Author Topic: Horror films  (Read 29822 times)

Re: Horror films
« Reply #30 on: October 28, 2019, 01:08:01 AM »
Possum- Matt Holness-directed story about a creep with a questionable past and his strained relationship with a genuinely scary puppetoid thing he's trying to get rid of. I'm pretty dead inside and don't seem to get scared by films but there were a few scenes in this which really unnerved me and made me squirm like a little bitch in my seat.

Yes, I really liked Possum too, and much like you I'm not very easily scared. A great deal of it perfectly makes you feel as though you're about to shit your pants, and one or two bits actually make you follow through. Properly grim and bleak horror that makes yer modern-day "shockers" seem a bit try-hard by comparison. I also liked that its influences were clear throughout without ever feeling derivative or like a pastiche.

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Re: Horror films
« Reply #31 on: October 29, 2019, 06:13:29 PM »
I set about curating a whole load of spook-show for myself and my partner, the idea being that we would turn out the lights and watch these spooky old films and freak ourselves silly as dancing beans. Unfortunately I did not take well enough into account the fact that my partner does not believe in spooks of any description and so finds films all about spooks to be as boring as a bunch of old fucking thumped hen.

So.

The Woman In Black (2012).

I absolutely love The Woman In Black (2012), but to see it properly I had to sail the High Seas, for the UK version is barely a quarter of the strength that it should be. There’s a really good video on YouTube explaining all about the various ways in which the distributors sucked the life out of The Woman In Black in order to secure a “12” certificate. Sounds slashed out of the thing, eerie old faces darkened away down to next to nothing, jagged stings delayed by miles.  So on and so on and so forth. The version on Netflix presents itself as a “15,” but I didn’t trust it, so I sought out the international version.

I really love it. I’m a massive fan of the 1989 telly adaptation, I love the book, I thought the play was phenomenal, and the BBC radio dramatization is the knees of the bees top to toe. The 2012 film is a different sort of scarf altogether, but I still think it’s masterful. Yes it’s full of jump scares, but they're orchestrated beautifully, and anyway, it’s not all about them. It’s about dread and atmosphere and maybe women in the mist or maybe not and fucking old rocking chairs that won’t stop rocking.

When I was wee my brother and a bunch of these yahoos he ran about with went up into the guts of an old abandoned house that sat at the end of a country lane maybe a couple odd miles away. They found a rocking chair in one of the rooms and Springy Glenn lifted it and took it out into the garden. I don’t know why he did that, but he did. Anyway they carried on wrecking and clattering and clanging about the empty rooms, beating about the bando, and then as they were leaving Springy Glenn looked into that back bedroom another time and sure as Jesus the rocking chair was right back where it had been before. A fella’s hair went white over the head of it.

Anyway the rocking chair bit scared my partner, and she quite enjoyed it overall, The Woman In Black (2012), but that was as much of the spooks as she could be bothered with.

For this reason she did not enjoy Lake Mungo, which I think is one of the best horror films of the past twenty years. One of the best films full stop. I talked about it in a video I made back when I was living a whole different sort of life altogether. All hats and fringes and K Cider. Case you're interested. I loved Lake Mungo then and I love it now.

My partner did not love it.

I was actually trembling and sweating with fear and she was just looking at me just sort of "...why?"

Many reasons why. It’s eerie as fuck, is the main reason. Situates itself within this hugely disquieting liminal sort of a space that reeks of fucking sleep paralysis or fuck knows what, and it has some of the most horrifying, soul-curdling imagery and sick old bloody notions that I have ever encountered.

But. Tonight, psychopaths. Psychopaths and murders only. No spooks.

Starting with Halloween. Now. I’m away to be scared shitless. The only slasher film that genuinely freaks my fucking atoms all the wrong way up.

Curiously enough, Ghost Stories scared my partner. We went to see that at the pictures and she was yanking my hand so hard I thought she was going to Brundle-Fly my wrist.

My wrist, I says.

Anyway.

Re: Horror films
« Reply #32 on: October 31, 2019, 04:35:48 PM »
I don't know where it's generally ranked among the horror canon, but I'd say you can't go wrong with The Descent. Just make sure you don't watch the American cut, which went wrong. As a claustrophobe, it's one of the scariest films I've ever watched.

Is A Cure for Wellness any cop? I had it bookmarked on Netflix and was all set to watch it tonight, only to find it's no longer on there. Would it be worth grabbing a copy by some other means? I haven't seen his remake of The Ring, but I could imagine Gore Verbinski could conjure up some good horror images - his name is Gore, after all.

