[Month of Horror] Third Week Summation

What a week.

The Horror stuff I watched this week goes as follows:

  • Sette Note in Nero/The Psychic (Italian Feature)
  • Suspiria (Italian Feature)
  • Joyû-rei (Japanese Feature)
  • This Dark Thought (Animated Short)
  • There’s a Man in the Woods (Animated Short)
  • Homesick (Short)
  • Glorious (Feature)
  • Who’s Hungry (Animated Short)
  • Leave (Short)
  • Run (Short)
  • The Torture Chamber of Dr. Sadism (West German Feature)

So much for watching more features than shorts. Though it should be said the closest thing to a stinker in regards to the features was Dr. Sadism, and it wasn’t half bad.

Three perfects this week, and all at the start of the week. Christopher Lee makes an appearance on this blog (might be a first even considering the blog’s original run.)

As for the best by preference, I’m going to ignore Suspiria, because of course Suspiria wins, it’s one of my favorite movies.

With the remainders, the top three are as follows:

  1. Sette Note in Nero
  2. Joyû-rei
  3. There’s a Man in the Woods.

Homesick and Leave take bottom place, though I think Leave should be slightly lower than Homesick.

Gratuitous misuse of H. P. Lovecraft’s goes to Glorious. The Elder God used in it is named after the son of Cthulhu, and is in no form like what’s presented in the flick. Homage? Let’s call it that.

[Month of Horror] The Torture Chamber of Dr. Sadism

The Torture Chamber of Dr. Sadism

The evil Count Regula seeks revenge and immortality.

Not nearly a gruesome as the title makes it out to be. And it opens with a guy getting a mask nailed to his face, then drawn and quatered.

Guy, hell. It’s Christopher Lee, sleep walking his way through the flick. It’s one of his European films, filled with bad dubbing. And, here, trying to channel Mario Bava’s vibes. Fairly well, truth to tell.

It’s not a great flick, and calling it good is probably pushing it. But I’ll do it any way (1.5). Loved my time with this one (2.0).

They don’t make ‘e, like this any more.

3.5 out of 4

[Month of Horror] Who’s Hungry?/Leave/Run

For the record, I also watched There’s a Man in the Woods again. Take that for what it’s worth.

Who’s Hungry?

A brother and sister run after the wrong ice cream truck.

This is a very charming little animate short. No dialogue, just action, and it really doesn’t waste time. I didn’t find it scary or particularly thrilling, but maybe it wasn’t supposed to be. I looked up Horror Short Anime Film and this popped up with the other suggestions that didn’t look like anime. It might have just been made to entertain.

Well it succeeded. It’s pretty good (1.5) and I rather liked it (1.5).

3 out of 4

Leave

A doomed tree grove takes steps to save itself.

This short shares problems with a lot of other shorts. All it is is a single scare, built up to, then executed. It feels more like the start of something rather than a complete whole.

Which would be okay, I guess, had it been scary. It wasn’t. Nicely shot, a little too dark, and one hopes the film makers move on to better things.

Two mehs. I dunno if I should put the numbers in or not. But you get the idea.

2 out of 4

Run

A man goes into the woods in search of a missing woman.

Then there’s this flick.

It’s shot on a Go-Pro on a head rig and shows. It’s antagonist makes no sense; there are whole scenes that that make no sense. Is this something the man is actually seeing? A recording? What?

What dialogue it has is written out on screen. Not sure why. All it all, the whole thing has the feel of a Horror Walking Simulator. Just really kind of off putting, especially when the main character refused to move where my mouse told him to.

These are the jokes folks.

That aside, Leave is the better made film. By a large margin.

So why am I giving this a low good (1.5)?

Because Run, nonsensical as it is, does it’s God damn job.

Four freaking jump scares. One I saw coming a mile away and still jumped. It ain’t fine art, but it’ll do until something better comes along.

Seriously, I liked it (1.5) far more than it deserves. If I hadn’t rewatched There’s a Man in the Woods it would have been the best thing I saw today.

