Texas Chainsaw Massacre, 2022

a genuinely good slasher sorry i dont know what to tell yall . i could get on here and say "sucks as a tcm movie but works as its own thing" and to some degree it would be true (i do think itd be an easier watch for most ppl that way & therefore get a better general response) but i actually really liked this as a tcm entry — leatherface is just fucking phenomenal; entirely terrifying and a monster of a villain while still being brutally funny; he doesnt even steal the show bc it was always his show from the start; hes a menace in every sense of the word. the sally plot is a hilarious flip on the halloween 2018 revenge stuff — she shows up after thinking about him for 50 years and he doesnt even know who the fuck she is bc the scariest thing about great slashers from michael to leatherface is that theyre entirely random and without motive and therefore a threat to everyone, even if it means getting no singular great Final Girl to seek vengeance. the gore in this is so fucking good wow they really didnt hold back at all. i get why the gen z influencer characters would turn a lot of ppl off and it is usually cringe to watch BUT i dont rlly think theyre supposed to be a stand-in for gen z as a whole — theyre just attention seeking assholes who we get to see killed by a slasher; in that sense this isnt different from something like halloween resurrection, and that works for me. ending was just insane; most callbacks to the original felt natural and werent annoying. and honestly all of that is only incidental bc at the end of the day this still was, again, a fucking good slasher; full of great kills n chases and it kept me more than entertained for the merciful 82 minutes it lasted. maybe its bc i went in with extremely low expectations but it rlly did it for me + kept me wanting more!

aww this is my last tcm. they went by so fast i honestly hope they keep making these lol. liked 7 out of 9 which is an extremely good score!!! tc3d was complete shit but even massively disliked entries like this + the return & leatherface '17 were still pretty good in my book. need to pick up a new franchise n ive been thinking abt revisiting NOES. who knowsss ok bye

Dark Waters, 1993

catholic horror imagery always fucking gets me man .. every time i saw a crucified nun i wanted to give this ten stars . reiterating my previous suspiria comparison 2 include both versions; opens w the protagonist arriving under heavy rainfall and finding a secretive group with sinister behavior; moves on to a woman finding out her identity as daughter of the beast and closes out with insane body horror; it’s basically the missing link between 1977 and 2018. unrelentingly Ominous and Atmospheric and all that throughout the entire runtime too.

i was sure id like this more when rewatching and now i can say i was right .. still very slow but i loved spending time with it . such a deviously satisfying mystery - repeatedly tricks you into going the wrong way n then shuts the door behind you. what an evil little movie. the protagonist constantly gets led on & made to work against her interests; from the start it feels like theres something evil in motion and every time she rushes to stop it she can only move it further along. a lot can be said about its atmosphere relating 2 the visuals n stuff (the apparently unlimited candle budget certainly didnt hurt) but i think what rlly got me was the feeling that there was absolutely no one who could be trusted. that kind of paranoia especially on a secluded setting (remote island) really cant be beat. ending was a knockout. honestly fantastic film

Leatherface, 2017

godddddd when was anyone going to tell me this was one of the better (best?) franchise revivals in recent history . what the actual hell . like at the very least this is an extremely interesting movie . doesnt follow anything even remotely close to a prequel formula n i fucking love it for that - its entirely committed to telling its own story on its own terms. it almost completely dismisses the hereditary insanity that has basically been the kernel of this franchise for 35 years in exchange for an approach that questions a carceral system that creates monsters by treating them as such. and ive seen plenty of movies that try giving the villain a backstory by showing the process of their becoming; halloween did it like 3 times; this one is leagues ahead of all of them n the most compelling version by far, telling that story as an horror tale & portraying it as a self fulfilling prophecy (and having cops as the villain. fuck yeah). it actually got me thinking of the prequel as inevitable tragedy which is something i love - stories that bank on your previous knowledge to lead you down a path that has an inescapable dead end . im literally this close to bringing up fire walk with me.

almost as good on the production front as the 00s entries which had way larger budgets; after tc3d this is almost ridiculous an upgrade bc there clearly is a Vision and considerable efforts to achieve it even on tight money and i honestly dont think it fails at all . its decent to good; its recreation of the 40s looks pretty believable; i liked the asylum (always do); the practical fx are fucking great actually . the real strength is in the story n the production doesnt get in the way of it so ill consider that a win. lili taylor is sooooo good i knew leatherface was a mama's boy . the other family members felt kinda pointless but i understand why youd feel forced to have them in the movie so at least i liked that they knew to sideline them and focus on the real interesting characters. i rlly feel theres a fucking phenomenal movie in here working under the constraints of a franchise job and i think it does incredibly well under these conditions. it basically got me to forget tcm and appreciate it as its own story by holding on to the reveal of who was leatherface; i think it was a great choice that made sure i paid attention to every character, especially bc all of them *were* worth paying attention to. the longer it went the more scared i was that it was gonna fall off but they actually landed the landing rlly fucking well - an extremely cathartic and satisfying conclusion despite the fact that its nowhere near happy (as it couldve never been.) again - prequel as tragedy; fucking brilliant. maybe i'm giving this too much goodwill but i genuinely thought this was a riot (theres a threesome w a dead guy btw) and everyone else seems to be giving it little to no goodwill at all so i'll have to hype the fuck out of it sorry . landed my tcm top 3 maybe top 2 !

Texas Chainsaw 3D, 2013

utter and complete nonsense ..... what do you mean alexandra daddario is the lost cousin to leatherface . its giving wattpad . looks like complete shittttt my god what happened to the grime the sweat the dirt everything looks so... clean . production value in the negatives!!!!! only not giving this a 0.5 bc of a few moments of unintentional hilarity where i was laughing at how shit it was + i do think leatherface is funny but like . this is far and away the worst movie of the franchise . no one involved in this knows how to make a movie there was not a glimmer of filmmaking 2 be found in this trainwreck at all . genuinely terrible from start to finish

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning, 2006

leatherface straps matt bomer to a table, cuts his shirt off, then proceeds to caress him in an extremely homoerotic way which includes putting his fingers in his mouth. This might be the greatest moment in the history of this nine-movie franchise

suffers from a mild case of prequelitis but i honestly kinda dig it ? sorry these movies just never seem to lose the plot - on the contrary they just seem to fine tune the formula time after time and get continuously grittier sweatier and more violent . and while they never reach the ogs heights they do find a sweet spot in its shadow that appeals 2 my tastes very much . its just working for me sorry . also matt bomer is sooo hot and this is seriously such an important factor like getting the right man to be the sweaty lead hottie is like 60% of my enjoying of a slasher and bomer is the perfect choice . another tcm win !

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, 2003

my most anticipated tcm entry for the single reason that this has literally one of the hottest male casts in horror history . the slutty blond hunk/white trash boyfriend/cute nerdy guy trio could tag team me any day and thats without even accounting for leatherface . maybe thats clouding my judgement or maybe this rlly is a delicious piece of 2000s slasher but either way its my favorite texas chainsaw sequel sawryyyyy. when the camera goes through a gunshot hole in a head baby thats inspired cinematography n real filmmaking... ending was so fucking cool and really captures what makes allegedly based-on-a-true-story horror so uniquely scary . just a very good movie all around with a really hot cast — give it some years and it might be a classic

Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The New Generation, 1995

and when i say this is funnier than tcm2 then what.

probably the Curse of Michael Myers of the texas chainsaw franchise, but at least its funny. matthew mcconaughey is hot but not viggo mortensen hot, but he still sells the shit out of his character, who may or may not have been a robot. who the fuck knows certainly not me. was the suit guy a stand-in for horror audiences forcing the villains to keep killing for our entertainment? did this do the cabin in the woods 16 years before cabin in the woods? maybe so. such a weird movie to review or analyze bc i have no idea what the creative team was even going for. its like theres this bizarre little movie stuck inside a corporate-ordered fourth entry to a franchise so you get the almost passable, slightly below mediocre standard backroads car trip texas chainsaw crap but then the freaky bits keep surfacing every other scene and you get cunty leatherface doing drag. but the sequel side of it isnt even bad - its clear admiration of past entries is oddly endearing - and the weird stuff is obviously a hit with me bc i love that shit. have to say i had fun. is there a directors cut or something? i might want more of this

The Night Of The Hunter, 1955

gorgeously stylized fairytale about an abuser and the children who survive him . obviously has great dark moments where it borders on true horror, with powell as a truly frightening villain but the most genuinely harrowing bits to me were when he was so obviously manipulating the people around him and everyone fell for it, especially when he used his religious position for it. the wife being gaslit into oblivion in hopes of finally being cleansed was just devastating. the left hand of hate raised up before he kills her... jesus christ. not often a movie has me gasp out loud just from cinematography and shot composition alone and this one did it like six times . ending was very wholesome but didnt negate the darker parts; felt more like a natural progression of the films good v evil thesis; the positive counterpart finally winning out . fucking fantastic wish id seen it ages ago

Leatherface: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre III, 1990

viggo is sooooooooooo fucking hot in this just serving absolute evil psycho blonde cowboy cunt yes GOD ..... people died

this is like . so good ????? just deliciously spot-on roadtrip horror and it nails every beat like this fathered wrong turn/jeepers creepers/joyride n soooo many others . and yes of course the real og is the first tcm but this has such an almost fully realized version of that formula that i cant help but be shocked - its crazy how close this is in form/pacing to all of these examples; such a fine execution to all of these familiar but still entertaining tropes. whole thing honestly just Works. thankfully drops most of the tcm2 humor (if hooper couldnt pull it off, no one could) and brings back the darker tone of the original, and it suits the franchise so well that even when it Does tread more comical territory it still feels natural . ugh just genuinely a thoroughly decent movie why is this so shocking? cant believe i never saw this in all these years it wouldve been a favorite .

