Category Archives: horror

Bubba Ho-Tep – Don Coscarelli (2002)

Elvis is not dead, but old, fragile and has lived in a nursing home for many years after an accident. The film explains how that all came to be.

Another inhabitant of the nursing home is Jack Kennedy who turned black.

The nursing home is haunted by the remains of a mummy that was stolen and crashed nearby and so we get a horror comedy that is not really horror or slapstick. The film is mostly a drama with somewhat black humour and a story-element that is horror.

Horror comedy, not really my genre, but this looked funny enough to try. Not sure how this ended on my watch list though. The film is good for a few chuckles, but certainly not a must-see.

Midsommar – Ari Aster (2019)

Of course I heard about this film when it came out, but I was not sure if I wanted to see it. It is about a heathen Midsummer celebration that turns into horror. That can only be corny parody, right? Or would the attempt be more serious like a modern Wicker Man? Since it popped up on Netflex I decided to watch the two and a half hours after all and see what the fuss is about.

The film is quite like Wicker Man, too much so, but still falls in the first ‘category’: a corny parody. It is truly and awfully yawn-inspiring.

A group of outsiders travel to Sweden for a Midsummer celebration. From minute one it is clear how the film will unfold, almost exactly like the Wicker Man. The celebrations have little to do with Northern European Midsummer celebrations.

The film starts with bad drama. When skipped this terrible part, half an hour could have been saved. Then there is some predictable gore going over in tension that never comes. Even the story stinks. The celebration is held every 90 years but everybody know exactly what to do?

Bird Box – Susanne Bier (2018)

Sandra Bullock and droopy face Sarah Paulson (who plays in all “American Horror Story” seasons) in an apocalyptic action film. Would that be something? It’s also a Netflix original…

Some sort of creatures roam the earth. When you see one, you become suicidal. A few people have figured that out before it was too late and they end up on a house together. This goes alright for a while, but slowly but surely the number of people goes down. A message was received from other survivors who live downstream a river, so when all else fails, Bullock and two children make the hazardous journey.

“Bird Box” does not have a great story, but it is somewhat original and not too badly executed. What the film does do well, is set a tense atmosphere. There are some star actors here too, some well thought of details and the acting is pretty good, especially that of the children.

The film is alright. If you feel like watching a pressing ‘no-splatter-horror’ sometimes, this could be an option.

La Terza Madre – Dario Argento (2007)

Giallo master Dario Argento made a film typical for the genre. That means: corny special effects, bloody gore and poor acting. Of course it also means beautiful women.

“Mother Of Tears” is an occult horror. The finding of an ancient box leads evil to grow stronger in the world and of course a pretty lady has to fight that evil.

I still cannot entirely wrap my head around especially the poor acting. The poor overdone gore is somewhat amusing, but the acting…

The box calls the film a classic. I would say it is an amusing watch if you are interested in the typical Italian style of horror. Do not expect a slick Hollywood horror though!

The Dead Don’t Die – Jim Jarmusch (2019)

IMDb.com

Jarmusch goes takes a stab at the zombie genre. This being a Jarmusch you will not be surprised when I say that the film is slow, minimalist and that Sqürl is in the soundtrack.

Jarmusch came up with an original reason for zombiefication, but for the largest part, this is a predictable zombie film. He has some amusing parts for famous actors/people, such as Bill Murray, Iggy Pop, Tom Waits and Tilda Swinton.

Like I said, no surprises, but an amusing film with cold humour. Towards the end Jarmusch starts to weave in morality which is quite overdone.

American Horror Story Roanoke (series) – Brad Falchuk & Ryan Murphy (season 6 2016/7)

IMDb.com

Reading back my reviews of previous seasons I see that I am seldom overly enthousiastic about “American Horror Story”, yet my memories usually seem more positive.

My first thought about “Roanoke” is that it is the least interesting season so far. Looking back I remember the first season as alright, of the third, fourth and fifth I have good memories.

In “Roanoke” the series live up most to the term “horror” in the title. The series sets off as a bit of a “Blair Witch” type horror with pressing atmosphere and the suggestion that what happens is real. The story is told in interviews and images and the result is pretty much horror. Then the creators start to use different styles of horror going from found footage, jumpscare to torture and a bit of zombie-like horror. Way too horror for my liking. Only here and there the black humor of the previous series found its way into the story.

And then we get a variation to the story and another one and another one until it all becomes pretty dreary.

The story is simple. A mixed couple flees the city and buy a massive house in the middle of nowhere. Of course there are (un)dead people who do not want them there. In the variations the creators show how (social) media exploits such events which is one of the few positive points about “Roanoke”.

As I said before, the different seasons have nothing incommon with the rest except for the actors. If your preference does not lay in typical horror, I would advice to skip season 6.

In-Lyu-Myeol-Mang-Bo-Go-Seo – Pil-Sung Yim (2012)

IMDb.com

“Doomsday Book” are three short films put after the other. It opens with a film which shows the massive meat consumption and the production thereof. The proces leads to a zombie apocalypse.

The second part is more interesting. A Buddhist monastery has a robot for administration, but the robot starts to reach enlightenment. This leads to philosophical questions about mankind and the nature of enlightenment.

In the last part a girl orders a billiards ball, but she uses the wrong webshop, ordering a meteorite that will destroy life on earth.

There are no masterpieces here, but he middle part has an interesting approach to artificial intelligence. The films have some strange humor too.

Get Out – Jordan Peele (2017)

I guess I have missed why this film is so well-received. It is a very predictable thriller with horror elements. I guess it is because it points towards contemporary (latent) racism.

The white Rose brings her black boyfriend Chris for a weekend with her parents. Soon there proves to be a big family party in the same weekend. It is immediately clear that something is wrong in the family and the film takes no unexpected turns. Perhaps that is even a good thing now every film puts in as many plot changes as possible.

Besides a few descent scenes, the atmosphere is not too good. “Get Out” remains a less than average horror thriller.

Crimson Peak – Guillermo del Toro (2015)

This is not Del Toro’s best. In fact, it is not a very good film in general. Del Toro made a way too Hollywood Victorian ghost house horror film with a very unsurprising story and yawn inspiring special effects.

The American Edith falls in love with the English Thomas who takes her to his gigantic mansion where he lives with his sister. Edith already saw ghosts and of course Thomas’ house is haunted, so Edith tries to get away.

It is not that the film is extremely boring or badly made, but it is but a Hollywood horror production with a very thin Del Toro varnish in fantasy atmosphere.

28 Days Later… – Danny Boyle (2002)

Boy, this film is bad… Just another zombie film with an attempt at an intelligent script.

Jim wakes up in an empty city of London. On wandering around he first encounters a few zombies, then a couple of “uninfected”. The group leaves the city to find a safe place and a series of predictable events occur. Nowhere the film reaches any level and I really wonder where the IMDb rating comes from.

Nope, do not watch this Boyle film.