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411mania » The 411 » Joseph Lee » Blog
Top 15 Horror Films of the 411 Era (09.15.2011)

The sites being unveiling a lot of "Top Such and Such" of the 411 era, aka the past fifteen years. Instead of devoting a whole column to the idea and stealing the special's thunder, here's my own blog where I will simply list the movies.

1. Scream
2. Shaun of the Dead
3. Let The Right One In
4. Frailty
5. Grindhouse
6. Cube
7. Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon
8. From Dusk 'til Dawn
9. Stir of Echoes
10. Freddy vs Jason
11. Paranormal Activity
12. Inside
13. Martyrs
14. Buried
15. Orphan
ABGT Through December 30 (11.10.2010)

November 11: The Most Bizarre Horror Films (Part 1)
November 18: The Most Bizarre Horror Films (Part 2)
November 25: The Most Bizarre Horror Films (Part 3)
December 2: Dead Horror Companies Month: A-Pix
December 9: Dead Horror Companies Month: Vidmark/Trimark
December 16: Dead Horror Companies Month: Fox Atomic
December 23: Top Ten Terrors of 2010
December 30: Upcoming Horrors of 2011

Going to have to get my research boots on for December, but it should be fun.
A Remake on Elm Street (05.10.2010)

So I saw the much talked-about remake.

I desperately wanted to love this. But I didn't. Heck, I barely liked it. It's not because it's a bad movie, because it's not. It's competently made. It's just a movie.

The Good: Jackie Earle Haley was really good as Freddy, pretty much showing why he was the ideal choice if there just had to be a remake (of course there didn't need to be, but that's a discussion for another day). Freddy was actually creepy again, and whenever he was on the screen I was into it. I also enjoyed the fact they kept borrowing lines from other films in the series ("How's this for a wet dream?" and "Welcome to my world, bitch" come from the sequels, not the original), paid homage to the original ("I'm your boyfriend now" just took on a whole new disturbing twist) and even had some new ones. ("Fuck you!" "Sounds like fun"). I also didn't mind the fact that Freddy was a pedophile, because that was what he was supposed to be in the original. They only hinted at it because of some big scandal at the time. Don't see why everyone's making a big deal out of this movie coming out and saying it. Micronaps were cool, too.

The Bad: The homages to the original are one thing, but the blatant stealing of scenes and adding just enough twist to make them yours are another. Freddy coming through the wall was awful-looking, the bathtub scene had no point (where in the original he was attempting to kill Nancy), Tina/Kris' death lacks all of the impact because instead of being dragged up walls she's just bounced around like a pinball. When she fell, I had memories of Freddy vs Jason ("Aw...tilt"). I also hated the fact they even threw the "he might be innocent" thing in there. You know, if they had the balls to make Freddy innocent, I could live with that. It still doesn't rationalize what he's doing to the kids and it would be a nice twist on the whole thing. But they instead used it as a subplot that led to nothing.

The Ugly: I'm not going to harp on the acting, because the original wasn't exactly a bastion of Shakespearean talent either, but couldn't any of these cast members actually..emote? Nancy was especially bad. She always seemed like she was sleepwalking through the whole thing. This was not the same Nancy who we saw in the original series and the change is bad. I had no reason to care about any of the characters. While some said that making Freddy a pedophile is bad because you can't root for him (and what, it's okay to root for a child murderer?), I had no trouble doing that when Jackie Haley was entertaining and these "teens" were cardboard.

So my rating is at **1/2. It wasn't good, it wasn't bad, it was just there. I'll probably get the DVD because I'm a completist and I love this series. I own The Dream Child, no reason I should have that and not this.

Rankings:
A Nightmare on Elm Street
Wes Craven's New Nightmare
Dream Warriors
Freddy vs Jason
The Dream Master
A Nightmare on Elm Street Remake
Freddy's Revenge
Freddy's Dead
The Dream Child.
New ABGT Through July (05.05.2010)

May 13: A Tribute to Tales From The Crypt
May 20: Makeup Effects in Horror
May 27: The Most Shocking Horror Films
June 3: Iconic Characters: Dracula
June 10: Iconic Characters: Frankenstein
June 17: Iconic Characters: Norman Bates
June 24: Iconic Characters: Leatherface
July 1: Book-to-Film Adaptations
July 8: Ten Adaptations I'd Like To See
Twitter (05.02.2010)

Why not let the world know I have Twitter? I turned my personal twitter into one that any fans of my column can follow. I post links there as soon as they go up and provide musings on other things. I can't see why you'd care about what I think in 140 characters or less, but it's there if you want to sign up.

http://www.twitter.com/JosephLee411
Schedule Changes (03.17.2010)

The Best Opening and Best Ending columns have been upgraded to twenty, and are two-parters.

