Let the Right One In

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I have never been a big fan of the combination of vampires and romance after seeing Twilight. Because of Twilight, I immediately think that a film containing vampires and relationships would be something very cheesy and romantic. Upon learning that we would be watching the film “Let the Right One In”, a film that involves vampires and love, I was a bit disappointed as I thought that it would be something similar to Twilight. The film was quite different, as still retained the idea that vampires drink human blood. There were scenes showing Eli and Hakan hunting for human victims. Vampires here were portrayed as something scary, as creatures that kill other people, as opposed to Vampires in Twilight who are portrayed as creatures who do not want to harm other people. Aside from this, I also found it interesting how Eli is shown to be both caring and ruthless at the same time. It shows that these bloodthirsty creatures are still capable of affection. At the start of the film, we are shown how Oskar is regularly bullied by his classmates. He can do nothing against them except for plotting his revenge against them. Oskar meets Eli, and after a while, the two form a relationship. In this film, the monster and a human being have a relationship wherein they work together rather than fight each other. They were shown to save each other from harm or even death. When Oskar was being drowned in the pool, Eli killed the bullies. When Lacke was about to kill Eli, Oskar intervened and as a results wakes Eli up. Because of this, Eli was able to kill Lacke. In general, I really liked the film since it is a good romantic horror film. It was nothing like Twilight, which just removed the entire horror factor from vampires. “Let the Right One In” maintained the common notion of the vampire to be bloodthirsty killers while at the same time, gives the vampires a more humane nature, which is to love. It changed my perception on films containing vampires and romance. In this film, there was a scene that I particularly did not understand. It was the scene wherein Eli was shown to have a scar in her genital area. In the earlier part of the film, Eli mentions that she is not a girl. After seeing that scene, I was wondering if Eli was actually a boy who was castrated. In their relationship, Eli was actually the one who acted like the male. She was the one who was strong and dominant. Oskar acted as if he was the female since he was the one who needed protection. He was shown to be weak and powerless against other people.

 

Bad Words

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Pontypool was perhaps the most confusing film that we had ever watched in class. It had one hell of a twist; one that would never had entered my mind. The film starts off Grant driving through a blizzard. A woman suddenly taps on his window and says words repeatedly. At this moment, I was already thinking that this could be a very scary and exciting film. The entire film takes place in what looks like a radio station. They only find out about the events happening outside through phone calls. Ken, a reporter for the station, reports about a riot that is happening at the office of Dr. Mendez. He mentions that there is total chaos and that people are dying. His report appears to be referring to some sort of zombie apocalypse. Ken gets cut off but is able to call back a short while after. Ken reports that there is something odd about the infected people; that they are mumbling words repeatedly. I thought that it was a great idea to have the main characters locked up in a radio station, without any knowledge on what was actually happening outside. The viewers were also limited to what the main characters knew. The film became very interesting to me since the events outside remained a mystery, thus sparking my curiosity. A few moments later, Dr. Mendez appears inside the radio station. He notices that Laurel-Ann is exhibiting the symptoms of infection which leads them to lock themselves in the booth. At this point, I was already on the edge of my seat since it seemed to me that the exciting scenes were coming up next. I thought that they would learn that the people have been infected and that their only chance of survival is to escape from the town. I was really shocked when the twist was revealed; that the English words are infected. From this point up to the end of the film, I became absolutely confused. I did not know how words can infect people. I did not know why only English words are infected. I did not know why speaking in another language could save you from the infection. Towards the end, Sydney suddenly appears to exhibit the symptoms of infections. She begins to say the word “kill” over and over again. For some weird reason, Grant was able to cure her by making her say “kill is kiss”. I did not really understand how associating the infected word with something else could cure a person. Grant, as an attempt to cure other people, begins saying tons of English words. I did not understand why Grant, who kept on speaking in English, remained uninfected. After the credits, Grant and Sydney were shown talking about something that made no sense at all. The film left me thinking in my head, “What was that? What just happened?” I did not really know what it meant and what it was for. I could not say that I enjoyed the film since I did not really understand it. The beginning, to me, was brilliant since the thought having no knowledge of the chaos outside really kept me hooked up on the film. The ending, on the other hand, was just too confusing for me to enjoy.

