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Filmspotting Message Boards => Marathons => Topic started by: 1SO on September 13, 2019, 06:58:16 AM

Title: Shocktober Group Marathon 2019
Post by: 1SO on September 13, 2019, 06:58:16 AM
(https://imgur.com/aBvBYfl.jpg)

Tucking my son into bed and he tells me,
“Daddy check for monsters under my bed.”
I look underneath for his amusement and see him,
another him, under the bed, staring back at me
quivering and whispering,
“Daddy there’s somebody on my bed.”
1SO
Alien vs. Predator (http://forum.filmspotting.net/index.php?topic=15015.msg902972#msg902972)
Alligator (http://forum.filmspotting.net/index.php?topic=15015.msg902638#msg902638)
The Amazing Mr. X (http://forum.filmspotting.net/index.php?topic=15015.msg902760#msg902760)
Body Snatchers (http://forum.filmspotting.net/index.php?topic=15015.msg902642#msg902642) (1993)
Clue (http://forum.filmspotting.net/index.php?topic=15015.msg902837#msg902837)
A Cry in the Night (http://forum.filmspotting.net/index.php?topic=15015.msg902752#msg902752)
Dark Water (http://forum.filmspotting.net/index.php?topic=15015.msg902684#msg902684) (2005)
Exorcist II: The Heretic (http://forum.filmspotting.net/index.php?topic=15015.msg902589#msg902589)
Exorcist Prequels (http://forum.filmspotting.net/index.php?topic=15015.msg902947#msg902947)
Fear (http://forum.filmspotting.net/index.php?topic=15015.msg902656#msg902656)
Ghost Stories (http://forum.filmspotting.net/index.php?topic=15015.msg902865#msg902865)
Helter Skelter (http://forum.filmspotting.net/index.php?topic=15015.msg902834#msg902834)
Kind Lady (http://forum.filmspotting.net/index.php?topic=15015.msg902794#msg902794)
Martyrs (http://forum.filmspotting.net/index.php?topic=15015.msg902699#msg902699) (2008 original)
Matinee (http://forum.filmspotting.net/index.php?topic=15015.msg902857#msg902857)
The Perfection (http://forum.filmspotting.net/index.php?topic=15015.msg902791#msg902791)
The Ritual (http://forum.filmspotting.net/index.php?topic=15015.msg902865#msg902865)
The Serpent and the Rainbow (http://forum.filmspotting.net/index.php?topic=15015.msg902654#msg902654)
Tigers Are Not Afraid (http://forum.filmspotting.net/index.php?topic=15015.msg902733#msg902733)
Twisted Nerve (http://forum.filmspotting.net/index.php?topic=15015.msg902618#msg902618)
What Lies Beneath (http://forum.filmspotting.net/index.php?topic=15015.msg902771#msg902771)

Beavermoose
Goodnight Mommy (http://forum.filmspotting.net/index.php?topic=15015.msg902586#msg902586)
You're Next (http://forum.filmspotting.net/index.php?topic=15015.msg902586#msg902586)

Bondo
The Dead Don'd Die (http://forum.filmspotting.net/index.php?topic=15015.msg902500#msg902500)
Martyrs (http://forum.filmspotting.net/index.php?topic=15015.msg902730#msg902730) (2016 remake)
Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark (http://forum.filmspotting.net/index.php?topic=15015.msg902664#msg902664)
Tigers Are Not Afraid (http://forum.filmspotting.net/index.php?topic=15015.msg902524#msg902524)

Dave the Necrobumper
Death Bed: The Bed That Eats (http://forum.filmspotting.net/index.php?topic=15015.msg902824#msg902824)
Mardi Gras Massacre (http://forum.filmspotting.net/index.php?topic=15015.msg902905#msg902905)
The Unknown (http://forum.filmspotting.net/index.php?topic=15015.msg902880#msg902880)
Warszawa (http://forum.filmspotting.net/index.php?topic=15015.msg902824#msg902824)

FLYmeatwad
The Banana Splits Movie (http://forum.filmspotting.net/index.php?topic=15015.msg902983#msg902983)
Cheap Thrills (http://forum.filmspotting.net/index.php?topic=15015.msg902749#msg902749)
Childs Play (http://forum.filmspotting.net/index.php?topic=15015.msg902841#msg902841) (1988)
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (http://forum.filmspotting.net/index.php?topic=15015.msg902774#msg902774) (1974)

Junior
Creepshow (http://forum.filmspotting.net/index.php?topic=15015.msg902663#msg902663) S1:E1
Creepshow (http://forum.filmspotting.net/index.php?topic=15015.msg902844#msg902844) S1:E2
The Devils (http://forum.filmspotting.net/index.php?topic=15015.msg902883#msg902883)
Hell House LLC III: Lake of Fire (http://forum.filmspotting.net/index.php?topic=15015.msg902507#msg902507)
In the Tall Grass (http://forum.filmspotting.net/index.php?topic=15015.msg902844#msg902844)
One Cut of the Dead (http://forum.filmspotting.net/index.php?topic=15015.msg902663#msg902663)
The Son of Dr. Jekyll (http://forum.filmspotting.net/index.php?topic=15015.msg902844#msg902844)
The Taking of Deborah Logan (http://forum.filmspotting.net/index.php?topic=15015.msg902844#msg902844)
Tigers Are Not Afraid (http://forum.filmspotting.net/index.php?topic=15015.msg902399#msg902399)
Zodiac (http://forum.filmspotting.net/index.php?topic=15015.msg902844#msg902844)

oldkid
Annabelle (http://forum.filmspotting.net/index.php?topic=15015.msg902913#msg902913)
The Curse of La Llorona (http://forum.filmspotting.net/index.php?topic=15015.msg902913#msg902913)
Hausu (http://forum.filmspotting.net/index.php?topic=15015.msg902912#msg902912)

philip918

Sam the Cinema Snob

Sandy

Mrs. 1SO
Black Mirror: Nosedive (http://forum.filmspotting.net/index.php?topic=15015.msg902734#msg902734)
Red Eye (http://forum.filmspotting.net/index.php?topic=15015.msg902800#msg902800)
Title: Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2019
Post by: 1SO on September 13, 2019, 06:59:03 AM
Sandy's Scale of Scariness.
Quote, Copy and Paste the indicator to the bottom of your review. Feel free to change the label to clarify levels of Tension, Gore and Disturbing Content

(http://imgur.com/mp0Y8Ao.jpg) - Terrifying

(http://imgur.com/CHQMVBZ.jpg) - Really Scary

(http://imgur.com/dlbHWTG.jpg) - Scary

(http://i.imgur.com/qqjXchC.jpg) - Slightly Scary

(http://imgur.com/wLsDs0A.jpg) - Safe for Sandy
Title: Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2019
Post by: Beavermoose on September 15, 2019, 04:03:06 AM
Amityville Series

Amityville II: The Possession
Amityville 3-D: The Demon
Amityville 4: The Evil Escapes   
The Amityville (5) Curse   
Amityville (6): It's About Time
Amityville(7): A New Generation
Amityville(8 ): Dollhouse   
The Amityville Horror (remake) (2005)   


Hellraiser Series

Hellbound: Hellraiser II (1988)
Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth (1992)   
Hellraiser: Bloodline (1996)   
Hellraiser: Inferno (2000)   
Hellraiser: Hellseeker (2002)   
Hellraiser: Deader (2005)   
Hellraiser: Hellworld (2005)   
Hellraiser: Revelations (2011)   
Hellraiser: Judgment (2018)

2010s Catch-Up

November (2017)
Un couteau dans le coeur (2018)
Pet Semetary (2019)
Maniac (2012)
The Wailing (2016)
November
The Alchemist Cookbook (2016)
The Woman (2011)
Cheap Thrills (2013)
The Innkeepers (2011)
The Sacrament (2013)
Goodnight Mommy (2014)
Honeymoon (2014)
We Are What We Are (2010)
Hounds of Love (2016)
Cold Fish (2010)
V/H/S (2012)
You're Next (2011)
Ready or Not (2019)
Mandy (2018)
The Endless (2018)
Title: Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2019
Post by: 1SO on September 15, 2019, 10:04:15 AM
Hellraiser is the Cinnamon Challenge of Horror series. I only made it as far as Inferno.

I've also only seen Amityville 1 - 3D and the 2005 remake. I didn't realize the full series contains 22 features including a 2017 reboot by Blumhouse starring Jennifer Jason Leigh.
Title: Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2019
Post by: Sam the Cinema Snob on September 15, 2019, 01:45:55 PM
I also got five films into the Hellraiser movies.

I'm gonna try to whip up a list in a couple of weeks. Shocktober usually gets me back into a movie-watching mood.
Title: Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2019
Post by: 1SO on September 15, 2019, 07:42:39 PM
I'm planning to start with the rewatches on my list.
Alligator (1980)
Body Snatchers (2093)
Dark Water (2005)
Fear (1996)
Martyrs (2008)
The Serpent and the Rainbow (1988)

This is because I know most of my Watchlist is obscure. The most familiar titles would be...
Alien vs. Predator (2004)
Ouija: Origin of Evil (2016)
The Perfection (2018)

I'm more interested in the ones I plan to show to Mrs. 1SO, which favors not-so-scary police thrillers.
Arlington Road (1999)
Black Mirror: Black Museum, Nosedive and Smithereens
Breakdown (1997)
The Chalk Garden (1964)
Gone Girl (2014)
The House With a Clock in its Walls (2018)
Matinee (1993)
Misery (1990)
No Country For Old Men (2007)
Orphan (2009)
Ransom (1956, the original)
The Shallows (2016)
What Lies Beneath (2000)
What We Do in the Shadows (2014)
Title: Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2019
Post by: Junior on September 15, 2019, 08:07:33 PM
Tigers Are Not Afraid

Pretty openly tries to copy the Pan's Labyrinth thing of combining fairytale tropes and social-realist storytelling but mostly fails, sadly. The stuff about the kids who live almost-feral lives after their caretakers are kidnapped and killed is somewhat interesting, let down only by some typically childish overacting. But the fairytale stuff, which includes a line of blood that follows our protagonist (not the film's only One Hundred Years of Solitude reference), a menagerie of CGI man-made animals that come to life off of graffitied walls and phone cases and pistol grips, and, most effectively, the reanimated victims of the gang violence that runs throughout the film, all feels only half-baked at best. It is telling, I think, that the movie's easiest effect, a puddle full of goldfish, is also its most moving and interesting. The very ending, the last five shots or so, are great, though. I want to see more of this director's work, I just don't think this all works together.

C+

(http://i.imgur.com/qqjXchC.jpg) - Slightly Scary
Title: Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2019
Post by: 1SO on September 15, 2019, 08:13:26 PM
This one's on my Watchlist. I think a number of films I have down for this month you've seen ahead of me. Now I know how Ghost Stories and The Ritual got on my list.
Title: Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2019
Post by: Junior on September 15, 2019, 08:32:49 PM
Yeah, you tend to hold off while I am voracious in my horror viewing habits. I'm very much in the minority in this one, so I am curious to see what you make of it.
Title: Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2019
Post by: 1SO on September 17, 2019, 06:03:07 PM
Kermode reminded me, I'm actually going to start with Exorcist II: The Heretic. I don't know which version I will find, but I'm hoping for the Director's Cut.

I have not seen Exorcist: The Beginning (2004) or Dominion: Prequel to the Exorcist (2005). As someone who watches all the Horror, is there some value to these or should I continue to stay away?
Title: Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2019
Post by: Beavermoose on September 17, 2019, 07:04:03 PM
I have not seen Exorcist: The Beginning (2004) or Dominion: Prequel to the Exorcist (2005). As someone who watches all the Horror, is there some value to these or should I continue to stay away?

