Just Let Her In Already (Let the right one in)

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Let The Right One In

            Since I have watched a very similar film entitled “Let Me In,” watching and keeping my focus on the movie was very hard to do. The fact that I didn’t like the movie before added to the frustration of having to sit through class, and watch scenes I’m not interested in, and having to correctly guess what was going to happen next just because the two movies are too alike.

            Let Me In shows how a disturbed boy who is always bullied and ostracize in school ends up making friends with a strange young girl who lives near his place. Little did he know that this girl is a vampire. But unlike the usual vampire stories we know where the creature is hot, drinks blood, and has other super powers like compelling others, super speed, and great strength, the movie portrays the girl as a regular human being at first. It would be later in the movie where we see her actually do something uncommon for it would always be the guardian of the who would always be the one to do the dirty part of the work to get her blood, etc.

            Generally, I am disappointed with the fact that this movie has a “twin,” and that none of the two caught my attention. I think it was because majority of the content of the movie lies in the script, a factor hard to focus on when the graphics are usually dull and grey. I didn’t notice the horror part of the movie much, except the very obvious part that there is a vampire as a character. A little bit of killing was done, but not to the point that images from the scenes would haunt me as much. The image of a vampire in my head is so changed that I couldn’t even consider the character of the girl in the movie as one. She was just another girl who is weird and peculiar, but not really a monster to be scared of.

May

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May

May’s story creeped me out because the dilemma shown in the movie was more personal than supernatural. As I looked at her, I see her as a pretty lady with issues stemming from her childhood. But even with the lack of friends and self-confidence, I think the change within her was too exaggerated and got too out of hand. I understand that she might be feeling different and out of place, and that this may bring about unnecessary actions, but the way May dealt with this problem is so peculiar and violent that it is already disturbing.

May is not your typical horror movie in the sense that there really is no monster, or no supernatural being to blame for any of the unfortunate events that happened in the film. There were no ghosts, or no murderer that came running after the lead star. instead, May fought with her self and her imaginary friend of a doll about the realities and complexities of life. She sought refuge in her only friend— the one thing she thought she could trust, and when she was gone, she had to find a replacement. This is where the disturbing act of cutting out every perfect part of a body she found, and sewing it all together comes in. May is so disturbed by the “passing” of her friend that everything about her life was already so bizarre.

The sad thing about this is that if only she let go, and not try too hard, I don’t see why she cant be a normal person. She might not be the stereotypical cool girl that everyone chases, but she can be May, a girl, and not May, the weird body-part-cutting psycho.

 

Masked Humanity (Halloween)

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Halloween

of all the movies we watched in class this semester, I found Halloween the scariest. It started out with a creepy history of a young, disturbed boy killing his family members, and follows his development into a man. No matter how many years have already passed, he still remains as the disturbed murderer that he was. It took me a long time to accept that this young, innocent looking boy could do such things, but after really going through every domain in his life— his lack of friends, his mother being a pole dancer, not having a real father figure to look up to, it is quite understandable how he was able to do such things—in a very sad, twisted way that is. Although it seems like a lot of horror movies have been structured this way (character goes on a killing spree because of reasons that stem from way back), the thing that makes Halloween stand out is the Mask. The lead character, Michael, has this thing for masks, and it was shown in the entire movie how much he gives importance to them. This mask that hides his face when he kills conceals all human emotions that can be seen in him. This concealment removes what human remains in him, and then I just see him as a monster— no different from any other killing machine. This lack of the human factor makes the movie so much scarier for me, because I feel like I am no longer dealing with someone I know, or someone I can know. “it” just kills, like any other thing with not feelings, no emotions, no heart— IT can just will anything he wants and do it without logic, without remorse.

This feeling of Michael not having emotions and not being human heightens when he comes after his little sister. The baby was the only thing he showed thoughts and care for, and I couldn’t believe he would come for her as well. The only thread linking him with his humanity is about to be killed. The killings of innocent people along the way, so bloody and violent, also added brutality to the film. People who were only doing what they would usually do all killed by this machine. In the end, when Michael was killed, I still did no have the sense of peace that I would usually have at the end of a horror movie. Killing the monster was not enough for the pain and violence of his deeds still haunted me long after the credits rolled.

Inn Keepers Want Out

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The Inn Keepers

This movie seems to fit the stereotype for horror movies more than the other films showed in class. It shows how the normal routine of characters are interrupted by bizarre happenings caused by the supernatural factors surrounding the plot. The Inn Keepers show a plot with good development as it bit by bit ventured into the darker side of the movie.

The film gives of a light vibe, even if it is obvious from the beginning that it was meant to be a horror film. it made watching the movie easy, and not dragging. The simple horror effects that they added (piano playing by itself, random noises, apparitions) were additional factors that contributed to the movie’s being a horror film, but did not necessarily make the movie scary at all. These text-book horror components were placed for the purpose of what feels like the mere point of just putting them. They just had to be there.

The backstory/history of the inn where the main characters work is explained well, and is easy to understand by the audience. This factor plays a crucial role in the appreciation of the film. As the two leads investigate and try to prove the existence of the legendary ghost at the inn, the extraneous variables that touch upon the main path adds up to the suspense of the film. However, unlike most detective-like horror movie, this doesn’t end with the leads uncovering the mystery. Here, one of the leads actually die, a factor absent in most cliché movies.

With all things said, I think the inn keeper is one of those movies that just passes us by. It brings nothing special to the table. nothing that would make me remember it, and nothing that really struck me. It had all the components of what should be a scary movie, but did not give the same effect on the audience. It was good enough not to be boring, but not scary at all to be considered a good horror film.

