I love horror movies, and I don’t watch them often enough. Really, I don’t. Part of that has to do with the fact that the Geek Husband What Rules really doesn’t like them, and I’m kind of fussy about my horror. I’ve got no use for ‘people being shitty to other people’ horror films, as I’ve said before. But give me some sort of supernatural agency and I’m a happy girl.
Recently I watched three films, two were horror films, and the third was a documentary about horror hosts in American television.
American Scary (2009) is the documentary. Now, I spent my early childhood in Michigan and had aunts, uncles and cousins who were in their teens, so I remember Graves Ghastly on the Detroit station, and The Ghoul out of Cleveland. My youngest Uncle, Jeff, was particularly fond of The Ghoul, and until it disintegrated in the bottom of a toy chest, I had one of the rubber Froggies that he used in his show. My Uncle Jeff bought it for me to bribe me into not telling my mother he let me stay up to watch horror films in the middle of the night while he babysat me. When I was older I rented all of the series of films that Elvira Mistress of the Dark introduced and did commentary on. Still older, I watched Commander USA on the USA network, and Joe Bob Briggs on TNT. So this film brought back a lot of memories, and also it made me happy that in some places, you still have horror hosts, and also that horror hosts are taking to the web. I highly recommend this if you remember the days of horror hosts, but also if you’re into the horror genre in general and are interested in the trappings as well as the films. And it’s genuinely interesting and funny.
3 Extremes (2004) contains three horror shorts from masters of Asian horror. Fruit Chan, Chan-Wook Park, and Takashi Miike, in a piece that has to be the most understated and restrained piece of film Takashi Miike has ever been involved with. It’s amazingly creepy and atmospheric proving that he doesn’t have to go for the gross-out or the cheap horror. I would wager to say that not only is Miike’s piece in this the best of the three, it’s some of his best work. All three pieces are excellent, and if not exactly scary, then genuinely horrifying, even if the second one does fall under the heading of people being shitty to other people, it was still interesting enough to keep my watching. The acting was excellent in all three shorts, and the storylines were engaging.
Trick ‘r Treat (2009), not to be confused with the incredibly different film of the same name from 1986 which I saw on opening night. The premise of this Trick or Treat, which had a sort of comic/Creepshow or even Pulp Fiction feel to it, is that you have to respect the traditions of Halloween or fall foul of them. I really enjoyed this film both for the more traditional aspects, and also for the playing with the tropes that they did. Anna Paquin’s performance is particularly entertaining. I don’t want to spoil it for anyone, but I think the vignette style works. The special effects are well done, and I will tell you that it does use the ever popular trope of “Want creepy? Add undead kids,” for at least some of it. A really well done film in general.
Ok, so I think that’s it for now. Expect more horror reviews and such, while I work through my desperately backlogged Netflix queue.