They are interesting in the fact that they are almost practically the same movie.
They're definitely worth seeing for the production story behind them. And they're not awful movies, just underwhelming.
Title: Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2019
Post by: 1SO on September 17, 2019, 10:08:48 PM
Sold. (I'm so easy to sell.)
Title: Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2019
Post by: Junior on September 18, 2019, 05:29:35 AM
I remember liking one of those more than the other, but I don't remember which. I think I have both of them in a box set, so if you like one more than you expect, a rewatch might be in order.
Title: Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2019
Post by: Sam the Cinema Snob on September 18, 2019, 03:34:03 PM
The List:

Possession
The Devils
Drag Me to Hell
Silent Hill
The Cell
Insidious
Child's Play
The Love Witch
Ju-On: The Grudge

The Return of the Living Dead
Return of the Living Dead Part II
Return of the Living Dead 3
Title: Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2019
Post by: 1SO on September 18, 2019, 06:09:48 PM
I assume that's the original Child's Play. Not sure if the 2019 version will be out in time.
Title: Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2019
Post by: Junior on September 18, 2019, 08:06:19 PM
The new one isn't very good anyways.
Title: Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2019
Post by: Sam the Cinema Snob on September 18, 2019, 11:17:38 PM
Yes, the original one. While the cast had me curious about the new one, I did hear it's bad.
Title: Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2019
Post by: Bondo on September 19, 2019, 05:12:39 AM
The Dead Don't Die

Was telling a co-worker I was going to be watching and she asked if it was scary and I responded that I didn't think that was Jim Jarmusch's milieu. And indeed, aside from a few relatively brief moments of gore, this is a zombie film entirely unconcerned with fright. Instead, typical to his style, this is a film that turns the emotiveness of its characters down to a -1 and has them flatly comment on their situation with ironic detachment. Occasionally it tries to half-heartedly make a social thematic point, but even then I think it is just making fun of Dawn of the Dead. Throw in some meta-ness of a people not only versed in the history of fictional zombies, but occasionally seeming self-aware of being in a movie themselves.

All this taken together makes for a distinctive film, one that is often funny with Adam Driver the standout, but also one that feels like a bad movie and ultimately feels a bit empty.
Title: Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2019
Post by: philip918 on September 19, 2019, 04:56:17 PM
Going to try and see some horror films next month. Highly recommend Knife + Heart for anyone looking to add to their watch lists. Also November, which is a gorgeous dark fable that would be a great film for a cold autumn evening (not that we have cold autumn evenings in LA).

My list:
Midsommar
Crawl
Train to Busan
Tucker and Dale vs Evil
You're Next
Candyman
Title: Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2019
Post by: Junior on September 19, 2019, 08:08:21 PM
Hell House LLC III: Lake of Fire

The Hell House franchise is like the Saw series. A pretty ok first entry gives way to increasing silliness and a deep mythology that doesn't matter a single bit. Add to that the fact that this one feels lifeless even compared to a very bad predecessor and a mediocre original film and the very dumb ending almost had me laughing at the absurd ideas and situations it wanted me to take seriously. Like what am I even doing here? Why was I excited to watch this?

D+ (there is one scary scene that basically copies a scene from the first film, but at least it is successful)

Not gonna give this a Sandy scale. Don't watch this.
Title: Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2019
Post by: 1SO on September 19, 2019, 08:15:49 PM
How much do you recommend the first one? Problem now is if I add it, I probably won't get to it this year and later on I'll wonder what it's doing on my Watchlist.


Knife + Heart and November are both titles I don't think I'll get to this time, but I will get to them.

Debated putting You're Next on Mrs. 1SO's list because it's more clever than it looks. It could double feature with Ready or Not.


Adam Driver's nickname should be "The Standout"
Title: Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2019
Post by: Junior on September 19, 2019, 08:36:46 PM
The first one is like a less good Grave Encounters, so, you know, if you want. The premise is fun, a haunted house crew gets spooked during the setup then on opening night all hell breaks loose. It's not very well acted but there are a few good scares.
Title: Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2019
Post by: smirnoff on September 19, 2019, 09:54:56 PM
How much do you recommend the first one? Problem now is if I add it, I probably won't get to it this year and later on I'll wonder what it's doing on my Watchlist.

I wish letterboxd or somewhere had the ability to add a note to a film on your watchlist for this very reason.
Title: Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2019
Post by: Sam the Cinema Snob on September 19, 2019, 10:47:18 PM
I have an excel spreadsheet as my watchlist and one column is why it's on the list. There's some that are just filmspotter's names and that way I know who recommended the film.
Title: Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2019
Post by: Bondo on September 19, 2019, 11:52:05 PM
Tigers Are Not Afraid

Pretty openly tries to copy the Pan's Labyrinth thing of combining fairytale tropes and social-realist storytelling but mostly fails, sadly.

Correction, pretty openly tries to copy The Devil's Backbone thing of combining scary but not entirely malevolent ghosts and social-realist storytelling and largely succeeds, thankfully. Key to the film's strength is the way the child actors are able to ground the film amid the threat of adult gang violence and the supernatural. Thinking to something more innocent like The Florida Project, I feel like I have a soft spot for children being resilient in tough situations, and so when they are able to block out the bad to mimic a Mexico's Got Talent sort of thing, I am charmed. The way they use the ghosts, or whatever supernatural form you wish to call the victims of drug cartels, does a good job to signal the scale of the violence.

Two random asides from the film:
1. There is a scene where some children are in cages...I thought it was tragic that I have to specify it was drug cartel people doing it, not the American government.
2. The main boy gets chided for letting the main girl do something tough in his stead. I thought, smart of him, because women get things done.
Title: Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2019
Post by: FLYmeatwad on September 20, 2019, 06:30:05 AM
Hope that On Cut Of The Dead hits Shudder before PFF starts up.
Title: Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2019
Post by: Bondo on September 20, 2019, 11:40:40 AM
I believe it hits Shudder on Monday from what I saw.
Title: Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2019
Post by: FLYmeatwad on September 20, 2019, 08:12:20 PM
I believe it hits Shudder on Monday from what I saw.

This is fantastic news! I saw in my email it was coming soon, but since it was just NY/LA last week, despite being an original, wasn't sure what sort of window they'd give it.
Title: Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2019
Post by: Junior on September 21, 2019, 09:26:06 AM
Tigers Are Not Afraid

Pretty openly tries to copy the Pan's Labyrinth thing of combining fairytale tropes and social-realist storytelling but mostly fails, sadly.

Correction, pretty openly tries to copy The Devil's Backbone thing of combining scary but not entirely malevolent ghosts and social-realist storytelling and largely succeeds, thankfully. Key to the film's strength is the way the child actors are able to ground the film amid the threat of adult gang violence and the supernatural. Thinking to something more innocent like The Florida Project, I feel like I have a soft spot for children being resilient in tough situations, and so when they are able to block out the bad to mimic a Mexico's Got Talent sort of thing, I am charmed. The way they use the ghosts, or whatever supernatural form you wish to call the victims of drug cartels, does a good job to signal the scale of the violence.

Two random asides from the film:
1. There is a scene where some children are in cages...I thought it was tragic that I have to specify it was drug cartel people doing it, not the American government.
2. The main boy gets chided for letting the main girl do something tough in his stead. I thought, smart of him, because women get things done.

If it was just ghosts, I'd agree with you. But it's graffiti tigers, metal snakes, plastic dragons, and so on. Those lean more towards the magical realism of PL than the gothic spooks of TDB. I mean, probably it's both. Still felt like a bad cover band to me. I know I'm in the minority tho.
Title: Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2019
Post by: Beavermoose on September 22, 2019, 03:46:13 AM
You're Next
(https://images4.static-bluray.com/reviews/9363_5.jpg)
I'd been hearing good things about this one since it came out and I just had never gotten around to watching it.
The look is really slick for a somewhat low budget horror movie, the kills are pretty brutal and seem to carry a different emotional weight than most slashers because the characters are all part of a same family. The tone balances the right amount of tension and camp throughout even when the shift happens in 3/4 way through the movie and the hunters become the hunted.
Only issue is that some of the acting is pretty iffy at times.
Mostly was really impressed by this one and I'm glad they haven't ruined it by trying to turn it into a franchise.


Goodnight Mommy
(https://cdn1.thr.com/sites/default/files/imagecache/landscape_928x523/2015/11/goodnight_mommy_still.jpg)
I figured out what the film was doing pretty early and the movie is a bit of a slow burn up until the last act. But that last act is scary as hell and definitely worth the wait. These twins are definitely some of the creepiest kids this side of The Shining.
Title: Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2019
Post by: 1SO on September 22, 2019, 03:02:12 PM
Looking forward to watching You're Next again. First time, I was at maximum hype because of the delayed release. I liked it, but thought it could've been better in places. Will probably enjoy it more the 2nd time.


I like your forgiving attitude towards Goodnight Mommy. I thought the filmmakers were hanging too much onto the surprise, which I also figured out really early. It was a disappointing ride all the way.
Title: Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2019
Post by: 1SO on September 22, 2019, 03:21:22 PM
(https://imgur.com/umZRZCa.jpg)
Exorcist II: The Heretic (1977)
"Satan has become an embarrassment to our progressive views."

This appears on may lists of the worst sequels of all time and some lists of the worst films ever made. It is Mark Kermode's least favorite film, but The Exorcist is his favorite so consider the source. I don't have as much love for the original, and see it more interestingly as John Boorman's movie following the laughable Zardoz and leading into the Masterwork, Excalibur. (I want to know how Boorman was able to raise five dollars for a film after Zardoz and this?)

If you haven't seen Exorcist II, you might know it as the film where James Earl Jones wears a locust costume. He does, and it's pretty ridiculous, as is the film's overall obsession with locust. I don't think The Swarm had as many bees as this film has locust, locust watching scenes from up high and locust point-of-view as they fly through the landscape. You might have recently heard some re-apprasials focused around the scene I opted for over the locust cosplay. It's easily the best part of the movie, cleverly blending current characters with events from the first movie. I kind of wish there was more nostalgia leaning. At least it gives this film a reason to exist. The plot is complete and total nonsense. A collection of unbaked ideas and undeveloped thoughts that have little to do with the scenes that come before and after. Boorman's visual flourish is all there is. The rest is too dull to even be consistently laughable. 
Rating: ★ ½

(http://i.imgur.com/qqjXchC.jpg) - Slightly Scary
Title: Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2019
Post by: Junior on September 22, 2019, 03:50:04 PM
Tried watching that one a few years back, found it to be so boring I fell asleep. I'm glad you were able to power through and confirm my half-baked opinions.
Title: Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2019
Post by: 1SO on September 22, 2019, 04:03:44 PM
I did feel like I was powering through, exactly. I kept waiting for it to get funnier or have another interesting scene, maybe more connection to the first movie. Even the oft-cited moment where Jones spits out a Leopard isn't visually interesting. I wanted some Takashi Miike surrealism, but it was just an edit from the spitting to an isolated shot of the leopard.
Title: Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2019
Post by: Junior on September 22, 2019, 04:19:01 PM
That's unfortunate. At least we'll always have III, an all time classic. Oh, and the original too.

