Everyone has told me to avoid Exorcist II: The Heretic for as long as I can remember and I was sure there was good reason to. Nevertheless, I want to watch the rest of the series and it’s not like me to consciously skip through parts of a franchise, so I had to gave it a crack. It turns out everyone was right.
Writer/director Mike Flanagan has been killing it for the horror genre lately, between his solid follow-up to The Shining, Doctor Sleep, and his Netflix shows The Haunting of Hill House and The Haunting of Bly Manor. It’s safe to say after honing his craft with earlier features like Oculus, Hush, and Gerald’s Game, he has carved out a place for himself in the halls of creepiness with a style of his own. He has come a long way from his first spooky film Absentia.
Is it possible for a film to start with a bang but then end up completely blowing it by the credits? Terrified seems to confirm this theory. An Argentinean horror, the movie canvases a suburban block where house to house unexplainable and unbelievable phenomena are occurring.
On the cusp of Saw breaking big, Cube Zero was the final attempt at propelling this franchise about people being stuck in elaborate traps into the mainstream. Directed by Cube 2: Hypercube producer Ernie Barbarash, it is the third film in the bunch and a prequel to the original. It showcases not only the amnesiac captives navigating the ever-shifting prison but also the guards in the control room tasked with watching over the mayhem.
The pint-sized terror is back yet again to impregnate our burnt-out brains with another sequel. Seed of Chucky is the Child’s Play franchise’s open letter stating they are officially off the rails. Turning back from this is not an option.
High Tension (aka Switchblade Romance in the UK) resides in the elite circle of horror favorites that helped shape me into the Manster I am today. It might be my top foreign film, my #1 foreign horror for sure. 17 years removed it holds up perfectly intact today.
Patchwork is the debut feature film by none other than Tyler MacIntyre, director of Good Boy AND the movie I was by chance thinking of watching next, Tragedy Girls. What a coincidence! Patchwork hits all the proper notes of comedy and grossness a parody horror should hit compared to the lackluster Good Boy. I can only hope that Tragedy Girls leans more in this direction on the quality scale.
Patty Jenkins’s (Wonder Woman) directorial debut Monster is a dramatization of the crimes committed by serial killer Aileen Wuornos, a prostitute who gunned down more than a few of her johns 30 years ago in Florida. It released in 2003 with Charlize Theron (Mad Max: Fury Road, Bombshell) winning a slew of Best Actress awards for her portrayal of Wuornos. The film beats out Bone Tomahawk for the least-horror choice this MASSACRE MARATHON so far, which isn’t surprising to me since I knew she killed with guns (as opposed to more traditional slasher weapons) going in. Still, I thought the movie might have been more thrilling.
Mom and Dad took me by surprise with its speedy approach and upfront humor. Nicolas Cage (Color Out of Space, anything he can get his hands on) and Selma Blair (Hellboy, The Sweetest Thing) star as typical heads of the household who get swept up in a whirlwind of mass hysteria that causes parents to stop at nothing to eliminate their offspring. Written and directed by Brian Taylor, the creator of the Crank movies, so you know you’re in for a wild ride!