Entries Tagged 'The Descent' ↓

5 sweet reveals

I'm cranky today. Therefore, I decided to post about a subject that makes me happy: great reveals in horror movies. I don't mean, like, when we find out that Mrs. Bates is actually Norman Bates (PS- spoiler alert) or a simple jump scare or something along those lines. I'm talking about movies that take their sweet-ass time revealing what, exactly, is killing all the pretty young things. Or what will soon be killing all the pretty young things. You know- the monster. It's all about anticipation capped with a mind-blowing holycrapdidyoujustseethat moment. Here are my five favorite examples in no particular order; you may disagree with my choices, but that's your beeswax. (PPS- more spoiler alerts)

Salem's Lot

I talked about this a bit in my review of the 1979 made-for-TV miniseries Salem's Lot oh so many moons ago- it's just that amazing.

Aside: this was made for TV. MADE FOR TV. Made for TV and it's got more scares than most of the crap at your local thee-ay-ter. The old days were better, etc etc.

Anyway, while there's plenty of vampire action and weird goings-on going on in the Lot, all everyone keeps talking about is "Mr. Barlow this" and "Mr. Barlow that". Who is this guy? Some shy, old antiques dealer? More than two hours into the production, we meet this Mr. Barlow, and...well...

Actually, "meet" is too gentle a word to use for our introduction to this mystery man. Suddenly, oh so suddenly, he's there- BAM, in your face like an edgy comedian or an energy drink. We may have suspected that Mr. Barlow was the king of the new crop of vamps floating and biting their way around town, but no one could have suspected he'd look like that, like your worst possible nightmare come to life. Not. Cool.

The Ring

I don't care what you say, I love The Ring. Certainly the waterlogged ghost-girl idea has become boring since this film hit in 2002, and there's no denying that the herky-jerky camera style has been overused in horror like an old man's handkerchief, but come on. When we were introduced to Samara all those years ago we were innocent! It was a novel concept! The endeavor was as invigorating as a York Peppermint Pattie with only half the calories (no, that doesn't make sense).

Anyway, The Ring. Sure, we see Samara a bit on the eeeevil videotape, and we see the results of...whatever it is she does to victims seven days after they watch said tape. But it's not until the film passes the 90-minute mark- not until we think everything's gonna be a-ok, that Samara has gone off into the light- that we see her in all her water-logged, stinky glory. It's bitchin'. No, we still don't really know what she actually does to people, but I don't really care. She crawls out of TVs, and that's all I need to know.

Oh, and when getting these screencaps I noticed that this...

...is a copy of The Craft. Thought you might like to know.


I don't usually find monster movies scary, but Alien is a huge exception to that. Part of the reason why the film works so well is because it keeps building and building- the crew of the towing vessel Nostromo faces an enemy that quickly adapts to its environment as it grows. We get a glimpse of the titular xenomorph more than an hour into the proceedings, when Brett (Harry Dean Stanton) heads into the bowels of the ship to find the tiny alien which burst from the chest of a crewmate just hours earlier. The alien is no longer a chestburster, though: it's grown into a hugely tall, drooling, dual-mouth-wielding, acid-blood-squirting badass. Yeah, didn't expect that.

In related news, I want to open a sci-fi-themed strip club called The Titular Xenomorph.

The Descent

Our plucky spelunkers of Neil Marshall's The Descent are pretty well fucked about 20 minutes in. After a section of the uncharted cave they're exploring collapses, they desperately search for a way out...and then stupid ol' Holly (Nora-Jane Noone) goes and injures herself, putting a serious damper on a decidedly crappy day. Oh yeah- and they're not alone.

Marshall gives us quick glances here and there, enough to let us know that there's something in the depths with the women, but we don't get a good look at the crawlers for almost an hour...but when we do, it's a complete shock. As their dire situation causes the women to begin to panic, their infrared camera pans around and a crawler is THERE, having snuck up behind them silently. Yes, I use "snuck" even though it's not a real word, because it sounds cooler than "sneaked". My tenuous grasp on the English language aside, the sequence is fucking brilliant, a highlight of the terrifically terrifying film.

The Texas Chain Saw Massacre

Holy crap, whaddayou know: Tobe Hooper is responsible for two out of my five choices!

