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Week in Review: 11/2/14

Movies I Watched in the Last Week

1) Willow Creek - I wanted to like this one a lot more because I like Bobcat Goldthwait and the movie went for a more lowkey, dreadful approach to horror.  But I have to be honest.  I just thought this one was dull.  The protagonists were not especially likable and too much of the first half was spent trying to establish a story that didn't really need very much setup.  If y'all decide to watch this, you can pretty much watch the first ten minutes and then skip to the last half hour.

My Rating: 2 / 5

2) To Catch a Virgin Ghost - The American title is a bit too dramatic and sells this movie on the wrong aspect, but I liked this one pretty well.  It's a great horror comedy - emphasis on the comedy - about a bumbling gangster and his adventures in the Korean countryside, which eventually (and briefly) turn supernatural.  Recommended, but make sure you don't go into it expecting the titular ghost to be a focal point.

My Rating: 4 / 5

3) Witching & Bitching - This was a visually fascinating, often hilarious, occasionally creepy horror-comedy with some amazing set design and great performances.  Unfortunately, I can't tell how much of the misogyny was meant to be self-deprecating.  You ever see something and you think, "That's got to be satire, right?"  But then you can't tell if the person making it is being serious?  That's pretty much this movie from beginning to end.  I liked it, but now I have this dirty feeling that somebody's going to tell me the director is a Men's Rights Advocate and I'm going to have to take a long shower.

My Rating: 4 / 5

4) Absentia - The second lowkey, character-centric horror story by Mike Flanagan that I've seen this month.  Another good one, too.  It's perhaps a little too ambiguous with its premise and execution, but that's a minor complaint in light of how well it plays.  It's creepy, it's heartbreaking, and it's memorable.

My Rating: 4 / 5

5) Beneath - In my continuing effort to find a cave (or mine) themed movie that doesn't suck, I checked out this one about a group of coal miners that get trapped underground following a cave-in, and then horror ensues.  This time around the movie is focused on whether or not the zombie-like apparitions the protagonist sees are figments of her imagination or actual beasts.  Overall it's done well and I think it's honestly one of the better cave/mine movies I've seen.  But... I just didn't get into it.  The movie is so hung up on the idea of keeping the monsters off camera that it might as well not even have been made into a movie.

My Rating: 3 / 5

6) 13 Sins - This is basically a less good, but higher concept version of Cheap Thrills.  Overall I liked this one and I'd recommend it, but I have complaints.  The acting, writing, direction, and all the basics are covered pretty well.  It's a solid movie with some excellent set pieces and great tension.  The metal wire / highway sequence is especially well done.  But my problem is with the ending.  It doesn't feel at all satisfying.  The protagonist makes a series of decisions and moves that don't really add up to any concrete arc or thematic closure - kind of like he's trying to be noble and gritty at the same time.  A bit more of a gut punch or a bit more sincerity - either one - would've been much better.

My Rating: 3.5 / 5

7) Re-Animator - Unbelievably, I did not watch this one for the first time until Halloween this year.  I know.  I'm as shocked as anybody.  I think I avoided it for a long time because I'd heard how relentlessly gory it was.  Having seen it, I almost feel disappointed.  Yeah, it was gross at times and there were some pretty violent moments... but I've totally seen worse.  I feel like I've been avoiding a gem of a movie for years because I was being needlessly insecure.  I'm going to probably be revisiting this one in years to come - like the rest of the movie world has been.

My Rating: 4.5 / 5

Total: 7 Movies

Minutes I Spent Writing in the Last Week

1) "Quiet Night, Part VIII" - About 3 hours of writing.

2) Bill Roman Is Being Oppressed - About 4 hours of planning and writing.

Total: 7 Hours

The Winner:  A Tie.

Considering that I've only had one reliable day of Novel Writing Month to combat the onslaught of movies in October, I'd say that a tie is a pretty good score for today.  I'll take it.