Posts Tagged 'horror'

Wick-Quoting #36: Black Swan

“I just want to be perfect.”

=======================================================

Black Swan is pretty much close to perfect.  The director, Darren Aronofsky, seems to enjoy making films with extremely low budgets.  His previous film before Black Swan was The Wrestler, which only had a production budget of 6 million.  However, the difference between Black Swan and The Wrestler is the quality.  Black Swan beats The Wrestler in every way.  Not only did Black Swan make more than 6 times more money than The Wrestler (approximately 295 million worldwide), but it also contains well-liked stars such as Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis.  The interaction between the two actors creates a thrilling performance.

BFF?

Natalie Portman displayed what she is capable of in Black Swan, with her sweet girl image combined with a more terrifying personality.  You could say that the film allowed her to express herself to higher levels than her times in Star Wars.  Mila Kunis also fitted very well with her role as the bad girl.  It was interesting to see these two actresses come together and make sparks fly.

Here is a reason why the film was so popular

While this film isn’t necessarily a horror movie, it still contains many elements of one, including frightening images and unnatural occurrences.  Many times, I felt the film to be too much to look at, with all the creepy images, but I was compelled to stay, because I still wanted to be engaged with what was happening and what was going to happen.  You could say that the film was constantly pulling me back in.

Kind of creepy

Black Swan is most definitely in 2010’s top films of the year, alongside True Grit and Toy Story 3.

9.2

Quoted by MWP

Sawazz: 9.2

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Wick-Quoting #28: Alien (1979)

For a horror movie, Alien has done pretty well for itself.  Not only has it made a considerable amount of profit, the film has influenced many others like it (such as Alien Vs. Predator).  Directed by Ridley Scott, Alien follows much of the standard procedure of horror films: a monster is set loose, people are killed one by one, and the main female character survives at the end.  Despite the obvious story and the predictability of “who dies next” the movie is well beyond its time of 1979, with images that are effective without CGI.

Nicely done settings of unknown territory

The one aspect that Alien exceeds in is the convincing settings which the story takes place.  The space crew lands on unknown territory due to an S.O.S signal.  The area which the crew explores is greatly convincing, as if an ancient civilization of aliens once thrived there before.  Not only is the landscape cleverly done, but the inside of the ship is well designed also.  The lights to the main areas of the ship give a futuristic view, while the huge space of the ship allows for infinite hiding places for the monster.

The beginnings of the alien

Speaking of the monster, Alien follows the standard procedure of sci-fi/horror films of not showing the monster at great lengths or detail (except for the finale at the end).  Not showing the monster clearly gives it a more threatening appearance of ambiguity.  A successful monster film can, however, display the monster in long sequences and still succeed, such as the Korean film, The Host.  Making the monster elusive to the camera only makes it easier to make the movie scary.

The main problem with the movie is that it starts off very slow, allowing for the audience to get, perhaps, too settled in and comfortable in their seats.  This, however, does allow for further character development and a greater surprise once the monster makes its first “deput.”  Overall, the film may be considered old, but it can still entertain present day audiences.

7.9

Wick-Quoting #10: Thirst (Bakjwi)

Films that aim at a specific audience do so in order to ensure tickets are sold.  If that applies to Thirst, then there must be some pretty messed up people out there.  Thirst, or Bakjwi (meaning bat in Korean),  is one of the craziest films that you can watch up to present day.  I didn’t know Park Chan-wook was capable of writing and directing a more disturbing movie than his last, but apparently he was.  Park, a famous Korean director, is know mainly for his 2003 film, Old Boy.

Now don’t just dismiss Thirst just because it’s a film about vampires.  Twilight is the one that ruined the idea towards vampires: kill the messenger, not the message (of vampires).  Thirst has a strong structure with fully developed characters and many psychological twists.  Although the Priest Sang-hyeon (Song Kang-ho, who also played the main character in another Korean favorite, Gwoemul) is naturally a good person at heart, the actions he carries out tell otherwise.  He kills people, drinks their blood, and engages in sensual activities with Tae-ju, one of the most f-ed up characters you’ll ever see on screen.  She makes Summer from 500 Days of Summer look like an ANGEL.  Actually, she makes pretty much any other character look like a golden retriever. It’s really difficult to take a side with either of Sang-hyeon or Tae-ju and share their pain as most films make you do with their main characters.  Although, I guess Tae-ju makes Sang-hyeon look like a priest, so you’re forced to side with him throughout the film.

To make you side with a murderer, Park is indeed a master of crazed psychology

There is no doubt that Park tried to add new elements to the genre of horror.  Sure, there are some shocking images that can make one feel disgusted, but I’m not talking about horror which films like Saw brings.  I’m talking about horror which the mind experiences from psychological trauma, such as reading (or watching) The Tell-Tale Heart.  This comes largely from the other characters who fall victim to Sang-hyeon and Tae-ju’s deeds.  If you watch the film, you’ll know what I mean.

Uhoh..

I found Thirst to be a better film than Park’s other films in almost every way; it is more: disturbing, dark, and complex.  The story is also very strong, with few loopholes here and there.  Even so, Thirst has only made around 15 million dollars, while Park’s more successful film, Old Boy, has made about 90 million – a really big difference.  However, Old Boy is an older film, which gave it more time to appeal worldwide.

Maybe it's the vampire image that's hurting the film's popularity? Although, that wouldn't make sense

Even though you might lose some innocence after watching Thirst, I still recommend it, especially to people who are not familiar with Park’s style.  However, it is advised to start off with something a little less intense, say Old Boy, to get into the mindset and be able to really appreciate the film – not just watch with awkward disgust.

8.3


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