Saturday, February 11, 2012

Mac-job Romance Horror Story

The Innkeepers (2011) - West
Ty West's follow up to his superb 80s horror homage, The House of the Devil, The Innkeepers is a horror film in its hokey premise only. Rather it's a thinly disguised twenty-something mac-job romance between a cute Claire (Sarah Paxton) and dweeby amateur paranomal expert Luke (Pat Healy). For three days, the two are taking care of Yankee Pedlar Inn, a quaint three story establishment in the process of going out of business while the owner is kicking sand in Barbados. Other than a couple of quacks, the place is almost empty. It is quite visible that Luke's secret crush on aimless, restless Claire. West's talent as a writer sparkles in their effortless witty, silly exchanges. Their drunk on Schlitz confession session is so accurate and charming, that alone is worth the ticket price. Horror element is secondary and not so groundbreaking. I'm eagerly looking forward to his next project.

Dangerous Lives of Catholic Schoolgirls

Don't Deliver Us from Evil/Mais ne Nous Délivrez Pas du Mal (1971) - Séria
As far as the 'catholic schoolgirls swear their allegiance to the devil' genre goes, Don't Deliver Us from Evil is a slow burn and a pretty classy one. It concerns bff Anne (brunette) and Lore (Blonde) doing all sorts of little evil deeds - killing birds, setting haystacks on fire, reading dirty books, seducing various men (usually village idiots).... It's all for laughs though, even at times they are in physical danger of getting raped. They are not completely remorseless. Anne cries her hearts out after killing her family servant's pet bird. Director Joel Séria treads lightly on the girls psychology or characterization. You don't really get the sense of who they are. What you get is constant underlying tension as the 'innocent' girls dig deeper into their graves without ever knowing the full consequences. I still prefer Alucarda and Heavenly Creatures over this, but Don't Deliver Us from Evil has some good moments.

Silent Type

Drive (2011) - Refn

"A real human being, and a real hero....:

From its scribbled pink title sequence to the intoxicating pop soundtrack, Nicolas Winding Refn's latest is decidedly retro- very 80s Michael Mann. It's solid entertainment but will easily be forgotten. Albert Brooks steals the show. Kids, watch Walter Hill's Driver first.