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Sunday, April 23, 2017

Thoughts on It Follows

I watched It Follows on Netflix today, directed by David Robert Mitchell. I enjoyed it, but I think it was way too over-hyped. I did like the suspenseful atmosphere, the feeling of dread, the John Carpenter-esque synth score, the use of foreshadowing, the 1980s stylistic choices a la early 80's slasher movies, the slow burn, and the naturalistic performances of the cast, where they felt sympathetic and not like annoying teens that you are waiting for to die.

However, I felt like the movie was hyped up a lot as one of the best horror films ever, and while it was very good, I wasn't amazed or blown away by it. I was really liking the look, style, and pace of it, but I didn't find the plot particularly interesting, and I didn't like how each version of the demon in human form was made to look macabre just to stand out, as well as random times where the demon in female form had a breast out for no real reason other than seeing boobs. I preferred how in the demonic thriller Fallen, the devil would appear in human forms, and look like ordinary people, and blend it a lot more, and it seemed more terrifying to me than the demon looking like a zombie person, more readable as "scary."

The film deserved its accolades, and it is way better than a lot of other by-the-book horror movies that have come out because it takes its time building its horror, it doesn't rely too much on jump scares, the characters are likable, and it has this atmospheric, dreamlike quality where everything just feels a little off. Sometimes it reminded me of A Nightmare on Elm Street, with the 80's feel, teen characters being haunted by a supernatural monster, and being stalked throughout the mundane parts of their day. I just felt like with all the raves about it, that I was just slightly let down by the hype, and thought it was a very good movie stylistically, but that I wasn't into the whole story itself.

Thoughts on Tales from the Darkside: The Movie

On Netflix, I was in a horror movie mood, so I rewatched Tales From the Darkside: The Movie, a campy -B-level horror movie anthology from 1990, directed by John Harrison. The framing story is that a little boy (Matthew Lawrence) is being held captive to be cooked by a witch (Deborah Harry) for a party, and he stalls for time by reading her three stories from a book of horror tales. The movie features a lot of famous people who were at varying levels of fame in 1990, but not A-list level fame.

The first story is notable for featuring early roles from Julianne Moore and Steve Buscemi, as well as Christian Slater when he was just starting to get big (I don't know what his breakthrough role was, maybe J.D. in Heathers), and is about a nerdy college student (Buscemi) who summons a mummy to do his bidding upon people who wronged him. I did enjoy that one for seeing Moore play a selfish and mean person, and for Buscemi for being way creepier than anything else I've seen him in.

The second story features William Hickey as a millionaire who is trying to get rid of a killer demonic cat, in his house and David Johansen is the hit man he's hired to destroy it. I wasn't as into that story, mainly because it gets redundant to watch the hit man and the cat fight each other, with a predictable ending, and it just felt like a gross story with the cat's murderous ruthlessness against people.

The third story was this interesting mix of horror, fantasy, and romance, and features James Remar as a struggling artist who faces a gargoyle that killed his friend, and when he makes a promise to never tell anyone about the gargoyle, it holds his life to it, affecting his love life and career dreams as long as he doesn't break his promise. While the ending was predictable, I was really impressed with the artistic design and puppetry of the demon, and really liked how it felt more like a fantasy/horror blend than just straight horror like the other stories.

This is more for people who are into campy horror, and like stuff like Tales from the Crypt and anthology horror TV shows, and who don't mind watching B-movie horror. I really enjoyed it as a fun watch.