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dorium
Nov 5, 2009

If it gets in your eyes
Just look into mine
Just look into dreams
and you'll be alright
I'll be alright






I've got my list ready https://letterboxd.com/dorium/list/may-horror-month-of-out-doing-last-april/

That's a good start, so we'll see how quickly I can get through the list in May. It's also a birthday month for me so I may take some PTO this month and really binge out for a couple days.

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dorium
Nov 5, 2009

If it gets in your eyes
Just look into mine
Just look into dreams
and you'll be alright
I'll be alright







1. Insidious [2010] - Dir: James Wan

This was a lot of fun. It had been since the theatrical release that I saw this so most of it was all just a surprise (minus the iconic shots like the one above you see in all the "Best of the 2010's in Horror"). I really enjoyed the setup of the child being able to dream beyond our dimension and how the script treated that parallel dimension. The budget obviously reflects their choices in tinting the sets in blue and darkness to get across the "Further" and I super appreciated it. The lighting was often striking and lovely to watch and I could only imagine what HDR would do to the colors and visuals in a 4K release.



4 Skulls out of 5


2. Insidious: Chapter 2 [2013] - Dir: James Wan

So this was the one I was warned was a drop in quality from the first, but maybe it was like that when the movie first came out, but I think I liked it just as much as the first. It was an even deeper exploration into the Further, had some really fun storytelling bits that rope in the firsts setups real well and it did that thing I like in sequels which it didnt take its time ramping up the insanity. It just got right back into it and the reveals, the long play on the ghosts part to digging their claws deeper into the family and visuals were just as well done as the last. I'd feel comfortable saying this is one of those rare instances of a sequel standing just as tall as the first one and Barbara Hershey and Jocelin Donahue in a movie playing each others counterparts? be still my beating heart.



4 Skulls out of 5

now onto the next two Insidious pictures.

dorium fucked around with this message at 17:18 on May 1, 2021

dorium
Nov 5, 2009

If it gets in your eyes
Just look into mine
Just look into dreams
and you'll be alright
I'll be alright







3. Insidious: Chapter 3 [2015] - Dir: Leigh Whannell

Definitely a stinker. front to back. Just poor writing, poor acting, I actively wanted the ghost to gently caress up this family for the bulk of the movie. I also found it humorous that Lin Shaye is now the John Wick of ghost hunting horror flicks (or is she more of the Dream Warrior?) Seriously though, this was pretty bad and I couldn't wait till it was over. I took a break from Insidious after this and moved onto what was going to be my Sunday evening movie...



1 and a half Skulls out of five


4. The New York Ripper [1982] - Dir. Lucio Fulci

This rocked pretty hard. Even when I had no clue why things were happening on screen besides Italian Horniness, this movie kinda rocked on a procedural and in a good thriller chase film. It's real hard to also beat your set being 80's New York either grimy and hard or completely bombed out and desolate. Maybe right now my favorite Fulci picture so far. Entertaining as hell, solidly thrilling and shot well and interesting visually. I dug it and that stupid duck voice.



4 Skulls out of five

dorium fucked around with this message at 14:31 on May 2, 2021

dorium
Nov 5, 2009

If it gets in your eyes
Just look into mine
Just look into dreams
and you'll be alright
I'll be alright








5. The Curse of Frankenstein [1957] - Dir: Terence Fisher

Well this was a welcome early afternoon romp. Cool atmosphere, characters I got invested in and some sweet set design and pretty fun moments. I'm on board the Hammer train and have many more to go, but this was a neat one and I'm looking forward to checking out more of the Frankenstein pictures going forward. I need more mad scientist in their cool looking laboratories nowadays. There's a strong lack of experimenting and gobbledigook about science and stuff. More of that now with the budgets and cool effects and stuff.



4 Skulls out of 5



6. Insidious: The Last Key [2018] - Dir: Adam Robitel

I didnt think it could really get any worse for the Insidious franchise. I thought the third one was just a bump in the road. Boy was I wrong! Again more characters that need saving that I dont really care about. A very sad and tragic backstory for our heroine and the events of the first movie are all the fault of our Dream Warrior leaving a door open while she was dealing with her own family trauma, thus causing that whole family turmoil of the first one and getting herself killed by the ghost that was coming after her all along. Now that I'm done with the Insidious franchise (because I dont imagine I'll be watching the inevitable fifth film that is in some sort of production, at least not until another one of these thread events) I cant say I recommend anything past the second movie. First two flicks are good and well done, but three and four suck hard and should be avoided at all costs. If you need to know more about Elise's background just read the synopsis on Wikipedia for 3/4 and keep it moving.



