A scary thing happened on the way to the Movie Forums - Horrorcrammers

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Toolbox Murders, a film whose title I've known for years but I know nothing about the movie itself. It just got added to Shudder.

Yay? Nay?

And since it's me, you know that what I'm really asking is "Will I be upset? And if so, will it be worth it?"



I watched a decent movie on Shudder called The Dark and the Wicked. Its about two siblings who go back to their family farm to help their parents because their father is dying and their mother is losing her mind. They soon find out that some evil doin's are transpirin'.
Like a lot of modern horror movies, the evil is there to hit viewers over the head with a message. The message here is that losing a family member is painful and puts a strain on everyone. So the evil force is left vague and seemingly omnipotent.
I think the pacing of The Dark and the Wicked is better than similar recent movies. Its not as "slow burn" (ie boring), so it doesn't take forever to get going. There are some good scares, like the one in the shower. The ending is a bit too bleak for me, but overall I think its worth a watch.



Toolbox Murders, a film whose title I've known for years but I know nothing about the movie itself. It just got added to Shudder.

Yay? Nay?

And since it's me, you know that what I'm really asking is "Will I be upset? And if so, will it be worth it?"

Which version? There's the 1978 original and a remake from the 2000s.


I've only ever seen the original. It's not good, but I found some of the slashering in the first half to be effectively unsettling.



Toolbox Murders, a film whose title I've known for years but I know nothing about the movie itself. It just got added to Shudder.

Yay? Nay?

And since it's me, you know that what I'm really asking is "Will I be upset? And if so, will it be worth it?"

Nay.


It's got a horrid bathtub scene that I'm sure you would have little tolerance for, and absolutely nothing in the movie makes it worth the discomfort of that


It's both boring and offensive



Huh, looks like the remake is directed by Tobe Hooper and seems to be much better liked by my Letterboxd circle.



Which version? There's the 1978 original and a remake from the 2000s.
Original.

Nay.


It's got a horrid bathtub scene that I'm sure you would have little tolerance for, and absolutely nothing in the movie makes it worth the discomfort of that


It's both boring and offensive
Got it. Thanks!



I mainline Windex and horse tranquilizer
I think you guys are gonna like the next fight I have lined up.



Bigfoot vs. Leatherface? Because I'd have to give it to Leatherface.
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Letterman vs Leno?
Letterman vs Charles Grodin?
Letterman vs Harvey Pekar?


The first one will be a blood bath. The other two are toss-ups.





Candyman, 2021

Anthony (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II) is an artist living with his art dealer girlfriend, Brianna (Teyonah Parris). Having stalled out creatively, Anthony's work gets a jolt when he comes across the local legend of Candyman, a deadly figure who used to stalk the Cabrini-Green projects. After summoning Candyman by calling to him in a mirror, Anthony finds his life slowly warping and people around him suffering violent deaths.

I really enjoyed this movie on multiple levels. I'm not saying it's without flaws, but as a huge fan of the original I was very nervous about how it was going to approach the story. Ultimately I thought that the movie did an amazing job of taking what the original film did, honoring, and then building its own unique story with a successful shift in perspective.

For starters, my impression was that this film was a remake, but instead it's a sequel/extension of the 1992 film. And boy did I love the way that it integrated the characters and events from the original film. In this movie, Helen and her exploits are a not-too-long-ago scary story---a white woman who came to the projects, went a bit nuts, killed a dog and tried to burn a baby in a bonfire.

I also loved the way that the film paid homage to some of the imagery from the first movie. Anthony's art piece, in which the audience opens a mirror to peer into a collection of his paintings, echoes the sequence where Helen discovers the double-sided bathroom mirrors connecting the rooms. As in the original films, the walls often have cracks that look more like flesh wounds---portals to another world or the kind of place that a monster might emerge from.