I watched the last half hour of Willow Creek again last night. I really love that tent scene. It's pretty perfectly paced, with an emotional moment at its start that soon fades into excitement then paranoia and then outright fear. It's 18 minutes of a pretty static shot and I still couldn't look away, even the second or third time through. It's a little too bad, then, that the five minutes after it aren't as good as those 18 minutes. The ending's brevity is a plus, but only because it doesn't let too much air out of the balloon before sending us out into the world.
Title: Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2019
Post by: Beavermoose on September 22, 2019, 08:02:47 PM
I remember watching this movie friends and Pazuzu becoming an inside joke with us for a while.
(https://external-preview.redd.it/pmv-y74PoKvSoTa1rI7kvOYJxjCgWEGPgYqso-ZVcmA.jpg?auto=webp&s=da5ceaa0d0913a73c9ff34c341f1c02395cad552)

"Pazuzu, you ungrateful gargoyle! I put you through college and this is the thanks i get?!"
Title: Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2019
Post by: smirnoff on September 22, 2019, 11:52:25 PM
(I want to know how Boorman was able to raise five dollars for a film after Zardoz and this?)

Something like this.

(https://i.imgur.com/AzjtM8M.png)
Title: Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2019
Post by: 1SO on September 23, 2019, 11:00:00 PM
(https://imgur.com/YPpYQlC.jpg)(https://imgur.com/OGdB20K.jpg)
Twisted Nerve (1968)

It's pretty crummy for a film to be so unmemorable that I start doubting my initial reaction (http://forum.filmspotting.net/index.php?topic=12547.msg810611#msg810611). Twisted Nerve has a wonderful title, an unforgettable whistle theme by Bernard Herrmann that's been used in Kill Bill and American Horror Story and it allegedly stars Hayley Mills early into her post-Disney career. I say "allegedly" because she's 2nd fiddle to Hywel Bennett as a man-child PSYCHOpath. Billie Whitelaw gets as much screen time and a more interesting part.

Bennett's character isn't interesting, a narrowly drawn unstable killer with none of the creep factor of Terence Stamp in The Collector, which came out three years earlier. Even that whistle is more of a gift to give the film a legacy, and not legitimately creepy when it plays. I wish the story did something dangerous instead of playing familiar notes. It needed a little transgression, if only so I don't accidentally sit through it a 3rd time.
Rating: ★ ★

(http://i.imgur.com/qqjXchC.jpg) - Slightly Scary
Title: Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2019
Post by: Sam the Cinema Snob on September 24, 2019, 12:01:10 AM
What a shame. I always wanted to see this one.
Title: Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2019
Post by: 1SO on September 24, 2019, 11:55:34 PM
(https://imgur.com/pNceLSB.jpg)
Alligator (1980)

This was a gateway film for young me. I watched it numerous times on television and still remembered a couple of the big scenes. The kid about to jump into his swimming pool without looking down to see the giant gator was one of the scariest scenes of my youth. I hoped this would hold up at least well enough, especially since it stars Robert Forster and the script is by John Sayles.

It's so much more... schlocky than I remember. Indistinguishable from Ozploitation films, with an oddly cheery attitude towards the situation, some broad comedy - like the random mad bomber who just loves his radio - and cheap techniques like crimson-tinted flashbacks. I can't tell if the gator scenes were done with an eye towards saving money or to try and dodge an 'R' rating, but being scary was not the main goal. It's a pretty good looking gator, but unfortunately its jaws can't actually chomp down. So, it just chews on people for a bit before letting the bloodied victim (in untorn clothes) roll out.
Rating: ★ ★

(http://i.imgur.com/qqjXchC.jpg) - Slightly Scary
Title: Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2019
Post by: 1SO on September 25, 2019, 12:39:21 PM
(https://imgur.com/LyCzaNP.jpg)
Body Snatchers (1993)
"Where you gonna go, where you gonna run, where you gonna hide?
Nowhere... 'cause there's no one like you left."


Surprised I couldn't find a list of this type of film, which would include not just the 4 official versions of this story but The Faculty, The Puppet Masters and Invaders From Mars. I think I rate all of them slightly higher than their reputation, with the first two being among my Essentials. This version moves the story to a military base, but hits all the same entertaining beats. (The biggest benefit of the military aspect is watching R. Lee Ermey go from high-energy drill sergeant to emotionless member of the aliens.)

The director is Abel Ferrara, in what must be his sole stab at commercial credibility. It's pretty bland direction, then again the film is so lean it's hard for anything to stand out. Coming in at under 90 minutes, actors like Forest Whitaker and Meg Tilly are barely in it, while lead Gabrielle Anwar barely makes an impression. This may be deliberate. When aliens continually try to take her over, the reaction of sympathy is something akin to "but she's so pretty."
Rating: ★ ★ ½

(http://i.imgur.com/qqjXchC.jpg) - Slightly Scary
Title: Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2019
Post by: 1SO on September 25, 2019, 11:13:22 PM
(https://imgur.com/Zflkdyc.jpg)
The Serpent and the Rainbow (1988)
"What did you dream about this afternoon?
A woman in your arms? The sea at your doorstep? No!
You dreamt of me and of the grave. I know because I was there.
And I can be there every time you close your eyes."


Watched this a few times in the 80s and 90s but not for at least 10 years. There seems to be some internal conflict over what Wes Craven wants the film to be. There are scenes where Craven treats voodoo seriously, showing similarities with Christianity and separating tourist voodoo from the real thing. That respect crashes hard against the horror genre, where voodoo is ultimately used for shocks involving zombies, blood, snakes and spiders. (You know, tourist stuff.) This walking contradiction is hampered further by a screenplay that has our hero traveling between America and Haiti multiple times, running into enemies realm spiritual and political. It's no wonder I couldn't keep the plot straight in my head.

So, it's a film easy to pick apart, perhaps even more so now that we are trying to be respectful of other cultures. The film is also quite thrilling and plenty scary. Some of the imagery is silly and frustratingly nonsensical, but there's a sweaty, bloody atmosphere and a proper sense of unease. This also contains one of Wes Craven's Top 5 Scary Scenes. If you know the film, you know it's the moment when Zakes Mokae says, "I want to hear you scream."
Rating: ★ ★ ★ - Okay

(http://imgur.com/dlbHWTG.jpg) - Scary
Title: Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2019
Post by: 1SO on September 26, 2019, 01:03:44 AM
(https://imgur.com/cJr7D3z.jpg)
Fear (1996)
"You should have allowed nature to take its course.
In the end, it will anyway."


Boyfriends from Hell are nothing new in Horror films, but hiding behind the generic title is a thriller that's so well cast and acted, it has a heartfelt quality that amps up the danger and overshadows the eventual thrills. When I saw this during its theatrical release, I associated with the teens. Now, I sympathize with the grown ups, especially the father (William Petersen). That's a sign the film is doing something right, the danger worked me over when I was young and it ups my anxiety in all new ways now.

The boyfriend is played by Mark Wahlberg, the vulnerable teenager by Reese Witherspoon and 20+ years later this remains some of their best work. Witherspoon's innocent heart soars, gets swept away and breaks as she learns about her boyfriend's true nature. Wahlberg's voice is perhaps too soft, just like his physique is too chiseled. A prince who can be physically imposing. Director James Foley gives the film an edge with a couple of highly erotic, non-nude sexual scenes that walk right up to the line. (The film is perhaps best known for a roller coaster scene set to "Wild Horses".) The relationship is more emotional, raw and real than it has any right to be. The same can be said for Petersen's workhorse father, having trouble accepting he needs to let his daughter grow up and then learning first hand what a creep this guy is.

I kind of wonder how the film would play without the home invasion climax. The first hour is so dramatically strong, unhinging Wahlberg to torture the family approaches exploitation, especially when the actor doesn't abandon his character to just push the evil. That said, the script stretches things too far as people start physically hurting each other. The thrills take things from Blue Ruin realism to The Hand That Rocks the Cradle pulp. It gets kind of silly, but most of the film is genuinely unsettling.
Rating: ★ ★ ★ - Very Good

(http://imgur.com/dlbHWTG.jpg) - Scary
Title: Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2019
Post by: Bondo on September 26, 2019, 04:27:30 AM
Horror film random thought:

Obviously there are multiple horror films about picking up a hitchhiker who proves to be dangerous, I'd be curious about the real life numbers of A) People who have been hurt by a hitchhiker they picked up vs B) Hitchhikers who have been hurt by the driver that picks them up. And to this latter one, are there any horror films that do the inversion and make the person picking up the hitchhiker the threat.
Title: Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2019
Post by: Sam the Cinema Snob on September 26, 2019, 07:55:03 AM
Five Across the Eyes is the latter I'm pretty sure.
Title: Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2019
Post by: 1SO on September 26, 2019, 11:11:23 AM
First of all, deep cut, Sam. The film I inflicted on people long ago.

I don't know about real life statistics, but it was an urban legend exploited for horror thrills, like Alligators in the sewers. (See four reviews back.)

As for films that invert, that's interesting. I know there are a few where the driver is a sexual predator picking up young or underdressed women only to have the women be the more dangerous.

There's Last House on the Left, though I don't think the girls get picked up by the killers while hitching. The two events are separated.
Wolf Creek - hate that movie - the teens are stranded and are picked up by a serial killer.

Anyone know the plot to Stephen King's Riding the Bullet?
Title: Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2019
Post by: philip918 on September 26, 2019, 12:04:41 PM
Just chiming in to say, I too, hate Wolf Creek.
Title: Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2019
Post by: Junior on September 26, 2019, 07:34:25 PM
One Cut of the Dead

I hated this. The verisimilitude implied by the lack of cuts in this otherwise rote zombie movie is undercut by the terrible acting and unmotivated action. Things seem to happen just because it looks cool. The humor is weird too, though I chalked that and the odd zombie movements up to cultural differences.

Then it ended, and the next scene cut to several months prior and we begin to understand the thing we just saw was a hastily conceived and troubled production made as a gimmick to launch a new zombie-based TV station. I was intrigued enough to keep watching, even if this second act, the lead up to the filming of the first act, wasn't super exciting on its own. I'm glad I did, too, because the third act, which shows the filming if the first from the perspective of the crew, turns a subpar zombie short into an act of love. It becomes both hilarious and inspiring to watch the crew come together to barely make what we already saw happen. Scenes that seem out of place and, frankly, dumb in the first version become fantastic sight gags or touching come-together moments. It's a truly great movie about movie making, even if it's only that for the last 30 minutes. Still worth it, I'd say.

B+


Creepshow (2019): S01E01

Starting off with a Stephen King short story adaptation of "Gray Matter" is a wise idea. King's ability to be both corny and scary at the same time works wonders in the B-movie/EC Horror Comics vibe Creepshow has had in all its incarnations. This one fits that vibe like a glove, with respected actors hamming it up and plenty of sticky goo to go around. The commitment to practical effects is on display here, too, and I appreciate it even as they abandon it for CGI eventually. A fun time.

The second short is less Goofy and more creepy, almost a Toy Story meets Hereditary vibe but I just couldn't really find the scares. Creepy, yes, but it's all too (literally) small scale for me to get worked up over.

B+

Both of these are on Shudder, btw.
Title: Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2019
Post by: Bondo on September 26, 2019, 09:10:30 PM
Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark

Contra Junior/1SO, my problem here was largely with the stories themselves. Maybe the reason they largely underwhelm is related to how much they, surprisingly, get sidelined. The Red Spot is the only one I specifically remember reading when I was young...there is nothing per se wrong with any of the others, but they feel undercooked. Now, it is entirely possible that the source stories themselves, being only a couple pages each, would be similarly underwhelming, sans creepy illustration.

But man, what a shell story. It was so good that the stories felt like time I could have spent getting into it, though obviously the stories create the stakes that drive things along. Themes of corporate greed, environmental degradation...a touch of pacifism mirroring Vietnam to the town's spate of disappearing/dying children. All this within a thesis of "stories heal and stories hurt...if you tell them enough they become real" in true high school composition style put in the film's first and last paragraph. I do love a story about storytelling, see Arabian Nights, and this version seems particularly important at a time when the President continuously tells stories that hurt such that a significant minority of the population holds it to be true. And arguably what we need in response is someone to tell the public a contrasting story of our nation's character and aspirations, a story that heals.

