scary movies

The Awakening

Year: 2011
Directed By: Nick Murphy
Written By: Stephen Volk and Nick Murphy

RYAN’S REVIEW

This movie caught me by surprise a couple of years ago when it was streaming on Netflix or some other streaming site. It was this time of the year and we were looking for something spooky to watch. I had never heard of this movie but gave it a shot and was thoroughly surprised.

It has an interesting setting in post WWI England that I like. The aftermath of WWI is important in this movie as more spirits than ever would be haunting the world. WWI is an era that doesn’t see a lot of screen time and I think that is because it was such a nasty war. WWII gets all the glory and Vietnam all the controversy but WWI was probably the most devastating conflict in history. War tactics had not changed but weapons had. With no strategy to account for the difference millions were lost in the fight against weapons that were more powerful and wicked than ever before.

I really like Rebecca Hall as the lead in this movie. She doesn’t get many opportunities but I think she thrives in the role. I fear she probably gets passed over too often because she looks like other actresses. In this movie I thought she played a strong minded and determined character who is both right and wrong about the world.

The movie immediately sucked me in with her aggressively debunking some frauds. From there you can trust that she will get to the bottom of the new ghost mystery at hand. The fact that she does get to the bottom of the mystery is interesting because it is only half way through the movie when she does. It keeps you sucked in because where will it go from there? It’s clever in that it hits you with a twist that isn’t easy to see coming. Not only is there a real ghost but there’s history for our main character as well.

This is a spooky movie that can make you jump now and again. It was a pleasant surprise when I sat down expecting little from a movie I had never heard of. One click on the computer later and it was part of the collection via Amazon. I think if you’re looking for a good movie to watch this Halloween you can’t go wrong with this one that flies under the radar. I really enjoyed it and I think it is worth your time.

 

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The Ring

Year: 2002
Directed By: Gore Verbinski
Witten By: Ehren Kruger (screenplay) Koji Suzuki (Novel)

RYAN’S REVIEW

I was young when this movie came out and remember watching it with Amber while we were dating. Despite all my fearless pride I had to admit after seeing it that it had scared me. This is an effective movie and that is the impression it has always left on me. I was disappointed to find out it was a remake of a Japanese film because even in 2002 I was disappointed with the lack of quality horror films being released. Here was a good one and it wasn’t even original but simply an Americanized version of a foreign film that was probably better. That’s all beside the point because as I sit down to watch this again now I find myself jumping at the intended moments. This movie may have not been an original idea from Hollywood but it is a scary and effective movie nonetheless and I like that about it.

Another thing I have always found distinctly impressive about this film was that I had a preconceived idea about it before watching it that was overcome by the fact that the film was so good. This movie is rated PG-13 and at the age of 18 I couldn’t imagine that a horror movie suitable enough for a 13 year old could be scary at all. I went in with my newly acquired graduation from high school and unrealistic sense of adulthood thinking I was above such a movie. I learned something about myself when I realized I was wrong. This movie did scare me, and it wasn’t even rated R!!!! This movie didn’t need excessive profanity, or nudity, or gore to be scary. While I tend to enjoy all those things in horror films I admire this one all the more for not needing it.

This movie is interesting to see now as it features a technology we have passed over entirely today. Back in 2002 casette tapes were just beginning to start fading out and at that time most people still had VCRs. Something I love to do these days is ask, “what’s a V..C..R..??” whenever the opportunity arises. It is such a quickly forgotten technology that some of the younger kids I work with are actually entirely unaware of it’s existence. It’s interesting to a see a movie like this made only 13 years ago that reminds me it wasn’t that long ago that things were so different.

I always had my eye on up and coming directors in 2002 and I remember noting the name Gore Verbinski after seeing this film. I expected big things from him and really enjoyed another one of his films, The Weather Man, a couple of years later. Unfortunately in all the years since he was seemingly gobbled up by Disney and responsible for many Johnny Depp make-up fests at their behest. I am referring to the Pirate films as well as The Lone Ranger and I was never a fan. Of course I haven’t seen the later but the tales of the eye-liner swashbuckler made me develop a severe dislike for an actor I was once very fond of. Nevertheless I still think what he did with this film was very impressive and I enjoy it.

