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Friday, 27 September 2013

Review Round-Up: Insidious; Battle Los Angeles; The Colour Out Of Space

Insidious (2010) - Starting out as a good old fashioned 'haunted house' movie, Insidious spins off into Lovecraftian pseudoscience horror as a family find the ghostly manifestations have followed them to a new house.

Soon after the Lambert family move into a new home, their son Dalton falls into a mysterious coma and his mother starts to see strange apparitions around the house. Eventually, she gets so freaked out the family moves - but the haunting moves with them!

Things get a bit silly in the latter part of the third act, but Insidious scores bonus points with me for one of the most wonderfully over-the-top seance scenes I've yet encountered in a horror movie.

There are a number of telegraphed "jump scares", but the film works best when it's relying on atmosphere (which is why the "monster movie moments" towards the end don't gel quite as well).

Given the ending, I'm rather intrigued as to how they've managed to eke out a sequel.

Battle Los Angeles (2011) - Aliens invade Earth unexpectedly and a detachment of US marines are sent into Los Angeles to rescue civilians.

While there they believe they have stumbled upon a way to take the fight back to the techno-organic invaders.

Battle Los Angeles is a catalogue of war movie clichés, served up with a side order of gung ho!

But it is made so  remarkably well and the conviction of the actors never has you doubting the verisimilitude of the piece.

I'd compare it to a blend of Platoon and Starship Troopers, although it isn't so obviously tongue-in-cheek as the latter or as well-rounded as the former.

Be warned though, Battle Los Angeles is all shot in a faux documentary style with shaky, hand-held cameras so motion sickness is pretty much guaranteed until your brain can adapt to this annoying gimmick.

HP Lovecraft's The Colour Out Of Space - The HP Lovecraft Historical Society has done it again. Its latest Dark Adventure Radio Theatre full-cast adaptation of HP Lovecraft's The Colour Out Of Space is a fantasticly realised tale of creeping horror.

Not exactly one of HPL's more action-packed stories, this is a slowly unfolding tale of the after-effects of a meteor-strike on an isolated farm in 19th Century outside of Arkham, Massachusetts.

The HPLS has given Lovecraft's original story a clever framing device which adds a new twist to the narrative, but doesn't interfere with the central yarn - itself a story-within-a-story.

Given that a key element of The Colour Out Of Space is an alien "colour" unknown to human eyes, this story works particularly well in audio.

Buying the CD also nets you the usual collection of brilliant paper props pertinent to the tale (e.g. newspaper clippings, letters etc)

13 comments:

  1. I really enjoyed Battle:Los Angeles! Watched it numerous times. Insidious...not so much.

    BTW...You've been BLITZED! Enjoy! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, DL, I'm honoured to have been chosen. Not sure what the Blizers will make of my geeky posts - but it's always interesting to hear other people's takes on my particular (peculiar?) passions!

      Delete
  2. Hello, Tim! I haven't seen any of these. Cool recommendations.

    Happy Blog Blitz Day!

    Happy reading and writing! from Laura Marcella @ Wavy Lines

    ReplyDelete
  3. Insidious scares me silly. Happy Blitz Day!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I know I have not seen these films, but I somewhere have an autographed copy of the first film "Insidious"... lucky for you today... you have been Blitz'd!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oddly, last year I won (from a competition I didn't recall entering) a couple of really cool, arty Insidious posters, yet I still wasn't inspired to watch the film until it came on TV recently.

      Delete
  5. What an awesome blog! I don't know what to look at first . . . lol. LOVE the Calvin, and congrats on your blitz... enjoy the wave!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for the kind words. I'm really enjoying getting Blitzed :)

      Delete
  6. So much great steampunk on one page. I'm loving it. happy blitz day!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Thank you - steampunk is just one of the many geeky genres I ermbrace in my scattershot (scatterbrain?) approach to blog topics ;)

    ReplyDelete

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