Author Topic: Shocktober Group Marathon 2018  (Read 4073 times)

1SO

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Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2018
« Reply #40 on: September 30, 2018, 09:26:35 AM »

The Brotherhood of Satan (1971)

I know my view of Horror films is tainted by the quantity of mundane pictures I've seen, and I'm coming off a particular double whammy of a lackluster Dracula adaptation followed by another typical Mummy movie. So, finding something refreshingly different is more likely to hit the spot with me. The director only made one other Horror film, The Return of Dracula, which I also liked. That was more of a gritty, naturalistic tale while this one runs over with the kind of images that stick in the brain.


I expected the weirdness to settle in as everything was explained, but the film manages to keep off-kilter just enough to where even the ending is more unusual than climactic. High on that list is casting goofball character actor Strother Martin as the leader of a Satan-worshiping cult. It shouldn't work, Martin has never posed a threat in any film, but here he's the imposing leader who is also clearly Lucifer's puppet in a larger plan. There's also a lengthy dream sequence in the middle that seems to be cut from the strongest imagery they couldn't fit into the main story. It draws out the pace, but adds so much to the mood. This is what holds it back from being a true discovery. It's surreal moments of power can't transcend the more mundane scenes of people trying to figure out what's happening. No real scares, but quite memorable.
Rating: ★ ★ ★ - Okay


- Slightly Scary
« Last Edit: September 30, 2018, 03:53:32 PM by 1SO »
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Bondo

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Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2018
« Reply #41 on: September 30, 2018, 08:43:04 PM »
The Girl Without Hands (2016)

Based on a Grimm tale, this might not quite qualify as horror, but it is on the darker side of fairy tale to be sure. An animated film out of France, it is curious that this is released by the GKids since it isn't really a kids film. Drawn in crude watercolor, with lines evoking characters often in ethereal ways, it makes the darkness a bit less intense. It opens with a miller fallen on hard times encountering a demon who promises boundless riches in exchange for "what stands beyond the mill," which the miller believes is a reference to an orchard. Anyone knowledgable with fairy tales or moral tales of this nature knows these deals never come without a cost, and it turns out the demon was actually referring to the miller's daughter. Legal standards of contract be damned, in the miller we see someone willing to sell his daughter for money while the demon is willing to similarly commodify her. The way she loses her hands is just a more visceral proof of this.

This isn't always the clearest morality play but it ultimately involves a lot about her self-sufficiency and in a sense, from the male character perspective, about earning consent. Good messages if not always the best messenger.

Creep 2 (2017)

Having not liked Creep, the only thing that enticed me into watching the sequel was Desiree Akhavan, whose Appropriate Behavior was an interesting directorial debut (also starring her), and I'm also intrigued by The Miseducation of Cameron Post coming up. I do think the interplay between Mark Duplass and Akhavan here takes it to a vastly higher level than the first with dueling motivations, importantly for Sara (Akhavan) that explain her pushing through red flags.

This did raise a certain general concern however. There is a general sense where I figure there should be equality in nudity so that it doesn't just serve the purpose of appeasing a male gaze. Yet at the same time, some male nudity, especially when it involves a man with creative control of the project, can feel a lot like a flasher in the park. Especially given what has since come out about him, Louis CK's nudity in Lucky Louie feels salacious. I rarely get this feeling about female nudity where the actress has creative control (such as Akhavan's debut). I guess what I'm saying is Duplass is co-writer and co-producer in this venture and his penis was uncalled for.

1SO

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Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2018
« Reply #42 on: September 30, 2018, 09:09:15 PM »
Creep 2 is on my Watchlist. I liked the first one, but it didn't stick out as one to come back to so I'm in no rush to watch a sequel.
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Beavermoose

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Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2018
« Reply #43 on: October 01, 2018, 04:40:08 AM »
Train to Busan

Isn't there another Korean "need to get to the front of the train" movie.
I guess I'm glad that the characters are likable and actually use both brawn and brains to fight against the zombies instead of being hopeless horror movie victims but the movie itself is pretty run of the mill with surface level social commentary. "The big corporation funded the virus. Oh my!" I did like the way the zombies moved and looked though. That was great.

Sam the Cinema Snob

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Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2018
« Reply #44 on: October 01, 2018, 05:54:36 PM »
The Boy (2016)



If you distilled horror to its core idea, it would be the idea of fear. And while fear is a core concept of the genre, one could argue that even more than fear it is a genre about trauma. The best horror stories often come with traumatic pasts attached; whether it be the story told around the campfire of the boy who drowned in Crystal Lake or what horrible event casted a shadow over the haunted mansion. The Boy is intriguing in that it deals with the trauma of the past but positions itself as a story where the line between what is true and what is ďpub talkĒ isnít always clear.