Here's the revised schedule for the next two and a half months.

March 18: Best Horror Openings(Part 1)
March 25: Best Horror Openings(Part 2)
April 1: Best Horror Endings(Part 1)
April 8: Best Horror Endings(Part 2)
April 15: More Underrated Horror Films
April 22: April 29: Robert Englund Retrospective
April 29: Top Ten Freddy Kills
May 6: Horror What If?
May 13: A Tribute to Tales From the Crypt
May 20: Makeup Effects in Horror (Part One)
May 27: Makeup Effects in Horror (Part Two)
Next Editions of ABGT Until May (03.02.2010)

Next several ABGT's:

March 4: Top Ten Horror Heroes
March 11: Film Scores in Horror
March 18: Best Horror Openings
March 25: Best Horror Endings
April 1: Horror What If? (Five stories that I'm going to write myself based on what if certain situations in horror went different ways...like: "What if Ash had stayed in Camelot?")
April 8: More Underrated Horror Films (a sequel to my original column about this)
April 15: A look at Tales From the Crypt
April 22: Robert Englund Retrospective
April 29: Top Ten Freddy Kills
May 6: Makeup Effects in Horror (Part One)
ABGT Topics Through October (08.05.2009)

For those who are interested, here's the schedule of "A Bloody Good Time" topics through October.

August 6: Is It Horror?
August 13: A Tribute To Peter Jackson's Early Years
August 20: Halloween Franchise Breakdown
August 27: The Ten Dumbest Moments in Halloween History
September 3: The Greatest Horror Sequels
September 10: The Greatest Horror Remakes
September 17: The Ten Dumbest Moments in Child's Play History
September 24: A Tribute to Ed Wood
October 1: Twenty Greatest Horror Franchises, Part 1
The Midnight Meat Train thoughts (10.08.2008)

Anyone who has talked to me about horror knows I love Clive Barker. Obviously I'm a huge Hellraiser fan but his other stories are pretty great too.

I finally, *FINALLY* got to see The Midnight Meat Train, and I must say, I'm glad the R-rated horror film hasn't went out of style just yet. MMT is fantastically bloody, violent and a great adaptation of the Barker story. I was wondering how they would cover the somewhat bizarre ending and they managed to do that well, making it more low-key.

Vinnie Jones has a lot of presence here too, he doesn't have to say a word. He plays a great villain with just his facial expressions alone.

I don't think it quite beats Diary of the Dead as my horror film of the year, but it's definitely up there. Check it out on Fearnet if you get the chance.
Column Ideas (08.02.2008)

I've got some interesting ideas in the next few weeks. This is actually my first 411 blog, but I'm using it to tell anyone interested what's in store for future editions of "A Bloody Good Time".

One of these is horror-comic adaptations I'd like to see. I'm such a huge fan of Marvel Zombies, I'd love to see that made. I could probably do an entire column on how to properly cast and make a Ghost Rider film. A few people have mentioned this to me recently and I'm still exploring possible ideas.

I'm going to try to steer away from lists for a while. It seems that when a writer is having trouble with ideas, they come up with the crutch of a list, because everyone loves lists. So I'll either continue with the franchise breakdowns or horror biographies until I can come up with a more stable topic.

It's up to you, the readers, what I come up with for future issues. Not to brag, but I've been watching horror movies for ten years and am in love with the genre. What I don't know, I research. So if you want me to talk about something I will try my best to accommodate.

I've also decided to use this blog to chart my various movie discoveries in regards to horror, something I can't exactly do in my column because of the way I've set it up over this past year. Wow, it's almost been a year!

Thanks for reading my reviews and A Bloody Good Time. I really enjoy writing it for you.


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