What are you thinking? What are you feeling? What have we done to each other? What will we do?
So I am just stating here and now that I will not reveal the end of this movie. It is a great piece of work, with an amazing twist that you must see or read (the book) for yourself. Since it is still out in theaters I do not want to ruin anything for the potential viewer. That being said:
So the book this film is based on came out in 2012 and I was really intrigued by it. I added it to my to-read list and planned on getting around to it. But you readers know how that is.
So yeah, I hadn’t gotten around to it. However, that all changed this summer. I told you in a previous post that I journeyed out to Wyoming for an internship. There wasn’t a lot to do in the town, and the other interns and I mostly hung out on the weekends. We talked about what there was to do, which was mostly reading or netflixing. (I don’t have netflix so I Amazon Instant Watch or putlocker things). Anyways, one of the interns, Gwen, hadn’t brought anything with her and was asking about where to purchase books. I had brought my kindle and was fine (until it broke). I told her the library was out as I had found out to get a card I would have to pay $20.
Then I remembered! There was a bookstore in town called “The Newstand“. But shortly after we arrived it went out of business.
Yep. I think the only place left in town you could to get books were the Walgreens or the Walmart. They had two thrift stores in town, one was only clothes, the other furniture. It was very different from anyplace I’d lived before.
Anyways, so one week Gwen starts talking about this book she just bought (I don’t know where. Now that I think about it, I’m not sure I ever asked her.) She told us it was Gone Girl. Immediately I was intrigued as I had really wanted to borrow it. I asked for the book and finished it in one day. It was that good.
The book is a mystery/suspense/horror. The way it is told is really interesting as it goes back and forth between the present and the past. In the present Nick Dunne’s is trying to figure out and cope with his wife Amy’s disappearance. The past is revealed to us through Amy’s journal, as she details the everything prior to her disappearance. It was an interesting book as it has the same unsettling qualities as Catcher in the Rye or Alias Grace. In Catcher in the Rye, the main character, Holden Caulfield, admits to the reader that he is a liar, leaving one unsure of what in the book is real, and what is a child’s fantasy. Margaret Atwood, author of Alias Grace, does a similar thing in her novel. There are no quotations marks put around the dialogue, leaving the reader very uncertain as to what was said and what was only in the character’s minds. Just like Holden, Grace Marks leaves us wondering if she is really telling the truth?
Gone Girl isn’t exactly written that way, but it does have some similarities. With Nick, he is described as being somewhat of an a***hole (his word not mine) and having a face that makes himself always look as if he is lying. He is too good looking and charming that you don’t want to trust him (the characters joke that his chin causes you to not trust him.) As you read his accounts you start wondering if there is more than he is telling the reader. You feel as if he is hiding something from you, even though it is told in first person. It makes you wonder what is he hiding? What are his secrets?
And then you have Amy. Everything we hear is from what she wrote in a journal. But is it the truth? After all a journal is where you release your emotions. Sometimes you exaggerate or write things down that you would never do, just because it helps destress you. As I mentioned before it is a release. Besides that you don’t write everything down in a journal. After all, that is a lot of work. Most of the time you write down the things that made you upset or happy; never giving the whole picture but a moment. Just a moment. It’s selective in memory. So that begs the question: how much of it can we take as fact? How much is fiction?
So one day I was at the movie theater watching Expendables III. The film finished and I contemplated sneaking in to see another film, but unfortunately the theater I was at was very small (four screens) and the ticket seller and I had had an actual conversation, so he would remember me. Along with that, my “California-ness” showed very strongly as everyone told that I looked very “different” from Wyoming girls.
Yeah I don’t understand it either
So instead I called a cab for a ride home and waited around until it came. As I was waiting, I started watching the screen that showed trailers for upcoming films. I saw one for The Equalizer, but it didn’t really strike me as a “must-see”. After that the trailer for Gone Girl came up.
I didn’t even know that they were turning the book into a film!!! Fantastic!!! Then I saw the cast list. As you know from an earlier post, I love Ben Affleck. I knew he would be a perfect Nick. Rosamund Pike was great as Jane in Pride and Prejudice (2005) and I was interested to see how she would do this role. I thought Neil Patrick Harris was a great choice as Amy’s ex, as everything I have ever seen him in he has conquered. The only thing I was unsure about was Tyler Perry. But to be honest, any time I see him not playing Madea, it’s a little strange. Anyways, I became excited for the film and couldn’t wait to see it.
And as I mentioned before it was pretty incredible.
