The combined Kill Bill is available from the usual 'sources' on the internets
Watched last night, Drive...
I loved this when I saw it at the cinema on release, so was excited to revisit it. I found myself somewhat...underwhelmed. Don't get me wrong, it still looks and sounds amazing but it felt like a fairly empty experience overall. Ryan Gosling deliberately delivers a blank canvas performance, and Carey Mulligan doesn't really do much more. There's excellent support from Brian Cranston, Albert Brooks, Ron Pearlman and Oscar Isaacs, but they can't make up for unrelatable leads. Christina Hendricks is also in this for about two minutes, gets slapped around, then dispensed with. Refn and Gosling's follow up Only Good Forgives got slated for a lot of reasons that could also apply to Drive to my mind. 6/10
Watched last night, Goosebumps…
Watched this with my four year old (it’s a PG) and it’s definitely kid friendly if anyone were looking to introduce their children to minor peril. A nicely meta approach where Jack Black plays R L Stine, author of the books, whose ouvre comes alive to terrorise him and the inhabitants of smalltown USA. I’ve not read any of the books so can’t say how much comes directly from them, but there’s plenty of classic horror tropes (haunted funfair, high school dance, cemetery, etc) and familiar characters. Some of the CGI is fairly average, but the snappy dialogue and quickfire situations make this fairly entertaining. Jack Black is on top form here, playing both protagonist and chief villain deftly. 7/10
Heads-up to all you Lucio Fulci fans out there… FAB Press are re-releasing their Fulci book, Beyond Terror. They’ve started an Indiegogo campaign here: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/fab-press-beyond-terror-lucio-fulci-book-dvd-cinema-horror#/
Book looks absolutely fucking amazing. Quite pricey but it looks like it’ll be worth every penny.
Over and out…
nice article about the Sacrament here, i know this is a divisive one in the horror thread but i think it’s really good
I really enjoyed this when I saw it. I think I saw it not too long after You’re Next, which shares a lot of the crew with this so I was already pre-disposed to like it (despite the fact that the only other Ti West film I’d seen up to this point was The Roost, a copy of which I won on DVD and really didn’t like…) I remember a lot of comments from folk who seemed pissed that West didn’t make this as a straight up non-fiction adaptation of the Jonestown events, but that was never a problem for me. I really liked this film precisely because of how disturbing it is - to have willingly given up your freedom in pursuit of a better life only to be brainwashed to the point that feeding your own children poison seems like your only way forward - that’s pretty fucking scary… And the inevitability of knowing how the story will end makes it even more tense…
On a completely separate note, I watched the original Godzilla movie this weekend. Had never seen it before and my son has a burgeoning interest in all things giant monster-related, so i figured I’d check this out before watching it with him soon. Everything I’d read about it warned me that this is far from the day-glo monster mash-ups the Godzilla movies have come to be thought of and this is entirely correct. The back of the box describes it as ‘humane and melancholy’ and I can’t think of a much better way to summarize it. Definitely some pretty obvious reflections happening here on the dropping of the bomb and its impact on the Japanese psyche, plus some awesome scenes of the big fella stomping all over Tokyo - so pretty bleak then, but a rare combination of thought-provoking and guy-in-a-suit-stomping action…
Watched last night, Slasher…
Setting its stall out fairly firmly with its title, this TV series doesn’t take long to get into some fairly shocking gore in its opening scene. While the TV format for this kind of caper is fairly novel, the storyline is not particularly - smalltown USA (actually Canada) is terrorised by a serial killer across two generations using the motif of punishing the seven deadly sins (because apparently this has never been done before). It’s fairly hokey in places, and even having become desensitised to certain brain/logic failures from horror characters there are some very poor choices made by the main characters in this. That said, the actual slasher has a nice style, there are some good kills and the whole thing rips along at such a pace that I finished all eight episodes within a week. Most of the cast are intentionally (?) dislikable, but Katie McGrath (you know, her from stuff) is decent as the final girl. The whole first season is generally a homage to Halloween, and a second season currently in production is supposedly going to be strongly influenced by Friday The 13th, a genre hopping approach inspired by the success of American Horror Story apparently. 5/10
From the theatre bastards thread…
Was great fun for a horror fan. I won’t give away all of the references in case anyone is planning on catching it, but a crab walk down some stairs, an appearance out of a TV and an unfriendly right hand were all highly entertaining.
