Let the Right One In, Let the Left One Out :)

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Let the Right One In is one horror movie that probably has one of the most adorable love stories I’ve seen if the circumstances were of a rather normal setting. With my first look at the movie, I just found it as a love story between a vampire and some kid. If it were just about that, it would have been a supremely adorable movie since the moments they had in the movie can be categorized in the Filipino definition of “kilig” moments during that time span two loves would have with each other. However, Let the Right One In, didn’t have that kind of “normal” setting. The movie’s setting for the two had so many restrictions that would categorize their predicament farther and farther from what we would like to call normal. This abnormality in their relationship is what makes their relationship incredibly terrifying and what makes the movie also as terrifying.

Numerous things that made it terrifying were not because of the boy but because of the vampire. In a normal relationship, there should be one male and one female. In this movie, the relationship was with two males. It’s not like it’s not usual in contemporary times but in this movie, it’s scary because the supposed girl in the relationship who is really a guy, looks like a real girl. Another thing in a normal relationship is that the age gap between the two involved should be close to each other, at most probably is ten years but that’s rather close to crossing the line. In this movie, the two supposedly are of the same age, which is 12; but that’s not the real case since the vampire has been 12 for a very long time as said in the movie which makes him a whole lot older that the real 12 year old boy.  It was seen that the vampire was really old in one part of the movie where a snapshot of her old self was seen; and the vampire already had wrinkles. An estimation of their age gap would probably exceed 40 years. That vampire could very well be the boy’s grandparent at that age and knowing that they have a certain kind of relationship is rather creepy and give one that certain scary tingly feeling along the spine.

Another creepy thing about the movie is the vampire’s “guardian”. This guardian is rather old and would makes sense that he could be the vampire’s first lover. If this is true, then the vampire indeed is very sinister for doing that to someone. If there were indeed lovers, why not turn him into a vampire as well so that they could live together forever. That would probably the best way to it if there were indeed lovers. However, through some reading on other reviews on the movie and it turns out, the vampire’s guardian is a pedophile. Because of this, the vampire still has that benefit of a doubt of being a good vampire.

At the end of the movie, the vampire and boy went off to unknown places to get away from the city to probably get away from trouble and set a new life for themselves. There are two things I could think of that may happen. If the vampire is indeed sinister, then the boy would grow old and probably become just a guardian to the girl like the first one was and this would make my first assumption that the first guardian was indeed the vampires previous lover; or the boy would turn into a vampire which would make a better predicament in my opinion and thus proving that the vampire isn’t as bad as she would be aside from being a killing machine.

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Pontypool Pontypool Pontypool Pontypool Pontypool

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Pontypool is probably the weirdest by far of any movie genre I have even experienced in the entire life. I know horror films tend to be weird and unexplainable sometimes but this particular horror film is unbelievably weird. I say unbelievably because never have I ever thought of or even had an idea of a word virus or whatever viral infection that was going on in the movie. Another in these kinds of movies is that I would usually identify how one person gets infected. For example, in some zombie movies, another person would become a zombie when bitten or die with the bite. In vampire movies, one becomes a vampire if one gets bit by a vampire. In werewolf movies, it’s also the same – with the bite. However, in Pontypool, even after watching the whole movie, I still couldn’t precisely understand how people get infected with the word virus. Is there a particular word for each person in the English language that’s infected? Do the words get infected because of other people or are they just infected? The more I look into it, the more I questions I get; and at the end, I was never really able to answer all of the questions in my head.

One more thing to look into about infection movies is that when there is an infection, there should be a cure. In most zombie movies, there really is no cure since the zombies are practically dead and those bitten are bound to die eventually. I don’t there’s a suitable cure for death. For vampire movies, vampires are supposed to be dead by they don’t look like it. In some vampire movies, vampires aren’t dead but are just infected and for that there can be some certain cures like burning themselves alive under the light of the sun but not to the point that they would die. For werewolves, their cure is shear willpower or a silver item that they should hold to prevent themselves from turning into werewolves. In Pontypool, the cure the movie presented for the infections the movie had was to not understand the true meaning of the infected word which I find to be rather difficult since it’s rather impossible to not understand what you have already understood. This unless you were wrong about the meaning of the word; but then, if your meaning of the word was already wrong, then you wouldn’t get infected in the first place since it was presented in the movie that you can only get infected when you understand the infected words.

At the end of the movie, Pontypool was bombed and supposedly, the entire place should have been obliterated. However, our two heroes from the radio station lived which I found weird.

Entirely, the movie was new, weird, mysterious, and puzzling. The movie was also very innovative in the mere fact of the idea of the word virus. The most horrifying thing about the movie is the fact that we as the audience can never really grasp what really happened in that place.

May be perfect.

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May is a very peculiar film. Like the movie Halloween, this movie also stars a very mentally unstable person. However, this time it’s a girl and her name, as the title hints, is May. In the movie, May was born with a lazy eye since she was little and had to deal with all sorts of unfavorable circumstances because of the unlucky bodily distortion. This most likely led to her very lonesome predicament as she grew up. Also, another thing to mention about the movie is May’s creepy doll which was given to her by her mom on her birthday when she was still young.

