Monday, 27 September 2010

It's Satire... Fool.

Too many people take this film seriously. It's satire. One of the best forms of comedy. Because it's clever. It's a horror.. On the surface... But underneath that, at it's heart, it's a mockery of all old school slasher movies. I am talking, of course, about Scream. It's a pity that less people will watch it due to the unnecessary prejudice about horror movies. It's satire.. Fool. I have some good friends who are self proclaimed 'film nerds' and while that's a fair claim, they're unlikely to touch this movie with a barge pole.

It's a shame. It's a really good movie. It may sound familiar. High school girl, home alone, begins to get phone calls from an unknown caller who wants to play a game or the boyfriend tied up on the patio dies. Fairly average? It goes on. More high school murders linked to something that happened a year ago but the killer is too good for the police... Picking off teens one by one.. At parties, their houses or the school. Anywhere. But the difference is, while other slasher movies are bloody, this one is bloody funny. And make no mistake, it's just plain bloody too.

Drew loved singing Tom Jones down the phone to her boyfriend

It diverges from the rest of the genre by taking what is normal for the style and slanting it ever so slightly. There is no calm voice for the telephone threats, if hit, the killer won't somehow develop super strength and throw you back, he will fall down with a loud "OOF." On that note, the victims do fight back, often, and successfully... More or less. Apart from these aspects, the slasher genre rules are all there but in a post modern fashion. By this I mean the characters essentially discuss how to survive; the rules of survival in a horror movie. On numerous occasions, characters refer to their lives being 'like a horror movie.' One brilliant example of these post modern features is the party. Randy (Jamie Kennedy) discusses the rules of survival, "Never have sex" as clips of his two friends dancing the dance of love appear and "Don't say I'll be right back" just before Stu (Matthew Lillard) walks out uttering the phrase.

Performance wise, Drew Barrymore stands out in her short but crucial role to introduce the story but the true star is Matthew Lillard's grinning, comic and also scary Stu. Also worthy of notice are the real life and on screen couple, Courtney Cox and David Arquette, playing Gale Weathers, the bitchy news lady and Deputy Dewy, the love able police deputy.

Hearing Drew's singing made Matthew all bashful

In technical aspects it still manages to mock the genre. The peer-round-the-corner camera shot, the cheesy violin music... It all works with beautiful irony. And why? Director Wes Craven. Since he was one of the few directors that essentially invented the genre it seems fitting that he mocks it. And he has the ability to since he knows every aspect of the horror movie and can twist it successfully without making it look bad like other spoofs. (See Saturday The 14th)

It's a good movie. It's half horror, half comedy. If you expect it to be something, expect funny. If you expect horror, you're likely to be disappointed. I suggest watching it.

Best Bit? There's a lot. I mean a lot. I'm having trouble picking one. Just watch and see.

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

A One Sided Battle?

When the whole world is prepared to fight, you or I may hide away to keep safe. Not Scott Pilgrim. Nope. He versus the world. The new movie, Scott Pilgrim vs The World, shows us these events. Admittedly, he doesn't really take on the whole world... Just some bad people.
Basically, Scott (Michael Cera) falls for Ramona Flowers (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) after she appears in his dream. Ditching his 17 year old Chinese girlfriend he opts for the pink haired Ramona instead. This, of course, is before he realises that to win her over he must defeat her evil exes... Her Seven. Evil. Exes. With help from his band, Sex Bob-omb, and his roommate, Wallace, he will fight his way armed with nerdy-ness, a bass guitar and, at times, a flaming sword.

The movie was ruined by some grafitti scrawled on the film

Great performances all round. Of course, this is nerd humour. One of the best types. There's still all types of humour and you will laugh regardless. Kieran Culkin steals the show with his comic timing and brilliant one-liners as Scott's gay roommate, Wallace. But really, this is one of the funniest films in a long time; Kick Ass and Hangover, move over. With a killer soundtrack and some fancy camera tricks this movie notches up to top class. Plus plenty of Zelda, Mario and every other video game ever references. Enjoy them nerds... Enjoy them.

The cute couple being checked out by Young Neil

Hot Fuzz/ Shaun Of The Dead director, Edgar Wright, really pulls of this graphic novel/comic book/ game world and makes it work. No doubt people will attempt to copy this style... And fail. Don't watch the movie expecting it to be like reality. This movie is set like a musical. However, instead of randomly bursting into song and dance, they burst into song and fight. Believe me. Music is a key element. (Though rock music is the main genre here.)

A really really good film. Watch it.

Best bit? The all-too-brief sitcom style scene. Brilliant cross genre work.