MORIARTY Goes A Little Crazy For SESSION 9!!
Hey, everyone. "Moriarty" here with some Rumblings From The Lab.
I love horror movies in theory.
But I hate most horror films I see.
It's a terrible place to be as a fan. It's nothing but heartbreak. For years, I've found myself pinning my hopes on films I know little about, simply because mainstream horror is all the same. In the wake of SCREAM, everything is self-referential, full of jokes, overpacked with bad teen actors I don't care about in situations I don't believe. It's depressing. It's one of the reasons BLAIR WITCH PROJECT felt like such a breath of fresh air. At least it took its premise seriously.
When I first heard the description of SESSION 9, the new film by Brad Anderson, I was immediately interested. Once I saw the trailer and the posters, I knew I had to see the film as soon as possible. Last Thursday night at the USA screening room in Beverly Hills, I got a chance to see the film with a fairly light crowd, and I'm pleased to report that although it's not a classic, it's a smart film with a great slow burn that delivers maximum mood and features strong adult performances.
The description in the press notes is pretty simple:
SESSION 9 is a contemporary tale of terror set in an abandoned insane asylum.
Yes, it is. The Danvers State Mental Hospital is one of the best locations for a horror film I've ever seen someone luck into. Brad Anderson and his co-writer Stephen Gevedon wrote this script around the location, and it's easy to see where their ideas came from. It's a sprawling cluster of buildings all built off of one main central hall, run down and abandoned since the mid-80s. One stroll through this place under the brightest of conditions could give you nightmares, so when Anderson starts to turn up the heat as the film wears on, there is a delicious feeling of dread that creeps into the viewer.
Gordon Fleming (Peter Mullan) is a Scottish emigrant who has his own company that helps prepare old buildings for rennovation. The rest of the Hazmat Elimination Co. is Phil (David Caruso), Hank (Josh Lucas), Mike (co-writer Gevedon), and Gordon's nephew Jeff (Brendan Sexton III). They outbid the other companies in town and promise that they're going to finish the three week job in one week. Gordon needs the work due to his new baby and the mounting pressures from his wife, and he promises something he's not sure he can deliver, never thinking about the toll it might take on him or his crew.
It's a simple, even elegant framework to hang the film on, and what we're treated to is basic human horror, the things that we all carry with us made manifest in this place where such terrible feelings still resonate from every wall. There's existing tension between Phil and Hank over a woman, and Mike becomes obsessed with a series of tapes he finds in one of the storerooms that detail nine psychiatric sessions with a woman suffering from multiple personality disorder. In particular, he becomes determined to learn the secret of "Simon," her most frightening inner voice.
It's a strong cast, guys we've seen in indie films like MAD DOG & GLORY, KING OF NEW YORK, SMOKE, BLUE IN THE FACE, LOOKING FOR RICHARD, YOU CAN COUNT ON ME, AMERICAN PSYCHO, MY NAME IS JOE, THE CLAIM, MISS JULIE, TRAINSPOTTING, SHALLOW GRAVE, RIFF RAFF, WELCOME TO THE DOLLHOUSE, BOYS DON'T CRY, and THE DEEP END. This isn't just another standard teen slasher flick. This is aiming at something deeper.
In the end, the film is frustrating precisely because of that. The slow burn doesn't pay off in a way that is ultimately satisfying. It's an okay ending, but it feels like a convenience, like it's just time to end the film, so let's just wrap it up and not really pay it off. That's a shame, because the journey ends up being more important than the destination, and if equal care had been taken with both, this could very well stand next to films like DON'T LOOK NOW and REPULSION and ROSEMARY'S BABY, all films Anderson used as templates when putting this together.
