(1974) The Texas Chainsaw Massacre

The beast that started it all is actually a very low budget horror and a successful one at that. Its avant guard new age dialogue meta physical ground breaking-god I wish everyone would just fucking die already.

It’s a fun movie that’s very well paced and doesn’t take itself too seriously. Leatherface isn’t scary, he’s literally retarded. “No dude like the way he moves in the natural lighting” Shut the fuck up bitch, listen to his goddamn voice, he’s fucking retarded. This was an aspect that the remakes kind of left behind, which I didn’t hate but retarded leatherface is kind of true to the inbred fucked up story.

So yeah, it’s fun, go check it out. The kid in the wheelchair is annoying as shit but that whole situation eventually works itself out.

7.5/10

Advertisements

(2009) The Forth Kind

I’ve never been so divisive about a film or possibly anything in my for that matter than I am about this movie. I love this film but it had problems. I don’t hate it but I also recognize its glaring flaws and overbearing obnoxiousness.

I should put as a disclaimer that I’m a lush for anything alien related, I’m addicted to wonderment and I always discredit my shortcomings as being small in the grand scheme of the universe. Jesus fuck that’s depressing.

Anyways, The Fourth Kind is incredibly special to me because it’s the first movie I’ve loved which I cannot forgive for its flaws. The narrative is obnoxious and downright deceptive. It had very little to do with the actual disappearances in that Alaskan town which may seem small, it’s a horror movie after all, but really just felt low to me. It didn’t even fucking need it, that’s my main problem. Take out the dumb fucking Milla monologue at the start and I’d be 10x more forgiving.

As for the actual film, it’s excellent. It’s truly horrific and a goddamn masterpiece in its own right, outside of a multitude of creative decisions. Milla Jovovich is oscar winning quality here, I fucking love her so much. The raw emotion that’s poured into this movie by her should be praised by the directors for saving their piece of shit.

The shitty narrative of fake “real” footage comes together at the end, it works. It’s one of the most creative uses of “real” footage I’ve seen to date but it’s fucking ruining to some degree by that monologue at the start. Do NOT try to actually fucking fool me, just make the fucking movie, it’s great as is.

Can a minute long monologue ruin a great movie? Yes, it can. It wasn’t believable and the small real connection to the actual disappearances was disrespectful.  I’ll never be offended by anything but using that vague real life story is absolute deception. Such a fucking shame because this is an excellent movie with unfortunately completely justified criticisms.

It’ll be a personal favorite of mine forever, I might actually have to binge some x-files to get off after that. The depth that this movie delves into is way more than any quick review will tell you. I clearly don’t recommend it for everyone but it works for me.

8/10

(1965) Repulsion

There’s such fantastic direction and care taken in this film of the horror subject that is rape itself. I’m really picky about depictions of sexual assault in movies, not because I find it offensive but because I find it hard to replicate all the emotions involved. Polanski sure does know rape and it really shows here unfortunately.

Sonically the movie thrives in the negative. When our lead actress is being raped Polanski purposely takes her voice away, really emulating the fear and helplessness in a genuinely scary way. The delusions she’s having are clearly transparent but intentionally so, though they tend to bleed into reality towards the end in a satisfying way.

Couple this with a claustrophobic atmosphere and we’re given a seriously trimmed up psychological horror thriller that was way ahead of its time. I’m joking, it wasn’t ahead of its time but doesn’t that make it sound better?

The reality is that the 60’s were actually a great era for suspense in horror movies. The effects were limited and the success of movies really relied on the directors creativity. Most of the production aspects age quite well in Repulsion and some of them were truly original to the movie itself.

8/10

 

(2004) Shutter

Shutter definitely capitalizes on the success of Ringu and The Ring but manages to bring something fresh and somewhat unique to the table.

When I say bring something unique to the table I’m really just referring to a lot of the little things I loved about this movie. They took a formula that’s been done before and gave it- no no no, the ring movies did all of those things. Hmm, fuck this is tough because I really DID like this movie yet I’m struggling to write it a letter of recommendation, especially without dishing out spoilers.

Is this movies formula just a thing now, kind of like how slashers and found footage are a thing? I don’t hate it, genuinely just curious. I think the only problem I foresee with this kind of structure is that it relies on a connecting on a serious emotional level and that feeling gets disingenuous after a while.

This movie is just too much fucking fun to criticize it to death over it’s questionable authenticity as an original film. It’s in no way better than its predecessors but I fully recommend it to all horror fans.

7.5/10

(1977) The Sentinel

The Sentinel excels the most in its psychological horror elements, particularly the sequences where the audience is being fed into the loop of what’s really going on. Where it falls flat unfortunately, is on the big deliveries, particularly the climax.

