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 Horrorcram XV: Let's Scare Corrierino To Death 
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crumbsroom wrote:

The opening hour is great. It understands the beats of straight to video slasher horror better than any I can think of. And then it all falls completely apart for one of the worst final acts I can think of. Sunshine wishes it could shit the bed as bad as House of the Devil.

Can't agree with you here, Sunshine remains the worst 3rd act I can think of, leaving HotD far in the dust, along with nearly every other movie with a shitty 3rd act (looking at almost all the rest of your movies, Danny Boyle... oh, and you too, Christopher Nolan) ever made.


Sun Apr 22, 2018 4:25 pm
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Takoma1 wrote:
I watched Mirror Mirror last night and LOVED it.

One of the better horrors in terms of showing relationships between girls and between a mother and daughter. Lots of unexpected (for me, at least) plot turns. Some nice editing/visuals (like how the
dead girl toward the end has her body positioned and a pool of blood that is incredibly evocative of the dead dog from the beginning
).

I'm surprised this isn't a title I hear more about.

There are like half a dozen movies with that title, can you help me out a little on this?


Sun Apr 22, 2018 4:28 pm
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Wooley wrote:
Can't agree with you here, Sunshine remains the worst 3rd act I can think of, leaving HotD far in the dust, along with nearly every other movie with a shitty 3rd act (looking at almost all the rest of your movies, Danny Boyle... oh, and you too, Christopher Nolan) ever made.

Capra's jump, both song and scene, are better than anything Ti West has even thought of creating.


Sun Apr 22, 2018 4:37 pm
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Captain Terror wrote:
Karen Black & Lily Munster? Sold!
(haven't heard of this one till now)


Maybe I should partly clarify that a part of my positive reaction is that I expected a C- and got what I think is more of a B+.

Also (cover your ears if gender discussion makes you weepy!): (non-plot spoilers)
there was a shot in a locker room (followed by a long sequence with a nude teenage girl character) that was so NOT exploitative that I was like "Who is the director who just managed to NOT give a jiggle-jiggle shot of the actress with the biggest boobs in the whole movie?", paused the movie, scooted over to IMDb and discovered that it was directed by a woman. Given the general dearth of female horror directors, I'm also surprised that this film isn't sometimes mentioned as an example of a female-directed horror.


Sun Apr 22, 2018 11:56 pm
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Takoma1 wrote:
Given the general dearth of female horror directors, I'm also surprised that this film isn't sometimes mentioned as an example of a female-directed horror

Yeah and I noticed there are 3 sequels, 2 of which are also directed by (different) women. And Mark Ruffalo is in Parts 3 & 4! What's going on here? Like I'm not expecting great cinema, just surprised that these are so under the radar.

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Mon Apr 23, 2018 12:12 am
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Captain Terror wrote:
Yeah and I noticed there are 3 sequels, 2 of which are also directed by (different) women. And Mark Ruffalo is in Parts 3 & 4! What's going on here? Like I'm not expecting great cinema, just surprised that these are so under the radar.


I also just saw on IMDb that the first movie was written by a pair of sisters. And that makes SO much sense. This movie understands more about female relationships than almost any other horror movie I've seen. That is not an exaggeration. The first movie is free on Amazon Prime, which is how I watched it.


Mon Apr 23, 2018 1:00 am
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Captain Terror wrote:
Last year my friend's 12-year-old son begged her to let him see IT. She normally doesn't allow him to see R-Rated films but he was so insistent that she caved. (I went with them). Now this is a kid that's taller than me and walks around with that arrogant "god everything is so boring" attitude that 12 year old boys excel at, so even though this was his first horror movie in a theater I figured he'd be fine and afterwards he'd tell us how lame the movie was. Turns out he was terrified. When the movie ended he said "I shouldn't have seen that" with a dazed expression on his face. Next morning I got a text from the friend telling me how skittish the son was all night, and that he asked her to watch a comedy with him to get his mind off the clown. My friend and her siblings are all horror junkies so it's not like he's never been around this stuff before. So I guess it's hard to predict how a kid is going to react. I felt bad for the guy, but I kind of miss that feeling of being scared out of your wits by a movie.
I never watched many Horror films (not a big fan of the genre, to be honest with you guys...), but I still remember sneaking watching the end of Jason Takes Manhattan with my sister in her room when I was a preteen, and being fairly freaked out when Jason's mask came off and you saw his hideous real face, and she told me to cover my eyes when it happened, ha. I also remember watching The Shining with my best friend at his house with his sister and overly permissive mom when I was probably also still just a preteen, and covering my eyes when his mom told us to when the naked lady walked out of the bathtub (she had the good sense to do that, at least), and just hearing her evil laugh and hearing my friend (who was even younger than I was by two years, I have to note) describe her rotting body when he peeked at that moment was much, much scarier than actually seeing what she looked like when I rewatched it a couple of years later; the power of imagination, eh?