Cuellar

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Re: Horror films
« Reply #33 on: October 31, 2019, 04:38:42 PM »
I had a great time watching The Woman in Black on the stage, because there was a Father Ted-esque 'Fucking hell!' coming from somewhere in the audience after every jump scare. I was absolutely howling by the end.

Jerzy Bondov

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Re: Horror films
« Reply #34 on: October 31, 2019, 04:46:18 PM »
Is A Cure for Wellness any cop? I had it bookmarked on Netflix and was all set to watch it tonight, only to find it's no longer on there. Would it be worth grabbing a copy by some other means? I haven't seen his remake of The Ring, but I could imagine Gore Verbinski could conjure up some good horror images - his name is Gore, after all.
It's a bit long but he really threw everything into it. Everything including the kitchen sink, which is full of eels and blood. I don't really know why he was allowed to spend this much money making a film like that but I'm glad he was because it's a very enjoyable load of old rubbish.

purlieu

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Re: Horror films
« Reply #35 on: October 31, 2019, 10:00:07 PM »
As the (wonderful) Good Horror Films thread is already 75 pages long and hasn't been posted in for four months, I suppose this is as good a place as any to discuss any recently seen horrors...

Watched Southbound this evening. Wonderful film, an anthology film, but without the awkward framing device that a lot of anthologies have. More akin to something like Slacker than, say, V/H/S. A wonderfully weird vibe to it throughout, one of those excellent horrors that throws you in at the deep end with no exposition, leaving you floating in a pool of bafflement alongside the characters. Enjoyed that a lot.

Re: Horror films
« Reply #36 on: October 31, 2019, 10:06:32 PM »
I was really pleasantly surprised by Southbound too, after not having heard much about it. Has a proper queasy and relentless feel of a nightmare to it all.

BlodwynPig

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Re: Horror films
« Reply #37 on: October 31, 2019, 10:46:54 PM »
The Cat People.

Decent but wanted more panther transforming action

Re: Horror films
« Reply #38 on: October 31, 2019, 10:56:35 PM »
I'm currently watching Angel Heart as part of my Halloween movie marathon. Much like Jacob's Ladder, the plot is rather predictable but the atmosphere more than makes up for it.
Have Mickey Rourke and Bruce Willis ever played brothers?

Re: Horror films
« Reply #39 on: November 01, 2019, 09:37:15 AM »
I still think Angel Heart is great, with all its flaws (Louis Cypher, Thriller eyes etc.) Some of those dream sequences are proper unsettling, as is the resolution of the (somewhat convoluted) plot. My teenage mind obsessed over what was really waiting on the ground floor of that elevator ride.

Re: Horror films
« Reply #40 on: November 01, 2019, 10:52:05 AM »
Gawd, what were they thinking with those eyes? It's not as if his identity was particularly subtle anyway (the script even highlights it with the "dime store joke" line) but that is pure schlock.

Everyone remembers the egg peeling scene, but I particularly like De Niro's performance in the church. Mockingly telling Harry to mind his language and barely containing his amusement at the whole situation.

purlieu

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Re: Horror films
« Reply #41 on: November 01, 2019, 11:44:03 AM »
I was really pleasantly surprised by Southbound too, after not having heard much about it. Has a proper queasy and relentless feel of a nightmare to it all.
Yes, the framing story in anthologies often acts as a bit of a buffer between the horror, but without that or character-building plot elements, it really is full on horribleness almost start-to-finish.

Re: Horror films
« Reply #42 on: November 01, 2019, 01:27:35 PM »
The Cat People.

If you like Cat People, you should also listen to the Secret History Of Hollywood podcast on Val Lewton. The narrator is a bit 'Anthony Head-Gold Blend era', but a fascinating listen.

purlieu

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Re: Horror films
« Reply #43 on: November 01, 2019, 10:53:57 PM »
It's a bit long but he really threw everything into it. Everything including the kitchen sink, which is full of eels and blood. I don't really know why he was allowed to spend this much money making a film like that but I'm glad he was because it's a very enjoyable load of old rubbish.
Just watched this tonight, and this post sums it up brilliantly. It's utter nonsense, but beautifully shot, incredibly atmospheric nonsense, and the same could be said for quite a lot of my favourite horrors. It really doesn't need the ten minute exposition scene that tries to make sense of it all and thus spoiling some of the weirdness, but I had a lot of fun being creeped out by the weirdness, awed by the look of it and amused by the dafter moments. Certainly worth a punt.

