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James Boba Fettfield
06-01-2004, 03:25 PM
It's that time again. It's time I ask some opinions on some horror films that I have never seen but have read about in various places.

The Devil's Backbone
Guillermo Del Toro (Hellboy, Blade 2) directs. It's a Spanish film and it's set during the Spanish Civil War in an orphanage. That's really all I know about this film. I think there's supposed to be a ghost involved with the story, too.

Tell me, has anyone else seen this and have comments about it? There's a Special Edition DVD being released the same day as Hellboy of this film, and it's cheap. Thoughts?

Jacob's Ladder
I know it stars Tim Robbins as a Vietnam vet and he has some freaky experiences. He has some very disturbing experiences with various images, like seeing his dead kid. I've been told it also influenced the Silent Hill games, so that's a plus. Anyone else want to weigh in on this?

Session 9
It stars David Caruso...and it involves some guys cleaning out an abandoned asylum. Yeah, I don't know too much else about it. Again, I think this is a ghost film, too.

The Wicker Man
Iron Maiden's song comes to mind whenever I think about buying this film. :beard:

Anyway, a police officer from Scotland is looking for a missing girl. He is led to some island, some cult stuff occurs, and it's supposed to have one "helluva" ending. Oh, it stars horror vet, Christopher Lee aka Count Dooku to SW nerds.


So go ahead and throw thoughts out there about these films. I've not seen a one, and have been on the fence about buying them for awhile. Especially the Wicker Man, it comes in a wooden box for a DVD case! Thank you, Anchor Bay.

(hope this thread gets more replies than my last horror question thread for The Eye)

Hellboy
06-01-2004, 07:28 PM
Cool more horror threads!!! :D

Unfortunately I've only seen one of the films you're inquiring about JBF.

"Jacob's Ladder" is a great film, it's actually the first DVD I purchased once I got a player. The movie is filled with shocking and disturbing images that constantly make you question if what you're seeing is actually real. I've heard some opinions from people who had a problem with the surrealism of this film but to me thats the main appeal. You never know what to trust and find yourself analyzing every scene in an attempt to make sense of what is going on. Truly mindbending and one of the best psychological thrillers I've ever seen, I highly recommend it.

You're right about the Silent Hill connection, it did serve as inspiration for that game. I read an interview with the game's creator around the time Silent Hill 2 came out and he was asked that question. He was also asked what other movies he drew inspiration from and he mentioned another one of my favorites, "Suspiria." He made a point to say he thought it was the scariest movie ever made.

I would like to see "The Devil's Backbone" as well. I like Del Toro's work for the most part and think this might be good. I wasn't a fan of "Mimic" but "Blade 2" and of course "Hellboy" were great. He also made another film called "Cronos" that was just released on DVD that I plan on checking out as well.

Make sure you post your comments once you've seen "Jacob's Ladder," I'm interested in what you thought. :)

James Boba Fettfield
06-01-2004, 08:35 PM
Oh, definitely, Hellboy. I always revisit these threads of mine where I ask about horror films. I did it with The Eye after I acquired it, and I did it with Below, but I think that was at Steve's dvd board.

I should use my mod powers to sticky this thread, but that probably falls under some abuse of power rule.

As for Jacob's Ladder...I think I'm going to purchase it here in a minute, Hellboy, along with Session 9 and a preorder of The Devil's Backbone. The Wicker Man is more expensive, so I'll wait on it.

As for Cronos, I hear good things about it, too. It's another Spanish language flick of Del Toro's. Vampires, I think, is what it is about. I hope it's not dubbed on DVD. Dubbing movies has always bothered me.

Yeah, so I'll let you know about that movie when I see it, which should be sometime next week when I'm back in Cincinnati for the summer.

I just want to see some lesser known horror films instead of the usual Hollywood fare and very popular movies like Nightmare and Friday.

B'Omarr Monkey
06-01-2004, 09:12 PM
Cronos and The Devil's Backbone are both great. These are the movies that made me know that Hellboy was going to be all it turned out to be. I have Cronos on vhs and The Devil's Backbone on DVD, and I'm upgrading to the new DVD. The Devil's Backbone has perhaps the coolest looking ghost of any movie. It's one of those movies I'm always trying to convince other people to watch. Cronos is not dubbed. Ron Perlman is in it as well and he gives a great and comedic performance.

