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polkablues

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Reply #780 on: November 06, 2015, 05:35:45 PM
I'm interested in hearing more of your thoughts on Devil's Candy, because even though I didn't think The Loved Ones was quite as great as some people make it out to be, it's still pretty great.
That's what fiction is for. It's for getting at the truth when the truth isn't sufficient for the truth.


polkablues

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Reply #781 on: December 04, 2015, 03:25:34 AM
Kristy


Not as good as the director's previous feature, Donkey Punch (why do people not believe me when I tell them that Donkey Punch is a great movie?), but nonetheless a well-made, suspenseful chase-slasher in the vein of P3 or Ils. Doesn't bring anything new to the table, doesn't particularly have anything to say, but hits all the notes in a melodious order. Suffers from a touch of Omnipotent Killer Syndrome, with the bad guys for all intents and purposes suddenly teleporting to places they should have no way of getting to. Makes up for it with a strong lead performance.

C+
That's what fiction is for. It's for getting at the truth when the truth isn't sufficient for the truth.


jenkins

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Reply #782 on: December 04, 2015, 01:52:52 PM
a thing Donkey Punch has going against it is its title. it's simply a tacky and misleading title for the movie. there's good bad taste and there's bad bad taste, you know. it was in a great class though. hearing the title caused me to remind myself of its class, Magnet's Six Shooter Film series:

Let the Right One In
Special
Timecrimes
Donkey Punch
Eden Log
Big Man Japan

Eden Log is the one i never saw, of the others Special was the least impressive, and Timecrimes was my personal favorite as has been discussed before.


polkablues

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Reply #783 on: December 04, 2015, 02:05:00 PM
Yeah, I was being a little facetious, it's absolutely the title. Which is a shame, because the movie itself if much smarter and more nuanced than you would expect.

That is great company it keeps, too. I haven't seen Big Man Japan, but Eden Log is worthwhile, Special is fun and unique, Timecrimes is great, and Let the Right One In is an all-time classic.
That's what fiction is for. It's for getting at the truth when the truth isn't sufficient for the truth.


Alexandro

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Reply #784 on: December 28, 2015, 02:36:00 PM
The number one movie that has been brought up time and time again here as a true anomaly is Andrzej Zulawski's "Possession" (1981)






I have been obsessed with it ever since I encountered it late one night on Turner Classic Movies and  and had this experience:

I caught it a half hour in and to this day I would call it one of the weirdest cinematic experiences I've ever had- watching all that shit happen without a context for it. When I see it in full, it probably won't seem any saner to me. I remember even before the kooky scifi stuff starts happening it felt like a very dangerous movie, the tone of the acting, the blocking, it was so violent. Like the story was about to take a direction I could've never anticipated and sure enough, it did.




Man, I appreciated this movie's relentless energy and some of Isabelle Adjani's most intense scenes, but it sounds way better than what it is.

Yes, it's a fully committed head trip and it's more of a state of mind than a narrative experience, but it quickly grows tiresome with the over acting and the constant screaming and fighting with very little explanation or sense to cling to. Sam Neil's character is so evidently insane from the get go you don't really feel for him at all, and Adjani becomes almost unbearable at some points.

The theatrical dialogue and performances from every single person that shows up, the score which sounded way too close to The Godfather, the incessant bickering, it all felt like the film was trying way too hard to cause unease, and what happened was that I got bored by it. And then it goes on and on for almost two hours. It all undermines some of the great scenes in between, particularly Adjani at the subway station. I would say only for that scene everyone should check out the film. It might be one of the most intense performances ever recorded. It made me feel physically disturbed and jumpy, almost nauseous.


Just Withnail

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Reply #785 on: December 28, 2015, 04:35:53 PM
the over acting and the constant screaming and fighting with very little explanation or sense to cling to. Sam Neil's character is so evidently insane from the get go you don't really feel for him at all, and Adjani becomes almost unbearable at some points.


