This weekend Bryon and I went to see A Monster Calls, which is based on the novel by Patrick Ness. I have not read the…
Category: TV and Film
For this week and next, I’ll be posting a link to my website as I review the films, television, and books I enjoyed in 2016…
It has been said films which are set in the 20’s do not do well at the box office, and I understand this is true…
And now, for something completely different. One of the things that my animation-loving spouse recently introduced me to was a new cartoon originating in France,…
We spent nearly as much time talking about Chinese Ghost Story as we did watching it. This movie has (very nearly) everything—a beautiful, tragic love interest; a flame-throwing monk; a hapless tax-collector hero; a breathtaking pavilion in the middle of a lake; stop-motion zombies; and a climactic battle in hell. What it doesn’t have is a consistent tone or a linear plot—but maybe those things are overrated?
As always, we’ll start with our conclusions, and hide the full transcript after the jump. Prepare for spoilers galore.
cathschaffstump 11:01 PM In part, even though these films have some “quality” issues, they are a lot of fun.
cathschaffstump 11:01 PM And the cheese is part of the feature.
cathschaffstump 11:01 PM And there are moments when they transcend and put us somewhere unique.
chris 11:02 PM cheese goes well with horror. Hello, Vincent Price
cathschaffstump 11:02 PM On the whole, I’m gonna say that I would recommend this to others if I know they would like it, or well, if they are well prepared.
chialynn 11:03 PM Yes, this is one I’d enjoy watching again with other people who would enjoy watching it.
chialynn 11:03 PM Or people I could count on to be entertainingly and/or charmingly baffled by it.
cathschaffstump 11:03 PM Yeah. It would be no fun if the people you were watching it with thought it was weird or stupid.
george_galuschak 11:03 PM this is as much screwball comedy as horror
george_galuschak 11:03 PM it’s really a very upbeat movie
george_galuschak 11:04 PM optimistic
chris 11:04 PM yeah that’s why earlier I said this may not even qualify as horror
cathschaffstump 11:04 PM But the tongue! That’s kind of scary.
chris 11:04 PM other than the tongues and claymation zombies
cathschaffstump 11:04 PM The zombies are pure camp.
george_galuschak 11:04 PM they were great
cathschaffstump 11:04 PM I will admit I am not too worried about having any bad dreams about this one.
Or: Harry Potter and Chekhov’s Beloved Child
Okay, that’s not entirely fair.
The Woman in Black is an old-fashioned ghost movie with a sound design so effective that your humble Narrators are still talking about more than a week later. It’s not a perfect film—we’ll get to that—but what it does, it does well.
Special Guest: Morris the Cat
Here be spoilers…
Our takeaways, with the full transcript after the jump:
chialynn 11:19 PM Obvious in ways I didn’t mind.
chris 11:19 PM I would say very creepy but not scary
chris 11:19 PM it’s that formula that relies on period. Phones and such make it not work
cathschaffstump 11:19 PM I concur, Chris.
cathschaffstump 11:20 PM Lots of really good sets and lighting.
cathschaffstump 11:20 PM Some really good acting.
chialynn 11:20 PM Novy just named the 3d animation and modeling package they used for the end credits.
george_galuschak 11:20 PM i liked it
cathschaffstump 11:20 PM I thought it was fine.
george_galuschak 11:20 PM it was effective at what it set out to do
chialynn 11:20 PM Good acting, effective use of the tropes, even when they were very clearly tropes.
chialynn 11:20 PM Creeped me the hell out.
chris 11:21 PM and yet… the tropes kept it from being scary
chris 11:21 PM too many scares that wouldn’t work without a BAM on the score
chris 11:21 PM It was mostly creepy-old-house atmospherics. And they played every card in that hand! who isn’t creeped out by old dolls, taxidermy, music boxes
chialynn 11:21 PM And… Kind of a happy ending?
cathschaffstump 11:21 PM Kind of.
chris 11:21 PM but then why go through all the shit with the car and the mud?
cathschaffstump 11:21 PM Trying to placate the woman.
chialynn 11:22 PM He thought he could change things. He couldn’t.
chris 11:22 PM did that even do anything?
george_galuschak 11:22 PM maybe she figured she was repaying him
george_galuschak 11:22 PM he wanted to be with his wife, she saw to it
cathschaffstump 11:22 PM Maybe. That’s an interesting take.
chialynn 11:22 PM But she did say “Never forgive.”
cathschaffstump 11:22 PM You gave me back my kid.
cathschaffstump 11:22 PM I give you back to your wife.
george_galuschak 11:22 PM sure
cathschaffstump 11:22 PM I like that.
chris 11:22 PM Well, we spent the entire film waiting for the other shoe to drop on Chekov’s beloved child
chris 11:22 PM and it did
chris 11:24 PM the child showing up just in time for the ending…
george_galuschak 11:23 PM yes, good ending
chialynn 11:23 PM Yes.
cathschaffstump 11:24 PM I still liked it, but I could see why some people might not.
cathschaffstump 11:25 PM So, I’m gonna recommend this one, but with some hesitation for those who don’t like their horror slow.
george_galuschak 11:25 PM i liked it. i will probably watch it again. i turned the sound down so i wouldn’t get too freaked
george_galuschak 11:25 PM the sound is the scariest thing about this movie
cathschaffstump 11:30 PM Agreed, George.
chialynn 11:25 PM I’m going to watch it again.
chialynn 11:26 PM I want to see some of the background stuff I missed.
chialynn 11:27 PM I like slow-build atmospheric horror.
chris 11:28 PM I’d say it’s passable. Not really a standout for me
cathschaffstump 11:29 PM I wouldn’t call it a great horror film.
cathschaffstump 11:29 PM But believe me, I’ve seen plenty worse.
chris 11:29 PM There’s the jacket quote. “I’ve seen plenty worse.” – Cath Schaff-Stump
chris 11:29 PM “Damning with faint praise indeed.”–Cath Schaff-Stump
chris 11:30 PM it wasn’t a waste of time. that’s my jacket quote
I heard about REC, a Spanish-language movie, when it first came out in 2007. There are zombie movies, and there are found-footage movies, but as…