Friday Five: Vol 4

YellowBrickRoad: 
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I wish I could articulate how disappointed I was with this film, but I don’t think I would be able to pull it off coherently. Rural gothic is one of the best genres in horror, in my opinion. As someone who grew up in the southern woods of New Hampshire, the area is saturated in ghost stories that have their origins in the woods. The woods have always been both a sanctuary and a haunted place to be feared for me. Movies like The Blair Witch Project really put rural gothic on the map cinematically, although the genre has been around in short stories and novels for centuries. The premise of this film was so promising, and could have been played out so perfectly. Instead, we got actors who really had no idea how to portray trauma and fear, and an ending that was sloppy and confusing. I feel like I would have enjoyed this so much more if it was a novel instead.
There is one scene, however, that has stuck with me long after watching the film. I have discussed this with a fellow horror lover who also had the same gut reaction to the scene. If that alone was worth the watch, I am okay with that. AH, AMBIGUITY.
Anyways, if you like to watch horror movies not just for entertainment but for inspiration as well, I would at least give this a watch. Or you could just go out into the deep woods while listening to an album by The Caretaker, while reading books by Nathaniel Hawthorne, HP Lovecraft and Susan Hill, and pretty much get the same effect.
Howl:
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I went into this with no high expectations, to be honest. I typically don’t enjoy werewolf films, not because I don’t like werewolves, but I usually find werewolf films really silly. Most of the time it has to be CGI, which I hate. And when they actually use prosthetics and makeup, it doesn’t usually translate to me as something frightening. That was what went wrong with this film, I didn’t find the prosthetics or makeup scary in the slightest. The old woman was vaguely frightening, which is predictable. But all of the male werewolves just looked kind of silly to me – a rip off of Rawhead Rex. If you’re a fan of werewolf films, this is definitely not a terrible film, I just don’t think it’s a very good film either.
My favourite werewolf movies are the Ginger Snaps series, not because they are scary, but because I just love them. Do you have a favourite werewolf film? Let me know so I can give it a try!
Styria:
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This film was, if nothing else, hauntingly beautiful. It’s not scary, if that’s what you are looking for. It’s dark, gothic, eerie, surreal and visually stimulating.
It is a film adaption/interpretation of Carmilla, which makes it a vampire film – I typically don’t like vampire movies – especially humanized vampires – I am more of a feral demon vampire fan. But this was elegant and sophisticated in a non cliche kind of way. Plus, a hint of lesbianism? That always sells me. Especially when the two lead actresses are stunners.
Lesbianism aside, there is an element of radical feminism here – the female villain representing a liberator of women from predatory men. a predator saving women from predators – by making them predators themselves? Is becoming a monster the only way to escape being victimized? Bold statement. Interesting concept. How can this grand design end? Well, the only way it can, it seems. But, i digress.
And the murals – *sigh*. So beautiful. I want to live in that dilapidated castle and haunt its halls forever and ever. How banal for an old goth, I know. But I wear my fogey goff status with pride. So, there’s that.
Anyway, I loved it.

Musarañas/Shrew’s Nest:

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Oh, this film. Total roller coaster ride. What a gruesome and shocking finale! It’s like Charlotte Perkins Gilman meets V.C. Andrews, with a bit of homage to Edgar Allan Poe. The incredible madness of a horrifically abused woman. The suffering and torment that turns human beings into absolute monsters. Totally my kind of film.
Spain is really upping the ante on horror – I am usually pleasantly surprised with Spanish horror films, over the last few years (Rec? El Orfanato? SUPERB!). And Macarena Gómez? So in love with her. What an incredible actress. I loved this film.

Gwai wik/Re-cycle:

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This is one of my FAVOURITE horror movies of all time.
Words can not describe how much I love this film – the imagery is absolutely nightmarish and unsettling. The subject matter is incredibly uncomfortable and, at times, difficult to watch. This is what i love. Horrific surrealism and shocking themes.
I have to make a disclaimer, however, because many people will find this film too disturbing (and possibly infuriating). Not just because of the imagery, but because of the subject matter. This film is quite bold – once it reveals its true purpose. Once it is revealed (and it is jarringly so) – if this issue is too sensitive for you – then don’t keep watching. I will admit, it goes against my beliefs, but I was able to watch it from a detached standpoint because the issue is not personal to me, it is just a political opinion for me. For many people, it is very personal, and can be difficult to swallow. Indon’t want to say what it is, because it will spoil the film. If you are concerned – google the film for spoilers before you watch it. Otherwise, enjoy the mind fuckery!
You can find Angel on instagram @Autumn.umbra.

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