Creepy Cinema: Grab Bag | Week Four

I can't believe that this is the final week of Creepy Cinema! I feel like it was only yesterday that I watched Tales from the Darkside. I hope that you enjoyed all my reviews and look forward to doing this again next year! 

1. What We Do in the Shadows - 2014
For a while now, Markus and I have heard nothing but great things about this vampire mockumentary from New Zealand. When I heard that Jemaine Clement wrote and directed the film with his co-star Taika Waititi, I knew we had to watch it. We’re huge fans of Flight of the Conchords mainly because Clement is a comedic genius. The film follows four vampires that share a flat in Wellington, New Zealand. They range in age and have very different ways of doing things, but they’re best friends. Since it’s a mockumentary, we get to see all aspects of their lives and it’s fun to see all their weird quirks, insecurities, and shortcomings get dragged into the light. It was a refreshing take on the vampire genre and awesome to see something different. I also loved seeing the mini-reunion with Jemaine and Murray, from Flight of the Conchords. If Brett showed up, it would’ve been even better!

2. Harbinger Down - 2015
Every Creepy Cinema, there is one movie that Markus and I look forward to, but then ultimately disappoints us. Markus is a huge fan of John Carpenter’s The Thing because of its brilliant use of practical effects and intense storyline. In 2010 StudioADI, the creators of Harbinger Down, were hired by Universal Studios to do the practical effects for a The Thing prequel. Once the film was finished, the post-production department covered all of Studio ADI’s practical effects with CGI enhancements, which virtually replaced all of ADI’s hard work. Later they released a YouTube video that sparked a Kickstarter campaign, which helped fund Harbinger Down. Sadly, the most interesting part of the film is the backstory of it’s production. The plot was clumsy, the direction wasn’t strong, and the acting is so stilted that it makes watching the movie unbearable. There were moments that should make you emotional and sympathetic to the antagonists, but they just end up being laughable and make you want the movie to end. I will say the practical effects are incredible and well executed, but it’s not enough to hold up the entire movie.

3. White Zombie - 1932
It’s been awhile since I’ve seen a Bela Lugosi film, I think the last was Plan 9 from Outer Space from a previous Creepy Cinema. I’m a huge fan of classic movies and always enjoy watching those from the horror genre. White Zombie is a 1930’s voodoo zombie film set in Haiti. I found the premise actually quite intriguing and thought the ambience only added to the eeriness of the film. The film almost puts you in a dreamlike state, much like that of a zombie. The pacing is very slow and there isn't much action, so I did start to lose interest. However as usual when Lugosi would enters the scene, it became much more interesting and I really perked up. White Zombie was good, but it wasn’t great and I probably wouldn’t watch it again.

4. A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night - 2014
Of all the films this year, this film surprised me the most. I had a feeling which films I would and wouldn’t like, but A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night was a bit of a revelation. I never heard of it before, but Markus watched it a while ago and raved about it. I was eager to watch what has been described as, “the first Iranian vampire Western.” The film is set in a small Iranian town named “Bad City” that follows the goings on of a lonely vampire. There is very little dialogue, thus causing the actors to emote everything. The leads, Sheila Vand and Arash Marandi, are fantastic and really make you feel everything their characters are going through.  I’ve never seen anything like this movie and I loved it. It’s like watching an old movie, but with modern sensibilities and is absolutely so beautiful in its simplicity.