1 Skull out of 5

dorium
Nov 5, 2009

If it gets in your eyes
Just look into mine
Just look into dreams
and you'll be alright
I'll be alright








7. Dead & Buried [1981] - Dir: Gary Sherman

Well this was a wild one and I really enjoyed it quite a bit. I thought I was going in for one movie and completely came out the other side slightly flumoxed and surprised. I'm definitely going to go ahead and purchase this one for my own collection because dang did this one just fly under my radar for so long and have so many cool bits in it that I keep thinking about later. highly recommended.



4 Skulls out of 5



8. The Prowler [1981] - Dir: Joseph Zito

Another one that I've always heard about but kinda just put it off for so long that its taken this long to get to it. Effects were great, the characters I was only so much attached to enough to not want to see some of them die and the gore was over the top great. just some really great gags front to back. I would even argue that this might be my most favorite Friday the 13th film. Just a good slasher, creepy villain design and a hell of a ending. Another one I may go ahead and look to add to my library in the future.



4 Skulls out of 5



9. From Dusk Till Dawn [1996] - Dir: Robert Rodriguez

Hadn't seen this one in quite some time so it was more of a treat to jump into this one again. I really forgot that the bulk of this movie is more of a Ida Lupin 'Hitch Hiker' thriller than it is a creature feature (first instance of a vampire isnt until past he hour mark and by then there's only 40 minutes left of the picture). It's a shame Clooney hasnt done a genre picture in so long. He's got the charisma and grittiness of a John Saxon, but he's cool and collected that you dont mind going down the dark hallway. I could see him knocking out of the park a Saulnier movie or a Cosmatos late night feature.



4 and a half Skulls out of 5



10. The Lost Boys [1987] - Dir: Joel Schumacher

This one is still a treat. Another one I havent seen in awhile, but do I really connect with the grandpa character as he turns on his car then promptly turns it off and declares 'well that's far enough into town for me'. I'm with you old man. too bad they didnt just call the town Santa Cruz. That place was a legit hell hole for awhile full of murders and one of the heavy hitter serial killers Ed "Bumble Butt" Kemper. It would've added an extra layer to the creepiness of the town and so many people having gone missing, presumably dead.



4 Skulls out of 5

dorium
Nov 5, 2009

If it gets in your eyes
Just look into mine
Just look into dreams
and you'll be alright
I'll be alright








11. Return of the Living Dead 3 [1993] - Dir: Brian Yuzna

It's the third Return of the living Dead film. It's hard to expect too much because by this flick I feel like zombies fell out of favor and there is a very specific early 90's LA aesthetic happening in this movie. Everyone is still going to the Viper Room, Married With Children is really just hitting its stride and the world hasnt been exposed to 90210 yet that would solidify this half hearted rocker look. It's an interesting movie that sloppily handles interesting ideas, maybe even stumbles into a few of them by accident completely. I still found it entertaining and interesting but not necessarily good. I'm grading on a slight curve with this one because the series as a whole had just been sliding down the hill. This is absolutely not the bottom of the pile (that's 4 and 5) but this is really where it started. Good effects and I liked the final form of Julie, stabbings and all.

2 and a half skulls out of 5





12. The House by the Cemetery [1981] - Dir: Lucio Fulci

I wish I had watched The New York Ripper after this because I definitely enjoyed this one a lot less than that one. The things I liked were the camera work and the lighting/shadows. Maybe the best of both of those things in Fulci's work. The closeups on the eyes and storytelling going on there was just great and I had a lot of fun with how the camera played around in this house when it was given the opportunity to. Same with the lighting. It really helped sell the atmosphere of this house a lot more than I expected and it generally felt unnerving at times (the behind the door shots of the lock slowly being pried open with the insanely dangerous knife stuck through the loop of the key trick freaked me out and looked amazing on UHD). I also liked the evil of this story. that was pretty cool. It's unfortunate that it was wrapped in this terrible family that I absolutely gave as much of a poo poo about as the families from Insidious 3/4. The little boy was the worst. The mom, despite her child yelling in agony lazily got herself across the house to the boys rescue in what felt like 10 hours. The father, well what can you say about a nothing character...

