Sign in to follow this  
LawrenceA

Recently Watched Horror

260 posts in this topic

"Crawl" (2019) directed by Alexandred Aja and produced by Sam Raimi it's effective creature feature.  Haley ( Kaja Scodelario) goes to check on her father Dave (Barry Pepper) during a hurricane and they both end up trapped in flooded house filled with hungry alligators. These creatures are nasty and tear up most of the supporting players to pieces.  Aja creates good suspense until the end.  Scodelario and Pepper both give good performances for this sort of movie.  Good summer thrills

 

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

veronica-mexican-movie-poster.jpg

Verónica. 2017. Directed by Paco Plaza.

Verónica and her two friends cut classes to play with the Ouija board during a solar eclipse. Now Verónica is haunted by nightmares and a mysterious ghoul that endangers her and her younger siblings.

veronica-2017-spanish-film-1.jpg?w=1000&

The movie is based on true events (The Vallecas Case), and some scenes are taken from police reports.

There is a psychological and sexual subtext that could have been explored a bit more, but director Paco Plaza barely brushes it and goes directly into horror mode. The movie is well crafted, and carefully depicts how the Ouija affected Verónica and the horrors she goes through. But the movie relies on  jump scares, including false jump scares, that diminishes the realism and impact of the story.

veronica-paco-plaza-825x510.jpg

 

 

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I watched Veronica on Netflix last year. It looked nice, with good cinematography and appropriately creepy ambiance, but the movie fell flat for me by the end. I gave it a 6/10.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
20 hours ago, LawrenceA said:

I watched Veronica on Netflix last year. It looked nice, with good cinematography and appropriately creepy ambiance, but the movie fell flat for me by the end. I gave it a 6/10.

Had a similar experience

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Robert Benton's "Still of the Night" (1982) is not really a horror movie more a failed attempt at Hitchcock psychological thriller.  Roy Scheider is a psychiatrist who fall for  Meryl Streep who he begins to suspect might have killed one of his patients.  The script pays tribute to "Spellbound" but Scheider and Streep have zero chemistry.  Streep  recalls both 1940's Bette Davis all that nervous smoking and Tippi Hendren in "Marnie".   Scheider is not Sean Connery. The movie needed more sex and violence. One can only imagine what someone like Brian DePalma could have done with it.  The movie is beautifully shot by Nestor Almendros whose photo is used for Streep's father.  The closer it gets to horror is a creepy dream about a little girl and bleeding teddy bear.

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sort of off topic, but I thought thread readers would enjoy:

For that special someone -

71cw6CgqRzL._UL1204_.jpg

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"Reflections of Fear" (1972)  A twisted fairy tale about a Marguerite (Sandra Locke) a frail young woman kept isolated by her mother and grandmother until her father (Robert Shaw) shows up with his girl friend ( Sally Kellerman).  Marguerite has a homicidal secret friend who does not like strangers. This is very dark and disturbing movie with suggestions of incest and worse.  You can see it on a horrible print on you tube.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was re-watching "The Shining"(1980) and this time I noticed Kubrick's brilliant use of color - I wonder if he was a fan of Argento's "Suspiria"?

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 8/12/2019 at 10:33 PM, jaragon said:

I was re-watching "The Shining"(1980) and this time I noticed Kubrick's brilliant use of color - I wonder if he was a fan of Argento's "Suspiria"?

Brilliant indeed. The color had a nightmarish quality about it.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Horror Hotel (1960) Also known by its UK title The City of the Dead.  Tidy, effective thriller with the indomitable Christopher Lee as a professor of witchcraft, who sends an eager student to the fog-shrouded hamlet of Whitewood Mass. to do research on the subject. The prologue, set in 1692, establishes the history of Whitewood, and features the witch Elizabeth Selwyn being burned alive as gleeful Puritans cheer and mock. I find Puritans tailor-made for horror, with their costumes, and especially those high buckled hats. 

