Friday Five: Horror Films Vol. 1

I watch a lot of horror movies. A LOT OF HORROR MOVIES. Probably more than I should. It is what it is, I won’t lie, I’m a bit bonkers.
I also enjoy reviewing them – so I am happy to contribute to DIAG my thoughts in a new column of mini reviews I shall call my Friday Five Film reviews:

Here are some decent films I have seen this week;

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The Void: This is, by far, one of the best horror films I have seen in a long time (not since Baskin, anyway). It’s so many of my favorite horror movies wrapped up in one Lovecraftian masterpiece. It’s The Thing meets Silent Hill meets Hellraiser – I can’t even articulate how awesome of a combination that is, so I’ll just keep this review short and simple rather than ramble on about how much of a girl boner I have for this film. Just watch it. Right now. (5 stars out of 5)

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Dig Two Graves: This film was really beautiful, and played out more like a dark fairy tale than a straight-up horror movie. There are horror elements to it, but it’s really more of a fantasy/revenge film than anything else. This is really two films in one, because there are two parallel story lines that are taking place throughout the course of the movie -one involves some good old Appalachian gypsy folk magic and the other involves the exploration of human morality. They all mesh together in the end, and in a way that was kind of predictable. But the beautiful cinematography and the superb acting makes you forgive that fact. (4 stars out of 5)

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The Melancholy Fantastic: So I will start off by saying that I really enjoyed this film, but I’m not sure if it really falls into the realm of horror, it seems more surrealist drama than anything else – so hardcore horror fans who want blood guts and fast paced mayhem are not going to enjoy this movie. This movie is more of a subdued version of May, which was a brilliant film and incredibly disturbing and very gory. This film is May light. It’s very dark, and at times it’s very creepy, and it’s very, very depressing. The lead actress was spot on at playing a very disturbed schizophrenic who is at the brink of mental collapse – which leads into a serious state of psychosis that ends in a very tragic way. And yet that wasn’t quite the end, we are given an extended finale where there is maybe hope for her grief and madness? It’s completely up to interpretation, which I appreciate. I really fell in love with the character, and I hope the best for her, but I know that is me just being too altruistic. (4 stars out of 5)

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The Living and The Dead: This is another film I was pleasantly surprised with. The premise of it was incredibly interesting for me, because one of my favorite genres of horror is realism. This film explores the horror of mental illness. There were aspects of the film that I wasn’t incredibly pleased with, although I know why they were part of the film. I think the filmmakers wanted to portray what it was like to experience psychosis, and what was supposed to be jarring and disturbing came off more like you were watching Trainspotting – which is fine when it comes to drugs – but psychosis in speed time lapse with wonky music seems like more of an acid trip than what psychosis is actually like (of which I am personally familiar with). The end result was executed well, and I like that it’s kind of open-ended and open to interpretation as to what really transpired in “the end”. The acting was phenomenal – the lead actor who played the handicapped son did a phenomenal job portraying the struggle of a severely mentally ill person – desperately wanting to be “normal” and to do whatever it takes to make their parents proud of them. There are scenes and lines in the movie that just completely broke my heart – for example: scene: severely handicapped and un-medicated son, who is in a state of psychosis and holding a knife, is confronted by his mother:

Mother: Please put down the knife, or you will hurt yourself. 
Son: My self is already hurting.

Ouch. That scene hurt. I’m very impressed with this film. (4 stars out of 5 – on Shudder)

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These Final Hours: I wasn’t really expecting much from this film, because the premise of it was quite unimpressive. Now I understand why it began the way it began, because it made the end of the movie that much more heartbreaking – because you watch an individual (who at first is detestable) completely change and transform into a totally different person because of the circumstances he experiences on his “journey”. I don’t want to get too much into it because I don’t want to spoil it for anybody, but this film affected me a lot more than I expected. It actually made me cry. With the state of the world right now, and this type of scenario not completely off the table, this film forces you to think about decisions that you would have to make that are incredibly difficult and seemingly next to impossible. Very much like the novel/film On The Beach, which was also Australian. (4 stars out of 5 – on Shudder)

 

-Autumn (@autumn.umbra on instagram)

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