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Movie: Honeymoon (2014)
Rating: **1/2 out of *****
Notes: As ambiguously creepy as a holiday out of a Lovecraft novel, a honeymooning couple at an unpopulated and gothic lake retreat find themselves increasingly suspicious of each other's behavior. Tinged with the classic pod people concept, the thrill tends to be one-note, as the concern is both lopsided and the only real threat implied other than a laughably unscary headlight moving around in the dark. It gets off several red herring moments, but all the ick and progression really only happens in the last 20 minutes, at which point it goes full David Cronenberg ala "eXistenz", albeit with absolutely no explanation or resolution - just "and then bad things happened," roll credits. Not much else going on here, thus clocking in at under 90 minutes. If general-purpose, Arkham-esque tales are your thing, this is a good example, tho not the most satisfactory one.

Movie: The Two Faces Of January (2014)
Rating: ***1/2 out of *****
Notes: Set in what appears to be the 60s, a tour guide/con man in Athens becomes entangled with a couple on the lam from a financial debacle in New York. Viggo Mortenson, Kirsten Dunst, and Oscar Isaac star in a subdued, slow-burner full of period character. Mortenson in particular conveys a delicious paranoid intensity in the complicated father-figure/romantic rival situation. There's no action scenes to speak of, focusing mainly on the convoluted path to flee the country and the smoldering internal conflict between the trio, allowing for some well-written character development and evolution, but not much in the way of excitement. A light, well-acted drama/thriller if you want a dose of Isaac pre-"Star Wars", and to enjoy Mortenson's acting on par with Ford or Clooney.

Movie: Bad Turn Worse (2013)
Rating: *** out of *****
Notes: Three teens in a small, midwestern town, about to split up post-graduation, become trapped by a local thug when one of their number commits a theft and another takes credit for it. Crime stories used to be focused on urban gangsters, but lately there's been a shift to small stories in the American heartland that almost resemble gothic horror in that the minimal local rescue options are limited to small numbers of corrupt, incompetent, or otherwise helpless authorities. The acting of the kids is not particularly outstanding and this would be a run-of-the-mill example of the genre, but it gets an extra half-star for the over-the-top performance of Mark Pellegrino as the antagonist whose evil, comic-booky bad guy schtick chews scenery with abandon. His nastiness far outranks the kids he's up against, which serves to heighten the tension, although it's too bad the resolution isn't worth the character. Might be worth checking out just for Pellegrino's part.

Next: The Maze Runner 1 & 2, Kids For Cash, Patema Inverted

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
porsupah
Feb. 6th, 2016 10:49 pm (UTC)
I admit, I'm sort of intrigued by all of them. =:D Honeymoon might escape with me, as I'm fine with just about any kind of pacing, even if I'll still sense a story being lopsidedly distributed. Is there gore? (I used to be absolutely fine with such, and was quite keen on the original Hellraiser)

TTFoJ might be a good one to share with the roomie. Whilst he does lean toward action flicks, we nonetheless enjoyed Mr Turner, f'rex.

BTW I'd probably watch with friends, but unlikely to nudge it to the top of my own playlist, I suspect. But even the best TV and films tend to spend an eternity waiting for viewing - I'm somewhere in the first third of S2 of Orange is the New Black, around s1e9 of Extant, and seemingly forever 40m into Mr Nobody. ^_^;
rigelkitty
Feb. 6th, 2016 11:50 pm (UTC)
In "Honeymoon" there's a bit of blood, but it's mostly at the end, but moreso is the body horror ick. Again, reference Cronenberg. Pacing isn't the problem so much as the lack of explanation. You'll understand if you see it.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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