Saturday, October 29, 2011

Night Visions Night 3

In addition to the big LotFP ad, it seems they also screened some movies last night at the film festival... (highlight the 'blank' stuff in the parenthesis to see spoilers)

The Whisperer in Darkness


This same crew made the Call of Cthulhu silent movie and I've been waiting for Whisperer since the first trailer hit... what, five years ago? This was the movie I was most looking forward to.

But after seeing it I have very mixed feelings.

The story that we know is the middle of the movie. They added a ton of stuff at the beginning of the movie (which I feel mostly good about, or else it's just a guy reading letters so something had to be done), but they also added a ton of stuff to the end of the movie. The end of Lovecraft's story is only the end of this movie's second act.

We can argue about the merits of what they did with the end third of the movie, but can we at least agree that (Wilmarth consoling the neighboring farmer's daughter in a barn protected by Elder Signs with a weepy story about him losing his own family in the influenza epidemic of 1918) and (the big chase scene with the mi-go and Wilmarth's airplane - seriously!-) are not at all very Lovecraftian?

The production as a whole was a huge step up from Call of Cthulhu, where the seams were only visible if you were specifically looking for them ("a-ha! The rain isn't real because you only see the drops in the puddles in the foreground, not the background!" sort of thing), with one exception. The CGI mi-go looked rather awful. The stop-motion Cthulhu of the first movie was no great shakes but it didn't seem out of place with the rest of it. Whisperer is so sharp otherwise that awful looking monsters really stand out.

It has an appropriately Lovecraft ending though,

Revenge: A Love Story

Hmm. Not a fun movie. Not at all.

We open with some madman killing policemen and ripping the fetuses out of those policemen's very very pregnant wives (and daughter? no way that older cop was married to that younger woman?).

They catch him. And then the movie goes to Fuckedupville. Because, as it turns out, his actions are not completely unjustified.

This movie goes to bad, bad places and has a lot of collateral damage.


A Finnish production that helpfully had English subtitles built in.

From the IMDB summary:

"Linda is a young psychology student, who wants to help his boyfriend Riku, who has fallen into a state of psychosis, by taking him to a mystical cave, where human subconscious and memories start to live their own life. Linda soon realises that she can't help Riku, before she has faced her own most painful traumas."

It's all 'Face the bad things you've done and the bad things that have happened to you' sort of stuff.

Red State

Easily Kevin Smith's best movie. It's not a comedy (although moments of black humor pop up throughout), but a very cynical, hateful movie about people completely out of control.

Who are the players?

A trio of teenagers going to get some MMMF action with an older woman they met on a sex personals site. A Westboro Baptist-cum-Branch Davidian religious cult that is kidnapping and executing homosexuals. The ATF.

... before the ending I was feeling sorry for just about everyone in this movie. Everyone was making bad choices, some made evil choices, and everything goes to hell.

The ending is strikingly unsatisfying from a cinematic/moral point of view, but it felt very true-to-life.

The credits are divided up between "Sex" "Religion" and "Politics" and I bet many fascinating conversations can be had about this movie. My opinion? (The "Sex" people all did nothing wrong but follow their crotches, with their level of deceit being far lesser evils than what anyone else was doing. "Religion" was scary as fuck but somehow this bunch of murderous bigots were brutally victimized by a far more evil and powerful government juggernaut.)

Michael Parks is scary good as the leader of the cult. John Goodman is great as the commander of the ATF unit. Everyone here did a great job... absolutely nothing about any of the performances rang false at all.

What a linuep. Three "people doing awful things, but for (to them) good reasons!" movies to really make you hate life... and a space lobster movie.


  1. The trailers they've been showing for Red State have made it look like a comedy, a black comedy, but a comedy nonetheless. I'm not sure I'm as interested if it's played straight.

  2. It's a Kevin Smith movie, so that element is there... but they do things like give nutso preacher guy a 15 minute sermon in the movie, and it's not done for laughs.

    "It's a nasty-ass $4mil horror flick with few (if any) redeeming characters." is supposedly something Smith himself said about the movie but I can't find the original source (Twitter?).

  3. While I agree the airplane chase at the end of WiD was a bit over the top, I have to say I really liked the look of the mi-go. The CGI set against the otherwise period look of the film gave them discordant, otherworldly presence which I found quite appropriate. Overall I really enjoyed the film.