Jacob's Ladder is also really good. I haven't seen it for a while, and fear that it might not date well, even though at the time of its release it was quite cutting edge in many ways. Prior to its making, it was considered one of the best unproduced screenplays for about a decade. It also features Jason Alexander with a full head of hair.

I have not seen Session 9

I have only seen part of The Wicker Man due to a black out. What I saw was really good. My college roommate, whose taste coincided nicely with mine, raved about it. I beat myself up about not having bought the boxed DVD set that came out a few years ago.

If you buy it and hate it, let me know, maybe I'll take it off your hands.

James Boba Fettfield
06-01-2004, 09:37 PM
Hellboy and B'Omarr, you two, I like.

I need to start bringing up some more horror film questions 'round these parts.

I'll let you know about The Wicker Man. The Wooden Box DVD is out of print, but it was available for sell from amazon.com recently, and I resisted the urge to buy it. Just that DVD case has me wanting to own it.

Hellboy
06-01-2004, 10:44 PM
Hellboy and B'Omarr, you two, I like.

I need to start bringing up some more horror film questions 'round these parts.

Thanks JBF.

Horror films are always a welcome topic as far as I'm concerned. :dev:

James Boba Fettfield
06-01-2004, 11:13 PM
Well, I just ordered Jacob's Ladder and Session 9. I also placed that preorder for the Devil's Backbone SE.

I'll let you know about them as I receive and view them. Session 9 is a backorder right now, so it may be a week or two before I get a review, but I'll give my views on Jacob's Ladder as soon as I'm back home next week.

B'Omarr Monkey
06-02-2004, 12:43 AM
Thanks JBF.

Horror films are always a welcome topic as far as I'm concerned. :dev:

Likewise...

jeddah
06-02-2004, 07:37 AM
Session 9
It stars David Caruso...and it involves some guys cleaning out an abandoned asylum. Yeah, I don't know too much else about it. Again, I think this is a ghost film, too...


... (hope this thread gets more replies than my last horror question thread for The Eye)

Hi JBF,

I loved Session 9. So much so, that I bought it from Play.com so I could watch it again whenever I wanted. I am not sure if it was released in any cinemas but that should not prejudice anyone against this wonderful flick. Rather than repeat myself, here (http://forums.sirstevesguide.com/showpost.php?p=274947&postcount=219) is the link to my earlier review of it in VTs much-visited "Flix we partook of over the hump" thread.

I would also add to that review that I like the lack of SFX and the fact that most of the small cast have their own little stories. Check it out for sure!

jeddah
edit: - I loved The Eye too. That is, if we're talking about the foreign language version. I wish the Western Films would take a leaf out of Japanese suspense movies such as this and lay off the overpowering soundtracks.

James Boba Fettfield
06-02-2004, 09:59 AM
I loved Session 9. So much so, that I bought it from Play.com so I could watch it again whenever I wanted. I am not sure if it was released in any cinemas but that should not prejudice anyone against this wonderful flick. Rather than repeat myself, here (http://forums.sirstevesguide.com/showpost.php?p=274947&postcount=219) is the link to my earlier review of it in VTs much-visited "Flix we partook of over the hump" thread.

I would also add to that review that I like the lack of SFX and the fact that most of the small cast have their own little stories. Check it out for sure!

That's my plan. I've ordered it on DVD from deepdiscount for under $10 total. I just love checking out movies that are not big release titles and watching them. I love the surprises they usually bring, something that a lot of bigger budgeted and heavily advertised horror seems to lack. I'll check out your review in that thread, too.



I loved The Eye too. That is, if we're talking about the foreign language version. I wish the Western Films would take a leaf out of Japanese suspense movies such as this and lay off the overpowering soundtracks.

That's the one I'm talking about. I ordered it after reading just one review of it from IGN. I made a thread asking about it last October, but no one else had seen it at the time. That same review guy was the reason I bought the submarine ghost flick Below, as well. Both were buys I am happy I made. I love ghost films!

