Darwin H.'s Reviews

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2 Guns
2 Guns (0)
Actors: Denzel Washington, Mark Wahlberg, Paula Patton
Date: 2/8/2015 2:51 ET
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.

Fun...nothing great but interesting action/thriller with good, funny lead performances by it's two major stars. Very good chemistry between them

Review Date: 2/8/2015
Aguirre, the Wrath of God
Aguirre, the Wrath of God (2000)
Actors: Klaus Kinski, Ruy Guerra, Helena Rojo
Release Year: 2000
Date: 2/8/2015 9:26 ET

Aguirre: The Wrath of God is a chronicle of one man's descent into madness. And he's just enough of a megalomaniac to take everyone else around him down with him. If you like movies based on true stories, and like your adventure dramas with some horror mixed in, you really need to give this one a chance. Klaus Kinski's facial expressions alone are worth the price of admission. Throw in the love/hate relationship between the main actor and the director and you start to realize why the "filmed" insanity seems so realistic. The on location jungle filming is absolutely gorgeous and was apparently an unbelievable adventure in and of itself.

Insane, brilliant, beautiful and disturbing. But oh so good.

Review Date: 2/8/2015
The Call of Cthulhu: The Celebrated Story by H.P. Lovecraft
The Call of Cthulhu: The Celebrated Story by H.P. Lovecraft (2007)
Actors: Matt Foyer, David Mersault, Noah Wagner
Release Year: 2007
Date: 6/28/2012 9:58 ET
2 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.

Well I am a week late reporting back but had to tell you guys about the Microcinema's H. P. Lovecraft double feature from last Monday night.

First up was "The Call of Cthulhu". It is a black and white silent film from the horror/fantasy genre. It's only 47 minutes long and is based on Lovecraft's most famous short story which was written in 1926. The movie was released in 2005 but was produced in the 30's style to give it the mood of a much older film. There were lines running intermittently through the film, specks, etc which was very effective in giving it that old style feel.

Brief no spoiler plot summary: When a man agrees to settle the affairs of a recently deceased great uncle he discovers a bunch of old manuscripts and begins to realize his great uncle had put a lot of time and research into tracking some very strange events that were occurring all over the world. Bizarre statuettes, ritual sacrifices, and strange cults all become intertwined as he slowly unravels the mysteries of his great uncle's research. I wont say any more in case you are interested in checking it out. Word of warning...this was shot on a shoestring budget (approximately $50,000) and it shows in the very limited special effects. Still, the amount of dread and tension that is built throughout it's very short runtime was quite impressive given both it's extreme monetary constraints and the fact that it is a silent film. Well worth checking out.

Next up was the main feature "The Whisperer in Darkness" which was more of a horror/sci-fi blend. (See separate review under this title).

This has been a Movienut "no spoilers" quick review.


Review Date: 6/28/2012
The Cranes are Flying - Criterion Collection
The Cranes are Flying - Criterion Collection (2002)
Actors: Tatyana Samojlova, Aleksey Batalov, Vasili Merkuryev
Release Year: 2002
Date: 4/7/2013 12:53 ET
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.

Quite impressive. Very "Russian" - stark close-ups, direct to the point minimal dialogue, excellent black & white photography. If you want to see the Russian cultural and cinematic "thaw" that came about shortly after Stalin's death and Krushchev's denunciation of the "cult of personality" it is on brilliant display here.

The fact that it came out in 1957 (only four years after Stalin died) makes it even more amazing. It most definitely did not "tow the Russian cinema party line" in terms of tone. I'm sure if they had tried to release something like this while Stalin was around the director would have been sent to the Gulag or worse. Actually, it simply wouldn't have been possible to make it as everyone involved would have lived in fear during the production.

Why? Well simply because this is a very gripping personal family story as opposed to a glib appeal to nation and duty. The plot is centered around two young lovers and how the outbreak of WW II breaks them and their families apart. Excellently acted and brilliantly shot. And I must say I greatly enjoyed the ending as well. It did not go where I feared it was heading. It apparently made quite a splash and was seen as a breath of fresh air when it was first released. Well worth a look if you get the chance.

