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Posts tagged “CGI

Wer[e]wolfs in France: a horror movie review

If you’ve been watching some of my social media feeds, you may have noticed my recent bent, complaint, what have you, regarding a general lack of good werewolf movies. Its a serious issue. Well, serious enough to make a geek for werewolf lore to pout and stomp about on Twitter and Facebook. I mean, what’s really out there? Anything good? But then again, the bar for werewolf movies is a precarious one, for sure. Like most monster movies, or at least the classic monsters, most walk a thin line between greatness and cheesy. And because I know you’re dying to know, here are some of my favorites, including but not limited to: The Wolfman (1941), for obvious reasons as the godfather of all traditional werewolf movies and one I use as a bar for all others, Frankenstein meets The Wolfman (1943), simply because its basically a sequel for The Wolfman, Silver Bullet (1985), for its small town charm and of course Gary Busey cameo, Ginger Snaps I & II (2000, 2004 respectively), which were odd twist on the womanhood coming of age trope, but entertaining nevertheless, Cursed (2004), say what you will about Christina Ricci but I thought the practical effects and mood and throwback to classic monster movies was great, Wolf (1994), cause come on! who doesn’t enjoy a good Jack Nicholson flick? And of course, the greatest of the great, An American Werewolf in London (1981) which boosts some of the best transformation scenes in horror history!

wer movie poster

With the above information, you can kind of gleam how I judge or  expect from a werewolf movie. Last night, because most of my shows are now on summer break, I was on the prowl for a good horror movie, one that I had not yet watched, something new, and something (hopefully) good. While trolling some online, I stumbled upon a new werewolf movie, one with a synopsis and trailer that were potent enough to actually catch my interest. Wer, released in 2014 bringing the werewolf mythology to the steady-cam genre. The filming is actually quite bizarre, or perhaps I watch too many old flicks and am out of touch, but the steady-cam in Wer was a strange mix of found footage and a handheld following the cast, giving an off beat “you’re part of the movie” vibe. Before I continue, let you toss you the synopsis!

Synopsis:

Wer is set in France, and we begin with an American family camping near woods at night, and while filming with the obligatory hand-held camera, the family are brutally attacked by something unknown, but the camera fails to catch anything worthwhile. The husband and small child are slaughtered but the mother survives, and gives a statement to police telling them it was like a man with big hands that attacked them. It just so happens that an extremely tall and hairy man, Talan Gwynek (Brian Scott O’Connor), lives near where the attack took place, and because he closely fits the description is immediately arrested for the gruesome murders.

Talan refuses to speak to anyone until his newly appointed American lawyer, Kate Moore (A.J. Cook), turns up at the police station. Talan has a strange body and mouth guard to protect the police from his bite, but Kate insists the police remove his cuffs and the gag. The cop in charge, Detective Pistor (played by Sebastian Roché, who bares an uncanny resemblance to Chef Gordon Ramsay) gives her only 5-minutes with the suspect. Talan talks very briefly and when the police rush in to put him back in his restraints, Kate’s co-worker, Gavin Flemyng (Simon Quarterman) is scratched on the arm by Talan. Eventually Talan is on the loose with predictable results – Nav Qateel, Influx Magazine.

For starters, let me tell you a bit of the film that I actually liked. One, the musical was chilling and original. The score is probably what saved Wer when the special effects had failed to capture the moment. The mood, through the majority of the film,  is haunting. Especially at the beginning when the Porter family is brutally attacked and during the chase to find poor Talan Gwynek. And to boot, Wer was something new, exploring new avenues to bring audiences back to the classic monster tale. The casting was good, though I prefer no names in my horror movies. You may recognize the protagonist, Kate Moore, played by the ever serious A.J. Cook (think Criminal Minds).

