Archive for Paul W.S. Anderson

Goregirl’s TOP 10 Favourite Horror Films From 1997

Posted in horror, movies with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 20, 2013 by goregirl

Like every year of the 90s, 1997 had a handful of horror gems. I was optimistic when the first few titles I watched ended up being pretty entertaining, but my enthusiasm quickly waned. Oh boy did it wane! I watched 57 horror titles for 1997 and failed more than half of them. To be honest I am ready for this feature to be done. I am having serious 70s withdrawal! I slipped and watched A Lizard in a Woman’s Skin the other night and now I don’t want to watch any more fecking 90s crap. There is just one week left of this feature so now I find myself having to double up on the top ten lists. This list, as will be the case with the next two will be considerably more…um…efficient! I rated film number one 5/5, films two, three and four I rated 4.5/5, films five and six I rated 4/5, films seven and eight I rated 3.5/5 and films nine and ten earned a shaky 3/5. I gave one other film from 1997 a 3/5 which was Scream 2.

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#10 JACK FROST
Directed By: Michael Cooney

I did not think for a second that I would be including Jack Frost on a top ten list. Of the 57 films I saw from 1997 however it was a hell of a lot more fun than most. Jack Frost has swearing, nudity, graphic violence, rape and terribly bad one-liners. Sure, Jack Frost is a film about a serial killer-shape-shifting-icicle shooting-snowman with potty mouth, a tasteless sense of humour and a seriously bad attitude and what can I say? It made me laugh. To read the full review click here. “He’s chillin…and killin.”

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#9 MIMIC
Directed By: Guillermo del Toro

I would rank Mimic fairly low among my favourite films of Guillermo del Toro. That said, the effects are neat, and I do love me some killer predatory insects. It starts out interesting enough but the second half gets a little hokey despite being the more action-packed section of the film. It’s okay. This is definitely a light recommend. If you want to check out some really brilliant Guillermo del Toro flicks check out Cronos, The Devil’s Backbone or Pan’s Labyrinth. “Evolution has a way of keeping things alive.”

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#8 NIGHTWATCH
Directed By: Ole Bornedal

When I saw this on the list for 97 I assumed this was the Russian horror film Night Watch but it turns out there are at least three titles under this name. Ole Bornedal remade his own Danish language 1994 film with English speaking actors. Chances are had I seen the original (which I have not) I would have been much harder on this remake. Being that I hadn’t I enjoyed Nightwatch despite the insanely blaring red herring and a couple overly coincidental plot twists. “He’s a full-time college student who just took the wrong part-time job. Now he’s the final piece in a brilliant serial killer’s puzzle.”

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#7 THE UGLY
Directed By: Scott Reynolds

A lot of mixed feelings out there about this New Zealand entry. I wouldn’t call The Ugly screamingly original but I dug it anyway. It is psychological, supernatural, sort of dreamy-nightmary and fairly brutal with the violence. We get a glimpse of the killer’s life through flashbacks and it isn’t pretty. In fact…it’s Ugly! “A subversive incursion into human mind perversions!”

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#6 CUBE
Directed By: Vincenzo Natali

A Canadian entry and this one is a doozy! Cube, the film about seven people plunked into a endless maze of deadly traps is an original, intense and suspenseful thrill ride with some decent performances. “Fear… Paranoia… Suspicion… Desperation.”

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#5 EVENT HORIZON
Directed By: Paul W.S. Anderson

I wrote a long rambling review for this film with lots of pretty pictures so I am just going to say Event Horizon is a visually appealing, well cast and acted, action-packed, creepy and intense sci-fi horror flick. I love you Sam Neill you crazy bastard! To read the full review for Event Horizon click here. “Where we’re going, we won’t need eyes to see.”

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#4 PERFECT BLUE
Directed By: Satoshi Kon

I am just beginning to delve into the world of Japanese animated films and Perfect Blue has been one of my favourites so far. Perfect Blue is an excellent thriller-horror full of twists, turns and surprises complimented by an array of beautiful and violent images. To read the full review click here. “The color of illusion is Perfect Blue.”

