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Shaman Tank Spec
Dec 26, 2003

*blep*


My 13 (to begin with, we'll see how it goes):



Halloween 2
A Nightmare on Elm Street 3
The Haunting
The Legend of Hell House
Under the Shadow
Tremors
Sleepaway Camp
The Innkeepers
Hausu
It Follows
Final Girls
From Beyond
Tombs of the Blind Dead

All first watchings.

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Shaman Tank Spec
Dec 26, 2003

*blep*


I may have to take a mulligan on Tombs of the Blind Dead. The only copy I could find is dubbed in English, and I'm not sure if that's a good thing or a very bad thing. If it proves to be an awful thing, I may watch The Hallows or The Banishing instead.

Shaman Tank Spec
Dec 26, 2003

*blep*


Well I accidentally got an early start. I was trying to figure out my PS5's surround sound settings and ended up watching Evil Dead 2. Unlike the rest of my movies, this one I have seen before, but it must have been 20 or 25 years since my last viewing. Weird, as this was one of my favourite movies as a young, fresh-faced teen.

It still holds up magnificently, and the 4K Blu-ray looks and sounds god drat amazing. While I did remember the overall story and the big set pieces, turns out I'd forgotten a lot over the years, including just how fun and playful the movie is. Sam Raimi loves him some inventive shots and transitions, and so do I. How can you not love a fade to black with Ash shoving a decapitated head (which is biting his hand) into the camera lens?

The special effects are also drat impressive and spooky. A lot of them are done with stop motion, which gives the monsters this jerky, not quite moving at the right speed look that is god drat unnerving. Especially the scene with Ash's surprisingly quickly decomposed girlfriend dancing in the forest was genuinely creepy to look at.

The movie is just full of tiny details I still love, like the weird squeaky growling of Ash's possessed hand, or the obvious way they dubbed over Bruce Campbell's dialogue during the fight scenes. It just gives the movie this wonderful charming and silly quality.

It's so nice to return to an old favourite and discover that it hasn't lost a bit of its shine in over two decades. Great way to kick off this spooky marathon

/

E: Gave it a score as well.

Shaman Tank Spec fucked around with this message at 17:19 on May 1, 2021

Shaman Tank Spec
Dec 26, 2003

*blep*


Spatulater bro! posted:

It's very easy to accidently watch Evil Dead II.

Well you put in a Blu-ray you've owned for a while and tinker around with the settings and hey the surround sound is working now and man this credit sequence is rad and ... well why couldn't I just watch the entire movie? Who's stopping me?

Nobody, it turns out.

Shaman Tank Spec
Dec 26, 2003

*blep*


M_Sinistrari posted:



1) The Dead Don't Die - Prime - 2019

Yeah, I had super high hopes for this one. Weird zombie movie? Awesome! But the execution is just so bad. There are bits I like, the the first instances of fourth wall breaking, and the kicking tune. But the movie just doesn't work at all.

Shaman Tank Spec
Dec 26, 2003

*blep*


Movie #2: The Legend of Hell House



Yeah OK Tom. Or is it Yom?

"How did it end?"
"If it had ended, we would not be here."

The Legend of Hell House is the story of four people who are tasked with either proving or disproving the concept of life after death. They do this by spending five days in the "Mount Everest of haunted houses", and much like most trips to Mount Everest, it doesn't end well. Our crew includes two psychics, a paranormal investigator and his wife. They each have their own explanations and theories for ghosts and the reasons behind Hell House's murderous history. Who is right? This is the central question in the movie.

We get a lot of paranormal phenomena, but much like the book, the movie does a wonderful job of straddling the line between the different explanations. Did the skeptic truly get attacked by the murderous spirit of the house's former owner, or did one of our psychics lash out at him in response to his unbelieving and dismissive attitude? Of course by the end the superposition collapses and we are left with a canonical explanation. The ending, in my opinion, is the weakest part of the movie, but that's how it usually goes. The unknown is more enthralling than an explanation, and getting to the ending is a lot of fun. You know, in that "horror movies are fun" kind of way.

I wouldn't call Hell House a scary movie, but it does have a lot of classic old school ghost house atmosphere. The Blu-ray looks gorgeous and has just the right amount of noise so the movie looks amazing and all the details are very clear, but it still feels like a movie from the 1970s. Also big props to the actors. Roddy McDowell is wonderful as the only survivor from the previous expedition into the house, who is naturally scared out of his mind as he already knows what the house is capable of, and is just waiting for the shoe to drop. Pamela Franklin is also great as the young and very religious Miss Tanner who bears the brunt of the house's attention and suffers a great deal for it.

Definitely worth a watch for anyone who wants a good haunted house story.

/

Shaman Tank Spec
Dec 26, 2003

*blep*


Movie 3: Hausu (1977)



House may be the weirdest movie I've ever watched. Everything about the movie is utterly baffling from the bizarre cuts and fades to the awesomely crappy special effects and the pacing; the movie jumps from scenes of haunting melancholy and sadness to weird slapstick comedy and back again without giving a single gently caress. It's honestly like watching a fever dream on the screen. A bunch of people going through absolute nonsense in front of obviously and cartoonishly flat background images. The cinematography would be at home in a low budget children's TV show. Seven girls trapped in a haunted house, death, blood, dismemberment... and now we've cut to a scene of a guy and a bear in a chef's hat cooking noodles for a bunch of weary travellers. Oh, OK then!