Tons of soon to be big name actors in this movie including Christopher Walken, who if I’m not mistaken, doesn’t even have any lines (or maybe just a few). I have no issues with the performances here, none really stood out and elevated the movie but it wasn’t bogged down by any particularly bad ones either.

Jumping right to the conclusion, I have a very personal gripe with depictions of hell in movies and no, it’s not because I’m religious. It’s because it’s fucking hell, the supposed worst place in any imaginable existence. Instead we get an old school side show carnival freak fest and to me, it just looks silly.

While well structured and oftentimes suspenseful, in the end the film just doesn’t quite deliver what it promises.

4.5/10

(2001) Suicide Club

This was definitely the most thought provoking movie I’ve seen in a long time and a very difficult one to interpret for a variety of different reasons. The main reason being that you absolutely have to view this entire film through a Japanese cultural perspective. The second reason, which I’ll get into later, is a somewhat disjointed plot structure and overall narrative.

Growing up in Japan as a child is incredibly different form growing up as a child in the US or anywhere else for that matter. They really value children as the future rather than making an effort to nurture their innocence during adolescence. It sounds beautiful but I believe this can also place unnecessary pressures on them. The unnecessary pressures we’d think of right away are performance related aspects to life; specifically in the academic community. The interesting thing that Suicide Club made me think of was the pressure to assimilate, to be a part of these large groups of students and ultimately, an equal-working part of society as a whole.

As a young, impressionable person, how much do you absorb and connect to before getting to know yourself? On that note, at what age do you possibly leave that real connection to yourself behind? When I say “connection to oneself” I’m referring to the clear existential question that is asked 100 times during this film. The connection to oneself is all your original thoughts, desires and aspirations; the things you love vs the things you were taught to love.

This question, in my interpretation of the movie, is poised more towards the connection between your soul and body and ultimately a facet of the Shinto/Buddhism religion in Japan. If I were to grasp for strings I’d say the voices on the phones asking these people this question, being presented as children, were ultimately supposed to represent themselves. As most people know, both these religions believe in some form of reincarnation which is clearly connected to these questions that are repeated. The reaffirmation of, yes, if you die the connection between your loved ones remains but will the connection to yourself survive?

It’s important to note too that Japan doesn’t condemn suicide and in fact, they’re very tolerant of it. The duality between that notion and the death scenes in this movie lies in the motivation of the suicide. While suicide as an answer to a moral dilemma might be tolerated, this movie was filmed at a time where suicide in Japan was almost an epidemic. People are pushed to work insanely long hours and performance standards are unrealistic oftentimes, which is what potentially leads to high numbers of suicides.

I believe this film was biting at that notion of feeling like you’re not fitting into that mold (or ‘puzzle’ from the Dessert song). This of course was taken to horrific measures through mass suicides as a result of a cult-like message. As much as the brainwash effect seemed prominent, you still had scenes like the male student on the roof who didn’t jump, seemingly an instance of self-realization.

The computer program/cult plot, j-pop and murder sequences are the moments I think this film strays from a lot of fans. the narrative skips around a bit and it can ultimately become overbearingly confusing. Fortunately, I was able to derive my own interpretations of these instances that seemed plausible enough to make them relevant and coherent to the main plot. That’s really as simply as I can put it. Much like David Lynch’s work, despite any amount of praise, this material will work for you or it wont.

As you can see, I found this movie incredibly thought provoking, despite its raw appearance and blood soaked visuals. I’m not even sure I wanted to get into a movie this meaty, at least this late at night but fuck it, here we are. It’s a depressing, surprisingly energetic, existential crisis that every seasoned horror fan should force themselves to endure.

9/10

(1979) The Brood

The Brood is just another excellent Cronenberg movie that’s so outlandish, it manages to inspire purely through its originality.

Anyone who knows Cronenberg will know he’s a master of body horror which makes me sympathetic to anyone who can’t really get past that, assuming it’s not their cup of tea. For me, it’s obviously the greatest aspect to any of his movies but beyond the entertainment value, I’m usually able to pick out an overarching motif that transforms a bloody popcorn movie into something much deeper.

I thought the relationship dynamics in this movie were really interesting. It put a good perspective on our carnal connections. How no matter what you do right or wrong, there’s almost this unbreakable binding force between a parent and their child. Obviously this idea was displayed here in an abstract way but nevertheless, it was a successful representation of the power of pure will and the sacrifices we’re willing to make for one another.

This is a fast paced, incredibly engaging and classically structured horror movie that I’d recommend to any horror fan.

8.5/10