Author Topic: Shocktober Group Marathon 2019  (Read 1591 times)

Sam the Cinema Snob

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Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2019
« Reply #130 on: October 17, 2019, 09:37:03 PM »
To me, horror is more about the abject or Other, not so much scares, and I think that applies to the Zombie land films.

1SO

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Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2019
« Reply #131 on: Yesterday at 04:08:09 PM »

Three Cases of Murder (1955)

Dead of Night (1945) is often looked at as the Gold Standard of British omnibus horror, a series of ghost stories made by a team of directors nestled within a clever framing device. I was mixed on the film when I first saw it in 2011 and I remain mixed after showing it to Mrs. 1SO this week. She thought it was Okay, effective but not memorable aside from one creepy image involving the dummy. We both preferred this lesser-known title with a similar tone, which we watched for the first time.


I went with the marquee star in the main screenshot, but Orson Welles only appears in the final story, effectively playing a pompous windbag brought down by nightmares and his own arrogance. (Welles directed the nightmares, and his style is unmistakable. His obvious aging makeup works as a knowing theatrical device.) The real star is in image #2. His name is Alan Badel and he stars in all three stories, playing very different characters, who all share a knowing twinkle that things will work out well for him in the end. It's Badel who goes up against Welles, and plays host in the first story to a painting that's subtly changed by the people inside it. The middle story is a more straightforward tale of jealous rivals, but it's just as well acted as the other two tales. Most importantly, the stories are allowed to breathe and work their own individual magic. The framing device is cheeky, but hardly necessary.
Rating: ★ ★ ★ - Good

- Safe for Sandy
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Bondo

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Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2019
« Reply #132 on: Yesterday at 04:53:40 PM »
Got a non-scary zombie film double feature:

Anna and the Apocalypse

The first act of this is charming high school musical about typical high school problems, with just a small hint here or there of what is to come. The transition to the second act is a song where we finally see the chaos fully break behind the characters who remain oblivious, in their alternate musical reality, which is a nice play on how the extras in musicals frequently are meant not to notice that someone is breaking out in song and dance in front of them. But once it full on became a zombie movie, the songs came with much less frequency and it all kind of ground down to something a bit more rote. I choose to remember the genuinely catchy songs and solid choreography of the early moments more than where it ultimately went.

Zombieland: Double Tap

Well, my audience certainly ate this up. The actors are talented enough to make sport of it, but almost all the best material was in the trailer. Who knows how the original would play for me right now but this felt a bit like a La Croix version. They make a joke about how certain jokes from the first film wouldn't pass muster anymore, with Tallahassee being too un-PC, but this whole venture felt like an artifact from a different era, especially given poor Zooey Deutsch's dumb blonde character and the film's whole attitude toward pacifism/hippies. Conservatives claim to be alienated by pop culture and Hollywood, but this film is a good example of how conservative values still have a great bit of influence in entertainment.

1SO

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Re: Shocktober Group Marathon 2019
« Reply #133 on: Today at 01:41:33 AM »
These are not the type of Horror films I go looking for. It was a real (feel) bad double feature.


Big Bad Wolves (2013)
"It might look like I'm enjoying this, and maybe I am in a way...
but believe me, I'd be happy to stop breaking your fingers."


Best known as a wildly overpraised film by Quentin Tarantino, Junior's review effectively tears this movie's reputation down. My thought is more of a compromise. I can see what Tarantino the writer found so interesting. The script is really good in its attempt to give the characters more depth than typical horror pulp. It's better written than the similar Prisoners, mainly because this doesn't have the cop investigation plot. If only Denis Villeneuve had directed this (or Tarantino). The filmmaking isn't shoddy, but it's so average it leaves a lot to be desired, and the moments of black comedy seem out of place.
Rating: ★ ★

- Torture Porn



Hounds of Love (2016)

I feel bad about rating this one so low because the filmmaking and the three leads are all very strong. The kidnapping story becomes a catalyst for a deeper examination of domestic abuse than you would have if the couple were just living their day-to-day. While the more gruesome aspects happen off screen, this is still a story of torture, rape and abuse (including a terrible attack on a dog.) The sounds and screams made me not like what I was watching. Some scenes are incredibly effective in a good way, such as when the woman looks at the kidnapped girl and realizes they're both prisoners under the controlling thumb of the man, but it goes too far for me to recommend.
Rating: ★ ★

- Genuinely Disturbing
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