The Horror Movie Lovers Thread

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velcrozombie
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Re: The Horror Movie Lovers Thread

Postby velcrozombie » November 22nd, 2019, 7:53 pm

Watched a good bit of stuff over the last month:

I'll start with White Zombie (1932), which I actually watched around Halloween last year and then forgot about. It's historically significant for being (as far as I can tell) the original cinematic depiction of the zombie - although in this case it refers to someone trapped in a sort of somnambulistic trance without a will of their own, not the living-dead depiction of the Romero films. It's a low-budget early talkie featuring Bela Lugosi, and while it has an effective atmosphere (aided by the spooky plantation sets shrouded in darkness) and a shocking bit of black comedy early on involving one of Legosi's enslaved workers coming to a gristly end, it hasn't dated very well otherwise. Watch it if you're curious, but I don't give it a strong recommendation.

Mad Love (1935) features Peter Lorre in his first appearance in an English-language film and is directed by Karl Freund (innovative cinematographer of Metropolis and Dracula (1931) and director of Boris Karloff's The Mummy (1932)). Lorre (who shaved all the hair from his head and face to give himself a bizarre appearance) plays a surgeon who is an obsessed patron of an actress who retires to be with her husband, a world-famous pianist. When the husband's hands are destroyed in a train accident, Lorre replaces them with the hands of a recently-executed murderer - with tragic results. Lorre is supremely creepy and the film has a lot of creative shots, but you wish it did more with the outrageous premise (although there is a wild scene where the husband meets a masked stranger who claims he knows where his hands came from) and there is some hit-or-miss comic relief. Not the top of the heap for horror in the 30s and 40s but very much a worthwhile B-movie.

Finally saw the original Frankenstein (1931) with Boris Karloff years after having watched both Bride of Frankenstein (1935) and Young Frankenstein. One of those films so ingrained in pop culture that you're not sure what to even say, but it holds up quite well due to some of the best sets ever created for a horror film and a powerful physical performance of the monster by Karloff. Still has many startling moments - the creature being brought to life, the slow reveal of its face, the meeting of the creature and the young girl at the lake and the final scenes at the burning windmill. Recommended.

While I worked Halloween this year and didn't get to have an official Halloween movie, I ended up watching Trick 'r Treat a few days later. I liked that it was an anthology horror film with all the stories happening in the same town on the night of Halloween with a mixed chronology akin to Pulp Fiction, with characters running into each other (sometimes out of order) and events being shown from another angle before they are fully revealed to you. This approach (along with a heavy dollop of humor) helps some of the weaker stories hold up better than they would have in a more conventional film. Most of the stories revolve around monster cliches (serial killers, vampires, werewolves, zombies, etc.) given little twists, but there is also a novel new monster that appears repeatedly throughout the film (and foreshadows some of the Christmas-themed horrors director Michael Dougherty would create for his next film, Krampus). A great deal of fun, and the perfect Halloween party flick.

I finally got around to Hereditary after finding it in the $5 bin at Walmart and it's the definition of a movie I loved and will never watch again. I don't know if a movie has ever hit me harder than a scene about a third of the way through the movie where

SPOILERS

Toni Colette discovers her daughter's body

END SPOILERS.

While I understand some of the complaints I've heard about the movie not being a real horror film (the first half is a family drama about grief more than anything), it does become a more conventional horror film in its second half (complete with curses and possession, among other elements) and I didn't feel cheated at all - maybe because I try not to go in with any concrete expectations? I realize that the Academy rarely recognizes horror (outside of Silence of the Lambs and Get Out) but it's crazy to me that Toni Colette didn't receive a nomination for her performance (although she did win awards from a number of organizations and festivals) - it might be the rawest expression of internal turmoil I've ever seen on film. In a crossover with gaming news, James Rolfe recently called it the scariest film he's ever seen and the first film in over 30 years to give him nightmares. Very much looking forward to the director's follow-up film, Midsommar, especially after hearing comparisons to The Wicker Man.
Last edited by velcrozombie on November 22nd, 2019, 9:42 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Rev
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Re: The Horror Movie Lovers Thread

Postby Rev » November 22nd, 2019, 8:31 pm

I like your description of Hereditary, I agree completely. I've always thought that the movie was poorly received by viewers (at theaters) because it was advertised as something it wasn't. The trailers really made it seem more traditional and fast paced, compared to the slow burn, thinking film that it actually was. I would encourage you to watch it again if you ever feel like it. I actually liked the movie a lot more on a second viewing. I missed a lot my first viewing and got a lot more out of the movie on the repeated viewing.

