Posts Tagged ‘movies’

7 of my Top Cosmic Horror Movies

Just in time for Halloween! My top cosmic horror films!

What does make a movie Cosmic Horror (aka Lovecraftian Horror)?  Wikipedia writes that “the hallmark of Lovecraft’s work was the sense that ordinary life was a thin shell over a reality which was so alien and abstract in comparison that merely contemplating it would damage the sanity of the ordinary person.” and also“The philosophy of cosmicism states that there is no recognizable divine presence, such as a god, in the universe, and that humans are particularly insignificant in the larger scheme of intergalactic existence, and perhaps are just a small species projecting their own mental idolatries onto the vast cosmos. This also suggests that the majority of undiscerning humanity are creatures with the relative significance of insects and plants, when compared to the universe.”

I put together this movie list with those things in mind. I also tried to think about films I have seen more than once and/or I wouldn’t mind watching again. My list is in alphabetical order, because if it is on this list, I loved the film.


61jpx9swq6l-_ac_ul320_sr260320_Absentia
Tricia’s (played by Courtney Bell) husband has been missing for seven years. Her younger sister Callie (played by Catherine Parkercomes to live with her as the pressure mounts to finally declare him ‘dead in absentia.’ As Tricia sifts through the wreckage and tries to move on with her life, Callie finds herself drawn to an ominous tunnel near the house. As she begins to link it to other mysterious disappearances, she comes to the realization that his presumed death might be anything but ‘natural.’ Soon it becomes clear that the ghostly force at work in the tunnel might have set its sights on Callie and Tricia too.

I love this movie because the relationship–both as solid support for each other, but at times tense–between the two sisters.  Both women have pasts. Both women have made mistakes. Tricia is pregnant with the child of the detective who followed her husband’s case.  The tension throughout this movie is so thick at times the horror aspects feel like relief. 

Cabin in the Woods:51cm-myh6fl-_ac_us160_

A rambunctious group of five college friends Kristen ConnollyChris HemsworthAnna HutchisonFran Kranz, and Jesse Williams  steal away for a weekend of debauchery in an isolated country cabin, only to be attacked by horrific supernatural creatures in a night of endless terror and bloodshed. Sound familiar? Just wait. As the teens begin to exhibit standard horror movie behavior, a group of technicians in a control room are scrutinizing, and sometimes even controlling, every move the terrified kids make! With their efforts continually thwarted by the all powerful eye in the sky, do they have any chance of escape.

 If people haven’t seen this film, I don’t want to say to much, because part of the fun of this film is the surprises. This is probably the funniest film on this list. Following two seperate and intertwining storylines, the film makes fun of horror tropes: the girl who drops the knife for example. So five college students go to the cabin in the woods. When the cellar door swings open, they find a pile of old curios. Each one a little creepier. Then they choose… 

81bs8iq3bel-_sy445_Cthulhu:

A Seattle history professor (Jason Cottle) drawn back to his estranged family on the Oregon coast to execute his late mother’s estate, is reaquainted with his best friend from childhood, with whom he has a long-awaited tryst. Caught in an accelerating series of events, he discovers aspects of his father’s New Age cult which take on a dangerous and apocalyptic significance.

This is the most lovecraftian on my list as it follows one of the Lovecraft’s stories. This film starts off showing the mundane life of Russell Marsh who is a single gay man in Seattle and then has a slow build.  Once the world has twisted, the danger feels completely real. It is visceral and yet mysterious. 

 

91xxxhrskgl-_sx342_Event Horizon:

A pioneering research spacecraft mysteriously vanished, without a trace, on its maiden voyage. Seven years later, a weak, persistent signal from the long-missing craft prompts a rescue team, headed by Captain Miller  (Laurence Fishburne) to find and salvage the EVENT HORIZON. Accompanying him is his crew (including Kathleen QuinlanRichard T. Jones) and the designer of the ship, Dr. Weir (Sam Neill)

 Peeling back layers of science fiction, we witness to flat out horror. The film forces you to witness the horror of a woman’s sucicide because her husband loved his ship more than her. The horror of a mother being called away from her sick child. And a brilliant man descending into madness.

I admit there are some continuity issues such as Miller commenting on how the ship is a “deep freeze” and how there are ice crystals everywhere. Then a water bottle floats around with liquid sloshing inside it. But this is a tense and sinister movie that gets more twisted with every passing minute.

41dmwqtugrl-_ac_us160_In the Mouth of Madness: Insurance investigator John Trent (Sam Neill) is sent to investigate horror writer Sutter Cane’s (Jürgen Prochnowmysterious disappearance.