It shouldn't work. This should be something on MST3K. But it does work. It wraps around from "this is a mess" to "this is an amazing, unique, brilliant mess and if anyone ever tried to duplicate this, the results would be a disaster". And I think the reason it does work so well is that everyone involved just had fun with the project and let it go in weird and unexpected directions.

I'm not sure if I'm missing like seven layers of cultural references because I haven't seen enough Japanese movies from the 60s and 70s, but what the hell: even from this perspective House works. I'm not going to discuss the plot or any other details any further, because honestly if someone hasn't seen House, they shouldn't read anything about it going in, they should just sit down to watch it and let the experience wash over them.

This is definitely going to be one of those movies I drag out at movie nights and show to my friends.

Score: /



Movies
1. Evil Dead II, 2. The Legend of Hell House, 3. Hausu

Shaman Tank Spec
Dec 26, 2003

*blep*


Movie #4: The Haunting (1963)



"The dead are not quiet in Hill House."

Hoo boy, what a great spooky ghost house movie! I'd read (and really liked) the book, the Haunting of Hill House, and I'm impressed by how faithful the movie was to the book. Even to the point of having Nell verbalize her inner monologue for the movie, which is something you don't see that often.

Basically this was everything I'd want from a spooky ghost house movie. The haunting scenes were extremely well done and honestly freaked me the hell out, possibly because "demons will wander around the house banging on the walls trying to find the way in" was one of the stories my Jehovah's Witness elders scared me with as a child. But hey, it was damned effective! Plenty of really cool, unexpected and therefore very striking effects as well. I loved the way the shadows made the reliefs on Nell's bedroom wall look like an angry face during the "whose hand am I holding?" scene, and the weird strechy, bulgy door during the parlor haunting was great.

Also a huge shout out to the cinematography. The movie looks gorgeous in high contrast black and white, and there were tons of inventive shots that make the house feel alien and distorted. The Blu-ray transfer also looks nice and crisp aside from the establishing shots of the house, which look like they were filmed on a World War II era handheld camera. What the hell's up with that?

As a final fun aside it was neat to watch the movie, having also seen (and loved) the Netflix show "The Haunting of Hill House", and picking out all the things they chose to bring across to the show, like the ghost wandering the corridors with ominous banging noises, Nell dancing around to a tune nobody else can hear and so on.

Still holds up very well because unlike for instance the lovely-rear end modern remake, The Haunting doesn't show you much. Instead it oozes with atmosphere and lets your imagination go to town, which is much more terrifying than crappy CGI effects.

/ 5

My movies so far:
1. Evil Dead II, 2. The Legend of Hell House, 3. Hausu, 4. The Haunting

Shaman Tank Spec
Dec 26, 2003

*blep*


Movie #5: The Innkeepers (2011)



What a weird movie. Not in the wonderful way of Hausu, but in the "I don't know what to make of this, and I'm not sure the filmmakers knew either" way. The Innkeepers is the story of Luke and Claire, two slackerish hotel workers who are spending their last weekend at the Yankee Peddler Inn, a failing hotel that is going to close down the next Monday. Claire and Luke are determined to once and for all get some concrete evidence of the hauntings that have been reported at the Inn over the years before it's too late.

That's a cool premise for a horror movie, and that's not the only cool thing about The Innkeepers. It's got a fairly quirky tone that isn't so much horror movie as ... I don't really know, what. Until the climax there's very little horror or spooky stuff in the movie and we spend more time with Claire and Luke slacking off and Luke obviously being in love with Claire but also too much of a goon to say anything. Over the weekend various strange guests check in to the hotel, including a very low energy old man who insists on having a very certain room, and an aging actress who was once the star of a beloved 80s sitcom but is now a "healer" and acts as Claire's spooky sherpa as she tries to uncover the strange things happening at the hotel and things seem to be building up to something.

That's all well and good, but The Innkeepers feels kind of muddled and lost. Ti West could have cut a bunch of sublots out of the movie, because they end up going nowhere, and instead focused more of the film's 101 minute runtime on making a few plot threads more meaningful. Now it just feels like the movie's kind of spinning its wheels in a 90 minute donut before finally and suddenly streaking off at 100mph for the climax. I didn't hate it, because Sara Paxton and Pat Healy put in good performances and the movie DOES have a quirky, yet at the same time often tense atmosphere. Also big props to the sound department, because The Innkeepers was one of the best surround sound horror movies I've watched. There's an especially cool scene where Claire is trying to record ESP sounds on a portable recorder, and as she walks around the hotel and pans the microphone around, the sound also pans around the speakers in an extremely effective and spooky way.

Man, it just feels like with a few tweaks The Innkeepers could have been really good. Now it's entertaining enough, but nothing bugs me more than wasted potential.

(As a silly aside, I had my PC on but idling as I watched the movie, and during the climactic scene as Claire was sneaking into the spooky old man's room, my PC decided to start playing a Twitch stream, so for a moment there I thought Claire could faintly hear some ghostly guy going "hey guys, what's up! Great to see so many of you here tonight..." and thought the movie was about to get REALLY weird with some ghostly poker game or party.)