Take note Hollywood
What was great about the film was that they followed the book pretty consistently. There are a few changes, but not enough to make you want to string up the director by his thumbs. On a whole the changes didn’t really hurt the film at all. I thought it was amazing how they handled the flashbacks, narrations, and journal entries. I would definitely read the book along with the movie as it has more detail and little things that can’t transfer over to film. I do give one warning though. If you want to be surprised DO NOT READ THE BOOK. The book has this amazing twist, about halfway through, and a killer end. It was a great shock when you read it, but not so much the second time encountering it on the screen. I mean you already know it, so while the rest of the audience is oohing and ahhing over it, you’re just chilling there thinking, knew it.
So if you truly, truly want to be surprised. I would wait to read the book until after seeing the film.
So I’m just going to do a partial review, as I really, really don’t want to spoil too much for anybody.
It is the day of the Dunne’s five-year anniversary. And Nick is not very happy.
You see life hasn’t been a bed of roses for the Dunnes. Nick is from a little town; North Carthage, Missouri. He went to college and moved to New York, and began writing for a magazine. He met Amy at a party and the two later married…but bliss did not last long. He lost his job due to downsizing as the economy tanked. His father is crazy and in a home where he constantly escapes from. And his mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. Immediately, hearing the news of his mother, he and Amy move back to his hometown much to her displeasure.
Now the relationship was already strained, but after moving to Missouri it becomes much worse. Amy is a New Yorker born and bred and doesn’t do well with places that are not New York.
That particular morning, Nick heads over to the bar that he bought with his twin sister Margot, and the two contemplate what would be a good anniversary present. 5 years is wood, “and there’s nothing good from that.” When Nick heads home, he receives the biggest shock of his life.
His house is a mess and his wife is missing.
He can’t find her and doesn’t know where she might be. He calls the police and later, her parents. They team up and begin commercials, signs, news reports, trying to find Amy. Ben Affleck did an amazing job at this role.
But some people don’t think that he’s quite so innocent. Some suspect he might have killed her. Things become espechially sticky when they discover the broken in area was staged, and a lot of blood was spilled and then cleaned up afterwards. Did he have something to do with his wife’s disappearance? Did he kill her? Is he innocent? If he is innocent, than what happened to her? Where can she be?
We are first introduced to Amy through her journal. Amy is the daughter of authors. Her parents wrote the best-selling series called Amazing Amy. Their main character is perfect and excels at every hobby. Especially things that Amy has failed at. Amy resents the books, but they have made her famous and a major spot in the limelight.
Amy is beautiful, charming, witty, etc. The “perfect” woman.
She writes personality quizzes for magazines for a living. I know some of you out there might think that’s a bit strange, but let’s face it…she has a major trust fund. She meets Nick at a “writer” party one night, and after that the two are hooked. They get married and have a few great years, but things start going downhill once Nick loses his job. He becomes someone that she doesn’t know.
She hates Missouri. Nick thrives, but it makes her feel like she is choking. Then things in the marriage start to get even worse…Or does it? Is Nick really as cruel as Amy paints him? Or are the writings in the journal just the exaggerations of an unhappy, displaced person?
Did Amy leave by her own choice? Or was she taken by force? But most importantly, where is Amy?
The supporting characters are just as great as Affleck and Pike. Carrie Coon is perfect as Margot as she is really able to capture twin sister needling brother, and being supremely protective of him. Kim Dickens is an amazing Detective Rhonda Boney, the homicide officer assigned to the case. She seems all midwestern, laid-back, easygoing, charm; but she has a real brain in her head and is highly observant. Neil Patrick Harris steals scenes, as he plays Desi Collings, Amy’s ex and possible kidnapper. And then we have Tyler Perry, rounding out the cast as Tanner Bolt. I never would have picked him for the part as he is radically different, but he does a great job as being one of those shark lawyers after the big-name cases.
And is has an awesome twist that I will not reveal as you all should definitely watch/read for yourself.
Where is Amy? What Happened to Her? Visit Your Local Theater to Find Out.
So I strongly contemplated whether or not I wanted to include this in my Horrorfest. It isn’t really a horror film but more of a mystery thriller, even better defined as a film-noir. I really wanted to include it but, since it wasn’t a real “horror film” I wasn’t sure if I should. But then I had a moment of clarity.
This is my blog. I can do whatever I want!
So I decided I would.
So this actually started out as a play and then was turned into a novel. Otto Preminger saw it as the perfect thing to turn into a film. It is known to be one of the best Film-Noir films along with one of the best mystery-thriller films of all time. AFI ranked it #4 on their list of the 10 greatest mystery films.
This film is also famous for Gene Tierney’s portrayal of Laura. This helped give her title of “Film-Noir Queen”.
So anyways, on to the film.
So it starts off with New York City police Detective Mark McPherson (Dana Andrews).
He is investigating the death of the beautiful, successful, advertising executive Laura Hunt. Laura was murdered by a shotgun blast to the face.
Det. McPherson starts investigating and finds himself with multiple murder suspects and motives.