B+
Title: Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2019
Post by: Beavermoose on September 26, 2019, 09:13:37 PM
Horror film random thought:

Obviously there are multiple horror films about picking up a hitchhiker who proves to be dangerous, I'd be curious about the real life numbers of A) People who have been hurt by a hitchhiker they picked up vs B) Hitchhikers who have been hurt by the driver that picks them up. And to this latter one, are there any horror films that do the inversion and make the person picking up the hitchhiker the threat.

I've hitchhiked a lot without hassle including in Mexico and Eastern Europe. I've also picked up a guy outside of Portland who was really cool.
I've heard stories from women that have had bad experiences getting picked up though.
Also one of the people who picked me up told me that one the previous hitchhikers he'd picked up had robbed him, like had pick-pocketed something from his car, not threatened him with a knife or anything.
Title: Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2019
Post by: Bondo on September 26, 2019, 09:18:13 PM
I've done couchsurfing a few times (via my roommate)...it all went fine. Arguably letting a stranger come into your house is even more dramatic than into your car, but hitchhikers don't come with reviews from their prior hitchhikes. That'd be like the Black Mirror episode, but shows the plus side. Sadly it is true that any of these kinds of things is infinitely more hazardous for women.
Title: Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2019
Post by: 1SO on September 27, 2019, 04:12:48 PM
Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark

But man, what a shell story. It was so good that the stories felt like time I could have spent getting into it, though obviously the stories create the stakes that drive things along. Themes of corporate greed, environmental degradation...a touch of pacifism mirroring Vietnam to the town's spate of disappearing/dying children. All this within a thesis of "stories heal and stories hurt...if you tell them enough they become real" in true high school composition style put in the film's first and last paragraph. I do love a story about storytelling, see Arabian Nights,

I get the Arabian Nights similarity and that's one part of the frame story I liked. I don't understand how the poor acting and drawn-out writing of the frame doesn't bother you, but I have similar problems with The Cabin in the Woods and people LOVE that movie.
Title: Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2019
Post by: Bondo on September 27, 2019, 08:37:52 PM
I love that movie.
Title: Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2019
Post by: 1SO on September 27, 2019, 08:38:04 PM
(https://imgur.com/wSBwtLl.jpg)
Dark Water (2005)

I used to own the original 2002 film by Hideo Nakata (Ringu). It's not a well-told story, but there are great scares in it involving spooky girls and damp atmosphere. That's why I didn't watch this until 2011 and I never wrote about it. It's a case where I like it more than the internet - 2.5 on Letterboxd, 5.6 on IMDB - and I don't know why. Maybe it's because this version doesn't have any big scares, but instead we get a fine cast (Jennifer Connelly, John C. Reilly, Pete Postlethwaite, Tim Roth) and a solid if simple ghost story. Maybe that's the issue, all this class and production value for a haunted house lacking complexity or surprise. (Not that it ever let down horror fans before.)

Connelly was at her peak during this time and it's such a solid starring role I'm surprised the opportunity didn't come around more. It helps that she has these particular three male co-stars. Each has a unique persona and aren't known for horror films so they're intense (Roth), fidgety (Reilly) or both (Postlethwaite) in a way that keeps the mystery from floating off to the spirit world. While the editing could be tighter, both in terms of cutting fat and cranking up the intensity when it needs to, there's an excellent sound design that reminded me of The Innocents. The presence of children off in the distance... or perhaps closer than you think.
Rating: ★ ★ ★ - Good

(http://i.imgur.com/qqjXchC.jpg) - Slightly Scary
Title: Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2019
Post by: Sandy on September 28, 2019, 09:04:56 PM
Sheesh, you guys! It's still September and you're six pages into Shocktober! :))


My list:

House (For Knocked Out Loaded's movie club month)
Little Monsters
Onibaba
Kuroneko
Title: Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2019
Post by: 1SO on September 28, 2019, 09:26:20 PM
I'm happy seeing a thread generating so much activity.

I feel like Shocktober hasn't begun proper yet because I'm only doing rewatches so far.

I'm also proud of myself for not starting my presentation to Mrs. 1SO early. (We're out of town working and don't get back until Monday.)

That's a nice collection of movies you have lined up there.
Title: Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2019
Post by: smirnoff on September 28, 2019, 09:44:31 PM
Connelly was at her peak during this time

I was trying to figure out if I agreed with this statement, but I guess I just haven't seen enough of her films. Before looking I would've guessed she'd averaged one film every 3 years or something.
Title: Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2019
Post by: 1SO on September 28, 2019, 09:49:32 PM
(https://imgur.com/cvKlasD.jpg)
Martyrs (2008)
"It's so easy to create a victim, young lady, so easy. You lock someone in a dark room.
They begin to suffer. You feed that suffering."


The first time I saw Martyrs I was swept up by the ever-changing narrative, with quite a number of plot twists and character reveals. It helped balance out all that torture porn, which gets monotonous. Problem is, that's the point. It's a torture move that intellectualizes what the most extreme torture can do to the mind instead of focusing on the tearing of flesh, though there's plenty of that too. This time, knowing what was going to happen lessened the impact of the first half a lot. However, I forgot some important stuff in the middle (involving a 3rd woman/creature that haunts our traumatized victim.) That reminded me of what kept me excited the first time while the movie moved towards its grim fate.

It's a tough movie to evaluate because it's deeper and smarter than similar fare. The acting is pretty great, even though much of it is performed while screaming hysterically. However, the go-for-broke attitude towards the violence can be a turn off. It's a similar issue with The Passion of the Christ, a film whose relentless bloodshed was more pointless by comparison. This is one of those Horror films that passes up thrills for true horrific situations, and that's something I always admire when it works.
Rating: ★ ★ ★ - Good

(http://imgur.com/mp0Y8Ao.jpg) - Extreme and Disturbing. Few films deserve this tag more.
Title: Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2019
Post by: 1SO on September 28, 2019, 09:59:34 PM
Connelly was at her peak during this time

I was trying to figure out if I agreed with this statement, but I guess I just haven't seen enough of her films. Before looking I would've guessed she'd averaged one film every 3 years or something.

Through the 80s and 90s, Connelly was cast for her beauty more than her talent. Her curvy figure often fell victim to male gaze imagery like riding the toy horse in Career Opportunities or being introduced cleavage first in The Rocketeer.

Things changed with Waking the Dead (2000), which wasn't a hit but showed those who were watching what Connelly could do with a performance. That was followed by...
Requiem for a Dream (2000) - my favorite perf from her
Pollock (2000)
A Beautiful Mind (2001) - Oscar winning role
Hulk (2003) - streak broken, not her fault
House of Sand and Fog (2003)
Dark Water (2005)
Little Children (2006)

That's a strong run. Peak Connelly. Some would extend the list out to Blood Diamond (2006) and Reservation Road (2007), but certainly end at The Day the Earth Stood Still and Inkheart (2008)
Title: Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2019
Post by: Bondo on September 30, 2019, 09:51:46 PM
Martyrs (2016)

I had always thought this film was part of the New French Extremism, so imagine my surprise when the movie starts and they are talking in English. Oh, I guess they did an American remake and that is what my library decided to stock. This seems to happen to me a lot, especially via the library.

Judging by the wikipedia summaries, the films are largely the same in narrative structure. It feels like it is missing an act though. The first act builds up this seemingly crazy woman, visions and violence. I am not sure whether what is missing is the second act or if they just cut short the third act but somehow when it gets to the explanation part it cuts too many corners to really catch as a justification for putting the audience through all this. I felt it got less scary as it got more real/gruesome, mostly because the pinnacle of fright is hiding under your covers, wondering if something is actually out there.
Title: Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2019
Post by: 1SO on September 30, 2019, 10:09:46 PM
I keep debating watching this. Everything I read says they get it all wrong, but I wonder how they mean. Is it the sanitized storytelling or pulling back on the violence? I feel like going in expecting it to not work and knowing it won't be as extreme, I could find some things to like. Plus, when I worked on Pretty Little Liars, Troian Bellisario was my favorite of the main cast to work with.
Title: Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2019
Post by: 1SO on September 30, 2019, 11:24:07 PM
Tigers Are Not Afraid
★ ★ ★ - Good

Sorry Junior, (http://forum.filmspotting.net/index.php?topic=15015.msg902399#msg902399) I'm with Bondo (http://forum.filmspotting.net/index.php?topic=15015.msg902524#msg902524) on this one. My reference point was somewhere between the quiet evil of Spirit of the Beehive and the hyper-stylized City of God. It was a new world to me, one where the kids live with a different kind of active shooters in schools, and authority figures are absent because they are dead, not neglectful. There are some hang out scenes that reminded me of the largely pointless doodling of Duck Season (a deep cut for most), but the magical realism is deftly handled. Simple, yet rightly so, giving the film a fairy tale quality without tipping into fantasy. This does an even better job of combining a social problem with a horror tale than Under the Shadow, though I prefer that one for thrills.
Title: Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2019
Post by: 1SO on October 01, 2019, 10:54:36 AM
Mrs. 1SO Not-So-Scary


Black Mirror: Nosedive
★ ★ ★ - Good

Scary doesn't always mean ghosts and monsters. With Nosedive it's the scary possibility of the world depicted here coming to fruition. A world where everyone and every interaction is Rated and people are treated based on their personal rating. It was a good start to her version of Shocktober, suggested when she told me earlier this year that they should make a movie about people obsessed with their social media presence. This was exactly what she imagined, and she thought it was very well done.


I liked it a little more this time because I wasn't so focused on how predictable the plot trajectory is. The magic is in some of the interactions, like the great scene with Cherry Jones' truck driver (Rating 1.8 ) and the gentleman in the last scene, outwardly composed but full of rage inside and free to express it. (My favorite little bit was the guy working the charging station who gives an honest two stars because "the interaction wasn't meaningful.") I also noticed very particular choices regarding ratings and race.

This is my favorite Bryce Dallas Howard performance. I always find her underwhelming and lacking in subtle grace notes. Here we see the fake facade peel away and can see the emotional changes before the words confirm the shift. It's also my 2nd favorite work by Joe Wright, who should work at this scale more often. It makes a splash without being splashy about it.

Title: Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2019
Post by: FLYmeatwad on October 01, 2019, 09:40:18 PM
Cheap Thrills

Was on my radar when it played PFF a few years back, and never got around to it because I missed the release year window, but this thing is kind of fun and makes sense that it came out around the same time as The Guest because each work with a pretty direct premise while just kind of executing on it. Which is cool. Not super scary, a little gross at points, and one would wish it delved deeper in to the whole wealth angle that resonates more in today's political climate than in 2014's, but probably still hit there as well. Not super inventive, and not as good as The Guest, but fairly breezy and an easy way to kick off Shocktober. Glad I saw it on Shudder, glad it was only 88 minutes, though it felt like there was always 'one more twist' that felt like it got cut or just wasn't there. The music was kind of cool sometimes. On a scale of one to ten, I'd give it a six and a half in terms of how it reminded me that I'm still disappointed The Hunt got scrubbed from existence.
Title: Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2019
Post by: 1SO on October 01, 2019, 10:20:39 PM
I like Cheap Thrills quite a bit though I'd like it with little apology if not for that brief gross section. It's my favorite performance by David Koechner and it has Sara Paxton (The Innkeepers), who was on her way to being the next big thing until she got lapped by Samara Weaving.
Title: Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2019
Post by: 1SO on October 01, 2019, 10:37:09 PM
(https://imgur.com/fJEnYVh.jpg)
A Cry in the Night (1956)
"I'm going after this guy and when I find him I'm gonna kill him."

