Hello, everyone! Sorry for the month long delay between posts. If you couldn’t guess, it’s because my spring semester has been as chaotic as Donald Trump’s presidency and I’ve only just found my footing. Last Friday I saw Rings, the third installment in the American adaptation of the Japanese Ringu. A completely mediocre movie through and through, Rings adds nothing to the franchise but derivative storytelling, lousy acting, and a serving of warmed-over creepiness. By updating the premise for the digital age, the film draws attention to its own fading relevance.
Hello, everyone! Let me start this post by saying I have a bone to pick with critics. Why can’t everyone like what I like? But seriously, sometimes I watch a movie, mostly in the horror genre, and I’m bewildered by the critical reviews. They watch It Follows and say it’s one of the best horror movies of the decade, I say it’s a pretty yawnfest. They watch The Visit and praise the film for its “satisfying blend of thrills and laughs” (Rotten Tomatoes) and I collapse to the ground, decrying a world that deems a lukewarm found footage movie with a stupid twist to be acceptable, or even worse, scary. What confuses me the most, however, is the reaction from critics to a movie like Don’t Breathe. How can a group who can find the sudden appearance of a tall man terrifying somehow stomach a movie as disturbing and morally ambiguous as this one? Spoilers Ahead (you’ve been warned!)
Hello, everyone! Today I finally get around to writing a review about I Am The Pretty Thing That Lives in the House, a movie that is more or less a painting stretched out into 87 tedious minutes. With a title that unique and descriptive, I was expecting something a bit more interesting than the minimalist set of tableaux that director Oz Perkins believes makes a movie. Yes, Oz Perkins, as in the son of Anthony Perkins, the iconic actor who played Norman Bates in Psycho. The only thing that IATPTTLITH (even the acronym is too long!) has in common with the genius of Psycho is that they are both technically horror movies. I guess in this day and age with an orange buffoon as president-elect, anything can be anything.
Hello, everyone! It’s been almost a month since I’ve posted on this blog, but do not despair, for I’ve returned. Today I watched a uniquely chilly film called We Are What We Are, directed by Jim Mickle, who also directed Cold in July and Stakeland. We Are What We Are is a family psychological drama with horror elements that has the aesthetics of a refined backwoods western and the suspense of a thrilling mystery. A movie influenced by too many genres can turn out muddled, but Mickle’s clear, cold direction keeps the film focused and compelling from start to finish.
Hello, everyone! My last review of Creep was fairly negative, so I promised to write a positive review to balance that out. The first horror movie I watched last week was a chilly little horror called Last Shift, directed by Anthony DiBlasi, who has directed a bunch of other horror movies and was the executive producer for Midnight Meat Train, which I haven’t seen but heard was a great film. The film is small and contained in atmosphere, but nonetheless quite ambitious. It’s the type of movie that scared me in such a way that I would track my cursor across the progression bar at the bottom of the screen to see the next image before it played, just so I could prepare myself.
Hello, everyone! I watched two horror movies this week, one that was surprisingly awesome, and one that was not-surprisingly un-awesome. Since I watched the un-awesome one tonight, I’ll review that one first. Here’s the lesson I learned from watching Creep: if you think Mark Duplass would make a bad horror movie, trust your gut. Don’t listen to Reddit. Even they have bad taste.
Hello, everyone! I watched the much anticipated Lights Out movie a few days ago and honestly loved it. As a dedicated fan of horror, it satisfied my need for a good, scary story and subverted some tired stereotypes. There are some cheesy factors that whiff of other movies, which I will get into later, but I’m a firm believer that a little bit of silly pseudoscience can propel the plot of a horror movie in ways that serious, scientific reality can’t.
Hello, everyone! Yesterday I re-watched The Orphanage for the fifth time. It’s taken me several viewings to understand the nuances of the plot and the significance of the movie’s symbolism, but I think that this time, I get it. The movie doesn’t scare me anymore (few horror movies do after the fifth re-watch) but that doesn’t mean I forget how much it terrified me the first time I watched it, before I really got to understand it. Bear in mind that The Orphanage is a horror movie, but it’s so much more than that. It is also a story about loss, tragedy, and family. It’s like The Godfather of horror movies!
Hello, everyone! I’ve been trawling Netflix recently, looking, as usual, for a good horror movie, and I’ve finally found one. It’s called Hush, a film by Mike Flanagan, who also directed the horror movies Oculus (which I liked) and Absentia (which I didn’t). I’ve watched Hush twice so far, and I find it to be a refreshing take on the home invasion thriller. Here’s the trailer:
Hello, everyone! I watched The Conjuring 2 last weekend. My immediate impression is that James Wan fired his old set designer and finally got someone to clean up all the dust from the first movie. Compared to the the first Conjuring, this film was glossier and more compelling, but it was overall a tamer film. The majority of the scares were of the jumping variety, but there were a few standouts, which I’ll cover in more detail below. But was there a witch who lurks on top of wardrobes? No, no there was not.