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The Descent -


idk for a film that takes place in a really deep cave it ultimately feels kinda shallow to me
I revisited it recently and, though it takes its sweet time to get going (although, this bothered me less than it did the first time I saw it), I think it did a really good job at establishing tension/atmosphere in the caves and developing the relationship/rivalry with Sarah and Juno as it went along. I still consider it to be one of my favorite horror films of the decade, personally.



You’re the disease, and I’m the cure.
Never Hike Alone (2017):
Great movie, not one of the best in the franchise, but really well done for a fan film.
8.5/10
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The Descent -


idk for a film that takes place in a really deep cave it ultimately feels kinda shallow to me
I haven't seen it in a couple of years, but I still consider it one of the best "recent" horror films. Saw it in theaters and it freaked the hell out of me.
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Gretel & Hansel holds the distinction of being the last film I saw in a theater, pre-apocalypse.
That's easily Perkins's worst film this far. Unfortunately, he's been on a slide since the beginning even though I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives in the House was still quite decent.
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That's easily Perkins's worst film this far. Unfortunately, he's been on a slide since the beginning even though I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives in the House was still quite decent.
I'm not ready to call it a slide, but I agree that G&H is my least favorite so far. I'm a fan of slow-burns but this one made even me fidgety.
And Pretty Thing is actually my favorite, but I acknowledge that I'm in the minority there.



Quickie ratings on the last few films I've seen...

Evil Dead II (1987) I know I'll probably be hated here after this, but I just don't jive with Raimi's "horror comedy" vibe. Grade:


The Phantom Carriage (1921) Creepy, eery, and well ahead of its time. Grade:


Frankenweenie (2012) Saw it with the kids. Cute and charming, with a lot of neat homages to the horror genre. Grade:


Funny Games (1997) Disturbing, very well acted and very well shot. Grade:


Throne of Blood (1957) Why did I wait so long for this? Amazing film, gorgeously shot and very well acted. Grade:


The Cured (2017) Had very high expectations for this after reading the premise and, even though it is still a competent and well done effort, can't help but feel a bit disappointed about it. Grade:


The Barn (2016) Cheap and schlocky low budget horror is, well, cheap and schlocky. Still a bit fun. Grade:



Evil Dead II (1987) I know I'll probably be hated here after this, but I just don't jive with Raimi's "horror comedy" vibe. Grade:
I revisited that one last year. I greatly prefer the original Evil Dead (it's in the running for my top 5 horror films), but I liked the first half quite a lot as its slapstick gags made it feel like a bizarre Looney Tunes episode. It's a really unique horror film and it's going to be hard to top it. However, once the other characters arrive to the cabin in the second half, I think this charm is largely absent and I was less invested n the film at that point (minus the terrific ending), but I enjoyed what came before quite a lot.

The Phantom Carriage (1921) Creepy, eery, and well ahead of its time. Grade:
That's a personal favorite of mine. From what I read, it influenced the iconic "Here's Johnny!" scene in The Shining. Which soundtrack did you listen to it with? The classical or modern one.

Throne of Blood (1957) Why did I wait so long for this? Amazing film, gorgeously shot and very well acted. Grade:
I didn't give this film nearly enough credit when I first watched it, but I now think it's amazing. Kurosawa shot the hell out of it so much that I didn't care that he sacrificed Shakespeare's prose or took some liberties with the original text. Kurosawa had his own ambitions and nailed it.



The Barn (2016) Cheap and schlocky low budget horror is, well, cheap and schlocky. Still a bit fun. Grade:
The poster for this one is calling my name but I know I'm gonna hate myself in the morning.



I revisited that one last year. I greatly prefer the original Evil Dead (it's in the running for my top 5 horror films), but I liked the first half quite a lot as its slapstick gags made it feel like a bizarre Looney Tunes episode. It's a really unique horror film and it's going to be hard to top it. However, once the other characters arrive to the cabin in the second half, I think this charm is largely absent and I was less invested n the film at that point (minus the terrific ending), but I enjoyed what came before quite a lot.
Trust me, I wanted to like this, and the fact that I kept going to his "horror" films, even though I felt exactly the same (or worse!) for Drag Me to Hell and The Evil Dead should serve as evidence. But like I said, it seems his style doesn't jive with me, but I know I'm in the minority.

That's a personal favorite of mine. From what I read, it influenced the iconic "Here's Johnny!" scene in The Shining. Which soundtrack did you listen to it with? The classical or modern one.
Yeah, the influence in the "axe" scene is pretty obvious. I saw the one that's on The Criterion Channel. I'm pretty sure it was a classical score.

I didn't give this film nearly enough credit when I first watched it, but I now think it's amazing. Kurosawa shot the hell out of it so much that I didn't care that he sacrificed Shakespeare's prose or took some liberties with the original text. Kurosawa had his own ambitions and nailed it.
I'm not very familiar with Shakespeare's original story, so maybe that's why I wasn't that bothered by Kurosawa's liberties. But even though I liked the story a lot, the direction was on another level. The framing and the use of perspective in his shots was amazing.



