Horrorcram XV: Let's Scare Corrierino To Death

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daakmore
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Re: Horrorcram XV: Let's Scare Corrierino To Death

Post by daakmore » Fri Jan 17, 2020 6:19 pm

Captain Terror wrote:
Fri Jan 17, 2020 4:34 pm
The Morbius trailer seems to have been met with a resounding yawn. Anybody excited about this? I admit I got a tingle when I saw the vampire face towards the end, but I'll need to see more before I get myself hyped.
My yawn is just from Jared Leto being in it, I am usually annoyed by him in films more than entertained so when he is the out and out star it gives me pause.
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Re: Horrorcram XV: Let's Scare Corrierino To Death

Post by DaMU » Fri Jan 17, 2020 6:43 pm

It looks okay, but what a bummer that we have to settle for this instead of more of Leto's Joker.
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Re: Horrorcram XV: Let's Scare Corrierino To Death

Post by Captain Terror » Fri Jan 17, 2020 7:10 pm

daakmore wrote:
Fri Jan 17, 2020 6:19 pm
My yawn is just from Jared Leto being in it, I am usually annoyed by him in films more than entertained so when he is the out and out star it gives me pause.
Also, it just looks like a standard origin story, one that looks like others we've seen (The Lizard, Batman). The character is an obscure favorite from my youth, but beyond that element the trailer isn't giving me much to get excited about.
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Re: Horrorcram XV: Let's Scare Corrierino To Death

Post by Wooley » Fri Jan 17, 2020 7:25 pm

Captain Terror wrote:
Fri Jan 17, 2020 7:10 pm
The character is an obscure favorite from my youth, but beyond that element the trailer isn't giving me much to get excited about.
My thoughts exactly.
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Re: Horrorcram XV: Let's Scare Corrierino To Death

Post by DaMU » Sun Jan 19, 2020 7:15 pm

Season of the Witch (Romero, 1973) - B- / B

A sort of first try at the uncanny/fantastic tension that made Romero's Martin so effective, Season of the Witch still (mostly) works on its own terms as a domestic melodrama with supernatural touches. Prior title names like "Jack's Wife" and "Hungry Wives" better communicate those intentions, with Jan White's protagonist Joanie suffering a middle-aged crisis as a married woman of the '70s. Her husband Jack alternates between disinterested, polite, and abusive, and her daughter Nikki - old enough for the kind of sex Joanie doesn't get anymore - orbits her like a far moon. Which makes her susceptible to the temptation of a free-love sleaze like Gregg (Raymond Laine, not especially alluring). Critics at the time called it talky, a fair complaint, but Jan White keys into the small tragedies of a stagnant life, and Romero packs the film with symbol-loaded dream sequences and real-world parallelism. My favorite bit had the film follow up a dreamlike circle of shrouded witches with a cozy drawing room full of housewives playing cards; Tarot replaced with gin. Among Romero's most thoughtful movies.

On a smaller note, it was fun to see him invert certain sequences from Night of the Living Dead. An opening walk through the forest reminded me of Barbara and Johnny (before it zags into surreality), and, at times, a devilish force invades Joanie's home with shot selections that reward viewers who remember how zombies smashed through kitchen windows five years before.
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Re: Horrorcram XV: Let's Scare Corrierino To Death

Post by Takoma1 » Sun Jan 19, 2020 10:00 pm

DaMU wrote:
Sun Jan 19, 2020 7:15 pm
Season of the Witch (Romero, 1973) - B- / B

A sort of first try at the uncanny/fantastic tension that made Romero's Martin so effective, Season of the Witch still (mostly) works on its own terms as a domestic melodrama with supernatural touches. Prior title names like "Jack's Wife" and "Hungry Wives" better communicate those intentions, with Jan White's protagonist Joanie suffering a middle-aged crisis as a married woman of the '70s. Her husband Jack alternates between disinterested, polite, and abusive, and her daughter Nikki - old enough for the kind of sex Joanie doesn't get anymore - orbits her like a far moon. Which makes her susceptible to the temptation of a free-love sleaze like Gregg (Raymond Laine, not especially alluring). Critics at the time called it talky, a fair complaint, but Jan White keys into the small tragedies of a stagnant life, and Romero packs the film with symbol-loaded dream sequences and real-world parallelism. My favorite bit had the film follow up a dreamlike circle of shrouded witches with a cozy drawing room full of housewives playing cards; Tarot replaced with gin. Among Romero's most thoughtful movies.

On a smaller note, it was fun to see him invert certain sequences from Night of the Living Dead. An opening walk through the forest reminded me of Barbara and Johnny (before it zags into surreality), and, at times, a devilish force invades Joanie's home with shot selections that reward viewers who remember how zombies smashed through kitchen windows five years before.
I really liked Season of the Witch when I watched it last year. Especially helped by knowing almost nothing about it going in.

The best element of the film (aside from its portrayal of the isolation of being the "center" of a household) is that wonderful ambiguity. My favorite way that this is shown is when
she does the ritual and then calls the sleazy guy, telling him that she knew he'd come over because she'd *made* it happen with her magic
. It especially potent because you understand why this woman would be so drawn to the promise of power, to the chance to control some aspects of her life.

Is the balance of mundane domesticity and awesome witchcraft too skewed toward the former? Yes. But I think that the care that the film takes to get to know its protagonist means that when the main character does stupid and/or pathetic things, any contempt you might feel toward her is softened by an empathy.

I'd have to go back and watch it again, but I think there's also something in there about how female "power" is often driven by social relationships (going back the parallels you mention between the coven scene and the party).

