Saturday, September 11, 2004


Christopher Smith's first feature film is a good, but by no means a perfect film. He shows an incredible competence for the jump-scare style horror film which raises the level of scariness beyond most entries in the genre. As a script writer however, he needs a lot of work. The film goes off the rails (pun intended) so many times here that it undermines the great acting from Franka Potente *Transmitting Fanboy Love*.
The story is simple. A woman leaves a party to catch a late subway train, falls asleep in the station and is locked inside. She is being stalked by something underground and interacts with a lot of the people who live and/or work down there in both the active tunnels and the many abandoned ones. There is not much subtext here (these are not Guellermo Del Toro's sewers) other than a brief and darkly humourous comment on how the average city dweller thinks of the homeless.
The scares are many, and most are pretty darn effective. One of the movies strengths is that there are many scenes in which the movie does things just a bit different than your average horror film. Just when things are getting interesting, it gets all convetional again. At a certain point believability is pushed way out of bounds and the last 20 minutes are chalk full of badly executed horror cliches that cheapen the great 1st and 2nd acts.
I give this a luke-warm recommendation to hard-core horror fans (this is way too much for the average multiplex horror fan), while at the same time, i'm really looking forward to his next film where he may hopefully work out the snags.


Blogger grace said...

what do i do? i love franka potente. i hate scary movies. i have nightmares for days!!!!

12:26 p.m.  
Blogger Kurt Halfyard said...


I saw on your page that you listed OLD BOY as one of your favorite films...if you got through that without nightmares, I think you could handle "Creep!" or most anything made in the western hemishpere!

1:18 p.m.  
Blogger grace said...

are you crazy? i had creepy ass dreams for DAYS after oldboy!!!! hehehe...

i am seriously in love with franka, though. when i grow up, i'm going to marry her :P

2:21 p.m.  
Blogger Kurt Halfyard said...

Yea, watching old boy was like pulling a live, it WAS great!

If you like more sublime korean insanity try to find yourself a copy of "Save the Green Planet" or on a lesser scale "Volcano High". All tales of the wacky and weird...

/Love Current Korean Cinema

2:36 p.m.  
Blogger grace said...

i saw volcano high... did you hear that mtv did a dubbed version of it, but they used hip-hop stars to dub the voices? couldn't find a copy of that anywhere. i bet it was pretty funny...

as for save the green planet, i'm not sure if i saw that or not. have to ask the hubby. he'd remember... heh. i have a hard time remembering names of movies and actors and directors... it's sad. i'm already losing my mind.

3:47 p.m.  

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