Movie Database

31 words.

This is where I jot down a few sentences about movies I’ve watched recently. Currently these are all horror movies.

Recently-Watched Movies

Deep Red (Uncensored English Version) (1975, Dario Argento). Investigating the murder of a psychic for inexplicable reasons. ๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿ”ช๐Ÿชฆ๐Ÿš—๐Ÿ•ต๏ธโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿ•ต๏ธโ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿคท๐Ÿง Searching for horror in 1975. Peak Italian giallo horror, according to Wikipedia. Seems like more of a plain old murder mystery to me. From the same director as Suspiria. The ever-popular horror POV shot from the killer. Lots of 70s red paint for blood. 70s film stock devoid of any blue. 70s blues funk band score (Goblin), with instruments slightly out of tune sometimes. I find myself wondering why this pianist is investigating the murder instead of the police. He wasn’t shown to know the victim right? Just doesn’t seem like there’s any motivation to account for characters’ behavior, or story to tie any of the scenes together. The classic “stuff happening is not necessarily a plot” syndrome. Ah well. On reflection, I suppose you could say this is a horror in the sense that it’s a killer stalking a series of victims, like the teen slasher, except that none of them are teens and they aren’t in a confined space. (PlutoTV.)

Dawn of the Dead (1978, George A. Romero). Zombie apocalypse, 70s style. The survivors hide out in a shopping mall. ๐Ÿ“บ๐ŸŽฅ๐Ÿ‘ฎโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿšจ๐Ÿšโ›ฝ๏ธ๐Ÿ›๏ธ๐ŸงŸ๐ŸงŸโ€โ™€๏ธ๐ŸงŸโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿš๐Ÿ™‚ After watching Night of the Living Dead, I found the next one in the mythos, Dawn of the Dead, on an obscure channel called ReDiscover Television after a Roku search on my television. Inexplicably, Rediscover is apparently a family-friendly channel. Anyway, the zombies look more like circus clowns with all that face makeup amirite. Funny how gas pump nozzles haven’t changed since 1978. Seems to lack much of a plot. The characters are just kind of drifting through the movie’s runtime, attempting to survive through means that don’t entirely make much logical sense. Nodded off a bit in the second half during the big tractor trailer endeavor. I didn’t understand what they were doing or why the helicopter needed to be hovering overhead wasting fuel the whole time. I previously thought that Day of the Dead was the origin of all the The Walking Dead tropes but you can see it starting here; that is, the basic throughline of humans versus zombies turning into humans versus humans, and the ultimate end directly tied to human folly. Wait what they had blood pressure monitor kiosks in 1978? (ReDiscover Television.)

Night of the Living Dead (1968, George A. Romero). Zombie apocalypse, 60s black-and-white style. The survivors hide out in a house. ๐Ÿ† ๐Ÿชฆ๐ŸงŸโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿƒโ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿ ๐Ÿ”จ๐Ÿ›ป๐Ÿ”ฅ๐ŸงŸโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐ŸงŸโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐ŸงŸโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿง๐Ÿ™‚ After seeing Shaun of the Dead, I wanted to see the other George A. Romero zombie mythos-defining movies. I was going to work backwards from Day of the Dead, which I’d seen a few weeks ago, but I couldn’t find Dawn of the Dead anywhere, so it was Night of the Living Dead then. I think I’ve seen this movie before, but I don’t remember it. I believe Max’s version of this film is the Criterion/MoMA remastered 4K version. It occurs to me that these older horror movies could be considerably improved for a modern audience if they simply remixed the sound. Leave the dialog, augment the badly-recorded, sparse foley sound effects, but most importantly rescore the music. It’s mainly the old-fashioned midrange-heavy music score blaring frantically over the long and slow action scenes that make old horror movies so cheesy. Also the foley work from before they made flesh hits sound like Hollywood rather than reality. Judith O’Dea looks a little like Kim Raver from 24. A surprisingly large portion of the runtime is hammering things on doors and windows. Wait it took him an hour to look upstairs? These two dudes just appeared from the basement? The balding father dude looks like Rob Corddry. Showing this television report must have been a technical challenge–I don’t think you could just film a television screen in 1968? (I’m not sure you can today, either, actually.) I imagine they either had to composite it and/or put some kind of cut-out facade of a television panel in front of a projection screen. Feels like this movie is about six hours long. The rifle sounds like a pellet gun. Overall, surprisingly watchable with some surprising twists. But others have done this story better. (Including George A. Romero.) I wish it didn’t feel like it takes six hours to tell a 20-minute story though. (Max.)