This has been a MovieNut "no spoilers" quick review.

Review Date: 4/7/2013
Island of Lost Souls (Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]
Island of Lost Souls (Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray] (2011)
Actors: Charles Laughton, Richard Arlen, Leila Hyams
Release Year: 2011
Date: 7/15/2012 5:19 ET
3 of 3 member(s) found this review helpful.

For my money The Island of Lost Souls from 1932 is far and away the best of the 3 different film adaptations based on H.G. Well's novel "The Island of Dr. Moreau" that are readily available on DVD. In fact nothing else even comes close. The acting was very good across the board, the special effects for the time were incredible. The story is dark and perverse in more ways than one; and no mad scientist ever put on film was as brazenly twisted as Charles Laughton's very restrained and decidedly creepy portrayal of Dr. Moreau (including the "doctors" in every Frankenstein movie I have ever seen). Can you say God complex? Check out this great film from back when horror movies were big business. I have no idea why this is not as well known as Dracula, Frankenstein, etc. The only explanation I can think of is that back then Universal was the undisputed king of big budget horror and this was a competing Paramount release. Well worth checking out.

This has been a Movienut "no spoilers" quick review.

Review Date: 7/15/2012
Jacob's Ladder [Blu-ray]
Jacob's Ladder [Blu-ray] (2010)
Actors: Tim Robbins, Elizabeth Pea, Danny Aiello
Release Year: 2010
Date: 2/11/2012 1:37 ET
2 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.

A very well done thriller/horror/drama experiment into the world of "reality". I thought Tim Robbins did an excellent job getting the audience to live through the paranoid, altered reality state he was experiencing. He plays a Vietnam war veteran struggling to cope back in the "real" world. This movie will mess with your mind and have you constantly questioning what is real and what is fantasy. While I thought it was excellent when it is over you may realize you were on a roller-coaster ride that does not necessarily end the way you wanted it to. Most things are wrapped up in the final act but not necessarily everything depending on how you choose to interpret the final scene. Well worth a watch.

This has been a Movienut "no spoilers" quick review.


Review Date: 2/11/2012
Let The Right One In
Let The Right One In (2009)
Actors: Lina Leandersson, Kare Hedebrant
Release Year: 2009
Date: 1/4/2010 8:25 ET
12 of 12 member(s) found this review helpful.

Well this bizarre little gem from Sweden really seems to be dividing viewers. Mark me firmly in the camp of those that greatly enjoyed it.

I found the storyline to be very clever and inventive. The age of the two main characters adds a twist to the "typical" vampire movie. The choice of location adds tremendously to the atmosphere. It is set in the dead of winter in Sweden. The environment is at once both beautiful and dangerous. There are some truly gorgeous outdoor shots that stand in stark contrast to the brutal events that occur in their midst.

A very heartwarming young friendship slowly develops between the two main characters fostered by the fact that neither really fits in. There is a definite chemistry between the two young lead characters that adds a great deal of depth to the film as the two misfits discover each other and form a close bond. Each has a very dark side to their nature that they try desperately to hide. Yet as they start to get to know each other they grow to understand and accept themselves for who they are.

But you never forget this is a horror movie. There are some violent and bloody scenes. However, in each case they serve to continue the storyline and never seem to be gratuitous. It also has some interesting little elements that pay homage to classic vampire flicks of years gone by.

The IMHO very talented Guillermo del Toro (producer of some very good movies including Devil's Backbone, Hellboy, The Orphanage, and Pan's Labyrinth) says and I quote "As delicate, haunting and poetic a film as you're ever bound to see." I agree whole-heartedly with him and highly recommend this film.

This has been a Movienut "no spoilers" quick review.

Review Date: 1/4/2010
Murderball
Murderball (2005)
Actors: Joe Soares, Keith Cavill, Mark Zupan
Release Year: 2005
Date: 3/19/2008 9:12 ET
5 of 5 member(s) found this review helpful.

