Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Movie #3 - La Chiesa/The Church (1989) - Review

I went into watching this film because I was on an Argento kick and was trying to devour as much of his work as possible. After watching this, myself and a friend of mine decided we weren't classing this as Argento anymore. It is directed by Michele Soavi, who directed Dellamorte Dellamore, a film I love and so I figured that the combination of two great directors would produce something special. It didn't work for me.

Watching this in the middle of my Argento-a-thon, it just didn't fit. Far from the Giallo style Argento is so amazing at, this is tale of a big Gothic cathedral, built over a mass gravesite, which is developing powers to trap people inside it. It's a fairly bizarre concept and filmed in such a way that I just couldn't get in to it. For starters the pacing was all off; it would cut from action scenes to bizarre, seemingly unrelated scenes for quite some time, then back in for some more of the people trapped in a church. It was jarring and felt confused, and I just didn't take to it at all.

The location of the cathedral and the architecture were brilliant and really lent an added depth to the film, likewise the cinematography and score were both good. The acting was hit and miss and the overall storyline left a lot to be desired, for me. 

It all boils down to personal taste really, and I tend to prefer a more real threat in my movies - a homicidal maniac, a black-gloved killer or a chainsaw-wielding nut are much more up my street than demons are, and so it takes something a little more special than The Church to get me to really love a demon-based horror. 

It's not a terrible movie, but it's really nothing special, and having seen it, I wouldn't bother to watch it again.

The Good: The setting and cinematography were well done

The Bad: It didn't flow right and the storyline didn't captivate me

I'd recommend this for: Anyone who likes demon/spirits in their horror movies and is prepared to wade through some slightly surreal stuff for it

Overall verdict: This one was not for me. In a Giallo or a movie with a more 'traditional' killer, I embrace the surreal - you have to, if Argento is your favourite director. But the concept behind this did nothing for me, and the surrealism and pacing lost me in the end. See it, but I wouldn't rush.


Movie #2 - Tenebrae (1982) - Review

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Year of Horror - Movie 2


YEAR: 1982

Sub-Genre: Giallo

Director: Dario Argento

Main Cast: Anthony Franciosa (as Peter Neal), Giuliano Gemma (as Detective Germani), John Saxon (as Bullmer),  Christian Borromeo (as Gianni)

Dario Argento is probably my favourite director of all time. His films are like a glorious treat for your eyes, and his storylines are often complicated but always intriguing. In Tenebre, Argento tells the story of Peter Neal, a writer who has come to Rome only to have someone use his novels as motivation for murder. This is one of Argento's most linear and coherent movies, but don't let that fool you - there is plenty going on here, the kills are spectacular and the utter brilliance of the storyline, with perfect pacing thrusting you into the glorious, unexpected, wonderful ending creates a film which is nigh on perfect.

Tenebre, along with Opera, is my favourite Argento film. I cannot recommend this highly enough, everyone who likes horror, hell, anyone who just likes films in general, needs to watch this.

Later in the year I will be doing a collaborative review on Tenebre, which will be very detailed and in-depth. I hope you will read that, but for now, do yourself a favour and watch this film!!!