Wednesday, October 22, 2014
Necflix: A Guide for Halloween Cinema 2014 by Gusto Dave
Today, we have a necropolis of film suggestions that are guaranteed to, if not shiver your bones, at least leave you satisfactorily entertained. And I'll throw in a couple of reading suggestions.
I'm going to go with the blue chip, power punch time investment first. King Kong, under Peter Jackson's direction, awed moviegoers. Chances are you've seen it since it's played on one of the thousands of HBO channels daily, but if it never made your rotation, the selling points are many. Great performances alone by Adrien Brody, Naomi Watts, Jack Black, and horror veteran Thomas Kretschmann will dazzle the first-time watcher. Kyle Chandler nails it, poking fun at stars, too. A very sympathetic monster pays a perfect tribute to the original 1933 version. The graphics are breathtaking. This film is appropriate for all ages, yet is STILL meant to be scary, which is easy to forget amidst all the adventure. One scene--I'll just say insects--crowns it as a horror flick.
His name is synonymous with Hannibal Lecter, but long before Anthony Hopkins made the evil psychiatrist a household name, he shined in a psychological creep fest and masterpiece entitled Magic. There have been a stack of movies which played on the spooky dummy theme (Chucky comes to mind) but most of them fall short of a deep story, or worse, resort to violence to sustain an audience. Magic, however, grabs heartstrings through the very sympathetic main character Corky Withers--sympathetic, but clearly depraved. Thus, an inevitable tragic wreck is coming and the watcher has no choice but to cringe and give in to his curiosity as to how it will play out. The dialogue between Corky and Fats the dummy is chilling. You'll start believing Fats is alive. In praise, Anthony Hopkins IS REALLY A VENTRILOQUIST. It's a complex role enough with the tormented Corky. When one considers that Hopkins is doing the voice of Fats the dummy, you'll see that his performance is actually better than that of the cannibal character. Magic was written by William Goldman of Princess Bride, and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid fame, by the way. This would be a great remake as long as another master actor lives the lead role and the director's helm is betrothed to a lover of the novel and original release. The trailer alone is eerie!
As a strict father--hard to believe, I know, considering my wild streak--I try to find appropriate frightening treats for my kid to watch. The Woman in Black delivered. It has all the right stuff, creaking floors, apparitions, things jumping out to startle you, but doesn't cross over the line. Big thumbs up.
Because I always suggest oldies, I thought I'd at least try to recommend something fresh. Proxy passed the test. This story is out there! For me to plug something that has lots of gore means that it has other merits. Such is the case with Proxy. Warning readers, this is a full tilt boogie splatter film. The main character miscarries due to a violent attack, but the characters are unique and I got to admit that each scene riveted me to the grand finale. Very independent and off the beaten path.
For books, I highly HIGHLY recommend Chuck Palahniuk's Haunted. It's been one of my favorites for years. Got the hardback. Chuck's gritty attitude is not for everyone, but his style is as loud as a punk rock guitar solo. This is a collection of short stories by fictious writers who are trapped.
And you could do much worse than my novel, On a Dark Desert Highway. It's getting rave reviews. Yep, it has a beast, a feast, dancing, sweat, mirrors, champagne, the device, candles, and most importantly, no way to leave. I assure you the ending will be one of the biggest surprises you've ever read.
For film recommendations from previous years, check out: