The Dorm That Dripped Blood: Snowbeat's Review

Discussion in 'Reader Reviews' started by snowbeast323, Apr 9, 2010.

  1. snowbeast323

    snowbeast323 New Member

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    Okay folks, this is an english homework I have to do, review whatever we like to show the strength of our critical skills. Before I hand it over, I'd like to know what you all think. I chose this film in particular due to the impending DVD re-release.

    The Dorm That Dripped Blood: Movie Review

    The Dorm That Dripped Blood is a 1982 American slasher film. Shortly after its release in 1983 the film gained considerable notoriety here in the United Kingdom due to it being selected as one of the infamous "Video Nasties" and being subsequently banned.

    The movie revolves around 4 college students who agree to spend their Christmas break preparing their dorm bulding for demolision. As the movie progresses it becomes all to obvious that there is a killer lurking in the shadows of the empty building, dispatching his victims with a spiked baseball bat, a drill and even a car....

    There is a lot to be said for this film, and it's not all good....
    But let's begin with what is good and move on from there. The film's lack of budget is apparent, but it doesn't stop the film having some stand out values. The location of the dorm building is one of the most effective elements in the film, the tall foreboding building brings a slight sense of unease to the viewer. As far as locations for a slasher movie go, this one is perfect in terms of creating the right atmosphere.
    Next, the film has some very notable and effective gory scenes, such as an unsuspecting father getting his head cracked open with a spiked bat....nice. The believable effects keep the viewer intrested in the film and provide a few good "shock" moments.
    The films musical score is a definite stand out. The music was composed by Christopher Young, who would later find fame composing for countless Hollywood films. The music here, heavy on strings, adds a slight class to the movie, again going against the grain of most low budget slashers of the time by shying away from the use of a synthisizer score. However the screeching violin sting used repeatedly within the film can get a little annoying from time to time.

    The performances turned in by the cast here are a mixed bag. Three of our four leads, Laura Lapinski, Stephen Sachs and David Snow, all turn in solid perfornances, though they have their stiff moments. Having said that not all the cast is as convincing. The performances of Pamela Holland and Daphne Zuniga are slightly wooden and somewhat unconvincing. Zuniga is far superior in the 1983 slasher The Initiation, and intrestingly omits The Dorm That Dripped Blood from her filmography.
    One of the biggest things that drags this film down is its plot and pace. The movie does take its time, which has been noted as a negative factor among seasoned gore hounds, but can be seen in a postive light as building the characters enough for the audience to give a damn about them. Although if that is the case, it is not entirely successful.
    The fim carries a "twist" ending, which when revealed to the viewer seems rather clumsily and quickly done. The final act of the film also seems overly dark and the plot coverage seems unusually heavy when compared to what is expected of a 1980s slasher film.

    Other elements such as camera work and lighting are simplistic but they get the job done, which is what is to be expected from any film of the time under such buget restraints.

    Personally I believe the film is most successful in maintaining a dark and overall creepy atmosphere throughout. I know I was personally in (slight) suspense on more than one occassion.

    Overall, taking into account the good and the bad, The Dorm That Dripped Blood is ultimately a highly enjoyable little slasher film. Watching the film it is clear that the filmmakers did their best with the limited budget and resources they had. The very fact that the film is still around today proves it as a favourite among slasher fans like myself, weather they admit it or not....

    The Dorm That Dripped Blood will recieve its first official DVD release later this year.



    And that's it folks....my homework.
    I'd appreciate it if you tell me what you think....
     
  2. spawningblue

    spawningblue Deadite

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    Well written and very thorough.

    Only suggestions is I would get rid of all the "..."'. Fine for internet talk, but for a school paper/ review I would get rid of them as they aren't necessary.

    Other suggestion, maybe not so much for this paper as it is for school, but I think it would be a lot more of an interesting read if you added a little more of your personality to the review.

    Other then those minor gripes it is very well written and should definitely get you high marks!
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2010
  3. Angelman

    Angelman OCD Blu Ray Collector

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    I agree with all of Spawning Blue's comments.