The climax in this film is very scary as it brings us into the resolution of the mystery. It explains what happens to the evil girl if not exactly what makes the evil girl evil. A little bit of mystery left over for us to puzzle out isn’t a bad thing however. The best part about this movie is that when you find yourself fulfilled with understanding and think it is all said and done you are sorely mistaken. The most fearful scene in the movie is left for last and it sends you walking away thoroughly shaken. As is exactly what a good horror film should do.

One thing that occurred to me while I was watching this movie struck me as kind of silly. As scary as the notion of being thrown in a well and left to die may be I find myself wondering how practical that is. Granted you kill and dispose of the demon in one motion but wouldn’t this just soil the fresh water in which they probably rely on living on an island? I have been drinking quite a bit of coffee as I finish this movie this morning and caffeine can spark odd thoughts in my head. It may be foolish to leave your murdered demon spawn to decay in the well of drinking water you rely on to live, but The Ring turning out to be the Sun’s outline on a closed well is still really cool and scary. The ring is the last thing the little demon girl saw before she died, and it’s the last thing you will see before you die too!

I think this movie is worth your time and I think that even with a PG-13 rating it is capable of scaring anyone. If you are looking for a scary movie this Halloween then you can’t go wrong with this one. Despite that I don’t really feel like this movie is right for the season. I jumped ahead and the alphabetical order on the rack to do it during the Halloween season but it doesn’t have the holiday vibe to it at all. The coloring is a bluish gray which is great for the tone of the film but far from the orange and black of All Hallow’s Eve. The whole point of the horror film festivals of the season though is to find something scary and in that case this one qualifies. If you haven’t seen it then you have missed out on something scary.

 

Nightmare on Elm Street

Year: 1984
Directed By: Wes Craven
Written By: Wes Craven

RYAN’S REVIEW

This is the film you should be watching for Halloween. It is as scary as they come and it’s a horror legend. This film has created a franchise that has lived and thrived for thirty years now. To date there have been nine movies and countless other media featuring the character of Freddy Kruger. It all started with this movie and when you watch it you understand why it has lived on in this fashion. The long standing success of the franchise led to an unnecessary  remake about four years ago that nobody should waste their time seeing.

Classics should never be touched. It’s a crime to remake a popular classic film for the sake of making money. There was nothing wrong with this original film and nothing to be improved upon. This was a great movie that scared us with an original idea and effects that were far ahead of their time. They did things in this movie that had never been done before and it looked great. Johnny Depp falling into his bed and exploding into the ceiling is insane. Freddy stretching through the wall look great. Technology didn’t need to improve upon these effects even if it could. This movie shouldn’t be touched and it angers me to think a new generation of fans might bypass the original and just watch the new one. The new one wasn’t as well received and I don’t even know that I saw all of it. It can splash all the blood and provoke a scream now and again but it can never recreate the magic of the film made in 1984.

Despite the presence of this franchise throughout my entire life I haven’t seen many, if any at all, of the sequels. I was born the same year this movie came out and for as long as I can remember I have known about it but not dared to actually sit down and watch them. In my oldest memories Halloween always stands out and Freddy has always been present during the holiday in some capacity. Be it a neighbor who gets a kick out of dressing like him for trick-or-treaters or simply trick-or-treaters themselves he was always around and I thought he was really scary. So I think I subconsciously avoided this series for as long as I could simply because it reminds me of the fear I felt as a kid when things were much scarier. I am more interested than ever now because this movie so thoroughly impresses me and I will seek out some of the films that follow. If anybody has any thoughts on the quality of the sequels leave us a comment and let us know if they are worth our time.

Happy Halloween everyone and check out this movie once the kids has eaten their candy and had their sugar crash. When the doorbell finally stops ringing and you can sit back to look for your own fear for entertainment watch this movie. It’s scary and it’s for real. It’s a perfect evening for a scary movie and you can’t go wrong with this one.

