(1973) The Exorcist

These types of films are always difficult to write about simply because, as a horror fan, I’ve already heard everything there is to hear about this movie. Oh and I’m not talking about exorcism movies, I’m talking about perfect movies.

This is the type of film where people have to make up negative things just so they have something to dispel. “Many people think the build up is too slow but…blah blah” Yeah, no one really thinks that, it’s a pretty universally praised movie. While we’re on the build up, it might be the most intelligent aspect to this movie. William Friedkin takes the time to let the characters accept their reality in a realistic manner. It’s a technique that creates a very human aspect to them and watching the mother and the priest break down actually becomes as horrific as anything else here.

I can definitely see this film being very scary during its heyday and I’m not at all saying it doesn’t age well, I’m just numb to it all at this point. The effects, acting, cinematography and sound design are all fantastic.

I’m still not ready to give out my perfect 10/10 but this one came pretty damn close. This does not feel like an early 70’s film, it’s truly something special.

9.5/10

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(1963) Twice-Told Tales

Twice told tales is our second old horror anthology of the week, this time takes from Nate Hawthorne’s work. I can call him Nate because we’re tight.

It’s a fun, old school Vincent Price style horror for all three mini-flicks. I’d also argue that all three are pretty much equal in terms of quality. They’re classic style stories, executed in a simple way with clear messages.

These aren’t horrifying shorts, despite being of the horror genre; but instead, brightly saturated creepy tales suitable for all ages. This is the fuccin mac and cheese of horror films. It’s just a good ol’ curl up with your best bitch movie and I love that.

I’m too hungover to keep rambling, just fuck off.

7/10

(1985) Phenomena

Phenomena isn’t as tight and long lasting as Suspiria but nevertheless, it’s endless 80’s cheese and perfect to watch your bitch. Actually, truth be told, this isn’t really the type of movie I want to see from such a talented director. There’s so much depth to the production in Suspiria that a goofy 80’s movie is almost a let down. I’m literally not sure if this is a good review or a bad one at this point but let’s roll on.

As far as acting goes, it isn’t good. I won’t really entertain any other opinions on that. There’s some moments where the dialogue becomes an unnecessary narration of obvious actions, specifically making me cringe at the ending. It’s worth noting that people think this ending is awesome and well, it really is! It’s just not “good”. I talked about that over explaining dialogue problem in my Goodnight Mommy review if you want to read a slightly angrier reaction to that bullshit.

There’s also these heavy metal songs that I truthfully don’t know how I feel about. I love Argento and Iron Maiden but together? I really just don’t fucking know.

This is such a fun story that it’s impossible to shit on this movie completely. Basically like I said, it has its flaws but for a cheesy 80’s horror movie, it’s among the greats.

5/10

no wait… 7/10

yeah…7/10

6.5/10

(1968) Spirits of the Dead

Spirits of the Dead is an old school horror anthology with a pretty solid lineup of directors; Louis Malle, Roger Vadim and Frederico Fellini. They each do their take on an Edgar Allen Poe story. Full disclosure, I’m really not familiar with Poe’s actual writing outside of the main pieces so I’m not even going to comment on that.

Cutting straight to the chase, Roger Vadim’s short film to start this off is pretty weak. I just didn’t care for it so that’s all I have to say.

I wasn’t floored by Louis Malle’s one either albeit is was better than Vadim’s. I’d say this one is definitely worth checking out, it’s just not too dense.

The last film from Fellini titled Toby Dammit is incredible, a total Fellini movie but very Twilight Zone-y in style. It’s an interesting take on alcoholism and greed. It also manages to look fantastic and the entire short has a nightmarish tone to it. The story does devolve into chaos towards the end but the build-up is masterfully subtle to the point where I felt like I was breaking down along with Terrance Stamp (Toby).

