HORRORCRAM XIV: DaMU you all to Hell

Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 60223
I watched Freaks of Nature, a high school horror comedy about a town where humans, vampires and zombies coexist. For a movie I never heard of it has a bunch of big names in it. It's got some fun ideas if only half-baked. Unfortunately the characters aren't that interesting (except Petra) and it only made me chuckle a couple times.
Oct 14, 2017 4:39 AM
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Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 12857
WooleyJust watched The Thing for maybe the 12th time if I had to guess. Spoilers everywhere cause everybody's seen this movie.
Man, my feelings about this movie have been all over the map over the last 30 years.
Last time I saw it I was really disappointed and thought, man if this is "Carpenter's masterpiece"...
Most of this was because of 2 or 3 scenes I thought were totally unnecessary and lowered the bar of the whole experience, which are the scenes involving the flying saucer. Especially the opening one. It's like, hard to get over. It's hard to take the movie seriously at all after that and the movie has such a serious tone, especially in the first half hour, that the flying saucer is just so off-key. It's better when they find it on the ground, but still, totally unnecessary to ever see it, has probably the weakest special effects in the film, and just... no.
Now that's not the only miss in the whole movie, there are a few imperfect moments, but they don't really matter because, honestly, on this viewing, I thought that outside of the flying saucer bits, it really was pretty close to a horror masterpiece. Really it's damn good. I know this is news to no one, but I've gone from "it's fucking amazing" to "yeah, it's a good one" to "it's simply a classic" to "fuck the shitty flying saucers and now I can' stop seeing all the flaws in the movie" to "fuck yeah, I wouldn't have had the flying saucers, but damn that was good."
And here's the thing. Me and all my friends always took this movie at face-value. Macready's the hero. Childs is a good-guy. The ending is like the ending to Jaws, the two survivors relax finally in a bro-moment.
But after this rewatch, I don't know what to think. I would absolutely buy that Macready is The Thing for the last half hour or so. I would buy that he's not. I would buy that Childs is The Thing at the end. I would buy that he's not. I would buy that they're both The Thing at the end or that neither of them is. I would buy a number of different ideas about when each character became The Thing. And whatever that last moment with the drink of Scotch is, I'd buy any of at least 3 theories. It's much, much more clever than I thought, even when I really dug the movie in the past.
Anyway, one does wonder, if Carpenter was capable of this, why didn't he do more of this. I love Halloween and The Fog, but even those, and Halloween is historic and The Fog is the shit, but they are not up to the filmmaking of this one. And I love Escape From New York too.


It won't make the special effects seem any better, but for the opening flying saucer scene, have you heard the reading is, the thing wasn't the pilot of the spaceship, it was a normal space ship that got infected with the thing, and that's why it crashed (I think deliberately, in a bit of a mirror to the ending).
Oct 14, 2017 9:40 AM
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Joined: Feb 2002
Posts: 4817
WooleyDracula's Daughter is a mildly amusing diversion but nowhere near as good as I was led to believe by certain writers and fans.

This. But then I'm gonna make enemies of a lot of people and add that I think the pacing of Browning's original is pretty shoddy, so while Daughter lacked the atmosphere of its predecessor, I maybe enjoyed Dracula's Daughter more.? It could also be that my 4 and 6 year olds fidgeted through Dracula and sat rapt through Dracula's Daughter, who knows.? They did really like that it had a girl vampire.
Oct 14, 2017 11:51 AM
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Joined: Oct 2006
Posts: 21557
Little Ash
WooleyJust watched The Thing for maybe the 12th time if I had to guess. Spoilers everywhere cause everybody's seen this movie.
Man, my feelings about this movie have been all over the map over the last 30 years.
Last time I saw it I was really disappointed and thought, man if this is "Carpenter's masterpiece"...
Most of this was because of 2 or 3 scenes I thought were totally unnecessary and lowered the bar of the whole experience, which are the scenes involving the flying saucer. Especially the opening one. It's like, hard to get over. It's hard to take the movie seriously at all after that and the movie has such a serious tone, especially in the first half hour, that the flying saucer is just so off-key. It's better when they find it on the ground, but still, totally unnecessary to ever see it, has probably the weakest special effects in the film, and just... no.
Now that's not the only miss in the whole movie, there are a few imperfect moments, but they don't really matter because, honestly, on this viewing, I thought that outside of the flying saucer bits, it really was pretty close to a horror masterpiece. Really it's damn good. I know this is news to no one, but I've gone from "it's fucking amazing" to "yeah, it's a good one" to "it's simply a classic" to "fuck the shitty flying saucers and now I can' stop seeing all the flaws in the movie" to "fuck yeah, I wouldn't have had the flying saucers, but damn that was good."
And here's the thing. Me and all my friends always took this movie at face-value. Macready's the hero. Childs is a good-guy. The ending is like the ending to Jaws, the two survivors relax finally in a bro-moment.
But after this rewatch, I don't know what to think. I would absolutely buy that Macready is The Thing for the last half hour or so. I would buy that he's not. I would buy that Childs is The Thing at the end. I would buy that he's not. I would buy that they're both The Thing at the end or that neither of them is. I would buy a number of different ideas about when each character became The Thing. And whatever that last moment with the drink of Scotch is, I'd buy any of at least 3 theories. It's much, much more clever than I thought, even when I really dug the movie in the past.
Anyway, one does wonder, if Carpenter was capable of this, why didn't he do more of this. I love Halloween and The Fog, but even those, and Halloween is historic and The Fog is the shit, but they are not up to the filmmaking of this one. And I love Escape From New York too.


