Saturday, October 24, 2009

Zombieland, Trick R Treat, Carved, and Moving the Helicopter

You know, I put up these blogs and think, "Oh, yeah, I'll post something every week, maybe more than twice" but does it ever turn out that way? Nope. Damn undead keep me busy.

A major source of distraction has been packing up the old helicopter and moving from the wide-open spaces of northwestern Michigan to the twisty hustle-n-bustle of western Connecticut. Navigating the roads eastward through the jungle of deserted cars and hungry biters was a strain, but we're entrenched in the new shelter and I'm back to writing again. Of course, I've said that before, so let me get out my huge grain of salt.

One of the first things I did upon settling here was take in a documentary...I mean, horror flick I'd been dying to see. No pun intended. That flick: Zombieland.

Every so often, I have an amazing experience at the movies. A couple off the top of my head include Aliens in 1986 and Grindhouse in 2007. Experiences where I want to turn around after the movie and walk right back in to see once more. Zombieland can now be added to that list.

From the design of the movie, wherein the credits and graphics can be considered a star in their own right, to the likable characters, each distinct and complete in such a short time frame. The plot is straightforward: survival. But that's all you need when you've got laughs around every corner and well-made zombies (and it's no spoiler to mention they're not really dead, just insanely sick) to amp up the gore factor.

I personally was fine with the romance that buds partway into the film - I respectfully disagree with the opinion that Columbus was an annoying character and Wichita wasn't hot. I liked each of the characters and found them all to be charming. And yes, Tallahassee is badass, and I think that's the point.

And by the way, I'm not going to spoil the cameo, but it is seriously one of the most surreal, funny moments in a horror/comedy in ages. At one point - and those of you who've seen it - I was practically on the floor when a certain other movie was joyfully referenced.

Once I got my Netflix squared away and found them a safe, biter-free route to my new place, I finally got to see Trick R Treat. Coming off Zombieland, I may have been unfair to Trick R Treat. It didn't give me the punch in the gut I had expected, but that's not to say it wasn't good. It was. It was very, very good, in fact. The stories intertwined, which, as a "Lost" fan I love. One character shows up here and then has a part over there. Anna Paquin never looked so good. Dylan Baker and Brian Cox, I believe, were the acting highlights of the movie. These are some consummate pros. One other thing I really enjoyed: the atmosphere. It really felt like a Halloween-themed movie. If they ever did a sequel, I'd be just fine with that.

I also finally got Carved: The Slit-Mouthed Woman, and despite a very slow start (which I've come to expect from proper Asian horror), it gained some momentum. An urban legend come to life - at first, I was dubious. I wasn't sure the path they were on was going to produce a good movie, but it took a seriously supernatural turn that eschewed huge effects, except for the woman's mouth. How the Slit-Mouthed Woman moved around was very effective and set up the "uh-oh" ending. Not a half-bad movie, but I'm looking for something more terrifying next time.

OK, well, my friends, it's time to run. I may have another review later, after I watch Exte: Hair Extensions - honest to God, that's the title. Looks to be a nice little J-horror offering. We shall see.

In the meantime, keep your windows and doors boarded up. They're dead, but they're relentless.