I feel like this presupposes a background of normalcy that the characters act against, but I felt it was more of a complete universe of insanity. A vision of love as an extreme bodily addiction to another person and jealousy as symptom of withdrawal. I didn't need to feel normalcy from Neill's character to sympathize with him, I think in this context the high-strung jealous insanity made me feel more for them both, rather than less.

I can certainly see how the constant grind of the shouting can be exhausting, and it was for me too, though I loved the experience, amongst many other things because it was exhausting. I felt the exhaustion was part of it - the experience felt like a never-ending argument you can't get away from, of the kind I've had many times in my own relationship. I've felt how that combination of love and fear can reach an aggressive and destructive high that it's fucking hard to come down from, and I felt the film gave a perfect, morbid image of this state.

I would say only for that scene everyone should check out the film. It might be one of the most intense performances ever recorded. It made me feel physically disturbed and jumpy, almost nauseous.

Big fucking ditto.


Alexandro

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Reply #786 on: December 29, 2015, 09:11:16 AM
I'm certainly aware of everything you mention, and I appreciate the effort and bravery of attempting something like that. But to me there are two major faults here. One is the acting, which works in bits and pieces but never as a whole. A lot of the bickering between the couple seems extremely staged and still, even within their madness, as if each actor is waiting for the other to trigger their next lines and marks. If you compare this to something like Inland Empire, where everyone is weird most of the time, you'll see that even in the heightened and stylized acting there are nuances and moments when a real person can be tracked down even in an imaginary sense. Not so much here, because it's not the choice but the execution. I don't know if the fact that the actors and the director spoke different languages had something to do with it. Also, this has to do with my second objection which is that without context or (to me) enough of a truthful performance which would allow me to buy into the whole thing, I'm left with a bunch of hysterics which seem to start at fever pitch and occasionally luck into a moment of real anger, anxiety and perversity like the aforementioned subway station scene, the kind of moment that the film seems to be aiming to sustain during it's whole running time. In any case, it's an interesting film.


polkablues

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Reply #787 on: January 07, 2016, 05:54:42 PM
Apparently I watched ten horror movies during the month of December. These are them:

+1


Horror movie by loose definition. It starts off as a pretty generic-seeming teen party comedy, spends a good long while being a pretty generic teen party comedy, then the sci-fi/horror element which I won't get spoilery with gradually works its way in. The premise is more interesting than the execution, and I'm not sure I can ever accept Rhys Wakefield as anything other than the psychotic rich kid from The Purge (the role he was born to play), but it has its moments. Ashley Hinshaw is a terrific actor, and should be a huge star by now.
C+

Tiger House


An odd little movie in which the main character spends the majority of the runtime hiding under a bed. The cast is surprisingly good (especially Dougray Scott and Ed Skrein), and it successfully milks a big jug of tension out of its simple premise, but it never rises above the level of just good enough.
B-

Stung


A throwback to the sort of goofy monster movies that would play on the USA or TNT networks on Saturday afternoons (Ticks and Skeeter being two noteworthy comparisons), or a slightly less self-referential version of what the Syfy channel's been cranking out the past few years. The acting is silly, the effects are silly, the dialogue is ridiculous, the ending is over-the-top bonkers dumb. But I don't know, it's kind of fun for what it is.
C-

Bound to Vengeance


Posted about this a bit in the shoutbox. It's decently made, the acting is very hit and miss, it's repetitive and ultimately kind of forgettable. It's just something that happened.
C

Some Kind of Hate


Here at least we have a movie that was trying some things. It wants to be a bit of an "issues" movie, with its focus on the effects of bullying. It made some interesting casting decisions (not including the lead actor, who is the least believable person on the entire planet to cast as a bullied outcast teenager). I love the idea of Michael Polish as the head of this new-age recovery retreat, I just want to see it in a movie that knows what to do with him. Likewise Noah Segan as the veteran counselor. Yadda yadda, things happen, people die off, vengeful ghost, everyone yells a lot, the end.
B-

The Blood Lands (aka White Settlers)