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2, 1983

didnt hit for me idk maybe this kind of humor isnt my cup of tea . i did love every single leatherface jumpscare it got me every time . also looks pretty nice - you can always trust hooper to put a pretty picture in your screen . especially love how the chainsaws in this look when held just at the right angle so that they look like theyre leaping out of the screen its just gorgeous . and i did giggle every once in a while especially with some bits of physical comedy or when things were just absurd (so a lot of the time) but most of the dialogue fell flat to me . i did watch it dubbed and i dont think the dubbing was great this time ? the first one was great but this one was just too overly literal to a point where sometimes it didnt even make sense . but i did try to watch it (in english) some time ago and gave up like half an hour in bc it wasnt hitting so im not sure the dubbing is really the issue here . honestly wish we got one or two sequels in the late 70s before the 80s got its nasty little hands on this one :/

Spiral: From the Book of Saw, 2021

this has by far the worst ending twist of the franchise not even because its stupid (they all are) but because its just delivered in the most limp and lifeless way which is insane because not once in eight (!!) movies did this franchise ever fuck up a twist reveal . even jigsaw which was also a late sequel with a new killer still managed to pull off a temporarily satisfying reveal no matter how stupid it was bc this has the main theme/expository flashbacks/killer reveal routine down to a fine art — and this STILL managed to botch it!!!!!! my god . everything else is also mid or worse but as previously mentioned i really dont care - not about the cop story not about chris rock and his dad not about anything else in this movie . traps are underused and boring too like congrats on making cartoon death traps boring i dont know how you even manage to do that. and i honestly dont care

Jigsaw, 2017

im on the fence about the new look they gave this . on one hand it does look ok but it just lost a lot of the personality and honestly would rather watch something that doesnt look perfect but that has its own visual language/identity than something that looks less "flawed" but that has no personal flair. like i can imagine an executive going ok were gonna make a new saw but lets not make it ugly lets take away that fuck ass green filter and change aspect ratio so that it looks 2017 modern and i fucken hate how that sounds!!! yes i made up a scenario in my head and im nad at it but the point is the ugliness IS what makes it unique it has charm it has personality and if you take it away without replacing it with any real vision its gonna look bland. which this does! not BAD just Bland which is something this franchise has never looked. idk. otherwise decent movie rlly - great traps, nice twist, i had fun. watched spiral immediately afterwards and the drop in quality really made this seem great in my book

Saw 3D (The Final Chapter), 2010

not the best saw tbh ! especially after 6 which worked so well for me. that 3d stuff looks soooo corny and the fake blood looks way too pink and it was throwing me off. like dont get me wrong the traps are mostly good — i love the one with the blindfolded guy walking through planks and the one with the girl who got put in a trap for cheating on her boyfriends (god forbid women do anything) but i always thought the fx in the franchise looked awesome so for them to botch it in the (alleged) final entry is certainly.. disappointing.

dont think this rlly managed to do both the charlatan punished by jigsaw plotline AND the overarching franchise finale w the hoffman v lawrence stuff — it felt too rushed and the result was honestly kinda anemic . i just think if you want to go out and be ambitious you're gonna need a little legroom in the runtime department and it can be excused or even preferred if you use it well (thats why 3 is both best and longest) but if you want to tap out at 90 mins you're gonna have to be laser focused on doing One Thing Right (the way 6 is shortest and still rlly fun). this one doesnt make up its mind and ends up not doing either thing exceptionally well. at least i had some fun w it so its better than 4-5. pity bc i rlly remember liking this the first time :/

og franchise rating for me is 3 > 1 > 2 > 6 > 7 > 5 > 4 . yes i know the first one is objectively best but 3 fucks and it has the most amanda sooooo

rip william friedkin. cruising is one of my favorite movies and the exorcist is an absolute classic. he was one of a kind. his art will live on forever.

Saw VI, 2009

so the way i see it 1-3 works as its own saw trilogy (the Good saw) and the stuff between 4 and 7 is the franchise trying to figure out what to do with itself after jigsaw dies. 4 and 5 don't really do a great job of it (5 is okayish but still kinda rough) and then there's this one, which i feel is the one that finally finds its footing and manages to be actually fun. the player (thats what i'll be calling the person playing the game since Protagonist would probably more accurately describe hoffman) is a truly despicable guy that is so easy to hate and therefore incredibly amusing to see suffer; the entire movie is kind of a huge judgement of the us healthcare system and i literally am 100000% on board with that; and then there's the traps. good god. in my saw V review i mentioned that strahm being crushed by the walls kicked off the era of cartoon saw traps, and i am so glad to report back and say i couldn't be more right. the traps in this are just positively goofy; exaggerated and borderline comical and a strong contender for series best. the scale trap i was so excited for totally lived up to the hype (i thought she would cut off her hand but she went for the entire arm!!!) but it wasn't even my favorite one because theres a labyrinth (!!!!) and that tops anything else. there's one with a guy who gets hung and then pulled up into the ceiling and it looks soooooo silly like this is literally cartoon shit. and i live for it!!!!! this is kinda the late saw franchise at its best — seeing awful characters suffer in elaborate, stupid ways, which is insanely fun. i didn't mind the hoffman plotline at all, it's genuinely good fodder and it leads to a great climax. i almost feel jill is a bit underused because i see real cuntress potential in her. overall i'm having loads of fun and i remember liking 7 even more so i can't wait for that!! see you guys tomorrow!!

Saw V, 2008

ok we are back on track i don't hate this one!!! it finally feels like hoffman is a real saw character and even though he's not up to amanda-john levels he's still pretty nice. meagan good is in this and i love her of course. i really like the traps in this one - i remembered the twist but it only made it more fun to see exactly how wrong they were getting things. my mom couldn't tell strahm and hoffman apart for most of the movie and even i got them mixed up once or twice lol. the strahm plotline felt kinda contrived and trying a lil bit too hard for that twist, but it is a decently satisfying twist so i can't say im too mad. and i love how the room closing kicks off the era of silly, almost cartoonish saw traps that are entirely off the realm of reality – i love that shit!!!!!! i remember really liking 6 the first time and i recall a rlly sick trap involving a scale so im really excited for that one. be back tomorrow!

Saw IV, 2007

yeah i think this might be my least favorite saw entry. i think the biggest most glaring problem here is that every single good character — even the side ones — died in saw III, which as i said was a perfect trilogy ender and thus didn't have to worry about keeping anyone alive. this has to either introduce a bunch of new ones or give old extras a bigger part, and neither option is a winner in creating compelling characters. the rushed attempts to give rigg something resembling a backstory for emotional purposes (the family stuff) don't really work, and hoffman doesn't get really interesting until like the sixth one. the only redeeming quality in the story department is the jill stuff that revisits jigsaw's past; jill's miscarriage especially is one of the only moments in this that actually got a reaction out of me. and that just circles back to my previous point: i only cared about the character i already knew; everything else fell flat.

the traps are... good? i guess. the one with the woman who was impaled with her husband was clever. the thing is most of the ones in rigg's test are only interesting if you care about him and his journey and i really really didn't and that kind of gore rarely gets a rise out of me anymore without some sort of emotional connection. i mean i obviously gasped when the scalp came off but like. i kinda tuned out during the hotel room trap and had to rewind to figure out what happened because i just didn't really care so much that my brain turned off. by the ending i was straight up bored — something that didn't happen once in the first three movies, even though this has the shortest runtime. the timeline also had me kinda confused — it kinda misrepresents the order of things a bit to get the john stuff in here without you realizing, and it's not done very cleverly so it just comes off as messy instead of complex. i didn't go "oh, so that's what it was" in admiration i went "wait so that's what it was?" in confusion because it seemed like a really dumb choice. so yeah i really didn't care for this one at all. at least i remember this being the worst in the franchise so it can only go up from here!

Saw III, 2006

this really should've been the last one because it's just perfect as a trilogy ender. i kept thinking about randy's trilogy rules from scream 3 and how this basically aces that test to come out as a superb third entry. it expands the franchise mythology; revisits the first two and adds interesting backstory; the main characters (john + amanda) are wonderfully fleshed out; the body count goes crazy; it has some of the best traps of the entire series. that ending is insanely tragic and wonderful to watch and just the best way to tie every last loose string and close out the narrative. this honestly fucks!!! probably the best saw sequel - i can't see anything else topping this. it's a little longer than other entries but only because it's such an ambitious movie that's clearly going for something epic to end the series and i really do think it succeeds. i almost don't even wanna see the next ones anymore tbh (probably still going to bc there's some really sick stuff in 6 and 7 that i really want to get to, plus i never got around to seeing spiral and this is my chance to do so.) saw 3 — my favorite saw!!!

Saw II, 2005

feel like maybe i enjoy the setting in here even more than the bathroom from 1 because it's just so much more exciting and full of promise? like don't get me wrong there's nothing i love more than two men going crazy in a closed room but i also very much appreciate the variety of traps going on in here. i just really had some fun with this one. donnie wahlberg is absolutely terrible — just giving less than nothing the whole time — but not even that managed to discourage me. i don't think i've ever used this word to describe acting before but his performance was just so... flaccid. well he's a wahlberg and acting clearly doesn't run in the family so i'm not really shocked. shawnee smith more than makes up for his shortcomings — amanda's an absolute legend and my favorite character in the series. her last scene was literally insane god she's perfect. can't wait for 3 already just because i want to see more of her. overall this was almost as good as the first one and even surpassed it in some areas — you can tell they got a bigger budget and i think it was well used to make the whole thing look nicer. i'm probably gonna see one of these each day (i'm watching them with my mom) so maybe i'll get to keep updating this webbed site until then!

Saw, 2004

yes i will be rewatching The Saws in anticipation to the tenth one. like every other horror freak on the internet probably. hopefully i'll be more positive towards them this time than on my first round in 2019 (where i hated basically everything after 3 except for 7 which for some reason i really liked.) i do think we're off to a good start!! i can honestly say i really admire how well made this is despite its visibly cheapo quality and cornier moments — it's still all just so neat and efficient. wan is such a good filmmaker — i may drag him a bit sometimes but he can really spin a story and shoot it in a way that is almost always arresting and memorable. and his stuff is always so effortlessly... iconic? for the lack of a better word — you can just tell he loves horror movies and is trying to create a horror movie that he himself would love. and i think he succeeds more often than not. he's really one of the greats. obviously a lot of this praise also applies to the whannell script so kudos to him for that but if i bring him up i also have to say that he's just so prettyyyyyy god adam is literally like a scream queen to me. he's everything. anyway that's it — good movie!!!