The filmmakers have an array of tricks to elevate scares: a ghostly hitchhiker, demonically-possessed townspeople, satanic rituals and pacts for immortality. Patricia Jessel as the witch delivers a creepy performance, as does Valentine Dyall as her partner Jethrow Keane. Filling out the tropes is a blind pastor with no church goers and warning about the evil present. Betta St. John plays his saintly granddaughter, owner of a bookstore that, surprise, has useful volumes on witchcraft. This is old school horror done right.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark" (2019) a horror anthology aimed at kids- the scares are more fun than disturbing. The group of outcast friends look familiar you've already met them in "It" and "Stranger Things". The director made the terrifying "The Autopsy of Jane Doe" but this is a producer's film and Del Toro's touch is everywhere specially in the look of the various apparitions.

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It (2017) A winning formula that blends horror and coming-of-age story, with echoes of Stand by Me, also based on a Stephen King book. The Losers Club, as they call themselves, must fend off town bullies and the murderous supernatural clown, Pennywise, played with evil glee by Bill Skarsgård, in the scariest clown makeup & costume I've seen.  Skillfully directed by Andy Muschietti, with a brilliant opening sequence.  Everyone should be lucky to have friends as good as the Losers Club.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, cinemaspeak59 said:

It (2017) A winning formula that blends horror and coming-of-age story, with echoes of Stand by Me, also based on a Stephen King book. The Losers Club, as they call themselves, must fend off town bullies and the murderous supernatural clown, Pennywise, played with evil glee by Bill Skarsgård, in the scariest clown makeup & costume I've seen.  Skillfully directed by Andy Muschietti, with a brilliant opening sequence.  Everyone should be lucky to have friends as good as the Losers Club.

I wasn't expecting much from that, and was very pleasantly surprised. Excellent direction by Muschietti, and great performances by the kids (especially Sophie Lillis as the troubled Beverly, and Finn Wolfhard as the wisecracking Richie). I liked the differences in the depiction of Pennywise, well played here by Bill Skarsgard. I'm a big fan of Tim Curry in general, and thought his Pennywise was the best thing about the 1990 TV mini-series version, so I was very dubious about anyone else playing the part. But Muschietti and the screenwriters made a smart move by playing up Pennywise's otherworldly nature, with the twitches and subtle physical oddities, establishing the clown as just an ill-fitting mask for something unknowable and utterly alien. 

Very much looking forward to part two this week.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I watched a trio of very low-budget offerings from 1987 today. None are what you would call good, but I found them all at least mildly entertaining.

 

Blood Lake  -  3/10

81zkjWbDYUL._SY445_.jpg

A group of teenagers travel to a lake house to spend some summer days water-skiing and nights drinking and smoking pot. Soon they are stalked by a mysterious, knife-wielding killer. Featuring no one you've ever heard of.

hqdefault.jpg

This shot-on-video effort from Oklahoma pads out its running time with lengthy scenes of drinking and talking, smoking and talking, and most especially, water-skiing and talking. The acting is all very amateur, but the youngest cast member (Travis Kasser), playing "Lil' Tony", is amusing in his badness. The bonus features on the disc feature a Q&A after a recent screening of the film, and the star/writer/producer states that he couldn't track down the actor to have him participate in the event. However, I did a quick Google search of the actor and discovered that he has a lengthy criminal record stretching from the early 1990's, and was incarcerated as of recently, so that was kinda sad to see. 

 

Evil Spawn  -  3/10

MV5BMTUzNDQxMzkzOV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwOTE4

This bizarre stitch-job features a washed-up actress, played by Bobbie Bresee, who injects herself with an experimental anti-aging formula. Little does she know that the source is an alien creature that's been a lab subject at a nearby secret facility. The injections turn the actress into an insectoid monster. Bummer. With John Carradine, Dawn Wildsmith, Drew Godderis, Pamela Gilbert, and Forrest J. Ackerman as the pool boy.

tumblr_inline_pi3j60nqgz1qiz0nn_500.jpg

Evil-Spawn-1987-movie-Kenneth-J.-Hall-Te

This is from producer Fred Olen Ray, who shot footage of his wife Wildsmith with Carradine a few years before, later commissioning this film to use the footage. It's pretty dumb, and very short (barely an hour long), but I liked watching Gilbert, as Bresee's assistant, take a lengthy nude swim in the pool. Ray would later add more footage and re-release this in 1991 as The Alien Within.

