Tag: Darkness, Darkness Falls, fear of sleep, fear of the dark, Healthy Fears, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Pitch Black, The Others, They
In my review of Don’t Knock Twice, I knocked it for being a “Stuff Just Happens” horror flick, while also noting that this is not an automatically negative sub-type of horror. To support this, I referred to the Argentinian flick Aterrados (Terrified), which is very much a movie where “stuff just happens.” It’s also amazing.
Essentially a series of scary vignettes loosely connected by more of a premise (or series of premises) than a fleshed-out plot, Aterrados is not remotely interested in a satisfactory explanation for any of its goings on. At least, not according to the English translation available on Netflix, which admittedly has a couple of obvious errors that call the entire translation into question, at least as far as context goes. It’s possible there are fine details we’re missing here in the English-speaking world. I doubt it, though. And if I’m wrong, I’m mostly sure I’d prefer never knowing those details. With my most recent viewing of Aterrados–my third–I’m falling increasingly in love with it. READ MORE
At a certain, critical point in the film, Furie made me say of its heroine, “She stabbed the shit out of ol’ girl.” A positive review was then all but cemented.
To be clear, Furie is merely a “good” action movie, not a superior one, but that is partly due to its competitors. In a world where exists the likes of The Raid, John Wick, The Night Comes for Us and The Man From Nowhere, you might be more apt to nitpick a few things about Furie, such as how its lead actress, Ngô Thanh Vân, doesn’t have a great action movie run. The scooters often used in the chase scenes are also clearly moving at a very safe speed in some shots, and that lack of urgency stands out all the more when the people on these scooter are all wearing helmets. Maybe Vietname is just so big on bike safety that even in the midst of attempting or averting a kidnapping, all parties involved make sure to first secure some headgear. READ MORE
I love movies. Convenient though it may be to have movies come to me, I still and forever will love going to the movies. When we finally, finally climb out of this mire I might go to the movies everyday for a month, provided they (and I) still exist.
In the meantime, I’ve donated to Art House America to try to help keep smaller cinemas alive. I generally don’t share anything about my donation proclivities because everybody has their own thing(s) that they support, if they can, and I hate to intrude on theirs with mine. But on my site where I write about the forms of entertainment I love, I figured it would fit here. If you can, and are so inclined, consider a donation. READ MORE
Pseudopod has been good to me over the years. But before I was ever one of their authors, I was one of their listeners, and one of their earlier stories is still one of my favorites. Michael Montoure’s “Counting From Ten” is a pretty direct tale centered around a gruesomely, cruelly injurious series of “accidents” that are, of course, not actually accidents at all.
To an extent, it has a bit of the old EC horror or Golden Age of Radio “supernatural poetic vengeance” vibe going for it, except it has a lot more heart–and therefore heartbreak–than the similarly styled Vault of Horror or The Witch’s Tale stories had. Its secondary protagonist and primary victim, Tommy, isn’t the total bastard that so many Tales From the Crypt villainous agonists were. Yes, he’s brought the misfortune that maims him onto himself, but he’s more of a hapless shlub, albeit a criminal. READ MORE
When you get right down to it, Don’t Knock Twice is a “Stuff Just Happens” type of horror movie.
Why does the Baba Yaga move so efficiently to snatch up one kid on the night that he knocked twice, but takes its time to toy with the other kid for days, even though she knocked on the same night? Well, because in this movie, stuff just happens.
Why does the girl jump to the conclusion that she’s being pursued specifically by the Baba Yaga (complete with bastardized mythology), of all the many malevolent entities that could be coming after her? Well, because stuff just happens. READ MORE
I wish every great director would have at least one go at horror, preferably before exiting their best years, but I’d settle for an early or late-stage effort. Robert Altman gained fame and acclaim for movies like M*A*S*H, Nashville, The Player and Gosford Park. Ensemble satires that sometimes have a dramatic tinge. Not even a cousin to an intimate psychological horror film that dives early and deep into paranoia, simple hallucination and madness.
Altman tried his hand at various types of films, not just the one he won most of his plaudits for. He made a very good neo-noir film in The Long Goodbye, a very different but interesting take on a classic Chandler novel. He made the western McCabe & Mrs. Miller. He made Popeye presumably to get the worst movie and decision he could possibly make out of the way. In summary, he was not afraid to step outside his ostensible comfort zone, even though he brought his usual heavy interest in characters to the genres he ventured into. READ MORE
There’s a brand of horror I’ve grown fond of lately; a throwback, smoldering gothic type of tale that feels like it’s about 90% build and 10% payoff. Sometimes that payoff makes a pretty big swing for the fences (The Blackcoat’s Daughter), but more often it just reveals some simple, fundamental horror (The Innkeepers, I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives in the House). If reading any one of those titles made you roll your eyes it might be likely that reading all three made you groan. If you found any or all of them boring, I can’t blame you, though I don’t share that opinion of those movies. Still, I get it. These movies might not be your speed; paced as they are to (deliberately?) test one’s patience. If they manage to draw you in, however, they can reward your patience pretty well. READ MORE
World War Z inspired multiple, similar efforts through the years, trading zombies for some other brand of monster or threat. Robopocalypse and its sequel took the “oral history of humanity’s brush with genre-inspired Armageddon” approach into the realm of science-fiction horror. 2018’s A People’s History of the Vampire Uprising is essentially World War V. At least the pretty cleverly named Sleep Over (I’m a sucker for a quality pun) did something different with the format and made the immediate threat something passive that can’t be shot, hacked up, bombed out or set aflame: mass insomnia. READ MORE
Beginning with the positive, that opening scene from inside the car is very good, maybe even terrific. Cutting the moment just after the shot of the alien’s long arm clawing through the bus’s front windshield is such a great touch. In less than a minute, I was ready to amend my Most Anticipated Horror Movies of 2020 list to include this sequel, which I had previously felt somewhat apathetic towards. I though the first film was good, but didn’t see how the second film could do anything all that interesting with it. Somehow, the prospect of it revisiting the initial chaos brought about by the arrival of the alien attackers never occurred to me. Even if confined to occasional flashbacks, this idea intrigued me. Unfortunately, 90 seconds later, the trailer had once again rendered me less enthused about A Quiet Place II than I could be. READ MORE
“People say things like, ‘The rule is that you never show the devil.’ But if you have a good-looking devil, and it looks convincing—well, yes, you show it! It’ll scare the shit out of the audience. If you have a stupid devil, then you don’t show it.”
– John Carpenter
“If fighting will clear us out of this trouble, I am willing to fight or do anything else… I will get all I can back alive, and the rest I will kill.”