The Exorcist III (Legion), 1990

blatty has an understanding of cause & effect that is so incredibly rare to see — i've been trying to explain what this means for so long and i just can't. but it makes the story feel so fucking real — i can't poke holes in it and all of it is presented and delivered so perfectly — the constant unrelenting atmosphere, the setpieces that are so detailed and recognizable and form a fully realized town, the performances so alive i can't even begin to describe them, a script with so much foreshadowing and callbacks it's almost like it's constantly winking at the audience and going "see? isn't that fucked up? and it's real too!", all the time giving you omens of what's to come and showing the effects of what has came. i find such a pleasure in watching a movie that is so utterly, fully thought out, so robust, so rich — a film that creates a little world and knows every nook and cranny of it — and i do fully believe that's what wpb achieved here. and maybe that's why im even more frustrated that i can never really see this as it was supposed to be seen. oh well. still an absolute masterpiece and i'm always in awe of it. sorry for the rambling maybe none of this makes sense to anyone else but its 3am and i rlly do think no ones as obsessed w this movie as i am

not a movie july 7 23

um . sorry i have nothing to update i watched basically no films last month. i did see the new york ripper (1982) and thought it was pretty cool but didnt manage to write anything about it but other than that i havent been seieng anything. i also played silent hill 2 and thought it was amazing - impeccable psychological horror, addictive enough that i coudlnt stop playing for days. spoiler alert but i had to replay it immediately just so i could get james to kill himself lol. amazing game. am prob going to play it again to get the maria ending (i just played born from a wish). think im gonna rewatch shutter island bc of it and then maybe ill finally have a movie to post in here!! im not sure about posting this yet but ill give it a go just to see what it looks like - maybe this site doesnt have to be so form-oriented that i can only post movie reviews, maybe ill just pop up in here whenever i feel like it. hope everyones having a nice day

added two new songs to the webamp — pennsylvania furnace by lingua ignota, which has been on my mind for a while these days and i think its a really gorgeous song. it might take a few plays to hit but i eventually found it really moving. the other one is love you good by rochelle jordan — i listened to it a lot when playing sh2 bc it just fits that ps2 gaming contact-by-kelela 2003 vibe i was feeling like.

Happy Birthday to Me, 1981

kinda dumb but manages to pass itself as smart so well that you can go through like 80% of the runtime enjoying yourself while under the impression that it's going to the right places. shoots itself in the foot when trying to get too clever: there's a twist (good) covering up a twist (bad) and anyone can call out the first one but this is working on the basis that shocking means good so it has to go and pull out a second one that undermines the first so that everybody loses. a pity bc the obvious answer would've been so much more satisfying. still got loads of fun out of it so i wont be too mad.

honestly the real big surprise was that theres like a real budget in here? that buys it nice kills and a decent atmosphere and something that almost passes for class: i love the prep school academic vibe à la urban legend or cherry falls and the locations in here are pretty good, wide and classy and ready to host plenty of action. it's bookended by two amazing moments (starts with a backseat killer which i always love/closes with the notorious bday party) but this was really consistently good. a lot of fun to be had until it finally rips its shirt open to reveal the clown suit it’s wearing underneath. couldve been a 4 but i kinda like my 3.5s more than anything so maybe it won in the end.

one complaint i do not have is about the runtime. its a little long but it was worth my time kinda? not like i have anywhere to be lol. actually liked spending time w it so if it overstays for 20 minutes i wont hold that against it!

The 4th Man, 1983

a writer walks into a story, to catastrophic effects. had a lot of fun with the way this story is stitched together; it takes many liberties regarding reality and isnt very strict on its definition of what even is real. i love to think if you see something in a movie then it's as good as real - either to the seer or the audience, if something is being shown then it's saying something and causing something and it'll affect what happens regardless of it being technically real or not. thats how verhoeven treats things too - we drift in and out of hallucinations and wake up from dreams we thought were reality; there are seamless transitions from reality to dream as if they're interchangeable. sometimes things that are not reality *are* real and sometimes crazy people are right even if they're crazy. it's one of those movies that's constantly winking at the audience and foreshadowing its next moves, which when done well can be very rewarding. there's also a wonderfully macabre sense of humor. and to top things off there's gay sex at a mausoleum - i really cannot ask for anything else. really enjoyed this one. very hot very trippy very fun

All the Colors of the Dark, 1972

all the pros & cons of the usual giallo: stylish as hell, occasionally a bit dull, makes a spectacle out of raising the questions but is a little too deadpan and unfulfilling about giving you the answers because all that matters is the fun you're having while speculating. pretty enjoyable honestly. loved the way the building is filmed especially the shots of the spiral stairs & the elevator shaft, there's some argento in there and i thought it looked gorgeous. there's a subway scene and one thing about me is i will always love a subway scene no matter how brief. i'll admit i mainly watched this because i heard rosemary's baby comparisons and that kind of conspiracy paranoia is irresistible to me, but that turned out to be my least favorite part of the movie. the satanic cult is just not very interesting and the conspiracy isn't fleshed out enough to be actually mysterious. mostly it's just people having orgies and flashbacks/dreams that aren't really important. it's still a satanic cult and a conspiracy, though — it's hard to resist the idea. same with that little premonition toward the end: THE PSYCHIC did it (much) better but i still love the concept, the thrill of having deja vu and knowing when something's gonna happen, so it was still fun to see. feel like my point is very clear: good, not great, which still means it's good!

The Appointment, 1981

tension so thick you could smash your car into it like a brick wall. saw someone describe this as cinematic edging and that's lowkey a fair assessment? it's literally almost entirely made of pregnant pauses and ominous moments of suspense; i seriously held my breath for most of the runtime. once in a while it throws an actual scare at you (such as the notorious opening scene), and all that waiting only made the few times this actually erupts even more jarring since i was already so on edge. easily one of the most effective slowburns i've ever seen; this was so stressful and left me so high-strung i was glad when shit actually hit the fan in the inevitable climax just because i could finally unclench my jaw. this leaves most of its questions unanswered, especially regarding motivation, and the implications just hang around haunting the screen and soiling the air, obvious and unspeakable. just the most off-putting rancid evil vibe all throughout the runtime; don't look now/sole survivor/carnival of souls kind of There Is Something Very Wrong Going On, maybe worse than all of them. this is probably gonna give me nightmares tonight. one of the best i've seen in a long while.

there was exactly one thing i straight-up didn't like (a bit with a moving picture). i thought its low-budget tv-movie status was going to be a problem but after sitting with it for a while i found i quite liked it. the 4:3 aspect ratio made me feel boxed in, and that vhs look actually gives it style and texture.

Hush... Hush, Sweet Charlotte, 1964

davis is nothing short of fantastic in this. she yells at every cast member at least once, she dons a rifle in her very first scene, she slumps and drags herself around the mansion in her white gown like a living ghost, and when it's horror time it's like her entire psyche is crumbling while she gives us that shriek from the poster and earns her status as an early scream queen. 10/10 no notes. olivia is good, maybe even great, especially toward the end but i still wish crawford had kept this role because good god she would've tore this shit up. i can almost see her slapping bette six (!) times and i just know she would really put her hand into it and make every slap count. we really lost this time

runtime was a little too long but only because this takes a few turns story-wise before fully revealing its cards. it never fully lost me so it's fine. it also looks really good: charlotte's 'hallucinations' are all hazy and dreamlike and i thought it was the most gorgeous thing; that mansion is beautiful too. all in all i really liked this one - very campy (way more than The Nanny) and it even managed to surprise me once or twice. theme song was an earworm. i had fun!

The Nanny, 1965

expected davis to be the only good part of this but it surprised me a bit by being ok! not terribly great or anything but it's a pretty decent mystery that at least didn't leave me bored. i thought it was going to be camp city with a shocking twist featuring dramatic music & expository dialogue but its actually pretty restrained, occasionally kinda funny but nothing like baby jane. thats not really a problem. i actually liked the way it gives us the missing pieces of the story through flashbacks from the characters own perspective rather than being too showy about it — there's this one shot of davis opening a bathroom curtain to find a nasty surprise (spoiler alert: the dead kid she accidentally drowned) and instead of showing us her reaction it just cuts right back to the boy recounting it, like it's nothing. this incredibly harrowing moment is given to us without excitation, just its dead weight on the screen speaking for itself so you can make what you will of it. i thought it was a phenomenal choice. davis herself only dials it up in the very last moments, but it is great fun when she does. most of the time she's just doing the innocent harmless nanny act while we're wondering if the kid is lying or not. it worked for me. i was rooting for nanny though lol

Psycho, 1960

perkins fucking ate this jesus christ. his charm and screen magnetism are irresistible and inescapable; i just could not take my eyes off of him. and bates is such a complex character yet he makes things seem effortless when really he's working on multiple levels. a lot of the motivations are kept hidden until the final monologue so that even if you already Know the twist you can still wonder — is norman believing that hes covering for mother? is he actually malicious and covering for himself? he just a stuttering little guy whos about to be caught in the act! hes the titular psycho! he's literally one of the most puzzling characters ever and perkins still makes it seem easy, his boy next door act so impenetrable that even when it cracks it's hard to see whats under it. i love that bit where he's talking to marion and norman is just a poor boy whos stuck with his mother and he's so nice and we feel so sad for him — and then he shows a glimpse of anger for a minute, maybe at his situation, maybe at mother, but he's still lashing out at marion — but then he goes right back to friendly neighborly fella who is just an unlucky guy and even though that red flag was waving you can still feel like maybe he's just frustrated. the layerssss my god and it's just so Natural and nothing about it feels obvious or heavy handed. he was born to play this role. all timer performance & character.

Army of Darkness, 1992

completely goofy and i say this as the biggest compliment. kind of a miracle that this exists at all. and while it's entirely different from everything else evil dead it still taps into what made the first two so great to me: it's an hour plus of continuous torture and torment of ash williams. which is literally so fucking fun to watch!!!! my god just keep putting that guy in situations forever and it will always hit every time. ending completely caught me by surprise because it turns out i accidentally torrented the directors cut lol. i still love the theatrical ending more — that last s-mart fight is amazing and "hail to the king, baby" is unforgettable — but this version was also great. mostly because it's equal parts hilarious and harrowing and very memorable but also because it stays in theme with the franchise by being incredibly mean spirited towards ash and that'll never fail. the perfect send off to my favorite movie trilogy.

