Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Horror Thoughts ‘12—Dream Home (2010) ***

NR, 96 min.
Director/Writer: Ho-Cheung Pang
Starring: Josie Ho, Eason Chan, Norman Chu, Lawrence Chou, Hee Ching Paw, Kwok Cheung Tsang

I’ve been to Honk Kong. I can understand the dilemma of the protagonist in the HK slasher flick “Dream Home”. Heck, even the dream homes in that high-rise mecca are a closet by some American standards. I can imagine finding a suitable place to live in Hong Kong can be murder.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Horror Thoughts ‘12—Survival of the Dead (2009) **

R, 90 min.
Director/Writer: George A. Romero
Starring: Alan Van Sprang, Kenneth Welsh, Kathleen Munroe, Devon Bostick, Richard Fitzpatrick, Athena Karkanis, Stefano Di Matteo, Joris Jarsky, Eric Woolfe, Julian Richings

George A. Romero’s “Survival of the Dead” is a continuation of the ideas and themes he created in the zombie subgenre of horror films with his seminal “Night of the Living Dead”. While the themes he creates for the series are still sound, his delivery has gotten too cute and too clever by half.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Horror Thoughts ‘12—I Spit on Your Grave (1978) *

R, 101 min.
Director/Writer: Meir Zarchi
Starring: Camille Keaton, Eron Tabor, Richard Pace, Anthony Nichols, Gunter Kleemann

Some times the worst results can come from the most earnest of efforts. I have no doubt that the makers of this 70s cult classic thought that they were making cinematic gold when they filmed this ultra low budget exploitation flick that was obviously inspired by Wes Craven’s “Last House on the Left.” The plot is too similar to be a coincidence.

Horror Thoughts ‘12—The Snowtown Murders (2012) ***

NR, 119 min.
Director: Justin Kurzel
Writers: Shaun Grant, Justin Kurzel, Debi Marshall (book “Killing for Pleasure”), Andrew McGarry (book “The Snowtown Murders”)
Starring: Lucas Pittaway, Daniel Henshaw, Louise Harris, Frank Cwertniak, Matthew Howard, Marcus Howard, David Walker, Anthony Groves, Richard Green

Murder is one of the great mysteries of man. Why? What drives an individual to murder in a situation when murder is not a natural course of action? It’s easy to understand murder in war, or in self-defense, when it isn’t technically murder. It’s never easy to take a life, and yet there are people who seem to derive pleasure from it.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Horror Thoughts ‘12—Pontypool (2008) ***½

NR, 93 min.
Director: Bruce McDonald
Writer: Tony Burgess (also novel)
Starring: Stephen McHattie, Lisa Houle, Georgina Reilly, Hrant Alianak

“Pontypool” is just about the strangest horror movie I’ve ever seen. That’s not because it’s weird. I’ve seen plenty of incomprehensible horror movies. I mean this is about the most unique approach to the zombie subgenre I’ve ever seen.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Horror Thoughts ‘12—The Witches (1990) **

PG, 91 min.
Director: Nicolas Roeg
Writers: Allan Scott, Roald Dahl (book)
Starring: Jasen Fisher, Anjelica Huston, Mai Zetterling, Rowan Atkinson, Bill Patterson, Brenda Blethyn, Charlie Potter, Jane Horrocks, Anne Lambton

“The Witches” is a strange little family horror flick from a man who directed perhaps the strangest and one of the greatest adult horror flicks, “Don’t Look Now”. Nicholas Roeg is not an incredibly prolific director, although he began his directing career with great promise, directing three classics right from the start, the Mick Jagger starring gangster flick “Performance”, the Australian Outback set “Walkabout” and the aforementioned “Don’t Look Now” with its incredibly shocking ending. Since those three there have been a few good moments, like David Bowie’s “The Man Who Fell to Earth”, but not as much greatness.

Horror Thoughts ‘12—Piranha Part Two: The Spawning (1981) *

R, 84 min.
Director: James Cameron
Writer: H.A. Milton
Starring: Tricia O’Neil, Steve Marachuk, Lance Henriksen, Ricky G. Paull, Ted Richert, Leslie Graves, Carole Davis, Connie Lynn Hadden, Arnie Ross

I had intended to watch the original 1978 version of “Piranha” for this year’s Horrorfest. A task easier said than done. I remember the campiness of that one from seeing it as a kid. Of the four official franchise “Piranha” movies, it seems to be regarded as the best. I doubt it stands the test of time, but I may never know, since DVD copies seem to be out of print and I didn’t find a streamable version on any of my platforms.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Horrorfest Classics—Shaun of the Dead (2004) ***½

Shaun: Simon Pegg
Liz: Kate Ashfield
Ed: Nick Frost
Dianne: Lucy Davis
David: Dylan Moran
Barbara: Penelope Wilton
Pete: Peter Serafinowicz
Philip: Bill Nighy

Rogue Pictures presents a film directed by Edgar Wright. Written by Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright. Running time: 99 min. Rated R (for zombie violence/gore and language).

