Last year, between the two of us, we watched an average of 317 movies.
This year our goal is to top that by watching at least one a day.
And as an extra special torture, we've decided to write about all of them.

09 April 2008

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, dir. Tim Burton (2007)

NIKKI says:
We found out yesterday that Marcus Nispel is remaking Friday the 13th, with the backing of original Friday production studios, Paramount and New Line. In the new movie, Jason Voorhees, who is a child in the original film, is a man of 40-odd, played by the hulking, strange-looking Derek Mears.

Already, we have a problem. The classic story has taken a butchering, and, yet again, the horror world suffers. You want to make a film about a crazy loon in the woods? Just make your own, and leave my classics alone.

What's the bet the New Jason has a hockey mask? Something you'll remember only showed up in the third installment of the original series.

My point? It's loosely connected, I'll give you that. But I'm disgusted by these remakes. These people who think they know what we horror fans want, yet fail us again and again for the sake of cash. It's fucking disgusting. It's, I'm gonna say it, the dark ages of the horror universe. The genre has eaten itself and now we're getting the consequential vomit-ridden aftertaste.

And so... when one hears Sweeney Todd is to be filmed (not techincally a remake, but close enough to make my point), one immediately runs in fear that something beautiful will again be tortured into something idiotic. And then you hear Tim Burton is doing it and you breathe a sigh of relief. Never has story and artist come together so perfectly. Who better to do this than a guy who trades in operatic oddness?

The film did not disappoint. It's dark and beautiful. And way more brutal than I was expecting. Tim Burton knows how to represent pain and hurt, and throughout the film we understand more and more Todd's anguish. His brutality, then, is an apt manifestation of this. It's so palpable, this pain, that when Sweeney kills, we feel relief.

The Burton-ness of the whole thing just added so much to it. The reds and blacks, and whites. I loved how they made it visually interesting as a movie, with Mrs. Lovett's fantasy sequence, and her death scene. We just marvelled at this new way of seeing these famous scenes.

The only thing that bothered me was a lack of clear conclusion for two of the main characters. The closing scenes was almost powerful enough to make me forget that the kids were running about closure-less. An extra scene somewhere prior could have helped that.

Still, this bordered on masterpiece. A word I usually despise, but that so rightly described the grandeur of this film.

4.5/5

1 comment:

Ashley Brodeur said...

I totally agree on this one. The only thing I wanted was more ending. The image of Johnny Depp at the end, holding his dead wife, was so haunting, but...hello? What happened to the other characters? I have to admit I rewound the Mrs. Lovett death scene about six times. It was just cool.