Or Sixth Sense?
nope :( Next Month
I've not seen either yet, but hope to remedy that in the near future. If you've seen them, I'd appreciate a Barry Normanesque review of them.
[And why not?]
BWP is like Picnic at Hanging Rock - a mystery where 3 teenagers disappear, and the film never specifically tells you exactly what happened to them. However, the film has an internal logic and there IS a solution, even though it is not shown as such on screen.
The 3 characters in Blair Witch are irritating city kids with no clue whatsoever as to how to survive while lost in a forest, and the film expertly shows them fall apart psychologically. The tension at the end is quite incredible. this film has been promoted as a horror film - it is actually more of a suspense thriller, with gore and shocks kept to a minimum.
Apart from the unsolved nature of the mystery, the other memorable aspect of Hanging Rock is the cinematography. Here, however, BWP is the complete polar opposite. The camerawork is b&w 16mm footage, completely authentic, and gives a gritty feel to the film. The only problem is, at the climax the audience can get prone to motion-sickness.
However, unlike Hanging Rock the last scene lets you know what happened to the protagonists - but not how or why ...
John Carpenter 's return to the cinema is an adaption from a novel by John Steakley . The fact it is adapted from an original source shows; the plot is hastily revealed, the character development non-existent. However, the action, gore and SPFX more than make up for it. Carpenter has never shirked at showing gore, and there's no lack of it here.
Jack Crow [James Woods] and his buddies stake a few pathetic specimens of vampiredom, and winch them into the sunlight. Not only is this an inventive way of dispatching a bad-guy [every Hollywood action pic needs at least one; there are actually specialist writers who earn a living thinking up such death scenes!] it also illustrates that only sunlight can permanently kill the bloodsuckers!
Later that night the Master Vampire [Thomas Ian Griffith - a b-movie Martial Arts star who played the bad guy in Karate Kid 3] tears the hunters to shreads - literally!
Sheryl Lee [Laura Palmer in Twin Peaks] resurfaces as a hooker, infected by the Master. She is Crow's only hope of finding the creature. There is the time-honoured race against time plot device; the Master is in search of a Roman Catholic cross that will allow the completion of a ceremony that will give his spawn the power to walk in sunlight.
But while the plot is practically non-existence, the cast is great, the direction is great - hell, even the music is great! Of course, would we expect anything less from the director of Halloween ? :)
This Renny Harlin effort is quite a lot better than you would expect. Harlin has always been the biggest hack in Hollywood [see Cliffhanger and the unintentionally self-parodying Ford Fairlane], but he redeemed himself with the vastly underrated Long Kiss Goodnight. His newest film confirms him as a top-notch action director. The CGI is a bit ropey, but the sharks themselves are terrifying. We actually get to see them chewing on their victims [okay, video arcade-grade sharks and victims, but you get the point].
One wonders why Harlin's wife and previous collaborator Geena Davis did not take the female lead. It would have been good to see her in such a morally ambiguous role; what virtually amounts to a mad scentist, though a nice spin on such an old SF cliche.
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