But there were some setbacks

The dialogue and character motivations are gruelingly opaque. There were a few moments when I felt tossed from “being in the movie” to cringing as the characters stumbled through the script. The screenwriting needed some major cleaning up. The beginning was great, it was toward the middle and ending when you were able to notice some ugly un-buffered moments and painful improv. The motivations were also not very clear. There was some mystery, I guess, with Gwynek’s family and their land, but it wasn’t polished enough to make any sense. And think this is were some horror flicks trip up. They make the story and plot overly complicated by adding all these minor conflicts that actually don’t even matter. The biggest conflict is the werewolf “sickness.” And that should have been the only conflict, aside from perhaps some character conflict and love interests. Just saying, you don’t need some government conspiracy story in the midst of a werewolf conspiracy story, especially if you’re screenwriting isn’t polished, it’ll just get confusing. I’m not an expert, but if you want my opinion, focus on the monster and flesh the characters out more. Don’t worry about all this “other stuff,” it’ll just be distracting.

Let me say something regarding practical effects. It is a sad but true state of affairs that because of budget restraints, a film must sacrifice some practical effects for CGI. However, budget restraints should not be an excuse for cheap and sloppy effects. There were some really good practical effect moments in Wer, but they were too often overshadowed by the cheap use of CGI, and not even good CGI. The muzzle fire and blood splatter was some of the worst, even more than The Walking Dead’s muzzle fire and blood splatter effects. If you don’t have the budget, cut back. Or find someone good who is willing to work for cheap. Cut back on something in the budget, for heavens sake! You’re making a horror movie for crying out loud! The practical effects ought to be your top priority!! This is why you should also cast talented no names who are looking to earn their bones in the movie biz.

My Rating: 2.5 / 5      

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Jurassic World: a few thoughts amidst a sea of rumor

Jurassic Park, 1993

Jurassic Park, 1993

During the summer months in 1993, in the small village of Roanoke, Virginia, my father, mother, sister, and I had trekked 10 miles to Valley View Movie Theater to watch the latest Spielberg film, Jurassic Park. AND IT WAS AMAZING. Ever since, I’ve been in love with this movie and have dutifully watched its progression over the years (decades…ugh..). Jurassic Park is a true classic. How so? Sure, the film strays away from Michael Crichton’s novelization, but lets be honest here, who actually read the book before the movie? Not many, I’d wager. Despite its wandering from its predecessor, the movie has lasted the test of time in that its effects are not completely ridiculous….at least not yet. The movie was also well casted with amazing actors and actresses, such as: Sam Neill, Laura Dern, Richard Attenborough, Samuel mother-f***ing Jackson, Wayne Knight, BD Wong, and the Goldblum. Jurassic Park is also a true classic because it was the first movie to give audiences and dino-fanatics alike an actually well put together production without using traditional claymation (50’s-60’s era); instead, Jurassic Park used a combination of to-scale puppetry and CGI. And considering this is a 90’s movie and just about all 90’s movies with CGI look damn ridiculous by now, and Jurassic Park has yet to cross that threshold, also says a lot about the production value and how good sci-fi can be done with a golden ration between traditional effects and CGI.  If you’ve read a post or two here, you’ve no doubt heard me rant a time or two regarding the issue with CGI, so…i’ll take a step back from my soap box for now. Another thing that makes Jurassic Park even more amazing (if that’s possible!!) is that its a movie my wife and I both love!! This alone sales me on the classiness of Jurassic Park.

Jurassic Park has enjoyed three films with its title over the years…..some not as good as the others, some not bad. Now a forth installment called Jurassic World has begun filming and the rumors have been spinning over what this new dino movie will be about. Here is what Geek Tyrant has discovered regarding the new Jurassic Park:

Some new SPOILER filled details from Colin Trevorrow’s Jurassic World have emerged thanks to our friends at JoBlo.com. I’m really looking forward to being reintroduced to this world that Steven Spielberg created in 1993. Not a lot has been officially revealed about this newest film, but there’s some really interesting and cool info for you that you should check out if you’re excited for the movie. Of course, the info may contain spoilers, but it’s not confirmed, so is it really a spoiler? I’m treating all of this as rumor for now, but I hope some of it turns out to be true. Here we go!

