Number 1 of My Top 31 Horror Movies : A research team in Antarctica is hunted by an alien that assumes the appearance of its victims : Why don’t we just… wait here for a little while… see what happens? everytime I revisit THE THING my excitement levels soar and my blood runs cold, it’s a MASTERPIECE, the single most terrifying horror movie of all time, from it’s gripping suspense, gruesome practical effects to it’s terrific character driven cast and it’s slow beating Ennio Morricone score, it truly is a gift from the filmmaking gods : the beauty with The Thing and the reason why I believe it’s such a great horror movie is the overall intensity level does not drop, it’s relentless and there’s so many scary, atmospheric moments that really catch you off guard such as the dog pen scene, from the time MacReady pulls down the Alarm cord, the howling of the dogs to the cruelty of what happens next is horrific, Blair’s meltdown with the axe in the control room is scary because paranoia mixed with fear has truly set in and actor Wilford Brimley executes his part perfectly well, the scene when the head of Norris turns into this freaking head-spider is shit your pants time (my god the effects are awesome), that moment when Copper’s arms are bitten off during the chest defibrillation scene is frankly insane and of course the main course of suspense during the films last quarter when MacReady is testing the blood whilst the rest of the team are tied to their chairs is an exciting, adrenaline fueled nail biter, like a violent version of Miss Marple when she gathers up the suspects in the cocktail lounge to tell them her findings, I can still hear the noise the wire makes when it sizzles against the plastic tray and your just waiting to see which one of the team the alien has infected next : along with it’s creepy score all of John Carpenter’s movies have a distinct lightening and visual look and The Thing is no different, I really found Bottin & Cundey‘s work on the eerie, cold exterior to be quite exquisite capturing the desolate icy tomb of Outpost 31 to chilling perfection, the film’s sparsely lit, rather mundane interior was pretty darn good too, I loved the way the guys created light at times by using the fiery orange haze of Childs flame thrower, the odd stick of dynamite and of course the color of the alien turning into it’s next nasty, gruesome form : so if you like your horror with a huge dose of intense who goes there suspense, side portions of tummy churning squelch, the odd dash of humor and one of the finest horror endings put to film then check out John Carpenter’s great scifi horror THE THING ★★★★★
Number 11 of My Top 31 Horror Movies : An unearthly fog rolls into a small coastal town exactly 100 years after a ship mysteriously sank in its waters : the movie starts on a beach, a group of kids sat around a burning fire as an old fishing captain tells the story about a shipwrecked clipper boat named the Elizabeth Dane….. : after the success of his 1978 horror Halloween, and turning his back on filming a more lucrative sequel filmmaker John Carpenter turned to a story he had written after finding inspiration from a 50s movie The Trollenberg Terror and also by visiting the infamous and some say mystical Stonehenge : THE FOG is both riverting and utterly hair-raising and unlike many of it’s contemporaries it’s not violent or gory yet there’s something quite unsettling lurking deep down in the belly of this 80’s ghost story : from the chilling synth score that accompanies the whiteness of the fog drifting up the coast and into Antonio Bay sweeping across the horizon into churches, underneath doorways, shrouding everything that it comes into contact with, in a death cosuming way to it’s terrific cast that includes Jamie Lee’s drifter, Tom Atkins townie, the wonderful Hal Holbrook as Father Malone and the gorgeous Adrienne Barbeau as DJ Stevie Wayne who broadcasts a local radio show from the lighthouse on the coast (filmed at Point Reyes) : there’s many ingredients to a great movie but for me apart from it’s director the person responsible in how the film looks & feels to the viewer is the DP and they don’t come more impressive than Dean Cundey, I mean talk about LEGEND, from Halloween, The Thing, Escape from New York to Romancing the Stone, Back to the Future and Jurassic Park here’s a guy who has managed to capture moment on film like no other and with John Carpenter’s The Fog Cundey creates this ghostly, chilling atmosphere one of dread and unpleasantness that resonates from the very start of the movie to it’s finish : If you’ve never seen John Carpenter’s THE FOG then your missing a trick, it’s the perfect antidote for those dark & rainy nights when a good old fashioned horror is required, a scary movie that will engulf, unnerve and creep you down to your bones ★★★★★
“after a team of soldiers enter and don’t return five women scientists enter what is known as The Shimmer essentially a wall between our world and the infected area in hope of discovering what happened to those men and the truth behind this anomaly”
24hrs on and I can’t stop thinking of Alex Garland’s latest Annihilation – firstly it’s nowhere near as as complicated a story as people make out, yes it’s slow, brooding and set to a surreal back drop but when all is said and done it’s quite simply an alien invasion movie and a blooming good one too – music is used sparingly throughout the movie but when used it’s to eerie effect, the strumming of a guitar, a haunting melody really does up the tension and you just can’t help but think something bad is gona happen and soon – along with it’s exciting young cast there’s a certain likeness in Garland’s Annihilation to classic scifi of yesteryear such as The Thing and Alien, there is so much greatness and so many talking points throughout it’s rather short 115 min runtime, those scenes when Anya played by Gina Rodriguez decides to take matters into her own hands by tying the team to their chairs, attempts to interrogate and what happens next is edge of the seat brilliance and lets not forget the aligator attack, that bear like creature and Lena’s own discovery towards the pictures epic finale – if your over thinking about watching this movie then please stop what your doing take a breather and let your movie indulgence be enhanced by Garland’s Annihilation a modern scifi gem that will have you chomping at the bit for a rewatch seconds after it’s conclusion ★★★★½
Jonathan Sobol film The Art of the Steal has a pretty exciting cast that includes Kurt Russell (The Thing), Jay Baruchal (This is the End), Matt Dillon (Rumble Fish) and Terence Stamp (Superman) – the movie follows a motorcycle daredevil and a former art thief who assembles his old crew back for one last heist – in my book anytime Kurt Russell hits our screen’s with a new feature is something to get excited for – here’s the new trailer and some stills…. Enjoy!
The Art of the Steal – US (14th March) – UK (N/A) – Australia (N/A) – also on VOD Feb 7, 2014