Initially, knowing that we were watching a horror movie, the creepy doll was a very good addition to the scenes since it was too creepy and that it fit quite perfectly as a horrific figure. In hindsight, the normal viewer would expect that this doll is going to be the source of all the horrific moments in the film and that there’s going to be some supernatural phenomenon that’s going to happen that would make the doll move on its own and starts killing people. Also, this doll is always inside its box ever since it was given; and all throughout the movie, it had scenes that it would seem that the doll want to escape. However, expectations were ruined as the doll was just a doll and that in climax of the movie; May was the one to be looked out for as she became the cold blooded killer normal viewers would have thought the doll would be.

Referring to Carol J. Clover’s “Her Body, Himself: Gender in the Slasher Film”, female characters in horror movies usually portray as a helpless frail character who gets to be the last one standing among all her companions in the movie; this presents that in some cases in horror films, it’s not always that female characters are feminine but can also be masculine. Also, in a sense, in some cases as well, there is this change of roles – from someone who is weak and fragile turns out to be stronger than everyone else. In this movie, it presents an extent to the statement. May, being the weak, inexperienced, and highly sensitive girl in the movie, changed into a strong willed, cold-hearted killer in order for her to get what she wants.

There were a lot to think about what was happening in the movie. One instance is the shattering of the glass box where the doll was kept in. Looking at it metaphorically, instead of just looking at what was happening to the doll in the glass, we look at what was happening to May when the glass was shattering. It is possible to say that the shattering glass was not the glass box shattering but May’s sanity. This is possible since the movie presented that the glass box was never really as shattered as it had presented in previous frames.

May presents not only the horror that can be seen in slasher films but also it presents the kind of horror a person may enter once that person goes insane due to unfavorable circumstances in his or her life.

Halloween alright.

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Halloween, for me, is the kind of slasher film that has an explanation. Compared to other slasher films that I have watched, Halloween explains how the killer became a killer. The movie presents how the killer became the killer he is from his childhood days. The killer, Michael Myers, as a kid had a very terrible environment around him. He has a drunken abusive father, a slutty bully for an older sister, and her mom is a prostitute although she’s the only one in their house who actually cares about Michael since Michael’s, younger sister is still a baby. In school, he was bullied by his schoolmates. Being already as unstable as he is mentally, this rather unfavorable environment is not really helping him revert back to being normal. Since he couldn’t fight back at the things he’s most angry with, he resorted to hurting smaller and weaker creatures than him, like small animals. This, as said in the movie, was a bad sign coming from a child. Not long after, he has started killing people, those who were not good to him; and this was the start of his rampage. He was sent to rehab but that never really amounted to anything.

Because of this, he was regarded as a psychopath who could not see any bit of light in life and only existed as an epitome of darkness and evil. This made me think, was he really that because he was born that way or was it because of his surroundings? Are psychopaths born or are they the product of societal pressures or it could be both? In this movie, it seems more like the second theory would apply more. If so, then his acts were conscious acts, chosen to his liking. So was he really just evil? But if so, why didn’t he kill his sister in the end when we thought that he was just rampaging from one place to another? Then again, is there really a point to all this? He still did kill all those people. The bottom line is that he killed people and that’s bad and doing bad things makes a person bad.

Looking at another topic, the film was definitely a horror film although it hit my rather differently from the movies that were previously watched in class. The movie made a sure hit on my principles regarding morality and what’s good or bad as seen in the previously written. Looking at David G. Hartwell’s discussion on his three streams of horror, this falls to moral allegory where good and bad is being presented. A fight between which is good or bad. However in this movie, the bad, pertaining to what is morally acceptable, has won the battle since even the one who the movie has presented as the most good ended up doing something what the most bad, the killer, did – kill.

Lastly, my question to myself for all the horror films that I have watched, did the movie scare me? My answer to myself to this question for this movie is no. This is probably because I knew that the evil in the movie is something I can actually fight and defeat.

Inn keeping ghosts

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For me, what makes a horror movie all the more horrifying is not only because of the really scary ghosts or monsters, but also because of the rather stupid protagonists. The Innkeepers is one of those movies that I have watched that probably has one of the most stupid protagonists.

Watching the movie, aside from getting as horrified as I could have possibly imagine myself to be, I was also very frustrated. I was not frustrated because the movie was bad. I was frustrated about the main character in the movie. I found the main character utterly stupid for the things that she had done in the movie. Yes, she was brave in a way that she had the guts to be alone in empty rooms and document probable ghost sightings. However, in my opinion, there is an extremely small gap between bravery and stupidity. She was brave enough to be able to face what was there but she was also blindingly stupid to not have seen what was coming for her.

In class, there was a discussion about looking for something. In this movie, the main character was looking for a supposedly ghost that was beyond all help and that she would just get in trouble if she had gone into it. Of course, our very heroic brave protagonist, knowing all this, still had the courage to get involved in it; and as we would expect, lead to her own demise.

