7.31.2009

Dead in 3 Days (2006): The Day Psychopaths Learned to Text


It may sound like a J-horror film, but oh no, it’s Austrian!

Sometimes it feels like certain parts of the world cling to past decades. Japan must be in the 80’s. Mexico in the 70’s. And Austria…definitely the 90’s. Dead in 3 Days looks, sounds, and moves like a late 90’s teen slasher. Everything from the alternative rock music to the past-coming-back-to-haunt-you setup make the film a pretty standardized horror movie, but this tried-and-true formula is tried and is true for a reason. It works.
I'm just saying, military jackets...90's fashion...
The one indicator that this film does not actually take place in the era of flannel and grunge is the text message threats our group of prep-school graduates receive on the same day: “In 3 days, you’ll be dead!” Since the text is in German, I can’t tell if it’s actually more like “n 3 dayzz u will b ded!” Like the best friends these kids are, none of them tell each other that they receive the text until things start getting weird when one of them goes missing. It isn’t until about 20 minutes in that we realize the short-haired blonde, Nina, is our Final Girl and she’s pretty likeable. In fact, none of the characters really bugged me, which is unusual. The acting is good and the writing is smooth enough not to have me groaning at bad dialogue from wimpy characters.

Suspicions...

The only part where you are not so pleased with the teenagers is a scene in which they hold an MTV-music-video-style party inside a bronco. Smoking weed, drinking beer, and some girl is even doing coke—all while the vehicle shoots down the road. Come on guys. But the filmmakers handle it pretty well, because you’re thinking oh great, they are going to hit someone and we’ll get the I Know What You Did Last Summer story all over again. And they do hit something. But it turns out to be a small deer. They sober up pretty quickly, watching the poor animal suffer because of their actions. It’s probably my favorite scene in the whole movie because it’s a nice way to play with our expectations and an ominous foreshadow to the rest of the film. It sets the tone perfectly.

Speaking of foreshadowing. We're not emphasizing this fish tank for any partiular reason. Really, we promise.

The deaths are nothing special. Sitting down to write this review, I had a tough time remembering all of them (I watched it about a week ago). But, in true 90’s fashion, it’s not really about the gore. It’s about finding out who is killing them and most importantly, why they are being killed. I won’t give away who the killer is, but I will say that the killer, when the identity is concealed and when it is revealed, is genuinely creepy.

Is that the killer from Urban Legend?


Overall, the Dead in 3 Days is a good watch. Director Andreas Prochaska seems fairly new to the non-televised feature film and he’s done well with this one. The technical elements of the film are nothing to shout about, but none of them work against the movie by any means. I can’t say that I’m dying to see the sequel, but if the opportunity presents itself, I won’t look the other way.

7.08.2009

CAPS: Scarecrow Slayer (2003)


Because words alone do not suffice.

I have been slowly working on this post for a while. With the bad internet connection, its quite the process uploading the photos. So this may be my last post for a while, unless I get a free day to write up some stuff. Here it goes...


The first thing you will notice about this movie is that they never actually go to a farm location. Composed matte paintings do the trick...sort of.

And you'll notice that Tony Todd is in it. Or that's probably the reason why you watched it to begin with.

Our Final Girl. She's cute, workable.

And her boyfriend...who wears puka shells? Still? Come on.

And the Final Girl's Best Friend who has one of those annoying gum-chewing habits.

And who has a big mouth, big hair, and is not the attractive counterpart to our heroine that we have come to expect.

This Fraternity of 30-somethings put them up to snatching the scarecrow in order to jump on the greek bandwagon. And they have all this high-tech, military equipment...

Like this!
And this!

Things start to go horribly wrong when he falls all of three feet.

And suddenly the cell phone is plagued by shotty CG imagery.

And all this special dirt gets on his shirt....

that magically disappears from shot to shot. Things sure are getting spooky.

Yes Tony, at less than fifteen minutes in...we all need a drink.

Now things really start to go wrong when an electric light show turns the boyfriend into a scarecrow


Just kidding about the electric light show, but what else is this supposed to be?

I'm pretty sure this shot was supposed to be IN focus.


Or perhaps the blurry technique was foreshadowing her upcoming descent into madness.


And she's stuck at a hospital that looks like a motel with a sky that's been replaced behind it and a police vehicle that never existed on this side of the century.

Her friend is also doing her best Linda Blair impression (and not succeeding for the record).

The Scarecrow kills Tony... or atleast kills a bunch of sheets dipped in blood.

All I can think about is, "Where did that stain on her left butt cheek come from?"


And the girls are just stupified, especially the one on the left.

Don't worry, I'm a cop. I promise that's not a sticker I pasted on to my car.


Help! Everything has a fog filter like Rambo 2 and I don't know why. It's not a style that has been established during the movie.


Good thing my friends gave me a change of clothes that were popular in the 90's and dropped me off in the middle of nowhere.


I'm sure this militaristic Frat will be able to take on a bunch of hay strapped together.


Do you mean kill the scarecrow?! No! You can't! He's my best friend!

Frat boys are dropping like flies. Electrocution.

CG blade through the stomache.

Death by being squashed when hiding behind a door?

Ok...


Well, it takes a Final Girl in a hottie shirt with a pitchfork


and a bazooka


to kill a Scarecrow.



This is the most exciting thing that's happened the entire movie.


And this is the scariest moment.

Wait. I changed my mind. This is definitely the scariest moment. Notice the red light, camera, and tripod in the left corner of the screen. Smile: You're on Candid Camera! Haha, and you thought you were actually watching a real movie!

7.07.2009

MIA


So I have pretty much been absent from the blogging scene for the past month, but I do have a good excuse. I’m getting married in ten days! I live in California, but I’m getting married in Washington State where I’m from. So I’ve been at my parent’s house in Washington getting ready for the wedding for the past month. I never knew how much work putting a wedding together really was, especially since I’m not one of those girls who have been planning her big day since birth. In addition to the litany of daily bridal tasks, my parents have the worst internet connection and it takes me forever to do anything online. And I haven’t been able to watch many horror films either. I apologize for my lack of activity, but I can’t promise that it will get any better until after the wedding and after the honeymoon. In other words, see you in August!

You should also check out the new blog of my fiancé:
The Action Effect.
You guessed it, it’s a blog all about action films.
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