The World's End (2013, Edgar Wright). Simon Pegg and pubs again. ๐Ÿบ๐Ÿบ๐Ÿš—๐Ÿ’ง๐Ÿค–๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜€ Figured I’d finally watch the other two movies in that Simon Pegg/Edgar Wright trilogy thing. It takes a long while to get to the hook, but luckily it’s engaging until then. How do these losers know kung fu and shiz. But anyway, it’s good stuff. A return to what made Shuan of the Dead great… comedy without parody. (Amazon Video.)

Hot Fuzz (2007, Edgar Wright). Shaky cam, epilepsy, and some laughs. ๐Ÿ‘ฎโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿƒ๐ŸŽญ๐Ÿช“๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿ”ซ๐Ÿ”ซ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿคข๐Ÿ™‚ Figured I’d finally watch the other two movies in that Simon Pegg/Edgar Wright trilogy thing. This one is okay but I didn’t really get into it. The amount of shaky cam is absurd at times. So much so that it’s hard to tell if it was just the standard of the time, a Bad Boys homage, or it was deliberately above-and-beyond the over-the-top to make another joke. The epilepsy-inducing transitions and flashbacks were a bit much this time. Another joke? Maybe, but it came at the expense of physically hurting my eyeballs. Unlike Shaun of the Dead, this one seemed like more of a straight parody. (Amazon Video.)

Shaun of the Dead (2004, Edgar Wright). Still funny. ๐Ÿฅฑ๐ŸงŸ๐ŸงŸโ€โ™€๏ธ๐ŸงŸโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿบ๐ŸŽฎ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜€ A rewatch because I’m tired of trying to find decent new horror movies. Specifically I wanted to see just how much this influenced Tucker & Dale, and how it handled the mixing of comedy and horror. It’s a more expertly crafted movie, and it genuinely manages to be a comedy with horror elements, instead of the other way around, without turning into parody. I can’t think of any other movies that pull that off. Didn’t like all the skaky cam though. (Hulu.)

The Last Exorcism (2010, Daniel Stamm). Hope you’re into documentary-style and evangelicals. โœ๏ธ๐Ÿ˜ˆ๐ŸŽฅ๐Ÿคข๐Ÿฅฑโฉโฉ๐Ÿ˜‘ The search for a 2010 horror movie. Documentary style. Handheld camera style. I don’t like this style. Didn’t cameras have stabilization in them by 2010? It seems not. Started fast-forwarding after 6 minutes. Not a terrible idea to have an evangelical showman preacher confronting demons, but, you know, the documentary/reality style and the shaky motion-sickness-inducing pictures ruin it for me. Actual documentaries aren’t nearly as shaky as this. (Amazon Prime.)

Byzantium (2012, Neil Jordan). Is this the best vampire movie ever made? ๐Ÿง›โ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿง›โ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿ‘ฉโ€๐Ÿ‘ง๐Ÿฉธ๐Ÿฆ‡๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜€๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘ Searching for a 2012 horror movie. Somewhat expository dialog at times. Classically broody goth atmosphere. Coventry carol is best carol. Strong character drama. Mystery. Moral ambiguity. The curse of the vampire. Gothic romance. Riveting. Then more riveting. Then an extra helping of riveting piled on top of the previous mountain of riveting. One of the best vampire movies. Maybe ever? Just maybe. Assuming you like gothic vampire mythos in the vein of Interview With The Vampire, but better. (Turns out, it’s the same director.) (PlutoTV.)

The Woman In Black (2012, James Watkins). Downton Abbey with a haunted house. ๐Ÿคต๐Ÿ ๐Ÿ‘ปโฉโฉ๐Ÿ˜ Searching for a 2012 horror movie and this one was ranked sixth in popularity by IMDB. My initial 5-minute impression was that it would be more style than substance, more mood than story, which turned out to be accurate. Generally speaking, a haunted house story needs compelling characters to be the haunters or the hauntees, or perhaps a compelling reason to unravel the mystery of the haunting. This movie doesn’t seem to realize that. Everyone’s flat and emotionless, in the Downton Abbey style. Multiple, lengthy scenes of looking around to find jump scares. Disappointing. I ended up fast forwarding through most of it. (Paramount+.)

