(1932) The Mummy

It’s an absolute classic so I’m not just going to reiterate what others have said better already. I just wanted to draw attention to a few different aspects.

One, the closeup shots of Karloff had me drooling.

Two, Freund uses this really interesting technique where he cuts the soundtrack completely during certain scenes. I wasn’t sure how to feel about it at first but it definitely made me uncomfortable, in a good way.

That’s all I have for you boys.

7.5/10

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(2017) Mayhem

It’s very easy to compare Mayhem to this year’s other office-building bloodbath, The Belko Experiment and I can assure you, this one is better. After The Babysitter, Samara Weaving has my attention and Steven Yeun is great as well.

I really don’t have too much to say about this one besides, it’s super brutal, entertaining and doesn’t take itself seriously. The production value is tight and there isn’t some big message being pushed, more like an outlet for some sick vicariously enjoyed fantasies.

I just wanted to add that I really don’t feel like this film is trying to overstay its welcome in any fashion. I mean during the actual running time, as well as how it fits into the general horror catalogue. Where it lacks in being inventive, it makes up for in spades with a delightful, mindless break from my own existence.

7.5/10

 

(1970) Valerie and Her Week of Wonders

I don’t want to go all train-of-thought in this review too much, since the film itself will provide enough confusion. However, when this ended, I was left with much more of a feeling than an explanation. Valerie and Her Week of Wonders is a memorable Czech surrealist horror film that weaves in an out of easily dissected symbolism, as well as pure fantasy.

I would absolutely consider this a coming-of-age film and they balanced the horror and whimsical elements perfectly. For that reason alone, I don’t believe I’ve seen any other film quite like this. With a tantalizing soundtrack and colorful visuals, I really felt transported into this strange new world.

It’s a fantastic film that I believe is intentionally silly at times but with plenty moments of genuine suspense. Definitely check this one out if you’re into surrealism or just plain weirdness.

7.5/10

(1979) Salem’s Lot

My girlfriend and I never finish movies together on a weeknight, she’s almost always dozing off halfway through. This three-hour epic however, kept us engaged the entire fucking time.

That’s all that really needs to be said for a pre-1980’s TV-movie. This film right here is such concrete proof that my (1990) It review is trash because although I won’t rank this much higher, it’s much better.

These are straight-up vampires, none of that philosophical bullshit, just downtrodden demons. Some of the scenes in this would have straight up murdered my childhood if it wasn’t already murdered.

I love it, I really do.

7.5/10

(1960) Jigoku

After watching this I thought back to some other films from 1960 that I’ve seen and nothing comes close. I think back to Eyes Without a Face and while still a great film, all of the shock and disgust from its original release in regards to the actual effects, is somewhat muted to modern audiences. Jigoku defies that seemingly natural transition and delivers some of the most creative brutality from its decade.

The Japanese have really mastered the subtle art of horror over the years, having a great handle on creating the atmosphere necessary for a horror film. This film is in stark contrast to a lot of the most well known Japanese ghost stories. It’s a literal trip through hell and I’ll always drool over anyone’s manifested vision of what is essentially, the ultimate evil.

It’s a visually stunning experience, something that you just need to see for yourself.

7.5/10

(2017) Never Hike Alone

You know man, I’m totally split in talking about this film as a fan film, or just as a film in general. I kind of feel like it’s just good on it’s own but for some reason just knowing it had like no budget makes it all that more impressive.

To get the bad over with, Jason is played by a fairly normal sized dude. They use creative shots in abundance to hide it and do so quite well, but there’s a few bad ones that slip through the cracks. Other than that it’s just minor shit, axe metallic-unsheathing noises when unnecessary as well as some whatever acting from small roles.

Overall though, it’s a really impressively focused Jason film! It dips into the films universe, grabs a handful of Jason’s big meaty balls and then retreats back into the darkness, without disturbing the universes’ structure. Just an all-around, really creative project.

7/10

(1961) The Innocents

This is simply one of the most beautifully shot horror films from the early 60’s. Every frame is truly a picture and for that alone, I’d call this a must watch for horror fans.

The Innocents really goes beyond the cinematography though and gives us an incredibly powerful, character driven haunted house film. The narrative never definitively leads you in one way or the other and this confusion is something that holds through to the credits. This is something a lot of filmmakers try and do but few succeed at. The difference when it comes to towing that line is in the small details and eerie subtleties that help the viewer form their own opinion at the end.

I’m not sure what else to say, performances are all fantastic and it’s simply one of the best haunted house films I’ve ever seen.

9/10