1) Waldo Lybecker
Waldo (Clifton Webb) is a famous columnist and he was the one who actually discovered Laura. She tried to get him to advertise something for him, and faster than you could say Pygmalion, he takes her under his wing and tries to change her and “improve” her.
“Waldo Lydecker: She was quick to seize upon anything that would improve her mind or her appearance. Laura had innate breeding, but she deferred to my judgment and taste. I selected a more attractive hairdress for her. I taught her what clothes were more becoming to her. Through me, she met everyone: The famous and the infamous. Her youth and beauty, her poise and charm of manner captivated them all. She had warmth, vitality. She had authentic magnetism. Wherever we went, she stood out. Men admired her; women envied her. She became as famous as Waldo Lydecker’s walking stick and his white carnation.”
But it goes a little more than that. Waldo becomes obsessed with Laura.
Yep. He is in love with her and wants to be the only man. Every time some other guy came around he would find a way to criticize them and demean them. The two broke it off, but Laura was very upset with him.
Laura started dating another guy, Shelby Carpenter. No matter what Waldo said, Laura wouldn’t listen to him. In fact she decided to marry him.
Yep he was angry. Extremely upset about losing Laura to someone he thought was so unworthy? Angry enough to kill?
2) Shelby Carpenter
Shelby (played by Vincent Price) comes from great stock, has expensive tastes, and loves the high life. Only one problem, he has no money. None at all. Instead he has to use to his charms to court rich, older women and have them pay for his expenses. In fact he had found a real great giver in Ann Treadwell (Judith Anderson). That is until he met the very charismatic Laura. Not only is she the perfect cash cow to support him, but young and beautiful. Who could ask for anything more?
“Shelby Carpenter: I knew there was something on my mind. Ah yes, will you dine with me tomorrow night?
Laura Hunt: Yes.
Shelby Carpenter: No, it’s not that – it’s the next night. And what about three weeks from tonight? And all the nights in between?
Laura Hunt: Shelby, you talk as if I had no other engagements!
Shelby Carpenter: And two months from now? And the month after that?
Laura Hunt: What about next year?
Shelby Carpenter: Oh, that’s all settled. What about breakfast?
Laura Hunt: What about dancing?
Shelby Carpenter: What about lunch? Beautiful lunches, day after day after day?”
The two starting dating and she gave him a job, one of which he didn’t have to do too much work. The two become engaged and all is well.
Or is it?
It turns out that Laura wasn’t the only person Shelby was seeing. He was going around with a lot of poor models. Rumor has it that Laura found out and was not happy…could he have killed her? If she was about to leave him high and dry, he might have become incensed and murdered her?
3) Ann Treadwell
Ann Treadwell is the rich older aunt of Laura. She and Shelby had been in a relationship for a long time. She knew what he was, but that was what she wanted.
When he left her for Laura, she was furious that her niece stole him away. Furious enough to kill?
As Det. McPherson continues to delve into the clues and motives…he learns more and more about Laura. As he learns more and more he starts falling for Laura as well.
One night Det. McPherson is at Laura’s apartment looking at her painting and trying to figure out the mystery, along with Laura. Why does she draw him to her?
When suddenly somebody comes crashing through.
But if that’s Laura? Who is…?
Who is the dead body?
They find out that the murdered girl is one of the models, Diane Redfern. The same model that Shelby was involved with.
Yep this leads Mark with another suspect…Laura
4) Laura Hunt
So we’ve heard how Laura rose from nothing to being the top girl. She was beautiful, smart, classy, etc. All women envined her and all men wanted her.
But then the guy she loves and is supposed to marry is running around with a model!!! Cheating on her!!!!
She knew Diane was in love with Shelby, and she knew Shelby only cared about her money. She knew Shelby was taking models to her house and she could have gone after them and shot her for trying to mess with her man.
Or she could be so angry at Shelby for cheating on him that she prepared a way to take care of him.
Instead of killing him, she could have killed Diane to make it look like Shelby and make him pay!
Does it seem too far-fetched? Well she wasn’t at the cabin when the cops looked that weekend. Her response “I was talking a walk.” She didn’t see the newspapers and come back saying she was alive? Or hear it on the radio? Her response: I don’t get a newspaper and my radio is broken.” Did anyone see you there? “Nobody”.
So many of you might remember the post I did a year ago on Ringu, the original Japanese film. I had watched Ringu because I had heard that it was far creepier and better version that the American one. However, I found that to be false, with The Ring being the creepier one of the two. This was mostly due to the actors, some story changes, and a better explanation of Samarra. But more than anything else, my own personal connection to the film (I’ll mention that at the end).
So I was home alone one night (my roommates were all out of town for the weekend) and decided that I would spend the night in watching films. I had spotted this at the library and decided that it was perfect film for the occasion. I decided that instead of watching it alone in the living room, I would watch it in my room with the lights off. You know, set the “creepy mood”.
