A look into cinema: Halloween horror edition

By Bryan C. Kuriawa

 

With Halloween approaching, audiences may be interested in what films can possibly create a little scare on a quiet autumn night. In the realm of horror cinema, the options are endless, and can often be quite challenging for those interested in potential thrills. As a result, for this edition of Look into Cinema, we shall spotlight a classic courtesy of director George Romero and preview this month’s most anticipated horror feature.

 

Dawn of the Dead (1979): MUST SEE

Ten years after shocking America with his debut, Night of the Living Dead, writer/director George Romero returned to the genre in the form of Dawn of the Dead. At an unspecified point following the reanimation of the deceased, the United States has progressed into chaos as officials prove unable to stop the outbreak. As the situation becomes direr, a young pilot, Stephen (David Emge) and his reporter girlfriend, Fran (Gaylen Ross) along with their two friends (Scott Reinger and Ken Foree) escape via helicopter. Arriving at a shopping mall in the countryside, the group finds the place fully equipped, yet populated with zombies. Realizing that this location provides the best shelter, and considering Fran being several months pregnant, the group proceeds to remove all zombies and seal off the building.

Acting-wise, the cast members are all largely successful with their performances being well composed in bringing the on-screen characters fully to life.  As the level headed Peter, Ken Foree of T.V.’s Kenan and Kel, is excellent, appearing as an individual less concerned with the mall, and more with the group’s psyche. David Emge and Gaylen Ross are both successful, with Emge appearing as a leader, only to transform into a materialist, while Ross’ character becomes self-reliant. As Peter’s friend Roger, Scott Reinger is entertaining, taking all that occurs in the group as fun until it transforms into something deadly.

Production-wise, director George Romero is excellent, creating an atmospheric tone to his surroundings. His camerawork is direct and manages to develop an isolated, yet dynamic nature, especially during the second half where our protagonists are removed from the rest of the world. On a supporting note, the progressive rock score by the Italian band Goblin proves to be a deciding edge in terms of atmosphere and an action-based environment. In regards to the film’s faults, Romero’s screenplay, while well-balanced, does have its own difficulties, in terms of creating complete character development over the course of the narrative.

Overall, an excellent horror film which will leave audiences both thrilled and entertained while fearing a potential zombie apocalypse.

 

Paranormal Activity 4 Preview: BETTER OFF RENTING

For the past three years, audiences have come in droves to the Paranormal Activity films, transforming it into the most prominent horror franchise of the decade. Yet such prominence can’t hide the reality that such a series seems to be the only thing in modern horror, outside of remakes and retreads.

In this entry, a family consisting of Alice (Kathryn Newton), her mother, and her mother’s boyfriend moves into a new home. Yet when a young mother named Katie and her son Robbie move into a nearby house, things begins to change for the unknown.

It appears that ghosts have become the prominent entertainment media with television networks such as Sci-fi and Biography developing various programs involving the supernatural. As a result it could be assumed that this series is tapping into a broad demographic all interested in the subject at hand.

In truth, this series has catered to a teenage audience who believe the R-ratings each entry commands a sense of adult horror. This largely is the result of various modern horror films featuring a PG-13 rating, in an attempt to avoid alienating older demographics beyond teenagers.

As for Paranormal Activity 4, its trailers lack the interest or energy that could be maintained in horror entries. Yet, there is still an audience for these films, and therefore this entry will be sighted for rental, only curious patrons should venture towards their local theaters.


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