The Park:

Jurassic World will be a real running theme park that comes complete with a monorail that was teased in some previously released concept art. And no theme park would be complete without shops, rides, and shows. The report goes on to say that it’s the most popular family destination. People have to take a high speed shuttle boat from Florida to get there, and some of the activities include a dinosaur petting zoo (because that’s a good idea!), as well as a hologram info center where you can learn about the methods they are using to create dinosaurs. I’m sure it’s a much better version than the one made in ’93. The park also has a ride called the “Gyrosphere” that allows riders to travel through the park and get up close to some of the dinosaurs.

How Things Go Wrong:

All good things must come to an end at the successful park, and the executives start to come up with new ways to keep customers coming back. One of the ways they do that is by splicing Dino DNA with other dino species. This doesn’t turn out too well for them, especially when they splice together the DNA of a T-Rex, raptor, snake, and cuttlefish. This creates an insane new dino that ends up breaking free and terrorizing the park. One of the dinosaur consultants on the film, Jack Horner, teased the beast in a previous interview, saying that we’ll want to “keep the lights on” after seeing it.

Dino Fighting:

It should come as no surprise that we will see dinosaurs fighting each other in the film, but the site’s source explains that there will be “lots of dino on dino fighting, as some of the dinos are ‘good guys’ that are trained by Chris Pratt’s character.” The source goes on to say that the raptors and T-Rexes are among the “trained” good dinosaurs. As for the evil dino they created, it’s described as having “instant camouflage abilities, like the cuttlefish, so he blends into the background, is smart like the velociraptor, uses his jaw like a snake, and can terrorize like the T-Rex.” That sounds like a pretty hardcore beast.There’s some really great stuff here that the filmmakers have to play with if it’s true. I just can’t wait to see what this new breed of dinosaur will look like! It sounds like it will be pretty terrifying, though. As a long time fan of this franchise, I’ve been feeling really good about what I’m hearing about the movie so far. What do you think of the details that have been revealed here?

The movie is currently shooting with stars Bryce Dallas Howard, Vincent D’Onofrio, Omar Sy, Ty Simpkins, Irrfan Khan, Ty Simpkins, Judy Greer, and Nick Robinson. It’s set to be released in theaters on June 12th, 2015.

So…what do you think? Personally, I’m having a few concerns. However, having a fully functional theme park sounds pretty amazing, as we only got a test drive back in 1993 with the first installment. And having things go wrong…well…it wouldn’t be a “Jurassic Park” without something going wrong. Here is where it gets weird…the spliced Dino (at first) sounds iffy. But first, lets consider  the theme of Jurassic Park, especially in the first film, which is basically taking the then current pop science of mapping DNA and cloning and throwing in the inevitable human calamity to create the classic “science gone wrong” motif. Considering the classic science gone awry motif, splicing doesn’t sound that far off base in terms of what these movies and the books have always been about. In 2014, DNA mapping and cloning isn’t as mysterious as it once way, mutation and genetic splicing on the other hand, does (while also maintaining a classic story trope in itself, see Island of Doctor Moreau). Plus, do we really need another “rescue from the island” story? Heavens no! The last two films, Lost World and Jurassic Park 3 have beaten that horse into mash; its time for something new.

So…while some of the rumor regarding Jurassic World seems iffy and makes us Jurassic Park nerds a little nervous, lets reserve judgement until we actually get to watch this thing, or at least until a decent trailer comes out. Until then, my friends, I leave you with this little gem to take you back to 1993 and a very fond childhood memory:

 


The Sound of Sci Fi

Good science fiction stories will reach its audience at every level possible. What began as short story collections, beginning in the 1950’s, how sci fi entertains has spawned into something greater. From video games to 3D IMAX theaters, the evolution of our modern technological marvels has given these science fiction stories the ability to reach audiences in ways never though possible. With humble beginnings, The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951), The Thing from Another World (1951), Invaders from Mars (1953), Forbidden Planet (1956) and many more terrified and captured the imagination of adolescent baby boomers and addressed some of the cultural attitudes and fears of the day. And since then, sci fi has only grown more elaborate and celebrated.