Both experiences freaked me out at the time, but it's not like I had nightmares about them to this day (or even after I went to sleep the nights that I saw them), and neither experience warped me permanently in any manner, and I imagine most well-adjusted kids out there would react similarly, so, while I would exercise a certain level of caution when it comes to Horror movies,, if had kids of my own, I certainly wouldn't freak out if my kids happened to accidentally be exposed to something I didn't want them to be; it'll probably be no big deal in the long run, you know?
ski petrol wrote:
It was rated R? For what? It seemed like PG to me and it wasn't even good. I'll never watch it again.
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Mon Apr 23, 2018 5:43 am
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Takoma1 wrote:
I also didn't care for the fact that
the girl who was thinking about the abortion (who I thought was the most interesting and real character in the whole thing) was killed in a way that felt, for a lack of a better word, so casual. She was my touchstone character in the film, and losing her in what almost felt like a throwaway/body-count death really put me off.
I'm sure people felt the same way about
Janet Leigh's Marion Crane. But the sad fact is that this simply was not Rose's film.


I agree that the scene
where she is killed is botched, and I actually feel this way about most of the film's scenes which seem to be intended to be climactic - like when Kay killes Rose's parents, etc.
While we all agree that Perkins has a talent for mood and atmosphere, I think he doesn't seem to know how to handle more abrupt "shocking" scenes, and his inability with jump scares is only an issue when he insists on using them. (By contrast, I Am The Pretty Thing does not, and its more subtle escalation pays off more rewardingly.)

Takoma1 wrote:
I also thought that the strongest, most original concept in the movie
(ie a person finding solace and company in a possessing demon and mourning its loss and wanting to get it back) was given short shrift by "saving" the reveal of that dynamic until the last 10 minutes or so. It's such an interesting idea! More of that! More of seeing this woman struggle to connect with people, only to realize that she needs that demon! More of her coming to terms with what she's willing to do to get it back!

This is also my favorite part of the film, story and thematically wise, but I don't have any problem with not having enough of it. I think
Kay's isolation is pretty consistent throughout, and, again (for better or worse) this aspect is amplified in surprising ways on a second viewing.


Takoma1 wrote:
Finally,
the coincidence that a couple just happens to pick up a hitchhiker who is the girl who killed their daughter, but somehow they don't recognize her was a little too far for me. (Feel free to remind me if there's an implication that she engineers their meeting. Maybe that's a detail I just forgot).
Overlooking the coincidence of the parents, I liked how for about the first third of the film, I was assuming that
These were Kay's parents, and that this was a non-linear explanation for what happened to them on the way to pick her up. When we learn that they are Rose's parents instead, and that the girl is actually Kay years later...
...well, I'm just very happy that the film, successfully in my view, managed to create a lot of second-guessing and recontextualizing of what had occurred before it. I still think the film warrants a second view, and you can pick up a lot of little details peppered around which only become significant once you know where the film is heading.

Wooley wrote:
Well, I can tell you that I thought one of the strengths of the movie is that there is no real evidence that
there is a demon at all and she may just be a child who has gone insane because her parents died.
I actually thought that was the point of the movie, that you never know.

I've seen this interpretation elsewhere, and I just don't buy it. The biggest problem is in the very first scene
which shows the demon showing Kay the scene of her parent's death. Now maybe you find the supernatural possibility that Kay has some kind of special premonition for these things, but the fact is that something allowed her to see this event before she could have possibly have been aware of it. Also, the film refers to prior instances (the nuns and their secret satanic rituals) as well as the headmaster's apparent knowledge of this demon which suggest that Kay is not the first to have encountered or been seduced by it.


Wooley wrote:
As for the point about
the parents not recognizing her, I don't know, the way the movie played and just how different the two actresses looked while sharing only the similarities of the blonde hair and the eyebrows (I mean, I got pretty far in the movie before I realized the older blonde girl was the younger blonde girl), I never even thought about it until it was over and do didn't remember but just assumed that she engineered the meeting somehow. If she didn't it is a bit of a stretch, but I've seen worse.

I also liked the sound.

I honestly didn't read much into this coincidence and simply saw it as such. Kay has likely already decided
to return to the furnace, and these seem like a perfectly acceptable couple of heads to offer.


Also, I like the sound a lot too. But what I found most haunting, what has really stuck with me the most, are the images which are associated with the sound, where the entire sensual package creates something dreadful and bizarre. The voice on the other end of the phone is incredibly creepy, but married to the faraway slow zoomout down the dark hall creates a more evocative resonance. The sounds of the heater are especially disturbing, but
culminating in the image of Kay prostrating to it
happens to be the best scare of the film.


Mon Apr 23, 2018 5:52 am
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Wooley wrote:
There are like half a dozen movies with that title, can you help me out a little on this?


The 1990 Mirror Mirror.


