theindiefilmreviewer

Archive for the ‘horror’ Category

Vampyr (C.Dreyer), a 1932 horror film

In drama, horror, surnatural, Uncategorized on July 30, 2009 at 7:01 AM

vampyr-1932-horror-movie-review-38711When when Danish director Carl Th. Dreyer directed “Vampyr”  in 1932, he was far from knowing the influence that he would have on the horror genre. What is now called one of the best horror film of film history, was denounced by critics and audience at the time of its release in 1932, and was a huge financial failure.

Vampyr tells the story of Allan Gray, a student of the occult, visiting a countryside town of France.  After being attacked by various supernatural entities, he discovers the presence of  “vampyres”. Those deadly creatures, who suck blood out of children and young adults to stay alive,  pushes mortals to commit suicide and thus doomed to serve the Evil.

In this film, where most scenes happens at night, Dreyer creates an eerie mood, shown to us through a very washed out look.  In order to achieve this aesthetic, his cinematographer Rudolph Maté ( The Passion of Joan of Arc, To Be Or Not To Be, Lady From Shanghai), shot the film through a piece of gauze, hold few feet away from the lens. As we always sees it in Dreyer’s close-ups, he preferred to cast mostly non-professionals actors, giving us to watch, real faces full of expressions.

One of the most remarkable element in the film, is the thin boundary between dream and horror that maintains during the whole film. The supernatural entities are represented through the form of shadows, that our main character follows, and thus taking the audience through new eerie decors. However, the destruction of the human soul by the vampyres, makes more think of todays horror/torture film feeling that we can find in the “Saw” films. “Vampyr” gives the feeling of watching a nightmare awake, with a little bit of Freud’s unheimlich, “something that stepped out of darkness, but should have stayed there”.

“Vampyr” is available in a beautiful Criterion edition (http://www.criterion.com/) .

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“An Angel for Christmas”, every gift is not a good one.

In drama, family, horror, Short film on September 23, 2008 at 8:52 AM

This short horror film did its world premiere at the Regency Fairfax Theater ( former Laemmle Theater), the 18th of June 2008, here in Los Angeles California. This short thrilling horror piece features a young mother who finds an unexpected present under the Christmas tree. check out the trailer at http://fabienhameline.com/Fictions.html . Goosebumps garanteed.

The Moonlit Road in festival

In drama, family, horror, psychological, Short film, surnatural, thriller, Uncategorized on May 30, 2008 at 1:48 AM

Remember that film we reviewed few months ago entitled “the moonlit road”? Well it finally make it to its first festival!! I just received a warm letter from its director Leor Baum, asking me to spread the word. So here it is with the official poster. This fine film will be screened here in Los Angeles :

Friday, May 30th @8:00pm

Echo Park Film Center   MAP

1200 N. Alvarado Street (@ Sunset Blvd)

Los Angeles, CA 90026

http://www.echoparkfilmcenter.org/

Doors open @ 7:30 p.m. Admission is $10.

Drinks are free (Wine, Beer, and Dry Soda).

Q and A to follow, as well as a raffle. 

 

Hope to see you there!

 

The Indie Film Reviewer

“I am Legend”, The last man on earth

In drama, family, feature film, horror, psychological on January 3, 2008 at 2:38 PM

i-am-legend-bigposter1.jpg

 

“I am Legend” is the second feature film of Francis Lawrence, important music videos director ( Britney Spears, Aerosmith) but also of “Constantine”. “Legend” starring Will Smith who plays the role of the last man on Earth, scientist still searching for a cure to a virus (created by the Man) that annihilated Earth. 

In this new film, Lawrence approaches the theme of the last man on earth. “legend”, coming from Latin “legenda” or ” thing to be read”, shows well the projection of the audience in the future and the not-to-far status of the man. The film is intercut between scenes of  Robert Neville’s lonely daily life in NYC, trying to find a cure, an between flashbacks showing the end of the days. The showing a NYC full of life ( flashbacks), next to a completely empty one with wilderness taking over the city, creates a very interesting contrast.

This film shows the Man should fear himself more than the end of times, or the Sun extinction.

“The Moonlit Road”, a modern tale adaptation

In drama, family, horror, psychological, Short film, surnatural, Uncategorized on October 10, 2007 at 1:17 AM

The Moonit Road official poster

When Ambrose Bierce wrote “The Moonlit Road” in 1907, he surely did not think it would have been adapted into a modern motion picture a hundred years later. Young director Leor Baum adapted and directed what is now a modern tale adaptation. Modern yet poetic, the audience is taken through several time travels. Different families inhabiting the same space at different times, but facing the same problem: the divided family. Young French cinematographer Sebastien Hameline contributed to the look of the film, giving it an atmospherical look, and at the same time dynamic. Keeping this current subject of family issue mixed with ghost stories and lyricism, Leor Baum gives us a breeze of freshness ( and spookyness), in today’s short films. Trailer at http://www.myspace.com/themoonlitroad