Wednesday, October 03, 2012

SHOCKtober Part One

Since I'm doing laundry today, I thought I would get another review in between loads. My internet buddy Stacie, over at Final Girl, is at it again this month. She is trying to get a post in each day, which is something I have only been able to do once in the time I have been doing my blog. Stacie was kind enough to list out the movies she will be posting about each day, and wants everyone that is interested to do their own post as well. Since I have watch some of the movies on her list, I will only be hitting up the ones I haven't watched yet. I didn't get around to the first movie, from day one, since I was busy getting my new computer desk put together. For today though, she picked The Haunting Of Julia (1977), originally called Full Circle.

The days starts off normal enough for Julia (Mia Farrow), her husband Magnus (Keir Dullea) and their daughter Kate (Sophie Ward). They start the day by eating breakfast, which Kate plows through despite the warning of her mom to slow down. While eating an apple, Kate swallows it wrong and starts to choke. Not knowing about the Heimlich, Julia starts to panic, trying to put her fingers down Kate's throat at first. Magnus tries calling for a doctor when he looks over to see Julia with a knife, ready to try something drastic, which doesn't work. Sometime after the death of Kate, Julia decides to start over on her own. She finds a place that she doesn't really have to change much, which doesn't make Magnus all that happy. Julia begins to think she is going a little crazy when she thinks she sees Kate a couple of times. Her friend Mark (Tom Conti) is trying to help her as much as he can, and eventually they have a psychic come in. She warns Julia of her new place, and tells her to get out. What could have happened there, and is it really Kate that Julia keeps seeing?

The Haunting Of Julia is a movie I have heard about off and on through the years of talking to others about horror films. I don't recall anyone saying that it was good or bad, but since it had come up a few times, at least, then I figured it was worth checking out. I could tell that it was an older film not because of the clothes and hair, but because it has a slow pace. Some films are getting back to that, but I still see a lot of movies that have a quick pace to it. The Haunting Of Julia takes its time in telling its story, and it pays off in the end I think. Director Richard Loncraine shoots this movie beautifully, especially the way it ends. While the movie does manage to create a couple of creepy moments, I wasn't really all that impressed with it in that way. It is super rare for me to feel scared by a movie these days, but I still get a good creepy feeling at times. I just didn't get that this time around. It was still a good movie though. Even though I like evil children in films,  and they tried to push that in the story, I didn't get that feeling from it. The ghost, if there was one, was a bit too cute. Of course I could say the same about Samara in The Ring, but she didn't always look cute. Something else that surprised me, although now that I write this I'm not sure why it did, The Haunting Of Julia was more of a mystery instead of a horror film. People die and all in the story, and some are even foretold, but it was more about who was behind the haunting more than anything.

Like any mystery, Julia goes investigating to see if she can figure out who it is that seems to be haunting her. This was really my favorite part of the movie. Not because of the mystery factor, but because Julia comes across some interesting characters in her search. These parts are helped by the actors a great deal. This is of those films where even minor characters can stand out because of the actors behind them. I enjoyed all the main actors, but it was really the supporting actors that stood out to me.

If you are looking for a film that has a lot of gore, then you will want to look elsewhere. There are a couple of scenes where there is some blood, but that is about it really. The blood can be pretty heavy at times though. I didn't feel that The Haunting Of Julia really needed special effects though. This is a story that could have completely went without any blood, but it was needed to get a plot point across from start to finish (full circle).

One of the nice things about The Haunting Of Julia was that it can be left open for you to decide what really happened. There are things that make it hard to argue against it being an actual haunting, but I'm sure it can be done. I like these types of plots, since it makes me think things through. Overall I liked this one. I don't know that I would watch it again soon, but I would be willing to again at some point. Before I knew Stacie had this one listed for the month, I had already added it to my instant watch queue on Netflix. Thanks to Stacie, she gave me an excuse to go ahead and watch it now. It is still there if you wish to watch it, if you have Netflix of course. If you don't, and The Haunting Of Julia sounds interesting to you, then track it down and give it a try. It might just surprise you.
3 out of 5 Never trust a child ghost

No comments: