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Last Movie You Watched 
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Vexer wrote:
Not surprised to hear that Conjuring wasn't scary, but the religious subtext makes it sound even more off-putting, it sounds like Conjuring had a similar ending to Wishmaster 2(main characters have to turn to God to vanquish a demon).


I actually found it quite scary.

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Mon Aug 12, 2013 3:42 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
JamesKunz wrote:
Vexer wrote:
Not surprised to hear that Conjuring wasn't scary, but the religious subtext makes it sound even more off-putting, it sounds like Conjuring had a similar ending to Wishmaster 2(main characters have to turn to God to vanquish a demon).


I actually found it quite scary.

No horror film has ever truly scared me.


Mon Aug 12, 2013 3:54 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Vexer wrote:
JamesKunz wrote:
Vexer wrote:
Not surprised to hear that Conjuring wasn't scary, but the religious subtext makes it sound even more off-putting, it sounds like Conjuring had a similar ending to Wishmaster 2(main characters have to turn to God to vanquish a demon).


I actually found it quite scary.

No horror film has ever truly scared me.
'

Well, assuming that's true, then you don't really have much perspective on what makes a movie scary, now do you?

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Mon Aug 12, 2013 7:02 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Well sometimes i've been caught off guard by jump scares, but i've never felt true outright fear from a horror film. Critics raved about how "scary" Insidious was and I just thought it was really lame, so i'm not expecting Conjuring to be any better.


Last edited by Vexer on Mon Aug 12, 2013 9:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Mon Aug 12, 2013 7:05 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
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Well, assuming that's true, then you don't really have much perspective on what makes a movie scary, now do you?


I could just as easily say that there are great horror movies, but I expect something deeper from them than merely being scared. So I can easily turn it around and say that the opposite point of view is the one that doesn't have a perspective. It's just such an easy target too. There's so many bad things you can say about this movie that I still half suspect my leg is being pulled. It's as if people are just trying out a test to see which opinions they can get away with, and how bad a movie they can actually praise.


Mon Aug 12, 2013 7:49 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Vexer wrote:
No horror film has ever truly scared me.


Ever seen Deliverance? That's an absolutely terrifying film.

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Mon Aug 12, 2013 9:45 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Sexual Chocolate wrote:
Vexer wrote:
No horror film has ever truly scared me.


Ever seen Deliverance? That's an absolutely terrifying film.

It certainly did disturb me, but it didn't really scare me, I guess because it's been parodied so often that stuff like the "squeal like a pig" scene loses some impact


Mon Aug 12, 2013 9:52 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
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It certainly did disturb me, but it didn't really scare me, I guess because it's been parodied so often that stuff like the "squeal like a pig" scene loses some impact


Yeah, the parody thing is unfortunate. But I too was disturbed by it. I generally love disturbing movies and am always seeking out new ones that I haven't seen. What about the movie Happiness? I think that can be called a horror film. Very upsetting, I'm not sure I'd want to watch it again. I think the horror genre should generally be focused on the horror of the events it portrays. The plot of a great horror flick should be messed up on a lot of levels. Halloween never affected me much. Myers' psychology was never fully explained, so it wasn't as disturbing as it could have been. Movies like Psycho and Silence of the Lambs are great horror for me because they explore the specific complexity of schizoid killers. In fact, part of the reason I can't take a possession film seriously is because psychological possession is a real thing. And it's not demons, it's schizophrenia and other related illnesses.


Tue Aug 13, 2013 1:12 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
MGamesCook wrote:
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It certainly did disturb me, but it didn't really scare me, I guess because it's been parodied so often that stuff like the "squeal like a pig" scene loses some impact


Yeah, the parody thing is unfortunate. But I too was disturbed by it. I generally love disturbing movies and am always seeking out new ones that I haven't seen. What about the movie Happiness? I think that can be called a horror film. Very upsetting, I'm not sure I'd want to watch it again. I think the horror genre should generally be focused on the horror of the events it portrays. The plot of a great horror flick should be messed up on a lot of levels. Halloween never affected me much. Myers' psychology was never fully explained, so it wasn't as disturbing as it could have been. Movies like Psycho and Silence of the Lambs are great horror for me because they explore the specific complexity of schizoid killers. In fact, part of the reason I can't take a possession film seriously is because psychological possession is a real thing. And it's not demons, it's schizophrenia and other related illnesses.