I think that this would make an interesting double bill with Burn Witch, Burn! in terms of portraying "domestic witchcraft".
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Re: Horrorcram XV: Let's Scare Corrierino To Death

Post by DaMU » Sun Jan 19, 2020 11:04 pm

Takoma1 wrote:
Sun Jan 19, 2020 10:00 pm
My favorite way that this is shown is when
she does the ritual and then calls the sleazy guy, telling him that she knew he'd come over because she'd *made* it happen with her magic
. It especially potent because you understand why this woman would be so drawn to the promise of power, to the chance to control some aspects of her life.
Yes! That was a fantastic bit. She certainly made it happen.
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Re: Horrorcram XV: Let's Scare Corrierino To Death

Post by Takoma1 » Sun Jan 19, 2020 11:46 pm

DaMU wrote:
Sun Jan 19, 2020 11:04 pm
Yes! That was a fantastic bit. She certainly made it happen.
While I'm not saying that this is at all something that Romero was intending, Season of the Witch also had echoes for me of the MLM movement and how it targets women very much like the main character. The allure of being powerful, having some sort of authority in your home, being independent, and basically manifesting a better life for yourself. People (and maybe more specifically women in a certain circumstance) are drawn to these things because they are systematically denied power. We can all make fun of the women who go into debt running their "business" with LuluRow or whatever, but it certainly speaks to a poor state of affairs to begin with.

Separately, I have always loved that so much of witchcraft is just a skewed version of what the good little housewife is supposed to be up to anyway: cooking, gardening, crafting, praying. There's something compelling about those things being turned toward her own benefit instead of the benefit of the household. I'm sure that some of this comes from having loved the books Wise Child and Juniper as a kid.
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Re: Horrorcram XV: Let's Scare Corrierino To Death

Post by DaMU » Mon Jan 20, 2020 12:30 am

Takoma1 wrote:
Sun Jan 19, 2020 11:46 pm
While I'm not saying that this is at all something that Romero was intending, Season of the Witch also had echoes for me of the MLM movement and how it targets women very much like the main character. The allure of being powerful, having some sort of authority in your home, being independent, and basically manifesting a better life for yourself. People (and maybe more specifically women in a certain circumstance) are drawn to these things because they are systematically denied power. We can all make fun of the women who go into debt running their "business" with LuluRow or whatever, but it certainly speaks to a poor state of affairs to begin with.
I can see that. One of the nicer touches was how, at the beginning and the end,
she's placed on a leash. The first figuratively, the second literal. The difference seems to be that she at least gets to choose the second one.
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Re: Horrorcram XV: Let's Scare Corrierino To Death

Post by Takoma1 » Mon Jan 20, 2020 12:38 am

DaMU wrote:
Mon Jan 20, 2020 12:30 am
I can see that. One of the nicer touches was how, at the beginning and the end,
she's placed on a leash. The first figuratively, the second literal. The difference seems to be that she at least gets to choose the second one.
Right. I'm not at all eager for us to all rehash our debate about (*SPOILERS FOR BOTH Season of the Witch AND The Witch)
whether or not the ending of The Witch is empowering for Thomasin, but it's a similar conversation.

I think that when you are denied power or feel like you are powerless, even the power to choose A or B is something, even if neither A nor B is all that great to begin with.
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Re: Horrorcram XV: Let's Scare Corrierino To Death

Post by DaMU » Thu Jan 23, 2020 2:34 am

Friend is leaving for Texas, so he gave me his big box o' DVDs that he wasn't bringing with him. Very excited to see among them:

Demon Knight
Army of Darkness
Pitch Black

AoD I'm stoked for because I only have the "Bootleg Cut," and so the original cut with the goofball ending intact (as opposed to the time-travel one) will be fun to scope out again.
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Re: Horrorcram XV: Let's Scare Corrierino To Death

Post by Torgo » Thu Jan 23, 2020 2:40 am

I've seen all 3 except for Demon Knight, which I'm eager to see. I mean, it has Billy Zane, CCH Pounder and the Cryptkeeper. How could it possibly be bad?
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Re: Horrorcram XV: Let's Scare Corrierino To Death

Post by ThatDarnMKS » Thu Jan 23, 2020 2:51 am

Torgo wrote:
Thu Jan 23, 2020 2:40 am
I've seen all 3 except for Demon Knight, which I'm eager to see. I mean, it has Billy Zane, CCH Pounder and the Cryptkeeper. How could it possibly be bad?
It’s the opposite of bad. It’s directed by Ernest Dickerson and it’s the high point of his 3 Italian horror homages: Def by Temptation (he was DP but the visuals are the biggest draw next to the camp) and Bones.

It’s both his best and the best of the Tales from the Crypt franchise.
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Re: Horrorcram XV: Let's Scare Corrierino To Death

Post by DaMU » Thu Jan 23, 2020 3:03 am

Torgo wrote:
Thu Jan 23, 2020 2:40 am
I've seen all 3 except for Demon Knight, which I'm eager to see. I mean, it has Billy Zane, CCH Pounder and the Cryptkeeper. How could it possibly be bad?
Like Final Destination, the Tomatometer is completely wrong. The flick's a blast. A Rio Bravo riff with a fun supernatural element, Zane in Nicolas Cage mode. So much fun.
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Re: Horrorcram XV: Let's Scare Corrierino To Death

Post by Torgo » Thu Jan 23, 2020 4:58 pm

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Re: Horrorcram XV: Let's Scare Corrierino To Death

Post by Charles » Thu Jan 23, 2020 8:10 pm

Pitch black is pretty creative. I'd say it's better than Riddick.
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Re: Horrorcram XV: Let's Scare Corrierino To Death

Post by Popcorn Reviews » Thu Jan 23, 2020 8:15 pm

Torgo wrote:
Thu Jan 23, 2020 4:58 pm
Pingu's The Thing (spoilers):
https://twitter.com/RealEOC/status/1220 ... 32832?s=19
Nice.
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Re: Horrorcram XV: Let's Scare Corrierino To Death

Post by Wooley » Fri Jan 24, 2020 4:52 am

ThatDarnMKS wrote:
Thu Jan 23, 2020 2:51 am
It’s the opposite of bad. It’s directed by Ernest Dickerson and it’s the high point of his 3 Italian horror homages: Def by Temptation (he was DP but the visuals are the biggest draw next to the camp) and Bones.

