Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Gearing up to teach Poe

Night of the Demon was a Xmas gift from John, who relied on a review in the Fortean Times. I loved it, and had a great time thinking of all the later horror films which borrowed heavily from it, including the recent Sam Raimi fear fest Drag Me to Hell, which frankly more than "borrowed" from Night of the Demon; I think Raimi ripped off the entire plot and made only minor changes to assuage a guilty conscience.

Yes, there are a couple moments where the special effects are too gratuitously bad a la Godzilla, but these are short-lived and involve close-ups of the demon's latex face and furry suit. There is shortly before the demon's manifestation a wonderful effect with sparks and smoke. Had the director chosen to halt the effects there and allowed the viewer to imagine the demon's face, it would have been even more frighteningly effective.

Another documentary-style horror flick, and the worst yet. A punishingly stupid movie, with a ridiculous Young Goodman Brown/Helter Skelter finale.


Shelley said...

No dissing Godzilla!

Anonymous said...

Raimi said it was an homage to that film, so at he was upfront about it. Love that movie. Based on a story by the great M. R. James. Man I really like the demon's face--that's a great piece of work!

And speaking of great works...Gojira--I agree, no dismissing it! The original is one dark mother of a film--a brutal indictment of the atomic age; sombre & depressing. Also, Takashi Shimura is a favorite actor of mine.

Happy New Year to you two~!

Nyarlathotep said...

Sorry--I meant no offense re: Godzilla. I simply offered the latex monster face as a frame of reference for special effects. Godzilla is also an interesting and subtle de-construction of Japan's peculiar Cold War relationship to the US: a nuclear monster which devestates your cities but proves benevolent? Hmmmm....

Yeah, and the M.R. James bits come through really well, too. Love the first scene of disarrangement in the library!