Shocktober Day 19: Green Room

Green Room (2015)

Green Room represents exactly the things that have created my general resistance(?) to horror movies and why I’ve still seen so many of them. Green Room is a thrilling movie and on paper I like lots of movies that are exciting… but most of those are action movies. Here, the intensity is in service of creating dire situations that you have to hope you’ll never face in real life. You could go as far as to describe them as miserable. And yet, the movie is smartly made with fully-realized characters, beautiful imagery, and all the other film criticism cliches. It adds up to an all-too-familiar picture: a movie I respect a helluva lot more than I like.

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Shocktober Day 16: Bone Tomahawk

Bone Tomahawk (2015)

The month-long celebration of Patrick Wilson continues with S. Craig Zahler’s Bone Tomahawk, a brutal, modern send-up to John Ford’s The Searchers. While John’s made it no secret he’s a big fan of Zahler as both a writer and director (though I don’t think he’s ever gotten the chance to write about him on the blog), I have to admit I approached this film with a bit of trepidation. For one, it has a reputation for having one incredibly gruesome scene and I wasn’t sure I’d want to see something like that. Moreover, Zahler’s devil-may-care reputation made me wary investing my time in a potentially unsavory character. Is he someone who’s rejected Hollywood and embraced the taboo to aid in his storytelling or does he actually have a warped view of the world? Bone Tomahawk makes me believe the former.

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Shocktober Day 15: The Blackcoat’s Daughter

The Blackcoat’s Daughter (2015)

Today wasn’t the first time I tried to watch The Blackcoat’s Daughter. I gave it a go a few years ago and fell asleep thirty minutes in. I didn’t finish it. Second times the charm, right? Let’s just say the Sandman was lurking over my shoulder. It’s not that the The Blackcoat’s Daughter is a bad movie but it is an endurance test. The film is a slow burn, shown out of sequence, clouded with an ambiguity that finishes with an abrupt ending and no easy answers. Only answers that the viewer must decipher. I’ve read two or three blog posts that decipher the film which does give me respect for how the pieces fit. That being said I never would have been able to put them together on my own.

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Shocktober Day 14: Housebound

Housebound (2014)

Every horror movie I’ve seen from New Zealand has been a comedy. What We Do in the Shadows, Deathgasm and every Peter Jackson movie from 1987 to 1996. What’s so damn funny down there? Maybe it’s because New Zealand is so beautiful. Everyone’s content. Unlike New Zealand’s cranky brother Australia with all his desolate wastelands and giant spiders. New Zealand comes off as a quirky slice of paradise. Whether or not that’s how it is that’s the vibe I get and it’s nothing but good vibes when watching today’s Kiwi ghost story.

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Shocktober Day 13: The Conjuring

The Conjuring (2013)

It just became apparent that I incorrectly implied that The Conjuring was a Blumhouse production in my The Purge review. Which makes sense, as The Conjuring feels like a movie with a bit more backing from its major studio, since it’s production value is a considerable step up from director James Wan’s previous film, Insidious. Also, despite sharing a lot of similarities with Insidious (such as the presence of ghosts, Patrick Wilson, and another Fargo actor), I’d say it’s also a step up in terms of its effectiveness as well.

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