Register a SA Forums Account here!
JOINING THE SA FORUMS WILL REMOVE THIS BIG AD, THE ANNOYING UNDERLINED ADS, AND STUPID INTERSTITIAL ADS!!!

You can: log in, read the tech support FAQ, or request your lost password. This dumb message (and those ads) will appear on every screen until you register! Get rid of this crap by registering your own SA Forums Account and joining roughly 150,000 Goons, for the one-time price of $9.95! We charge money because it costs us money per month for bills, and since we don't believe in showing ads to our users, we try to make the money back through forum registrations.
 
  • Post
  • Reply
married but discreet
May 7, 2005




Taco Defender

Really, really unsure what to vote for, and I'm not even sure a rewatch will change it. That's by far the best matchup we've had, ever, and I struggle to find a better hypothetical one that wouldn't be John Carpenter against himself.

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

Servoret
Nov 8, 2009



married but discreet posted:

I struggle to find a better hypothetical one that wouldn't be John Carpenter against himself.

Texas Chain Saw Massacre vs Night of the Living Dead for me. I probably would have had to abstain.

STAC Goat
Mar 12, 2008

Watching you sleep.

Butt first, let's
check the feeds.



I got the easy one out of the way.
3. Tobe Hooperís Toolbox Murders vs. 7. (Team It's Not A Cartoon, Mom! It's Art! 😫) Hisayuki Toriumiís Lily C.A.T.

I hated Lily CAT. It wasnít offensive or shocking or anything it was just so boring and bad and pointless. Yes, a complete and total ripoff of Alien with a dash of The Thing except its without any of the tension or scope or cool scenes of Alien and with any of the paranoia and amazing visuals of The Thing. And thereís definitely no Ripley or MacReady. Just a bunch of silly characters wearing silly 80s cartoon outfits giving endless exposition about poo poo that doesnít matter at all. Seriously, who gives a gently caress about your sister? There this whole subplot that feels like it was stolen from a third movie or something because it doesnít belong here. Its so, so, so, so boring and badly scripted. And while the last act picks things up a little I no longer cared and none of the visuals are near good enough. Like if youíre going to make an animated form of Alien and the Thing I guess tat means you use the medium to really go crazy with visuals? Oh, no? Just a few glimpses of stuff and one mildly memorable scene of course involving tentacles? gently caress this movie. I hate this movie.

I was THIS close to liking Toolbox Murders. It was really shaky. At some point of the film I was so antsy that I was jumping around and like punching walls. I just wanted the story to get somewhere! The problem is that the first two parts of the film spend too much time as this kind of quasi giallo mystery/slasher thing. Angela Bettis is good and she mostly holds it together but she knows what the movie doesnít know, that the building is the most interesting character in this thing. Youíve heard me say before that thereís not enough urban horrors and a big apartment building (converted from a hotel) is a great setting for a horror. Labyrinths of narrow dark hallways, empty echoing staircases, confusing geography, and a million identical doors with no idea who or what is behind them. Toss in some art decor symbols that are actually occult? I was as interested in that stuff as Bettisí character was. The last act is a lot of fun but the movie never really gets there quick enough and never gave me half of what I wanted from the building and the questions it raised. Thereís a decent idea here but I think Hooper was too married to the idea of a slasher with recognizable young women or something.

Still, its a super easy vote for me. One film I saw potential in and enjoyed parts of but think never came together vs one movie I hated and thought was a completely creatively bankrupt waste of time and better stories.

married but discreet
May 7, 2005




Taco Defender

Raw . When I first saw Raw a couple months back (late, I know), I was literally hooting and hollering in joy as I watched itĖ the finger eating, paired with this perfect harpsichord score kicking in, that for me is an all time great in the genre. The way the movie builds from one escalation to another, the oppressive atmosphere of the vet school hazing week (gently caress these people, I can relate so much with the main character), the soundtrack, just top notch from start to finish. Now hereís the problem: The movie really lives from the surprise. If you know whatís going to happen, you can look forward to it in anticipation, but it doesnít quite have this kick that you get from first time watching. I still absolutely feel for the protagonist from start to finish, itís not like the horror has lost much of its effectiveness and overall it still obviously is one of the best horrors of the century. But itís a small decrease in enjoyment, a first time watch is better than a second time around. A minor complaint, but it becomes a major detriment when it comes to this matchup.

It Follows is one of the rare horror movies to actually affect me Ė it changed the way I perceived my surroundings for many weeks, being on the lookout for strangers walking in my direction, trying to figure out if something was off about them, maybe avoiding them even? A silly flight of fancy for a grown rear end man of course, I laughed it off, but then on the Discord it was pointed out that this is actually what walking around as a woman feels like. drat.

