Creepy Cinema: Grab Bag | Week Two

1. Candyman - 1992
When I was a kid, I walked in on my brother’s watching Candyman. It was a scene where he was brutally killing someone. Ever since then, I promised myself I would never subject myself to that horror. I was traumatized for life. Cut to this year and somehow it ended up on the list. I have to admit, I hesitated the night we were going to watch it. My old childhood fear took over and I sat with a blanket on my head and hands over my ears. As the story progressed, the blanket eventually came off and my hands fell to my lap. In the end, Candyman surprised me. It was entertaining, and I really enjoyed it. The fact that it was set in Chicago was both exciting and unnerving. The film mostly takes place in Cabrini Green, an infamous housing project that was well known for being rife with gang activity, rape, murders and other unspeakable horrors. It was definitely the perfect setting for a film like this. The movie was creepy as hell, but the story was both intriguing and interesting, which is all I can ask for a Creepy Cinema film.  
2. Puppet Master - 1989
In addition to being terrified of anything that goes bump in the night, I’m especially scared of puppets or dolls. There is something unnatural about them that makes me feel uneasy. So for these obvious reasons, I wasn’t eager to watch Puppet Master. Apparently I wanted to torture myself this year and watch things that terrified me as a child. Unfortunately, this film wasn’t worth the wait like Candyman, which was sad for me. I really thought it would deliver but instead it fell flat. The film opens in the 30’s with a stunning hotel set, however 20 minutes later, we jump ahead to the 80’s, where it all goes downhill. The acting was stilted and much of the story was convoluted. Also, it took forever for the puppets to make their reappearance from the 1930’s opening scene. I realized that in the end, I just wanted to see some puppets kill people, and boy, did they kill people. Those puppets were real freaky, ranging from a pale faced Nazi puppet with blades for hands to a creepy leech girl. Overall, I was really disappointed because the story had so much potential but the execution caused the entire movie to fall flat. 

3. The Awakening - 2011
I was really excited that it this film was on the list, and was looking forward to watch this film. It has everything that I adore, the 20’s, creepy ghost boys, an old mystery, the English countryside and amazing vintage fashion. The Awakening reminded me of a film that we watched a few year’s back, The Woman in Black. The set design, costumes and cinematography are incredible and absolutely stunning, which was the part I enjoyed the most. The film was well cast with Rebecca Hall as the lead. Her performance was believable and sympathetic. It also stars a young Bran Stark, and all I wanted to to do was pinch his cute little face. I liked The Awakening, however it moved quite slowly. I think if they trimmed down some of the fat, it could’ve been virtually flawless. Like Puppet Master, it had so much potential to be everything I wanted, but in the end it just left me unsatisfied.  

4. The Brood - 1979
This movie is really freaking weird, like ridiculously weird. I kept asking Markus to describe the premise before we watched it and he kept saying it was hard to describe and that if he did it would ruin the movie. After watching The Brood, I have to agree. It’s a typical David Cronenberg movie and really out there. I have to confess, after doing Creepy Cinema for four years, I’ve learned something about myself: I’m not a big fan of 70’s horror films. I’m not saying that all films from the 70’s are terrible, there are exceptions like Alien and Jaws. However the pacing of a lot of the films from this era seem too slow, consisting of scenes where not much of anything is happening. It makes it hard to focus, and I find that I’m always slightly confused. This was the case for The Brood. The plot itself was interesting, and I really wanted to know what the mystery was behind all the deaths and the main characters’ marriage, but man did it drag. I kept saying over and over, “get to the point!” Visually, I liked the look and feel, but it wasn’t enough to make it a great movie. Also, there are genuine moments where I was like,”Whuuuuu?” Actually, the whole movie was one long “Whuuuuu?” moment for me. So this one definitely was not my favorite.