Ginger Snaps

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Ginger Snaps

Ginger snaps is the type of movie that teenagers nowadays would still appreciate. Although it is a horror film, it gives off the just another teen movie vibe. This vibe effortlessly carries the horror factor of the film with it. This horror part is shown to be not exactly scary, but somewhat “just part of the film.” As it integrated the scary and abnormal, with the normal and usual of teenage angst and development, it did not really send me the message that something to be feared is coming soon. The horror of the movie developed just as ginger was developing into a woman— through baby steps. This way, the fear within the audience also grew just as slowly, making it somewhat unnoticeable.

The idea of the werewolf was changed compared to the usual books and movies as the norm was seen in guys changing into a creature every full moon. In gingersnaps, the fact that the gender of the monster was changed made it more interesting. The sensual allure of the woman gave the character more spike and gave the story a more interesting plot. The parallelism of womanhood to being a werewolf gave the movie not just an interesting story, but an insightful and peculiar way of development.

Other than the emphasis on gender, the movie also showed the importance of the relationships of the characters before and after the transformation. The relationship of ginger and her sister is focused on all throughout the movie, even with the other things simultaneously going on. Amidst everything that happened, the bond between the sister kept strong even if one of them had drastically changed.

In Ginger Snaps, the role of the monster was portrayed in a different way—more tempting and more attractive. It is only at the climax of this attraction that the beast is unleashed, and the violence starts, and amidst all the things that had happened, the relationships of the main characters withstand everything. Although this cycle may also be found in other movies, the mixture of the style and the story complements one another in building up right until the resolution at the very end, giving the story a proper close, and the audience, the peace and closure they needed.

Saving Grace

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Madeline Matheson, the lead character in the movie, has been trying to get pregnant with her husband, Michael. When she finally succeeds, she makes sure to take care of her health, even if this means disobeying the wishes of her overly concerned mother in law. Madeline decides that she wants to deliver the baby the natural way, while her mother in law argues that she consults with the family doctor. After being in a terrible car accident which kills Michael, Madelin is worried that her baby was affected too. It turns out that the baby died inside Madeline’s womb, but even after this new, she still decided to keep the baby and deliver at the right time no matter what. After the baby was delivered dead, Madeline refuses to let Grace, the name she gave her daughter, go. To the surprise of her midwife Patricia, the baby was wished to life by Madeline. However, this comes with a price. Grace was born with an appetite for blood, and this is the only thing that she accepts. Madeline tries her best to provide for Grace from buying her food, to killing herself at the end just to feed Grace.

This last part of the movie was what caught my attention. Though the plot of the film wasn’t typical of a horror movie, it was the reality of the intensity of the love of the mother to her child that scared me. Though we might usually see love in a good and harmless way, this film provided me with an objective lens to look at the relationships that happen around me. This supposedly harmless love of a mother to her child caused so much chaos, and this made me realize that the same thing might be happening within our families now. The emotions that ran throughout the movie made its effect on the audience that maybe some drama films would do more than horror ones. This hurtful love, so intense that it causes pain and suffering upon others might be occurring within out midst, but we also might be too invested in the situation to see it for ourselves.

Out and About (Cabin in the woods)

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CABIN IN THE WOODS

Compared to the previous film Triangle, the movie Cabin in The Woods introduced the usual stereotypical characters in a horror film. There were the victims, the spectators, and the “horror,” a.k.a. the monsters. The film started out with the usual teenager adventure horror film vibe, continued on to have the what-makes-this-movie-different-from-every-other-horror-film factors, and lastly, quite the magnified and very disappointing end.

From the beginning, there was no doubt that the film was indeed made to scare the viewers. However, with numerous films about teenage adventures gone bad, most scenes in the film were very predictable. Where the pretty girl is with the handsome boy and they get in trouble, the conservative gets her fair share of moments, and finally, the not-so-smart friend ends up being of great help to the survival of the group, or at least some of its members. Amidst this predictability quotient, the factor that sets this movie apart from others is the existence of the laboratory. This laboratory that to put it simply, guides the path of the subjects does not usually exist. Unlike the usual scary movies that unfold on their own, the laboratory in the film plays a huge part in how the story will continue. Although the scientists responsible for operating the facility assures the viewers that they are present to merely facilitate the procedures of the plan, it gave me a sense of fakeness. The presence of “controllers” made me feel that the fear the movie was trying to impart on the viewers was merely superficial, and that it wasn’t real emotions that I was feeling, but just a product of the imagination of these scientists. Another thing that I didn’t like about the movie was the lack of a proper bridge between the light and easy feeling it had at the beginning, and the heavy- end of the world- life and death situation it had at the end. I expected a trip gone bad, and I am fine with adjustments and surprises, but to just let all hell break loose by releasing all the monsters at the same time, killing the people responsible for the set-up, and in the end introduce a ritual that would save the entire planet, well that was just too much in five minutes for me to appreciate. I thought that a better transition, and at least 10 more lines from the movie to connect two widely different scenes could have helped the movie flow smoother.

After the movie, Cabin in The Woods would be an important movie to watch when studying horror film. It shows a more familiar side to horror with monsters, the reality of actual human beings aware of their surroundings and in control as seen initially with the lab technicians, and the great twist of impossibility with the entire plot of the movie. But besides the monsters and the deaths, what really struck me was the fact that a simple idea as a trip with friends could turn out to be something so tragic. Monsters and laboratories aside, this movie happened to give me a sense of realization of the mortality of men, especially when we are in an excited state of either happiness or the opposite. It is during times like these that we are most vulnerable, and this is what has caught my attention. Young as we are, wanting to experience the most out of life, we tend to be vulnerable when in the state we most desire, so we ask ourselves is it worth the risk? Again, the uncertainty is what haunts us in the end.