Friday Five: Vol 3

Sleeping Beauty (2011 film starring Emily Browning)

This is not a typical horror film, but I would absolutely categorize it as horror. There are elements of it that are incredibly disturbing and uncomfortable.
It’s an extremely haunting film. The basic premise of it is Emily plays a prostitute that deals with a very specific line of work – her clients are mainly old rich men and her job is to drink this special kind of tea that makes her pass out – so she is essentially playing dead.
It’s a very high end sort of prostitution – so there’s a no penetration clause, but they can do whatever else they want to her. But again, she is passed out – she has no memory of what happens during these meetings.
I want to commend Emily Browning for taking on such a role, I imagine it was not very easy to do and was incredibly uncomfortable. Especially since throughout the film you see her fully naked. I really respect when actresses take on roles that are outside of their comfort zone, for the sake of creating a really phenomenal piece of work, of which this film definitely is.



Arbor Demon

So this is not the greatest film I have ever seen – but the special effects really, really impressed me. The creatures – holy crap. They were these gorgeous Spriggan (Elder Scrolls reference) tree-like creatures that also kind of reminded me of Wytches (Scott Snyder comic).
I love when the creative team actually takes the time to dream up a certain kind of creature and then put all their effort into creating it (which is why I love SyFy’s Face Off series). I feel like this team was probably really excited and proud of the finished product. They were gorgeous and ethereal – and also terrifying. I’m in love with them. They’re my new #squadgoals.

Elle

oh, Elle. what can I say about Elle that doesn’t give the plotline away? I will try to be spoiler free.
This movie is one of the most fascinating films I have seen in a long time – mostly in part to my Psychology background (I studied Abnormal Psychology in college). Freud would have a FIELD DAY with this film, my gods. This would be a perfect film for a psychology class to discuss and dissect- but I digress.
It is not surprising to me that Isabelle Huppert won so many awards for her performance in this movie. She was absolutely phenomenal – superb acting for such a complicated mess of a character.
The plot was expertly communicated, albeit stunning and disturbing. The complexity of the characters and their eventual reveal is shocking and unsettling. Add in some dry humor and this film was everything I want in a psychological thriller.
I have to say, however, there are multiple rape/assault scenes in this movie. They are brutal. If this is a trigger for you, do not watch this film, or watch it with a loved one. Otherwise, go watch it right now. It’s incredible.

Where The Dead Go To Die/When Black Birds Fly

So I decided to give James ‘Jimmy ScreamerClauz’ Creamer’s animated films a watch because he manages to get some pretty big names to do vocals for his films – people like Manoush, David Firth, Linnea Quigley, and Trent Haaga. Plus the plots of both films seemed pretty interesting, so – I gave them a go.
…and it was very, very weird.
First of all, the animation itself won’t be for everyone. It’s jarring and very psychedelic. I can safely say these films are meant to be watched under the influence of something, but I wouldn’t suggest it to be honest – the content is quite disturbing. And there’s another point – animation can get away with certain types of horror that others can’t get away with. It’s too controversial and, well, illegal. Where The Dead Go To Die in particular. The content of this film will definitely disturb most of you. When Black Birds Fly is definitely not as disturbing, but it’s still a bit uncomfortable.
Did I enjoy them? I actually did. I didn’t think I would, but I did. I found myself riveted and disgusted and impressed all at the same time. I would only recommend this to people who appreciate this type of fucked up animation genre – because I don’t think anyone else would enjoy it very much. It’s a lot to take in, visually and psychologically. I’m into it. but, I’m into a lot of things I probably shouldn’t be 😉

Baskin

Well, this movie certainly delivered. I was promised gratuitous amounts of unrelenting gore and quite disturbing themes based on the trailer, and that’s what I got – for the last 40 minutes or so, anyway.
This movie was Hellraiser meets Coffin Joe meets Lucio Fulci – meets Silent Hill – all wonderful comparisons, in my humble opinion. When the descent into the hell labyrinth began – I was literally jumping out of my skin excited. As the grotesquerie played out, I was hooked and borderline nauseous. I adored the “Father” character – incredible acting on his part (very reminiscent of Pinhead – a Hell Priest, if you will, waxing philosophic about the benefits of pain and suffering). What truly mattered to me was delivered, the rest was…meh.
The story line was weak. The first half of the film was unnecessary and kind of boring. There was no real character development, other than depicting them as douche bags who, in the end, made you not feel so bad watching them get tortured. That kind of ruins the idea, but makes watching easier, because your emotions aren’t really involved – you’re almost rooting for the “bad guys” (think Pumpkinhead 2). The ending was, well, typical and done before a thousand times. I feel like it could’ve been *so much better* – but instead, it kind of fizzled.
There was so many mythological and psychological themes/metaphors that could’ve been explored along with the disturbing visual imagery – they were presented a Jungian smorgasbord of a scene! I would’ve been much happier if they cut out the first half hour of the film that did nothing for the character’s development and had gone right into the ritual sabbath. A little background on each character was all that was needed – good or bad – maybe psychedelic flashbacks amidst the torture (like the main character).
Did I love it? No. Did I enjoy it? Hell yes.

“Hell is not a place you go. You carry Hell with you at all times. You carry it inside you.”

Have you seen this movies? Loved them? Hated them? Let me know what you think.

– Autumn

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