Sunday, September 2, 2007

Movies Again: On Anacondas and the Bell Witch Haunting

I just spent a lazy weekend harnessing my ever-late blooming driving skills. Anyway the nights were spent watching a couple of two-year old movies. I rented AN AMERICAN HAUNTING because I wanted to see how a spirit could actually cause the death of a person--as promised in its plot.

What I saw however was very different. It was about a spirit, specifically a poltergeist of a traumatized 12- year-old girl who resisted every attempt of her child-molester father (ironically played by the very lovable and grandfather-looking Donald Sutherland) to the extent that every night, her own poltergeist would rather "attack" herself. Or at least, that was how I saw it. Other user reviews in the IMDB said it was Lucy Bell's (the mother, played by a very docile and harmless-looking Sissy Spacek) poltergeist that did the attacks (making the movie all the more confusing).

Anyway, I enjoyed the movie until the first half when all the hauntings were still quite scary and realistic, and the actors' portrayals were sincere. During the denouement however, everything began to fall apart. The movie wasn't really about America's famous Bell witch at all but about incest--which took me overnight to figure out. What was that scene where Betsy Bell, immobilized in the bed with blood in her crotch and her father, wearing a long black overcoat standing above her--all about? After all the emphasis on the "evil entity" causing all the hauntings, suddenly the story segued to child molestation--it was all so confusing.

All in all, I still liked the movie. The actors, although some of them miscast in their role, notwithstanding. I especially liked James D'Arcy the best. The LAMDA graduate who is still one of Hollywood's most underrated but brilliant actors. Will wait for his star to shine.

As to Anacondas--I liked the plot and the two leads who did a great job but I liked Kong, the monkey best. This animal can ACT! Yeah, this movie had its share of bad acting and pa-cute effect from some of its actors but I had a great time watching. But then again, maybe it was the boredom...maybe not.

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