Mon Apr 23, 2018 5:52 am
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Jinnistan wrote:


I've seen this interpretation elsewhere, and I just don't buy it. The biggest problem is in the very first scene
which shows the demon showing Kay the scene of her parent's death. Now maybe you find the supernatural possibility that Kay has some kind of special premonition for these things, but the fact is that something allowed her to see this event before she could have possibly have been aware of it. Also, the film refers to prior instances (the nuns and their secret satanic rituals) as well as the headmaster's apparent knowledge of this demon which suggest that Kay is not the first to have encountered or been seduced by it.

Yeah, I just didn't see it that way. I didn't think of it as being some fringe fan-theory, I actually completely thought that it was the point of the movie.


Mon Apr 23, 2018 7:06 am
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Jinnistan wrote:
I'm sure people felt the same way about
Janet Leigh's Marion Crane. But the sad fact is that this simply was not Rose's film.
.


Right, but Blackcoat's Daughter ain't no Psycho. And unlike Psycho,
Rose's death doesn't signify a shift in perspective. The whole movie has been cycling between perspectives and the movie 2/3 of the way through simply eliminates the most interesting perspective. The movie suffers from her loss and nothing that happened in the rest of the film made up for losing her perspective.


Mon Apr 23, 2018 7:49 am
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Also: cross-posting my review of Mirror Mirror from Thief's thread. I'd be really interested on another point of view on it. It's on Amazon Prime.

I know about this movie mostly thanks to Rumpled's Guess the GIF contest. (I don't know about ya'll, but a certain hideous blue-checkered jacket is seared into my memory). But I have never heard anyone else talk about or reference it.

I really liked it.

The story is something that horror movies have done over and over again: social outcast gains access to supernatural powers and uses them to punish her enemies. Megan is an LA teen whose mother moves them to a smaller town after the death of Megan's father. The two move into a home with a mysterious mirror. Megan is befriended by a girl named Nikki, but she is also immediately picked on by the popular crowd. An evil spirit inside the mirror picks up on Megan's insecurities and begins to offer her powers. Megan thinks that she can control her powers, but slowly the powers begin to control her.

In terms of kills, Mirror Mirror only has three sequences that stand out (but boy do they stand out!). But to me where it rose above a lot of other middling horrors was in its treatment of its characters. Megan's mother begins the film as a total stereotype: the self-involved LA middle-aged woman, constantly on the phone to her therapist, and paying almost no attention to her daughter. But as the movie goes on, the mother's character evolves and changes. She begins to tune into her daughter's pain and tries to reach out to her. This adds a level of tragedy, because if the mom had given Megan this much love and attention to begin with, Megan wouldn't have been as vulnerable to the mirror.

The other notable relationship is the friendship between Megan and Nikki. Nikki's boyfriend doesn't like Megan, but Nikki persists in being kind to Megan and reaching out to her in friendship. But (and this is SO realistic of teen female friendships), Megan doesn't know how to be in a friendship that is just grounded in emotions. She wants to be the most important person to SOMEONE, and so when she senses rejection she tries to force her relationship with Nikki. The more Nikki begins to pull away, the more Megan pushes back.

The movie also does unexpected things with its male characters. There are two notable teen boy characters: Nikki's boyfriend, Ron, and Jeff, the boyfriend of the head "mean girl". Most horror movies would have obligatory over-the-top boorish behavior or inevitably one of them would be a rapist. But instead they are just . . . guys. From the beginning Jeff tries to get his friends to leave Megan alone, and maybe he even likes Megan a bit. But Megan overreacts to this kindness and interests and decides she and Jeff are meant to be. When Jeff rejects her (not unkindly), Megan completely overreacts and the movie is very clear that he is a victim. Similarly, Ron doesn't like Megan, but he's never overtly cruel to her. He's clearly jealous that Nikki wants to spend time with Megan.

I was generally just really impressed with seeing a movie that gave so much empathy to the different characters. Even characters who began as caricatures or horror tropes were given sympathy and a point of view. I really liked the way that the deaths were staged, and there weren't any "throwaway" victims. I totally didn't see the ending coming, and I loved that the movie played as a tragedy and not as a revenge fantasy.

More than just having a female protagonist, this turned out to be a movie with a female point of view. At one point a female character goes into a locker room, angrily rips off her clothes, and stomps off to the showers. The way that the scene was shot (there is nudity in the shot but it is incidental and the focus is the girl's anger, not her body) actually made me pause the film to go see who the director was. This was when I found out that the movie was written by two women (sisters) and directed by a third woman. But more than just being an example of how a sequence can involve nudity but not be about nudity, the movie reflects a writerly point of view of someone who has been around girls and keenly observed the dynamics of their friendships. There is a lot of sex in this film, and it varies from healthy expressions (like making out at a party) to less healthy expressions (like a disturbing death with upsetting sexual overtones).

Chalk this one up as a really pleasant surprise.


Mon Apr 23, 2018 7:54 am
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Takoma1 wrote:
Right, but Blackcoat's Daughter ain't no Psycho. And unlike Psycho,
Rose's death doesn't signify a shift in perspective. The whole movie has been cycling between perspectives and the movie 2/3 of the way through simply eliminates the most interesting perspective. The movie suffers from her loss and nothing that happened in the rest of the film made up for losing her perspective.

