Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Hills Have Eyes & 1408 -- by J.O.B.

Two movies that can easily fall in the horror/suspense category, I guess, although one is just grotesquery with not much horror or suspense. One is the work of Wes Craven and one is the work of Stephen King - can you guess which is the maker of the grotesquery?

The Hills Have Eyes

I checked with God and there is no shot of me getting these 107 minutes back. This thing is crap from start to finish. The only thing that is redeeming is how they set up the possibility of humanite people living in the desert hills attacking people - nuclear bomb tests. I can buy that. The problem is that to an extent, it made me feel like the eye people in the hills had a right to eff up anything that came through their 'hood. This thing is just a mess. You know a horror movie is going to be all types of wrong when the main characters are parents on a 25th anniversary with their 3 kids - two teenagers and one who is married and has her husband and newborn on their road trip. Why? Because people have to die, so who's it going to be? The teenage kids? The dad of the newborn? There's no way this thing ends up anything but Satanical. In that regard, the movie delivers. The seen of the complete monster reveal is just crazy and unless you're an orphan, or your family used to molest you, you will almost want to turn the movie off.

Outside of this 5 minute terror romp, there is about one other part of this movie that is cool at all and it's a "fight" between one of the remaining family members and one of the "monsters." Everything else in this is lame and plot holes abound. Supposedly the film takes place in present day, and the nuclear tests were ended in the 60's, yet one of the main "monsters" is no more than 12. There's another scene where a family member walks into a room to find a 4 year old "monster" on the floor playing. WTF? Even if there were male and female leftover monsters and they mated - who's delivering these kids? RETARDED. The sequel comes out on DVD today and I don't see how it could be any less lame. Wes Craven is so out of ideas he remakes his own. That can't result in anything less than crap.


Because of the enormous amounts of movies that have been made from Stephen King novels, it goes without saying that they can't all be terrific. You get a turkey every once in a while. So I walked into 1408 with no pretentions other than knowing the basic gyst: John Cusack (or is it Joan? She looks so manly) is a writer chronicling haunted places but also debunking the possibility of ghosts. He fell into the profession after the death of his young daughter which obviously spurned his position on the subject. Cusack gets a postcard to stay (or rather a warning not to stay) in room 1408 at the Dolphin Hotel in New York. Of course, believing that there is no such thing as ghosts or haunted places, he must go there.

As you've seen from the trailers, Samuel Jackson is the manager of the hotel and tries his best to convince Cusack to skip room 1408, attempting to bribe him with everything from $800 booze to a dossier of the over 56 previous victims of the room. But if you had stayed in the ten scariest bed and breakfasts and spent nights in the ten most haunted graveyards, would you be riled up about staying in a posh hotel room in NYC? Well neither is Cusack - of course if he had been, the movie would have ended rather quickly.

Well of course, all is not right in room 1408, and it's horrors set in on Cusack not long after he settles into the room. In classic good Stephen King movie fashion the suspense is a wonderful combination of an evil being or place, a main character who either has a past sin or lost belief, and plenty of mental delusional visions to clue in the viewer as to why the main character almost deserves the problems they face. Had the movie been longer, Cusack's performance would have been almost akin to Hanks in Castaway. Well, not quite, but he's dang good playing a lost soul, who is actually seeking an answer, redemption and salvation ... although it might be too late.

This is definitely near the top of my list of Stephen King works-turned-movies that I've seen. The story moves swiftly, the suspense is great, and Cusack is a winner. If you can catch this in the theater, do it - and take a date.

1 comment:

Brown Buddy said...

That is a very pleasing font...how did you change it?