Friday, June 17, 2011
Director: Mark Herrier
Writer: Mitchell Smith, Alan Ormsby
Genre: Horror: Slasher
After inputting some 200 movie ratings on Netflix (mostly devoted to horror films) the site began recommending things to me. One film in particular, Popcorn, stood out but for all the wrong reasons. Now, I know they say don't judge a book by its cover but this movie looked atrocious. The name too seemed undeniably odd and cheesy. I would have simply avoided it like the plague if I didn't decide to look at a few reviews which called it a kind of precursor to Scream. That, along with the movie's tagline which is: "Buy a bag... Leave in a box."
It seems my interest was not misplaced because it turned out to be a fun film. The production values are strangely awful though as the film quality makes it look like a movie out of the early 80s and not 1991. That's easily forgiven though since the characters are fresh and believable people. The antagonist borders on extremely cliched territory, but the rest of the film supports his appearance.
Basically the story is about a group of teens (?) in their school's film club who need to raise money to keep afloat. They decide to run a horror movie marathon at an old movie theater. So, they get to work prettying the place up and preparing to show three b-horror films from the 50s. What they don't know however is that a mysterious fourth film is in the building and is the harbinger of death.
It plays out kind of Phantom of the Opera-ish but there's nothing wrong with a solid story like that. The modernization is crisp and doesn't feel like a tired story and still is a different beast. Mostly, I loved the film-centric banter that goes on between the characters from time to time. Movies about people who love movies are always excellent in my book. If you're in the mood for something similar, I'd suggest Demons (1985) or Fade to Black (1980).