Friday, October 9, 2015
Netflix This Movie! Vol. 150
Starry Eyes (2014, dir. Kevin Kolsch & Dennis Widmeyer) This one has been recommended before by at least one of my colleagues here at F This Movie! but it's with good reason - Starry Eyes is a special horror movie. It takes a premise that would be just as at home in a Twilight Zone episode and then ratchets it up into truly disturbing territory. I watched this movie only once and on my computer and was still blown away by how freaky the last act of this movie gets. This is the kind of horror movie we look for as fans, something that reinvigorates your hope in the genre and justifies your fandom all in one. Really powerful work.
Extraterrestrial (2014, dir. Colin Minihan) I’m really glad I watched this movie. I’ll start out by saying the movie is far from perfect and has some has some problems with annoying characters and starts to fall apart in the third act. On top of that, there are some very odd pop-culture references that are almost outdated and don’t entirely land, but there was enough good in this one to ignore the bad. Extraterrestrial takes place in the woods, in a cabin, bunch of teenagers, blah blah, nothing original there. What I give it credit for is that it is really trying to be more than just a stupid horror movie. Colin Minihan (who also wrote it) puts a lot of screen time and effort into developing characters that we genuinely care about; he doesn’t always make it work but I have to applaud the attempt. Where the movie works is that there are some shocking moments where traditional horror movies topes are used to move the plot in directions I didn’t see coming. The biggest endorsement I could give it, though, is that it has two great scares in it and one inspired scene that I don’t think I’ve ever seen before in a movie. Minihan mixes both sci-fi and horror with some of the references and tones the move sets that if you’re a fan of the genres you will appreciate. You should watch this movie. It’s the best one I’ve watched so far this Scary Movie Month.
Never Sleep Again: The Elm Street Legacy (2010, dir. Daniel Farrands, Andrew Kasch) I'd been wanting to watch this extended documentary for years, and had completely forgotten it was in my Netflix queue until Patrick reminded me. Now is the perfect time to watch this extremely detailed (four hours!) look at the making of the A Nightmare on Elm Street films, which features interviews with pretty much everyone involved except Johnny Depp and Patricia Arquette. I love that this exists, and I also love that there's a similar documentary for the Friday the 13th series. What an embarrassment of riches for horror fans. Clear an afternoon (or better yet, an evening), but remember to put on a fresh pot of coffee so you can stay awake, because he can't get you when you're awake...can he? One, two, Freddy's coming for you...
Mad Ron’s Prevues From Hell (1987, dir. Jim Monaco) Why did Netflix drop so many great horror titles? Sheesh—at least wait until after Halloween. Who drops A Nightmare on Elm Street and The Exorcist on October 1st? Very distressing. The pickings are pretty slim here, at least for films that I have not recommended before. Thanks, Netflix—if I were paying more then eight bucks a month, I would be incredibly upset. Here’s just the thing if you are not in the mood for a whole movie (or if you have Attention Deficit Disorder): it’s a trailer compilation with lame wraparound segments. If you happen to like grindhouse horror, this thing is a treasure trove. Trailers and clips include: Bay of Blood, Beyond The Door, Black Christmas, The Blood-Spattered Bride, Cannibal Girls, Children Shouldn’t Play With Dead Things, Color Me Blood Red, The Corpse Grinders, Deep Red, Deranged, Devil’s Nightmare, The Ghastly Ones, God Told Me To, House of Exorcism, The House That Screamed, I Dismember Mama, I Drink Your Blood/I Eat Your Skin, Lady Frankenstein, Last House on the Left, Love Me Deadly, Mad Doctor of Blood Island, Night of the Bloody Apes, Night of Bloody Horror, Night of the Living Dead, Tales From The Crypt, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Three on a Meat-hook, Torso, Two Thousand Maniacs, and The Wizard of Gore. Pee on your own rug to get that authentic urine smell, get yourself some cheap Scotch, convince your next-door neighbor to emit blood-curdling screams at random, and you can recreate the 42nd Street grindhouse atmosphere in your very own home: Netflix and chill.
Hellbound: Hellraiser II (1988, dir. Tony Randel) Like JB said (and I whined about last week), there's not a lot of quality horror available on Netflix that hasn't already been recommended. And while I won't argue that Hellraiser II is "good," it is absolutely nuts and worth seeing. The first movie is pretty close to being a masterpiece, but the sequel is bigger and crazier and stupider and more outrageous. There's a ton of good stuff in it, though, and it's the only Hellraiser sequel I can honestly say I like -- though, to be fair, there are several that I haven't seen. Mostly because I've never cared to.