Hello oh man so sorry so late the last week was very busy but here we are and here I go and I am very sorry today will be very special I will be posting quite a few things today. Anyway here’s every horror movie I watched that I haven’t posted about yet. Sorry.
Also I wanted to address something that no one has brought up to me. I have been occasionally using “and” and “but” to begin sentences. I know that that is commonly not such an acceptable thing to do but I don’t support that concept. I think it is archaic and outdated. Like the word “whom.” It literally any context. Sentence fragment. Two sentence fragments. Potentially infinite chain of sentence fragments.
The Bay (2012)
SO this is a documentary. I mean it’s not a REAL documentary it’s a fictional documentary. However, it’s a very well-done fictional documentary. It’s about a disease that spreads through the Chesapeake Bay because of reasons I won’t tell you because that is a spoiler. Anyway so the documentary follows a few different people: a young up and coming newswoman who also made the documentary, a young couple coming to the town, a little girl on facetime, two scientists in flashback, and then just generally like the events of the day. So at first everything is fine and there is a great 4th of July celebration and then basically this lady has boils and then everybody has boils and then hospitals and typical pandemic movie tropes and such.
SO the movie is super well-done, and it pretty effectively creates a sense of paranoia in the viewer. At least, it did in THIS viewer. SO the acting is pretty believable overall and I really liked the way it was shot. I mean it wasn’t perfect but it was crazy and entertaining so I recommend it.
A Perfect Getaway (2009)
So this isn’t QUITE a horror movie but the ending is so I guess it’s like a thriller that transforms into a horror movie. The movie is a little predictable, but only in its plot, not so much in execution.
So it’s about a couple of young, chuckling newlyweds on their wonderful tropical honeymoon. They meet a pre-famous Chris Hemsworth and a dirty hippie on THEIR honeymoon. THEN they meet another young couple that are kind of survivalists I guess? They aren’t married they’re just on vacation. Anyway so then the young couple finds out that there have been a couple of murders in Honolulu. Did I mention they were honeymooning on the (I think) furthest-out Hawaiian island. So anyway there’s a bunch of paranoia and the couple is revealed to be a young couple and they killed newlyweds so whaaaaaat?! Our young heroes are like the perfect target! Anyway so paranoia.
This movie was a lot of fun. There is like a great sense of mystery and tension, some wonderful characterization, and some great performances around. Steve Zahn and Milla Jovovich give a couple of career-best performances and Timothy Olyphant is great as usual. At times, the plot seems super predictable and you can kind of figure out the twist part-way through the movie, but it’s still immensely entertaining. And also while the twist itself is a bit easy to predict, the events proceeding the twist are less unpredictable.
The Wicker Man (1973)
So this is a classic Scottish horror movie that isn’t really horror until the last few minutes, and then it’s PRETTY terrifying. They way it’s presented, it almost seems like a police procedural about a cop in a small town and no one wants him there. And it sort of is, but with what seems to be almost supernatural undertones.
So the story is that there is a police officer sent to the sort of private island community of Summerisle. It’s a little community of people led by the man who owned the island (Christopher Lee!) and they all love secrets. The officer is sent to investigate the disappearance of a young girl, but when he arrives, nobody seems to recognize her. Literally no one, not even any of the kids or the woman who is apparently the girl’s mother. So as the inspector continues his investigation, he realizes that everyone in the town is ruled by some pagan religion (and he, being a GOOD, CHRISTIAN MAN has SERIOUS issues with this) and they do the weirdest things. Like they have all these outdoor song things and all kinds of weird stuff. Very sexually liberal place. Lot of songs. Anyway it gets weirder and weirder until the very ends and then everything falls into place but I obviously will not spoil it because the movie is amazing.
Anyway so this quickly skyrocketed to not only one of my favorite horror movies but, like Near Dark before it, one of my new favorite films overall. The mind games that are being played here not only affect the protagonist, but the viewer as well. It has a really layered plot and once you feel like you know what’s happening, everything is pulled out from under you and you’re lost again.