I too enjoy the occasional disturbing film, usually stuff like Captivity, Mother's Day remake, Last House On The Left remake, Wolf Creek, High Tension, The Collector, Turistas, Train and of course the Hostel films.


Tue Aug 13, 2013 1:23 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
MGamesCook wrote:
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It certainly did disturb me, but it didn't really scare me, I guess because it's been parodied so often that stuff like the "squeal like a pig" scene loses some impact


Yeah, the parody thing is unfortunate. But I too was disturbed by it. I generally love disturbing movies and am always seeking out new ones that I haven't seen. What about the movie Happiness? I think that can be called a horror film. Very upsetting, I'm not sure I'd want to watch it again. I think the horror genre should generally be focused on the horror of the events it portrays. The plot of a great horror flick should be messed up on a lot of levels. Halloween never affected me much. Myers' psychology was never fully explained, so it wasn't as disturbing as it could have been. Movies like Psycho and Silence of the Lambs are great horror for me because they explore the specific complexity of schizoid killers. In fact, part of the reason I can't take a possession film seriously is because psychological possession is a real thing. And it's not demons, it's schizophrenia and other related illnesses.


I still have a copy of Happiness sitting on my shelf waiting for me to return to it; I actually really want to return to it, just haven't quite gotten myself to yet.

Vexer wrote:
I too enjoy the occasional disturbing film, usually stuff like Captivity, Mother's Day remake, Last House On The Left remake, Wolf Creek, High Tension, The Collector, Turistas, Train and of course the Hostel films.


Wolf Creek, High Tension and Hostel are defensible as films and works of art though (in my opinion, also I enjoyed the Last House on the Left remake), while I would certainly say that Turistas, for example, is not; I only made it through about fifty-minutes of that last film, and I finished Battlefield Earth and The Mangler II for godsakes. The thing about horror films is they can be looked at so many different ways because so many people have a (generally rather) specific criteria for what qualifies as "good horror". You like horror films with plentiful gore and special effects? Perhaps you enjoyed the Evil Dead remake. Perhaps psychological horror is more of your thing, how about Silence of the Lambs or Identity? Maybe you prefer something more visceral, and Hooper's Texas Chainsaw Massacre gets your horror rocks off. I, for one, enjoyed all those films, but some of you may have only enjoyed one or even none of them. Sure, plenty of people could describe and define why they not only do not find these good horror movies but don't even enjoy them (and lord knows they have). Halloween never affected you, MGames, as for me I find it one of the more masterfully made films of the '70s, and Myers in particular remains my favorite horror genre serial killer in particular because Myers' psychology is never explained. How often are we presented with evil functioning under the pretext of evil? I may find Silence of the Lambs to be a better film than Halloween, but I also personally find Halloween to be "scarier". We saw what happened when his psychology "was" explained after Zombie took the helm and, well, yeah... the '07 remake and Halloween II: Part Deux and a Half or Somethin came out... Now, I also grew up in a very church heavy atmosphere and I personally found that the first Paranormal Activity (a "possession film", as you put it, MGames), scared the shit out of me back in '09 and now. To each their own. One of my favorite quandaries as a film goer has always been, and remains, what is the difference between what makes a good movie and what makes it personally affective? If there is one do we create that difference ourselves, and does it matter?

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Tue Aug 13, 2013 3:50 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
I don't really care if a film is "art" or not(I think the word is overrused anyways) and since you never actually finished Turistas you can't really say if it's "defensible" or not, almost any film is "defensible" in one way or another.

Not really that big on psychological horror, always found Silence Of The Lambs to be overrated, I honestly like Hannibal better.

I also enjoyed the Halloween remake and it's sequel.

