SHOCKtober

Niku
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Re: SHOCKtober

Postby Niku » Mon Oct 07, 2019 5:05 pm

6.) Still/Born [Available on Shudder]
Somewhere between Insidious and Paranormal Activity, we've got a little ditty about a woman who is afraid that there's something evil and supernatural out to get her newborn child -- OR MAYBE IT'S ALL IN HER HEAD??? While the "is she bugpants or is there demons" doesn't really do anything particularly new with that hoary old trope, there are some effective moments here and there, and I think the lead couple starts out pretty charming during the honeymoon phase of non-spookiness. It was better than I expected from the trailer, but not something I'll probably go back to again.

That being said, I think if you're a newish parent, it's probably a lot more effective given just how much of the horror is being mined from BABY IN DANGER.
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Niku
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Re: SHOCKtober

Postby Niku » Wed Oct 09, 2019 8:43 am

7.) Threads [Available on Shudder]
I had watched a bit of Threads a few years back, but not too much of it overall. After I mentioned to my wife that it (along with The Day After) was pretty much traumatizing to a certain age of kid who saw it when it first aired on TV she immediately wanted to watch it, because that's how we roll. And you know what? NOW IS MAYBE NOT A GREAT TIME TO WATCH THREADS. Threads is much less a traditional horror movie in that it is pretty much designed to make you feel bone deep terror at what's going on; it's 35 years old, but the unblinking dramatization of "here is how society and people unravel after nuclear bombs fall on England" can easily be applied to, oh, let's say climate change. There's maybe nothing all that surprising in the film overall, and it's definitely "British TV movie" levels of acting and effects, but honestly that all kinda works in its favor of just being an unflinching misery march into DON'T LET THIS HAPPEN warning territory. A fun night with the family for all.

8.) In the Tall Grass [Available on Netflix]
what if grass stepped on YOU

Based on a novella by Stephen King and Joe Hill, and directed by Vincenzo Natali (of Cube and Splice), I had higher hopes for this than what the end result was. It's fine. It's about a couple who stops next to a massive field of grass, and then go inside to find a lost child calling for help from inside, and then shit gets weird fast. It tries a little TOO hard to make the innocent waving fields of grass seem menacing as fuck, it relies a lot on a child actor who ain't that great, and it's relatively unsatisfying when it comes to the whole "what's going on" angle. But Patrick Wilson seems to be having fun, and there are some cool "what the fuck" moments. It's a Netflix Original Picture(TM) down to the bone, where you won't entirely feel like you wasted your time watching it but you also don't really feel much more than a shrug by the time the credits are being pushed aside for a trailer for Big Mouth.
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Mongrel
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Re: SHOCKtober

Postby Mongrel » Wed Oct 09, 2019 12:46 pm

Threads sounds like it's something out of the same school as When The Wind Blows, which also manages to be harrowing as fuck in spite of the entire comic/film (film was directly adapted) simply being an old couple trying to go about their lives (also after Nuclear bombs have pasted England).
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Niku
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Re: SHOCKtober

Postby Niku » Thu Oct 10, 2019 10:55 am

It is very much that. I asked the lady if she'd seen it / heard of it when we finished watching Threads, and when she hadn't, if she remembered the animated or storybook version of The Snowman. And when she had, told her that it was basically that, but with radiation sickness slowly murdering octogenarians.

9.) The Furies [A Shudder EXCLUSIVE!!]
So, six Jasons drop onto a remote island ..

