Ah, October, a month when talking obsessively about slashers, vampires, haunted houses, killer aliens, werewolves, and dismemberment is generally socially condoned. I have been enormously enjoying my own spooky season, an extension of my personal exploration of horror over the past year. Though I’ve seen many new-to-me horror films recently, it has been especially heartening to check out a few titles written and/or directed by women, which aren’t exactly common. Two of my favorites so far are the lycanthropy-as-metaphor-for-puberty drama Ginger Snaps, written by Karen Walton, and the body-mod gorefest American Mary, written and directed by the Soska Sisters.
When university student Hana meets a quiet, lonely man in one of her lectures, the attraction is instantaneous. She soon discovers he is the last of a family of wolf-people, but that does not change her feelings for him. They move in together and have two children, and tragically he is killed in an accident shortly after the second child is born. Hana quickly realizes her offspring are shapeshifters, with the ability to turn into wolves, and she moves her family out to the country with the hope that they’ll be safe from prying eyes and can find a way to reconcile their dichroic heritage by being closer to nature.
Consider this: In three weeks, an asteroid will strike earth, ending all life on the planet. Everyone in the world has three weeks to live. What to do? I’d probably try to travel if I could, see Japan and Egypt and Vienna. Of course, time with loved ones would also be a priority, and watching every movie and reading every book I could. Lorene Scafaria’s characters in Seeking a Friend for the End of the World react to this news in a variety of ways: suicide, drugs, orgies, riots, relentless optimism, and the like. After his wife literally runs away from him, hypochondriac insurance agent Dodge (Steve Carrell) comes to the realization that his entire life has been meaningless.
Though I’m finding the whole thing rather baffling, I am set on finishing the Evangelion reboot film series. Mostly because I lost interest in the show itself and feel like this is a faster way to find out what happens at the end. Plus the animation is better. The third entry in the film series is the most inscrutable yet, but so beautifully animated and so god-damn weird that I guess I liked it. I GUESS. It shifts the action 14 years in the future where everything is terrible, more terrible even than before, and punctuates the snippets of exposition with big robot battles. For my full review, head over to 366 Weird Movies!
An adaptation of the comic (which I haven’t read) that tries to steer clear of the trappings of the previous film version, Dredd is a tight action flick that’s heavy on gore and light on stupid jokes. Set in a future where the land between Boston and Washington, DC is a giant walled-in metropolis and justice is doled out by police-executioners, the film follows the first day in the field of a young psychic “judge”, Anderson (Olivia Thirlby). Though less than skilled in police work, her mutant abilities get her partnered up with the best judge in the force, Dredd (Karl Urban).