He and Cane’s editor Julie Carmen end up in the sleepy little East Coast town of Hobb’s End. The fact that this town exists as a figment of Cane’s twisted imagination is only the beginning of Trent’s problems.

Another film that Sam Neill stars in. This starts almost as a film Noir with its dark lighting and hardbitten investigator, but we quickly start to see things going wrong. People changing. And hey we get to watch Sam Neill go crazy in a brand new way this time! 

Mr. Jones: A young married couple trying to create a nature documentary rents a house in the woods and realizes a reclusive and strange artist is also there.

61funkskr5l-_ac_us160_During the film I felt I was sensing a memory of a short story that I heard on Pseudopod a long time ago.(Sorry, I wish I could remember the title or author!) There is very little gore, just lots of weird imagery. Only disappointment is the film’s lighting is very dark and sometimes the scenes were hard to see. Is it scary? I can’t even answer that. I will say it is tense and suspenseful. 

91zdzgy3mal-_sx342_Prince of Darkness:

A group of graduate students (including Lisa Blount,Dennis DunJameson Parker scientists (including Peter Jason and Victor Wong), and a priest (played by Donald Pleasence) uncover an ancient canister in an abandoned church, but when they open it, they inadvertently unleash a strange liquid. As the liquid turns their co-workers into zombies, the remaining members realize they have released the most unspeakable horror of them all. Terror mounts as the team must fight to save the world from a devilish fury that has been contained for over seven million years.

Though many people won’t agree with me, this is my favorite John Carpenter film. Dennis Dun has some of the best lines as the grad student who is missing his weekend plans unwillingly. His performance as Walter makes me smile. It asks questions about the nature of religion and god/anti-god. It delves into quantum physics. Fianlly, for an 80’s movie it has a diverse cast (Which unfortunately you can’t see from the bluray cover image) –and everyone is freaking scientist or grad student! No token characters. We know enough about each character to care about them as they try to stop the end of the world.  Even though I’ve seen this movie at least twenty times, I still get excited about the climax. 

51c5b9urxxl-_sy445_The Shrine:

After a young American backpacker vanishes in Europe, three journalists (Aaron Ashmore,  Cindy Sampson,  Meghan Heffern) trace his disappearance to a mysterious Polish village. They travel there hoping to get the story, but instead find a grotesque, fog-shrouded shrine and hostile locals hell-bent on serving up for their next ritualistic sacrifice.

This film has some horrific and gory imagery that made me want to clench my eyes shut. Due to the twist in the plot, some folks find this film is not as rewatchable. But I loved the beauty of the cinematography, the misty mood of  the location, and the acting was solid. 

 

 

51n74elsdel-_sy445_Yellow Brick Road:

In the fall of 1940, the entire population of Friar, NH abandoned their homes and walked up an ancient trail, never to be seen alive again. Their fates have remained a mystery for over 70 years; until a team of researchers (including Cassidy Freeman Clark Freeman Anessa Ramsey) discover the trailhead and attempt to track the path the doomed citizens of Friar took.

This is the film that I think is the scariest on my list. (Maybe its because I wander the wilds myself so often.) It is a creepy and unsettling film about the descent into madness as the team of researchers go down the Yellow Brick Road.  Each member is effected differently, but all lose themselves. 

 

So that’s my seven, do you agree or disagree? What’s your favorite cosmic horror films?

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Want to know my favorite horror movies?

I love horror movies. Dennis and I watch them constantly. Here are my top ten favorites… you will notice that they have slow building suspense rather than just gore. (And yes, there is three John Carpenter movies on this list!)

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10) The Exorcist 1973 The devil possesses a girl, her only hope is an exorcism.

This is a great slow build film. Also it shows the horror of the medical establishment when they cannot discover what is wrong with a patient.

9) Rosemary’s Baby 1968 A girl is impregnated by the devil.

This film is terrifying because no one believes Rosemary because she is a 60’s housewife with a controlling husband in a patriarchal society.

8) Drag Me to Hell 2009 A loan officer who evicts an old woman from her home finds herself the recipient of a curse where a demon wants to drag her to hell.

Good tension through out, with just enough creepy imagery to make it interesting. Plus some almost funny over-the-top fight scenes.  Besides the love interest’s mom played by Molly Cheek is freaking fantastic.

7) Pyschomania 1963 An evil motor cycle gang figures out a way to live forever. What’s not to love?