Hated the first Mangler film but did enjoy the sequel, I also don't totally hate Battlefield Earth.


Tue Aug 13, 2013 4:02 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
I think the last time I was truly disturbed by a movie was during Paranorman, during the scene when the age of the witch who was executed is revealed. Last movie that scared me was 28 Days Later when I saw it in theaters.

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Tue Aug 13, 2013 3:13 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Quote:
One of my favorite quandaries as a film goer has always been, and remains, what is the difference between what makes a good movie and what makes it personally affective? If there is one do we create that difference ourselves, and does it matter?


It's a good question. People are different I suppose, as you surmised I'm mostly just disturbed the real complexity of evil. To watch video interviews of Dennis Rader, Jeffrey Dahmer, Arthur Shawcross is real horror, Michael Myers is too distanced from that for my taste. I find Hopkins performance as Hannibal to be over the top but still believable, and Ted Levine's performance definitely feels realistic.

Hannibal is one of my least favorite movies personally, I found it unfocused, dreary, vile, sick, and not very believable anyway.

One of the most interesting Ebert vs. Berardinelli dichotomies I can remember was 2005. Ebert gave The Devil's Rejects 3 stars, despite calling it a vomitoriam. Berardinelli gave it half a star, calling it vile and reprehensible, wanting to wash away the filth of it. But later that year, Berardinelli gave 3 stars to Wolf Creek, calling it solid horror, while Ebert gave it zero stars, calling it sick demented shit. Just curious as to what other people think in terms of what the difference was between the two movies, and who was right? I haven't seen either one to be honest.


Tue Aug 13, 2013 3:22 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
MGamesCook wrote:
One of the most interesting Ebert vs. Berardinelli dichotomies I can remember was 2005. Ebert gave The Devil's Rejects 3 stars, despite calling it a vomitoriam. Berardinelli gave it half a star, calling it vile and reprehensible, wanting to wash away the filth of it. But later that year, Berardinelli gave 3 stars to Wolf Creek, calling it solid horror, while Ebert gave it zero stars, calling it sick demented shit. Just curious as to what other people think in terms of what the difference was between the two movies, and who was right? I haven't seen either one to be honest.


In the introduction to his collection of negative reviews Your Movie Sucks, Ebert writes about the correspondence he had with the creators of a 2005 film called Chaos, which I think he gave zero stars. The filmmakers justified the "ugly, nihilistic and cruel" scenes in their film as appropriate for their goal of depicting an "ugly, nihilistic and cruel reality." Ebert responded "Your film does work, and as filmmakers you have undeniable skills and gifts. The question is, did you put them to a defensible purpose?" Later on in his response he writes "I believe art can certainly be nihilistic and express hopelessness...but I prefer that the artist express an attitude toward that evil. It is not enough to record it." The full correspondence is here: http://www.amazon.com/Your-Movie-Sucks- ... 0740763660.

I think this is the problem Ebert had with Wolf Creek. He felt the same way too about The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, both the original and the 2003 remake, acknowledging the technical skill involved in the productions, but questioning the purpose. In his review of The Devil's Rejects, Ebert writes about it being "nauseating" and "deliberately disgusting," but he also comments on "its attitude and subversive sense of humor." Maybe from Ebert's perspective, that approach made the subject matter more tolerable. For other people, like Berardinelli, that kind of approach doesn't justify what is onscreen. Likewise, the "lack of purpose" in Chaos and Wolf Creek might not be as much of a concern to people like Berardinelli as it was to Ebert. I haven't seen The Devil's Rejects so I can't offer my own take on it, but I have seen Wolf Creek. While my reaction to it falls closer to Berardinelli's, that it works as an effective exercise in atmosphere and tension despite its nihilistic nature, I can understand where Ebert was coming from. Why spend time with a film that is only interested in detachedly "recording evil"?

