Movie Reviews 38

Pandorum (2009)
PandorumThis is one of those ‘horror in space’ creature movies that riffs off of Alien as well as Vampire and Zombie movies at the same time. The spaceship in question is a massive colony ship heading out for a promising Earth-like planet. As it so happens, Earth being virtually depleted of resources also ends up blowing itself up or suffers some other obliterating calamity making the spaceship mankind’s last hope for survival. But those hopes are pretty dim from the start of the movie as a single crew member awakens from stasis in a very confused state with no other crew members around to tell him whats going on and why wasn’t he awakened as part of a regularly scheduled crew exchange. He manages to awaken another member, but they soon discover the ship is infested with humanoid creatures. The creatures are the result of genetic planet-adaption changes made to the colonists. As the two make their way through the ship, they encounter a few other living humans (in varying states of sanity) and it becomes a battle for control of the ship and the salvation of mankind. The movie works well as a horror with a decent enough story, but there are some rambling scenes and it could have done with a little less theatrics and just move the story along. The makeup/CGI creatures are pretty cool but take a back seat to this one creepy ‘kid’ creature that only appears for moment.

Hostel II (2007)
I had mixed feelings for Eli Roth’s original Hostel when I saw it as there was a lot of hype being bandied about for the movie and I had high expectations because of that. When I finally got to see it I was mildly disappointed not so much because I did not like the movie, but because it certainly didn’t live up to the hype. So upon hearing about the sequel, Hostel II, I had no such expectations, and as a result I liked what I saw. Not to say that it was an exceptional movie or even that it was novel in any way, but it was good enough from a ‘sequel’ point of view at least. Three college girls enjoying a European holiday end up at a Hostel in some small town and subsequently end up being the recipients of some perverted ‘pay-to-torture’ scheme. No surprise so far to those having seen the first movie. What sets this one apart is that viewers are now introduced to some of the paying clients that go to great lengths to vent their destructive frustrations on the unfortunate young chattel that get lured. We get to see how they go from their law abiding, groomed and manicured privileged existence to the worst ‘humanity’ has to offer. Even more interesting are the differing views shared by two such friends, one a returning customer, the other hesitatingly being dragged along. We get to see what these monsters are like in their daily routines and then again in the dungeons with their ‘chosen’ victims. The movie also offers up a few interesting unexpected twists at the end. In any case I found it far more interesting that the original Hostel.

The Hills Have Eyes (1977)
This is one of those horror classics that for some reason or another I never got around to watching until now. A very early Wes Craven film that is low on budget and flash, but already shows the budding skills of the movie maker. I’m not sure if this was the very first movie that depicts a bunch of travelers getting stuck on some remote highway only to find themselves terrorized by a bunch of hillbillies, but the scenario has long since become a staple of horror and even if it was not the first, it was certainly instrumental in setting the trend. It’s an excellent example of making a terrifying and memorable movie. At the same time, some aspects of the film are pretty cheesy and indicative of the budget. But most of those sins are easy to laugh off just like you have to almost laugh at some of the atrocious 70’s clothing. Seeing adult males in skin tight gym shorts will make you cringe almost as much as the horror elements in the movie. I cannot write a review on The Hills Have Eyes without mentioning Micheal Berryman who’s striking facial features has been pretty much been used as the iconic facade for any advertisement for this film. (C’mon, look at that mug!) In reality his is but one of many small parts in the movie. Effective and fun to watch for sure, but don’t expect to see a lot of him. I hear the remake was pretty good as well. Going to have to hunt that one down someday. Hope I’m not going to wait for 34 years like I did for this one.

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4 Responses to “Movie Reviews 38”

  1. Aloha Mister Hand Says:

    Good post! Yeah,the remake is really good, as remakes go! You should definitely check it out. It follows the story to the letter. 🙂

    • lazaruslair Says:

      Funny you should say that. I have seen the remake of “The Hills Have Eyes” and have even drafted a review. I just have not posted it yet as I tend to post movie reviews in batches of 3 or 4 at a time, which you’ve noticed. But since you’ve brought up the movie already, I’ll give you a sneak peek of what the review will be: Thumbs up!

  2. Aloha Mister Hand Says:

    I meant that towards The Hills Have Eyes, I didn’t realize you had three reviews on one post, oops! My bad 🙂

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