Thursday, October 8, 2015

Halloween Mini-Reviews: Silent Hill and An American Werewolf in London

6) Silent Hill

Rose adores her adopted daughter Sharon, but Sharon has dangerous sleepwalking problems that don't get better with any sort of treatment. They return to Silent Hill, the place Rose comes from, in a last ditch effort to help Sharon, but Rose doesn't expect what she finds. I wasn't expecting a lot from a film based on a video game, but I had always heard it was one of the best. I was pleasantly surprised to find this is correct. Silent Hill is a creepy, but beautiful film. It expertly builds a dark, mysterious atmosphere and takes advantage of gorgeous scenes. The innocuous, empty Silent Hill that was abandoned because of a fire is eerie enough, but Rose soon finds out that it's actually populated by a plethora of sinister creatures including uncanny nurses, a pyramid headed man with a giant sword, and flame creatures. The music is lovely and fits the eerie mood well. Rose is a wonderful lead. Although she isn't perfect and she makes some really misguided mistakes, she is strong and is pushed forward through fire and danger to save her daughter. Her fierce love and courage make her a memorable character. The middle section of the film drags a bit because of a cult plot, but I felt it didn't do much for the film. The nightmarish creatures are much more well done and interesting, but they return in the end. Overall, Silent Hill is a suspenseful, creepy film with unique creatures and a satisfying ending.

My rating: 4.5/5 fishmuffins

7) An American Werewolf in London

David and Jack go backpacking through Europe and get attacked by a werewolf in the English moors. David lives and Jack dies. David is condemned to transform into a werewolf and Jack is condemned to haunt David until he dies. I've heard a lot about this film over the years and the transformation scene is one of the most iconic ever. Finally watching it was unexpected. I had no idea it was a horror comedy because all the famous parts I had heard of were pretty serious horror. There are some pretty absurd scenes like meeting all the dead people he killed in a porn theater with the movie sounds accompanying the stories of the dead and David's guilt. Another hilarious scene is when David wakes up naked in a zoo and makes his way home by harassing children and stealing women's clothing. The soundtrack is genius and features ironically cheerful tracks such as multiple versions of Blue Moon and Van Morrison's Moondance. My only problem is that beyond the humorous scenes, soundtrack, and innovative transformation scene, the film doesn't really deliver anything new. The basic plot without the frills can be seen in the 1941 version of The Wolfman. I enjoyed the updates and new things, but the core story is the same and I expected a little more.

My rating: 4/5 fishmuffins

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