For Anderson, this is a pretty significant step as a filmmaker. Up until now, he's been thought of primarily as a director of small romantic comedies. NEXT STOP WONDERLAND with Hope Davis was a hit at the 1998 Sundance Festival, and at the 2000 Sundance Fest, he premiered HAPPY ACCIDENTS, which is also being released this summer. That's described as a "sci-fi romance," and after seeing him stretch stylistically here, I'm excited to see that film as well. One thing's for sure... he doesn't fall into the typical trap of the indie rom-com director by relying more on his script than his visual style. Anderson has struck a strong balance between the two here, and that may be the film's greatest accomplishment.
Y'see, this was shot using Sony's CineAlta 24P HD camera, the same system that George Lucas is using for EPISODE II. I didn't know that until I arrived at the screening, so it was a pleasant surprise. It was also shot widescreen, so it's a good indicator of what we can expect from Lucas and company next summer.
If I had to boil it down to one word, it would be "amazing."
I know the debate continues to rage throughout the industry right now about whether HD can ever supplant film, but the evidence of one's own eyes pretty much renders the debate moot, I think. SESSION 9 is jaw-droppingly gorgeous, rich with visual atmosphere in both the brightest daylight and the darkest corner of the asylum at night. There's a grain and a texture to the image that carries all the emotional resonance of film, and there are places where even the most discerning eye would be hard-pressed to tell the difference.
Even though this is a tiny film, I would say Uta Briesewitz should be strongly considered as a nominee for Best Cinematography next March, simply because of the pioneering nature of the work she's done here. She's managed to prove that HD is just as strong a medium for "painting with light," as Vittorio Storaro once put it, as film is. In some ways, it's the perfect format for this film. There's so many tiny details at the edge of the frame that crowd in, adding to the mounting sense of horror, that the clarity becomes part of what scares you. A ripple in a puddle as if someone was just in the room. The way the dust hangs in the air as the crew pulls the building apart. The shadows of the tunnels beneath the buildings at night. It all adds up, and there's one sequence in particular that had both Harry Lime and I ready to crawl out of our seats at the sheer oppressive animal fear of it all.
When this film goes into limited release in August, it will be worth the effort for genre fans to seek it out. It's a rewarding experience with some flaws, but it stands head and shoulders above most of what we see in the genre. Anderson says he's working on another horror project right now, and that's good news indeed. Here's hoping he builds on the work he's done here to create something truly magnificent his next time out.
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June 5, 2001, 2:25 a.m. CST
...I love horror flicks, but most of them are just plain rubbish. It's disheartening!!
June 5, 2001, 4:38 a.m. CST
and at least that had Jeffrey Combs. 'Fear is a place'? We're talkin 'Night Court' in its fifth season laaaaaame... C'MON! Haunted houses. Ghosts. Slashers. Monsters. IT'S TIRED. Where's the next 'Hellraiser'? Where's the next horror movie that genuinely tries something different to scare us...and no, I don't mean 'Blair Witch.' Problem with most horror movies is they're made by horror fans who just belch out the same stuff horror has been doing for 100 years. Group of young people. A threat out there somewhere. Young people die one by one. Plucky female destroys threat. YAWN. If some of the more innovative horror fiction writers followed Clive's lead into movies (then again, Clive isn't really into horror now either) we might start seeing some horror movies worth discussion. *** To me, the best horror movies are the ones that DON'T get filed in the horror section at Blockbuster. (although there are some classics, mainly pre-'90s, I'm not dissing the genre outright)
June 5, 2001, 5:14 a.m. CST
With this, Episode 2, and Once Upon A Time in Mexico (not to mention THE ANNIVERSARY), it's looking like HD is here to stay. Let's toast the new format.
June 5, 2001, 5:19 a.m. CST
the climax of don't look now has to be the most disturbing scene I've ever come across in a horror movie. the rest of the film is equally stirring, sinister and melancholy. utterly fucking brililant. if this comes anywhere near i'll be overjoyed. incidentally, peter mullan is brilliant in my name is joe - one of the best natural acting performances i've ever seen.
June 5, 2001, 6:26 a.m. CST
by Jack Lazarus
I know that film gets a lot of mention from so-called horror fans, but it was truly awful. It's meandering, psuedo-pretentious, and only made interesting by its Argentoesque ending. Of course, you do get to see Julie Christie naked...