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DrLitch
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Re: The Horror Movie Lovers Thread

Postby DrLitch » November 22nd, 2019, 9:22 pm

A few I watched recently -

The Dentist (1996):
Namesake gives a clue regarding content. Dentist with Neuroses, drill in hand.... Good/B-

Teeth (2007):
The protagonist is one lady you do not want to go to third base with. Fair/C

The Human Centipede (2009):
I spent the majority of the film with the finger hovering over the eject button. Whoever directed this was mentally ill. Crap/F

El Orfanato (2007):
Not a very novel ghost story but well acted and shot. Better than most. Good/B-

Pan’s Labyrinth (2006):
This is more a fantasy than straight up horror. Genre crossing. Set in Franco's Spain it has some historical merit. Excellent acting and scripting. Good/B+

The Woman in Black (2012):
I do not usually like Ghost films but this one is exceptionally well done. Protagonist is the Harry Potter actor. Excellent / A-

White Noise (2005):
My wife was so petrified I had to accompany her down the hallway when she needed to go to the restroom. Me personally, not that scary. Nonetheless I no longer feel any desire to stare at static. Fair/C+

The Ordeal-Calvaire (2006)
If Deliverance was set in Belgium/France countryside, you get the drift... Good/B-

Funny Games (1997)
German horror film, two seemingly upstanding individuals hold a couple hostage... Fair/C

Midsommar (2019)
Pagan gathering in Scandinavia, Coed suffering from neuroses, emotionally unavailable boyfriend, will she turn or will she be one of the sacrificial lambs... Too slow paced for me but nonetheless Fair/C+

That's pretty much it from me.

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velcrozombie
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Re: The Horror Movie Lovers Thread

Postby velcrozombie » November 22nd, 2019, 10:06 pm

DrLitch wrote: A few I watched recently -


Just want to say that I appreciate your humor and brevity - it's probably much more appropriate considering that this is side forum on a gaming site. I struggle with how much detail it's worth giving, especially when someone who's already interested can quickly look much of it up online.

DrLitch wrote:The Human Centipede (2009):
I spent the majority of the film with the finger hovering over the eject button. Whoever directed this was mentally ill. Crap/F


Ha! I still want to see this and the first sequel (which is supposedly even more demented while being a meta-commentary on the original) because somewhere inside there's still an edge-lord teenager who wants to see a film that only seems to exist as a middle finger to good taste.

DrLitch wrote:Pan’s Labyrinth (2006):
This is more a fantasy than straight up horror. Genre crossing. Set in Franco's Spain it has some historical merit. Excellent acting and scripting. Good/B+


Seeing this film was one of my favorite theatrical experiences. Better by a wide margin than anything else I've seen by del Toro (although I still haven't watched The Devil's Backbone or The Shape of Water)

DrLitch wrote:The Ordeal-Calvaire (2006)
If Deliverance was set in Belgium/France countryside, you get the drift... Good/B-


Never heard of it but I'm a big fan of Deliverance. On the list it goes.

DrLitch wrote:Teeth (2007):
The protagonist is one lady you do not want to go to third base with. Fair/C

Funny Games (1997)
German horror film, two seemingly upstanding individuals hold a couple hostage... Fair/C

Midsommar (2019)
Pagan gathering in Scandinavia, Coed suffering from neuroses, emotionally unavailable boyfriend, will she turn or will she be one of the sacrificial lambs... Too slow paced for me but nonetheless Fair/C+


Still want to see all of these. The original Funny Games comes up a lot on horror lists but it has a divisive reputation, so it's interesting that you found it average.

Rev wrote:I like your description of Hereditary, I agree completely. I've always thought that the movie was poorly received by viewers (at theaters) because it was advertised as something it wasn't. The trailers really made it seem more traditional and fast paced, compared to the slow burn, thinking film that it actually was. I would encourage you to watch it again if you ever feel like it. I actually liked the movie a lot more on a second viewing. I missed a lot my first viewing and got a lot more out of the movie on the repeated viewing.


I'm sure I'll get around it again one day - I've heard a number of people express a similar sentiment. Honestly, I was going to watch Midsommar the next evening but I couldn't bring myself to - I didn't want to follow up something as emotionally draining as Hereditary with more of the same.

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Re: The Horror Movie Lovers Thread

Postby VideoGameCritic » November 22nd, 2019, 10:58 pm

Pan's Labyrinth - what I like about this is that it's just a compelling historical film, with the horror being a secondary (but effective) element.

White Noise - I always thought this was very underrated. Extremely unnerving. Michael Keaton stars.

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DrLitch
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Re: The Horror Movie Lovers Thread

Postby DrLitch » November 23rd, 2019, 12:27 am

VideoGameCritic wrote:White Noise - Extremely unnerving. Michael Keaton stars.


Michael Keaton is a legend. His acting in Beetlejuice was phenomenal.

velcrozombie wrote:
DrLitch wrote:The Ordeal-Calvaire (2006)
If Deliverance was set in Belgium/France countryside, you get the drift... Good/B-


Never heard of it but I'm a big fan of Deliverance. On the list it goes.


The Ordeal is fairly surreal and disturbing. Quite a nasty film. It's similarity to Deliverance is circumstantial although they are quite different. More Deliverance meets Misery with David Lynch surrealism thrown into the mix.

velcrozombie wrote:The original Funny Games comes up a lot on horror lists but it has a divisive reputation, so it's interesting that you found it average.


It is one of those films which struggles to separate itself from the plethora of "held hostage" horror films. The Director and actor's did a decent job otherwise, case of project being flawed but execution good.