In the first half hour of the film, a van full of teenagers deals with a lot of bad stuff- the unrelenting Texas sun, the crazy hitchhiker who brandishes a knife at them (and himself), Franklin whining and eating a sausage- but it all leads up to the horrors inside the isolated farmhouse that Kirk and Pam find. There's a generator running, but no one seems to be home...when Kirk heads inside to investigate, his curiosity is piqued by the squeals of a pig emanating from a strange doorway that's bedecked with animal skulls. Of course, it's not a pig- it's Leatherface. He appears in a close-up, and before we even know what's happening, he's bashed Kirk over the head and dragged him inside the mysterious room. He slams the door shut without a word, and it's on. It's absolute horror movie perfection.

So there you go, my five faves. I must say, I'm slightly less cranky now, having written about some of the best scenes horror has to offer...unless it's just the Thunderbird I've chugged while writing this. Either way, I feel so pretty!

the sads

My AMC column this week is all about characters in horror movies that I actually care for- those who, when they die, make me bust out a little "Aww". It's sort of a modified version of what the Mighty Arbogast started with his "The one you might have saved" blog-a-thon-ish-meme thing. I wouldn't necessarily save these characters- not like good ol' Barbra- but their deaths give me the sads. Check out my little list at AMC, which includes the likes of Eleanor Lance from The Haunting.

Actually, that photo should look like this:

I mean, I like Eleanor, but Theo's where it's at, baby!

Anyway, here are a few more characters I would have added to my list but didn't for various reasons:

- Helen Lyle (Virginia Madsen), Candyman
- Alice (Adrienne King), Friday the 13th Part 2
- Brenda (Laurie Bartram), Friday the 13th
- Bubba (Larry Drake), Dark Night of the Scarecrow
- Harry & Becky (Ted Danson & Gaylen Ross), Creepshow
- Ruth Mayer (Susan Hogan), The Brood
- Madame Mabel (Particia Hamilton), My Bloody Valentine
- Beth (Alex Reid), The Descent
- Barb (Margot Kidder), Black Christmas
- Fran (Heidi Martinuzzi), Ex

And you?

“Then he’s still out there…”

Apparently Friday the 13th cleaned up at the box office, raking in more than $40 million over the weekend. If you added your hard-earned dollars to that total and you'd like to weigh in with your thoughts, well, here's a place to do it. Lots of opinions flying around. While everyone who disagrees with me about the film is obviously WRONG, I welcome your comments anyway.

Oh, and I don't mean to imply that only people who spent hard-earned dollars on F13 should chime in. Those of you who found a ten spot as well as those of you who sat on the sidewalk with a sign reading "Why lie? I want to see Friday the 13th" until you collected enough dimes to buy a ticket can play, too.

But Jason is so...so...three days ago, isn't he? Let's remain on the cutting edge and move on to the next wackadoo in the slasher cycle- Michael Myers! Yes, Rob Zombie's Halloween 2 is still going to happen, and here's the teaser poster to prove it:

Now, I know what you're thinking. You're thinking, "Stacie, you must be wrong. Rob Zombie can't be making Halloween 2. Why, I remember reading right here at Final Girl that he wouldn't do it! Let's see...what did he say? Oh yeah...
I'm done. I did what I wanted to do, I came in and I made a movie that I thought was a self-contained film and now I'm walking away.
So see? Why are you lying, Stacie? Or are my eyes playing tricks on me?"

Dude, it's neither. He said that, and now he's making the movie. However, we should take into consideration that before he made Halloween, he also said (regarding remakes):
Those movies are perfect- you're only going to make yourself look like an asshole by remaking them.
I guess the lesson here is...well, I'm not sure exactly. Money is awesome, maybe? Never say never? Stop, drop, and roll? Eh. I can't say that I'm at all excited about H2, and let's just leave it at that.

However, you know what I am excited about? This teaser trailer for [REC]2.

I know the original film has its detractors...however, I ate that shit up and I'm ready for more. This embedding might not work; if not, follow this link to Shock Till You Drop to check it out.

In other sequel news, I guess there's stuff floating around in cyberspace related to The Descent 2. I'm ignoring all of it- no pictures, no interviews, no trailers, NADA. I want to go into that one knowing only that it exists. I don't even know when it's coming out. How's that for being an ignoramus?