June 5, 2001, 6:28 a.m. CST
MartinBlank should see a film before he comments on it (so should a lot of people on here, actually). Session 9 is NOT House On Haunted Hill. It's not a bunch of young people getting killed until the "plucky female" saves the day. There are no women in this film, except for an extremely creepy voice on a tape. This film is serious horror and possibly the most frightening I've seen this year. Great stuff, character-driven, hardly any onscreen gore, an ambiguous plot, beautiful mood and setting, and excellent performances. It's a "slowburner," as some people say, but the best horror usually is. No doubt the attention-deficit, raised-on-videogames geeks out there won't get it at all. They'd probably find Rosemary's Baby "boring," or "not gory enough." Session 9 is the real deal.
June 5, 2001, 6:37 a.m. CST
do you mean pseudo-intellectual? it's either pretentious or it isn't.
June 5, 2001, 6:48 a.m. CST
I saw this at a screening a few months ago and hated it. I'm quite surprised at all the positive feedback about the flick. As it stands, it's a film with great cinematography and little else. It's not scary and just plain dumb. Next time they try doing another "Blair Witch"/"Shining" knockoff count me out.
June 5, 2001, 6:51 a.m. CST
by Lord of the Geps
i really don't get why people think that the horror genre is in a rut. Quite frankly 'I still know what you did last summer' scared the bejeesus out of me, as did 'valentine', and 'urban legends'. You people demand too much of movies. And of course you can be pseudo-pretentious. Its like quasi-up your own arse. its a pretension of pretentiousness. very post-modern. very scream. very topical.
June 5, 2001, 6:59 a.m. CST
lord of the geps, i agree that 'i know what you did last summer' certainly shat on pseudo-pretentious horror crap likes those romero movies and that one with the chainsaw in texas - you know i think it had arnie in it. prinze was transcendental. if only they'd stop making pretentious movies with plots and characters, and stuck to the real goods - fake blood and bear breasts.
June 5, 2001, 7:01 a.m. CST
by Lord of the Geps
is one of your sexmoves beastiality by any chance? The idea of bear-titties is repulsive, and certainly horrific, but i don't think you should be allowed to see disney's 'the country bears' you filthy prevert.
June 5, 2001, 7:03 a.m. CST
I was in a horribly sullen mood until I read that, but I haven't been able to stop laughing since. Thanks for brightening my day!
June 5, 2001, 7:04 a.m. CST
by Lord of the Geps
...superior in every way to the original
June 5, 2001, 7:05 a.m. CST
i never suggested the bears should bare their breasts. that's just plain weird. didn't you read harry's post on the new hartnett movie? breasts are a beautiful, natural thing.
June 5, 2001, 7:42 a.m. CST
Bad horror flix did not begin with Scream. (In fact I thought the first Scream was pretty good, and I'll stand by that). I saw so many Horror flix in the 80's that just had NOTHING going for them. In fact, the reason there were almost no horror films at all through most of the 90's is because people were flat-out SICK of em! I know I was. To this day I get a bad taste in my mouth from slasher flix. Now, if it's got a monster, or at least some kind of supernatural thing going on, that's one thing, but if it's just a guy running around with a knife...it's like trying to eat pizza after working at a pizza place a few years. Just SICK of it. Well, I think I got way off subject here, but my point is that I'm sick of both Harry and Moriarty acting like these new shitty horror films are worse than the old shitty horror films. And a lot of the better old horror films (I shouldn't really be using the word "old" here, but you know what I mean) were self-referential as hell: Fright Night, American Werewolf in London. So how ya like THEM apples, eh?
June 5, 2001, 7:46 a.m. CST
Just as a sidenote to Mr MartinBlank, although Hellraiser was a great, different groundbreaking flick, whats sad is that they are still making *sequels* to the damn thing. The first three were actually on the big screen... the next oh... 2 or 3.. are straight to video pieces o' poop. Sad what becomes of some original ideas. Where are all the horror flicks this summer anyway? I was trying to find a good one to look forward to, and it looks like this one will have to do! Has real horror gone underground? *Sigh* Who really needs Jason X for cripes sake?