I would say that it does signify a shift in perspective but that this doesn't occur
with her death but when the audience learns of her death, which is about 10-15 minutes prior in the diner, closer to the midpoint.
And although I like her character, I say it's debatable whether Rose or Kay is more interesting. As you said, Kay does represent the film's strongest concept.


(edit: Kay? Her name was Kat wasn't it?

I swear, Takoma, Mirror Mirror better be on Prime because I'm taking it up a notch.)


Mon Apr 23, 2018 8:07 am
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Jinnistan wrote:
edit: Kay? Her name was Kat wasn't it?


Exactly. Forgettable. Rose-4-ever.

Quote:
I swear, Takoma, Mirror Mirror better be on Prime because I'm taking it up a notch.)


I watched it on Prime two nights ago, so you should be good.


Mon Apr 23, 2018 8:32 am
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I guess this is the other thing we disagree on, I thought the movie was Kat all the way, I was really impressed by the kid's performance and I thought right away she is an actor I'll keep my eye out for and the movie really kept me focused on her the whole time. I'm surprised about all this Rose talk, I always saw her as a character in service to Kat's central gravity.


Mon Apr 23, 2018 8:15 pm
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Kinda thought that both Rose and Kat did pretty good performance wise. Will be honest though, part of me thought that

The guy was considering something with Kat. Particularly when they were in the hotel alone together.


And worst third act in a recent film? I'll throw out that Blythe Danner/Sam Elliott romance drama I'll See You in My Dreams. Through 2 acts, the film was a solid B, bordering on B+. The romance was sweet, the film did a fine job of avoiding indie cliches, and there were some good tender moments such as when Danner sang karaoke.

Then came Malin Akerman as her daughter and the film quickly nosedives off a cliff.


Tue Apr 24, 2018 2:45 am
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Wooley wrote:
I guess this is the other thing we disagree on, I thought the movie was Kat all the way, I was really impressed by the kid's performance and I thought right away she is an actor I'll keep my eye out for and the movie really kept me focused on her the whole time. I'm surprised about all this Rose talk, I always saw her as a character in service to Kat's central gravity.


The actress playing Kat was really good (I actually thought the acting was very strong across the board), but Kat to me was a far more passive character, whereas Rose was more proactive and felt a lot more real. I know what you mean about her character's function as basically an outside witness to offer contrast to Kat's point of view, but I thought her character had a lot of depth and was far more interesting than Kat.


Tue Apr 24, 2018 5:14 am
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Caltiki the Immortal Monster is a thoroughly solid, Italian sci-fi horror yarn from Freida and Bava. For a flick whose monster is basically a blobby, slug-like monster brought to life through latex and miniature work, the effects are surprisingly effective and there are some gore shots of it's disintegrating effect on human flesh that are considerably more shocking given its contemporaries. If you like atomic age monster flicks or early Bava, give it a go. I liked it more than I Vampiri, the previous Freida/Bava joint.


Tue Apr 24, 2018 9:07 am
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Takoma1 wrote:

The actress playing Kat was really good (I actually thought the acting was very strong across the board), but Kat to me was a far more passive character, whereas Rose was more proactive and felt a lot more real. I know what you mean about her character's function as basically an outside witness to offer contrast to Kat's point of view, but I thought her character had a lot of depth and was far more interesting than Kat.

Well, yeah, I give them some credit for giving a little depth to a secondary character, but I didn't think the movie ever really suggested that she was ever there to do anything but be the witness to Kat's unwinding and probably die.


Tue Apr 24, 2018 12:46 pm
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Wooley wrote:
Well, yeah, I give them some credit for giving a little depth to a secondary character, but I didn't think the movie ever really suggested that she was ever there to do anything but be the witness to Kat's unwinding and probably die.


The writer might not have intended her to be more interesting or central to the action. But where the characters landed with me in terms of interest and originality Rose was a good deal higher in the rankings than Kat. The way that
she was killed suggests to me that they didn't realize what a good character they had on their hands.


Wed Apr 25, 2018 6:54 am
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Takoma1 wrote:

The writer might not have intended her to be more interesting or central to the action. But where the characters landed with me in terms of interest and originality Rose was a good deal higher in the rankings than Kat. The way that
she was killed suggests to me that they didn't realize what a good character they had on their hands.

And I would counter that they wrote a good character so
that you would care that much that she died and went out the way she did. No drama, no great theatrics, no poetry, just an inevitable moment of savagery from a deranged mind that the movie seemed to guarantee from the beginning. Kat didn't hate her (although she was not kind to her), she held no symbolism for her, she was no great foil to be defeated or totem to be desecrated, at the end of the day, for all the depth they gave her, she was just the poor girl that got stuck with Kat, and I really think that was their point. Just like the sisters weren't really devil-worshippers with no hair at all on their bodies and there was no cat and mouse game with any of them. They all just were the people they were and had the misfortune to be stuck with an insane teenager. Or one with a demonic friend, whichever you prefer.


