Movie review: “Bernie” and “Cabin in the Woods”

Hello, movie lovers! Fall is upon us, bringing in a wave of cooler weather, pumpkin-flavored everything, and new movie trends. A film genre that has recently gained popularity is the morbid comedy. Not quite sure what this twisted genre entails? Let’s take a look at two morbid comedies featured on Channel 96 this month.

Who would have known that a killer could be as sweet as pecan pie? Richard Linklater’s film “Bernie” puts a comical spin on the true story of a small town mortician- turned-murderer. Bernie, played by the always-amusing Jack Black, steals the show in his perfectly executed performance as the flamboyant neighborhood sweetheart who, in an act of desperation, kills the vindictive Marjorie Nugent.

While Black doesn’t fail in evoking a few laughs from the audience with his misplaced southern charm, the film loses momentum once Bernie takes down the wicked witch of his small town.
I’m not sure how closely the film portrays true events, but a murder is still a murder, and the audience is left not knowing whether to pity poor Bernie or consider him deranged.

Overall, the film takes on the pace of a slow southern fable, like the ones Uncle Buck tells at every family get-together. I can’t say that I didn’t want the film to wrap up 30 minutes in. Never the less, if you’re a Jack Black fan who doesn’t mind laughing at funerals, this film is worth a watch. Make sure to check it out on Channel 96’s On Demand website.

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If you think Drew Goddard’s “The Cabin in the Woods” is the typical teen slasher film, chocked full of arterial splatter and hormones, you’re half right! The movie’s beginning is predictable enough: five attractive friends decide to vacation at an eerie, abandoned cabin in the woods, only to be warned by a disgruntled gas station employee that they’re heading towards their doom. Was he right? Of course he was right. But before you cross off this box-office hit as a dud, look closer. The film takes on a drastically unexpected twist when the audience realizes that the friends are not the victims of meaningless slaughter.

The conspiracy at the heart of this film makes Watergate look like amateur hour. Unexpected humor is found as the friends —and conspirators — poke fun at stereotypical horror movies, a quality that is only made better by the actors’ above-average performances. A word of caution: if you can’t stomach the blood, stay out of the cabin. However, if gore is not an issue, you’ll find this movie hilariously horrifying. Be sure to check it out on Sharks United Television Channel 96 this month.

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