Mar 272012
 

Director: Nicolas Gessner

Rating: PG

Running Time: 91 Minutes

Release Date:November 26, 1976

GenreMystery Suspense

CastRynn(Jodie Foster), Frank Hallet(Martin Sheen), Mrs. Hallet(Alexis Smith), Miglioriti(Mort Shuman), Mario(Scott Jacoby)

Synopsis: Since the death of her father, thirteen year-old Rynn (Jodie Foster) lives alone in a large house in a small New England town. With the help of another kid, Mario, she must convince the adults of town that her father is still around or they will take her away. Frank (Martin Sheen), the landlord’s creepy adult son, has also taken an unwholesome interest in her.

Analysis: I saw this film once when I was very young and it has been in my mind ever since. It is a darker and more realistic version of Pippi Longstocking, where the girl lives by herself and doesn’t need any help from the outside world, but the outside world keep intruding. Instead of tricking the adults like Pippi, Rynn gets backed into a corner and people end up dying by accident and this leads to more and more lies and the hiding of bodies.

Pro:

  • Funny chain of deaths that start with her father trying to spare her from his death.
  • Martin Sheen makes a very convincing and scary pedophile.
  • Mario has so many brothers that his parents forgot which ones had polio shots and that is why Mario has a limp.

Con:

  • The musical score is very dated from the 1970s with bass, symbols, keyboard and flute.
  • The dialogue is choppy at times, but counteracted by Fosters good acting.
  • Too much tea drinking!

Conclusion: I’m pretty sure that I was about 5 years old when I first saw this film. Around the same time, I had also seen a similar movie called A Girl Named Sooner and combined them in my head causing some strange recollections. The Little Girl That Lives Down the Lane is a pretty obscure and rare film, so I am very fortunate to have caught this on TV. Now that I have seen it again, I realize that it is a pretty good film and not as creepy as I thought.

 

Frank’s Ratings

(1-5)

Characters

3

Story

4

Special Effects

2

Would Watch Again?

3

Average

3

 

Mar 262012
 

Director: Matt Reeves

RatingR

Running Time: 116 minutes

Release Date: 10/1/2010

GenreHorror, Vampire

CastOwen ( Kodi Smit-McPhee), Abby (Chloë Grace Moretz), “The Father” (Richard Jenkins), Owen’s mother (Cara Buono), “The Policeman” ( Elias Koteas)

Synopsis: In 1983 New Mexico, Owen ( Kodi Smit-McPhee) is a friendless 12-year-old boy and is picked on at school. He meets a dark and strange girl named Abby (Chloë Grace Moretz) and she helps him learn to fight back. Instead of recoiling in fear when he learns that she is a vampire, he falls for her and tries to help and protect her.

AnalysisThe director of Let Me In based it on a novel and 2008 Swedish film, Let the Right One In. They are very different films and Let Me In bigger budget allows for better special effects. Also, since it takes place in America in 1983 vs Sweden, it felt more personal to me since I was a nerdy 10-year-old in America during 1983.

I won’t spoil it here, but there is a pretty big secret about Abby’s nature and it is only briefly hinted at in Let Me In, but is more openly discussed in Let the Right One In. I’m not sure why they changed it, but I have the feeling that it was to make it more palatable to an American audience.

Pro:

  • Simple mask made of a plastic bag is frightening.
  • General restrained use of CGI.
  • Vampire must be invited in or it causes intense pain.
  • Disorienting scenes from inside vehicles.
  • Excellent work on the frozen body in the lake.

Con:

  • There is a very well-lit train crossing with no visible source of light
  • Slightly fake fire effect with the newly turned vampire woman.

Conclusion: I really enjoyed the film. I wasn’t sure what to expect but I was surprised and happy with the direction it took.

 

Frank’s Ratings

(1-5)

Characters

4

Story

4

Special Effects

3

Would Watch Again?

4

Average

3.75

 

Mar 222012
 

Cujo Stephen King 1983Director: Lewis Teague

RatingR

Running Time:1hr 33min 

Release Date: 8/12/83

GenreHorror

CastDonna Trenton (Dee Wallace), Tad Trenton (Danny Pintauro), Vic Trenton (Daniel Hugh-Kelly), Steve Kemp (Christopher Stone)

SynopsisBased on an early Stephen King novel of the same name. Cujo is about a rabid dog named Cujo. As his disease gets worse he attacks several people and eventually terrorizes Donna Trenton (Dee Wallace) and her son, Tad (Danny Pintauro), while they are trapped in a stalled car miles away from help.

Analysis: I can remember seeing previews of this movie when I was younger and they are probably the origin of my dislike and fear of big dogs. Over the years, I am pretty sure that I have seen almost every film based directly on Stephen King novels, but I couldn’t remember seeing Cujo. Once I started watching it, I realized that I had.

The problem is that film doesn’t create a lasting impression, no memorable lines, no great acting, and is jus 2 hours of a dog slobbering and people screaming in a car. According to some sources, they had to strap down Cujo’s tail to his leg because he though he was playing during attack scenes and his tail would wag. I wish that I could have found something about this movie that would have provoked strong emotions like that for me.

Pro:

  • Cujo’s slow decent into rabidness and psychotic insanity.
  • Tad (Danny Pintauro), looked so scared at time that it the audience want tho project him.
  • There is a really good camera shots of sunrise and moving shadows

Con:

  • Takes place during summer, but there are bare trees everywhere and sometimes the actors look cold because filming occurred late in the year.
  • There is a Spinning camera shot in the car that is really annoying.
  • Some of the dialogue from the book does not sound good when spoken.
  • The ending was abrupt.

Conclusion: During a few short years during the mid 1980s, Hollywood attempted to cash in on Stephen King’s rising popularity. Some of them were pretty good movies like The Dead Zone and Stand By Me. Others were rushed out the door and into theaters as quickly as possible, and Cujo is one of these. Stephen King has admitted several times that he was so into his alcohol addiction at the time that he does not remember writing the book. I wonder if anyone involved with this film feels the same way? Don’t bother with this one, if you need to fill you Stephen King fix, see The Shining or Carrie.

 

Frank’s Ratings

(1-5)

Characters

2

Story

2

Special Effects

1

Would Watch Again?

1

Average

1.5