Grief is a tricky subject to depict onscreen, and yet it tends to pop up in horror movies quite a bit. Maybe this is because in horror movies there isn’t this preconceived notion of handling grief “tastefully”, and so movies in the genre can go a little nuts with turning their screws into the audience and their own personal relationship with death and grieving. Whatever the case, The Woman In Black does a good job of not making grief feel completely trivial, but also of amping up all the bad vibes surrounding ghosts and dead loved ones into something that constantly keeps you on edge. Continue reading
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.
The best genre movies (as in horror, sci-fi, and fantasy) often blend a healthy dose of reality in with all the unbelievable. Dawn of the Dead is about surviving a zombie apocalypse, but it’s also about cultural rot that consumerism tries to conceal. E.T. is a movie about a kid befriending an alien, but it’s also about dealing with a divorce. Princess Mononoke is about an exiled prince trying to cure a terrible curse, but it’s also about how humans exploit and abuse the environment (like pretty much every Miyazaki film). Whether it’s through subtext or loudly proclaimed over and over, these movies show that a different setting can illuminate ideas that might be ignored or taken for granted. Attack the Block is one of those movies.
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.
For Day 4 of Shocktober, we’re doing something different… something… INSIDIOUS! Screw the written word we’re doing this one in podcast form! In this episode, we talk about James Wan, Torture Porn, and Darth Maul. Check it out if you dare. Or should I say “SCARE?!?”
Could a movie like Piranha 3D (not to mention Piranha 3DD) get made today? It’s a weird thing to think about, considering it came out in the same decade we’re currently in. But making a movie with such overt male horndog elements to it was pushing it in 2010, and now feels even more in line with the B-movie tropes of a completely different era. Though, that does hint at how enjoyable the film is if you don’t take it too seriously (which it clearly doesn’t want you to), since this is exactly the kind of dumb fun that your inner 13-year-old will thank you for. Continue reading