I find it interesting that a movie spoofing the zombie subgenre of horror is largely responsible for the renaissance of the zombie flick. There have almost always been zombie movies. The 1932 cult movie “White Zombie” starring Bela Lugosi is widely considered to be the first zombie movie. The subgenre never really got incredibly popular until George A. Romero laid down the rules of the zombie flick in 1968 with the cult classic “Night of the Living Dead”. One of those rules was that zombies were the perfect vehicles for social commentary.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Horror Thoughts ‘12—Red Lights (2012) **½

R, 113 min.
Director/Writer: Rodrigo Cortés
Starring: Cillian Murphy, Sigourney Weaver, Robert DeNiro, Elizabeth Olsen, Toby Jones, Joely Richardson

The new thriller “Red Lights” looks behind the curtain of celebrity psychics. It follows a couple of scientists who spend their extracurricular time debunking psychic and paranormal phenomena. The supporters of psychics refer them to as “professional skeptics.” Robert DeNiro plays a famous blind psychic, who disappeared from the public eye after some controversy in the ‘70s. Now, he’s back trying to make people think he can read their minds again. But, can he?

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Horror Thoughts ‘12—Cold Fish (2010) ***½

NR, 144 min.
Director: Sion Sono
Writer: Sion Sono, Yoshiki Takahashi
Starring: Mitsuru Fukikoshi, Denden, Asuka Kurosawa, Megumi Kagurazaka, Hikari Kajiwara

“Cold Fish” is more proof that the Japanese have a knack for taking the mundane and turning it into something dark and twisted. This film is in the tradition of other Asian flicks about killers in the way it places the killer in settings that seem to be from the everyday. This movie is about a power struggle between two tropical fish storeowners. Yes, tropical fish.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Horror Thoughts ‘12—The Wizard of Oz (1939) ****

G, 101 min.
Director: Victor Fleming
Writers: Noel Langley, Florence Ryerson, Edgar Allen Woolf, L. Frank Baum (novel)
Starring: Judy Garland, Frank Morgan, Ray Bolger, Burt Lahr, Jack Haley, Billie Burke, Margaret Hamilton

This surprisingly accurate description of “The Wizard of Oz” was featured on Jay Leno’s Headlines segment on Monday night:

Monday, October 22, 2012

Horror Thoughts ‘12—Underworld: Awakening (2012) *½

R, 88 min.
Director: Måns Mårlind, Björn Stein
Writers: Len Wiseman, John Hlavin, J. Michael Straczynski, Allison Burnett, Kevin Grevioux (characters), Danny McBride (characters)
Starring: Kate Beckinsale, Stephen Rae, Michael Ealy, Theo James, India Eisley, Kris Holden-Ried, Sandrine Holt, Wes Bentley, Charles Dance

Oh, dear. Oh, dear. Oh, dear. This franchise is beginning to make the “Twilight” franchise look brilliant. “Underworld” goes in the opposite direction as that franchise. While “Twilight” took the horror out of vampires by making them sparkly and celibate, “Underworld” took the horror out of vampires by giving them machine guns and allowing them to die.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Horror Thoughts ‘12—Prometheus (2012) ****

R, 124 min.
Director: Ridley Scott
Writers: Jon Spaihts, Damon Lindelof, Dan O’Bannon (elements), Ronald Shusett (elements)
Starring: Noomi Rapace, Michael Fassbender, Charlize Theron, Idris Elba, Guy Pearce, Logan Marshall-Green, Sean Harris, Rafe Spall, Emun Elliott, Benedict Wong, Kate Dickie

I don’t think most people got what they expected to from this film. Being very familiar with the work of its director, Ridley Scott, I wasn’t that surprised that this film took such a different angle on our future exploits in alien contact than his 1979 film “Alien”, to which this film acts as a sort of prequel. In “Alien”, Scott’s focus was on why these people would’ve been exposed to the alien threat they didn’t necessarily stumble upon. The notion of the corporation using people as expendable commodities was what that movie was about. This one is more about why anything might have been created in the first place, be it the alien threat from the ’79 film or the human victims it feeds upon. Why are any of us here?