 

The Soultangler  -  4/10

150194-soultangler-0-230-0-345-crop.jpg?

Very strange science fiction/horror made in Long Island, NY. A young mad scientist (Pierre Devaux) perfects a method to possess other bodies through their eyes. There's some satanic imagery, silent film clips, avant-garde music, gory-but-cheap effects, uneven acting, and poor pacing. There's enough going on to hold the interest of fans of low-budget, regional genre fare, though.

soultangler-lg2.jpg

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Amok Train aka Beyond the Door III  (1989)  -  4/10

Amok-Train-Beyond-the-Door-1989-movie-Je

Strange Euro-horror flick, with a group of American teenagers on a school trip to Yugoslavia (?!?) to witness a once-a-century religious festival. Their weird chaperone, local Professor Andromolek (Bo Svenson), discusses the details of the festival, which involves sacrificing a virgin, which makes virgin student Beverly (Mary Kohnert) understandably nervous. Soon the teens find themselves on a train, where violent accidents keep killing off people.

Amok-Train-Beyond-the-Door-1989-movie-Je

This Italian/Yugoslavian co-production was shot mostly in English, although there's some subtitled Serbo-Croatian dialogue as well. The film is cheap-looking and mostly amateurishly acted, but there's some memorable imagery and some laughably over-the-top gore scenes. Much like Beyond the Door II (actually 1977's Shock), this also has nothing to do with Beyond the Door (1974), an early Exorcist rip-off.

Amok-Train-Beyond-the-Door-1989-movie-Je

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 9/20/2019 at 2:10 PM, LawrenceA said:

The Devil in a Convent (1899

Fascinating, I'd never heard of this. I particularly like the use of the music from Faust at the end.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Swithin said:

Fascinating, I'd never heard of this. I particularly like the use of the music from Faust at the end.

I'm glad you liked it!

By the way, I recently re-watched Pieces, which I picked up on disc after reading your praises of it. It has to be one of the craziest slasher movies of the period, a strange mix of European giallo-style murder mystery and the more graphic gore of the films of Fulci or Lenzi. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, LawrenceA said:

I'm glad you liked it!

By the way, I recently re-watched Pieces, which I picked up on disc after reading your praises of it. It has to be one of the craziest slasher movies of the period, a strange mix of European giallo-style murder mystery and the more graphic gore of the films of Fulci or Lenzi. 

There is, I believe, an uncut version of Pieces, which is not the one I saw in the theater at the time. I think I've seen it on YouTube since. Yes, it is a crazy film, as those Spanish-American films tended to be. It owes a little debt to Blood Feast, in that people have to be killed so that their body parts can compose another entity. In the case of Blood Feast, it was the goddess; in the case of Pieces, the mother.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Sect  (1991)  -  6/10

25905-the-sect-0-230-0-345-crop.jpg?k=86

Strange Italian horror film from director Michele Soavi and writer-producer Dario Argento. An American school teacher (Kelly Curtis, older sister of Jamie Lee Curtis) in Frankfurt is targeted by a mysterious cult with sinister purposes. Also featuring Herbert Lom, Tomas Arana, Mariangela Giordano, Michel Adatte, Carla Cassola, Angelika Maria Boeck, and Giovanni Lombardo Radice.

This slow, long (117 minutes) film has good production values and decent acting, but the script is beyond bizarre, and it takes a long time for things to come together in any comprehensive way. I expected the usual devil-worshipers-trying-to-foment-the-antichrist type of thing, but that's subverted, as the cult has something to do with an insect that went extinct 10,000 years ago but has recently been re-discovered in Antarctica. So you've got some Rosemary's Baby mixed with a little of The Thing as well as Prince of Darkness, as churning well of mysterious blue liquid is found under the protagonist's house. It's all very odd, and there's a bit of gore, too, with one scene reminding me of something in Hellraiser. This was also released in the U.S. as The Devil's Daughter.

