XIXAX Film Forum


Horror

TenseAndSober · 873 · 189204

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

jenkins

  • The Master of Two Worlds
  • *****
    • Posts: 3446
Reply #855 on: November 03, 2019, 03:53:17 PM
The Black Cat

Quote
The Black Cat is considered by many to be the one that created and popularized the psychological horror subgenre, emphasizing on atmosphere, eerie sounds, the darker side of the human psyche, and emotions like fear and guilt to deliver its scares, something that was not used in the horror genre.

Quote
First Horror film to mention Satanism as a cult. This would be one of the longest running tropes in Horror films, but here Boris Karloff is the leader of his own Satanic worship cult.

Quote
This is the first movie to explore the concept of PTSD. Although of course the term wasn't invented yet. It illustrates how the stress of war (in this case WWI) changes a man for the worse.

Quote
The Black Cat was the biggest box-office hit of the year for Universal and was the first of eight movies (six of which were produced by Universal) to pair actors Bťla Lugosi and Boris Karloff.

Quote
Among the unconventional elements of this film was the soundtrack. At a time (early 1930s) when movie music was usually limited to the titles and credits, Edgar G. Ulmer had an almost continuous background score throughout the entire film.

Quote
The satanic prayer Poelzig chants during the black mass scene consists of random phrases in Latin, the most recognizable being "cum grano salis" (with a grain of salt). The complete chant, is as follows:

Latin Phrases: Cum grano salis. Fortis cadere cedere non potest. Humanum est errare. Lupis pilum mutat, non mentem. Magna est veritas et praevalebit. Acta exteriora indicant interiora secreta. Aequam memento rebus in arduis servare mentem. Amissum quod nescitur non amittitur. Brutum fulmen. Cum grano salis. Fortis cadere cedere non potest. Fructu, non foliis arborem aestima. Insanus omnes furere credit ceteros. Quem paenitet peccasse paene est innocens.

English translation: With a grain of salt. A brave man may fall, but he cannot yield. To err is human. The wolf may change his skin, but not his nature. Truth is mighty, and will prevail. External actions show internal secrets. Remember when life's path is steep to keep your mind even. The loss that is not known is no loss at all. Heavy thunder. With a grain of salt. A brave man may fall, but he cannot yield. By fruit, not by leaves, judge a tree. Every madman thinks everybody mad. Who repents from sinning is almost innocent.

Quote
It was also ranked #68 on Bravo's 100 Scariest Movie Moments for its "skinning" scene. ("Karloff gets skinned alive at the end," noted Cramps guitarist and horror aficionado Poison Ivy, "but they show the shadow of it and somehow that's more gruesome.")


polkablues

  • Child of Myth
  • Admin
  • *****
    • Posts: 7607
Reply #856 on: December 23, 2019, 10:26:10 PM


Carey Mulligan is the absolute best.
My house, my rules, my coffee


Jeremy Blackman

  • Admin
  • *****
    • Posts: 11960
Reply #857 on: February 18, 2020, 01:04:41 AM
So, I watched The Descent. Oh boy. I have not been this shaken by a horror movie in a very long time. This would definitely rank in the top 3 of feeling-shaken-ness.

I should also see more horror movies. Any recommendations using the guideline that The Descent worked very well for me?
"Hunger is the purest sin"


polkablues

  • Child of Myth
  • Admin
  • *****
    • Posts: 7607
Reply #858 on: February 18, 2020, 01:56:35 AM
Very hard question to answer, because, quite simply, there aren't any films all that similar to The Descent that work as well as The Descent. It stands alone in a lot of ways.

But beyond external similarities, if you really break down the bits and pieces that make it so effective, you can cobble some things together: strong internal conflict that's mirrored by the external conflict; overwhelming sense of dread and hopelessness; technically proficient filmmaking (tension, suspense, aesthetics). I can at least point you in the direction of some other films that fit those criteria.

1. TRIANGLE
Anyone who's ever paid attention to me talking about horror films could guess this would be my first suggestion. Now, I'm not blind to its flaws; it's not a perfect film, certainly not to the extent that The Descent is. But what works about it works so well. This movie clings to me for weeks after I watch it, and repeat viewings have only deepened its effect.

2. HONEYMOON
This is almost more a psychological drama with sci-fi/horror elements than a pure horror film, but if you want to leave a film shaken, this is the one that'll do it. Power through the dodgy American accents, it's all worth it in the long run.

3. GRAVE ENCOUNTERS
The thing about this movie is that the tone will throw you off. At first it comes off a little silly, a little campy. But that's just to lull you into a false sense of comfort. One of my favorite sub-sub-genres of horror is "the very nature of reality stops playing by the rules," and this is the prime example of that approach. If you watch this and like it, I'd also recommend the sequel, if only for a handful of scenes (one in particular that might be my favorite single moment of any horror movie ever).