Wed Apr 25, 2018 10:25 am
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Wooley wrote:
And I would counter that they wrote a good character so
that you would care that much that she died and went out the way she did. No drama, no great theatrics, no poetry, just an inevitable moment of savagery from a deranged mind that the movie seemed to guarantee from the beginning. Kat didn't hate her (although she was not kind to her), she held no symbolism for her, she was no great foil to be defeated or totem to be desecrated, at the end of the day, for all the depth they gave her, she was just the poor girl that got stuck with Kat, and I really think that was their point. Just like the sisters weren't really devil-worshippers with no hair at all on their bodies and there was no cat and mouse game with any of them. They all just were the people they were and had the misfortune to be stuck with an insane teenager. Or one with a demonic friend, whichever you prefer.


But I have never liked
just-because tragic murders. I mean, the movie can do what it wants, but after Rose's death I felt like a lot of the heart was gone. Her loss has an impact, and it is tragic, but the power of her death doesn't carry more weight than what she brought to the table as a living character.


Wed Apr 25, 2018 10:35 am
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ThatDarnMKS wrote:
Caltiki the Immortal Monster is a thoroughly solid, Italian sci-fi horror yarn from Freida and Bava. For a flick whose monster is basically a blobby, slug-like monster brought to life through latex and miniature work, the effects are surprisingly effective and there are some gore shots of it's disintegrating effect on human flesh that are considerably more shocking given its contemporaries. If you like atomic age monster flicks or early Bava, give it a go. I liked it more than I Vampiri, the previous Freida/Bava joint.

Yup, this one's pretty tight for a low-budget affair and (practically) no monster available to work with.

Plus, the print I watched on Prime was tinted a dark, glowing green throughout which also helped the overall effect.


Wed Apr 25, 2018 11:38 am
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Takoma1 wrote:

But I have never liked
just-because tragic murders. I mean, the movie can do what it wants, but after Rose's death I felt like a lot of the heart was gone. Her loss has an impact, and it is tragic, but the power of her death doesn't carry more weight than what she brought to the table as a living character.

I can understand that, but I guess I just felt differently.
Having her dispatched more dramatically would have undermined the tone of the film for me but having her be less interesting of a character would have undermined her death even more.

This bit is a bit dark:
I must be honest and say that the Kat part of the film (as opposed to when she's older) appeals to me more because of that sense that it's just the senseless tragedy of being in the wrong place at the wrong time, that and nothing more, and dispatched very quickly in a very real, undramatized way. It reminds me very much of how Llewelyn Moss dies in No Country For Old Men. He was a character and had a lot to him and a lot of fight in him, but in the end, he died quickly and unexpectedly when the very obvious basically just blindsided him. I really thought that was masterful in that film and the similar idea worked for me here.
But for it to work, you have to be invested in the character. It worked on me.


Wed Apr 25, 2018 12:53 pm
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Jinnistan wrote:
Yup, this one's pretty tight for a low-budget affair and (practically) no monster available to work with.

Plus, the print I watched on Prime was tinted a dark, glowing green throughout which also helped the overall effect.


That sounds neat. The Arrow Blu of it is in high contrast B&W and looks gorgeous. It really shows off Bava's skills as a cinematographer.

For it's atypical monster, I need to find out what they made it's skin from. It had such an unappealing texture, like bumpy toad skin covered in slime. I liked it a lot.

I started Erik the Conqueror but through no fault of the film, instantly fell asleep. Gonna try today


Thu Apr 26, 2018 12:55 am
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ThatDarnMKS wrote:
I started Erik the Conqueror but through no fault of the film, instantly fell asleep. Gonna try today


I just watched it a few weeks ago and really liked it. Some incredibly strong imagery and some really memorable violence.


Thu Apr 26, 2018 5:51 am
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Cross-posting my review of The Falling. Such a train-wreck. So disappointing.

This movie was so bad. I can't even with this film.

The story is set at an all-girls school. Abbie and Lydia are practically joined at the hip. Early in the film, Abbie reveals that she's had sex (among other things with Lydia's brother Kenneth) and begins to experience odd spells of light-headedness. One day Abbie faints (probably suffering a miscarriage) and dies in the hallway of the school.

Soon after, Lydia herself begins to experience fainting spells. Soon, all of the girls in the school are swooning left and right as the teachers dismiss it as hysteria. But is it? Or is there a more supernatural explanation?

I LOVED the plot description of this movie. I think that cases of mass hysteria can be really interesting, just from a psychological point of view. The movie itself, however? Awful on so many fronts.

The greatest offense in the film is by far the score/soundtrack. Bland indie solo-male-singer folk music plays under all of the scenes. As girls writhe in slow-motion, whiny-wash folk tunes play underneath the scenes. I felt, at times, almost viscerally angry when the plinking guitar picked up again.

