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 Apex Predator's Film Thread Volume 2.0 
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Here are some thoughts. I'm erring on the side of caution and listing a lot, even though I bet you've seen quite a few. This is every movie classified as "horror" on the IMDb that I rated a 6 or higher. Some of them I only thought were okay. Some of them I think are great. If you want to know more about any of them, let me know.

On Prime:

Invasion of the Body Snatchers (70s version)
Pumpkinhead
The Collector
Society
Intruders
The Loved Ones
Daybreakers
The Love Witch
Bad Taste
Carnival of Souls
House on Haunted Hill
Alice, Sweet Alice
The Prowler
The Company of Wolves
We Are Still Here
The Stepfather
Santa Sangre
Jack Frost
In the Flesh
The Sand
Deadgirl
Monkeyshines
Angst
The Innkeepers
Venom
The Canal
Behind the Mask
Let Her Out
Eaten Alive
Afflicted
Shark Lake
Don't Torture a Duckling
Haxan
Late Phases
Curtains
Demon
Satan's Little Helper
Spider Baby
Let Us Pray
What Have You Done to Solange?
X: The Man with X-Ray Eyes
Mirror Mirror
The Witch Who Came from the Sea
Short Night of Glass Dolls
Don't Look in the Basement
Crush the Skull
All Girls Weekend
Shallow Ground
Flexing With Monty
Saving Grace


Mon Oct 01, 2018 10:08 am
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Takoma1 wrote:
Here are some thoughts. I'm erring on the side of caution and listing a lot, even though I bet you've seen quite a few. This is every movie classified as "horror" on the IMDb that I rated a 6 or higher. Some of them I only thought were okay. Some of them I think are great. If you want to know more about any of them, let me know.

On Prime:

Invasion of the Body Snatchers (70s version)
Pumpkinhead
The Collector
Society
Intruders
The Loved Ones
Daybreakers
The Love Witch
Bad Taste
Carnival of Souls
House on Haunted Hill
Alice, Sweet Alice
The Prowler
The Company of Wolves
We Are Still Here
The Stepfather
Santa Sangre
Jack Frost
In the Flesh
The Sand
Deadgirl
Monkeyshines
Angst
The Innkeepers
Venom
The Canal
Behind the Mask
Let Her Out
Eaten Alive
Afflicted
Shark Lake
Don't Torture a Duckling
Haxan
Late Phases
Curtains
Demon
Satan's Little Helper
Spider Baby
Let Us Pray
What Have You Done to Solange?
X: The Man with X-Ray Eyes
Mirror Mirror
The Witch Who Came from the Sea
Short Night of Glass Dolls
Don't Look in the Basement
Crush the Skull
All Girls Weekend
Shallow Ground
Flexing With Monty
Saving Grace


Those in italics have been seen by me.

Also, Flexing with Monty is a horror?


Mon Oct 01, 2018 10:18 am
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Apex Predator wrote:

Those in italics have been seen by me.

Also, Flexing with Monty is a horror?


Of the ones you haven't seen there are some really excellent films.

Flexing with Monty is hard to classify. It's disturbing and weird enough to comfortably fit into a Halloween lineup, in my humble opinion.


Mon Oct 01, 2018 10:40 am
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What about Netflix recommendations?

Not trying to intimidate anybody, but I really could use some good suggestions. And I'm thankful to all who respond. :up:


Mon Oct 01, 2018 11:00 am
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On Netflix Instant there's (again, posting a lot, maybe you've seen most of them):

Tale of Tales
Cube
The Invitation
Stonehearst Asylum
Let Me In
Before I Wake
Hellraiser
Gerald's Game
Raw
Tag
The Wailing
Hellraiser 2
The Devil's Candy
Deep Blue Sea
Here Alone
The Collection
Evolution
Killing Ground
He Never Died
Cirque de Freak
Murder Party
Kristy
A Dark Song
1922
Eyes of My Mother
House on Willow Street
Dig Two Graves
Red Christmas


Mon Oct 01, 2018 11:41 am
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Captain Terror wrote:
Correct, it's Sep 30 in fact.
In Pop's defense, I didn't take to Suspiria immediately either. Saw it in my early 20s and not only was it not what I was expecting, it was not anything I'd seen before so I didn't quite know what to do with it. But it made enough of an impression that I gave it another shot later and eventually I caught on. Same thing happened with Evil Dead, in fact. "This isn't scary- it's stupid!" I completely missed the point the first time.

I didn't make it. I was so hung over.


