Tuesday, October 23, 2012

25 Horror Films: #21 and #20


Pontypool (Bruce McDonald, 2009)

What I like most about Pontypool is that, because it's built around descriptions heard over the radio, the majority of it takes place in the viewer's imagination. By taking media reportage, which is a staple of the sub-genre Pontypool could be said to fall under, and using it not only as a way of giving a sense of the scope and hopelessness of what's going on but also as the primary means with which to tell the story, Pontypool manages to do something different with a type of film that is normally anything but different. 

Another interesting aspect of the film is that it explores one of William Burroughs' theories,
albeit more physically and literally (though there's no indication as to whether or not this is done knowingly).

The Company of Wolves (Neil Jordan, 1984)

I have no idea how this film might come across to most people, but for children of the 80s who grew up watching the likes of Labyrinth and The Dark Crystal, it will likely delight. 

With a script written by Angela Carter and adapted from one of her short stories, The Company of Wolves simultaneously evokes Alice in Wonderland, Valerie and Her Week of Wonders, and Picnic at Hanging Rock. Part fairytale, part horror film, and with an expertly crafted atmosphere, Jordan's film managed to evoke childhood and nostalgia in me even though I saw it for the first time as an adult.
The kind of movie I wish I could somehow watch around a campfire in the middle of the woods.

For a prologue I recommend viewing The Quay Brothers' Stille Nacht II: Are We Still Married? as a way of inducing the proper dream state.


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