It’s both his best and the best of the Tales from the Crypt franchise.
100.
Demon Knight is a movie I revisit every, say, five years, and I always think it's gonna disappoint, and it never does.
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Re: Horrorcram XV: Let's Scare Corrierino To Death

Post by Wooley » Fri Jan 24, 2020 4:53 am

Charles wrote:
Thu Jan 23, 2020 8:10 pm
Pitch black is pretty creative. I'd say it's better than Riddick.
I'd say it's much better than Riddick and is actually a decent little sci-fi horror.
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Re: Horrorcram XV: Let's Scare Corrierino To Death

Post by Captain Terror » Fri Jan 24, 2020 4:43 pm

RIP John Karlen aka Willie Loomis from Dark Shadows :(

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Re: Horrorcram XV: Let's Scare Corrierino To Death

Post by Takoma1 » Fri Jan 24, 2020 9:39 pm

Wooley wrote:
Fri Jan 24, 2020 4:53 am
I'd say it's much better than Riddick and is actually a decent little sci-fi horror.
Agreed.

Pitch Black had the guts to basically have a ton of character be not-great people. So you have this anti-hero operating in a morally swampy mix of characters. I think that it makes interesting choices in terms of mistakes/sins that can be forgiven and those that can't, as well as nicely balancing the external threat (the creatures) with the internal/interpersonal dynamics.

I liked Riddick, but felt like the balance was off. It seemed to want to treat certain characters as being good, but that didn't jibe so well with other information we're given. For example, it's heavily, heavily implied that the female prisoner at the beginning of the film has repeatedly been taken out of her cell to be raped by one or more of the crew members, something that couldn't possibly have been happening without the knowledge of the others. And yet many of those other characters are shown to be more moral than this would suggest. It feels kind of muddled, and I found the sexual banter between Riddick and Dahl embarrassing to watch in the way that they needed to scream "WE ARE BOTH SEXUALLY ASSERTIVE, BUT LIKE INAPPROPRIATELY SO!".

I almost (come at me, bro) prefer the sprawling mess that is Chronicles of Riddick, because it's easier to laugh off the consistently bonkers proceedings. There's a disappointing unevenness to Riddick that kept me from having as much fun with it as I wanted to.
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Re: Horrorcram XV: Let's Scare Corrierino To Death

Post by Wooley » Sat Jan 25, 2020 9:33 pm

Takoma1 wrote:
Fri Jan 24, 2020 9:39 pm
Agreed.

Pitch Black had the guts to basically have a ton of character be not-great people. So you have this anti-hero operating in a morally swampy mix of characters. I think that it makes interesting choices in terms of mistakes/sins that can be forgiven and those that can't, as well as nicely balancing the external threat (the creatures) with the internal/interpersonal dynamics.

I liked Riddick, but felt like the balance was off. It seemed to want to treat certain characters as being good, but that didn't jibe so well with other information we're given. For example, it's heavily, heavily implied that the female prisoner at the beginning of the film has repeatedly been taken out of her cell to be raped by one or more of the crew members, something that couldn't possibly have been happening without the knowledge of the others. And yet many of those other characters are shown to be more moral than this would suggest. It feels kind of muddled, and I found the sexual banter between Riddick and Dahl embarrassing to watch in the way that they needed to scream "WE ARE BOTH SEXUALLY ASSERTIVE, BUT LIKE INAPPROPRIATELY SO!".

I almost (come at me, bro) prefer the sprawling mess that is Chronicles of Riddick, because it's easier to laugh off the consistently bonkers proceedings. There's a disappointing unevenness to Riddick that kept me from having as much fun with it as I wanted to.
Agree completely with your first paragraph, we are of one mind on this.

Didn't actually see the 2013 Riddick, I forgot it had ever been made so thought we were talking about CoR.

CoR is, as you say, a sprawling mess, but it's not like it's that bad. It's disappointing after Pitch Black. But we've seen a lot of lot-worse movies.
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Re: Horrorcram XV: Let's Scare Corrierino To Death

Post by Takoma1 » Sat Jan 25, 2020 11:59 pm

Wooley wrote:
Sat Jan 25, 2020 9:33 pm
Agree completely with your first paragraph, we are of one mind on this.

Didn't actually see the 2013 Riddick, I forgot it had ever been made so thought we were talking about CoR.

