No this is not another review of Haunting in Connecticut.
Nevertheless, two dead boys got up to fight. One was blind and one couldn’t see.
I have, in the past two days, watched two interesting films. Selected based primarily on the fact that they were on TV while I was looking in its direction and I had not seen either film.
They are both tales of boys. Pairs of boys. Playing about in dangerous ways.
“The Other” is a 1972 film featuring Uta Hagen and with an appearance by a young John Ritter. The story centers around nine-year-old twins Niles and Holland on their family farm in Connecticut around the mid-thirties. One “blind” boy and one that couldn’t see.
I’m sure you are well aware that twins are bad news. This situation is no different. Poor little Niles spends the movie fearing that Holland may be the cause of all the bad juju on the farm. Accidents happen!
You see, Niles and Holland have secrets. Secrets are bad. Secret trinkets are worse. Creepy twins, secret trinkets and a grandmother from the old country with secrets of her own are a recipe for disaster.
This film may seem slow at times, but it reflects the sort of somber pall that hangs over the Connecticut farm, which is only barely hidden behind the otherwise pleasant farm life. Made all the more gruesome by the saturated hues and the jaunty weirdness that 1930s life can appear to be. You just know there is evil lurking. Isn’t there always?
Horror film fans will have a good idea how this plays out. I won’t ruin it for you like I normally would. If only because you will figure it out yourself.
A film certainly for Horror buffs, but worthwhile for anyone not too jaded to watch an older film without ear-splitting Dolby Digital sound and a cast of thousands of CGI monsters.
Today I fell upon “I’m Not Scared” (“Io Non Ho Paura“), a 2003 film set in Southern Italy in 1978 in what is known as the Anni di piomba. It is the hottest summer of the century and everything in the film feels that way. The film has an underlying tension that never goes away.
Heat, fields of wheat, sweat, red dirt, shady characters. Just like any tiny rural town in the back fields. Or like a sleepy rural 1930s Connecticut farm.
This movie is also a film about two boys. One blind and one that couldn’t see.
But completely different. A sad tale. A horrifying tale. A familiar tale.
Definitely worth watching if for nothing else than the scenery (the film was set in the fields near Melfi) and for a look into a dark time in Italian history.
Giuseppe Cristiano did a good job as the central character, Michele. A boy, sure, but not the usual half-assed caricature of a child or the work of yet another child actor bent on acting like a tiny adult. A real boy with some serious shit going down and not a soul to turn to who he trusts…except another boy.
The portion of the film describing the two boys first meeting is outstanding. What exactly does a nine-year-old do when he finds a boy chained and hidden in a hole in the middle of nowhere? Why is there a boy in a hole? Who put him there? What should Michele do?
Watch it. It is worthwhile. You can tangibly feel the boredom, the ennui, the heat, the desperation and the creeping influence of the dark side.
I hadn’t intended to watch the entire film. I just wanted to see what a movie about a boy finding another boy in a hole might look like. It looked good. I watched.
In a sinister side note, I happened to read this story while I was still watching “I’m Not Scared.” It was a strange and somber filter through which to watch the end of the movie.
Ask the blind man, he saw it too.
- April Sale: Get Scared with Great Horror (sundancenow.com)
- Sydney Film Festival to feature zombies, Woody Allen and a Maori Boy Genius (mumbrella.com.au)