As Above, So Below (2014)
Now let me tell you about a found footage film I can excitedly recommend! The Den may go down in memory as being referred to as "the Chat Roulette horror film" because it makes excellent use of that type of online chat and other forms of technology we use to interact with loved ones and complete strangers alike. This is a stalwart example of creative storytelling.
Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)
James McAvoy and Jessica Chastain give the performances of their careers (which hopefully will continue to be as long as they are strong) in this intimate and heart-trembling love epic. This also functions as a mystery film during which the audience will piece together not a whodunit but what happened and why.
Its title is the most bland characteristic. Miguel Ángel Vivas' Spanish horror film chronicles the break-in and subsequent torture and kidnapping of a family of three. The film is comprised of just 12 shots, each an elaborate and vibrant piece of camerawork and actors hitting their marks. The intensity felt throughout dismisses accusations of gimmickry and marks this inventive genre experiment to be a success.
Last week's crop has led me to think about where I watch films and the effect it has. I'm prone to declare that the best place to see any given film is in the movie theater (provided we're talking about one that is up to snuff and not the cheap dollar theater I used to frequent in my college town). However, some of last week's films make an excellent case for home-viewing.
I've already exhausted myself disclosing the motion sickness I felt during As Above, So Below. Maybe taking that audiovisual assault from the "big screen" and transplanting it upon the flat screen in the living room would have made all the difference? You just have to sit back far enough. Then there's The Den, which I did watch in our living room. I would recommend going smaller still. Watching The Den on your MacBook in your bed, all alone, at night with the lights off is the ideal way to see a film that is entirely set within the bounds of computer screens. Finally, there's nothing like seeing a home invasion thriller (Kidnapped) in the comfort of your own home.
Just as I was beginning to come to terms with how home-viewing might be better in some cases I saw Guardians of the Galaxy in all its crystal-clear field-of-depth IMAX 3D glory. Drax the Destroyer put it best, "Behold!"
Share your thoughts on any of these films or what you watched last week in the comments below!