3 skulls out of 5





13. The People Under the Stairs [1991] - Dir: Wes Craven

This one is still a stone cold classic. Maybe my most favorite Craven movie period. Also I really forget sometimes how badly Fool gets hosed up in this movie. We just dont put kids in danger anymore, not any real danger.

4 and a half Skulls out of 5

dorium
Nov 5, 2009

If it gets in your eyes
Just look into mine
Just look into dreams
and you'll be alright
I'll be alright








14. Prom Night [1980] - Dir: Paul Lynch [Fran Challenge: 2. Sometimes They Come Back]

Well this was really cool. I could see the turn happening a mile away, but the build up, the setting and tone all worked real well and the reveal hit pretty well. It's a very simple film, but its got a lot of interesting ideas on grief and trauma. I especially liked the weird Stephen King vibes I was getting transitioning from kids to teenage (well as teenage as 20-somethings can look). I did dislike I couldn't tell some characters apart and they all kinda just mashed together personality wise so there wasnt really characters worth following, but the paths and choices made it worth sticking around. Also Jamie Lee Curtis is a babe, so that didnt hurt either.



4 Skulls out of 5



15. Attack of the Killer Tomatoes! [1978] - Dir: John De Bello

Yeaaa this movie sucked. It gets two and a half skulls from me for the ingenuity of how this movie was produced and made, but its deeply unfunny for the bulk of its run time, the tomatoes are barely in it and the gags and weird subplots all just stunk. Maybe I watched this at the wrong point in my life and it would've been more funny as a kid, but man it was just a bore. I appreciate the craft of making a deeply small budget film and recruiting everyone you know to kick in some work, but yea, this was just dull. Great for burgeoning filmmakers though. Shows it especially now doesnt take much to just go make a movie about whatever the gently caress you want. You just gotta do the work, but hopefully it turns out better than this.



2 and a half Skulls out of 5



16. Street Trash [1987] - Dir: J. Michael Muro

People were not kidding when they said this was a deeply cruel and humiliating film. It's acerbic, homophobic, misogynistic and ugly film, but I sorta liked it. Its hard to brush aside the pure awfulness of the movie and its writers, but there was some fun scenes here and there and I really liked the liberal use of crazy colors for people who drank the viper drink and started to melt. It's an interesting premise that never felt like a real threat to anyone in the main cast until the end, but even then it was always the focus that the people around our "heroes" were the true villains all along and this drink was just around for any sucker to get got by. Interesting premise but poorly done.



3 Skulls out of 5



17. Demons [1985] - Dir: Lamberto Bava

This movie fuckin rocked. It's about as punk rock as a Italian horror flick has gotten for me. I liked the effects, the premise and the location especially. It was just a lot of fun front to back and I am really looking forward to checking out the second movie now. Especially since the way this ends its an actual pandemic happening and I didnt expect that at all. Really thought it would've been a one and done sorta situation, but nope this is full scale poo poo going down. Horror movies being set in theaters are awesome (See Stagefright).



4 Skulls out of 5

dorium
Nov 5, 2009

If it gets in your eyes
Just look into mine
Just look into dreams
and you'll be alright
I'll be alright








18. The Howling [1981] - Dir: Joe Dante

This movie kinda sucked. I dunno, it didnt move as well as I remembered it, I really didnt care for the werewolf transformations (because this as American Werewolf in London are often compared and I dont think these transformations have anything on AWiL. They're totally fine and fun, but the AWiL change is like this spectacle and painful and horrific. These transformations are just fine and do the job well enough) and I just kept wanting the story to move forward, but it often felt like we were just stuck watching all these unlikable characters go through the motions and eventually we get our third act which is probably the only thing that saves this movie overall. I am glad I didnt go ahead and buy this on blu-ray like I originally planned.



3 Skulls out of 5



19. Mandy [2018] - Dir: Panos Cosmatos

Still rocks. Didnt plan on rewatching it this month, but saw it was available on Shudder with a Joe Bob commentary interstitials so I gave it a whirl on a hungover sunday afternoon and it still hits just as well as it did the first time I saw it. Every frame is gorgeous and I just studied it as I always did for future reference in my own work. It's just such a depressing delight to behold and its just a very effecting movie and a lot of fun when it really starts gettin cooking.



5 Skulls out of 5

dorium
Nov 5, 2009

If it gets in your eyes
Just look into mine
Just look into dreams
and you'll be alright
I'll be alright






Hollismason posted:

Rick Baker kind of had his hand in both the werewolves from The Howling and An American Werewolf in London.