CoR is, as you say, a sprawling mess, but it's not like it's that bad. It's disappointing after Pitch Black. But we've seen a lot of lot-worse movies.
The most jarring thing about going from Pitch Black to Chronicles of Riddick, in my opinion, is the shift from the intimacy of the planet setting and limited cast to a story that spans multiple planets and a TON of characters. I was also not a fan of "We made the kid older so that
there could be sexual tension!
". Like, ugh. No.
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Re: Horrorcram XV: Let's Scare Corrierino To Death

Post by Takoma1 » Sun Jan 26, 2020 12:00 am

Also, guys, I am exactly halfway through a horror film I'd never heard of and I am super excited to write it up once I am done. I'm hoping its second half is as strong as the first.
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Re: Horrorcram XV: Let's Scare Corrierino To Death

Post by Captain Terror » Sun Jan 26, 2020 1:33 am

Watched the first episode of the Netflix Dracula today. I've never seen Sherlock so I didn't know quite what to expect here (it's from the same creative team). It's not a comedy at all, but some of the writing is intentionally comedic. ("I'm undead, not uncivilized") My first impression was that it was kind of schlocky, but by the end I was pretty much won over. It's not high art, but I'm looking forward to part 2. And Claes Bang as Dracula is charming in a James Mason kind of way.
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Re: Horrorcram XV: Let's Scare Corrierino To Death

Post by Takoma1 » Sun Jan 26, 2020 2:03 am

Yella (2007)

FIRST, A DISCLAIMER!!! This film has something that some people would describe as a "twist". However! I feel that it is not actually a twist. In fact, I believe that the "twist" is actually meant to be understood as you are watching the film, and is not meant as a "WHAT?!?!?!" moment at the end. I'm talking about the kind of twist that is only a twist if, to paraphrase Ebert, you've never ever seen a movie before. So I'm going to just openly talk about it here without spoiler tags, because I think that knowing what is happening as you watch actually adds depth and meaning to what is happening. I'd highly recommend this movie, so if you want to go in completely not knowing anything, just skip my review and go see the dang thing!

Okay, onto the review.

Yella is a woman in the midst of a nasty break-up with her abusive husband, Ben. With her father's support, she plans to leave town for the city where she has a promising lead on a new job. As she prepares to leave, Ben shows up and begs her for the chance to talk to her one last time as he drives her to the train station. Yella reluctantly agrees, and as they drive Ben moves from conciliatory to frustrated to angry. As Yella begs him to stop the car, Ben instead steps on the gas and calmly drives them off of a bridge. After the car smashes down into the river below, Yella and Ben pull themselves from the water. Leaving Ben unconscious on the bank, Yella gets to her feet and makes her way to the train station.

At this point, it seems obvious that Yella is either a walking spirit or living out some final fantasy as she dies in the river. This impression is strengthened as Yella begins to hear strange sounds (running water, a cawing crow) wherever she goes. As the scenes change, Yella remains clad in the same red blouse and black skirt she was wearing in the car crash.

Keeping this in mind, what unfolds for the rest of the film is really fascinating. Especially in its middle third I just loved what the film did. As Yella gets her job, scenarios keep evoking her experience with her husband, only this time providing Yella with the opportunity to make things right. For example, Yella's boss is fired almost immediately after her arrival. As Yella accompanies him in a taxi, he puts his hand on her thigh and directs the cab driver to a local hotel with good food and "nice rooms". As the car moves, Yella simply opens the door, causing the cabbie to hit the brakes and she calmly steps out of the cab.

The story is marked with moments of male intrusion into Yella's space. Men walk into her hotel room without knocking, put their hands on her, yell at her, and underestimate her abilities. In these moments, Yella's choices or the different outcomes play out as wish fulfillment. A man enters her hotel room where Yella sleeps on her bed. He gets close down to her. She awakens, afraid. He . . . offers her a job because he respects her accounting skills.

In another film, this progression could play as cheap feminist fantasy porn. Yella shows her smarts, becomes assertive. Her handsome new boss (a man who looks not unlike her former husband) respects her and lets her take the lead in an important meeting. She survives moments of threat, including the specter of her husband who seems to be stalking her. But this is where the obviousness of Yella's actual condition is so essential. Knowing that Yella is surely dead or dying, every accomplishment becomes tragic. What Yella wanted was so simple: someone to respect her abilities with spreadsheets, someone to bring her breakfast, someone to let her drive the car for once. What a waste. What a shame that she got in the car. What a tragedy that she let her husband dominate her for so long.

While categorized on one site as a horror film, this is more of a drama tinged with just a dash of the paranormal. But I think that the film chooses wisely the moments in which it injects a dose of horror.

I also have to mention that the film stars Nina Hoss, who I first saw in Phoenix. I think she's fabulous, and her performance combines a woman who both feels good about where she is taking her life and at the same time realizes that something is not right. In fact, the film was also written and directed by Christian Petzold, who directed Phoenix. I love the way that he injects a subtle menace into even the most mundane scenes.

Yella is streaming on Criterion Channel and Kanopy, if you have either of those. It's also available to rent on Vudu for just $2. I'd never even heard of this one, and I would wholeheartedly recommend it.
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Re: Horrorcram XV: Let's Scare Corrierino To Death

Post by Rock » Sun Jan 26, 2020 6:48 pm

DaMU wrote:
Thu Jan 09, 2020 6:53 pm
Feel similarly. Out of that whole mini-movement, Kiyoshi Kurosawa's work feels like the standout. Did you ever see Nakata's Dark Water?
Watched it last night and enjoyed it quite a bit. I think the divorce plot and mother's relationship with her daughter give the movie a good amount of emotional investment, and the sad vibes gel nicely with the film's dingy look and generally low-key approach.
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Re: Horrorcram XV: Let's Scare Corrierino To Death

Post by DaMU » Sun Jan 26, 2020 9:59 pm

Rock wrote:
Sun Jan 26, 2020 6:48 pm
Watched it last night and enjoyed it quite a bit. I think the divorce plot and mother's relationship with her daughter give the movie a good amount of emotional investment, and the sad vibes gel nicely with the film's dingy look and generally low-key approach.
Nice! Yeah, good call on the emotional investment, it feels a bit weightier than the average J-horror of that time.
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Re: Horrorcram XV: Let's Scare Corrierino To Death

