Subcutaneous Magazine Fall 2016 - Page 99

Movie Reviews by Caroline Field In Theaters "Lights Out" I was right in a way when I stated in the last issue that James Wan was going to save mainstream horror movies. With "The Conjuring 2," I was hopeful that his newest feature "Light’s Out" would be the scariest film of the year. And my final ruling is: sort of. I wouldn’t call "Light’s Out" terrifying as it is better described as an allegory for certain topics. While I can appreciate that certain characters acted like clever human beings do (example: use car lights to make the spirit, Diana, go away when they can’t get to a new source of light) and that the child acting was better than in other mainstream horror movies, I couldn’t help but laugh at many of the scenes instead of being scared, and that’s because Diana wasn’t scary to me. Sure, some scenes featuring her were creepy and put the hairs up on the back of my neck, but I didn’t view Diana as a vengeful spirit because the characters in the movie accepted that she was 100% real and tried to fight her like she could be fought. However, the movie stylizes Diana as an extension of one of the characters and not as a standalone spirit. Is this a bad thing? No. But because it’s a different approach, the movie forced me to look at Diana and the character she is attached to as one being. Diana feels like a real person and not just another carbon-copy supernatural entity that we’ve seen done a million times over. This is an incredibly refreshing style and I loved that this movie went in that direction. So I say, go see this movie in the theater while you still can. The sound design is incredibly well-done and the style of the set is perfect for the story that Wan is trying to communicate to the audience. I wouldn’t be anticipating scares as much as appreciating that this movie is something different and actually a nice addition to the horror genre in general. You won’t be afraid to turn the lights out when you get home, but you’ll be thanking your brain that you treated it to a new perspective. "Don’t Breathe" Everyone is ranting and raving about this film. I had two friends with advanced screening tickets to this movie who kept wanting to spoil it for me ‘because it was that good’. My response is that I was bored. Don’t get me wrong, some scenes were extremely well-done with their tension and the sound design wasn’t half bad. But with this film, I found myself yawning quite a lot. Just because I found this film boring doesn’t mean you will - in fact, I recommend seeing it in the theater while you still can. But I also feel that, much like "Hush" (2016), this film focuses on the suspense way too much to really get me “horrified” despite the clever ending. I would credit this more as a weird thriller than a true horror film, something to watch home alone rather than seeing it in a theater full of people. That being said, I actually appreciated the acting effort that the main characters put into the film. You can tell that they dedicated a lot of time into making some of those scenes happen despite some of them lacking in the acting department, and since I had some room to spare while watching it allowed me to be put into their shoes for a few minutes sometimes. Again, don’t let me be the downer that forbids you to see this movie. I can see how it appealed to the mass audience like "Paranormal Activity," but I’m that small majority that didn’t think it was anything special despite it being a nice addition to the home invasion horror sub-division. Halloween Pickings: Happy Hauntings "House" a.k.a. "Hausu" (1977) Ever wondered what you would get if you mixed naive Japanese schoolgirls with upbeat, horrifying deaths caused by supernatural events? Then you’ve got House, a great classic with unique, upbeat music and a style to literally die for. Oh, and there’s a cute cat in it too. Thrill-AH! "Bloody Birthday" (1981) This film is just a friendly reminder not to give birth during a solar eclipse. If you like seeing little kids go on murder sprees and horny teenagers that were a staple of the 80’s genre, then this movie is definitely for you. Just a reminder that the kid you babysit can kill you in a moment’s notice.