Monday, 24 October 2011

Movie Viewings of the Week: October 17th - 23rd

 Movie of the Week: Apocalypse Now

With the exception of a couple of films, this week was dominated by horror films, from supernatural chillers to classic slasher films. With Halloween coming up, I felt it necessary to catch up or revisit those horror films that I either hadn't seen at all or hadn't seen in while. My first horror film was one of last year's finest and most underrated: Matt Reeves excellent remake Let Me In. The original Let The Right One In is one of my favourite films, as well as the source novel being one of my favourite books. So the prospect of the director of Cloverfield doing a new take on it was initially disheartening. But I was blown away the first time I saw it at the fact that it was a damn fine remake, and I was equally blown away this time.

If there was one series that dominated my viewings this week, it was that of the Paranormal Activity series. With the release of Paranormal Activity 3 this week, I decided to revisit the first two, watching them back to back one night, and then going to see the third one the following night. And the verdict? Well, the first is still the best and the creepiest, the second ties in well to the first, and the third is undoubtedly the most intense and perhaps the scariest. On the whole, it's an effectively scary series. For more check out my review of the series. 

I came to the realisation this week that there were shit loads of classic horror films that I needed to see, so I decided to hire out heaps of classic horror films from the video shop where I work so I can watch them over the course of the next week, hopefully all by Halloween. My first one was Wes Craven's The Last House on the Left, which was well made, even if it didn't have the impact on me that I expected. That one paled, though, in comparison to Tobe Hooper's The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, which I found to be the absolute definition of a horror film. It was scary, it was disturbing, it was horrifying without showing bucket loads of gore. That's how you make a horror film.

Like last week, I managed to visit the cinema a couple of times. Along with Paranormal Activity 3, I managed to see Steven Soderburgh's excellent Contagion, which wasn't really a horror film in the most literal sense of the word, but was scary in its realism, and scarier than most things we see these days. As I said, horror films weren't the only thing I watched this week. I managed to squeeze in a viewing of David Michod's astonishing Animal Kingdom, surely one of the great Australian films of our time. But the week's best film wasn't a horror film, and it was the first film I watched this week. It was of course the absolute masterpiece Apocalypse Now. Yeah I watched the Redux, which was perhaps excessively long, but until I see the original, this one will remain in my favourites list.

So overall, a decent week dominated by a series of decent horror films in the lead up to Halloween. Here are my ratings

Apocalypse Now - 5/5
Let Me In - 4.5/5
Paranormal Activity - 3.5/5
Paranormal Activity 2 - 3/5
Paranormal Activity 3 - 3.5/5
Contagion - 4/5
Animal Kingdom - 5/5
The Last House on the Left - 4/5
The Texas Chain Saw Massacre - 5/5

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