Today’s topic is Tyromancy, or divination using cheese.
The topic is really: THE MONSTER MOVIE IS NOT DEAD! (and a couple good recent examples)
I repeat: The monster movie is NOT dead. Want proof? Well, didja see The Descent, smart aleck? What about Let the Right One In, Dog Soldiers, Ginger Snaps, Absentia, or The Host? And don’t even get me started on Cloverfield, The Hamiltons, Mulberry Street, Monsters, or The Last Winter. All movies released in the 2000s that carry the monster film into the next generation…
In the right hands, monster movies are valid ways of telling human stories, just like any genre of film. I mean, would you rather watch a married couple in some talky drama hashing out their relationship woes at a diner, or see the same pair being chased by a seemingly unkillable monster that fashions itself out of the carcasses of its prey, all while their relationship challenges inform the action? I mean, come on!
That’s Splinter in a nutshell– a couple on a failed anniversary camping trip get carjacked by a hardened criminal and his druggy girlfriend and wind up in the worst possible gas station in the country, fighting off a really AWESOME monster. And, amidst all the carnage and bloody hijinx, there is a great story going on about this couple and how their different natures compliment each other. It’s like having your cake and blowing it up, too! Highly recommended.
The Burrowers takes a very different tack by presenting it’s story of horrific monsters in the Dakota Territories of the late 1870s. It follows a small posse of men as they try to rescue some women and children who appear to have been taken during an Indian massacre. And of course, nothing is what it seems and all hell breaks loose. What sets The Burrowers apart from other scary movies is that it is an actual western AND an actual monster movie AND a scathing look at the arrogant history of our country. All without breaking a sweat or getting heavy-handed even once! Amazing. It was written and directed by J.T. Petty and stars all sorts of talented character actors (including a few of the greats– Clancy Brown, for example). It comes across a little like what I imagine Larry McMurtry might come up with if he were asked to write a horror movie. A note to scary movie fans: J.T. Petty is going to be a legend in the genre, mark my words…
These are just a couple suggestions off the top of my bony little head. If you don’t like monster movies, don’t see them. But if you like intelligence and well-written characters mixed in with your grue and goblins, then don’t wait!