In general rewatching it either alone or with people, you notice so many layers to the movie, from minor details like the short homage to the Halloween theme (the visual similarities of course being obvious) to major thematical points like the way the gender of the side characters affects the way they react to Jayís conundrum. This is the third time Iíve seen this movie and I still find these things Ė the cinematography alone, with the panning shots over a lot of detailed backgrounds just invites you to find out more. And itís still spooky as hell too, and affecting me outside of the movie Ė I had to close the blinds because the cat was staring out into the dark street, and was there movement out there? What was kitty seeing? I didnít want to know.

I also remembered a rare ďeffortĒ post of mine in the horror thread that thanks to decreased forum jankiness was quite easy to find. Itís not great but here it is:

me posted:

poo poo I never realized much The Virgin Suicides influenced It Follows. If you take the first and add a monster and change the soundtrack itís the second.
Ö
Yesterday I mentioned how oddly easy it is to transform The Vigin Suicides into It Follows if you just add a monster and a different soundtrack. The setting is the same: Suburban Detroit, decaying throughout the movie in Virgin Suicides (the culling of the infected elm trees, the Lisbon house), and in an advanced state of ruin in It Follows. One of the abandoned houses in It Follows could easily be the Lisbonís.

Both movies tell essentially the same story from a different viewpoint: Virgin looks at the lives and deaths of the ill-fated adolescents from the outside. The viewer takes the perspective of a puzzled observer, looking on as one after another Lisbon girl dies a horrible, seemingly random death. It Follows gives an insider view and explanation for whatís following and killing them. Itís of course silly to assume both movies take place in the same universe, but play with the thought for a second. Why does Trip leave Lux abandoned on the football field after having sex with her? Why does Lux sleep with random strangers on the roof of her house when she is permanently grounded by her parents? Why is Trip apparently institutionalized when he recounts the events of the past? Whatís haunting them?

Both movies play with the concept of anachronism: It Follows does it very heavily by mixing aspects of many different eras of Americana to the effect that it does not take place in any particular time period. The Virgin Suicides is more subtle, with some items of clothing on the girls seeming out of place, but mostly with the eerie, dreamy electronic score. The soundtrack of It Follows is essentially the nightmare version of that. Take the tracks of both movies, sort them on a scale from chill to horrifying and youíll find a smooth gradient. If you add some electronic distortion and chip tunes to the darker songs of Virgin you can straight up put them into It Follows.

Iím not the first one to notice it, looking around a bit Iíve seen a couple reviews of It Follows voice the same thoughts. Both are great movies and Iíve youíve not seen one or both, make it a double feature. Iím not sure which movie should go first because each one can put interesting thoughts about the other into your mind.

In this duel of Asses vs Legs, I thought this was gonna be close, but It Follows just completely trashes Raw. No competition.

twernt
Mar 11, 2003

Whoa whoa wait, time out.


3. Tobe Hooperís Toolbox Murders vs. 7. (Team It's Not A Cartoon, Mom! It's Art! 😫) Hisayuki Toriumiís Lily C.A.T.

Toolbox Murders

The Toolbox Murders is kind of okay, I suppose. As the lead, Angela Bettis does what she can. The rest of the characters are an assortment of cardboard cutouts. The pacing is awkward, with the mystery about the building itself showing up relatively late. Itís almost as though someone tried to staple a haunted house movie onto a standard slasher.

I would not be surprised if two separate scripts were merged to make this movie.


Lily C.A.T.

Lily C.A.T. is a stereotypical low-to-medium budget OVA. The writing is passable. The background art and music do a decent job establishing mood, but the animation canít really compare to more traditional animated feature films from the late 80s. None of the characters are especially interesting and the story itself is incredibly derivative.

The only high point was when the Australian guy blew up in front of the three other survivors.


I didn't really like either of these but I can appreciate that Toolbox Murders was at least trying to do something inventive.

MacheteZombie
Feb 4, 2007






Raw was really drat good, however none of it visually struck me the way some scenes of It Follows did. So I'm going It Follows

STAC Goat
Mar 12, 2008

Watching you sleep.

Butt first, let's
check the feeds.