4. F (aka THE EXPELLED)
This one's a little hard to find, but it might be the closest overall film to The Descent on this list, tonally and aesthetically. The way that the external and internal conflicts interweave is the film's strongest element, and leads to a true gut punch of an ending. (And apparently it's not so hard to find anymore. I just looked it up and it's available to rent on Amazon Prime for $0.99!)

5. THE TUNNEL
Basically a faux-documentary found-footage version on The Descent, set in an abandoned tunnel system rather than caves. It's effective and well-made, but it's comparative lack of depth makes it more forgettable than some of the other films listed.

6. THE STRANGERS and THE MONSTER
The Bryan Bertino two-pack (you can safely ignore his middle film, Mockingbird. Entirely nonessential). The Strangers is perfection. The Monster is an incredibly powerful dark family drama with a slightly above-average creature feature wrapped around it. Both films deserve a place on your watchlist.
My house, my rules, my coffee


Jeremy Blackman

  • Admin
  • *****
    • Posts: 11960
Reply #859 on: February 18, 2020, 11:46:54 AM
Awesome! Thank you for that. I will get started on this list.

Side note: I saw The Ritual a few days ago. It's not perfect but I enjoyed the heck out of (most of) it. Really starting to notice a formula with a lot of horror movies I've seen recently. Spoilers for The Descent, The Ritual, Midsommar, and probably many others:

Spoiler: ShowHide
Traumatic event happens, friends go on an adventure together as pseudo-therapy, crazy horror occurs resulting in even worse trauma and death, and the primary experiencer of the original trauma will probably be the "final girl," arguably made stronger by the new experience.
"Hunger is the purest sin"


WorldForgot

  • The Magic Flight
  • ****
    • Posts: 676
  • 'change your hair, change your life'
    • portfolio ~
Reply #860 on: February 18, 2020, 01:34:25 PM

4. F (aka THE EXPELLED)
This one's a little hard to find, but it might be the closest overall film to The Descent on this list, tonally and aesthetically. The way that the external and internal conflicts interweave is the film's strongest element, and leads to a true gut punch of an ending. (And apparently it's no so hard to find anymore. I just looked it up and it's available to rent on Amazon Prime for $0.99!)

6. THE STRANGERS and THE MONSTER
The Bryan Bertino two-pack (you can safely ignore his middle film, Mockingbird. Entirely nonessential). The Strangers is perfection. The Monster is an incredibly powerful dark family drama with a slightly above-average creature feature wrapped around it. Both films deserve a place on your watchlist.

These form a stylistic trilogy of tension! Roberts would go on to make The Strangers: Prey at Night lol
Great list ~


polkablues

  • Child of Myth
  • Admin
  • *****
    • Posts: 7607
Reply #861 on: February 18, 2020, 02:26:13 PM
Johannes Roberts has been a solid journeyman horror director, but The Expelled is the only movie of his that feels like it's the work of an auteur. It's also the only one that doesn't feel compromised in some way (or outright bad, like Storage 24).
My house, my rules, my coffee


polkablues

  • Child of Myth
  • Admin
  • *****
    • Posts: 7607
Reply #862 on: February 25, 2020, 11:08:19 PM
3. GRAVE ENCOUNTERS
...
If you watch this and like it, I'd also recommend the sequel, if only for a handful of scenes (one in particular that might be my favorite single moment of any horror movie ever).

I just rewatched this (the sequel), and I revise my endorsement to NOT RECOMMENDED. Other than the aforementioned moment, which is still great and stands on its own, the sequel is hot garbage, unworthy of inclusion on an otherwise unimpeachable list.
My house, my rules, my coffee


Jeremy Blackman

  • Admin
  • *****
    • Posts: 11960
Reply #863 on: March 08, 2020, 01:09:11 AM
1. TRIANGLE
Anyone who's ever paid attention to me talking about horror films could guess this would be my first suggestion. Now, I'm not blind to its flaws; it's not a perfect film, certainly not to the extent that The Descent is. But what works about it works so well. This movie clings to me for weeks after I watch it, and repeat viewings have only deepened its effect.

Oh boy. That was not quite what I expected, but definitely a worthwhile experience.

Spoiler: ShowHide
I thought I was very smart and figured out the whole thing when the keys drop. Little did I know that was just the beginning.

It really threw me for a loop (so to speak) when the Jess we're following continues playing things out and conforms to her role. I couldn't quite figure out her motivations beyond doing what needs to be done for the loop to work. But that's the point, right? She has given up on breaking the loop and decides to go with it in hopes that she'll exit it at the end. Right?

What really complicates things, according to the analysis below, is that you eventually have four iterations of Jess in action at once, with two offset pairs doing different things.