If one would look a little more into this, one can find that there can be a lesson from this movie. It’s good to be able to face your fears to get what you want; but at least have the common sense to know whether what you’re getting into would lead you something good or bad and whether what you want is worth the risk. The main character in them movie definitely didn’t have this common sense.

Another point I would want to point out on how the main character is stupid for her own good is that she also doesn’t know how to listen and obey to those who are a little more sensible than she is. The first time this is seen in the movie is when the retired actress, who has become a spirit medium after retiring from her acting career, gave her an advice not to meddle with whatever that was in the basement. Another time when this act of foolishness from the main character is during the last part of the movie where she was told to just stay put in the lobby and wait for her guy friend to come back. Even that simple task, she still fails to accomplish it.

Rec-It-Zombie 2

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Since Rec 2 is the sequel of Rec, one can’t help but compare or contrast the two from each other; so, I might as well do the comparing and contrasting.

In terms of fear factor, the two definitely have the same type of scaring method – startling and with gory images. However, the intensity of the level of scariness is a little different. From Rec 2, I found myself less scared of the movie than that of Rec. It might be because I have more experience with horror movies when I was watching Rec 2 but what I thought was the main factor why I found Rec 2 less scary than Rec is because in Rec 2, I already knew what was going on with the movie – that there were aggressive man-eating “sick” people inside the building. This I rather a big factor since Rec 2, in a way lost its surprise factor on the audience, unlike in Rec where everything was all unknown and mysterious. If I were to watch Rec 2 without watching Rec beforehand, it might have had a bigger impact on my movie experience since it did have more vivid images of what the “sick” people looked like.

What’s special about Rec 2 though is that it really did continue the story of Rec and the connections from Rec 2 and Rec is really well-made. Since Rec already revealed that there are “sick” people inside and that what they had was very contagious, Rec 2 was the answer two all the questions that may have took place in Rec. The very big revelation here was the type of “sickness” the people inside the building had and what caused it. Unlike other zombie movies, these zombies in Rec aren’t those that are caused by a virus that invades your body and makes you all cannibal-like but rather, it is a virus that makes your body an instrument to a certain kind of demon. Looking at this in a cultural kind of view, the movie is Spanish and most Spaniards are Christians. Having demons and possessed people as enemies in the movie and having a priest rather than a professional scientist lead the investigation of this certain virus says a lot of how their culture affects what kind of movies they would make. This can also be seen in horror movies made in the Philippines.

Moving back to Rec 2, it is a rather enjoyable horror film since it gives its audience that horror hype one horror film fan would want from the horror films he’s watching. Creepy disturbing images, loud pulsing sounds that come out of nowhere, jumping monsters that stare you down and comes at you unexpectedly, these are things that, in my preference, makes a horror movie fun to watch. Moreover, since the paper started off with comparing and contrasting Rec and Rec 2, might as well end it that way with choosing which of the two is a better horror film. Based on my experiences, Rec is better for various reasons.

Ghosts have Voices

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When watching movies, there those really that you’d like and don’t like. This particular movie, The Voice, is one of those that I don’t like. I don’t like it not because I am not really a fan of horror films but because it’s that horrible as a horror film. I like the way horror films scare me till I jump off my seat or that it gives me chills down my spine because of the intensity of the images being portrayed in most horror films that I watch. However, this particular film, The Voice, it definitely didn’t reach up to what I would’ve liked from it. The fact that it was an Asian horror film added to its negativity to my preferences since I particularly have very good experiences with Asian horror films – good in terms of the movie giving me my sense of a likable horror film.

If I were to describe my horror movie experience with this movie, in a term, I would say it was bitin. The movie is bitin in a way that it gave me that hyped up feeling you get when you know something is going to happen that would scare you off your feet but then the movie didn’t really did that. It’s similar to that feeling when you’re eating something and it never really satisfy your hunger. This made me find the movie rather dragging. While trying to find that startle or that hit from a horror movie I was looking for, the movie didn’t give it; so, I ended up looking for it all throughout the movie which made me appreciate the movie even less.

If there was something that I liked about the movie is that it had a very good mystery to it. Mysteries like “who killed who,” “why was she killed,” “how did they die,” and “what’s going to happen next?” In fairness to the movie, unlike other movies that I’ve watched, The Voice, wasn’t that easy to predict. In other movies, I would already have guess from the start who dies and who lives or who might the culprit might be; but, for this movie, it was great, at least for my preference, that I wasn’t able to predict that the main character was actually the culprit or the source of all that was going on in the movie; as are all the other surprises the movie had to offer for its audience. Still, because of this, the movie left me with a lot of question left unanswered after the movie. However, that’s what’s good about mystery movies, it never stops being mysterious in its own way.

In the end, the movie was a bad horror movie, but rather a good mystery movie. Still, this is just my opinion on the movie and it just so happens that it was like that as how I saw it based on my own preferences of how categorize movie genres. The movie did disappoint me quite a bit probably because I had high expectations for it of being as powerfully scary as The Grudge movie.