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#3 PERDITA DURANGO
Directed By: Álex de la Iglesia

This is director Álex de la Iglesia’s second entry on a top ten. Before starting this feature I had no idea who Mr. Iglesia was, now I look forward to checking out all his stuff! Perdita Durango is funny, violent, action-packed, sexy, salty and a crapload of energetic fun! To read the full review click here. “A scientist? No, you’re definitely a dentist. I could tell from the stupid smile on your face.”

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#2 STARSHIP TROOPERS
Directed By: Paul Verhoeven

Starship Troopers is not a horror film; but hell it has more violence in it than a lot of titles I have included on these top ten lists. I have a huge soft spot for this film! I actually went to see it at the theatre three times when it came out. It is deliciously campy, action-packed, over-the-top, and has some really top notch and fun effects. Sure it is fluff, but it is freaking awesomely fun fluff! “Join the Mobile Infantry and save the Galaxy. Service guarantees citizenship. Would you like to know more?”

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#1 CURE
Directed By: Kiyoshi Kurosawa

Cure is quite simply one of the best films I have ever seen with a serial killer theme. I really need to see more of Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s films!! It is beautifully filmed, intense, suspenseful, brilliantly acted, well-paced, nasty and well, just freaking perfect. I can’t recommend more highly seeking this one out. “With just one word, you will do anything.”

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EVENT HORIZON (1997) – The Dungeon Review!

Posted in horror, movies, UK, USA with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 28, 2013 by goregirl

Event Horizon is directed by Paul W.S. Anderson, not to be confused with the immensely talented Paul Thomas Anderson. You know the expression less is more? Mr. W.S. Anderson believes more is more and that is clear from his output. His titles are an exercise in overindulgence; Mortal Kombat, AVP: Alien vs. Predator, Resident Evil: Afterlife, Resident Evil: Retribution and The Three Musketeers are really all just mucky-muck if you ask me. More is often too much in my opinion. Long and short, I am not much of a fan of Paul W.S. Anderson’s work. I guess that is part of the reason I haven’t bothered to revisit Event Horizon. Event Horizon is a film I have not watched since it came out in theatres. It had two things working in its favor for a re-watch; Sam Neill going mad and it came highly recommended from a trustworthy source. Neill going mad is a fecking treat! Neill in Possession, Neill In the Mouth of Madness and Neill in Event Horizon is the perfect trilogy of insanity. I am happy to say that Event Horizon ended up being a nice surprise and well worth the re-visit! My awesome video store had the special collector’s edition which had an entire disc of special features. The special features are quite extensive! It includes a full on documentary on the making of Event Horizon, storyboards for a scene that was never filmed, and lots of stuff about the special effects (which I always enjoy!). There was a bunch of other stuff I didn’t write down too! It is a must have if you are a fan of the film. Event Horizon is an intense sci-fi horror gem that is a hell of a lot of fun!

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Event Horizon opens with the following text:

2015
First permanent colony established on moon.

2032
Commerical mining begins on Mars.

2040
Deep space research vessel ‘Event Horizon’ launched to explore boundaries of solar system. She disappeared without trace beyond the eighth planet Neptune. It is worst space disaster on record.

2047
Now…

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The camera gives us some impressive shots of a spaceship and we travel inside to see various personal effects floating through a tunnel. We see a man looking badly mutilated screaming in terror and/or pain. We meet Dr. William Weir as he is waking up from a nightmare. In this short scene we learn Dr. Weir is apart from a wife he misses. And more text…

Daylight station low earth orbit.

