Thursday, October 5, 2017

Thursday Movie Picks: Masks


It's the first Thursday of October. That means Thursday Movie Picks is going horror. Yay. On this particular Thursday, our host, the wonderful Wanderer at Wandering Through the Shelves has chosen masks as our topic. Now, horror movies featuring masked killers come a dime a dozen. Some of them have become genre classics. I'm not going down that route, but I will suggest suggest some movies where the mask itself is part of the fun.

Trick 'r Treat
(2007)
We follow several stories that all take place on Halloween night in a small town in this horror anthology. One of them is about a little boy named Sam. He's a common thread running through the stories, but the one about him is where we get to know him. And yeah, it's better that he keep the mask on, as creepy as it is. (My full review)


The Hills Run Red
(2009)
This one is about a horror movie buff named Tyler (Tad Hilgenbrink) who convinces some friends to go deep into the woods with him on a search for a long-lost slasher flick from the golden age of the sub-genre - the 1980s. Not surprisingly, they wind up having to deal with a slasher of their very own, someone known as Babyface. Trust me, the name is the nicest thing about this guy. For a real movie, it's not that good. For a slasher, it's pretty solid. And that mask? Yeesh. (My full review)


Creep
(2014)
Aaron (Patrick Brice) is a videographer hired by Josef (Mark Duplass) through an ad on Craigslist. To say Josef is crazy is putting it mildly. He goes about the business of terrifying Aaron, and more, in...um...creepy fashion. Josef doesn't wear a mask while he works, but he does use it to great effect about midway through the movie. If you're really in the mood for a disturbing flick, give this one a go. (My full review)



20 comments:

  1. I haven't seen those 3 films as I did go with a conventional pick but also 2 films that don't fit in with the horror genre. I have heard a lot about Trick 'R Treat as I hope to come across it soon.

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    1. Trick 'r Treat is a solid flick. Hope you get to see that one.

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  2. I don't know why but I want to see Creep now.

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    1. Creep is wonderfully demented. I highly recommend it.

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  3. I LOVE that you went with Trick r Treat and Creep. The former is one of my all time favorite Halloween movies and the latter's ending was amazing. I haven't seen The Hills Run Red. That title makes it sound like a Hills Have Eyes sequel

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  4. I really liked Creep! It was offbeat and weird in a good way. I haven't seen the others, but those are some seriously creepy images.

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    1. Yes, offbeat and weird in the best, most unsettling way possible.

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  5. I've seen a few bits of The Hills Run Red which was quite enough. These all sound disturbing, which is the point I'm sure. I won't be tracking them down but they fit very well.

    Since this isn't really my particular venue of choice I hit upon a theme within the theme that worked for me.

    The Phantom of the Opera (1925)-Moody, expressionist original version of the Gaston Leroux novel tells the tale of a disfigured man (Lon Chaney) who resides under the Grand Opera House of Paris and becomes enamored by a young singer (Mary Philbin). He becomes obsessed with making her a success resorting to extremes to bring that about. Contains a most impressive color sequence which considering it’s almost 100 years old is beautifully composed from the primitive elements available at that time. There have been many versions but this remains a singular experience thanks to both Chaney’s self-designed makeup hidden for most of the running time behind a mask and skill at expressing emotion through it.

    The Phantom of the Opera (1943)-Rejiggering the origin story somewhat this version starts with opera violinist Erique Claudin (Claude Rains) hopelessly in love with raising soprano Christine DuBois (Susanna Foster) who is also pursued by baritone Anatole Garron (Nelson Eddy) and police inspector Raoul Daubert (Edgar Barrier). Claudin secretly sponsors Christine’s vocal training until he is dismissed due to arthritis in his hands. Having submitted a concerto to an unscrupulous publisher Claudin discovers his work stolen and in a fit of anger strangles the man just as his assistant enters and throws a tray of acid in Claudin’s face. Permanently scarred he dons a mask and haunts the cellars of the opera house pursuing his goal to make Christine a star at any cost. Incredibly lush looking film was nominated for four Oscars. Unsurprisingly Rains is excellent and both Eddy and Susanna Foster were major opera stars of their day so the performance sequences are solid.

    The Phantom of the Opera (2004)-Filmed take of the enormously successful Andrew Lloyd Webber version does not capture the magic that was present onstage. Curiously inert considering the entire thing is sung and staged for movement with the mask once used to hide the phantom’s disfigurement far more aesthetically pleasing now that he has been transformed into some sort of romantic stud ideal. Considering he’s not a trained singer Gerard Butler does well enough in the lead but you’ll miss Michael Crawford soaring power on the songs. The rest of the cast is efficient but unmemorable except for Minnie Driver who has fun as the bitchy diva Carlotta, though her voice is dubbed.

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    1. Quite frankly, I'm shocked you've seen even a little of The Hills Run Red.

      As for your choices, well played with the theme. I've only seen the original which I thoroughly enjoyed.

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    2. Believe me when I tell you that it wasn't on purpose that I saw ANY of The Hills Run Red! I was at someone's house and they were watching so I only saw the parts I couldn't avoid by doing something else while it was on.

      The first Phantom is the best even sans sound but the 40's version is worth catching if for no other reason than Claude Rains who is always worth watching. It was filmed again in the 60's in England with another favorite of mine-Herbert Lom and it's not a bad take on it either. But the latest version of the Andrew Lloyd Webber version can be skipped with no problem.

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    3. I've heard that about the latest version.

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  6. I only saw Trick'r'Treat out of those and this was pretty good. They don't often have the guys to have kids in such gruesome scenes

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    1. Glad you enjoyed Trick 'r Treat. It's a solid film.

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  7. Like Trick'r'Treat. I've heard about Creep, but I have no idea like what sub genre it falls under, sort of scared to see it.

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    1. It's a found-footage film. I know those don't have a great reputation, but Creep is one of the best ones I've seen.

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  8. I haven't seen any of these and I doubt I will since they are not my favourite. The pictures alone give me the willies

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  9. My favorite horror movie masks:
    Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon
    Tomas's mask in El Orfanato
    Eyes Without a Face

    All three movies are highly recommended!

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    1. The only one of those I've seen is El Orfanato. What an excellent flick. I've heard lots of good things about The Rise of Leslie Vernon and Eyes Without a Face. I do plan on seeing them soon.

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