November 30, 2009 | Category: Uncategorized

Film Fight: November 2009

Quite a short month and one for horror. Three films:

Jennifer’s Body is a fairly poor attempt at horror. It’s also a fairly poor attempt at comedy. Trying to mix the two is an incredibly difficult thing to do, and very few films have managed it successfully. The comedy kills the horror, and the horror kills the comedy. Beyond that, we’re treated to some pretty terrible acting, fairly affected dialogue, teen cliches and bad editing. Lack of consistency kills this film: it could’ve aimed for being cheesey and been better for it, rather than trying to be serious some of the time. Not worth seeing. (See my Jennifer’s Body Twitter review).

Paranormal Activity is another horror movie, in the style of The Blair Witch Project. The premise is fairly straight-forward: a couple believe they’re experiencing some odd, possibly occult, activity in their home so decide to film during the night. This starts to yield results. The scares themselves are pretty predictable if you’re a horror film fan, but the style of the movie brings out a little more believability. It’s a decent enough film, but probably won’t frighten those who’ve seen enough scary films. That said, the showing I was at was full of screaming teenagers so it’s certainly doing its job. (See my Twitter review of Paranormal Activity).

Finally, the Coen brothers yet again manage to create a world of ambiguity, disquiet and intrigue with their latest offering, A Serious Man. It follows a physics professor whose life is falling apart (the details of which I’ll leave to the film itself). In amongst this, he starts a struggle to become a better man, to understand the meaning of all the bad things in his life and try to become better. We see this through some typically brilliant cinematography, where so many stills from the film tell a story by themselves, and great uneasy characters moving through awkward situations; amusing, but never farcical. The point of it all? As with many other Coen plots, that’s for you to decide. Very good. (See my A Serious Man Twitter review).

While it didn’t have much competition, it would have done well in most months: the winner is A Serious Man.