to come. The stars also manage to outshine the villian, which is a rare treat in most horror movies. A film that makes me reconsider what can be done in horror.


Dawn of the Dead (2004)

January 15, 2011


One line review: A fantastic mixture of comedy, action, and sheer hopelessness against an unforgiving mass.

Movie Title: Dawn of the Dead

Actors: Sarah Polley, Ving Rhames, Jake Weber, Mekhi Phifer, Ty Burrell, Michael Kelly, Kevin Zegers, Michael Barry, Lindy Booth

Director: Zack Snyder

Year: 2004

Genre: Horror

Method of Viewing: DVD

Location of Viewing: Home

Viewing with: No One

Rotten Tomatoes: 76% – Gruesome, but fun remake

My rating: ****

My assessment (the first 101 words at least): This is the first zombie movie I’ve ever seen, and I enjoyed it fairly well. I didn’t find the gore factor to be unbearable, though that might be because Netflix provided the R rated version, and not anything more stomach churning. I realize that there is a great variety of Zombie films from comedy to action to horror and dramatic. This film seemed to try to combine all of those differing genres to just make an entertaining zombie movie. The zombie genre is entertaining, though I don’t think I’ll be going on a zombie film spree anytime soon. Pretty good film.


A Nightmare on Elm Street

August 15, 2010

One line review: A vividly imaginative horror movie that definitely deserves it’s spot in history.

Movie Title: A Nightmare on Elm Street

Actors: John Saxon, Ronee Blakely, Heather Langenkamp, Amanda Wyss

Director: Wes Craven

Year: 1984

Genre: Horror

Method of Viewing: DVD

Location of Viewing: Home

Viewing with: No One

Rotten Tomatoes: 95% – Wes Craven’s intelligent premise, combined with the horrifying visual appearance of Freddy Krueger, still causes nightmares to this day.

My rating: ****

My assessment (the first 101 words at least): A beautifully simple concept that results in a wonderfully creative movie. This movie absolutely deserves it’s spot as a classic horror film not only for it’s gory death scenes but for the paranoia and fear it instills in it’s audience. As usual, the original movie doesn’t have some of the short comings that it’s sequels have been accused of. Freddy might throw out a joke or two, but he’s by no means an absolute jester. Wes Craven found the perfect mix of creepy one liners and bone chilling humor to burn Freddy Kruger into the history books of horror film franchises.