What I'm Watching: Early December, 2010
Well, the year is almost done, and it's been a decent 2010. I've not gotten out to as many movies as I've liked, but that's what DVD is for, and that's what a lot of this post is about. A couple of movies this time around are a bit of the odd, little known, rare side of things.
An odd little movie I grabbed randomly because it sounded fun, was the Australian thriller, Restraint. Or Ravenswood as it's known in some markets. It's a very small cast, but the performances are pretty well done across the board. Most notable in the cast is Stephen Moyer, whom will be familiar to horror fans as Bill Compton on True Blood. He plays a rich agoraphobe who is trapped inside his own home after some bad events. One day, his home gets invaded by a pair of criminals on the run from the cops. To save his life, he offers them large gobs of cash sitting in a trust fund that the female accomplice can get her hands on since she has a striking resemblence to his fiance. Things go awry from there, as the trio are forced to spend time locked up in the house together, learning about each other. It is a very good ride, especially for a low budget movie from first time (I think) filmmakers. The ending leaves a weird taste in my mouth, but it works. If you're looking for something a little low key with a few thrills and character exploration, this one is worth a rent.
Speaking of movies with decent thrills but weird endings, the other movie to pass my DVD player lately has been Altitude. That's actually an odd coincidence between two very different movies.
Altitude is the story of a bunch of young students renting a plane to go to their annual Coldplay concert. The pilot lost her mother in a plane accident when she was young, and the event haunts her. After takeoff, things go from bad to worse as they get lost in thick, dark clouds, and start to see a creature lurking within them. What the creature is and where it came from is the driving mystery. This was a decent little movie, and used the bottle formula of a small cast trapped in a single location as they're slowly wiped out to good effect. The first third of the movie is spent learning who the characters are and the plane's initial flight before things even go that wrong, so by the time the shit hits the fan, you actually care when tentacles start tearing people apart. Or root for it, in one case. But at least you do care about these people, which is always a good sign in a thriller/horror movie. The ending is VERY strange, and while it wasn't unique, it did come out of nowhere, and was just so out there and a little bit ballsy that it kinda blew my mind. I think I liked how it all wrapped up, but I'm not sure! It was just such an out there twist, it sits uneasily with me. But I've seen worse movies, so I say it's worth a look. It was also directed by comicbook artist Kaare Andrews, and for a first time director, he does a good job. Again, for a movie from new creators, and low budget, it's good for what it is.
Two very interesting flicks, that are a bit off the beaten path and might be of interest. I've still got a lot more backlog to get through, and reviews to work on, so best to get back at it.