But fundamentally, this film has a very different take on Candyman. As in the original, Candyman is the embodiment of someone killed by a racist mob. Here, however, there is an acknowledgment that law enforcement (or people acting under the guide of law enforcement) acts as a sort of contemporary lynch mob. The scene where a character looks down to see ants swarming over a helpless bee eerily foreshadowing the death of a character by a squadron of police. In this film, Candyman is a monster that emerges from the tension between a marginalized population and the people who by turns ignore or invade their space.

I was shocked to see that this film only has a rating of 5.9 on IMDb, and one look at the user ratings profile shows that this is one of those movies that's been ratings-bombed by people who trash anything related to racial justice topics. And what makes it doubly interesting is that the film itself features just such characters. When Anthony describes his idea for his next art series, his art dealer responds, "Ugh, white people." Later, a critic tells Anthony that "your kind" are the reason for the gentrification cycle. (She later clarifies that she means artists, not, well, you know.) The film is very upfront about the racial dynamics it's exploring, and it's not surprising that it rubbed some people the wrong way. I liked the way that images and language from the Black Lives Matter movement were repurposed here, maybe most of all the repeated use of "Say my name" as an echo of "Say her name"/"Say their names".

I also have to say that I really enjoyed the film's use of doubling and reflection. A lot of times when movies use a ton of mirrors, I'm like "WE GET IT!" (see: Goodnight Mommy). But I found myself quite liking the way that mirrors and reflective surfaces were used here, such as the scene where Anthony sees Candyman in the roof of an elevator. The mirrors become not just symbolic of reflection and the self or whatever, but actually a menace and a temptation.

Another pleasant surprise was the direction taken with the character of Brianna, who might exist mainly as a witness to Anthony's journey, but whose backstory is nicely layered so that we understand her unique take on what is happening. Brianna has her own tragic past with an artist losing his grasp on reality, and this informs what she understands is happening with Anthony.

And I had to do a double take when (BIG SPOILERS)
WARNING: spoilers below
Vanessa Williams turned up as Anna-Marie! Also, naturally, I loved the Tony Todd cameo.


While I suppose I can ding the film a bit for it's lack of subtlety, I don't think that subtlety was at all the aim of it. In general a good time all around and certainly a more than worthy companion to the original.




I'm watching and enjoying the HBO series The Outsider (no spoilers, please! not finished!).

But someone did just deliver a line that went like this: "At first we thought it was semen. But semen doesn't do THIS!" But then they didn't explain what "THIS!" was?

Anyway, any non-spoiler takes on the series? So far it is decently creepy, and not knowing anything about the premise I really enjoyed the rollercoaster that was the first two episodes.



I'm watching and enjoying the HBO series The Outsider (no spoilers, please! not finished!).

But someone did just deliver a line that went like this: "At first we thought it was semen. But semen doesn't do THIS!" But then they didn't explain what "THIS!" was?

Anyway, any non-spoiler takes on the series? So far it is decently creepy, and not knowing anything about the premise I really enjoyed the rollercoaster that was the first two episodes.
I liked the King novel and the show is pretty damn close to it. So yeah, good.



Victim of The Night


Candyman, 2021

Anthony (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II) is an artist living with his art dealer girlfriend, Brianna (Teyonah Parris). Having stalled out creatively, Anthony's work gets a jolt when he comes across the local legend of Candyman, a deadly figure who used to stalk the Cabrini-Green projects. After summoning Candyman by calling to him in a mirror, Anthony finds his life slowly warping and people around him suffering violent deaths.

I really enjoyed this movie on multiple levels. I'm not saying it's without flaws, but as a huge fan of the original I was very nervous about how it was going to approach the story. Ultimately I thought that the movie did an amazing job of taking what the original film did, honoring, and then building its own unique story with a successful shift in perspective.

For starters, my impression was that this film was a remake, but instead it's a sequel/extension of the 1992 film. And boy did I love the way that it integrated the characters and events from the original film. In this movie, Helen and her exploits are a not-too-long-ago scary story---a white woman who came to the projects, went a bit nuts, killed a dog and tried to burn a baby in a bonfire.