"That's the reason you shouldn't be on the case. Same reason
they don't allow doctors to operate on their own families."


I have to blame Alan Ladd, who produced this trash and got a lot of good actors to play the one-dimensional characters. Edmond O'Brien is the police chief whose teenage daughter (Natalie Wood) is kidnapped by Raymond Burr. Brian Donlevy plays the night Captain leading the search. Running a brief 75-minutes, there's little for anyone to do except wait for the eventual showdown. I like Raymond Burr, but his mamma's boy character is mentally slow (to make him dangerously unpredictable) and he plays it gay, to be sure and offend as many groups as possible. Against all that, Wood probably comes out the best, though it's interesting to see Donlevy as a cool-headed authority figure. Cheap look, broad characters and flat dialogue fit right in with a MST3K show.
Rating: ★ ½

(http://i.imgur.com/qqjXchC.jpg) - Sleazy
Title: Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2019
Post by: 1SO on October 02, 2019, 09:36:19 AM
Home for the Holidays (1972)
★ ★ ½
Surprisingly petigreed TV Movie slasher film, well before the sub-genre exploded. It even pre-dates Black Christmas by two years and shares the same holiday theme. The writer is Joseph Stefano (Psycho), the director John Llewellyn Moxey (Kolchak: The Night Stalker, released the same year.) It stars Jessica Walter, Sally Field, Julie Harris, Eleanor Parker and Walter Brennan! The results... are unfortunately TV Movie-ish. The story is simple enough and the script gets right to it, but then there are a series of not-that-exciting sequences where the killer goes to work. It's not an easy mystery to solve, but the limited suspects and scope make it like choosing between only three doors. Stands as a curiosity but could've been legit good with some proper care.
Title: Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2019
Post by: 1SO on October 02, 2019, 01:06:49 PM
(https://imgur.com/0NgCDiB.jpg)
The Amazing Mr. X (1948)

MartinTeller's Review (https://martinteller.wordpress.com/2012/06/07/the-amazing-mr-x/)

I always love finding a review by Martin, and while I agree on a lot of it, it's interesting to read, "Although the title evokes a sci-fi or horror flick, it’s pretty much out-and-out noir..." For me (and the wife) watching it this month, it's a solid Shocktober selection. It deserves the noir tag in terms of character development and how things play out, but this draws a full bucket from the well of the Supernatural, haunted locations and ghost stories. Even once some of the tricks are revealed early on, there are spooky images and sounds a-plenty. This is largely thanks to master Cinematographer John Alton, who does wonders with light, shadows and strange angles. He makes this a visual delight worthy of study.

(https://imgur.com/dovxKLS.jpg)

(https://imgur.com/gdA1ICU.jpg)

As for the plot, it kept us guessing and managed to keep supernatural explanations possible even after revealing some of the tricks. (If I was looking for a modern comparison, I'd show the wife What Lies Beneath later today.) There's a monster-sized twist that raises danger for all sides, though it comes with a couple of questions that are tough to answer. For all that I've seen, I don't have many Horror titles that I can recommend pre-1960. This is the best of 1948.

And I really need to give a 2nd look to Nightmare Alley.
Rating: ★ ★ ★ - Good

(http://i.imgur.com/qqjXchC.jpg) - Spooky
Title: Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2019
Post by: FLYmeatwad on October 02, 2019, 07:47:49 PM
I like Cheap Thrills quite a bit though I'd like it with little apology if not for that brief gross section. It's my favorite performance by David Koechner and it has Sara Paxton (The Innkeepers), who was on her way to being the next big thing until she got lapped by Samara Weaving.

The performances, all around, were good. I did like it, but felt like it could have used a little more time or subbed out the gross out part for what felt like a final twist.

Overall, on the Goosebumps scale, I would give it a Revenge Of The Lawn Gnomes. Now to find tonight's feature.
Title: Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2019
Post by: 1SO on October 02, 2019, 08:09:26 PM
(https://imgur.com/rEpXoUS.jpg)
What Lies Beneath (2000)

When the wife said she was ready for a proper good scare, I knew I had to ditch my original plan and go with this to follow The Amazing Mr. X. So nice to watch again after so many years away. I still remembered some of the scares, but I was able to get absorbed in the story's slow progression towards its main point instead of feeling restless with all the distractions before we arrive there. The lead ups are very good too, its just once you know they stick out more as dead ends and Hitchcock tributes abandoned before they're done.

It's sad to think they don't make them like this anymore, because this isn't an old movie and at a script level it's pretty standard genre popcorn entertainment. It's hard to imagine a studio spending a hundred million dollars today on an original screenplay that requires two movie stars who can sell tickets on their name and a director who will spend that much money to deliver entertainment and nothing more. Robert Zemeckis' digital effects trickery comes on like an avalanche by the end, and while the seams are largely obvious 20 years later, the shots themselves are very clever and deliver more suspense than flash. The finale also draws out the moments showing a director who has the patience to sit with something when it's working so well. There's also a strong #TimesUp thread running through to make up for the photography showing its age.
Rating: ★ ★ ★ - Very Good

(http://imgur.com/dlbHWTG.jpg) - Scary
Title: Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2019
Post by: 1SO on October 02, 2019, 08:10:21 PM
Overall, on the Goosebumps scale, I would give it a Revenge Of The Lawn Gnomes. Now to find tonight's feature.

I forgot about this scale. What's the top? Night of the Living Dummy?
Title: Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2019
Post by: FLYmeatwad on October 02, 2019, 09:50:06 PM
I forgot about the scale too. While Slappy is the king, those weren't my favorite books. I'll need to think if 'best' and 'scariest' are one and the same. Figure that the consensus pick for best would be The Haunted Mask though.

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)

Certainly a lot of screaming going on here, and for the most part this thing, making pretty good use of a sub-90 minute run time, works. Have to figure that at the time of its release it played better than looking at it with a pair of eyes that sees how its style of horror has transformed and been cranked up to almost absurd levels in a modern context. Not particularly scary, but these slasher things typically don't get me that much, and I always appreciate that there aren't a ton of manufactured jump scares. As it goes on too you get the bigger performances, which I enjoyed. I did really enjoy this, but not too much to say about it.

On the Goosebumps scale, I would give this a Piano Lessons Can Be Murder.
Title: Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2019
Post by: Junior on October 03, 2019, 05:53:55 AM
That dinner scene, while not particularly scary in what actually happens, is one of the most intense and terrifying things I have ever seen. It and the remarkably good conclusion are the reasons why I rate that film so high. The short running time helps too.
Title: Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2019
Post by: FLYmeatwad on October 03, 2019, 10:30:36 PM
Yeah, the ending is definitely the strongest part, pretty much from the when the cop shows up at the end until the conclusion.
Title: Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2019
Post by: 1SO on October 04, 2019, 05:00:43 AM
The Perfection (2018)
★ ★ ½
Figured I better get to this one because I don't know how much longer my fortune of knowing nothing would hold out. I don't even know how you describe it without giving something away. It has twists the size of From Dusk Till Dawn, and that marketing couldn't hide the vampires or they risk ticking off people who get on board for a Tarantino crime film. When this veers into horror, it's really effective and pretty damn horrible to imagine (in a good way.)

On that level the script and direction are pretty impressive. However, once this thing stops twisting and you're able to see what happens in full, I had a pretty big question that the film cannot answer. I think they're trying to say something about the psychological damage of abuse, but that's just trying to explain away a story that's unfortunately more of an empty gimmick.


(http://imgur.com/CHQMVBZ.jpg) - Really Scary when it's working
Title: Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2019
Post by: 1SO on October 04, 2019, 12:17:18 PM
(https://imgur.com/vkxccA9.jpg)
Kind Lady (1935)

I always enjoy Basil Rathbone, but this may be the strongest combination of his snobby upper crust superiority and his viper interior. (He would've made a great Hannibal Lector.) It's what puts him above Vincent Price. When Price is playing the gentleman you can see the murder in his eyes, Rathbone is genuinely charming. You want to believe him even though you're aware this is Shocktober.

I can't get too much into the plot of this one because it turns out it's very similar to Joon-ho Bong's Parasite, so much so that there are scenes that play out nearly identical. (I can't find any evidence on the net, which makes me feel like I've stumbled onto a secret.) This doesn't have Bong's way of genre-bending surprises or the underlying theme of class struggle, but as a thriller, this has a higher feeling of helplessness and anxiety for the title character. BTW, she's played by a favorite of mine too, Aline MacMahon (Heat Lightning), so there's a lot to like here.
Rating: ★ ★ ★ - Very Good

(http://i.imgur.com/qqjXchC.jpg) - Slightly Scary
Title: Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2019
Post by: 1SO on October 04, 2019, 06:32:39 PM
Mrs. 1SO Not-So-Scary


Red Eye
(2005)
★ ★ ★ - Good
It's been fun finding these modern selections that work along similar lines to our morning movie. Basil Rathbone taking advantage of the titular Kind Lady is now Cillian Murphy menacing the well connected Rachel McAdams on a night flight to Miami. Some may remember the clever marketing for this film where the trailer plays like a romantic comedy until the credit "From Director Wes Craven" appears on screen. That sinister seduction is still fun to watch even knowing Murphy is not on the level, and when it's time to get dirty the actor bravely pushes his character to real deep Dirtbag levels. Makes it all the sweeter when McAdams decides she's done being the victim.

It's unfortunate that when the thrills turn cat-and-mouse, Murphy loses not only the charm but most of his humanity turning him into a slasher no different from Jason or Michael. There's also a weird disconnect between the high-budget look of the film and some of the low-budget choices. Moments of Art Direction, green screen and stuntwork are distractingly amateur, but the bulk of the film is the lengthy interactions between the two stars and they dance a terrific tango.
Title: Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2019
Post by: smirnoff on October 04, 2019, 11:58:49 PM
Prom Night (1980)
* ½
Wildly over-popular 80s slasher staple, because it stars Jamie Lee Curtis. Director Paul Lynch brings the whodunit mystery to the subgenre, where a past crime gives everyone a solid motive to be the killer. There are some style points in the beginning, but the actual stalk-and-slash scenes are crushingly routine, and the acting by the unknowns in the cast is terrible. The guy trying to be John Travolta is as distancing as the disco music trying to be hit songs they didn’t want to pay for.

Any interest in the sequels? I just saw that they're all streaming on Prime. :)
Title: Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2019
Post by: 1SO on October 05, 2019, 10:25:07 AM
No interest in the sequels or the remake. I'd rather watch all the Carrie films.
Title: Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2019
Post by: 1SO on October 05, 2019, 10:38:59 AM
The Void (2016)
★ ★
Taken from a list of the best Horror this decade, this combines John Carpenter's filmography with a mysterious cult creeping slowly onto a hospital which they assault to try and get back their creature who looks like us but can change into many grotesque shapes. There's a Stranger Things doorway to an alternate demon world thrown in for extra atmosphere. The results are a mess and attempts at emotional character beats are dropped in like my clunky writing. ("You're only doing this because of the miscarriage.") The creature effects are really well done, but lack the creativity of those in The Thing, plus their often disguised by quick cuts, darkness and strobe, so maybe they're not as impressive as they look. I think the filmmakers were lacking confidence, especially when the scary sounds are twice as loud as the dialogue. (This is something I measured with my volume button. The difference between the sound levels is as bad as I've ever heard.)