As stated above, good science fiction reaches audiences in many ways. Some people dig the cool special effects. What began as puppetry has evolved into CGI created wonders, some good, some amazing, and to be honest, some down right horrifying! And there’s also the story itself, the characters and the things that drive the plot to final conclusion. Some come at you, some of slow cookers, and other can be as mind boggling as the special effects. And then there’s the music. However, what began just from simple beginnings with orchestras has evolved into full fledged techno symposiums. Some on the best science fiction has come with even more remarkable scores. Consider the following list of amazing sci fi soundtracks:

1. Mass Effect

You may have read this already, but Mass Effect, despite its more recent story setback with # 3, has one of the best soundtracks for a sci fi video game I’ve ever had the pleasure of listening. This simple techno score transports my minds eye to somewhere in the distant future, which is of course, the entire point of science fiction in the first place!

2. Deus Ex: Human Revolution

Besides already packing an impressive conspiratorial cyberpunk story line, Deus Ex also gives us an amazing score to boot.

3. Half Life 2

Half Life’s “Hazardous Environments” score is synopsis with the entire Valve production company. Regardless, its still an awesome score, especially in its above entirety.

4. Halo

Did you think I wasn’t going to mention Halo in a list composed of mostly video games? Yes, as we all know or should know, Halo has one of the more memorable soundtracks, combining a mix of techno with Gregorian chant and is one of the more guaranteed songs to be featured @ Video Games Live concert.

5. EvE

Okay, to be honest, I never stepped into the massive sandbox world of EvE; however, for a game i’ve never played, it has one of the most hypnotic scores to grace my nerd ears. Almost on par with Mass Effect and that is most definitely saying something!

6. Almost Human

It might be strange to list one none video game score amongst a sea of video game soundtracks, but Almost Human has, at the moment, the best sci fi score out there. It may be unfair, as the composition comes from the collaborative genius of The Crystal Method. But be-that-as-it-may, the final credits score captures the very essence of modern science fiction so well and so perfectly, how could I not mention it? If I was to have a sci fi wet dream, this is the music i’d want to hear 24/7. Its not crazy get up and dance like retards techno, its moody techno, and it fits me perfectly!

 

What are some of your favorite science fiction scores? Leave your thoughts in the comments box below!


The Human Element: Looking at the old new Alex Murphy a.k.a Robocop (1987-2014)

Buzzing around the web the past couple hours, if you haven’t guessed it from the ridiculous long title for this post, has been the release of the trailer for the upcoming Robocop remake.  It surprises me how tuned-in folks (nerds) are in how this movie is developing. For some odd reason, I thought Robocop was for a different generation hell bent on watching hyperbolic violence and gratifying revenge plots. Was this not the Robocop of the 1980’s? Are people still interested in this kind of narrative? Or, more to the point, are we actually going to be getting the same old awkward “dead or alive, you’re coming with me” walking Robo-Murphy with this new rendition? Yes and no.

Coming into the office this morning, before I could even take a sip of coffee, news of Robocop’s first trailer since Comic-Con flooded my social media caucus (circus). Again, I was a little taken back with all the excitement with such an outdated movie trope, but perhaps I really shouldn’t be. Rumors regarding Robocop have been rather steady since news of production released sometime last year and have grown as photos and tweets have been teased across the web.  Folks are actually keeping a rather interested eye on how this movie is turning out. With this in mind, and after watching the newly released trailer and then watching the old school 1987 theatrical trailer, I thought I’d do a little first impressions analysis between the two films. Based from only the trailers for each film, you and I will need to examine the appearance, communication, and relevance for the two films and how they compare.