MV5BYmIzYWNhYTctMWQxNi00Y2JiLWIzNDgtZmZi

MV5BZWE2Zjg2Y2EtYzA4Ni00MmVmLTg3ZDMtNWZi

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dark Harvest  (1992)  -  3/10

MV5BNGQyMzZjMjEtOTBjZC00YjIzLWE2MzctZGI4

Very cheap and dumb horror flick, with a group of tourists getting stranded in the California desert. They have outdoor gear so they make camp, but are attacked by supernatural killer scarecrows, as well as murderous locals. Badly made and even more poorly acted, this is one to avoid.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"The Deadly Spawn" (1983) low budget creature feature about an alien monster terrorizing a New Jersey family.  The monsters fx are excellent and still gory fun.  The script and acting are just ok.  The hero is a monster loving kid whose room will be familiar to all of you who were fans of classic horror and sci fi. I saw it on a good DVD- which has some fun behind the scene extras. You can also see it on you tube

 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Midnight's Child  (1992)  -  5/10

midnights-child-5-anna-and-chrissy-becom

TV-movie chiller with Marcy Walker as a hard-working wife and mother who hires Swedish nanny Anna (Olivia d'Abo) to help care for her 7-year-old daughter Christina (Elisabeth Moss, later of Mad Men and The Handmaid's Tale fame). Of course Anna is up to no good, and it has something to do with devil worship. With Cotter Smith as Walker's ineffectual husband, Jim Norton, Roxann Dawson, and Judy Parfitt. This is the kind of thing that used to appear on Lifetime every other weekend. It's not terrible, but it treads well-worn ground.

ae2ec9fd02fbdf05c7707c70b2dc25dc.jpg

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"The Horrible Dr Hichcock" (1962) beautiful Cinthia (Barbara Steel) marries Dr Hichcock (Robert Flemyng) whose previous wife died under mysterious circumstances or is she still alive and haunting their mansion? .   Atmospheric direction by Riccardo Freda this handsome period horror looks like a Corman-Poe picture- one can easily imagine Vincent Price in the lead.  I saw this in a gorgeous color print on Amazon prime. I posted the Italian trailer which looks better than the ridiculous American trailer which treats the movie as camp

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It Chapter Two (2019) The omniscient, seemingly omnipotent clown from hell is back in the second installment based on the Stephen King novel.  The setting is 27 years later, 2016, which finds strange, eerily familiar happenings in Derry; this prompts Mike (Isaiah Mustafa), who has never left, to gather the Losers Club back for one last hurrah.  They have gone their separate ways, are successful if not necessarily happy.  Bill (James McAvoy) is a famous novelist.  Ben (Jay Ryan) is a prosperous architect. Richie (Bill Hader) is a standup comic whose insecurities and secrets are etched into his weathered skin. And poor Beverly (Jessica Chastain) can’t escape abusive relationships; this time it’s her brute of a husband.  Pennywise, the master manipulator and prankster that it is, inhabits their heads, causing hazy memories and mind-blowing hallucinations.

Mike has devoted his life to studying the history of Derry and thinks there’s a way to destroy Pennywise for good, which involves an ancient Indian ritual.  Will it work?  There are plenty of flashbacks to 1989, which connects the characters to the persons they are now. They’ve retained their sense of humor even in impending death.  Derry hasn’t changed much in 27 years.  Racism and homophobia are immune to social progress. What also hasn’t changed is the love the Losers Club have for each other.   It Chapter Two mixes jump scares with quiet, dread-filled scenes. And kudos to Bill Skarsgård for making Pennywise one of the great monsters in the horror genre. Andy Muschietti is back directing, a wise choice. The close to 3-hour running time doesn’t drag.  There’s no sequel jinx here. Grade A-

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

New Members:

Register Here

Learn more about the new message boards:

FAQ

Having problems?

Contact Us