(1983) The Day After

Well I guess this is Tv movie month over here at YOH. If they keep coming in on this level of quality, I certainly won’t be mad about it. The Day After is a great nuclear war movie that manages to really dial in on the horror aspects of it all.

John Lithgow is in it, nothing really crazy coming out of his performance but it’s still cool to see a younger version of an actor I respect so much. The acting overall is solid, a bit overdramatized for me to praise any realism but the film was explicitly conscious of that fact so no points off.

I want to wrap this review up quickly but let me just praise the creative visual effects. The actual bomb going off, as well as the creepy, rural, post-apocalyptic setting were so fucking cool. It’s worth a watch just for this alone.

This is an easy recommendation for me, it’s a bit long but well paced and has a unique atmosphere in a sea of similar films from this era.

7/10

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(2016) A Cure for Wellness

I’m very much torn on this film. I do think it’s tedious nature is incorporated purposefully into the well crafted atmosphere but it also stands out as a fault in a film that’s way too long.

This fucking movie is two and a half hours long. I understand Gore is used to doing big Pirates of the Caribbean movies but I just don’t think that length directly translates to a horror film. When I think of films that have been really successful at this length, such as The Shining, they all have one thing in common which is an intricate, compelling story line. A Cure for Wellness doesn’t have this. I know people think it does but the plot is actually very basic. The confusion is that in stark contrast to the big Hollywood style digital production, it seems shockingly brazen.

Now if it seems like I didn’t like the ending, that’s not the case. I loved the ending, I just wish we had arrived there sooner. I was expecting a deep psychological thriller and given what I had been fed after two hours, there just wasn’t enough substance to pull off anything too deep. What they could settle with, was boldness. The ending is pure, enjoyable horror but still an unsavory result of a frustratingly unabridged film.

I really appreciate our lead Dane DeHaan, who no one in the community is talking about. I’m not inclined to specifically bash his acting, but as an entire package, he’s the Walmart Leo Dicaprio. When they loaded this prepubescent man child into the role of stressed out, corrupt, wall street guy, I thought I accidentally started watching a live action movie of Boss Baby.

While on the subject of acting though, I will say that Jason Isaacs is an absolute delight. His performance is villainous and cold. I really think in terms of acting, he and Mia Goth are the only two people worth talking about. I’m not sure if Mia just looks kind of creepy or if her acting is actually capturing that talented, subtleness but either way, I enjoyed her performance.

Overall, I’d have to say this film very much validates both the opinions of people who loved it and others who were disappointed.

6/10

(1971) Blade The Ripper

This is by far the best Giallo film I’ve seen so far. It features a legitimately thrilling mystery and tons of violent sexual deviance.

The lead actresses are absolutely gorgeous and bare it all semi-frequently, in a way that strangely avoids ever feeling like cheap smut. It’s very atmospheric, especially sonically and it looks all around gorgeous for the most part. Fear and sex tend to pair really well and it’s no different for this film.

I’m kind of stumbling over some talking points that all seem to dabble in spoilers so I think I’ll leave it at that. Highly recommend to everyone but especially those who gravitate towards Italian horror.

7.5/10

(1994) Without Warning

Keeping in vague baby, the underdog TV-movie’s biggest asset. That kind of applies to life in general though right? I feel like the more you talk the more likely you are just to start spewing bullshit, hence this blog, sorry.

This is dope though, not too dope, but dope. It’s not really that suspenseful and the entire spectacle is full of asinine bullshit but some conspiracy nut. It cut the realism factor a bit but then again, the public loves aliens (myself included).

You might want to iMBD this at this point because I’ve explained nothing. Jane Kaczmarek is in this though and she’s actually pretty okay. It’s tough to think of her outside of Malcolm in the Middle but I did my best.

This is totally worth watching though and a decent copy in its entirety is on YouTube. These TV disaster movies are great. I’m giving it a lower rating just because of the general shittiness of it but it still gets a thumbs up.

6.5/10

(2000) Ginger Snaps

Ginger Snaps is- oh wow, I just got the title. Ginger snaps as in loses her mind but it’s also a double entendre for a cookie? It’s probably best not to think about the title too much. Only because it implies a silliness that’s far too juvenile to properly represent this excellent teen horror.

I love the characters, really the perfect embodiment of morbid curiosity as well as a clever representation of coming into your own sexuality. I’m having a hard time explaining anything else about them without giving away a spoiler.

It’s a really great movie, intelligent as well as being a ton of fun.

7.5/10

(1983) Special Bulletin

Incredibly suspenseful TV movie. There seems to be hoards of these nuclear bomb TV movies from the 80’s (obviously) and they’re all surprisingly decent.

The acting in Special Bulletin is really solid and the situation itself, although farfetched, quickly becomes very realistic and panicked. The real life news anchors professionalism exemplifies all the suspense tenfold. It’s a sick pleasure of mine seeing news anchors try to keep their composure during tragedies, there’s something very humanizing about it.

I don’t want to spoil anything but the very last say 30 seconds or so of this film are way too relevant to todays media or well, media in general. The world is pretty shitty in general but films like this really remind me how lucky the we are to have never experiences nuclear war on our home soil.

7/10