I now see why this very well done documentary has gotten such high praise. The story chronicles the lives of the quadriplegic rugby athletes from Team USA as they prepare for the 2004 Paralympics. Here they plan to meet their arch rivals the Canadians in another fight for the gold medal.

These guys trash-talk, train hard, and are every bit as fierce competitors as any able-bodied amatuer or professional athlete - they just happen to all be confined to wheelchairs. The game action is very exciting and intense as the competitors race about in their wheelchairs often with predictably savage collisions and players being knocked over to the floor.

Yet the human story off the court is every bit as compelling if not more so than the event itself. These guys tell their stories about how they ended up in wheelchairs and about their tremendous struggles to relearn such seemingly simple tasks as getting dressed, feeding themselves, etc. Word of warning - a scene or two where they talk about their "love lives" as well so not a movie to bring children to without first screening to determine whether it is age appropriate.

In one scene, Mark Zupan the spokesman for the US team shows footage of a match and explains his sport to some newly injured men in a rehab center. The interest with which his presentation is received by a young former motocross racer is a wonderfully uplifting scene. This young man is dying to get into Mark's rugby chair and knock it around a little. You can just see his eyes light up as he realizes that he may still be able to compete, regardless of his tragic accident.

All in all a very well-made inspirational movie that I highly recommend.

This has been a Movienut "no spoilers" quick review.

Review Date: 3/19/2008
Peeping Tom - Criterion Collection
Peeping Tom - Criterion Collection (1999)
Actors: Karlheinz Bhm, Moira Shearer, Anna Massey
Release Year: 1999
Date: 6/28/2012 10:44 ET
2 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.

Peeping Tom, directed by Michael Powell who also directed several bonafide classics including The Thief of Bagdad, The Red Shoes, The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp and Black Narcissus. What a great, creepy film though definitely not for everyone. It's spooky, sympathetic portrayal of a very deviant personality in combination with a voyeurism theme effectively ended Powell's career even though now it is recognized as a classic. Some striking similarities between the lead character here and the Norman Bates character in Hitchcock's classic Psycho which was released the same year. Were Hitchcock and Powell travelling down the same dark road together on opposite sides of the pond back in 1960 or was this merely an uncanny coincidence? Well worth checking out if you are not averse to this type of subject matter.

This has been a Movienut "no spoilers" quick review.


Review Date: 6/28/2012
The Pianist
The Pianist (2003)
Actors: Adrien Brody, Thomas Kretschmann, Frank Finlay
Release Year: 2003
Date: 2/8/2015 9:36 ET
2 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.

In The Pianist a classical musician plays witness to the inhumanity of the Nazis in World War II. It is stark, powerful, and unforgettable.

Consider this sobering fact written by famous movie critic Roger Ebert "Almost all of the Jews involved in the Holocaust were killed, so all of the survivor stories misrepresent the actual event by supplying an atypical ending. Often their buried message is that by courage and daring, these heroes saved themselves. Well, yes, some did, but most did not and--here is the crucial point--most could not." Indeed.

Extremely well shot and acted with a bravura performance by Adrian Brody. Yet it is bleak, disturbing, and tears away at your humanity to watch it. Why then do I recommend it so highly? Because as time passes on and fewer and fewer of those who actually lived through this atrocity remain alive, we need to make sure we never forget this actually did happen.

Review Date: 2/8/2015
Picnic at Hanging Rock - Criterion Collection
Picnic at Hanging Rock - Criterion Collection (1998)
Actors: Rachel Roberts, Vivean Gray, Helen Morse
Release Year: 1998
Date: 2/8/2015 9:46 ET
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.

"On St. Valentine's Day, 1900 a part of schoolgirls set out to picnic at Hanging Rock. What happens to them makes one of the most spellbinding mysteries of our time."