When I first saw The Eye I was alone and immersed in 5.1 surround sound. I had my surround at a loud enough level that certain parts literally made me jump up out my video rocker. For example, that scene where she's in the girl's chair and being told to get off it. Man, that scene had me fumbling for my surround sound remote trying to turn it down since it had me spooked.

While I'm on the Asian fare, there's quite a few of their horror films I've been wanting to see like the Ju-On films, Dark Water, and a few others. The guys at Fangoria's board hype these films in the Asian film section all the time and I'm dying to see them.

Well, I can be glad that Lions Gate is bringing one of the Ju-On's to America this summer. Hope it lives up to the hype.

jeddah
06-02-2004, 10:28 AM
Yes, I have seen Dark Water. It is good and points to that Director's (Hideko...?) fascination with dead girls and water. It is more diagonal than The Eye and Ring, but a jolly good romp all the same.

Funny that you mention the girls seat in the calligraphy class. I was pouring my tea into a cup from my teapot when that was on and nearly had an accident! The other bit that was eerie was the lift scene which I will not spoile here... ;)

jeddah

James Boba Fettfield
06-02-2004, 10:46 AM
Funny that you mention the girls seat in the calligraphy class. I was pouring my tea into a cup from my teapot when that was on and nearly had an accident! The other bit that was eerie was the lift scene which I will not spoile here... ;)

That's the one scene everyone talks about after seeing it. I need to try and show some people the movie, because it's very good. I doubt Tom Cruise's remake of the film will capture the same tension or creepiness this movie had.

Side note: Looks like there are more horror aficionados here than I had guessed. Thanks to you all for branching outside of the popular horror stuff.

2-1B
06-02-2004, 11:40 AM
Jacob's Ladder is classic but I couldn't really get into Session 9. David Caruso is one cool m'f'er - that's for sure. As is Josh Lucas (bravo Wonderland :D ).

Jaymz, have you seen Donnie Darko ? Not a horror film but I think you'd like it.

James Boba Fettfield
06-02-2004, 12:05 PM
Yeah, Frank the Bunny!

I'm waiting for that new cut of the film to be released. Not sure how large of a theatrical release it will get, though.

B'Omarr Monkey
06-02-2004, 03:48 PM
I'm looking forward to both Ju-On and Dark Water, I've put off buying vhs bootlegs of them in the hopes that the DVDs will come out soon in the U.S..

Stay away from "School of Ghosts." It has a great trailer and a promising beginning, but it soon becomes clear that this is really a kids' movie. It's about as scary (though better) than Disney's Haunted Mansion movie.

James Boba Fettfield
06-02-2004, 06:53 PM
If I had a region free player I would have went for the DVD's of all of those Asian films, B'Omarr. I'm not even sure which of the four Ju-On's is coming this summer to America from Lions Gate. I think it's Ju-On: The Grudge.

School of Ghosts? I've never heard of that one, but I will avoid it if I somehow manage to cross paths with it.

Hellboy
06-02-2004, 07:18 PM
Jaymz, have you seen Donnie Darko ? Not a horror film but I think you'd like it.

Thats funny you mentioned this film. I rented it the other day and its in my DVD player ready to be watched. I've heard good things about it so I'm looking forward to seeing it. Probably watch it tonight actually.

B'Omarr Monkey
06-03-2004, 12:10 AM
If I had a region free player I would have went for the DVD's of all of those Asian films, B'Omarr. I'm not even sure which of the four Ju-On's is coming this summer to America from Lions Gate. I think it's Ju-On: The Grudge.

I don't actually have a region free dvd player right now, and having just moved , it's not on the priority list right now, mainly because not only would I be buying a new dvd player, but as many movies as I could lay my hands on.

In time though, I will have them all. bwa-ha-ha-haha!

2-1B
06-03-2004, 03:42 AM
Hellboy, let me know what you think of Donnie Darko.
Here's how much I loved it:
I rented it last year and liked it, then I ordered it online for a very low $9.99 and in one night I watched it 3 times in a row, once as the film and then once with each separate commentary. The commentaries aren't all that great on the whole (well, the Kelly director commentary with Jake G. is cool but the one with Drew Barrymore et. al. isn't the best). Anyway, I still watched it 3 times in a row and I loved it.