Mon Oct 01, 2018 2:50 pm
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Apex Predator wrote:
I'm trying to gather a list of Halloween and/or 2018 films for October that I want to tackle. Here's what I have so far:

Horror:

Definites:
A Quiet Place (RB)
Hereditary (RB)
Get Out (FV)
Friend Request (Netflix)
Truth or Dare (Netflix)
Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 (Prime)
Murder Party (Netflix)

Possibles:
The Haunting (1961 version) (?)
Unsane (Prime)
Scarecrows (Prime)
Dead of Winter (Prime)
Boo: A Madea Halloween (Prime)

2018:

Probables:
The Workshop (CI)
Hold the Dark (Netflix)
Black Panther (Netflix)
85: The Greatest Team in Football History (Prime)
Dark Money (PBS)
Acorn and the Firestorm (Tape)

Possibles:
Kirk Cameron: Connect (Netflix)
Pad Man (Netflix)
Destination Wedding (Prime)
Hannah (Prime)

If you know of any great horrors on Prime, Netflix, or TubiTV or any 2018 films from there, I really could appreciate some help.

I don't quite understand your mix of tones, especially during a month that comes with its own theme, but I will sanction Black Panther, anyway.


Mon Oct 01, 2018 2:53 pm
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Apostle (Gareth Evans) will be released on Netflix somewhere this month. That looks really good.


Mon Oct 01, 2018 5:10 pm
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Wooley wrote:
I didn't make it. I was so hung over.

I wish I had a hangover to blame it on. My excuse was simply age and fatigue. Not only did I miss the 10pm Suspiria, I couldn't even manage the 10 AM Phantom the next day.

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Mon Oct 01, 2018 9:25 pm
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Takoma1 wrote:
On Netflix Instant there's (again, posting a lot, maybe you've seen most of them):

Tale of Tales
Cube
The Invitation

Stonehearst Asylum
Let Me In
Before I Wake
Hellraiser
Gerald's Game
Raw
Tag
The Wailing
Hellraiser 2
The Devil's Candy
Deep Blue Sea
Here Alone
The Collection
Evolution
Killing Ground
He Never Died
Cirque de Freak
Murder Party
Kristy
A Dark Song
1922
Eyes of My Mother
House on Willow Street
Dig Two Graves
Red Christmas


Italics means I've seen it. Probably doing Murder Party. Maybe doing Hellraiser and Let Me In if I have time.


Mon Oct 01, 2018 11:34 pm
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Wooley wrote:
I don't quite understand your mix of tones, especially during a month that comes with its own theme, but I will sanction Black Panther, anyway.


I'm tackling this month on two fronts.

One front is 2018 films. Stuff like 85, Black Panther, Pad Man, Workshop, etc. Because as of this morning, I've seen a total of 3 films for this year and I seriously need to catch up. And yes, if I go through and see A Quiet Place and Hereditary, they count for this as well.

The other front is horror films. Generally a good idea for October. I hadn't included the new Halloween, but I might be game for it. But I was thinking a mix of new and older films for that month. Thief is working on a list of topics for this month and when he gets down, I might have to reassess.

But that is why.


Mon Oct 01, 2018 11:39 pm
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What I'm leaning towards for October 2018 (horror edition). If you know better titles, feel free to let me know.

Director's Cut (2018/Prime)---Horror B Movie
Hellraiser (1987/Netflix)---Classic Horror You've Never Seen
Invasion of the Bodysnatchers (1978/Prime)---Horror movie based on a book
Murder Party (2007/Netflix)---Horror Comedy/Horror made for under $5 million (it was made for under $200k)/Horror under 90 minutes
The Devil and Father Amorth (2017/Netflix)---Horror Documentary
Piranha 3D (2010/Netflix)---Horror about an Animal
Bloodrayne (2005/Tubi TV)---Box office bomb/Horror with non-human lead character (A Daliph, I believe).
Pet Sematary (1989/Prime)---Horror directed by a woman
The Skeleton Key (2005/Prime)---Horror famous for its twist or ending
June (2015/Prime)---Horror featuring someone you dislike (Casper Van Dien)/Horror with Child's Name in the Title/Horror with less than 5 major characters (I count 4)
The Red Queen Kills Seven Times (1972/Prime)---Horror film with a Color in the title/Horror film with a Number in the title (not a sequel)
Diabolique (1955/Prime)---Horror film in the IMDb Top 250
Dead of Winter (1987/Prime)---Horror film with a season in the title
Santa Sangre (1989/Prime)---Horror film in a foreign language
A Quiet Place (2018/Redbox)---Horror sci fi film
Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 (1986/Prime)---Horror sequel
Wolfskin (2013/Prime)---Animated Horror

Not sure where I can fit in Get Out (2017/rental), but would like to catch that one ideally as well.


