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

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.)

Cat People (1942, Jacques Tourneur). Surprisingly watchable psychological drama, and the origin of the jump scare. ๐Ÿ† ๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿ‘จ๐Ÿˆ๐Ÿ’•๐Ÿ‘ฐโ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿฆœ๐Ÿš๐ŸŠโ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿˆโ€โฌ›๐Ÿง Trying to wash the bizarre taste of Cronos out of my mouth, I saw Cat People from 1942 in the Max recommended movie list, and didn’t realize there was a version that preceded the Nastassja Kinski/Malcom McDowell version, so I watched it. Nobody ever listens to the cats. I imagine this was a scandalous movie for a variety of reasons in 1942, but that might just be my media-distorted view of past generations. Otherwise it’s surprisingly watchable, though it isn’t very scary, except for the lack of assurances that no animals were harmed in the making of the movie. But wait, there’s a genuine jump scare at 44:15! The first one in movie history? It is!! It’s no wonder generations of people feared psychology after movies like this. Nice touch that Irena’s costuming changes from light to dark over the course of the movie. (Max.)

Cronos (1992, Guillermo del Toro, Spanish, English). I don’t know what this was supposed to be. โฐ๐Ÿ‘จโ€๐Ÿฆณ๐Ÿฅฑ๐Ÿคทโฉโฉ๐Ÿ˜‘ Sometimes listed as 1992 and sometimes 1993. Supposedly Guillermo del Toro’s first film. Don’t know what to make of it. Didn’t find it mysterious, interesting, scary, funny, sad, or innovative. Only gross. The horror is all body horror stuff which is gross even when it looks fake, unless you’re really into the art and science of prosthetic gags. But mostly the story is … stuff happening that doesn’t make much sense. Got bored and started fast forwarding. I guess it’s kind of a vampire story? I think? Anyway, it’s not for me. (Max.)