This is the set-up for a beautifully shot mystery/horror tapestry that drags you in and wont let go. Then it ends abruptly when the story seems only 2/3 told and leaves you guessing. It doesn’t really have a conventional ending…yet almost everyone who falls under it’s spell doesn’t really seem to care. What happened to them?! Was it all just a fantastic dream?

I recently watched this again. Got to see it on the big screen for the first time at a local theater. Still haunting, gorgeous, tragic and still impenetrable by design. In short I loved it...again.

Review Date: 2/8/2015
PU-239
PU-239 (2008)
Actors: Paddy Considine, Oscar Isaac, Valeriu Pavel Dan
Release Year: 2008
Date: 10/22/2014 10:10 ET
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.

Pu-239 (aka The Half of Timofey Berezin). Thought it was an excellent film by a first time director. Be warned though it is very violent in certain scenes. Thought the acting was excellent across the board. My only criticism is that the tone seemed a bit all over the map. It has a very human family drama at it's core with great characters that you really care about. Yet it also mixes in both black comedy and a very brutal Russian crime element as well. I ended up feeling genuinely concerned about the family, laughing at some of the bungling criminals antics, and apprehensive about how brutal the next inevitable violent scene was going to be all at the same time. Takes you for quite an emotional roller coaster ride. As one critic quite aptly put it "a moral quagmire of social commentary, happenstance tragedy, and weapons-grade plutonium run wild through post-Soviet Russia." If any of this sounds intriguing to you I think this little film is well worth a watch.

This has been a MovieNut "no spoilers" quick review.

Review Date: 10/22/2014
Rush
Rush (2014)
Release Year: 2014
Date: 2/8/2015 2:40 ET

I may be a bit biased as I love road racing, but this retelling of the 1976 Formula 1 World Championship duel between James Hunt and Niki Lauda is great film making. The story is compelling, the acting is very good, and the cinematography was excellent. It really captured the feel of the mid-70's. Gotta love those outfits.

Review Date: 2/8/2015
Rush
Rush (0)
Actors: Daniel Brhl, Chris Hemsworth, Olivia Wilde
Date: 2/8/2015 2:42 ET
2 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.

I may be a bit biased as I love road racing, but this retelling of the 1976 Formula 1 World Championship duel between James Hunt and Niki Lauda is great film making. The story is compelling, the acting is very good, and the cinematography was excellent. It really captured the feel of the mid-70's. Gotta love those outfits.

Review Date: 2/8/2015
Star Trek Into Darkness (Blu-ray 3D + Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy)
Star Trek Into Darkness (Blu-ray 3D + Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy) (0)
Actors: Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana
Date: 6/1/2013 9:40 ET
3 of 3 member(s) found this review helpful.

Mark me down as being less than impressed with the new Star Trek movie. I'll try to give a non-spoilers brief review. I think all the actors did a great job with what they were given. Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto pull off Kirk and Spock admirably. I think Simon Pegg is fine as Scotty, and Karl Urban's portrayal of Bones is absolutely amazing to me. He has all his mannerisms down pat and stays in character perfectly. All the more amazing when you consider almost all of his previous roles had been bad-ass tough guy characters (Lord of the Rings, Chronicles of Riddick, Doom, Pathfinder, etc), so this new character is a 180 degree reversal from that. We also all loved Benedict Cumberbatch as the villain and thought he did a fantastic job.

We saw it in IMAX 3D. I thought the 3D was really unnecessary and didn't add anything to the film. Then again, I feel that way about 3D in general. I may change my mind eventually and am open to other's opinions but I really see it as more of a gimmick than anything else. I don't think it will catch on long term but we shall see. And yes, I am aware that you can hardly find any new large flat screen TVs any more that do not incorporate this technology. But that does not prove that 3D is here to stay in the home market. The real test is how many 3D Blu-ray movies are being sold. And from everything I've read so far the numbers are very disappointing. The sound in the IMAX was very good but also very, very, very loud. I mean approximately 11 on a scale of 1-10. Don't get me wrong, I love cranking up the volume on my surround sound system at home when I watch an action movie, and I will grant you that I am ancient, but this was just painful. It lierally hurt my head and was so loud that I felt it was a distraction rather than a complement to the overall movie going experience, (as was the 3D but to a lesser extent).

