Sunday, October 30, 2011

My Halloween Movie of the Day: Day 30

39. Coraline - And here's the one movie of the three I did remember. While I would have loved to see it on the day of Halloween, it is nice having a surprise waiting for me, too. As I believe I've mentioned before, I love stop motion, and this is a great example of it. It's a beautiful movie, and a creepy one, right from the opening credits - honestly, it's quite possibly the darkest and scariest kids' movie I've ever seen, with the possible exception of Return to Oz. In fact, it might go a little overboard with how neglectful they make her real parents at the start, but that just makes the Other world more appealing, and if you look at the whole movie as being seen through Coraline's eyes, it makes perfect sense anyway. I love the book, and while I'm not a huge fan of the changes that were made, I can understand why they were made, since otherwise Coraline would have been stuck talking to herself for most of the movie, but I'd love to be able to see a version of the movie without Wyborne. I do fully approve of the Other Mother's transformation, though, because it's very creepy, and a great design, and the hand thing at the end is great, too. The garden is another good change, since it makes for a couple gorgeous sequences. And, really, the Other Wyborne does lead to some creepy moments, too, so he's not all bad.

Bonus: Eraserhead - I've been wanting to see this for a long time, ever since I started getting into David Lynch with Twin Peaks, once that was all released on DVDs that weren't incredibly hard to get a hold of. I haven't seen a ton of his movies, but I've seen a few anyway, mostly his newer stuff, and I've been curious to go back to his first full length picture. I wasn't sure if it would really qualify as horror, since it's hard to classify any of his movies as anything in particular, but I'd say this counts, if just for that baby, though there are some other unsettling moments spread throughout, more than in most of the other things I've seen by him. His style seems really suited to black and white, and it's a very good looking movie. And there's some stop motion here, too! Like most of his other movies, there's not a lot of plot here, but after watching most of Jan Svankmajer's short films, it's much easier to look past that. Also like with most of his other movies, I find just thinking of them as very strange nightmares keeps the lack of plot from really mattering, since you don't really expect it, but still keeps it interesting to watch. I don't know that I'll watch it again, at least not anytime soon, but I was glad to see it once, anyway.

Bonus: Tremors - This is another movie I've been wanting to see for a while. I happened to catch little bits and pieces of it on TV while on vacation ten or so years ago, and it looked interesting, and the concept of these monsters that can burrow through the ground and snatch you up from beneath was pretty scary, but I just never managed to watch the rest. I never realized it was actually a horror comedy, not just straight horror, nor did I realize it had Lex from Jurassic Park and Egg Shen from Big Trouble in Little China in it, looking incredibly young, since she was. I'd always assumed the monsters were basically just like the sandworms from Dune, and there's a definite similarity, but the real design is still surprising once you see a whole one, though it makes sense, comparing it to deep-water fish, and a little creepier since parts of it look a lot like snakes, which I'm not a fan of. Other than that bit of ickiness, and the situation itself, it isn't terribly scary, but there are a few tense moments, and the rest of the movie is fun enough (it almost feels like a game of The Floor Is Lava!, only with weird worm-things instead of lava) to make up for the shortage of thrills. It's like a classic monster movie, a B-movie that knows what it is and doesn't try to be anything more.

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