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Tue Aug 13, 2013 4:11 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Magic Magic (2013)
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1929308/
I decided to give this one a watch mainly based on the relatively well-known stars involved - Juno Temple, Michael Cera and Emily Browning. The movie is a sort of a thriller/drama that revolves around Alicia (Juno Temple) who travels with a group of her girlfriend's friends (who she does not know herself) to a remote location in Chile. The vacation turns into a a trip from hell as Alicia slowly succumbs to
[Reveal] Spoiler:
paranoid schizophrenia (or equivalent mental illness)

Everything is handled competently by director Sebastián Silva (who also wrote it) generating a nice foreboding tone, and it is mostly well acted. I actually found it a pretty riveting watch throughout, but was unfortunately somewhat let down by a lack lustre ending that imo didn't make a whole lot of sense.
6.5/10.


Last edited by nitrium on Wed Aug 14, 2013 1:32 am, edited 3 times in total.



Tue Aug 13, 2013 4:19 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Serpico

One of the 1970s' landmark films, this is the true story of a cop who refuses to be a part of the corruption that plagues the NYPD, and how his life is ruined despite doing the right thing. This could have been a basic "oneman against the system" story, but it is to the credit of Al Pacino and Sidney Lumet that Frank Serpico is presented as a complex individual. Well worth the time; Pacino is superb.

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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Blonde Almond wrote:
MGamesCook wrote:
One of the most interesting Ebert vs. Berardinelli dichotomies I can remember was 2005. Ebert gave The Devil's Rejects 3 stars, despite calling it a vomitoriam. Berardinelli gave it half a star, calling it vile and reprehensible, wanting to wash away the filth of it. But later that year, Berardinelli gave 3 stars to Wolf Creek, calling it solid horror, while Ebert gave it zero stars, calling it sick demented shit. Just curious as to what other people think in terms of what the difference was between the two movies, and who was right? I haven't seen either one to be honest.


In the introduction to his collection of negative reviews Your Movie Sucks, Ebert writes about the correspondence he had with the creators of a 2005 film called Chaos, which I think he gave zero stars. The filmmakers justified the "ugly, nihilistic and cruel" scenes in their film as appropriate for their goal of depicting an "ugly, nihilistic and cruel reality." Ebert responded "Your film does work, and as filmmakers you have undeniable skills and gifts. The question is, did you put them to a defensible purpose?" Later on in his response he writes "I believe art can certainly be nihilistic and express hopelessness...but I prefer that the artist express an attitude toward that evil. It is not enough to record it." The full correspondence is here: http://www.amazon.com/Your-Movie-Sucks- ... 0740763660.

I think this is the problem Ebert had with Wolf Creek. He felt the same way too about The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, both the original and the 2003 remake, acknowledging the technical skill involved in the productions, but questioning the purpose. In his review of The Devil's Rejects, Ebert writes about it being "nauseating" and "deliberately disgusting," but he also comments on "its attitude and subversive sense of humor." Maybe from Ebert's perspective, that approach made the subject matter more tolerable. For other people, like Berardinelli, that kind of approach doesn't justify what is onscreen. Likewise, the "lack of purpose" in Chaos and Wolf Creek might not be as much of a concern to people like Berardinelli as it was to Ebert. I haven't seen The Devil's Rejects so I can't offer my own take on it, but I have seen Wolf Creek. While my reaction to it falls closer to Berardinelli's, that it works as an effective exercise in atmosphere and tension despite its nihilistic nature, I can understand where Ebert was coming from. Why spend time with a film that is only interested in detachedly "recording evil"?


Interesting discussion. I've always had this problem with horror. Texas Chainsaw Massacre is a film I've always admired. But when I watched it again, and this time in theaters, I was struck by how unrelentingly, unremittingly intense it was. "Intense" isn't even a good enough word. The sound design alone in the scene where Marilyn is being tortured is almost too much to stomach (for those of you frowning in disbelief -- I would have been right there with you. Trust me: see it in theaters) and for what purpose? To horrify. Is that enough? It might be. Comedies are supposed to amuse you, so why shouldn't a horror film horrify you? I don't even know if I'm approaching a point here. But musing is fun too

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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
True Lies

This is far from perfect, but damn, it's so much fun that it's hard to give a crap about the somewhat casual attitude toward Islamist terror or the deranged story logic. Schwarzenegger isn't known for having great chemistry with other actors, but he feels at home in scenes with Tom Arnold and Jamie Lee Curtis, who are also pretty wonderful here. And the action is big, bold, and creative enough to avoid the abject stupidity of a Roland Emmerich or Zack Snyder smash 'em up feature.

