Constantine, 2005 supernatural religious thriller

Director: Francis Lawrence
Verdict: 6.5/10… Good supernatural thriller with religious themes, but I don’t consider this film to be horror.

I suppose my recent engrossment with the Matrix universe was a factor in my choice to watch Constantine, a 2005 movie starring Keanu Reeves.

Brief plot summary of Constantine

Based on the DC/Vertigo comic book Hellblazer and written by Kevin Brodbin, Mark Bomback and Frank Capello, Constantine tells the story of irreverent supernatural detective John Constantine, who has literally been to hell and back.

Official movie trailer: Constantine (2005)

Keanu Reeves Says No to Constantine 2, All Other SequelsSlashFilm

Detailed plot summary of Constantine

An ordinary man with an extraordinary gift must save the planet from evil in this action-packed fantasy. Unknown to most people, the world is crowded with spirits both good and evil who walk among us in human guise. One of the few who can see these spirits is John Constantine (Keanu Reeves), but the responsibility of his vision is more than he can stand, and he tries to kill himself. Saved from death, Constantine must now atone for his actions by acting as a guardian in the middle ground between Paradise and Hell. Constantine also makes the acquaintance of Angela Dodson (Rachel Weisz), a police detective who becomes aware of his unusual gift while looking into the death of her sister; he leads her into the unknown world of the spirits and soon circumstances demand that they join forces in a desperate bid to save humanity from evil. Constantine also features Tilda Swinton (favorite film: Burn After Reading), Peter Stormare, and Gavin Rossdale, the latter best known as the lead singer of the rock group Bush. Michelle Monaghan (Made of Honor) was originally in the film (cast as a half-breed demon) but director Francis Lawrence cut her scenes.

Constantine: Character background

Hellblazer, also known as John Constantine: Hellblazer, is a contemporary horror comic book series published by DC Comics. It has been under the Vertigo Comics label since issue #63, the month the imprint was introduced. Its central character is the streetwise magician John Constantine. It has been published continuously since January 1988, and is Vertigo’s longest running title, the only remaining publication from the imprint’s launch.

According to the Hellblazer Index, John Constantine – created by comics legend Alan Moore in 1985 – is the most intriguing character in comics today. Constantine is a working-class mage, a thief, a con-artist, a former punk, and the savior of the known universe. Constantine is by turns a total bastard, a drunk, a trickster, an adrenaline junkie, a womanizer, and sometimes – when no one is looking – a nice guy. He has no superpowers, only a sharp wit, a little bit of magic, and a reputation Aleister Crowley would envy: a combination that makes Constantine an exciting character to read. Instead of weighty declamations, Constantine’s dialog is full of snappy comments, nasty digs, and unexpected wisdom. He is, with the possible exception of Batman, the most complex person in the DC family of publications.

Resources: Constantine, 2005 supernatural thriller

Resources: Hellblazer comic

Originally written on Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Boogeyman, 2005 supernatural horror movie

Boogeyman, 2005 supernatural horror movie, Sam RaimiAlthough Boogeyman (2005) received poor reviews overall, the first few moments of the film are among the most deeply and personally frightening in all of horror (to this fan, at least). When Tim, as a young boy, is going to bed, he’s scared out of his wits by shapes and movements he perceives in the room. One small but strong example of a personally terrifying horror theme expressed in the opening of Boogeyman includes clothing that just happens to be arranged in the shape of a person. (That reminds me of the intro to the horror TV series Fear Itself; a similar image of clothing is shown.)

horror theme - clothing in human shape - Fear Itself introThe attempted CGI portrayal of the boogeyman entity in that film is a major weakness of Boogeyman, IMHO; apart from that, it was a rather creepy, atmospheric supernatural horror movie. I believe Boogeyman would have been much scarier throughout – and that this would have been reflected critically, in the movie reviews – had no attempt been made to show the entity onscreen. As all horror fans know, sometimes these things are best left to the imagination.

Boogeyman is another feather in the cap of one of the most notable names in supernatural horror entertainment: Sam Raimi, who served as producer. [Products tagged creepy at Amazoncreepy]

Boogeyman plot summary

Boogeyman, 2005 supernatural horror movie, Sam RaimiA man learns his past was more truth than imagination in this horror story. Tim Jensen (Barry Watson) is a man who is still haunted by traumatic childhood memories, many linked to the death/disappearance of his father while Tim was still a boy. Desperate to resolve his issues, the death of his mother while visiting his beautiful girlfriend Jessica gives Tim a reason to return to his hometown and the old house he grew up in. Tim would prefer to learn that the terrifying memories he still carries with him are merely a figment of his imagination; however, the evidence and events revealed during his visit point to something more – something more real than not.

More about Boogeyman

beautiful woman - Emily Deschanel - beautiful eye colorBoogeyman was directed by Stephen Kay and also features the ravishing Emily Deschanel (with those incredibly beautiful eyes), Lucy Lawless, and Skye McCole Bartusiak.

Resources: Boogeyman, 2005 horror film

Ghost Stories – Fox Family Channel

large cover of horror television series DVD - Ghost Stories - Fox Family Channel -1997-98

Fox Family Channel – Television series
Aired in 1997-1998; DVD sets available starting in 2005
Watched May 2009

NOTE: This is an example of an entry for which I’m more concerned about tags than commentary. For a while, my main intent for this blog was to create sort of a database of supernatural horror movies to allow readers to find obscure supernatural horror films based on tags describing aspects or content of the film. For example, this entry would have the tags ghost stories, anthology, television, series, etc.

cover, small - horror television series - Ghost Stories - Fox Family Channel -1997-98

Honestly, it’s turning out not to be all that great of an idea. This is not exactly the right format or platform for what I wanted to deliver at that time, so it’s likely most future entries will contain more commentary and content as opposed to merely being listed or added.

Thanks for checking it out; I really do appreciate it.

Stephen, fellow supernatural horror fan

Resources – Ghost Stories (Fox Family Channel television series)

The Ghost Stories series that initially aired on the Fox Family Channel in 1997 and 1998 should not be confused with the 1972 television series, Circle of Fear (aka Ghost Stories), which was an anthology of suspense dramas concentrating on individuals confronted with supernatural occurrences. Winston Essex would open each episode by taking the audience into his spooky old mansion and introducing the plot, ranging from a vampire preying on college students to a ghost haunting a house to an old man using voodoo against his own family. On January 5, 1973, the series changed its title to “Circle of Fear”, the Essex character was no longer part of the show, and the stories didn’t always feature supernatural themes (at which point we probably would have lost interest). [YouTube clip]