I watched It Follows last night and it struck me the same way I remembered. I like it, I dig that it works as a superficial horror story and a deeper allegory you can read into, I think Monroe does a great job, I dig the mood and vibe and tension. But I never really fully attach for some reason and I just don't love it. I think there's a bunch of little quirky things built into it that just really pull me out of the world and leave me thinking "I wonder why the film made this decision?" instead of just immersed in the film itself. The anachronistic and weird clam shell smart device, the really muted and shallow supporting characters, the odd demon as Greg's mom having sex with his corpse thing. I didn't remember that last one. It was weird. But all of that stuff feels like it just takes me out of the movie and the stuff I do love.

Gonna do Raw tonight but I'm leaning in its direction.

Basebf555
Feb 29, 2008

The greatest sensual pleasure there is is to know the desires of another!



Fun Shoe

The Toolbox Murders was a decent little movie. Nothing that memorable really, nothing too unexpected, but still some solid gore moments and effective scenes of suspense. Also in the stream we didn't know that Sheri Moon was gonna show up so that was a fun extra bonus.

Lily Cat was weird in that it did have a few fleeting moments of very stylish and impactful visuals, so you know the talent was there. But 99% of it is just a very rote, derivative mish mash of stuff you've seen a hundred times before and seemingly neverending scenes of boring exposition dialogue. Now, the fact that a cat is at the center of the movie was definitely a plus, so I can't say this was a completely worthless, 0/10 film. But The Toolbox Murders was just more engaging on a scene by scene basis and succeeded at what it was trying to do a lot more often than Lily Cat did. So it's a pretty easy decision, and a lucky break for Hooper.

Regarding It Follows, I think for me the thing that sets it apart is how great it works with multiple viewings. I remember when I bought the movie on blu ray I must've watched it three or four times just that first year, and it stands up to those repeat viewings not just because the cinematography is excellent and the soundtrack is nostalgic, but also because of all the subtle stuff relating to the rules of the game and how the monster operates. The reasons why It takes the form that it does, the idea that it does have some sort of thought process and strategy involved in it's method of tracking it's victims down. Each appearance it makes takes on a slightly different meaning, and it all of course plays off of the general themes of the film in interesting ways that make you think and make you want to come back to it for another pass to see what else you may notice.

STAC Goat
Mar 12, 2008

Watching you sleep.

Butt first, let's
check the feeds.



Its Wednesday again. If you made a point to get on this week's movies early but then got distracted in something silly like a marathon of RL Stine movies so you still haven't watched the last movie... or something totally random like that... you still have time. Voting is open until 3 AM EST July 30th (or when I wake up). That's under 38 hours from now. Plenty of time to cram a movie or two in if you really want. Then a new round and some heartbreak as someone falls.

Needs More Goop
Jun 15, 2021



I'll be voting for It Follows and Toolbox Murders. It saddens me to have to vote against the anime team, but this is an occasion where the OVA format presents its painful budgetary limitations in full. I was really hoping to enjoy Lily C.A.T., I'm not someone who is concerned about "rip-offs" or pastiches usually, if anything the idea of good properties being ripped off excites me, I want to see good ideas repeated. What could be more cool than The Thing in space, and with all of the myriad possibilities of animation behind it? Unfortunately what we get instead is a lot of talking, a lot of dull side plot, and a few cool moments to spice up the pot. It's just not enough.

The Toolbox Murders, on the other hand, does an exceptional bait and switch with its lackluster reveal. While the eventual destination really isn't worth the price of admission, and whilst the immense talent here (Angela Bettis, Sheri Moon Zombie, Juliet Landau) is wasted, there was enough mystery and intrigue to happily carry me through to the end. I always love claustrophobic feeling films and films in which the space is a character unto itself, and Hooper here has expertly married the two, creating an apartment builing from hell that seeks to suffocate its inhabitants whilst simultaneously leaving breadcrumbs, hinting toward its eventual downfall. Again, I think where those breadcrumbs lead is a letdown, but I enjoyed the journey.

Raw vs It Follows is a lot trickier. On the one hand, we have Raw, which is an anxiety-fueled body horror coming of age nightmare, that's slick, artistic, and immensely watchable. Then we have It Follows, which has, in my opinion, some creeky scenes. The pool finale for instance feels a little cheap, a little easy, I think it ducks some harder questions in favour of a more traditional monster-movie ending. However, I found It Follows to be the far more successful film when it came to exploring its subject matter, namely the nature of the "It".

From the first moment we meet our female lead, she's being stalked, not by a monster, but by children, small boys to be precise. Her entire existence is spent within the ever-present gaze of the men around her, who treat her not as an individual in need of understanding and respect, but as a potential sexual partner and little else. On multiple occasions throughout the film, the men in her life show kindness and affection, but it's all predicated on their desire to sleep with her. This constant anxiety of not being able to trust those around you, and questioning the motives of even strangers in the far distance, is an ever-present part of life as a woman, and is reflected majestically in not just the monster, but also the extended cast, and it's done in such a rare and powerful way that I felt extremely moved during the stream.

