30 Days of Night (dir. David Slade, 2007) – A tribe of bloodthirsty creatures attacks an Alaskan town during its month of darkness.
This post is part of Preamble to Halloween, an October marathon of horror features before the dawn of All Hallows’ Eve.
Barrow seats at the northern tip of Alaska, earning renown for being quite literally the top of the world. Because of its very location, the town experiences a polar night every year, plunging into 2 whole months of cold darkness. 30 Days of Night halves that number for a title with a nice ring to it. The shortened duration doesn’t lessen the terror of homicidal vampires having the upper hand over a mere 4000-strong population.
Gruesome fates soon befall the unsuspecting good folk of Barrow. Blood spills from torn throats and cracked skulls, but it isn’t just visceral violence that evokes fear. The absence of daylight in the middle of the wintry storm makes the air all the more suffocating. A new-to-town Stranger (Ben Foster) helps things along by cutting off all communications to the outside world, leaving no clear path to escape.
Continue reading 30 Days of Night (2007) – Hearts of Darkness
Black Mirror: Bandersnatch (dir. David Slade, 2018) – A young programmer attempts to adapt a fantasy novel into a choose-your-own-adventure video game, but loses control over the choices in his own life.
Bearing the hallmarks of a typical Black Mirror episode, Bandersnatch pulls us deep into Charlie Brooker’s engaging mind game. The film yet again flaunts the writer’s creative brilliance and dark tendencies.
Named after the creature of the whimsical Wonderland tale, Bandersnatch is itself a monster of a wildly imaginative story. Black Mirror’s first interactive episode has us live and re-live the multiple lives of Stefan Butler (Fionn Whitehead), the obsessive creator of his choose-your-own-adventure game. His creation soon starts to warp his own reality.
“I feel like I’m not guiding [my decisions],” he tries to explain his building disorientation. “Someone else is.”
And every time we choose whether to have him destroy a computer or hit a desk, he looks down at his own hands with fear, as if they do not belong to him. His conviction that he is being controlled brings about a tinge of guilt – that we may just be responsible for recklessly manipulating the fate of a sentient digital being (see: USS Callister, Hang the DJ).
Continue reading Movie Review: Black Mirror – Bandersnatch (2018)