Full disclosure: I watched most of this movie in high-contrast black and white, based on the recommendation of Fangoria. I watched little bits in color and parts in black and white because I am indecisive. I’ll get more into the technical stuff towards the end of my little article.
So this movie was really weird but I liked it quite a bit. It’s by Clive Barker, who did Hellraiser and wrote the story that The Midnight Meat Train was adapted from. It’s about this young couple and this kid has like some psychological disorder and he has a crazy psychiatrist who is some kind of secret slasher villain (David Cronenberg yeah!) who ends up killing him, but he was bitten by some mutant thing in this secret subterranean sanctuary and he becomes one of the “Nightbreed” and his girlfriend tries to help him and it’s just really off-the-wall.
This has some amazing, beautifully creative make-up effects. I mean, just stunning looking mutant creatures, every design imaginable. Anyway so the plot was kind of basic, but within the basic construction were some really unique story decisions. The idea of having a typical horror movie masked slasher be not really the point of a horror movie is extremely interesting. Like yeah he was the primary antagonist, but having him in the movie was just so left field. Then if you consider the reverse, you could take this as a typical slasher movie that also just happens to have like, ancient biblical references to all kinds of different human-level intelligence races of people eradicated by those deemed “normal” and it’s just nuts. There’s so much going on under the surface of this movie.
So now I’m going to explain the black and white thing because that might be confusing. It’s not like this movie was shot in black and white or anything, but through manipulation of the video settings in VLC Media Player on my computer, I was able to transform the color film into a high-contrast black and white film that almost looks like it was shot in black and white. The reason I did this was because Fangoria has an occasional feature where they go back and re-watch a movie in black and white and it really does change a lot. It made them film from kind of a campy creature feature into almost like a deeper, bleaker study of human conflict that has been prevalent in our society basically since humans first showed up.
So this movie is like. It’s a horror movie in the same way that Wake in Fright was a horror movie. It’s less a horror movie and more showing the horror that is the depths of human depravity. Instead of the outback of Australia, we see it in present-day Los Angeles.
The story is of a man named Lou Bloom, who is basically just trying to get by. He’s extremely well-spoken and seems to be almost a talking advice column. He uses buzzwords in his every day vocabulary, he knows every step it takes to succeed, but he can’t form basic human relationships. Eventually he decides that he is going to become a nightcrawler, who is someone who goes and films accidents and crimes right when they happen, and then sells that film to a news agency. Lou becomes very, very good. I will leave the rest to you, viewer!
Jake Gyllenhaal gives what may be his best performance to date as Lou. He plays Lou so well that you barely even recognize that it’s Gyllenhaal. He just becomes Lou Bloom. And the sociopath darkness inside Lou is almost tangible. He literally will do anything to move forward in his life and career. It’s fascinating to watch him change, because really, this character doesn’t have any real transformation. He just sort of begins to get how things work and gets better and better at his job. The scariest part is you can tell he was always this way. From the beginning of the movie to the end, the only real change in him as a character is that he gets more money and is able to control his job better. And that just makes him even more determined to succeed.
Anyway that’s it! That’s finally the end of my long month of horror movies. I have a couple of ideas of what I want to do for the rest of the day, to sort of culminate everything I did into something bite-sized, so I think what I’m going to do is a list of the 31 best movies I watched in October, and I’m only including movies that were part of this special, not the movies I saw in theaters and whatnot. Also at some point in November be on the lookout for my Top Horror movies (20, 25, 31, 50, I don’t know yet). In November, I will probably have occasional posts about movies I watched, then in December you will see my 25 Movies of Christmas, in which I will watch 25 great Christmas movies all leading up to Christmas Day. Then, again, occasional posts here and there until my Oscar nominations post and critique, my Oscar predictions, and my always on time Top 50 movies of 2014 which will probably be after the Oscars in all honesty…