Evil Dead 2, 1987

this is something special. sure, there's the clear upgrade in quality that comes with a bigger budget and a more experienced director — raimi revisits the original adding even more flair to every shot and even more insanity to every thrill; the second half of the og is especially improved as ash is left alone in the cabin to go insane and this time the house goes crazy with him; he's subjected to psychic torture the kind we couldnt have dreamed of and it truly is a delight; before the severed possessed hand came into my life i missed it so bad etc etc. but it's more than that. this isn't just a better movie — this is the first time the evil dead as we know it was fully formed. it's not just improvement; it's ascension. it's mythmaking. both for the story and for the film itself. the moment ash puts on the chainsaw hand he sets a chain of events in motion that fulfills a 700 year old prophecy & that finally creates a cinematic icon as he will always be remembered. he's writing himself into narrative glory forever; turning from character into legend.

if you call this movie "so bad its good" or some shit like that — im stealing shit out of your house. this is literally a great movie becuase the people making it were incredibly talented and the only reason you'd think there's anything bad about it is because you don't respect horror movies and you think a horror movie can't be good if it isn't self-serious or dramatic. well guess what? you know this is good. deep in your mind you know it's good even though it's gory and violent and comic. you know it's good and you're scared if you think a 'dumb' movie is good you'll become dumb yourself. newsflash bitch: you're already dumb. enjoy the fucking movie.

Evil Dead, 2013

it's a very close call but i feel like evil dead rise knocked this to the bottom of my franchise ranking. i think it's because the family conflict seemed a little bit shoehorned in at first, unlike the way it just clicked into place in rise. i still love this one though. when push comes to shove it delivers a relentless onslaught of nonstop terror so overwhelming that all i can do is give in and be awed. i cannot over state how ballistic this goes. the last 15 minutes are fucking insane; once it was over my ears were still buzzing after being screamed at for so long. these movies always going above and beyond in the action department is the reason i love them so much.

the one metric where i think this is better than EDR (again, a close call) is that to me it's a more successful attempt at shooting action The Raimi Way. the way he does action is very particular; everything is very theatrical and neatly planned to dance for the screen. he reminds me of spielberg in the sense that his greatest talent as a filmmaker is just that he knows how to point the camera at things in the most creative and dynamic ways; it might sound simple but it's really incredibly rare. the action in this, as gorey as it is, is still eye candy; everything is instantly memorable; it's the kind of thing you remember years after and say 'hey, wasn't that the movie where the girl cuts off her arm/slices her tongue with a box cutter/stabs the dude in the eye' etc etc etc. everything here is picture-perfect and poster-ready and that's the kind of quality that makes a classic.

Evil Dead Rise, 2023

jurys still out on whether this ranks above the 2013 one but i can already say i love this cast so much more. alyssa sutherland is the backbone of the movie — on the emotional side shes the guide from which every other performance takes the lead from; and on the action shes just doing the absolute MOST, not just chewing the scenery but completely devouring it (and on a most memorable moment being devoured herself). genuinely one of my favorite horror performances in recent history like that was literally MOTHER. but i also loved the rest of the cast; the family dynamic is set up quickly but convincingly; every character is instantly likeable and they just bounce off each other; i was immediately invested and could root for them the whole time. theres a version of this where it couldve been a very wholesome family flick and i wouldve ate that shit up

i was soooo hyped up for this bc i hoped it would keep my evil dead 4-stars-or-higher streak and im so glad it did!!!!! just such a goddamn good movie!!!!!! its outrageously fun but the whole time you can tell the creators knew exactly what they were doing; its obviously not effortless and i can appreciate that. theres a clear reverence to past entries and an aspiration to make something worthy of this franchise and i believe it undoubtedly succeeds. the action is just insane; shot in the most creative in-your-face way; it makes a trap out of an entire floor of a building and every corner of it is bursting with opportunity on which it constantly delivers. any initial wariness on the move from woods to city dissipated about halfway through this; i now seriously think this has the best apartment in a horror movie in years. and that campy slapstick almost cartoonish nature of the og trilogy is translated into major scares in here; it often reminded me of malignant and thats a huge compliment. really wish i couldve seen it in theaters bc every other scene had me either gasping or laughing out loud; it's clearly made with the intention to rile up an audience and i was easily convinced. it's just a movie that is having ridiculous amounts of fun with itself — i cant help but to join in. necronomicon's done it again!

Demons 2, 1986

this kinda has a huge editing problem – theres like a dozen different mini-plots going on and its a bit of a juggling act to manage all of them and it kinda leads to a lot of interruption of plot A to show you whats going on in plot B (to the detriment of both). its like the entire movie is plagued with adhd. but that weakness comes from its biggest strength: this is pretty much nothing but a crazy zombie moments compilation; not really focused on a single arc as it is on getting as many characters as it can to raise the body count (of both victims and demons). the real protagonists are the practical gore and the flawless lighting; you're just meant to enjoy every moment of terror bava can squeeze out of these hallways and stairs and apartments. ill admit the relentless assault of one climax after another without even a shadow of anything resembling a plot got kinda exhausting after a while, but thats certainly not the worst problem you could have. its like saying its biggest flaw is that its 'too much fun'. (first one is still better tho <3)

demon kid was an insane bit. its so crazy to have this familiar image of the scared kid alone at night watching a horror movie on tv and wandering into the dark and ur sure hes ultimately safe because of course — hes a kid! and in the very next minute hes a little demon and then a demon gremlin (?) is bursting out of his little body. literally insanely mean like this was thought up by a maniac. and i laughed my entire ass off

Hanging Heart, 1989

im legit fascinated by attempts at homophobia in film that end up creating iconic (freddy's revenge) or at least enticing (this movie) onscreen homoeroticism. the idea of it happening because straight filmmakers just have no clue of how to shoot guy on guy action and end up accidentally making it sexy is hilarious to me and im sure its happened before. but i love to believe it was secret gay men who were making these movies so horny; sneaking into sets and filming bare chests and thighs and midriffs like their dicks depended on it. the stuff in this particular movie supports both theses: some moments read as failed judgement on The Homos that just end up being hot, but there are bits that seem too intentional, especially casual moments where somehow the camera still ends up ogling a male body, that lead me to believe there was at least one gay man on this production who knew exactly what he was doing.

with that said, this is pretty much a complete mess. my hypothetical gay guy was probably the Only person in this who knew at all what he was doing; everything else is ridiculously amateur and clumsy. even when the writing isnt being violently homophobic it's still inconsistent and riddled with plotholes; the editing is atrocious; the kills are few and far between and incredibly uninteresting. the entire thing is a chore to sit through. if a gay slasher with giallo influences is what you're after theres so much better you can do (knife+heart!!!).

Night of the Living Dead, 1968

there's a shot in this of a zombie coming from behind duane jones and just his face and hands are lit up while he's coming out of complete darkness as if he's an actual ghost and i actually gasped at how good it looked. what this does aesthetically is just insane and it makes sense that it would become the blueprint for zombie movies forever because it's just that good. i also love its examination of human relations mid-outbreak and the dynamics that take form – the people who rise to leadership and the ones who crack under pressure, the characters who inevitably turn on each other, all that adding to the inherent stress of being caught up in a zombie epidemic (which is also wonderfully explored.) it all rounds out to an incredibly vivid and immersive experience; the whole thing happens in one night and it's like you're there to see it happen. it's easy to see how this came to be from just a great movie to an actual all-timer classic. the quintessential zombie flick.

Scream 3, 2000

every time i watch one of the new screams i grow a little bit fonder and more respectful of the old ones. rewatched this after seeing the sixth one and the difference of a clumsy learning director and an experienced master is like night and day. in here the entire movie breezes by confidently under craven's guidance; the foundation is solid and can handle anything he builds on it, be it a look under the hollywood carpet or a more brazen kind of humor. this is hilarious and scary and well directed and etc etc etc all those things you already Know — because it's the fully realized vision of a director who knew exactly what he was doing. giving grace to the many false steps of the new duo seems silly when this doesn't falter once.

the sequence with sid getting chased in the woodsboro film set remains one of the best ive ever seen to this day. i love the revisitation of a familiar setpiece just to completely deconstruct it. it's the kind of in-franchise meta move the new duo could never pull off. your previous knowledge of the structure is fully used against you in the ultimate gotcha; the killer comes out of nowhere; the floor Literally gets pulled out from under your feet. galaxy brain kino masterpiece genius stuff. i miss craven more and more with each passing year

Scream VI, 2023

already exponentially better than its predecessor on the single strength of it not being annoying (mostly). ten minutes in it explicitly disavows all the heavy-handed loser meta stuff i hated so much ('who gives a fuck about movies?'), and it's really for the best. the script is still cheeky but not too much, and the odd moments of self-referencing work in favor of the story rather than the other way around. but there's more to it than it not pissing me off: i also think it's just an all around better movie. the action is cleaner, more effective, scarier; the direction is more confident. from all it lifts from scream 2, the best thing is the change of scenery: it pleases me very much to say there's not a single invasion of a suburban house in this entire movie. it trades that for scenes like the opening in a dark new york alley, a moment where it almost seems close to reaching craven levels: if there's one word you're guaranteed to hear when discussing his scream work, it's probably 'geography', and this shows skill in that area with brilliantly staged scenes like that where it finds a little pocket of darkness and danger hiding in plain sight, ready to be exploited. i sense growing pains, though: gale's chase is a good example of both the strengths and weaknesses in here; it can quickly stir up tension but can't sustain it for long, and i found myself sighing when i should be holding my breath. there are glimpses, snippets where i could feel there was complete control and knowledge of every millimeter of the space being filmed, but i don't remember a single scene where i sensed it all the way through. it's still leagues above the stale, flavorless action of the fifth one, though, which leads me to believe the next one could finally be the one to fully work for me. thats a nice thought, but its also frustrating in its own right — i dont think an iconic multi-million dollar franchise should be your training wheels! i wish this was just great from start to finish!

i also think the climax misses the mark completely. it was just all over the place for me. i cant stress enough how important location is to these movies — theres not one person whos seen them and doesnt remember casey's house or stu's garage — and the big finale takes us to the worst location of the movie, an abandoned movie theater turned scream museum. in part it doesn't work because it's just overdone and too extravagant as opposed to the better, more realistic spots the rest of the action takes place in, but it also doesnt work because it's just fucking ugly. when craven did a theater climax in scream 2 it was sharper, more elegant, better-looking, and in here it's a fucking mess. the action in it has no flow at all; instead of having the space the chase takes place in be exploited creatively by both killer and victim, we get half a dozen characters stumbling through shelves of scream memorabilia. it all looks tacky and half-baked and just fails at a point where success was expected and needed. its lowest point is what should've been its strongest moment: an attempt at a climatic bit where the killer finally gets stabbed many, many times, until it just gets silly. it reminded me of halloween ends taking a good ten minutes just killing michael, 'making sure he was dead', in a clear attempt at ultimate satisfaction, ironically landing at the precise inverse. i was bored! im sure stabbing a guy many times will make sure he's dead, but there's no movie magic in that. it's just trying too hard. sidney dropping the tv on stu was ten times more satisfying, maybe because of its simplicity — a simplicity this seemed to understand when it had a character get attacked in the subway minutes before taking it to a literal Scream Hall of Fame that seems more apt for a theme park ride than a movie's finale. shucks. i still got at least a 60% decent movie out of it when i had even lower expectations, so i can't find it in me to be mad. i'll just hope for lucky 7!