It's a great movie all around and I love the little things too, like the time period it is set in. I was entering teenager-hood at that time and all the political references and other little touches really give me a neo-nostalgic feel for it (if that's even a logical description?). Don't even get me going on the use of "Head Over Heels" by Tears for Fears - great use of music right there !

Jaymz, I'm excited about that Director's Cut of Darko but I doubt it will make it to my area . . . so I'll just have to wait for the DVD.
Also Jaymz, I want to get your reaction to Session 9 after you see it. I didn't mean to slag it in my earlier post - because it's really a very well done movie. For whatever reason, I just wasn't "in" to it when I saw it. I might have to give it another go.

James Boba Fettfield
06-03-2004, 07:28 AM
Don't worry about slagging it, Caesar. People were very divided over Session 9 when I was looking at some older posts about it on Fango yesterday. I'll find out when I see it, though.

I'm sorry I don't own Donnie Darko on DVD yet, but when I heard about the new cut I decided I could wait for it.

B'Omarr, I hear that about having to get a lot of DVD's if I ever bought a region free player. So many films I want to see. I suppose if I wanted to see them bad enough I could spring for bootlegs of the films, because it would take a lot of wishing hoping to see all of these films released officially in America.

RooJay
06-03-2004, 05:54 PM
We had a discussion about Session 9 on here a while back. I'm sure it'd turn up in a forum search. Awesome movie! The thing that most impressed me about it is how it maintains all of it's tension, mood, atmosphere, and creepiness throughout in spite of the fact that it takes place almost completely during the day. No need for foggy, barely lit scenes to chill in this one. :D

James Boba Fettfield
06-03-2004, 06:44 PM
Yeah, I just went and looked it up, Roojay. You and that TylerD guy seemed to really enjoy Session 9. I'm looking forward to seeing this once it arrives.

RooJay
06-03-2004, 11:34 PM
Be sure and let me know what you think!

2-1B
06-04-2004, 04:09 AM
Where is that thread ? I searched but I can't find it. Sorry.

James Boba Fettfield
06-04-2004, 07:42 AM
http://forums.sirstevesguide.com/showthread.php?t=12508

It's that thread. Roojay mentions it in post #66.

2-1B
06-06-2004, 01:45 AM
Thanks Jaymz, you rock my world.

Nice little thread over there.

B'Omarr Monkey
06-06-2004, 10:50 PM
I keep coming across "Eight-Legged Freaks" and the remake of "13 Ghosts" for $10 or less each, and am somewhat tempted since I haven't seen them, and wanted to know if anyone here has seen them and would recommend them.

James Boba Fettfield
06-07-2004, 08:25 AM
Oh boy, I don't know anything about Eight Legged Freaks.

As for 13 Ghosts (or Thir13en Ghosts as they spell it)...I would not buy it. I rented it when it first came out thinking I was going to see a great film. Nope. I hated it. Some of the ghost designs were alright, but everything else was bad. I saw it once, and that was all I needed. The DVD has some kind of nice backstories to the ghosts as an extra. I think I enjoyed those more than I did the actual movie.

I could never recommend 13 Ghosts to anyone.

Kidhuman
06-07-2004, 09:32 AM
8 Legged freaks with Artquette? I wouldnt waste time on that.


JBF,I only read the first page so I dont know if you got it yet, but Jacobs Ladder is awesome. One of my all time faves.

B'Omarr Monkey
06-07-2004, 11:54 AM
These were my suspicions on both films, which is why I keep passing them by. I had the feeling that Thir13en Ghost was going to be about as good as the remakes of "the Haunting" and "House on Haunted Hill" which were amongst the worst horror movies of recent years.

8-Legged Freaks, I felt could go either way, figuring that the direction of bad was going to be the way it ended up.

Thanks for the advice.

RooJay
06-07-2004, 02:00 PM
Oddly enough, I will recommend both Eight-Legged Freaks and Thirteen Ghosts. I really enjoyed both of them. I felt that Thirteen Ghosts made for a great carnival ride type of experience with some genuinely frightening moments. It has a very cartoony/comic book sort of feel to it, though, but but certainly made for great fun. I also felt that Eight-Legged Freaks was a hilarious novelty film that surprisingly worked as a throwback to all those cheesy giant animal movies of the fifties and sixties. The film never once takes itself seriously and is actually endearing because of it. I will also admit to having a certain fondness for House on Haunted Hill. That may be due in part to the involvement of the delightful Ms. Ali Larter, however.