Tue Oct 02, 2018 7:39 am
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I think that Get Out qualifies as a horror comedy.

Also, Santa Sangre is an amazing film and it's great to see it on your list.

I like Hellraiser well enough, but Hellraiser 2 (Hellbound) is one of my favorite horror films of all time because I think it's funny and scary and there are two moments of gore that make me a little sick every time I watch them.


Tue Oct 02, 2018 8:15 am
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Takoma1 wrote:
I think that Get Out qualifies as a horror comedy.

Really?!


Tue Oct 02, 2018 9:09 am
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Wooley wrote:
Really?!


I mean . . . yes?

Almost all of Lil Rel Howery's scenes are straight up comedy. And I think there's a lot of dark comedy laced through even the more serious parts. The audience I watched with in the theater did a lot of laughing--the fist-bump/handshake moment, for example.


Tue Oct 02, 2018 9:21 am
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Takoma1 wrote:

I mean . . . yes?

Almost all of Lil Rel Howery's scenes are straight up comedy. And I think there's a lot of dark comedy laced through even the more serious parts. The audience I watched with in the theater did a lot of laughing--the fist-bump/handshake moment, for example.

I think it contains some humor, mostly from Howery, but it's one of the darkest, realest horror movies I've seen in a long time. Both times I've seen it I've felt kinda stunned when it was over. There horror itself is not played for laughs one bit. And I don't think a movie that contains some occasional comic relief from its very dark central story is a "horror comedy".


Tue Oct 02, 2018 11:59 am
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The first Hellraiser is good but frustrating, as basically every change Barker makes from his original story is for the worse. I don't know if he had directorial debut jitters or was worried about repeating himself too much, but the strongest parts of the movie show that a truer adaptation might have worked really well. I should probably give the second one another shot some day, as I liked individual scenes and the more sympathetic portrayal of Pinhead, but the movie never really built for me. I assume those are the only ones worth watching?

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Tue Oct 02, 2018 12:10 pm
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Rock wrote:
The first Hellraiser is good but frustrating, as basically every change Barker makes from his original story is for the worse. I don't know if he had directorial debut jitters or was worried about repeating himself too much, but the strongest parts of the movie show that a truer adaptation might have worked really well. I should probably give the second one another shot some day, as I liked individual scenes and the more sympathetic portrayal of Pinhead, but the movie never really built for me. I assume those are the only ones worth watching?

Hellbound is a pleasure for me. I wanna say Takoma is a fan as well?
It's not perfect but it's successes are so good they outweigh anything else. I've seen 3 other ones, more or less, and they were terrible.


Tue Oct 02, 2018 12:29 pm
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From the rest of Apex's list:

Invasion of the Body Snatchers and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 are well worth watching. A Quiet Place probably is as well but I found it a tad repetitive. I'm going to watch Piranha 3D later this week so I can probably chime in on that soon. Murder Party is amusing enough but I'm baffled by some of the enthusiasm I've seen for it. Pet Sematary is awful outside of Fred Gwynne's performance.

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Tue Oct 02, 2018 12:38 pm
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Wooley wrote:
I think it contains some humor, mostly from Howery, but it's one of the darkest, realest horror movies I've seen in a long time. Both times I've seen it I've felt kinda stunned when it was over. There horror itself is not played for laughs one bit. And I don't think a movie that contains some occasional comic relief from its very dark central story is a "horror comedy".


I see the film as having a thread of comedy that runs through the whole thing, not just respites of comic relief. The line about "black mold". All the white people asking how being black helps him navigate society. The film is real and it is dark, but it's also, in my opinion, really funny.


Wed Oct 03, 2018 7:16 am
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Rock wrote:
The first Hellraiser is good but frustrating, as basically every change Barker makes from his original story is for the worse. I don't know if he had directorial debut jitters or was worried about repeating himself too much, but the strongest parts of the movie show that a truer adaptation might have worked really well. I should probably give the second one another shot some day, as I liked individual scenes and the more sympathetic portrayal of Pinhead, but the movie never really built for me. I assume those are the only ones worth watching?


I find the second film delightfully bonkers but also genuinely scary and disturbing in parts.

The others are mostly garbage. I think that Hellraiser: Revelations is one of the worst movies I've ever seen with a nonsensical story and a just plain nasty cruel streak.


Wed Oct 03, 2018 7:17 am
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Takoma1 wrote:

I find the second film delightfully bonkers but also genuinely scary and disturbing in parts.