Anyway...as far as the plot itself. I know they are trying to appeal to a more current younger audience. I get that and it is fine. But it just seemed to be all flash and no substance to me. I felt like they had this huge special effects budget and by god, they were going to use it all. I could just see the director in a board meeting going "OK...we've got this huge budget and I want to know exactly how much sh** we can blow up!" Then it felt like later on someone realized...wait a minute...the heart of Star Trek was always about ethical and moral dillemmas...so we need to tack on a scene or two that shows that so we can satisfy the older crowd as well that may have seen Voyager, TNG, or even TOS. And I do mean tack on. We don't want to get too bogged down about that but let's briefly mention the prime directive, then ignore it, and we need Kirk and Spock to play with similar moral ideas for a few brief scenes as well. Not too much, as that would just be a distraction from our flash/bang principal focus. I could almost see poor Gene Roddenberry spinning in his grave.

I should also mention that I did not read a single review, online or otherwise before going in to see it. And when I mentioned my thoughts to my wife as we were leaving the theater she said...hmmm...that's what a lot of the critics were saying about it too. I don't know if that's a good thing or a bad one that I'm in line with some of the critics on this one but there it is.

Overall - 3 out of 5.

Thanks for listening.

Review Date: 6/1/2013
Strait-Jacket
Strait-Jacket (2002)
Actors: Joan Crawford, Diane Baker, Leif Erickson
Release Year: 2002
Date: 2/8/2015 3:04 ET
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.

Joan Crawford is your typical everyday mom in this crazy horror/thrill ride...yep, everyday mom...with an axe! Recently released after a 20 year stint in an asylum Lucy tries to reconnect with her daughter and the other remaining members of her family. But horror of horrors - the murders start happening again! Is it Lucy? Someone else? Well...I can't tell you of course. But I can tell you this. If the local hardware store would stop selling axes there wouldn't be so much overcrowding in the morgue in this podunk town.

;-)

Review Date: 2/8/2015
Supernova
Supernova (2000)
Actors: James Spader, Peter Facinelli, Robin Tunney
Release Year: 2000
Date: 5/20/2012 11:10 ET
2 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.

Supernova...ummm...no. James Spader and Angela Basset do all they can to save this space wreck but it just isn't very good. Special effects are OK but the characters sure do a lot of running around in an attempt to distract the viewer from the ridiculous script and the fact that the laws of physics apparently don't apply in this particular sector of the universe.

I love good Sci-Fi as much as anyone. It's one of my favorite genres. Give me a story that sets up an intricate, logical alternate world scenario and then plays by the rules it has created and gives you something interesting to think about. I'll watch them all day long. Bring 'em on. But this one? The captain's medical pod decision?, the 9th Dimension? Really?

I can just hear the director saying "Why not? You see we need the plot to go in this particular direction and I know it doesn't make any sense but no worries - it's Sci-Fi. We'll just explain it away using a term like the 9th dimension (yes really) and move on. See we don't have that in our solar system but out here they do! Cool huh?"

Look I can suspend my disbelief to a certain extent when watching Sci-Fi, just go with it and enjoy the ride. But sorry...I can't check my entire brain at the door. This mess just didn't make any sense. The characters made too many ridiculous decisions.

Nowhere near good enough to want to watch again and nowhere near bad enough to sit around with a couple of friends/beers to poke fun at. Sorry...a swing and a miss. Just...meh...

This has been a MovieNut "no spoilers" quick review.

Review Date: 5/20/2012
The Third Man (50th Anniversary Edition) - Criterion Collection
The Third Man (50th Anniversary Edition) - Criterion Collection (0)
Date: 2/8/2015 9:07 ET
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.