/ 5

My movies:
1. Evil Dead II, 2. The Legend of Hell House, 3. Hausu, 4. The Haunting (1963), 5. The Innkeepers (2011)

Shaman Tank Spec fucked around with this message at 19:40 on May 8, 2021

Shaman Tank Spec
Dec 26, 2003

*blep*


Spatulater bro! posted:

Have you seen House of the Devil? Same director. It has that same "nothing much happens for a long time and then BAM" thing going on, but it works a lot better. Though for the record I also really like The Innkeepers, but House of the Devil is a lot stronger.

I haven't, but I'll definitely check it out at some point. There was a lot to like in The Innkeepers for me as well, so similar but stronger sounds like a very intriguing thing.

Shaman Tank Spec
Dec 26, 2003

*blep*


I was originally going to watch It Follows but my never before watched but certainly out of the return window Blu-ray disc crapped out about 10 minutes into the movie so instead I watched...

Movie #6: Sleepaway Camp



Oh, well, that's all water under the bridge, as I always say. Water under the bridge!

I imagine this movie is what it feels like to step into the ring with a heavyweight champion. We open with the most contrived boating accident in the history of boating. While you're still getting over that, you get slugged by a historically awful/amazing performance from Aunt Martha and as you're reeling from THAT, the movie hits you with paedophile camp chef Artie, who is literally drooling over the fresh "bald eagles" arriving at Sleepaway Camp. "Bald eagles" being his term for girls who don't have pubic hair yet. And it doesn't let off from there, instead pummeling you for 84 minutes before finally knocking your rear end into next week.

I was expecting a bog-standard Friday the 13th knockoff, but uhh... that's not what's on offer here. I'm not sure if Sleepaway Camp is completely awful, kind of amazing, or both at once. The kills and effects are nice especially for such an obviously low budget movie, but everything else is varying degrees of awful, shocking, off-putting or downright disturbing.

Aside from muscular and very nice camp counselor Ronnie (and our main characters, cousins Angela and Ricky), everyone in the movie is AWFUL. The campers subject Angela and Ricky to horrible torment constantly, but of course they get their comeuppance as a mysterious killer (WHO COULD IT BE?!!?!) picks them off one by one.

The worst of the bunch may be camp owner Mel, who desperately tries to avoid bad publicity as campers and counselors alike are slaughtered, wrapping off his summer by trying to go on a date with a counselor who can't be more than 16 years old. Mel is charitably in his 60s. Yeah.

The acting is amazing in the sense that everyone in the movie is competing to see who can chew the scenery the hardest and put in the worst performance. And boy, the competition is FIERCE. I don't even consider this a real minus because it wraps around from just bad acting to amazingly bad acting and then flips the dial over a couple times more.


Which is more convincing? My per-FOR-mance, or my moustache?!

And the ending. Oh my god the ending. OH MY loving GOD THE ENDING. Don't read if you haven't watched Sleepaway Camp but JESUS loving CHRIST.

OK so the killer is Angela, which was at best a 50-50 shot right from the start, but it turns out that Angela isn't Angela. She's was born Peter, and because Aunt Martha is nuttier than a fruitcake and couldn't have two boys in the house, she decided to raise Angela as a girl after taking her in following the boating accident.

The reveal is done in the most shocking and tasteless way possible, as counselors discover a naked Angela leering at the camera while holding her camp sweetheart's decapitated head (which she decapitated with a hammer?), dong swinging in the summer breeze. And we freeze on Angela's face as she does her best Gene Simmons impression.

The ending honestly left me speechless, and of course also suddenly put the whole rest of the movie in a different and slightly sinister light. Like Angela killing a very mean and horrible female camper by shoving a hot curling iron into her vagina. The levels of psychosexual horror on display here would take a team of psychologists decades to unpack.


I thought I was prepared for Sleepaway Camp, but loving god damnit, nobody could be prepared for Sleepaway Camp. Rated as a movie -- where little things like plot and acting performances matter -- it would be a one star turkey, but as an experience it's one of a kind. And as such I am giving it...

/ 5

My movies:
1. Evil Dead II, 2. The Legend of Hell House, 3. Hausu, 4. The Haunting, 5. The Innkeepers, 6. Sleepaway Camp

Shaman Tank Spec fucked around with this message at 19:12 on May 9, 2021

Shaman Tank Spec
Dec 26, 2003

*blep*


Lurdiak posted:

Hey y'all, I won't be participating in this challenge because I've got some personal stuff going on this month, but I hope it's not presumptuous of me to offer you the January Horror Essentials movie lists as a potential resource to help you choose what to watch.

From the 2019 thread

From the 2021 thread

All of these come with the highest recommendation if you've never seen them, as they are certified, bonafide, genuine horror essentials.



Dang, thanks for these. I'll definitely go through them and pick out movies I inevitably haven't seen.

Shaman Tank Spec
Dec 26, 2003

*blep*


Movie #7: It Follows



It could look like someone you know or it could be a stranger in a crowd. Whatever helps it get close to you.