The Perfect Friend

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The film “May” revolves around the story of a lonely woman who is in search of a perfect friend. The story begins by introducing to us a little girl who did not have friends due to her lazy eye. Her mother made her a doll and says to her that if she could not find a friend, then she should make one. The doll, to me, was really creepy. Throughout the entire film, I thought that the doll would move and start killing people who refuses to be May’s friend. The film was pretty funny at the beginning. May is shown to be an awkward person and a stalker. The scene wherein she crosses the road just to pass by Adam is an example of how her awkwardness made the film a bit funny. The film progression also appeared to be very slow. I thought that at the scene wherein she bites Adam on the lips after watching an odd film would signify the beginning of the slaughter. As it turns out, she just goes home and shouts at her doll. She also soon discovers that Polly was with another girl, which enrages her. She kills the cat, but still, she is not yet killing people. Later on, she brings her doll Suzy to the school for blind children. The children try to touch the doll, resulting to the doll falling down on the floor. At that moment, I thought that she would go berserk and kill all the children since they broke the doll, but she just returns home and cries. She later on meets Blank who would eventually call her a freak after discovering the dead cat in May’s freezer. This time, May finally snaps and kills Blank. She also says that no one is perfect and that people only have some perfect parts. At this point, she has decided to create her own perfect friend using only perfect parts from other people. The way she kills people seemed very straightforward. She walks up to a person’s house, tells the person that they have a nice body part, and then stabs the person without any struggle. There were no surprises, meaning that there weren’t really any scary moments in the film. May, now with all the body parts she wants, creates Amy. The doll looked really creepy since it was made up of stitched up body parts. For some reason, May begins to cry and says that the Amy can’t see her. She takes her right eye and puts it on Amy. The scene was very disturbing since I am not a big fan of scenes involving the eye. Up to this point, the film appeared to me as something pretty realistic; a psychologically unstable person suddenly going on a rampage after being pushed to the limit. At the end of the film, Amy suddenly moves and touches May. This scene, to me, was unnecessary. I did not know what it meant and what the purpose is. Overall, I did not like the film but I did not hate it either. The main reason why I did not like it is that it did not have the “on the edge of your seat” factor. It did not appear to be really scary but the story was interesting enough.

Halloween

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In most slasher films that I was able to watch, a killer simply pops out of nowhere and starts killing people. We are given very little knowledge of the killer’s past which is, to me, sometimes disappointing. The viewers are oftentimes left clueless as to why the killer kills people. We do not know if it is just for fun, or if it is for revenge, or for any other reason. In the film “Halloween”, we are first shown how Michael Myers, a seemingly harmless kid, evolve into a ruthless killing machine. In my opinion, being able to see the past of Michael Myers is a good addition to the film as it answers most of my questions on how the monster was created. At the beginning of the film, we are already able to see that Michael has violent tendencies when he kills his pet rats. Adding to this tendency is perfect environment for the creation of a monster; being always bullied or neglected by the people around him. In his young age, Michael already murdered his entire family except for his mother and his little sister leading him to be brought to a mental hospital. Years after entering the mental hospital, he is shown to be big and literally monstrous. As he escapes the hospital, he kills everyone in his path. The story then shifts to three teenage girls who would eventually fall victim to Michael. This shift, to me, was a bit sudden and rough, appearing as if the film was made up of two separate films. I, despite liking the fact that we were shown Michael’s past, thought that discussing his past took quite some time. Due to this, I felt a bit bored at the first half of the film. In the second half, the movie became your typical slasher film where a masked killer walks around and kills everyone in town. It also followed the stereotypical slasher film in which a female protagonist would survive against all odds in the end. Watching the film gave a similar feeling with watching other slasher films such as Friday the 13th and Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Halloween, Friday the 13th and Texas Chainsaw Massacre all had masked killers walking around all killing everyone in sight. This is probably the reason why I had a neutral feeling on the film. The film was pretty exciting at times, however, as I was watching it, I kept saying to myself that I know where these scenes are headed. It is the fact that I have already seen the story line of Halloween in other films that I have watched that made me feel as if the film is just slightly modified copy of other slasher films. As mentioned earlier, the only think that I appreciated from this film is that they presented the monster’s past. By seeing him as a child at first, we are able to get the idea that the monster is just a human being rather than a supernatural one.

