Let’s get this out of the way right at jump, in 2007 a movie called Teeth came out. It’s plot is centered around a woman who suffers from vagina dentata, which yes, is exactly what it sounds like. Watch this movie. And if you have sons, or know Brett Kavanaugh, show it to them. Moving on, 2007 continued the upswing started in 2005 (ignore 2006) and saw a bunch of dope movies released. There were some pretty good remakes, like Halloween directed by Rob Zombie, sequels like Hostel 2 and 28 Weeks Later, and really good Stephen King stuff like The Mist and 1408. (seriously, that movie is great) We also got the start of a brand new franchise in 2007, Paranormal Activity. Another movie in the style of realistic horror, the plot of this movie goes that a couple is experiencing strange things in their home. They set up a camera and watch the footage from when they were sleeping. And it is terrifying. This movie does a lot to show that horror can be done in multiple ways and that sometimes, like with The Others, quiet and suspenseful is much more effective. There is nothing gory in this flick at all. Every scare is earned through atmosphere. It’s an independent film given a studio release and is well worth your time.
2007 also saw another remake, this one much better than the original in my opinion, I Am Legend. This film starring Will Smith is actually the third movie based on the book of the same name including The Last Man on Earth from ’64 and The Omega Man from ’71. The plot centers around the idea that a supposed cure for cancer has turned everyone on the planet, we assume at least, into zombie-like creatures called Darkseekers. Will Smith remains as the last human alive in a version of New York City that, for anyone living on the east coast or familiar with the city itself, is striking. It is a New York that has been reclaimed by nature, one that is wild. It is a fantastically developed character and is simply visually stunning. Smith is accompanied by his German Shepard, Sam, who is responsible for some truly ugly grown man tears. Smith is so good in this flick. His loneliness but desire to survive is played beautifully. The heartbreak he feels after each failed test, his just so happens to be an army virologist, is painful to watch. The daily routine he keeps himself on to pretend at normalcy is perhaps even more heartbreaking. This is a beautifully understated film that does so much with silence and patience. Questionable effects on the Darkseekers aside, this is a fantastic film and worth the price of admission based on Will Smith’s performance alone.
My favorite flick of 2007 is a bit of a cheat considering it is two films in one. Grindhouse released from Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez and was a theatrical double feature that actually played as a double feature in most theaters. (rare these days) The first film, Planet Terror, from Rodriguez is an over the top, gory, zombie flick starring Rose McGowan as Cherry Darling. In it McGowan, a go-go dancer, gets wrapped up in a group of survivors escaping their town of “sickos” created by a gas released by a crazed doctor. Cherry, her boyfriend El Wray, and a rag-tag group of townspeople take on a rogue government unit intent on getting their hands on the same gas that killed more than half the town and turned them into said “sickos”. It is so ridiculous in the best of ways and full of signature Rodriguez moments. McGowan is as badass as she will ever be and the machine gun leg? Sublime. After the final scene there were some trailers for fake movies, though Machete and Hobo with a Shotgun, eventually got made. The second feature, Death Proof, from Tarantino is my favorite of the two and is responsible for the only time my wife has, quite loudly I might add, shouted YES!” in a movie theater. In it, Kurt Russell plays Stuntman Mike, a stuntman who kills unsuspecting young ladies in his death proof stunt mobile. Stuntman Mike is very good at what he does until he runs into a group of friends that just so happens to have their own stuntwoman, Zoe Bell who plays herself. What follows is an empowering look at four badass girls taking down a male chauvinistic pig. It is signature Tarantino and one of his best films. The ending to this flick is just perfect. Taken together, Grindhouse is a hell of a ride and a fantastic way to spend an evening.