It won't make the special effects seem any better, but for the opening flying saucer scene, have you heard the reading is, the thing wasn't the pilot of the spaceship, it was a normal space ship that got infected with the thing, and that's why it crashed (I think deliberately, in a bit of a mirror to the ending).

That makes it a little more palatable, I just think the whole movie would have been better without any flying saucers. Seemed unnecessary and an off-key note, not to mention introducing a bit of corn into an otherwise very serious movie.
Oct 14, 2017 2:19 PM
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Joined: Oct 2006
Posts: 21557
Bill the Fish
WooleyDracula's Daughter is a mildly amusing diversion but nowhere near as good as I was led to believe by certain writers and fans.

This.? But then I'm gonna make enemies of a lot of people and add that I think the pacing of Browning's original is pretty shoddy, so while Daughter lacked the atmosphere of its predecessor, I maybe enjoyed Dracula's Daughter more.? It could also be that my 4 and 6 year olds fidgeted through Dracula and sat rapt through Dracula's Daughter, who knows.? They did really like that it had a girl vampire.

Hmmm... hard for me to say, I am one of those that believe Dracula is a really, really good movie, so it's hard for me to compare.
Oct 14, 2017 2:20 PM
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Joined: Feb 2002
Posts: 4817
That's fair. I do need to give it another shot without my kids around, and when I'm not worn out from work. The film may best be enjoyed when not having to argue that Bela Lugosi is, indeed, the real Dracula, and not Adam Sandler.
Oct 14, 2017 2:45 PM
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Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 20648


Not nearly as awesome as the picture above would suggest. There's some novelty value from its status as a horror western (which the DVD features lead me to believe is far more common in Mexican cinema than Hollywood) and the movie does look sort of interesting (the discolouring of the print gives it a nice sunburned quality). But the proceedings play out in the least tense way possible and while the movie's attitudes on superstition could be considered interesting, the spooky backstory lacks sufficient oomph.



Eli Roth tries to split the difference between millenial satire and Cannibal Holocaust tribute and bungles both. The satirical point Roth makes is too shallow and the characters are played far too broadly to merit much interest beyond mild derision, and unlike Hostel, it never manages to ease us into their POV when the horror starts. Also, the digital cinematography is far too clean to be atmospheric, leaving us with a big pile of nothing. At least the guy on the poster looks kind of cool.
Oct 14, 2017 8:31 PM
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Joined: Nov 2003
Posts: 11159
Rock



Eli Roth tries to split the difference between millenial satire and Cannibal Holocaust tribute and bungles both. The satirical point Roth makes is too shallow and the characters are played far too broadly to merit much interest beyond mild derision, and unlike Hostel, it never manages to ease us into their POV when the horror starts. Also, the digital cinematography is far too clean to be atmospheric, leaving us with a big pile of nothing. At least the guy on the poster looks kind of cool.

I'm at the point that I'm wondering if I'll bother with any more Roth films, and if I'll ever see this one. It's not like I hate him, I liked Cabin Fever, and I even think it's possible he might eventually make something I'll like more than that one. I just feel he's been circling the same target for most of his career, and he just never hits it. He also never misses? the target by enough to make interesting failures. His averageness has become frustrating in its predictability.
Oct 14, 2017 8:37 PM
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MKS
Joined: Jul 2006
Posts: 46783
It's okay, Roth. I'll still enjoy your films. Even if it's just me alone.
Oct 14, 2017 9:29 PM
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Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 9549
DeschainJust watched Crush the Skull, which was delightful. It's like Don't Breathe but actually good. Much funnier than I expected and the cast is charming and fun. perfect Halloween fodder.