Post by Ergill » Sun Jan 26, 2020 10:16 pm

Takoma1 wrote:
Sun Jan 26, 2020 2:03 am
I also have to mention that the film stars Nina Hoss, who I first saw in Phoenix. I think she's fabulous, and her performance combines a woman who both feels good about where she is taking her life and at the same time realizes that something is not right. In fact, the film was also written and directed by Christian Petzold, who directed Phoenix. I love the way that he injects a subtle menace into even the most mundane scenes.
Sounds like you'll have to see Barbara soon.
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Re: Horrorcram XV: Let's Scare Corrierino To Death

Post by Takoma1 » Sun Jan 26, 2020 11:22 pm

Ergill wrote:
Sun Jan 26, 2020 10:16 pm
Sounds like you'll have to see Barbara soon.
It's definitely on my to-see list.
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Re: Horrorcram XV: Let's Scare Corrierino To Death

Post by DaMU » Mon Jan 27, 2020 12:26 am

Kindred Spirits (Lucky McKee, 2019) - B- / B

Fans of McKee (or Thora Birch) should find enough to hold their interest for the duration of this (deliberate) '90s trash throwback, as a mother/daughter pair welcome an erstwhile aunt back into their lives, only for that aunt (ably played by Caitlin Stasey) to start insinuating herself into their lives in unexpected ways. Technical touches like tinkly-piano soft-focus flashbacks feel uninspired for McKee, but he directs the women to good performances, and he gives them enough attention so that when things go bad in the final half-hour, they feel consequential and (at times) tragic, instead of obligatory. It's rare for a film to work best in the long middle, but that's the case here. Stasey spins from clever liar to "innocent" victim to empathetic BFF without losing her rhythm, and Sasha Frolova plays what could've been a stock role (unruly teen daughter) with the right combination of simmer and boil (Birch holds her own, but she doesn't have quite as much to work with). There's also a moment of gore that took me completely by surprise. It's one of the best, most discomforting gags I've seen in years. Ughghghgh.

Sidebar: there's a weird closure in the film; it feels like scenes in the ending were lost and hurriedly patched up.
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Re: Horrorcram XV: Let's Scare Corrierino To Death

Post by DaMU » Mon Jan 27, 2020 12:35 am

Anyway, very loose ranking:

May
The Woman
"Sick Girl"
Kindred Spirits
The Woods
All Teenagers Die (2013)
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Re: Horrorcram XV: Let's Scare Corrierino To Death

Post by Captain Terror » Mon Jan 27, 2020 1:33 pm

Captain Terror wrote:
Sun Jan 26, 2020 1:33 am
Watched the first episode of the Netflix Dracula today. I've never seen Sherlock so I didn't know quite what to expect here (it's from the same creative team). It's not a comedy at all, but some of the writing is intentionally comedic. ("I'm undead, not uncivilized") My first impression was that it was kind of schlocky, but by the end I was pretty much won over. It's not high art, but I'm looking forward to part 2. And Claes Bang as Dracula is charming in a James Mason kind of way.
Watched the second episode last night and now that I've grown accustomed to the tone of the show I'm thoroughly entertained. This one ends on a very unexpected cliffhanger so we'll see how that plays out but for now I'd recommend this to anyone.
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Re: Horrorcram XV: Let's Scare Corrierino To Death

Post by Captain Terror » Tue Jan 28, 2020 10:44 am

DaMU wrote:
Mon Jan 27, 2020 12:26 am
Kindred Spirits (Lucky McKee, 2019) - B- / B
Where did you find this? I'm striking out. Or is it in theaters now?
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Re: Horrorcram XV: Let's Scare Corrierino To Death

Post by DaMU » Tue Jan 28, 2020 3:10 pm

Captain Terror wrote:
Tue Jan 28, 2020 10:44 am
Where did you find this? I'm striking out. Or is it in theaters now?
My Los Angeles public library card gives me access to a service called Hoopla, and it's on there.

Per the invaluable JustWatch.com, it's available to watch on most streaming sites: click here.
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Re: Horrorcram XV: Let's Scare Corrierino To Death

Post by Captain Terror » Tue Jan 28, 2020 3:44 pm

DaMU wrote:
Tue Jan 28, 2020 3:10 pm
My Los Angeles public library card gives me access to a service called Hoopla, and it's on there.

Per the invaluable JustWatch.com, it's available to watch on most streaming sites: click here.
$1.99?? What am I, a Kardashian? :)
Just kidding-- I'd already checked JustWatch, I usually just assume that nobody is paying for anything so I thought maybe you'd found it for free. (Which was the case, I guess)
I still consider myself a fan even though it's been a while since I really liked anything. I'll give it a go soon.
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Re: Horrorcram XV: Let's Scare Corrierino To Death

Post by DaMU » Tue Jan 28, 2020 5:16 pm

Oh, yeah, I don't pirate unless there are literally no other means available.
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Re: Horrorcram XV: Let's Scare Corrierino To Death

Post by Wooley » Wed Jan 29, 2020 5:06 pm

Captain Terror wrote:
Sun Jan 26, 2020 1:33 am
Watched the first episode of the Netflix Dracula today. I've never seen Sherlock so I didn't know quite what to expect here (it's from the same creative team). It's not a comedy at all, but some of the writing is intentionally comedic. ("I'm undead, not uncivilized") My first impression was that it was kind of schlocky, but by the end I was pretty much won over. It's not high art, but I'm looking forward to part 2. And Claes Bang as Dracula is charming in a James Mason kind of way.
I'm glad to hear, the first episode didn't totally pull me in, but I was also a bit distracted when I watched it.
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Re: Horrorcram XV: Let's Scare Corrierino To Death

Post by Captain Terror » Wed Jan 29, 2020 5:52 pm

Wooley wrote:
Wed Jan 29, 2020 5:06 pm
I'm glad to hear, the first episode didn't totally pull me in, but I was also a bit distracted when I watched it.
I wasn't completely sold after part 1. Part 2 won me over and now that I've finished I consider myself a fan. I'm thinking I should probably give Sherlock a try, in fact.