3 out of 4

[Month of Horror] Glorious

Glorious

A heartbroken man finds himself drawn into a very strange restroom

I’d more or less given up hope on modern Horror flicks, but damn if I haven’t found a goodly number of them in a past few weeks. Smile, Deadstream, and now this, Glorious.

Of the three, only Deadstream is one I’m likely to watch again any time soon. That should not be taken as a negative, though. I loved Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and I’ve had a hard time even thinking of watching it.

Let me give you a slightly better description, for the record: a troubled man traveling cross country finds himself compelled to enter a rest stop bathroom. There he meets a voice claiming to be a God that needs him to perform a special sacrifice.

Yeah, it’s Lovecraft with toilets.

With J K Simmons playing the God.

Despite the questionable premise, it’s a grueling little piece of goodness. Great flick (2.) I liked it a great deal (1.5)

3.5 out of 4

[Month of Horror] This Dark Thought/There’s a Man in the Woods/Homesick

Three shorts, all on You Tube. All dealing with kids in some fashion or another. Not my intent to do a theme today. Interesting nonetheless.

This Dark Thought

A young astronomer has a bad night while babysitting her infant sister.

Looking for words, here.

This animated short is well done. It has no dialogue, yet it tells a cohesive story.

Too much baby crying, which is petty considering the nature of the tale.

It didn’t really work for me (1.0), but I have a hard time saying it was bad. Low good (1.5), I think.

Your mileage might vary.

2.5 out of 4

There’s a Man in the Woods

A teacher has to deal with a bratty kid.

I watched this one last year, I think. Can’t for the life of me remember what I thought of it then.

Here, though, is another animated short, with art a lot less polished that our previous subject. Serviceable enough for the story and never really bad. Just not my style.

Outside of that? No complaints. Told as a poem, it builds and builds right up to the end, like a good Horror piece should. We’ll give it a low great (2.0), not that that matters. I liked it (1.5). Might watch it again next year. Or sooner.

3.5 out of 4

Homesick

A young boy waits at home for his mother.

As with This Dark Thought, this is not a bad little flick. The main character in it, a little boy, does his part quite well. It’s well shot, you get the feel for what’s going on.

It’s just I didn’t care. Like at all. And it sort of peters to a stop. You think there should be more, and there just isn’t.

Of the three, this is the big loser of the night. Meh (1) is sort of harsh, but one brief jump scare ain’t cutting it this time. Maybe I’m just not the audience for this (1).

2 out of 4

[Month of Horror] Suspiria (1977)/Joyû-rei

Okay, so our first flick was supposed to be yesterday’s choice. But Cullen felt too sleepy to finish. Thus it got pushed back to today, with today’s movie review in addition to it.

Suspiria (1977)

A young woman picks the wrong school to learn dancing from.

This is one of my comfort movies, something that I can just watch any time I like. Which probably says something terrible about me, as it’s deaths are nearly all pretty young women suffering horribly.

In fairness to me, one of my other comfort movies is John Carpenter’s The Thing, in which all the deaths are men suffering horribly. But maybe that’s not much better.

To get back to Suspiria, it’s a near perfect Horror flick (let’s sneak a score in here: 2.0). Nasty as hell. Enough style and verve to cover up questionable special effects, an info dump near the end, and a bat on a wire. Acting is off, but that’s dubbing for you.

I think half the success of this film is the soundtrack. Damn creepy stuff, I think.

Love this movie (2.0)

4 out of 4

Joyû-rei

A film is plagued by a laughing ghost.

You want a contrast, watch these two films back to back. Suspiria is in your face gruesome. This is more an M. R. James story. Only one on screen death, and just subtly growing chills.

It was this film and Cure that made me a fan of Japanese Horror. There was so much more to them than what I was seeing America side.

It’s been twenty some years since I watched this flick, and it’s ending stuck with me. Though I missed a crucial detail back then that changes the way I see the ending.

Great flick (2.0). Love it to pieces (2.0). It’s not possible to pick up by legitimate means for some reason, a situation that I’ve been hoping would change for years now. Currently, though, YouTube has a copy, which is how I watched it. Make sure the YouTube Subtitles are turned on.