I can't decide if It Follows is making an STD allegory, or just playing with the old horror movie trope of "have sex -> die". Either works, and I'm not sure it's that important, because the unnamed demon is mostly a motivator in the movie, rather than an active antagonist.

What follows is an extremely atmospheric almost road movie with lots of absolutely stunning cinematography and a hauntingly awesome and very unique chiptuneish soundtrack by Disasterpeace, the guy who made the music for Fez. Lots of lovely, lingering shots of teenage ennui as our heroes lounge on beaches or in bedrooms interspersed with moments of panic as the demon catches up to Jay and the group tries to avoid it, so they can get to the next hangout spot. That sounds dismissive, and I suppose in a way it is, because even though there were certainly horrible things in the movie, It Follows didn't strike me so much as a traditional horror movie. Instead if felt like insanely pretty, extremely atmospheric and very well acted existential dread. Hell, it is pretty much flat out stated by the movie's closing quote from Dostoevsky's Idiot:

"But the most terrible agony may not be in the wounds themselves but in knowing for certain that within an hour, then within ten minutes, then within half a minute, now at this very instant – your soul will leave your body and you will no longer be a person, and that is certain; the worst thing is that it is certain."

Much like the monster, the one thing in life that it certain is that eventually we'll all die. How do you carry on knowing that?

/ 5

My previous movies
1. Evil Dead II, 2. The Legend of Hell House, 3. Hausu, 4. The Haunting, 5. The Innkeepers, 6. Sleepaway Camp

Shaman Tank Spec fucked around with this message at 19:23 on May 10, 2021

Shaman Tank Spec
Dec 26, 2003

*blep*


Movie #8: From Beyond



No, I want to see more... more than any man has ever seen!

From Beyond is a movie that doesn't gently caress around. The movie's run barely two minutes when a scientist turns on a machine that colours everything purple, reveals weird skeleton moray eels swimming in the air and gets his face bitten by one of them. A few minutes more and another scientist has had his head twisted off and a dog is eating the stump. That's one hell of a mission statement!

Before I saw "The Colour Out of Space" I insisted that there has never been a good Lovecraft movie. This was only because I had never seen From Beyond, which certainly counts as one even though it's only loosely based on a short story of the same name, because boy howdy, here's some loving cosmic horror for you!

Turns out that our world is also inhabited by slimy tentacle monsters, only we can't see them, and they can't see us, unless our pineal glands are stimulated by very precise magnetic fields. That's a good thing, because the moment this happens, heads start getting twisted off, people get eaten into bloody skeletons by tiny (but presumably tentacled) mites and impotent professors turn into impotent tentacle monsters who eat brains.

My enjoyment of the movie followed a roller coaster curve. The beginning is awesome. Then the movie continues awesome until we hit the middle point where Lovecraftian horror takes the back seat for "oh the pineal gland also controls our sexuality so I guess we're all turbo horny weirdoes now even though one of us almost got eaten by a Dhole (a giant worm, not a cute fox thing)", at which point I was about ready to check out. But then the movie finds another gear and we go into full brain eating, flying tentacle monster territory and how the hell can I not love a movie where two slimy skulls are snapping at each other in a gribbly fight to the death?

And of course everything ends the only way a good Lovecraft story should: our heroes win the very definition of a Pyrrhic victory, because the things from beyond are only delayed, whereas our heroes are all either dead, or batshit insane.

Holy poo poo what a god drat ride.

/ 5

Earlier movies:
1. Evil Dead II, 2. The Legend of Hell House, 3. Hausu, 4. The Haunting, 5. The Innkeepers, 6. Sleepaway Camp, 7. It Follows

Shaman Tank Spec
Dec 26, 2003

*blep*


Movie #9: Tremors



Can you fly, you sucker?

Holy hell this movie was fun! Rednecks vs. giant underground worms -- excuse me, graboids -- is just a recipe for success in my books. A really good cast, especially with Michael Gross as the insane prepper who has built a bunker to survive any scenario. Except of course giant underground monsters. You always miss one!

An excellent mixture of Jaws-like horror and tension with some surprisingly good comedy. I literally laughed out loud when we get the celebratory moment of Val and Earl coming up with their Cat plan... and then the camera zooms back in from the caterpillar to reveal it's half a mile away from where the guys are stuck. Excellent direction, excellent cinematography, hell, excellent everything. Tremors is surprisingly competent and well made for such a late period monster movie, but I guess maybe by 1990 we'd moved to a period where you could do something like this as a passion project and rope in a bunch of good character actors and a decent budget.

And the thing that makes Tremors extra impressive is that the movie was made in 1990, so it's not CG. It must have taken some herculean efforts to rig up all those ground effects as the graboids zoom around underground toppling buildings and making the ground ripple in waves. Looks great, the Blu-ray looked excellent. Are the sequels any good? If they're even half this fun, I've got a lot of watching to do!

/ 5

My earlier movies:
1. Evil Dead II, 2. The Legend of Hell House, 3. Hausu, 4. The Haunting, 5. Innkeepers, 6. Sleepaway Camp, 7. It Follows, 8. From Beyond

Shaman Tank Spec fucked around with this message at 18:36 on May 12, 2021

Shaman Tank Spec
Dec 26, 2003

*blep*


Movie #10: Friday the 13th Part II Fran Challenge #3: Camp Blood


I told the others, they didn't believe me. You're all doomed. You're all doomed.