June 5, 2001, 8:32 a.m. CST
by Jack Lazarus
Pseudo-pretentious means it is a film which as a goal strives to BE pretentious...and yet can't even achieve that much. But. Like I said. Julie Christie. Naked.
June 5, 2001, 9:13 a.m. CST
by Rudy Duncan
Bout time a good supernatural flick set in a sanitarium was made....HOUSE ON HAUNTED HILL was slighty cool but the effects at the end ruined it for me.
June 5, 2001, 9:29 a.m. CST
I know we aren't allowed to talk prequels here anymore, but I canna believe that neither of you has succcumbed to base need for bragging rights on having seen the thing. Where it at? Go here for a Star Wars review of sorts: http://www.bomba-fantastica.com/Bestoftheworst/Starwars.htm
June 5, 2001, 9:38 a.m. CST
...so I went off on a rant...gimme a break, it was before I had my morning coffee... *** "All right, so I focked up" - Pacino, 'Scarface' *** Moriarty (who emailed me) and DoJoTy: yer right...I shouldn't shit on a film sight unseen...just chalk it up to the kneejerk response of someone who's seen way too many drops of diarrhea touted as the next big thing in horror... (which Moriarty didn't do in this case...he said it was good, not the second coming of John Carpenter...but still...after the 'Blair Witch' fiasco I'm VERY wary of any hype surrounding a horror movie) *** Damare: yeah, they can't leave a good original idea alone...they have to turn it into a frickin franchise...Name me one good horror film that needed to be gang-bang-sequelized over and over...'A Nightmare on Elm St.'...'Halloween'...'Texas Chainsaw Massacre'... (I'm leaving out 'Friday the 13th' because I don't really consider that a 'good' horror film)...christ, even 'Scanners' yielded about 87 direct-to-video sequels...'Scanner Cop', 'Scanners: The New Whatever,' 'Scanners a-Go-Go,' 'Scanner Candy Stripers'... *** Z-Man: good call on 'American Werewolf' (London, not Paris)...that WAS the original postmodern horror movie...and still Landis' best I feel... *** Still and all...they need a new title...this one sounds too close to 'Series 7.'
June 5, 2001, 9:49 a.m. CST
...like it or not, Scream will be considered a classic. I think we were treated to a truly great horror film this year with Requiem For a Dream. The horror lives in the possibility.
June 5, 2001, 10:37 a.m. CST
Scream was in response to all the bad horror flicks of yore (don't ask me what the hell yore is, it just sounded cool). Admitedly, it's the same time of movie, but at least it tried to be celver, played off people's expectations, and was, for the most part, character driven, with a fairly good young low-budget case. Scream 2 was like a happier, big budget studio version of Scream, but the characters and dialogue was still entertaining. Like the film class discussion. That was a total whodunit slasher movie though, unlike Scream, which was fear in a small town, or whatever. Scream 3 was a mess during production, Williamson didn't script it, and WTH, it wasn't that good. It was okay...but it was like a stylish big budget version of any number of slasher whodunit movies, that was obviously trying to be clever. Personally, I think the two subjects that are truly scary are psychological and supernatural. But they have to be very well done, and low key. Maybe Spielberg should take a crack at it...BTW, I liked What Lies Beneath. It was well made, kept you guessing in the beginning, and was well-written and acted.
June 5, 2001, 11:50 a.m. CST
Speilburg DID try his hand at it. It was called Poltergiest.