U.S.A.C. Vessel: Lewis & Clark
Category: Search and rescue
Mission: Top Secret

U.S.A.C. Lewis & Clark: 56 Days out

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Was Dr. Weir affected by the Event Horizon before he boarded it with the crew of the Lewis & Clark? If anyone would be, I suppose it would be him being he was the person who built the ship. Dr. Weir debriefs the crew of the Lewis & Clark on the original mission of the Event Horizon. The mission of the experiment was to beat the speed of light, or at least cheat it a little. Dr. Weir makes folding space in half sound completely plausible. You are messing with some crazy shit Dr. Weir! One of the details that makes Event Horizon stand out is it is a horror film that takes place is space and there is not an alien in sight! It is a pretty wacky premise though. The ship travelled to hell and came back possessed. There have been possessed houses, possessed cars, possessed boats, possessed hotels and plenty of possessed people. Why not a possessed space vessel? It knows what you fear and uses it. It knows your secrets and materializes them. It is in your head and all around you and you can not escape. You are in freaking space!

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In the more is more category Anderson includes too many scenes of people making it through doors in the nick of time. Three come to mind instantly but there were at least one or two more. One is fun, two is acceptable, three or anything more is hokey and redundant! Worry not, there is a ton of action in Event Horizon and this was a minor blip in the overall scheme of things. The effects are great and the sets are massive and very impressive. Even though the vessel itself is a massive structure there is a claustrophobic feel to the action. There is a great intensity that builds steadily throughout the film. The ending wasn’t exactly a shocker but it was not unsatisfying. There were some very impressive sets created for Event Horizon. Amazing models and effects too. There is some computer graphics but most of the effects are of the practical variety. If you watch the features you will get an idea of just how labor intensive some of the effects actually were.

A lot of people die and pretty gruesomely too. The goriest bits are the flashes of hell and the log from the former crew of the Event Horizon. The flashes of hell are shot in rapid fire providing a rather jarring effect. Some of the shots from hell feature models that are inspired by H.R. Giger. I think they have captured that Giger vibe pretty damn well! The playback on the Event Horizon log is also seen only in flashes but the crew are literally tearing each other apart. Imagine being one of the crew of the Lewis & Clark watching this recording?! These are great well executed scenes. The getup sported by Dr. Weir towards the film’s finale is particularly nifty. According to the DVDs special features it took a few hours to apply. Event Horizon is heavy on the visuals and very slick looking but it is not the only thing Event Horizon has going for it.

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The crew of the Lewis & Clark had great chemistry. Captain Miller played by Laurence Fishburn is the stalwartly captain; respected and liked by his crew. I am in the camp that finds Fishburn a welcome edition to any film; the man has presence. While Dr. Weir is the exception to the chemistry rule (his role is the maligned outsider), Sam Neill is a great actor who always brings his A-game and has a wide range. Neill is particularly great when he is playing characters that are going mad. Joely Richardson who plays Lieutenant Starck doesn’t get much focus in the first half of the film, but she is likable enough; and she sure does get tossed around like a football in the finale! Handsome Sean Pertwee plays the ship’s pilot Smith; an outspoken, sarcastic but not unlikable bloke. Engineer Justin is the young one of the group who is nicknamed baby bear. Jack Noseworthy does a great “I just seen Hell” face! Justin is a great character you have empathy for. Another high in the empathy category is med tech Peters played by Kathleen Quinlan. The ship uses her young son to manipulate her and bring about her demise. Doctor D.J. played by Jason Isaacs is the serious one of the group. He is quiet and intense; I figured him for being an easy target for manipulation. Finally we have Rescue Tech Cooper played by Richard T. Jones. He was one smart, spunky and durable bastard! He is in a particularly outrageous scenario that I must admit was pretty damn funny. I don’t know that they needed to add comedy to this film, but I have to admit, I thought it worked. A great cast of interesting characters.

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Event Horizon is a visually appealing, well-acted, action-packed, creepy and intense sci-fi horror. Event Horizon comes highly recommended.

Dungeon Rating: 4/5

Directed By: Paul W.S. Anderson

Starring: Laurence Fishburne, Sam Neill, Kathleen Quinlan, Joely Richardson, Richard T. Jones, Jack Noseworthy, Jason Isaacs, Sean Pertwee, Peter Marinker, Holley Chant, Barclay Wright, Noah Huntley