RoboCop 1987:

The synopsis follows for the first film. “Robocop, is an exceedingly violent blend of black comedy, science fiction, and crime thriller. Set in Detroit sometime in the near future, the film is about a policeman (Peter Weller) killed in the line of duty whom the department decides to resurrect as a half-human, half-robot supercop. The RoboCop is indestructible, and within a matter of weeks he has removed crime from the streets of Detroit. However, his human side is tortured by his past, and he wants revenge on the thugs who killed him” (Rotten Tomatoes). For those who’ve seen the original movie, keeping our impression of the film squarely within 1:27 min clip will be difficult. However, summer blockbusters like Robocop tend to give more of the story away in the first few seconds of the theatrical trailers than most movies anyhow. So even going off just the clip, we should have plenty of information to base a first impression on.  Here is the 1987 trailer for Robocop.

What did you think? Pretty classy, huh? The best part of most 80’s action thrillers were their complete lack of deep thought. You weren’t clamoring to the theaters to watch some expressionist film, you were going to see shit blow up! Simple plots; lots of action, blood, gore, and other nibbles of mayhem. The 1987 film version also packs a whooping MPAA R-rating. You don’t see much of the gore in the clip, but trust me, Murphy’s torturous demise alone would garner an R-rated from the trusted MPAA, even if the remaining film was all fluff and bunnies. The mood of the movie isn’t entirely far removed from reality. A good cop in a bad city gets brutally murdered and comes back as half-man, half-machine. He’s all cyborg and primary directive in the beginning, but as flashes of old memories invade his thoughts, his humanity seeps through. And what pray-tell is this “human element” that festers within the mind of our Detroit loving Robocop? An extreme thirst for vengeance for the scumbags that blew him away when he was still fully human. The desire for vengeance is a very relevant story, but we shouldn’t dig much further then the premise. This is, after all, an 80’s action flick.

Robocop 2014 (reportedly):

The synopsis for the new film follows. “[The] year is 2029 and multinational conglomerate OmniCorp is at the centre of robot technology. Their drones are winning American wars around the globe and now they want to bring this technology to the home front. Alex Murphy is a loving husband, father and good cop doing his best to stem the tide of crime and corruption in Detroit. After he is critically injured in the line of duty, OmniCorp utilities their remarkable science of robotics to save Alex’s life. He returns to the streets of his beloved city with amazing new abilities, but with issues a regular man has never had to face before” (Bloody Disgusting). The remake has been blessed with a surprisingly long 2:20 min trailer provided below. But then again, keeping to the same summer-esk blockbuster tradition, producers want to give as much away as possible…because there really isn’t much to the story that we don’t already know anyhow…its an action film, not Rembrandt. Check it out for yourself below.

What are you’re first impressions with this new take? Better graphics, realistic and plausible future, and still the ever good cop verses the worst city imaginable, Detroit (sorry Detroit). But this time, instead of a brutal fire-squad murder, Murphy is taken out by a car bomb. Interesting. Despite some already generating negative nerd reactions buzzing on YouTube and other such sites, being able to see Murphy before his cybernetic transformation is shocking, as much as a PG-13 rating can give us anyhow. The impression his mangled form gave me was reminiscent of returning soldiers from Iraq and Afghanistan; where choices have been taken away by random and tragic acts of violence. There is a deeper question being asked here: “What will life be like for him…” asks, i’m assuming, his wife before his operation. The 87′ original showed us the face of humanity through the desire of revenge. This new 2014 version looks to be taking us somewhere else. As it seems to me, the place we’re being taken is something very human and real and surprisingly philosophical: the question of choice, free will and the human soul. The idea of free will and its illusion, again, based off this  2:20 min clip, seems to be driving the story. This will definitely beef up the value on this new Robocop film, making it something more than just another meaningless action thriller. Though, I doubt the supposed deeper story will take away from the CGI aided mayhem. If balanced effectively, we’ll get the best of both worlds. Something with pretty lights that we’ll end up thinking about on the drive home.

