I have seen AOJD. I thought it was…fine?
Need to watch Baskin and Sacred Deer myself - please report back
I have seen AOJD. I thought it was…fine?
Need to watch Baskin and Sacred Deer myself - please report back
I had a bit of an issue with an aspect of it but Sacred Deer is an interesting one otherwise - I don’t think I’ve seen a film where every aspect felt so intentionally designed to make you feel uncomfortable.
Yep, I think it was that final third where I started losing interest. Having said that, I’ve been reading some interesting theories online that the whole thing is a hallucination. Might be up for a re-watch to see if that holds water…Report on Baskin and Sacred Deer coming soon!
Nice, that sounds like exactly the kind of thing I enjoy. What is wrong with me?
baskin is a bit rubbs
Not the psycho-sexual gore-fest I’m hoping for, then?
not at all aha
it’s gory all right. just overly grim
Fair enough, I’ll let you know what I think in about a week or so…
Watched last night Sorority Row (2009)
haha this was great. don’t know why it’s rated so lowly, maybe it came out at a weird time. it’s a ‘remake’ but not really a remake at all, i believe. I wouldn’t know because whatever the original is i haven’t seen it.
Anyway, no pretensions at all here, just a slasher with a few brutal death scenes, but the main thing that i really enjoyed was the comedy elements. The main protagonists are all girls and the main ‘bitchy’ character is absolutely hilarious, some of the line deliveries i’m still chuckling at. Nice cinematography as well. I’m sure one scene might have influenced the climax of The Guest.
oh yeah lol forgot, Carrie Fisher makes a great cameo. That alone makes it really weird the film seems to have been completely forgotten
Think I have the house to myself tonight. Anything good added to Netflix / Prime / Now TV in the last few weeks?
Baskin: My expectations lowered by @TKC, this proved to have a lot more going for it than I thought it might. This is one strange little film; I have to say, while I was watching it, I was totally immersed in what seemed like one of the more intense films I’ve seen recently. Yet within about 5 minutes of it finishing, I was mentally shrugging my shoulders and ready for bed. It was like taking a hit of filmic poppers – hysterical for a minute or two and then gone, leaving a faint headache. The film sees a group of Turkish cops hanging out at a restaurant and then driving around before being called to provide back-up in a sketchy part of town. Once they arrive, the shit really hits the fan, as they descend into a torture-porn nightmare with some really unpleasant gore sequences. I’m surprised by how much I ‘enjoyed’ this, at least while I was watching it. Graphic scenes of violence aren’t what really draws me to horror and here these scenes are pretty much the film’s raison d’etre. But the whole thing is suffused with a really weird atmosphere that grabbed me from the get-go and it ended up reminding me of something that Laird Barron might write: creepy, creepier and then BAM! – Insanity! The film is also reminiscent of something like Martyrs, in that our protagonists slowly descend into a hideous world of increasingly extreme violence with little hope of escape. I guess I must be sick, because there’s something in that premise that tickles my reptile brain, although as mentioned above, I don’t think of myself as being drawn to this type of film… Some more characterization would have been appreciated but I will say that I was particularly freaked out by Baba, the master of ceremonies for the film’s atrocities. So no masterpiece but there’s no doubt that everyone involved was fully committed to making a HORROR film – if you’re in the mood for something dark and gritty but that won’t fuck you up for days afterwards, you could do worse than this…
The Killing of a Sacred Deer: There’s been talk lately (at least in my head) about such things as ‘elevated horror’ or ‘horror adjacent’ films. I guess you could make a case for trying to smuggle this into such a category. It’s most certainly not a conventional horror film and I can’t imagine that anyone who saw The Lobster, Yorgos Lanthimos’ previous film, would go into this expecting such. In the same way that Baskin is HORROR, this is primarily ART, drawing inspiration from Greek mythology. I think your enjoyment of this will largely depend on what you’re up for: if you’re looking for a dark art-house film with very mannered performances, amazing sound design and style to burn, this should do the trick. If you want a horror film that isn’t scared to be a horror film, avoid. A lot of reviews I’ve read have insisted upon the film’s deep black comedy; there are definitely laugh out loud moments - Nicole Kidman’s line, ‘We all have lovely hair’ stood out for me - but overall, the comedy is pretty grim. The tone is generally very cold and bleak, its atmosphere enhanced by the flatness of the performances, with Colin Farrell in particular eschewing a more naturalistic reading for a line-delivery that has been sucked dry of all emotion, but which works perfectly for the film. The plot sees Farrell’s surgeon character being forced to make an impossible choice by the son of a former patient; I won’t say any more than that to avoid spoilers. There have been several horror films in the recent past that probably play differently depending on whether you are a parent or not (The Babadook, Hereditary), and this is one of them. This won’t be to all tastes - if you didn’t like The Lobster you can skip this, but if you enjoyed it, you should check this out. Lanthimos is slowly creating a relatively unique body of work and this deserves to be seen.