I also loved the way that the film paid homage to some of the imagery from the first movie. Anthony's art piece, in which the audience opens a mirror to peer into a collection of his paintings, echoes the sequence where Helen discovers the double-sided bathroom mirrors connecting the rooms. As in the original films, the walls often have cracks that look more like flesh wounds---portals to another world or the kind of place that a monster might emerge from.

But fundamentally, this film has a very different take on Candyman. As in the original, Candyman is the embodiment of someone killed by a racist mob. Here, however, there is an acknowledgment that law enforcement (or people acting under the guide of law enforcement) acts as a sort of contemporary lynch mob. The scene where a character looks down to see ants swarming over a helpless bee eerily foreshadowing the death of a character by a squadron of police. In this film, Candyman is a monster that emerges from the tension between a marginalized population and the people who by turns ignore or invade their space.

I was shocked to see that this film only has a rating of 5.9 on IMDb, and one look at the user ratings profile shows that this is one of those movies that's been ratings-bombed by people who trash anything related to racial justice topics. And what makes it doubly interesting is that the film itself features just such characters. When Anthony describes his idea for his next art series, his art dealer responds, "Ugh, white people." Later, a critic tells Anthony that "your kind" are the reason for the gentrification cycle. (She later clarifies that she means artists, not, well, you know.) The film is very upfront about the racial dynamics it's exploring, and it's not surprising that it rubbed some people the wrong way. I liked the way that images and language from the Black Lives Matter movement were repurposed here, maybe most of all the repeated use of "Say my name" as an echo of "Say her name"/"Say their names".

I also have to say that I really enjoyed the film's use of doubling and reflection. A lot of times when movies use a ton of mirrors, I'm like "WE GET IT!" (see: Goodnight Mommy). But I found myself quite liking the way that mirrors and reflective surfaces were used here, such as the scene where Anthony sees Candyman in the roof of an elevator. The mirrors become not just symbolic of reflection and the self or whatever, but actually a menace and a temptation.

Another pleasant surprise was the direction taken with the character of Brianna, who might exist mainly as a witness to Anthony's journey, but whose backstory is nicely layered so that we understand her unique take on what is happening. Brianna has her own tragic past with an artist losing his grasp on reality, and this informs what she understands is happening with Anthony.

And I had to do a double take when (BIG SPOILERS)
WARNING: spoilers below
Vanessa Williams turned up as Anna-Marie! Also, naturally, I loved the Tony Todd cameo.


While I suppose I can ding the film a bit for it's lack of subtlety, I don't think that subtlety was at all the aim of it. In general a good time all around and certainly a more than worthy companion to the original.

This pleases me a great deal.
Also being a big fan of the original, having practically written a Masters thesis on it at this point, I was pretty hesitant to see this, even though I thought it looked really good. When the general buzz wasn't strongly positive, I backed away.
But now I'm kinda looking forward to it.



This pleases me a great deal.
Also being a big fan of the original, having practically written a Masters thesis on it at this point, I was pretty hesitant to see this, even though I thought it looked really good. When the general buzz wasn't strongly positive, I backed away.
But now I'm kinda looking forward to it.
I thought it was really strong. And I rarely say this about a film, but I wouldn't have minded it being a little longer to more fully explore the Anthony/Brianna relationship.



This pleases me a great deal.
Also being a big fan of the original, having practically written a Masters thesis on it at this point, I was pretty hesitant to see this, even though I thought it looked really good. When the general buzz wasn't strongly positive, I backed away.
But now I'm kinda looking forward to it.
I saw it back in theaters and liked it a lot. As for the bolded, I see what you did there.



Victim of The Night
I saw it back in theaters and liked it a lot. As for the bolded, I see what you did there.
Ya like that?