Tag Archives: strange ending

Insidious: The Downward Slope

I cannot speak highly enough of Saw creators Leigh Whannell and James Wan, but this movie in the horror genre is in a whole other ballpark. I had been wanting to see this movie since the day it came out but I could never rouse any of my friends to locate that spine and see it with me. So I sat down with my girlfriend and watched it instead. I was rather surprised with my final impressions.

The movie starts out like any other haunted house film. Renai (Rose Byrne) and Josh Lambert (Patrick Wilson) are loving parents of three children: one baby girl and two

Old decrepit ladies scare people, right?

young boys. Foster (Andrew Astor) is their other son, but they don’t care about him. He gets one scene. The son they do care about is Dalton (Ty Simpkins). Some strange things are going on in the house, and one day Dalton decides he’s got some explorin’ to do. He climbs up into the attic and tries to turn on the light. He fails, falls off the ladder, and screams the most unconvincing scream you could ever think of. Long story short, he ends up in a coma that is just actually an extended slumber.

A dad in peril.

Here’s where things get good. Renai is being constantly bombarded by evil spirits and apparitions that appear to her and freak her right the hell out. Josh, the high school teacher husband, avoids his comatose son and the evilness in the house at all costs. He wants his son to be okay, but the months drag on (meanwhile their other son is nonexistent. The baby girl gets more face time than he does…) He can’t handle it and the wife is becoming fed up.

With some evil man presence being the last straw, the family moves out into another house, only to experience the haunting all over again. So what could it be? It must be something…

I like the direction that Leigh Whannell was taking this movie, despite the deliverance onscreen. James Wan did a good job of some scary pacing and using shadows to his advantage. The scene everybody talks about? If I had been in the

Save us, Lin Shaye!

theater, I may have jumped. The scaryness aspect that sold me though was the use of shadows and tricks on the eyes. Many times in the film, and everyone has experienced this, you see things in the shadows that are tricking your mind. A coat on a chair in the right light looks like a menacing sitting figure. A space behind a door hides demons. All that sorta thing. James Wan played that up so well that the main focus of the camera wasn’t even on these things. It left images for your mind to wander over and think, “Wait a second, didn’t the camera just miss that evil demon there in the corner?” That’s a first for a film I’ve seen.

Classic Leigh Whannell hipster move.

After this haunted house first half, comes the strange second half. In a strange way to explain away these occurrences, the family employs the help of a psychic who talks with the other side (Elise Ranier played by Lin Shaye). With her gas mask in hand and Specs (Leigh Whannell) by her side, it’s only a matter of time before the movie gets into exorcism and spectral beings. People with fears of 50’s ghosts in proper attire, beware.

I really felt the movie was carried a lot by the music it employed. There were plenty of scenes that were enhanced by the shrill violins and pulse pounding beat. Hell, I was scared of the movie’s use of Tiptoe Through the Tulips. That song and the voice it is sung in are freaky. But, at other times, the music came across as overdramatic and ruined the seconds after the scary moment happened with this over the top dramatic piece. You have to know when to play your hand.

The demon as it should have been.

What really ruined the movie wasn’t the reveal of the main monster, but the constant use of him. What is not seen as much is more frightening than what is. To describe the demon and then see him cheesily chasing the young boy through the house is just the kind of B-rated to C-rated antics that caught this movie so much flack. And the ending as well. Just when you didn’t want another twist, they throw you back in.

The acting was 50/50. I am a huge fan of Patrick Wilson, have been since I saw him in Watchmen. He has an understated way of acting that comes off as truthful. In this movie I considered him one of the best, and it showed in his dad-like ways and regretful attitude towards the end. Rose Byrne could have been better. I’ve been hesitant about her acting since Troy, and maybe that was right to doubt… Ty Simpkins, the main plot point of the movie does not know how to sell

GTFO, Barbara Hershey…

acting. Especially not a horror movie. He made it more comical. Pretty unremarkable. Also, get Barbara Hershey out of these dark thrillers. She may have had a heyday in films, but it has past. And these movies (I’m including Black Swan) are not meant for her. It needs to stop.

So with all these mixes of good scares and ample acting with a strange ending leads to an overall disappointing reaction from me about this movie. My girlfriend especially was disappointed. Sad. I’ll give this movie an A for effort, but when it comes to an actual rating, it’s pretty average. 6.1 out of 10.

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Saikano… (Strange?)

This anime is a love story. With superweapons. But it’s all about the love. And the possible end of the world. Or something. Not quite sure. But the story is compelling. I’m starting to think this blog might be quite short…

This love story centers around Shuuji and Chise, two high school students who “fall in love.” It all starts one day when Chise asks Shuuji out. Their relationship starts in Animal Club diaries and pretty much moves up from there… sexually… But that’s really not the point… Sort of…

One day after school, Shuuji and his friends decide to go shopping. For necklaces. For one guy’s girlfriend. And then that guy dies. By the way, it was really funny picking out characters I liked in the anime and then having them all die. Not all important characters, mind you. But like, after that first guy, it

Shuuji and Chise. Made for each other?

became a game. (This is just because I have a predisposition to like characters who sacrifice their lives or are more prone to dying. It’s even true in movies.) But after this city bombing the interrupts their man day-trip (one guy’s day trip forever) Shuuji realizes something’s up.

What does he discover? His new girlfriend is a superweapon, made against her will by the Japanese government to protect the country’s borders. From what? We don’t know? From who? We’ll never know. This show’s all about the mystery. It’s also all about the sexy times, non-violent action scenes, and loss of humanity. A true angst-trip if I do say so myself. This girl ain’t got long (13 Episodes) and she’s got a lot of lovin’ to experience. (If you catch my drift.)

Okay, so what is there to say about my likes and dislikes of this anime? Well it has emotion. This anime is run through with tear-jerking moments. This anime has a mecha aspect to it that is never shown. Ever. Okay, once in a while Chise will show her wings or poop out a bomb, but that’s about the extent of the mecha. Her body can literally do things I’ve never seen a girl with a 9 year old’s body do before. Kinda strange. But there are a lot of really touching moments that, in the right mood, there would be quite a wad of teary tissues going on.

The voice acting isn’t bad. Shuuji (Mark Atherlay) isn’t bad and neither is Tetsu (Abie Hadjitarkhani. Wow.). Chise (Melissa Hutchinson) wasn’t all that good, but I kind of found her to be a drag and not really worth Shuuji’s time at a lot of the parts of the anime. That may mean I have no soul, but at this point, Shuuji should’ve cut his losses. The art was fine, shots were okay, nothing really spectacular. Besides the ending. I’m still scratching my head on what the flip happened at the end of this. The second to last episode (no spoiler) sex. The last episode, well, good luck figuring out exactly what happened and why and who and what and all that good stuff. Overall, I’d give Saikano a 5.5 out of 10. (Should’ve watched it subbed and just lost myself in it… How strange…)

Oh, and by the way, there is a live action version of this. Must. Check. Out.