Stockholm Filmfestival (Reviews)

Discussion in 'General' started by gusse, Nov 17, 2003.

  1. gusse

    gusse New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2000
    Messages:
    358
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Stockholm, Sweden
    My first reviews from the Stockholm Filmfestival 2003, more to follow as soon as I have time to write them!



    Ju-On 1&2 (aka ”The Grudge 1&2”)

    There has been quite a buzz about these pictures on the Internet since they were unleashed in Japan and I was very psyked about being able to see them both on the big screen. I never did get a good grip about the movie from the reviews I have red on the internet, for instance the grades on IMDB are pretty mediocre – but never the less many people hype this movie like it’s the best ghost/horror movie in ages. I was not sure about the quality of the movie, but still I looked forward to finally being able to put the curiosity behind me. And boy oh boy am I glad I did! I found both of these movies to be immensely enjoyable! One might argue that they are both a bit lacking in the story department – but I really don’t think that those imperfections keep the movies from becoming instant classics just like (the original) The Ring and Dark Water.



    Both movies are told in the ShortCuts/Magnolia fashion, you know – the story is told from a bunch of different people´´s perspective as they cross eachothers paths and so forth. The link between all the people in this movie is a certain haunted house. Each person in the movies get an own chapter. Not all characters interact with each other and the stories/chapters are not necessarily in chronological order. At times it can be a bit difficult to know/remember who the character we are following at the moment is and what his/here relation to other people and how she has been in contact with the haunted house, but all in all I never felt the story got “too” hard to follow. I reckon some of the question marks will vanish upon a second viewing.



    The first movie centres on a family living in what is quickly shown to be a haunted house. Besides the people actually living in the house there are also central characters who at one time or a nother visit the house (relatives, police and so on). The second movie centres on members of a filmteam who are making a movie in the house from the first picture. I guess I liked the first one a little better since the second one was a bit more uneven, bit somehow I still felt the second one felt shorter even though it was a few minutes longer!? Weird… But anyway, they where both pretty darn enchanting!



    As you might know the script/story of these movies is written by the same man who wrote Ringu and Dark Water, and the movie is Produced by the guy who made Kairo (aka Pulse). If you are familiar with those movies you have a pretty good idea about the feeling and style of this movie. Most of the horror in the movie is built upon creepy sounds, weird movements, lighting, things happening of centre of the picture and an overall feeling of appending doom though out. These movies are both a bit bloodier that the above mentioned ones, but there is never any real gore.



    When I claimed that the story in both movies might be somewhat lacking I was thinking about the fact that the movies are about 20% actual story/introduction/buildup and then there’s more or less only cheer terror the rest of the way. Sure each chapter gives the viewer a bit more information about what might (or might not) be going on but there are never any huge revalations/twists. Anyway – a big amount of the horror in these movies is the fact that you never really know exactly what’s going on and that gives you an (enjoyably) uncomfortable feeling that anything might happen, it’s just a matter of how and when…



    A thing I was impressed by in both movies is the fact that there is so much spookiness and terror in there but they still manages to stay in the progressive-horror-genre. There is a pretty darn fast paste as soon as the story/characters have been introduced and things could easily have slipped in to a action-movie but it never does. It’s pretty aweinspiring to see how the movies manage to get creepier by the minute fore 95minutes…



    One thing that seemed to bother some people in the audience at the screening I attended was the fact that the movies might feel a bit repetitive after a while since they mostly takes place in the same (little) house and the same fright-techniques are used over and over and so forth. But to be honest this never bothered me since I found the movies style to bee so darn effective!



    All in all I loved both of these movies as you might have guessed by now. Both movies seem to concentrate more on the actual horror than on the story that starts the terror. Some will certainly fin these movies to be somewhat “hollow”, some might find them repetitive and some might be frustrated about the fact that no clear answers given – but I say the hell with that! If you are looking for some seriously creepy ghost-movies in the same vein as Ringu, look no further. On a plain old “frightometer” these ones are about as good as they come. If you ask me that is!
    :banana: :banana: :banana: :banana: :banana:
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2003
  2. y2doublet

    y2doublet Toxic Crusader

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2000
    Messages:
    651
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Bergman-country
    Good review man, but it just made me more pissed that I can't afford to go. ;)
     
  3. gusse

    gusse New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2000
    Messages:
    358
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Stockholm, Sweden
    Prozac Nation



    Here it is (ladies and) gentlemen, the movie with the infamous nude scene from the fairytale like beauty Cristina Ricci. Rejoice! …Now that we have that out of our way, let’s go on to the ACTUAL movie shall we? ;-)



    This is one of those movies that seem to have disappeared before they even are released. As I understand it the movie has been finished for some time (2001 according to IMDB) but for whatever reason it’s still due for a proper release. It has been screened on a bunch of festivals around the world and the response hasn’t been all that great from what I have gathered. The IMDB rating is mediocre (5.1/10).