Still no hockey mask, but at least this time Jason's the killer! That's not just me nitpicking about horror movie trivia either, this change brings along a bunch of other changes that make Part II feel like what I expected a Friday the 13th movie to feel like. Jason has much more of a presence than the killer in the first movie, who was largely an unseen force and we mostly only got to see the end product. This time Jason stalks his victims on camera, has physical confrontations with them. I also have to say that while the classic hockey mask is awesome, sack head Jason is also cool and extremely menacing.

There's also been a big change in the kills, as they are a lot more brutal and graphic than first time around. I think my "favourite" was Mark, who takes a machete to the head, then rolls his wheelchair off the porch stairs... and keeps rolling right down a hill's worth of extra stairs. It's not funny as such, but it's inventive, which is one of the things I'd always heard about Friday the 13th movies.

All in all Part II feels like a much better and tighter movie than the first one. The pacing is miles better and the actors are like from another plant compared to the first one. I also really liked how Ginny got to use her oft-mentioned child psychology studies (well, at least a Hollywood version of them) on Jason during the climax. That's some good Chekhov's Education! I still didn't love the movie but it was a marked improvement over the first one and actually made me want to watch more of the series.

The very ending had me scratching my head though. Jason leaps in through the window on Ginny... and then... he's hosed off with Paul somewhere, leaving her to be rescued by the cops in the morning? Jason, buddy, want to run that by me again?

,5 / 5

My earlier movies:
1. Evil Dead II, 2. The Legend of Hell House, 3. Hausu, 4. The Haunting, 5. The Innkeepers, 6. Sleepaway Camp, 7. It Follows, 8. From Beyond, 9. Tremors

Shaman Tank Spec
Dec 26, 2003

*blep*


Basebf555 posted:

Friday Part 2 has, for my money, the scariest moment in the entire series when Ginny notices that there's someone else(spoiler alert:it's Jason!) in the room with her and Paul

Yeah that was extremely cool and escalated in a very fun way

Shaman Tank Spec
Dec 26, 2003

*blep*


WeaponX posted:

7. Rawhead Rex



A campy little monster film, Rawhead Rex features an ancient pagan god rampaging through rural Ireland. It’s based on a Clive Barker short story and screenplay but he famously disowned the final product.

I mean, in the original screenplay / short story I guess Rawhead Rex was supposed to be a literal dick monster (which also explains the name in a "sensitive head Rex" type of pun) who then goes around violating women and puritans. Or at least that's what Red Letter Media claimed. Would've been interesting to see the original vision, instead of the watered down one where you can kind of still see remnants of Rex being a literal dick monster.

Shaman Tank Spec
Dec 26, 2003

*blep*


Movie #11: Under the Shadow
Fran Challenge: #7: Mother's Day


His eyes were fixed on something behind me I couldn't see. Something terrifying...

Under the Shadow is the first Iranian movie I've ever seen, but if more of them are anything like this, it won't be the last! The film is set in 1984, smack dab in the middle of the Iran - Iraq war, during a period of great turmoil within Iran. The Iranian Revolution is still quite recent, and the war has been raging ever since.

Shideh is a young mother who had to call off her medical studies as the 1979 revolution started kicking off, and put off returning to her studies to take care for her daughter. After her mum passed away very recently she decided to go back to finish her studies, but is told that because she participated in anti-government activities during the revolution, she can go pound sand. To make matters worse, her husband is called up to serve in the war and the two separate under tense relations after a big fight.

Left alone to take care of her young daughter, Shideh is beset by dangers from all sides. She and her husband are obviously quite liberal, because while she's forced to wear the burqa outside her apartment, inside it she exercises to Jane Fonda tapes and lets her daughter watch Boy George music videos. Iraq are stepping up their terror campaign and launching increasing amounts of missiles at Iranian cities, prompting many to abandon Tehran for safer territories, but Shideh stubbornly insists on remaining in her own home. But what if the home turns out to be full of evil spirits?

Under the Shadow is one of those horror movies where it doesn't show its cards, and instead dangles the audience along. Are Shideh and her daughter under attack from djinns, evil wind spirits from Iranian mythology, or are they both just cracking under the pressure? With bombs falling everywhere and Shideh obviously going through a quarter-life crisis after the death of her mother, all the while struggling with feelings of inadequacy as a mother herself, it would be understandable if she was going a bit crazy. But what if she isn't? Which option would even be worse?

The movie is pretty drat good, in my opinion. The comparisons to Babadook, a movie I also really like, are fairly obvious. A single mother stuggles to care for a difficult child. Is something supernatural bothering them, or is the child having some real problems? Or is the mother? Or are they both? It's well written, well paced, well acted (well, it seems to me at least, but I don't speak Persian) and ratchets up the tension nicely. It's also culturally very interesting due to the period it is set in, as well as simply because it's fun to watch the folklore and mythology of non-European cultures get some screen time as well.