In some ways, a boilerplate home invasion movie (at some point we have to reach a saturation point with the fucking animal masks), but there are enough little tweaks and twists to the formula that it keeps it interesting, and Pollyanna McIntosh is an international treasure. This movie also speaks to the city dweller in me, which is convinced that the country is where people live if they want to get brutally murdered in the middle of the night. No good comes from not living within screaming distance of other people.
A-

Cruel & Unusual


A Twilight Zone-esque, twisty little morality tale. Good acting, interesting script, full of ideas, ultimately falls a little flat.
B

Pod


Ugh. Waste of time. It's like a Joe Swanberg movie if Joe Swanberg didn't know how to direct actors.
D

Exeter

I think it's time to accept that Marcus Nispel was a very talented music video director and stop letting him try to tell stories.
D+
That's what fiction is for. It's for getting at the truth when the truth isn't sufficient for the truth.


polkablues

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Reply #788 on: January 07, 2016, 09:15:45 PM
And now I realize that was only nine movies.

EDIT: Found number 10!

Cassadaga


From the director of Last Shift, which I like very much, and starring Kelen Coleman, whom I like very much indeed. She plays a deaf woman, though for some odd reason elected to play the character with no alteration to her normal speech patterns. It was super distracting, as I kept forgetting the character was deaf until it would get mentioned. And the weird thing is, unless I missed something important, the character's deafness is entirely immaterial to the story. I guess there are a couple moments where they get tension out of the premise that there might be someone behind her that she can't hear, but ultimately it would have been the same movie with or without it.

Other than that, the movie is largely well-made, better directed than written (the killer feels a little like a rejected episode of Hannibal, plus there's some problematic trans-phobic cliches swirling around it all). In lieu of a letter grade, here's a picture of the lovely and talented Kelen Coleman.


That's what fiction is for. It's for getting at the truth when the truth isn't sufficient for the truth.


polkablues

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Reply #789 on: April 24, 2016, 01:23:52 PM


This one caught me surprise by showing up on Netflix within two weeks after I had first heard of its existence. It also caught me by surprise by being really good. I love a good home invasion movie. It's like the Pachebel's Canon in D of horror movies: such a simple template that everyone can repeat and make something distinctly their own out of it. Because the beats are largely the same from one to the next, it becomes a showcase for the strength of the filmmaking and the performances.

The "twist" of this one is that the main character is deaf, much like in the last movie I posted about in this thread. Unlike in that movie, the character's deafness in Hush is actually utilized as a major plot element, and lends to a considerable heightening of suspense throughout the film. Ultimately, it just feels better thought out than most movies of its type. They clearly put effort into working out the logistics of the situation, figuring out what a person would logically do in the moment, and how it would logically go wrong. As a result, there's little that rings false or feels contrived.

Also, John Gallagher Jr. plays the home invader, and he's basically always great. His natural affability, when re-contextualized, is chilling. It's not a new trick (think Anthony Bates in Psycho, John Jarratt in Wolf Creek, or recently, John Goodman in 10 Cloverfield Lane), but there's a reason directors keep tossing coins into that well. It makes wishes come true (I've lost control over this analogy).

In short, Hush doesn't reinvent the wheel, but it's a smooth, well-designed ride with maximum fuel efficiency and a nice paint job.
That's what fiction is for. It's for getting at the truth when the truth isn't sufficient for the truth.


jenkins

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Reply #790 on: April 24, 2016, 03:17:39 PM
i'd say the horror genre doesn't deserve you but i'm so glad they have you.