So many of you answered this call for movie posters, thank you! You guys are "mad awesome" as the kids say. Alright, so no kid talks like that. The point is, they're swell and I'll be posting them this Friday. I know I said that I'd post them last week, but 1) I wanted to give Jason his day to shine all alone, and 2) I'm a liar.

One last thing: I got nominated for a fucking RONDO! I can't believe it. Seriously, I can not believe it...and man, I'm in some wicked esteemed company. Head here to vote- you can do so until March 21. Now I know what they mean by "it's an honor just to be nominated". I also know what they mean by the "Boltzmann Brain Theory", because I looked it up.

Hooray for everything!


- While you were sleeping, I went to see Disaster Movie and reviewed it for AMC. I think it was only because the hellish experience that was Demon of Paradise was still coursing through my veins that I didn't want to kill myself. So for that, I thank you, Demon of Paradise. Now get the eff out of my life forever! I seriously need to watch a quality movie before I find the nearest Grand Canyon and go all ten kinds of Thelma and Louise.

- Go visit my ol' pal Arbogast and check out his quasi-tribute to America's Next Top favorite caver, Beth, from The Descent. To avoid fainting, I must keep repeating, there are good movies out there...good movies out there...good movies out there...good movies out there...thanks for the reminder, Arbo! Beth rules and she rules hard.

- From the I weep for the children who are supposedly our future department: The Internets are all up in arms over the kinda sorta news that Vadim Perelman (The House of Sand and Fog) maybe kinda might helm the super possible Poltergeist remake. It's a fowl story, indeed, that Bloody-Disgusting has related. No one expressed their trepidation at the prospect more poignantly than commenter horrorchick81, however:
they need shot! y remake a GOOD classic horror/supernatural movie? who would star in it anyway everyone dies from them movies anyway bc of the poltergeist curse. there is noo way that this tupid ass remake will live up to the original even if they did get craig t nelson to reprise his role as stephen. anyone know what ever happened to that kid who played robbie in one an two?? i am soo signing it. never even seen house osf sand and fog so cant bitch bout the directer dude.
Verily...they need shot. And in case you were unaware of all the rumors of hauntings and curses surrounding the original Hooper/Spielberg production, horrorchick81 goes on to shed some light:
uh ya there is a thing as curse, how do you explain heather orourkes untimley/mysterious death??? the orignal cane/julian beck!? umm doninique dunnes (cant think of her name but she was robbies and carl annes sis in the first) death when she was strangeled by her boyfriend when i guess a friend/neighbor was litening to the poltergeist soundtrack?? taylor dying? that mysterious light when tangena got her pic. taken in the photograph?? to me that aint coincidence that is a curse so idk what u are talkin bout when u say there is no curses.
Maybe that's why I'm suddenly mired in bad movies when my week started out so well: there is a thing as curse. Who knew? I mean, besides horrorchick81, natch.

Now if you'll excuse me, I suddenly feel a burning desire to make some parse trees.


Dudes, Stuff on VHS Week will begin momentarily! Thanks to all who voted. I was hoping that VHS would come in first...and since hope is a wish your heart makes (or something like that), my heart was psyched to discover it won by 3 votes! Whilst I work on the inaugural post, here are a couple of things to tide you over:

- It's possible that I need to link to my AMC columns in a more timely fashion. However, you can go back in time and read last week's column by clicking this link! Such is the magical power of The Internet. It's kinda sorta about stuff that shouldn't be scary, but is- unexpected horrors and the such. You know, like Pee Wee's Big Adventure. What innocuous movie do you find frightening? Don't say Showgirls, because Showgirls is effing awesome...although I'll admit, the violent hot tub humping is rather scary.

- Recently I conducted a brief phone interview with Shawnee Smith, she of the Saw franchise, she of Summer School (I inexplicably love that movie), she of the music duo Smith & Pyle.

- Over at Shock Till You Drop, there's a big fat report from the set of The Descent 2. I didn't read it because I intend to remain blissfully ignorant, but I figured I'd pass it along. That's just how I am.

- For reasons unknown, I've been thinking a lot about the movie Pieces lately. I suppose I should just watch it again to get it out of my system. Here's a...well, I don't think it's a trailer, exactly. Featured amongst the clips, however, is the skateboarding into a big mirror sequence. It's radness.