Horrorcram XV: Let's Scare Corrierino To Death

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Rock
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Re: Horrorcram XV: Let's Scare Corrierino To Death

Post by Rock » Fri Mar 13, 2020 3:01 am

Hos2el

Also, Host3l
Haven't seen either one lol
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Re: Horrorcram XV: Let's Scare Corrierino To Death

Post by ThatDarnMKS » Fri Mar 13, 2020 3:20 am

Rock wrote:
Fri Mar 13, 2020 3:01 am
Hos2el

Also, Host3l
Haven't seen either one lol
Ain't seen the third by Hostel 2 is Roth's best film by a substantial margin.
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Re: Horrorcram XV: Let's Scare Corrierino To Death

Post by Charles » Fri Mar 13, 2020 3:36 am

Rock wrote:
Fri Mar 13, 2020 2:31 am
Hostel is smarter, better made and less giddy about its subject matter than most people give it credit for. I'm a fan.
Huh. I might pick up hostel 1, just to see, though the first thing I saw in the screenshots is a guy with a drill in the jaw. Not too hot on that, but let's try anyway.
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Re: Horrorcram XV: Let's Scare Corrierino To Death

Post by ThatDarnMKS » Fri Mar 13, 2020 3:44 am

Charles wrote:
Fri Mar 13, 2020 3:36 am
Huh. I might pick up hostel 1, just to see, though the first thing I saw in the screenshots is a guy with a drill in the jaw. Not too hot on that, but let's try anyway.
It's essentially Roth's attempt at making a giallo. It carries with it a strong degree of camp to balance out the inherent sadism of the narrative. It's about as gory as a giallo as well, so I think its reputation is overblown.
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Re: Horrorcram XV: Let's Scare Corrierino To Death

Post by Apex Predator » Fri Mar 13, 2020 4:42 pm

And I can't bring myself to watch any of the Hostels still.

On the other hand, I managed to finish The Girl on the 3rd Floor. So progress?!?!
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Re: Horrorcram XV: Let's Scare Corrierino To Death

Post by Wooley » Sat Mar 14, 2020 12:27 am

Ya know, and I wanna be clear that I'm not judging anyone else or anyone else's taste here, this is just how I felt, I fucking hated Hostel.
Hated almost everything about it. But probably because everything about it, to me was filtered through one central icky problem.
I had seen movies about torture before, in multiple decades, horrific torture sometimes, but I'd never seen a movie be so fucking glib about it. And it just made me sick.
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Re: Horrorcram XV: Let's Scare Corrierino To Death

Post by Deschain13 » Sat Mar 14, 2020 3:00 am

I saw The Invisible Man today and liked it a lot. Really appreciated the sound design especially.
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Re: Horrorcram XV: Let's Scare Corrierino To Death

Post by DaMU » Sat Mar 14, 2020 3:01 am

Jeez, Wooley, that's a lot of hostelity.
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Re: Horrorcram XV: Let's Scare Corrierino To Death

Post by ThatDarnMKS » Sat Mar 14, 2020 4:57 am

DaMU wrote:
Sat Mar 14, 2020 3:01 am
Jeez, Wooley, that's a lot of hostelity.
I'm prepared to cancel him.
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Re: Horrorcram XV: Let's Scare Corrierino To Death

Post by Wooley » Sat Mar 14, 2020 6:45 am

DaMU wrote:
Sat Mar 14, 2020 3:01 am
Jeez, Wooley, that's a lot of hostelity.
:P
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Re: Horrorcram XV: Let's Scare Corrierino To Death

Post by Wooley » Sat Mar 14, 2020 6:45 am

Deschain13 wrote:
Sat Mar 14, 2020 3:00 am
I saw The Invisible Man today and liked it a lot. Really appreciated the sound design especially.
Agreed.
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Re: Horrorcram XV: Let's Scare Corrierino To Death