The others are mostly garbage. I think that Hellraiser: Revelations is one of the worst movies I've ever seen with a nonsensical story and a just plain nasty cruel streak.

You're telling me the one where a cenobite kills people with CDs isn't the worst one?

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Wed Oct 03, 2018 11:06 am
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Rock wrote:
You're telling me the one where a cenobite kills people with CDs isn't the worst one?


Look, man, a cenobite shooting CDs out of its face is at least amusing, if not for the intended reasons.

In Revelations (spoiler tags because that's just polite, but seriously, screw this film and whoever wrote it, they do not DESERVE spoiler tags) a series of women, mostly prostitutes,
are violently murdered, eventually including the murder of a baby
.

Also, there are just . . . no rules. Pinhead tortures and takes someone because she speaks when she's not supposed to. The whole "who opened the box" element is reduced to a farcical debate. Even Doug Bradley doesn't appear in it. Also, a ton of the film is spent in the company of two sociopathic rich white boys, rich white boying their way through Mexico. It's also got a found footage element to it which . . . I am not a fan.

Most of the sequels are garbage, yes. But at least they tended to include a memorable moment or two, or an interesting cenobite design. One of them has the Polish brothers as cenobites. I'll even half go to bat for the sequel called Hellraiser: Deader (a stand-alone film that was awkwardly grafted into the Hellraiser universe for $$$ reasons and Pinhead has like, a cameo) that has some really tense scenes and one nightmarishly funny sequence in which a woman wakes up with a knife in her back (protruding out of the front of her chest) and tries in a panicked state to remove it.


Wed Oct 03, 2018 11:49 am
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That sounds pretty unpleasant and the lack of rules sounds pretty dumb. Probably the most appealing thing about the cenobites in the first two movies is that they're not true villains, but enforcers of a really rigid order. It's why the somewhat sympathetic turn in the second movie works, because you get the sense that, as horrific as their actions can be, they're not arbitrary nor cruel, and there's a logic to them.

I've been doing more Googling, and CD-shooting cenobite at least sounds more memorable than fat sunglasses cenobite.

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Wed Oct 03, 2018 12:59 pm
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Rock wrote:
I'm going to watch Piranha 3D later this week so I can probably chime in on that soon.

I imagine I'm somewhere in the middle of most opinions about this. It's amusing enough, and there is some memorable gore, but the near-constant CGI is terrible (like, mid-2000s video game cutscene terrible), as is the soundtrack (which I suppose is the point, but I have a limited tolerance for these things). With one exception, the characters range from forgettable to obnoxious (but still forgettable), so watching them get killed in unreasonably gruesome ways isn't usually as fun as it should be. I'm a fan of some of Aja's other films (High Tension, The Hills Have Eyes) which I think draw from their influences in interesting ways and have a sense of empathy that's missing here. For better or worse, this feels more like something Eli Roth would make. (Although if you hate Eli Roth, you'll like at least one scene in this.)

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Wed Oct 03, 2018 1:11 pm
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Takoma1 wrote:
I like Hellraiser well enough, but Hellraiser 2 (Hellbound) is one of my favorite horror films of all time because I think it's funny and scary and there are two moments of gore that make me a little sick every time I watch them.


I haven't seen them in ages, but as far as I remember, I agree. I don't think I ever subjected myself to any other of them.

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Wed Oct 03, 2018 11:50 pm
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Apex Predator wrote:
What I'm leaning towards for October 2018 (horror edition). If you know better titles, feel free to let me know.

Director's Cut (2018/Prime)---Horror B Movie
Hellraiser (1987/Netflix)---Classic Horror You've Never Seen
Invasion of the Bodysnatchers (1978/Prime)---Horror movie based on a book
Murder Party (2007/Netflix)---Horror Comedy/Horror made for under $5 million (it was made for under $200k)/Horror under 90 minutes
The Devil and Father Amorth (2017/Netflix)---Horror Documentary
Piranha 3D (2010/Netflix)---Horror about an Animal
Bloodrayne (2005/Tubi TV)---Box office bomb/Horror with non-human lead character (A Daliph, I believe).
Pet Sematary (1989/Prime)---Horror directed by a woman
The Skeleton Key (2005/Prime)---Horror famous for its twist or ending
June (2015/Prime)---Horror featuring someone you dislike (Casper Van Dien)/Horror with Child's Name in the Title/Horror with less than 5 major characters (I count 4)
The Red Queen Kills Seven Times (1972/Prime)---Horror film with a Color in the title/Horror film with a Number in the title (not a sequel)
Diabolique (1955/Prime)---Horror film in the IMDb Top 250
Dead of Winter (1987/Prime)---Horror film with a season in the title
Santa Sangre (1989/Prime)---Horror film in a foreign language
A Quiet Place (2018/Redbox)---Horror sci fi film
Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 (1986/Prime)---Horror sequel
Wolfskin (2013/Prime)---Animated Horror

Not sure where I can fit in Get Out (2017/rental), but would like to catch that one ideally as well.