(http://imgur.com/CHQMVBZ.jpg) - Don't eat while watching


Strangler vs Strangler (1984)
★ ★
Serbian film (not A Serbian Film) about an overweight, sweaty, social misfit who can't resist strangling women and a handsome literal rock star who does the same, but so much better. I get the jokes, with the contrast of the two people and an opening narration about how in order for a town to get on the map you need a murderer. It's just not funny in the execution, which is as desperate as the unlucky strangler. It's also too busy being a black comedy to attempt any real scares.

(http://imgur.com/wLsDs0A.jpg) - Safe for Sandy
Title: Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2019
Post by: Dave the Necrobumper on October 05, 2019, 04:51:35 PM
Warszawa 1956 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HmfZDskIWcA) (1956 Jerzy Bossak and Jaroslaw Brzozowski)

This 8 minute short is a documentary and not really a horror film, but it did give me a feeling of dread, so I am putting this little review here in the Shocktober thread. It shows people 11 years after the war still living in bombed out multi-storey buildings. The dread came from the watching a toddler wandering around.

I have linked to the film in the title.

Rating: Excellent

(http://imgur.com/wLsDs0A.jpg) - Safe for Sandy

Death Bed: The Bed that Eats (1977 George Barry)

With a title like that you do not expect much, and that's what you get. A dreary voice-over, questionable acting, and a fairly lame plot. I will give the movie some credit, the bed is very good at cleaning up after itself so it is believable it could get away with what it was doing.

Rating: 45 / 100

(http://imgur.com/wLsDs0A.jpg) - Safe for Sandy
Title: Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2019
Post by: 1SO on October 05, 2019, 10:12:44 PM
Death Bed: The Bed that Eats (1977 George Barry)

With a title like that you do not expect much, and that's what you get. A dreary voice-over, questionable acting, and a fairly lame plot. I will give the movie some credit, the bed is very good at cleaning up after itself so it is believable it could get away with what it was doing.

Rating: 45 / 100

I assume this is because of Patton Oswalt. If not, you should look up his stand up on this because it's some of my favorite from him.
Title: Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2019
Post by: Dave the Necrobumper on October 06, 2019, 01:07:01 AM
Death Bed: The Bed that Eats (1977 George Barry)

With a title like that you do not expect much, and that's what you get. A dreary voice-over, questionable acting, and a fairly lame plot. I will give the movie some credit, the bed is very good at cleaning up after itself so it is believable it could get away with what it was doing.

Rating: 45 / 100

I assume this is because of Patton Oswalt. If not, you should look up his stand up on this because it's some of my favorite from him.

I will look it up, but no it is because of the podcast Outside the Cinema, then I spotted it on Amazon Prime
Title: Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2019
Post by: 1SO on October 06, 2019, 09:39:31 AM
(https://imgur.com/CQQeGZq.jpg)
Helter Skelter (2012)
"Is that why she fascinates?
Because everyone knows she'll wither?"


Japanese model Lilico is in a hell of her own creation. She is seen by millions of fans as the pinnacle of beauty, with a face and body that is desired by men who want to sleep with her and women who want to look like her. However, her empire is built on a lie because Lilico has gone through extensive plastic surgery to achieve this. The legend is further enhanced by lies like interviews with her make up artist who talk like they're just dusting up a natural goddess and not adding considerable extra layers, and strict control over everything she does because she cannot be seen at the gym or eating in public.

(https://imgur.com/izJiJNu.jpg)

Based on a Japanese Manga, Helter Skelter is written and directed by women, who create a film that avoids male gaze even though the camera rarely looks away from star Erika Sawajiri, who is always dressed in a skimpy outfit. The film does an excellent job of showing Lilico's life out-of-control as she's unable to live up to her own persona. It's turned her into a horrible spoiled child... and those surgeries are beginning to have an effect on her skin. (That may sound like body horror, but it never goes beyond bruising.)

I've read the film compared to The Neon Demon and Black Swan, but it reminded me of Anna Biller's The Love Witch. Both female driven films are Art Directed and Costume Designed to the max, and both repeat their story points for a full two hours. While beauty is in the eye of the beholder, there is something more accurate to the presentation of Erika Sawajiri as perfection that surpasses Elle Fanning in Neon Demon or Emma Watson in Beauty and the Beast. (Ive seen images of Sawajiri in a more normal mode, so it is a look designed for the film.) I wish they didn't make Lilico such a terror. This might've resonated with me more if she was more sympathetic, like that documentary on Amy Winehouse.
Rating: ★ ★ ½

(http://i.imgur.com/qqjXchC.jpg) - Slightly Scary
Title: Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2019
Post by: 1SO on October 06, 2019, 12:40:20 PM
Mrs. 1SO Not-So-Scary


Clue
(1985)
She says: ★ ★ ★ - Very Good
I says: ★ ★ ½
A favorite of Mrs. 1SO that I was newly interested in because of The Next Picture Show Podcast. (Too bad Ready or Not isn't available to stream yet.) It's been over 30 years since I last didn't enjoy it, and it was certainly a better experience this time because I was more familiar with the comic rhythms of the cast. Of course, Tim Curry is rightly acclaimed for the speed and precision of his work and Lesley Ann Warren matches him in their brief exchanges, but I was most impressed by Madeline Kahn, whose comic timing is unlike any other. The "flames" speech isn't even the highlight, but like that, it's not what she says but the strange way she uses vocal pitch like Christopher Walken uses pauses.

I laughed more than five times. I also groaned at a couple of especially lame jokes. Between Warren and Colleen Camp, this has to be the most cleavage-y PG film ever made. As a fan of murder-mysteries, this holds more logic than many similar locked-room mysteries I've watched, even supporting all three possible endings individually. On that count, I'd put it above the similar-toned Murder By Death and on my mental list of wife nostalgia horror comedies, I'd place this well above Hocus Pocus.
Title: Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2019
Post by: FLYmeatwad on October 06, 2019, 06:25:41 PM
Child's Play (not the 2019 one)

Well, I guess this was exactly what I thought it would be, and also not. Growing up I was aware of Chucky, and had seen bits and pieces of I think one of the later ones with his bride on occasion from HBO or some shit in what I think was my grandparents stealing premium cable, but idk. Either way, young FLY was not allowed to watch things like that, so I guess I always sort of thought it was super bad. And maybe it gets there, but this sucker was relatively tame for the most part. Which I appreciated, I think? It was fun, nothing special, but I sort of understand why Chucky took off and became recognizable, easily juxtaposing the innocent with the terror to intermingle and upend our expectations of these real world toys. Silly, as I guess it should be, especially with the whole body swap thing, but maybe that eventually goes in fun directions too.

On the Goosebumps scale, one assumes this is where we bring in Slappy, but that doesn't feel like it actually fits, especially with how little Slappy is actually involved in that first book. This is probably more Monster Blood.
Title: Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2019
Post by: Junior on October 06, 2019, 07:03:55 PM
The Taking of Deborah Logan

This was a prior Shocktober discovery for me and I had been itching to revisit it these past few years. Luckily it showed up on Shudder last week and I was able to give it another go. I think I liked it even more this time around. There's a lot of scary stuff here, and the central performance by Jill Larson is pretty impressive. I'm not sure I needed the whole backstory that becomes a driving factor in the final third, but the scares in that part are pretty good anyways. I'd probably put this in my top 10 found footage/faux doc horror films list, especially as it effectively mixes the documentary elements in with the scares.

B+


Creepshow S01E02

I had high hopes for the first short, a WWII-set werewolf story with Jeffrey Combs as a Nazi commander. But outside some fun colorful lighting this just feels too janky to be anything really fun. The characters all feel slightly off, and the eventual werewolves rely too heavily on obvious cutting away from the violence to have any real impact. Bleh.

The second story is better, seeing some kind of vengeful little monster become both a pet and a pest to a snarky loser played by DJ Qualls. I don't know that I needed to see anything here, but the monster (named Bob) is primarily shown in puppet form and that makes for a nice sense of tactility that the original films really thrived upon. The story material is good enough to keep me watching, but nothing spectacular. A meh episode overall.

C


Zodiac

You all know I like my horror films to have some supernatural verve to them, but I still count Zodiac among one of the all-time great horror films for the spectacular first hour. Fincher, working with what he's got in terms of survivor testimony and the killer's letters, depicts the killer as more of a force than a human being. A human shaped shadow, even in broad daylight, the killer appears to terrorize all kinds of people then disappears as if he were a ghost. Even the scene that features no violence, the woman with her baby in her car, still feels creepy as hell, partially because of her screams in the middle of a long, mostly empty highway.

Then the investigation takes over, first by the police then the amateur Graysmith. Is this Jake Gyllenhaal's best performance? Casting the wide-eyed, attentive actor is half the work, but he brings to the role a real sense of depth and humanity. And as his time on screen wraps up in the form of two meetings with possible suspects, the film regains some of that horror vibe it had in the early goings. The basement scene is stunningly good in its slow revelations and perfect lighting. We peer into the shadows, trying to see if we recognize the man hidden in them as one of the human shadows we saw hours and years ago. Maybe? And then we revisit Arthur Leigh Allen and the stare he returns to Jake G is bone-chilling. Could be him, too.

It's a great movie, one of the all-timers in its genre. Maybe not your typical gorefest or spooktacular, but it's got all the right moves to freak you the CINECAST! out on a chilly October night.

A+


Son of Dr. Jekyll

This sequel to the Universal version of RLS's classic tale of science gone wrong has a lot of the science but little of the wrong. The titular character transforms exactly once and passes out immediately. So the scares are gone and what remains is a semi-interesting but also convoluted story about reputations and family legacies. Not a terrible movie in any way, but it's not a horror film.

B-


In the Tall Grass

A Stephen King story that starts with a young man and woman driving down a midwest road with a dilapidated church and a bunch of plants, now where have I seen this before. Despite its initial similarity to Children of the Corn, In the Tall Grass immediately reveals itself to be much trippier. When the young people inevitably enter that tall grass, they soon realize that time and space don't quite work the same in the neverending greenery. For all the trippiness, however, there isn't much of a coherent story. In many ways this feels a lot like the movie that got its writer/director on the map: Cube. People in a strange location must find their way out, if they can survive the traps and each other. But In the Tall Grass doesn't have a strong enough sense of the rules of the Grass nor the characters that populate it. When half the dialogue is just one character yelling another character's name, especially in the first third of the film, we certainly remember who they are, but not anything beyond putting a face to a name. They don't have real characteristics, and that's the film's greatest flaw. As it gets more and more invested in its half-baked mythology, the movie loses any hope of coming to a satisfying conclusion. But hey (hay), at least it looks pretty and Patrick Wilson gives an underwritten role some juice.

C-
Title: Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2019
Post by: 1SO on October 06, 2019, 08:26:22 PM
Would've guessed I've seen Son of Dr. Jekyll, but nope.

The more I read about In the Tall Grass the more I'm aiming to skip it.
Title: Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2019
Post by: 1SO on October 06, 2019, 08:59:31 PM
(https://imgur.com/DUQ58OC.jpg)
Matinee (1993)
"There's gonna be room in their heads for only one thought: "Don't let it get me!"
They know we can't hurt 'em, but they're still gonna be scared half to death."


Disagreeing with a wave of positive reviews (as I often do with director Joe Dante) I didn't like Matinee when I first saw it in 1993. I watched it again because I figured the problem was that I didn't get the references. Matinee aims to be an affectionate tribute to 50s and 60s schlock horror in general and filmmaker William Castle in particular. John Goodman is in peak form as Lawrence Woolsey, the master of theatrical gimmicks to put butts in the seats. His scenes are brief marvels, written with great affection for the art of cinema and the art of horror films. They're love letters that get to my soul.