BlodwynPig

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Re: Horror films
« Reply #44 on: November 01, 2019, 11:22:09 PM »
If you like Cat People, you should also listen to the Secret History Of Hollywood podcast on Val Lewton. The narrator is a bit 'Anthony Head-Gold Blend era', but a fascinating listen.

Thank you. Returned for the fifth time to Mothman Prophecies tonight. Glorious score

Bennett Brauer

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Re: Horror films
« Reply #45 on: November 04, 2019, 12:21:13 PM »
Afflicted (2013)

I had high hopes when it started off really well, but I couldn't get past the fact that he carried on filming when it started to go wrong. I know most horror films stretch credulity more and more as they go on, but...
Maybe I was in a grouchy mood and should have persevered.

purlieu

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Re: Horror films
« Reply #46 on: November 06, 2019, 10:58:13 PM »
Door in the Woods
Low-rated, low-budged independent horror. Why watch it? Well, the image of the door in the woods seemed appealing - a strange, filthy door wrapped in rusted chains, standing alone in a woodland clearing. There's potential for some atmosphere and some weird stuff here. Why is it there? What's on the other side? Will they keep coming back to the woods for some reason?

No, they take it home and it becomes 'child is hunted by ghost in family's new house'. Cliche after cliche pours out of the film. The family are in financial trouble. The stay-at-home mum finds out something about the mystery of disappearing children and does some research. A woman in the woods tells her the story of the evil door. The black man is all mystical and does ouija boards and other exotic things. The child becomes more troubled and gets in trouble at school. The child disappears. A girl like the one from all those Japanese horrors randomly walks around the house, just out of sight of the family.

The final quarter of an hour beings to show at least a little audacity, but when the child-stealing demon is summoned by the parents to get their child back, and it turns up carrying a piece of rolled up paper to make a contract, I began to wonder if it was a parody. The contract, by the way, seems to be written in what looks like Wingdings.

For all this, the ending is actually pleasingly nasty. It's kind of obvious once given a moment's thought, but it has more bite than the rest of the film and brought a grim smile to my face. But despite that one brief moment, and the minute or so of actually seeing the creepy looking door in the woods, it's all fucking shite.

Re: Horror films
« Reply #47 on: November 11, 2019, 11:12:22 PM »
Two that I watched fairly recently that absolutely brought me out in heebie jeebies from the tops of my ears to the soles of my feet.

A Dark Song, about a woman enlisting the help of this sort of backwoods magus sort of fellow to help her perform a prolonged and increasingly intense ritual geared towards summoning an angel. Slow burn sort of a deal with things becoming ever more fraught as the ritual progresses, culminating in some of the most bizarre and discomforting imagery I’ve seen in a horror film any time recently. It’s not easily forgotten.


Hmm. We watched this on the stream the other night. I was with you most of the way through, but I just feel like it went to pieces at the very end.

For most of the way through I was happy to accept as a kind of haunted house version of Stalker, where you have to take it on faith that the guide character knows what they are doing and all the rules and rituals have an actual purpose, but there's enough ambiguity that he could be a total liar or Sophia could be delusional. Limiting all the strangeness to sounds and shadows, perfect. Then all that carefully crafted tension goes out of the window once Joseph dies, and then suddenly ooh there's actual demonic beings/ghosts and a BIG FUCKING CG GUARDIAN ANGEL that looks totally out of place with everything else in the film - the decision to include that completely baffled me. It looks crap. And moreover I'm not sure it even makes sense, as it's made clear the ritual was never finished and that once the circle was broken they were fucked whatever they did. But apart from losing a finger Sophia basically just gets away with it?

Nothing that happened in the final ten minutes was creepier than the smoking, mumbling shadow sitting in the chair.

Re: Horror films
« Reply #48 on: November 23, 2019, 01:39:44 PM »
Here's a few films I've enjoyed recently, they might not fall completely into the 'Horror' category, but they're close enough:

Ready or Not (2019): Recently released. A new bride has to play a deadly game of hide and seek on her wedding night after marrying into a rich family of nutjobs. Nothing particuarly original, but it was a lot of fun, and Samara Weaving is hot. https://www.imdb.com/title/tt7798634/?ref_=nv_sr_srsg_0

Enter Nowhere (2011): Three people turn up at a shed in the middle of a forest and have to figure out what the hell is going on. Not so much 'horror' but very Twilight Zone-y. https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1631707/?ref_=nv_sr_srsg_0

Blood Punch (2014): Groundhog Day for murderous meth dealers. https://www.imdb.com/title/tt2825230/?ref_=nv_sr_srsg_0