In other news, anyone watching American Gods? By the same team that did Hannibal, which I absolutely loved, this has a very similar style. It is extremely languid in its storytelling, and having got to episode 6 of 8 of the first series they are obviously going to cover only a fraction of the book. Lots of complaints from non-book wankers that it’s difficult to understand which I find a little surprising. Features some great performances from Lovejoy, head nihilist from The Big Lebowski, Pornstache from Orange Is The New Black and the girl from Lemony Snickett. Lead character is played by a former Dream Team/Hollyoaks regular, so well done him…
See, this is what I miss about living in or near a big city…
Not seen American Gods - but I did rewatch ‘May’ last night - fucking love that film. It’s been a good few years since I last saw it and it pretty much totally lives up to the memories I have of it. I love Angela Bettis’ transformation from nerdy shy girl to ice-cold killer and the whole thing is just full of wonderful little moments. Probably up there in my top 10 post-2000 horror movies. Fuck it, here’s a list, in no particular order:
The Love Witch
The Loved Ones
i re-watched You’re Next the other night. think i enjoy it a lot more on rewatch. when i first saw it i thought the tone was swinging too much and it didn’t know whether it wanted to be horror or comedy or some weird combination of the two. ‘i’m the fastest, but i’ve got this fucking arrow in my back’
Really enjoyed You’re Next - Sharni Vinson is such a bad-ass in it - a nice comment on the Final Girl trope. That blender scene toward the end is fucking insane…
I’m always down with some listing
Didn’t put too much thought into it, but when I started listing down some of my favourites it made me realise just how many great horror films are being made that really stretch the genre. In purely alphabetical order, my favourite films of the 2000s:
Behind The Mask: The Rise Of Leslie Vernon
Let The Right One In
Trick R Treat
Pained me to leave Shaun Of The Dead out, but I love it as a comedy more than a horror tbh tbf…
post-2000 horror you say?
Hills Have Eyes remake (fight me)
Green Room (possibly not really a horror film? but few things have evoked that gut-wrenching/visceral dread)
A Horrible Way to Die
We Are What We Are
Some nice movies here – I enjoyed a lot of these: Wolf Creek, The Descent, Session 9, Haute Tension, Let the Right One In and Pontypool all worked for me. Really need to see Green Room and Behind The Mask.
Was just reading an old Rue Morgue article about Takashi Miike the other day and it made me realize that there’s a bunch of his stuff that I still need to see, including Ichi the Killer.
Hoping to find time for The Girl with all the Gifts and Train to Busan soon…
Took my son to see The Mummy yesterday. This was kind of a big deal for us as it was by the far the scariest movie he’s seen so far. We’re both big fans of the old Universal movies and the idea of a ‘Dark Universe’ of interlocking films featuring updated versions of the classics was simply too much to ignore. Of course, this has been slaughtered critically but my son and I had a fantastic time. It turned out to be just the right side of scary (lots of seat-jumpers and some pretty freaky-looking zombie-esque types), meaning that we spent most of the film clutching each other tightly. If you’ve got a pre-teen that you think can handle this kind of stuff, you could certainly do a lot worse than this. Really hope the lackluster reviews don’t put an end to this sequence of films, because I’m intrigued to see where they go next, especially as the next one is mooted to be a new version of the Bride of Frankenstein directed by Bill Condon…
Watched last night, Dead End Drive In…
Classic mid-80s Ozploitation film set in a dystopian future (or maybe just Australia, I dunno) cashing in on the success of the Mad Max series. The dialogue and acting is fairly terrible throughout, but the set and costume design are properly amazing - there’s cyberpunk, post-apocalypse industrial and classic 50s americana in the mix. There are a load of car chases and crashes and a score that couldn’t be more 80s if it tried. Also features a future Miss Australia as the main female protagonist. The story is virtually non-existent, but at only 88 minutes it doesn’t really matter and this is basically just good fun. Also, it’s directed by the guy who did BMX Bandits which was one of my favourite films as a BMX obsessed nipper (and introduced the world to Nicole Kidman natch). 7/10
I finally got to see Under the Shadow. An 8/10 for me. The djiin was very well done, proper spooked me a couple of times.
Other recent watches; The Wave, Norwegian disaster movie from 2015. Not horror, but the sight of the oncoming tsunami and subsequent scenes were pretty horrifying. 8/10.
Sick Nurses. Thai ghost/revenge/hair flick. In one scene, one of the nurses loses her lower jaw, looked hideous. The nurses were hateful, so quite pleased to see them picked off. Unusual story wrap as well. 7/10.
Big Man Japan. Mockumentary about this guy who becomes Big Man Japan, a giant version of himself, thru nipple clamps and electricity, to battle weird monsters that attack Japan. If it wasn’t strange enough, the final scene is a real switch in style. And hilarious. 7.5/10.
Visitor Q. Miike. All the taboos. I didn’t think i’d enjoy this after the incredibly awkward opening scene, but it was amazing. 8.5/10.
The Grim Reaper. Aka anthropophagus, or whatever. The worst scenes were edited ot of this d’amato gorefest. Was ok. 6/10.
The Tunnel. Australian found footage. Some great moments. 7/10.
Eraserhead. Must be 30 years since I last saw it. I don’t mind if it’s another 30 years until I see it again. Incredible but hideous. 8/10.
Used to love Anthropophagous back in the day. Such a weird little film: 80% bland travelog peppered with grueling violence. They sure don’t make 'em like that any more…
I really enjoyed Under the Shadow, probably more so the 2nd time I watched it…
Hope to go see It Comes at Night next week - anyone here seen it?
It Comes At Night has a great trailer, will look out for it.
I watched this last night, bought it last week in a batch from a facebook cult movies group. Like you say, couldn’t be any more 80s if it tried. Fun enough.