A few movies have magically appeared on my computer recently. There’s The Grudge (which I said was the scariest damn movie I’d ever seen the first time I saw it, but its effect has been diluted since I saw the original Ju-On), and its (surprisingly halfway decent) sequel The Grudge 2. But today I’ve gotten to see:
- Run Lola Run, a wonderfully stylistic German film from 1998 which everyone ought to see, if they haven’t already. It appeals to the philosophy/sci fi nerd in me, and is a good flick as well; and
- Slither, with Nathan Fillion. This film bombed spectacularly at the box office, probably because it was a horror/comedy in the line of Evolution or Shaun of the Dead at a time when Hollywood horror was dominated by Japanese Yurei and brutal blood-and-guts films like Hostel and Saw I, II, III, etc.. In addition to its gross-out factor, this film is honestly one of the most intelligent monster movies I’ve seen; there’s an attempt to explain the critters in terms of Darwinian evolution, something most such films don’t bother with, and the characters are all well drawn and well written. There are some unsavory folks in the film, but the script, actors, and director make even those characters sympathetic. The world that the film creates has rules, and it follows those rules (and the Grudge films, in spite of their creepy imagery which is what freaks me out, are really bad at following the rules set out in their own premise — the second is by far the worse offender in this regard). You should see this film not just because it’s funny and scary and achieves that mood without the spitefulness that often marks this type of film, but also because Nathan Fillion deserves more work than he gets, and because Jenna Fischer (another woefully underrated performer) is brilliant in her small role.
I recently also saw Feast, another horror comedy which has its moments (but which doesn’t establish clear in-story rules and isn’t particularly noteworthy except for an amusing performance by Jason Mewes). Meh. And The Return, which I saw mostly because I like Sarah Michelle Gellar (I think she’s cute and very talented; so sue me). This film has some genuinely creepy moments, but isn’t complex or interesting enough to warrant multiple viewings.
I’m now seriously looking forward to seeing The Host. I’ve heard good things about that one.