(2016) Havenhurst

I was drawn to this film for Julie Benz who I was a fan of in Dexter. I think her Dexter role was kind of a fluke though because that role required her natural lack of confidence and vulnerability. You’d think, holy shit, that must translate perfectly to an ex-addict but it really doesn’t. She’s a pretty weak lead in this.

I do think it’s an entertaining movie as a whole though and not at all what I expected. It’s definitely a fun little horror film with some pretty creative evilness. There’s even some intense gore speckled in, which now looking back, doesn’t really translate to the rest of the films tone but nevertheless, it’s a cool scene.

Overall, it’s nothing I’d ever rave about but I enjoyed it. There’s definitely some awkward acting portions and the premise as a whole will probably devolve into a silly concept for most. I’m not unhappy this film was made.

6.5/10

(1961) Pit and the Pendulum

This is another really solid Poe/Corman film that Vincent Price dominates. It’s super atmospheric with the great set pieces that you’d expect.

I think the story could have seemed over simplistic in an on-screen adaptation if it weren’t for Price’s dynamic character. It’s a solidly paced run straight up until the finale.

That’s really it, pretty straightforward but entertaining stuff. If you like Roger Corman and Vincent Price, it’s not one to miss.

7/10

(2015) Pod

This was actually pretty solid but with enough amateurish filmmaking moments to knock it down a peg.

Lauren Ashley Carter definitely props it up a bit but as a whole, I think it could be a short, especially given how vague the scenario is.

With that being said, it’s still on the short side for a feature and it’s a ton of fun. I wish I had more to say, it’s on Netflix though if you want to check it out. I really have no personal gripes here, cool flick.

6/10

(1966) Kill Baby, Kill

That spiral staircase scene was so cool, talk about something literally hypnotizing. Although that’s an odd opening, I think the visuals are the only thing worth talking about in length with this film.

With possible influence on Argento, the set lighting is oddly vibrant and seemingly intentionally out of place. It adds depth to dark corners and an already impressive set piece.

It’s an all around, really solid giallo film. There’s some dated cheesiness for sure but nothing unexpected for the time period.

7/10

(2003) Identity

It’s going to be nearly impossible to say anything worthwhile about this film without spoiling it.

John Cusack, Ray Liotta and Amanda Peet all give some great performances. The atmosphere is really uniquely rigid as well as the characters being a bit too confined to their stereotypes so-to-speak. I don’t mean they’re necessarily campy, just delightfully strange, enough to get you wondering what the fuck is going on.

The last 30 minutes is just a non-stop- um, shit, I can’t even think of any adjectives that won’t ruin it. Just give this one a watch, it’s packed full of great mystery and it’s really intense.

8/10

(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