atmosphere

Shocktoberfest 2017! Day Seven: Demon

Demon (2015)

Written by Pawel Maslona & Marcin Wrona / Directed by Marcin Wrona

Pictured Above: Not the Demon.

Pictured Above: Not the Demon.

Arthouse horror and mainstream horror more often than not tend to butt heads, but Marcin Wrona's intense polish supernatural thriller does a masterful job of walking the line between the two worlds.  Stylistically, the film is akin to Robert Egger's The Witch, except narratively it's a tad bit formulaic in its approach to a big wedding gone wrong and the hosts' desperate attempts to keep a possibly possessed groom away from the happy partygoers, blissfully chugging down vodka like it's water at the reception.  There's a slight bit of pitch black humor thrown in for good measure as well.  The landscapes and geography of the film are as important to the story as the human characters, the foggy, silent hills of Poland creating a dense, humid atmosphere.  Never a dull moment to be seen, this is one of those movies that makes you gawk at the fact that more people haven't seen it.

Five & A Half out of Five Buried Family Secrets

Shocktoberfest 2017! Day Six: Dark Water

Dark Water (2002)

Written by Ken'ichi Suzuki & Yoshihiro Nakamura / Directed by Hideo Nakata

This is actually just me waiting for The Shape of Water to come out.

This is actually just me waiting for The Shape of Water to come out.

Anyone who’s ever lived in an apartment complex can relate to the inherent stress of dealing with old buildings, mold, leaking ceilings, and disinterested management.  Once you throw vengeful ghosts into the mix, all bets are off.  Hideo Nakata’s excellent ghost story, Dark Water, does that and more with an effectively unnerving and beautifully claustrophobic tale of a mother and daughter living in an old apartment building where the ghost of a drowned girl wanders its lonely halls.  With its heavy atmosphere and creepy imagery alone, Dark Water would be a hugely entertaining movie, but Nakata’s emphasis on story and character, and the strong performances of the cast, take a creepily fun movie and make it something you can also become strongly invested in emotionally.  The mystery of the film is expertly paced, keeping you guessing, but yet again, the crux of the mystery is character based, giving us a reason to keep caring about the struggles of the two protagonists while also having fun playing our nerves like a harp.

Five out of Five Haunted Mold Spots