La Cara Oculta, or The Hidden Face, is simply one of the best movies I have ever seen. Screenwriter and director Andrés Baiz brings this unique accomplishment to the screen, telling the story of a Spanish orchestra director named Adrián (Quim Gutiérrez) who comes home from a rehearsal to find a video from his girlfriend Belén (Clara Lago) telling him that she’s leaving him. He watches the video a number of times with no idea where she’s gone. A police investigation leads nowhere, though they suspect Adrián of being involved in her disappearance.
Eventually he processes the loss and moves on with his life. He starts dating a waitress named Fabiana (Martina García) that he meets one night when out drinking heavily. Their relationship progresses and Fabiana moves in. It’s then that spooky things start to happen around the house that seem to haunt Fabiana. The conclusion to all of this is some of the finest film-making I’ve seen since at least 2000.
The story is filled with surprises; just when the viewer thinks they’ve figured out what’s going on, everything changes. The twists in the plot are frequent, but not overwhelming. It is an astonishingly beautiful movie and the care with which it was created is evident in the quality of the finished product. To me, the most mysterious thing about The Hidden Face is that garnered so little attention and wasn’t nominated for any awards. I can’t recommend strongly enough that you watch this movie at your earliest convenience, especially if you liked movies such as The Usual Suspects, Memento, or even The Secret in Their Eyes.
The difference between the original Evil Dead and the remake is astonishing. Gone from the remake is the slapstick comedy and goofy special effects that were so essential to Sam Raimi‘s early work; in their place are the special effects of a big budget horror film and a seriously creepy plot.
David (Shiloh Fernandez), his drug addicted sister Mia (Jane Levy) and their friends Eric (Lou Taylor Pucci), Olivia (Jessica Lucas) and Natalie (Elizabeth Blackmore) take a trip to an isolated cabin to help, as a group, get Mia free from her addiction and fully detoxed. During their time in the cabin they discover a trap door that leads to a very basic cellar, one filled with objects associated with witchcraft and a copy of what is later found to be the Book of the Dead.
Eric reads the Book of the Dead without understanding what it does and ends up summoning an evil force to the cabin. All attempts to flee are unsuccessful, leaving the friends trapped, left to confront the evil force which has taken control of Mia.
Director Fede Alvarez removes the campy features of the original Raimi version of Evil Dead and in its place adds a nicely acted horror movie filled with attention-grabbing special effects, while still leaving small homages to Raimi’s Evil Dead. The movie is creepy, well-crafted, and an effective, if not terribly original combination of the original version and Alvarez’s updated version. While it may not be the most original horror film (even of 2013) it’s watchable and will entertain viewers regardless of its flaws.
Paul W.S. Anderson is not a director known for producing artistic films and this is no exception, but what he does deliver in Event Horizon is one of the most original and terrifying horror movies of the 1990s. Starring Laurence Fishburne as Captain Miller, Sam Neill as Dr. William Weir, Kathleen Quinlan as Peters, Joely Richardson as Lt. Starck, Richard T. Jones as Cooper, Jack Noseworthy as young Justin and Jason Isaacs as DJ who are all on-board a ship at some point in the future whose purpose is search and rescue.
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John Cusack and Samuel L. Jackson star in this 2007 adaption of a Stephen King short story, directed by Mikael Håfström (Derailed, 2005) surrounding the mysteries of a haunted hotel room in New York City.
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Matt Reeves‘s much marketed 2008 action/horror/thriller Cloverfield lives up to its hype. It takes the point-of-view camera technique utilized in The Blair Witch Project and brings it to new extremes as it ekes out a truly creepy and unsettling looking at an attack on Manhattan by what can only be described as a monster.
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