(i still flat-out hate the loomis hallucinations. quite possibly the worst idea anyone's ever had in this franchise's history. it's corny, it's ugly, it clashes with the otherwise grounded, realistic tone of literally everything else in the franchise, and skeet ulrich looks nothing like he looked like in 1996, so it literally doesn't even look like billy loomis. but even if it did it still wouldn't be a good idea!!!!! sam being his daughter is already so stupid and obviously pulled out of a writer's ass as a way to connect her to the original story and it's already bad enough without him literally showing up in reflections to pass on his wisdom. this is some 90s dtv b-movie shit. please cut it out forever. thank you)

Lake Mungo, 2008

i can hardly care about the few shortcomings this has as a mockumentary because it completely succeeds as one of the most devastating ghost stories ever put to screen. one of my favorite interpretations of ghosts as phenomena is that of instances where time is a little bit fuzzy and folds in on itself and we end up catching wind of something we were never meant to know. that can explain cases where the past pops up for a moment, rearing its ugly little head at you, but sometimes it can also be how you get haunted by the future, cursed by it, dooming yourself by seeing it. and then theres no choice but to carry on with it and rush to your demise. thats the kind of time-bending at play here: alice palmer is a dead-since-the-beginning protagonist, a victim of foresight as curse. its almost impossible to watch this movie and not think of laura palmer ('knowing the future is the same as having lived it', i once wrote about fwwm), and they share a secret life, a tragic death, and even a last name, among other things. but the one thing they do not share is their ending. alice's is much sadder: while laura finds ultimate peace in death, all alice finds is loneliness. she's left to watch her final fate as a ghost months before she even dies and then live (and die) it to completion. her family can move on but she won't ever, she never could. nothing in this world i love more than an inevitable tragedy.

Eyes Without a Face, 1960

some great stuff in a movie that doesnt know what to do with it. christianne (the titular girl with eyes & no face) is perfect, a mysterious, melancholic living ghost. it feels like if the camera looks too hard on her she'll shatter into pieces. but theres just so much french dilly-dallying that kills the atmosphere this has going on, even making a few key moments that were supposed to be vital fall flat. the finale feels like it comes out of nowhere and has almost no weight, but then when everyone is out of her way the protagonist gets a beautiful moment to herself before she walks off into the dark and i kinda felt like i got my money's worth. idk. it shoulve been a lot shorter and a lot of it is subpar and of its time but if you can stand all of that you get a subtly devastating tragedy.

Knock at the Cabin, 2023

pretty decent. there are quite a few shyamalanisms on full display here for good and bad: sometimes hes earnest, sometimes hes just corny; sometimes hes great at setup and payoff, sometimes hes just a little too fucking on the nose. i still think deep down hes just a good storyteller and thats why i figure this can work — if you choose to buy into it. and i did! idk maybe im approaching this with a little more goodwill than it probably deserves but i just cant help it; it ticks a few specific boxes that make it irresistible to me. not too long ago i was an apocalypse-obsessed kid whose favorite movie was 2012 and if THAT wasnt enough they also appealed to my glee days with jonathan groff so i just dont really have a choice here sorry. they had me at the tsunami im just silly like that

The Outwaters, 2022

i have very mixed feelings about this one but i still think it manages to land on my good side. i don't actually mind it being a bit of a mindfuck; most of the criticism i see regarding its general meandering and elusiveness and whatnot aren't really an issue to me. the thing with found footage is that it puts you in there with the characters and tries to immerse you in their experience as much as possible, and sometimes that means being confused and having no clue what's going on. that's something innate to the genre, and i'm ok with that. this one does go further than most ff stuff – even original mindfuck blair witch still had a very clear villain/danger – but that's not something that bothers me either. it going further is something i respect, not something that alienates me.

i just feel like there's something lacking in here. i can't put my finger on what it is (i can barely put my finger on what IS there), but there's something missing. it has good ideas, but it can seem like that's all there is: sometimes i was almost not sure there was anything at all backing up those ideas. there are times where you can see right through its diy style and it becomes glaringly obvious that this is just a dude holding a flashlight in the dark rather than anything supernatural, and the entire thing deflates immediately. but sometimes it works, and then you get visually creative stuff; some of it trippy and unreal, some concrete and materialized, like tents covered in blood and a bloody man with an axe walking at the camera. sometimes its both realized and hallucination, and that was my favorite, like a visit to mom's living room that's exactly my kind of mindbending fuckery of physical space. i've seen the word lovecraftian thrown around a lot when discussing this movie and it feels very fititng to describe a movie that shows you so much you can't understand and hides so much of what you can in an attempt to show you the unshowable. it doesn't always work, but it doesn't always fail either.

i do have some actual, more pressing issues with it: its massively bloated runtime is one of them, as it is in desperate need of a half-hour trim, specifically in the first part. i also feel some more elaborate fx would've been nice, as seeing things and people covered in fake blood got repetitive after a while. i still don't entirely dislike this, though. it doesn't always reach what it's going for, but i still want to give it credit for reaching anyway. maybe i'm giving this more goodwill than it deserves. but as much as i like found footage, it can get so repetitive, and i can't help but respect a movie that does something so experimental with it. and the thing with experimenting is that it doesn't always go well, but you can only find out what does work through trying. i feel like banfitch's next work is going to be even better than this. and i also got to see a severed dick so maybe it was all really worth it in the end.

Bodies Bodies Bodies, 2022

i usually just hate this kind of cop-out 'there was never a real killer' twist. in any other movie it would make me insanely angry — it's underwhelming, unfulfilling, and just an outright coward move. but bodies' spin on the trope not only somehow manages to work, but it also stands out to me as a flat-out genius plot device. in one move, it gives you a hysterical ending that still makes perfect sense, all while perfectly tying together everything we've learned about these characters and how shitty they are. it's a fantastic closer to one of my favorite screenplays of the year. i don't think this is anything exceptional on the directing front — it draws little to no tension from its setting, and the scenes where they play the titular game are just something you sit through rather than the thrilling lauch pad for the story they should've been, but the cast and script do the heavy lifting here and they're efficient enough to take this from satisfactory to satisfying. rachel sennott should've gotten a best supporting actress nomination at the very least; she undoubtedly takes the crown for line delivery of the year, i just can't decide if it's for "your parents are upper middle class" or "he's a libra moon, that says a lot".

Cry_Wolf, 2005

eh. it's a mixed bag. and by that i mean it's an entirely bad movie that i just happened to somewhat enjoy. there's high-school slasher vibes reminiscent of cherry falls, but it's a steep decline in quality in the genre from 2000 to 2005. it's supposedly a slasher-mystery but it's not that good as a slasher, and it's a mess as a mystery: the action is mediocre at best and annoying at worst, it's all either a dupe or happens off-screen or is terribly shot and edited; the mystery is nowhere near as smart as it thinks it is (but that's ok because i like them dumb). it's all in the vibes i guess -- it's about a group of kids who start an email hoax (it's 2005) about a serial killer and then it starts happening for real, and that's just too good a premise for me to resist. it's pure unadulterated mid2000s garbage: jared padalecki is in this and it was made in the same year he did house of wax; aol is used by the killer as communication; its plot is literally about an email hoax, etc. i happen to be interested in that!

it has a few clumsy twists and it almost hit an irredeemable ending that would've seriously made me hate this, but then at the verrry last second it pulled out another twist out of its ass that actually patched things up for me a bit. i don't know. it's not Good, but i knew that coming in. it's c-tier junk food. but it's what i ordered!

Cruising, 1980

a masterclass in ambiguity. think of that shot in the ending of an unidentified man walking back into the club: at least three different interpretations (mutually conflicting ones, at that) are allowed to be true in one image, not because the plot has them be, but because you *feel* all of them at once. in one moment, pacino is both repressed homo and killer on the loose, maybe both, and there's even a third secret killer if you want to get creative. all of that can be real *because* none of it is realized. the lack of explicit answers allows for every possible answer to be considered, but most importantly, to be felt. that's movie fucking magic – an image that can turn into anything depending on how you look at it. it's just fucking brilliant.

(it's also very telling that the least interesting moments in here are when it shows its cards too much. i noticed an instant sharp decline in tension as soon as pacino started to get a grasp of what was going on. luckily that's where it switched up the dynamic and pacino became the stalker and then it was all fun and interesting again)

one more thing: i just fucking love the long, sprawling shots of s&m clubs, dozens of men engaging in all sorts of vulgarity, a sea of sweaty flesh either barely covered or bound in leather. the camera moves between them but it's not just watching. in part it's analyzing them like some sort of discovery documentary of the natural habitat of 80s fags, but there's something else, something like coveting. it's one of the most beautiful visions in a movie ever (and it happens like six times in here lol)

Madhouse, 1981

liked this way more than i expected. it's such a compelling watch -- it's built toward an incoming birthday tragedy, with title cards counting down the days, and a protagonist slowly succumbing to dread but still remaining unaware of a killer who's closer than she thinks. it's taut and tense and all that stuff -- i just always love a movie about an imminent, inevitable terrible thing you can't escape from. but it's not all vibes -- this was also frequently scary as shit (for the lack of better wording). there's long unsettling buildup and then big satisfying scares. it's like, genuinely good.

one thing i love about early 80s horror stuff like this is that you get films very clearly still influenced by the 70s (semi-classy, somewhat restrained, well-shot, plot driven) but that are decidedly moving into 80s territory (gorey kills, a loud and intrusive synth score that i can't help but love, a few jumpscares, not afraid to get silly). this one mostly pulls it off but it really is a bit of an unstable balance (i'll just say the ending we got wasn't my ideal climax. but it still had a creepy birthday party with dead guests and an insane host so i won't complain so much). one movie this reminded me of because of all that was Curtains (1983): besides both having a phenomenal scene where the killer slowly walks toward the camera, they both also have that quasi-serious edge while still being 80s schlock at heart. both instantly won me over because of it. i also feel some giallo influence in both (especially something like the psychic in here because of all the impending doom in the air), and giallo flourishes are always welcome.