I've seen the ones in bold and the only one I have reserves with is The Skeleton Key.

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Wed Oct 03, 2018 11:54 pm
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From what I've read, I know that the major issues are with Skeleton Key (One reservation) and Pet Sematary (One liked, the other hated).

And I've been doing some thinking. Dead of Winter is more of a thriller than a horror, isn't it? Not quite what I'm looking for this month.

I'll go through the options and get back to you on this.


Thu Oct 04, 2018 1:46 am
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Rock wrote:
That sounds pretty unpleasant and the lack of rules sounds pretty dumb. Probably the most appealing thing about the cenobites in the first two movies is that they're not true villains, but enforcers of a really rigid order. It's why the somewhat sympathetic turn in the second movie works, because you get the sense that, as horrific as their actions can be, they're not arbitrary nor cruel, and there's a logic to them.


Right. And specifically in the second film the doctor tricks the traumatized girl into opening the box, and Pinhead refuses to let the other Cenobites hurt her because she wasn't really the one who summoned them.

As the series goes on, my biggest problem is that it loses the logic of the first two films. The horror of the first two films is someone innocent getting caught in the middle of a conflict with members of an extreme pain/pleasure cult. In most of the sequels it comes across as lazy or goofy. I think that Revelations is the only film that actually felt mean-spirited or cruel in its violence.


Thu Oct 04, 2018 5:43 am
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Rock wrote:
You're telling me the one where a cenobite kills people with CDs isn't the worst one?

It's not. I thought it would be, but it's not.


Thu Oct 04, 2018 12:37 pm
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Thief wrote:

I've seen the ones in bold and the only one I have reserves with is The Skeleton Key.

It's not great but it won't hurt anyone to watch it.


Thu Oct 04, 2018 12:44 pm
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Wow, I need to play catch up in the worst way!

93Queen (2018):

From POV, a film about the struggles and successes of New York's first all female Hasidic ambulance service known as Ezras Nashim. Established by lawyer Ruchie Freier, a person known to break barriers in the past, it struggles to get off the ground as Hatzolah employees engage in social media blasting, suppliers are reluctant to cross the line to support them, and some internal conflicts develop particularly when it comes to whether single women should be allowed into the company.

The film doesn't shy away from painting Ruchie as hard-nosed at times, in one case running off a valuable EMT veteran who worked as a dispatcher for Hatzolah for a while. It also doesn't shy away from some of the challenges these women face when it comes to their religious background.

But having said that, I wish that it had kept the focus on Ezras Nashim and the efforts to get the alternative flowing rather than switch over to Ruchie's run for a judge post. That's time that could have been better spent covering the other women.

As a feel good doc, it's fine. As a chronicle of Ezras Nashim, it could have been better.

Still best film from 2018 that I've seen so far!


Mon Oct 08, 2018 9:46 am
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See a horror comedy/See a film under 90 minutes/See a film made for under $5 million

Murder Party (2007)

A parking cop (Chris Sharp) receives an invitation to a murder party. After bringing home some kinda bad horror videotapes and squabbling with a stubborn cat named Sir Lancelot, he decides to attend.

But he quickly finds himself over his head as he's tied up by an art collective. They plan on a very artistic murder so they can get some grant money to get their art published. But luckily for the parking cop, they prove to be as inept as everyone in a Jeremy Saulnier film when it comes down to it. They decide to wait on Alexander for further instructions. But once he arrives, the party starts to go south.

Based on the credits and music, I think this was supposed to have the feel of one of those videotapes of the 1980s (also, the song at the end kinda confirms this). The ineptitude (by everyone) and smacktalk among the collective is good for some laughs, but don't think Saulnier forgot about the gore. It's there, alright.

I found this to be kind of a good start to my October horror viewing.


Mon Oct 08, 2018 9:54 am
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See a documentary about horror or horror films/See a film with less than 5 major characters (3)

The Devil and Father Amorth

The first ten minutes or so is basically director William Friedkin reminding us on how great The Exorcist was through touring various locales and narration. He even reveals that it was supposedly based on a real life incident in 1948, but the family wouldn't give writer William Peter Blatty the rights. He seems to have read Rebel Without a Crew by Robert Rodriguez before filming this.

