23 October 2007

October Movie - The Lady In White

So the movie of the month - as voted by you all - is Lady In White. I have to think that we chose this film based on nostalgic feelings of when we were all in junior high and the PG-13 horror film genre didn't really exist yet. So we got REALLY pumped about the one horror film we COULD watch...Lady In White. Even back then I remember being disappointed. If we were feeling nostalgic I wish we had chosen Something Wicked This Way Comes or even Salems Lot. Anyway, here goes.
This film is based on a popular urban legend about the "White Lady" who had a daughter that was killed by a predatory suitor. Finding her daughter dead she kills herself and she haunts the lakefront to this day. So we start the film with this legend already going on. Our nerd hero, Frankie Scarlatti, gets locked in a coat closet at school by the cool kids. While there he sees the ghost of a young girl. She drops something down a grate then she is apparently murdered. We later learn that this apparition occurs every night and that the girl is carried off all the way accross town and thrown off a cliff. Why has no one else seen it before? Is everyone asleep by 10 pm? Anyway, after the ghost leaves we see a real man come in and try to retrieve the item from the grate (the furnace is about to be replaced and if the item is found there where the girl was killed this guy could get caught). The man sees Frankie and tries to kill him. Why not? What's one more murder (there had been 10 or so)? He survives and we spend the rest of the film trying to figure out who this man is. In the meantime we see the Lady in White several times but it's never scary. The director should have watched Halloween on lessons for how to freak you out with the appearance of the scary thing in your movie. Then we get a real treat when we meet the Lady's living sister who is Mona from Who's the Boss? That's the scariest part of the film hands down. We learn that the murderer is Frankie's uncle who in the end tries to kill Frankie. Of course Frankie is saved by Mona and then again by the Lady herself. Uncle Phil dies and the Lady and her daughter can now both rest forever as they blast off into space. But Mona is dead. So that's good news.
Lots of problems. First, this film feels like the Halloween version of The Christmas Story with the author (in this case the Author/Director Frank LaLoggia) narrating the film like a fond remeniscence. It doesn't work for a scary movie. You can't have a cheery, nostalgic scary movie. Then there are the Puma Man flying effects which were so funny in The Puma Man but not here. Then there's the forest which has an eternal layer of fog on the ground. I could go on but it's really upsetting me. I can't remember how many times I hit the status button to see how much time was left. If we have another one like this then I may start exercising veto powers.

So the movie category for this month is Charleton Heston films. No one can screw that up. My vote is for Omega Man.


joN. said...

i'm very pleased that you used the picture of mona in the window. i remember as kids i think we agreed that that was the scariest part of the movie, at least retroactively when we realize toward the end that mona isn't actually the lady in white, but a STILL LIVING woman who for some weird reason is at the kid's house staring at him.

speaking of the kid, what's up with that kid? he's all pumped to tell his lame stories to his classmates, but he keeps his mouth shut on other key issues. look, a black guy is gonna be executed because the town thinks this guy attacked you, kid. i know you said it was dark and you couldn't see your attacker's face, but you know it wasn't THAT dark. later on toward the end i was waiting several minutes for frankie to say something to the effect of: "mona from who's the boss saved my life, but she was knocked down by the killer and is STILL in that BURNING BUILDING 30 feet away from us." but he never did.

yeah, it would have been nice to have more supernatural or horror elements. at least more of the lady in white since that's what the movie's called and she's in it for like 30 seconds. my guess is that they wouldn't be able to maintain the consistent bluescreen quality they had (which was horrible in places) if they had more footage of her.

frank laloggia, huh? i noticed his name appeared all over this movie as if his name ought to get our attention. but pretty much this is the only movie he really did. what's up with that.

petty complaints aside, i'm glad maria went all over town to find this movie so we could watch it. it was far funner than my complaints made it out to be (perhaps in a lot of ways because of my complaints). however, i think it's too bad the video store didn't have the changeling.

Maria said...

So basically I'm a total baby when it comes to scary movies so I was pleased with this selection. I wasn't scared one bit - creeped out, yes - but not scared.

I agree a living Mona that looked that is much scarier than the actual white lady.

The super cheesy/happy music at the beginning of the film was confusing but enjoyed by all.

wlf said...

here's one vote for Ben Hur, easily the most powerful role ever played by the venerable C.H.

Swint said...

Probably won't watch it. By the way, took Linds to a Haunted House. It was a good one, but not overly scary, nevertheless, She latched onto my back like a Koala cub to her mom. We were both shocked by it. I have never seen her so paralyzed. I laughed pretty good.

So in December, are we nominating a Christmas movie for movie of the month? You should make a rule that it cannot be a movie that is on every 30 seconds on TV. (eg. A Christmas Story or Miracle on 34th Street).

joN. said...

it's impossible for me to nominate just one chuck heston movie. since you already took 'the omega man,' i'm gonna have to go with either 'beneath the planet of the apes' (above the planet of the apes was horrifying enough! what lurks below?!), 'will penny' (a movie i've never seen, but chuck said himself it's his favorite) or, dare i say it, 'the ten commandments' (every line is melodramatic biblical beauty and it's also like four hours long!). but, alas, if it must be 'soylent green' yet again, you'll find no complaints here.

Swint said...

didn't read the whole post, otherwise I would have posted on Chuck. (by the way did you see that our favorite Chuck, Mr. Norris, endorsed the mighty Huckabee). Anyway, my vote is simply for the 10 Commandments.

When I was on my mission in Canada I served in BFE near the Arctic, we couldn't go to zone or district meetings and the only missionary I saw for 5 months was my companion. We had a tv/vcr and justified the 10 commandments to avoid going insane. One P-day, I brought the tv into the bathroom and watched it while taking a bath. Two hours of sweet soaking (or is it three?).

Josh said...

Ahhh Mona, the sexiest woman in show business (and that includes you Judith Light!).

Josh said...

As for Heston films, I nominate Wayne's World 2. He was awesome in that.

Chapman Family said...

Where, I ask you, are those pictures of your baby!!!! I want pictures!