9/10 Toby Dammit

5/10 for the whole fuccin thing

(2014) Bodom

At just over an hour long, Bodom never really seems to drag along but unfortunately, despite some momentum, end up being pretty forgettable.

It’s basically two people go to a lack to investigate some old murders and it devolves into the Hungarian version of The Blair Witch Project, which isn’t a bad thing, except they were boasting a potentially more complicated premise that just can’t be executed with TBWP‘s formula.

Lots of really vague ideas and imagery; nothing really ever comes together. With all that negativity though, I did enjoy the film for not being as shitty as it could have been. The atmosphere was creepy, pacing was great and it really showed some promise.

It’s really a film that’s so close to being good that I wouldn’t be surprised if some other found footage fan really loved it. For me, instead of teetering between a 9 or a 10, it’s between a 5 and a 10. My gut instinct says this didn’t quite work and we need a bit more explained but hey, I’m pretty full of shit so what the fuck do I know.

5/10

 

(2016) Swiss Army Man

A couple things; go on imdb for the description, I’m too lazy to formulate a short coherent plot analysis. I’m going to roughly go over some themes in the movie, no spoilers don’t worry, I’m just going over general character dynamics. Whether these two gentleman buttfuck each other will remain a mystery until you see it for yourself.

I’m including this movie in the blog posts because it has enough body horror to break into the genre. More importantly though, for many viewers it will test your comfort zone which is something horror nerds crave. It’s not a dude raping his own son in A Serbian Film or a bunch of teenage boys eating human shit in Salo but it manages to tap into, for me, a disconnect in my subconscious that can’t deal with homosexuality.

Before I call everyone homophobic let me just say that one of the dudes is a fucking dead farting corpse and even more importantly, they’re friends, there’s many factors at play here that make the viewer hesitant in accepting anything romantic between the two. From the moment he finds the body on the beach I knew the clock was ticking before they started to get into some gay shit. It’s a huge theme throughout the movie, also a part of a more general theme about being yourself and accepting yourself. It rears its ugly head pretty quickly and puts the viewer to work.

Aside from these kind of big, ambitious ideas at play, everything in Swiss Army Man feels soft and whimsical (am I gay?). It’s really fucking weird and towards the end of the movie you have kind of bought into the weirdness to an extent where the cloud of fart dissipates just enough to see the landscape of the entire movie.

I’d recommend this to anyone and everyone; it’s original, effective and important; most important to the people who would normally be put off by it. The ending is perfect as well, something of a magic trick really. Daniels’ teases every cliche’, predictable ending that you could think of, before showing you the perfect one.

9/10

(2016) Before I Wake

Every single fucking thing that anybody has said (potentially including myself) about this movie is fucking cancerous. Horror fans are some of the dumbest pieces of shit to walk the earth, smearing red paint on anything that doesn’t actually scare them. The genre doesn’t always have to live and die around what goes bump in the night, there’s a plethora of morbid reality to play with and evoke some strong negative emotion; the ultimate goal.

Before I Wake is an incredibly angelic approach to horror that manages to be completely genuine in its sentiment towards a topic that effects so many people. The entire movie itself looks fantastic, just like all of Mike Flanagan’s work. It’s almost like a lot of these hot directors right now are taking a clean, crisp approach to horror, forgoing some intentionally gritty production that other horror movies have capitalized on in the past. Love it or hate it, I don’t give a fuck but that’s what’s going on here.

The acting all around is aesthetically pleasing, really complimenting the story as apposed to being standout performances. Everything just works and in the end I felt very emotional. Was it because I was ripping shots of vodka? Probably. Was it because I’m sad in general? Oh god please help me.

Just because I cum doesn’t mean it was a great blowjob but it means it was at least a good blowjob. I’m not going to chastise anyone who didn’t like this movie, it takes a bit of a leap and if the ending doesn’t land for you then that’s that. Personally, I think this is one of the better horror movies to come out this year, taking a huge influence from The Babadook while establishing its own identity.

8.5/10