ByMark Capehart, writer at Creators.co
An academic lover of all things horror and folklore posting my thoughts and observations
Mark Capehart

Howdy all!! Been to long I know. Just wanted to let all in on the fact that I am posting some reviews of films, all in the horror genre of course, in the next few days and weeks.

Now why the pre-announcement you may ask. Well there are a few things I wanna make clear cause that is the way us academic types roll. So without further ado lets get to the rules.

1. Even if it is a sequel, and the first film I am reviewing in this cycle is Samurai Cop 2, each will be judged on its own merits and will do my darndest not to mention the preceding films. This, without borrowing to much from the whole Scream soliloquy, has to do with the nature of sequels. A true trilogy is rather rare and in some cases, such at the previously mentioned cop flic, there are many years, like 25 separating the movies. If you are a filmmaker ya probably want to have each film stand on its own. If not then you are facing the possibility of an ever shrinking audience as people either attrition out of the series or get pissed when you create an overlong, thinly storied prequel with some kid who you are supposed to cheer for but you know is going to turn into a villain plus is surrounded by ethnic stereotypes.....

but i digress.

Just make sure each film can stand on its own cause that is how I am going to look at it.

2. I actually do have some criteria that will be judged separately and cumulatively to determine the quality of the film. What are these criteria? Well I will tell you and not reveal the film fest I stole them from...Hi Denise:).... Here we go.

a. story- while I love an exercise in style as much as the next man I still should be able to tell what the hey is going on. Bad scrips are the death stroke to any film no mater what else they have going for them. Its all about the character arch guys.

b. Acting - speaking of character arch I want to believe the people the people i am watching. Self-aware stuff can work but not as well as some people think. Bad acting, and that problem is multiple peoples fault including the director and the writer, is something that can be distracting to the point of killing the effect of whatever FX you have.

c. the look- gotta admit, I am a sucker for cool art direction, if you don't know what that is TAKE A FREAKING FILM CLASS OR READ A BOOK!!!!!!! Trust me, it has colored your opinion of films since you were old enough to watch. The look of a film must be more than cool though, it must be appropriate. Whatever feel you had in mind has to come across in the look. And this includes almost everything from lighting to set design to costume to makeup to whatever I see with the exception of.....

d. general technical competence- editing. that is one of the visual elements I look for in this area, along with the ability to use the camera (angles, focus, etc). On thing I judge above all others in this area is sound. Nothing I hate more than a movie that is hard to hear. Audiences will forgive out of focus or weak performances if something else is cool but bad sound is a killer. Also, relates to music. I have said this before but just because your friend had the coolest band in high school does not mean that you should hire them to soundtrack your film. especially if high school involved getting the latest releases from The Spinners and Foghat, look em up on youtube kids.

That is it really. Next up is to sit down and watch the films. Starting with Samurai Cop 2. Alotta people been waiting a while for this, like 25 years, so will be fun to see what people came up with. Will be talking with yall soon.

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