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Horror Thoughts ‘12—Frankenstein (1931) ****

UR, 70 min.
Director: James Whale
Writers: Garrett Fort, Francis Edward Faragoh, John L. Balderston (composition), Mrs. Percy B. Shelley (novel), Peggy Webling (play)
Starring: Colin Clive, Mae Clarke, John Boles, Boris Karloff, Edward Van Sloan, Frederick Kerr, Dwight Frye, Lionel Belmore, Marilyn Harris

“Look! It's moving. It's alive. It's alive... It's alive, it's moving, it's alive, it's alive, it's alive, it's alive, IT'S ALIVE! … Oh, in the name of God! Now I know what it feels like to be God!”
                        —Dr. Henry Frankenstein, “Frankenstein” 1931.

It’s a curious thing to take on a classic. I saw “Frankenstein” on the Saturday afternoon creature features as a kid, but it wasn’t a classic to me then. I’ve seen it a few times in my adult life. The first time I saw it with modern eyes and wasn’t much impressed by it. I was always more impressed with “Bride of Frankenstein”, which many would agree presents both its story and themes in a stronger context. “Frankenstein” is no slouch, however; pardon the pun.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Paranormal Activity 4 / **½ (R)

Alex: Kathryn Newton
Ben: Matt Shively
Robbie: Brady Allen
Wyatt: Aiden Lovekamp
Holly: Alexondra Lee
Doug: Stephen Dunham
Katie: Katie Featherston

Paramount Pictures presents a film directed by Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman. Written by Christopher Landon and Chad Feehan. Running time: 88 min. Rated R (for language and some violence/terror).

How many times and how many different people can record the same supernatural manifestations and there still be an audience for it? Paramount and the producers of the “Paranormal Activity” series seem to think this pattern could continue to infinity. Perhaps they’re right. I’m not so sure that’s an incredible statement about the American public’s need for diversity in entertainment. But, there it is. In four years, they’ve given us four “Paranormal Activity” movies. The results have become predictable.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Horror Thoughts ‘12—The Thing (2011) ***

R, 103 min.
Director: Matthijs van Heijningen
Writers: Eric Heisserer, John W. Campbell (short story “Who Goes There?”)
Starring: Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Joel Edgerton, Ulrich Thomsen, Eric Christian Olsen, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Paul Braunstein, Trond Espen Seim, Kim Bubbs, Jørgen Langhelle, Jan Gunnar Røise, Stig Henrick Hoff, Kristofer Hivju, Jo Adrian Haavind, Carsten Bjørnlund, Jonathan Lloyd Walker

This remake/reboot of John Carpenter’s 1982 version of “The Thing” is surprisingly good. It’s remarkable in how it acts as a prequel to that film, while also starting the story all over again. It doesn’t really ad much to the mythology as both stories are almost the same in how they’re told. This new film goes a little further in bringing the action back to the alien spacecraft, but it’s much more interested in setting up the 1982 movie.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Horror Thoughts ‘12—The Woman in Black (2012) ***

PG-13, 95 min.
Director: James Watkins
Writers: Jane Goldman, Susan Hill (novel)
Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, Ciarán Hinds, Janet McTeer

Harry Potter’s all grown up now, and moving on to much scarier projects than his tussle with the dude whose name no one can remember. As ghost stories go, “The Woman in Black” earns its goose bumps. Daniel Radcliffe makes for a pretty good leading man too. He’s a handsome bastard, isn’t he?

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Horror Thoughts ‘12—Creepshow 2 (1987) *

R, 92 min.
Director: Michael Gornick

Writers: George A. Romero, Stephen King (stories)
Starring: George Kennedy, Dorothy Lamour, Frank Salsedo, Holt McCallany, David Holbrook, Don Harvey, Paul Satterfield, Jeremy Green, Daniel Beer, Page Hannah, Lois Chiles, Tom Wright, Stephen King

When I was a kid, my brother was a Stephen King fanatic. He consumed anything and everything King. He read all the books as they were released. He saw all the movie adaptations in the theaters. I was really too young for the King train when he was riding it high.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Horror Thoughts ‘12—Tucker & Dale vs. Evil (2011) ***