Post by Rock » Wed Mar 18, 2020 5:12 am

Dead Silence is not a good movie, but almost one? It's mostly interesting for seeing James Wan halfway between the low budget grime of Saw and the more assured, conservative visual style in Insidious and The Conjuring. I like how full bore it goes with the gothic elements, even if it often falls into silliness, but there are so many moments that would have been so much more effective if the James Wan of a few years later had directed them. (I'm thinking in particular of a scene where all the dolls on the wall turn their heads one by one, and how much creepier the scene would have been if he didn't keep cutting away.) I also find it amusing how hard it banks on the inherent creepiness of dolls, and therefore have to approve of the climax
which consists of the heroes blasting the dolls to pieces and burning the motherfucker down.
Also, Insidious: The Last Key aka Lin Shaye: Generations is probably enjoyable for those already in the Lin Shaye fanclub (she does her thing and does it well), but it's better directed than the third movie and occasionally gets darker than expected for a PG-13 flick. Like all preceding entries, it has the problem of making the Further look really cool but having only really lame stuff happen in it. Directed by Adam Robitel, whose Taking of Deborah Logan is one of the better found footage movies I've seen. Caitlin Gerard of The Wind also plays a part in the proceedings, although her role isn't nearly as meaty as that other movie.
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Re: Horrorcram XV: Let's Scare Corrierino To Death

Post by Rump » Wed Mar 18, 2020 1:37 pm

Wooley wrote:
Sat Mar 14, 2020 12:27 am
Ya know, and I wanna be clear that I'm not judging anyone else or anyone else's taste here, this is just how I felt, I fucking hated Hostel.
Hated almost everything about it. But probably because everything about it, to me was filtered through one central icky problem.
I had seen movies about torture before, in multiple decades, horrific torture sometimes, but I'd never seen a movie be so fucking glib about it. And it just made me sick.
I hated Hostel and all torture porn films.. plus Eli Roth has the most slappable face in hollywood
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Re: Horrorcram XV: Let's Scare Corrierino To Death

Post by Wooley » Thu Mar 19, 2020 2:52 am

Rock wrote:
Wed Mar 18, 2020 5:12 am
Dead Silence is not a good movie, but almost one? It's mostly interesting for seeing James Wan halfway between the low budget grime of Saw and the more assured, conservative visual style in Insidious and The Conjuring. I like how full bore it goes with the gothic elements, even if it often falls into silliness, but there are so many moments that would have been so much more effective if the James Wan of a few years later had directed them. (I'm thinking in particular of a scene where all the dolls on the wall turn their heads one by one, and how much creepier the scene would have been if he didn't keep cutting away.) I also find it amusing how hard it banks on the inherent creepiness of dolls, and therefore have to approve of the climax
which consists of the heroes blasting the dolls to pieces and burning the motherfucker down.
Also, Insidious: The Last Key aka Lin Shaye: Generations is probably enjoyable for those already in the Lin Shaye fanclub (she does her thing and does it well), but it's better directed than the third movie and occasionally gets darker than expected for a PG-13 flick. Like all preceding entries, it has the problem of making the Further look really cool but having only really lame stuff happen in it. Directed by Adam Robitel, whose Taking of Deborah Logan is one of the better found footage movies I've seen. Caitlin Gerard of The Wind also plays a part in the proceedings, although her role isn't nearly as meaty as that other movie.
I have read that the studio interfered A LOT in Dead Silence and I agree with you it could have been good, but ultimately wasn't.

I am in the Lin Shaye fan club (even watching 2001 Maniacs, which is a fun part for her, otherwise pretty terrible), so I may Keep going and finish the Insidious series.
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Re: Horrorcram XV: Let's Scare Corrierino To Death

Post by Charles » Thu Mar 19, 2020 2:53 am

Rock wrote:
Wed Mar 18, 2020 5:12 am
Dead Silence is not a good movie, but almost one? It's mostly interesting for seeing James Wan halfway between the low budget grime of Saw and the more assured, conservative visual style in Insidious and The Conjuring. I like how full bore it goes with the gothic elements, even if it often falls into silliness, but there are so many moments that would have been so much more effective if the James Wan of a few years later had directed them. (I'm thinking in particular of a scene where all the dolls on the wall turn their heads one by one, and how much creepier the scene would have been if he didn't keep cutting away.) I also find it amusing how hard it banks on the inherent creepiness of dolls, and therefore have to approve of the climax
which consists of the heroes blasting the dolls to pieces and burning the motherfucker down.
The puppet show was incredible in that movie. It's a short scene, but it's so intense. A few other good ideas throughout, but yes, largely forgettable.
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Re: Horrorcram XV: Let's Scare Corrierino To Death

