Wednesday, November 19, 2014
The horror genre has always been one where a lot of women got their starts and used as a stepping stone to other types of films, and left it behind, some have crossed back and forth like Jamie Lee Curtis, Dee Wallace but there have been others that embrace it fully and made huge names for themselves like Linnea Quigley, Danielle Harris,and Katherine Isabelle.
In recent years the women of the genre have became to dominate not just on screen as scream queens but as well behind the scenes and that are on par if not better then some of their male counterparts.
So here are some of the must watch women working in the horror genre today.
Devanny Pinn is fastly rising in the horror genre as one of this era's top scream queens, first appearing in The Lovely Ones(2006), Pinn has been steadily making a name for herself with turns in 15 Till Midnight(2010), Wonderland(2011), The Black Dahlia Haunting (2012) just to name a few. She is not only putting in work in front of the camera but also behind it where she is writing and producing a lot of her own works. her most recent film Truth or Dare(2013) is one that is getting alot of rave reviews and most deserving so. Devanny Pinn should be on every horror fans must watch list.
Best known for her 2011 breakout short What They Say not only did she star in, she produced and co wrote, since then she's been putting together a nice resume of horror films. she is one of the new generation scream queens that's taking that moniker and running with it, co starring along side fellow scream queens Jessica Cameron and Devanny Pinn in 2013's Truth or Dare. Heather Dorff is a name to always keep an eye out for.
"Little Miss Risk" burst on the screen in 2012's flick American Mary with a break out performance that put her on everyone's radar and her name has been one abuzz every since, I'm looking forward to see what she does next. she does appear in The ABCs Of Death 2 in The Soska Twins segment (T Is For Torture Porn)...really looking forward to see what she does next.
She's someone career that's I've followed for sometime now and have enjoyed her work weather its been horror related films(2001:Maniacs, 2001 Maniacs:Field Of Screams) and even more mainstream turns in Drive Angry(2011), The Mechanic(2011), The Iceman(2012). In recent she's really been producing a lot of films like Texas Chainsaw 3D, Straight A's, the forthcoming Leatherface prequel, currently her film The Taking of Deborah Logan have been getting a lot of good reviews(mine being of them as well) because its one of the better found footage/possession films and one of the best horror films of 2014.
With her success in front of the camera as well as behind it now, everyone should always be one the look out for any and everything Christa Campbell is involved with.
She's one of if not the hardest working woman in the horror genre, from acting, producing, directing, promoting whatever it is she's doing it. and you should pay attention because Jessica Cameron is a must know name in the genre. she first drew my attention in 2011's camel spiders and since she's been a must watch for me. her newest film Truth or Dare is getting high praise and for good reason. Jessica Cameron is become a tour de force in the genre and I can't wait to see what she does next and beyond.
The Soska Sisters (Jen, Sylvia)
What can be said about The Twisted Twins that haven't been said already, they might be right now the most IT girls in the genre because of their unique style and approach to film making, they have really taken the genre by storm and won't be stopping anytime soon. first coming on the scene with the 2009's Dead Hooker In A Trunk they got people to talking, it was with 2012's American Mary that every one took notice of their talents as filmmakers(check out my review of the film), Since skyrocketing to the top of everyone's list(mine included) any and everything that The Soska touch draws attention, their latest film the WWE co produced horror See No Evil 2 has been well received and their next film Vendetta seems to be more action then horror, but I'm sure they will add their own unique twist to it and I for one can't wait to see how it turns out.
One thing about all of these ladies aside from the fact that they are all beautiful is that they all have a passion, desire and love for the genre that for the most part gets overlooked or watered down in the mainstream, but its one its one that its true fans enjoy and its very good to see these ladies are leading an resurgence to a great genre.
So hopefully anyone who's reading this if you haven't seen or know of any of the forementioned ladies of horror,I highly recommend that you check out any or all of their works, because they are really good at what they do.
Friday, November 7, 2014
"The City Shines Brightest at Night"
When Louis Bloom, a driven man desperate for work, muscles into the world of L.A. crime journalism, he blurs the line between observer and participant to become the star of his own story.
Grim, Gritty,Sleazy, right in your face are all good ways to describe the Dan Gilroy Directed, Jake Gyllenhaal starring film Nightcrawler. Its the type of film that doesn't come along to often, but when it does you have no choice but to sit back and watch it all unfold right before your eyes.
Not since the opening shots of 2011's Drive has L.A. night sky has a film drawn viewers into what was to come and what follows is definitely not an normal tale.
Nightcrawler follows the life of Louis Bloom(Gyllenhaal) who is a self educated man, who is desperate for work(some one at first people can relate too) and will do anything to get a job,after failing to get work at a labor yard, Lou on his way home witness a real life heroic scene where two police officers saves a person from a burning car(this has been shown on the news countless times).While Lou is watching everything happen, a van pulls up and two men quickly jumps out with video equipment and hurries over to record the scene.
After the men get what they want, Lou approaches the one who was directing the whole thing Joe Loder(Bill Paxton) and begins asking questions about what he does and tries to get himself hired by Loder, but is shot down.
Louis being the driven individual that he is decides to research as much as he can about freelance crime journalism and starts up his own company, he quickly learns that its not as easy as it looked, but instead of moving on to something else he decides to do better and he gets his break one night where he gets some really good footage of EMTS working on a carjacking victim who was shot.
He takes this footage to a local news station looking to sell it, here he meets program director Nina(Rene Russo) who lives for the bloody and criminal stuff, after an unique conversation with her. The two begins a business relationship.