James Boba Fettfield
06-08-2004, 05:59 PM
Friends, Jacob's Ladder has been delivered. I'll watch it tomorrow night and get my thoughts here no later than the following day of my viewing.

Here's to hoping I can join the Jacob's Ladder fan club.

Hellboy
06-09-2004, 01:17 AM
Speaking of watching movies, I finally got around to viewing Donnie Darko and really enjoyed it. I can see why you liked it enough to watch it with the commentaries Caesar. I was totally immersed in this film and I agree the time period was indeed a big part of the reason. The soundtrack was great, I'm even planning on buying it, and the atmosphere the score provided was excellent.

I'm not sure if it was the director's intention, maybe someone can elaborate here, but the film seemed a bit dark and even muddy at times. I thought it looked good overall but some scenes were kinda grainy on the DVD.

I was shocked at the amount of deleted scenes though. I haven't watched all of them yet but I can see how a new cut would be warranted here. I'm definately going to be picking up the Director's Cut you guys talked about when it comes out on DVD. Does anybody know when the theatrical or DVD release is?

James Boba Fettfield
06-09-2004, 01:53 AM
It opened in Seattle last week. I don't know about it being released anywhere else yet.

James Boba Fettfield
06-12-2004, 11:22 AM
I watched Jacob's Ladder. I definitely could see the Silent Hill inspiration, especially with that subway scene in the beginning. About half way through I had guessed how the movie was going to end with Jacob in Vietnam.

The movie was not as scary as I was expecting it to be. That does not mean it was not good, it just took a different path with itself than I expected it to. One of the final scenes where Jacob is talking with his son, I really enjoyed that scene. All in all, I am glad I purchased the movie, but I do not think of it as a horror film.

RooJay
06-12-2004, 12:42 PM
Can anyone tell me anything about Altered States? I've heard it was good, but never have had the chance to see it. Is it even available on DVD?

2-1B
06-12-2004, 01:05 PM
DeepDiscountDVD.com has Altered States for 5.99 with free shipping.

Hellboy, I'm glad you enjoyed Donnie Darko. That's great !

RooJay
06-12-2004, 01:11 PM
DeepDiscountDVD.com has Altered States for 5.99 with free shipping.

Yeah, but was it any good?

B'Omarr Monkey
06-12-2004, 02:54 PM
I liked it quita bit back when it first came out, but after purchasing and watching it recently, I wasn't sure what I liked about. Pretentious prattling, with some interesting SFX, and a lot of over the top acting. It also has a two-year-old Drew Barrymore in it. I would pass, but if you're curious $5 is about what you'd rent it for.

RooJay
06-12-2004, 11:21 PM
"Overacting"?! How can that be when it stars The Man himself, William Hurt?!! The most underrated actor in Hollywood. Say it ain't so! :(

2-1B
06-13-2004, 12:59 AM
Yeah, but was it any good?

Hell if I know . . . I was just answering your second question. ;)

Hellboy
07-19-2004, 06:34 PM
Well I watched a few of the movies that were discussed earlier in this thread and figured I'd share my thoughts.

First up is Session 9- I liked this film but wasn't overly impressed. The story was fairly predictable and the ending was a bit unsatifying for me. The acting and character development were very good but I found myself wanting to know a bit more about these characters than the movie offered. There were a few moments that actually were pretty creepy and the setting really created a uneasy atmosphere but overall I felt it was pretty average.

Next is The Devil's Backbone- I really enjoyed this film. This is some of Guillermo del Toro's best work and is more of a classic ghost story than an actual horror film, which I didn't expect. There weren't to many surprises here but the character development and acting are incredible. This movie really lays on the emotion and symbolism giving it a very personal feel. I loved the haunting atmosphere created by his directing style and his nod to Mario Bava was great. :cool: This is one movie I will add to my library.

B'Omarr Monkey
07-27-2004, 11:50 PM
Yeah, I liked the Devil's Backbone enough that I'm upgrading from my no frills disc to the bells and whistles version which just came out. Like I said earlier, it also features what may be the coolest looking ghost in any movie.