John Otteni

Shocktober Day 30: Us

Us (2019)

I can’t believe Us came out this year. The film already feels so ingrained in pop culture. It was parodied on SNL and at the MTV Movie Awards (that’s when you know you’ve made it). It’s hard for me to picture a pre-Us world. The film was a hit and an immediate genre classic. Yet I still hear the conversation of “I liked it BUT…” Now it was a lot to ask for Us to live up to the critical and cultural impact of Get Out. Jordan Peele’s debut carried an easier message to decipher. Though I do believe Us sheds light on important issues as well. That being said, if there’s one advantage Us has over Get Out it’s that it’s scarier. Which is a big deal when you’re talking horror.

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Shocktober Day 29: One Cut of the Dead

One Cut of the Dead (2019)

One Cut of the Dead begins with a single, unbroken, thirty-minute shot of a crew of filmmakers–making a zombie movie–being attacked by real zombies. It’s impressive from a technical standpoint but the story, characters, effects are nothing to write home about. If you went into this film blind you’d think it was another run-of-the-mill zombie b-movie with nothing new to say about the genre. Make it past that 30 minutes and you’d be wrong. It’s rare that a movie takes such a 360 turn but One Cut of the Dead is special. So much so that if you plan on or are interested in seeing this film I recommend you stop reading right here. This movie has a twist. A big one and I’d hate to spoil the gift that is the last 65 minutes of One Cut of the Dead

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Shocktober Day 27: Climax

Climax (2018)

A great poet once said, “Everybody dance now. Dun dun dun dun dun.” Those words have never been truer than in Gaspar Noé’s drug-induced nightmare dance party Climax. Before Climax I had never seen a Gaspar Noe film. I’m too afraid to watch Irreversible and have never been high enough to watch Enter the Void. So with generally positive reviews and a non NC-17 Rating (a rare feat for Noé) Climax seemed like a good entry point. Did it stick the landing?

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Shocktober Day 23: 1922

1922 (2017)

The year is 1922. A gallon of gas costs $0.22. Warren G. Harding is a shitty president. Germany can’t get enough of that Nosferatu and Wilfred James has done a very bad thing. Adapted from Stephen King’s 2010 novella of the same name and written/directed for the screen by Zak Hilditch, 1922 is a Southern Gothic thriller in its purest form. Except it’s the Midwest. Nonetheless, you have murder, transgressive thoughts, desires, impulses, ghosts and corn in a brooding thriller far better than its Netflix Original trappings.

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Shocktober Day 18: Another Evil

Another Evil (2016)

I was supposed to watch a plus two-hour South Korean movie for today’s review. I had an opportunity last night, but instead I watched Joe Flacco get sacked nine times on Thursday Night Football. That game. That was true horror. So coming off the bench for today is Another Evil a little horror comedy that deserves way more love than it’s received.

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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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