Archive for August, 2008

Cult Horror – an Introduction

Posted in Cult Horror with tags , , , , , , on August 6, 2008 by themoviecult

It is hard not to love horror movies.

They touch on the macabre; speculate on the unknown; present horrible monsters. They inspire nightmares; bring chills. They’re the reason to sleep with the lights on. They’re subtle and grate away gradually or they’re over the top – bucket’s of blood and all.

Fads and genres in movies come and go, but horror has been steadily popular for a long time now. We identify with the situations horror movies present because we fear death. We fear corruption – both physically and spiritually. We fear for the safety of our family and friends. We fear the unknown origin of creepy sounds. We fear having to face danger alone.

Great things can be done with horror in the right circumstances. If a horror movie identifies what we’re most scared of, establishes that anything can happen at any second, and then paces itself correctly, it is bound for greatness.

This segment is for exploring great horror, and touching on the bad. In a series of articles and reviews over the coming weeks and months (interspersed with regular programming), classic and modern horror will be analysed, and ideas will be investigated.

To get the ball rolling – what is your favourite horror movie? What has managed to scare you senseless?

Recent Releases – 4 Months, 3 Weeks, and 2 Days

Posted in Recent Releases with tags , , , , , , on August 4, 2008 by themoviecult

Directed by: Christian Mungiu
Starring: Laura Vasiliu, Anamaria Marinca

In the 1980’s in Romania, abortions are illegal. 4 Months, 3 Weeks, and 2 Days centres on Otilia (Anamaria Marinca), a young student who is helping her friend, Gbia (Laura Vasiliu), have an abortion. Otilia is forced to question her values and decide how far she is willing to go to help a friend out.

4 Months, 3 Weeks, and 2 Days is, emotionally, a potent film. The main characters go through a range of emotions as they deal with breaking the law and acting outside of their moral framework – in more ways than just the dilemma of terminating a foetus. All the while, the minor characters both influence and are influenced by the decisions of the main characters. Really complex, and effective storytelling.

Writer and director, Christian Mungiu, has a great shooting style. At crucial moments, his scenes are silent and tense. His takes are often long, and complex. The camera is a little shaky – all of the motion is freehand – but this only adds to the atmosphere, tension, and increases viewer involvement.

The filming style naturally requires talented actors, because the camera relentlessly sticks with the characters when things get tense. They’re followed closely, their every reaction caught. The actors’ performances are excellent, pretty much without exception. It is hard not to have any empathy for the main characters – or in one case to loathe them.

This is a character orientated piece, and it’s subtle at times. If you can’t stand a slowly paced character driven drama, this one might not be for you. It does, however, feature great performances and is handled by a writer/director with talent.