Thoughts on Halloween 2018 and the deletion of all previous sequels

Every single fan of the Halloween franchise had gone crazy when John Carpenter, creator of Michael Myers and director of the 1978 iconic slasher movie, announced the release of the last, ultimate sequel to the story of the masked killer and Laurie Strode.

John Carpenter.jpgThis feeling of pure enthusiasm lasted until Carpenter himself claimed the upcoming movie won’t take into account any of the sequels – let alone Rob Zombie’s remake. Fans started ranting on the director/producer and on his ‘disrespectful decision’.

With this controversy polarising horror audiences, I thought it could be somewhat useful to share my opinion about the subject matter, all the while providing my readers with some news about the upcoming Halloween.

Continue reading “Thoughts on Halloween 2018 and the deletion of all previous sequels”

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Why origin stories suck!

Why origin stories suckHorror cinema is filled with iconic villains, figures who induce chills down our spines thanks to their creepy, shady motivations. Reincarnations of evil, mysterious entities without a face, masked killers who aren’t very talkative to say the least: regardless who, or what, the antagonist in a horror movie is, they scare/creep us out because of the inescapability of their actions.

Or so it was until somebody, somewhere, thought it would have been a good idea to draw mystery and uncertainty off by giving villains an origin story.

I thought about writing about this topic upon reading about the upcoming release of Leatherface – which, eventually, I watched and pretty much thought it was worthless.

That’s beside the point, though.

You might think that I’m a purist of horror cinema, because I’m a reviewer, thus I’m just sitting here waiting to trash movies and focus solely to spot flaws and mistakes – I hope you can read my reviews and see that’s not exactly my goal. Continue reading “Why origin stories suck!”

The Classics of Horror #3 – Creature of the Black Lagoon

Creature of the Black Lagoon (1954) was released in a quirky period of time for the history of cinema.

In 1953, a few production companies attempted the 3D technology for the first time. Jack Arnold, director of many Sci-Fi movies in the 50s, decided to tag along and follow the trend.

Unfortunately, the 3D wasn’t quite appealing for the audience at the time, mostly because the filmmakers couldn’t get its and make the best of its potential. Creature of the Black Lagoon was part of this faulty experiment.

However, the film itself had much more to offer than a pure 3D gaming. As a consequence, Jack Arnold’s movie became one of the most influential motion pictures in the history of both Sci-Fi and Horror.

Creature of the Black Lagoon is clearly the product of an age of transition, where horror cinema opened the door to modern standards whilst still relying on elder modules in terms of acting and character development.

Following a quite simple storyline – scientists discover an unknown fossil in the Amazon rainforest, team up to find out more and come across an amphibious monster who won’t let them go away easily – the film develops a dreadful atmosphere which is constant throughout the 89 minutes of runtime.

The choice of not showing the monster in its entirety until half way through the film makes him scarier – probably terrifying at the time the movie was shot – than it should have if its design was unveiled straight away.

The main location – a fisherman boat sailing through the Amazon River – is also effective, since it confines our characters within a secluded place that’s not easy – or safe – to abandon.

creaturefromtheblacklagoonWhat I honestly found astounding, though, was the design and the practical effects the creature was made with. Surprisingly, they hold up and age very well: the creature of the Black Lagoon – which is a guy wearing well-made mask and costume – is more unsettling than many CGI monsters we are used to see on screen nowadays.

Yet, the underwater cinematography is worth praising. Made with a ground-breaking technology for the time, the camera work is convincing and spotless even for a contemporary eye. The waving and swinging of the pond weed gave an extra layer of realism to the whole underwater photography.

Nevertheless, although more enjoyable for modern audiences than Nosferatu or Frankenstein, Creature of the Black Lagoon is not flawless.

Firstly, neither the screenwriter nor the director bothered to check the differences between Spanish and Portuguese. For instance, at the very beginning of the film, there is a sign which tells us we are in front of the Instituto de Biologia Marina of Sao Paolo. However, in Portuguese it should have been spelled as Instituto de Biologia Marinha. It’s nit-picking, I know, but these lazy mistakes always annoy me for some odd reason.

creature-from-the-black-lagoon-sliceThe other thing that turned me off quite a bit was the role of the only female character in the film. I get that Julia Adams is in the movie purely because she’s good-looking, but why her only lines consist of her whining about her fiancé diving into the water and annoyingly screaming as soon as she sees the monster? Her presence in the movie was completely unnecessary and useless.

Even though, in all honesty, I guess that was the typical female role in the 50s’ cinema, where women couldn’t look after themselves nor make their own decisions – alike the patriarchal American society of the time wanted the viewers to perceive them.

All in all, though, Creature of the Black Lagoon is worth watching both for its influence in the creature-feature sub-genre and the level of entertainment it provides the viewers with. Cheers!