Welcome to Reviews from the Horror Chamber. I am your chamber keeper, Anthony Thurber.
Before I start with the reviews, your truly has his own plans for filmarcade.net. First, I want to make you involved with this column, so I decided to do a segment called Ask the Chamber-keeper. All you need to do is send me your questions at my new email address at HorrorChamber@FilmArcade.net, and then if I choose your question, I will respond to it in a future edition. It can be horror-related, it can also be a non-horror question or if you disagree with a particular review in which I’m totally wrong, I’ll explain why I came to that decision. Please leave me your name, city and state from where you live so I can let everyone know who send it.
Second, I’m starting a new column. Before I start don’t worry, this column is staying where it is but I want to focus more on films that go straight to DVD. I’ll give you more details in the first edition of Direct to DVD.
Finally, I’m looking for a co-host/ reviewer, in which you can review horror films here in my column as I’m looking for another perspective. All I need is a sample review. You have a couple of weeks as to send me your email. Please note this is not a paying job. The plan is for you to review one or two films a week. One review is a joint review if there is a major horror film that’s worth a debate and the other review can be a film of your choosing, as long it’s either a Sci-fi or horror film. If you’re interested you can send your sample review to HorrorChamber@FilmArcade.net. Now on to the reviews.
Directors: Matt Reeves
Stars: Lizzy Caplan Michael Stahl-David, Mike Vogel
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Studio: Paramount Pictures
Running Time: 84 Mins
Review Rating: 5 Stars
Cloverfield is about is told about a mysterious monster attacking New York City told from the perspective of a digital Video camera. The film follows five New Yorkers who at the party where one of them is planning to move to moving to Japan to start over his life after the break-up of his girlfriend. They were enjoying the party until a mysterious monster begins to knock building over including the head of the Stature of Liberty. Soon it starts to get out of control when the gigantic monster starts heading their way. Soon, they must to run away from this monster as it starts to get closer to the city, before it strikes them.
Cloverfield surprisingly lives up to the hype and then some. This film is Director Matt Reeves second feature film, as you might not know that he directed The Pallbearer back in 1996 which nobody including me (which I might take a look after seeing this film) saw that stared David Schwimmer and Gwyneth Paltrow. He has a future in this business, as a director. Producer J.J. Abrams made a very good choice in bringing Reeves aboard here. He brings out that intensity which was needed for this type of film. Reeves does a great job directing this film under these difficult circumstances. He does a great job making some of this film, as realistic as possible from the method of filmmaking he uses to the frightening apocalyptic imagery that used throughout the film. His direction of the actors was very good. The actors didn’t as they came off clichéd or unlikable, instead they came off as frighten and intense people who are going thought a major disaster.
With all of the credit of this film going to Reeves and Abams, I don’t know why screenwriter Drew Goddard isn’t getting as much run, as those two. His screenplay was great. He does a good job not rushing right into the action, as he spends time developing his characters in the first fifteen minutes in the film, which helps the viewer to get to know the characters before the eventual chaos. Goddard also intertwines bits and pieces of Rob and Beth happier moments of their relationship on that videotape. To me, that did two things, which was very good for the film. First, it helped show why Rob is obsessed with finding her, after they went their separate ways during the chaos. And second, it helps sell the gimmick that this film is a found footage film. Another thing that Goddard’s screenplay got right was that the fact that it focused on the people who are caught in the middle of the monster’s path. I liked how Goddard focuses on them and the crises at hand, instead of trying to find out where the monster from, or trying to give some ridiculous reason to why this is happening. The film works as a whole because it doesn’t try to cheesy because if he went in that direction then it would seem like more of a Godzilla rip-off because you’ll be focusing on the monster and not the people caught in this mess.
Cloverfield is truly surprisingly as it lives up to the hype. The film is definitely one of the years best films overall in my opinion so far, as it’s a frightening and intense film that will leave Goosebumps.
