Hi folks and welcome to the The Friday Film Club where both myself and Kim will be highlighting a film which we feel is worth checking out. At the same time we would love to hear your own selections whether your choosing to just name them in the comments section or join us in arguing the case for your film on your blog, let us know and we will share it below.
Elwood’s Pick – Big Game (2014)
Despite being the most expensive film to be produced in Finland with a budget of $10 million this also a film which for whatever reason seemed to disappear as quick as it appeared on the release radar leaving me entering into this film with a sense of trepidation, especially when compared to Rare Exports which it seemed the blogging community were keen to discuss unlike this film which no one seemed to be talking about. Thankfully I shouldn’t have worried as Helander once again has delivered a film which is similar to Rare Exports in so many ways as Helander gives us his take on the action genre with Air Force One shot down by terrorists and President Moore’s (Samuel L. Jackson) only hope of survival lies with the 13 year old Oskari (Tommila) who is on a hunting mission to prove his maturity to his kinsfolk, only not to find himself instead aiding the President to escape the terrorists now hunting them.
While the action might be kept to the most part to the mountain side we do get the obligatory cuts to the pentagon crisis room were an enjoyable Victor Garber does a lot of hand wringing as the vice president and Jim Broadbent basically steals every scene he’s in as the head of the Terrorist Intel Unit while somehow managing to make a sandwich last the whole film, let alone showing a rare darker side we haven’t seen since Art School Confidential and one I would love to see more of. Yes at time these scenes can feel like throw away exposition but thankfully they do lead up to something bigger by the finale in a rather shocking twist that comes seemingly out of nowhere.
As with Rare Exports its hard to say who exactly the audience is for this film and with such a strange family adventure vibe running throughout the film, combined with Helander’s general refusal to commit to any one tone I’ve found myself referring to this as a “Starter Action Movie”. The kind of movie you could show the kids as a gateway into the genre before you show them the Schwarzenegger / Stallone / Van Damme classics. More so when this film is free of the usual bad language and ultra-violence you might not want to expose the kids to, still if we can have starter horror movies why not the same for action movies?
Kim’s Pick – Creepshow 2 (1987)
Based on stories by Stephen King, Creepshow 2 is a sequel of the 1982 horror anthology film, Creepshow. Originally scripted with 5 stories like its predecessor, the final film includes 3 stories: Old Chief Wood’nhead, The Raft and The Hitchhiker. From wooden Native American chief coming alive to a floating oil-like blob in a middle of nowhere lake to a hitchhiker’s haunting a woman who killed him in a hit and run incident, this anthology also inserts an animated story of a paperboy reading an issue of Creepshow and having an individual story that links and transitions each of these stories. There is a charming transition from real life to animation as well as the fun introduction and inserts of The Creep.
The first story to kick off the anthology is Old Chief Wood’nhead which tells the story of the Spruces couple who runs a store in the Native American territory and as they lend money to an elder from the tribe out of good deed, they are robbed by said elder’s nephew, Sam who ends up committing a bad deed that results in awakening the wooden Native American chief who goes to hunt him and his friends down. Sam is the first familiar face, played by Holt McCallany and probably best known nowadays for his role as Bill Tench in Netflix Series Mindhunters.
The second story, The Raft, is the best of the batch and follows a lot of the 80s horror style with four college students who go to a desolate lake for a swim when they reach a raft in the middle and realize they are being hunted by an oil-like blob floating on the surface which results in some gruesome endings. Satisfying and well-executed in both its style and storyline and especially its finale.
The last story, The Hitchhiker is a more psychological horror experience following an unfaithful wife rushing home before her husband to accidentally hit a hitchhiker and then escapes the scene to find that she is being haunted by him as he repeats “Thanks for the ride, lady” and she attacks him over and over to get rid of him. Bordering between psychological or paranormal, this one has some well-timed jumpscares and a lovely twist and also questions who you root for seeing as the main female character did kill the hitchhiker in the first place.
Creepshow 2 is a fun little 80s horror comedy romp. All three stories have very fantastic little twists to them and highlight a different horror subgenre. Under the co-screenplay efforts of George A. Romero and adapting the stories of Stephen King and directed by Michael Gornick, it all comes together in atmosphere and style really well.
So you’ve seen our picks for this week’s double feature but what are your movie watching plans this weekend?
Let us know in the comments section below.