Samuel Hadida

Samuel Hadida

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Silent Hill Review


Very Good
I have not played the video game upon which this film is based, and I assume that that's not a prerequisite. If the game is anywhere as creepy and odd as this movie, perhaps I should. The plot concerns a typical family with atypical problems, their young daughter Sharon (played by the J-horror-haired Jodelle Ferland) is a sleepwalker and it seems as though her somnambulistic journeys take her further and further from the safety of home (in the opening minutes of the movie we see her standing atop a particularly dangerous cliff face). Her parents Rose (Radha Mitchell) and the dour Christopher (Sean Bean) are at odds over what to do. Christopher opts for medication, while Rose decides to follow Sharon's lead. When she's dreaming, Sharon mentions a town called Silent Hill. Rose decides she'd better bring Sharon to the town and find out just what all the fuss is about. Turns out, Silent Hill is off limits - the place is a ghost town after a disastrous fire. And the fire still burns under its decaying crust.

A car accident, a nosy cop on a motorcycle (Deborah Kara Unger), and Sharon's escaping into the deserted town that rains ash, all collide in a chain reaction that leads Rose into a literal heart of darkness. Silent Hill, the town, inhabits a peculiar limbo - it is quite literally cut off from the rest of the world - where air raid sirens (surely some of the creepiest sound effects you're ever likely to hear in a film) precede the coming of a dark tide that washes over the ghost town with surprising regularity. With the arrival of the eldritch dark, the walls literally shred away, revealing an industrial hellscape that lies somewhere beneath the reality of the decaying town, populated by human-faced, screaming insects, twisted lava infants, and something called "Pyramid Head," that has an incredibly unwieldy helmet and one of the largest swords in cinema history. It's a brutal, dark, and hideous place and the highlight of the film.

Continue reading: Silent Hill Review

Domino Review


Bad
The opening text of Domino informs the viewer that the film is based on a true story "sort of." It should also inform the viewer that it makes sense, entertains, and maintains focus on its main character "sort of." What it does far more consistently is annoy, disappoint, and remind the viewer of far better films they could be spending their time watching.

The story, very loosely based on the exploits of female bounty hunter Domino Harvey (Keira Knightley), follows our heroine as she grows dissatisfied with her socialite upbringing and embraces the darker side of law enforcement. Her mentor on this journey is legendary bounty hunter Ed Mosbey (Mickey Rourke), assisted by pseudo-comic relief Choco (Edgar Ramirez). That she meets these gentlemen as they try to scam hundreds of dollars off of would-be bounty hunters (including herself) doesn't dissuade her from trusting them with her new life.

Continue reading: Domino Review

Spider Review


Good
The strangest thing about David Cronenberg's Spider is how out of sync it is with the director's other works. Slow, laconic, and intermittently fascinating, Spider is a movie in which virtually nothing happens. Placed amidst an oeuvre that includes eye-poppers like The Fly, Shivers, Videodrome, and the recent eXistenZ, the movie stands as his most understated piece since 1988's Dead Ringers.

The pacing of Spider is totally understandable, seeing as it entirely takes place in and around a halfway house for recently-released mental patients -- and, obliquely, within the mind of its central character. "Spider" (Ralph Fiennes) is a muttering mess, a paranoid schizophrenic who wears four shirts atop one another and scribbles illegibly in a little book he carefully hides at the end of each day. Just out of the loony bin, Spider hops a train to London, finds his depressing room at the inn, faces annoyed berating at the hands of stern Mrs. Wilkinson (Lynn Redgrave), and immediately begins shutting himself into a cocoon. "Caterpillar" might be a better nickname -- for the man and for the movie.

Continue reading: Spider Review

Samuel Hadida

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Samuel Hadida Movies

Silent Hill Movie Review

Silent Hill Movie Review

I have not played the video game upon which this film is based, and I...

Domino Movie Review

Domino Movie Review

The opening text of Domino informs the viewer that the film is based on a...

Spider Movie Review

Spider Movie Review

The strangest thing about David Cronenberg's Spider is how out of sync it is with...

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