AMBER’S REVIEW

I had never seen this movie before. I know it’s a classic, but my step sister was always terrified of this movie so I never wanted to see it. I know why she was terrified now; this  movie is one of the creepiest hrror movies I have ever seen. Freddy is creepy looking and does scary, gory things and the whole plot line is terrifying in itself. I felt extremely sleepy the whole movie, just knowing that she couldn’t sleep or he was going to get her. Overall, this is a great movie, and stands legend today for a really good reason. I think this might become a regular Halloween movie for us from now on.

The Cabin in the Woods

Year: 2012
Directed By: Drew Goddard
Written By: Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard

RYAN’S REVIEW

For the life of me I can’t remember what it was that prompted Amber and I to see this film for the first time. With the unoriginal crap generally hitting theaters these days from the horror genre being what they are we usually don’t waste our time with them. It must have been a really slow season for movies hitting the On Demand channel but whatever the reason we took a chance on something we otherwise never would have seen. We started watching it casually and more or less taking it for more of the same before it really started to surprise us. This movie has a rather interesting twist on the same old same old and I really liked it. I tend to like horror movie satires and this one is specifically cool because I love a scenario in which everyone dies and the whole world hangs in the balance only to fall over the edge.

Like any other typical horror movie this one is about a group of teenagers who go on an outdoorsy trip and scary things start to happen to them. Only in this one those things are happening because men for unknown reasons are manipulating the whole situation in the most interesting ways. These two interesting fellows are at the controls casually doing their jobs, on what is alluded to being a big day for them, using technology to set up the five happy college kids in terrifying situations. You don’t really understand what their job is but you know that they are controlling everything for some reason.  The mystery behind it only makes the movie more interesting and exciting when these guys start to turn up the volume.

The lead role in this very typical group of young people is the obvious jock played by Chris Hemsworth. I find it really funny that at one point he is standing at a gas pump and for absolutely no apparent reason he is holding a football. He is just such a cliché character and it comes so natural to the mighty son of Odin. I love when Thor tries his Evel Knievel move after a vaguely heartfelt speech of abandonment and simply crashes to his death against an invisible wall. His monologue is the kicker because he is promising to bring back help and all of that, but really he is just leaving them behind to escape on his own. I laughed so hard the first time I watched it when he crashes into that wall and dies so unceremoniously. It was at that moment that this movie had me, I specifically remember looking to Amber and saying “I love this.”

My favorite character in this group of obvious characters is the obvious one, being the stoner guy who plays “the fool.” Everybody is acting crazy and he is just looking at them asking, “really?” I also love that he uses his cleverly disguised bong as a weapon when faced with danger. I read that Fran Kranz, who play the fool, needed to do a lot of research in order to play this stoner character including learning how to smoke and roll joints. I find that funny too, it must have been hard putting in that kind of work for his job. In the scene where they are all jumping into the lake he isn’t participating because apparently the guy is too ripped to take his shirt off. Taking that into consideration his prep work makes sense, the ripped guys aren’t usually the pot smokers. As for the rest of the group, or the scholar, the whore, and the virgin. They were all interchangeable and nothing more than pretty faces playing their role.  I don’t think any of them were noteworthy and any actor could have been cast in each of the parts with no notable difference in the film. .

The real golden nuggets in the cast are the men playing the parts of the mysterious operators, and the woman who appears at the end as the boss behind it all. The operators are played by Richard Jenkins and Bradley Whitford and they have great chemistry working together. Their opening scene was specifically written to confuse the audience and make them think they were in the wrong theater. Richard Jenkins, playing the older of the two operators, is a flawlessly talented actor who can do a bit of everything. I specifically like him for his humor because he can be so funny. He is generally unknown by name but everyone recognizes him because he is in so many films. Bradley Whitford has been around forever but I remember him most for playing the bad guy in Billy Madison. In this film he is great playing alongside Jenkins. I specifically like how casual he is with the whole process of his job. Whether he is chit chatting on the ride to the office, firing an automatic weapon against monsters, or dying at the hands of the merman he seems so casual I find it funny. These guys are great together and the way they are portrayed keeps the movie so interesting as it progresses. I love when they think that they have accomplished their goal and they start to party. They are popping champagne and celebrating while over their shoulders Kristen Connolly, who plays “the virgin,” is being brutally beaten on the big screen.