Post by Stu » Thu Mar 19, 2020 8:21 am

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Re: Horrorcram XV: Let's Scare Corrierino To Death

Post by Popcorn Reviews » Fri Mar 20, 2020 6:02 am

The Ninth Configuration (1980) - 4/10

The elements for a great film are certainly here, but while it had a handful of standout moments and a promising setup, I can't say I liked it and it ultimately failed to connect with me by the time it was over. For instance, it definitely took its sweet time to get going as most of the buildup detailed the various shenanigans of the patients who acted under Kane's treatment. While this buildup wasn't necessarily bad or anything (a few scenes of the patients interacting with the staff members and the people outside the asylum brimmed with a delightful sense of awkwardness), there were many moments where it seemed to be restating this premise without expanding much upon it, causing it to grow somewhat thin at times. Also, the fact that the plot twist was predictable given how each flashback only served to make it more and more obvious didn't help with my appreciation of this section. Once the film got to the twist, the film certainly got a lot more interesting with the highlight being the uncomfortably tense bar fight. Overall though, I was ultimately left indifferent to how this was handled since it seemed to jumped right into the final act after the big reveal, sacrificing a lot of time which could've been used to flesh out Kane and his newly discovered mental state in the process, and how the payoff to the film was telegraphed far ahead of time in a rather awkward way. In short, the film suffered quite heavily from a ton of bloat.
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Re: Horrorcram XV: Let's Scare Corrierino To Death

Post by wichares » Fri Mar 20, 2020 11:58 am

Kuroneko (1968) - That first act is something else, in which an act of brutality, placing us firmly on the spirit side, doesn't lessen the spine-tingling chills of its meticulous and gorgeous horror imagery at all. In fact, I'm so enamored with this section that the introduction of a third main character bringing some tonal shifts feels slightly disappointing, not to mention the internal logic starting to get wobbly a bit as well. Still, the following dilemma is a potent tragic scenario, and Shindo's darkly imaginative direction remains enveloping throughout. 7.5/10
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Re: Horrorcram XV: Let's Scare Corrierino To Death

Post by MadMan » Fri Mar 20, 2020 3:52 pm

Huh I loved The Ninth Configuration. It is overdue for a rewatch. If this quarantine shit continues I might end up binge watching some Shudder.
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Re: Horrorcram XV: Let's Scare Corrierino To Death

Post by Popcorn Reviews » Fri Mar 20, 2020 6:46 pm

MadMan wrote:
Fri Mar 20, 2020 3:52 pm
Huh I loved The Ninth Configuration. It is overdue for a rewatch. If this quarantine shit continues I might end up binge watching some Shudder.
It definitely showed a lot of promise, but I don't think it handled its subject particularly well, which I largely blame on its bloat.
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Re: Horrorcram XV: Let's Scare Corrierino To Death

Post by Takoma1 » Fri Mar 20, 2020 8:39 pm

wichares wrote:
Fri Mar 20, 2020 11:58 am
Kuroneko (1968) - That first act is something else, in which an act of brutality, placing us firmly on the spirit side, doesn't lessen the spine-tingling chills of its meticulous and gorgeous horror imagery at all. In fact, I'm so enamored with this section that the introduction of a third main character bringing some tonal shifts feels slightly disappointing, not to mention the internal logic starting to get wobbly a bit as well. Still, the following dilemma is a potent tragic scenario, and Shindo's darkly imaginative direction remains enveloping throughout. 7.5/10
Watched this one semi-recently and just loved it.
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Re: Horrorcram XV: Let's Scare Corrierino To Death

Post by Ergill » Sat Mar 21, 2020 4:20 am

wichares wrote:
Fri Mar 20, 2020 11:58 am
Kuroneko (1968) - That first act is something else, in which an act of brutality, placing us firmly on the spirit side, doesn't lessen the spine-tingling chills of its meticulous and gorgeous horror imagery at all. In fact, I'm so enamored with this section that the introduction of a third main character bringing some tonal shifts feels slightly disappointing, not to mention the internal logic starting to get wobbly a bit as well. Still, the following dilemma is a potent tragic scenario, and Shindo's darkly imaginative direction remains enveloping throughout. 7.5/10
Have you seen Onibaba? Another horrory Shindo of note.
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Re: Horrorcram XV: Let's Scare Corrierino To Death

