In the Electric Mist (Dans la brume électrique): a New Orleans detective is trying to link the murdering of local prostitutes with a 1965 lynching and corrupt local businessmen. So you’re sitting there thinking this is a normal(-ish) police investigation then 40 minutes in BAM! Our lead is taking advice from – and having conversations with – a Confederate soldier ghost… WTF?? For a sleepy town there’s also a whole lotta murdering happening with very little law intervention. Tommy Lee Jones plays the lead pretty well, but as a grouchy, craggy, snarly, old-school detective – it’s nothing we haven’t seen already. By the time the final act rolls round there’s almost too much going on; new murders, old murders, suspicious movie set, troubled film stars, conspiracies, kidnapping. The confusion is compounded by almost everyone having a comically hillbilly name, and some fairly hooky narration. In the end ‘Electric Mist’ is watchable enough, but completely unremarkable, flat, and has a look and ‘vibe’ of a film that could be 20 years older than it is. Ultimately, it’s a pretty big waste of an impressive cast.
Triangle: having endured a freak storm, friends on a casual yachting trip are rescued by a passing ocean liner, but find themselves in a trap! As soon as they step on to the ship it’s pretty much +60 minutes of relentless tension, and edge-of-your-seat atmosphere. The old haunted cruise ship is a great setting, with deck after deck of rolling corridors and a Shining-esque eerie vibe. When the story develops and people start being picked off the murders are bloody and violent, which is great for horror fans. The storyline is complex, yet not too flashy, or in-your-face, or explanatory – just brilliantly smart and unassuming. I went back and watched the first 10 minutes again, just to check that it was as clever as I thought… After finishing it, I sat for a for a while in disbelief – asking myself: did I really just watch an intelligent, brilliantly-executed, high-brow, low-budget, well-acted, horror film that scared and impressed for most of the runtime!?!? The answer: absolutely. This film is like a beacon of hope, proving that Horror films don’t have to be moronic, dumb, cliché packed affairs. Triangle ticks all the boxes!
Beast Cops: A bunch so-called ‘policemen’ (how they’re remained gainfully employed was the biggest plot hole) get a new boss that tries to shake things up a bit. Unfortunately this one takes about 50 minutes of 1-dimensional character-building before anything interesting happens; we got it after 5 minutes – there’s no honour among thieves in Hong Kong! The acting’s very hit-or-miss, ranging from subtly great to parodic overacting, and at times the script makes it feel like a sexual awareness campaign. Other than the lame credits the style’s quite slick and does a great job in distracting you from the plain story, however the main actors break the fourth wall several times, which is strange and unnecessary. The last fight is a pretty epic and brutal affair, and generally everyone in this film ends up getting a machete lodged in their neck at some point. To sum up, this is the epitome of a bog-standard Asian cop flick with a twist of ‘gritty street’ thrown in for good measure. Talks the talk all over the DVD box but fails to walk the walk.