    Maybe a sentence or two putting it in the context of the genre... remember that your audience may likely not have the history with this genre (even more specifically, slashers) that you do. It's good to give the audience an idea of where in the spectrum this film exists - most people will only know Scream or Halloween - giving the film some context might help.
     
  4. CrazyFatEthel

    CrazyFatEthel New Member

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    I loved it, but I agree with the personality scheme needs a little but of work. but other wise, it's great!:)
     
  5. maskull

    maskull I finally got an avatar!!! Yay!!

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    You might want to check your spelling and I think you meant to use "whether" instead of "weather". Also, just being nit picky but you used the word "effective" twice in the same paragraph. Maybe try using a different word? I don't know, just a suggestion.

    Overall I enjoyed the review. It's informative, tells us your opinion of the film and keeps things interesting. Good stuff.
     
  6. MrKateB

    MrKateB Asshole Extraordinaire

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    HAHAHA...comments sure take me back to high school days...They are all very nicely done, in the proper English Teacher tone, too. The only thing missing is a little owl drawn in stick figure style up towards the top, saying "whooooo?", because your name does not appear in the upper right hand corner.

    I had an english teacher that would do that whenever someone turned in an assignment without their name on it....Her owls were kind of sinister looking--you didn't want to get too many of them...
     
  7. maskull

    maskull I finally got an avatar!!! Yay!!

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    He did put his name at the top on this one....but spelled it wrong. Does that deserve a sinister owl?
     
  8. Paff

    Paff Super Moderator

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    What level of English class are we talking about here?

    See, I have to say the opposite of what some of the others here are saying. I think there's TOO MUCH of your personality in this. It's loaded up with a lot of colloquialisms: "mixed bag", "dispatches his victims", "gore hounds", "get the job done".

    Also, it assumes the reader is familiar with the genre. I'll agree with those that say you sound like you're writing this for us here on the board, not an English teacher. Basically, imagine that the reader has never seen a horror movie, and go over it again. Explain the concepts of a "slasher film", "Video Nasties", and why it's comparable (both favorably and unfavorably) to other films that came out at the same time.
     
  9. Erick H.

    Erick H. Well-Known Member

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    Quite good,though as others have said a little context would be nice.Give a little bit of information about the slasher boom and the "Video Nasties" controversy.Apart from that I think it's a winner.
     
  10. Matt89

    Matt89 Well-Known Member

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    While you should inject a certain amount of personality into a film review (Ebert's personality runs rampant throughout his reviews, as did Pauline Kael's), it's important not to make it sound too much like your everyday speech.

    And yes, like others have mentioned, explain the slasher film. What are its conventions? It would be worth noting how this film is a rather strong deviation from the conventional slasher film in relation to its ending.

    Some issues I'm finding are that you don't, in the first place, italicize the title of your film. You should always either italicize or underline film titles whenever they're mentioned (it's just the way it's done - film reviews, film analysis, etc - your teacher would probably correct this when he/she grades it), as well as some spelling and grammatical errors (you spelled "demolition" demolision). Also, try to link your ideas into coherent paragraphs, you have way too many two-sentence ...I don't know what to call them...fragments? Try to develop and flesh out your review a bit as well. You say the performances are wooden...how are they wooden?

    There's also nothing wrong with using ellipsis (...), however it's improper to put a word like "nice" at the end of it. It's like writing a review and saying "then the broad takes off her top and we see her tits...sweet." It just sounds immature.

    Also, like others have mentioned, avoid cliche'd expressions like "a mixed bag" or "going against the grain". They dumb down your argument. It can make your statements rather boring. It would sound much better if you said something more in the way of: "The music here, heavy on strings, adds [distinction] to the movie, again [deviating itself from] most low budget slashers of the time by shying away from the use of a synthisizer score." Also, some of your sentences are rather awkwardly worded/structured. For example: "The location of the dorm building is one of the most effective elements in the film, the tall foreboding building brings a slight sense of unease to the viewer." You might want to either split those two sentences up or you can change it to something such as: "The location of the dorm building is one of the most effective elements in the film, [its] tall foreboding building [evoking] a sense of unease [in] the viewer."

