Ryan Valentine's Profile - Rotten Tomatoes

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Rating History

Dracula (1979)
3 days ago via Rotten Tomatoes

John Badham shot this lavish, beautifully staged rendition of a popular theatrical production of Dracula. It's easy to tell that no expense was spared in the costumes, set pieces, or backdrops (Universal even sprang for a John Williams score).While this film shows little faithfulness to the Bram Stoker novel that it's rooted in, it does have some bold notes of Gothic melodrama and it features striking turns from Frank Langella as the Count and Laurence Olivier as Abraham Van Helsing. This movie was largely passed on by both audiences and critics at the time, but it has built up a minor cult audience in the ensuing decades and there are definitely aspects of it that make it stand apart from all the many, many Dracula movies out there.

Frankenweenie (2012)
3 days ago via Rotten Tomatoes

Director/co-writer Tim Burton expands upon his first short film with this story about a science prodigy who taps into Mary Shelley's toolkit in order to resurrect his recently departed dog. However, unlike the source novel's message about how humans shouldn't play God, Frankenweenie's storytelling tries to push a pro-science moral while it admonishes the superstitious townsfolk for fearing the unknown. Disney clearly financed this production because they wanted another cult hit in the vein of the enduring Nightmare Before Christmas. I don't think that Frankenweenie will sell quite as many t-shirts at the local Hot Topic, but it's a cute, likable little movie that should provide adequate diversion during October.

The Fog
The Fog (1979)
3 days ago via Rotten Tomatoes

The inhabitants of a sleepy California town are assailed by a supernatural fog that creeps in upon the date of the community's centennial. This fog conceals an invasion of undead lepers whose brutal assaults are connected to a dark secret buried in the town's early history. Producer/co-writer Debra Hill reunited with director/co-writer/soundtrack composer John Carpenter for this movie after the preceding Halloween amassed a considerable profit; like that film, The Fog builds suspense at a slow burn while it puts a lot of its scares into what's implied rather than what's seen. John Carpenter made better films before and after he shot The Fog, but it's still a minor gem in the annals of exploitation genre movies.

Rosemary's Baby
3 days ago via Rotten Tomatoes

Rosemary (Mia Farrow) and Guy (John Cassavates) are a young married couple who conceive a child shortly after they move into a New York apartment building with a sinister reputation. Rosemary is initially bewildered by the eccentricities of the elderly neighbors who dote upon her as she carries her baby, but these peculiarities ultimately convince her that something evil is behind their motives. Rosemary's Baby is a triumph in psychological horror and a goodly amount of credit is due to writer/director Roman Polanski's unassailable sense of pace and narrative tension. However, the most valuable component of this film is definitely Mia Farrow's chilling, affecting, and human performance.

The Neon Demon
18 days ago via Rotten Tomatoes

The Neon Demon focuses on a teenage model (Elle Fanning) whose natural beauty and naive arrogance inspires the lust, jealousy, and violence of her colleagues. Co-writer/director Nicolas Winding Refn helms this film with poised photography, an exquisite use of color, a memorable score by Cliff Martinez, and no shortage of style. I definitely give it points for creativity and ambition, but I couldn't get invested in the flimsy characters and more than a few set pieces felt like they were tacked on for shock value alone. I liked many elements of The Neon Demon, but ultimately I found it to be less than the sum of its parts.