My own history with It Follows comes from watching it shortly after its release and being incredibly suspicious at the time that the film was sympathetic toward these male characters. I had taught myself, as with the female lead, to not trust these men, and by extension, I didn't trust the filmmakers. Revisiting the film now allowed me to put some of those demons to rest, and appreciate what the film was attempting to show beyond my own anxieties, and for that compounded revelation on top of masterful depiction, I have to vote It Follows. I felt moved by it in a way that Raw just did not touch.

STAC Goat
Mar 12, 2008

Watching you sleep.

Butt first, let's
check the feeds.



Yeah, I appreciate that even Jay's sister and friend have this moment early on of questioning if Jay's with a guy and "she's so pretty its annoying." The film does a really great job of framing the subtext of the monster that everyone in Jay's life just sees her in terms of her beauty and sexuality. It almost doesn't matter if they "mean well" or what their main motivations are. Its the old "my eyes are up here" thing. The fact that they can't stop leering or thinking about it mirrors her inability to ever relax and stop worrying about what's following her or if that person approaching from a distance is a monster.

I have my problems with the film language of the movie but it does its core thing extremely well. I went in kind of expecting to vote Raw and watched It Follows out of curiosity and respect, but now I've gotta find the time to get Raw in because its real close for me.

STAC Goat
Mar 12, 2008

Watching you sleep.

Butt first, let's
check the feeds.



Hey, I was asleep at 3 AM. I think thatís only like the 3rd time thatís happened.



Tobe Hooper keeps up his dominance even with a sup par film and knocks off the beast that was ďTeam AnimeĒ. Lily CAT simply couldnít move enough people the way the past films drawn by (Team It's Not A Cartoon, Mom! It's Art! 😫) have putting an end to my nightmare of anime winning this whole thing. But the real story here is the fall for Fran as not only was that team largely his but his super team Femme Fatale has fallen. It was about as close as it could be and at the start of the week it sounded like Raw was gonna win out, but a wave of support and effort posts ame for It Follows and with that Predation racks up yet another upset and continues its dominance in this tournament. Although ďdominanceĒ isa narrow term this week as if just one single voter had flipped to Raw we would have had a tie. But thatís not how it played out and now its Hooper vs Predation for the Doubles final.

New week, new conferenceÖ

1. John Carpenterís In the Mouth of Madness vs. 4. (MacheteZombieís The One n Dones) Charles Laughtonís Night of the Hunter


Uh oh. Carpenter is the last standing #1 seed in this tournament and to this point has been one of the top directors in this tourney, seeing to make up for his second round knockout last year. But just as last year he drew a big film in Christine only to fall to a massive film in Ridleyís Scottís Alien he may be repeating history here. In the Mouth of Madness is not one of Carpenterís most celebrated films but is a cult classic and crowd pleaser. In many matchups it would give him the edge. But his opponent is one of the single most influential and critical darling one hit wonder films in cinema history. A striking technical construction with a gripping Robert Mitchum performance that inspired countless future villains and even more people who have never seen the film but made the questionable decision to tattoo their knuckles. Can Carpenterís King/Lovecraftesque B masterpiece and Sam Neillís big performance compete with this? This one could be close, or it could be a landslide. Its probably gonna come down to taste and the Carpenter super fan in me is scared and excited. Should make for an amazing double feature.

In the Mouth of Madness is free on Vimeo and there is an Internet Archive copy of a classic Joe Bob Briggs airing of itÖ which is really tempting.
The Night of the Hunter is on Hoopla and is free on Internet Archive with spanish subtitles.



6. Park Chan Wookís Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance vs. 7. (Debís Family Friendly) Hayao Miyazakiís Nausicaš of the Valley of the Wind


Oh right, more anime. And do I even want to know what that ice cream comment is about? I guess if I get one amazing matchup Iím excited for on one slot I get one of these in the next one. Parkís quietly been one of the top directors in this tournament and his Sympathy for Lady Vengeance took down my beloved Enemies of Horror team back in Round 1. Now its Lady Vengeanceís other half taking a run, not actually a sequel or prequel or anything but the first of Parkís thematic ďVengeance TrilogyĒ presumably promising another dark, violent, and blackly humored entry for Park which seems about the exact opposite of Debís Family Friendly mission statement. The little team that could has been chugging along knocking out similarly opposite opponents in Lloyd Kaufman and Wes Craven and has already pulled off one big win with a Miyazaki anime. So can Hayao pull it off a second time and knock out a third big alternate dark and edgy kind of name? And will I skip another matchup?

Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance is on Hulu, Hoopla, and Kanopy and free on Tubi, Vudu, and Popcorn Flix.
Nausicaš of the Valley of the Wind is on HBO Max.


Thatís what our week looks like and looks like a pretty monster array of films. Not all for everyone, probablyÖ. he says pretending heís not talking himselfÖ but probably something for everyone that hits a home run. And a big clash of big name solo directors vs carefully curated teams. Four of the last eight entries in the tournament have been decided, two more get decided this week. Enjoy and please vote!

Vote or change your vote until 3 AM EST Aug 6th (or when I wake up)

Bracket & Noms Spreadsheet
Letterboxd List

Next Week!
- 4. Stuart Gordon vs. 8. Team ďLadies NightĒ
- 2. Mario Bava vs. 3. George Romero

Basebf555
Feb 29, 2008

The greatest sensual pleasure there is is to know the desires of another!



Fun Shoe

I'm just happy that if Carpenter is gonna go out, he's going out with a great movie and not Village of the Damned or The Ward.

TrixRabbi
Aug 20, 2010

Time for a little robot chauvinism!



Carpenter came out with one of his strongest and yet actually found an opponent thatís even better. Sorry to our boy, but canít vote against Night of the Hunter here.

STAC Goat
Mar 12, 2008

Watching you sleep.

Butt first, let's
check the feeds.



In a small stats update while Tobe Hooper's relatively small victory this week dropped his win percentage from second overall to fourth the votes did propel him to become the new king of this tournament with more votes than any other director at 32.

Although Predation continues to rack up the numbers and has a whopping 53. At this stage its entirely possible that they could be eliminated next round and STILL have more votes than anyone else. Although Predation's 75% percentage is real close to Hooper's 73% so that's a potentially very interesting matchup. If the RNG deems it so.

Its also worth noting that despite its elimination Femme Fatale's 36 total votes puts it above every other team and solo in this tournament besides Predation. Since it did not have the extra round Predation has (as well as Team Vulgaer that sits in the next slot at 35) its one of the most impressive runs of the entire tournament and may very well have fallen just one vote short of winning this whole thing.

married but discreet
May 7, 2005




Taco Defender

Phew, glad to see It Follows wins this matchup.

Absolutely no idea how to vote this week. Madness and Hunter are both fantastic movies, and both pretty much exactly what this spookadoodle group likes in horror.
Miyazaki's movie is the only one I haven't seen, and I remember not being as smitten with Mr. Vengeance as with PCW's other movies, but I'm rooting for him so I might lean his way. OTOH, Miyazaki. Oof

Tarnop
Nov 25, 2013

Pull me out



married but discreet posted:

Phew, glad to see It Follows wins this matchup.

Absolutely no idea how to vote this week. Madness and Hunter are both fantastic movies, and both pretty much exactly what this spookadoodle group likes in horror.
Miyazaki's movie is the only one I haven't seen, and I remember not being as smitten with Mr. Vengeance as with PCW's other movies, but I'm rooting for him so I might lean his way. OTOH, Miyazaki. Oof

I've watched all 4 of these in the last 12 months. No idea how to vote in the first one but Nausicaa is a better film than Mr. Vengeance. I loved Mr. Vengeance when I first saw it but Park has grown so much as a filmmaker since then.

Irony.or.Death
Apr 1, 2009




On first viewing of the trilogy, Mr. Vengeance was by far my favorite. I don't know whether I'd still feel that way on a second pass and Nausicaa is pretty great, but the reflex is that this is a clear win for Park.

MacheteZombie
Feb 4, 2007






I think Nausicaa is gunna fall into the issue of not being quite horror but it's been awhile since I watched it

Tarnop
Nov 25, 2013

Pull me out



Mr. Vengeance isn't really horror either. It's barely even a revenge thriller as we typically understand them

MacheteZombie
Feb 4, 2007






Tarnop posted:

Mr. Vengeance isn't really horror either. It's barely even a revenge thriller as we typically understand them

Interesting, I haven't watched it in over a decade and don't remember it all so it was on my must watch for the week.

That'll certainly level the playing field

STAC Goat
Mar 12, 2008

Watching you sleep.

Butt first, let's
check the feeds.



If neither is horror can I just skip them both?

Servoret
Nov 8, 2009



STAC Goat posted:

If neither is horror can I just skip them both?