We’ll still have some time before the new Robocop hits theaters. As of now, the release date has been set for February 7th, 2014. Until then, action thriller genre loving fans will post regularly regarding how they feel about the new revamp. Some negativity has already been poised over the whole “just another remake” mantra. Some positive on the actually unexpected good quality of the film, that is, producers ar’nt entirely mucking it up. There are some cheesy CGI bits in the trailer, but for the most, the film looks as if it’ll be just as good as the original, be that, a little tamer.

RoboCop 2014

RoboCop 2014

RoboCop 1987

RoboCop 1987

Murphy 2014

Murphy 2014


Why we secretly like CGI

You’ve no doubt heard me rant once or twice regarding the use of CGI (computer generated imagery), especially in horror films. Traditional, hand crafted effects are the things keeping me interested in watching these movies…well, that and the story. Why? Simply because the two are inseparable. You can have a golden globe worthy piece of fiction, but if you dilute the material with a thick pastry CGI topping, your film ain’t going to be worth much to audiences…..and i’m talking real people audiences, not Hollywood audiences. However, we have to face reality. Kids today have no clue what real handcrafted effects should look like. They haven’t been exposed to very much of it, unless they watch a bunch of old school movies from the 70’s and 80’s. There is a good chance my own daughter will be clueless to the awesome significance behind traditional special effects.

So here I am again, ranting about how much better old school is over CGI. There’s plenty of reason to rant. Consider the CGI effects of the 90’s. Look at Spawn!!! I can still remember going to the theaters and thinking how awesome all those computerized effects were, how cool Spawn looked, but taking another glance at the same film today and questions begin to surface as to my taste in movies, as in: “Do I have taste?” CGI technology does gets better with time, but this makes all the old CGI look like crap. And that’s the big difference with traditional methods. True, tech also improves for hand crafted gore, but those 70’s and 80’s effects, done right, looked amazing yesterday, look amazing today, and will still look amazing tomorrow. Consider, The Thing, zero CGI and 31 years down the road, the movie is still legendary.

But lets be honest. As a kid, this debate mattered little. We simply wanted to see junk up on screen kicking butt and looking awesome. As an adult and amateur horror critic,  I can nit-pick the details and be a little snobbish in my taste for visuals, but in reality, deep down, the kid in me is still there, watching the same movies adult me is watching, the difference is that the hidden child in me is only thinking about how cool it is to see crazy effects no hand crafted material could pull off. And that’s the secret. Consider, The Avengers. These mega superhero movies could not be done with traditional effects. And we can sit in front of our computers and tare these newer films apart for their overuse of CGI, but when the article is finished and we think no ones watching, we put in movies like the Avengers or Ironman or Man of Steel and hop up and down in our chairs all giddy for these amazing action sequences that blow our best action figure scenarios out of the water.

Yes, as an amateur horror critic and long time fan, i will forever plead for a return to traditional methods with effects.  But, with that being said, I cannot simply knock CGI off the table. The Matrix, for me at least, proved that what I had been imagining since I was a boy, sitting in my room creating these elaborate fight scenes with my action figures could be done on the big screen. Neo, Morpheus, and Trinity are the embodiment of countless hours of smashing He-Man into Skeletor, with Wolverine (in the brown uniform) sailing through the air in slow motion martial arts, bicycle kicking Shredder into oblivion. Are directors overusing CGI graphics? Heck yes. But we critics need to be a little honest with ourselves and admit that despite being overused, if done right, CGI can make our fanboy dreams come true. My last point: consider Pacific Rim….nuff said.