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6) Bram Stoker’s Dracula 1992 Dracula goes to London to find his lost love who has been resurrected Mia.

A Francis Ford Coppola film so as with so much of his work, it is simply beautiful, sensual, and everything else a vampire movie should be.

5) The Fog 1980 A fishing town becomes shrouded by a killer fog containing  ghosts seeking revenge for their deaths. 

I love the story of this town. There is all ages, all income levels. It feels like a real place with a real history.

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4) In the Mouth of Madness:  An insurance investigator discovers that a horror writer’s books is coming true.

Sam Neill plays a hardbitten investigator.

3) Session 9 2001: An asbestos cleaning crew work in an abandoned mental hospital with a horrific past that seems to be coming back.

I love the tension which builds between the main characters played by David Caruso and Peter Mullan

2) Absentia 2011 Two sisters link a tunnel with a local disappearances.

This is one of the best independent low budget films ever made. Creepy and atmospheric with a small cast. Also it gives alternate theories of what might of happened.

MV5BMTc3Njk1NDczMl5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwODM3MTgyMQ@@._V1_SY317_CR5,0,214,317_My number one favorite horror movie… 

Prince of Darkness 1987 A research team finds a mysterious cylinder in a deserted church and have dreams brought to them by the future.

 

This movie is simply freaking awesome. Jesus is an alien. Plot is fundamentally powered by calculus and quantum mechanics.

Nine Awesome Science Fiction Movies

My husband and I love movies. We  especially love science fiction movies so I decided to make a new list of  science fiction movies that we can watch over and over again.  Though Aliens is on the top because its my favorite, the rest are not in any real order.

1) Aliens 1986 : The planet from Alien has been colonized and unfortunately space marines are not enough, but don’t worry, they got Ripley.

2) Alien 1979 : A mining ship investigates an SOS and discovers a strange organism, but Ian Holm steals the movie when he tries to suffocate Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) with a rolled up magazine.

3) Predators 2010 : A bunch of elite warriors are dropped off on another planet to be hunted. A terrific “sequel” to Predator.

4) The Thing 1982 : Kurt Russell’s best movie. Scientists who happen to have a few flame throwers confront a shape shifting alien in Antarctica.

5) Total Recall 1990 Arnold Schwarzenegger dreams of mars, he goes on a virtual vacation and discovers he is a spy, or maybe not.

6) AVP (Aliens versus Predator) 2004 : Okay, I admit this was movie panned, but I watch it all the time. Remote location. Aliens. Predators. Strong Female lead. Sexy Italian guy, goofy Scottish guy and a bunch of other forgettable alien fodder–opps I mean humans. Really, what more can you ask for in this type of film?

7) Invasion of the Body Snatchers 1978 : Donal Sutherland, Brooke Adams, Veronica Cartwright and Jeff Goldbloom discover the human race is being replaced with pod people devoid of emotion. Leonard Nimoy is really good as a cloned psychiatrist.

8) The Day the Earth Caught Fire 1961 : British reporters learn the Earth has been knocked out of orbit due to atomic bomb testing. This film does a good mixing of characters and epic destruction.

9) When Worlds Collide 1951 :  David Randall lives to see the day that he literally has money to burn when a star and its planet head toward Earth.  Humans frantically work to complete the rocket which will take them to their new home Zyra.

What are you favorites?

My review of Prometheus: interesting… but…

So my husband and I went to see Prometheus.

I am trying not to give spoilers, but this is a review.

Overall I enjoyed it. As a action science fiction movie, I felt it did a good job. It was shot beautifully. The opening scenes in Iceland were especially beautiful. And I loved the alien “Engineer” technology. It was gorgeous and I felt it kept in the same feel as the other movies. My husband saw the movie both in 3D and in 2D and he said some of the 3D effects were spectacular.

One thing I really liked is the crew included a science team as well as a team of people to run the ship, plus Vickers who was management.

However there were a few problems with the film: Mainly it didn’t feel like a prequel. It had almost nothing to do with the Alien series which I know and love.

1) The human technology was all glossy and pretty, yet it was supposed to happen prior to Alien. I would have liked to see more mixing of low/high tech. Yes, I understand it was supposed to be a nicer and better-funded ship than a mining vessel, but that doesn’t explain the more advanced technology.

2) The characters were completely flat except the “villain” characters. Michael Fassbender as David, Charlize Theron as Vickers, and Guy Pearce as Peter Weyland were all terrific. I understood why every single “villain” was doing what they were doing. They were awesome.