It's got murder, black market intrigue, shadowy post-war Vienna, and razor sharp dialogue. It's got a fish out of water protagonist who is in way over his head, the best ad-libbed speech of any movie I've ever watched (ferris wheel scene), and an iconic chase through the elaborate Viennese sewer system. It's got a signature zither score that at first seems very strange but grows on you more and more each time you watch it. It's got Orson Welles and Joseph Cotton. It's dripping with atmosphere, bizarre characters, and beautiful black and white cinematography. And it has one of, if not the best movie endings you will ever see.

No wait...there's more. It gets better each time you view it and is in my top three favorite movies of all time. As one famous critic put it it's like the exhausted aftermath of Casablanca. Could there be a better endorsement than that?

Review Date: 2/8/2015
The Third Man - Criterion Collection (2-Disc Edition)
The Third Man - Criterion Collection (2-Disc Edition) (2007)
Actors: Orson Welles, Alida Valli, Trevor Howard
Release Year: 2007
Date: 2/8/2015 9:18 ET
2 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.

It’s got murder, black market intrigue, shadowy post-war Vienna, and razor sharp dialogue. It’s got a fish out of water protagonist who is in way over his head, the best ad-libbed speech of any movie I've ever watched (ferris wheel scene), and an iconic chase through the elaborate Viennese sewer system. It’s got a signature zither score that at first seems very strange but grows on you more each time you see it. It’s got Orson Welles and Joseph Cotton. It's dripping with atmosphere, bizarre characters, and beautiful black and white cinematography. And it has one of, if not the best movie ending you will ever see.

No wait...there's more. It gets better each time you view it and is in my top three favorite movies of all time. As one famous critic put it “It’s like the exhausted aftermath of Casablanca.” Could there be a better endorsement than that?

Review Date: 2/8/2015
The Third Man - Criterion Collection [Blu-ray]
The Third Man - Criterion Collection [Blu-ray] (2008)
Actors: Joseph Cotten, Orson Welles, Alida Valli
Release Year: 2008
Date: 2/8/2015 9:18 ET

It’s got murder, black market intrigue, shadowy post-war Vienna, and razor sharp dialogue. It’s got a fish out of water protagonist who is in way over his head, the best ad-libbed speech of any movie I've ever watched (ferris wheel scene), and an iconic chase through the elaborate Viennese sewer system. It’s got a signature zither score that at first seems very strange but grows on you more each time you see it. It’s got Orson Welles and Joseph Cotton. It's dripping with atmosphere, bizarre characters, and beautiful black and white cinematography. And it has one of, if not the best movie ending you will ever see.

No wait...there's more. It gets better each time you view it and is in my top three favorite movies of all time. As one famous critic put it “It’s like the exhausted aftermath of Casablanca.” Could there be a better endorsement than that?

Review Date: 2/8/2015
Tower of Evil
Tower of Evil (1999)
Actors: Bryant Haliday, Jill Haworth, Anna Palk
Release Year: 1999
Date: 2/8/2015 2:58 ET
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.

Campy 70's British "horror". Ridiculous premise, low budget, horrible acting, nudity, copious violence (but such horribly bad special effects it's laughable), infidelity angle between all four lead characters, etc. Check out the obvious use of a small model for the lighthouse scene at the start - lol. Where's the kitchen sink? How can I rate a movie that is so laughably bad it's...good?

Review Date: 2/8/2015
True Detective [Blu-ray]
True Detective [Blu-ray] (2014)
Actor: Various
Release Year: 2014
Date: 2/8/2015 3:16 ET
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.

Very dark and can be difficult to watch but one of the best TV seasons I have ever seen. Central plot is an ongoing search for a mysterious and elusive serial killer. Entire cast is good with two leads outstanding. Louisiana back country bayous are so beautifully shot they almost serve as another character all by themselves. Major plot is wrapped up at the end but of course there are several loose strings. Makes perfect sense as I am sure they are hoping for the green light for a second season. With a show this strong it should be a cinch, but we've all seen great shows canceled in the past. I for one am hoping for much more from this series. Kudos to HBO.