The end of the film features Sigourney Weaver in the top dog role as the boss making a final plea to the two survivors to do what is right for the sake of mankind. I love Sigourney Weaver and her part in this movie is the cherry on top that makes everything so cool. Joss Whedon is a fanboy and all fanboys love the woman who taught us women could be badass in the role of Ripley. Also playing a significant part in another fan favorite, Ghostbusters, Signourney Weaver is near and dear to the hearts of us all.  This seems to me like her cashing in an easy paycheck but her presence gives the film credibility. As always, she brings it when she is on-screen, her performance capped off what was already a fun and exciting movie.

This movie was filmed and shelved for a few years before ever hitting theaters 2012. It just happened to hit the big screen the same year as another hit by Joss Whedon and Chris Hemsworth, The Avengers. In the time that elapsed between shooting and release Hemsworth became an actor of more notoriety. He had made his place in the Marvel superhero world in 2011 when Thor came out so when this film was released his name was in top billing. It made his unceremonious death a bit more surprising when we watched it the first time and all the funnier because it was unexpected. This was not the only film in which that happened to Hemsworth. The remake of Red Dawn was also shot and sat on the shelf for a couple of years before release. I remember that happening but can’t remember the reason. I was very much disappointed by the decision to remake that classic movie about a real conflict with whatever asinine thing happened in the new one.  I don’t know how he did in that film or what befalls his character in it because I will not waste my time watching it, those are precious hours and minutes I cannot get back and feel right about losing.

This is a fun movie from a really cool and continually up and coming filmmaker in Joss Whedon. Depending on how the next Avengers film does, which all indications are that it will be even more awesome, this guy will have his ticket punched and there is no telling what he is capable of doing. I read that he and Drew Goddard wrote this movie rather quickly. It was something he did in his downtime for fun. That says a lot about what he is capable of in the future. This movie has been a welcome addition to the collection and I think it is more than worth your time to see.  This is the time of the year for scary movies and it’s great to have a fun one to throw into the mix.

 

 

AMBER’S REVIEW

I went into this movie thinking it was your everyday scary movie about a cabin in the woods. I think it was fun to go into it like that. I was completely caught off guard with this movie, and in a good way. This is so different from the usual horror flick and that’s what makes it worth watching.

cabinI like this poster! It’s a great way to subtly introduce the movie’s plot. The coloration is great and adds an eerie feeling to the plot of the movie. The typography is not horrible, but could have been handled in a better way. Overall, I really think this poster and movie work so well. It is a refreshing take on a Halloween-esque movie.

Candyman

Year: 1992
Directed By: Bernard Rose
Written By: Clive Barker and Bernard Rose

RYAN’S REVIEW

I can’t remember how old I was the first time I saw this movie although I specifically remember being old enough to know better.  Old enough to know that the things I saw in movies weren’t real and I didn’t have to be afraid. What I do remember is that none of that mattered.  I knew this movie was make believe but it somehow managed to pierce that maturity and strike fear into my soul.  It brought that child I thought I had grown out of back to the forefront and he did the Home Alone scream, only not in a funny way. This movie did more than scare me, it absolutely terrified me with a fear I felt to my bones.  I would have never admitted it at the time but it’s been long enough now that I’m no longer ashamed.  After seeing this film I literally had to use a night light for at least a month, and maybe two.  While I can’t remember how old I was when I saw it I damn sure know I was old enough that sleeping with a night light was completely shameful. Yet that is what it did to me and that is what I will always remember about it.

I never looked into a mirror and said his name three times, I’m not crazy.  It was the images the movie left me with that scared me so bad. At the time I slept in a windowless room that would get very dark with the lights out.  After seeing this film I couldn’t face that darkness for a long time.  Every time the lights went out I would be afraid that Candyman was floating over me like he floated over Virginia Madsen when she was in the insane asylum. It was an irrational fear I know but one that I hadn’t expected to fear anymore at that age.  Something about this movie broke down all the mental barriers I had built up and made me feel like a little kid again.  The kind of little kid that wants to crawl under his bed and hide.  I don’t think this movie is that scary now, but when I saw it for the first time it got the best of me.  That will always make this one of my favorite horror movies because when a movie in the horror genre can accomplish that it has done its job.

