Transcendence: Martyrs

When film genres begin to step out of their normal states, delving into themes not usually associated with them, they either make a huge mistake or make a huge contribution. When horror films succeed in that precarious step, it opens avenues that make people realize the capacities not only of the genre, but also of film making itself. I’ve seen a lot of films that have achieved this feat, few in the horror genre, and in that few I will now count Martyrs (2008). Albeit a slow start, it slowly crept into me that this was a display of how long a reach horror has.

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Old and New: Spring

One of the things I am happy about when it comes to the horror genre is its ability to cover a whole range of topics, often mixing with other film genres while still incorporating elements that retains its horror identity. With Spring (2014), as with many recent horror films that have attempted this hybrid feat, it dives into romance. I personally did not find anything attractive about the film, probably because I have been accustomed to horror trying to fuse with romance, or any romance hybrid in general – not that I thought this was a bad film, it was indeed light-hearted and balanced both genres quite well.

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More Than Words: Pontypool

The best zombie movies never had to explain what caused the outbreak. They just focus on the only thing that matters when one is pitted in that situation, survival. From George A. Romero’s iconic Night of the Living Dead series, to comedic takes like Shaun of the Dead (2004) and Zombieland (2009), the thrill of watching these films was never knowing how the undead came to be, just that we are witnessing doing their best to outlive them. As such, if I see a zombie film also try to explain the reason why the undead has come around, it must do so in a way that it is logical and plays in the way the characters try to survive. Pontypool (2008) makes that attempt while incorporating the basic elements of horror films, and I can say that it’s an interesting take.

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The Modern Frankenstein (and Monster): May

Imagine if Frankenstein’s monster had issues, that is pretty much what May (2002) was all about. The original monster from Mary Shelley’s classic story experienced isolation because of his physical looks even after trying to fit in and thus retaliated against his creator, condemning to torture his life unless Frankenstein gave in to his wishes. In May, the titular character also experiences being set apart because of her looks and nature, but takes her revenge upon herself to seek the acceptance she’s long desired.

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Fear What You Can’t See: Ginger Snaps 2 (Unleashed)

Right off the bat I will say, more often than not, you should never watch a sequel without prior knowledge of the events of its predecessor. In sequels, a context is heavily needed in order to understand where the story has been and where it will be heading. Needless to say, I had to pick up what I could from Ginger Snaps 2: Unleashed just so I could place my thoughts of the film and it’s direction. I must admit that I have not watched a lot of werewolf movies, so if this film is the standard then I should see some more.

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Earth Is A Demon’s Playground: Evil Dead

Horror films have been around for about a hundred years already, and they’ve just about tackled every fantastical and monstrosity that could possible make for a good movie. Add a little bit of blood and gore, and you’re in for a movie experience you will definitely be thinking of when you can’t sleep at night. The problem then with horror films covering many of the possible topics, they’ve often resorted to remakes or, in some sad cases, rip-offs. Just as any film in the industry, remakes are a risky task because not only are you pitching an unoriginal idea, producers and film makers must construct it in a way that it is still worthy of a cinematic experience with its own twists and turns while remaining faithful to the original. Continue reading “Earth Is A Demon’s Playground: Evil Dead”

Mother’s Not Herself Today: Grace

For the horror film fanatic, the phrase this article’s title is taken from should be familiar. Apart from Jason’s mother, the only other person who could possibly live up to such distinction is Norma Bates, Norman’s very own mother from Psycho. If you’re not aware of what is possibly the greatest thriller film ever made, one of Psycho’s main themes is the relationship of Norman with his mother. The mother-child relationship is one of the more interesting subjects that horror films undertake, and this is quite evident in Grace. Faced with the difficulty of motherhood, is there anything a woman would or wouldn’t do for her own child?

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