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.
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.
Ben Wheatley will try anything. He’s directed horror movies, crime dramas, action movies, comedies, and today’s film, a psychedelic black and white horror film about the English Civil War. Apart from a sardonic sense of humor you never know what to expect from Wheatley. He can play a story close to the vest or throw all rhyme or reason out the window. Sometimes he does both. He’s an unpredictable filmmaker. His next film is a Tomb Raider sequel for god sakes. Which is crazy when you consider he made today’s film about alchemy, tripping on mushrooms, and a guy showing off his diseased wang.
Hopefully this my last filler review. Here we go…
The last time I watched Paranorman I was working a grueling job that started at 3:00 AM. On a “good-night” I would nap a few hours then take a car to a bus to a loud building then go inside a truck with hundreds upon hundreds of boxes. It was exhausting. One night I was laying down for my nap—before being crushed by another dose of adulthood (and boxes)—when a movie came on TV. It was Paranorman. I’d seen Laika’s 2012 stop-motion horror/comedy before (and enjoyed it) but had no intention of watching it for more than a few minutes on this particular night. I watched the whole thing. But I didn’t go to work that night tired. I went with a sense of whimsy. Content even.
This has been a tough week for Shocktober. I’ve been a busy boy and haven’t had the time to watch and write about so many movies with so little time in-between picks. Not to mention most of my early picks have not been readily available on the “stream” as the kids call it. Not until October 12th do the rest of my picks sit comfortably on a reputable streaming platform. No offense to Tubi or whatever fuboTV is. So until then expect a bunch of random crazy shit. Like today’s replacement pick I’m recalling from memory. A blood-soaked buddy comedy from down under.
Due to scheduling issues I’m doing a late substitution for the film originally planned for today. Instead I’m dusting off the slasher classic You’re Next. “A classic?” You say. They did do a mural of the film at the Alamo Drafthouse. No idea if it’s still there but that’s cool. I would also argue this was the film that set Adam Wingard up for all of his future success. Despite the fact this film totally got the shaft upon its release.
Lucky McKee should be a household name. I mean come on, he goes by LUCKY MCKEE. How great is that? Yet I rarely hear his name come up when people talk about the Masters of Horror—even though he directed an episode of the Showtime series Masters of Horror in 2006. I’m not sure you’d include him in the Splat Pack either. Which was a nickname for a collection of ultra-violent indie horror filmmakers in the 2000s. Lucky is somewhere in the middle. His films are basically coming-of-age dramas but with more face eating. Which at the end of the is all any of us want in our independent cinema.