Anyway, in honour of my own Easter spent rendering my opinion redundant with a Resident Evil movie marathon (sorry), we start with a look at the latest survival horror video game adaptation, Silent Hill: Revelation.
The sequel to 2006’s critically-savaged but commercially successful Silent Hill reunites the Man With The Least Convincing American accent, Sean Bean, Radha Mitchell and Deborah Kara Unger from the original with a surprisingly decent line-up of new cast members including Parade’s End’s Adelaide Clemens, Bean’s Game of Thrones co-star Kit Harrington and a reliably hammy Malcolm McDowell.
With an unsurprisingly poor script covering the usual occult/zombie malarkey and some faxed-in performances, Silent Hill: Revelation is nonetheless saved by some haunting demonic fairground images presumably plundered wholesale from the games by Solomon Kane director Michael J. Bassett.
Do you remember the promise of spring? Yeah, same here. You may have read of the famous groundhog Punxhatawny Phil’s indictment in the US on grounds of failing to predict its onset correctly, which provides us with a very tenuous, half-baked link to Repeaters; a kind of infinitely bleaker, violent version of Groundhog Day.
Starting with a similar premise to that Bill Murray movie, Carl Bessai’s film follows three twenty-something residents at a drink and drugs rehab clinic who find they can start the day anew every day.
Asking that old chestnut of how far we would go if we could get away with it, our three protagonists begin by playfully pushing the rules only to slowly succumb to much darker tendencies with increasingly disturbing results.
With a great existential high-concept, effortlessly stylish action direction and a strong performance from Richard De Klerk as the most wayward of the three, Repeaters is a divertingly different thriller.
Barry Levinson isn’t the sort of big Hollywood name you usually see in this neck of the woods. The director of Rain Man, Good Morning, Vietnam and Wag the Dog made a sneaky lower-budget horror debut last year with his found-footage critical hit, The Bay.
Set in the fictional coastal town of Claridge, by Maryland’s Chesapeake Bay, near where Levinson himself lives, this eco-friendly tale of the horrors of pollution (and mutant parasites) takes a different route to most similar films.
Though the beasties from the deep story is as old as, erm, Mickey Rooney, Levinson’s multi-faceted way of offing the hapless townsfolk through combined footage from boats, home camcorders and hospitals manages to keep The Bay fresher than its toxic pollutants.
Our last film this time round is Rodney Ascher’s Room 237, the fascinating documentary about Stanley Kubrick’s masterpiece, The Shining. Explicitly not approved of by anyone involved with the making of the film, Ascher’s movie is all the more interesting for its cheeky foray into pure speculation.
Rather than follow the traditional route of looking at the making of the original film, Ascher talks to various “super-fans” of the film about their deeply subjective beliefs on what The Shining is really about.
With believable ideas about the significance of numbers in proving subtexts ranging from The Holocaust to the Native American genocide as well as more outrageous theories regarding Kubrick’s alleged involvement in faking the Apollo moon landings, this is either entertainingly creative storytelling or offensively silly conjecture. You decide.
What’s the best horror movie you’ve seen recently? Let us know below…