But the film jumps to Italy as he first establishes who Father Amorth (the H is silent) is through both his beginning as a member of the Italian resistance and his current assignment as the local exorcist. He also covers the tale of Cristina, an architect in her mid-30s who appears to be dealing with a demon possession. She's gone through 8 exorcisms without success.

Then we watch as Friedkin films Father Amorth give an exorcism to Cristina with multiple family members present and a relatively young assistant whose sister was exorcised by Amorth earlier. The next 15 minutes or so of this less than 70 minutes is spent on this.

Afterwards, he talks to various experts as to what happens and recounts what happened when he tried to talk with both of them post-exorcism.

This feels like a bad cross between a very special episode of Dateline NBC (with Friedkin doing his best Keith Morrison) and the opening of Al Capone's vault. The narration manages to keep you going until the exorcism when things start to go very wrong.

Um, Cristina's voice sounds very fake like it had been digitally altered. Also, the score feels very inappropriately used at times to give things that don't need it a menacing feel. And since we're already having trouble buying the documentary as real, the final incident feels like a giant "Oh, come on!"

Also, Amorth believes that both Hitler and Stalin were possessed and feels like yoga and Harry Potter will lead one to the devil. :shifty:

Mark Kermode apparently had a hand in writing the narration (he's a big fan of Friedkin), but if I were him, I'd not put that in a resume.


Mon Oct 08, 2018 10:08 am
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September (Watch an Iranian film)

Modest Reception

Started this in mid-late September, and it felt right to finish this ASAP.

A man and a woman travel through a war torn section of Iran to deliver bags of $5 million in cash to various poor people and filming their reactions. Sometimes, they play cruel tricks on those receiving the money for some unknown reason. Things escalate until the end.

There's some intrigue at first as the opening segment offers promise, but as the games get crueler and behavior more demented, the fun just runs out until it reaches a tepid ending that wraps things up but doesn't offer much more than that. To the filmmaker's credit, both characters take on various roles that keep the thing from being dull. But it sure does live up to its modest part of the title, doesn't it?

Next time, I'm checking out The Salesman or A Separation.

Next: Crowdfunded horror?


Mon Oct 08, 2018 10:16 am
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Apex Predator wrote:
Next: Crowdfunded horror?


Crush the Skull, perhaps?


Mon Oct 08, 2018 10:37 am
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Takoma1 wrote:

Crush the Skull, perhaps?


Nope, Director's Cut (2018).


Mon Oct 08, 2018 11:25 am
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And live and direct from Thief's thread, here's my take:

See a Horror B-Movie

Director's Cut (2018)

Herbert Blount (Penn Jillette) is one of the top crowdfunders for a direct to DVD thriller called Knocked Out where two cops (one played by Harry Hamlin) gets help from a FBI agent (Missi Pyle) to solve the case of someone copying off of various serial killers in most cases using their DNA. Of course you have to also have a hard nosed commanding officer (Lin Shaye). Oh, and it's directed by Adam Rifkin (who also directed this one as well).

But Herbert becomes obsessed with Missi, starting by stalking her and then ultimately kidnapping her for what he considers the Director's Cut.

Let's see: we get a director wanting to make a film so he illegally uses a major star with various footage so he can create his masterpiece. Sounds like Bowfinger, right? Well, it also sounds a bit like this.

Outside of one scene I'd rather not watch again involving Teller in a police interview room, there's nothing really objectionable about this. Herbert explains a lot of what happens as he's able to obtain footage of Knocked Out via computer, use green screen to insert himself and Missi into the film, and explains all the terms along the way.

There's also nothing really horrific outside of the serial killer in Knocked Out either. Missi is treated kind of well (outside of the whole can't go outside of the house/studio thing) and there's no real sense of danger. It feels more like a goofy fantasy than anything.

Considering Rifkin also did Detroit Rock City, I could have guessed that it would have been something better in concept than in execution. I think this could have used a few rewrites and some time in the editing room.

PS: Don't be scared by the 93 minute running time. Outside of a brief post-credits scene, this barely breaks the 80 minute mark.

NEXT: Going old school with a horror/thriller


Tue Oct 09, 2018 9:37 am
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Time for two more films.

PBS is apparently heard my desire to see more original films (OK, documentaries).

So I saw Talent Has Hunger on Monday night.

It's your standard mentor takes several students who have various issues/strengths and lifts them up to a higher plane.

In this case, it's a young 10 year old prodigy, a high schooler who has played with the Boston orchestra but his technique runs behind his creative instincts, a female high schooler whose mind is a sponge, and a talented high schooler who is technically proficient but also has a tendency to be hypercritical of himself. The instrument that all four play is the cello and we get to travel multiple years in the lives of these four and see how things have changed for them as they try to make careers in music happen for them.

