Monsters: Dark Continent is in many ways an attempt to transpose Full Metal Jacket or Black Hawk Down levels of realism into what initially appears to be nothing more than a B-grade riff on elements drawn from science fiction stalwarts as diverse as Jurassic Park, War of the Worlds and “The Twilight Zone,” and for my part at least I found this particular meshing of genres and ideas continually fascinating.
Better, the director stages a climactic siege on a mysterious alien stronghold beautifully, and while there are plot holes to spare and clichés up the wazoo that somehow doesn’t make the finale any less suspenseful and exciting. It’s terrific, energizing stuff, and as silly as it all proves to be I can’t say I wasn’t happily smiling all the same by the time things finally came to their conclusion.
Yet it is that climax which truly sinks this prequel, Annabelle in the end only conjuring up my anger and vitriol that it would do something so horrifically stupid and think that would be okay.
The Purge: Anarchy is an unapologetically violent exercise in sensationalistic mayhem, that fact is not up for debate, and for my part I’m fine with this, part of me even a tiny bit curious exactly where DeMonaco and company might be interested in taking things next.
That Transcendence doesn’t ultimately work is decidedly a problem but that doesn’t make the experience of watching it any less riveting, and as failures go this is arguably one I’ll be thinking about and pondering for many months to come.
Under the Skin doesn’t apologize for being difficult, everything inside its cinematic shell a rollercoaster of emotional tumult worthy of being ridden multiple times.
The movie doesn’t deliver, not at the end, at least, but it does carry its tension to term, that in and of itself almost good enough to make seeing the baby born moderately worthwhile.
Made with style, imagination, confidence and panache, [The Conjuring (2013)] gets under the skin right away and then stays there for the remainder of its innervating 112 minutes, building to a solidly sinister and unsettling finale that had the audience I watched it with on collectively disquieted pins and needles.
Less than 12 months later, producers/writers/directors Simon Barrett and Adam Wingard have managed to cajole another group of talented filmmakers to take their crack at the concept, and results are, to be perfectly frank, close to astonishing. V/H/S 2 doesn’t just improve upon the first film, doesn’t just take note of its missteps and mistakes, it quickly enters the pantheon as one of the great horror anthologies ever made.