Monday, April 15, 2013

CINEMANIACS: something new, something old, something borrowed, something gold

Last night I ventured out to ACMI, striding through the cooling wet air to see a prequel, a film that followed a mediocre horror movie from the 70s. Why did I bother?

First see here!

Amityville II: The Possession is a rare bird; a second or later entry in a film series that towers above all the rest. Last night I saw it at a cinema for the first time and wondered if it was making its Australian big screen debut (well indoor screen). I first saw it on video as I can safely assume pretty much all of the audience did. Here it was, though, on a big screen with good sound, seen by a good sized crowd sitting in the dark.

I hadn't seen it for some time and was pleasantly taken through some moments I had forgotten were so very effective. It's a good Italian style horror.

I've covered why I think that in the post linked above but I'll revisit two moments here. The seduction of sister by brother is a lot creepier than I remember, his smoothness masking his growing force, her complex acquiesence, confused, unbelieving but compliant, while an eerie wind whistles low on the audio. The second scene is like that one, pretty much all acting. The family gather for Sonny's birthday party and at one point he stands looking at his family on the other side of the table. They are assembled like a family portrait minus him. Reverse shot shows the emotional transition crossing his face from a kind of grief as he realises the gulf between him and them has become intraversible and to the smirk of the demon within him as it assumes control. Just three or so shots and subtle performance. All horror movies that take care to allow for something more profoundly emotive are the ones that stay with me (see also The Innocents and the originals of The Haunting, and Dark Water among others).

A few annoying titters at lines that wouldn't be funny if the gigglers were watching the film alone peppered the experience but far less than at comparable screenings where the guffaws are joined like the dogs of the street barking because one of them has started. But, meh, that's going to be part of it whatever the film (well maybe not Martyrs but you get the idea).

But why am I wasting space here when I could be celebrating theachievement of the Cinemaniacs  (like them on FB, go on, dare ya!). We got to see the team before the screening, heard a rushed but fun preamble and then a series of well edited interviews with three of the cast done FOR THE SCREENING! Not a dvd extra. Then a brief trivia contest with prizes (dvds of the movie) o'er the credits (time=money).

I had to get home straight afterwards but there were drinks and chat happening after. Further screenings are on the cards at various venues throughout the year. Go to the FB page for details.

This is not just a list of flicks, it's an invitation to a community. It's run by enthusiasts with the bottle to offer a whole program of horror sequels without needing a breath of faux irony to sell it. Now that my Shadows night continues snoring through its cryo form indefinitely I think I'll be getting into this.

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