Harpoon (2019): Comedy Horror about 3 teens adrift at sea in a little boat. https://www.imdb.com/title/tt783138/?ref_=nv_sr_srsg_0

Cuntbeaks

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Re: Horror films
« Reply #49 on: November 25, 2019, 01:17:41 AM »
Hagazussa, sometimes called Hagazussa: A Heathen's Curse, which is another slow burn, this one all about a witch’s curse that may or may not have been passed down from mother to daughter when the daughter was but wee. It’s absolutely fucking beautiful and beguiling and incredibly unsettling when the notion takes it. Redolent of Viy or things like this at times, or The Witch, but on the whole it doesn’t feel all that much like either. Very much its own thing, and easily one of the best films I’ve seen this year, although it’s not a (2019), it’s a (2017) regardless of what anyone tries to tell you.

Picked up the Bluray, primarily as the mighty Mohammad provided the soundtrack, as well as looking lovely. The framing and pace reminded of Bill Douglas.

madhair60

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Re: Horror films
« Reply #50 on: December 01, 2019, 06:00:17 PM »
I'm watching the Child's Play remake for my sins and honestly it is really enjoyable and massively different to the original, so it has its own identity. It's very playful and near enough a downright comedy. Chucky learns to be violent by watching Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2, of all things, which is very telling of the tone and inspiration.

purlieu

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Re: Horror films
« Reply #51 on: January 03, 2020, 10:00:35 PM »
A Dark Song.
Very minimal British horror - one house, two characters, a woman who wants to summon a guardian angel because her son has been killed. Very creepy, slow moving with an incredible atmosphere. I spent a lot of it trying to work out where it was going and it surprised me throughout. Very good.

Re: Horror films
« Reply #52 on: January 03, 2020, 10:08:03 PM »
The Hole in the Ground, with Seana Kerslake, she's a bloody good actress, sometimes looks stunningly beautiful, sometime frumpy and plain.

Irish film, very good.....

alan nagsworth

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Re: Horror films
« Reply #53 on: January 04, 2020, 04:53:00 PM »
I don't watch a lot of horror films but one that has always stuck with me is Calvaire (The Ordeal). I'm shocked to see it has such a middle-of-the-road overall rating online as it absolutely creeped the fuck out of me. A musician goes on the road to play a few shows, his van breaks down and he meets a chap out there in the dead of night who takes him back to this little town for help. The rest of it really is an ordeal (I'm not sure whether that's a deliberately amusing understatement in the title) which goes from bad to worse to fucking horrible.

It's entirely devoid of any soundtrack (save for the piano scene in the pub, and the grim song that plays over the end credits), it's made and filmed on a small budget, and it's dark and dreary and demented almost all the way through. The premise of it is hugely clichéd but it's one of those films that needs very little in order to succeed. Nasty bastard.

purlieu

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Re: Horror films
« Reply #54 on: January 04, 2020, 06:25:21 PM »
The Hole in the Ground, with Seana Kerslake, she's a bloody good actress, sometimes looks stunningly beautiful, sometime frumpy and plain.

Irish film, very good.....
Thought this was alright, but it kind of felt like three very different films bolted together, and I'd rather have seen one (or all) of them fleshed out into a full film.

I don't watch a lot of horror films but one that has always stuck with me is Calvaire (The Ordeal). I'm shocked to see it has such a middle-of-the-road overall rating online as it absolutely creeped the fuck out of me. A musician goes on the road to play a few shows, his van breaks down and he meets a chap out there in the dead of night who takes him back to this little town for help. The rest of it really is an ordeal (I'm not sure whether that's a deliberately amusing understatement in the title) which goes from bad to worse to fucking horrible.

It's entirely devoid of any soundtrack (save for the piano scene in the pub, and the grim song that plays over the end credits), it's made and filmed on a small budget, and it's dark and dreary and demented almost all the way through. The premise of it is hugely clichéd but it's one of those films that needs very little in order to succeed. Nasty bastard.
Mm, a truly gruesome film. I'm mostly into horror with some sense of paranormal weirdness going on, so it didn't tick all the boxes for me, but it was undoubtedly a staggeringly effective film, utterly, hopelessly grim with an excellent streak of black humour throughout. I've sampled a few bits from it, notably that hilariously horrible piano section, on an album of mine.

Shaky

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Re: Horror films
« Reply #55 on: January 05, 2020, 06:17:20 AM »
A Dark Song.
Very minimal British horror - one house, two characters, a woman who wants to summon a guardian angel because her son has been killed. Very creepy, slow moving with an incredible atmosphere. I spent a lot of it trying to work out where it was going and it surprised me throughout. Very good.

