Wednesday, October 3, 2012

October Horror Movie Challenge: Day 2

Today I started off early with The Pit and the Pendulum before class.Although I had been ignoring most Vincent Price movies for years (for no real reason) I decided to give it a go to sync up with the 60s theme suggested for today via DVDTalk. It turned out to be a fairly good movie and I'm glad I watched it.

I may have not been able to appreciate Price much in the past (previous features include The Last Man on Earth and House of Wax) but this time it felt different. He seems to really embody characters. Sure, he might give them a very theatrical edge, but that just seems to be the kind of actor he is. Besides, when he's working off of Poe work like this film it makes sense that everything might be a bit grandiose. Either way, it was a fine movie and managed to be enjoyable.

After my first class I decided to give another movie a go. The selection was The Innocents and also falls into the 60s category. Anyway, something that I didn't mention previously is that movies pre 70s tend to worry me. I get scared that I won't enjoy them because they're too far gone into some form of horror that just doesn't work today. I feel the same about the bunches of famous horror movie monsters in the early years of film. It probably isn't true, but it's a feeling I hold onto and one big reason that older films are avoided.

Anyway, let's talk about The Innocents. I didn't expect to enjoy it but ended up finding it a nice film. More than that, parts of it were quite creepy and still held up to this day. There were no ridiculous monsters and not even boo moments but it managed to be incredibly good at getting you into the world and nervous about what went on. It was a success in my book, and I'm surprised that movies of the current age tend to go for cheap scares over better things like this. I guess they assume the audience wants one thing in particular even though this movie totally holds up despite being made over 50 years ago.

After coming home from school I managed to fit in one more movie. Theater of Blood was the selection, just chosen quickly as to make the best use of my time before bed. It's another film with Vincent Price in the lead and in fact seems to be one of the last movies he really was able to take a starring role in. At least according to IMDB, most of his appearances afterward were simply those on TV shows.

Because of this, it seems that the role is more fitting, as well as sadder. The film focuses on a theater performer who was ridiculed by reviewers as some overacting, pompous fool. I don't know how people took to Price's style of acting as his prime passed but it may have been similar in the 70s. However, unlike Price, the character he plays cannot stand this and seeks to kill each critic one by one in methods penned by Shakespeare.

Theater of Blood is a rather humorous affair. It was strikingly odd at first to see such humor portrayed but if it hadn't I feel that the film would have been much too dark. There were some truly scary things happening, such as a wife waking to her husband's decapitated body in her bed. If there were no laughs to be had otherwise it would have taken on a whole different feeling. Either way, I'd recommend people check it out.

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