Nausicaš is lovely. Can you just not handle characters with big eyes?

Four quality movies this week, all of which Iíve seen multiple times except for In the Mouth of Madness, which I only saw once a few years ago. I donít really get the hype for In the Mouth of Madness, so Iím tempted to watch it again to see if I missed something. But The Night of the Hunter is a legitimately great film so I doubt Iím going to vote against it. I actually predict In the Mouth of Madness will win the match-up regardless of how I vote.

Mr. Vengeance vs Nausicaš is a tossup for me. I think Iím going with Nausicaš on the basis of nostalgia and appreciation of its worldbuilding. As an actual film experience I think it has pacing problems, not helped by the fact that Miyazaki was adapting a story too lengthy to tell in one go. Yeah, itís not actually a horror movie (although I love the shot at the beginning with the fire giants) but neither is Mr. Vengeance.


Edit: Rewatched Mouth of Madness. Still donít think itís Thing-level, voting for Night of the Hunter.

Servoret fucked around with this message at 23:04 on Jul 30, 2021

Needs More Goop
Jun 15, 2021



In a tournament that's hosted Rodan without issue, I don't want to hear anyone say that Nausicaa isn't horror

Franchescanado
Feb 23, 2013

If it wasn't for disappointment
I wouldn't have any appointment



Grimey Drawer

STAC Goat posted:

If neither is horror can I just skip them both?

Nausicaa is more plot-oriented than any other Miyazaki youíve seen. Itís based on Miyazakiís manga series, so thereís a lot of ďgroundedĒ detail compared to Spirited Away. It was also a huge influence on stuff like Legend of Zelda and Pixar. Give it a chance with an open mind, I think youíll like it.

STAC Goat
Mar 12, 2008

Watching you sleep.

Butt first, let's
check the feeds.



Franchescanado posted:

Nausicaa is more plot-oriented than any other Miyazaki youíve seen. Itís based on Miyazakiís manga series, so thereís a lot of ďgroundedĒ detail compared to Spirited Away. It was also a huge influence on stuff like Legend of Zelda and Pixar. Give it a chance with an open mind, I think youíll like it.

That's a selling point I didn't expect. Ok, fine. I'll watch one more anime...

STAC Goat
Mar 12, 2008

Watching you sleep.

Butt first, let's
check the feeds.



1. John Carpenterís In the Mouth of Madness vs. 4. (MacheteZombieís The One n Dones) Charles Laughtonís Night of the Hunter

Night of the Hunter is a technical masterpiece. There are so many gorgeous and amazing shots and scenes in the film. From those terrifying church like feelings of Mitchum terrifying and gaslighting his wife in their bedroom, to the gorgeous nature scenes of the childrenís escape like something out of a Disney film, to the bone chilling final act confrontation between good and evil. If there wasnít a single line of dialogue in this film it would still convey its story purely through the amazing and evocative visuals and cinematic storytelling. And Robert Mitchum is brilliant. An inspiration to generations of Hollywood villains and short sighted edgy teenagers who never considered the lifelong impact of knuckle tattoos. Thereís a lot of films that we call influence to other movies and culture in general but I think real, deep, layered influence like Night of the Hunter has is rare. From Kenny Rogers to Robert DeNiro to Rihanna. Real influence is when people donít even know where the ideas come from. They just get passed down over and over until theyíre a part of the cultural zeitgeist. And Night of the Hunter has so many elements that branch out in so many ways.

Am I gonna nitpick? Just a little. The truth is Iíve always felt something slightly off about the story. Maybe its the way the kids are really the protagonists of the story but Mitchum steals the spotlight and becomes the protagonist of the film. Maybe its windy story that eliminates key characters a third of the way through and introduces new ones with a third of the film to go. Maybe its that odd ending. But after reading a bunch of reviews I think its really just the dramatic tonal shifts through out the film from thriller to a kind of childrenís fable. Thatís really what the film is. Its how it opens and how it ends and the entire time the story is about the children and the monster pursuing them. And Mitchum has an amazing scene mid way through where he turns into something out of a cartoon as the children run. But I think that harsh abusive serial killing psychopath is so real and raw that from scene to scene its almost jarring. Hell, thereís one chase scene where the music changes depending on if its the perspective of the children or Mitchum. Its all probably intentional. But as Iíve realized with a bunch of Korean films Iíve watched recently those kind of whiplash tonal changes can throw me off in a way I donít fully recover from.