    Also, avoid using contractions, they don't (no pun intended, seriously) sound very professional, as well as when you refer to a number, don't use the numerical symbol. Don't write "4", spell it. Obviously, it's okay when you refer to a year such as 1982 or something. You wouldn't write "nineteen eighty-two" LOL.

    Sorry if this is a little brutal, but this review does need a bit of extra work. I do like, however, your brief summary of the film. It's always best to avoid too much plot summary. If you want, PM me and I'll give you a closer reading of your review.

    You definitely have quite a bit of knowledge of what you're speaking about in this review and in the end, yes the paper should be distinctive of your own style. However, you have to fix some awkward sentences and link your ideas a little better. It'll make for a much more coherent and superior review.

    Oh and I've been wondering as well in relation to what Paff asked. What level of English class is this?

    ~Matt
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2010
  11. Matt89

    Matt89 Well-Known Member

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    Oh, and one serious omission from your paper is that you make no mention of who directed the film. This should be mentioned near the beginning of your review, since you are critiquing HIS film, after all.

    ~Matt
     
  12. Paff

    Paff Super Moderator

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    I saw that one too. Another easy way to make the sentence less awkward is to replace that comma with a semi-colon.
     
  13. Iron Jaiden

    Iron Jaiden New Member

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    I'm guessing you came here for critique and not praise. Critique, of course, is the only way you can improve as a writer. I would say have someone read your review out loud to you a couple of times. Close your eyes and just listen to the cadence of the thing. Hearing your own words read back to you is often a very effective component of the editing process. From there you'll most likely find yourself re-writing quite a bit. Everyone does. :)
    Here's how I would've gone about one part of the review:

    [strike]One of the biggest things that drags this film down is its plot and pace[/strike]. The [strike]movie[/strike] Dorm That Dripped Blood does [strike]take its time[/strike] wallow in narrative a bit. The film's tempo has been [strike]noted as a negative factor among seasoned gore hounds[/strike] criticized by fans of the usually face paced genre, but Stephen Carpenter's use of exposition [strike]can be seen in a postive light as building[/strike] effectively allows the audience to get to know the characters enough [strike]for the audience[/strike] to [strike]give a damn[/strike] sympathize with their plight.

    Not to say my version is superior in any way, it just makes more sense to my ears when read aloud.
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2010
  14. msw7

    msw7 Re-animated member

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    Well, then it's superior in at least one way, right? :)

    I have to agree with the majority of folks here - it's a very good beginning, but could benefit from further editing along the lines suggested.

    One point to re-iterate though, the "...nice" should be dropped like a bad habit in a nunsploitation movie.

    I don't think you want your non-horror audience to think you get off on the gruesome killings. It's very likely to give them the wrong impression of you. (there may be a way to carry that off without giving this impression, but "...nice" isn't a good way to do it).
     
  15. CrazyFatEthel

    CrazyFatEthel New Member

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    Dude, this guy is in High School, cut him some god damn slack!!!!:glasses:
     
  16. Body Boy

    Body Boy Well-Known Member

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    Really?

    Oh yay! I found somebody younger than me! :D
     
  17. snowbeast323

    snowbeast323 New Member

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    Okay.....
    Here's what I've learned....17 year old high school students should not pos their simplistic reviews here....
    My mistake....
     
  18. Hellbilly

    Hellbilly Active Member

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    You did ask what people think, so you should've been prepared for criticism ;)
    That said I thought it summed up the movie pretty good. Nice job.
     
  19. Angelman

    Angelman OCD Blu Ray Collector

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    None of this meant to be mean - critique always stings but you take the best of suggestions, improve your work and have a better overall piece of writing for it...
     
  20. msw7

    msw7 Re-animated member

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    I'm sorry that that's what you're taking away from this.

    Or you could learn from the critiques, so that your next review is something a college student or published film critic would be envious of - you're already pretty close, which is impressive.
     

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