I thought Rob Bottin did the Howling effects.

dorium
Nov 5, 2009

If it gets in your eyes
Just look into mine
Just look into dreams
and you'll be alright
I'll be alright








20. Eyes of a Stranger [1981] - Dir: Ken Wiederhorn

This one took me by surprise. It's definitely not the best thing ever, but its got some good tension, despite feeling overly soap opera-y and overly maudlin I thought the performances were strong and the cat and mouse play was interesting and kept me engaged. The killer and his motivations are a bit hackneyed now, but in 1981 I'm sure it probably went over a lot better. Definitely an unknown gem in the rough.

3 and a half Skulls out of 5





21. Demons 2 [1986] - Dir: Lamberto Bava

I really liked the first one, so with a sequel I could only imagine "Hey just go bigger". While we get bigger I also didnt expect at all that we would abandon the first ones ending and basically redo the premise of the first one (a demon hellscape is unleashed by viewing this movie), but this time in an apartment building and it would be even better dare I say than the first one. Better no meaning it eclipses the first totally, but I think its a much more highly refined take on the first ones successes and walking back some of the draggy bits and trying something different here (lots more humor also). It's a seige movie where the threat is within and there's tons of goopy gags and dumb characters making brash decisions. The gore and goop effects are even better in this too. I just really appreciated demon movies now so I'll definitely be adding to the library when I see a good deal on both.

4 Skulls out of 5





22. The Resurrected [1991] - Dir: Dan O'Bannon

The finest Stuart Gordon picture that he never directed. I dont know where this movie has been all my life, but I'm glad I did a blind purchase and watched it. What a ride. It's a bit slow to get goin, but once it does it just zooms around and does a bunch of unexpected things and its just a straight blast. Especially with everyone playing their parts well. Either you're the cast who is doing the 'straight man' role and are going to get tossed around a bit by the script and the creepers in the movie or you're in on the gag and you're chewing every inch of scenery Chris Sarandon. What a picture.

4 Skulls out of 5





23. House on Haunted Hill [1999] - Dir: William Malone

Listen, hear me out. Not that bad. For a late 90's horror remake property it could've been a lot worse, but I think everyone involved had a lot of reverence for the original and for Price so they didnt stray too far, but they gave it this oddball angle that I think really worked for the most part. The whole third act needs restructuring and a better big bad evil thing to show its face (and to stop reminding me about LOST). Chris Kattan is also a hidden gem in this one. Real drat shame what SNL did to him because he has such a great presence for oddball character work and would've been a great horror fixture going forwards if he was given the work and time to build his chops a bit more in the acting world.

3 Skulls out of 5





24. Funny Games [1997] - Dir: Michael Haneke

This one is still tough. It's chew down to the bone rough. It still has so much going for it though and its such a tone setting and hard film to sit through sometimes that it can be lauded for really pushing the viewer past a breaking point. It's one thing for a movie to have fun goofy violence for characters you probably despise because they're poorly written or dumb for the sake of dumb. The victims of this movie are not any of those things. They're a family. We dont see so much of them we can build a concrete perception of who they are and give ourselves an out for whats about to happen to them. We dont get to escape the future we're going into with them by brushing them off as the bossy wife or the dopey dad or the mean spirited kid. They're not fully blank slates either. We get just enough to connect and then for that connection to be strong enough that their pain is ours and their grief is ours. It's an amazing tight rope to walk. The fact the movie handles the shock and horror so well, but also leaves you with a lot of internal questions you need to ask yourself as a viewer and as a person is just a very big compliment to Haeneke and everyone involved in the production. It's the foundation of what we would start seeing in the next century with "Torture Porn" and all those movies that could fall under that label. It's just unfortunate that the movie does get a answer to its question years later is that people are content or dont think too much about their consumption and the role they play. That's why the Saw series is now a billion dollar franchise:

https://variety.com/2021/film/news/spiral-saw-franchise-billion-dollar-box-office-1234979765/

4 and a half Skulls out of 5





25. The McPherson Tape [1989] - Dir: Dean Alioto

What a sack of poo poo. Just bad, not even like cute bad, but it was just bad, boring and dull.



1 Skull out of 5

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dorium
Nov 5, 2009

If it gets in your eyes
Just look into mine
Just look into dreams
and you'll be alright
I'll be alright






I'm still trying to finish up a write up for the last few movies I watched. Only 28 this month though, life got busy. Most of those were new to me though, so that's nice.

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