The Conjuring (2013) (Click on the title for my full review)
I have mentioned before that I am not a huge fan of horror movies. They are a dime a dozen these days and usually slasher films that lack a plot or a point. That being said, I recognize when a movie looks like it could be scary and I do appreciate a horror movie if it is done right. James Wan has shown us that he is capable of making brutal bloodbaths that he calls movies i.e. Saw (2004) and Dead Silence (2007). But, when Wan directed Death Sentence (2007), he proved that he was very capable of making an awesome thriller.
From the preview, it appears that Wan has toned down the blood and decided to go more for the thrills. It shows that it might have some potential.
The film is set to hit theatres on 7/19/13. Should be a good movie to bring the wife to.
Mama was a sophisticated attempt to terrify with a lack of follow-through. The film got my attention right out of the gate. The story grabbed me and sucked me in. As is standard with most scary movies, there were a few lulls as events unfolded on screen. But, for the most part my eyes were pretty much glued to the screen. I wanted to know who this Mama character was.
I am not afraid to admit that I was a little jumpy when Mama made her appearance. I actually did get chills running down my spine.
The movie was effectively scary. It did an excellent job of toying with my emotions; letting me know when something frightening was going to happen and then taking its time to get to that point. When it was finally time for something to jump out at me, I was not ready for it because my anticipation had ceased. It waits for you to let your guard down and then it attacks. After using this maneuver successfully a couple of times, you might think that I would get used to it, but I couldn’t.
The special effects in this film were incredible and I think that is a major contributing factor in why the movie was actually able to be horrifying. It was very realistic. It was so real that it was creepy, literally.
In my previous horror movie review of The Possession (2012), I mentioned what seems to be the basic horror movie outline these days. Mama was refreshing because it only very loosely followed that outline and that was a nice change of pace.
As the film reaches its climax, the story begins to unravel. Things stop making sense and many questions go unanswered. Amidst all of the confusion, the movie as we know it up until that point, basically takes a nosedive off of a cliff and kills itself. It was a shame because it really had a lot going for it until then. In my mind I was starting to compare it to The Ring (2002). The Ring was probably the last movie that scared me the way this one did. Except that The Ring had a quality ending. The ending of Mama was a travesty to the movie as a whole. It took something really good and destroyed it.
I rate this movie a 6.5 on a scale of 1-10.
Buy, rent, or run? Rent.
Side note: Jessica Chastain was hardly recognizable in Mama. Because of her short, cropped black hair, tattoos, and punk rock clothing, I didn’t even know that it was her until the credits were rolling at the end.
The Possession (2012)
It is not often that I watch a horror movie. My reason behind this is not because I have anything against the genre. I watch a horror movie because I want to experience the rush of being scared. I crave the feeling of chills running down my spine as something eerie is taking place in front of my eyes. I long for the moment when I am so absorbed in what is happening in a film that when something jumps out at the screen it causes me to shoot out of my seat like I was fired from a cannon. When the show is over and there is complete and utter silence, I desire the paranoia that ensues as I fear that something is out there in the murky darkness and coming to get me. That is the whole point, right? A scary movie is meant to scare you.
Scary movies do not scare me anymore. At least most of them don’t. They just are not made like they used to be. The Possession is no exception. The film did not frighten me in the slightest. At best, the little girl in the movie who was supposed to be possessed (Natasha Calis) did a pretty good job of acting creepy. There were a few scenes that had things jump out at you, but they were too predictable. Not only was the movie predictable, but it was also not very original or surprising. As the film neared the end, it became more and more impossible.
The movie followed what seems to be the basic horror movie outline these days. It starts out at a scene that tries it’s best to be intense and attention grabbing. When that scene is over, the mood lightens and the story starts at a snail pace. Characters slowly develop and after a while, little by little, weird crazy things start happening. These things are often overlooked as a fluke until they get more and more intense. Usually not everybody realizes that there is some sort of problem until it is so blatantly obvious that you would be stupid not to see that something is wrong.
Finally when everybody understands that there is a predicament, somebody actually gets the idea to run from it or do something about it. This just makes the issue worse and it becomes more powerful. When the story reaches its climax, the problem gets solved. Everyone starts feeling better and they go back to leading their normal lives. Or do they?
That outline just about sums up The Possession and the majority of all of the other horror movies that are out there. There is the occasional scary movie that will surprise you. This was not one of them. It did not make me jumpy, nor did I get the chills. I never felt scared during the film at all. After the movie was over I did not get paranoid. I went to bed and slept like a baby.
I rate this movie a 4 on a scale of 1-10.
Buy, rent, or run? Run.