(1963) The Birds

One of those most successful aspects of this film is its ability to create tension and establish a pacing that sucks you in and keeps your engaged. I can’t even tell you how many films were inspired by this film. With that being said, there are some issues.

The issues I have with this film are really straightforward. While it can be difficult at first to review an older film that utilizes a ton of special effects, I have a good grasp on to what kind of techniques remain timeless, as well as what falls into the opposite end of the spectrum.

The first scene to bother me was the fireplace scene. I won’t go into any specifics on what happens but they utilize this overlay technology that in my opinion, looks extremely awkward. It looks awkward in part due to the fact that you had actors reacting to what would be post-production work. We know now that it can be done and with mesmerizing results, even with full CGI. However, it seems back then that actors weren’t able to get the proper, real-time feedback needed to lay forth convincing performances. This is something no one talks about with Hitchcock (at least through my limited research) but I felt it was an easy call and important to mention.

Beyond that, performances are great and I love the truly mysterious nature of the plot. Despite being a constant source of audience distress, I love mystery and things happening for no particular reason will always have a place in the horror genre.

Along with the mysetrious nature of the film, it almost leads to kind of a dystopian perspective, as events transpire with no real hope. Hope coming in forms of explanation or even ways to combat the problem. It really sets up just a wondurful final scene, both visually and the general tone of it all.

All-in-all, I really like this film but I don’t hold it to be a masterpiece like everyone else does.

7/10

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(1971) Short Night of Glass Dolls

I think giallo films can oftentimes get a bad rap for being way too structured and similar, much like the slasher genre. I can feel that way sometimes but I’ve obviously reviewed a bunch on this site that I loved and felt were really creative. However, Short Night of Glass Dolls might be the most creative just in terms of storytelling.

As you can read through the basic description or even just find out through the first 10 min of the film, most of the narrative takes place within the confines of a man trapped inside his own body. The story really goes even deeper inward than that but whatever, you can find that out on your own.

Despite all of that praise towards the storytelling, part of me feels like the films success is really just in its overall moodiness. I was pretty blown away at the ending, which is in stark contract to the films pacing but I felt it would be more polarizing.

This is a great one, really claustrophobic and dynamic. It contains some of the most creative exposition for a giallo film I’ve seen to date.

7/10

(2017) Jeepers Creepers 3

Everyone seems super bummed out by this one but frankly, I’m surprised it even got made.

I don’t really have too much to say, it’s a b-movie released on TV. It’s like, cheesy-shitty. There’s tons of bad acting, storytelling and CGI.

There’s some cool shit too though and if you’re fiending for another glimpse of The Creeper, it might scratch the itch.

4.5/10

(2002) Spider

I’ll go ahead and say, right off the bat, this isn’t my favorite Cronenberg film. It’s simplistic in its story, which kinds of limits how far it can go but relishes in a somewhat impressive exposition.

Our lead here is hopeless, he’s in a halfway house, mentally broken and the film doesn’t really offer up any potential resolution. You keep watching simply to try and understand what happened to him. I can appreciate the simplicity of this aspect.

Just examining the story itself, the origin story if you will, is also really simple. I think it would have been a bit more impressive from another director but something about it doesn’t seem right for Cronenberg. I know he didn’t write the script but still, if he was determined to stray away from his usual visual insanity, I would have appreciated a darker, more original storyline.

My friend described it as “out there but not super rewarding” and I feel that sums it up perfectly. The narrative is interesting and complex but the story itself isn’t.

Watch it if you want, don’t if you don’t.

6/10

(1972) What Have You Done to Solange?

Just like many great Giallo films, many aspects of the plot are severely fucked up without the actual visuals being overly graphic. I’m just starting to appreciate how accessible these farms are to pretty much everyone.

The story plays out just in the typical mystery fashion but it was engaging for me and most importantly, it all pays off in the end. It’s dramatic, sexy and beautifully shot.

Overall, really solid film. I’m not even the biggest Giallo fan but ones such as this that are simply well executed, really shouldn’t be missed.

7/10

(1981) Happy Birthday to Me

My god this movie is absurd in mostly the best ways but there is some glaring lack of attention to detail.

The big moment that stands out is the bridge scene at the end. They show the car landing upside down in the water THREE times before cutting to it landing right side up. I mean…wut.

The acting is also super campy and shitty. It’s still just such a fun movie, great popcorn flick. Most of the kills are really creative and I found it to be one of the more enjoyable 80’s mystery/slashers I’ve seen in quite some time.

6.5/10

(1920) The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari

I’m not exactly sure of the filmmakers direct intentions but even if they made this film as a natural reflection of the current state, it really paints a frightening picture of obedience in Germany.

Just as is, it’s a really creepy film both looks wise and just the way it’s paced. For a silent movie, the storyline was actually quite dynamic and it even has a very unexpected twist at the end.

I can’t really talk about performances. 97 years later, those aspects seem unintentionally limited but I did appreciate the way people moved and the overall expressive nature of the acting.

It’s definitely a staple in horror film history and would be a good watch for anyone who’s interested in taking a trip through time.

8/10