JA from MNPP here again. Well it's late October, and that means the human collective brain is turning towards the scary things... you see them on the tee-vees, hyping their doomsday approach. The day is imminent, they say! And not only do they plan on winning, but they plan on dragging us all to Hell with them. Oh sure, we might scream to the masses, "What about these past several years? This long National nightmare must be stopped!" But will the masses listen? Will they save us from the same tired horror-show, seemingly stuck in an endless loop?
No, I don't mean Sarah Palin & Co. - they're too scary for even a hardened horror vet like myself. I mean Jigsaw, that booby-trapping madman of the Saw franchise, whose series has dominated the past four Halloweens horror-movie release schedules. And he must be stopped, I cry!
I don't want to get into a "torture porn" debate here (though I am pro-Hostel for the record) but I find the Saw films to be painfully bad (I stopped watching after Part 3) and just haven't been able to fathom what audiences have been getting out of them year after year. The so-called moral conundrums that Jigsaw perpetrates with his "diabolical" schemes are at best on the level of how I imagine an especially dyspeptic Judge Judy would explain the concept of Murphy's Law to a class of first graders only able to use farm equipment instead of words, and at worst just window-dressing for cheap CG renderings of what a bone splintering would look like.
So with Part 5 coming out today and likely to dominate the marketplace yet again with its miasma of bullshit, I really would love to take this opportunity to direct you to the other horror movies coming out that you should see instead... IF THERE WERE ANY. But the brain-trusts at the studios have apparently ceded all control to Jigsaw - I'm especially pained that Warner Brothers has apparently given up on Michael Dougherty's supposed-to-be-great Trick'r'Treat - and once again I am forced to feel shitty for being a horror fan as this cursed franchise scrapes the barrel's bottom of what the genre I love could be about for one more year (and Part 6 is being prepped for '09, yeehaw!).
But wait - there are two! Two horror flicks - both foreign, natch - that are actually out this week to counteract this Saw madness... in LA and NYC. Which is fine for me since I live in New York but I don't think they'll really be making much noise elsewhere. Still let's have a look at 'em all the same so I can feel a little better about my beloved genre this weekend.
Fear(s) of the Dark, aka Peur(s) du noir, is an animated anthology film that I am calling the second best film that I've seen so far this year back at MNPP. Of specific interest is the section by Black Hole author Charles Burns, whose phenomenal artwork comes alive in creepy detail, but every segment has something wonderful to offer. If you can find the film, you won't be sorry - I guess it's playing on OnDemand now too. Watch the trailer here for a good idea of what you'll be in for.
Let the Right One In, aka Låt den rätte komma in, is a Swedish vampire film that's been getting raves for months. I have not seen this one yet but I assume some of our foreign readership has and can tell us if the general verdict is on the mark or not - still it sounds like a fascinating take on the ever-morphing vampire mythos. Let the Right One In will be rolling out in theaters across the country over the next few weeks - you can find where and when right here.
Ahhh... they smell like sanity, don't they? There are still horror movies worth seeking out, here and there, sprinkled through the manure. Sometimes ones forgets even when one is a die-hard fan.
So do yourselves, do us all a favor - if you feel the late October scary-movie bug nipping at the back of your neck... don't fall prey to Saw. Seek out one of these if you can, or just go rent Halloween! It's the treat that does the trick every year better, thirty years running!