(1989) Santa Sangre

This is definitely one of those films that will stick with me for a while, despite how many movies I watch on a weekly basis. It successfully pulls off a not so easy surrealist horror tale that’s balanced perfectly with a decent level of dark humor.

I should mention that in regards to some controversial but coveted surrealist films, this one does indeed, have a plot. The first 30 minutes or so are rightfully bewildering but it does start to come together after that. The content without a clear narrative can seem super r4nd0m so that initial period might lose some people.

Easily the most impressive aspect of this film is the ventriloquism inspired acting. It starts out as a goofy aspect of the plot, something that doesn’t really necessarily grab you. However, by the end of the film, it’s molded into this beautiful, creepy display of possession.

Highly recommend this film to anyone and everyone, stick with it and it pays off.

8.5/10

(1967) Viy

This, as far as I know, is the first and possibly only Soviet Union horror film! How fucking cool is that? Well saddle up boys, because it gets even cooler. *grabs a jacket* The movie itself is so goddamn cool.

Usually with older films I enjoy working out how certain effects were done but there were a few here that puzzled me. For the resources they had, everything looks amazing. It’s an incredibly fluid experience that takes zero time before jumping straight into the scares.

The acting is also surprisingly fluid and expressive which to me, isn’t always the case for 1960’s horror films in general. Our main character is nervous but not on a comically cautious level which really brings life to what is essentially a great haunted house movie.

The film is on the shorter side and definitely speaks for itself better than I can. This is another one to add to the horror movie fan handbook, it shouldn’t be missed.

8/10

(1991) The Addams Family

I laughed harder at the little kids play/blood scene than I have in years. You know when you start laughing and it just kind of grows maniacal? My stoned girlfriend was laughing along encouragingly at first while I heckled insatiably and begin to pour tears. I shit you not, the blood just keeps pouring out from these girls and I’m just laughing harder and harder. I realized I was just stoned and the laughter, or just shallow, breathless convulsions at this point, start to make me nervous as a physically couldn’t stop. If your girlfriend ever told you your laugh was cute, this was not one of those laughs.

I finally stop laughing and feel the post laugh endorphin rush. Realizing that’s the happiest I’ve been in months thankfully brought me back down to a comfortable, operational depression.

Awesome movie.

8/10

(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

(2003) Underworld

I actually found this film to be pretty tactless but I couldn’t help but also feel like it just wasn’t my cup of tea.

First off, as my regular readers know, I’m not a huge fan of heavy filters, especially ones that tend to naturally bore. The filter on this film does exactly that, it bored me to tears. When everything looks the same, nothing looks good.

When I say this movie is tactless, I really just mean that it’s filmed for a generally unintelligent audience. In that sense, I can see how they made this into a franchise film. Everything is explained directly to the audience from the characters so there’s no confusion as to what’s going on or who’s who. That’s a shitty way to explain it but hopefully you get what I mean.

I thought the climax looked really stupid but that’s also just my opinion, I don’t necessarily think it’s weak on any major technical level.

While Kate Beckinsale’s leather body suit may have unearthed yet another fetish for me, I don’t think this is a good film. It’s not terrible by any means, just not my cup of tea.

5.5/10

(2002) Dog Soldiers

Well fuccin eh ya cunt, we got a bloody great werewolf movie right here. But seriously, this is an awesome movie and one that I’d toss in there with any of the top werewolf movies.

It just really defies expectations one minute at a time. I spent the entire portion of the finale just smiling, wondering how they made such a great movie out of a seemingly stupid premise.

The performances are very early 2000’s to begin with and then the script suddenly starts tossing in these really insightful moments. It just makes for a special experience and the kind of film you can see tossing in your regular Halloween rotation.

In conclusion, tons of awesome practical effects. Oh right, I never talked about that but yeah, zero CGI in this bad boy. It’s a ton of fun, it’s action packed, it has dogs, it has dog soldiers, it has- well, you get it.

7.5/10