Wednesday, April 4, 2012

A to Z Challenge. Letter E.

For letter E I decided to try a movie from a sub genre that has been very popular lately, the found-footage. This type of movies are usually less graphic and tend to be low budget with not many effects but effective scare scenes. Of course the most famous are The Blair Witch Project and Paranormal Activity. Both of them made big bucks and are fan favorites. I for one, love them, though there are a lot of detractors to the style. But no, I didn't choose one that you already know, that was the goal of the whole challenge, remember? Instead I chose a small production that barely got noted but that's pretty impacting.

Now, for the book I went with a classic you all know but, I'm willing to bet, most of you haven't read.

With you, the selections of the day.

Movie.

Exhibit A (2007)
Directed by Dom Rotheroe



Plot: Exhibit A tells the timely story of a normal family disintegrating under financial pressure, eventually driven to the unimaginable. All is not as it seems as the King family go about their day-to-day lives oblivious of the horror to come. Dad Andy (Bradley Cole) is nursing a secret that ultimately leads to terrible consequences for them all. We witness these chilling events unfold through daughter Judith's video camera, which subsequently becomes Exhibit A.

Review: Technically a thriller, this is an extraordinary, award winning, indy movie that is worth every second of the 89 minutes you'll invest in watching it. The story is conveyed in the natural form of family home videos, so the wobbly camera angles and moves are there but they won't make you sick unless you are very sensitive, in which case you are not a fan of the found footage sub genre. However, also in keeping with this style of movies, the less you know about it, the better for your enjoyment, so lets leave it at this: Watch it!

Book.

The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty.
Published by Corgi Books in 1971.

Blurb: (Is this really necessary? Ok, fine.) When originally published, "The Exorcist" became not only a bestselling literary phenomenon, but one of the most frightening and controversial novels ever written. (When the author adapted his book to the screen two years later, it then became one of the most terrifying movies ever made.) The deceptively simple story focuses on Regan, the 11-year-old daughter of a movie actress residing in Washington, D.C. When the child is apparently possessed by an ancient demon, it's up to a small group of overwhelmed yet determined humans to somehow rescue Regan from this unspeakable fate. Purposefully raw and profane, this novel still has the extraordinary ability to literally shock us into forgetting that it is "just a story." "The Exorcist" remains a truly unforgettable reading experience. It's sequel, "Legion", was published in 1983.

Review: Why did I choose this one, you wonder? Well, because most of the time you hear all about the movie and most people have watched it and thought they didn't need to read the book. The movie was incredibly well adapted, I'll say that, but the book still retains a raw power over the reader that will make you experience a big range of emotions, not only fear. I also was pleasantly surprised by the depth of Father Karras' character. We suffer through his battle with his faith and feel his lose as the story develops. I even cried at the ending. This is a very complex book that deserves a lot more credit than living in the shadow of a superb movie. Do yourself a favor, don't skip it.

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11 comments:

Melissa Bradley said...

Not a fan of found footage normally, but Exhibit A sounds very intriguing.

The Exorcist is a great novel and one of my favorite scary books (and movies) of all time.

Kyra Lennon said...

I quite like found footage, I think it's fascinating!

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Colin Smith said...

One of the great things about blogfests like the A-to-Z Challenge is how much you can learn. I'd heard of Blair Witch, but didn't know that movies of that type have a genre name: found-footage. Excellent! Thanks for this! :)

Chris Fries said...

I loved the Blair Witch Project although I could barely watch it due to induced motion sickness. But what was so cool about it was that it was all portrayed as reaction -- we never SEE the witch until a tiny glimpse right at the end. It was a Hitchcock-like suspense masterpiece (I prefer suspense much more than visceral gross-out gore).

And I have absolutely read "The Exorcist" -- twice. The first time in the 1970s when I was a teenager. It had a huge impact on me and has remained one of my favorite scary books.

Gina said...

Hi to all, I love to read so many interested voices!

Melissa, Exhibit A is found footage for the way it was filmed but it's an atypical one in which it portrays something that could be real, that could happen to your next door neighbors. There is no ghost or which, only humans bucking under incredible pressure.

Kyra, I love the sub genre, too. I think it is like spying inside someone's house. BUt my favorite ones are the Paranormal Activity movies. What can be better than a super freaky ghost story?

Thanks for visiting, Business Travel Tours! It very reading to hear someone enjoying what I do.

Colin, I'm learning a lot of things from other blogs as well. I'm just happy to know I'm being useful, too. =)

Chris, I think that the fact that found footage is a lot more about watching the reactions that watching the actual monster is the reason why I keep coming back for more. Hollywood loves to show us but I love to imagine it. The exorcist is one of my all time favorites, too. What a great book indeed.

Thanks for all your comments! I'll visit your places very soon!

Kirsty said...

Wow Gina - Exhibit A looks intense, will keep an eye out for it. Reminds me atmospherically a little of The Hole (with Thora Birch).

I haven't read the Exorcist but have seen the film - which as I was saying over here - nettiethomson.com/2012/04/05/e-is-for-the-exorcist/ - doesn't have the same shock value as it probably did when it was released. Maybe the book would give us that (often imagination is stronger and scarier than what is put in front of us). Enjoy the rest of the challenge. Looking forward to some more recommendations.

Kristine Asselin said...

Not a fan of the genre, but very interesting post! I get too sucked into stories, and can't watch horror that "might" be real. :)

Jeremy Bates said...

Well, thanks to you, that's two movies I have to get today, the other being Kazan's 'East of Eden.'

'Exhibit A' looks like my kind of movie. Like a lot of REAL indie movies, I have never heard of it. Thank you for bringing it to my attention.

Marquita Hockaday said...

Exhibit A sounds ah-may-zang! I LOVED both Blair Witch and Paranormal Activity, so I am totally gonna watch Exhibit A. Thanks for the suggestion!

Gina said...

Hi Kristy, thanks for stoping by! The Hole was an excellent movie! I haven't seen it in a while but I might do this weekend. Great idea!

Kristine, I understand you completely. I can't watch hard core dramas because I get depressed. What do you know, we all have that area where we can't go in, right?

You're so welcome, Jeremy! I'm glad you find my ideas useful. I also love good indy films, there's a roughness to them that makes them real-er.

Marquita, ah! Alas a girl after my own heart. I still can't sleep when I think about Paranormal Activity. =) So fun!

Thanks to all for visiting my place and commenting. I will never get tired of reading what you have to say.