Review Date: 2/8/2015
The Vanishing - Criterion Collection
The Vanishing - Criterion Collection (2001)
Actors: Bernard-Pierre Donnadieu, Gene Bervoets, Johanna ter Steege
Release Year: 2001
Date: 2/8/2015 9:51 ET
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.

A simple stop on a road trip and suddenly your loved one goes missing and your entire world is turned upside down. Just how far would you go to solve the mystery? How long would pursue an answer? Just how badly would you need closure? Be careful what you wish for.

Terrifying in every sense of the word with absolutely no blood or gore. Absolutely brilliant.

Review Date: 2/8/2015
The Whisperer in Darkness
The Whisperer in Darkness (0)
Actors: Matt Lagan, Stephen Blackehart, Daniel Kaemon
Date: 6/28/2012 9:59 ET
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.

Well I am a week late reporting back but had to tell you guys about the Microcinema's H. P. Lovecraft double feature from last Monday night.

First up was "The Call of Cthulhu". (See separate review under that title.)

Next up was the main feature "The Whisperer in Darkness" which was more of a horror/sci-fi blend. In it a professor of folklore starts hearing wierd tales of some non-human creatures terrorizing an old man who lives in an isolated farm house in the back woods of Vermont. He dismisses him as a crackpot but eventually enough "evidence" surfaces that he feels he must travel there to see what is going on first-hand. His investigation leads him to a discovery of horrors quite beyond anything he ever imagined, and ends in a desperate attempt to escape the remote New England hills with his life and sanity intact.

The Whisperer in Darkness was also shot in the style of the classic old horror movies though it is a very recent release (2011) and was even filmed using high definition cameras (with plans of a Blu-ray release in mind?) It looks fantastic. It is also shot in black and white but is a "talkie". I know I haven't seen as many horror movies as some of you but I have seen quite a few and this one really impressed me. Also a great plot twist at the end that really gets you thinking. If you like the sci-fi/horror blend genre (think Alien, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, The Thing, etc., but with a classic 1930's feel and much lower special effects budget), I highly recommend checking this one out. Both of these movies are available on Amazon. TCOC in DVD and TWID on DVD or Blu-ray from only one seller - HPLHS (H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society) which put up the money to produce the first film. It is not cheap but definitely worth seeing.

I had no idea what to expect going in but came away so impressed with these two films (The Whisperer in Darkness in particular) that I bought the large double feature poster from the cinema owner after the final showing was over. It has already been framed and is now hanging proudly next to me in my movie room as I write this.

This has been a Movienut "no spoilers" quick review.


Review Date: 6/28/2012
Wilbur Wants to Kill Himself
Wilbur Wants to Kill Himself (2004)
Actors: Jamie Sives, Adrian Rawlins, Shirley Henderson
Release Year: 2004
Date: 3/19/2008 10:41 ET
5 of 5 member(s) found this review helpful.

This is the story of two brothers. Wilbur, who hides a dark secret from his past and makes several attempts to commit suicide. And his brother Harbour who divides his time between runnning a quaint little financially troubled used book store and trying to keep his brother Wilbur alive. It is set in Scotland though there are very few outdoor scenes.

If you are looking for wide outdoor shots of this beautiful country this is the wrong choice. If you are looking for a quirky little black comedy that will make you think and laugh at the same time then this is the right choice. Any movie that can simultaneously tackle three very serious issues without seeming forced and still end up making you feel good about life's possibilities by the end is quite an accomplishment.

The characters are all interesting and you end up caring about what happens to them. The acting is strong across the board, especially the two brothers. The supporting cast was also good with even the young girl who plays Mary doing a very commendable job. The only down side was that the characters speak with a decided Scottish brogue and occasionally it was a "wee bit" difficult trying to understand them.

Overall though an excellent movie that I could easily watch again. Give it a chance and let me know what you think.

This has been a movienut "no spoilers" quick review.

Review Date: 3/19/2008
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