/ 5

My previous movies:
1. Evil Dead II, 2. The Legend of Hell House, 3. Hausu, 4. The Haunting, 5. The Innkeepers, 6. Sleepaway Camp, 7. It Follows, 8. Tremors, 9. From Beyond, 10. Friday the 13th Part II

Shaman Tank Spec fucked around with this message at 19:22 on May 14, 2021

Shaman Tank Spec
Dec 26, 2003

*blep*


Class3KillStorm posted:

Ghosts are probably straddling the line for "mythological", but I don't think they'd count. Unless there is something unique about Persian ghost myths that I'm unaware of that wasn't mentioned in your review.

Points taken and I dropped down to just one Fran challenge, but I would argue that djinns are not ghosts. As far as I understand, they are mythological creatures from Persian folklore, and basically are traditionally wind spirits with their whole own deal, not the spirits of departed people.

I'm not going to try to lecture anyone about the specifics of djinns, though, because I'm not an expert!

Shaman Tank Spec fucked around with this message at 19:23 on May 14, 2021

Shaman Tank Spec
Dec 26, 2003

*blep*


Class3KillStorm posted:

Also, I am not an expert on djinns in any way either - my familiarity with them starts and ends with Wishmaster. Which, if you haven't seen it, could stand to be added to your list purely as a schlock fun option.

Oh dang, that looks like a lot of fun!

Shaman Tank Spec
Dec 26, 2003

*blep*


Hollismason posted:

I will advocate for watching the Hellraiser films starting with the last one and going in reverse order. That way the films just get better not worse.

I think I've seen the uhhh first four or five Hellraisers. One was amazing, two was weird but still decent (I think) and then oh boy. I distinctly remember a Cenobite who had a CD player for a head and shot deadly CDs at people.

Shaman Tank Spec
Dec 26, 2003

*blep*


Movie #12: Halloween Part II



I shot him six times! I shot him in the heart. This guy, this man, he's... HE'S NOT HUMAN!

Remember when I watched Halloween? How I said one of my favourite things about the movie was that Michael Myers didn't have some elaborate backstory and seemed like a force of nature. Just a crazy guy who breaks out of the loonie bin on the 15th anniversary of his first murder, then obsesses on a random girl on the street and starts stalking her? Well Halloween Part II undoes all that in one of the dumbest clusterfuck decisions I've seen in horror movies.

Because you see, Michael Myers didn't just obsess on some random girl -- which would have been terrifying because ANYONE could be some random girl on the street. Oh no, Laurie Strode is actually Michael Myers' second sister and he's specifically back to kill her. Yes he somehow knew that she was his sister even though under the most charitable reading he would last have seen her when she was two years old.

And not only that, but now Michael Myers also goes around writing SAMHAIN in blood on blackboards, which Dr. Loomis helpfully explains is a reference to the ancient druids and their human sacrifices, and how that helped them see into the future. So I guess now Michael Myers is a modern day druid, or at least way into them? Honestly, after the movie I had to go back and check who had actually written Halloween Part II because I was completely convinced there was no loving way the same guy who wrote the excellent, tight and stressful Halloween had decided to just pull down his pants and take a big poo poo all over it. But it turns out it all makes sense after all:

"Carpenter described that his writing of the screenplay "mainly dealt with a lot of beer, sitting in front of a typewriter saying 'What the gently caress am I doing? I don't know.'"

"he plot twist of Laurie being Michael's sister was initially never planned by Carpenter or Hill, but was conceived, according to Carpenter, "purely as a function of having decided to become involved in the sequel to the movie where I didn't think there was really much of a story left." He would later refer to this plotline as "silly" and "foolish,""


Well I'm glad we agree, John.

Even beyond that the movie isn't great. It's largely a retelling of the same beats as the first movie with Dr. Loomis driving around Haddonfield looking for Michael, who spends the time slaughtering people in the city's only hospital -- a place nobody bothered deploying any guards to after sending the only survivor of Myers' previous rampage there for medical treatment. Laurie herself spends about 80% of the movie unconscious and being leered at by a horny EMT, and Michael Myers is largely unseen as well.

The movie only starts to pick up in the final moments, as Myers starts to actively stalk Laurie around the hospital, at which point Carpenter's minimalist score ratchets up the tension, Laurie gets to do something and it starts to recapture that first movie magic. If we'd had more of that, Halloween Part II would have owned, but alas, the 15 or so minutes we get just barely begins to salvage the whole movie. Then Michael Myers gets blown the gently caress up and I'm sure he's 100% dead for good this time.

/ 5

My earlier movies:
1. Evil Dead II, 2. The Legend of Hell House, 3. Hausu, 4. The Haunting, 5. The Innkeepers, 6. Sleepaway Camp, 7. It Follows, 8. Tremors, 9. From Beyond, 10. Friday the 13th Part II

Shaman Tank Spec
Dec 26, 2003

*blep*


Spatulater bro! posted:

Can't wait for Psycho to blow his mind.

I know all about the twist in Psycho, DUH.

