Thursday, March 31, 2011

Suspiria, My Soul to Take


This is one of those I've always heard of as a classic, but just never got around to watching it.  I imagine I'll finally get around to watching a lot of those during this little exercise.
This movie looks fantastic.  The sets are amazing, and I really loved the way the music worked within the movie (although I did have a problem with it...more on that in a minute).  I wasn't the biggest fan of the story (young American travels to Europe to join a famous ballet school, and people die), but it looked fantastic.  There were some pretty creepy death scenes, which put me a little on edge (rare for an older movie like this). Of course, there were also some scenes that just came off as cheesy, but those were to be expected.
A minor annoyance: I loved the music, but it was a lot louder than the rest of the movie.  The dialog was relatively soft, so I had to turn up the volume...but then the music came on, and it was nearly ear-splitting.  It was a constant battle with the volume throughout the movie.
I liked it, but didn't love it.  It was pretty slow moving, and the payoff wasn't great.  But still, it looked terrific, and I can definitely see that it was far ahead of its time as far as how graphic it was.

Rating: 3 stars

My Soul to Take

This is the first movie written and directed by Wes Craven since New Nightmare.  I loved that movie (and Craven is a legend), so I was looking forward to this movie...even if I was trying to lower my expectations.  The previews weren't great, and reviews were terrible.
Maybe I was just in the right mood, but I really enjoyed this movie.  Sure, it was pretty predictable (there were a couple "twists", and at least one of them could be seen coming from a mile away), but there were a lot of pretty tense moments in this movie, particularly towards the end.  I didn't love all the characters, but I liked them enough to feel a little something when they died (well...for all but one of them).
The movie starts with the story of "The Riverton Ripper", who turns out to be a family man with multiple personalities.  He kills his wife and is shot multiple times by police.  On the way to the hospital, he attacks the ambulance driver and escapes.  He is never seen after that, so he is assumed dead...drowned in the river.  16 years later, it looks like he has come back (the scenes showing the Ripper are actually pretty good).  There were 7 children born the night the Ripper "died", and they start dying - one by one - on their 16th birthday.
It's not Craven's best movie, but I thoroughly enjoyed it.  If you feel like turning your brain off and catching a modern slasher movie, you could do worse than this one.

Rating: 4 stars

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