Directors: Carlos Atanes
Stars: Oriol Aubets, Manuel Solas, Anthony Blake
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Language: Spanish with English Subtitles
Studio: Fort Knox Audiovisual
Running Time: 117 Mins
Review Rating: 5 Stars
Official Website: http://www.welcometoproxima.com/
Proxima is very intelligent Sci-Fi film. Writer/Director Carlos Atanes does a great job in getting all of the science-fiction aspects of the film done right. Atanes is the most compelling visually styled directors out there in the underground film scene today. The film’s imagery was very good. I liked the fact the fact that Atanes didn’t heavily rely on the bizarre imagery, in which he used for his last film Codex Atanicus. Instead, most of the imagery in the film was used for the nicely set backgrounds, which helped the Sci-fi nature of the film and gives you a nice viewing experience. His direction of the actors was very good especially with the main star of the film, Oriol Aubets. His performance here was very good. His chemistry with the other actors was very good, as the character he played was interesting to watch.
The screenplay was very good here. Atanes makes this film, a nice and interesting psychological science fiction piece/character study. He does that by mainly focusing on his main character and the actions and events that happen to him. Atanes really lets you get to know him by spending time in the beginning to develop the character’s personal life like how his relationship and business is falling into pieces. He also makes his main character conflicted with the problems that going on with his life and his willingness to escape them all. It helps create a scenario where the character is having trouble with his mind.
Proxima is a very intelligent science fiction film with great directing and great landscape imagery.
By Appointment Only
Director: John Faust
Stars: Matt Ryan, Belen Green, Nancy Sinclair
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Studio: The 3D Film Factory
Running Time: 20 Mins
Review Rating: 5 Stars
Official Website: http://www.byapptonlymovie.com/
By Appointment Only has been a major hit on the film festival circuit, as it played so far in thirty-three film festivals including the 2007 Rock and Shock Film Festival, Comic-Con, Rhode Island International Horror Film Festival, Terror Film Festival (where it won Best Director and Best Actress) Zompire Film Festival (where it won the Best of Festival award) and most recently at this year’s Dead By Dawn Film Festival over in England.
The short is about a woman who’s moving to the west coast who’s looking to start. On her way to her appointment with the realtor, her car breaks down. She then is stranded in a local dinner where she meets a guy who’s willing to give he a lift to the appointment. But things take a turn when a mysterious man tries to warn her to go back to where she came from. She still decides to ignore him and go to her appointment, as scheduled. Once there, she discovers that the quite little town that she wanted to live in has some dangerous secrets that might make this appointment, the last appointment, she will ever have.
By Appointment Only is a very twisted and shocking film. The first thing that I walked away, from this film was that I wish that this film were a feature length film because this was very good film. Writer/Director John Faust has the talent to develop a cult following. He does a very good job making this film feel like something that was done from a Hollywood studio for the budget he had to work with. Faust also delivers on the shocking violence, which was necessary for the character development. His direction of the actor was also good.
Faust’s screenplay was very frightening. I liked how Faust focused of the mysterious man perspective, as he’s conflicted throughout the film on whether to save the girl or not. He also makes the makes the villain very twisted. The screenplay also has a twist that felt like it came out of David Lynch film but also added to the story. The twist was very good, as it was mind-blowing. Faust also hit a high note with the film’s shocking scene, which I won’t go into details because I don’t want to spoil, as it felt creepy and very disturbing.
There is a proposed plan for 3D version for this film. Trust me, that shocking scene that I just mentioned, may be more shocking in 3D than in the version I saw. By Appointment Only is so shocking that it will make you think twice before buying a new home.
If you’re a filmmaker and interested in having your horror film reviewed in the horror chamber, you can reach the Chamber Keeper himself at my new email address at HorrorChamber@filmarcade.net or if you have any film in any genres that you want Film Arcade to review. Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also, don’t forget to add the official myspace home of Reviews From the Horror Chamber at http://www.myspace.com/reviewsfromthehorchamber.
Next week I will start previewing and reviewing some of the latest underground horror films that will be self-distributed on DVD and playing at your local film festivals this October. Until then, have a frightening day.