Looking back at this movie now I think the setting of the film has a lot to do with what makes it so scary. Maybe it’s just me, I don’t know. I grew up in the country and this movie takes place predominately in a place I have never been and will probably never go to in my entire life.  Amber and I once accidentally got off on the wrong exit on our way into Chicago and ended up in the in a really bad part of town.  It was early but it was easy to see it wasn’t a place we should be when the locals started waking up.  As scary as that place appeared to be it is nothing next to the old and eerie looking project building that Candyman terrorizes.  I think there are plenty of places in the world that certain people do not belong and when they go they are only looking for trouble.  Even if they aren’t looking for trouble they shouldn’t be surprised when trouble finds them and they have nobody to blame but themselves.  When this foolish white college student goes into that project building it’s scary just on the surface.  She doesn’t belong there and the possibility of danger lies around every corner. Be it a supernatural man with a real hook for a hand or simply a small time gangster that will knock her cold just for the fun of it there is only a matter of time before she realizes she made a horrible mistake.  This is type of place that armed police won’t even go; for two women to go by themselves to snoop around is just crazy and it does create an aura of fear that looms over the film as it progresses.

When she finally meets the real Candyman I think what he does to her is scarier than anything I have seen other horror villains do.  Most of the time the horror villain is just killing in violent fashion and while that is scary that’s not what Candyman did.  Candyman dropped her back into the projects and set her up as a baby killer.  That was so much scarier.  She wakes up covered in blood from a severed Rottweiler’s head and she hears the woman she met earlier in the film screaming from the baby’s bedroom.  The crib is covered in blood and the mother is in complete hysterics.  I honestly think the reaction of the mother is one of the things that scared me the most too.  She is beyond hysterical and there was no reasoning with her when she saw Virginia Madsen and came after her.  The police soon burst in and arrest Madsen who looks guiltier than a kid caught with his hand in the cookie jar.  This too I found scary because the situation was bad.  When I was young I related too much to characters I watched on film, and when I thought about the situation this woman was in it scared me to death.  There was no way out of it, she was caught in a room with a knife in her hand, blood all over her, a baby that is missing and presumed to be butchered, and a mother who obviously thought she did it.  When she was strapped down to the table in that insane asylum it was scary, because there wasn’t much hope of her getting out.

Supernatural or not, Candyman is scary simply because he is played by Tony Todd. He is an intimidating man standing at the height of 6’5” and he his voice is perfect for playing a bad guy.  I really like the wardrobe of Candyman how he is dressed up under that pimping coat with the bloody stump at the end of his arm with a hook on it.  Aside from his floating scene I always thought it was terrifying how he killed that doctor from behind and then flew backwards out of the window.  Virginia Madsen pulled off naive woman pretty well in this movie, but I have seen enough of her over the years to know she has a lot of talent as an actress.  I like how the movie ends with her taking the place of Candyman but who is she kidding? She could never be as scary as Candyman himself.  I also want to mention Xander Berkley because I thought he was awesome in his role on 24 several years ago.  He was cast as the douche husband in this movie but I still think he managed to bring something to the film.

I didn’t really love this movie when we watched it again for this review but I did still like it.  It is and will always be important to me just for the memories it offers but I wouldn’t rank it really high in the horror genre.  It deserves to be ranked, but it can’t beat some of the classics.  The story was written by a horror veteran in Clive Barker and that makes it significant.  It is scary in both content and setting with great performances that will leave an impression on you.  It did start a franchise because I know there were at least two sequels to the film and possibly more.  I have not seen any of the sequels because of what this one did to me when I was young.  If you have seen any of the other Candyman movies feel free to leave a comment and let us know what you thought of them.  Otherwise I think this is a good movie to watch as Halloween approaches.