Night of Fear, 1972

carla hoogeveen screams and wails and cries just looking around at her situation as if she cant even comprehend the notion that something so terrible would happen to her or to anyone, as if just being in the presence of such evil is enough to wreak havoc in her mind. its completely understandable; one minute shes driving her car in a normal day, then suddenly shes the victim of a hillbilly sex maniac whos out to punish her for the sin of being the promiscuous woman in a horror story. the texas chainsaw comparisons ring true to me most of all in the protagonists' acting: i remember marilyn burns screaming her soul off and i think of that opening narration of how tragedy befell these people who had no idea, no reason to believe or expect that they would ever see something so macabre, much less on a beautiful day driving out through the countryside. when that happens to you theres nothing you can do other than lose your entire sanity i guess. that's where the no-dialogue style employed here works best - there is quite literally nothing worth saying that would explain away or make sense of this horror.

this is a very interesting movie if you can meet it halfway and accept it for not really being a movie: its just 70s television that lucked out into being released as one. it'll give you gnarly imagery and a quick runtime, and since its a tv pilot it can also experiment with that zero dialogue stuff, something a proper movie would hardly be able to pull off. the score does some heavy lifting since theres no words being said, and while it can get overbearing, mostly i just found it endearing. and while that ending would maybe feel too rushed and a little flat on any other movie, this is, again, not a movie, and for an Episode this is a perfectly decent end. i seriously recommend this if ur a horror fan. its just such an unique watch. its also basically a fully available movie for Everyone: not only is it showing for free on the internet archive, but since it features no dialogue it is fully understandable no matter what language you speak. if you love texas chainsaw you should definitely be checking this out.

The Mephisto Waltz, 1971

would it be too redundant to say this second-rate rosemary’s baby knockoff is no rosemary’s baby?

the good: it manages to emulate enough of that visual identity, and to a smaller extent, its general atmosphere. it’s an engaging suspense, and almost looks like an elegant one. and while the ending could allow a more judgemental reading, i did enjoy it for flipping the script and managing to surprise me for once (and landing a phenomenal final scene in the process).

the bad, though, is how it gives up too much too early: the big evil plot is consummated about forty minutes into the movie, leaving almost an hour of suspicious investigating, which can be fun but is not exactly thrilling. i just think it’d be more enticing to have the protagonist try to decipher and (fail to) avoid new satanic developments before they happen, instead of having her deal with them as they come in. i know it can be silly to judge a movie for what it could’ve been rather than for what it is, but it’s sillier to fatally misunderstand the very movie you’re ripping off of. funnily enough, in that aspect, the third rate rosemary’s baby knockoff (alison's birthday, 1981) was much more successful.

The Skeleton Key, 2005

it actually gets brought up in this movie that they cant pull the bodyswap ritual scheme on black people because they dont stick around when shit gets spooky. the laugh this got out of me was obscene.

kinda weird that i hadnt seen this yet. it is exactly the kind of movie that got me into horror back when i was a kid. and it even holds up pretty well nowadays. this plot would be a recipe for disaster in the wrong hands; it could either hide too much and get boring or show too much and make the ending fall flat. instead we get consistent atmosphere & a satisfactory ending. i could see right through it from the first minute, but not in a bad way: it very obviously wants you to pick up on every clue because the fun is in knowing something the protagonist doesn't. i genuinely love it when horror movies are this mean-spirited. i'd take the bad ending where you walk into the trap unsuspectingly instead of the happy ending with a successful escape any day lol

it also benefits from a strong cast: gena rowlands is just perfect. she's a regular snarky old woman but you can sense the evil undertones and you know if theres one thing i love its an evil lady whos up to no good. and im irrationally horny for peter sarsgaard. remember him in orphan? yeah. i generally dont care for kate hudson but even she is decent in this. good cast. good movie.

Amusement, 2009

cant believe im being forced to go in defense of amusement (2009) but someone has to. it is Not.That. Bad. it is a mediocre movie. first of all - it's an anthology so it doesnt have to be linear or coherent!! and it doesnt have to be Consistent either but it IS even if its consistently mediocre. its just Not That Bad. it really isnt. i actually see some production value in here like the cgi isnt overused and it is decent for its time, and the practical stuff + costumes & makeup are actually fucking good. theres a abandoned hotel with dead people stitched into the beds and im pretty sure it was all practical and it looked great. the last part has this abandoned building that reminds me of house of haunted hill (the 1999 one) but then it turns into some sort of saw trap, and both of those things are done actually really well. the creepy clown is fucking creepy. most of it just works. i will say that with some of the great locations this has it couldve had some amazing shots but instead its just dull n basic but like. it is not Bad!!! ive SEEN actual bad cinematography in these movies and you cant even see whats happening because its that bad. in here it was just just MID. and a 1.9 average rating on letterboxd should mean TERRIBLE. and it's NOT!!! i WAS kinda annoyed by how it keeps trying for gotcha moments all the time even though it is extremely predictable and i also thought the villain's laugh was annoying as fuck. but none of that makes me want to give this perfectly mediocre movie 0 out of 10. i feel like theres a general prejudice towards shitty late 2000s horror that makes people act like it is the worse thing to ever happen to cinema. its not. it is very bearable. try watching shitty late 2010s horror and you'll see what real trash looks like - it does NOT look like amusement.

Final Destination, 2000

this is one of those movies that kinda shaped my entire taste in movies. i was a huge fan of this franchise since i was a kid, and i also remember this very movie being maybe the first one i successfully pirated (after falling victim to many, many viruses) since i'd seen and loved every one but the first one but couldnt find it anywhere. when i finally got hold of it, it reached all my expectations. it held up against the best ones of the franchise (2 and 3), and it would become one of my favorite movies as a preteen kid who was just starting to really love horror movies.

i revisited it last night. it was on tv while i was channel surfing (again). it is one of those movies i know front to back but never get tired of. what stands out to me is how small-scale it is compared to the following movies. even the deaths arent (mostly) big, shocking, unbelievable accidents. they're mostly almost believable. of course it's the first movie in the franchise, and with a smaller budget than all the next ones, but i almost prefer this realer approach with weird accidents that could plausibly happen to you. people die in the shower all the time. getting hit by a bus is even more common. sure, i love the tanning beds from 3 and the escalator from 4, but i also enjoy the rudimentar baby steps of final destination very much.

Halloween II, 1981

it seems like the only way to get me to watch a movie these days is by chance. halloween II was on tv while i was channel surfing, and that is that. ive always loved this one — it was my favorite halloween movie for a while — but i loved it even more tonight, watching it at the dead of night all alone. the vibe was just right and it was a perfect experience. you see, this is a nocturnal movie. myers goes after his sole survivor after she's taken to a hospital, but he doesn't wait long; he goes the very same night. so it's probably after midnight and the streets are deserted and even the hospital is nearly empty; most of the lights are out and there are only a handful of employees there. this is where i tell you i love horror movies about unsuspecting victims working the graveyard shift. think body bags, think after midnight. it is one of my favorite horror tropes, and here it is played to perfection. myers takes out hospital workers one by one slowly; the kills are cold and almost silent; we get dozens of shots of empty, dark hospital hallways (which i love), and then some of hallways that should be empty but are not (which i love even more). the entire thing is so low-key and restrained. it might sound like i'm describing a dull movie but this is a fucking thriller, but it has a very distinct late-night vibe, which i felt entirely immersed in when watching it at 4 in the morning. i feel like i never Got this one like i did tonight, even though i've seen it countless times. and of course, my 'seeing it countless times' also added to my experience. at this point i know this like the back of my hand. i had every bit memorized, knowing lines of dialogue before they were even said. i usually refrain from rewatching movies over and over as i usually get bored around the third time, when i feel a movie has nothing else to offer me, but with this one it's never like that. what it offers me is a pitch-perfect experience of late-night cozy dread-slash-comfort. i just can't get tired of it.

some notes i have: i remember reluctantly saying i could see some giallo influence in this, and now i'm absolutely sure this borrows a Lot from that. it's in the neon lighting; the vibrant red of the fake blood; the framing, everything. the shot of a dead nurse on a gurney with violent-red all over the ground is pure giallo and i love that so much. i also love laurie's big chase scene so so so much. you see, laurie spends most of the movie sedated (a big reason why the movie feels so sparse and lowkey), but when push comes to shove she gets the fuck up and runs away, and michael chases her through the emtpy hospital after hes taken out almost everyone. this bit is agonizing and it always, and i mean always, has me on the edge of my seat. she repeatedly almost gets killed but somehow makes it, and that red lighting shows up to scream danger at you, and when she finally makes it out she cant even get away so all she can do is hide. this is one of those rare horror movie moments where a protagonist does everything right, she thinks fast and runs faster and manages to survive by a thread and it only makes it more stressing because you realize things are so bad that even if you make the right choices you still end up in a terrible situation. it is one of my favorite moments in this franchise, and one of my favorite horror scenes ever.

No Exit, 2022

watched this w my mom. things have been weird with us lately bc ive been wanting to spend more time alone lately and i can tell shes not happy about that. i dont want her to feel lonely so i decided we should watch a horror movie together bc we havent done that in a while and its always nice. she introduced me to horror movies when i was a kid - i remember watching stuff like mirrors and mama with her, movies we would rent and watch together even though i was wayyyy too young for that. i know she loves an action-horror with plenty of suspense so ive been meaning to show her this one since i caught word of it. we really liked it. its very efficient and nothing gets in the way of the plot (girl stuck at a rest stop in a blizzard finds a kidnapped girl in the car of one of the 4 people who are stuck there with her). intrusive score annoyed me a bit but it was nothing i couldnt handle. its not too long and makes good use of its runtime without faltering. took a few twists too many to me but idrc - it was decent. mom loved it.