R, 89 min.
Director: Eli Craig
Writers: Eli Craig, Morgan Jurgenson
Starring: Tyler Labine, Alan Tudyk, Katrina Bowden, Jesse Moss, Philip Granger, Brandon McLaren, Christie Laing, Chelan Simmons

For decades, Hollywood has committed an atrocious injustice. It has perpetuated one of the grossest social class prejudices of our lifetimes. That gross stereotyping of the horror genre is the notion that rednecks and hillbillies are all sociopathic killers. For ages, we’ve watched teenaged and college-aged morons truck off into a cabin in the woods well past the gas station that is well designated as the “Last Chance for Gas”, get themselves hacked up in every manner possible and some never dreamed of, and who always gets the blame. The redneck, that’s who. The poor redneck, who never did anything violent to anyone (except maybe the occasional deer or duck), who just dreams of their very own vacation fixer upper in the deep woods, so they can get away from the daily grind of the… Last Chance Gas Station.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Argo / **** (R)

Tony Mendez: Ben Affleck
Jack O’Donnell: Bryan Cranston
Lester Siegel: Alan Arkin
John Chambers: John Goodman
Ken Taylor: Victor Garber
Bob Anders: Tate Donovan
Cora Lijek: Clea DuVall
Joe Stafford: Scoot McNairy
Lee Schatz: Rory Cochran
Mark Lijek: Christopher Denham
Kathy Stafford: Kerry Bishé
Hamilton Jordan: Kyle Chandler
Malinov: Chris Messina

Warner Bros. Pictures presents a film directed by Ben Affleck. Written by Chris Terrio. Based on the books “The Great Escape” by Joshuah Bearman and “The Master of Disguise” by Antonio J. Mendez. Running time: 120 min. Rated R (for language and some violent images).

Ben Affleck’s new film “Argo” is a 70s style thriller set at the end of that decade, expertly handled by this filmmaker who gets better and more assured in his direction with every effort. Based on true events during the Iranian hostage crisis that contributed to President Jimmy Carter’s failure to secure a second term in office, Affleck’s film focuses on the less publicly known story of six Americans who escaped the American embassy as Iranian rebels were overrunning it. The escapees hid out for months at the Canadian Ambassador’s residence while the CIA figured out a way to get them out of the country.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Horror Thoughts ‘12—Haunted Honeymoon (1986) **½

PG, 82 min.
Director: Gene Wilder
Writers: Gene Wilder, Terence Marsh
Starring: Gene Wilder, Gilda Radner, Dom DeLuise, Jonathan Pryce, Bryan Pringle, Peter Vaughan, Eve Ferret, Paul L. Smith, Julann Griffin, Jim Carter, Jo Ross, Roger Ashton-Griffiths, Billy J. Mitchell, R.J. Bell, Ann Way

“Haunted Honeymoon” is one of those cute horror comedies that I never paid any attention to until my wife made me. “Hocus Pocus”, “Transylvania 6-5000”, and this one are movies that my wife started introducing me to after our relationship began. They aren’t exactly up my ally, but they have a certain charm to them.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Horrorfest Classics—Let Sleeping Corpses Lie (1974) ***½

Edna: Christine Galbo
George: Ray Lovelock
The Inspector: Arthur Kennedy
Kinsey: Aldo Massasso
Craig: Giorgio Trestini
Benson: Roberto Posse

Anchor Bay Entertainment presents a film directed by Jorge Grau. Written by Sandro Continenza and Marcello Coscia. Running time: 95 min. Rated R.

In 2008, Simon Pegg—co-writer and star of zombie movie/parody “Shaun of the Dead”—wrote an op-ed piece for “The Guardian” in response to the British television movie “Dead Set” discussing the virtues of the classic slow-moving zombies versus the modern “speed” zombies. The piece was titled “The Dead and the Quick” and basically argued that since zombies are technically dead, they should never move quickly.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Horror Thoughts ‘12—The Walking Dead, season 1 (2010) ***½

TV-14, 6 45-min. episodes
Creators: Frank Darabont, Robert Kirkman (graphic novels), Tony Moore (graphic novels), Charlie Adlard (graphic novels)
Directors: Frank Darabont, Michelle McLaren, Gwyneth Horder-Peyton, Johan Renck, Ernest R. Dickerson, Guy Ferland
Writers: Frank Darabont, Charlie H. Eglee, Jack LoGuidice, Robert Kirkman, Glen Mazzara, Adam Fierro
Starring: Andrew Lincoln, Jon Bernthal, Sarah Wayne Callies, Laurie Holden, Jeffrey DeMunn, Steven Yeun, Chandler Riggs
Guest starring: Norman Reedus, IronE Singleton, Jeryl Prescot, Juan Pareja, Andrew Rothenberg, Emma Bell, Melissa McBride, Michael Rooker, Adam Minarovich, Noah Emmerich, Lennie James, Chris Banks, Noel G.

