watched both conjuring films over the last two nights and i have to say, i was surprised at how well crafted they were, especially for hollywood horror. the director, james wan, makes some really great shot choices and he has a knack for building tension in a scene i haven’t seen in mid-/big-budget horror in ages. obviously all horror films are basically manipulation but it’s how well you can do it, innit, and i think he’s one of the better modern genre directors. there were the obligatory jump scares which can be a bit yawnsome but they’re pretty much required by producers and he at least puts a nice spin on them, the jump coming from somewhere unexpected, etc. thought all the performances were great in both films too, which is another welcome surprise since the dialogue at times gets pretty ludicrous and there are so many kids - kid actors are usually shit at everything aren’t they, especially conveying fear.
the crooked man ghost in 2 took me out of the film completely for a bit tho, made me think of lemony snicket or one of those edgier kids fantasy films.
i was absorbed until the last 3rd of both, when they sort of sputtered out and went a little OTT on the cgi and levitation. it reminded me of the babadook, another movie i thought worked well for 2/3 until it fell apart. horror movie endings are super hard i guess.
still, really good work.
watched ouija 2 as well. thought it was eerily similar to the conjuring but pretty shit.
The Borderlands is on BBC2 tonight
As I mentioned above, Ouija 2 started fairly promisingly for me before becoming absolute lowest common denominator stuff.
As you say, the Conjuring films also fall foul of this somewhat but are just better made in general. Big market for that brand of horror apparently however…
I’ve only seen the first Conjuring film, although I’ll probably get round to the 2nd one at some point. Generally I find films of this type work just fine when you’re watching them, but they rarely stay with me for long afterwards. I was genuinely lights-turning-on scared while watching the first Conjuring, but as soon as it was over, that was it. Something like The Witch though, that really stuck with me…
In other news, taking my son to see the new Kong movie tomorrow - this’ll be his first modern, big-screen vaguely horror-ish effort and at this point, I don’t know who’s more excited. Probably wouldn’t be seeing this if not for him, so it’s nice that I have an excuse to get my giant monkey fix…
Excellent little film.
Although I’d seen it before, and actually own it on dvd, I still watched it to the very end. Great film.
yeah the witch and it follows really rekindled my interest in horror over the last year. hopefully there’ll be a few more weird little masterpieces like them this year.
Watched a Spanish rip of The Conjuring 2 (El Conjuro Dos) with hardcoded Chinese subtitles - one of my favourite viewing experiences of my lifetime. Everyone spoke in English but the place names/times titles were in Spanish. On a couple of occasions when characters screamed, the subtitles read a bunch of Chinese characters with “OMG” jammed in the middle.
Difficult to describe why it was so funny but it’s left me with very fond memories of that film.
Got this… https://www.fabpress.com/books/house-of-psychotic-women-hardback.html...through the post the other day. Not very far through but what I have read is really interesting. Written by Kier-La Janisse who is one of the founders of the Miskatonic Institute of Horror Studies…doing a talk on Made for TV horror films at The Horse Hospital next month…anyway autobiography with parallels to the horror/exploitation films she grew up with and yeah…like i said not very far through…
That wasn’t meant to be a reply obvs. Fucked the link as well.
Nice one. I’ve known about this for a while, but haven’t got round to getting it yet. Consider me officially jealous.  Don’t know if you’re a fan of Christmas-themed horror (I am, somewhat), but she’s edited a new book on the subject: http://www.spectacularoptical.ca/2016/12/new-book-announcement-yuletide-terror-christmas-horror-on-film-and-television/
New Book Announcement: “YULETIDE TERROR: CHRISTMAS HORROR …http://www.spectacularoptical.ca/2016/12/new-book-announcement-yuletide-terror-christmas-horror-on-film-and-television/
Canadian micro-publisher Spectacular Optical is pleased to announce its forthcoming book devoted to the darkside of holiday entertainment, YULETIDE TERROR: CHRISTMAS …
Yeah…been meaning to get it for a while but was just about drunk enough to get this, ‘Conspiracy Against the Human Race’ and ‘Confessions of an English Opium-Eater’ (mainly for the Suspiria de Profundis part but it’s all linked apparently.)
Can’t say I do necessarily have an interest in Christmas related horror but with the BBC Christmas Horror thing being referenced my interest has been piqued. Not that i’ve seen any of those either but been meaning to get my hands on the MR James stuff at the least. Stephen Thrower being a contributor to this is also a plus, although that’s more for me being a massive Coil fan boy.
I’m convinced I want to check more stuff out by her at the very least…was going to try Satanic Panic first. If on the off chance anything is brought to her talk I may buy but when Mark Pilkington did his I don’t remember an Strange Attractor stuff being sold so probs unlikely.
This is the Miskatonic page if unaware… http://www.miskatonic-london.com/courses/. Only two ‘courses’ left for the ‘semester’.
Watched last night, Deathgasm…
Have been staying at the sister in law’s on The Island Of White the past few days (had a great time - weather was perfect, thanks for asking) and we were skimming through Amazon Prime trying to decide on something to all watch together when Deathgasm popped up in the comedy genre. Obviously something of a risky proposition for non-horror people, but I sold it on the Kiwi/metal angle and we all settled in for the ride.
I’d not seen this since its UK premiere at Frightfest a couple of years back, but time and a repeat viewing has not deadened its entertainment value whatsoever. I remember at the time the director saying that they had borrowed a lot of the FX from Ash vs Evil Dead which was filming at the same time, and having now seen both this is fairly obvious. Given the budget, the whole film looks amazing in fact. Sounds good too, with the metal soundtrack kicking arse. The script is tight as a drum, and the one liners keep coming throughout. The whole dildo scene remains a thing of genuine cinematic beauty. 9/10
fuck you all.
I like this. I think it looks good.
Might go see what folk are saying in the standalone thread…
it looks very good visually i think. handsome yet gritty. really like the colour tones and whatnot. liked the library shot with ben watching the balloon in particular.
one problem i had is with georgie in the cellar at the end. would have preferred it if he kept saying we all float in that happy, giggly way. far creepier than when he started shouting.
This raises an interesting point - usually I avoid trailers like the plague as they have a tendency to give away the salient points of the story arc, but with IT we’re all so familiar with the story that we’re mostly just waiting to see how the details are handled in this adaptation, ie how scary is the clown, are they going to make a shitshow of the spider at the end, etc…
The Wailing is on Netflix in case anyone not caught it yet.
Watched last night - The Faculty…
Had not seen this since it came out and my word, does it look 90s. In fact, US 90s looks so much more 90s than anything else from the era - I don’t think a single male character wears an item of fitted clothing in this. Feels like this probably got made off the back of the success of Scream, including the teen cast, gore soaked pre-credits scene (soundtracked by The Offspring natch), whodunnit finger pointing, etc. What sets this aside from other identikit slasher fare like I Know What You Did Last Summer or Urban Legend however is the sci-fi element which makes proceedings more interesting. The creature design is pretty innovative throughout and the CGI just about holds up. The ending is a bit happily ever after, but it is only a 15 (coincindentally, the age that Elijah Wood looks in this) I guess 7/10