Ambitious and charming indie film from Seattle that pays tribute to HOUSE ON HAUNTED HILL, THE CHANGELING, THE SIXTH SENSE, and other classic ghost-horror movies. Sutherland wins a radio contest, but must spend the night in a haunted theater (filmed at the historic Everett Theater) in order to receive the $50,000 prize. Filled with genuine scares, witty dialogue and great acting—with Kleinsmith almost stealing the show as the theater's eccentric owner. The sound editing, however, is noticeably flawed even to the layman's ear, and director Ferrell's choice of the numerous fade-ins/fade-outs interferes with mood and pacing. Despite some bumps in the road, the film is an overall impressive and entertaining outing that has replay value.
Sunday, October 20, 2013
An industrial art house film—typical of Eastern European cinema—that's about as sci-fi as A CLOCKWORK ORANGE. Title character Kaidanovsky guides intellectuals Grinko and Solonitsyn through "the Zone"—an area where the laws of physics don't apply—so that they may encounter a "Room" that grants wishes to whoever enters it. Tarkovsky's signature long-takes slow the movie down, but not enough for it to seem overlong. The film's overriding flaw is the lack of payoff; even with a modestly budgeted dialogue-driven film, Tarkovsky should have found a way for the Zone to live up to what Kaidanovsky's character built it up to be. Final shot is terrific enough not to be left too disappointed and Artemyev's subtle score fits perfectly.