June 5, 2001, 11:59 a.m. CST
by KOLOBOS REXX
Once again, I must comment on the horror-film scene. "Scream 1-3" was resposible largely for making jokey, overly self-reverential psuedo-horror popular, and it started the unfortunate trend of teenybopper-targeted, bloodless, "madman on the loose" crap which is about all that ever comes out any more. The plus about "Scream" was that it at least had a consistent story, fairly developed characters, and it was designed to actually tell one big story, then END. The minuses were the fact that no one ever seemed that scared, no matter how many bodies piled up. Loved the "dead mom" images in "Scream 3" though... that one was pretty good! Thought the first one was actually the weakest, with its totally anti-climatic ending. "House on Haunted Hill" rocked, except for the cheesy CGI ending... the use of FX and cameras made some of that film's scenes the creepiest in years!(any scene with Jeffery Combs!) Mostly, though, you need to stick to video, where you can find greats like "KOLOBOS"(the best!), and find some old classics like "Tourist Trap", "Happy Birthday To Me"(could "Scream" have been any more inspired by this?!), "My Bloody Valentine", "Hell Night", "Without Warning", "Alone in the Dark", "The Boogens", "Nomads", "Split-Second", "The Boogeyman", "Rabid", "Strangeland","Poltergeist" "Deep Red", "Tenembrae", "Opera","Inferno", "the Sentinel", "Pumpkinhead", ect. "Blair Witch" was NOT original,nor even really scary, it stole its technique from "Evil Dead" and "Texas Chainsaw Massacre", and the second one was just plain horrid. I look forward to "Session 9" and "Jeepers Creepers", because they sound genuinely scary, as does "Darkness": check the trailer out at Dark Horizons, it is really creepy! I enjoy the 'slasher' flicks for fun, but they don't even make those any good any more.
June 5, 2001, 12:13 p.m. CST
This looks like it might make a nice diversion for a Sunday afternoon. What I liked about What lies Beneath was it didn't try the 'lets pull the rug out from under the viewer'. Most people suspected that so-and-so was the guilty party, and y'know what? You were right! But the ghostly effects used throughout the movie made it nicely spooky. (reminiscient (sp?) of "Ghost Story").
June 5, 2001, 1:02 p.m. CST
90 minutes of creepout followed by an unsatisfying payoff. The horror elements are too cliche, such as Multiple Personality Disorder and an eternal, undying evil that haunts a place and waits for unwary victims. Good performances and several points for style but this felt too much like an overlong X-Files episode.
June 5, 2001, 1:12 p.m. CST
June 5, 2001, 3:30 p.m. CST
Video game, but man it was creepy... creepier than many a movie I've seen. There are usually 2 types of horror movies, scary ones and creepy ones. The best usually have a bit of both. As for Jeeper Creepers, allucanlovebuffett, it was made by a child rapist. That's really about all you need to know.
June 5, 2001, 4:12 p.m. CST
Here's a little bit about it... If you are still interested in the film however, do a keyword search on the site for the title, I believe it was Moriarty or Harry who did a (quite positive) review of it a while back... along with the ensuing talkback shouts... A few edited bits from THE SAN FRANCISCO EXAMINER October 25, 1995, Wednesday News; Pg. A-1 The victim of a childhood sexual molestation is urging filmgoers to boycott the new Disney film "Powder," which was directed by the man who videotaped himself having oral sex with the then-12-year-old Concord boy. Victor Salva, confessed in 1988 to five felony counts related to having sex with a boy he directed in a low-budget film. The molestation victim, Nathan Winters, now 20, has decided to go public with his ordeal to protest Salva's connection with the movie, which was made by a subsidiary of Walt Disney Studios. Nathan's mother, Rebecca Winters of Concord, called Salva's return to filmmaking "absolutely outrageous." Salva confessed to having oral sex with Nathan Winters in 1987 while directing the then sixth-grader in "Clownhouse," a film about three boys terrorized by circus clowns. "Clownhouse" won several awards and was the first horror movie released at the acclaimed Sundance Film Festival. Salva was sentenced to three years in state prison, serving 15 months and completing parole in 1992, according to the state Corrections Department and court records in Contra Costa County. He is a registered sex offender in Los Angeles County, according to state records. Winters, who also acted for Salva in the 1986 short film "Something in the Basement," told his mother during the making of "Clownhouse" that Salva had forced sex on him. When police