Thursday, February 10, 2011

Random Reviews: Seven Days To Live (2000) and Meadowoods (2010)

So I watched two very different horror flicks the other day, and sadly neither one of them was good enough to deserve its own review. Yeah that's right, movies - you gotta earn that shit.

Seven Days to Live
I'm really not sure what made me put this movie in my queue. It's a very typical haunted house-type setup: a couple with problems moves into a new house and starts having strange experiences. Ho-hum. Maybe I wanted to watch it because Sean Pertwee is in the movie and he's kind of awesome.

So anyway, Martin (Pertwee) and Ellen (Amanda Plummer) are a couple from the city who move into a big old house in the country after the tragic death of their son. The house has been empty for decades and everyone in the village is afraid to tell them the history of the place. Martin starts acting strange and Ellen receives messages about her impending death.

There's a bit of The Shining feel here because Martin is a writer looking to write his next big novel in this isolated house and he starts acting like an asshole and writing a lot. The ghosts focus on him, making him crazy and wanting to murder his wife. Pertwee is great in his role, and Plummer is too, but I'd like to see her in something where she doesn't act crazy or otherwise disturbed. She makes all the wrong decisions, especially when she continues to trust her obviously nuts husband who only makes fun of her messages of doom.

This part is pretty funny. Her first message comes from a road sign saying she has six days to live, the next day she hears it on the radio, then the number "4" appears on her forehead, then she draws letters during a Scrabble game that spell out "three days." I thought the writers would take it further than this with some more clues as to what is going on in the house, but they don't. It's a complete mystery until the very end, and even then it's not that great of an ending that explains almost nothing.

Then the mud monsters show up. Oh great. I was hoping there would be mud monsters. They give a whole story about how the marshes where the couple's house is was used as a dumping ground for all the people executed in the area in the Middle Ages. Mud monsters come out of the ground in the cellar and the ghostly vision of their dead son turns into mud, too. Whatever.

But this explanation doesn't make sense with what goes on between Martin and Ellen. There are no other ghostly or haunting experiences aside from the different messages Ellen gets that count down the days to her death and the dreams about her dead son. The "ghosts" motives seem focused on Martin and Ellen's problems and really getting to them, instead of being focused on their own motives like most ghosts seem to do.

Seven Days to Live is a somewhat interesting film with great actors who are only wasted in this 2 star flick. There's some good cinematography with interesting camera moves, but the script is lacking and nothing all that exciting happens, even in the ending.

Oh goody. Another documentary style movie with a bunch of annoying twentysomethings as our stars. This time we've got three college students who want to shake things up in their sleepy little town and murder a fellow classmate while filming their exploits.

This movie is so predictable and unbelievable it's ridiculous. The characters are the most unbelievable part of the film. They talk about their murder plot with complete nonchalance, which I guess is supposed to show their apathy but it just comes across as bad acting. The girl playing Stephanie is the worst. She's presented as an antisocial with the most apathy of any of the kids, saying that there is nothing in this world worth living for. That sounds a bit more suicidal than homicidal to me, but I'm no psychologist.

There big plan for the murder is also a little unbelievable to me. They get the idea from looking at horror movies in the video store - ugh - and so they decide that the best torment would be to bury their victim in a box, with cameras, so they can talk to her and listen while he or she slowly dies.

The film is predictable because in situations like this there is ALWAYS at least one of the group who is apprehensive about the plot and causes tension among the others. It's like chocolate and peanut butter - they just go together. And sure enough, it's almost immediately set up that Ryan, the cameraman, is not exactly gung-ho about the idea of murder, especially when they start to build their device of torture and murder. They fight, Ryan does the right thing, and the ringleader of the plan is killed. Obviously. Seriously no big shock there.

The girl playing their doomed victim, Kayla, is the best thing about the movie. She acts the most natural of any of them, both when she is going about her normal day and when she finally is captured by the three idiots and put into the box in the ground. However, this part of the film is far too drawn out and doesn't bring about the kind of tension and terror it's supposed to.

Forgettable movie and not worth your time. Lackluster all around with a less than satisfying conclusion.

1 comment:

  1. Ugh, they both sound pretty tedious....
    Especially Meadowwoods.