Post by Stu » Sat Mar 21, 2020 7:22 am

Game over, man: How Aliens—not Alien—shaped three decades of gaming history

It's odd that the writer just ignored the obvious influence that Scott's original film had on the Metroid series (which is obviously one of THE biggest game franchises of all time), but besides that odd choice, I really enjoyed this article anyway.
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Re: Horrorcram XV: Let's Scare Corrierino To Death

Post by DaMU » Sat Mar 21, 2020 8:03 pm

Have a wild notion to use the time to make a YouTube video defending '90s horror...

and realizing there's a lot of (supposedly) good '90s horror I haven't seen, including but not limited to:

Ravenous
The Addiction
No Telling
Memento Mori
Whispering Corridors
Tales From the Hood
Tesis
Hardware
The Devil's Daughter
Species
The Reflecting Skin


Especially curious about the SK Memento and Whispering, since they were produced almost immediately after a relaxation of film censorship.

So starting with my boy Fessenden thanks to a free Amazon trial (it'll be a cold day in hell before I become a Bezos serf).
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Re: Horrorcram XV: Let's Scare Corrierino To Death

Post by Charles » Sat Mar 21, 2020 8:06 pm

Species is fiiiiiiine, I guess. The movie has a good thing going, but the ending has 90's CGI, which, well... yeah. It doesn't end as smart as it might like to think it was before that.
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Re: Horrorcram XV: Let's Scare Corrierino To Death

Post by Wooley » Sat Mar 21, 2020 8:20 pm

Creature From The Black Lagoon is on TCM!
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Re: Horrorcram XV: Let's Scare Corrierino To Death

Post by Popcorn Reviews » Sat Mar 21, 2020 9:20 pm



The heading is a misleading description, but this short scared the hell out of me. I highly recommend it.
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Re: Horrorcram XV: Let's Scare Corrierino To Death

Post by Takoma1 » Sat Mar 21, 2020 9:21 pm

Ergill wrote:
Sat Mar 21, 2020 4:20 am
Have you seen Onibaba? Another horrory Shindo of note.
I'd probably give Onibaba more style points, but Kuroneko takes the edge for me when it comes to emotional investment.
DaMU wrote:
Sat Mar 21, 2020 8:03 pm
Have a wild notion to use the time to make a YouTube video defending '90s horror...

and realizing there's a lot of (supposedly) good '90s horror I haven't seen, including but not limited to:

Tesis
The Reflecting Skin
I have a soft spot for Tesis, what with baby Eduardo Noriega and a handful of (to me) standout frightening sequences.

I liked The Reflecting Skin, but it skews much more heavily toward drama than I'd anticipated and I kept waiting for more "horror." It's an interesting film, for sure.
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Re: Horrorcram XV: Let's Scare Corrierino To Death

Post by DaMU » Sat Mar 21, 2020 10:06 pm

No Telling - 1991 - B- / B

Fessenden's debut feature seeks out the Venn diagram center of naturalist melodrama, eco-activist provocation, and Frankenstein horror, and it mostly finds its groove due to the good (for the budget) acting from the mains and the incremental escalation of the experiments. The final images are perverse and should have felt over-the-top, if not for how much Fessenden invests in acclimating us to the premise. Imagine the first half of Re-Animator stretched to feature-length, styled somewhere between Romero (grainy, checkered coverage) and Raimi (zippy camera moves). Engaged from beginning to end, although the closing minute or two feels too slack for what's transpired; you feel like the story ends with an ellipsis instead of an exclamation mark. People who are easily upset by animal trauma should stay far, far away from this movie, while also recognizing it's firmly on their side.