Secondly, the characters of the girls are super annoying. I actually have a student with a fainting condition and at one point was talking to her when she suddenly fainted, and I just happened to be close enough to catch her and take her to the ground. Had I not been there, she would have face-planted into the corner of a hardwood desk. But the girls fainting in the movie look like they've had two hours of bad interpretive dance training. They elegantly spin and elongate their bodies as they "faint". It looks fake and contrived as all get out. The school teachers and Lydia's angry, shut-in mother are meant to be the bad guys as they accuse the girls of faking, but I was firmly on their side the whole time.

Like, what was the point of this movie? I couldn't find a single coherent thread of interest in the whole picture. Is it about assuming the identity of a lost piece of a social dynamic? What kind of childhood did the woman have who wrote this movie? Hey, ladies, remember how you used to put your fingers in your friends' mouths, like, for fun? No?

Also, the movie goes places that it is not prepared to handle. For example (major spoilers)
Lydia ends up having sex WITH HER BROTHER in the last 20 minutes of the movie, after which Lydia's mother confesses that Lydia is actually the product of a rape. Then Lydia tries to kill herself by jumping out of a tree into a pond, her mother fishes her out and it like "You're okay" and then
. . . . the movie ends!
Like, there is a lot to unpack here, but the movie just puts all that stuff out there and walks away to more bad indie rock.

This movie was such a waste of time. It evokes (intentionally, I have to assume) the far, far superior Picnic at Hanging Rock. There's even a scene (never mentioned again, never explained) in which all of the girls' wristwatches suddenly stop. The only memorable things in this film are pale imitations of better movies. I had such high hopes for this movie based on the premise and it was a huge let down. The coming-of-age element was totally superficial, as the movie merely equates maturity with having had sex. I kept pausing it to see how much longer was left in the running time. Especially following on the heels of Mirror Mirror which did have such a keen eye for the nuances of female friendship this was a huge miss for me.


Thu Apr 26, 2018 9:44 am
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Takoma1 wrote:

I just watched it a few weeks ago and really liked it. Some incredibly strong imagery and some really memorable violence.

Bava's imagery and memorable violence make up 99 percent of why I watch his films. I'm not entirely sure what the other one percent is. I've collected a few of his films, most Arrow blus, that I've not seen before and am hoping to shore up those numbers now that I've run out of noir.

I've got: Baron Blood, Erik the Viking, Rabid Dogs aka Kidnapped, and Diabolik. They're all considered "lesser Bava" but I'm pretty sure I've seen all his greats at this point.


Thu Apr 26, 2018 11:29 am
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I got to watch a couple part 3's tonight, of films that I haven't even seen part 2 yet but I in both cases it doesn't impact the films at all.

A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors was first and I honestly prefer it to the first film. While I can see a little of the snarkiness from Freddy he is still a menacing creature and very much works as a thing to be feared. The main cast is all solid and the kids themselves are believably haunted and troubled, you want to see them make it through this ordeal. I think were it works best is by rarely trying to trick you with the are they/aren't they asleep, it was what drove me nuts in the first film as the answer was always yes they are sleeping so it never came as a surprise when Freddy showed up, the one time they really go for it here it is still blatantly obvious but at least the rest of the time the movie is like, yep they're asleep here's some creepy dreamlike imagery.

Halloween 3: Season of the Witch was weird, just weird. I can see why it bombed and led to the abandonment of this direction for the series, even if it had been a better executed film it's strange tone was going to be hard to swallow for those fans of the original's simple slasher story. I can safely say that I didn't see the twist of
A toymaker witch creating robots and masks that turn kids heads into insects and snakes for "reason"
coming, but I'm also not sure that's a good twist to have.
The mask thing ties it to Halloween time but the rest was just so WTF. Also why didn't the girl he was with that got turned into a robot do anything to stop him when he went to stop things in the factory, that extra twist right at the end just raised so many extra questions.
I can see why some people enjoy it, but yeah I couldn't really get into it.

I know I should see Halloween 2 at some point, even though I only kind of like the first, I'm not a big slasher movie fan, are any of the other Halloween films worth checking out. As for A Nightmare on Elm Street, I know I still want to see A New Nightmare but beyond that I'm not sure how interested I am in seeing any of the rest of them.


Thu Apr 26, 2018 4:14 pm
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ThatDarnMKS wrote:
Bava's imagery and memorable violence make up 99 percent of why I watch his films. I'm not entirely sure what the other one percent is. I've collected a few of his films, most Arrow blus, that I've not seen before and am hoping to shore up those numbers now that I've run out of noir.

I've got: Baron Blood, Erik the Viking, Rabid Dogs aka Kidnapped, and Diabolik. They're all considered "lesser Bava" but I'm pretty sure I've seen all his greats at this point.


I didn't care for Rabid Dogs--too nasty and cynical in a way that quickly just turned into uncomfortable watching for me as you wait for the inevitable rape and execution of certain characters. It's the kind of movie that wants to have it both ways: portray the "real" violence of kidnappers/rapists/murderers, but at the same time create a story that is purely Hollywood in terms of plot contrivances and coincidences. There's a nice little jolt in the beginning when (mild spoilers)
a hostage is immediately killed
, but I found all of the characters annoying and by the halfway point I was just ready for the movie to be done. It's not even a visually interesting film and I would have never guessed that it was part of Bava's body of work.

