Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Review - ODD THOMAS (2013)

A short-order cook who has the ability to communicate with the dead and has clairvoyant powers, seeks to thwart tragedy as dark forces gather in his hometown...

Its been a hearty long while since I read the first of Dean Koontz's beloved series of books about the titular Odd, a simple, small-town guy who works as a fry-cook, lives humbly, and also happens to see dead people and a whole lot more besides.

My memory of the novel is a strong one. I remember it being both a lighthearted supernatural jaunt and also a surprisingly affecting one. So much so, that I distinctly recall shedding tears at the books close. the details of the plot are far less hi-def in my imagination than the emotional resonance the book had with me, so it'll be up to far better, less frazzled men than me to compare and contrast between the original literary piece and this troubled adaptation. Instead, I'll review this curious genre-masher on its own merits.

I say 'troubled' as its no secret that ODD THOMAS has become embroiled in some sort of legal limbo and may never actually see a cinematic release. The details are hazy at present as to by Stephen Sommers, (THE MUMMY), latest offering has been held at arms length from the public, but it sure as hell isn't down to quality control. This is a very enjoyable, fast paced and eminently lovable work. 

The first big surprise is that its director, Sommers, isn't exactly known for the integrity of his cinematic output. His films are often fun, but he seems a strange choice to adapt a beloved work of literature. Amazingly, he does wonders here, creating an off-kilter, warm and welcoming reality in which the characters of the novel are given free reign to run amok, and what characters they are...

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Review - Haunter (2013)

HAUNTER is a strange little enigma of a film...

Starring young Abigail Breslin, ( ZOMBIELAND), its the tale of a deceased young lady who attempts to reach out to the mortal realm in a bid to save the owners of the home she haunts from suffering a similar fate as her own.

Its a film that deems to transcend its genre trapping by way of being a thoughtful, and thought-provoking puzzle-piece, and at the same time, aims to be a universally accessible ghost story/mystery, (boasting a PG13 certificate, no less), that anyone can settle into with relative ease.

 It saddens me to say, as a fan of Vincent Natali's previous works, (CUBE, GINGER SNAPS), that HAUNTER fails almost completely at the former and falls victim of the weakness' inherent in the latter.

Guest Editorial - Bad Places to Hide When Killers Come Home - Adrian Rawlings

Bad Places to Hide When Killers Come Home

Beyond the nightmarish yesteryears of werewolf transformations and hypnotic vampires is the true horror – the kind that finds its way into our homes. They say that home is where the heart is – it's where we feel safest from all the horrors of the outside world, but it's also where we're the most vulnerable. And the most effective horror movies demonstrate this. The horror-themed TV shows and movies of today know just how to hit us where we live, showing us that nowhere is safe when death comes knocking. Even Alfred Hitchcock himself once said "TV has brought murder back into the home where it belongs."

Indeed, truer words were never spoken regarding the effectiveness of horror on the home front, but have you ever wondered just what you'd do in such a (hopefully) hypothetical situation? Have you ever watched Jason or Leatherface chasing down their prey and scoffed at how poorly the victims hid themselves? We can learn a lot from these movies and, below, are some hiding places you should avoid if a killer ever decides to make a house call: