Friday, July 27, 2012

My rebuttle to HotdogCinema's Hatchet Review.

Now let me start out by saying just a few things. First thing that comes to mind is my need to say that this in no way a slight to Hotdog Cinema. They have an awesome site over there which I strongly urge all my readers to visit. They, along with my good friends over at Bloody Disgusting have probably the best 2 horror sites on the net. Secondly, this isn't really about Hatchet, but rather a serious (albeit friendly) disagreement over whether not not the Slasher horror genre is "done and dusted" and if the movie has "done a disservice" to the genre itself. So lets get on with it shall we?

Let me state that I (at the ripe old age of 25), was introduced to horror movies BY the slasher genre, and it has been my "home" in horror since. The very first horror movie I was ever allowed to see was NOES 3: Dream Warriors the very first Halloween I was ever allowed to trick or treat by myself (I was 8).  The very first "scary thing" I was ever allowed to see was "The Halloween That Almost Wasn't" or "The Night Dracula Saved The World" for those who bought the VHS. 

So lets start out with good ol' Victory Crowley and his Hatchet. Has he done his fellow slashers wrong? Hmmm, that could made into a country song!lol  Anyways, no. After a long, long, LONG tireless parade of remakes of old slasher and other classic horror movies, and the tired continuation of the Scream franchise (Quite possibly Wes Craven's worst films ever), Hatchet comes along and revitalized the horror scene. The first thing that comes to mind about the movie, is the fact its not like other slasher movies. Its not NOES, its not Friday The 13, Its not Halloween, it's it's own "Monster". Sure it might feel that way, but really, think about it? What can you really do in a slasher film (That hasn't been done already or at all)? It finally said to Hollywood that original ideas, can and will sell and make money. If anything, for that reason alone its helped a multitude of different movies see the light of day that normally wouldn't have (Frozen, The Piranha series, Rec, The Lady In Black, The Woman,  The Rite, Insidious). He/She also included that it breaks many typical stereotypes and hallmarks of the genre (I'll itemize these). Well, that in of it self is refreshing, especially in a time when most, less sophisticated movie goers can't watch a movie for more than an hour and a half. First real problem they site is that they have the killer appear too early in the movie. Well, I assume you must have hated that Dracula appears no less then 1:20 in to Dracula (Lugosi driving the carriage), and when Mike Myers pops out from behind the bushes while Laurie Strode walks home (About 3 minutes in). This is done stylistically for a reason. Its so that the tension builds faster when you know their there and what the protagonist is up against, when they don't. It also helps to lend some level of sympathy to the character. They also write that there's nothing there to build suspense. Welcome to the 21st century. You must again hate anything after Friday Part 2 and NOES 2. Suspense isn't needed for the slasher genre, that's for the thrillers of the world. If you can incorporate it then great, but its not needed, and I agree it is somewhat lacking in that department. The next complaint is the 'wooden" acting. Show me a horror movie where there isn't any wooden acting/actors/actresses. Its horror. Its almost understood that's gonna occur, and especially in slashers where its more about gore and jump scares. Budget also applies here. Last complaint, is actually the look of Victor Crowley. Lets just say, I'd like to see you say what you did in the article to Jason or Leatherface!lol Think they'd take exception. 

"Slasher aficionados looking for a new nostalgia may end up feeling circumvented. This one did." Really? Your statements aren't really helping that statement, and making me question it aswell. Also don't think circumvented is the word you wanted right there. 

So IS the Slasher genre dead as Walt Disney is frozen? No, and it never will be. The sad thing is that there are many more quality Slashers being made, that we'll never get to see due to studio stigmas and budgetary limits. The only thing right now that's really hurting the genre (I'll admit its like any opponent that ever lost to John Cena), is that we have people, making the movies, who have no business being near them. We have people like Form, Fuller and Nispel making these movies (that are atrocious), while being paid millions, when they're not even fans, and people like Rooney Mara, who admittedly tanked their performance. They belong nowhere near the genre while people like John Carl Buechler, George Romero, Sean Cunningham and Tom McLoughlin are relegated to low budget, DTV (Direct To Video) clunkers cause studios won't give them the time of day. There is a whole generation of people who grew up on these movies, and became film makers because of them. Lets let them handle the movies, not failed music video directors and talent less waifs. 

Link to HotdogCinema:

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Play Date! Aladdin at The Cortland Repertory Theatre

Where: Cortland Repertory Theater
Show: Aladdin (Performed by the CRT Troubadours, the intern company)
Date: 6/0/12

Upon hearing of my little brother's the, upcoming school field trip To the CRT, I jumped at the chance to be one of the 4 chaperons allowed to accompany the classroom in its excursion. Normally, his school (Alton B Parker) doesn't really offer anything to anyone but parents and grandparents, I needless to say was very excited. I arrived to his school the morning of the rip, and we left around 9:15. Around 10:40 the play started. 
These period-dressed people (I would guess very late teens) came rushing out onstage, dragging with them, and old chest, upon which sat one of the actresses. They bantered back and forth for awhile, telling of their shipwreck and and journey to shore, and how all they had left was what was in the chest. They continued to banter about who was most important to the group, and acknowledged they they would still put on a play, but had to see what survived the journey to determine what could be done. They settle on Aladdin and proceed to hand out parts, props, costume pieces and start the play. 

Chris Collins - The Genie
Avery Epstein - The Director
Alexander Hulett - Aladdin
Alexa Shanahan - The Sorceress
Abby Sheridan - The Princess
Parker Slaybaugh - The Sultan

It begins with The Princess pining about her current love life and people her father (The Sultan) chose for her to date (People were brought up from the audience to create this). Along comes Aladdin, with whom she almost immediately falls deeply in love with. They have a music-backed (The Lovin' Spoonful's "Do You Believe In Magic" and Taylor Swift's "Love Story") montage, when the Sultan enters and immediately chastises the Princess and places a difficult challenge on Aladdin if truly loves the Princess and wants to win her hand in marriage. The Sorceress (Later revealed to be the Sultan's wife, and the Princess' mother) Overhears of the challenge (To find a magic lamp in the "Mysterious Caves of Little York", and bring it back) and enters herself to gain wealth and power. They journey to the caves and through audience participation (Making sounds, lining up to make the cave entrances), make their way to the lamp, where they both struggle with it, and in doing so, summon the genie. In both touching the lamp at the same time, the genie has the audience decide who gets the wishes. Aladdin wins, and uses his three wishes. The first, the hand of the princess, the second, that the Sultan and the Sorceress rediscover their love for each other (Que music!), and the last, to free the genie from his duty to the lamp. More music is heard, and then to end the show, audience members are brought onstage to dance with the actors and actresses.  They come back out after going backstage, and introduce themselves and bow. They announce that they'll be at each exit to take pictures with the kids, and give high-fives.

All in all, it was a wonderful experience to be had. The acting for such young individuals was amazing. It certainly held my attention, as it did the rest of the children who attended the show. Even with the plot holes in the story, the ensemble and their excitement and presentation made you look past it and just immerse yourself in the experience. I would most definitely go again, if only just to see this particular casting group. They are headed towards greatness, and I wish them all well.

John Bonham for The Halloween Horror Blog