thirty one days of horror part 6

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wow, i’m writing this post just because I’m watching this movie right now and I’m so mad. Don’t worry, I have a list of horror films I plan to update you on, but also yeah so I haven’t been able to completely watch a new horror movie every single day (I blame half of it on available selection; guys, I’ve seen a lot of horror movies) so I might as well use my outrage to drive this blog along.

Where did I leave off?

October 16th (ah, yes, see, another little fib. but you can question my time continuity  — I promise, it doesn’t impair the two twin strengths I have which feed this blog. That is to say, my profound and innate abilities to both analyze, and complain) *I Don’t Want to Live in This World Anymore:* Jesus Christ the reason I’m writing to you about this movie on a horror blog is because that’s just how much of a mess this story makes with, first, its tone, and second, its overall – just —

Here’s the thing, folks. If *I Don’t Want to Melodrama In HD Anymore* had simply exercised a little restraint and settled for either a believable plot, or an emotionally convincing one, as a movie, it might have done kind of all right. It would have also helped significantly if the directors/producers/whoever is responsible for this decision had been able to figure out if they were trying to film a comedy, a grime flick, or a David-Foster-Wallacian-reality-set one.

Instead the movie fumbles clumsily between scenes that only make sense if they’re meant to be comedic, to scenes that are clearly supposed to make the audience feel some risk, some fear, at least some anticipation, for the main character(s), completely failing to live up to Netflix’s upbeat synopsis and, indeed, living exactly up to the expectations I formed when I read its title the first time. Cuz son, you know what? *I Don’t Feel At Home In This World Anymore* is a damn depressing name, and I’m not in the habit of spending my leisure time crying over fictions. Or bothering with films about people who think they’re better off dead. Like, sheesh, impress me.

I’ll be honest I have no idea where Elijah Wood was in this movie. I’m also sad, because generally, I like Melanie Lynsky. I don’t know what promise she saw in this script. Her acting’s not bad, but that doesn’t mitigate my annoyance with the whole slopshow.

*I Fart When I’m Home and Call It Philosophy* could’ve committed to any single cohesive direction and potentially really succeeded. It would’ve been a great surprise dark comedy, but the few comedic moments – sorry, the few moments which accidentally happen to hit a comedy pitch – are too sparse. It might’ve been a touching story except for several bizarre scenes which stretch all bounds of belief. Not a single character has an emotionally relatable side.

I’m just extremely disappointed I wasted my life trying to watch this movie twice, and trying to believe that this could be a cool movie, only to feel that I should absolutely refuse to watch movies based on their inane titling or forgettable trailers. Judge a book by its cover, I say. At least that means an agent know how to market it. *I Have Such A Long Dumb Title* feels like it was just shit out and landed on the indie circuit. Sorry, Lynsky. Move on.

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thirty one days of horror part 5

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October 11: Final Girl: This film kind of felt like it was really two short, not very interesting movies jammed together. There were a lot of aspirations here, but unfortunately the movie’s intentions weren’t as interesting on the screen as they probably seemed on the screenplay. Also, a disappointing sort of “female empowerment” tale; cheap. – 2015; Netflix

October 12: Devil Dolls: Sorry, Devil Dolls, I actually watched you twice to see if you could keep my interest. Both times, I totally zoned out. – 2016; Netflix

October 13: Addam’s Family: Yeah, another classic for Friday the 13th. Nothing to complain about here, heartily recommend especially for a feel-good or lighthearted evening. – 1991; Anjelica Houston; Christina Ricci; Netflix

October 14: Boys in the Trees: Sorry, another one I snoozed through. Twice. – 2016; Netflix

October 15: The Babysitter: Now this was a pleasantly surprising, riotous fun time. Movie tagline should be, of course, “My Babysitter’s Literally Evil.” Distinctly horror comedy with cheerfully improbable gore. Go for it, 100% – 2017; Bella Thorne; Netflix (Original)

 

thirty one days of horror part 4

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October 10: Train to Busan. 

SHOULD I? Status: Please, Definitely, Do Watch

Listen up, people. This movie is so good it deserved its own post.

This Korean-language film provides a fresh take on zombies, I mean a fresh take like no other. I hadn’t necessarily considered zombie films played out before, but I certainly didn’t see their appeal. My sister’s the zombie girl; I’m more of a haunted house sort of person. Zombie movies just never really introduced anything new to me; they seemed rather limited in their scope of the supernatural problem.

Train to Busan revolutionized zombies for me. Here, for once, we have a zombie film with equal parts gore and heart; in this film it feels like there’s something truly at stake, and the outcome isn’t clear from the start. In fact, the outcome still isn’t clear 10 minutes from the film’s ending. I loved it. My sister and I have been recommending it to friends heavily.

Please, please watch Train to Busan – you might even thank me for it.

