Monday, March 7, 2011

Through the Smoke: The Keep

The sophomore slump. Something that is even common in music. How is that band going to capture the magic of their debut and build upon it? Well, this album has some of the same beats. Tangerine Dream & Robert Prosky included. But it certainly isn't the same genre. This time Mann serves us a horror film. What could go wrong? We saw what a high profile director could do when Friedkin went from the drug pushin' streets of French Connection to the pea soup covered sheets of The Exorcist. Well that's just not the case here.

Don't get me wrong. Mann is on point in his direction. One thing I thought I'd never see in a Mann work: a smoke monster (no, not the Black Smoke from Lost.) That's the whole problem. It's not so much that I'm criticizing Mann for doing something radically different from the rest of his work. Mann's visuals defined an important subculture of the 80's. The color pallette is even more subdued here. But when filtered through the horror film, a period horror film at that, the stylistic trappings only build to a point.

Mann admits he is embarassed by the film and slightly ashamed. Even if it's at the bottom rung in the ladder of Mann's works, it still warrants a release on DVD & Blu-Ray. Let alone the fact that the studio cut out a substantial amount of scenes- butchering it. A film like this is needed to explore the evolution in the director's career. How else are film fans suppose to see it? Well, NetFlix for the time being. That's how I ended up seeing it. C+


  1. I'm Luke Pajowski.
    for Netflix.

  2. I'm sure your photoshop skills can make that billboard ad possible Mr. Dawson.