The poster for this one is calling my name but I know I'm gonna hate myself in the morning.
If you know what you're into, you might enjoy it. There is a clear and distinctive visual style that evokes the 80s (the film is set in the 80s, and the director made an effort to make the image look like it was shot in the 80s), so if you can get past the shaky dialogue and performances, you might be OK. The film is inoffensive enough to at least be somewhat enjoyable.



The Blackcoat's Daughter (2017) -


The sound design is also excellent, not solely due to how creepy certain sounds are (Kat's phone call or the heater), but how these sounds would often culminate with disturbing visuals that turned these moments into sensually pleasing sequences.
This is my main takeaway from the film, as well. I absolutely loved the use of sound.

I also think that the ending is incredibly powerful, whether taken literally or allegorically.



This is my main takeaway from the film, as well. I absolutely loved the use of sound.

I also think that the ending is incredibly powerful, whether taken literally or allegorically.
Agreed on both points. How many times have you seen this film, by the way? It strikes me as the kind of film which gets better the more you watch it.






Eternal Beauty (2019)

I was attracted to the film by the two principal actors, Sally Hawkins (The Shape of Water) and David Thewlis (Fargo season 3). Both came through in spades. Another standout was Penelope Wilton (Isobel Crawley in Downton Abbey).

It's tricky to produce a film which features characters with severe mental illness. The writers tend to over write, and the actors tend to over act, which sometimes results in a type of a parody that never jells. In this case the performances by the inestimable Hawkins and Thewlis were adept at keeping up the natural feel, which may have disguised some weak writing.

Pictures that are helmed by the same writer and director sometimes run the risk of mediocre continuity. Since the director is directing his own script, the danger is that there is no second party to beware of cohesion or stability problems in the production. Those issues are not overwhelming in this picture, but one might say that those principles kept Eternal Beauty as a nicely done film rather than being a really good film.

Hawkins plays a woman who is shockingly left at the wedding altar, which results in her eventual slide into schizophrenia. She is supported by the state, but is something of an embarrassment to her family, including 3 sisters. She presently meets Thewlis, another with mental problems, and they are attracted to each other. Thewlis moves into her government apartment, but one of the sisters soon brings their relationship to a close in a deeply underhanded way. The film then chugs along to a rather uneventful ending.

Another treacherous feature of these type films --and I'm reminded of The Snake Pit, The Three Faces of Eve, David and Lisa, and Repulsion-- is that the stories are easy to write into, but oftentimes difficult to write out of. There are only a few outcomes available when basing a story on a character with severe mental illness. In this case the denouement was digestible, but one has the impression that the entire film could have been fine tuned. Still, the acting alone was worth the price of admission.

Doc's rating: 6/10



The Departed 10/10

"In life no one gives it to you. You have to take it."



Agreed on both points. How many times have you seen this film, by the way? It strikes me as the kind of film which gets better the more you watch it.
I think I've seen it twice, though I can't remember if the second time I watched the whole movie over or just the second half.

Also, I recommended this movie to my family, who had asked for something "Scary but not too intense" and I guess I'd just blanked out a lot of the violence?

Anyway, later they were kind of mad and I went "Wait, was there really that much violence in it?" and my brother's girlfriend goes
WARNING: spoilers below
"Oh, yeah. She killed 'em. She killed all the c*nts".


For whatever reason, the way she said it just makes me laugh every time I think about it.

Though recently I'm back on the recommendations train with successful recommendations of Don't Look Now and the original Fright Night.



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Happy Gilmore (1996)


Probably my favorite Adam Sandler movie, as the charm and humor still ages well with me. Even though I know some of the scenes so well (fight with Bob Barker for example), I still laugh so hard.
loved this movie. found the dvd of it last week for my collection. one of my favorite 90s movies
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Dolls, 1987

I can't count this one for the horror challenge, as it's a rewatch.

A little girl and her horrible father and step-mother break down in the middle of a storm and end up in the spooky house of an elderly couple. They are soon joined by a child-like man and two very brash "punk" girls. As the night and the storm wears on, strange things begin to happen involving the couple's large collection of dolls.

The movie is pretty cheesy and acted, let's say, in a way that suggests that restraint was not a priority. There are many times that you can almost see the stage direction from the script as characters *exchange a significant look* or *heave a big sigh*.

But the cheesiness of the film actually ends up working in its favor. Not only because it lends the movie a winking vibe, but because when some serious or disturbing stuff happens, it lands all the harder. There are multiple sequences that shock with their brutality or even just their disturbing imagery.

I don't think that you can really dock the film for goofiness, as that's clearly its intended tone. Even the occasionally awkward acting from the young lead feels like it feeds into the intended vibe. All around a great little horror movie.