Reelist

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Reply #791 on: May 05, 2016, 04:07:26 AM
Spoilers for 'Hush'


I liked it a lot too, only I wished they'd taken a little longer before revealing the killer's face to keep that horror element alive. Although I do appreciate his "normal guy-ness." Not handsome, not ugly, kind of riding that line between dim and smart. It was nice to see a villain who wasn't super human for a change. Like, even when the male neighbor comes over and he has to pretend he's a cop you get a sense that he's thinking "wellll, I didn't quite plan this out, but let's see how it goes" instead of him preparing this meticulously scripted dialogue for that very situation. He takes off the mask specifically so she can read his lips, which makes you wonder how premeditated this all is. Does she recognize him at all in that moment? It's never revealed if they have any prior connection or he's just an absolute nut. You have to assume that he's some crazed fan of hers because pretty much the only thing we know about her personal life is that she's an Author. Is there any inkling of some sort of reason behind him doing this? I like that it's left open ended instead of some cheesy monologue with him explaining "I'm your ex-boyfriend and I didn't like what you wrote about MEEEEEEE!!!!"

In a lot of these home invasion movies (The Strangers, Funny Games..) we're not given the answer as to why they're doing it, which is crucial in making them terrifying because we all assume that if someone were to break into our house it'd be for money. Give them what they want and they'll go the fuck away, "take anything, just don't hurt us!" The worst imaginable scenario is that they'd hold you hostage and make you play their sick game before killing you. This guy in 'Hush' takes it up a notch by apparently having no interest in even going in the house to attack her, he legitimately just wants to play a cat and mouse game. How did he see this playing out, I wonder? Must've always really wanted to kill someone with a crossbow.
Ever have a feeling and you donít know why?


polkablues

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Reply #792 on: July 07, 2016, 01:40:06 AM
Quick Review Rundown:


Southbound
Someday somebody will make a horror anthology film that's all hits and no misses. This is not that day. Points for trying, though. I really liked two out of the five segments, which is a similar ratio to the VHS series, and leaps and bounds better than the fucking ABCs of Death.


The Hallow
Flirted with being good, ended up being mostly bad. Not terribly bad, but also not enjoyably bad.


Scintilla (aka The Hybrid)
Feels like three different movies, one of which is competent but rote, one of which is boring and pointless, and one of which is actually somewhat intriguing and creative. It was like 90% those first two, though.


Turbo Kid
Better than it should have been, but not quite as good as it could have been. Deserved twice the attention and praise that smug, hamfisted piece of shit Kung Fury got last year.


App
The lead actor is really good. The screenplay is really bad. Ultimately squanders any potential promise in its setup, though it has some worthwhile moments along the way.


The Abandoned
I would have already forgotten all about this movie if the "twist" ending hadn't pissed me off so badly. I remember when Jason Patric was a respected actor who was in good movies sometimes. Those were the good days.


They Look Like People
A very pleasant surprise. Some amateurish acting and stilted dialogue, but a great understated directorial style, strong suspense, and a satisfying character-focused story. Worth your time.


Pandemic
Not worth your time.
That's what fiction is for. It's for getting at the truth when the truth isn't sufficient for the truth.


polkablues

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Reply #793 on: July 11, 2016, 05:04:13 PM

Intruders

Previously known as "Shut In" (a more representative and better title, especially since now it shares its name with that Clive Owen movie from a few years ago), it initially comes off as a standard home invasion flick with a neat twist, that the main character suffers from agoraphobia to the point that leaving the house is even more terrifying to her than the men who have broken in. It probably would have been fine if that's all it was; the filmmaking is solid, and Hush recently got good results out of a similarly narrow conceit. But about halfway through it becomes clear the movie has deeper, more interesting plans. Saying any more would be unnecessarily spoilerful, so just suffice it to say that it doesn't play out like a typical movie of its subgenre. It's hardly perfect, and in fact feels like it pulls its punches a little bit in ways that, had it been willing to go all in, could have really pushed it over the top, but it has some nice tricks up its sleeve and it sticks the landing. Lots of mixed metaphors in that last sentence.

It's available for streaming on Showtime Anytime if you have a Showtime subscription or, more realistically, know someone who will let you use his mom's login.
That's what fiction is for. It's for getting at the truth when the truth isn't sufficient for the truth.


03

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Reply #794 on: October 14, 2016, 01:13:17 AM
ITS OCTOBER LETS GO PEOPLE

who else is doing modages horror movie a day?