Carrie (Kimberly Peirce) **1/2 - I think this film would've been more acclaimed and I probably would have liked it more if this was the first film version of Stephen King's novel. But alas, this film stands in the spectre of Brian De Palma's widely revered 1976 horror classic which I consider one of my favorite horror films of all time. Technically, this is not a bad film at all. It's well made and well acted. But apart from updating it to reflect contemporary times (cell phones, internet, etc.) and a few other differences here and there, the film didn't do enough things differently or say anything particularly new to justify it being made again. I expressed concerns over Chloe Moretz being cast as Carrie since I find her a bit too beautiful and confident to play such a character. Sadly, I was right. Though Moretz's acting is faultless, her physical appearance and overall persona distracted me from buying her as a shy vulnerable outcast. It's fine but you're better off watching the classic 1976 version.
Uninvited (Lewis Allen) ***1/2 - A brother and sister buy a seaside house
with a mysterious past and a ghostly presence (but somehow no light bulbs). This
is a nice good old-fashioned spooky haunted house movie which, despite its age,
still manages to give me the creeps without even relying on jump scares and
gore. It even managed to surprise with an unexpected plot twist in the end.
Recommended by a friend. It's good stuff.
Lauriana (Mel Chionglo) *** - It's the
early 1950's and a young orphaned boy befriends a soldier stationed in his
hometown. The soldier takes a dance hall girl, the title character, as a lover
and the three become a sort of surrogate family until the soldier's dark, fucked
up past starts manifesting itself. This film was written by my mentor, Ricky
Lee, so I'm being fair to it. It's very well-acted and very well-made though
ultimately kind of flawed and kind of anti-climactic. There's a great film
somewhere in there and it seems to be headed that way but it dropped the ball in
the third act. Overall, still worth a look.