Updated RankingsPrince of Darkness
Confronting the rise of Satan with science is a genius idea. Too bad we see so little of the scientific process, and once it devolves into a zombie film, with people mouth-jaculating instead of taking bites, the film is just well-shot weirdness. A number of creepy scenes involving homeless, bugs and disintegrating flesh, but thereís little attempt to have it make any sense. It just plods along to the finish line. In the Mouth of Madness
2nd attempt to understand this film and once again lost in the fog. I donít mind dream logic, but Carpenter is just throwing up half-baked ideas and cheats, meaning he can put someone in danger and then cut to something else when it suits him. So thereís nothing to worry about as we move through this effects carnival, which is boring. Then thereís the subtext, which is an artistís wish fulfillment about their work. Sorry John, serious people donít have deep conversations about a work being so real it flips reality on its head. Thatís for stoners in their college dorm room.The Ward
Not since Village of the Damned have I seen such an impersonal Carpenter film. There's no technique to the camerawork or lighting and the scares are almost completely of the 'jump' variety. I started thinking about all the cool, easy ways this old fashioned story could twist and was surprised there was a twist to it at all, one that I've seen a couple of times before and as corny as they come.
REPOSTING FROM MY HORROR MARATHONSomeoneís Watching Me
aka. High Rise* * * - Okay
Written and directed by John Carpenter just before he made Halloween. Story of a woman being driven mad by a tormenting stalker isnít fresh, but there are a number of shots and sequences where Carpenter elevates this TV Movie with his skill, especially the last 5 minutes, which is some of the best imitation Hitchcock. Last line is terrible as is star Lauren Huttonís mental breakdown scene, but definitely of interest to any fan of early Carpenter.Cigarette Burns
aka. Masters of Horror: John Carpenterís Cigarette Burns* * * - Good
Considered the best episode of Masters of Horror, built around a solid Ringu premise of a lost film screened only once because the crowd went into homicidal rage. Search for the film allows Carpenter to get meta more successfully than usual. First half is talky, and while thereís no way the payoff can match the expectations of the build-up, what we get is pretty satisfying. Music by Cody Carpenter sounds like Papa John, which is great.