Louis feelings good decides to hire some one to help him navigate around the L.A. area after an awkward "Job Interview" Rick(Riz Ahmed) becomes his first and only employee.
Nightcrawler doesn't play out like a traditional film and the story is a complex one with a lot of social commentary. On one hand Lou Bloom is just a man who is trying to make a way for himself and live the american dream, He's well spoken, he is career driven and wants an successful and stable lifestyle, but the problem is that Louis is very deceptive, conniving and an shady individual.
There are a lot of themes and motifs that play through out the film one of the main ones being the social commentary of how the media can be very misleading and manipulate the truth for their own gain(ratings) especially during one scene where Nina push News Anchors into using the scare tactic of crime invading the white suburban communities.
The acting here is top notch and led by Jake Gyllenhaal who is in every scene of the film and turns in probably his best performance of his career, the way that he becomes the character Louis "Lou"Bloom can not be praised enough, Gyllenhaal does a perfect job of making you hate him but also being intrigued by him. His performance is very much worthy of any major award nomination. I wouldn't be surprised either if he is snubbed as well because he is just that good and this has happened in the past as well. I can't imagine anyone else in this role.
Rene Russo is surprisingly good here especially since I've never seen her like this before, it was refreshing to see. Maybe only a handful of actresses could have pulled off this role. Russo shows here that she still can give a good performance when the character is written well. The relationship she and Louis have through out speaks a lot about how many relationships not just professionally but personal ones seem to be going these days and a perfect example is the exchange between the two in a dinner scene.
It was nice to see Bill Paxton in this film(any film for that matter) as Career Nightcrawler Joe Loder, sadly he doesn't get enough screen time and seems to only been a plot device for Louis Bloom,even still with limited screen time he is still at his Paxton best, as a fan of his It would have been really good to have seen more of his character in contrast to Louis.
If there are any flaws with the film, it would be what appears to be the major conflict of the third act that seems to come to an abrupt end, with a couple of hints towards weather or not Lou would literally do anything to get what he wants and the Detective that's investigating the case really doesn't bring anything to the table and honestly could've been cut out of the picture since the movie ends the way it does, because of this I do believe it takes away from the movie but not to much to the point that it affects the overall goodness of the movie.
This is really a good film that I could see getting some what of a cult status because of the tone and themes and its real to life approach towards the medias role in today's society. Gyllenhaal's performance alone is reason enough to watch this movie, because he is just that good. so If you haven't seen Nightcrawler yet, I highly recommend it.
Jake Gyllenhaal-Louis Bloom
Bill Paxton-Joe Loder
Kevin Rahm-Frank Kruse
Michael Hyatt-Detective Fronteiri
Tuesday, November 4, 2014
"You don't know what you got til it's..."
With his wife's disappearance having become the focus of an intense media circus, a man sees the spotlight turned on him when its suspected that he may not be innocent.
Gone Girl is a 2014 film Directed by David Fincher(The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo) who puts his unique style of filmmaking on huge display here, the film begins like any normal missing persons type of tale but as things move along things begin to not be what it appears to be and a very well cat and mouse tale plays out.
Ben Affleck gives probably his best acting performance here as husband Nick Dunne who struggles with finding his wife(is she dead or alive?), the media circus that follows him as the story progress and he goes from being concerned husband and in an instant becomes public enemy no.1. I know that Affleck has gotten alot of flack in the past, but in recent years and especially here he shows that he is a very good actor and that he'll make a good Batman(Batfleck)
The supporting cast here are some of the best that I think I've seen in recent history, Tyler Perry turns in a fine performance as high power attorney Tanner Bolt, In some ways he put me in the mind of the late Johnnie Cochran not sure if there was any inspiration there Perry is a joy to watch threw out. Neil Patrick Harris goes against type here as Desi Collins, and he is very impressive, also shows that he could/should do more films like this.
Carrie Coon who I wasn't familiar with before the movie is a good ying to Affleck's yang since she plays as his twin sister, the two have good chemistry together and its in my opinion the glue of this film since there is alot of time spent between the two.
Now on to Rosamund Pike aka The Gone Girl, Pike who I've been a fan of for while now finally gets her moment to shine and does she every as Amy Dunne, I won't say to much about her character especially for any one who has seen the film yet, but I will say Pike might not have been on alot of people's radar before but after Gone Girl she most definitely be the IT Girl.
I haven't read the book(I plan too) but I liked the way media was used here and showed just how media can be and just based on public perception how things can shift one way or another, there is a lot of social commentary here.
This is one of those films that I believe everyone should see because of the different themes that play out it, marriage, family, media, etc...I know that its being compared to 1987's Fatal Attraction, but personally I don't see that with how this story is more complex then that film and I see it more a kin to that of another Fincher film 1997's The Game.
Gone Girl come award season should be nominated for alot of awards and would not be surprised if there are a few wins in the acting categories namely Affleck, Pike, Patrick Harris. If you haven't seen this film yet its a much watch with an interesting story with very good performances and just an overall really well made film.
Ben Affleck- Nick Dunne
Rosamund Pike-Amy Dunne
Neil Patrick Harris-Desi Collings
Tyler Perry-Tanner Bolt
Carrie Coon-Margo Dunne
Kim Dickens-Detective Rhonda Boney
Patrick Fugit-Officer Jim Gilpin
Missi Pyle-Ellen Abbott
Casey Wilson-Noelle Hawthorne
Sela Ward-Sharon Schieber