Posts Tagged ‘horror films’

“The Ruins”: I guess we didn’t need the sunblock.

April 5, 2008

The Ruins

Gooey. That’s how I felt after reading the book and it’s how I felt after watching the movie. This isn’t to say that The Ruins a novel by Scott Smith (writer of the brilliant A Simple Plan), who also wrote the screenplay of both films, is a simple splatter movie. On the contrary, it’s a dissection of the main characters (both figuratively and literally).

4 American early twenty somethings who have not a care in their lives and if they do they find a way to distract themselves rather than deal with it, find themselves in a dilemma in which they are forced to deal with something, that’s really quite horrific and unexpected, that pushes them all to the edge of their personalities and they end up doing more harm to each other than the incredibly deliberate something that they have to deal with in this film. You know they’re in for a bad time when “excavation site” and “not on the map” fall within a few sentences of each other. (more…)

“Saw IV”; oh, the horror of mediocrity

October 30, 2007

saw VI

If it had been a little worse I might have enjoyed Saw IV. As it stands there really isn’t much to be said that can already be guessed about this latest installment, but I think I can come up with a few things.

First of all, poor Donnie Wahlberg. He makes a cameo appearance that hopefully isn’t the doom of his career. This is the same thing that happened to Emilio Estevez after appearing briefly in Mighty Ducks 3, next thing you know an elevator pummeled down upon him. I like Donnie Wahlberg. I liked him in The Sixth Sense, Ransom, Boomtown…I like him as an actor. I even liked him in Saw II, which makes it sad for me to see him in Saw IV, however brief it is. The only other actor here that I like is Tobin Bell, the man who plays the villain and lead character Jigsaw. He has a calm face, one that commands attention from the other actors; his eyes pin point you and don’t let you go and maybe it’s his voice too, it crackles like static from the radio – hypnotic and unsettling. I couldn’t tell you if he’s a good actor or not, but he’s certainly good at what he does in the Saw movies. And his list of television credits dates back to 1988 when he appeared in The Equalizer, that show where a lot of other fine actors got there start…hello, is that Kevin Spacey!? The rest of the actors used here feel like straight to DVD actors or maybe it’s just that the movie doesn’t know how to and doesn’t care to show an actor act. Many of these actors were seen in Saw II and III. I saw part 2 and missed part 3 so story threads that carried over from the third didn’t affect me, but then again neither did elements that carried over from the second, so I guess you don’t really need to see either of them. But what happens in this film that cheapens the performances I have a feeling has less to do with the actors and more to do with the director and the editor.