Horror

Cold Prey

"Cold Prey" box set

Cold Prey (2006)
Cold Prey: Resurrection (2008)

Warning: this review may contain spoilers, particularly around who lives and who dies...

Cold Prey (its Norwegian title is Fritt Vilt) is described in a DVD cover-blurb as "probably the most perfect slasher movie of all time". How well it meets that glowing promise, I couldn't say—I guess in large part it depends how you define the "slasher" genre—but it was certainly an entertaining entry in the field.

The opening scene shows somebody—a young boy, in this case—running through the snow, fleeing from something, some unseen horror. Needless to say, he does not escape. Next we are introduced to our cast of soon-to-be victims, a group of attractive young people on their way to a snow-boarding holiday. We have an established couple who are very close, and the question of whether or not they should move in together appears to be their only source of disagreement, a new couple who are still testing the waters, and a, well, fifth wheel, a single guy. The two girls are close friends; it was never entirely made clear who the fifth person was friends with. Not that it mattered; these were all pretty close friends, and there was very little personal conflict when everything went wrong.

Juan of the Dead

"Juan of the Dead" poster

Juan of the Dead (2011)
“He's Havana Killer Day”

I just watched Juan of the Dead — an obvious play, at least as far as the title goes, on Shaun of the Dead! Juan is a Cuban film, for a change; I don’t have many of those!

In Shaun, Simon Pegg and Nick Frost wander obliviously through the early days of a zombie uprising; once they finally realise what’s going on, they and a small group of friends set out for that bastion of safety: the local Pub.

In Juan, Alexis Diaz and Jorge Molina (who could perhaps, if you squint, be considered a rough Cuban equivalent of Pegg and Frost) wander obliviously through the early days of a zombie uprising (in fact, even once they realise that the dead are walking, they experiment with “Vampire”, “Demon”, and “Lycanthrope” without ever quite hitting on the Z-word!)

Once they realise what’s going on, they and a small group of friends do the only sane thing: they go into business!

Near Dark

"Near Dark" poster

Near Dark (1987)
"They can only kill you once, but they can terrify you forever."

Name a movie that stars Lance Henriksen, Bill Paxton, and Jenette Goldstein. Aliens, right? So how many of you have heard of (or better yet, seen) Near Dark? It was a new one on me. The DVD cover image—a rather gory and mostly unrecognisable Paxton—caught my eye. The names Lance Henricksen and Bill Paxton, listed one beneath the other, inspired me to pick it up and scan the back cover for details. The line "This is more than simply the most ferociously original vampire move of our generation: NEAR DARK is one of the best horror movies of all time" convinced me to buy it and give it a chance. I must have been twenty minutes in before I got a good look at one of the other characters and thought "hey waitaminnit, that's Vasquez!"

The Stepford Wives (1974)

"Stepford Wives" poster

The Stepford Wives (1974)
"Something strange is happening in the town of Stepford"

Upon the recommendation—indeed, the insistence—of a friend with tastes similar to my own, I tracked down and watched the original 1974 version of The Stepford Wives. As far as I can remember, I had never seen it before. However, having read the novel by Ira Levin, many years ago, I was more or less familiar with the story. Indeed, I was of the opinion that everbody must know the Stepford story—but despite that, I shall not post any unprotected spoilers. (I've had a few films spoiled because the person posting thought "everybody must have seen this by now", and it's just so difficult to unread something once you've read it...)

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