Then comes the screening of Woolsey's latest creation, Mant. (Half Man! Half Ant! All Terror!) The writing of the movie within the movie is a disaster. You see, the great secret of William Castle is that many of his films are quite good, sometimes clever and often genuinely entertaining. Mant comes off like a SNL version of an Ed Wood film. I can hear Joe Dante or others of his type saying, "They're terrible. I love them.", which carries more ironic disdain than genuine affection. Matinee is one of the reasons why I avoided William Castle films for so many years, and that burns me up.
Rating: ★ ★ ½

(http://imgur.com/wLsDs0A.jpg) - Safe for Sandy
Title: Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2019
Post by: 1SO on October 07, 2019, 12:31:41 AM
(https://imgur.com/gaURHR3.jpg)
Ghost Stories (2017)
"We have to be very careful what we choose to believe."

Whenever I go on a Horror binge I always wonder what will be the first film to put me at risk for nightmares. Ladies and gentlemen, we have our winner. It's a jump scare and it comes late in the film, but this film had been wearing me down getting to that climax. A similar structure to Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, except the acting here is much better and the stories themselves are not so clear in purpose. A couple of familiar faces, like Martin Freeman, give this UK chiller class and there are some clever transitions towards the end. Sloppier than the next film I watched, but this one got me to that point where I start to fear the empty frame.
Rating: ★ ★ ★ - Okay

(http://imgur.com/CHQMVBZ.jpg) - Really Scary


(https://imgur.com/14PMugk.jpg)
The Ritual (2017)

First solo feature from David Bruckner, who directed the terrifying "Amateur Night" segment from the beginning of V/H/S. Results here are like a less interesting, 2nd rate Midsommar. There's good camaraderie among the male ensemble and I'm starting to get happy every time I come upon a story about witches in the woods, but if this film makes any lasting impression, it's the jaw-dropping creature design from the climax of the film, a creature that rivals the bear/man from Annihilation. If you have no plans to watch this, you should at least do yourself a favor and google image this marvelous piece of work.
Rating: ★ ★ ½

(http://imgur.com/dlbHWTG.jpg) - Scary
Title: Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2019
Post by: smirnoff on October 07, 2019, 12:41:49 AM
(https://imgur.com/gaURHR3.jpg)
Ghost Stories (2017)
"We have to be very careful what we choose to believe."

Whenever I go on a Horror binge I always wonder what will be the first film to put me at risk for nightmares. Ladies and gentlemen, we have our winner. It's a jump scare and it comes late in the film, but this film had been wearing me down getting to that climax. A similar structure to Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, except the acting here is much better and the stories themselves are not so clear in purpose. A couple of familiar faces, like Martin Freeman, give this UK chiller class and there are some clever transitions towards the end. Sloppier than the next film I watched, but this one got me to that point where I start to fear the empty frame.
Rating: ★ ★ ★ - Okay

(http://imgur.com/CHQMVBZ.jpg) - Really Scary

I like the premise. Glad you found one that could give you a real scare! :D I'm too chicken to try it.
Title: Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2019
Post by: Dave the Necrobumper on October 08, 2019, 06:09:23 AM
The Unknown (1927 Tod Browning)

I have known for a very long time about Lon Chaney's ability with cosmetic modification of himself, but in this film he shows both what a good actor he is and his physical ability to perform. His expressive use of his feet for this performance was great.

Story-wise it is a tail of unrequited love, jealousy, and possessiveness. Joan Crawford and Norman Kerry round out the main cast. The ending is tense and given this is Tod Browning I really did not know how it was going to end.

This film is in IMDBs top 50 Horror films, but I have to say it is not much of a horror film, it is really only the ending that brings any possibility of calling it a horror film.

Rating: 75 / 100

(http://imgur.com/wLsDs0A.jpg) - Safe for Sandy
Title: Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2019
Post by: Junior on October 08, 2019, 10:49:17 AM
The Devils

This was a big one for me, maybe the horror movie held in the highest regard that I hadn't yet seen, so when I saw it was on the Criterion Channel, I knew I had to check it out. The first two things I thought were, damn, Vanessa Redgrave and Oliver Reed were hot! It makes sense that Ken Russell would cast them in this tale of sex-obsessed religious zealots. I didn't know about the historical happening upon which this was based, so for me the most interesting elements were the scheming and plotting that happens by various factions in hopes of getting what they want. It was interesting to see the crazy nuns who act possessed in order to save their lives presented as sympathetic victims rather than unaware idiots. As what amounts to an anarchist tale of the insidious evil that occurs when church and state combine forces, this movie is pretty cool.

As a horror movie, it's just fine. There's one of the more stunning images I've seen recently, the desiccated body of a protestant attached to a wheel mounted high in the air upon which the camera lingers for a good long while. But the rest of the film is more horrific in its implications than its content. The version I watched was, I understand, pretty heavily edited, so perhaps there would be more traditional horror content in the uncut version. I'd like to see it eventually and see if that's right. But until then, this would be high on my historical fiction list but low on my horror one.

B+
Title: Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2019
Post by: Dave the Necrobumper on October 09, 2019, 07:08:23 AM
Mardi Gras Massacre (1978 Jack Weis)

Well my dive into bad horror films continues. The villain John is played by William Metzo who is a big fan of the dramatic pause (see here (https://youtu.be/8u_iVsLH3kg?t=38) for a typical example). John is into sacrificing 'evil' women, but the cops are looking for him, as he has left several dead bodies lying around. There is a lot of nudity, and some ok gore effects. However there is no tension/scariness. The murders are grizzly. Mostly this is just a poorly (to be generous) acted schlock fest. Worth a group get together for a laugh, particularly when John orders Chinese take-away.

Rating: 46 / 100 (it was better than Death Bed, but only just)

Death Bed: The Bed that Eats (1977 George Barry)

With a title like that you do not expect much, and that's what you get. A dreary voice-over, questionable acting, and a fairly lame plot. I will give the movie some credit, the bed is very good at cleaning up after itself so it is believable it could get away with what it was doing.

Rating: 45 / 100

I assume this is because of Patton Oswalt. If not, you should look up his stand up on this because it's some of my favorite from him.

I will look it up, but no it is because of the podcast Outside the Cinema, then I spotted it on Amazon Prime

I looked it up and sorry to say it was only ok.
Title: Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2019
Post by: oldkid on October 09, 2019, 02:05:03 PM
Hitchhiking data I found:
https://wandrlymagazine.com/article/hitchhiking/ (https://wandrlymagazine.com/article/hitchhiking/)

Sum: The danger to drivers v. hikers isn't the issue, really.  It is more likely to be harmed by falling than by hitchhiking.

Although, the answer, according to California:  Drivers were more likely to commit a crime against a hitchhiker than the other way around.
Title: Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2019
Post by: oldkid on October 09, 2019, 02:17:20 PM
House (1977)

My daughter and I enjoy some Shocktober films every year, and yesterday was her first viewing of House.  She thought it was hilarious.

In a second viewing of this film, I realize that it is much like Audition, a film that is often ruined by its reputation.   Audition is often put in "torture porn" films, but there is very little torture and it is somewhat subdued in comparison with other "torture porn" films.  Even so, House's reputation is that it is insane, a batsh** crazy film.  And it is, to a degree.  Both of these films have the best experience when you approach them cold, without any hint as to their reputation.  The significant part is the shift, when the film presents you one kind of film and then it just changes into something unexpected. 

Even knowing all that was coming, House is just so much fun and quite funny.  The long, almost dull, introduction of the two main girls and their plans for the summer.  The steady build of craziness as the group gets to the house until it all breaks loose at the well.  The film isn't in a hurry to become crazy, and the tone is light, until it isn't. 

I can't remember if I was scared the first time watching it, but I certainly wasn't this time.  It is just a lark, a romp and quite enjoyable.  Loony Tunes horror for a very cartoonish film.

4/5

Title: Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2019
Post by: oldkid on October 09, 2019, 02:33:05 PM
Annabelle
My daughter and I, in past Shocktobers, quite enjoyed The Conjuring and The Conjuring II.  Frankly, The Conjuring is one of the scariest films I've seen.  Part of what make these films so frightening is the constant reminder of the creepy doll in their "museum" and the hints of the frightening story behind it.  Well, we were prepped to begin that story.  (rub hands in anticipation)

And I was disappointed.  Not scary at all, and while the acting and story were adequate, it didn't come close to Conjuring levels I was expecting.  The twist at the end was fun, but there was no build up of tension.

Oh, I'm sorry, one major source of tension for my daughter and I: every time the protagonist used the sewing machine.  We knew she was going to get mangled by that monster.  Eventually, her finger was stabbed and she put a band aid on it, and that was it.

This movie had so much potential, I'm very disappointed.

2.5/5

The Curse of La Llorona
I watched this one on my own, because I didn't know it was a Conjuring film, until the priest in Annabelle showed up (he does his best to raise the tension in both films, but doesn't help much).  Okay, now we got some scary stuff.  Child abduction, a bit of mystery, a hint of Scooby Doo (the cartoon is seen briefly), yeah this could work.

And because I was so let down by Annabelle, it does.  I got a bit scared and it was a fun story.  Afterwords, I realize that all the scares were jump scares and I mostly enjoyed it because  Raymond Cruz played such a good role in the final third of the film, and I love him from the TV show, The Closer. 

In the end, I realize that there is a similar problem here as with Annabelle: The characters don't have a build up of intensity when horrible things happen.  Sure, there's a little wariness, especially by the children, but until the full reveal, there is too much of the everyday pleasantries that fill our every day and not as much of the mounting terror that makes for a good horror film.   Again, this film is better than Annabelle in this regard, but this is far from a horror classic.

I really appreciated that the cast was almost all Hispanic and it was enjoyable while it was running.  I'd call it a distraction, more than anything else.

3/5
Title: Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2019
Post by: 1SO on October 09, 2019, 03:14:59 PM
Dead right about Annabelle. The sequel is better, but still not up to belonging in the shared universe.

La Llorona comes up on my airplane choices. That's probably how I'll watch it one day. I've seen two earlier versions of the story, but the definitive take seems to still be unmade.
Title: Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2019
Post by: oldkid on October 09, 2019, 03:16:25 PM
Dead right about Annabelle. The sequel is better, but still not up to belonging in the shared universe.


Rotten Tomatoes rates both Annabelle sequels decently.  I'll try to catch up with both of them this month.
Title: Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2019
Post by: Bondo on October 09, 2019, 07:15:38 PM
@oldkid re hitchhiking: Suppose the way to look at it is the most dangerous thing about hitchhiking is riding in a car.
Title: Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2019
Post by: Sandy on October 09, 2019, 09:11:12 PM
The Curse of La Llorona

This one scared the bejeebers out of me! I thought my heart was going to burst, I was so afraid. I must be a really big wimp. :))
Title: Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2019
Post by: oldkid on October 09, 2019, 09:28:15 PM
I’ve been watching some much scarier stuff, and I think CoLL has some good jump scares and the endangerment of children is really scary!
Title: Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2019
Post by: Sandy on October 09, 2019, 09:30:04 PM
Yeah, child endangerment put me right into terror mode. I don't think I was just watching the film, I was living it.
Title: Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2019
Post by: 1SO on October 09, 2019, 09:58:47 PM
Mrs. 1SO Not-So-Scary

Terror on a Train
(1953)
★ ★
This was a mistake. All I knew was the marketing, which shows Glenn Ford running on the tracks and the tag lines "Can they... Will they... Stop That Terror on a Train" and "80 Minutes of Pure Suspense." IMDB starts, "When a saboteur places an explosive device on a train..." and I was in. Turns out the film is more like a Richard Linklater examination of the citizens of the town in danger and the private life of the explosives expert. (Not a cool Hurt Locker inner life, but petty domestic squabbles.) The engine dumps the cargo on the tracks and Ford disarms them as a way of marking time while they wait for the morning. No terror and very little train.