DeschainJust watched It Stains the Sands Red about a woman being chased through the desert by a zombie. Overall it wasn't bad. It has a '70s grindhouse sleaze to it that may turn some off. It certainly wasn't without some stupid moments but a decent watch.

You and I are totally sympatico right now.

First, I'm really glad you liked Crush the Skull. Most horror-comedies are nowhere near as funny as they think they are, but this one is much better than most. And I love the opening scene, which is both disturbing and hilarious.

Second, I also just watched It Stains the Sands Red last night! I liked it a ton more than I thought I would. I loved that the trajectory of the movie is essentially this woman projecting her feelings about herself and the people around her onto this mindless monster (and the monstrosity of the zombie works in nice contrast to the monstrosity of others encountered during the film). I know this is something most people in this thread can only conceptualize, but the idea of walking through the desert while on your period and with no pads/tampons/cups is so horrifying that it literally made me feel sick. Like, I had an easier time handling the finger amputation than I did handling the idea of two days of bleeding into the same pair of pants. I also respect the movie for sticking the ending in a way that was neither overly bleak nor unrealistically chipper.

And you all are making me very happy with your love for Society. If you have the chance to get it on DVD, I'd also recommend the director's commentary.
Oct 14, 2017 11:34 PM
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Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 60223
Takoma1
DeschainJust watched Crush the Skull, which was delightful. It's like Don't Breathe but actually good. Much funnier than I expected and the cast is charming and fun. perfect Halloween fodder.

DeschainJust watched It Stains the Sands Red about a woman being chased through the desert by a zombie. Overall it wasn't bad. It has a '70s grindhouse sleaze to it that may turn some off. It certainly wasn't without some stupid moments but a decent watch.

You and I are totally sympatico right now.

First, I'm really glad you liked Crush the Skull. Most horror-comedies are nowhere near as funny as they think they are, but this one is much better than most. And I love the opening scene, which is both disturbing and hilarious.

Second, I also just watched It Stains the Sands Red last night! I liked it a ton more than I thought I would. I loved that the trajectory of the movie is essentially this woman projecting her feelings about herself and the people around her onto this mindless monster (and the monstrosity of the zombie works in nice contrast to the monstrosity of others encountered during the film). I know this is something most people in this thread can only conceptualize, but the idea of walking through the desert while on your period and with no pads/tampons/cups is so horrifying that it literally made me feel sick. Like, I had an easier time handling the finger amputation than I did handling the idea of two days of bleeding into the same pair of pants. I also respect the movie for sticking the ending in a way that was neither overly bleak nor unrealistically chipper.

And you all are making me very happy with your love for Society. If you have the chance to get it on DVD, I'd also recommend the director's commentary.

We might not be as simpatico as you may think as I thought the ending of Sands was the weakest part.

SPOILERS (tags don't work on my iPad)


It's super interesting up until she goes to get her kid, at which point it becomes just every other zombie movie. I like that she decides to go get her kid but the movie should have ended with her making that decision as everything after it felt so different from the rest of the movie
Oct 14, 2017 11:43 PM
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Joined: Feb 2002
Posts: 4817
Rock



Eli Roth tries to split the difference between millenial satire and Cannibal Holocaust tribute and bungles both. The satirical point Roth makes is too shallow and the characters are played far too broadly to merit much interest beyond mild derision, and unlike Hostel, it never manages to ease us into their POV when the horror starts. Also, the digital cinematography is far too clean to be atmospheric, leaving us with a big pile of nothing. At least the guy on the poster looks kind of cool.

Exactly. I even went in expecting to be disappointed and still was. I did learn something though. I noticed that the theater at that showing smelled like pee, so I casually mentioned it to an employee on my way out, only to find that yes, it was pee. Apparently kids and the elderly pee at the movies all the time. Good to know. Or not.
Oct 15, 2017 12:16 AM
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Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 9549
Deschain


It's super interesting up until she goes to get her kid, at which point it becomes just every other zombie movie. I like that she decides to go get her kid but the movie should have ended with her making that decision as everything after it felt so different from the rest of the movie

I sort of agree, but I liked the symmetry of what we see at the end. Her sister has had to kill the husband and then burned herself alive in order to save the child. It's this final note of self-sacrifice that the main character has to live up to, and we see that she is willing to do it. I know what you mean about the shift in both style and tone for that final act, but it worked for me.
I agree that the ending is the weakest part, but it still worked for me on a tonal level.
Oct 15, 2017 1:19 AM
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Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 13003
House on Sorority Row was...disappointing

Although I think there were some moments that I did enjoy it, I kept running across things that made little/no sense in the plot.

