A heavy workload at school, Lori’s birthday festivities and the fact that I still don’t have access to my scanner have kept things much quieter around here than I’d like.
So to make up for the lack of action, how about an update on the Horrorfest? Below, you’ll see what we’ve been able to watch so far. That list I made might as well be tossed out the window. We’re just wingin’ it, now, folks.
1. House of the Devil (dir. Ti West, 2009)
I’ll always have a little bit of love for any movie that spends 90% of its running time building up to an insane climax. A lot of the grittiest movies from the 60’s and 70’s played by that rule (see Straw Dogs, Taxi Driver, Samurai Rebbellion, to name a few) and it’s always refreshing to me when a modern movie plays out at such a deliberate pace. House of the Devil does this really well, even if that insane climax ends up in pretty predictable territory. The fact that the filmmakers went out of their way to make the movie look and feel like it was made in the 80’s is also a bonus.
2. Grace (dir. Paul Solet, 2009):
I went into Grace expecting something like It’s Alive. What I got instead wasn’t nearly as fun. Grace is basically a very somber, more “realistic” version of that classic monster baby story, and honestly I’m not all that glad I watched it. Lori and I checked it out on a whim and about halfway through I realized I didn’t want to keep watching it. But we finished it, anyway, and, well, I can’t really offer much of an assessment of it. Moving on.
3. Phantasm (dir. Don Coscarelli, 1979):
Phantasm was a blast. It’s super low-budget and the writing is so bad it’s funny, but at the end, I had to seriously applaud the filmmakers for coming up with such a great concept. Without giving it all away (actually, I am about to give it away), I’ll just say it involves harvesting human corpses as slaves for a hellish alien planet. Well played, Mr. Coscarelli.
4. Pan’s Labyrinth (dir. Guillermo del Toro, 2006):
I’ll admit, it’s kind of a stretch fitting Pan’s Labyrinth into the Horrorfest, but it is a pretty horrific movie, and I’m not just talking about the Pale Man (pictured above). The horrors of tyranny and war surround this tragic fairy tale and, no matter your interpretation of the ending, it can paint your night a pretty depressing color, if you let it. Luckily, it’s a beautifully crafted film, so I don’t mind it haunting me for as long as it wants.
5. Silence of the Lambs (dir. Jonathan Demme, 1991):
What is there to say? Silence of the Lambs is a classic. Lori had never seen it all the way through, so I insisted on a viewing in order to cleanse her of such a rotten CIN (cinematic sin). Personally, as far as classification goes, I think it’s strange that this movie is so often associated with horror films. It’s a psychological thriller. A police procedural, almost. But for Lori’s sake, I’m willing to go with the popular opinion. I could watch it a million times, anyway.
6. Riget (The Kingdom): “The Unheavenly Host” (prod. Lars Von Trier, 1996):
After just one episode of this Danish miniseries, it’s too early to tell just how great it is, but I will say I’ve got a very good feeling about this one. This first episode took it’s time getting to know the various main players and how they all relate to each other, while at the same time putting the pieces in place for some good old supernatural horror. I don’t yet know how accurate a statement this is, but I’m getting an E.R. meets The Shining kind of vibe.
The title sequence was featured on Art of the Title Sequence a while back.
To be continued…