Had a lot of movie trips in the last couple of days. I think that going to t he drive in in the middle of a hot summer is the perfect way to watch Escape from New York. I doubt I’ll ever get another opportunity, but it was great to see it on the big screen in this manner. I don’t think it really improved the movie any – some films do way better on the big screen than on TV – but it just felt right.
Mad Max on the other hand….I’ve never understood Mad Max. I don’t get the appeal. Perhaps it’s just because I’m not a car person, but it seems like a standard car/motorcycle gang film, and I don’t get how this became a franchise or why it’s so beloved (unless that happened after Mel Gibson broke through and people started looking through his past filmography for something to develop). The last ten minuets are the best part of the film…the rest is a bit of a slog. It was nice to see the Australian dialogue track restored. I know this has ben around for probably ten years, but it’s not the version I have at home and it’s hard to justify buying another copy of a film I don’t like just because it’s a classic.
And then there’s the Conjuring.
Cinema Wasteland was nice enough to provide me with advance passes for this movie. Amy had seen commercials for it in TV and the commercials freaked her out, and was surprisingly delighted when I told her I got tickets for the film.
We headed out the the Capitol and got there about 45 minuets early. We needn’t have bothered, the place was full, but not packed. There were still seats available when the film rolled. It was rude crowd though, people constantly talking (TALKING, not whispering) through a good deal of the film.
It’s a fun movie, mashing up a haunted house story, a ghost story, a witch story and an exorcism story all into one. That said, it’s still not incredibly original. It’s very by-the-numbers, hitting all the points you expect from any of those kind of films very nicely. The jump scares are there, so are the noises and the doors opening and closing by themselves, the hidden rooms – if I were to sit here and chart all the things this movie has in common with the Amityville Horror we could be here all day.
The performances are all convincing and everything kept us involved. There’s a subplot concerning a possessed doll that is sadly underused, almost tacked on. The film opens with it, then we get one real callback to it and that’s it. It almost feels like something they added in just to put it on the poster, or perhaps that first ten minuets was the original pitch reel that then had to be included in the final cut – much like the reverse bear trap in Saw. I don’t know. I think I’d like to see more of the doll story ,or have it gone altogether. The way it was, it just doesn’t fit right.
Still, if you like haunted house movies (and I’ve been on a real haunting kick lately myself) then this is a good pick. Maybe not in the theatre though. It’s good, but not $9.00 good. Wait to rent it or catch it on Netflix. I’ll be interested in seeing how it does over the weekend, and researching just how much of this was actually the “true story” it was billed as.