Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Cloverfield suffered because I had just recently watched Quarantine and it looked worse in comparison. On the flip side of that, I think I enjoyed Stuart Gordon's The Pit and the Pendulum a little bit more because I had just sat through Seed. Gordon pairs broad satire (of religious extremism and corrupt public figures) with scenes of torture and degradation. The combo is a little off-putting and cancels itself out at times... even in the span of a single scene, it's like some actors are in a comedy and the others in a harrowing drama. It undercuts itself.
Despite that, the film still works because Gordon knows how to build a moment, and he certainly knows how to disturb. There's a scene where a character gets their tongue cut out that's way more squirm-inducing and effective than anything in Seed, and they don't even graphically show it.