Train to Busan (AKA 부산행, Busanhaeng): follows a ragtag bunch of commuters as a zombie outbreak sweeps through South Korea – and their Train. Mostly killer and very little filler, this is about as fun and enjoyable as a zombie apocalypse film can get. All of the populist and barnstorming zombie staples are there – namely hoards of ultra-twitchy and energetic zombies gorily ripping their way through everything and everyone in their path. Not unlike Snowpiercer, the train is a great way of offering up a diverse cross-section of society, which leads to some light social commentary and comedy moments. It’s a tight and straightforward film that has a punchy setup, then revels in the crimson spectacle of a drawn-out zombie attack. The action is all well-handled and there’s some nice dramatic moments thrown in for some respite and balance. The only minor niggle is that it loses it’s way a little in the final act and gets a bit too Hollywood / 28 Weeks Later. Overall, this has all of the prime cuts that you want from Zombie film, and none of the offal (except for buckets of brains and guts!)
Demons (Dèmoni): after being lured into a free movie screening a diverse cross-section of society are trapped and attacked by a demon curse. Essentially a zombie film but with demons, everything about Demons is an excuse to get more gore on the screen, and the crimson effects are unbelievable – puss, bile, blood, guts, and even whole demons bursting out of people – all done with physical FX. Not unlike some of Argento’s films of the era the production feels surprisingly high quality, which has made the modern blu ray release look way more impressive than similar movies from this era. The soundtrack is also interesting; packed with heavy metal royalty (and Rick Springfield) – Saxon, Billy Idol, Motley Crue, Pretty Maids, Accept – which give the film an authentic and nostalgic edge. To pad out the runtime we’re treated to longer-than-necessary sections of a film-within-a-film, and a completely ridiculous (and unrelated) street punk side-story – but it’s forgivable stuff. There’s also lots of ‘bad’ / ‘hammy’ aspects to the film which make it ripe for B-movie / cult status: it’s very 80s, and things like the dialogue, characters (like a black guy who just happens to be a switchblade proficient pimp), and performances carry a ‘midnight movie’ feel. Demons is not for everyone, but gore fiends and metal aficionados are the target for this badly dubbed pan-European cheesy horror.
B-Movie Score: 9/10
Let Me In: re-make of a 2008 Swedish film of a vaguely similar name:
– Overall execution
– More concise, and clearer story
– Cut out a bunch of ridiculous scenes (cat lady et al)
– No shot of gnarly genitalia
– More tension in big scenes
– Father/ Cop were better acted
– Kid’s relationship not as good
– Kid actors aren’t quite as good
– Cheesy soundtrack
– OTT Vampire effects / SFX
– Cut out decent story lines (Kid’s dad)
– Still slow, boring and Emo
– Large sections are literally scene for scene
– Embraced the 1980s too much; music, pac-man, fashion, sweets etc
– Deliberately identical aesthetics (lots of fake snow)
The final product is stronger than the original, although that wasn’t hard to do for me.
We Are What We Are: Mexican film about a cannibal family who don’t know what to do when the father (and provider) dies. Sounds like a great premise for a black comedy of errors, right? Wrong. This one was Arthouse – to the point of parody – for the entire duration. Shot after shot of people looking vacant with a somber cello accompaniment; the entire soundtrack was hammy and very old-fashioned. There was very little gore, and when it arrived it felt gratuitous and out-of-place – bones snapping and many more sound effects from a butcher’s counter. The acting was decent, especially the kids – but the mother was exactly like the crazy gypsy from Drag Me To Hell. This would have fitted in quite well with the ‘video nasties’ of the 1970s, but today it just seems totally feeble. Missed a lot of tricks. Bad, slow, un-engaging, pretentious and dull ‘horror’.