Fessenden:

1) Habit
2) "Skin and Bones"
3) The Last Winter
4) No Telling
5) Beneath
6) Wendigo

PS: Just learned that Fessenden co-wrote the horror video game Until Dawn, which was well-regarded for a script that adapted depending on which characters died and in what order. Supposedly, the script was 10,000 pages long. Good God.
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Re: Horrorcram XV: Let's Scare Corrierino To Death

Post by Slentert » Sat Mar 21, 2020 10:27 pm

Takoma1 wrote:
Sat Mar 21, 2020 9:21 pm
I liked The Reflecting Skin, but it skews much more heavily toward drama than I'd anticipated and I kept waiting for more "horror." It's an interesting film, for sure.
I think The Reflecting Skin a beautiful, poetic, slightly unbalanced film but yeah, it's definitely not a horror movie, it's closer to movies like Pan's Labyrinth and The Devil's Backbone. I've heard of several people who were disappointed by the movie just because they were expecting a horror movie.
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Re: Horrorcram XV: Let's Scare Corrierino To Death

Post by Takoma1 » Sat Mar 21, 2020 10:50 pm

Slentert wrote:
Sat Mar 21, 2020 10:27 pm
I think The Reflecting Skin a beautiful, poetic, slightly unbalanced film but yeah, it's definitely not a horror movie, it's closer to movies like Pan's Labyrinth and The Devil's Backbone. I've heard of several people who were disappointed by the movie just because they were expecting a horror movie.
It baffles me that it was sold to me as a horror film, and that I continue to see it referred to as such.

It's a dreamy, sad, strange, compelling little film. The horror elements are, in my opinion, folded into the maturation of the main character and his understanding of the world around him.

I'm not into genre-policing, but talking about The Reflecting Skin as a horror (especially combined with the plot synopsis) is, in my opinion, setting a lot of people up for a film that they aren't actually going to get.
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Re: Horrorcram XV: Let's Scare Corrierino To Death

Post by DaMU » Sat Mar 21, 2020 10:51 pm

Thanks for the clarification, I might skip that for the immediate future. I saw it in one of those Indiewire / Slant type of lists of the '90s, and they love go blur genre boundaries with them (Seven was their number one, and even that one made me scratch my head a bit).
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Re: Horrorcram XV: Let's Scare Corrierino To Death

Post by Takoma1 » Sat Mar 21, 2020 10:56 pm

DaMU wrote:
Sat Mar 21, 2020 10:51 pm
Thanks for the clarification, I might skip that for the immediate future. I saw it in one of those Indiewire / Slant type of lists of the '90s, and they love go blur genre boundaries with them (Seven was their number one, and even that one made me scratch my head a bit).
I think that it's strongly "horror adjacent" and its overall look stands out among 90s films.

I'd almost compare it to something like Valerie and Her Week of Wonders. Horror elements, yes. Would "horror movie" be the best way to describe it? Nope.
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Re: Horrorcram XV: Let's Scare Corrierino To Death

Post by Rock » Sun Mar 22, 2020 2:04 am

DaMU wrote:
Sat Mar 21, 2020 8:03 pm
Hardware
I didn't like Hardware very much (sets up an elaborate Mad Max inspired world only to spend 90% of its runtime in a cramped little apartment, doing a lame retread of Alien-style slashering but being too manic to pull off any actual suspense), but will strongly recommend Stanley's Dust Devil. I don't know how much smart sounding stuff I can say about it, but I can't think of another horror movie that hits its unique tone and hallucinatory quality. Closest non-horror I can think of is El Topo, but even that's a stretch.
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Re: Horrorcram XV: Let's Scare Corrierino To Death

Post by Takoma1 » Sun Mar 22, 2020 2:19 am

Rock wrote:
Sun Mar 22, 2020 2:04 am
will strongly recommend Stanley's Dust Devil. I don't know how much smart sounding stuff I can say about it, but I can't think of another horror movie that hits its unique tone and hallucinatory quality. Closest non-horror I can think of is El Topo, but even that's a stretch.
Seconded.

I really need to rewatch this one--I don't think I was able to take it in the first time. The sequence in the motel room is sort of seared into my brain, but the rest is a strange blur.
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Re: Horrorcram XV: Let's Scare Corrierino To Death

Post by crumbsroom » Sun Mar 22, 2020 2:25 am

I always prefer to expand what horror is supposed to be instead of having to rely on genre conventions to restrict definition. So Reflecting Skin is a horror movie all the way for me. Is it's goal to frighten? Not really. But It peddles in unease. Good enough.

