30 Day Film Challenge - 3. Last Film I Saw

Since I have had a total slob of a day and watched three films back to back on good old Netflix I thought that now was as good a time as any to add a new instalment to the 30 day film challenge. I am going to cheat ever so slightly however and go with the second of the three films because the last one I dozed off halfway through.

Awake (2007)

I had never heard of Awake before but I read the brief synopsis, thought to myself that it sounded up my street and pressed the watch button. Did I shudder when I realised Jessica Alba (The Eye)  was in it? Of course I did but I had nothing much to lose and carried on a watching.

Alba stars alongside Hayden Christensen (Jumper) who plays Clay, a guy who suffers with the phenomenon anaesthetic awareness and is totally awake but paralysed during heart surgery. I know it sounds a pretty straight forward plot line but it isn't and actually carries some nice little twists along the way.

Alba plays the girlfriend who isn't what she seems and to be fair on her she was charming enough in the role. I fell for the love story from the offset and literally held my breathe as it unfolded throughout the film. I believed the chemistry between her and Christensen and was actually a bit gutted by the end.

The ending itself isn't particularly clever and the major twist is revealed early on but Awake doesn't feel unfinished in any way with all the loose ends tied up neatly. There are a few holes that the purest will pick up on but again not large enough to spoil it for me.

I found it gripping enough to stay awake ha ha and would even go back for more.

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DVD Review - Devil (2010)

Before my break from blogging when watching films about people stuck in various things, I asked for suggestions for more. I wanted films that relied on this premise with a twist at the end, something to keep me guessing. I was told to watch Devil, a film directed by John Erick Dowdle and since I had enjoyed his work with The Poughkeepsie Tapes (2007) there was nothing to loose accept maybe an hour and a half.

Firstly, I thought Devil had a great concept even if it was one given away from the get go. I've seen many a film where Satan takes human form and walks among us with varying results on how this actually plays out. In Devil, he enters through a suicide and reeks havoc amongst four strangers trapped in an elevator. Of course, which human he has taken the form of isn't revealed until the end which gives this film it's main twist.

I felt uneasy watching at first, I let the concept really get into my head. A back story as to why the Devil comes to earth is explained through a rather creepy voice over and the religious beliefs of security guard Ramirez, played by Jacob Vargas. I'm not remotely religious but for some reason I totally bought into it all here. When Ramirez said ' everyone believes in him a little bit' about the Devil, it wasn't so easy for me to shrug it off as a  mundane comment. I was probably being a total girl about the whole thing as I watched this film alone in total darkness but that particular strand of the film reeled me in, unfortunately the rest of it was pretty weak.

The acting was up to par with the usual in this sort of film. Each of the people who were trapped played spooked and confused to a standard that isn't the worst I have seen. Logan Marshall-Green  (Prometheus) as Tony was the edgiest of the bunch and probably the character I kept my eye on the most out of those trapped.To be fair tough, these characters were being killed off one by one so for some screen time was shortened, I don't want to go into too many specifics though because I don't want to spoil.

Outside of that damn elevator, Detective Bowden played by Chris Messina (Vicky Christina Barcelona), is a major presence and has many sides to him that are all portrayed really well. Messina managed to evoke emotion from me, something that rarely happens in a film branded horror but then out of everyone, we were offered more than a glimpse into his life.

One problem with the film was character development or a distinct lack of it. Within seconds of the elevator stopping these strangers were at each others throats, with catty remarks and general meanness. Call me an optimist but I just had trouble believing that this would happen. It was as if the elevator stopping suddenly gave everyone a bad attitude and  I couldn't help but think that put in that situation myself I would've been much nicer. This isn't about me of course and there was a darker force than mere humans at work so maybe that was it, hmmm maybe I didn't buy into the superstition as much as I thought. If I am honest, I just didn't care who was dying or why. As each person was being accounted for within the confines of the building tiny amounts of information were being banded about but there just wasn't enough on any one of them to ring true or create attachment.

I did like the overall look of the film. Those who have read my blog before will know that I am a fan of mirroring the moods of characters etc with cinematic elements and this is almost there in Devil. Unfortunately though, there was also a fair time spent looking at a completely dark screen and although I understood this because of the situation, I found it a little boring.

There just wasn't enough to keep me glued to Devil I am afraid although I did make it to a rather flat (and a little confusing) ending.

Would I watch it again? Probably not!

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I have been on a very long hiatus. Lot's of stuff happened in my life which meant that I just wasn't able to commit myself to blogging anymore. I hated being away and I vouched that as soon as I was able I would be back so here I am.

I can't promise that I will be posting daily but I will try my very best to keep my little bit of web space updated as much as I can until I am back in the swing of it all.

Please bear with me and say hi back if you are still around too :)

L x
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