4 out of 4

[Month of Horror] The Psychic/Sette note in nero

Sette note in nero

A woman’s vision leads her to discover a murder.

This movie might be pushing the envelop a bit. To my mind, it’s more Thriller than Horror flick, with much of the good stuff happening in the final act.

Still, this is a very good movie, hampered by some really bad gore effects (the suicide at the beginning being chief among them.) It starts tame, turning the screw as it goes, until the climax.

I’m going to say something here: once again I saw the end coming to a movie I’d never seen before. I don’t know what’s happened. Maybe I’ve watched one too many of these things and know the melody a trifle too well.

Doesn’t matter, because I enjoyed the hell out of this flick. Made by Gore Master Lucio Fulci I’d expected something quite different and was pleasantly surprised by this great film (2.0). This might join The Thing and Suspiria as movies I can just sit back, watch, and enjoy.

Speaking of Suspiria

4 out of 4

[Month of Horror] Second Week Summation

Told you no repeat of the ten movie watch. This week I watched eleven. And skipped a day.

The movies are as follows:

  • Blackbird (Short)
  • In Vaulted Halls Entombed (Netflix Show episode)
  • Chainsaw Maid (Animated Short)
  • Deadstream (Feature)
  • Waiting (Animated Short)
  • Dagon (Animated Short)
  • Laura Hasn’t Slept (Short)
  • Withered (Short)
  • 2AM: The Smiling Man (Real Short)
  • This Is Not a Test (Short)
  • The Shrine (Feature)

Note: Unless noted otherwise, the shorts I watch for these reviews are on You Tube. Except for Laura Hasn’t Slept , which has been pulled by Paramount.

Looks like more shorts than features. Not my intent for this series, but real life writes the plot. I’m already doing better for Week 3.

Only two of these were perfects. No film dipped below 2.5 points, which might be an improvement. Depending on where you stand on the matter.

The top three, in order of preference more than quality:

1. (tied) Deadstream/Chainsaw Maid

3. The Shrine.

Though 2AM comes close to edging out The Shrine.

The worst flick I watched would be Blackbird.

Film pushing the Short category to its limit: Dagon. Really, it’s more of an audio with pictures.

Two weeks down. A new week begins…

[Month of Horror] The Shrine

The Shrine

An ambitious reporter finds her search for a big break taking her to the one place she shouldn’t go.

Whoa, was this a good one. Still trembling. Probably the best Horror flick I’ve seen in a while. And I’ve been seeing good ones the past few weeks.

I don’t want to go into this one too much. Had it sitting on the shelf for the longest time, a little nervous about how good it might be.

It’s good. Grueling in the way a good Horror film should be. No way in Hell should any Hollywood studio try to remake this; they’d just screw it up.

Great flick (2.0). I don’t think I can honestly say I loved it, though (1.5). It’d put it on the list of films that I’d might watch again, but not for a while.

Always good to see a great Horror flick.

3.5 out of 4

[Month of Horror] 2AM: The Smiling Man/This is Not a Test

2AM: The Smiling Man

2AM is a short film about a night walker encountering a stranger night walker while roaming the streets. At a little over 4 minutes there isn’t a lot of time for nonsense, and, wisely, the film makers don’t do that. It helps that this flick is based on a really short story.

It’s a very ambiguous piece, and that’s one of its strengths. With one possible exception there are no silly bits of rule breaking to spoil the fun. The acting is spot on as is the direction.

It is what it is: a creepy short. Great job (2.0). I really like this one (1.5)

3.5 out of 4

This is Not a Test

This is Not a Test is a short film about a young man confined to his apartment due to some sort of paranormal anomaly happening in his country. It’s run time is a little longer that 2AM and it, too, uses its time wisely. I don’t think it’s quite as successful as our previous subject. It doesn’t hit its notes quite as well, and while the actors here aren’t bad, they don’t have the… I dunno… reality maybe? Somethings off about the performance, is what I’m saying. It could be just me, but it was there.

Outside of that criticism, the only thing I’ll say is that it’s a tad predictable. It’s good (1.5) and I liked it (1.5), but it could have been better.

But that’s just me. Both films can be found on YouTube.

3 out of 4 points