I’m a couple days late with this but I’m going to count it as five weeks running. Which, considering my lack of inspiration to write is pretty impressive I guess.
Anyway, on to this week’s viewings.
Alien – 5*
In preparation for the release of Alien: Covenant, my Movie Dudes co-host and I are doing a series re-watch (minus the AvP films). I mean, simply put, Alien is a masterpiece of sci-fi and horror cinema. It is a masterfully shot, paced, and acted film. I’m hard pressed to find fault with it but considering the Alien series is my second favorite series, behind only Star Wars, maybe I’m a bit biased.
Aliens – 5*
As much as I love Alien, Aliens is my favorite film in the series. It takes the world that Ridley Scott created with Alien and molds it to fit an entirely new style of film. Where Alien was a horror film at its core, Aliens is an action film. And James Cameron’s film, now 31 years old, is still one of the all-time greatest action films ever made. Between its incredible, and quote worthy, dialogue, its excellently crafted set pieces, and the sheer number of terrifying xenomorphs, Aliens is bigger and more bad ass than its older sibling. That doesn’t necessarily make it a better movie, although I like it more, but it allows the sequel to stand on its own and launches it alongside Alien as one of the best sci-fi films ever.
Last Shift – 3*
My Wednesday horror choice of this past week was a film that hit a Blumhouse list as a great horror film on Netflix that needed to be watched, or something else similar in scope. Necessary to watch? Ehh… maybe not but, it is a fun haunted house type story that delves into the psyche of its primary character. Julian Harkavy plays Officer Loren, a rookie cop on her first shift with the task of playing glorified security guard at a now closed police station as they await the arrival of a cleaning crew. Turns out, this is the same police station where her dad worked before he was killed by a Manson like cult in a bust gone bad. As the film progresses, things get weirder and weirder for Loren until the final dramatic twist. As far as little indie horror films go, Last Shift is a solid enough film. It isn’t anything to get super excited over but I’m not disappointed that I spent 90 minutes with it.
Cold Prey – 3*
Another film I plucked off a list. Cold Prey or Fritt vilt as it is titled in its home Norway, was described as a masterful slasher film with its sequel being compared to Halloween II, one of my all time favorite slasher films due to its setting. Comparing anything to Halloween or its sequel is setting a really high bar for me and Cold Prey fails to get there for a few reasons. For one, I watched the English version of the film (I didn’t have the option for the Norwegian version) and the dubbing on the film is terrible, like 70s Kung-Fu films levels of bad. The other reason is that the film’s transfer is less than ideal, that makes it appear as a really low-fi looking film. Sometimes this works, like with classics like The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, but this just has a sloppy look to it and doesn’t add to the films atmosphere. In my opinion, if you have modern tech in your film (such as cell phones) your film should look clean.
Technical complaints aside though, the killer is never really set up, so we don’t have a connection to the lurking horror. In Halloween we get an understanding of Michael’s psychosis and his drive. Here we can just kind of glean who it is by a few scenes, but not what their motivations are. Michael, Freddy, Jason, even Leatherface all have clear motivations, the killer here is… just a killer but with a weird tie to the setting that isn’t really explained. I’m not saying that I need to understand everything about a slasher but here it just seems like killing for the sake of killing. Anyway, the kills are OK – which is maybe another problem, but despite all my complaining here, it isn’t a bad movie. It just doesn’t do anything new.
Anyway, that is what I’ve been watching this week. I’ll be continuing my Alien series rewatch bywatching Alien 3 and Alien: Resurrection this week. Let me know if you’d like me to watch something and more importantly what you thought about some of these if you’ve seen them.