(1999) The Astronaut’s Wife

Johnny Depp and Charlize Theron are great but their performances still weren’t really enough.

The initial moments of something-is-wrong in this film are pretty great. I like the somewhat open-ended vague premise as it really could potentially lead anywhere. The direction of the film establishes pretty quickly and from there it just kind of slow jerks you without ever giving you that climax.

The CGI elements just didn’t work for me personally and kind of in the same way that they don’t work in a lot of alien based sci-fi films. The thing is, I have no fucking clue what the aliens look like so the possibilities are endless. Since I’m already never wow’d by CGI, especially from 1999, any sort of reveal is an inevitable letdown.

This isn’t an original concept and I would have loved to see them go much darker with it. It’s just such a frustrating film to watch if you get easily annoyed with characters who make irrational decisions.

4.5/10

(1933) King Kong

This film is a complete journey and a fantastic feat of filmmaking. I’m not one to jerk an old film off for nothing and this one does have its faults which I’ll mention. As a whole though, it’s marvelous.

Let’s get the bad out of the way and then we’ll rehash compliments that a million people have given this over time. King kong himself, while looking okay in certain moments, is dated and goofy as fuck. He looks legitimately retarded. It really doesn’t take away from the movie a ton but I’m just surprised they managed to do such a fantastic job with the other creatures. The one that comes to mind is the lockness monster looking cocksucker. I mean, the mist and all that shit, it worked out to be a great series of shots.

If you’re critiquing how the film looks though it’s mostly going to be filled with praise. Sure, it does cut between claymation, miniature set pieces and old school effects constantly. The thing is, it’s just so immersive and impressive that all I could think about was how much work went into creating this world.

It’s a great film, it really gives perspective to Peter Jackson’s version and while I found the latest Kong iteration to stray from the pack, that was great too. By great, I mean John C. Reilly is hilarious and makes the film.

All in all, don’t shit on any Kong movies until you watch the original. It’s 1933, a lot of my technical criticisms really pale in comparison to everything this film does right.

7/10

(2003) Dreamcatcher

I think Dreamcatcher is successful in that, it kept me fairly entertained for the entire 2+ hour run time. Unfortunately, looking at it from a critical aspect and taking into account what the writers and directors were trying to do, it fell somewhat flat.

This film is a really tough one to review because there’s just so much going on. I think it starts really strong with an interesting platform of telepathy and sets the stage for what could have been a great mystery to piece together. Somewhere along the way though, it just goes full on Independence Day.

This basically wasn’t what I personally wanted but it’s not terrible for what it is. There’s an odd mix of sort of child-geared sci-fi that I can’t get behind but I still maintain it to be an enjoyable watch.

6/10

(2016) Here Alone

This is a solid film that I don’t think was necessarily needed by the horror community but I’m glad we received it. We’ve had this ultra-realistic, post apocalyptic microcosm film before and I can’t say I got anything entirely new out of Here Alone but rather, a much more in touch version of similar works.

I did appreciate the ending, I thought the specific details on film were gut wrenching. They also potentially represented the potential sacrifices of this fictional landscape better than previous films of the same genre.

It’s a definite slow burn but the subtleties in all three characters built three different dynamic personas to grow attached to.

I was concerned with the slow pacing of this film but sitting here digesting it, I realize there’s a lot of talent here and I’m looking forward to what this director does next.

7.5/10

(1935) Bride of Frankenstein

Hands down the best universal monster movie I’ve seen so far. I was straight drooling over those set pieces.

Boris Karloff is the only Monster in my mind. I would even consider this film to be family friendly as he’s the sweetest version of himself. There’s no really complex character development but The Monster is undoubtably more self aware which makes the entire film more engaging.

I don’t really have any complaints, it doesn’t get much better than this for horror in the 1930’s.

8/10

(1943) Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man

Alright, well, this wasn’t that great but I still love these universal monster set pieces. The special effects from this era are always entertaining, even though I know many feel the opposite.

I guess my biggest complaint would be The Monster. They were really missing Boris Karloff. This other guy really wasn’t impactive in the role.

Other than that, it’s just kind of a silly film. I think it’s meant to be fun but I enjoyed Son of Frankenstein way more.

6/10