The woman gets killed in the shower




I know the guy's mommy is a skeleton

Basebf555 posted:

I know you've said you haven't seen a lot of these movies but I guess I still didn't quite understand that you hadn't known about Laurie being Michael's sister. You're so pure, so unspoiled

I genuinely had no idea and it was a huge disappointment for me

Shaman Tank Spec fucked around with this message at 17:59 on May 18, 2021

Shaman Tank Spec
Dec 26, 2003

*blep*


Basebf555 posted:

Halloween III is a completely unconnected story without Michael in it, and it's really good so definitely check that out.

Yeah, the movie with the super awesome happy happy Halloween song. I know the gist of that one but definitely watching it!

E: oh wait, the dumbest most clichéd guess about the Samhain thing: Michael is actually possessed / a reincarnation of the big dark lord Samhain the doctor mentioned

Shaman Tank Spec
Dec 26, 2003

*blep*


Basebf555 posted:

I feel like with Halloween III, even if you know the basic outline of the plot it will have a few absurd twists and turns that you didn't expect.

And to be honest the only thing I know is Evil Corporation (possibly powered by witches?) distributes haunted halloween masks to kids which turn them into monsters and that sounds awesome.


quote:

Yea in one of the later sequels, an actual Samhain druid cult is after Michael because I guess they need him to understand Pure Evil so they can reproduce it in other kids or something, it's pretty dumb.

Oh my god.

Shaman Tank Spec
Dec 26, 2003

*blep*


Franchescanado posted:

Danielle Harris is charming as the main character, and Pleasance goes full crazy with Loomis.

Wait... but he also exploded the gently caress up?

Shaman Tank Spec
Dec 26, 2003

*blep*


Basebf555 posted:

Yes but you see he now has a scar on his face from the burns. Makes total sense.

Franchescanado posted:

He got better.

I can't decide if "elderly man is trapped in a gas explosion that levels half a wing of a hospital, and is then a raging inferno for ages afterwards, survives with minor facial scarring" is amazingly stupid or just stupid.

E: honestly could be a Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace joke.

Shaman Tank Spec fucked around with this message at 20:32 on May 18, 2021

Shaman Tank Spec
Dec 26, 2003

*blep*


Franchescanado posted:

The Halloween series is notorious for killing off Michael in definitive ways, and then bringing him back with ridiculous twists and retcons.

Well I mean that makes sense in a horror movie kind of way because he's the killer. He's the Shape. Evil never dies. But Dr. Loomis?!

Shaman Tank Spec
Dec 26, 2003

*blep*


Movie #13: The Others



“Sometimes the world of the living gets mixed up with the world of the dead.”

Somewhere on the Island of Jersey in 1945. A lone woman is living alone in a mansion beset by seemingly endless fog with her two children. As the two children suffer from a rare and extremely serious photosensitivity, the house must always be kept dark. Into this lonely dark house arrive three servants, here to replace the previous batch who mysteriously vanished one night without even saying good bye. And then strange things start happening.

For the first 3/4 of its runtime The Others is a fairly tense and atmospheric gothic horror film, where unseen entities slam doors, play the piano, have whispered conversations just out of hearing, and sometimes possess young girls. The woman, torn by grief for her husband who has been declared missing, presumed dead, struggles with the events seemingly surrounding her family. They are at odds with her very strict Christian beliefs, so she resorts to gaslighting the gently caress out of her poor children, much to the chagrin of the elderly servants.

And if that's all that had happened, The Others would be a solid 3/5. It's beautifully shot and looks just like a classic British gothic horror movie from the 60s or 70s with plenty of gorgeous noise and fog. But then we reach the ending. And I'm gonna spoiler that, because if you haven't seen The Others, go watch it.

Actually there are two revelations in the movie, both of which are pretty drat cool. The first one is that the three servants, who have been acting increasingly mysteriously, are dead. The woman discovers their "book of the dead", a photo album with pictures of their corpses in it, just as the little children discover their graves. Oh no, the servants were the ghosts all along, here to torment the woman and her children! Suddenly a lot of cryptic remarks from earlier in the movie take on new meaning, because now we know the servants are spirits trapped to return to the house again and again after their death from tuberculosis.

And then we get the second reveal in one of the coolest scenes I've seen in horror movies for a while. As the ghosts of the servants are trying to get into the house, the children are hiding in the attic. And suddenly the Intruders -- the otherwordly presence in the house -- finds them. The woman rushes up to the attic, hearing snippets of conversation between the Intruders and her children. She opens the door and reveals... a séance. The seemingly ghostly blind grandma the kids have been terrified by is a medium and is trying to communicate with the spirits trapped in the house. The spirits, of course, being the woman and her children. Turns out she'd gone mad in her grief and killed her kids, and then herself, trapping them all in the house possibly permanently.

It's an extremely cool scene not because it's some huge plot twist, but because it's like we've been watching the reverse side of a horror movie up until then. Just as we cut to the real world, the parents of the living family are having an argument about not being able to stay in the house one night longer. "Think about our son", the mother pleads. "There's nothing wrong with out son, Victor's fine", retorts the father. "No he isn't! He's been having nightmares and seeing that little girl". You know, the scene we've all seen a billion times before in a billion horror movies (yes, even I, the horror newbie). And all the while the medium is transcribing conversations we're hearing between the woman and her children to her assistant to read to the human family. I don't want to call it a twist, because it honestly feels more like context.

