Monday, October 20, 2014

Quirky Horror

Perhaps the term 'quirky horror' seems contradictory, except it's out there, but the selection isn't exactly extensive. It's a new genre and often masquerades as humours horror. If you're looking to delve in and want to have a chuckle and a cringe, some of the more popular films in this gradually expanding category are Zombieland, Shaun of the Dead, Fido, and Tucker and Dale Vs Evil. An older selection of titles would be Little Shop of Horrors, Young Frankenstein and pretty much anything Tim Burton has made.

Last night I indulged in a flick called Odd Thomas. It's been on my radar for a long time but every time I said, "I'd watch Odd Thomas" the Sidekick just grunted and moved onto other movies in the Netflix catalogue. Finally, he succumbed. And I was pleasantly surprised. When it comes to new horror, you don't really know what you're in for. Sometimes it's gory, sometimes it's campy, sometimes it's scary, sometimes it's silly, but most of the time it's bad. There have been very few movies in the last couple years I've been impressed with.

Odd Thomas. Pretty awesome.

Straight off the bat, I love the kid who plays Odd Thomas - Anton Yelchin - he's simply likable. The first movie he was memorable in was Charlie Bartlett and, even though it is embarrassing to admit, I developed a bit of a crush on him. What can I say, I'm a sucker for interesting voices and curly hair. Don't start calling me a cradle robber, it's a harmless affection. Anyhow, I recently watched him in the remake of Fright Night, which wasn't bad, although I don't know how I feel about Colin Farrell. He's a bit of a weirdo.

There is much to like about Odd Thomas. The narrative isn't annoying like it is in many other movies and right from the opening scene it had my attention. You are given the necessary details about what makes Odd Thomas so odd, some rather inconvenient powers handed down to him by his mother, and the story unfolds with him encountering a dead girl and helping catch the man who murdered her.

Other than seeing dead people, having dreams that come true, and seeing these creatures about town that no one else sees, Odd lives a fairly normal life. He rents a small apartment, works at a restaurant, has an adorable girlfriend (who is a bit annoying, I will admit), and his father is a police officer, who is played by the wonderful Willem Dafoe. The writing is quirky, the relationships are enjoyable, there are enough jumpy moments and tension for it to maintain the thrillerish qualities a horror movie needs, and it has a lot of laughs.

Totally worth watching. I am surprised it got such a low rating on the IMDB, but then I never trust those ratings anyhow. People usually don't know what they are talking about. Except me, of course. Even more brilliant, I just found out this is based on a Dean Koontz book. One I must purchase immediately!

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