Thursday night - Wicker Man
We started off our weekend of horror on Thursday night with this Nick Cage thriller. He's a cop who's on leave after witnessing a horrible accident. He decided to take up an ex-lover's plea for help and goes to her uninviting island community where the women rule (OK, uninviting for him, nice for me). Except not really, as these women are nut cases and seem to engage in sacrifices to ensure a successful crop. Cage is worried that his ex's little girl (you can guess who her daddy is) is this year's sacrifice. All the women speak in strange riddles and none of the men speak (pretty sure they're missing tongues). It's driving Cage batty and leave me wondering why in the hell anyone would put up with it. I'd have gotten of the island and called the police and let them deal with the wackos. But since this is a guy who like to wear a sweater under his suite jacket, even when he's excavating a grave, I don't think he's that rational. In the end though, we learn who the real villains and sacrificees are. It was pretty easy for me to guess, so I'm sure you'll get it too. It's a real sad statement when I "get" the twist before they want you too as we all know how naive I can be (oh days of The Sixth Sense where are you?). On another note, I really liked Ellen Burstyn, who seems to just be getting weirder and weirder as she ages, and the chick who played Nick Cage's ex, Kate Beahan, has weird lips. Overall, a good way to kick off our weekend of horror.
Friday Night - The Thing
If you've never seen this classic John Carpenter movie, feel free to borrow it from Mr. H. In addition to it's great cast - Kurt Russell, Wilford Brimley, and Keith David to name a few - it's got lots of gory, gruesome, 1982 special effects. To sum up: alien lands in Antarctica (of all places) stay frozen until some Norwegian scientists thaw it out. It kills them and then moves on to the Americans. The rest of the movie is figuring out who has and hasn't been taken over by the alien and the alien systematically killing just about everyone in great, bloody scenes. The effects are a little dated, but the story line is good and there are lots of talking points for afterward including (1) why would this creature choose to be so ugly? (2) how on earth does it plan to fit back in that space ship (3) and did how did Wilford Brimley get his oatmeal while he was in Antarctica.
Saturday - The Reaping
You gotta love a movie that about the biblical plagues right? I mean, what's more fun than a unborn-again preacher and full time paranormal debunker, Hillary Swank, traveling to a little town in the bible belt where the river's turned red? Ah yes, we've got a river of blood, literally, dead fish and frogs falling from the sky. We've got cattle that are going crazy and dying, we've got boils and dead first sons. And in the end, we have a crazy bible belt town and crazy/innocent little girl at the center of it all. I'll admit, I was scared a good bit of this movie, which meant I watched it alternately through my fingers and with a blanket over my head. It was fun to figure out who really was the bad guys/girls were. Now, movies like this are what makes me happy I live in a big city where we know who the crazy folk are and if you're different than everyone else you're not chastised for it, you just move to a new neighborhood. However, like all movies with a biblical theme, there was even a lesson to be learned: never sleep with devil worshipers.
Sunday - The Plague*
What do you get when you cross Clive Barker, James Van Der Beek and zombie teenagers (wait, I thought JVDB was a zombie teenager) that's right, you get this convoluted horror flick that didn't even frighten me. OK, so here's the story. 10 years ago, all children aged eight and under fall into these weird comas. And by all, I mean all. Everywhere. Around the entire world. And new children, just born ones, they're in the coma too. So no more kids. Now, 10 years later, JVDB is out of jail for killing some guy in a barroom fight (what this has to do with the plot I'll never know) and he's coming back home to help his brother. That night (how's that for timing) all the kids wake up and start offing all of the adults. They're not really eating their brains, but putting their hands on their skulls and taking their souls (or something like that) by which they all learn what that person knows. So they have this big collective unconscious. Of course, they're fairly strong for being bed bound for 10 years. JVDB teams up with his ex-wife and some 19-year-olds (the last generation) to stop the kids. But they can't. Somehow JVDB realizes he has to give his soul willingly and it'll stop. So he does, and it does. Expect it doesn't. They're still there at the end and we're left wondering (1) why did the kids go in to the coma in the first place (2) why did they come out (3) what are they doing (4) was there a point to this movie.
* Unlike The Reaping, no mention of what exactly the plague is in this movie, plague of annoying, zombie teenagers I guess.