Archive for February 1st, 2013

, | Movie reviews

let_the_wrong_one_in

At first, Citadel seems like a movie like Heartless, in which hooded demons prowl London and are mistaken for thuggish youths. Or Cronenberg’s The Brood. Or the part of Don’t Look Now that you don’t really know about until the final “WTF!” scene. The basic idea is that little people in hoods are scary because you don’t know what’s under the hood. Consider Phantasm. Or jawas.

But it turns out that Citadel isn’t just a monster movie. In fact, it’s a better Silent Hill movie than anything with the words “silent hill” in the title. This is a character driven story about an unprepared father coping with fear, and the Father whose help he needs. Furthermore, here is a movie unafraid to play with children in peril and perilous children. You would never see this in a safely American horror film that only imperils people over 18. Thank you, Irish director/writer Ciaran Foy.

In the main role, the distractingly good-looking and Orlando-Bloom-meets-Harry-Potter Aneurin Barnard spends most of his time shrinking, usually with his eyes shut tight. Is it really a good idea to make your main character such a coward? Given the point Citadel wants to make, there’s no way around it. This movie has no interest in whacking zombies with a crowbar. And in the one scene where that happens, the crowbar is ineffectual. It takes a mirror to seal the deal. Get it? James Cosmos — you probably know him from Game of Thrones — is a welcome variation on the usual priest monster-slayer. With a tiny blind child in tow, Barnard and Cosmos make for a memorable monster hunting party.

Citadel isn’t as heavy handed or action oriented as I might make it sound. It lolls around for a while, as an arthouse horror movie will do. This makes the shocking moments all the more shocking. There are about three effective scenes here that any low-budget horror movie would be lucky to have. Which makes Citadel at least three times better than most low-budget horror films.

Citadel is available on DVD and video on demand. Support Qt3 by watching it on Amazon instant video.

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, | Game reviews

royal_obstruction

Pixel Defenders Puzzle very nearly does for collapse-3s what Puzzle Quest did for match-3s. You’ve probably never heard of a collapse-3, because I invented the term just now. A “collapse-3″ is a variation on a match-3. In a match-3, you match three gems and they disappear. But in a collapse-3, you match three gems and they collapse into a more valuable gem. If you match three of those gems, they then collapse into an even more valuable gem. And on and on. My first exposure to collapse-3s was Triple Town, which was all about scoring the most points by collapsing everything into more valuable forms before you ran out of space. It was a town themed game, so the gems were mostly buildings and landscaping.

Pixel Defenders Puzzle — that name couldn’t be more awkwardly misleading into making you think you’re about to boot up a tower defense game — is the same concept as Triple Town, but it takes everything into the realm of turn-based tactical fantasy combat. Different colored gems collapse into different classes of characters. The yellow gems are fighters, the black gems are necromancers, the green gems are rangers, and so on. But then each of these classes matches with itself to collapse ever upward into more valuable classes. Play your gems right and you’ll get a grid full of vampires, assassins, paladins, snipers, and warrior monks.

After the jump, what good are vampires et al in a collapse-3? Continue reading →

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