It's touching and uplifting, but there's not much new under the sun.

NEXT: A classic horror/thriller


Sun Oct 14, 2018 7:38 am
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See a horror film based on a book; See a horror film famous for its twist/ending; See a horror film with a RT score above 95% (97%) or in the IMDb Top 250 (it is); See a horror film in a foreign language

Les Diaboliques (1955)

As the film opens, Michel (Paul Meurisse) runs a boarding school in Paris with an iron fist, suspending kids from holidays for misbehaving. He also treats both his wife Christina (Vera Clouzot), a Venezuelan immigrant who owns the school, and his mistress Nicole (Simone Sigoret) poorly. You'd think that the two women would at least have a strong dislike of each other.

But you would be wrong. The way Michel treats both has led both of them to become friends with each other. Which leads to a surprising plan by Nicole to get rid of their mutual problem. Lure Michel to Nicole's apartment building, drug his favorite wine with a sedative, and drown him in a bathtub.

As Christina is a kind person, she is reluctant to agree to this at first. But ultimately she changes her mind and convinces him to go to Niort due to a possible divorce and power play involving the school.

Once the deed is done, they manage to get the body from the apartment to the boarding school pool where they plan to write it off as an accidental drowning, but when the body doesn't show, things start to take a turn.

Excellent horror/thriller with good performances (I can't forget Charles Vanel as Albert who was a trenchcoat and a catchphrase away from being a French Colombo) and a story that keeps you watching.

I'll honor the final wishes of the filmmakers at the end and avoid any major spoilers. But if you haven't seen this one, Amazon Prime has it available to watch. Just be sure that the English subtitles are on.

Next; Another documentary...this one on the Louvre.


Sun Oct 14, 2018 7:55 am
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Francofonia (2015)

Russian director Alexander Sokurov examines a fascinating story about a German cultural chief in World War 2 who works with the head of the Louvre in making sure its treasures are protected. He looks at this in a broader exploration of art and war, how they treated the French in comparison to the Russians, and a contrast on how France and Russia dealt with the Nazi threat.

There's also some focus paid to various artistic treasures in the Louvre, how it came into being, and what happened to both people. Oh, and we have Napoleon wandering around claiming a lot of credit for the Louvre and its treasures while Madeline, the French symbol, flitters about citing the French motto. Oh, and there's a sea captain who may have taken some treasures who keeps dealing with lost connections and stormy seas. And Tolstoy gets involved somehow as well?

The center story is fascinating, but the reach of Sokurov exceeds his grasp and there's too much here that either seems like piling on or in the way. It deserves a better film, in other words.


Mon Oct 15, 2018 8:14 am
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Straight from Thief's thread... ;)

See a horror classic you haven't seen

Hellraiser (1987)

A couple moves from New York to an old home somewhere in upstate New York to work on their marriage. Larry (Andrew Robinson) and Julia (Claire Higgins) has what can be described as a frosty marriage, spoiled by her affair with Frank (Sean Chapman), Larry's brother. So considering it's Frank's home they're moving to, things are going to be awkward. More so when Larry's daughter Kirsty (Ashley Laurence) decides to move into her own apartment (she and Julia don't get along either).

After dealing with infestations of roaches, maggots, and rats, they move in. But when Larry cuts his hand while moving their bed in, Julia gets a surprise. Apparently Frank has escaped from his burial place and if Julia can just follow his plan, he'll be back to himself in no time and they can just run away. But their plan hits a few snags along the way.

Surprisingly, this has been on best horrors of all time lists. The Tomatometer is Fresh, Metacritic is mixed to positive, and the IMDb rating is pretty good.

There are things to like about this. I did enjoy the basic idea of finding pleasure in pain that the film explores. I did like how

The cenobites aren't really the villains here, it's Frank and Julia. Also, the idea that this is all being done for love, no matter how twisted, is clever enough to make it more than your typical slasher that this has too often been linked to.


Also, I did like the creature designs. There were some interesting visuals to be seen as well.

BUT

Whatever worked in Clive Barker's novella, doesn't translate here. Although it was a good idea to come up with decent actors for this thing, I can't believe nobody thought it was odd that we had so many British accents in upstate New York. I think Barker the director let down Barker the writer. There's little in the way of actual frights here; it's more disturbing than scary. And some of the special effects in the last third are borderline laughable.

Maybe if I saw this in 1987 or 1988, I might have dug it more. Now, it's kind of a disappointment.


