[31 Days Of Horror] Mini Reviews: Dead Snow (2009) and Vampyr (1932)

Mini Review Day 9: Dead Snow (2009)

Dead Snow has been on my ‘To Watch List’ for quite some time, and what better time to finally tap this one than for 31 Days? I’ve heard nothing but good things about this one, and I can see why! It is a really fun and self-aware horror flick, with Nazi zombies. The self-aware films that play to clichés don’t always work, but Dead Snow actually really did and it is a good time.

So let’s see, a group of students go on an isolated ski trip, and find they are not alone. Out there, are Nazi zombies and they mean business! A very short synopsis, but this isn’t a complex film. It isn’t much more than that on the surface; it has your usual run of the mill characters, gruesome deaths and well … Nazi zombies.

I love that this was a film that was written very carefully, there was care taken to be this self-aware piece, reference other films, and add in some comedy. It works almost on that level of Tucker And Dale (which is a better film); you can just sit back and enjoy the ride. It wasn’t a big budgeted film, but they really did a lot with what they had. The zombie’s looked great, and the gore was mostly good.

It does take a bit of time to get going once it hits the middle, and when the Nazi zombie’s really come into it, well it is quite entertaining. I had a blast with Dead Snow; I was really surprised by it. I wasn’t really sure that having Nazi zombies could work, but it really did in this environment. Highly recommended viewing … well yes because of the Nazi zombies!

Rating:

Mini Review Day 10: Vampyr (1932)

Vampyr is a film I’ve heard about for a long time, but it wasn’t until recently I was able to get a copy. I was very curious about a vampire film from the early 30’s, and how would it differ from the likes of Nosferatu (1922) and Dracula (1931). Plus it was by Carl Theodor Dreyer whose film La Passion de Jeanne d’Arc (1928) is an absolute classic, which I recently rediscovered. So how does this hold up? Very strangely …

Vampyr feels like the sort of film David Lynch may have made, it feels like a 1932 Eraserhead at times. I would almost consider this film to be a dream of sorts, its subtitle is ‘The Dream Of Allan Gray’, and it certainly feels like one. Is this something done on purpose? Well unfortunately the version available now of this film is not what was originally intended, and what we are left is something very odd but very good.

The story here as best as I can try to describe it, is about Allan Gray who arrives in a town where strange things are happening. Indeed they are as he witnesses a shadow basically detaching itself from the person it belongs. There is also a sick young woman, and something leads him to believe a vampire is draining her of her blood. What is really going on? Watch the film and decide for yourself.

The film works as more of a silent film, despite being shot with sound (which was lost over the years), and some how this just adds more to the experience. It feels a lot more mysterious, and even haunting with such wonderful atmosphere. It is a very odd film, but its strange visuals make it compelling viewing. This is very different than anything you are likely to see from this time, and in turn I’d recommend tracking this down. It has been released on Criterion so if you can track that down, it will be well worth it.

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You can view my entire list of 31 Days Of Horror 2012 HERE

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