AMBER’S REVIEW

This was a pretty interesting movie. I actually thought it was pretty good. It kept me interested until the end and I didn’t even pass out in the middle of it. I don’t know about the scary or horror part, but overall I thought this movie was an interesting story. I can’t believe this scared Ryan so badly when he was little.

candymanThis is a creepy poster. I don’t like when they try to fit too much unnecessary crap into a poster. This seems to work in a weird, creepy way. I think they would have been fine to just put the man in the pupil of the eye, but then they had to go and add the bee. Less is more people! The typography isn’t that bad. It is original and probably isn’t going to be mistaken for a different title or movie. I think this poster has become iconic and you remember it if it scared you as a kid.

House of 1,000 Corpses

Year: 2003
Directed By: Rob Zombie
Written By: Rob Zombie

RYAN’S REVIEW

When this movie came out I remember hearing really bad things about it and never giving it a chance. I can’t remember who I heard those things from or why I listened to them but if I knew I would find them today to tell them they are crazy.  When I saw this movie for the first time years later it instantly became one of my favorite horror movies of all time. It has an awesome cast made up of people I had never heard of, it has one of the coolest intros I have ever seen in anything, and it was made by a man who has a thing for horror movies. The story may be a typical one on the surface, as far as movies in this genre go.  It scares me though; it gives me the thrills I look for in a horror movie and at the end of the day that is all that matters.  As Halloween is approaching there isn’t a movie I would have rather reached in this collection.  I love this time of year, and this is one of my favorite movies to watch when the holiday approaches.

I had never heard of Sid Haig before seeing this movie but I have never forgotten him afterwards. As Captain Spaulding he makes an awesome and memorable character.  I think the opening scene in which he stands tall and belligerent against his would be robbers is one of the coolest I have ever seen. When it comes to clowns there is fine line between being funny and creepy.  As a clown Captain Spaulding is right up there with Pennywise when it comes to clowns from horror stories.  Spaulding himself doesn’t really bring the element of horror to this film but he brings plenty to the film in small doses.  If the horror element was brought by any one person it was from Bill Moseley.  That man has a voice that strikes fear into my soul and his appearance in the movie is enough to make anyone turn and walk the other way.  The whiteness of his skin, the unkempt nature of his hair, and the blood spattered on his clothes make him look scary enough.  It’s when he starts talking that really brings the fear full circle.  Not only does he have a menacing voice but his character in the movie is so utterly insane and in control.  When he starts talking you might have no idea what is coming next but you know that it will be bad.

I think Sheri Moon is incredibly sexy, but like the guy playing her brother she scares the shit out of me in this one.  It’s that laugh she has, it’s disturbing. She looks so seductive and sweet until something sets her off and then before you know it you see the psychotic side of her.  In the sequel to this movie we find out that her father is actually Captain Spaulding but I thought that was a bit of a stretch.  I would have preferred a more creative connection between the clown and the crazy family.  Karen Black played the part of the crazy family’s mother and I thought she was great.  Her character was obviously once a prostitute and her wide variety of children reflect that.  She was replaced for the sequel and I have never known why but I didn’t like the change. In the role of Tiny some might recognize Matthew McGrory who played the giant in Big FishMcGrory is also known for a role he played in Deliverance as a child, he was the kid playing the banjo in one of the movies most memorable scenes.  In smaller roles you can see notable TV stars of today like Walton Goggins and Rainn Wilson.

This was the first movie made by long time rocker Rob Zombie and I think he did an incredible job.  I remember seeing his house on the MTV show Cribs years and years ago when I still watched MTV and distinctly remember him having an entire closet top to bottom full of horror movies.  Clearly the man has put his work in understanding the genre.  Everything he did from set design to camera angles to the dialogue he wrote was on the spot as far as I am concerned.  I haven’t really been a fan of most of what he has done since this movie.  I did not like his remakes of the Halloween movies.  Yet I like this movie so much that I will always give anything he makes a chance.  He has a lot of potential as a filmmaker.  The story he wrote was pretty basic as far as horror films go but he did many things that make this film stand apart from others with similar themes.

