Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Review: Crawlspace (2012)

This one really reminded me of The Dark Lurking except the performances were a lot better. In order to tell you the real problem though, I've got to spoil something so if you just want to see it for yourself without knowing anything, stop reading. Ok, here it is: there aren't any monsters in this movie. With the corridors from Alien and Aliens, you really expect some creatures or demons or something, but all you get is one animal that was experimented on. When I was watching it, I was excited since that happens kinda early on so I thought that was the tip of the iceberg. Nope, that's it. What they do instead is alright, but it would've been awesome with some unique, terrifying monsters. They've got some pretty cool characters with good actors in the roles. The thing is it all reminds me of Aliens minus the other major component of what made that film so memorable. By using that aesthetic and not delivering the goods, they shot themselves in the foot. It's not awful, but it could've been amazing.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Review: Under the Bed (2012)

Pretty disappointing. They spend so much time at the beginning with the kid hesitating to go into the house that it's almost comical, and it gets incredibly boring waiting for the monster to show up. The first scene is a long exchange in a car between father and son that seems to last forever. I read an interview with the director where he talked about using practical FX, and there is a guy in a suit for the monster, but then they did a lot of CG effects on top of it to make him move quickly. It really doesn't look very good at all. The real problem is the monster doesn't do anything until the end of the movie, and the dad is another asshole who puts his kids in harm's way to make them face their fears, but it's going way too far. Plus, early on, you get a scene with the step mom in a washer room that ends so abruptly I didn't understand how she got away or what happened. It's just a mess. I liked the gore at the conclusion, but it was such a huge change from the rest of the film, and when they're in the monster's world, the fact it's low budget becomes horribly obvious since the set is way too cheap and small.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Review: The Dark Lurking aka Alien Undead (2009)

The special effects are outstanding in this Australian indie, but the acting is abysmal, and the shaky cam close-ups ruin everything (just watch the scene below). They had so much potential for an amazing Aliens-type action film (and the monsters really do rip off Giger's design as you can tell from the poster although they have some other different plague-like creatures too), but they screw it up. All the guys try to talk like badasses, but it's obviously ADR and sounds horribly fake. You've also got some extremely annoying characters that do nothing but whine and instead of dying immediately, they stick around to drive you nuts. In the US, this movie was released as The Dark Lurking, but in the UK, they put it out under the title Alien Undead. Either way, it sucks unfortunately. I thought for sure I'd at least be able to enjoy the practical FX, but with the fuckin shaky cam, it's impossible. Why the hell do filmmakers do that? Don't they understand how awful it is?