Happy new year everyone - I hope we all took the opportunity during the festive period to eat, drink and be scary…
A new thread for a new year, and a chance to look forward to what’s coming up in the next 12 months after another year of horror hitting both the big and small screen hard.
Preview of 2019 films:
Preview of 2019 TV:
What is telling from looking at ^that lot is how much of a backwards looking lean there is to many of the major upcoming releases. Not that surprising I guess, as the series of serious box office returns on modest budgets that horror has delivered over the past few years has obviously piqued the industry’s interest, but also seen the traditional conservatism of screen big business. Hopefully, the trickle down (the horror, the horror) is that more interesting smaller projects get greenlit.
i had a thought - could we maybe adjust the title to include B-movie/suspense/sci-fi or otherwise horror adjacent films? there’s always been a lot of overlap in the threads anyway and it’s probably easier than always prefacing posts with ‘not strictly horror but…’
i think the real reason i’m asking this is that i’m kind of bored with conventional horror but i don’t like the main film discussion thread on the boards
I would be up for this, as you’ve basically described my favourite genre there.
In that vein (but very much not a 2019 vein), I’ve just finished watching Gremlins with my daughter (who is off school ill, but not too ill that she can’t appreciate some good anarchy and wilful destruction). Obviously, it is completely brilliant, but I am just being more-DiS-than-thou if I say that this time round I picked up bit of a xenophobic subtext? I say subtext, but the Mr Futterman character’s entire role is to shout about buying American, and then the meat of the movie is a bunch of mass produced Far Eastern imports literally smashing up the classic American wholesome small town…
I watched this over Christmas for maybe the first time in…20 years
I did not feel this subtext however - Futterman seems to be there to add backstory but also to be a clear figure of ridicule. If anything, the final scene where the Mogwai is reclaimed by its owner is more of a comment on US consumerism/responsibility.
That said, agree - it is absolutely brilliant. Might watch the second one in the near future as I remember also loving that, albeit in a very different vein.
Also watched Krampus over the festive season (marooned on Channel 5 - for shame). Good but not great - still a worthy addition to the Christmas horror genre however. 7/10
Happy New Year guys and ghouls! Spent the festive season watching a bunch of stuff:
Gremlins – Have to say that the aforementioned subtext never occurred to me, but then I probably have blinkers on when it comes to this film because I love it so much. This was the first time I’d seen it in a while though; went to see it with my wife and son. Son absolutely loved it as I suspected he would, so job done.
Dead of Night – Posted about the first episode of this, The Exorcism, in the 2018 thread. Caught up with the other two surviving episodes, Return Flight and A Woman Sobbing. The former’s not that great and probably miss-able unless you’re a haunted WWII aircraft completist. A Woman Sobbing is much better though, only slightly less effective than the amazing Exorcism. This one finds a frustrated wife and mother hearing a disembodied woman sobbing in her attic. Very feminist and very scary.
Bride of Frankenstein – Re-watched this last Friday. An absolute classic that I can watch endlessly. Son loved it and wife feel asleep.
Hereditary – Best horror of 2018? For me, almost certainly. I saw this at the cinema when it first came out and loved it and watching it at home, knowing what was to come, proved to be a different, but no less terrifying experience. I really liked this film and if 2019 gives us anything approaching the quality of this (looking at you Jordan Peele and Jennifer Kent), I’ll be a happy man.
The Mysteries of Udolpho – Wife got me this for my birthday in December. I love me some Ann Radcliffe. All gothic castles and spooky happenings that turn out to have perfectly rational explanations. Kind of like an 18th century Scooby-Doo.
That’s it. Oh, I’m totally up for casting the net of this thread as wide as we all want to. I think that horror should be as diverse and inclusive a genre as possible so if you think something belongs here, we’ll find a home for it in our blackened hearts…
A Warning to the Curious: This is another of the BBC’s Christmas Ghost Stories from the early 70s, and as with the others I mentioned in the 2018 thread, this is pretty phenomenal. We’re back in MR James territory, with this one being directed by Lawrence Gordon Clark who was also behind the camera for The Stalls of Barchester. This is lovely stuff and somewhat reminiscent of Whistle and I’ll Come to You in that this centers on a typically James-ian antiquarian digging something up that should have probably stayed buried. Our protagonist here is Peter Vaughan (Grouty from Porridge), who gives a nicely restrained performance as an amateur historian determined to make his mark on the world of professional archaeology. He’s joined by Clive Swift reprising his role of Dr Black from …Barchester. The atmosphere here is pitch-perfect with Clark transforming the beautiful Norfolk coastal scenery into something truly eerie. You can probably tell that I loved pretty much everything about this and I’m genuinely looking forward to getting to more of these soon. Next up is Lost Hearts, which I’ve heard really good things about…
Island of Lost Souls: Gave this a watch last night and was suitably entertained. Charles Laughton is wonderfully oily here as Dr Moreau, a scientist convinced that all animal life is destined to evolve into humanity and who sees it as his job to help the process along. There’s a lot to enjoy here, although I maybe didn’t enjoy it quite as much as I’d expected. This could be partly due to the fact of the protagonists being a little lack-luster and also that the tone is quite dark. Nevertheless, Bela Lugosi is on hand, if all too briefly, as the Sayer of the Law and absolutely makes the most of his time onscreen. The make-up is pretty amazing too, with some of the designs for the manimals still being genuinely disturbing nearly 100 years after the film was made. This is also quite a lot more ‘grown-up’ than some of its contemporaries, even if the film’s most gruesome ideas (interspecies rape, anyone?) remain implied rather than visualized. I’d recommend this if you’re interested in early scary movies and want something a little more adult than the Universal monster movies…
Had read some negative reviews of this, but I thought it was…alright. Cinematography was pretty neat, as was the split timeline and some of the performances (Malkovich - pleasingly scenery chewing, Bullock - actually good). Way too long, and maybe not the most original (ie A Quiet Place featuring a different sense). Surprised to see this was directed by Susanne Bier - love her Danish work and glad that with this and The Night Manager she seems to be establishing herself in English language productions after the fairly terrible Serena. Better than I was expecting. 6/10
On a related subject, for fans of never fully explained
outbreak films, if there’s one film I will continue to hawk around here (that isn’t Absentia) it’s Pontypool - a super tight, one location, genuinely original shocker. Has similar themes to Bird Box but is superior in every way. Therefore nice to see it get two mentions in this list