Sunday, December 27, 2015

What I Watched - December 20-26 2015


The house move is completed but most of my DVD collection is now in storage due to my new place being very small. Managed to get in a few movies between completing the move and Christmas celebrations.

Wendigo (2001) DVD
- While most of my DVDs are in storage, I have had a few new purchases arrive in the mail at my new house, including this one. I hadn't seen this one since it came out. As a side note, I have a poster of this movie which director Larry Fessenden signed for me when I met him at Fangoria Weekend of Horrors NYC convention in 2001. The movie itself is about the Native American legend of the Wendigo, a deer-headed forest creature, but more of the plot is devoted to "fish-out-of-water" goings on involving a city family holidaying in a snowbound rural setting where some of the local yokels don't take too kindly to them. If you're familiar with Fessenden's work (in particular the pseudo-vampire flick Habit) you'll know to expect a great deal of ambiguity around the supernatural elements. Bare on the scares and gore, this one instead relies on its creepy setting and some good acting from leads Jake Weber (Dawn of the Dead remake, TV's Medium), Patricia Clarkson (Shutter Island) and Erik Per Sullivan (the youngest son on TV's Malcolm in the Middle).

Fargo (1996) VHS
- When you're in a new house with all of your possessions in boxes, it becomes a case of "what is easily accessible" and it's no different when it comes to movies. I found a box of VHS that I could easily open and pulled out this 90s gem. My girlfriend had never seen it, and having recently enjoyed The Big Lebowski, I knew she'd dig this, the Coen Brothers' immediate predecessor to that movie. I don't need to go into plot details, because I'm sure everyone has seen this quirky crime caper, but I will add a side note that it's ironic (and unintentional) that during the blaring heat of a southern hemisphere summer I watched two successive movies set in deep wintry snow.

The Ruins (2008) DVD
- Another recent (cheap) pick up to fill a gap in the collection and another I haven't revisited since its release. I remembered quite liking this one and while it didn't hold up so well to a repeat viewing, it's a passable time-waster. I won't spoil it for anyone who hasn't seen it, but I quite liked the "nature run amok" angle and the Mayan temple itself was pretty cool. On the flip-side, I found myself constantly irritated by Jenna Malone's character and it doesn't help that she reminds me of that waste-of-oxygen Kristen Stewart.

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