Maybe it’s because they used Coheed and Cambria in the trailer. Maybe it’s because the main characters in the movie look a little too much like Sackboy from the Little Big Planet video game. Whatever the case, I knew that I had to watch the movie 9. It just seemed like such an intriguing concept, giving us a post-apocalyptic world not unlike The Matrix and Terminator Salvation, but having no human characters whatsoever.
Let’s get one thing straight. Despite the fact that 9 is a CGI animated film, it is not the family-friendly entertainment that you’ve come to expect from something like Kung Fu Panda. This movie is dark and mildly disturbing. There’s no blood shed, since there are no human characters, but there is definite death and dismay. Watching as “the Beast” sucks the souls out of the humanoid like sack characters might be more than what young children can handle. It’s almost like Shang Tsung’s fatality in Mortal Kombat.
You’ll definitely see some parallels with the Terminator and Matrix universes, since the protagonists are constantly on the run from the machines, but there is something so remarkably human about these nine rag dolls that not even Christian Bale can bring to the screen. Their struggle is real. Their emotions are real. And their deaths are most definitely real.
The Haunting in Connecticut (2009)
When it comes to horror movies, we inevitably end up looking at the same few common themes. You approach the demons from below, the aliens from above, the monsters from elsewhere, and something about seeing dead people all around us. The Haunting in Connecticut starts out almost with a Sixth Sense style theme, since main character Matthew Campbell starts to see things.
He’s been diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma and requires frequent and profound treatment at the hospital, which is eight hours away from their main home. As a result, the family moves into a house that is closer to the hospital, only to find mortuary-related equipment in the basement. Supposed based on a true story, The Haunting in Connecticut goes on to approach necromancy, powerful seances, and defiled bodies with strange symbols carved into them.
As strange as it may sound, assuming that you’re willing to accept things like this, the story in this movie is actually somewhat believable. Don’t expect anything too insightful or thought-provoking, though. This is a horror movie with cheap scares and short shocks, getting dead people to suddenly appear in the shadows and not much more.
The concept on which Mirrors is based is a common one. When you gaze into a mirror, it is said that you are not looking at your own reflection. Instead, you are gazing into an alternate reality of some kind and there is some being on the other side that is trapped in the “mirror” world.
Kiefer Sutherland of 24 fame plays Ben Carson, a suspended police detective who is working as a night guard to make ends meet. While patrolling a shopping center that has been torched in an arson, he starts to notice strange and frightening images in the mirrors. He sees a woman on fire in a change room, but only in the mirror. Eventually, we learn that some evil being (surprise!) is trapped in the mirror world and it’s collecting the souls of the dead.
The first two-thirds of Mirrors offers some cheap thrills and some gruesome violence (one woman has her head ripped in two), but the final act goes so far off the deep end that you begin to wonder whether you are watching the same movie. Worse yet, we’re never really given a true explanation of this soul-starved mirror being, making for a remarkably shallow movie where much substance could have otherwise been imbued.