It is also important to note it is almost certainly the best movie on that list.
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Re: Horrorcram XV: Let's Scare Corrierino To Death

Post by DaMU » Sun Mar 22, 2020 2:28 am

Damn you, genre!

[shakes fist at nearest thing]
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Re: Horrorcram XV: Let's Scare Corrierino To Death

Post by Takoma1 » Sun Mar 22, 2020 2:32 am

I know that I watched Rufus (aka The Hunted) a while back, but it's the kind of diverting stuff I'm delving into right now.

Anyway, the story is about a vampire (in the body of a brooding, attractive teen boy of course) whose elderly caretaker leaves him in a small town to fend for himself. Pretty soon he's staying in the home of the local sheriff, in a complex relationship with the troubled girl next door, forming a bizarro friendship with the local bully, and dodging a mysterious man who has come looking for him.

The characters are okay. Rufus himself is enjoyable enough as he charmingly mumbles his way through his interactions. The sheriff and his wife (still stinging from the loss of their own child) are a warm presence. The bad girl character is grating. The mysterious hunter is menacing enough.

I'm not sure how much I picked up on it the first time around, but a strange negative to the film is its homophobia. There are two gay male characters in the film, and both are seen as predators and bad. The town bully character (who also tries to rape the "bad girl") reveals himself to be closeted, and there's almost something interesting in exploring how someone with that kind of secret might behave under small town scrutiny. But there's a superficial quality to his character arc, and when you add in a predatory gay trucker, it feels a bit distasteful.

On the positive side, it's an interesting spin on the usual teen vampire trope. Rufus doesn't know who or what he is. He's escaped from an institution where doctors experimented on him in a quest to cure disease and fight aging. That sense of the unknown haunts him and keeps him from being able to settle into any one place or relationship. The film does get some good mileage out of pondering just what it would be like to be immortal, and how one's sense of the passage of time would be so out of joint with those around you.

Anyway . .. it's alright.
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Re: Horrorcram XV: Let's Scare Corrierino To Death

Post by Charles » Sun Mar 22, 2020 2:36 am

Do you guys consider Perfect Blue and Silence of the Lamb to be horror? I was talking to someone about how SotL isn't really horror despite being on so many lists, and that person disagreed and also disagreed with my assertion that Perfect Blue was more horror.

And while we're here, Neon Demon? Horror?

Not a super genre person meself, but when I'm thinking of my October watchlist, I like nighttime and monsters. That's the core of horror for me. I have a broader, artsier definition the rest of the year.
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Re: Horrorcram XV: Let's Scare Corrierino To Death

Post by ThatDarnMKS » Sun Mar 22, 2020 2:40 am

I own Reflecting Skin and Dust Devil but stopped both upon starting them because the transfers were full frame garbage. I hate that I can't see them properly as I have a strong interest in them.

Also, I tend to agree with Crummy and have very broad definition of horror. If some of the films mentioned aren't squarely in the genre, they all very much have STRONG horror elements.

It wouldn't be outside the realm of possibility that I'd argue both 2001 and Sicario belong in the genre. Not JUST that genre, mind you, as I think all genre boundaries are murky at best, but man, are they largely structured like horror.
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Re: Horrorcram XV: Let's Scare Corrierino To Death

Post by wichares » Sun Mar 22, 2020 2:41 am

Ergill wrote:
Sat Mar 21, 2020 4:20 am
Have you seen Onibaba? Another horrory Shindo of note.
Not yet, added it on my watchlist!
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Re: Horrorcram XV: Let's Scare Corrierino To Death

Post by DaMU » Sun Mar 22, 2020 3:04 am

Charles wrote:
Sun Mar 22, 2020 2:36 am
Do you guys consider Perfect Blue and Silence of the Lamb to be horror? I was talking to someone about how SotL isn't really horror despite being on so many lists, and that person disagreed and also disagreed with my assertion that Perfect Blue was more horror.

And while we're here, Neon Demon? Horror?

