The Neon Demon

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{cross-posted to Three Imaginary Girls} 

“I know how I look. What’s wrong with that?”

Last night I finally go to see Nicolas Winding Refn’s epic shock porn horror art piece, The Neon Demon, which many of the people at Cannes deemed as “trash,” and walked out of. A few people in the theater with me last night for the preview screening also walked out — however, thought Refn’s film was pretty brilliant both visually and in its hilarious skewering of a problematic industry I’ve never been able to understand or embrace.

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Junk Bonds: The Return of Junk Bucket

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This is one of those rare instances where I’ve seen a sequel *before* I’ve seen the original, but in the case of this splatter-filled horror comedy, I think it’s fine. I’ll eventually get around to watching Stephen Lange’s first feature: Junkbucket—and based on its sequel: Junk Bonds: The Return of Junk Bunket, I’m sure I’ll like it just as much!

Writer and Director Lange uses his horror knowledge to drop some great tributes to classic splatter flicks, making this 2013 film feel like something that could have been made in the 70s or 80s … and I mean that in the most flattering way possible.

The story for Junk Bonds closely resembles 1974’s The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, only instead of Leatherface, the Big Bad is Junkbucket: a man who’s got his own “junk” sewn to his face instead of a regular nose, wears his victim’s faces stretched over a bucket, and whose weapon of choice is a phallic axe/club combo. (more…)

Italian Horror Double Feature: Argento’s Tenebre and Dracula

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In order to save my sanity (lest it break from too many awful adaptations) I had to take a break from my Stephen King project this weekend to review a couple of horror films by Dario Argento instead.

Ah, Dario Argento. I feel like Italian horror is either something you completely love or completely hate, and I’ve been completely in love with Argento since I viewed Suspiria when I was a teen. After that, it wasn’t long before I was driving down to Scarecrow video every weekend to check out more Argento films, along with some Lucio Fucli and Lamberto Bava (Demons and Demons 2! YES). In order to love Argento, you have to love bad dubbing, melodramatic acting, and watching women’s heads crash through glass windows over and over and over … and over again. Which I do!  (more…)

You’re Next

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{Cross-posted to Three Imaginary Girls

Contrary to its “EVERYTHING ABOUT THIS IS SCARY” trailerYou’re Next is packed with quite a bit of fun. Sure, there are elements of scariness, but the best thing about this splatter-fest is that it’s infused with a lot of clever moments.

For example, taking the basic “trapped in a remote location” horror movie premise, and then flipping it by ignoring not one, but two, of the usual genre tropes: a heroine who actually fights back (think Nancy Thompson, but with professional training), and murderers who aren’t invincible and actually make mistakes.  (more…)

Maniac (2012)

Maniac 2012

{Cross-posted to Three Imaginary Girls}

I didn’t think there was any way Elijah Wood would ever be able to creep me out more than he did as Kevin in Sin City, but I stand corrected. Don’t be fooled by Wood’s usual Hobbit-y, childish demeanor; in the remake of the classic 1980 horror film Maniac, Wood is a scary-stalky-scalping monster.

Wood plays Frank, a shy mannequin store owner who targets young women with lush manes of gorgeous hair, kills them, then brings their scalps home to place on top of mannequins so he can pretend they’re his girlfriends — all while having imaginary conversations with his dead, abusive mother.

Director Franck Khalfoun made the bold decision to film almost all of his update from the killer’s POV; he breaks from it in a few scenes, but for the most part, the only times you see Frank’s face are in reflection, which ups the creep factor by like 10,000. (more…)

Evil Dead (2013)

Evil Dead 2013

{Cross-posted to Three Imaginary Girls}

Holy shit you guys. Holy. Shit. I was really hoping the Evil Dead reboot would be awesome, but I had no expectations that it would be as fantastically amazing as it turned out to be. As a horror fan, I gotta tell you that this is one of the finest examples of the genre that I’ve ever seen. Ever.

Fans of the original don’t need to be worried—it’s not a straight-up remake. It’s more of a reboot that uses the basics of The Evil Dead story as a starting point to create a new legend, combined with some really clever nods to Raimi’s work. Which include a new take on his signature camera moves and some great twists on everything you loved about the 1981 flick.

The opening sequence sets you up for the glorious splatter that follows in a surprisingly original way. And you probably know the rest, more or less: five friends head to a cabin in order to help their heroin-addicted friend Mia (Jane Levy, I will never be able to look at you on Suburgatory the same way again) dry out. The group includes Mia’s somewhat estranged brother, David (Shiloh Fernandez); his blonde girlfriend, Natalie; dark-haired nurse Olivia, and bespectacled hipster-nerd Eric. (more…)

Horrorvids: Ambassadors “Unconsolable”

Stumbled across this because of my love for Zosia Mamet (loved her on Mad Men, love her on Girls – just LOVE her). The song itself is just ok – catchy enough, but not really my style. However, Director Gabriel Stanley put together an effectively creepy portrait of a deranged killer that goes well with the music.

Watch ’til the end – that’s the best (and most splatteriffic) part.

[Rec]3: Genesis

{Cross-posted to Three Imaginary Girls

Sometimes when filmmakers continue their horror film franchises, it doesn’t work out so well (I’m looking at you, Paranormal Activity). But while [Rec] 3: Genesis is admittedly the campiest film in Director Paco Plaza’s zombie trilogy, it’s still a nice follow-up to his previous creations, and he manages to keep changing it up enough that it doesn’t feel tired.

Also, I love camp—especially when it involves a bride running around with a chainsaw.

Yup, Genesis takes place at a wedding reception, with an unsuspecting uncle nursing a dog bite that eventually turns him feral and starts a chain reaction of guests biting guests, with massive blood splatters, screaming, and lots of torn dresses and ripped tuxedo jackets. (more…)

Seriously. Now.

Cabin in the Woods !!! !! !!! ! ! Go see it. Now.

THAT IS ALL.

Final Destination 5: The Gymnast

#4: Most Ridiculous Horror Movie Deaths, EVER:
The Gymnast in Final Destination 5

I know it could be argued that every death in every Final Destination movie is ridiculous, but usually I at least have a laughing fit about how stupid it is (re: dude getting squished by a glass window pane in part 3).

This one, though, was particularly dissapointing, because after lots of teasing involving a screw on the balance beam and a loose air conditioning fan, they chose to have this chick get catapulted off some bars and land badly, apparently breaking every bone in her body and instantly killing her.

While the splatter was pretty awesome, I think I would have preferred the fan falling on her, or getting strangled by the bars, or SOMETHING. Anything. Everything. Else. Why? Because it just looks stupid. Look at the photo. It’s stupid, you guys. Come on.