Tag Archive | "John Carpenter"

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John Carpenter’s Apocalypse Trilogy: The Thing, Prince of Darkness, and In the Mouth of Madness

Posted on 13 July 2017 by VinnieAve

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They Live

Posted on 08 December 2015 by VinnieAve

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The Delve: Darkstar

Posted on 25 March 2014 by VinnieAve

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The Delve: Starman

Posted on 10 October 2013 by VinnieAve

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Being a Better Geek: Halloween (1978) and Scream

Posted on 30 September 2012 by VinnieAve

For the month of October I decided on a couple of films that steered me towards the horror genre, Halloween and Scream. My assumption is that Vincenzo will hate them both and punish me later but the point of this little endeavor is to share what helped to develop our various geekdoms. I grew into the horror franchise after High School and scream was one of the first movies I saw that drove me there. The franchise is a favorite of mine, filled with witty banter and inside jokes pertaining to the industry. I came to Halloween much later but it quickly became my all time favorite horror movie. So much so that I crave my DVD that was lent for the purposes of this article before Too much of October is behind us. I have rarely seen movies succeed at creating an atmosphere as well as this film. So much so that I watch it several times during the month of October to help me maintain that Halloween spirit. The soundtrack will also be playing most of the month in an effort to make pedestrians fear my car as it drives along.

Vincenzo's Take

I am by no means a horror fan, and in particular I am not a slasher horror fan. So I have not seen any of these, probably because there is a house in my town that does amazing Halloween decoration and at night they have people dressed up. One night when we went there a man dressed up as Freddy Kruger was there and I was terrified at the time. For this reason I avoided slasher films. Thus this week I will be talking about Halloween (1978) and Scream.

So first to Halloween, I have enjoyed John Carpenter for a number of years with The Thing coming in as one of my favorite horror films overall, so suffice it to say I have intended to see this for a while now and this was as good a reason as any. The basic story of Halloween is that Michael Myers has escaped from the asylum and has gone back to his town in the process stalking Laurie Strode and killing the teens. I don’t particularly care to go over the story since it’s pretty standard fare at this point making its way into the lexicon of film. That is not to say that this one is not great a film and there was definitely a reason to watch this even if you are not a horror fan. This film was a fantastic piece of art. There are a number of well filmed scenes from the beginning of the film with the first scene being entirely 1st person. Throughout the film there is an excellent use of light and darkness.

The next big part of the movie that was the music, John Carpenter’s films always have a standard soundtrack type that can enhance the film or not have any effect. In this case the music has such a great effect on the level of terror in the film. There was one particular story element that I found troublesome. For the first part of the story Michael is very clearly human and is bound by human rules and the laws of nature. However, in the last act of the film in particular, there are several elements of Michael that are much more super-natural. I think this change damages the character and weakens the film. However, at the end of the day I really enjoyed this film and most likely will be adding this to my collection at some point.

The second film that I was assigned for Being a Better Geek was Scream.
I have to start this with the statement is that Scream is a satire and parody of the slasher genre. Sadly this film’s humor hinges almost entirely on knowing the tropes of the genre otherwise this movie is a pretty weak and goofy film. This review will be short since by and large I like to talk about what worked really well and what worked terribly poorly.

The biggest short coming of this film is that it tries to balance between being a horror film and being a comedy about horror films, this causes there to be odd tonal shifts, particularly when there are attack scenes. When Ghostface attacks he almost always takes a few big hits and is really taken down like a chump before he kills the person who it has attacked.

It was difficult for me to enjoy this movie since so much of it hinges on the audience knowing about the genre. There is a scene where a character goes over the rules of surviving a horror film. While everyone knows them, the people who will actually enjoy this are fans, not the initiate. This major element causes me to not be able to recommend this to people who are not fans already.

 

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