Friday, October 16, 2015
Netflix This Movie! Vol. 151
The Relic (1997, dir. Peter Hyams) A kid I went to school with is in The Relic. He's a douchebag. Otherwise, I really like this movie since it was shot in Chicago, has James Whitmore and some decent atmosphere and monster effects. Check it out!
Nightmares in Red, White, and Blue (2009, dir. Andrew Monument) If you’re anything like me, you listen to a majority of the podcasts from the people here at F This Movie! during #ScaryMovieMonth and just think to yourself “How the hell do they know so much?” It’s rather daunting and impressive to listen to. Well, if you want to feel a bit more knowledgeable, Nightmares in Red, White, and Blue is a documentary that chronicles the American horror movie from the beginning of cinema until the present day (2009 at least). It’s not doing anything incredible, and if you’re already pretty well versed in horror I don’t know if you’ll really get much out of it, but I enjoyed it. It can get rather cheesy with Lance Henriksen doing the voice over and has a tendency to be bit overly dramatic, but I get that they’re trying to “sell it.” There is some great commentary from Carpenter, Romero, and a bunch of other horror names so it’s always a treat when you can listen to them talk about their movies or just horror in general. If anything, I think it is a great companion piece to #ScaryMovieMonth here at F This Movie! and in particular I thought it went really well with Patrick and JB’s podcast on “Going too Far” as they kind of bring up similar themes and moments. Watch the documentary, then listen to the podcast, enjoy life more. You can reverse the first two steps, but the third will always be the same.
Halloween: Resurrection (2002, dir. Rick Rosenthal) Confession time: I will always have a soft place for Halloween: Resurrection, the entry into the franchise that nailed the coffin shut so tightly that a Rob Zombie reboot became the best way forward. It was the first Halloween movie that I saw in a theater, and because I didn't see most horror until I was practically an adult, I'm pretty sure it was the first Halloween movie for me period. This installment sets the horror around a web-based reality program that predates television shows like Ghost Hunters and a hundred knock-offs in which people go into old buildings with the lights off and film themselves, so it manages to predict a trend that has become a tired staple of every niche cable channel's late-night lineup. Throw in an early screen appearance from Katee Sackoff, a bizarre performance from Busta Rhymes (who thankfully never became a movie star), and then add a few genuinely good scares and you end up with a movie that is pretty flawed but still entertaining, even if it's for the wrong reasons. Halloween: Resurrection isn't a lost masterpiece or an overlooked gem. It's a bad movie that I happen to really enjoy.
The Fly (1958, dir. Kurt Neumann) Rather than bemoaning the lack of anything new or exciting on Netflix (or their unfortunate decision to drop dozens of classic horror films before October) I’m simply going to return to this old favorite. This is the movie that used to scare the SHIT out of me when I watched it during “Monster Week” on the ABC Three-Thirty Movie after school. The Fly features a thought-provoking storyline (how many of us have ever thought about how great that matter transporter would be?), some good scares, and a typically stylish, early Vincent Price performance. This movie may not be flashy or new-fangled, but like Liquid Plumr or Pabst Blue Ribbon, it gets the job done.
Djinn (2013, dir. Tobe Hooper) It was just a week or two ago on the podcast that I said I had finally seen Tobe Hooper's latest film Djinn, and that while I didn't think it all worked I was sure that if it showed up on Netflix I would end up recommending it. Well, Netflix has called my bluff. This is far from the best thing my boy Tobe has made, but it's recommended for serious students of his filmography -- or at least the mildly curious, as it's a rare horror movie shot in the United Arab Emirates and features an entirely Arabic cast. I have my own theories about some of what the movie is trying to say, but that doesn't come together until the final minutes and that may be too far to go for most viewers. At the very least there's some creepy atmosphere and a couple of interesting shots, but I'd be lying if I said I didn't wish there was more of the crazy Tobe on display. Save for the location and the cast, he's rarely made a movie that feels this generic.