Yup, really enjoyed this too. I've read a few complaints about the reveal at the end (in the way it's executed onscreen, and the fact it happened at all) but I thought it worked very well and added a genuinely otherworldly tinge I haven't felt from a film in a long time.

Thomas

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Re: Horror films
« Reply #56 on: January 19, 2020, 12:17:55 PM »
I watched a few new-to-me horrors last year. Wanted to share reviews on here, as the wonderful, sprawling Good Horror Movies thread is where I first heard of some of them. Spoilers whited out.

Bride of Frankenstein (1935)
As far as I remember, and even accounting for the lapse of almost a century between the film’s release and my 21st century digital-addled brain, I wasn’t thrilled by the original Frankenstein (1931). Absolutely worth a watch for the sake of horror completism, of course, and it is iconic. But I thought this sequel was brilliant, as if something suddenly clicked and they realised what they were going for. Genuinely dark (grim drowning early on) and genuinely funny, with an amusing framing device (Mary Shelley announcing a sequel at the fireside). The only standout problem is that the stylish titular bride receives so little screentime. 

Hellraiser (1987)
I didn’t actually love this one, though I know it’s a cult super-classic. To me it felt like feature-length Garth Merengi. However, I liked the idea of these well-realised interdimensional sex freaks travelling around the universe to satisfy their pain-and-pleasure perversions. Another obvious completist watch.

Wolf Creek (2005)
Horrible. Really liked it. Truly tense. Maximum rural isolation. Spends a noble amount of time establishing its characters before vilely offing them in unexpected order. Looking forward to finding the sequel.

Sunshine (2007)
Horror? Sci-fi? Both innit. I loved it all, including the controversial third act. One of my favourite horrors of all time is 28 Days Later (2002), and here ol’ Olympics Boyle delivers again, in space.

A Dark Song (2016)
Watched this having seen it discussed on here (indeed, it's being discussed again on this very page). I adore spooky houses, isolation, and the countryside in my ghost stories and horror films, and they all come together nicely here, in this understated indie 99-minuter. There's a potentially jarring CGI surprise at the end, but mileage will vary depending on how ‘into’ the film you’ve let yourself dissolve. I let it wash over me and enjoyed it.

The Ritual (2017)
High concept lads-in-the-woods supernatural hiking trip. I really enjoyed the dialogue and the characters it came out of. Compelling take on a weird, lesser used menace (Norse gods ‘n’ that). Better than its bland title betrays. On Netflix.

The Hole in the Ground (2019)
Rural Irish village? Check. Discomforting vibe of isolation? Check. Creepy kid? Well, as we know, creepy kid stuff is usually rubbish (see 2019’s thoroughly lame Pet Sematary adaptation), but this is really good. And bang on 90 minutes, my personal optimum length for a horror film. On Netflix.

And three honourable dismentions:

Maniac (2012). I get what they were after with the POV thing. Didn’t like it nevertheless. I’ve a high tolerance for violence in film (see above, the vicious Wolf Creek), but this did feel gratuitous at points.

Verónica (2017) - for its spine-tingling and record-breaking reputation, it is pretty standard Ouija board fare. For being only 'fine' and yet exceeding the 90-minute barrier, it earns a spot here.

Pet Sematary (2019), mentioned above. Read the book - amazing. Watched this film - standard modern horror toss. Went to the cinema for it and everything.

I lurrrrve horror. Off to watch one now.
« Last Edit: January 19, 2020, 12:32:06 PM by Thomas »

Re: Horror films
« Reply #57 on: January 19, 2020, 02:06:31 PM »
Glitch King!

Jim Bob

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Re: Horror films
« Reply #58 on: January 19, 2020, 05:14:25 PM »
Wolf Creek (2005)
Horrible. Really liked it. Truly tense. Maximum rural isolation. Spends a noble amount of time establishing its characters before vilely offing them in unexpected order. Looking forward to finding the sequel.

The sequel is excellent, so you're in for a treat there.  Also, be sure to check out the TV series, which is also very good.

madhair60

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Re: Horror films
« Reply #59 on: January 19, 2020, 05:31:17 PM »
I've avoided Wolf Creek because it looks really mean-spirited in the way I don't tend to enjoy, like a torture porn sort of thing. Yet everyone I know who talks about it says otherwise. I just don't want to tune it if I'm just going to feel like shit afterwards. I don't know. I think I just hate all Australian people. Whenever they crop up I'm just like oh, fucking hell, that's a shame.

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