The efforts in characterization were neat and there were some variety in the kills.

But I couldn't get past the plot holes which kept holding me back. I don't expect a flawless film, but one where its leaps of logic made sense.

It didn't.

It's a bit late, so I feel like writing a second post in more detail tomorrow.

Getting ready to hopefully finish Under the Shadow next.
Oct 15, 2017 2:44 AM
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Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 60223
Just watched The Babysitter. Cole has the most unrealistically amazing babysitter ever, but that works in the film's favor for emotional payoff later. This was a fun but flawed movie. The humor doesn't always work and it's a little too stylish and throughout all the ruckus no neighbors call the police. Overall it's light fun for the season. Beware: directed by McG. Didn't know this until I saw the credit.

And dat Samara Weaving, whew.
Oct 15, 2017 5:10 AM
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Joined: Aug 2017
Posts: 403
Grabbing The Babysitter right now, The poster sold me. I'm a sucker for flashy things.

PS - Netflix released a few things this week. This year has been very good including Okja! which isn't horror but has strong elements of fantasy and a nifty if not too subtle environmental/vegetarian message.
Oct 15, 2017 5:24 AM
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Joined: Jun 2007
Posts: 2468
Browsing Amazon tonight and came across a version of the Fall of the House of Usher from 1950 that I'd never heard of and holy cow did I love this.
Some caveats: The acting is dodgy, the budget is low, the pace is glacial, the story veers FAR from the Poe original.
The good news is that it's an hour long and has some genuinely great images/cinematography. Like really great.




I want to make it clear that this is not a "good" movie, but if you're in the mood for some musty old-time shenanigans, or if the above image floats your boat I highly encourage you to check it out. It pushed all of my Halloween buttons.
Oct 15, 2017 5:44 AM
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Joined: Oct 2006
Posts: 21557
Bill the FishThat's fair. I do need to give it another shot without my kids around, and when I'm not worn out from work. The film may best be enjoyed when not having to argue that Bela Lugosi is, indeed, the real Dracula, and not Adam Sandler.

Hahahahaha!
Anyway, the thing that I think happens is that people (and I was one of those people til I revisited the movie in the theatre) get really hung up in how gothically amazing the first half of the film is and then they just shit all over the second half because it's not that. But the second half has all the great Renfield stuff, still the best Van Helsing (including Hopkins, in my opinion), a great Mina, and a satisfying, if not as dramatic as we may like, conclusion.
It's a digable movie for more reasons than just the time spent in Castle Dracula, especially when considering it's 1931.
Oct 15, 2017 6:55 AM
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Joined: Oct 2006
Posts: 21557
crumbsroom
Rock



Eli Roth tries to split the difference between millenial satire and Cannibal Holocaust tribute and bungles both. The satirical point Roth makes is too shallow and the characters are played far too broadly to merit much interest beyond mild derision, and unlike Hostel, it never manages to ease us into their POV when the horror starts. Also, the digital cinematography is far too clean to be atmospheric, leaving us with a big pile of nothing. At least the guy on the poster looks kind of cool.

I'm at the point that I'm wondering if I'll bother with any more Roth films, and if I'll ever see this one. It's not like I hate him, I liked Cabin Fever, and I even think it's possible he might eventually make something I'll like more than that one. I just feel he's been circling the same target for most of his career, and he just never hits it. He also never misses? the target by enough to make interesting failures. His averageness has become frustrating in its predictability.

Yeah, I've never been sold on Roth, I think he has some talent but not the kind that can pull whole films together, at least not more than one or two. Not sure if there's a future for him if someone like Shyamalan can fall as far as he did, and I can't say I'd be sad if there wasn't. Whole lotta people making better movies than him. Frankly, I actually think most of Rob Zombie's films are better than Roth's output.
Oct 15, 2017 6:57 AM
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Joined: Oct 2006
Posts: 21557
Apex PredatorHouse on Sorority Row was...disappointing

Although I think there were some moments that I did enjoy it, I kept running across things that made little/no sense in the plot.

The efforts in characterization were neat and there were some variety in the kills.

But I couldn't get past the plot holes which kept holding me back. I don't expect a flawless film, but one where its leaps of logic made sense.

It didn't.

It's a bit late, so I feel like writing a second post in more detail tomorrow.

Getting ready to hopefully finish Under the Shadow next.

I am sorry to hear this.
On a forum where people continue to defend and even champion the absolutely abysmal Prom Night, I feel like a much better film like HoSR will make a good impression.
But I am often wrong.
For me, this movie is the sort of halfway point between Prom Night?and Black Christmas.
Oct 15, 2017 7:03 AM
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