This is a movie I strongly suggest as we enter into the spooky time of the year.  Movies are a great medium to get us into the spirit and movies such as this one are always popular this time of the year.  This is probably one of my favorite horror films but the original Dawn of the Dead is a very close second. For most people anything featuring zombies, vampires, or ghosts will serve their purposes during this season but if you want something that packs more of a punch check this one out. It’s not one I often recommend because it is such a rough movie but this time of the year it is just right.  This movie is more than worth your time during Halloween season and may you have a fun and frightening holiday.

AMBER’S REVIEW

This movie is beyond creepy. It’s not even in the horror genre; it’s a genre all in its own. Family is crazy as shit genre. I really like watching this movie and that worries me sometimes because this film is completely crazy and demented.

This is such an interesting poster. I like the typography; you have a gross looking head looking at you. It’s pretty cut and dry, but I like it and I think it’s a great poster.

NEXT MOVIE: How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days (2003)

Dawn of the Dead (2004)

Year: 2004
Directed By: Zack Snyder
Written By: George A. Romero

RYAN’S REVIEW

This is a different Dawn of the Dead, an upgraded version so to speak.  I don’t mean “upgraded” in the sense that the movie was improved upon, simply rewritten to correlate with the twenty-first century. We live in faster times now and each succeeding generation is looking for more action, more excitement, and more thrills. In 1978 the idea of slow-moving dead people coming in masses fused with great writing was enough to scare people, but in 2004 they felt the need to turn up the volume. This movie lacks the substance of the original, but it makes up for it with pure adrenaline. That isn’t a bad thing though.  This movie by far fails in comparison to the original but I don’t think it is really fair to compare the two.  They are two completely different movies, and this one is good in its own way.

It’s been a while since I have seen this movie and I am remembering now how much I liked it.  This movie is scary, these zombies aren’t like the ones we are used to.  These zombies aren’t slowly coming toward you to attack they are sprinting at full speed and moving with full force at all times.  They instantly come back from the dead and they immediately come after you, that is terrifying.  There is also the fact that there have been significant advances in the fields of Hollywood make-up and special effects since 1978.  The zombies in this film do look very real because of that, and that advantage works in favor for The Walking Dead as well. See our last post for my thoughts on the AMC series.

Zack Snyder directed this film and while I like what he did with it, it is like most of his other movies. Lots of excitement, little substance. He has great vision and I really like his style but his movies are usually only good and not great.  He has the big responsibility of getting the Superman franchise back on track for Warner Brothers. There is a lot of hype surrounding the film and Christopher Nolan is involved so there is hope and Snyder might become much more renowned.  With this film he took very few elements from the original and made his own movie. The characters are overly irrational and ignorant for most of the film and that annoys the hell out of me but the thrills make up for those flaws. I think Sarah Polley is great in the lead role.  Ving Rhames   does little to impress in this role but I am a fan of his. Like most of the rest of the cast I think Ty Burrell does a good job of playing a douche bag.  Ken Foree and Tom Savini from the original both pop up in the film in cameo roles.

This movie starts off great but starts to lose a little steam in the middle and then a series of ridiculous decisions lead to the inevitable. That’s what really makes it fail in comparison to the original, these people are idiots for the most part.  Shaun of the Dead figured things out quicker than these people did.  I do like this film but I find some parts of it really annoying.  Why does Mekhi Phifer go crazy and kill to protect his obviously dead wife and child? Why do they willfully wheel an obvious zombie into their base and try to treat her? Things like that get on my nerves, but I suppose there are bound to be plenty of idiots who survive the apocalypse by accident. This movie isn’t bad and I would say that it is worth your time to see it.

AMBER’S REVIEW

If I thought you should see the original Dawn of the Dead, this one is an absolute must. It is set in modern day and we can easily relate to it. I love this film so much. In this one, compared to the previous one and others in its genre, the zombies in this film dart after you. They are like zombies on crack and will come after you with a vengeance. In my opinion, it sets the stage for a much scarier zombie flick compared to the clumsy, lifeless zombies that are found in most films. I love the whole premise of this movie and we regularly watch it at halloween, although, really it can be a good movie to watch any time of the year.

If you haven’t seen this movie, see it now.

NEXT MOVIE: The Day Reagan Was Shot (2001)