Early on in the first episode, when Harker is dining at the castle while Dracula looks over the paperwork, I was thinking "hmmm...how many versions of this do I need in my life?" I almost jumped ship at that point. But they threw me enough curveballs to keep me interested, and they even managed to tweak some of the traditional legends (mirrors, for example). That, combined with the mostly-humorous tone, managed to win me over. I also liked the actors playing Dracula and Sr Agatha a lot.
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Re: Horrorcram XV: Let's Scare Corrierino To Death

Post by Wooley » Wed Jan 29, 2020 6:33 pm

Captain Terror wrote:
Wed Jan 29, 2020 5:52 pm
I wasn't completely sold after part 1. Part 2 won me over and now that I've finished I consider myself a fan. I'm thinking I should probably give Sherlock a try, in fact.
Sherlock is pretty damn good. If you're not tired of Cumberbatch's schtick by now.
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Re: Horrorcram XV: Let's Scare Corrierino To Death

Post by Torgo » Fri Jan 31, 2020 6:36 pm

Doctor Sleep is a pretty good horror movie that has compelling portrayals of recovery and of the double-edged sword that is having an extraordinary gift, and as the adult Danny Torrance and his young friend Abra indicate, it's not any easier for someone who's lived with a gift like the Shining for many years as it is for someone who's coming to accept it. I didn't enjoy it as much as I enjoyed The Shining, and while it's not totally fair to compare the two movies; after all, few horror movies period compare with The Shining and this movie tells a much different story, it comes up short in offering an atmospheric, moody and altogether cinematic experience. There are some impressive special effects here and there, but its relatively plain editing and cinematography made me feel like I was watching an entire TV miniseries instead of a movie. Again, the way it treated its themes resonated with me well enough and the performances, namely the always-great Rebecca Ferguson as the lead cultist and Kyliegh Curran as Abra are memorable. It's too bad that little else left as much of a lasting impression.
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Re: Horrorcram XV: Let's Scare Corrierino To Death

Post by Rump » Fri Jan 31, 2020 10:08 pm

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Re: Horrorcram XV: Let's Scare Corrierino To Death

Post by Takoma1 » Sat Feb 01, 2020 3:15 am

"We don't like to use words like 'slow' or 'possessed' or 'the Anti-Christ.'"
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Re: Horrorcram XV: Let's Scare Corrierino To Death

Post by DaMU » Sat Feb 01, 2020 5:43 am

Ready or Not - B / B+

Lucky that last year we had this film along with Crawl, as both set up efficient, 100-minute tropey horror stories where the heroines get to play the full spectrum of emotion that their stories demand. Weaving is probably the best thing about the film, although the script deserves credit for how quickly it dramatizes the core cast of characters, and how the turns twist the story into new dimensions, especially regarding the adult brothers who have to make some hard choices about their family. What rich/poor commentary there is is mostly implicit, with the rich portrayed as bumbling, drug-addled morons* and overloud carnival barkers in a perpetual state of self-justification. At least the grandma makes no bones about her shittiness and plays the part with a Cruella de Vil shock of white hair. That's a fun touch that also evokes the bold hairstyles of Dr. Mabuse and the Bride of Frankenstein. (Which is appropriate, given that this film, in its own way, is absolutely a child of the early 20th century. The setting and plot are The Cat and the Canary and The Most Dangerous Game, while the uncanny backstory evokes Hawthorne and Coleridge.)

* Regarding just how moronic they are,
I really really really wish in the end that they hadn't spontaneously combusted. As a commentary on self-defeating greed, it's not the worst, but I don't like the idea of a film on this subject (however loosely) basically letting the villains off the hook by explaining to us that their absurd ritualism actually had merit to it. I would've preferred to see them revealed as idiots, the dawn doing nothing to them, and them being forced to deal with that (or dying in some other way). Seeing the ghost felt especially dopey. I suspect this was done as a crowd-pleasing touch, since it feels less clever than the rest of the film but opposite-of-subtly ends the movie with several bangs.
One more thing (this is less a review now and more just some drive-by observations), very happy to see this success for the "Radio Silence" team. I had no idea they were involved until I saw their opening credit, and it's rad to see that the collective voice behind "10/31/98" and Southbound (one of the better recent anthologies) are still offering up their spiky blend of humor and horror.
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Re: Horrorcram XV: Let's Scare Corrierino To Death

Post by Wooley » Sat Feb 01, 2020 6:36 am

DaMU wrote:
Sat Feb 01, 2020 5:43 am
Ready or Not - B / B+

Lucky that last year we had this film along with Crawl, as both set up efficient, 100-minute tropey horror stories where the heroines get to play the full spectrum of emotion that their stories demand. Weaving is probably the best thing about the film, although the script deserves credit for how quickly it dramatizes the core cast of characters, and how the turns twist the story into new dimensions, especially regarding the adult brothers who have to make some hard choices about their family. What rich/poor commentary there is is mostly implicit, with the rich portrayed as bumbling, drug-addled morons* and overloud carnival barkers in a perpetual state of self-justification. At least the grandma makes no bones about her shittiness and plays the part with a Cruella de Vil shock of white hair. That's a fun touch that also evokes the bold hairstyles of Dr. Mabuse and the Bride of Frankenstein. (Which is appropriate, given that this film, in its own way, is absolutely a child of the early 20th century. The setting and plot are The Cat and the Canary and The Most Dangerous Game, while the uncanny backstory evokes Hawthorne and Coleridge.)

