Cinematic Horror

Hmmm… I suppose that I should begin with Silent Hill. Apparently, a lot of movie-goers aren’t enjoying it, or even really understanding it. This would be the same crowd that didn’t get The Cell. It’s really fairly deep and engaging for a video-game movie–although a bit gory toward the end. Possibly the lack of happy ending confuses the masses. Personally, the only thing that confused me was the winding road in the deeps of rural Virginia that had lots of street lights.

On the home-video front, I rented a couple recently: Cerberus, Return of the Living Dead: Necropolis, and Dreams in the Witch-House.

Cerberus was kinda fun, although unnecessarily convoluted. The basic plot is that Cerberus is unleashed upon Romania when the sword of Mars is stolen from Attila the Hun’s crypt. Of course, “Attila carried the sword of Mars and now Cerberus protects it” apparently didn’t work for the producers; instead, we are treated to a five-minute flashback establishing that Attila dug up an old sword and called it “the sword of Mars” to bolster his reputation, then made a pact with the Devil, who imbued it with the power of invincibility. Then, after Attila’s death, the Devil set Cerberus–who to my knowledge was never incorporated into Christian mythology–to guard the sword. Makes me tired just typing it.
The real pull for the movie is Emmanuelle “she-who-would-be-the-widow-of-Lex-Luthor” Vaugier, late of Smallville fame.

As for Necropolis, it was obviously made by someone who not only had never seen a real gun, but who had never watched any of the original Return movies: the zombies in Necropolis are readily dispatched by a bullet to the head. The pull for Necropolis is… well, there really isn’t any.

Finally, Dreams in the Witch-House is part of a new 13 movie “Masters of Horror” series–one-hour movies made by the directors of various horror classics. Dreams was directed by Stuart Gordon, of Re-Animator and From Beyond. Unfortunately, even after two previous H.P.L. outings, he still gets it wrong: Dreams is about a Devil-cult. I was willing to forgive the modernization; I was even willing to forgive the silly romance (it’s a really short story), but putting a Christian theme in an H.P.L. story simply demonstrates a lack of regard for the subject matter.

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