In Memoriam 1942 – 2013 “Roger Ebert loved movies.”


Oasis: Supersonic

While Oasis: Supersonic is never boring, especially for fans, it’s also not quite deep enough to justify its narrow focus, especially at its overlong running…


Jack Reacher: Never Go Back

It’s a pity that Jack Reacher: Never Go Back fails to support Cruise and his costars, all of whom are acting as if their lives…

Other Reviews
Review Archives

Ballad of Narayama

"The Ballad of Narayama" is a Japanese film of great beauty and elegant artifice, telling a story of startling cruelty. What a space it opens…

Other Reviews
Great Movie Archives

Descent imagery #1



Now that "The Descent" has passed its second weekend, I thought I'd begin posting some of the visual quotations I'd promised. But first, there's one auditory quote that should be mentioned. When Sarah goes off to explore inside the cave, she hears -- or thinks she hears -- the laughter of a child, reminding her of her dead daughter. That's a direct reference to Nicolas Roeg's "Don't Look Now," maybe the scariest movie I've ever seen, and definitely one of the finest psychological horror pictures that wasn't directed by Roman Polanski.

"The Descent" invokes an ineffably unsettling moment from Peter Weir's best film, "Picnic at Hanging Rock." On the climb up to the cave, Juno simply stops and looks at the wilderness around her. There's something strange, wild, and mysterious in the air -- something beyond the ken of these women as they are about to begin their descent.

After the jump: "The Shining."



Not only are these wide-angle helicopter shots of the trees (and the ant-like cars -- quite literally a Bug in Kubrick's movie) virtually identical, but the soundtrack of "The Descent" even echoes "The Shining" with a spooky synthesizer wash at the very moment the image comes on screen. Back in 1980, I recall writing that Kubrick's Oregonian trees looked like stalagmites -- all the more to the point a quarter-century later in "The Descent"!

More to come.

Popular Blog Posts

Who do you read? Good Roger, or Bad Roger?

This message came to me from a reader named Peter Svensland. He and a fr...

How 2016 Became the Year of Adventurous, Original Horror Films

2016 has been a very good year for horror movies.

No Longer an Inconceivable Future: The Vision of Alfonso Cuarón's "Children of Men"

FFC Seongyong Cho on watching 2006's dystopian thriller "Children of Men" ten years later.

Reveal Comments
comments powered by Disqus