Since I reviewed a famous classic I figured why not balance things out with a cult classic with The Loved Ones, not the most well-known film out there it still brings its own brand of entertainment. From tortured teenagers to implied incest, this is one movie you will not forget.
The plot revolves around Brent (played by Xavier Samuel) who drove with his Dad one day and got into an accident when he tried to avoid a bloody figure on the road. Six months later still mourning for the loss of his father, Brent plans to take his girlfriend Holly to Prom. On his way he gets kidnapped by a girl he rejected named Lola (played by Robin McLeavy). As Brent is held hostage, Lola and her father (played by John Brumpton) make this a night he will never forget.
The Director Sean Bryne said in an interview that he was inspired by movies such as “Carrie” and “The Evil Dead” and wanted to use aspects from both when creating this film. If you’re a fan of torture films then this is the film for you as you get to see Brent tortured in the most creative of ways.
It does a good job being a black comedy as the comedic parts are put at the right moments and knows when to get back to the horror. There’s also this feeling of uneasiness that grows throughout the film as you see exactly how messed up this family really is. Overall it is a good combination of scares and laughs that you won’t want to miss.
Halloween has come and gone, but there is still room for some more scares. What better way to have them by reviewing the movie “Halloween“? Though other horror movies have come and gone before it, it was this film that has set up what we know as the slasher genre. From girls getting killed in their underwear to victims running up the stairs, this film started all the well-known horror movie clichés that we have grown to love.
The director John Carpenter describes the movie having a simple plot of a man murdering teenagers. It starts off with Michael Myers (played by Tony Moran) escaping a mental hospital. He was institutionalized for 15 years after killing his sister. The movie then follows Myers as he makes his way to his hometown Haddonfield to search for new victims. Myers’ psychiatrists Dr. Sam Loomis (played by Donald Pleasence) tries to chase after him in hopes to prevent him from claiming anymore victims.
This movie does a great job building up tension as you see Myers begin to stalk Laurie Strode (played by Jamie Lee Curtis) along with her friends. The scenes where he makes an appearance are also great as there are times where he would just walk right up to a person and freak them out by his mere presence. In other scenes he would be in the background and pass by without anyone noticing. What I also find interesting is the fact that there is no reason behind his actions; he doesn’t have a sad back story or anything to excuse his behavior. He doesn’t even have a line of dialogue. Myers kills just for the sake of it.
“I spent eight years trying to reach him, and then another seven trying to keep him locked up because I realized that what was living behind that boy’s eyes was purely and simply… evil,” said Dr. Loomis.
The music also plays a significant part in the background as a recurring theme is played throughout the movie. It has become Myers’ signature trademark as it is played at each of his scenes. This theme had been something Carpenter had thought of for years as he created it himself using a synthesizer from a guy he got in touch with in the San Fernando Valley.
In an interview, Carpenter explained how he was given full creative range of the film as he was simply given the basics on making a film of a killer stalking babysitters. At first the title was “The Babysitter Murders” which grabbed Carpenter’s attention. However, it was during work production that the title was changed as producer Irwin Yablans said it would bring more significance if it was centered on a holiday. When it first premiered it grabbed the public’s attention and received some harsh words from critics, though in time it’s audience grew. It was this film that made Carpenter’s name in horror movies, and has truly set a staple in the genre. Overall, it was a great film that became a classic over time.
What makes Maniac so unique is that the entire film you see what the protagonist sees. This is a technique in the filming called point of view (POV) where the film is shown through the first person perspective of the main character. This type of filming can be seen in movies such as documentaries, mockumentaries, and found footage films. The movie uses this technique in a more cryptic sense as it uses it to watch through the eyes of a killer of a horror movie. The killer ,played by Elijah Wood, is a man named Frank who runs his mother’s mannequin shop. At first he gives the appearance of being a nice guy. It is when we get more in to the movie that we see this is not the case as his true nature is revealed as you witness first hand him murdering his victims. What makes this movie more creepy is the type of person the character portrays. We all have seen lonely people that we want to feel sympathy for, but can’t help to feel cautious around.
In an interview the movie’s director Franck Khalfoun talks about how he wanted to take the “nice guy” image of Wood and use it as to make a more fearful killer. He explains that Wood’s character can draw people in and make them feel safe until it’s too late. There is a scene near the end of the movie that gives the best example as Frank (Wood’s character) talks to a woman name Anna (played by Nora Arnezeder) who he befriends earlier in the movie and comforts her after finding out her friend is missing. The entire scene we see the change in Frank’s character and the atmosphere of the scene as Anna starts to realize that he is not what he seems.
In the movie Frank uses online dating to find new victims which is more realistic compared to other films where the killer usually finds it victims in some random forest or abandon hospital. Which makes the situation more unsettling toward the viewer as it hits a little too close to home. Elijah Wood explained that he felt excited to play this role, and the fact that it is filmed in POV was more interesting and creative as the whole movie is seen through the killer. He was fascinated by how it can make the audience feel uncomfortable while watching it. The movie is a remake of the 1980 Maniac directed by William Lustig. The remake is set closer to present time, and unlike the original which was set in New York the remake is set in Los Angeles. Although this movie is a remake of a classic, it adds its’ own frightening spin as it dives inside the mind of a sick man. All and all it definitely deserves a look at.