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

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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.