My Mom’s A Werewolf: Yikes, this is bad. Not really, really bad, but still pretty pitiful. This is a PG rated comedy from the late 80s that sees a suburban mother getting bitten by a pet-store owner (played by the wonderful John Saxon), who slowly (very slowly) turns into a werewolf. And that’s pretty much it. For 88 long minutes… Tonally, this thing is all over the place. It basically wants to be a sex comedy, but obviously the PG rating prevents it from going all the way. Arguably, there’s the kernel of a good movie here – boost the rating up to R, hire some better actors, and you could have something along the lines of Fright Night. Sadly, this is nowhere near as good. John Saxon is mostly wasted here, it takes far too long for the mom to go full werewolf and when she does, the mask looks like it was bought from the local convenience store 5 minutes before they started shooting. It’s not all bad: there are some funny one-liners, there’s a wonderful scene near the beginning where the mom’s daughter and her horror-obsessed BFF attend a horror convention complete with old issues of horror magazines and masks, etc and if you make it to the end you’ll be rewarded with a brief cameo from a pre-Twin Peaks Kimmy Robertson. But, ultimately, unless you’re some werewolf-movie completist freak, you can probably avoid this.
i looked into Baskin a bit more after my last reply, apparently there’s all kinds of stuff going on there that’s related to Turkish folk stories, superstitions etc. seems like there’s a lot going on under the surface.
Cool list of horror fiction with lots that I’ve never heard of: https://www.npr.org/2018/08/16/632779706/click-if-you-dare-100-favorite-horror-stories
Of the newer ones that I’ve read here, I’d recommend: The Fisherman, House of Leaves, The Red Tree and Experimental Film - all well worth checking out. Happy reading!
I see Slenderman is getting rave reviews not
Some great stuff on this list
Agreed. Just wish I had more time to read some of it…
Did two days of FrightFest at the weekend which is always a blast. Films were a mixed bag as ever, but just the joy of seeing some of the more pulpy ones playing to a packed house on a massive screen makes everything bar the worst an enjoyable experience…
Ravers – rave based zombie flick, set in Chicago but actually filmed in Cardiff (neat trick). Good fun twist on the zombie genre, with a good mix of peril and laughs plus a likeable young cast. The soundtrack for the rave scenes sounded immense coming through Empire (now actually sadly Cineworld) Leicester Square’s speakers. Also features Natasha Henstridge – for about a minute. 6/10
Heretiks – nuns versus demons. This was by the director of The Seasoning House and Howl, both of which I found entertaining, so had high hopes for this especially as Clare Higgins (Hellraiser) was in the main cast. . Nice use of location, but overall found it a bit flat. That said, my sister enjoyed this so maybe it’s horses for course. Also features Michael Ironside – for about a minute. 5/10
Chuck Steel: Night Of The Trampires – saw the short film of this five (!) years ago at FrightFest and loved it. Feels a bit like less is more having seen the feature length version of this tbh tbf, but enjoyable nonetheless. Adult stop go animation is something of a niche genre for sure, but the amount of love that has obviously gone into crafting this is impressive – the puppetry, action scenes and settings are awesome. Plenty of jokes all the way through, but overall struggled a bit to maintain my interest for a full 90 minutes. 6/10
What Keeps You Alive – surprise gem of the weekend. While this may have a classic horror set up (isolated cabin on the lake natch) this is definitely not standard horror fare. Annoyingly one of the cast gave away a key plot point in the intro to the film (wtf?) so I would say that not knowing too much about this in advance is certainly beneficial. Edge of the seat stuff and excellent performances from the two leads. 8/10
Upgrade – this has already been released in the US and is getting a cinema release here too, so is understandably more commercial fodder. More near future sci-fi than horror, nonetheless this is entertaining actiony stuff. Directed by Saw star/creator Leigh Whannel, his Q&A afterwards was an interesting insight into the lengths a film may have to go to in order to stretch a $5m budget into making a visually very stylish sci-fi flick. As an aside, he is a very entertaining guy 7/10
Fright Fest – don’t know to what extent this got billed purely because of the name but it is absolute garbage. It felt as though someone had watched four horror films ever and has decided they know what the kids liked and mashed them together into one giant cliché. Not a single element of this works well. 1/10
White Chamber – British near future psychological thriller starring her from The Descent. Initially looks like it might be an uncomfortably close re-tread of Cube before becoming something much more interesting altogether. Makes good use of it minimal settings and cast to deliver an interesting moral conundrum. 7/10
Sybil – short film from the wonderful Joanne Mitchell, who was great as both writer and star of Bait at FrightFest a couple of years back (while not being part of the Emmerdale cast with her also second job in horror husband Dominic Brunt). Nice set up and execution with a good visual style. 7/10
He’s Out There – extremely derivative slasher terrorises women in isolated cabin in the woods by the lake (in contrast to What Keeps You Alive above). Features some serious child peril, which is pretty much my kryptonite in horror films, but otherwise fairly lacklustre. Features Dexter’s missus from the final two series in the lead as someone who even by horror film standards struggles to make logical decisions. Few decent jump scares and some reasonably creepy imagery, but nothing new here. 5/10
Aterrados (Terrified – UK title) – this Argentinian ghost story is pretty great. Edge of your seat scary pretty much all the way through, it constantly keeps you guessing what is coming next right up to its conclusion. Judging from the reactions of the audience around me, a lot of other people found this pretty scary as my neighbour virtually jumped into my lap at one point. Great visual style as well. 9/10
Got 10 minutes of footage of the next Cloverfield (?) instalment Overlord too, on pain of being sued into oblivion by Bad Robot if anyone was so much as seen as reaching for their phone during the showing. It looks…fine I guess. Will be hard pushed to not better The Cloverfield Paradox tbh tbf…
Good work, chap! Love that poster for American Fright Fest - kind of what people who regard horror fans as deviants probably think all horror movie posters are like…