Thursday, July 28

The Coda Presents: Lost & Found (Year: 1999)

1999: Lost & Found
            Time can be your best friend or your worst enemy. I had a computer crash and burn my senior year of college. Everything was lost! Leave it to time, and my OCD for backing up everything, that I came across some old backup discs. To my surprise, some of my music and papers were on it. Which brought about this new piece for The Coda.
            A friend from high school knew that I loved film and suggested I write down my favorites at the end of the year so he could watch the one’s he missed. I started keeping track of my favorite year-end films, and also my favorite horror films, starting in 1997. Some years I ranked them, some years I listed them, and for some years I even wrote something.
So, I suggested a few select years to choose from on Facebook recently, and my old friend Seizen was the first to respond. So, here are Monte’s favorite horror films of 1999.

(Note: There were many films that didn’t make the list because of availability. I know Audition was released in 1999, but I didn’t see it stateside until ‘02. And, some films were discovered in ’99 though they were released earlier.)

1.   Sleepy Hollow
1999 – A rated R kids story. I lost count of how many people lost their head. Best horror movie I’ve seen this year.
2011 – By 1999, Tim Burton had made some unique genre films already. Mars Attacks, Beetlejuice, Ed Wood, and Edward Scissorhands are just a few.  Sleepy Hollow was that film that totally caught me off guard. I was expecting something tame, what I got was everything I always wanted from Burton. A hard rated R film. The grim fairy tale atmosphere, early oddball Johnny Depp acting, and the unflinching violence are still reasons why I love this movie.

2.   The Sixth Sense
1999 – An excellent Twilight Zone episode made into a movie. Hopefully no one has already spoiled the ending for you.
2011 – Even people who haven’t seen this movie know the ending. The Sixth Sense is a genre classic, regardless of how many people disagree. In 1999, originality was fading for horror films. Scares were predictable, Scream told you the rules, and “remake mania” was on the verge of taking over the genre. The Sixth Sense was smart, well acted, and used simplistic artistic elements to make the audience watch it again to catch something what they missed. That’s what makes it great.

3.   Ravenous
1999 – A cannibal movie that feels, at times, like a comedy? It’s strange, but really good.
2011 – Ravenous has grown to be one of my favorite genre movies. It’s so much more than just a cannibal tale. It has so many elements working for it, the relationship of men in society, the struggle of power when fully embraced, and the loss of sanity…which is were the comedy takes over to assist the portrayal of madness. Ravenous is so much more with further viewings.

4.   Idle Hands
1999 – Funny horror movie! And, the girl is really hot. Awesome gore!
2011 – Early Jessica Alba! It has nice slapstick, good practical special effects, and the comedic elements are still amusing, if not always funny. I do think it’s interesting how “stoner” vibe hasn’t changed in so long.

5.   Stir Of Echoes
1999 - I didn’t think this was going to be good, but it got a 4 star review. It has some nice scares, too bad The Sixth Sense came out first.
2011 – This film, unfortunately, did not age well. I always felt bad for this film because it came out right around The Sixth Sense and was lost. I still appreciate some of the elements of this film, but there are better ghost stories.

6.   Cube
1999 – Really unique movie, only found it at Video Update if you plan on getting it. Good concept and the different-rooms-of-death were great.
2011 - Show of hands, who remembers Video Update? This was one of the flicks that took me awhile to watch, since I believe it came out in 1997. The director recently did the movie Splice. Cube had a few more sequels, all of which never really captured what the first one was. Still, if you haven’t seen it, I think it’s a must see.

7.   The Blair Witch Project
1999 – We went camping and talked about this movie the entire time. It might make you a little sick because of the camera movement, but it feels real and has a great ending.
2011 – I still agree that this film has some really creepy moments, but as a whole, too much cinema vérité to hold the fright factor for me with numerous watches. The ending is still the best piece from this film.

8.   End Of Days
1999 – Watched this movie with some friends three days before Y2K. The movie took place on the same day we watched it in the theater, made it feel a little creepy when it started. Also, the guy that plays the Devil is great!
2011 – That “guy” is Gabriel Byrne. It’s funny that I remember this so vividly. I remember going to the store with my mom that morning and getting in an argument with her because I wanted to go to a New Year’s Eve party but she wouldn’t let me because she said it was “dangerous” to be out. We bought a shopping cart full of water if I remember correctly. This film made the list because of the experience, though I still enjoy it when I see it on around Halloween.

9.   Deep Blue Sea
1999 – This movie has some great unexpected moments. Had to force some friends to watch it, they liked it afterwards.
2011 – Those that don’t know, even though you should, a big ass shark eats Sam Jackson while he delivers a Sam Jackson speech…all before the twenty-minute mark. This film probably goes in the “guilty pleasure” file, but I still like the recognizable cast and the “anyone can die” mentality.

  10.  The Mummy
1999 – A little too much special effect scenes, otherwise it could have been much better. You should watch it for the action and gore.
2011 – What gore? Though the series didn’t quit live up to the potential of the original, it’s still interesting to watch. CGI was everywhere by the late 90’s. Stephen Sommers had lots of potential after this film; he’s still the director of one of my guilty pleasure films, Deep Rising.

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