Not a super genre person meself, but when I'm thinking of my October watchlist, I like nighttime and monsters. That's the core of horror for me. I have a broader, artsier definition the rest of the year.
I think we all have our personal sensibilities of where to bounds off a genre. I try to be inclusive; I'd call PB and TSotL horror, although Seven is one of those that's a tougher sell for me; that feels more like a pitch-black noir/thriller sprinkled with some Dante and Milton for that extra grim flavor. Sometimes I can determine how I feel based on evidence, and other times it's more intuitive. I think I include The Silence of the Lambs because Lecter has so damn much of that Count Dracula serpentine charisma. Well, that and the cannibal stuff. :)

But that's just me.
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Re: Horrorcram XV: Let's Scare Corrierino To Death

Post by Takoma1 » Sun Mar 22, 2020 3:23 am

Charles wrote:
Sun Mar 22, 2020 2:36 am
Do you guys consider Perfect Blue and Silence of the Lamb to be horror? I was talking to someone about how SotL isn't really horror despite being on so many lists, and that person disagreed and also disagreed with my assertion that Perfect Blue was more horror.

And while we're here, Neon Demon? Horror?

Not a super genre person meself, but when I'm thinking of my October watchlist, I like nighttime and monsters. That's the core of horror for me. I have a broader, artsier definition the rest of the year.
I guess my definition of horror is what I'd recommend if someone said they were in the mood for a "horror film." It's obviously very subjective.

I think of both Perfect Blue and Silence of the Lambs as thrillers, but thrillers that rub elbows with how I think of horror.

To get into why I wouldn't necessarily think of The Reflecting Skin as horror, it's because (BIG SPOILERS)
of how aware we are, as the audience, the real-world nature of the cruelties in the film: men spree killing, radiation poisoning, depression, closeted sexuality, an abortion or miscarriage, etc. The horror/fantasy is how the child protagonist processes what is happening around him. The real horror exists in the gap between his understanding (and thus his mistakes) and our understanding as the knowing, adult audience.
I think that a film like The Reflecting Skin kind of defies fitting neatly into a single genre. It's why I think that it's not correct to sell it as a "horror film". It's a horror/drama/thriller/fantasy hybrid. If you go in with just the notion that a boy thinks his neighbor is a vampire, you're missing a lot of what the film is actually after.
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Re: Horrorcram XV: Let's Scare Corrierino To Death

Post by DaMU » Sun Mar 22, 2020 4:10 am

Watching Species, about 40 minutes in, and it's already so instructive in terms of how screenplays can collapse in on themselves out of fear of losing the audience.

1) The film opens with Ben Kingsley about to kill Sil. We don't know why. We can intuit that she's alien-ish, and that he's not happy about it, because he sheds a tear. But we have no actual foundation for their relationship, so there's no emotional core to what's happening; the moment doesn't land. Instead of being a sad moment, it's confusion presented as a mystery. And I have to think it was written this way because-- at some point in story development-- they wanted to open the film "with a bang" and "hit the ground running." This is advice that a lot of screenwriters get. Because everyone involved in the process is terrified of losing the viewer.

But, in fact, we get a fuckload of useful information about 25 minutes later, when Kingsley briefs some new recruits on the events that led up to this moment. We learn that SETI received a transmission for how to construct a hybrid being, and Kingsley's character supervised that mission and watched this little girl grow up. Now we can clearly see that this is a father/daughter metaphor, and we have a grip on why he felt the way he did (and, for that matter, why she looked a bit like she was betrayed). But we could've gotten that at the beginning and had an emotional foothold on the story, and the father/daughter metaphor could've been pulled out to much better effect. (He watched her grow up! She's dealing with puberty! She's traipsing off with skeevy guys!)

2) There's a character played by Forest Whitaker who qualifies himself for the mission to retrieve Sil by mentioning that he's an "empath." That he can deeply feel, and as a result, he can cue into what others are feeling. However, most of what he notes about people other than Sil are really basic, baseline shit. Example: he brilliantly notes that the taciturn, gruff Michael Madsen character is putting on a front of toughness to hide vulnerability. Which... you do not need a certified empath to ascertain. More to the point, when he is tracking Sil, he's either stating the most obvious points that could be made about someone in her position ("She's acting out of fear") or making completely wild guesses that just happen to be exactly right.

And I have to think they wrote his character into the movie because they were scared of the dramatic imbalance of us knowing more about Sil at any given moment than the heroes did. Most likely because that kind of dramatic irony would make us empathize with Sil more than the heroes, because we have more access to her emotions than they do. (And because the heroes simply aren't as interesting, apart from Kingsley.) So they wrote in this character, whose chief function is to always update the heroes on how Sil is feeling at any given moment, so they're always right on track, and we never have to experience that imbalance of empathy. The heroes know as much as we do, so we can imprint on them more easily.