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Re: The Horror Movie Lovers Thread

Postby BlasteroidAli » December 21st, 2019, 10:01 pm

Midsomer very boring remake of the wicker man (uncredited) as soon as I saw the triangle structure I knew how it would end. So awful and predictable that the wicker tree was not that bad afterwards. F-

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velcrozombie
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Re: The Horror Movie Lovers Thread

Postby velcrozombie » January 21st, 2020, 9:37 pm

Some recent watches:

Kill List: Schizophrenic low-budget British effort seems to change genres every 30 minutes or so - begins as a family drama centered around poverty, morphs into a crime drama about a pair of hitmen and finishes up as horror film with an amazingly dark final scene. Much of the dialogue is improvised, which gives the proceedings a looseness and sense of naturalism that's fairly uncommon for horror. I did find it a little overrated - it's a great ride but I'm not sure how much it adds up to after the credits roll.

Let the Right One In: Swedish film about a bullied young boy who saves morbid newspaper clippings and his growing friendship with a shy girl who periodically shows up outside his apartment building in the dead of winter wearing only jeans and a shirt; meanwhile, an older man attempts to drain and collect blood from a series of drugged victims. Low-key vampire film that works exceptionally well because of the chemistry between its main characters and the sense of isolation brought on by the icy weather. You could remove the horror scenes (as satisfying as they are) and still have a solid film about growing up. Wish I hadn't skipped out on this one for so long - I hear that the American remake (Let Me In) is quality as well.

The Lighthouse: From the director of The Witch. Filthy and grungy, darkest film (in the literal sense) that I've seen since Eraserhead. Horniness and drunkenness and guilt and murder and farts and mermaid vaginas. Shades of Lovecraft without being too blatant or derivative. Creepy and funny and occasionally boring. Reminds me more than a little of an Ingmar Bergman film. Stellar performances, amazing cinematography. Wish it was a bit shorter. Worth another watch sometime in the future. You may want to watch with subtitles for a combination of Willem Dafoe's pirate voice and some of the archaic language used.

Faust (1994): Surrealist Czech animator Jan Svankmajer's adaptation of the centuries-old story of a learned man who sells his soul to the devil in order to have knowledge and power beyond anything the world could provide. I guess this version takes parts from a bunch of different adaptations through the years (including Czech puppet shows) and mixes them with a modern-day story of an older man given a map to a strange abandoned building. Uses a combination of live-action, claymation, stop-motion, 6-foot tall wooden puppets and costumed actors. Some wildly imaginative visuals - there's a bit with a clay baby brought to life with a paper covered in magical symbols whose head grows and ages (eventually becoming a skull) as his body remains the same. Not frightening as much as bizarre and unnerving. Svankmajer has done a number of excellent shorts (Dimensions of Dialogue is a good starting point) and feature films (his adaptation of Alice in Wonderland, simply titled Alice, is also worth seeking out if you haven't yet been introduced to his work).

Brotherhood of the Wolf: A knight/naturalist from the court of King Louis XV and his Iroquois companion are sent to the province of Gévaudan to investigate a mass series of killings perpetuated by a wolf - but the two begin to suspect that the killer may be something else entirely. Odd mix of a big-budget French historical drama (loosely based on a case from 18th century France), martial arts flick, monster movie, murder mystery and buddy cop film. Direction is both beautiful and gimmicky and some of the techniques (changing speeds, odd filter effects, computer-assisted zooms) haven't aged well. Really cool monster design from the Jim Henson Creature Shop but the CGI definitely sticks out like a sore thumb. Two and a half hours feels a bit too long for what it is. Can't give it a strong recommendation but it had enough going on for one watch. Probably helps to approach it knowing how silly and over-the-top it is. The director later went on to create the half-decent Silent Hill adaptation.

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Re: The Horror Movie Lovers Thread

Postby Teddybear » January 23rd, 2020, 6:13 am

A big shout out for the three-part Dracula series on Netflix! There are some interesting twists on the legend and the way the shows are "narrated" is innovative.

My all-time Dracula is Christopher Lee but the actor portraying the Count in this BBC series is outstanding.

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Re: The Horror Movie Lovers Thread

Postby Teddybear » September 12th, 2020, 9:05 am

Teddybear wrote:Train to Busan - now this was a winner! As mentioned, an excellent 28 Days Later type of zombie movie. As much as I enjoy The Walking Dead and George Romero slow-moving zombie fare when the dead move just as fast as you it adds an additional layer of fear...it really would all be over in that case. The real star of Train is the captivating little girl - just wait until she completes her song! My eyes got a little misty, truth be told.

It really helps that I watch all my TV with closed-captioning (except sports) so I wasn't bothered at all with the English subtitles.


If you enjoyed Train to Busan you have to see #Alive on Netflix. You got to watch it with the English subtitles but this Korean zombie movie is top-notch! If you've read World War Z you'll certainly notice the similarities of the Japanese teenager being trapped in a high-rise apartment building. The zombie effects and makeup are expertly done in #Alive - there is very little of that herky jerky filming style that a lot of these types of movies utilize. This movie is a good one!

Speaking of WWZ, while the Brad Pitt movie was good, there could actually be several zombie movies made based on the chapters of that book.


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