The first brief season of “The Walking Dead” is a mark of the television revolution. Lately, cable networks like AMC have been changing the landscape of television with shows like this one and their other hits “Breaking Bad” and “Mad Men”. They’re often described as consisting of film quality storytelling. They also tend to be subject matters that would earn a movie an ‘R’ rating. The public largely ignores television ratings, while an R rating on a movie can greatly affect its box office totals. It seems for cable outlets, a hard adult subject matter can only help their viewership.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Frankenweenie / **** (PG)

Featuring the voices of:
Victor Frankenstein: Charlie Tahan
Edgar ‘E’ Gore: Atticus Shaffer
Elsa Van Helsing: Winona Ryder
Mrs. Frankenstein/Weird Girl/Gym Teacher: Catherine O’Hara
Mr. Frankenstein/Mr. Burgmeister/Nassor: Martin Short
Mr. Rzykurski: Martin Landau
Bob: Robert Capron
Toshiaki: James Hiroyuki Liao

Walt Disney Pictures presents a film directed by Tim Burton. Written by John August. Based on the short film by Burton. Running time: 87 min. Rated PG (for thematic elements, scary images and action).

In 1984, a visually innovative filmmaker made his first live action film. It was a short film made for Disney, a sort of kids version of the horror classic “Frankenstein” that sees a child take the Dr. Frankenstein role when his beloved dog, Sparky, is hit by a car. Made in black and white, “Frankenweenie” was the introduction of an already fully formed artist who would contribute a unique vision and style to the Hollywood cinematic landscape for years to come. Now, Tim Burton returns with a remake of his first live action film, this time created in stop motion animation and with an expanded storyline that references many volumes of classic creature features.

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Horror Thoughts ‘12—Red White & Blue (2010) ****

NR, 104 min.
Director/Writer: Simon Rumley
Starring: Amanda Fuller, Noah Taylor, Marc Senter, Jon Michael Davis, Nick Holden, Mary Matthews

So I’m watching this movie. I’m getting to know these characters. They’re dark characters, but they’re just living their lives. It’s a good movie. These people are interesting.

Monday, October 08, 2012

Horror Thoughts ‘12—The Toxic Avenger (1984) zero stars

UR, 87 min.
Directors: Michael Herz, Lloyd Kaufman
Writers: Joe Ritter, Lloyd Kaufman, Gay Terry, Stuart Strutin
Starring: Andree Maranda, Mitch Cohen, Jennifer Babtist, Cindy Manion, Robert Prichard, Gary Schneider, Pat Ryan, Mark Torgl

A couple of years ago, I watched “Troll 2”, which has been called the worst movie ever made. It’s bad. I confirmed that when I screened it for Horrorfest ’10. I didn’t think it was the worst movie of all time, but it was so bad it didn’t really matter which film (or films) was worse. “The Toxic Avenger” is worse.

Sunday, October 07, 2012

Horror Thoughts ‘12—Beyond the Black Rainbow (2012) ***½

R, 110 min.
Director/Writer: Panos Cosmatos
Starring: Michael Rogers, Eva Allan, Scott Hylands, Marilyn Norry, Rondel Reynoldson

A word of warning before anyone takes me up on this recommendation: Do not watch this movie if you’ve taken the bad acid!

Panos Cosmatos’s “Beyond the Black Rainbow” is probably best described as a psychedelic acid trip, but not the kind you want to take. It is a retro sci-fi thriller made as if it was still 1984 and the threat of Big Brother was still a concern of becoming a reality.

Saturday, October 06, 2012

Horror Thoughts ‘12—Vincent (1982) ****

G, 6 min.
Director/Writer: Tim Burton
Narrator: Vincent Price

With the release of his new feature length film “Frankenweenie”, director Tim Burton returns to his roots as a stop motion animator. It’s always been apparent in all of his films that b-grade horror flicks, especially the Edgar Allen Poe adaptations starring Vincent Price, heavily influenced Burton. In his 1982 short film “Vincent” he pays tribute to Poe and Price with his images and his poetry.