Love Bites, 1991

found this on my watchlist. remember hearing about it a while ago but obviously forgot about it which is a crime because this is a movie i shouldve seen immediately. its a SOV vampire movie about a gay guy who also happens to be a vampire hunter and he falls in love with the vampire hes trying to kill. it is very campy very silly and not that scary. it is also this close to being an actual gay porno. which makes a perfect movie on my book. christopher ladd plays the hunter guy's friend and he is hilarious - most if not all of the campy quips i loved so much came from his character. the ending was as tacky as youd expect a sov softcore gay romcom about vampires to be (a Lot.) but i do not care one bit because i love gay vampires. reminded me of vampz (2005) - another SOV vampire flick, this one about black girl vampires who lure men into their massage shop where they fuck then kill them. would make a mean double feature.

And Soon The Darkness, 1970

i started watching this a loooooong time ago but ended up never finishing it. finally picked it up to watch the ending and it was quite good. very consistent with the rest of the movie - nothing like the explosion at the end of supposedly boring 'dont look in the basement'. its the kind of movie my mom would like: two girls go on a trip and one goes missing, other one has to find her. very restrained but not dull, the french countryside setting is used to great effect - its deserted and gorgeous but quickly gets unsettling when you realize theres no one to help her and even when she finds someone the language barrier wont let her communicate. it manages to create tension and not let it dissipate and thats all i needed from it. even has one or two scares as a bonus. absolutely loved the final shot. it is a bit slow overall but i dont mind - i wasnt in a hurry. good movie.

Don't Look In The Basement, 1973

also caught this on tv but it was a free live tv channel on plex that i was scrolling through when checking the app. it was named horrorflix or something and on the description it said it showed grindhouse horror stuff and i was like oh i absolutely am going to check that out. and the first thing i saw was an insane-looking older woman crying and thats just irresistible. it only got crazier after that — it was the climax of the film and i only caught the last 20 minutes or so but god it was a blast. its set in an insane asylum so there were a bunch of crazy people running around losing their shit. the final girl was also losing her shit which is always fun (she survived). the aforementioned insane lady was apparently the boss of the place and also the villain and she got offed by her patients and it was awesome. later i saw a bunch of reviews talking about how the movie was boring as shit so im kinda happy i only saw the good part. but maybe theres a chance the whole thing was actually good and those people are wrong (its happened before). i should check out the rest of it someday but i havent been doing rewatches lately because i just cant be arsed.

A Nightmare on Elm Street, 1981

caught this on tv. hadnt seen it for a while. still as good as i remembered. actually kinda better - i didnt recall this going so strong on the loss of innocence themes; nancy basically has her 'childhood' (she looks 30, just ignore it) ripped from under her feet. its a really sad movie ! and to hammer that home you get very overtly violent visuals - scenes like tina's corpse getting dragged across the hall and leaving a blood trail. the deaths are mourned much more deeply than youd think - i can name very few movies where its so emphasized that all of the protagonists friends, a bunch of kids at that, are getting muredered and are not coming back. and the ending.... it's not very optimistic - let's leave it at that.

some of the best fx of all time to be found here - there are so many truly incredible moments, and i mean all-timer scenes, that wouldnt even be possible, let alone memorable, without an fx team as creative and talented as this had. freddy pushing on the wall, glen's death scene, nancy's mom getting taken into the bed-grave, there are so so so many. they're what earn the status classic this boasts; i wouldnt see it as such without them. craven was just something else. a director whose vision looked so far into the future that it gave his movies lasting power for decades.

Black Christmas, 1974

it's become my favorite christmas tradition to watch this right after midnight instead of talking to my relatives. i truly belive it is the perfect christmas movie and i say this without a single ounce of irony. quite literally the perfect cinematic embodiment of christmastime to me like the way it portrays the crushing deep seated sadness of spending christmas alone while still being lowkey hilarious & without giving up either quality? unparalleled. i love every single one of these miserable perpetually drunk women. dont even let me get started on the sheer Cunt Severity of wanting to have an abortion on jesus' birthday. Yes God. just growing to love this more and more with each passing year. merry christmas to everyone especially claude

Smile, 2022

for the most part it hits the mark at everything needed from a 00s-indebted curse horror movie (a genre im personally very fond of) but third act syndrome hits this bitch full force my god. the good parts kinda require you to Just Go With It and dont think too hard in order to have a good time - the premise is the real protagonist, plot convenience is king, jumpscare is god. and it does give you some actually good shit that makes it worthwile (i especially like how it uses hallucinations to create these little gotcha! moments that are incredibly effective and really get you in the protagonists mindset). but then it completely falls apart when its time to wrap things up. ironically it was one of the gotcha moments that i loved at first that ruined the ending for me — they only work if you dont see them coming, which i never did, but then i DID see it coming at a key moment in the climax which in turn immediately made it fall flat. these things are tricky and you have to always stay three steps ahead of the audience bc one false step and all the tension evaporates. hits rock bottom when it goes for actual corporeal monster and ditches the surprise creepy smiles that work so much better and are its one original thing. thats when it just completely lost me. the ending was underwhelming and instantly forgettable. bummer bc i really liked the first 2 acts.

Halloween H20: 20 Years Later (1998)

i love it more and more with each passing year. remember calling it something like 'a halloween movie in an ill-fitting scream costume' in a past review but i dont feel that way at all anymore. the scream costume actually suits it very well! top 2 halloween franchise for me. i already cant wait until next year for mike myers' annual decapitation. and speaking of decapitations — after halloween ends, the decapitation in here stands out to me even more as such an incredible fucking moment btw. sure, throwing him in the meat grinder is more Permanent, but its nowhere near as Satisfying, and a movie moment doesnt have to be Realistically efficient; it has to be Entertainingly efficient. and at the end of the day jamie lee curtis cutting michael's head with an axe packs more movie magic in 10 seconds than the entire 10 minutes ends takes to kill myers.

i also kinda think it missed an opportunity in not killing josh hartnett imho. offing him would add so much to this movie. for one, it wouldve made that frankenstein reference about losing everyone you love to the monster make sense; it'd also add to the body count which is kinda low in this (though i do love all the kills we do get); and it would just be some serious motivation for laurie's vengeance. plus josh hartnett is just kinda shitty. he shouldnt have survived methinks.

Sole Survivor, 1984

been meaning to revisit this for a while (the moment the credits rolled the first time i already wanted to rewatch it), but since it was so fucking good i decided to save it for halloween. god this is a fucking gem. it's like the dreamchild of carnival of souls and final destination and that is Everything to me. they put vibe arsenic in this shit like it is almost unbearable. it's the most oppressive atmosphere from the very first minute and it doesnt let up until the (fucking awesome) very last scene. feel like we (i) throw the word Atmosphere around a lot when it comes to somewhat slow-paced moody films but very few of them seem as deserving of it to me as this does. you cant exactly pinpoint whats so odd but the air is stale the vibe is all wrong and things just arent right. two thirds into the movie the protagonist herself seems to get enough of it and so she just snaps — "there's some real spooky shit going on", she goes. there sure is girl.

one thing i feel is worth pointing out: i love how we never meet the protagonist before her accident so that all we know of her is post-trauma; that we dont ever get to see her normal life just underlines that going back to normal is as far-fetched an option as can be. there is no normal for her to go back to. you can only move foward toward the cold unavoidable certainty of death. this fucking movie!!!

Evil Dead Trap, 1988

cant believe this one flew under my radar for so long i literally hadnt even heard of it until this week. it is so fucking good. an actual classic. it borrows that gorgeous giallo look but covers it with the bleakest coldest vibe that j-horror does best. when i tell you this bitch has got Atmosphere i mean it. but then it also goes for slasher kills & scares - like it actually made me jump out of my seat a few times. it could use better characters but honestly i just had such a great time with it i'm not holding that against it. already wanna revisit it bc im sure its a grower. oh and one more thing - malignant fucking wishes it could be this lol

Nope, 2022

many months late to this party but i somehow managed to avoid reading up on it enough to still be left fairly surprised. it really impressed me. you dont have to look hard to find some of peele's most recognizable traits in here, like his unmatched knack for the subtle kind of setup and payoff that has you gasping out loud and pointing at the screen and going 'oh so THAT'S what that was about', but mostly this introduces a new peele. its the farther hes strayed from horror in his directing career — this is actually almost close to that independence day/war of the worlds kind of scifi blockbuster we dont get anymore, if only on a smaller scale. but theres still enough of the old peele in here to keep things fun: the effortlessly hilarious dialogue; some scary shit thrown in once in a while just to keep you on your toes; daniel kaluuya killing it. it’s just really exciting to see a director at a point in his career where hes been around long enough to both have a personal style and be revered for it but where hes still “new” enough that we get to see him going in a completely new direction and have to wait and see what he'll come up with. it feels like we'll be getting more surprises from him for years to come. i certainly hope so. only wish i couldve caught it in theaters :(

Brain Damage, 1988

this was such a letdown. from what i heard from friends & reviews i was so hyped up for something gross, hilarious, and drenched in gay subtext. it only is one of those things: theres plenty gross stuff here, though nothing to write home about. i dont think it was funny at all - as a matter of fact i think my main reason for dislikng this so much was that i just didnt think aylmer was funny or likable at alllll. he was quite annoying actually lol. i can see the reason why so many people see this and go oooo gay!! (i mean. phallic parasite makes a man leave his gf to go out and stare at a buff naked man in a shower. hello.) but even that wasnt that interesting to me because i just did not like the parasite which was supposed to be the main draw!! but the gay subtext falling flat didnt stop me from gay enjoying this because the protagonist is a cutie (and so was his brother) so not all is lost. sorry yall i just didnt feel this one as much as i wanted to. you have no idea how perfect a movie this sounds on paper to me - 80s trashy version of Venom (2018)?? sign me the FUCK up - but it just didnt do it for me. :///

Thesis, 1986

ugh this is just such a good movie. great premise, great execution. and it holds up so much better than i expected on a rewatch. with it relying so heavily on its twists id expect it to lose a lot of power if you went in already knowing it all but it didnt. most of the tension is still here and i actually liked the third act more this time around; it has a few twists too many but they couldnt knock me off my feet because i already Knew so i could just appreciate amenabar's directing work instead. still insane to me that this was his first movie; the script feels clumsy towards the end but the directing feels anything but. hes just that good.

eduardo noriega is soooo great at playing hot insane men. maybe its time for a plata quemada rewatch

Bloody Muscle Body Builder in Hell, 1995

pretty fun when its just evil dead homage shlock but *awesome* when it finds its own kind of crazy. dont get me wrong it does a pretty decent job at covering old grounds (especially if the viewer is a raimi fan) but only when it gave me something new did it elicit the same bewilderment & awe that evil dead II gave me. hits its peak when it honors the insanity of its title by freeing shinji from Ash and letting him be The Bloody Muscle Body Builder In Hell. crazy crazy stuff. liked it!

