I thought a new fun feature to start would be going back to my early days of loving movies and watching a bunch in a row. So, why not take the opportunity to watch a couple movies and tell you whether or not I liked them. If you have an idea for a future double feature, leave a comment below!
This week, I lucked out and got my hands on a couple of new movies in horror sub-genres I love: Shark Movies and Ghost Movies. The shark movie lover in me got a movie that I THOUGHT was based on a really great graphic novel called White, turns out I was wrong. This one is called Great White and it lands on blu-ray September 7.
The ghost movie lover in me gets what to me felt like Suspiria as directed by Sophia Coppola, Simon Barrett’s sublime Seance.
First on the docket, Great White:
Great White: A blissful tourist trip turns into a nightmare for five passengers when their seaplane goes down near a shipwreck. Stranded miles from shore in an inflatable life raft, they find themselves in a desperate fight for survival as they try to make it to land before they either run out of supplies or are taken by a menacing pack of sharks lurking just beneath the surface.
I mentioned before I thought this was based on a recent graphic novel I read and loved. I didn’t even look at a trailer to be honest. All I needed to know, even though I was completely wrong, is that it’s based on a great graphic novel and it’s a “serious” shark movie. Serious shark movie? Yes. I don’t really care much for the silly scifi type amalgams. I want a shark movie that’s gonna scare me or make me jump or keep me out of the ocean.
Great White is one of those movies. It’s not successful unfortunately, but it tries. The acting is pretty good and the story is simple. People on a tourist trip crash near a shipwreck and find themselves hunted by sharks. The movie is fine at the end of the day but it has some moments that just show the cracks. Some of the effects get cartoony and that sort of lessens the impact of some good scenarios. The biggest thing for me is the fact that the sharks roar or whatever is going on in the score makes it sound like they are roaring or hell maybe both. It immediately ruins the mood for me and yanks me right out of the movie. It takes a movie that might have been a high C and drops it to a lower D. That and the weird quick to get over the death of your companions mood switches just kept this from being the movie I hoped it was gonna be.
To be honest, you’d be better off reading the graphic novel I thought this was based on, White.
Next up, Seance!
Seance: Camille, a young woman who arrives at the Fairfield Academy following one of the student’s untimely and violent death.
I thought this was gonna be a straight forward ghost/haunting movie. It is not. In fact, it’s more of a horror mystery. Suki Waterhouse leads a cast of great young actors in a movie that is really hard to talk about without spoiling something.
It takes place at a boarding school, someone dies, there’s a ghost, a new girl, maybe another ghost, and a bunch of murders. There’s just something so interesting about the way Simon Barrett brought this movie to life that just gives it a little extra oomf. It’s very timeless and yet also modern if that makes any sense.
I quite enjoyed it, even if it isn’t perfect. I don’t necessarily know if everything is neatly tied up in the end but the mystery and the reveals are pretty well done and unexpected. It certainly saved the evening after the let down of the first movie. I’d definitely give Seance a recommendation if you’re looking for something that takes some established genre mainstays and turns them into a pretty original and fun horror mystery.
Seance is available now and Great White arrives on blu-ray September 7.
What do you think the next double feature should be? My hopes is to watch movies I’ve never seen before be they brand new or old classics. Feel free to reach out in the comments or twitter!
Garon Cockrell is the Founder and Editor of Pop Culture Beast and host of The Pop Culture Beast Show. He founded the site over seven years ago to have a place on the internet to write about the things he loved. Since then, Garon has become a best-selling author (Demonic and Other Tales), an award winning screenwriter (Best Screenplay 2013 Motor City Nightmares Film Festival), and a cast member on the top rated podcast, Never Not Funny.