Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Ghost House Underground

Do you remember when you were a little kid and it was report card day? Do yo remember dreading the words, "Has potential, but needs to learn to focus."?

You know where this is going, right?

Ghost House Underground is a series of (so far) eight independent horror films brought to you by the makers of 30 Days of Night (which I liked) and The Grudge. I picked them up at the video store yesterday because I hadn't heard of them and thought I'd give a couple of them a shot.

Dance of the Dead is a film that has pretensions of being a teenage Shaun of the Dead. They really should have studied both comedy and the zombie genre a bit more. Plot: A town that is next door to a nuclear power plant suffers a zombie invasion due to a long-term leak of said power plant into the local cemetery and the town. And it happens on prom night.

Review: Slow, not very funny, and the zombies moved too fast. Oh, did I mention they are hypnotized by live rock music? Sort of like the yodeling in Mars Attacks kills the Martians, only rock music isn't deadly to zombies. Has potential, but falls short.

Dark Floors. I was really hoping this would be better, and at first, it was. Then they ran out of imagination. Then, it was painful to watch.

Plot: An autistic little girl is in the hospital for yet another battery of tests by the clueless medical profession. Dad gets tired of it and decides to take her home from the hospital that very night. They get stuck in between floors and when the doors re-open to (of course) the sixth floor, strange occurrences occur. Blah, blah, blah. The very end of the movie felt random to me (No spoilers. If I had to sit through every grueling minute of this, so do you, my dear reader.), and the idea formed in my head that the writer pulled it out of his little Finnish shorts.

Maybe I'm too harsh on this one. It's a good movie for night of friends and cocktails. The monsters and the gore are impressive, as are the visual effects. And, anyway, don't we all suffer from the idea that we can write better horror? It's easy to criticize when we haven't trotted our dreck out there for the world to see.

I will rent the others. I am looking forward to the next generation of horror film makers; their birth, their evolution, their new take on the old story. I look at these films as student films, showing great potential. When these students pull focus and get a few years under their belts... Well, watch those bat wings unfurl, 'cause these guys are gonna fly.

1 comment:

  1. We were pretty excited about these and grabbed them all except the Sid Haig one...

    The only ones that were worth the watch was THE SUBSTITUTE and THE REEKER one, and they were only fair/good.
    The SUBSTITUTE was a dubbed foreign film, which is fine, but distracting. Especially because they used adult voices to mimic the young students. Very strange.
    Great effects though.
    THE REEKER probably would be my favorite out of the bunch.

    My two cents : )


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