There was a remake of it that came out pretty recently that somehow managed to be worse than the original.


Fri Apr 27, 2018 7:53 am
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Image

Getting around to this one finally. It has a pretty good reputation for slashers from its era, and it is a more competently and more cleverly made slasher film than some of its more gratuitous peers. The actors feel natural enough to come close to Black Christmas in regard to the sorority setting. The problem is that it's also kinda stupid where it can least afford it, the killer. (Feel free to look up a picture if you want the spoiler, but....yeesh.) And the kills are also very cheaply done (except one great head-in-a-toilet shot), and so all of its quality is really for naught by bypassing these essentials for the genre.

Soild 7.5


Fri Apr 27, 2018 11:55 am
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ThatDarnMKS wrote:
Bava's imagery and memorable violence make up 99 percent of why I watch his films. I'm not entirely sure what the other one percent is. I've collected a few of his films, most Arrow blus, that I've not seen before and am hoping to shore up those numbers now that I've run out of noir.

I've got: Baron Blood, Erik the Viking, Rabid Dogs aka Kidnapped, and Diabolik. They're all considered "lesser Bava" but I'm pretty sure I've seen all his greats at this point.


Rabid Dogs is good. It doesn't really trade in Bava's usual visual strengths, but is his take on the kind of ugly, nihilistic films of that period (though not nearly as hard to stomach as many). Takoma isn't wrong in being put off by it, but I think it more than worth risking a viewing. It is upper tier of lesser Bava.


Fri Apr 27, 2018 12:17 pm
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I still haven't seen any of Bava's sandal/sword films. I bet they have trumpets and stuff.


Fri Apr 27, 2018 12:30 pm
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Jinnistan wrote:
I still haven't seen any of Bava's sandal/sword films. I bet they have trumpets and stuff.


Regardless of the sandals, they still look pretty Bava.

Image


Fri Apr 27, 2018 12:54 pm
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Jinnistan wrote:
Image

Getting around to this one finally. It has a pretty good reputation for slashers from its era, and it is a more competently and more cleverly made slasher film than some of its more gratuitous peers. The actors feel natural enough to come close to Black Christmas in regard to the sorority setting. The problem is that it's also kinda stupid where it can least afford it, the killer. (Feel free to look up a picture if you want the spoiler, but....yeesh.) And the kills are also very cheaply done (except one great head-in-a-toilet shot), and so all of its quality is really for naught by bypassing these essentials for the genre.

Soild 7.5


You thought more highly of it than I did. Will agree with a few of your points when it comes to highlights. Will point out that the prank and a couple of complications were fairly well handled.

But I guess I couldn't get into it when the characters started to behave stupidly or even the origin story of the villain.

On the plus side, Wooley will probably like your take on it. Probably.


Sat Apr 28, 2018 2:11 am
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crumbsroom wrote:
Image

Oh, I've seen Haunted World.

I was thinking that Bava did more Steve Reeves films, but it looks like he was only the cinematographer on the ones I was thinking of.


Sat Apr 28, 2018 9:14 am
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Jinnistan wrote:
Image

Getting around to this one finally. It has a pretty good reputation for slashers from its era, and it is a more competently and more cleverly made slasher film than some of its more gratuitous peers. The actors feel natural enough to come close to Black Christmas in regard to the sorority setting. The problem is that it's also kinda stupid where it can least afford it, the killer. (Feel free to look up a picture if you want the spoiler, but....yeesh.) And the kills are also very cheaply done (except one great head-in-a-toilet shot), and so all of its quality is really for naught by bypassing these essentials for the genre.

Soild 7.5

I was pleasantly surprised by this movie. I thought I remembered liking the killer, but it's been like 10 years now so there may be stuff I don't remember.


Sat Apr 28, 2018 3:09 pm
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Apex Predator wrote:

On the plus side, Wooley will probably like your take on it. Probably.

Heh. Nice.


Sat Apr 28, 2018 3:10 pm
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Among the glut of mediocre 90s horror, has anyone here seen Wishmaster?

I actually find Andrew Divoff kind of scary (like, he's handsome, but I wouldn't want to ride in an elevator with him alone), so the movie sort of had that going for it.

Mostly, though, we laughed our way through it. Especially at the repeated scenes of the Djinn baiting people into making wishes.

Like someone would be like "Boy, my skin's a little dry!" and the Djinn would pop up like "Oh? Don't you WISH that you were more moisturized?" and the person would be like "Yeah, I guess" and the Djinn would go "AS YOU WISH!!!!" and then the person would suddenly be turned into a fountain. One or two of the "careful what you wish for" moments were scary, but mostly they were silly.

This was also one of those movies where the contrast of real, practical effects against those mid-90s computer graphics was a bit hard to take.

