(2016) The Disappointments Room

Objectively, what you get with this film, really isn’t all that terrible. I think that I was happy to find it at 3.9/10 on iMDB but some part of me feels like that’s a bit unjust. The problem with this film is really that, there’s not much going on.

Kate Beckinsale is pretty good but even she felt like she was squeezing everything she could out of a shallow character and still coming up short. Ultimately, especially with her performance, you get an exploitive horror film about mental illness that barely manages to scratch the surface of anything substantially interesting.

Production wise it’s pretty good- Oh shit. Okay, okay, I just remembered what I wanted to say. So the films kind of underlying secret or twist gets revealed in the middle. I truly believe that someone in post production or something thought the twist was stupid so they would kind of introduce it earlier? Maybe they still considered the ending a twist? I have no idea really.

Anyways, this was very forgettable.

5/10

(2016) It Stains the Sands Red

I’m kind of just sitting here digesting this one as I’m working out this review and I have to say that despite a very b-movie opening, this one impressed me. I enjoyed the somewhat original concept on a tired sub-genre. It was successful on a technical level as well. I quite enjoyed the bright, slightly oversaturated picture.

Kind of like how I’m working out this review as I’m writing it, I got the sense that the filmmaker was kind of working out this movie as he made it. The setup in general is kind of shallow, basic and generic but whatever. As soon as we get into the meat of the film, I’m instantly impressed at how entertaining it is just to watch this girl bake out in the desert with a single zombie following her around. It’s commendable how seemingly natural the progression was within the dynamic relationship of our protagonist and zombie. I assumed this couldn’t be anything but boring but I was proven wrong.

At some point though, this film just runs out of gas. Other characters, albeit briefly, are introduced and the lack of talent really crop dusts this film. It’s not a total ruiner but despite the practical effects remaining high quality, I sort of just can’t seem to really care about the ending.

Definitely glad I watched this one and if the premise interests you, despite not thinking it’s a great film, I can still recommend this one. I believe it’s streaming on Amazon video right now, hopefully it’ll still be on there when this review goes up.

6.5/10

(2016) Carnage Park

I really hated this first portion of this vehemently for its stylistic direction. I fucking hate blanket filters in horror movies, whether it’s a dull blur/grey or in this films case, a saturated orange. I think that filmmakers use the orange filter to set that desert tone but you know what already sets the tone for a desert film? The fucking desert.

There’s also some Tarantino ripoff shit going on but for some reason, all of this nonsense is toned down once the film really gets going. From that point forward it’s mostly a competent but uninteresting effort. Everything is just alright.

I’m totally indifferent on this one, if you liked it, cool. If not, whatever.

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

(1990) Der Todeskin: The Death King

While often wavering between the blunt, literal message and depressive expressionism, Der Todesking manages to feel all too real. It’s one of the best arthouse style horror films I’ve seen to date.

Jörg Buttgereit is definitely a director that doesn’t hold back visually. If you’ve seen his more well known film Nekromantik, you can expect some of that visual style in this film as well. It definitely feels more in place in the confines of this films topics.

Dealing with depression and death are almost always messages that will be received more intensely by those directly affected by it. I’ve personally dealt with anxiety and depression all my life and the overarching theme of just rotting hits close to home. It’s definitely comforting to feel that connection to, well, people in general who understand but also specifically filmmakers who are opening up these outlets for us. Seeing a film like this definitely doesn’t make life worse for me, I’m happy to really kind of remind myself that our individual conditions are really just shitty human conditions that anyone could wind up with. 

The soundtrack is also wonderful. It’s simple but beautiful. I’m really blown away that the same filmmaker who did Nekromantik, did this. I felt like that one was really over exploitive and ultra-graphic for shock purposes. I’m happy he was able to reel it in and find something meaningful to build around.

9/10

(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

(2014) Dark Was the Night

Another annoying shitty grey/blue filter that I’m not going to rant about because regular readers know how much I hate it. It’s there though and it’s shitty.

The film as a whole is I guess, upon conclusion, not as terrible as it builds itself up to be. The on screen relationships are all incredibly shallow and cliche. The dialogue is annoying and the acting is pretty shitty to boot. It’s also pretty fucking boring which is an easy blanket complaint.

The conclusion however, was actually pretty exciting. I realized that the director did a fine job not revealing too much of our monster and despite my frustration, I did admittedly just want to get a good look at the cocksucker. The monsters depiction through the film is a mix of practical and CGI effects. The practical effects are pretty dope and the CGI ones are low-budget shit.

I don’t know, it’s on Netflix. It’s not a garbage fire or anything but I don’t see a reason to watch it unless you’re incredibly bored, very run of the mill horror.

5/10