Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The Grey is terrifying

The snow is bad enough...

The Grey is one of the scariest movies I have ever seen. Like many scary movies, The Grey contains an isolated group hunted by a unseen force. It doesn't have ghosts, zombies or serial killers. The enemy is two-fold; the Alaskan wilderness and a pack of wolves.

...Then you add this
The Alaskan wilderness looked fantastic, bleak and terrifying. The wolves are tension building and scary. The group of survivors are a good mix of horror tropes: asshole, black guy, nice guy and knowledgeable guy played by Liam Neeson. They play off each other well and their arguments about how to proceed are great.

I'm not too big a horror guy, but The Grey could end up being one of my favorite movies of the year.

***1/2 stars.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Chronicle: Great start to 2012

Unknown director, unknown writers, unknown actors. I try to not have an initial bias when seeing movies, however the lack of information about the creators of Chronicle, and its early release date had me worried. Trailers made the movie seem like a dumb movie about jerk teenagers with super powers.

It's good that I managed to see Chronicle, because it is good. Found footage films like this can be tricky, when the film has to explain why a character is carrying a camera all the time. Chronicle explains the camera toting well enough and the characters who carry the camera around are well developed and interesting. I enjoyed watching the three immature teenagers acquire power beyond their wildest imagination, how these teenagers would use their powers in the most immature ways. The development of the main character, Andrew from mild mannered damaged kid to megalomaniac psycho was also pretty cool to see develop on screen.

The special effects also deserve some praise here. The effects are simple, well-done and are not so overdone that the seem too fake.

The drawbacks with Chronicle for me are small, but I feel they are worth mentioning. I felt at times the main character got extremely annoying. In addition, some of the ways the filmmakers chose to get the found footage just didn't work; random characters who we barely know have cameras. At one point, a character uses telekinesis to rip some iPads and cellphones from onlookers to get the camera on him, it was hokey.

Chronicle is really good film to start the new year.

*** stars.