(1971) The Cat o’ Nine Tails

Argento was still very early in his career when he made this film and while it doesn’t deliver the fever dream that his most known film Suspiria does, it remains a very competent Giallo film.

This movie was a good example of how Argento really got a strong grasp on sound effects and how they can be used to boost up effects, especially with the limited capabilities of the early 70’s.

Other than that, I really this it’s almost best appreciated by people that are already fans of his work. While structured like a typical Giallo, you can definitely pick up on some subtle and not so subtle stylistic decisions. I think my favorite was the work done during a particular strangulation scene with specific close up shots. These specific moments of brutality are what keep the story fresh and engaging.

There’s plenty to be praised here, highly recommend not skipping over this one if you’re working through Argento’s filmography.

7/10

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(2017) Mother!

I caught the first showing of this today at 11am and it’s been on my mind ever since. It sometimes baffles me how reviewers can exclaim a film to be meaningless when I just got so much out of it, seemingly too much to even fully comprehend through a single viewing.

Mother! is an incredibly conscientious statement on the nature of humanity, steeped in religious allegory. Unfortunately, it’s likely to fall on deaf ears for many, given that Aronofsky’s message isn’t exactly spelled out. I don’t mean that in a pretentious way, the film just works through such a slow burn, which isn’t always the best way to feed the impatient.

The last 30 min or so makes up for any weariness over the pacing. It’s one of the most intense, impressive sequences I’ve seen in a horror film in the last decade. The absolute perfect icing on the cake for what is such a masterful dip into surrealism.

I don’t believe Mother! is for the casual moviegoer. However, if you’re willing to keep an open mind and devote your full attention, you may just treat yourself to one of the best horror films of 2017.

9.5/10

(1940) The Invisible Man Returns

I really love how they set up this sequel. It’s a fresh change of pace from Universals usual method of resurrection.

A young Vincent Price plays our perp this time and he’s excellent as always. It’s not paced exactly as intensely as the original but I enjoyed the steady decent into madness.

The effects for 1940 are also impressive. I’m assuming the last shot was done through animation but even so, it’s fucking awesome.

I really found it to be a successful sequel with a solid original script. Watching these old Universal films really makes the thought of an action based Dark Universe all the more sickening. These monsters are just begging for an actual, modern horror revival.

7/10

(2016) Personal Shopper

I’ve been a huge fan of the recent efforts in slow-burn, ghost stories, as I’ve realized, it’s one of my favorite ways to enjoy a ghost story (one of my least favorite horror sub-genres). Strangely, despite that statement, only a few of these recent efforts worked for me. The only really notable one being Sweet, Sweet Lonely Girl. These films are delicate balancing acts that can afford to move slowly, but cannot afford to slip.

Personal Shopper is a vapid film starring the most vapid actress of our decade, Kristen Stewart. It methodically moves through nothing while boring the viewer to tears.

The ending is momentarily intriguing and I sort of worked up my own message that I don’t care to attribute to this French director’s vision. The entire thing is a mess and a completely unenjoyable watch from start to finish.

Let me just add that I get the film and I understand “what really was going on”. The annoying twats who say “well Kristen Stewart can’t act so it’s shit” are right. She’s garbage and she even manages to pair with this stupid, middle school-eque texting sequences that make me want to vomit.

Every asshole and his brother has the next great film idea but the more subtle and complex it is, the more talent it takes to pull off.

4/10

(2014) Dig Two Graves

“Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves.”

This was simply, an excellent revenge film and is absolutely being slept on. It’s beautifully shot, acted and anyone who even began to write anything bad about this film didn’t pay attention.

The one complaint that I can’t argue with, simply because it’s objective, is that it moves too slowly. My only rebuttal to that is that the film is short, suspenseful and trimmed up. I don’t share the boring sentiment that some do. Beyond that one fucking complaint though, everyone else that pandered on about this film being shit just didn’t pay attention.

People who wanna genre nazi on this film can fuck right off because, while a good film in general, I see this as appealing to horror fans the most. It perfectly encapsulates that supernatural element that horror fans have come to know but really takes you down an unsuspecting path.

I don’t even know, I liked it and it’s not really one that I think will spark a lot of meaningful discussion. This is being slept on and I’ll argue with anyone who says otherwise.

8/10

(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