Uncluded - "Hokey Fright"
As soon as something is described to me as "quirky" I'm out...I can't hang. I immediately picture the most ironic of hipsters praising their latest bootleg of Tuvan throat singing while wearing some obnoxious pastel t-shirt announcing to the world that they "run on puppy power...quirky indeed
This record will probably be described as quirky by the blogosphere but please friends, do NOT let that turn you off.
This is probably the most lyrically well-crafted album to grace my ears so far this year. Kimya Dawson's gentle, quasi-innocent words dance around the gruff verbal maypole that Aesop Rock has firmly planted into a musical landscape that could easily be straight from the pages of the brothers Grimm.
Humor twirls with sadness, introspection bows to sharp observation, minutea has meaning...this record is deeper than it appears yet it can easily be put on as background music to make heads bob.
TLDR? - Magic words from Kimya Dawson and Aesop Rock.
We're counting down my favorite horror movies of all time as we edge closer and closer to madness Halloween.
I'm grouping films 11, 10, & 9 all in one post today. It's Monday and I drank a lot over the weekend. So there. Interestingly enough, they all fall into the "found footage category" of horror filmmaking that seems to be on it's way out as the scary style of cinema de jeur.
#11 - The Blair Witch Project
Love it or hate it, TBW made an indelible mark on horror cinema when it was unleashed in '99. For me, "found footage" wasn't that new of an idea as I had been exposed to Man Bites Dog and Cannibal Holocaust (both are films that featured the FF conciet but relied more on shock and gore than great screenwriting to move the story along). There was something different about TBWP, though - the brilliant use of sound and shot framing to create an unpenetrable blanket of tension, and the relatable characters made for a damn scary ride.
I still have friends that have never revisited this movie due to it shaking them to the ground that much.
Seriously, when has a movie whose money shot featured a guy taking a time out caused so many screams?!??
Fun Fact #1 - It took a mere 8 days to shoot TBWP.
#10 - Quarantine
This second foray into the Found Footage genre of filmmaking today is an almost carbon copy of a Spanish film released only a year prior.
This movie revolves around a group of emergency personnel, a group of tenets inside an old apartment building, and a reporter. A zombie rabies outbreak occurs within the walls of the apartment complex and the reporter is rolling tape to capture everything and expose the story.
Outside of our intrepid reporter, the cast is pretty much all red shirts and the ways they are dispatched are fast, furious, and aplenty.
Fun Fact #1 - All the symptoms in the film of the illness are genuine symptoms of rabies.
#9 - Paranormal Activity
I somehow conned my wife into a theater showing of this one opening weekend. She doesn't really "do" horror movies, and after viewing this she didn't speak to me for three days.
What I really like about the Paranormal Activity franchise is that the audience is an active participant in the film itself...they are going over every shot, pouring over every frame and looking for the most subtle movement or "paranormal activity" as the film slowly builds to it's climax. While we are zoomed in that hard, the scares hit us even harder and at point blank range.
The story couldn't be more threadbare, but just like french fries are just a vehcile we use to deliver ketchup into our bodies, this movie's story is just a simple vehicle to get us from one swinging chandelier to the next.
The home in question is our home, our neighbors's home, our best friend's home and thusly we are very able to place ourselves in the film, helping to create the air of foreboding this movie is so great at doing.
The sequels are all legit, the fourth just being released this past weekend!
Fun Fact #1 - The actors weren't given scripts but were given guidelines on how to behave or what to discuss in their scenes.
6 Minutes FF Free