I will say that this movie was FULL of "Oh, hey!" actors: Ted Raimi, Tony Todd, Robert Englund, Jenny O'Hara, Kane Hodder, etc.

I can't recommend it, per se, but I was certainly entertained.


Sun Apr 29, 2018 9:01 am
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Yeah Wishmaster is dumb cheesy and kinda forgettable.


Sun Apr 29, 2018 11:28 am
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Deschain wrote:
Yeah Wishmaster is dumb cheesy and kinda forgettable.


It made for a really good late-night, something to watch that you won't feel sad if you fall asleep.


Sun Apr 29, 2018 11:51 am
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Takoma1 wrote:

It made for a really good late-night, something to watch that you won't feel sad if you fall asleep.

The sequels are hilariously terrible and the appearance of the Djinn becomes more racially questionable too.


Sun Apr 29, 2018 12:47 pm
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I dug how the original not only had horror stars from various franchises, but also had a protagonist who approached each wish like she was shooting free throws!

I think I also saw the one where he went to prison and Vegas in order to get enough souls for some world destroying power or something. Execution wasn't all that much, but the concept sounded good on paper.

They're cheesy, but entertaining.


Mon Apr 30, 2018 5:35 am
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Apex Predator wrote:
I dug how the original not only had horror stars from various franchises, but also had a protagonist who approached each wish like she was shooting free throws!

I think I also saw the one where he went to prison and Vegas in order to get enough souls for some world destroying power or something. Execution wasn't all that much, but the concept sounded good on paper.

They're cheesy, but entertaining.


It's also weird to me that the obvious solution ("I wish you were trapped again" or "I wish you were trapped in that gem forever" or ANY OTHER VARIATION ON THIS THEME) just never occurs to anyone.

You know you're in trouble when your protagonist is like "Hmmm. I always tell my pre-teen girls basketball team to know their enemy, so . . . " NO! Do not base a wish on what you tell your little girls basketball team! These are not comparable situations!


Mon Apr 30, 2018 5:41 am
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Terror on Tour C

So bad it's good rock and roll slasher from the 1980s. Hella unintentionally funny at times.


Thu May 03, 2018 12:31 pm
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The Scariest Scene In Dawn Of The Dead Doesn't Have A Single Zombie

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Fri May 04, 2018 2:15 pm
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Jack Goes Home (2016) (Dir. Thomas Dekker)

Criticisms of this film range from "Worst movie I ever saw" to "Excellent Psychological Horror Film." Its IMDb rating is exactly 5.0.

I watched it not knowing what to expect. And I can't say that the negative criticisms weren't correct. But assessment is very subjective in this case. People couldn't seem to develop a consensus on whether Rory Culkin's performance was genius or shit. It's one of those films that you might not "get" if you don't have the mindset to figure out what's going on. It doesn't spoon feed the audience. It is jumbled. And it is not clear what is "really" happening to the main character.

But, honestly, I read the critique that the film doesn't "decide" what it wants to be. And that makes me wonder if the creators of a film have an obligation to the viewer to make it clearly a certain type of film. When I watched it I didn't get any feeling that the project failed somehow to decide what it wanted to be. It is derivative. It is a first time director's project.

Is it good? Not particularly. Not spectacularly. Is it bad? That depends, I guess, on what you wanted or expected to see. It isn't scary. It's a psychological thing, kind of the way Let's Scare Jessica to Death is*. I didn't watch any trailers, so I don't know how it was marketed. But I reckon about half the people who have watched it were disappointed in it. Or hated it. The other half either tolerated it or liked it. I can't really say where I fall on that continuum.

*Disclaimer: I saw that film only once in 1972. It's possible my memories of it are a bit foggy. But I loved it.

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Mon May 07, 2018 6:47 am
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I rewatched The Conjuring 2 and my overall impression has remained the same (more uneven than the first movie, but with a bit more personality), but I noticed more this time around what a big role religion plays in the movie. Not a bad thing by any means, but it was interesting how in the first movie it's kind of there as a stock genre element but in this one Wan tries to develop it into an actual theme.

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Mon May 07, 2018 8:05 am
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Alright, just real quick, everybody answer this for me, cause I've been planning to watch it for years and just never pulled the trigger.

How is Let's Scare Jessica To Death?

Is it worth my time to watch it for anything other than horror completionism? I feel like I've heard people like it and then I feel like I've heard people say it's barely worth the time and I've just heard it mentioned so many times and it just sits in my queue.

So can we just end this and give me a YES or NO on it?


Mon May 07, 2018 8:22 am
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Rock wrote:
I rewatched The Conjuring 2 and my overall impression has remained the same (more uneven than the first movie, but with a bit more personality), but I noticed more this time around what a big role religion plays in the movie. Not a bad thing by any means, but it was interesting how in the first movie it's kind of there as a stock genre element but in this one Wan tries to develop it into an actual theme.

It really is much bigger, I thought it was kinda surprising in this day and age to engage so much with Christianity as the specific battle of good vs. evil.


Mon May 07, 2018 8:23 am
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