Shin Godzilla (2016)

Shin Godzilla (2016) – IDMB

Shin Godzilla (Film) - TV Tropes

Immediately from the fading Toho logo the action begins. We are introduced directly to a disturbance in the water, a small ripple of what is to come. Quick to short introductions, quick reactions to an abrupt danger, Shin Godzilla has us humans franticly clamoring about when this disturbance in the water causes some industrial damage. Not knowing what to make of it, political officials struggle throwing solutions around trying to control and remedy the situation before it worsens. That is until a creature manifests with ungodly destruction. It is then our politicians must decide the fate of the monster and of Tokyo, nonetheless, any vulnerable city ripe for ruin. And if they don’t decide quick, another foreign power house will and the results will be catastrophic.

Shin Godzilla let’s off heat early on, opening the majority of the movie for us to watch and listen to important figures make important decisions. How exactly would scientists and government officials react to handle a situation involving innocent lives that demand a response? Each individual represents a respective department but not so much a character, so they reflect a whole department serving as their character trait. Like how the chain of command is used or a Biologist worrying about his image before making an accusation or an interpreter speaking on the behalf of the President.

Godzilla is horrific and monstrous. Retaining his iconic screech, the new look offers new terror as he sluggishly stampedes through Tokyo. It is epic and devastating to see Godzilla leave destruction around his massive presence. There is something more costly to his devastation this time than other previous iterations. His effect on the city below his feet has more weight and severe consequences. This is reinforced by the awareness of costs of damage and images of innocent people scrambling about. The military goes to great lengths to rid the behemoth. But Godzilla is an intimidating, indestructible force. In contrast, it shows how humans can be monsters as well. To nature itself and to each other. From dumping waste in the ocean to dropping bombs on cities’ foreheads. Almost as if Godzilla is the waking life form for nature to retaliate.

To continue, Godzilla is a natural disaster in physical form. Japan suffered a massive earthquake in 2011 that also cause radiation leakage. In the midst of chaos, people needed to evacuate. Shin Godzilla focused on those who were in charge of regulating the population on information and what is required to do for safety without causing additional harm. But you can’t control chaos. Nor nature. It is then officials realize let go of the textbook, the regulations, protocols, and barriers and let the populace decide what is best to do to survive in a natural disaster.

It is unfortunate we will not be getting a sequel to Shin Godzilla. Thanks to a contract signed for Godzilla being part the MonsterVerse in America and not being allowed to work on any new material for that time period. With this movie being a reboot not sure how Toho will continue their Godzilla legacy especially after the mild cliffhanger at the end. Too bad, I would like to have seen it.

Overall, Shin Godzilla can be a bit overwhelming due to the fast paced story which requires you to read subtitles quickly. It’s better not worrying about who is who first time round as it would just aggravate the viewing experience. I think the movie could have been slimmed down a bit from it’s two hour run time. It seemed they were focusing on the government’s procedures in a moment of chaos to an immediate problem and makes Shin Godzilla a bit of satire. As intriguing as it was, I could have used less of it.

Still, Shin Godzilla remains a stand out in the long running kaiju series.

The Babadook (2014) – IMDb

via The Babadook (2014) – IMDb.

What do you do when your kid asks you if you want to die? Especially if it’s coming from your son who no one wants to be around with. Even you start wishing your boy was normal. The Babadook is a very well written boogeyman tale that delves into your psyche and hits the dark corners of your mind and emotions you wouldn’t expect it to do at first sight. Firstly, you have a single mother, Amelia, played wonderfully by Essie Davis (where’s the nomination?) who works at a retirement home and takes good care of her seven year old son. She is in need of help, mostly due to the absence of the affectionate touch from a man in her life and sleep depravity. Someone give this woman some chocolate and a day off. Amelia lost her husband on the day of the birth of her child, Samuel. Samuel is a troubled kid who fancies magic and plays with his imagination. But when is it ever imagination? He takes up arms in defense from this dark force and, like his father, speaks his mind, talking about the monster where ever he goes, even scaring kids his age. The crazy talk is heightened to a new level when Amelia says Samuel can choose a story to read before bedtime, of all stories he chooses The Babadook. The words and the pop-up pictures are no less than unsettling and peculiar. Where did this book come from? Like the film itself, the book is draped in black and grey, paling colors making it feel ghostly and depressing. She says to choose another book but Samuel wants to keep reading the story he has chosen. From here, the weird begins to escalate. Amelia even rips up the book and tosses it. But after three heavy knocks at the door, the book returns at her door step. She turns for help from her sister, Claire, but she wants nothing to do with her, especially Amelia’s son who talks about a monster and unintentionally hurts Claire’s daughter. Good going. More sleepless nights occur, more encounters with the boogeyman. Amelia looks to the police to report someone stalking her and her son, but she knows they would write her off as crazy. The stress level starts to wear down on Amelia and you see it, you even start to experience it. My head felt toyed. Is this real or is she just experiencing a nightmare? She begins to mistreat the boy (oops, I said it) like her psyche takes a sinister turn. It’s something you wouldn’t hear her say or see her do, it’s just not her, not what a mother would do.

The story is similar to the likes of Insidious and many other scary movies involving a troubled kid and a dark spirit who wants to house your body. What makes this different though is it’s approach. Even though there are some good creepified moments, this movie isn’t all that terrifying. It was more psychological than expected and focused on family values. There’s a lot of build up, too, which made it more of a drama. The ending leaves you a bit unsatisfied seeing that the first 3/4 of the movie promised a strong conclusion. You will be scratching your head. Have you figured it out?
I plan on adding this film to my collection. The Babadook will hook you in to it’s dark atmospheric tale. The build up helps you understand Amelia and Samuel’s situation which is why you care and makes moments more stressful. The mother even becomes scary at a point, but I recommend you watch this just to see how The Babadook stands out from other horror gems. By the way, if you hear three knocks, don’t let it in.