Mon Oct 15, 2018 8:14 am
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Apex Predator wrote:
Straight from Thief's thread... ;)

See a horror classic you haven't seen

Hellraiser (1987)

A couple moves from New York to an old home somewhere in upstate New York to work on their marriage. Larry (Andrew Robinson) and Julia (Claire Higgins) has what can be described as a frosty marriage, spoiled by her affair with Frank (Sean Chapman), Larry's brother. So considering it's Frank's home they're moving to, things are going to be awkward. More so when Larry's daughter Kirsty (Ashley Laurence) decides to move into her own apartment (she and Julia don't get along either).

After dealing with infestations of roaches, maggots, and rats, they move in. But when Larry cuts his hand while moving their bed in, Julia gets a surprise. Apparently Frank has escaped from his burial place and if Julia can just follow his plan, he'll be back to himself in no time and they can just run away. But their plan hits a few snags along the way.

Surprisingly, this has been on best horrors of all time lists. The Tomatometer is Fresh, Metacritic is mixed to positive, and the IMDb rating is pretty good.

There are things to like about this. I did enjoy the basic idea of finding pleasure in pain that the film explores. I did like how

The cenobites aren't really the villains here, it's Frank and Julia. Also, the idea that this is all being done for love, no matter how twisted, is clever enough to make it more than your typical slasher that this has too often been linked to.


Also, I did like the creature designs. There were some interesting visuals to be seen as well.

BUT

Whatever worked in Clive Barker's novella, doesn't translate here. Although it was a good idea to come up with decent actors for this thing, I can't believe nobody thought it was odd that we had so many British accents in upstate New York. I think Barker the director let down Barker the writer. There's little in the way of actual frights here; it's more disturbing than scary. And some of the special effects in the last third are borderline laughable.

Maybe if I saw this in 1987 or 1988, I might have dug it more. Now, it's kind of a disappointment.

Hm. Hard to say. The first Hellraiser film always underwhelmed me (even back in the 80s) while making an indelible impression. What does that mean? Well, it's a movie with more promise than it delivers on, for a number of reasons, but it does contain some unforgettable things.
I recommend, however, that you proceed through No.2... and only No.2, Hellbound.

Oh, I would add that a big reason I think it makes it on so many lists is that there just isn't anything quite like it.


Mon Oct 15, 2018 8:52 am
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Saw Les Diaboliques for the first time in January and thought it was pretty good.

I need to rewatch Hellraiser. I haven't seen that one in a looooong, long time.

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Mon Oct 15, 2018 11:15 am
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Thief wrote:
Saw Les Diaboliques for the first time in January and thought it was pretty good.

I saw it for the first time a couple weeks ago, and I thought it was really great.

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Mon Oct 15, 2018 11:22 am
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I might give part 2 a whirl. Just probably not this year. I haven't heard any good reasons to get into part 3 or future installments, so yeah.

For next week (tentatively):
The Workshop (2018)
God Knows Where I Am (2017)
Coraline (2009)
The Red Queen Kills Seven Times (1972)
June (2015)


Mon Oct 15, 2018 11:35 am
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Thief wrote:
Saw Les Diaboliques for the first time in January and thought it was pretty good.


Saw it last week for the first time and yeah, pretty good. I assume you've already seen Wages of Fear? One of the most tense movies I have ever seen. I love it.

I should try to find Le Corbeau somewhere.


Mon Oct 15, 2018 6:04 pm
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Slentert wrote:

Saw it last week for the first time and yeah, pretty good. I assume you've already seen Wages of Fear? One of the most tense movies I have ever seen. I love it.


:shifty: That's a film I've had on my "to watch" list for years.

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Mon Oct 15, 2018 11:32 pm
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Slentert wrote:

Saw it last week for the first time and yeah, pretty good. I assume you've already seen Wages of Fear? One of the most tense movies I have ever seen. I love it.

I should try to find Le Corbeau somewhere.


Put me down with Thief in the "I need to watch that one sometime" camp. Have heard less good things about Sorcerer (but I had also heard that it's not that bad).


Tue Oct 16, 2018 3:13 am
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Thief wrote:
Saw Les Diaboliques for the first time in January and thought it was pretty good.
I felt that way too, but with all the similarities it has story-wise to Vertigo, I couldn't help but feel like Diaboliques was like a shallower version of that same basic story from Boileau-Narcejac, with less psychological depth, and a more gimmicky, disposable feel to it on the whole. Not a bad movie, of course, but it can't help but remain in the shadow of Hitchcock's masterpiece nonetheless.

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Tue Oct 16, 2018 2:11 pm
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