Sorry for the lack of a blog last night. I actually settled in and watched Vincent Price, Boris Karloff and Peter Lorre in Edgar Allen Poe’s The Raven. Six films tonight and they are a bit all over the place as my countdown of my 100 favorite horror films continues.
Josh Hartnett and Melissa George star in this vampire shocker set in Alaska. Based on graphic novels, a clan of vampires figures out that Alaska just might be a good place to prey on hapless victims without having to worry about that pesky sun. Hartnett plays the small town sheriff who tries to rally the townsfolk to fight the scourge. I like this one because the vampires are not sympathetic characters. They are ruthless predators who show no mercy. Avoid the straight to video sequel. George is replaced by Kiele Sanchez and the movie is awful.
Horror movie veteran Donald Pleasence stars (nobody listens to this poor guy, ever), as the priest who realizes that a group of scientists and paranormal investigators basically have Satan in a Can. You’ve heard of Prince Albert in a Can? This is worse. This very different film is a cliffhanger and John Carpenter never produced a sequel. But, evil concentrate does enough damage and is scary enough without Satan ever bursting forth.
A young bullied boy befriends the female vampire who moves in next door. The original Swedish version is phenomenal and the American remake is excellent. Kodi Smit-McPhee and Chloë Grace Moretz star in the American version. The relationship between the bullied Oskar and Eli/Abby (U.S. version) begins as friendship and slowly becomes co-dependence and maybe even love as the two learn to protect each other, and even desire to do so. Although a bit slow paced, these films are unusual and different and very well acted.
“We’ll tear your soul apart!” Clive Barker at his best with this film that centers around a puzzle box that can summon all kinds of hell. We were introduced to Pinhead and the cenobites. Andrew Robinson, Clare Higgins, Ashley Laurence and Sean Chapman star in this gory thriller. Chapman plays Frank, a macabre adrenaline junkie who wants to test the limits of pleasure and pain. He finds his solution in the form of the puzzle box. He finds a way back from the other side and embroils his brother’s family in his evil. Doug Bradley stars as the iconic Pinhead. Skip the sequels.
Mia Farrow and John Cassavetes star as a young couple on the verge of creating the miracle of life. Only problem is, Rosemary’s husband has a stand-in the night of conception. As noted in numerous films where Satan tries to bring his son, the anti-christ, into the world, the devil likes to get his freak on. Rosemary lives the nightmare of discovering that her husband isn’t quite what he seems, the neighbors are up to something, and the baby’s not quite right. This is true horror classic from director Roman Polanski.
Oh, what a treat this is. Denzel Washington plays a man who goes from cop to demon hunter as he is terrorized by the singing Azazel, a demon who travels from person to person and comes to enjoy tormenting Washington’s character. This film has a delicious twist. John Goodman, Donald Sutherland and Embeth Davitz star in this pleasant surprise. Don’t let the title scare you off on this one. Washington’s character comes up with a plan to rid the world of Azazel once and for all, but as always, the best laid plans of mice and men…