Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Frontier(s) (2007)

RUN TIME- 108 Mins
WRITER(S)- Xavier Gens
STARRING- Karina Testa, Aurelien Wiik, and Patrick Ligardes
DIRECTOR- Xavier Gens

Synopsis taken from IMDb
A gang of young theives flee Paris during the violent aftermath of a political election, only to hole up at an Inn run by neo-Nazis.


So, I finally got off of my lazy ass and decided to watch "Frontiers", a French film that's went and gotten itself a reputation in the horror community. I've heard great things about this, so I was eager to view it for the first time. However, I was still iffy with it being an Afterdark Horrorfest film, seeing as I only really liked one  of them, "The Gravedancers".

It's funny to me how people say that Asian horror is where "real horror is at right now". Because from where I'm standing, it's clear to me that the French are the ones dominating. With such hits as "Inside" and "Martyrs", to add another heavy hitter to that group of films with "Frontiers" sends a huge message to all genre fans.

Now, going into the film, I only saw the trailer and knew the synopsis. The only spoiler I really knew was that the lead character, Yasmin (Karina Testa), in which I knew she eventually gets a shaved head somehow. So the experience was totally new to me, the way I prefer it. And I definitely didn't take that From The Director Of Hitman seriously. Because if that's supposed to sell this motion picture, that's a bad call. Did anyone like that movie?

The movie starts off with riots in the streets of Paris, France and pretty much runs with the ball. It slows down for a bit, but it builds an unsteady and nervous tension that kept me on edge, expecting anything to happen at anytime.

The story is something new and creative, and I haven't really seen anything like it, really. It's a very basic and grounded plot, which makes it believable and more intense. The realism keeps things gruesome, but dares you to watch.

The gore and effects are close to perfect, both believable and painful to view. I can't even imagine the amount of blood that was used during the filming of this movie, because it's a very bloody ride.

The climax is nailbiting, and packed with a grueling weight I felt while watching. Even though there's not much character development, I still felt scared for the characters because the situation was real. As the plot played out and this flick came to an end, I was satisfied. I definitely liked what I saw, and it's undoubtedly good. But, I wasn't overly impressed with it. And I feel that the previous films like "Inside" and "Martyrs" pushed the bounds a bit farther, so they're more memorable.

In the end, "Frontiers" is a landmark horror film, but there's bigger landmarks.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Cravings (2006)

A.K.A "Daddy's Girl"

RUN TIME- 90 Mins
WRITER(S)- D.J. Evans
STARRING- Richard Harrington, Jaime Winstone, and Louise Delamere

Synopsis taken from IMDb
A psychiatrist is confronted by a troubled teen, who's out for blood.

First off, let me start this off by saying how good it feels to be back! I had to take a short break from writing due to personal issues. However, I'm back, and ready to do what I do best. I've missed this writing life, and it's a great feeling to be back at it. I've gotten so many messages asking me where I disappeared to. It's always good to know people look forward to my reviews that much! I appreciate everyone and their support.

Secondly, let me say that the title of this film I'm reviewing is ludicrous. And what's even worse, is the cover. For the sake of attracting a bigger audience and cashing in on the vampire craze, this flick was marketed in a way that doesn't do it justice, and is misleading. Not to mention unnecessary. However, a misleading title and cover art aren't enough to make me not fairly assess the movie.The lead character Nina (Jaime Winstone) is not a vampire in the traditional way, but more in the most basic of terms way. 

I was turned on to this by a few friends who were talking about it. Although it was hard to track down and get my hands on, I did it. Most people wouldn't expect this to be as psychological as it is. It's a deep, slowly drawn out plot that ultimately shows how someones obsession and urge to help someone can end up harming them, and that some things are better left alone. There's also a huge underlining of bad parenting, and enabling. It's a refection of our will to overlook our troubles and cover them up.  

This isn't a flick for people looking for action in every second. This is slow paced, and takes it's time sinking in. If your a fan of atmospheric films, then this is worth a watch. It definitely leaves an impression, for better or worse. 

If found the the characters a bit drawn out and dry, even typical. But, the film was set in reality so it actually kinda works. It's not a very eventful piece of cinema, in fact it's sorta anti-climatic. But, for some reason it sticks with you, and I believe it's because it's unlike other films you're likely to see from the vampire genre. It tackles the vampire myth by coming at it from a mental and psychological standpoint. Breaking down the fundamentals of what makes a vampire work in the real world. For the realism and grounded approach, I tip my hat.

As the story carries out, it becomes apparent that there isn't any help that can be done for Nina. And really getting involved with her is a bad idea, period. We witness the downfall of a psychiatrist named Stephen (Richard Harrington) who had his life together until he became obsessed with helping Nina. Temptation rules over the moral in this picture, and that's a deep and profound point of view. 

Overall, there's plenty of flaws with "Cravings", but it remains entertaining. And it has a tragic and sickening ending that left me in a depressed mood. So if it can invoke emotions out of me like that, then it did something right. However, it's not something that I'd praise, as much as appreciate for the things done in this film that should have been it's marketing center. Such as the original and dark story. In the end it gets my seal of approval, but it's not as good as it could be. The acting doesn't stand out, and if it had, it'd be a much better movie.

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