Friday, October 05, 2012

Horrorfest Classics—Fido (2006) ***½

Timmy Robinson: K’Sun Ray
Fido: Billy Connolly
Helen Robinson: Carrie-Anne Moss
Bill Robinson: Dylan Baker
Mr. Theopolis: Tim Blake Nelson
Mr. Bottoms: Henry Czerny

Lionsgate presents a film directed by Andrew Currie. Written by Robert Chomiak & Currie & Dennis Heaton. Based on a story by Heaton. Running time: 93 min. Rated R (for zombie-related violence).

Zombies have recently become one of the most popular subgenres of horror. The great thing about zombies is that proliferation is one of their primary attributes. You can keep on killin’ ‘em and we’ll make more! The makers of the zombedy “Fido” remember when the world was fueled with the same gumption that fuels that mentality. People are gosh darned determined not to allow the zombies to get them down in this movie.

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Horror Thoughts ‘12—The Darkest Hour (2011) *½

PG-13, 89 min.
Director: Chris Gorak
Writers: Jon Spaihts, Leslie Bohem, M.T. Ahern
Starring: Emile Hirsh, Olivia Thirlby, Max Minghella, Rachael Taylor, Joel Kinnaman, Veronika Vernadskaya

The biggest crime of the sci-fi thriller “The Darkest Hour” is formula dependence with out any understanding of dramatic drive. This movie clicks off plot points like a PowerPoint presentation, but is severely lacking in character and story development and good dialogue. You gotta admire Emile Hirsh’s attempts to make some of this goofy dialogue sound like something someone might actually say. He fails, but he tries.

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Horror Thoughts ‘12—Piranha DD (2012) *½

R, 83 min.
Director: John Gulager
Writers: Patrick Melton, Marcus Dunstan, Joel Soisson, Peter Goldfinger (characters), Josh Stolberg (characters)
Starring: Danielle Panabaker, Matt Bush, Katrina Bowden, Jean-Luc Bilodeau, David Koechner, Chris Zylka, David Hasselhoff, Christopher Lloyd, Gary Busey, Ving Rhames

“Piranha DD”, the sequel to the recent 3D reboot of the monster attack franchise, is not good. But then, like it’s predecessor, it’s not trying to be good. It’s exploitational, campy, gory, and downright silly. All of these things can be said about the 2010 version of “Piranha”. I’m pretty sure the original 1978 “Piranha” and its sequel would fit into that description as well. However, when you’re trying to be bad, sometimes it’s just bad.

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Horror Thoughts ‘12—Daylight (2010) ***½

NR, 75 min.
Director: David Barker
Writers: David Barker, Michael Godere, Alexandra Meierhans, Ivan Martin (additional dialogue)
Starring: Alexandra Meierhans, Ivan Martin, Michael Godere, Aidan Redmond, Brian Bickerstaff

The indie film “Daylight” kicks off our Horror Thoughts features for the month of October after the feature film “Hotel Transylvania” kicked off the entire Horrorfest. No two films could be more different. Well, that’s not really true. A David Lynch film might’ve been more different than a family friendly comedy involving classic horror monsters, but the 2010 film “Daylight” certainly steers us into darker waters.

Monday, October 01, 2012

Hotel Transylvania / **½ (PG)

Featuring the voices of:
Dracula: Adam Sandler
Jonathan: Andy Samberg
Mavis: Selena Gomez
Frankenstein: Kevin James
Eunice: Fran Drescher
Wayne: Steve Buscemi
Wanda: Molly Shannon
Griffin: David Spade
Murray: CeeLo Green
Quasimodo: Jon Lovitz

Columbia Pictures and Sony Pictures Animation presents a film directed by Genndy Tartakovsky. Written by Peter Baynham and Robert Smigel and Todd Dunham and Dan Hageman & Kevin Hageman. Running time: 91 min. Rated PG (for some rude humor, action, and scary images).

My wife has always been a big fan of the 80’s spoof of classic horror cinema “Transylvania 6-5000”. I was not when growing up. I’m not sure I ever really saw it, but I saw pieces of it and decided it wasn’t for me. It was corny. It didn’t aspire to be more than it was. Most importantly, it wasn’t scary. I liked my horror scary, and spoofs like this diminish the scariness of the genre. Then, a couple of years ago, she sat me down with the kids and made us watch it. It was surprisingly funny. It’s still all those negative things I thought about it, but it’s not trying to be great cinema. Besides, the kids loved it.