Monday, February 16, 2009

HDC Idol Challenge #2 - Generous Critics

The Challenge:
All of you are very generous and magnanimous critics of horror flicks. You are well known for your love of horror movies of any type, even trashy, cheesy and downright awful ones. For this particular Test, you have to point out the highlights of the movies you choose, and praise them wholesomely to no end.

In other words, you have to give a very open-hearted and loving review of the movie of your choice.

Ready? Here we go...

Choose from - The Village, Alien vs Predator, Boo!, Killjoy, Boogeyman, The Exorcist II, Jaws The Revenge.

I had seen three of those movies: The Village, AVP, and Boogeyman.

However, while watching The Village, I was so incredibly plastered that it made no impression on me - Good or bad.

In terms of The Boogeyman, that film I had seen in the wee hours of the morning on the other side of the world... I was in The Philippines, it was 2 in the morning, and even in my boredom this movie couldn't keep my attention.

That leaves AVP: Alien Vs. Predator. A movie that I had actually gone to the theater to see. And watched all the way through.

Alien Vs. Predator: Modern Horror for the Intellectual
With the failure of 2000’s Alien: Resurrection, it was clear that the horror audience needed more in their franchise than just another scary monster movie. And perhaps with the advent of this addition to the franchise, those same viewers will be reticent to spend their money on “Just another Alien flick.” But this is where I must stop you and appeal: Alien Vs. Predator is not just another horror/scifi crossover franchise flick.

Veteran horror/scifi director of Event Horizon and Resident Evil, Paul W.S. Anderson is back again to frighten and entertain his fans with the latest installment of the Alien and Predator franchises. Coupled with his experienced eye is Special Effects company Amalgamated Dynamics Incorporated (ADI), whose previous work includes both Alien 3 and Alien: Resurrection. The result of this cinematic pairing is two truly gruesome and believable monsters within a literal Pandora’s box of horror.

Set in a pitch black Bouvetøya, an island about one thousand miles north of Antarctica, AVP follows the story of a hapless team of scientists following a mysterious heat signal under the watchful eye (and finance) of Billionaire Charles Bishop Weyland (Lance Henriksen). The setting, a clever nod to previous scifi greats like The Thing From Another World, immediately alienates our heroes while, unbeknownst to them, a Predator ship enters the Earth’s atmosphere. The action unfolds without delay: Geiger’s iconic Alien is paired up against the galaxy’s most feared Predator within a phantasmagorical maze that would make Escher drool and will strike fear in even the most jaded film-goer.

But what really separates AVP from other films in its genre is, surprisingly, its intelligence. Where the average horror movie strives simply to shock and awe with pedestrian antagonists, cheap scares, and pitifully scantily clad coeds, AVP challenges the intelligent viewer by creating a completely original pourquoi story that reimagines one of the most debated mysteries in the history of the World: the building of the Great Pyramids. Just as the founders of ancient Egyptian society invented their pantheon, so does Paul W.S. Anderson apotheosize the canonical Predator: In this alternate history, the Predators are considered Gods, with the great structures of the ancient world being built in their honor. Never before has a horror movie created an origin story that is so fascinating and all-encompassing, touching upon the history of not only Egyptian, but also Cambodian and Aztec civilizations.

Alien Vs. Predator is not just another Alien movie. Nor is it just another Predator movie. AVP is a clever re-visioning of Origin that shows that horror doesn’t always have to be about shock and awe.



I gained a B for that round, again ahead of the pack...

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