I have to admit, I haven’t been as into writing reviews lately. Despite having seen some great movies in the past few months, it always seems like someone else has already said everything I’m thinking, and it can start to feel redundant sometimes. Maybe I’m just in a rut, which is partially why I started my movie watching challenge – to remind me that horror is, first and foremost, an outlet for me to have fun. Or whatever you’d call subjecting yourself to movies that make your heart pound and your blood curdle (other people think that’s fun, too, right?). In any case, though, here are some movies I truly couldn’t let go by without saying something about them, and a few more tacked on for good measure.
Green Room. Dudes, I loved this movie with a passion I haven’t felt in a long time. A long, long time. It was gut wrenching, stomach twisting, tense as hell, and the experience of watching it was something like being stabbed in the stomach by a Neo-Nazi (I’m guessing). Now, I hate to direct you away from here, but this article at Audiences Everywhere says everything I felt about watching this movie – and why it’s really an important film – but couldn’t put into words so eloquently. (Please do yourself a huge favor, though, and see the movie before reading anything about it!)
The Witch. It’s a great time for horror, isn’t it? Because although I’ve heard complaints of The Witch being overhyped, I’m here to tell all you whiners that you are wrong. Well, okay, you’re not necessarily wrong (but I won’t take back the whiners part, sorry) – it wasn’t the scariest movie I’ve ever seen. Not by a long shot. But does it really matter? I found this movie incredibly smart, deeply unsettling, and filled with a pervasive, breathtaking sense of dread. So it didn’t have jump scares – good, I say. The definition of horror is expanding here, right before our eyes, and you’re sitting there complaining about jump scares! Now go to your corner and think about what you’ve done.
10 Cloverfield Lane. We’re on a roll here, y’all, because this movie was great, too! John Goodman as a creepy, paternalistic doomsdayer living in a bunker? Check. Mary Elizabeth Winstead as the spunky, resourceful heroine? Check. Tons of twists and turns topped off by a balls-out-insane ending? Check. This one was fun.
The Invitation. Another film that utilizes that creeping sense of dread and paranoia to great effect. The payoff is well worth the buildup, and the very end is a shocker. It gets bonus points for being about a cult, too, because I really can’t ever get enough of cult movies.
Nina Forever. Let me preface my opinion by saying I know this was a good movie. It was well written, simultaneously touching and gory (a great quality in a horror film), and had interesting, complex characters. But honestly, I wanted to like this more than I actually did… but I don’t know why, and I feel bad about it. I still recommend it, regardless of whatever sense that does or doesn’t make.
Bite. My stomach is stronger for having watched this, and that’s a high compliment for a body horror movie.
Ratter. As a woman, this film did scare me. As a horror fan… it suffered from all the usual issues of found footage (dull stretches, stilted dialogue, contrived scenes). Still, it was unnerving.
I’ll Always Know What You Did Last Summer. The third installment in the I Know What You Did Last Summer franchise, which I didn’t even know existed until two days ago, was really not as bad as I thought it would be. It had that early-aughts, Final Destination sort of vibe to it. There are worse things.
Most Likely to Die. It seems that all these movies promising to evoke the cheesy, lovable slashers of the past are missing whatever ingredient that made those movies palatable. This one was just filled with bad acting, lame kills, and a kind of soullessness that doesn’t help to adjust my resting bitch face. But tragedy plus time equals comedy – maybe kids in 2055 will find this lovable?
What have you been watching lately? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter!