(2016) Cold Moon

This cocksucker came out of nowhere with such an interesting, random cast and crew. It’s a totally solid ghost story though that has excellent cinematography. I seriously mean that, this film looks fucking fantastic.

The special effects for the most part, are pretty great. They’re boosted up by a loud, booming (original?) score and even the overly CGI moments don’t detract from the quality much.

It wasn’t an entirely difficult role to play but I thought Josh Stewart did his character justice.

Besides Josh, the quality of acting tended to take a dip. There were some really awkward moments of dialogue unfortunately. Not enough to ruin the film or anything but you know, just kind of, eh.

I still dug it as a whole, really solid stuff.

7/10

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(2016) Carnage Park

I really hated this first portion of this vehemently for its stylistic direction. I fucking hate blanket filters in horror movies, whether it’s a dull blur/grey or in this films case, a saturated orange. I think that filmmakers use the orange filter to set that desert tone but you know what already sets the tone for a desert film? The fucking desert.

There’s also some Tarantino ripoff shit going on but for some reason, all of this nonsense is toned down once the film really gets going. From that point forward it’s mostly a competent but uninteresting effort. Everything is just alright.

I’m totally indifferent on this one, if you liked it, cool. If not, whatever.

5/10

(1955) The Night of the Hunter

This one was recommended to me but I should add a disclaimer that I think it might loosely fit the genre for most people. With that being said, it’s a fantastic film.

The story itself is very sinister and for that reason, it absolutely belongs on this blog. While 1950’s cinema will rarely be “scary” to me, the situation as a whole uneases me. Harry Powell, especially after his initial introduction, plays a genuinely creepy character.

The film just looks fantastic, I mean seriously, it doesn’t get much better for the era. The depth for a black and white film is incredible, especially in the backdrops. It makes for some really iconic looking scenes and those moments are probably what I’ll hold onto as time passes. The underwater shot of the car was fucking stunning.

My only one small complaint would be the slightly hallmark style ending. I didn’t think it felt disingenuous, but it wasn’t exactly to my style.

I’d highly recommend this, almost especially if you have a short attention span for the classics. The story is fluid and paced really well.

8/10

(2016) Hounds of Love

I have a sneaking suspicion that this film will be praised substantially in the years to come and people will walk away feeling like they saw an incredible piece of art. I want to just say upfront that the masterpiece wrapping paper is really only a precursor to a film that in the end, plays it safe.

I don’t know what to say about the cinematography, it just felt like a ripoff of every “raw” and “powerful” modern film. It’s this odd mix of shaky cam and artfully long shots with mismatched focus. I’ve seen it before and have been impressed but I really hope this doesn’t set the standard for what a film needs to be impactful. Some of my favorite horror movies of all time display most of their originality in the production.

My second issue is with the story. It’s predictable and almost to a fault of Susie Porter’s exceptional acting, which made all the ins and outs of her character instantly transparent. I felt the dynamic between her and Stephen Curry’s character was realistic but it didn’t make for the most interesting on-screen adaptation. As soon as I stop thinking about the abductor as a threat, which is something that happened very early on, I can already see our positive ending Unfortunately, I was pretty confident in this instant of predictability and the rest of the film didn’t do anything to change that so here we are.

Lastly, and this is my most petty complaint, the ending scene is just…off. The song choice, the slo-mo, it just didn’t feel right. It cut short the films most intense, sweaty-palms sequence and left me feeling kind of whatever.

I realize this entire review seems like endless criticism but the movie’s strongpoints are obvious. I’m expecting most people to love this, I even really enjoyed it myself. I just wanted to offer a different perspective for the casual filmgoers who aren’t as psychotically focused or familiar with other abduction movies. This entire film is like a very expensive painting that, while I can appreciate and enjoy, could never justify buying.

6.5/10

(1996) Ebola Syndrome

Holy shit this movie rocks. I’ve never been so entertained watching a man run around raping people and infecting everyone with Ebola.

Don’t get me wrong, some parts of the film are a bit silly but absolutely intentionally so. In fact, it’s the comedy that really helps balance out all the heinous things that play out here.

I’m not really sure what else to say except I wish more people knew about this. This might not be a popcorn movie for everyone because of all the rape and whatnot but I found it to be a ton of fun.

7/10

(2010) Trust

In the sex predator film pool, this was a totally different breed of film then say Hard Candy. This was painfully realistic, a complete dichotomy of being disgusted and impressed the entire time.

Standout performances from Clive Owen and Liana Liberto; Catherine Keener is always a delight as well. Beyond the realism of the horror aspects of this film, the drama portion was incredibly complex. I’m blown away by how well these actors came together to finish this dark painting of sexual assault aftermath.

That’s basically it, really powerful stuff. Also, David Schwimmer directed this? Well, props to him. You can catch this film on Netflix right now if anyone wants to ruin their evening.

8.5/10

(2016) Nocturnal Animals

I’ve heard a few people mention this one in the horror circles so I decided to finally pull the trigger. I was and still am (just ended) pretty blown away by this one.

This ranks among some of the most depressive movies I’ve seen to date. It makes a bold statement about decisions, ugliness, selfishness and the value of protecting the people you love. As Gyllenhaal’s character says, “When you love someone you have to be careful with it, you might never get it again.” The statement itself sounds cheesy out of context but the film displays its importance among the grittiness of the violent story in parallel with a story more relatable to the audience.

Excellent film, highly recommend it. It will most likely be one that connects with each person on a slightly different, more personal level but it has something for everyone to appreciate.

9/10