I wouldnít go that far with this film. It really canít be said how incredible and gorgeous and masterful so much of this film is. Its a near perfect film, and thatís amazing consider its Laughtonís first run. And its a shame he never got a second one because who knows what he could have done if he had the experience to sand some the edges off. And I do think thereís a few rough edges here but theyíre but big ones and theyíre definitely not film breakers. Its a stunning film that everyone should see, because if you havenít I bet youíll at least one point go ďThatís where that came from!?Ē

Now In the Mouth of Madness is not a near perfect film. Its a little clunky in its pacing and storytelling, probably deliberately in an attempt to create a very airy dreamlike nature to things but in a way that sometimes leaves you feeling confused. Not in a ďcomplicated storyĒ sense, but in a ďdid I miss a scene?Ē one. And Carpenterís hurt by his limited budget and the basic limits of the era and his under appreciated stature. Not all the creature effects hold up, the late 90s CGI definitely doesnít, and overall the film doesnít quite have that eldritch apocalyptic nightmare feel that it was telling a story of. I also think that for a film that makes such overt reference to Stephen King and HP Lovecraft it drops the ball a bit by not fleshing out the creepy New England town more when that was really the core of their stories. And its something we know Carpenter can do but either by choice of limitation it feels held back here. Sam Neillís character comments repeatedly that he thinks the townsfolk are all actors and it feels like thatís what they are. One dimensional characters playing out scenes as written, well, but without the fuller characters and presence. And that fits into the deeper story of the film but I donít know if it does so without hurting the film a little.

All that said, I absolutely love it. I think Sam Neill is wonderful as he always is and his decent into madness as he questions the increasingly difficult to explain away events unfolding around him is the heart of the film and a ride I love taking over and over. And I like Carpenterís dreamy take here and how the whole film kind of winds around itself. Thereís just not repeating scenes and repeating elements but little carefully hidden visuals separated by an hour of film and with no attention drawn to them like this. Iíve seen the film a dozen times but I only noticed this one this week.



I also just kind of love this film for what I kind of think it is spiritually. Obviously Sutter Cane is kind of a clear sendup of Stephen King and HP Lovecraft with the same kind of New England secrets and terror and other worldly horrors sneaking through the cracks. I also think thereís a dash of Fulci in here with the dreamlike nature of the storytelling that cares more about its protagonistís state of mind than a clear linear story. I even think you can find a punch of David Lynch in here. My guess is if you dug in you could make a cat for a ton of influences and I think thatís the heart o this film. Its a story about the power of fiction - specifically that of horror creators - to shape reality and affect (and infect) people. It would be easy to just call this one of those god complex author insert stories but with Carpenter clever enough to disguise it a bit by putting it on King. But I think its really more of a love letter to horror from Carpenter. I know he made a bunch more films after this and none of them are that great, but I think this is more than just his last great film to me. I think its his goodbye to the genre, and a thank you. A pastiche of other horror legends who influenced him and others just as he influenced so many. Its a little messy and sadly he didnít have the money or studio support to really make it what it should be and peak it to that next level. But I think it had a lot to it, and its really one of my favorites. Its not a perfect film, you may not even think its a great one. But drat I love it so much.

So yeahÖ objective speaking Night of the Hunter is the better film. Its certainly the bigger technical and directorial achievement from a one hit wonder vs the end of a legendís amazing run. But I think thereís enough legitimate if small flaws there that I donít feel too guilty just going with my heart here and voting for a movie I love, watched twice this week alone, and will keep watching again and again taking more and more from it. So Carpenter may be done, but he wonít get shut out.

Needs More Goop
Jun 15, 2021



Excellent write up, Goat :allears:

Basebf555
Feb 29, 2008

The greatest sensual pleasure there is is to know the desires of another!



Fun Shoe

I'm having a crisis of conscience because I've stated that I won't ever vote against Carpenter. I said if it was The Ward vs. Texas Chainsaw Massacre I'd vote for Carpenter. I voted for Ghosts of Mars.

And yet, here we are and it's just painful to vote against Night of the Hunter. It's so goddamn good. I've been going back and forth over it for days now.

This shot is so haunting:

Basebf555 fucked around with this message at 18:17 on Aug 3, 2021

Needs More Goop
Jun 15, 2021



It really is just an exquisitely beautiful film, I can't imagine many films beating it.








STAC Goat
Mar 12, 2008

Watching you sleep.

Butt first, let's
check the feeds.



But does it have goop and tentacles? Hmm?

The choice is clear.

Basebf555
Feb 29, 2008

The greatest sensual pleasure there is is to know the desires of another!