raided Salva's house, they found two homemade pornographic tapes, one showing Salva having oral sex with Winters. In April 1988, Salva pleaded guilty to one count of lewd and lascivious conduct, one count of oral copulation with a person under 14 and three counts of procuring a child for pornography. At his sentencing hearing, a prosecutor said Salva appeared to seek jobs where he could work with children. Salva has written children's books and in 1985 worked at the Crawford Village Child Care Center in Concord. Experts in child abuse fear that Salva's role as a director of a teen-oriented film could put him in a position where he could use his power as a lever to abuse other minors. "The frustrating part for law enforcement is that you have a convicted molester who is able to be around children and to be in a position of authority," Officer Joe Kreins of the Concord Police Department said. "It would be very easy for him to abuse his power and authority in that position." A 1988 state Justice Department study found that almost half of all sex offenders are re-arrested; nearly 20 percent of sex offenders commit another sex crime. Convicted sex offenders are more than nine times as likely to commit another sex offense than a person convicted for a non-sex offense, statistics show. "People do commit offenses and get out and get on with their lives," Waddell said. But "pedophiles and child molesters do have a tendency toward recidivism."
June 5, 2001, 4:13 p.m. CST
Forgot to mention, if it wasn't obvious, The Jeepers director also directed Powder...
June 5, 2001, 4:47 p.m. CST
People who call another person pretentious for expecting too much out of movies are the reason why most movies suck in the first place. If the mindless sheep would stop handing their hard earned money over to the assembly line makers of this garbage, we might start getting some actual thought provoking fare. Since this nation is currently in the clutches of people with attention spans that match their IQ's, I don't see much hope. America's collective intelligence is in a state of serious arrested developement. Remember, we wouldn't have known how much fun it was to have been a kid without actual adults around.
June 5, 2001, 6:21 p.m. CST
But I'll watch it cause the location sounds cool... As for "Jeepers Creepers" I'm even more interested in seeing it because it was directed by Salva.
June 5, 2001, 6:31 p.m. CST
by jeff bailey
I think this has a great premise, a cool cast and some neat ideas. I hope it turns out great. I agree with Lazarus's assessment of Don't Look Now. It was pseudo pretentious and while it had some great elements, they were buried beneath a dull, incoherent film that lacked anything other then a good scare at the end (and yes, Julie Christie naked). I give it props for trying to be adult but hey Roeg, some scares please or at least something entertaining. It is a shame and we say it time and again how rare geniunely scarey movies are. They require a deft touch and some serious thought. Something in short supply in the movie industry. And for some reason i think NO ONE on this site can fathom, movies that aren't even close to frightening are released time and again. No one ever says: "Hey guys, its's weird, this movie we are working on, might want to make it...you know, scary?" I mean they have months to realize it but never do. And I still don't see how peoples IQs and attention spans are blamed. The Sixth Sense was everything you could ask for and it was very subdued and smart and it was MASSIVE. Why? Because it was so GOOD. Look at how bad the movies were this spring and all the Industry is scratching its head wondering why receipts were down. Good luck Brad.
June 5, 2001, 11:23 p.m. CST
I can see the production meeting now. "OK guys, what we're really aiming for in this film is pretension." Don't Look Now seems to alienate a lot of horror fans because there are few overt scares. However, I've always thought the most scary horror films rely on implication. Setpiece scares and gore frequently come off as cartoonish. The implication of something evil is much more disturbing. I'd hate to think we're so devoid of imagination that we need mainlined, visceral (and literal) scares.
June 6, 2001, 4:49 a.m. CST
The current trend for horror is not as bad as it was in the 80's. There are hardly more than 10 or 12 movies who's root's go back to Scream, whereas the slasher craze that followed Halloween through the 80's must have spawned hundreds of shoddy imitations. People like horror, but it is a commercially difficult genre, this may be why nobody pushes the limits anymore, ironically, it has become one of the most unoriginal and unadventurous genres.