That's basically the premise; slasher movie battle royale. It's a good premise. It's a very bad movie. Six women are abducted and wake up in crates out in the Australian outback, and six slashers (all looking like existing slashers with the serial numbers filed off) also wake up there, and then the hunting begins. It tries, oh it TRIES to say something akin to Cabin in the Woods about complicity with horror films, but the hamstring budget that was clearly only spent on the gore shots, the terrible acting, and the pointless teasing out of its plot points makes this an 80 minute slog. There was only one moment that made me smile in the entire movie, which was when the Jason-esque slasher is stalking toward a girl, notices the main protagonist hiding far behind her, and then just gives her an incredibly jaunty wave. That single moment of brief levity made me wish for what this movie might've been in more competent hands and just made the rest of it even worse.
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Niku
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Re: SHOCKtober

Postby Niku » Sat Oct 12, 2019 8:07 pm

10.) Into the Dark: Pure [Streaming on Hulu]
Into the Dark is a monthly horror movie anthology series that sets a horror movie in and around the concept of a holiday related to whichever month they're releasing in.

Every single one of them that we've watched has been terrible. Like, bottom of the barrel, sub-Tales from the Crypt level bad. Now admittedly this is only like, three of them, but it hasn't been encouraging! The fact that they're all 90 minutes or so just makes it all even worse because you're stuck with the TV-movie rinkydinkness of them for all that much longer than you would be in TftC or Creepshow or something.

Anyway, Pure (the "Daughter's Day" entry) doesn't fall far from that tree. Most frustratingly, the premise is one that's got potential in the way it centers the terribleness of purity culture and fatherly "ownership" of their daughters, and there's a lot of thematic richness that could be mined about how gross that entire situation is. Pure hits a lot of that along the way, but also throws in a whole thing with the protagonist maybe or maybe not seeing a VENGEANCE DEMON that really drags the whole thing down. I rarely turn my nose up at something involving the supernatural over everyday horrors, but in this case I would have preferred if this particular story stayed a lot more grounded and made the eventual catharsis that much more earned.

Probably the best Into the Dark flick we've watched, but that bar's on the damn ground.

11.) Little Monsters [Streaming on Hulu]
This movie is a fucking DELIGHT. It is genuinely clever, genuinely funny, genuinely heartfelt, and so much better than half the horror (not to mention horror-comedies) we see in theaters that it seems vaguely criminal that it got dumped straight to streaming. They have an absolutely adorable child actor just killing it (and surrounded by mostly charming kids to boot), a scuzzbag Chris Hemsworth type working his redemption arc, a goddamn radiant Lupita Nyong'o once again proving she should just be in everything all the time, and Josh Gad as a children's TV personality who seems to understand perfectly well that "children's TV personality who is secretly profane" has been done enough and so just hits 60 with it and never stops.

Basically, a grade school class goes to a petting zoo / farm tour / children's field trip tourist trap to have an adorable day out. The farm is directly next to a US military base doing zombie testing. You got your chocolate in my peanut butter, etc. It's fabulous.
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Niku
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Re: SHOCKtober

Postby Niku » Sun Oct 13, 2019 10:31 am

12.) The Gate [Available on Amazon] [Watched with Giant Bomb's Film and 40s commentary.]

Stephen Dorff vs. Tiny Demons! This movie is one of those ones that I feel like was in constant rotation on cable and weekend tv movies when I was a kid and yet which I never saw more than tiny little snippets of here and there. It's not particularly complicated or particularly good, but it's a fun time. A hole opens up in a kid's back yard, and weird demon shit starts happening. Mostly notable for the fun composite and stop motion effects on the teeny tiny demon men invading our earthly realm for destruction and for the kid being Stephen Dorff.
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Niku
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Re: SHOCKtober