Tucker & Dale vs Evil (2010, Eli Craig). Perfectly reasonable representation of West Virginians. ๐Ÿงข๐Ÿงข๐Ÿ›ป๐ŸŒฒ๐Ÿชš๐Ÿ๐Ÿชต๐Ÿฉธ๐Ÿ•๐Ÿ”ฅ๐Ÿ™‚ Almost positive I started watching this once, but don’t remember finishing it. Ha their “fixer upper” looks like an exact replica of a dilapidated house on my family’s West Virginia property when I was a kid. Surely I’m not the only one rooting for all these college kids to die? Mixing comedy and horror is a tricky business. It makes sense for a horror to have comedy in it, but a comedy with horror in it usually turns out to be more of a parody. This one’s pretty funny though. Classic mistaken identity humor. Also surprisingly touching at times. (Amazon Prime.)

Us (2019, Jordan Peele). There’s never a good reason to go into a funhouse. ๐ŸŽช๐Ÿชž๐Ÿ–๏ธ๐Ÿ ๐Ÿ‘ค๐Ÿ›ฅ๏ธ๐Ÿ’ƒ๐Ÿ‡๐Ÿ™‚ Jordan Peele’s second movie. Starts a bit slow and then gets interesting, but it never makes a lot of sense. It’s a fairly unique apocalyptic survival horror scenario, that’s for sure, but I found it a bit thin on story and character development. Interesting visuals, though, despite not making sense. (Netflix.)

The Stepford Wives (1975, Bryan Forbes). A window into the culture wars of 1975. ๐Ÿ‘จโ€๐Ÿ‘ฉโ€๐Ÿ‘งโ€๐Ÿ‘ง๐Ÿ ๐Ÿ‘จ๐Ÿ‘จ๐Ÿ‘จ๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿฅฑ๐Ÿง More like horror-adjacent. Couldn’t sleep so I watched a 70s film to fall asleep. Was curious to see this because I vaguely remember liking the 2004 remake with Nicole Kidman. “Stepford Wife” is one of those terms you’ve heard all your life but didn’t really know what it meant until you saw the movie (or read the book, which I haven’t). Super 70s station wagons on display. Annnnd I fell asleep in the middle. And they say only the younger generation speaks truth to power and confronts delicate social issues. This movie hits issues in the face with a sledgehammer. “The 6 o’clock news scares me every night.” More evidence that all generations are the same. (Tubi.)

Alien: Covenant (2017, Ridley Scott). If only they’d had a mask mandate. ๐Ÿš€๐Ÿ’ฅ๐ŸŒŽ๐Ÿ‘‚๐Ÿ‘ฝ๐Ÿฉธ๐Ÿค–๐Ÿค–๐Ÿ™‚ Somehow I’d forgotten this movie came out. Debated whether this belongs in the Halloween horror marathon, but I deem there to be sufficient blood and screaming. Nobody in this universe seems to understand that alien planets might be harmful. Living in a post-COVID world it’s hard to comprehend the lack of basic knowledge about microbiology, let alone xenomicrobiology. Didn’t care for the superhero fight or the superhero rope-swinging physics. Not very memorable characters. Otherwise, kind of fun. Better than Prometheus, maybe? (Amazon Video.)

Saint Maud (2019, Rose Glass). A quiet, character-driven psychological journey. โœ๏ธ๐Ÿ‘ฉโ€โš•๏ธ๐Ÿ’ƒ๐Ÿ‘ž๐Ÿ‘ฟ๐Ÿฆ‹๐Ÿ•ฏ๏ธ๐Ÿ˜€๐Ÿ‘ Ambient horror soundscapes cut-and-paste from Royalty-Free Horror Soundscapes Volume 47. But other than that, I genuinely don’t know how to describe this movie. Misery vibes. The Exorcist vibes. Serial killer vibes. Discomforting psychosis vibes. Strong character drama. Lots to discuss. I was mesmorized from beginning to end and had no idea where it was going. (Amazon Prime.)

The Cursed (2021, Sean Ellis). Moody Victorian period drama about a monster curse. ๐Ÿช–โ›บ๏ธ๐Ÿ”ฅ๐Ÿฆท๐ŸงŒโฉโฉ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿ˜ Yay WWI. Oh, little concern for accuracy. Flashback 30 years. Another minority group for wealthy Europeans to oppress on screen. Very nice production during the long shot of the tent-burning in one long take. The droning, jangly discordant string score is a bit overused in horror films. Excessive spooky dreams. More mood than story. Couldn’t force myself to care about any of the personality-free characters. Started fast-forwarding about halfway through. I guess everything turned out okay and everyone learned their lesson? (Hulu.)