I don't know what's sadder--that the on-again, off-again sequel they've been talking about will inevitably be swamped with CGI that will nurture none of the inventive illusions that we see here, or that within a few years of this movie being made, James Cameron's penchant for grand technical achievements outgrew his ability to use them tastefully in big idea-driven action.

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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
I think most good movies show you a part of the world that you normally wouldn't see (often an underworld) and exaggerate it. Good horror included.

Pacific Rim

Not bad, but far from exceptional. Two main problems stick out in my mind. Firstly, the opening montage of the first 10 minutes should have just been the whole movie. All of that should have been stretched out an dramatized on a miniscule level. The arrival of the Kaiju, the first attack, the first responses, then slowly working up to the solution of fighting them off with the Jaegers. That's the real story of this film, and happens all in the first couple minutes. A movie shouldn't reveal its conceit in the first five minutes, then just play around with it for two hours. A movie should take the entire running length to reveal the conceit in the first place. It's just better storytelling.

My second problem connects this movie to a lot of others recently, and that is our culture's current obsession with celebrities and fame. Why do the Jaegars have to be celebrities? The new athletic stars? Why? Is it necessary to Del Toro's concept. No. I think the reason is that people have become perverted in their obsession with fame and the dream of being famous. It's almost as if fame is the only thing that appeals to people anymore. Why does a hero have to be famous and beloved by the people in order to be a hero? That's not heroism, it's vanity. A hero is a person who does the right thing without getting credit for it. This is a mistake Snyder deliberately avoided in Man of Steel. Superman never revealed himself to the public like Tony Douche Stark. Too many movies being made right now are about famous people, and it's lame. Prestigious bio-pics are one thing, but when even action heroes need to be the center of the world's intention, that's a problem. It doesn't make sense that the people of Gotham be so obsessed with Batman and Harvey Dent, that the wizarding world is so endlessly obsessed with Harry Potter, etc. Except that it reflects our current cultural state without bashing it.


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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Catching up with the first week of August:

The Canyons - If there’s anything positive to be said about this collaboration between Paul Schrader and Bret Easton Ellis, it’s that it proves you don’t need an over-inflated budget to stage a reasonably-competent production. Despite the limited resources, Schrader has no problem creating a vision of the sleazy lower rungs of modern day Hollywood, a world where everyone seems all too willing to screw each other over (in more ways than one). It’s a promising backdrop for an erotic thriller, the kind of material that someone like Paul Verhoeven could really sink his teeth into with relish. Unfortunately for this production, it has the misfortune of being neither erotic nor thrilling, and so it settles for just being lethargic. Most of the film is a drag, a series of uninteresting conversations and sexual liaisons between uninteresting people before a brief splash of violence and a strange anticlimax of an ending. If The Canyons functioned purely as an unsuccessful erotic thriller, it would have been easy to shrug it off and move on to something more interesting. But Schrader’s involvement had always been a subject of curiosity in the buildup to the film’s release, and even after the film is over, his involvement still remains the most perplexing element. This is the same man who collaborated with Scorcese on many of his greatest works, and who was the main auteur behind the masterful Mishima: A Life In Four Chapters. What exactly is he doing helming this film?

