Friday, April 5, 2013

Horror Revisited

Did you guys watch Hannibal last night on NBC? I know some people who liked it very much, but I was feeling quite antagonistic towards it from the opening sequences. Perhaps it's just my lack of satisfaction with the wounded, super-smart agent archetype that has been so popular lately. This year alone we've already had Kevin Bacon in another serial killer thriller series, The Following, and now Hugh Dancy's character is basically like that times infinite. Yikes. I worry where the character can go for a series (or two or four) if he can supposedly whiff out all the details of a serial killer's pattern without noticing he's got the cannibalistic Hannibal Lecter right under his nose. Hmmm

Still, it wasn't just that particular character detail that rubbed me the wrong way. No, I could have done with far less of the imaginary/fantasy/spooky flashback imagery that seemed to rise up multiple times in each scene. The opening scene alone was full of the stuff that was, I presume, meant to put the audience in the frame of mind of Dancy's cluttered brain, but instead came off as cluttered itself. Messy, unfocused. Blegh. And all that stuff about visiting a construction company without a warrant? Er, I'm fairly certain that's illegal. The "next week on"teaser at episode's end appeared to promise something far better than the pilot episode - 100% more Gillian Anderson for one, and maybe more of a focus on actual Hannibal. Mads Mikkelsen deserves that in a show that's named after his character, doesn't he?

I've heard people say just as ruthlessly bad stuff about the other series that bases itself on a famous cinematic and literary horror icon, Bates Motel. Based off of one episode each, I definitely give the edge to Norman and his mother, given it's very stylish appropriation of the Psycho property. I appreciated it's classy and character-defining costume design as well as the attention`grabbing production design that puts a modern day spin on that very famous hotel/motel combo. Hannibal lacked all the, ahem, bite that made previous incarnations so memorable (yes, I even like the 2001 film, Hannibal). At least Bates Motel didn't appear to be merely riffing off of other broadcast crime procedurals.

Speaking of new spins on old horror favourites, did you see the trailer for Kimberly Pierce's new take on Carrie. Look, it's hard to be less on board with this film than I already was, and yet... voila!

Watching the original Carrie and I can totally see why nobody would be friends with Sissy Spacek's interpretation of the character. With her wilted body, beige clothes, and gawkish face it is easy to see why even the unpopular kids at school wouldn't want to be around her. Chloe Grace Moretz? "Her?" as I like to tease. She just looks just like a regular adolescent high schooler going through a moody phase. No amount of pouting - and that's exactly what she's doing to represent her isolation and loneliness - will make me believe that she wouldn't have friends. I guess we'll see when the film actually comes out, but this trailer has done little more than just make me anticipate this mess even less.

The worst bit of it all, though? That smirk she gives when she realises she has telekinetic powers. Pierce's film seems like a fairly straight cut remake - the trailer doesn't really leave much to the imagination in that regard - but Carrie White isn't meant to enjoy her abilities. That seems like a fairly obvious reading of the character, no? Sigh. We'll have to wait and see, I guess.

Furthermore on this theme, this weekend in America sees the release of the remake of The Evil Dead. We'll wait and see, I guess.

1 comment:

notnerb said...

Actually in the novel Carrie DOES enjoy her powers. She is far more bitter against the way the world has treated her in the book than in the movie. She trains herself in her power (as you can trailer) and enjoys using it to roll a car down the street to see people's reactions.

Just because they are making a new version of the story does not mean it has to be a carbon copy of the original film