This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
FluteNinja’s review published on Letterboxd:
This review may contain spoilers.
Watched for the next Film Cult discussion!
This was great, I wasn't expecting much after seeing Halloween, I thought it would be yet another Horror classic I think less of than everyone else, but I was very pleasantly surprised!
The film takes inspiration obviously from other famous horrors, and that's why it's so popular I think, it takes mainstream horror film tropes, and adapts them so it subverts your expectations and leaves you kind of stunned. It has some genuinely great comedy, as well as some incredibly suspenseful and scary scenes, and it doesn't feel tone-deaf, it felt like they wrote it with great thought in mind for the whole thing!
The writing is pretty damn good, the main characters are fantastic, but I don't care too much about some supporting ones, those I feel were used for shock value in some twists. Sidney is very well-written, her character is layered, she has motive (kill me.) to feel and act the way she does, and her writing could've been inconsistent, there are times where I thought, ' Oh damn, is she going to betray her character now.' but no, her writing was extremely consistent and it was always in service of her character not the scares or so the plot could move forward! She was fantastically written, and also fantastically acted! Neve Campbell delivers an absolutely PERFECT performance, her dialogue delivery and understanding of her character is brilliant, and this displays great communication between the actors and the director, Wes Craven!
Courtney Cox also delivers a fantastic performance as well, and I think her writing is great as well! Her character might be the one of the most interesting to me, her motivations (kill me) and subtleties and nuances are all so interesting, for her it's all for her News Company, that's all it's about. And that's why her arc throughout the film is so amazing, and kind of hilarious at the same time, but not in a bad way. She learns that Sidney may not be such a bitch after all, and that people have feelings, and that she might've been a bit harsh against Sidney's mother (although we never see this we can see it through Courtney Cox's subtle performance, this is also another count of great direction!), also blood, lots of blood lol. And when I said her arc is also kind of hilarious is because immediately after the gang survives being attacked by a pair of psychopaths, she goes straight back to her News™ van and records another Show, like LMAO! It was a great piece of comedy that I think was intentional, at least I hope it was, I loved it, and it was a great end to the film!
I think the music was fantastic and purposeful and synchronised with the characters actions; it works so perfectly with, in particular, suspenseful scenes, such as the first amazing scene in the whole film. Where we don't know where gHoStFaCe is and the camera is following our character around the house, all in one shot, immersing us in their perspective, and the actor is brilliantly frightened, and the music is blaring every time they do something important or when gHoStFaCe attacks, it's so scary and suspenseful, I love it. Especially in the first scene, when we don't know who this creepy mf is and why he's calling, and where he is. And sometimes it loses me once or twice, because the film is rather predictable, I knew Billy was going to double triple cross or whatever shit he does, and I didn't like Billy too much, he sort of comes back into play when it's needed for the plot to move forward. I also didn't like his actor too much, some of his line delivery was awkward and I wish another actor played Billy, if that were true, I definitely would've been more invested in the story. Other than that, I think this might've been a perfect movie!
The direction is really great, Craven really seems to have great communication between him and the cast, along with all of the crew, I picture especially with the composer, Marco Beltrami, I can see him going like, '' You see, we're trying to go with a stylised but original score, that takes inspiration from classic horrors like this one will be (winks to behind the scenes camera), so go crazy, do what you want if you think it be special and original!'' He seems to understand how to make a good movie, it seems like everyone making it was on the same page as the director, they knew what they were going to make, and they did it masterfully!
The sound design I also noticed being fucking amazing, it was so dramatic, I can definitely see someone thinking the sound being intruding and too loud, fault of the sound mixing, but I think that's what it's kind of going for. It was making fun of old horrors being so over-dramatic and trying too hard to scare you, but also fitting with the stylised and playful tone of the film, while also being very entertaining and funny! I remember one of the examples of this being when Randy is shot and he falls backwards and knocks over a small table stool and a flower pot falls off and smashes and it's so goofy and loud and dramatic and stylised, it was honestly hilarious!
This was a really fun, scary, suspenseful and great time! Looking forward to the Film Cult discussion!