I went back to watch some earlier scenes after the big reveal, and the movie works extremely well even from this perspective. Like in the scene in the junk room, where the woman is hearing snippets of conversations. Initially we thought she was hearing ghosts who were saying some very strange things indeed, but of course she's actually hearing the living people reacting to her presence. If you listen closely (or turn on closed captioning, I suppose, but I'm not a coward) you can hear someone saying "describe her" and someone else responding with "I think it's a woman". So cool!

I'll be honest, I kind of figured out the second reveal when the woman's husband unexpectedly turns up at the house after being missing for years. "Where have you been", she asks. "I've been lost, looking for my home. Sometimes I bleed", the man responds. So yeah, he's obviously a ghost who has finally found its way back home after dying in the war. But since the woman and the children can interact with him as well, they're probably ghosts too. That didn't ruin the movie in any way, because it's extremely atmospheric and clever.


Very much recommended for fans of gothic horror, as well as fans of horror movies that aren't afraid of getting a bit meta.

/ 5

My earlier movies:
1. Evil Dead II, 2. The Legend of Hell House, 3. Hausu, 4. The Haunting, 5. The Innkeepers, 6. Sleepaway Camp, 7. It Follows, 8. Tremors, 9. From Beyond, 10. Friday the 13th Part II, 11. Under the Shadow, 12. Halloween Part II

Shaman Tank Spec fucked around with this message at 18:40 on May 20, 2021

Shaman Tank Spec
Dec 26, 2003

*blep*


Movie #14: The Final Girls FRAN CHALLENGE: Behind the Mask



They won't be singing Kumbaya... they'll be screaming Kumba-no!

Oh my god this movie was so much fun! I wasn't expecting a ton, because the whole "meta horror movie about horror movies" thing has been done a bunch of times, but rarely with everyone clearly having such a blast.

When you're making a horror comedy, it's obviously a balancing act between horror and comedy, and while the very best of the bunch (like Shaun of the Dead) manage to be both great comedies and great horror movies, most tend to fall on the side of comedy. And so does The Final Girls, because as a horror movie it's not amazing. The in-movie kills are mostly blah and there's very little tension since the whole movie is intended to be a meta deconstruction of the camp slasher genre with the characters being fully aware of it and commenting on it all the time.

So if the horror doesn't thrill or chill, how about the comedy? Does it work? Well I suppose that depends on the person, but I had a bunch of good, proper laughs, which is kind of rare. The movie plays with both the genre, and the "being in a movie and knowing it" things quite well and often in pretty brutal ways. If "skeevy guy gets launched through a car's windshield and lands on a gravel road so hard he turns into a human pretzel" isn't your idea of a good time, The Final Girls probably won't make you laugh. But then you're probably also not reading this thread so... Also big props to the cast, which includes a bunch of young comedians known for improv stuff so I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of the movie was improvised, it definitely feels like it. In a good way.

I probably would not have liked The Final Girls quite this much if I hadn't seen a bunch of camp slasher movies for the first time recently, because while a lot of the movie is on the general level of "stuff everyone knows about cheesy 80s horror movies", there's also a nice amount of deeper cuts, so I guess the writers and director have watched at least a few camp slashers in their time.

Funny film, looks pretty nice, has a surprising amount of heart. What's not to like?

/ 5

My previous movies:
1. Evil Dead II, 2. The Legend of Hell House, 3. Hausu, 4. The Haunting, 5. The Innkeepers, 6. Sleepaway Camp, 7. It Follows, 8. Tremors, 9. From Beyond, 10. Friday the 13th Part II, 11. Under the Shadow, 12. Halloween Part II, 13. The Others

Shaman Tank Spec fucked around with this message at 09:17 on May 24, 2021

Shaman Tank Spec
Dec 26, 2003

*blep*


Kazzah posted:

I did quite like the part where you learn Loomis accidentally killed that boy Laurie likes, just for its shaggy-dog meanness.

That was such an amazing scene. This cop car just zooms in out of nowhere and pancakes some random dude into the side of a van, exploding in flames.

You can't blame that poo poo on Michael Myers! What the hell was that cop doing?

Shaman Tank Spec
Dec 26, 2003

*blep*


This was a lot of fun! I'll definitely be participating in the future as well!

The only bummer was that my copy of Tombs of the Blind Dead was borderline unwatchable, so I'll have to circle back to that in a future challenge.

In the end I watched 15 spooky movies, most of them for the first time ever, so that was definitely very nice. I covered a lot of glaring holes in my horror backlog

Great movies:
Evil Dead 2
From Beyond
Hausu
Tremors
The Haunting
Sleepaway Camp

Good movies:
Legend of Hell House
It Follows
Under the Shadow
The Final Girls
The Others

OK movies:
The Innkeepers
Friday the 13th Part 2

Bad movies:
Halloween II

I also forgot to log a movie I watched a few weeks ago, Cube, because I didn't originally consider it a horror movie but of course it is one. Can I still write it up and count it?

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Shaman Tank Spec
Dec 26, 2003

*blep*


Jedit posted:

Cube opens with Julian Richings being literally diced. How the heck did you think it wasn't a horror movie?

That is a good point and the only counter point I can give is that I am not a smart man.

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