After all, writing a movie where the viewer empathizes more with the alien than the human "heroes" makes it a less accessible film because it challenges assumptions. It's the kind of premise that leads to low returns producers don't want. But it's also the kind of premise that leads to excellent speculative sci-fi films like The Brother From Another Planet and Under the Skin.

I think the smarter thing to do would be the simpler one. Don't write the empath character and instead make sure that Sil's path of destruction is clear enough, which it already is. She leaves a cocoon in a train and fucking un-spines a woman at an LA club. We don't need an empath for the heroes to successfully pursue her. If anyone's going to speculate on Sil's behavior, let it be the Kingsley character, who has the strongest emotional connection to her.

(Or, at least, he would have more clearly been that, if the film hadn't buckled under its own fear in the beginning.)
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Re: Horrorcram XV: Let's Scare Corrierino To Death

Post by DaMU » Sun Mar 22, 2020 4:12 am

Sidebar: Natasha Henstridge does great work as the darkest possible inversion of Daryl Hannah in Splash.
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Re: Horrorcram XV: Let's Scare Corrierino To Death

Post by Spencie Returns » Sun Mar 22, 2020 6:07 am

I'm late to the party, but I've always been confused at the stigma attached to Hostel. The premise alone seems to turn off a lot of folks who don't otherwise bat an eye at comparable movie violence. I really enjoy the atmosphere of the first movie, and seem to remember the second one taking a fun and campy turn.
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Re: Horrorcram XV: Let's Scare Corrierino To Death

Post by ThatDarnMKS » Sun Mar 22, 2020 6:19 am

Spencie Returns wrote:
Sun Mar 22, 2020 6:07 am
I'm late to the party, but I've always been confused at the stigma attached to Hostel. The premise alone seems to turn off a lot of folks who don't otherwise bat an eye at comparable movie violence. I really enjoy the atmosphere of the first movie, and seem to remember the second one taking a fun and campy turn.
I honestly think it has to do with the way it was marketed as the most extreme, fucked up and viciously violent film ever made that caused people to puke and pass out rather than the actual film itself. People walk in with that mindset are bound to react accordingly.
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Re: Horrorcram XV: Let's Scare Corrierino To Death

Post by Melvin Butterworth » Sun Mar 22, 2020 6:25 am

DaMU wrote:
Sun Mar 22, 2020 4:12 am
Sidebar: Natasha Henstridge does great work as the darkest possible inversion of Daryl Hannah in Splash.
And the perfection of the Noir femme fatale (e.g., the black widow trap of the best sex you'll ever have, just before you go to die).
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Re: Horrorcram XV: Let's Scare Corrierino To Death

Post by DaMU » Sun Mar 22, 2020 6:26 am

On rewatch, the film split pretty evenly for me into four sections: frat bro trip / eerie displacement drama / torture centerpiece / escape-revenge. As much hay is made for the torture, there's only one real protracted sequence of cruelty. The next one is abruptly reversed into suspense and escape. The next sequence of torture is barely seen, though there is a gory aftershow involving the saddest eyeball you've ever seen. It's mild salsa if you've seen any of the New French Extremity.
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Re: Horrorcram XV: Let's Scare Corrierino To Death

Post by ThatDarnMKS » Sun Mar 22, 2020 6:42 am

DaMU wrote:
Sun Mar 22, 2020 6:26 am
On rewatch, the film split pretty evenly for me into four sections: frat bro trip / eerie displacement drama / torture centerpiece / escape-revenge. As much hay is made for the torture, there's only one real protracted sequence of cruelty. The next one is abruptly reversed into suspense and escape. The next sequence of torture is barely seen, though there is a gory aftershow involving the saddest eyeball you've ever seen. It's mild salsa if you've seen any of the New French Extremity.
Indeed. And I think the entire thing, including the torture segment, has its tongue placed firmly in cheek and occasionally even borders on slapstick (slipping on severed fingers and everything with the kid gang).

Ain’t got nothing on Martyrs.
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