Fun Shoe

Yea I think in the end that's what's gonna make it palatable for me to go with Carpenter. This isn't Ghosts of Mars or The Ward, this is a legit good movie that just happens to not be one of his 2 or 3 best but for pretty much anyone else it would be a career accomplishment.

MacheteZombie
Feb 4, 2007






Here's a post from SubG, a great poster, about Night of the Hunter

Franchescanado
Feb 23, 2013

If it wasn't for disappointment
I wouldn't have any appointment



Grimey Drawer

I'd put it in the Top 3.

Halloween, The Thing and In the Mouth of Madness. Easy.

Not only is it a top 3, but every time I've done a screening for friends, the film has been too scary for at least one person. I had one friend get a panic attack over the bicyclist scene, and another friend had to leave the room when they got into the town proper (separate occasions). It's such a great movie.

Just a heads up for Carpenter fans, the Blank Check podcast is about to do an entire season on Carpenter's filmography, starting with Dark Star. Should start in a week or two, no paywall.

When it comes to the two of them, I think ITMOM wins. Night of the Hunter is the better film, objectively, but it's not as fun or rewatchable as ITMOM.

Also, I feel like "Lovecraftian" gets thrown around too loosely these days, to where it almost means nothing, but ITMOM is actually Lovecraftian in multiple ways. An artist connected to a different world full of unknowable horrors; terror from knowledge and exposure to a different dimension/world driving people insane; horrific evolutions and mutations of regular people in a small town; creatures/monsters from a different plane of existence bleeding into our own. Really the only thing it misses is a pet with a racist name or demonizing non-whites.

Basebf555
Feb 29, 2008

The greatest sensual pleasure there is is to know the desires of another!



Fun Shoe

Yea I tend to forget that 3rd slot is pretty much up for debate, you get a lot of different opinions on that. Typically Halloween and The Thing are #1 and #2, but I've heard a lot of different answers for #3.

Personally I actually have The Thing as #3 and The Fog in the #2 spot.

MacheteZombie
Feb 4, 2007






Y'all are killing me. I love Carpenter don't get me wrong, but Night of the Hunter is just operating on a whole other level

Basebf555
Feb 29, 2008

The greatest sensual pleasure there is is to know the desires of another!



Fun Shoe

I'm not trying to argue it's rational, that's my problem here. I have Carpenter in my DNA.

STAC Goat
Mar 12, 2008

Watching you sleep.

Butt first, let's
check the feeds.



The Fog is my #1 followed by the Thing and Halloween. but Mouth is probably 4.

Its also Lovecraftian in its basic story construction of an investigator recounting his story through flashback. And the whole discovering a hosed up town thing. If anything Sutter Cane is probably much more Lovecraft than King, but Carpenter went with the King stuff because more people would recognize it. And of course King took a lot from Lovecraft so they fit together well.

Its funny, one of the things I love about the film is this sense of nostalgia i get in the book store. Those Cane covers are all clearly patterned off the way King books were designed in the 90s so I always flash back to kid me in a Waldenbooks or Barnes and Nobles scrolling the King shelf.

MacheteZombie
Feb 4, 2007






Basebf555 posted:

I'm not trying to argue it's rational, that's my problem here. I have Carpenter in my DNA.

Stuart Gordon would not be happy for your betrayal.

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

Franchescanado
Feb 23, 2013

If it wasn't for disappointment
I wouldn't have any appointment



Grimey Drawer

MacheteZombie posted:

Y'all are killing me. I love Carpenter don't get me wrong, but Night of the Hunter is just operating on a whole other level

Oh I agree. That level isn't exactly fun though. A man murdering a single mother and stalking her children to get their inheritance before slaughtering them is a pretty real, tangible, horrific concept for a film, and it's delivered with a career-defining performance by Robert Mitchum, and the film is gorgeous to look at.

But In The Mouth of Madness has Frances Bay handcuff her nude husband to her ankles behind the counter of a New England hotel, before she turns into a tentacle monster. It may not have a Robert Mitchum performance, but it does have Sam Neill, David Warner, Charlton Heston, JŁrgen Prochnow (arguably a defining performance?), John Glover, the beautiful Julie Carmen, and Hayden Christensen getting run over with a car while riding a bike. I also think it's Gary B. Kibbe's best collaboration as cinematographer with Carpenter as cinematographer. Nothing else he did comes close to looking as good as this movie, They Live included.

The score is also a collaboration between John Carpenter and Jim Lang, who 90's kids would recognize as the composer for the entirety of Hey Arnold. Gives the film a light neo-noir vibe.

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • Post
  • Reply