80's action toys


CGI Verses Traditional Special Effects

After talking with a co-worker regarding The Conjuring’s recent box office success, it left me pondering. How in the world did The Conjuring beat out the other contenders? The giant robot monster killers, the ghost cops (R.I.P.D.), zombie ants (yes-yes, they don’t run as fast in the actual movie), the has been comedians posing as suburban families, grumpy old men assassins, and the triple threat family friendly cartoons? Well, truthfully some of these above mentioned movies have been out for some time. Others, such as R.I.P.D., surprisingly fell face first opening weekend. While Pacific Rim, despite awesome reviews, has slowly eked out a decent profit of $68m (thus far), though one might expect more from such a monstrous film (forgive the pun). World War Z is still squeezing out green bills from latecomers with a grand total (again, thus far) of $186m domestically. I’m not even going to touch Grown Ups 2 or Red 2, it would take too much time and it would be too sad.

These above mentioned films must be measured against the budget in which they were made. Consider World War Z, again, and its $186m local. Sounds pretty nice, right? Well, it took about $190m to produce the film. Not really much profit there. And then The Conjuring comes in and blows every one of them out of the water with a $41m opening; working off a single million production budget! Booya baby! And just how did this micro-budget movie succeed? Well, for starters, in horror movies, traditional special effects trumps CGI any day of the week. As it should! And you know what? The Conjuring proves how old school  can put a whopping on any of those would be summer blockbusters.

Consider zombies. When it comes to zombie movies, you should never use CGI, and if you think you have to, use sparingly. George A. Romero, in his original “dead” trilogy, you’ll find the best examples for how to make a good zombie film. Low budget, high quality, simply by relying on excellent story telling and special effects artists, such as Tom Savini. Now, i’m going to mention some of Romero’s more recent additions…even though I really don’t want to. I want to remember the Romero of the 70’s and 80’s. However, in the best example why you should use traditional, we find the best example why not to. Land of the Dead (2005) was, in all intents and purposes, an awesome movie and should be considered as part of the Romero lexicon. However, with the good comes the bad: in Land of the Dead, George decided to go with more CGI than traditional effects for all those memorable zombie kills we’ve grown to love.

George A. Romero is still, in my humble opinion, an awesome director and remains forever as the godfather of modern zombies. His “dead” flicks were legendary because of what boils down to two things: 1. the story (sure, zombie movies have zombies, but the story is about the people) and 2. traditional special effects. George placed guys like Savini up on pedestals, as they so rightly deserved. Horror movies are about the story, mainly; while special effects help emphasize said story and nothing more, though they can be just as unforgettable. After Land of the Dead and then later, the even sadder, Survival of the Dead released and even more CGI was added, many long time fans became depressed and dejected. I love Romero films, it was honestly sad to see the guy who made Dawn of the Dead make something as terrible as Survival of the Dead. Thankfully, old George bounced back with the direct to DVD amazingness, Diary of the Dead.

CGI has its place. Both science fiction and fantasy benefit from the advancement of special effects. But keep your stinking programs away from my horror! Insidious, Evil Dead, Innkeepers, Saw, Mama, The Conjuring, and so many others are proving how audiences feel regarding how much better traditional special effects are in horror movies. And consider, as my last will and testament regarding this issue of CGI verses old school: John Carpenters, The Thing (1982). One of the reasons why The Thing is still one of my all time favorite horror movies is because of how Carpenter used old school special effects. The movie was terrifying because of its story and concept. The effects simply added to the fear, instead of dominating the entire film. If you’ve seen the film you’ll know how gruesome some of the scenes are, but the real joy is watching these guys go crazy with paranoia. The prequel that released a few years back, telling the story of the lost Norwegian crew couldn’t muster the hipe of Carpenters now 31 year old classic. Why? Well, for me at least, the story was solid, the acting was good…but the damn CGI threw it all off. If they had gone old school, the prequel The Thing would have been…almost…closer to being as good as Carpenters, marginally.

Then again, this could all be simply the rant of someone completely transfixed on nostalgic memories from the 70’s and 80’s of horror. Many of you may have strong counter-opinions. And you know what? I want to hear them. Comment below if you’ve got something to say regarding the battle between CGI and traditional effects. Lets hear you’re voice!