As we’re coming up on Halloween, the movie theaters are being flooded with horror movies. As if the world wasn’t a scary enough place, for the next month, you can sit in a dark room with strangers and watch the blood splatter! Even the non-horror genres often present some terrifying truths, so really there’s no way to be safe, but isn’t that what this adventure called life is all about? Go out there and see a movie — at the very least it will remind you that life could be worse!
The Movie: “The Social Network”
The Trailer: Jesse Eisenberg portrays Mark Zuckerberg, the ruthless genius who created Facebook and changed the way people interact on the internet forever. What starts as wanting to join one of Harvard’s elite clubs turns into Zuckerberg creating a hot-or-not-type site called Facesmash (which searching now brings you to a game to see how many keys you can hit while smashing your face into your keyboard, by the way). Then one fateful night, Zuckerberg creates Facebook. The story of how it all came together is broken up by deposition hearings where Zuckerberg faces the jock Winklevoss twins (Armie Hammer) who said it was their idea, and his partner and friend Eduardo Saverin (Andrew Garfield) who gets cut out of the deal.
The Hitch: I’ve been excited about this movie from its inception. Jesse Eisenberg really seems to get that cold smart kid thing and despite the fact that screenwriter Aaron Sorkin has never been on Facebook and perhaps still doesn’t realize the gravity of what it has done, he is a brilliant writer and story-teller and the dialogue is fantastic. I feel I should also mention that Entertainment Weekly gave the movie an ‘A’ rating which pretty much never happens and one line in their review has been haunting me, “The movie suggests that he may have built his ambivalence about human connection into Facebook’s very DNA.” [Entertainment Weekly]
The Movie: “Let Me In”
The Trailer: Based on the Swedish vampire movie, “Let the Right One In,” this Americanized version takes place in Los Alamos, New Mexico which somehow seems appropriate to hold the same quiet cold of the Swedish landscape. Owen (Kodi Smit-McPhee) is a sensitive boy who lives with his mother after his parents get divorced. He’s bullied mercilessly at school and has no friends to speak of until a 12-year-old named Abby (Chloë Grace Moretz) moves in next door with her supposed father (Richard Jenkins). They fall in love and she lets him in on a few secrets, like the fact that she needs blood to live.
The Hitch: After seeing the original, I was not expecting Matt Reeves’ (“Cloverfield”) adaptation to live up to it, but it was actually fantastic. The young actors are heartbreakingly beautiful and the love story aspect only makes the murderous scenes more brutal. A lot of moments are shot close-far through mirrors and windows and in one scene from the POV of someone experiencing a car crash. Reeves was faithful to the original story but added elements to Abby’s care-taker that add additional complexity to the story. The movie holds the same power as a coming-of-age love story, but it also upped the stakes in the fear factor.
The Movie: “Freakonomics”
The Trailer: Based on the best-selling book by Stephen J. Dubner and Steven D. Levitt, the movie is a series of documentary scenes which attempt to illustrate some of the principles about how life and applied economics actually work. The scenes deal with issues of race, the fixed aspects of sumo wrestling, and whether bribing children can make them get good grades, among other things.
The Hitch: Maybe it’s because I never read the book, but I don’t feel particularly compelled to watch this movie. Dubner and Levitt might be perfectly brilliant at writing a book, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re cut out for the movies.
The Movie: “Case 39″
The Trailer: Emily Jenkins (Renée Zellweger) works in family services and when she meets Lilith Sullivan (Jodelle Ferland) and her abusive parents, she is worried for her safety. When the girl’s parents try to harm her, Emily takes her in while she looks for a foster family. With the help of a psychiatrist (Bradley Cooper), Emily starts helping Lilith but soon finds that there are legitimately dark forces that have no intentions of leaving the girl alone.
The Hitch: I guess it would be interesting to witness Zellweger and Cooper fall for each other as they have in real life, but this is no “Mr. and Mrs. Smith” and the dark forces look like they might distract from that love story.
The Movie: “Barry Munday”
The Trailer: Ladies man Barry Munday wakes up in the hospital to learn that he was attacked in a movie theater and has lost his testicles. Then he finds out that he’s about to be sued for paternity by a woman (Judy Greer) who he doesn’t recall sleeping with. He realizes that this is his only chance to be a father and decides to man up.
The Hitch: Just when it seems like we’ve gone through every possible scenario of baby-making movie, this one comes along to mix it up. I’m happy that Judy Greer finally got a role not playing the best friend, but I have low expectations for box office success with this one.
The Movie: “Hatchet II”
The Trailer: Picking up where “Hatchet” left off, Marybeth is in a boat in the Louisiana swamps, trying to escape from the swamp-residing killer Victor Crowley who has already killed her family and fellow tourists. She makes it back to town where Reverend Zombie, who owns the local voodoo shop, decides to organize a hunt of the murderer.
The Hitch: I wasn’t particularly compelled to watch the movie based on the trailer, but I have been told that it’s important to support independent low-budget horror movies so that more of them can be made. So you should totally go see it.