The Innkeepers

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After watching the film, “The Innkeepers”, I was reminded of the reason why I rarely watch horror films. Some of the previous films shown in class were actually scary. These films had numerous scenes that really terrified me; however the feeling of fear only lasted for a few seconds. It was very different when we watched “The Innkeepers” in the sense that the feeling of fear lasted longer. At the beginning of the film, Luke asked Claire to watch a video of a haunting which in reality was just a prank. The camera focused on the laptop screen and all of a sudden, a creepy face pops out. The scene was very surprising but it was not scary at all. A few scenes later, Claire hears a weird sound. As she was looking for the source of the sound, she approaches a room and then Luke suddenly speaks out of nowhere. The scene, like the first one mentioned, was also surprising but not in any way scary. Later on, as Claire was taking the trash out, she hears a banging sound from the hotel’s basement. She opens the door and there was a moment of silence. A bird suddenly flies out which was once again very surprising. To me, the start of the film, having a lot of “fake” scares, was very effective since it allows the really scary scenes to catch us off-guard. Following this scene, Claire was shown recording EVPs in different locations in the hotel. She hears the piano playing and as she approaches it, the camera zooms in to the piano and we hear a sound as if someone banged the piano. After this scene, the film started to get really scary and as I mentioned earlier, it gave of a feeling of fear and horror that sticks with you for quite some time. There were two scenes that were especially scary to me. First was the scene wherein the blanket rises and the ghost of Madeline O’Malley appears underneath it. Second was the scene in which the old man appears behind Claire as she is going down the basement. These two scenes made me feel absolutely horrified to the point that I was still haunting me at night. I found it hard to get out of my room at night because I was afraid that there might be someone or something behind me. I did not want to look at mirrors because I feared that I might see someone behind me. I was scared of opening my eyes when I was already in bed because someone might suddenly appear beside me. After watching the film, I was reminded that the reason why I do not watch horror films often was that it haunts me at night. The film, although being absolutely scary, was quite boring majority of the time. The exciting part only starts at around the last 30 minutes of the film. Prior to that, the film was long and dragging. The plot was very predictable and it did not have a good twist. Overall, I liked the film since towards the end, it becomes really fun and scary to watch.

 