– 2016; Netflix

thirty one days of horror part 3

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October 7: The Craft: This is a classic that’s worth revisiting every couple of years or six. I bit my teeth on 90s-witchy-magic films and series like this (see Charmed, Angel, Buffy, anyone?) and so it feels like home. That being said, there isn’t that much which is terribly original or terribly finely done here. – 1996; Netflix


October 8: Raw: Now, Raw was more of an interesting kind of movie. It’s a French language film, which made my viewing partner happy (as we are watching through several languages now which makes us very multi-cultural). This film was different enough that I did a fair bit of research online about its critical reception and interpretation. I would say there is a fair amount of jump/body/gore horror, which I am not a fan of. However, as a whole, the film is interesting and worth watching. I’m not sure how great it hangs together, as either a whole or a whole horror movie, but it’s certainly decent enough. This is sort of a zombie film. – 2016; French language; Netflix


October 9: The Rezort: This was a re-watch for me. It remained OK. It wasn’t terrible, it was a relatively different way to approach zombies, except the movie really is “Jurassic Park but with zombies, not dinosaurs” – most heavily in the first half but the impact is felt even through the score. – 2015; Netflix


 

thirty one days of horror part 2

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October 3rd: A Nightmare Before Christmas. An all-ages-adored classic, need I say any more? Absolutely recommended – 1993; Netflix


October 4th: The Presence. German-language haunted house found-footage film in which the guys are jerks and the girl ends up with the shrapnel from them.  Is that enough sub-genres for you, by the by? – 2014; Netflix


October 5th: Out of the Dark. Billed as a horror movie, but in the same way that dark Baltic films about forced teenage prostitution brothels are categorized as “horror.” Keep your grim realities with linear causes, effects, and scientific explanations out of my dark twisted jump fantasies. Honestly, couldn’t get into the movie, and lost interest halfway through in favor of talking over the TV to my sister (faithful 31 days of horror companion) about anything and everything else. – 2014; Julia Stiles; Netflix


October 6th: Scary Movie 2. The first time I’d actually seen this movie. I heartily enjoyed it. This Scary Movie spoofs haunted houses/haunted house movies in general, leveraging the horror insta-classic The Haunting as both a rich field for satire and primary skeleton for plot. David Cross pre-Arrested Development is neurotic, delightful: in short, hasn’t yet become overdone. Recommended  – 2001; David Cross; Netflix

thirty one days of horror

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October 1st, yesterday: *Gerald’s Game.* Quite good for a movie with about three actors, and a Netflix original. I heartily recommend. Having read the book years ago, I was intrigued to see how Netflix dealt with a plot which spent about 75% of its time on one woman trapped in one room with just her thoughts. I’m happy to report that the movie manages this brilliantly. The story is remarkably fast-paced and engaging when you consider this limitation; ignoring it, the movie exists as an impressive, cohesive, and yes, lingeringly terrifying tale of horror. – 2017; Netflix


October 2: 1) *The Reapening.* Biblical plagues and overly religious Southern towns. Pretty good, but the twist isn’t that surprising. Do recommend. – 2007; Hilary Swank; Netflix

2) *The Bar* – Spanish language horror comedy. Pacing is good, plot is twistingly interesting, and I enjoy the classic capsule episode feel. Sci-fi-esque and gov-conspiracy-lite, too. – 2017; Netflix

 

A CHRISTMAS HORROR ANTHOLOGY

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SHOULD I? STATUS: Would Watch

Available on Netflix

Watch William Shatner return to his roots in this surprising holiday anthology.

THE QUICK & DIRTY DEETS

  • Moderate jump scares, moderate-high CGI
  • Surprisingly large cast in this expansive, multi-genre collection
  • Blackdel: Y / Bechdel: N

THOTS

Join William Shatner as the appealing “Dangerous Dan,” a local radio station DJ, as he broadcasts his way through Christmas in annual tradition. While Dan drinks, opines, and keeps those classics coming, A Christmas Horror Anthology cycles through four concurrent small-town tales. Basically, the film provides a peep into several lives, as their stories progress over 12 hours or so from Christmas Eve into Christmas. Admittedly, it doesn’t help to consider this construct too hard: it’s difficult to believe anyone with a kid would wait until Christmas Eve to obtain a tree; maybe less so, yet still specious, imagining that 3 teenagers would use the day to finish a school project. Surely, they’re on holiday. But I speak this on removal. In the movie universe, small errors such as these are easy to gloss over. They don’t impair the film.

Many of the horror anthologies I’ve seen have stories which are barely, if at all, interrelated: V/H/S, V/H/S 2, The ABCs of Death 1 (and 2?), Holidays, and The Theatre Bizarre are all evidence. Sometimes there’s a frame narrative to explain this; sometimes there isn’t. When there is, the strength of that narrative tends to vary. A Christmas Anthology provides a pleasant variance from these traits. Including the frame, the movie presents five related narratives using a small-town, everyone-knows-everyone herringbone weave. It gives the collection a very “jes’ folks” feel I enjoyed.

It’s always fun with anthologies to try to kind of crunch some numbers and see if there are any common themes or genres or sort of general bents among the stories. In this film’s established universe, everyone is deeply flawed. Even happy endings have a cost. This seems to imply that, when bad things happen to people, they tend to deserve it – except for the frame tale, which ponders the randomness of fate’s pain. It’s fun to look a little too deep like this. Just keep a little skepticism about planning and intent.

If you’re going to watch a holiday horror movie, A Christmas Horror Anthology’s a pleasant use of your time.