    First of all I have to admit that I have a soft spot for movies dealing with psychological illness. It’s a very fascinating topic that is real enough for most (?) people to get in to but still abstract/diverse enough to portray in many different ways – it’s simply a vast enough topic to be explored over and over again and still remain as vital as ever. That being said I have to admit that this movie didn’t seem to deal with it’s topic in an optimal way. It’s by no means a particularly bad movie it just feels a bit unfocused, like it’s made by someone who’s not sure about what he/she is trying to say.



    The story goes something like this. A young girl (Ricci) is attending school but doesn’t feel that she’s fitting in. She is a gifted writer and manages to get in to Harvard – this seems to please here mother more than here self. Here mother seems to be trying to see to that her little girl will turnout to be the successful woman that she here self never got the chance to become. Ricci doesn’t seem to be completely comfortable with this but tries to make here mother happy. While at Harvard Ricci’s character gets a new friend (roommate) and starts to party like it’s 1999 ( ;-) ). Of cause she starts meting boys for the first time in her life, and eventually she starts doing drugs. She writes an article about Lou Reed (he is in the movie!) and it earns here a work as a writer for Rolling Stone Magazine. This is when things start to go down hill… “At first progressively and then suddenly” Ricci feels that she is loosing here ability to write. She is loosing here self, spinning out of control with the drugs and casual sex. At first her friends try to support here as best they can but Ricci is loosing it and here frustration with what she is going through, her inability to communicate here thoughts, and here annoyance of her surrounding not being able to understand what she is going through ends up being too hard for many of them.



    The biggest problem in the movie is that it’s too hard to understand many of the main characters. Ricci’s character acts unpredictable and doesn’t understand why here self, the surrounding characters doesn’t understand here and the viewer doesn’t understand here/them. A movie about these sorts of problems should be able to evoke strong feelings from the viewer but this one never reached any real peaks. The problem is that I’m having a hard time pinning down WHY some things don’t work in the movie. The actors seem to be doing an adequate job – seems like the blame might land upon the director or the script. I haven’t red the book the movie is based upon so I can’t compare the two – but I imagine that the book ha setter defined characters than the movie. (?)



    While an approach like this could have worked since the main topic is such an abstract one and there really is no way of telling it ALL I still get the feeling that this vague way of telling things was not an active decision from the makers – it’s more likely the result of them not knowing what they are talking about at all times. And it’s not only the psychological stuff I’m talking about either. At times I got the feeling that scenes had been cut out or that something important never was filmed – pieces of the puzzle seem to be missing. At times it feels like the movie has made a month-long time leap but in reality it’s the very next day, and then without any clear indication a few weeks seem to have passed for no apparent reason. The viewers are not told enough about the relationship between the main characters and smaller characters who all of a sudden are escalated in to important characters and so on..



    Oh well, enough with the bashing It’s not all bad! This is one of those uneven movies where some parts are clearly better than others. Even though the story feels like it isn’t finished I still find it enjoyable. Perhaps I should seek out the book? The acting seems to vary from scene to scene – at times Ricci does an admirable job, at times she feels uninspired – the same goes for the others as well. The overall mood of the movie is pretty good despite the weaker parts.



    All in all I think this is a good movie, nothing spectacular but still worth to check out if you are in the mood for this kind of flick.
     
  4. gusse

    gusse New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2000
    Messages:
    358
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Stockholm, Sweden
    Reviews to follow when I get the time to write them:

    Bright Future (same director as Kairo/Pulse)
    Wishing Stairs (3rd part of the whispering corridors horror series)
    Undead (Zombie gallore)
    In My Skin (hoping to see this one tomorrow!)

    I won't write enything about Kill Bill since I reccond most of you guys have already seen it (?)
     

Share This Page