The Gay Bed and Breakfast of Terror, 2007

just fuck all . i kept trying so hard to come up with a reason not to give this five stars immediately and i could not think a single one . help . its like . trying to point out a single flaw of this movie is a futile effort its like trying to measure the horizon with a ruler like. it doesnt WORK like that !!!! its literally in in its own sphere it strays so far away from cinematic conventions that you cannot evaluate it in comparison to anything else. its stupid to compare it to any movie because no other movie is The Gay Bed And Breakfast Of Terror. im obsessed. utterly fascinating. never seen anything like this and i hope i never do again

The House That Screamed, 1969

mmmmmm i got mixed feelings about this one but it still ended up on my good side. i kinda feel like i got thrown in the middle of the story and think itd work best if it started by the very first girl who goes missing? but at the same time i feel like not knowing is also so much fun. looks fucking gorgeous but i wish i hadnt seen the extended cut bc the added vhs footage definitely didnt survive the test of time and kept abruptly pulling me out of the otherwise immaculate vibe this has going on. so visually rich i swear i just discovered like 30 new shades of brown watching this. GREAT ending. did it for me!

Coma, 1978

a nice clean cut thriller. thought it was gonna fumble things in the third act like soylent green did because a conspiracy this big usually gets an underwhelming ending — either the protagonist just cant fight it or the win feels unearned and too easy, but this manages to make the ending work by staying on the small scale and focusing on the characters’ fate rather than the Big Picture. i liked it. pretty restrained but never dull. most of the plot hinges on some seriously improbable stuff but if you choose to roll with it itll be worth your while. check it out!

Tenebre, 1972

reminded me of what craven did in scream. a genre pioneer turns the blueprint he helped create on its head; mocking its done-to-death structure and its countless cliches while at the same time showing his disciples (copycats) how its really done. subverts the genre conventions while simultaneously delivering giallo excellence. the kind of movie that can only be made by a master with several classics under his belt. go ahead and try to guess the killer — even if you get it right, you’ll be wrong.

Inferno, 1980

kinda feel like this lacks an actual protagonist? the main guy has little to no hand in any of the plots major events. hes just there. all the discoveries are made by someone else. even the climax is set in motion by someone else, he just witnesses it. but tbh its just one of those cases where The Vibes Were Right so i did not really mind at all. ill just accept that the gorrrrrgeous lighting work is the real protagonist here and move on. i changed my mind about liking this more than suspiria but i still think the lighting is superior. it does to blue what suspiria did to red. the sheer Purpleness of it all… splendid

Suspiria, 1977

giallo really is an acquired taste to me because i’d seen this twice and still felt like there wasn’t much else to be gained from it (other than to revel in its impeccable visuals) until this week when i checked out a bunch of its similar works and kinda worked my way up to it and now i just cant see a single fault in this. what i once saw as a thin and lacking script now stands out to me as a full awareness of its purpose, argento’s steady hand guiding this through and through with unwavering intent as it briefly skirts the edges of a plot and exposes only whats needed to give you a sense of mystery, while never veering off its true track: full violent sensory overload. an assault on the senses meant to be felt to the bone. divine. gave me a headache. five stars.

Deep Red, 1975

i gave this one a meagre 3 stars at a first watch a few years ago and i was hoping it would grow on me. it did! think its because ive seen enough giallo stuff now that its slower parts are more palatable to me. i also feel like ive learned an essential giallo lesson since then: the journey matters much more than the destination. meaning that the end reveal might be a little underwhelming but it doesnt matter because the twists and turns (and brilliant god tier scares) it takes along the way are what really stays with you when the credits roll. the story itself is just a means to an end, a way to get these ideas put to screen, an excuse to film a mechanical doll running at the camera and make you shit yourself in fear. once i accepted that i had so much more fun with this.

(the mechanical doll bit is seriously one of the most terrifying moments in cinema history. i do nothing but watch horror movies all the time and i am telling you it is one of the best scenes ive ever seen. i actuallyjumped.)

The Bird With The Crystal Plumage, 1970

yet another giallo with a hot protagonist. these movies are so easy to watch for me. they always have sexy men speaking italian and thats just irresistible. also love that so many of these movies turn out to have female killers. i always love me some womens wrongs babey!!

i'm so surprised at finding out this was argentos debut? its actually unbelievable. i couldve sworn this was made decades into his career. its got such a fully formed style; so much of what i saw and loved in suspiria/opera/inferno shows up here and not in a primitive or tentative way - it’s like he already had it all mastered. this much talent right off the bat is absolutely insane.

Blood and Black Lace, 1964

no wonder every italian director saw this and went 'ok let's do that for the next 20 years'. this is immaculately styled. 10s across the board: lighting, camerawork, cinematography, set decoration, costume design, anything you can See this does flawlessly. the plot was just fine but i don't even care because this is so visually rich it won me over on looks alone. *this* is how you do a fashion house slasher — everything is beautiful everything is lush and lavish everything is grand everything is opulence. bava is my fucking hero.

nicole's death is like. top 10 scenes in the history of horror. maybe top 5 if i'm being honest. if this was a short film containing that scene alone i'd give it 5 stars. also im pretty sure it inspired sarah michelle gellar's chase/death scene in i know what you did last summer which has always been a favorite of mine but now has gained a new layer. yay!

The Brood, 1979

so very unlike other cronenberg works ive seen. other than the freaky body hijinks this is just pretty regular 70s horror stuff (albeit very well made 70s horror stuff). i really liked it though. and samantha eggar is just amazing. i wanted to check this out since i saw her in Curtains and though shes not in this for as long as id like, she still delivers when she shows up. the climax is all hers and it bumped this from a 3.5 to a 4 to me.

Demons, 1985

i don't need to tell you the movie about a cursed theater playing a horror movie that turns the audience into demon zombies is fun.

what i do need to tell you is:

— this is the grossest movie i've seen since dead alive. which coincidentally is also a zombie movie that is full of pus and vomit. and like. ew! gross! but also, i love those. why did we ever stop making them?
— if we're comparing it to dead alive, demons wins easily, even if it doesn't reach the same levels of gore (it does come close): as expected from any italian horror classic, this is stylish as fuck. 80s italy was the world capital of neon lighting, elaborate sets and sexy sweaty men. dead alive just can't beat that.
— this is riddled with one my favorite demon movie clichés: the character (basically everyone in here) that turns their face as if hiding away from the camera, just to dramatically turn around and reveal they're already possessed. it happens like 80 times in here, and it works every time.

so yeah, this is the most fun i've had with a movie in a while. go check it out.

The Booth, 2005

well EYE think he didn't suffer enough! waterboard his ass!

works best if you dont think too hard about it because if you do it just falls apart. a few plot holes and clunky details can go unnoticed if you're giving this the benefit of the doubt. it is a pretty gripping, somewhat well made horror flick, and it manages to be quite creepy at some points. also very nice that it is Really short (clocks out at 74 minutes ugh i love a movie that knows how to get to the point). the bottle setting (not really bottle — there's a bunch of flashbacks out of the booth) never gets boring; the main actor is good enough that you can dislike him without wanting him off the screen; the few glimpses of Paranormal Activity are creepy enough. it's only that it doesn't always deliver on the tension it works hard to create, which makes it not-so-satisfying. still; it's creepy, it's short; it's worth a watch. i do wish they tortured the protagonist a bit more! to quote contemporary philosopher Catherine Zeta-Jones — he had it coming!

The Psychic, 1977

call this movie the checkov's firing squad. it sets up checkov's gun after gun after gun and keeps you waiting for the shot and it's thrilling every time a gun goes off. i caught myself gasping out loud more times than i could count.

started watching this in the worst film-watching mood — when i feel fidgety and stressed and my attention span is 2.5 seconds long and i just can't get into a movie — and it still managed to reach to me and drag my sleep deprived ass into its own stylish, atmospheric world. i just love everything about it. it's so obvious and familiar and that’s precisely why it works — you know exactly what's coming. either because you've been warned or because you've seen it before in movie after movie, you already know where things are going, and fulci manages to surprise you in spite of that. i love it when a movie tells you exactly what's going to happen and then things unravel in a way that you STILL get surprised when things happen the way you were warned they would. the whole inevitable tragedy "she's been dead since the beginning" self-fulfilling prophecy (oh oh no oh no oh no no) stuff is VERY pleasing to me. love it love it love it

History of the Occult, 2020

a story this confusing & mysterious and that leaves more questions than answers could easily end up frustrating & alienating but that doesnt happen here! the countdown to midnight keeps it focused & gives it a sense of urgency that doesn’t let it stall; also helps that it’s such a weird n pretty movie with the b&w & the 4:3 aspect ratio & a ghostwatch-like recreation of late-night live tv that i can’t help but love. sometimes you can sense that this is a little cheap n rough around the edges but most of the time the suspension of disbelief got the best of me n i just enjoyed the vibes.

did i get the ending? not really. did that make me like it any less? hell no! love how this is so weird and elusive; leading you to expect an answer then leaving you in the dark. kinda wanna rewatch it already just to see what i missed the first time because i’m sure there’s a lot to unpack here.

i WILL say this feels like the good, intriguing debut feature from a guy that will make something absolutely awful in the near future. think the eyes of my mother before the grudge. it just gives me that vibe. hope i’m wrong!

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