The Orphanage

Posted in Movies on August 26th, 2008 and tagged , , , , , , , ,

Wow.  What a good movie.  The Orphanage is an eerily spooky ghost story, and I don’t really know what else to say about it because I want to make sure not to spoil anything.  They must have felt the same way when they wrote the summary on the back of the dvd’s box because it was very general and even incorrect in some aspects.  The movie is in Spanish, and I’ll admit that scared us away from watching it for awhile.  We got to go out to see a movie together while we were in Florida last January, and we went to buy tickets for The Orphanage, but the worker told us it had subtitles.  So we saw One Missed Call instead, and that wasn’t nearly as good, not even the same kind of movie.  Our movie rental place has a satisfaction guarrantee, so when we told them how unhappy we were with The Fun Park, we got a free rental.  My husband was trying to be quick again – that’s what got us into trouble with The Fun Park in the first place though – so he just grabbed The Orphanage, remembering that we had wanted to see it after reading the glowing reviews from critics.  Pretty soon, it was Sunday already and we hadn’t watched the movie and it was due by 11 pm that evening, so we quickly watched it while the kids were all napping from our big weekend.  It didn’t take long to forget we were reading subtitles rather than watching people talk in the movie; it was that good.  The critics were actually right for once.  Like I said, I really don’t want to give any of the plot because it’d be difficult to explain anything without giving away spoilers.  So I’ll just say, if you like spooky movies, this one is a must-see.  It’s not even really a horror movie; it’s supernaturally suspenseful.  The story draws you in and doesn’t let go…  you may not speak the same language as the characters, but you idenify with them, feel their pain, and genuinely care about what happens to them as the story unfolds.  SEE IT!  It’s a totally different movie experience between the subtitles and just the kind of movie it is – I HIGHLY recommend it! 

Sleepwalkers

Posted in Movies on August 20th, 2008 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

With the exception of Thinner, I’ve liked most of the Stephen King movies I’ve seen.  My favorite is Storm of the Century, a Prime-Time Emmy Award winning made-for-tv mini-series that aired in 1999.  Every winter when a big blizzard is predicted in our corner of Ohio, we plan on being snowed in watching our Storm of the Century dvd.  It never happens though; I think it has to do with trying to watch a 240 minute movie that’s not for kids when we have 4 of them.  But anyway, if we ever get time to watch Storm of the Century in the near future, I’ll definitely blog more about it – it’s awesome!

One of Stephen King’s lesser known films, Sleepwalkers, is a movie I saw as a teenager.  I liked it back then, so when I happened to see the dvd on the library’s shelf the other day, that’s what I quickly picked up since I was in a hurry.  My husband and I watched it the other night, and we both had the same opinion.  A fun little horror film, nothing great but still entertaining.  It is Stephen King-creepy, as only he can do, and much of the movie’s creepiness has to do with the mother-son relationship; I won’t go into detail except to say that it’s extremely disturbing.  Brian Krause and Alice Krige play the mother and son monsters who need to feed on a human virgin in order to survive.  They morph into strange cat-like creatures, which is even more strange because cats are drawn to their house, yet deadly to the monsters at the same time.  The special effects are extremely cheesy by today’s standards and even laughable, but sometimes I’m a sucker for that kind of thing and really enjoy bad special effects – my favorite example of this is Jaws 3-D.

While we’re on the subject of Stephen King, as I mentioned, I like most of his movies that I’ve seen.  I tried to read the book Carrie a really long time ago, but I found it hard to follow, either because I was a teen or because of the religious ramblings inserted throughout the book which were done in such a way that it’s hard to follow because it’s depicting Carrie’s mother’s craziness.  But anyway, Stephen King is very talented, of course.  He has a gift of making movies extremely creepy without stooping as low as many of today’s horror movies do with the constant blood and gore.

An interesting event took place in his life that almost reads like one of his novels, well, actually it does since he wrote about it.  On June 19, 1999, his life was changed forever when he was hit by a car while walking down a Maine road.  There are two creepy coincidences about this incident.  First, earlier that year, King had finished most of From a Buick 8, a novel in which a character dies after getting struck by a car.  Second, the driver of the car, Bryan Smith, who was only 43, was found dead in his trailer just over a year later of an accidental overdose.  He was found dead on Stephen King’s birthday, September 21.  The accident was inspiration for the Dark Tower series of books, and King is in talks with Lost co-creator J.J. Abrams to do an adaption of the series.  Since I’m a fan of Lost and Stephen King, that might be something I’ll have to check out.  Until then, I’ll probably be planning another snowy viewing of Storm of the Century this winter that won’t come to fruition.