Postby Niku » Mon Oct 14, 2019 8:51 am

13.) Midsommar: Director's Cut [Available on Apple TV, Blu Ray coming soon, Certain People as always are unaffected by exclusivity]
Hereditary is one of my favorite horror movies in years. Toni Collette is a force of goddamn nature in that film, and it uses its camera in incredibly effective and subtle ways -- I'm not sure I've seen a director (let alone a first feature) who was better able to capture grief and dread in the frame. Midsommar is Ari Aster's follow-up, and if Hereditary is akin to his Rosemary's Baby, then this one is definitely his Wicker Man. It fits incredibly comfortably into the "strangers bumble into paganistic ritual" genre to the point where it might not be all that surprising what happens at various points, but that doesn't make it a bad film by any means. He still frames things incredibly well. It's goddamn gorgeous, and set almost entirely in bright, sunny vistas (the director's cut adds a few night time scenes that are apparently not in the theatrical version). His capturing of the emotion of a moment is not just done really well, but vital to several scenes throughout the film. Florence Pugh gives an incredible goddamn performance in the lead, and William Jackson Harper is there being as Chidi as someone who's not Chidi can be. And it's also kinda hilarious? Darkly comic, at the very least, but everyone's mileage may vary on that point. Definite recommendation if you're down for a three hour horror movie (two and a half for the theatrical cut).
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Niku
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Re: SHOCKtober

Postby Niku » Tue Oct 15, 2019 10:26 am

14.) Hell House LLC 2: The Abaddon Hotel [Available on Shudder]
Eh. This is pretty much a textbook case in how not to do a sequel to your low budget surprise-success. It uses the same location as the first movie, but more stripped down and less interesting, goes ~BIG~ on the ~MYTHOLOGY~ that was not that intriguing to begin with, and repeats the spooks and bumps from the first film in slightly remixed but diminished ways. It also feels very much like a stopgap "we are already making the trilogy-ender to be released next year" type of film. The first movie was pretty alright for what it was, this one is just one big shrug. Nonetheless we'll probably finish things up with this series by the end of the month just for completion's sake.
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Niku
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Re: SHOCKtober

Postby Niku » Wed Oct 16, 2019 2:54 pm

15.) SiREN [Available for Rent/Purchase]
V/H/S was a found-footage anthology flick released early in the decade that did alright for itself and spawned a few sequels -- like most anthologies, it was pretty hit or miss. One of the more memorable shorts was called "Amateur Night" and followed a group of scuzzbags taking some women back to a hotel room to secretly film them having sex with them to create amateur porn videos. Too bad for them that one of the women they brought back was a killer succubus. Womp womp.

SiREN (hooray for random dumb intercapsing) is a feature length expansion on that short, low budget enough in look and feel to have been a SyFy channel original picture if not for the copious nudity, and drops the found footage conceit. And to my great surprise, it's kind of rad? The scuzzbags are changed to men out on a bachelor party (with the brother of the groom still firmly in scuzzbag territory) who are lured out to an old mansion when their first strip club experience is a bust so that they can partake in some kind of exclusive club experience -- and it's there that the groom is paired up for a "no sex" encounter with one of the ladies there. Who is a killer succubus with a killer singing voice. Womp womp.

It's got shades of Species and Splice about it thanks to the way the titular Siren is acted and realized, and the actress (returning from Amateur Night) manages to make the character surprisingly endearing in an innocent "I just want to kill everyone who isn't the man I've decided I like because he was nice to me once" kind of way, but what made me really actually dig this movie was everything going on around the edges. The big bad of the film is the man running the secretive club, and he's not just some pimp or human trafficker who happened to end up with a mythical creature locked up in his brothel; the club is actually stocked full of mythical weird shit that you only get little glimpses and tastes of, private rooms where men are confessing to ghosts, memory-stealing gorgons using their powers for leverage and payment for services rendered, satanic rituals going on. It's a good example of "just tease some really weird shit going on outside the edges of the main story that will make you wonder about it, but don't over-explain everything or get bogged down in it" world building that made the movie more than I expected.

So yeah, end of the day, it's still primarily about an attractive hellbeast imprinting on a hapless dude and wreaking havoc trying to get to him in a low budget killer monster movie kind of way, but the devil's in the details.
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Re: SHOCKtober

Postby Friday » Wed Oct 16, 2019 3:28 pm

My favorite kind of monstergirl is the "shameless remorseless killer who happens to actually love some specific person" so my interest is piqued

Succubi are usually boring though, unless they go full horns/tail/hooves/wings

the ones that just look human are like

okay that's not a monster, it's just a girl, have some balls and give her weird pupils at least
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