June 6, 2001, 7:38 a.m. CST
by Big NoVaS
Well, the ending of the film may feel a bit pre-mature, because, well, the entire movie was shot in under a month! Even then, a lot of the shooting of this film fell a bit behind schedule. Yes, the cinematography is nice, however, nothing can quite capture the feeling of being in Danvers at 4am on a monday morning, talk about creepy! A lot of the asbestos in this film IS NOT SET-DRESSING! It is real! But kept wet so it couldn't be inhaled.
June 6, 2001, 12:44 p.m. CST
halloweeen? why is not anyone discussing this movie here? now THATS a horror movie..... and i think ED GEIN is scary as fuck too.... -me
June 6, 2001, 1:09 p.m. CST
halloweeen? why is not anyone discussing this movie here? now THATS a horror movie..... and i think ED GEIN is scary as fuck too.... -me
June 6, 2001, 1:44 p.m. CST
...that's good, right?
June 6, 2001, 1:50 p.m. CST
'Black Christmas' is the best horror movie ever made.
June 6, 2001, 4:11 p.m. CST
by Sith Lord Jesus
At least it'll TRY to scare me, like the first BLAIR WITCH did, rather then do that wink-wink nudge-nudge irony crap. And can someone PLEASE, PLEASE PLEASE do a good, big-budget Lovecraft flick?! My god--"The Colour Out of Space;" "The Shadow over Innsmouth;" "At the Mountains of Madness;" "The Case of Charles Dexter Ward" and of course "Call of Cthulhu:" how many of these have the potential of being the first horror film to win the Oscar for Best Picture if handled properly?? The only problem would be finding the right director. I'd like to see what Scorsese would do with "Call," for example. Ang Lee or Shyamalan would be interesting choices for some of the above, as well. In any case, BRING ON THE LOVECRAFT!!! (In Darth Vader voice): It is your destiny. . .
June 6, 2001, 6:45 p.m. CST
Excellent idea, Sith!
June 6, 2001, 7:52 p.m. CST
whatever happened to that german Haunter of the Dark flick? The site has been down for awhile...
June 7, 2001, 12:19 a.m. CST
I saw this at a press screening too, and was very unimpressed. (mild to medium spoilers follow... turn back if you care...) For a bunch of guys under pressure, these guys seemed pretty laid back. I only ever saw them while they were on break during the job. And I never saw the main character interact with his wife at all. Mostly, I guess I just never got to SEE their real motivations and character, just what they told us. Show me, don't tell me. What they implied about "Simon" made me almost laugh out loud, that shit would have scared me when I was like, 10. And the last act is truly a letdown, with very clunky direction. I mean, the director lies to you for 15 to 20 minutes, in that "it's all a dream" kind of way, so you'll be shocked by the "surprise" ending. Frickin cheeeeeap!!! Bottom line: didn't work as a slasher flick because there wasn't enough gore; didn't work as a psychological horror flick because I couldn't care about the characters.
July 21, 2001, 1:12 a.m. CST
This movie is terrible. The people that have seen it and say it is a great movie "with some flaws" have it backwards in my opinion. They should say it is a horrible movie with maybe some good points, like spooky-cool location (which they wasted on a bad movie) and possibly some decent acting. I cant say why I think it is so bad because I think it might be a spoiler (although it would be doing you a favor). Aside from my main reason for disliking the movie I also thought the movie overall was bad. The best way I can describe it without spoiling it (I hate spoilers) is saying it's like calling a movie "Drinking Water All Day: The Movie" and having it have nothing to do with drinking water or even water other than the fact someone turns on a faucet but never actually drinks the water or even discusses water. If you critics out there think I have this totally wrong or completely misunderstood the movie, I'd love to hear why you think I'm wrong off the list since it might spoil the movie for others. I'm not a critic and I don't know much about the technical aspects of making movies. I only know what I like or don't like. -WTFC!
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