The Descent (2005)

The-Descent

What Dies Beneath

Though it enjoys a positive reputation as such, The Descent can only be called a monster movie with a major caveat.  Like The Blair Witch before it, it wrings at least half – if not more – of its horror from its ominous setting.  In this case, it’s the labyrinthine caves of North Carolina, an alien, impossibly dark environment that’s one of the movie’s most indelible characters. Continue reading

Disturbia (2007)

disturbia

Stalkin’ the Suburbs

It’s tempting to call Disturbia a modern-day remake of Rear Window, but that doesn’t quite feel right.  The movie straddles the line between remake and homage, sharing most of the general story beats with its inspiration but changing the time period, setting, and protagonist to such an extent that it avoids feeling like a rip-off.  On the whole, Disturbia gets to have its cake and eat it too, taking advantage of the path forged by its masterful predecessor while still retaining its own identity. Continue reading

The Host (2006)

the host 3

Heart and Seoul

I will admit to taking some petty pleasure in being able to say that I knew about Oscar sensation Bong Joon-Ho all the way back in 2007, when I went to go see The Host at the age of 15Though not an obscure indie by any means – its budget was over ten million dollars, and it broke South Korean box office records – it received a limited release here in the states, and certainly wasn’t a household name among foreign movies of the time.  With Parasite getting unprecedented media attention, I thought I’d look back at Bong’s unconventional monster movie. Continue reading