So the story is pretty similar to the Japanese film. You have two girls who are talking about a cabin weekend that one of the girls, Katie, had gone to. Suddenly the topic of a cursed videotape comes up. If you watch this tape you will die in seven days. After her niece dies, the main character, Rachel (Naomi Watts) starts tracking down what caused her death and gets caught up in a supernatural mystery. (For more info check out Ringu or watch the film).
So what made this film much creepier than the original? Let’s get started.
1. Lighting/Set Design
I’m not sure where the story takes place but it is always raining and gloomy. Plus the camera crew gave the whole movie this blue tint when filming which also adds to the creepiness/horror film feel to it.
2. The Kid
In the first film Yoshi wasn’t really in the film that much. He had the nightmares and could hear his cousin “calling” to him, but that was mostly it. He watches the video, which leads his mother to try even harder to discover how to stop it. He then gets dropped off at his grandfather’s house for a bit and we don’t see him until the end of the film.
In the remake this kid is SUPER CREEPY
He’s kinda like Cole from The Sixth Sense, that is if Cole wasn’t a cutie. I mean this kid is an uber creep as he only talks in monotone, and doesn’t act like a kid at all-more like a 30 year old man. To top it off he even draws strange murderous pictures. Horrifying.
3) The Video
So The Ring came out four years after Ringu and had much better special effects, not gonna lie about that. And the video was much more creepy in this film. Freaky, emphasis on the FREAK.
4. Samara/Background Explanation
So in the original film we don’t get a full background on her. We find out that a professor was looking into studies of mental telepathy and other things like that. He found a woman that has this ability and the two end up having a child that for some reason is more powerful, and CRAZY! The main character’s ex-husband also just happens to have this ability. That’s it. That’s all we get.
How does it pass down? Why does the husband have it? Is that why they got a divorce? Why was the girl so much stronger? Why did she kill all the horses?
In the remake they give her a weirder background that explains her murderous tendencies. She was almost drowned as a baby, taken away from her family, and then put into social services. She has a history of trying to get attention/be the center of attention. She was adopted by a couple that really wanted kids but she was unlike anything they had ever seen. She started to develop these powers that freaked out her parents as she was getting into their minds.
She goes to a psychiatric hospital and is questioned and treated, causing her to react as a kid would with anger. She kills her doctor and gets sent back home to the horse ranch.
To prevent her from harming anyone, they put her up in the barn away from everyone else with only a TV set. This makes her very angry.
She gets very jealous and kills all the horses by making them go insane. To her adoptive mother, Anna, those were her children. She loved them and cared for them. She has a complete mental breakdown and gets sent to a sanatarium. After she is released the family goes to the mountains and she kills Samarra by throwing her down a well, and them committing suicide herself.
It may be strange, but explains things a whole lot more than the original. Plus it is very creepy.
So personal connection.
As I mentioned earlier, I was home alone. I had 5 housemates; 3 were staying the night at their boyfriends house and 2 had gone home to see her parents. My actual roommate had gone home to see her parents and wasn’t coming back until the next day. Instead of chilling in the living room, I took my food into my bedroom, along with the film.
So I was watching the film and had just gotten to the part when Rachel has watched the tape and received the call that in seven days she will die. Just as she has hung up her phone, my phone rings!
I pause the film and reach for the phone, shakily saying hello as its ringing scared the bejeezus out of me.
It was just my sister. She had an idea for something and wanted to bounce it off me.
So I go back to watching the film. As I reach the part when Samarra comes out of the TV
My door starts to open.
So let me explain campus security. The dorms I was living in were like townhouses. They had 4 bedrooms-2 singles & 2 doubles. Every student was given an ID card that held campus money, allowed us to check out books, go into the rec center & dining hall, and most importantly our rooms. We had two doors to the dorms that were set to only accept the cards of the people of the house. Besides running your card through the slot (like a debit card) each member of the house had a unique four-digit number to gain access. A card wasn’t enough, you had to use your code as well. Plus the code had to match the card or else you were out of luck.
To make that even more impressive, every room was encoded to only accept the occupant’s card. My roommate and I were the only ones who could into my room, unless someone had one of our cards. (The codes were only for the front & back doors.)
So you can see why I was freaked out. Everyone had made plans to be gone, defintely be gone. But yet here was my door opening and someone or something entering.
It being really dark and the fact that the rooms were L-shaped (therefore making it hard to see “who” was exactly coming in through the door) didn’t help that much.
Of course, as I’m sure you all have figured out by now it was just my roommate. It turns out she had changed her mind and decided to come home early.
This experience made the film much more exciting, although anything that happened in the film afterward that last scare was pretty anti-climatic.
So It was a pretty great film and I suggest you check it out.
And I’m not just trying to pass it off to save myself from being killed. LOL