Synopsis: A group of teenagers preparing an old horror movie show in an abandoned theatre discover a recording made by an actual murderer who died long ago. Very soon a shadowy figure resembling the killer starts stalking them one by one.
There was a point in time when going to the movies left entire families with a better sense of fulfillment. While the magical aromas of buttered popcorn and licorice whips are still as enticing as ever a night out at the nearest multiplex can put a major dent in Dad and Mom’s wallet. Another factor to take into consideration is the pure entertainment value of the films that major studios are churning out. With the advent of CGI and creating every visual effect in the computer many see this tool as both a blessing and a curse. The upside is having the ability to dream up anything in our imaginations and witnessing those fantasies being fleshed out right in front of us. Unfortunately we live in an era of film making where directors have overly relied on this technology and thus the storytelling aspect (or lack thereof) suffers immensely. It’s becoming more and more difficult to capture an audience’s imagination anymore when they can spot dodgy looking CG or are cringing when an actor is desperately trying to gauge a full range of emotions knowing that they’re just looking up at a tennis ball in front of a blue or green screen. The world is getting less and less E.T. – The Extraterrestrials, original Star Wars trilogies, the first three Indiana Jones, and Back to the Futures. Instead Hollywood thinks the key to success is one reboot and re-imaging after another in a cold/heartless assembly line fashion. The days where families walk out of a theater awe-struck asking one another how ambitious story tellers and (actual) special effect wizards are able to successfully pull off such tricks are sadly becoming numbered.
Its funny how sometimes an obscure little horror comedy can reignite your passion for the classic movie going experience. Granted it doesn’t really do anything too memorable the acting is pretty hit or miss and the comedy itself goes beyond the Velveeta or Kraft form of cheesy. Still even after a couple stumbling missteps anyone who grew up watching B-movie marathons on TNT or WGN (before large corporations took them over) will have an absolute hoot with this. I thought the general premise where a group of college film students and their professor holding a one night horror/sci-fiction marathon to raise money to work on their own projects was a promising lead in. Having the whole horror movie within a horror movie idea being forcibly thrown over Popcorn is where things once again began to falter. If the writers would of polished the script another couple times I think the outcome would have been a lot more worthwhile. What really grabbed my attention was the mock B-movies that were being showed during the horror marathon. The creators of Popcorn actually filmed full scenes and one part that kept me laughing is where a giant mosquito (with the support wires blatantly in full view) attacks an escaping car. It was a loving tribute to the creature features of the mid-1950s and unquestionably remains a scene worth rewinding over and over again because all the extras playing the audience members taking part in this marathon react to that scene in a naturally comedic manner. A lot of the smaller independent theaters that are still in business do their own classic horror marathons every year at this time and after a viewing of Popcorn my only regret is that I wish there was one closer to my neck of the woods where I could go and get some old fashion small time movie theater escapism.
Final Grade: C