Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Weekend Viewing - Feb 12-14 (part 2)

Orphan [2009, directed by Jaume Collet-Serra]

A couple looking to complete their family – adopts the child from hell, Esther.

I expected your standard fair from this film – and for the most part got it. You’ve got the creepy young girl – that does some depraved things that make you cringe – and you get the same child being charismatic enough to throw doubt in enough of the adults heads to make them question the child’s lone accuser – but it’s done very well. The performances all around are spot on – and the actress playing Esther (Isabelle Fuhrman) is fantastically creepy. It’s rather violent, gory and terrifying – it builds tension and anticipation of terror very adeptly and it’s smart enough not to throw some dumb excuses in your face in hopes that you’d just plain believe it. I give this film an enthusiastic 4 out of 5.

Suspiria [1977, directed by Dario Argento]

Some very strange things are happening at the European ballet school that Susan has just joined.

This isn’t just Dario Argento’s masterpiece – this is a horror masterpiece. Argento’s direction is outstanding – from the amazing cinematography, to the use of interesting frame composistion, and the basic yet under used art of using light and shadow. I loved the use of colors - everything is washed in reds, blues and greens – it’s amazing. There’s a high influence of German Expressionism as well as French Impressionism – elevating Suspiria to above just another horror film to a visusal masterpiece. You could put it on mute and enjoy the film for just that – BUT you couldn’t because of Argento’s use of the soundtrack to punctuate the images is perfectly executed. Even the acting was great – I’m seriously having a hard time finding a flaw in this film. Suspiria earns a perfect score – 5 out of 5.


  1. It's difficult to think of any movie that uses colour more effectively than Suspiria. Even Argento could never reproduce it, since apparently the film stock used in the movie was the last of its type in existence.

    You know there's a remake on the way? Yes, a Hollywood remake.

  2. It's a truly stunning use of the entire range of film - especially color. Argento was putting on a clinic in directing horror with this film.

    Yeah, I read that - that's what helped prompt me to take it off the shelf (finally). I anticipate that they will completely miss the beauty of the film - and replace it with gore-porn or whatever sells. There's so many variations of these kind of stories that they can come up with - why remake a perfectly good film? For the sake of the name? It's not like all the kids know the name - or the original - and the ones who do will (I hope) reject it.