(https://imgur.com/35sXprc.jpg)
Title: Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2019
Post by: 1SO on October 10, 2019, 12:07:20 AM
Exorcist: The Beginning (2004) and Dominion: Prequel to the Exorcist (2005) are two bad movies that combine to form one interesting misfire. I started with the Renny Harlin version, where the various story threads barely connect, the scares are mixed too loud and the horror has a mechanical soullessness to it. Paul Schrader's film makes sense of the plot, adding the inner struggle of Father Merrin's lack of faith, something Schrader does often and always. (Stellan Skarsgård is well-cast as Merrin and is the glue that holds both films together.) There's an interesting God vs. The Devil battle of ideas to Schrader's film, marred by terrible effects that seem to have been slapped on once the filmmaker walked away from the project.
Exorcist: The Beginning: ★ ½
Dominion: Prequel to the Exorcist: ★ ★
Title: Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2019
Post by: Dave the Necrobumper on October 10, 2019, 02:34:32 AM
Exorcist: The Beginning (2004) and Dominion: Prequel to the Exorcist (2005) are two bad movies that combine to form one interesting misfire. I started with the Renny Harlin version, where the various story threads barely connect, the scares are mixed too loud and the horror has a mechanical soullessness to it. Paul Schrader's film makes sense of the plot, adding the inner struggle of Father Merrin's lack of faith, something Schrader does often and always. (Stellan Skarsgård is well-cast as Merrin and is the glue that holds both films together.) There's an interesting God vs. The Devil battle of ideas to Schrader's film, marred by terrible effects that seem to have been slapped on once the filmmaker walked away from the project.
Exorcist: The Beginning: ★ ½
Dominion: Prequel to the Exorcist: ★ ★

Outside the Cinema has just covered the 5 films plus Repossessed. They did these 2 films this week and provide some background to the 2 films. The films were made from the same script, Dominion was made first and the producers did not like its lack of horror and rather than re-cutting it had The Beginning made.
Title: Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2019
Post by: FLYmeatwad on October 12, 2019, 06:38:58 PM
I'm planning to watch The Banana Splits Movie/apparent FNaF ripoff tonight.
Title: Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2019
Post by: 1SO on October 12, 2019, 11:14:05 PM
(https://imgur.com/Qp3FC1t.jpg)
Alien vs. Predator (2004)

When this movie opened in theaters, it was destroyed by the fans, mostly upset that the carefully constructed mythologies had been chucked away for bad pulp thrills. I've had a long time to prepare for this kind of treatment to the Aliens, one of the most perfectly constructed movie monsters given a properly lengthy analysis in the first film. Predators have always been vaguely defined beyond a few basics, especially in regard to their weapons and the purpose of their hunts. (I'll go one step further and say there's never been a good Predator movie.) There's also never been a good Paul W.S. Anderson movie, but he has an aesthetic that can be occasionally fun.

(https://imgur.com/S0ixKes.jpg)

That shot above is an example. The humans have walked into a sacrificial chamber where Alien eggs raise up from the floor. They open up and face huggers spring from them, flying across the room like a coordinated attack. Does this match up to previous face hugger behavior? Not at all, but it's a cool trap and it looks great as Anderson slows everything down, returning to normal speed when they land on a face. There are a half-dozen of these moments. It doesn't make up for the franchise destruction or the overall poor quality of the early digital photography, but I got those PWSA money shots I came for.
Rating: ★ ★

(http://imgur.com/dlbHWTG.jpg) - Violence against humans is shocking low, but Alien and Predator violence is quite graphic.
Title: Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2019
Post by: Dave the Necrobumper on October 13, 2019, 01:12:09 AM
RE: "there's never been a good Predator movie": Predator is a good Predator movie.
RE: "There's also never been a good Paul W.S. Anderson movie": I have not seen Event Horizon, but from all the reports I have heard it is a good movie. That said Resident Evil is pretty good, and up there in the top video game movies (a low bar to jump admittedly). I vaguely remember liking Shopping, but it is too faint a memory to go by.
Title: Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2019
Post by: 1SO on October 13, 2019, 01:30:15 AM
RE: "there's never been a good Predator movie": Predator is a good Predator movie.
I always thought that over time people would come to their senses, but the film's reputation has only dug in deeper as a fun slice of 80s action. I always thought it was a generic Arnie action film (with ridiculous characters) welded onto a generic alien film. The best thing about Predator is it's the first time Arnold shows fear. For tough guys who end up against fantasy creatures, I'll take From Dusk Till Dawn.
Title: Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2019
Post by: Dave the Necrobumper on October 13, 2019, 04:50:34 AM
Interesting. For me From Dusk Till Dawn did not work I found it too much of a mess of a movie that just did not seem to know what it wanted to be. That said I have only seen it the once, whereas Predator I have seen several times. I agree that Predator is very much an Arnie action film, but the alien aspects improved it rather than detracted, and the alien is a good interesting one.

So I it looks like it will be a while before I come to my senses(then again I doubt I will, my taste in movies can be very low-brow  ;D)
Title: Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2019
Post by: Beavermoose on October 13, 2019, 06:57:10 AM
Predator is like deconstructionist action. The action stars become the victims, and Arnold can't use his big muscles as an answer to everything and instead needs to outsmart the predator.
It's far from generic, and is actually pretty subversive.
Title: Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2019
Post by: 1SO on October 13, 2019, 10:22:31 AM
This is well-argued and reminds me of Unforgiven. On the surface the characters are walking cliche, right down to their names, but as that film goes on they're broken down into more flawed and complex humans. The soldiers in Predator don't get the complexity, but this superior alien hunter does burst their macho exterior. However, for me the Predator is just a Jason Voorhees designed by the filmmakers to take down action stars instead of teenagers. I don't see what is being subverted if it still ends with a quippy Arnold ("you are one ugly...") engaging in a big brawl with the bad guy.
Title: Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2019
Post by: FLYmeatwad on October 13, 2019, 12:43:05 PM
The Banana Splits Movie

Didn't realize this was a thing that was happening, but as a boy I was all about the Banana Splits when they showed reruns very rarely on Cartoon Network. Weird programming time, and I wonder if those memories are similar to what kids today experience if they show re-runs of Billy and Mandy or something. Probably not, but I feel like programming doesn't happen like that any more, so all old things are probably just repeats of new things. Either way, as I was browsing Fandango trying to use a $5 credit I saw this and got excited. Then became less excited when I realized it wasn't a reboot as much as it was an oddly late attempt to FNaF things up with characters who, I was pretty sure at the time and still feel fairly confident, were never actually animatronics to begin with, but were actually just people in costumes, like at Disney and stuff.

But here we are, and they're robros now, in a beautiful world where The Banana Splits is still a television show that people watch and presumably enjoy. But then it gets dark, for reasons that the film kind of explains, but leaves vague enough for it to go all FNaF if enough idiots like me watched it on SyFy or even previously bought/rented it that they decide to make a sequel. As a film horror film it's not very scary, or even dreadful, which is weird, because if you're going to lean in to FNaF territory then you'd think there'd be a ton of jump scares. I mean I hate those, so I'm glad there weren't, but still. It's more occupied with being a slasher, I think, though comes up really short there. Even the 'innocent mixed with creepy' thing doesn't get a lot of focus.

Not sure what I expected though, but when I first saw it a week or so ago on Fandango it lead me to Rotten Tomatoes, where reviews weren't awful. I liked how dumb some aspects were, and the older brother is a Grade A superstar in a truly trash role, same thing with the live streamer superfans. So there are things that which make it watchable, though, in the end, the best parts come when all the stuff around the film can disappear and we can just enjoy, even for a few brief moments, seeing the Banana Splits back in action.

EDIT: Got so caught up as a Split-head that I forgot to say this would get a Vampire Breath.
Title: Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2019
Post by: smirnoff on October 13, 2019, 12:51:01 PM
It's also nice to see Arnold as a member of a squad for a change. So often he, and action stars generally, are one-person armies.
Title: Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2019
Post by: 1SO on October 13, 2019, 01:26:23 PM
It's also nice to see Arnold as a member of a squad for a change. So often he, and action stars generally, are one-person armies.
The Running Man does the same thing that same year. His teammates get picked off one by one until it's down to him to save the day.
Title: Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2019
Post by: 1SO on October 13, 2019, 11:42:01 PM
(https://imgur.com/cE8HWIk.jpg)
Verónica (2017)
"But I'm alone."

"No. You aren't alone. Someone answered your call. And now walks with you."


Directors Jaume Balagueró and Paco Plaza made the found footage Horror classic [REC]. Because of that I'm automatically interested in anything they make. Balagueró scored big with the creepy Sleep Tight (2011) and now Plaza can claim similar success with this skillfully made supernatural thriller. The building blocks are overly-familiar: ouija boards, crucifixes, blind nuns, a solar eclipse, sudden temperature changes and rotting smells. Your basic Paranormal Activity. Scene by scene, Plaza keeps changing up the formula so that the scares are plentiful, including a couple of nerve-fraying moments involving a mattress that are highlights for the month and reminded me of last year's Haunting of Hill House. The script lacks freshness but the filmmaking doesn't.
Rating: ★ ★ ★ - Good

(http://imgur.com/CHQMVBZ.jpg) - Really Scary
Title: Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2019
Post by: 1SO on October 14, 2019, 01:26:22 AM
(https://imgur.com/CvesOhQ.jpg)
Ouija: Origin of Evil (2016)
"Spirit, can you hear me?"

"Yes, we can. And we can see you."


I might've made a big mistake, and now I'm questioning why I look for nightmare-inducing films like these last two. (So happy there's a new John Oliver in my queue.) Once again, I am in the hands of a pro. Director Mike Flanagan (http://forum.filmspotting.net/index.php?topic=15029.0) may be the new Master of Horror thanks to his take on The Haunting of Hill House, and this is his opening act, using some of the same cast and crew. His scares have a simplicity, no need for loud noises or fast edits to make you jump. This haunted house uses white eyes, open mouths, the ability to climb walls and a scary demon that rivals the surprising Darth Maul looking one from Insidious. Flanagan takes his time getting to the big scares, but never settles into tedium. Everything has a creepy little point, but you're still taken by surprise when the big moments attack.
Rating: ★ ★ ★ - Very Good

(http://imgur.com/CHQMVBZ.jpg) - Really Scary

p.s. This is a sequel to a film I barely remember. Except for some post-credit connective tissue you can skip the first film. It plays better as a piece with Hill House.
Title: Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2019
Post by: smirnoff on October 14, 2019, 02:05:51 AM
This Shocktober has be good to you. :)
Title: Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2019
Post by: Dave the Necrobumper on October 14, 2019, 06:42:58 AM
Evil Dead 2 (1987 Sam Rami)

It is funny how sometimes you see films in a weird order. So I saw Evil Dead 3 in the cinemas, then about a year later Evil Dead, now 26 years later I have finally seen Evil Dead 2.

Well what a tribute to Ray Harryhausen, the car driving across the bridge, the first undead. Then I have to wonder if Beetlejuice was paying homage to this film with its long-necked creature, although The Thing could also be an influence. What a hoot this film is. It is a horror film, but the tone through out is one of humour, right down to the decapitated hand giving Ash the finger.

There are geysers of blood in this film, along with decapitations, the dead arisen, living trees, and a variety of weapons used on all. Still it was just a little ridiculous, which kept the horrible down to bearable. Bruce Campbell does a great job.

Rating: 78 / 100

Somewhere between:
(http://imgur.com/dlbHWTG.jpg) - Scary

(http://i.imgur.com/qqjXchC.jpg) - Slightly Scary