To anyone that has followed this blog the past few years, you will see that it has been over 2 years now since i have recommended a horror film.
Let me tell you that is has not been without trying.
My criteria is simple, i recommend a film if it passes the test of being somewhat creative, original, suspenseful, unpredictable (for it’s release year), and well executed.
It has been a very disappointing 2 years of horror cinema for me. The sleuth of uninspired films i have sat through leads me to think that the genre is in some serious trouble at this very moment.
Perhaps there are those out there perfectly satisfied with this over saturated market of paranormal, torture porn, or found footage films being churned out at little cost. Only the most generic directing, lighting, acting and story-telling one can buy, just to turn a profit. It certainly makes the studios a quick buck without ever really having to create anything unique or memorable. Remember when a horror film was remembered for decades?
Now i’m well aware a couple of films may have sneaked past my radar and you may think i’m completely full of shit writing this (send me those suggestions if you would like), but i have never gone through a drought quite like this, ever. It has frustrated me to the point of having to write about it and remind everyone this blog is very well still up and running!
With the exception of “You’re Next”, which i mildly enjoyed last year, i am anxiously awaiting horror films made with some TLC. Let’s get weird again. Make us care about the characters again. Don’t hold our hands through the story. Just because we enjoy horror movies does not mean we are NOT an intelligent audience. So please don’t dumb everything down for us.
I’ll be here, waiting.
THE SHINING… PREQUEL?
Straight from the rumor mill…
"Warner Bros. is pursuing a potential prequel to the original Stanley Kubrick film. Glen Mazzara (exec-producer/writer for The Walking Dead) is in talks to script the prequel, titled The Overlook Hotel."
The Walking Dead is not known for it’s exceptional writing, so my question is, is this a project that may tarnish The Shining’s legacy? I don’t feel that a prequel is necessary, but if there were anyone that could visually match the eeriness and atmosphere in the Shining…it may be David Lynch.
Thoughts on writers and directors capable of orchestrating a successful prequel?
THE PHANTOM CARRIAGE (1921)
It’s New Year’s Eve. Three drunkards evoke a legend. The legend tells that the last person to die in a year, if he is a great sinner, will have to drive during the whole year the Phantom Chariot, the one that picks up the souls of the dead. The film is notable for its special effects, its advanced (for the time) narrative structure with flashbacks within flashbacks, and for having been a major influence on Ingmar Bergman. Released Sept 2011 as part of The Criterion Collection.
1921 - Available on DVD/BLU-RAY
Great early film out of Sweden. If you can appreciate old cinema, i highly recommend it. Many scenes are ahead of their time. There are religious themes in this film, i am not a religious person, but understood it’s significance to the story. I recommend watching this during a dark and rainy thunderstorm (as i did!).
LOVECRAFT: FEAR OF THE UNKNOWN
A chronicle of the life, work and mind that created the Cthulhu mythos.
2008 - Available on DVD
Entertaining doc about H.P. Lovecraft and his collection of stories. I only wish there were more quality horror movie adaptations of his work.
In the Fall of 1940, the entire population of Friar, NH abandoned their homes and walked up an ancient trail, never to be seen alive again. Their fates have remained a mystery for over 70 years, until a team of researchers discover the trailhead and attempt to track the path the doomed citizens of Friar took.
2010 - Available on DVD
I can usually predict where a story is going, and was pleasantly surprised that i could not do that with YellowBrickRoad. It takes a little while for the story to get going but it pays off half way in.
An investigation into a government cover-up leads to a network of abandoned train tunnels deep beneath the heart of Sydney. As a journalist and her crew hunt for the story, it quickly becomes clear the story is hunting them.
2011 - Available on DVD
Well made documentary-style horror. Worth a watch.
Rubber is the story of Robert, an inanimate tire that has been abandoned in the desert, and suddenly and inexplicably comes to life. As Robert roams the bleak landscape, he discovers that he possesses terrifying telepathic powers that give him the ability to destroy anything he wishes without having to move. He soon sets his sights on a desert town; in particular, a mysterious woman becomes his obsession.
2010 - Available on DVD
You have to appreciate Rubber’s bizarreness and the film-makers’ ability to effectively give an inanimate object, such as a car tire, a personality. Kudos for thinking outside of the box.