Greta Evans (Lauren Cohan) is an American running away from her own problems who ends up working as a nanny for Mr. (Jim Norton) and Mrs. Heelshire (Diana Hardcastle), a couple whose ďchildĒ is a doll theyíve named after their deceased son, Brahams. The couple leaves on holiday, insisting Greta stay with Brahms at all times, her only face-to-face contact with the outside world being the grocer Malcolm (Rupert Evans) who tries to fill her in on rumors surrounding Brahmsís life and death.

The core trauma of the story exposes the long strains of denial of grief in a couple who have become attached to an unsettling dark fantasy. Brahms the doll works fantastically as a object of abject horror because he physically is deadened: the eyes glossed over, the face porcelain, and the body motionless. But it also represents how Mrs. Heelshire stills views him: as this pristine good child: immaculately dressed, clean and spotless.

As an image, the symbol of horror works fantastically and makes it more than just a creepy doll story. Itís the idea attached, the concept and the story that unfolds behind the family and Brahms that makes it even more unsettling. But itís also not a fright a minute story with lots of downtime and slowly building sequences throughout.

The film takes its time to push things forward, a good chunk of the film dedicated to Malcolm trying to coax Greta out of her shell. Itís fortunate that Lauren Cohan and Rupert Evans have decent chemistry together and that the dialogue avoids being too forceful or cheesy. The two leads come across as genuine people stuck in a strange horror story who generally behave as human beings instead of typical horror fodder.

As horror films go, this one was a delightful surprise. The conciete could have been silly or overwrought, the emotional beats could have been too melodramatic, and the film could have gone for a lot more cheap scares. Instead, itís a film with a lot of restraint and a lot of setup for a solid payoff.

If anything bad must be said, itís that The Boy is not the kind of horror film that will be talked about for years to come. Itís a testament to the strength of the genreís best works that this film being consistently solid is not enough. Films like The Witch, It Follows, Under the Skin, The Neon Demon, 10 Cloverfield Lane and countless others from the past 5 years all stand as films executed with a cinematic flourish and excellence that is missing here. Itís a decent watch for any horror fan, but casual horror watchers have many better contemporary horror films to see before The Boy.


FLYmeatwad

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Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2018
« Reply #45 on: October 01, 2018, 09:00:10 PM »
A Nightmare On Elm Street

Gives me a new appreciation for Scream if nothing else, but even outside of that there's stuff to like here. Only really being familiar with modern Craven, I get why his name carries so much weight, and I appreciate that he uses the jump scares sparingly towards the end. The acting...well, maybe it's just the style of the time, but some of it got rough, even if it was nuts to see such a little Johnny Depp. Still, that doesn't take away from some sharp visuals and some fascinating murder set pieces. Cool to see Fred officially be referred to as Freddy later on, but would have liked to have that saved for a sequel. Not huge on the really ridiculous surprise/twist/whatever ending, though I did really like the car and was happy they didn't just resolve everything all neat and tidy, and not sure that the way dreams and reality blended completely worked, but still worth the experience.

On a scale of scary I give this a -

Hoping to hit Halloween and Friday The 13th at some point too, at least getting a taste for the first entry in these touchstone franchises, and maybe further explore from there. Am I missing anything, or are these the big ones?

smirnoff

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Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2018
« Reply #46 on: October 01, 2018, 09:28:58 PM »
Nightmare on Elm Street maybe?

FLYmeatwad

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Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2018
« Reply #47 on: October 01, 2018, 09:32:26 PM »
Nightmare on Elm Street maybe?

I just did that one in the above review, that's how I kicked off Shocktober  :P

1SO

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Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2018
« Reply #48 on: October 01, 2018, 09:48:28 PM »
Hoping to hit Halloween and Friday The 13th at some point too, at least getting a taste for the first entry in these touchstone franchises, and maybe further explore from there. Am I missing anything, or are these the big ones?
Alien
Hellraiser
Jaws
Night of the Living Dead
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smirnoff

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Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2018
« Reply #49 on: October 01, 2018, 10:10:15 PM »
Nightmare on Elm Street maybe?

I just did that one in the above review, that's how I kicked off Shocktober  :P

Oops, I was blinded by RL Stine I think.