The answer to that question is that the film has a separate, “meta” layer underneath its trashy outer shell. This is apparent right from the beginning, with an opening credits sequence made up of still pictures of long-abandoned movie theaters, and it continues onward with the conversations of the main players, who frequently profess a general disinterest in movies. Maybe I’m way off the mark here, but I got the feeling that Schrader and Ellis set out to make an intentionally-rubbish film to comment on the current rubbish nature of the film industry. The casting reinforces this; it can’t be completely a budget issue that necessitates a primary cast of a burned-out former talent (Lindsay Lohan), a porn star (James Deen), and an airheaded “pretty boy” (Noland Gerard Funk). These people are the perfect conduits for Schrader and Ellis’ negative perspective of Hollywood and movie culture. There’s a kind of sanctimoniousness to the entire production, and while I don’t doubt for one second that the kind of people running amok in The Canyons exist in reality, it all feels like an unnecessary beating of an already-long-dead horse. Your appreciation of the film will likely depend on whether you think its underlying statement is an interesting or worthwhile one. From my perspective, it makes The Canyons not only a tedious watch but an insufferable one as well. 3/10.

Passion - Leave it to the veteran filmmaker to step back into the ring and show everyone how quality suspense is done. A remake of a 2010 French thriller starring Kristin Scott Thomas and Ludivine Sagnier, this new version from director Brian De Palma stars Rachel McAdams and Noomi Rapace as two advertising agency executives, one established and one up-and-coming. Their relationship starts out innocently enough, with the two collaborating together on a new advertising campaign. Things quickly sour though when McAdams takes the credit for Rapace’s successful idea, but Rapace isn’t exactly innocent herself, casually embarking on an affair with McAdams’ lover. So the stage is set for some heated corporate gamesmanship, but things quickly escalate into something far more sinister and deadly. Admittedly though, it takes a little while for the film to find its footing. There’s a flatness to the early scenes that makes you wonder if De Palma still has what it takes to stage this kind of material effectively.

And then, right around the halfway mark, everything suddenly clicks, beginning with a masterfully-executed split-screen sequence that combines two different types of choreography, one beautiful and the other bloody. It’s the kind of sequence only someone like De Palma can really pull off, and it works almost as a summation of his entire career, in particular his ability to take lurid material and elevate it into something approaching fine art. After that sequence, he really finds his groove, orchestrating suspense setpieces at a near-operatic level. It all makes you realize just how little style there is in most modern thrillers, and because the second half is so fantastic, De Palma can be forgiven for stumbling a little bit out of the gates. The film is De Palma’s best in a decade by a good wide margin, but it almost feels like the appetizer before the main course. It proves that he still has the right touch for this kind of material, but I’ll be very interested to see how he continues forward now that he’s ironed out all the kinks again. 8/10.

The Living Skeleton - The third film in Criterion’s Eclipse collection When Horror Came To Shochiku. After the giant chicken mayhem of The X From Outer Space and the apocalyptic vampire zombies of Goke, Body Snatcher From Hell, Hiroshi Matsuno’s 1968 film operates on a much smaller scale, but still manages to retain the weirdness associated with Shochiku horror. A surreal tale of ghostly revenge, the film opens with a brutal massacre on a freighter by a band of criminals, whose goal is to steal a large sum of gold bullion and ensure that there are no witnesses to their crimes. Shortly after, the twin sister of one of the victims starts to be haunted by her ghost, who possesses her to punish the criminals for their past misdeeds. Most of the film follows the possessed sister’s systematic revenge on each of the main perpetrators, while her boyfriend and father figure/priest do what they can to track her down.

The film is the only one of Shochiku’s horror efforts to be shot in black-and-white, a decision that lends it a different kind of feel from its color contemporaries, with both classicist and experimental touches blending together to occasionally-strange effect. Some of the content pushes way past what horror films only a decade earlier could ever hope to show onscreen, but the special effects come across as consistently old-fashioned, particularly the abundance of rubber bats and model skeletons. It’s a balance that the filmmakers never quite get completely right, but even with the sketchy special effects threatening to break the mood every so often, the film has a habit of righting itself on quick notice. The final third though is consistently strong, with a clever reveal shifting everything into decidedly more surreal and melancholy territory. I would say the film is worth tracking down for its final stretch alone, which does away with convention and enters into the realm of the completely mad. It’s the goodwill built up in this final stretch that will give the film some additional playing time when October and Halloween roll around every year. 7/10.

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