Archive for Demon

The Month for Horror Movies

Posted in Movies, Movies and Theatre, Writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 5, 2016 by urbannight
give-me-what-i-want

Storm of the Century

It is that time of year again.  I love Halloween.  I also like horror movies and I am strangely picky in some ways while being relaxed in other areas.  I read some movie blogs and sometimes post my own movie reviews and mine are not as pretty as others nor do I have a systematic format that I use.  Maybe I should think about that some day.  Not today.

The first movie I watched this October was Steven King’s Storm of the Century.  I bought it from one of those cheap movie bins for 3.75$.  It was a great find for 3.75$.  It was quite good.  I kept asking myself how I managed to miss this in 1999 and how come I never saw it since.

Tim Daly did a great job as a constable of a tiny town.  The town being so small that the town manager and equivalent of sheriff/chief of police actually don’t have enough official work to pay them full time that they have to have full time day jobs as well is kind of amusing.  Since the constable also owns the grocery, it is mighty handy that the ‘jail’ is in back of it with a joining door.  What would happen if the constable wasn’t the owner of the store as well?  Or am I the only one who thinks of these things?  And maybe I missed it but the constable was really handy with the Bible quotes and I never figured out why.

Colm Feore was really creepy as the villain.  They managed to do a great deal with minimal makeup.  Occasionally his eyes went solid black.  The animal-like teeth are particularily effective.  It wasn’t the normal vampire type monster teeth. It is what a human mouth might look like if dog teeth were set in a human jaw.  The weird steel-like coloring made it more disturbing.  The make-up to make him look ancient was pretty good.  But he was more scary with his normal looks since he had such a smooth face and even complexion.  The only thing that was odd was that it is suggested that he was ‘Legion’ from the Bible but Legion was a whole collection of demons as the man who was possessed was possessed by more than one.  Yet Feore’s character seemed to be one being that was once human and that he was a representation of something that was passed down from one person to another since the earliest times of mankind.  But he is never clearly explained.  The ‘Legion’ explanation was weak in my opinion.

The town manager really annoys me the most.  He acts like he owns the town rather than being an elected official.  He acts like he owns the town and that his word is law and that he owns the people in charge of the actual law.  The pissed me off and I thought he was the least believable character in the entire film.

The rest of the story is good, although character development is weak.  I understand that by taking so long to finally tell the people what he wants all the while scaring people by telling their secrets and controlling people to cause them to kill themselves or others helps whip the town into a fearful frenzy, I found it still unbelievable that they would agree so easily to just hand over a child.  This was the least believable part of the film.  But the aftermath voice over that tells what happens in the years after is what really makes this film.  After spending three nights with these characters and having the time between episodes to think about things, that follow up at the end of the film is perhaps the most important part.  We see some of the real fallout of the towns actions.  And I did watch it in three spaced out sessions rather than in one sitting.  More by accident that a deliberate plan.

I will watch this again.  It was good and enjoyable.  Very few horror films enter the realm of ‘great’.  So I never expect that level out of any horror movie.

 

 

 

7:00 Movie Hour – Phantoms

Posted in Entertainment, Movies and Theatre with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 28, 2013 by urbannight

For a week now, I’ve sat down and watched a movie every night at 7:00. Mostly science fiction, horror films. Which means mostly bad sci-fi.

Last night I watched a fairly bad film with a lot of big names. Phantoms is a 1998 adaptation of a Dean Koontz book. I’m wondering if they managed to get all these big names because Steven King adaptations have gone over pretty well.
Phantoms
Peter O’Toole does a fantastic job as Dr. Timothy Flyte, a man who got drummed out of academia because of an outlandish theory on missing civilizations that turns out to be exactly what is happening in this tiny Colorado town. He now writes bizarre stories for a sensationalist news rag for the paycheck.

Joanna Going is the local doctor who brings her sister to town to stay with her. She is an actress who seemed vaguely familiar. Looking her up, she has had an erratic film career from the early 1990’s until now, often going a year or two between films. 1998 was her busiest year in which she did 3 films.

Rose McGowan is the younger sister and plays a typical Rose McGowan character.

Liev Schreiber (Sabertooth in X-Men Origins: Wolverine) played the deputy sheriff, who has every indication of being a really creepy guy before he gets killed and becomes an extension of the monster.

Ben Affleck is the Sheriff.

The best performances seem to come from O’Toole and Schreiver. McGowan and Affleck give their typical performances. I don’t know much about Going but her performance was rather indifferent.

The special effects were reasonably well done. But the writing wasn’t the best. The opening scene was really weak. The story was so whittled down that the film seemed like it was made based on an outline what never had the details filled in.

The monster kills and eats people but absorbs their knowledge. The people, not knowing what it is, think it is a demon or satan. As a result, after killing a church full of people, the monster thinks that is what it is. It decides it needs a gospel of its own. One of the visitors to the town like to read a cheap news rag filed with fantastical stories. This person had read the theories put forth by Dr. Timothy Flyte. The result was that the monster lays a sort of trap to get him to the town. Flyte is its ‘chosen’ witness to write its gospel and make people worship it.

One of the problems is that it kills the deputy and later takes on that form. When it does so, it talks normally through the deputy. But when it kills other and takes their form, it just opens the mouth and words come out. Not normal speaking where you move the jaws and tongue and lips. Why can it talk normal one way but not the other?

The special effects, sound and film editing were all better than 100 Million BC that I watched the night before. But the story was more poorly developed. On the other hand, the transitions and resolution were all written and directed better in Phantoms. The Phantom also had slightly better acting, the best part being where Peter O’Toole taunts the monster into revealing the main portion of its body so they can try to poison it. Scheiber also had a good part where some people are talking about monsters and aliens in a bar and an officer a few seat down laughs. They want to know what’s so funny and the deputy says, “Do you want to see something?” So a part of the creature did survive after all.

So if you like B-Horror or B-SciFi, you may or may not want to give this movie a view. The decapitated heads and hands are not that well done, but the rest of the effects are good. The film does a pretty good job of building suspense. Nothing is too gory but it may make you jump. Acting is 6 of one, half a dozen of the other. If you like Peter O’Toole in general, you may want to give it a view.