29 October 2010

October 29th

Altered (2006) directed by Eduardo Sánchez
Rednecks get revenge on their alien abductor.  It sounds silly, but Sánchez turns it into a serious horror movie.  The movie subscribes to the theory that alien abductions are the human equivalent of tranquillizing and tagging bears in the woods.  Unlike bears, though, humans can seek revenge.  After fifteen years of staking out the field where they were abducted, the rednecks finally bag themselves an alien.  They haul it back to the house of a fellow abductee deep in the woods.  The twist: the fellow abductee -- wiser in these matters than his friends -- explains they can't kill the thing.  As we'd put down a dog that bit a person, these critters will scourge the planet if we kill even one of them.  Naturally, the alien gets loose and causes havoc and disease and possession and death.

I liked how we never saw the original abduction of these men; we're just witness to the PTSD fifteen years later.  We have to piece together their trauma and understand how hard it is for them to not torture the alien they've captured.  Not a bad follow-up to Blair Witch for Sánchez.  And, hey, no skaky-cam! (7/10)

Young Frankenstein (1974) directed by Mel Brooks
Never much of a laugh-out-loud movie for me.  It's more one of those comedies that involves a lot of the almost-laugh: the sharp exhale of air out the nostrils that indicates you recognize what is one the screen is amusing, but don't feel the urge to give it a full-on laugh.  It'd probably work better watching it in a group.  That often helps grow the laughs.

Not that I don't like the movie.  I think the characters and the actors who play them are great.  The dialog is witty.  There are plenty of amusing sight-gags to pick up on during multiple viewings.  It's just that, if I feel like a horror comedy, Ghostbusters is gonna make me laugh 10 times harder, is all.

As it is, it's a brilliant, dead-on parody/homage to the Universal horror movies of the 1930s.  So much so, I'd say you're not gonna get much out of the film if you haven't seen Bride of, Son of and the original Frankenstein first.  (7/10)

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