Thursday, 9 October 2014

Online No One Can Hear You Scream: Week Two

Hello there!
So it's time for week two of my 'Online No One Can Hear You Scream' series.
In case you missed last week's post (which you can check out here) for the month of October I will be watching as many horror films as I can, then doing a little recap/review of them here.

As much as I love horror film, I'm also a massive wimp at times. So this is quite a challenge for me. I'm already getting creepy dreams!

So for this week I'm going to talk about not one but three films I watched this week:

Diary Of The Dead
  •   Year Released: 2008
  • Director: George A. Romero
  • Starring: Michelle Morgan, Josh Close, Shawn Roberts, Amy Lalonde, Joe Dinicol

Basically the story is pretty simple.

Whilst filming a horror movie, a group of students find out that the dead are rising up. The group work together to get home to find loved ones whilst filming the chaos that surrounds them, using cameras and phones. 

Your typical zombie film plot eh?
George A. Romero is quite simply the daddy of the zombie horror genre. Starting of his career with the amazing Night Of The Living Dead, he has brought us many a good gory horror film. Sadly he also brought us this, Diary Of The Dead.

I'm not going to beat around the bush here, it's a pretty weak film. The zombie genre is particually bad at giving us mind numbing films but in a way they are enjoyable. 
My problem with Diary Of The Dead is it really hammers down on some bigger meaning to it all.
It shows you the problems with the media and our obsession with filming every single thing that happens. Sadly whilst it does this it fails to bring the viewer any scares. Plus the acting and dialogue is pretty weak and cheesy. For me, it spent too much time trying to make a point and be different, that it forgot what the film truly is... A HORROR FILM!
Yes it goes for the whole 'found footage' style which tends to be effective but it's almost too perfect with it's camera work. It's not shaky, the effects are a little lame and it's all too 'clean' looking. 

I'm a zombie fan so this film was slight disappointment for me. George A. Romero has directed much better films of this genre and I suggest you check them out instead.

  •  Year Released: 1979
  • Director: Ridley Scott
  • Starring: Sigourney Weaver, Ian Holm, Tom Skerritt, John Hurt, Veronica Cartwright 
So after the disappointment of Diary Of The Dead, I needed something good.
Come forward ALIEN. One of my favourite films of all time!
(Also the inspiration behind the name of my horror series)
A commercial spaceship, by the name of Nostromo, is on it's way back to earth when suddenly it intercepts a SOS signal. The crew, under obligation, are forced to investigate. 
They soon realise that it was no SOS but a warning and they have now brought back something deadly on board with them.

Just a wee summery for you there as I don't want to ruin much for anyone who has yes to see Alien. I also must question why you have not seen Alien...
As I said above, it is one of my favourite films and I could watch it over and over again. Plus I still jump and watch some scenes through one eye. 
I can't actually remember when I first watched Alien but seeing as it's a favourite of my mums, I couldn't avoid it. In fact, I'm pretty sure I saw the sequel first. 

It was released in 1979 to both critical and box office acclaim. Written by Dan O'Bannon and directed by Ridley Scott, it was originally pitched as 'Jaws In Space'. Which I do kind of see but imagine it as a much more violent jaws in a highly claustrophobic environment. Then you have Alien.

Okay okay, it's a little dated now and you may say it's a story you've seen plenty of times before but this is something special. From the superb cast to the amazing design work of H.R Giger, it's a wonderful film. Never mind how completely and utterly creepy the Xenomorph is (that's the 'Alien' by the way)
The thing I love about Alien, coming from a fan of sc-fi and horror, is the way that it blends both those genres together so perfectly. It also has one of my favourite styles in a horror film, 'the slow burner'
Personally, the best horror films will always start of slow, let's you get to know the characters a little bit, things get a little creepy, things get mega creepy then bam you are up against the 'bad guy'.
As I said in my Grudge review, one of the cons I had was that you see the villain too quickly into it. Alien builds up to that moment wonderfully.  If you have seen Alien, you will know that the scene when they are having dinner is fantastic.

This scene will always and forever make me jump

As I said the casting for Alien is pretty darn good. Sigourney Weaver makes an amazing hero as Ripley. Unlike 'Karen' in the Grudge, you actually care about Ripley and as the Alien series progress, you can't help but just want to be her. She is a total bad ass (yes I just said that)

Writing this is difficult as I don't want to give too much away but all I can say is just watch it and then give the sequels ago. Just ignore the 4th one. Pretend like it doesn't exist okay?

The Conjuring
  •  Year Released: 2013
  • Director: James Wan
  • Starring: Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson, Ron Livingston, Lili Taylor
Now unlike Alien, a film I've seen loads, I only just watched this for the first time. 

In 1971, The Perron family move into an old farmhouse in Rhode Island. Soon after they find things are not quite normal in this house and become terrorized by the spirits who haunt it. 

Ed and Lorraine Warren are paranormal investigators who are contacted by the family to shed some light on what is going on and to help them drive the spirits out.

 So The Conjuring is promoted as being based on real events. Ed and Lorraine Warren were really paranormal investigators and they did visit the home of the Perron family. Does that mean everything we see in this film actually happened? Probably not, but it's a lot of fun!

To be honest, it's not exactly the most ground breaking horror film to be made but I don't think that matters too much. It's creepy and rather jumpy, all that I enjoy in a switch your brain off horror film. 
Like a lot of 'haunted house' films, it has your typical cliches. People saying "who's there", creepy children, creaky noises etc but it's still enjoyable and effective. 

As I have said plenty of times before, I'm not a massive fan of gore. I feel like it's actually lazy and used way too much in newer horror films. It's almost like they don't think a film can be truly scary without seeing someone getting torn to shreds. I enjoyed The Conjuring because it didn't rely on cheap tricks like that. It's all about the eeriness. 
Dark cellars, doors creaking, dead silence, creepy shadows.  
For me that will always be a lot scarier because whilst you are sitting there, as soon as you hear a noise in your house, you will jump! It's all about those tricks on your mind.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying this film is perfect at all. It plays it all very safe. Nothing new, nothing we haven't really seen before. Then again look at 'Diary Of The Dead', it tried to bring something new to the zombie genre and personally it failed in that. Sometimes you got to think, if it's not broken, why fix it?

Villain wise, the creepy doll above is horrifying but only plays a small part in the film. I believe it has it's only film which is out now. For the 'ghosties' in the house, they were scariest when you couldn't really see them. Soon as you got a chance to see them close up, they were a little laughable really.

So I also did a little bit of 'live tweeting' throughout this film. So here are a couple of my feelings about it all:

 Overall, I really enjoyed this film. It was creepy, spooky and left me jumping at any old noise I heard from my flat. I would recommended you give it a go. Don't go in there expecting something amazing, just enjoy what it is.

So there you go. Week Two is done!

Remember I would love to hear your opinions on any of the films I've mentioned and remember to tell me any films you would like me to watch!

Sleep tight!



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