* Regarding just how moronic they are,
I really really really wish in the end that they hadn't spontaneously combusted. As a commentary on self-defeating greed, it's not the worst, but I don't like the idea of a film on this subject (however loosely) basically letting the villains off the hook by explaining to us that their absurd ritualism actually had merit to it. I would've preferred to see them revealed as idiots, the dawn doing nothing to them, and them being forced to deal with that (or dying in some other way). Seeing the ghost felt especially dopey. I suspect this was done as a crowd-pleasing touch, since it feels less clever than the rest of the film but opposite-of-subtly ends the movie with several bangs.
One more thing (this is less a review now and more just some drive-by observations), very happy to see this success for the "Radio Silence" team. I had no idea they were involved until I saw their opening credit, and it's rad to see that the collective voice behind "10/31/98" and Southbound (one of the better recent anthologies) are still offering up their spiky blend of humor and horror.
Ugh. That movie.
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Re: Horrorcram XV: Let's Scare Corrierino To Death

Post by ThatDarnMKS » Sat Feb 01, 2020 8:30 pm

I liked Ready or Not well enough but also felt like it’s politics get fucked for an admittedly strong gag. It doesn’t seem to quite know how to make its subtext jibe with its narrative. Other issues that irked me were...
That the help is killed for laughs and are the primary, actual threats for most of the run time. Making the audience root against the helpers instead of having the conflict be between the family and the bride be the focus just murks up the waters and it doesn’t have the nuance and intelligence of Parasite to pull it off.
Weaving is excellent though. That sound she makes towards the end was one of the most memorable cinematic moments of 2019.
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Re: Horrorcram XV: Let's Scare Corrierino To Death

Post by Takoma1 » Sat Feb 01, 2020 11:27 pm

ThatDarnMKS wrote:
Sat Feb 01, 2020 8:30 pm
I liked Ready or Not well enough but also felt like it’s politics get fucked for an admittedly strong gag. It doesn’t seem to quite know how to make its subtext jibe with its narrative. Other issues that irked me were...
That the help is killed for laughs and are the primary, actual threats for most of the run time. Making the audience root against the helpers instead of having the conflict be between the family and the bride be the focus just murks up the waters and it doesn’t have the nuance and intelligence of Parasite to pull it off.
I thought that those killings were meant to show that
the family has even less regard for the lives of the domestic help. They are at least a little sad about killing off Grace. But I thought that the humor was from seeing just how cold-blooded the family were. And I do think that there's a point to be made that when given the opportunity to help Grace, the female servants decide to work against her. The butler is a different case, and I think that he imagines himself to be a part of the family. One thing that I think we hopefully all took away from things like the #MeToo movement is that behind the "big bad" offenders are a LOT of assistants/servants/etc who could have offered help and/or warnings to potential victims and instead either kept quiet or actively deceived women about the danger they were in.
Weaving is excellent though. That sound she makes towards the end was one of the most memorable cinematic moments of 2019.
The first thing my sister said to me when the credits rolled was "God! That sound she made was so awesome!!"

I also have to mention the obvious fact that
the curse only applies if you actually get married, right? So they could have just not ever have had to play. The fact that they've all been willfully endangering the lives of their loved ones for years speaks to the depths of their greed.
Regarding DaMU's point about the end, I also
had mixed feelings about the curse being real, because it actually justifies their actions. Horribly, the numbers even work out, because killing one fiance kept 6 people alive, and killing Grace would have kept nine people alive.

Considering that the film was walking the line of being dark but not totally bleak, I wonder what else might have been a satisfying ending. I agree that the moment that the sun comes up and . . . nothing happens is kind of great. I think it would have made audiences angry if they'd then killed Grace to keep her quiet, or if they'd bought her silence. I don't know.

Maybe if it turned out that they'd each had to kill their first spouse/love--it would mean that each family member would have killed someone they loved for the good of the family. Then for the sun to come up and realize it was all for nothing.

I didn't terribly mind the fact that it was real, because they could have just never married and easily gotten around the curse. It was their own adherence to tradition that put them in that spot in the first place.
Overall, though, I just thought it was good summertime dumb fun. I didn't mind a few inconsistencies and it was nice to watch a comedy/horror that kept me both laughing and engaged/in suspense for its entire run time.

When I saw it in the theater the second time, the only thing that dragged was the part where the dad was telling the story of the family's history.
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Re: Horrorcram XV: Let's Scare Corrierino To Death

Post by DaMU » Sun Feb 02, 2020 2:29 am

I felt similarly to you, Tak, regarding the help, in that
IIRC only one of the maids is any sort of threat, and that's a completely understandable choice she makes based on panic. The pianist seems a little less like traditional "help." Given his self-adulatory musical interludes (a nice touch is that he's infatuated with the most obvious of musical cues, like the 1812 Overture), and his eager devotion, he struck me as more in line with the wife of Adam Brody, in that they're both people who are eager to "level up" as people of status. Her through marriage, him through vocation. That was my read, anyway.
On that note,
I dug how into it the kids were, and how the parents encouraged the kids to join in the game. Doesn't the mom at one point say, "I'm so proud of you both"? Something like that, anyway.
I'd agree that the poor/rich subtext isn't 100%. Brainstorming the ending,
I don't really know what sort of ending would be best for this story. The presentation is a little too broad for me to buy into something like them paying for her silence, or them letting her get away. Those options seem a little too nuanced. And the setup at that point doesn't really favor any sort of final confrontation, either. There are seven (?) of them, one of her. Maybe a couple of them flip their shit and turn on each other? The father turning on the grandmother? Like Tak says, if a couple of them had to kill people they (thought they) loved, that'd be a simple and clear incitement for in-fighting. Weaving walks away while they're killing each other and the house is burning up.
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Re: Horrorcram XV: Let's Scare Corrierino To Death

