Friday, January 06, 2006

Wolk Creekin' it up

So last night, me and the Brandon hit up some Wolf Creek action. I knew nothing about this film except for the fact that it's getting rave reviews for being scary as hell and that its style supposedly hearkens back to the slasher flicks of the 70's. I didn't even know it was an Australian film. But it was being touted for its scariness, so off we went.

Any time I watch a movie like Wolf Creek, I find myself wondering the same thing: if I, the Holmes, were to find myself in a situation resembling the leadup to the scary part of a horror movie, would I get my guard up sufficiently, ready to fend off any evil that comes my way? Or would I, like a soon-to-be hacked up teenager, reassure myself and those around me that everything's cool, we're gonna be okay, just chill out?

So afterwards, me and the B. compared notes:

Things we liked:

The style felt really natural, particularly the dialogue. You don't typically notice the dialogue or its delivery in a horror flick except for when it's just atrociously cheesy or downright ridiculous, but in this case it all felt very real and natural. No unnecessary attempts at being overly clever. It was as if the script consisted not of a series of lines, but of a series of scene descriptions giving the actors guidelines about what needed to happen in the scene.

The landscape - Holy shit, that was one of the scariest parts. The characters were stuck in the farthest reaches of the Australian outback, and they showed these amazing shots of barren nothing, not a human soul for miles. If you've ever driven through West Texas at night, you have some idea.

Much tension - As any good horror movie must do, this one succeeded with creating some incredibly tense scenes.

And finally, there were several bits of the unexpected. In this case, I'm not talking about unexpected in terms of just stuff happening that you don't see coming. I mean that they let events occur that you typically don't see in horror films. Horror is steeped in standards and conventions that its viewers are trained like attack dogs to recognize and respond to. It's always nice when those expectations are fucked with a bit.

Things we disliked:

In spite of the natural feel, there were several events that occurred that just seemed really out of place. Brandon picked up on more of these than I did, but I spotted a few. Most of these fell into the "stupid fucking character doesn't even know he's in a horror movie" category, where they do something so dumb you just want to be the jackass who yells at the screen.

At the end, things sort of petered out. I mean, the story had an ending, but it wasn't all that satisfying. I typically chalk this up to the fact that we've been trained to expect certain things out of the end of a story, particularly a movie....a big climax, a nice tie-up, tie-in, all the pieces tied together with a nice pretty bow. Still, it did just kind of....stop. Since the film was "based on actual events" (whatever that means) they may have been trying to stick to a certain set of facts, which maybe hampered them in the end. Dunno.

The preview for the remake of "When A Stranger Calls" - it looked really stupid, and they gave away a ton of great moments. I mean, sure, it's a remake and everybody knows what happens, but that doesn't mean you have to show us how those moments manifest themselves in this new version.

Things we disagreed on:

Mmm, I don't think we got around to discussing that before I realized it was all late and I should get home.

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