Andrew Couzens

Andrew Couzens

An independent filmmaker currently developing a television series and feature film.

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Andrew Couzens

The elements you’ve listed are not specific to the horror genre – I suspect any filmmaker who can’t offer compelling characters, use sound design appropriately (especially important in horror admittedly) or use space in an interesting way is going to fail.

I’ve always been interested in the overlap between the thriller and horror genre. I feel like the main difference between extreme ‘thrills’ and true horror is that horror stays with you – it’s psychological, not physical. I therefore disagree with Linda Williams on this count – sure, the body reaction is present, but it really needs to lead to a psychological reaction as well. A really great horror film reveals something about humanity that you wish had remained hidden. I don’t know if The Descent does that, since I fell asleep while watching it. In that sense, though not conventional, Let the Right One In is, indeed, a horror film (crossed with a coming-of-age film, but the fact it also belongs to another genre does not negate its place in horror).

Have you seen Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? That is quite definitely a horror film, but the horror is creeping and intellectual – it comes from the shock of seeing horrible people do horrible things, not from a kind of thrilling surprise reaction brought about by clever use of shadows or jump sound effects.

Anyway, after that silly rant, I thought I’d recommend a couple of other films you might like checking out – [REC] and [REC] 2 (the first is best… obviously), The Silent House and We Are What We Are. All are more recent than The Descent, and all are, I think, rather good (though I honestly fell asleep in We Are What We Are, so can’t give you a personal guarantee on that one). [REC] was remade as Quarantine, but that movie is atrocious and should be burned at the stake. I don’t know how they managed to screw it up so bad.

The Descent: The Last Great Horror Film
Andrew Couzens

Some trilogies that don’t disappoint:
Toy Story
The Man With No Name (aka. Dollars) Trilogy (admittedly not a narrative trilogy, rather a thematic one)
The Lord of the Rings (admittedly intended as a full story of three films, therefore avoiding some pitfalls)
Star Wars (the original trilogy obviously)
The Bourne trilogy (the 2nd & 3rd films are well respected – the 4th not so much)
Indiana Jones (again, it was only the 4th film that failed)
I would argue that Skyfall was even better than Casino Royale, and definitely better than Quantum of Solace. I guess you don’t specify that it has the be the final film in a trilogy that is a failure, so QoS’ failings may classify the whole trilogy as such, but I definitely felt its conclusion was strong.
The Three Colours Trilogy (again, thematic, though there is a surprise narrative link)
Mad Max (some people like the third one, apparently… I didn’t, but I’ll put it down anyway)
The Millenium Trilogy (like Lord of the Rings, the trilogy is an entire story, which helps)
The Mariachi Trilogy (come on, Once Upon a Time in Mexico isn’t THAT bad…)
Romero’s Trilogy of the Dead (Night, Dawn and Day of)
The Evil Dead Trilogy… (ok, Army of Darkness isn’t great. Or good. So this one doesn’t really count, but I’m going to leave it here anyway to make the list look longer).

I think the problem comes with unnecessary sequels made just for the money. I mean, the only unnecessary sequels above are for the …of the Dead trilogy and Toy Story… and Mad Max, now I think of it. But with the first two the sequels were made not for financial reasons but because creative people had an idea for the story’s continuation.

Two’s Company but Three’s a Crowd: The Batman and Iron Man Trilogies
Andrew Couzens

The digestibility of cinema is a broader issue that is being faced around the world. It certainly ties into national cinemas, but you can have challenging, intelligent films without cultural specificity. Similarly, you can have tepid, weak productions that are tied to a particular locality.

Killing Our Identity: 'Mad Max' and Cultural Homogenization
Andrew Couzens

I guess since the American Dream is tied so inexorably to money and wealth (such intangible, false things) any film about money is really about the American Dream.

Anyway, Scorcese is a great director, this looks right up his alley – I’m looking forward to it.

The Wolf of Wall Street: Scorsese's Surprisingly Fun Takedown of the American Dream?
Andrew Couzens

Somehow the only Allen film I’ve seen is Annie Hall. He’s always seemed ripe for a retrospective marathon, but I never got around to it.

8 Films to See Before Blue Jasmine: A Crash Course in Woody Allen Movies
Andrew Couzens

I don’t think Fincher really had any other choice. After all, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo is tightly linked to both the Swedish welfare system and, in the later books/films, the law system. They’d need to make a lot of changes to adapt that to the US system – the two are EXTREMELY different, with Sweden following a slightly more socialist model. Let’s be clear, though – The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo remake was both Hollywood and unnecessary.

Killing Our Identity: 'Mad Max' and Cultural Homogenization
Andrew Couzens

I have to admit, I’m a little worried about the direction Fury Road will take especially since it wasn’t shot in Australia and is using an English actor. However, I refuse to make my judgement until it actually comes out.

Killing Our Identity: 'Mad Max' and Cultural Homogenization
Andrew Couzens

I can neither confirm nor deny that.

5 Films that are Valid Substitutes for Psychotropic Substances