Post by Takoma1 » Sun Feb 02, 2020 3:17 am

DaMU wrote:
Sun Feb 02, 2020 2:29 am
On that note,
I dug how into it the kids were, and how the parents encouraged the kids to join in the game. Doesn't the mom at one point say, "I'm so proud of you both"? Something like that, anyway.
Yes. I think that
there's a kind of . . . sociopathy that comes with being so wealthy that you can get away with anything (including murder).

Someone I went to college with once talked about how he'd gotten a scholarship to a school attended mostly by very wealthy kids (possibly a boys-only school?). He said that one day a classmate in the locker room bragged about raping a maid who worked in their home, and that she wouldn't complain to his parents or the police because she was an illegal immigrant.

We see everyday in our country/the world that people will often choose profit/power over kindness/humanity. I think that people who are raised in very wealthy homes learn the lesson very quickly that you can do what you want and it's okay to sacrifice others (metaphorically!) in order to maintain or increase wealth/power.

I think that the presence of the sacrificial goats is really important to that message. Animals kill to survive. The children have learned that those below them in status are fair game.

The speech by Grace's husband about that really drives the message home. He never realized until he left home that how they lived wasn't normal.

I wish I could remember the title of it (and will edit it in if I can find it!), but there was a fascinating long-form article about these two siblings who were raised by a super-rich father. Their idea of how life worked was completely skewed. The part I always remember from the article is that one night their father told them that he was "going out for Thai food" and then never came home. They found out he'd driven to the airport and chartered a private flight to Thailand.

The sense of morality and basic decency is very different among the very wealthy in this country.
I'd agree that the poor/rich subtext isn't 100%. Brainstorming the ending,
I don't really know what sort of ending would be best for this story. The presentation is a little too broad for me to buy into something like them paying for her silence, or them letting her get away. Those options seem a little too nuanced. And the setup at that point doesn't really favor any sort of final confrontation, either. There are seven (?) of them, one of her. Maybe a couple of them flip their shit and turn on each other? The father turning on the grandmother? Like Tak says, if a couple of them had to kill people they (thought they) loved, that'd be a simple and clear incitement for in-fighting. Weaving walks away while they're killing each other and the house is burning up.
If it turned out that the
curse wasn't real, think about how the aunt would feel. She killed her fiance and has been alone ever since. She's watched other family members successfully get married and get easier "tests" (like a game of Go Fish!). What if she'd just totally flipped out at that point and gone after the whole family? I like the idea of them all turning on each other. Like, who's idea were the goats? I wonder if basically it could turn out that they created most of the rituals (aside from choosing the card from the box) themselves, and it's become more elaborate and more gross over the years. You know those studies about how when food is randomly dispensed to pigeons they will become totally neurotic and do weird little rituals because they think it makes the food come? Like what if the family has been doing all this horrible stuff because when the stock market has randomly been good they decided it was because they killed an animal or something.

Also, I knew that the curse was going to be real when the brother was killed, because it was a way to get him killed without it being her "fault" for surviving. If the curse wasn't real, I figure they would have escaped the house together after the reveal that the other brother was a total sociopath. As the only likable family member, it would have been too upsetting to know that she had "killed" him by surviving.
EDIT: My friend sent my the article. It is here: The Poorest Rich Kids in the World. It is a HECK of a read!
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Re: Horrorcram XV: Let's Scare Corrierino To Death

Post by Captain Terror » Sun Feb 02, 2020 11:58 pm

Image

I'm sure you've all been following the progress of the 4K scan of Boggy Creek, right? It's been all over the Texarkana Gazette for the past year. No? Just me? :shifty:
Short version: The film is public domain and has only been available in unauthorized, cruddy pan-and-scan versions. Last year the late director's daughter had a 4K scan done by the George Eastman museum and is now selling BluRays on her website. The restoration is actually a cool story, as it's basically been a one-woman operation. She literally drove her own vehicle to the disc pressing plant in another state and filled the SUV with discs that she is now mailing personally. Fitting, since her dad pretty much made the film single-handedly. (Directed/edited/shot/voice-overed/sung (!))

It's entirely possible, and likely, that I have watched this movie more often than any other. It burrowed itself into my psyche at a young age and never left so reviewing the movie is impossible for me at this point. It is what it is. You might love it, lots of people think it's a cheesy laugh riot. Whatever. I could go into more detail but that would result in a wall of text and probably some crying on my part. I'll just say it played an important role in making me a Monster Kid.

One thing that concerned me about the restoration is that I would miss the blurry, muddy, Sunday-afternoon-TV-Creature-Feature element but I'm happy to say that is not the case. The film has been scanned at 4K, so the image is incredibly sharp, especially as compared to all the previous bootlegs I've had to watch, the colors really pop now, and even the sound effects were surprisingly more prominent. However, there was no Criterion-style cleanup performed on the prints, so that gritty, slightly damaged effect is still there. The film looks 100% better, but it also still reeks of 1972 (in all the right ways).

So if you've ever been curious now's the time to check it out. I don't expect anyone to blind-buy the bluray for $30, but it's been announced that it'll be available to stream at some point in the near future.

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