Sunday, February 3, 2013

Jason and Shawn versus Citadel and The Awakening


Jason: Fuck man, this has it all. Shorts shitting moments, heavy drama, and even a tender moment or two. Credit must be given to writer/director Ciaran Foy, who keeps a tight reign on this story and never lets events happen to serve the script. This is a story that unravels organically, and I bought every beat.

Favourite moments? I have several. The scene where Tommy takes his wife off life support is heartbreaking. Ditto when he manages to save his daughter from the creatures. The scene where he dances with his baby girl is also touching. The scares, particularly during the opening half hour or so, are plentiful.

Kudos to leading man Aneurin Barnard. He deserves an Oscar for his work here. He starts off weak and ends strong, and is 100-per-cent convincing throughout. I also dug James Cosmo's priest. Any priest who can swear like a sailor and knows how to make and set plastic explosives is a hero in my book.

Citadel is a thrilling scare machine with heart and soul, and it's a Good in my book.

Shawn: Odd, is this what they call an ori..ori..original movie? Haha! Haven’t seen one for a while. I waited a few days to write this, to let the “originality” wear off.

The acting was really good, the story pretty solid. I really, really dug this watch. It was a pretty rad movie, and it had decent creep factor. I like that. And to use kids like that. Yes. Yes.

I would definitely recommend that true Basementites give this fucker a watch. To me, it doesn’t have a lot of uber re-watchability. That has to sit Citadel as a Bad then.

The Awakening

Shawn: Good old haunted house movie, with a SUPER twist. Very eerie, very creepy. I would say it reminded me of another movie, in the twist part. But that would just spoil it.

Really liked it, as haunted house movies are very hard to pull off. It does retain a little re-watch ability for me, just to go back and see where I missed it. So ha ha! Good for me.

Jason: The Awakening is an old-fashioned ghost story. Creepy old house? Check. Dark, deserted hallways? Check. Shorts shitting moments? Check.

There are many shorts shitting moments actually. I counted at least four, and those are the ones that made me jump. There's also plenty of slow-burn tension. Sometimes the burn is a bit too slow, though. And the flick is a titch too long. Still not sure about the late third act plot twist. At one point it's pretty fucking effective, then it almost feels . . . silly. I'm not 100-per-cent sure I buy it. Felt almost like a cop out. Almost.

I had high hopes for The Awakening. I dig old-school ghost stories and this was pretty old school, right down to the ball-down-the-stair sequence taken directly from The Changeling (still effective BTW). I dug it, but not enough to watch it again. A Bad from me.
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  1. I just watched Citadel the other day, and I love, love, love it. I agree, it's not one I'd watch every month, but I don't think that qualifies it as Bad in any sense. There are plenty of damn good horror movies that just aren't built to be re-watched over and over. The Machinist comes to mind.

  2. Totally agree on The Machinist as well. Uber awesome. And one to rewatch, just not regularly. Ditto Citadel. Glad you enjoyed it! - J