My head hurts.


"Hunger is the purest sin"


polkablues

  • Child of Myth
  • Admin
  • *****
    • Posts: 7607
Reply #864 on: March 08, 2020, 05:00:19 AM
Spoiler: ShowHide
Itís all about her guilt over killing her son in the car crash. Every time she realizes sheís in a loop, she thinks that sheíll be able to figure out a way to change what happened, but ultimately itís inevitable. The mention of the myth of Sisyphus early in the film is crucial; sheís rolling the boulder up the hill over and over, only to always have it roll back down before she reaches the top. But even when she realizes sheís gone through these motions countless times already, sheís unable to let go, to accept her guilt and move past it. The cab driver, essentially the Ferryman to the underworld, gives her the choice to break free of the cycle and accept her fate, but she always gets back on the boat with the futile hope of changing it.


I havenít watched the video you posted, so hopefully I didnít just restate what it already said.
My house, my rules, my coffee


Jeremy Blackman

  • Admin
  • *****
    • Posts: 11960
Reply #865 on: March 08, 2020, 10:38:09 AM
Spoiler: ShowHide
Yeah thatís some great stuff. It does strike me as much more than a puzzle movie, with that thematic core.

Iím somewhat unclear about her choice to continue. So... in actuality, the loop originates with the car crash, but she thinks it starts with her choosing to go the docks, so she can prevent the car crash, which she views as the changeable end of the loop, when itís actually the fixed beginning of it?
"Hunger is the purest sin"


Axolotl

  • Shoutbox Moderator
  • *****
    • Posts: 257
Reply #866 on: March 08, 2020, 11:02:51 AM
Triangle was the first movie I learned about from here (through a polka post) that I showed a friend, great memories.


polkablues

  • Child of Myth
  • Admin
  • *****
    • Posts: 7607
Reply #867 on: March 08, 2020, 01:29:07 PM
Spoiler: ShowHide
Yeah thatís some great stuff. It does strike me as much more than a puzzle movie, with that thematic core.

Iím somewhat unclear about her choice to continue. So... in actuality, the loop originates with the car crash, but she thinks it starts with her choosing to go the docks, so she can prevent the car crash, which she views as the changeable end of the loop, when itís actually the fixed beginning of it?


Spoiler: ShowHide
I see it as thereís only one truly changeable moment in the entire loop, and thatís whether to get back in the cab or get on the boat. No matter how many times she chooses to try again, it will always result in re-experiencing the death of her son. But her guilt is so overpowering that she canít stop trying.
My house, my rules, my coffee


polkablues

  • Child of Myth
  • Admin
  • *****
    • Posts: 7607
Reply #868 on: March 11, 2020, 03:23:15 PM


Highly recommend this movie. So many movies that try to capture the grindhouse aesthetic end up with what amounts to grindhouse cosplay: your Death Proofs, your Hobos with Shotguns, your (ugh) Kung Furies. Joe Begos makes actual grindhouse flicks. If you went to a theater in a seedy part of town in 1985, paid two bucks, and this was the movie that played, you wouldn't question it for a second. His previous film, Bliss, a grimy, hallucinatory riff on Larry Fessenden's Habit, is also worth checking out. VFW similarly wears its influences on its sleeve; it shares a lot of obvious DNA with Assault on Precinct 13, among others. But it doesn't feel like a ripoff, it feels like a contemporary. Also, Stephen Lang is just the best.
My house, my rules, my coffee


polkablues

  • Child of Myth
  • Admin
  • *****
    • Posts: 7607
Reply #869 on: March 24, 2020, 02:35:14 AM


For starters, the "controversy" around this movie was incredibly dumb. Which turns out to be fitting, since the movie itself is almost immeasurably dumb itself. I think it fancies itself a mischievous little scamp, with a sense of South Park-esque "both sides are equally ridiculous" nihilism, but in actuality it's more like a hack editorial page political cartoon where the symbolism is insultingly obvious and they label everything in the picture anyway, because the artist assumes everyone reading it is an idiot. The movie thinks it's a mid-90s Dennis Miller routine, when it's actually a 2020 Dennis Miller routine.

That said, I kind of liked it? Ignoring every aspect of the film's thematic belly-flop, it works exceptionally well as a silly, gory, propulsive action-thriller. Betty Gilpin kills it in this (you better fucking believe that pun was intended). There are a ton of great bit parts for awesome people like Macon Blair, Glenn Howerton, Ike Barinholtz, etc. It's a movie that you can have a fun time watching, then have a fun time eviscerating when you're done.

But god, it's dumb. It's so, so dumb. Damon Lindelof co-wrote this. That blows my mind. A person can be responsible for both The Leftovers and this. Just dumb as a bag of bricks, this thing. You should watch it.
My house, my rules, my coffee