(2010) Rubber

Rubber is a really clever comedy horror movie that both looks and sounds great. The movie opens with an immediate 4th wall break monologue that sets the clear comedic tone. The general plot surrounds a homicidal tire bent on destroying some desert town. There’s a subplot going on that I can’t figure out how to talk about without ruining a big part of the movie but it’s somewhat unique.

Rubber has a very Being John Malkovich vibe which I really appreciated.  A lot of the smarter satire movies use that kind of diegesis to be able to make fun of an entire made up universe (a horror film universe in this case) while inside said universe through fictional narrative. Jesus fuck, sorry if that was really confusing.

Now is this film good? There’s not too much doubt in my mind that it will spawn a small cult following but I can’t say I found it to be anything special. It needs a little PFFFTTTT or some ZZZZZZZ you know? I don’t even know what the fuck I’m talking about at this point.

5.5/10

(1992) Man Bites Dog (C’est arrivé près de chez vous)

One of the strangest aspects to some horror movies is their ability to make light of ultra-violent crimes like rape and murder. Man Bites Dog will actually have you laughing out loud until you realize you’re in a kitchen watching three men rape a woman while she pleads for mercy.

The film plays out as three men filming a killer for a documentary with questionable levels of involvement in his crimes. Like I hinted to before, an initial comedic tone is set through multiple scenes of drinking and laughing. There’s several moments where that comedic veil is shattered and it’s in those scenes where the movie truly shines. The change is abrupt and unsettling. Sometimes I wonder why I willingly put myself through this emotional manipulation and psychological torture just for entertainment but then I remember it’s just because I’m a sick fuck.

Whatever way you choose to digest this movie I can guarantee you’ve never seen anything quite like it before.

8.5/10

(1990) Jacob’s Ladder

“The only thing that burns in Hell is the part of you that won’t let go of life, your memories, your attachments. They burn them all away. But they’re not punishing you, he said. They’re freeing your soul. So the way he sees it, if you’re frightened of dying and… and you’re holding on, you’ll see devils tearing your life away. But if you’ve made your peace, then the devils are really angels, freeing you from the earth. It’s just a matter of how you look at it, that’s all. So don’t worry, okay? Okay?”

There’s two main parts in this movie that stand out to me in terms of the overarching plot line. One is its obvious connection with the CIA’s drug experiments during the Vietnam War. We can assume initially that the protagonist has been drugged which is what’s causing this delusion. The other is the allusion to religion, the duality of angels and demons. For the non-religious ,*puts on fedora* you can think about it as what is true punishment? Is true punishment being forced to hold onto your past life?

Jacob’s Ladder is a maddening decent through purgatory that will impress most after taking a minute to digest.

8.5/10

(1994) In the Mouth of Madness

One of my favorite things about John Carpenter is his extremely limited use of CGI. Anyone who has seen The Thing will know what I’m talking about. The special effects in this movie range from miniature set pieces shot up close to a full size 30-man operated partially animatronic wall of creatures. Some people will say that these 80’s style techniques hurt the production value but those people don’t know shit about shit.

I enjoyed the fuck out of this movie, it’s violent and in your face but also plays out as a legitimately creepy psychological thriller. I can relate to that underlying feeling that everything may not be what it seems ever since my mom tried to convince me that she paid all of my friends to hang out with me. Sam Neill, despite being known mostly for Jurassic Park, has actually been in a bunch of horror movies. He just has a natural talent for looking sweaty and nervous.

Is In the Mouth of Madness better than The Thing? I’ll leave that up to you to decide but no, no it isn’t.

8.5/10

(2011) Absentia

“I’m gonna shower, I smell like an armpits asshole” – hot girl in this movie

From Director Mike Flanagan, who brought us the Netflix favorite Hush or as it’s better known, It’s So Much Different Than a Normal Home Invasion Movie Man, the Girl is Deaf. No but seriously I enjoyed Hush, it was just circlejerked among horror fans a little too much for my taste.

Absentia isn’t anywhere near as polished as the recent Hush, it’s plagued with episodes of bad acting. Specifically the police officers, it was enough to distract me from the movie. All in all though, it’s a good movie. The plot is original, albeit vague but I won’t fault a movie for not fleshing out every detail of the backstory. Sometimes a little mystery is perfectly okay and in this movie that aspect worked for me. Flanagan is focusing less on the supernatural and more on our subconscious fears about unresolved grief and dealing with loss.

The ending is fucking vicious and specifically in horror, endings make it or break it for me. This was no masterpiece but the ending solidified it as a successful project.

6/10

(2012) Chained

Directed by Jennifer Lynch; I had no idea David Lynch had a daughter that made films but here we are. She made some giant flop before this movie called “hissss” or something but there’s an Australian documentary out there about what she went through to make it so maybe there’s more to that story. Oh and some crime horror movie that was supposedly awesome so I’ll watch that at some point.

This movie is about a fucked up guy who keeps some kid chained up in his house and then tries to teach the kid to be fucked up too, basically every one of my relationships. It’s fucking raw, it takes the classic abduction and captivity story and peels back the layers. There’s so much going on here that you’ll need a drink after and I don’t mean an IPA leftover from last weekend, I mean a fresh bottle of scotch. Both the acting and directing show real talent, I’ll be watching out for J-Lynch in the future.

9/10

(2007) [REC]

I have to admit found footage was a once hated genre for me (except for The Blair Witch Project) so I always go into these types of movies expecting disappointment. This was written and directed by two Spanish directors who I’ve never heard of so I’m not going into that sort of detail. I did see they had made a sequel to this so maybe I’ll watch and review that one at some point.

Okay, onto the meat and bones of this claustrophobic cocksucker. Being that this is my first post I’ll say upfront that I’ll try to leave out any movie ruining spoilers. This found footage style zombie flick is set all in one apartment building. It starts out sort of mediocre I want to say but the movies greatest strength was its ability to build tension incrementally up until the credits roll. It’s fast paced, bloody and the ending is pretty damn good. [REC] doesn’t break any major genre barriers but it’s suspenseful fun and sometimes that’s all I really want.

6.5/10