REC 2

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Rec 2 is the immediate continuation of the events that transpired in Rec. One group of soldiers was given a mission to escort a health inspector inside the building. Similar to the first movie, Rec 2 is filmed to give an impression that is a raw footage of an actual event. The major difference is that Rec 2 provides two footages from different groups of people as opposed to Rec wherein the only footage that we see is that of the TV crew. Also, Rec 2 adds a religious perspective to the situation as it explains that there is a demon responsible for the infections. A group of soldiers were tasked to escort a health inspector as he enters the building. After being attacked by the zombies, they find out that the health inspector is actually a priest send by the Vatican to obtain the blood sample of the Medeiros. They proceed to the penthouse and encounter little zombies that looked like children. This scene was quite surprising since the little zombies jumped out of nowhere. A soldier then searches the air ducts and finds a sample of the Medeiros girl’s blood. As he is on his way back down, a group of little zombies suddenly chase after him. Just like the earlier scene, it was quite surprising since they just appear out of nowhere. To test if the blood is the real one, the priest makes some sort of prayer at puts the cross on a small sample of blood. Unfortunately, the rest of the blood is dropped by a soldier since it also caught fire. Losing the only blood sample, the priest tells them that they would be getting blood from the Medeiros girl herself. This first part of the film had some surprising moments; however, it failed to really scare me since the group was not helpless at all. The soldiers had guns meaning that they could just shoot down the zombies. Also, the priest knew a lot about the infection and he looked like he knew what to do. For the next part of the film, we see things from the perspective of civilians. Three teenagers follow the firefighter into the building and record the events. They encounter some of the infected and eventually stumble upon the group of soldiers. The perspective of the teenagers was a little bit scarier since we are able to see them panic from all the chaos happening in the building. As we all know, Rec ended with a scene wherein the TV reporter, the last living person in the building, was dragged and presumably killed by the Medeiros Girl. The group finds her alive with a camera which they would eventually use. One of the teenagers was bitten and ends up as a zombie. He is tied down and questioned by the priest. To my surprise, he suddenly answers the priest with a weird voice. Honestly, I did not like this part since it seemed as if the zombie film suddenly turned to a demonic possession film. They proceed to the penthouse once again and they turn off all the lights. They begin using the night vision, which I found to be really effective in Rec. True enough, as they encounter the Medeiros girl in the dark with only the night vision; I was terrified since we are given limited sight of the situation. In the end, the reporter kills the priest and it is revealed that she was also possessed/ infected. Overall, I found Rec 2 quite enjoyable to watch, but not as enjoyable as the first film. It was a bit disappointing since it was not as scary as the first film.

Voice

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When it comes to horror films, there is nothing that I fear more than Asian horror films. I was able to watch some parts of numerous Japanese horror films in the past and these led me to fear Asian horror films in general. For some reason, I find these horror films absolutely terrifying to the point that I am unable to finish the film. Upon learning that we would be watching the film “Voice”, a Korean horror film, I felt uneasy at first since I did not know if it would be similar to Japanese horror films; however, despite the uneasy feeling, I was still quite interested in watching the film since I was curious of the Korean style of making horror films. “Voice” started with a student practicing singing a certain song. I found this song very creepy for some reason that I can’t explain. After a short while, her friend approaches and invites her to go home. She refuses to leave school as she wanted to practice even more. As she is left alone in school, she begins hearing a sound coming out of somewhere. She tries to look for the source of the sound and shortly after, her throat is cut by a piece of paper. She then wakes up in the room where she was practicing. Thinking that it was just a nightmare, she goes out of the room and continues with her daily school life. She soon discovers that she has become a ghost and only her best friend is able to hear her. Her friend eventually discovers that there was something wrong with the memories of the main character, which eventually creates a conflict between the two of them. The start of the film, to me, was really good. It was scary and creepy but unlike the Japanese horror films that I was barely able to watch, I actually wanted to watch and finish the film. Despite having scary scenes involving school corridors at night, which I am absolutely terrified of, the film was able to rouse my curiosity. I wanted to know who killed her, where the singing came from, what the ghost wanted from her, what the real story was, and many more. As the story progressed, the other ghost was revealed to be a student who had a similar voice as the main character. Starting from this point, I found the film to be less interesting mainly because it has become very confusing. When it was shown that the main character was the cause of the death of her mother and the teacher, I did not know if the ghost possessed her or if it was actually her. The scene wherein she was speaking with herself added to the confusion. I was already lost in the story and I was never able to catch up. The confusion may be due to the language of the film being Korean. Instead of being able to focus on the story, I was paying full attention to reading the subtitles. Overall, I had a mixed feeling on the film. At the beginning, I really liked the movie since it was scary and interesting at the same time. Towards the end, my fear and interest in the film was overcome by confusion.