31 Days of Horror – Day 15

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YES. YES YES IT IS FINALLY HERE AND I SAW IT. I SAW IT.

I know Godzilla movies aren’t really horror, but Godzilla is a monster and monsters are scary and Godzilla is scary so here we are. Kind of horror. Sure. Just accept it.

Shin Godzilla
Directed by Hideaki Anno and Shinji Higuchi
Written by Hideaki Anno

So, Hideaki Anno made Neon Genesis Evangelion, a bizarre, metaphysical deconstruction of the giant robot vs kaiju genre of anime and Japanese film. He lends his signature weirdness and metaphysics to the 31st entry in the Godzilla franchise, which is the greatest franchise in cinema history and that is a fact that I will physically fight you on.

Hideaki Anno made what could potentially be the 2nd greatest, and weirdest, and most political Godzilla movie to date. This is a full reboot of the franchise, so when craziness starts happening and all the Japanese government sees a giant tail in the water, they ACTUALLY don’t know what it is. Unlike every other Godzilla movie besides the original. However, for a movie that has nothing to do with any previous Godzilla film (story-wise, anyway), it is the closest in my opinion to the message and the quality of the original.

I say it’s the weirdest Godzilla movie so far because of the bizarre (but excellent) Godzilla redesign and also the layout of the plot. You get your typical “our weapons have no effect” nonsense that they ALWAYS try, but there’s a ton of politics and bureaucracy. It’s actually great, and often very funny. On the political side, this movie tackles everything from the bumbling nature of Japan’s government (at one point they need to call a committee meeting to decide whether or not they should have another meeting) to the US’s highly problematic foreign policy, and willingness to incur enormous collateral damage to achieve their goal (which, as a US citizen, I totally agree with, it’s terrible).

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We also have one of the coolest Godzilla designs yet (my favorite Godzilla design), and he changes forms throughout the movie. Which is really cool, sort of. The idea is cool. The first design is uh… hilarious. In a good way, but oh man. I won’t spoil it here. I’m glad I hadn’t seen it before seeing the movie. It’s gold. The second design though, is great. He’s the creepiest, most evil-looking Godzilla we’ve had thus far. He also gets a few really cool new powers, and the way he deals with the Japanese military (and US) is really cool.

The best thing about the movie, though, is how heavy and dramatic it gets. It touches on some really sensitive issues, and of course, nuclear weaponry (wouldn’t be Godzilla without that allegory). Like seriously, though. There are times when the movie elicits very strong emotion out of the viewers. Especially for a Godzilla movie.

I highly recommend Shin Godzilla, but it only played in theaters here for a week so you only have today, Monday, and Tuesday to see it if you can. But I’m sure it will be out here on home video probably early next year. Seriously, it’s probably my 2nd favorite Godzilla movie.

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