Saturday, June 15, 2013
Stranded backpackers in remote Australia fall prey to a murderous bushman who offers to fix their car, then takes them captive.
Competent thriller in the wake of The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, quite nerve-racking, but not adding anything to the genre.
Maltin *1/2: "Yet another would-be BLAIR WITCH PROJECT, this even played in competition at Sundance and Cannes but isn't nearly as special as its Fest cred would indicate....Just another graphic showcase for gore and degradation."
Friday, June 14, 2013
Thursday, June 13, 2013
Camp counselors are stalked and murdered by an unknown assailant while trying to reopen a summer camp that was the site of a child's drowning.
Although considered a classic slasher movie, it really doesn't have much to its merits and is infinitely weaker compared to John Carpenter's Halloween.
Halliwell (no star): "Horror suspense story with no raison d'etre but a series of inventively gory shock moments, which were enough for it to ring the box-office bell."
Maltin * 1/2: "Young folks unexpectedly made this gory, cardboard thriller a box-office smash - one more clue to why SAT scores continue to decline. Rates higher than BOMB simply because it's slightly better than Part 2."
A wealthy San Francisco socialite pursues a potential boyfriend to a small Northern California town that slowly takes a turn for the bizarre when birds of all kinds suddenly begin to attack people there in increasing numbers and with increasing viciousness.
Paradigmatic horror movie, a master director transforming an otherwise silly premise into a mesmerizing experience, the irony cleverly disguised - very close to a Bunuel scenario.
Halliwell ***: "A curiously absorbing work which begins as light comedy and ends as apocalyptic allegory, this piece of Hitchcockery has no visible point except to tease the audience and provide plenty of opportunity for shock, offbeat humour and special effects (which despise the drumbeating are not quite as good as might be expected). The actors are pawns in the master's hand."
Maltin ***1/2: "Hitchcock's classic...Not for the squeamish; a delight for those who are game. Hold on to something and watch."
Wednesday, June 12, 2013
Tuesday, June 11, 2013
Whilst celebrating a graduation at a secluded vacation home, a group of college students find themselves targeted by a sadistic killer who forces them to play a deadly game of killing one another in order to survive.
Standard slasher with only the premise offering something of a variation on the same old theme.
Two psychopathic young men take a family hostage in their cabin.
A carbon-copy remake of the director's 1997 Austrian movie, somewhat Americanized, but otherwise style and intentions intact like before, but one does ask why?
Maltin **: "Shot-by-shot remake of Haneke's 1997 Austrian thriller has been transported to a picturesque U.S. lakeside setting but still leaves a sickening aftertaste. With characters breaking the fourth wall and speaking directly to the audience, the filmmaker is trying to make a comment on extreme violence in movies in a story that provides plenty itself. Effectively made, but for strong stomachs only."