3) I was glad when bad things happened to the protagonist Charlie Holloway (Logan Marshall-Green) because he was such a jerk. Was he supposed to be one of those gray characters that science fictions fans love? Well, he did not pull it off. He just seemed like a douche. The other protagonist Elizabeth Shaw (Noomi Rapace) was nicer, but she didn’t seem much smarter. She seemed to have no reason for her belief system.

When the bad things started to come down some of it was completely obvious as they were reminiscent to the other movies, but why are scientists in movies such idiots?  Personally I wanted MORE bad stuff to happen to them because they made such stupid decisions.

So while I liked it, I can only give it 3.5 out of 5 stars.

 

Personal Gore & Scary Movie Marathon for Halloween Weekend!

Saturday morning: Dennis awoke when he rolled into a slick wetness.  Then he realized I was gone. You see, every morning at 7 am PST Tycho’s internal clock–which has a direct connection to his bladder–tells him to paw me until I wake up and take him out. I normally do this in a stage which is best described as half-asleep zombie and of course I make both dogs go as I don’t want to do it twice.

Alright so when I get back, I discover all the lights are on. Dennis tells me that one of the dogs got sick. When I start cleaning up the trail which we originally thought was vomit, we realize I am cleaning up blood. Then I look back at my dogs. The blanket Rosie is now sitting on is stained. I pick her up and realize her back flank is covered.

Dennis and I clean her up as best as we can, but it is obvious she is still bleeding from the rectum, I hold her as I checked the vets website and zipcar. There was no car available, so I just planned on walking. By now my pj pants are covered with what seems like lots of blood because Rosie is so small, but really wasn’t. I put down a towel and let Rosie rest in her travel crate, clean up the rest of the floor, I take a bath, get dressed, get Dennis a cup of coffee and me something to eat, then I put Rosie in even a smaller soft sided crate so I can carry her to the vet.

Fortunately she is fine. It was an abscessed anal gland. Rosie is the strong and silent type. I didn’t even know she was in pain–if it had been Tycho, he’d have been howling. Anyway so now Rosie has a cone and on antibiotics. We put towels on her bed so the wound can drain as instructed and she really just seems like she wants to rest. She stopped eating kibble, but I’ve been giving her small amounts of diluted chicken broth to at least keep her hydrated.

All in all, pretty disgusting.

And it was one of the main reasons Dennis and I decided that we would be staying home and watching scary movies this weekend.

On Saturday night, we watched some Classic Horror. Specifically the 1941 Wolf Man 1941 and then the 1943 Frankenstein meets the Wolf Man. Lon Chaney plays Larry Talbot aka the Wolfman in both. Bela Lugosi is also in both films. First as the Gypsy Bela in Wolfman and then he plays Frankenstein’s Monster. I think the Wolf Man is the better of the two movies. It is more epic in its nature. It has a strained father/son relationship, village life, hunting parties. Frankenstein meets the Wolf Man was broader in scope as Larry traveled Europe looking for a cure, but it felt anticlimactic.

Still both are interesting products of their time.

On Sunday, we had a demon themed night, we watched Paranormal Activity, (2007) 5ive Girls (2006) and 1973’s The Exorcist.

Paranormal Activity was one of the scariest movies we had seen in a long time. Especially over the first viewing. The low budget and limited cast gave the movie a feeling of isolation. The visual effects and bass gave the whole movie an all over creepy effect.

We were going to watch Paranormal Activity 2, but after reading the reviews, we changed our minds. Apparently something was lost with the bigger budget.

5ive Girls started well, but its logic fell apart too quickly. (Dennis stopped watching it closely.) Also the bad CG and constant falling into montages were just goofy. It also had Ron Perlman as a guilt ridden priest which is always a good enough reason to watch a movie. The one great thing was: when the demons started attacking, even the faithless girls reaffirmed their belief in God. They pointed out that current events made God’s existence undeniable. Smart. Unfortunately that was one of the only smart points. The worse part was some of it seemed a bit too much like “school girl” fantasies which unfortunately took away from the main story.

The Exorcist is a long time favorite for both of us. Of course, the creepiest part of that movie to me isn’t the demon possession but the medical experimentation as they try to figure out what’s wrong with Regan.

Then we switched to a bit more science fiction horror because it was not quite late enough to go to bed. We watched 1982’s The Thing another favorite. This is probably definitely in my top ten movies. Keith David and Kurt Russell have really good chemistry when they work together and against each other in this film. Also compared to the 1952 version, I actually like that this film does not have any women in it. It always annoys me when people are flirting while a monster is roaming a compound trying to kill everyone.

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