Sunday, August 11, 2013

Horror..... the way it was meant to be !

The Orion Mall In Bangalore

There are many things I like about the Orion mall in Bangalore, first of all its one of the few places close to home where I can hang out, second-most of my friends live nearby so nearly all of our reunions are 'Orion based’, third-the food is great, and finally I love the way the parking staff greet me every time I drive into the basement of the mall, it makes up for all the annoying security checks they put me through.

I watched ‘The Phantom Menace’ in the galaxy theatre at MG road in 1999, the theatre has been closed for a long time now, but the memories of watching the movie there are still fresh in my mind, I still recall the pod race scene in the film, the sound system was spectacular and when Anakin Skywalker wins the race I yelled out loud in the theatre full of people, fortunately for me I wasn’t the only one doing so.

Go Anakin Go!!!

I never intended for this blog to be about writing film reviews but since movies form a big part of my life I can’t help sharing a recent movie watching experience I had with you.

The enhanced cinema experience at PVR cinemas Orion is really something worth trying out, if you already haven’t; I didn’t chose to watch a 3D movie or a special effects laden blockbuster to inaugurate my first time at an ECX cinema it was a rather low budget horror film called ‘The Conjuring’ which had received surprisingly good reviews that brought me to the multiplex on Thursday.

Horror movies are usually looked down upon, it’s not entirely the fault of the audience or the critics, lately the whole genre has taken a heavy beating thanks to the movies becoming all about increasing helpings of gore, grotesque monsters and loads of sleaze.

In sharp contrast ‘The Conjuring’ is tribute to old school horror films, the movies that depended on delivering spine chilling scares relying on eerie background scores and moody spooky cinematography.

My brother is a huge horror movie aficionado; in fact he is the biggest fan of the genre I have ever known, the only thing is that he has some criteria that need to be met first before watching any horror film, he generally waits till the last day before the movie leaves the screen to avoid a large noisy crowd, he makes plans months in advance and refrains from watching any of the trailers & if he’s watching the film at home all the curtains and windows have to closed with every light in the room turned off and if you have to open your mouth at any cost it shouldn’t be to talk.

We expected a thin crowd for the matinee at the cinema on Thursday afternoon, we were shocked to see that except for the front four rows the hall was booked, sitting in the front rows not only causes a lot of eye strain it also is a ‘pain in the neck’ but fortunately the seats and screen were so well arranged at ‘Audi 10’ that I didn’t make much of a difference to us.

The movie began on time, I have always felt that adding a ‘Based on a true story’ tag to a film gives it a lot of credibility especially if it belongs to the thriller/horror genre, James Wan is a smart filmmaker if you've seen the movies ‘Saw’ and ‘Insidious’ you’ll know, he not only brings up the whole true story thing at the beginning but also gives a brief but yet menacing introduction to the plot and as the name of the movie comes up you find yourself already hooked.
Patrick Wilson & Vera Farmiga do a great job as Ed and Lorainne Warren
The plot is very basic, a haunted house, a new family that moves in and weird occurrences that follow, and yet wan uses some really innovative techniques to bring out the scares in you.

I don’t understand why at any given movie screening there are people who seem to have been brought in there by force, when we willingly choose to go for a horror movie we are basically paying reasonably large amounts of money to get scared, I don’t understand why these people have to hoot, howl and clap their way through the film and spoil all the fun.

I generally keep quiet in these situations, in fact while watching a bollywood horror called ‘Phoonk’ few years back I remember changing seats 7 times to avoid these guys, but enough was enough this time things were different, I turned around and……. pleaded with them to keep quiet :-)
It worked! (You don’t always have to shout!!!)
The couple sitting next to me nodded in approval, this movie deserved some respect.

The second half was better than the first, the scares came at regular intervals and there were no disturbances except for the screams that erupted in small pockets from here & there.

To summarize, the direction, the background score and the acting get two thumbs up; on the downside the movie tends to proceed slowly initially, apart from this flaw I didn’t find anything else wrong with this film although a few people may find it offensive that The Conjuring borrows heavily from many classic horror movies such as ‘The Exorcist’, ‘Poltergeist’  and even ‘The Shining’but like i said before director James Wan does not disappoint.

And yeah, one more issue i have with this film is that it’s also been messing with my sleep pattern for the last 3 days.

The movie is still running in theatres, if you have a couple of hours to spare an a brave heart go ahead and watch it,  I can say with a certain amount of certainty that you will  not be disappointed.

As Always, Your’s Truly