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2012.05.27

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I think I'm the only person alive who just absolutely found nothing very good about Halloween. It wasn't scary when I first watched it and I don't think I'd find it scarier if I watched it again. Maybe it's well made as a film but as horror it's completely limp.

I'm excited for Tenebre now, even though it's been on my watchlist for a while. I will THROW HANDS about Drive.


Candyman was a huge favorite of mine as a kid. And it holds up better than I expected on a recent viewing.

Black Christmas is amazing.

Settle a bet: Return of the Living Dead is amazing, right?

Also, great Mountain Goats reference.

Is it me, or did The Descent not get a single mention anywhere throughout? Was it that bad, or merely too far afield of the subject? I ask because it's a flick built entirely around Final Girls.

I'm grateful you kids were classy enough not to drag Haute Tension into all this. What an abysmal bucket of balls that flick was.

You don't mention it specifically, but it's lurking behind your (justified) dismissal of the torture porn genre - but I will defend the original SAW as a very good movie. It's cheap, nasty, and managed to surprise the fuck out of me when I first caught it on cable a few years ago.

Considering the film was made for almost nothing, they found good actors who could sell the material and built the script around such a simple concept that, even if it had been done before, it was hard to fuck it up: ultimately, everyone's guilty, they all deserve to be fucked up, and the fact that our sympathies are being constantly upended for almost the entirety of the running time is a nice trick. Everything that followed was shit, but it was a potent and proud little piece of trash.

Saw is a lazy, shitty puzzle movie with terrible kills and a worse twist - that I only enjoyed because I saw it in a packed theater and a 13 year old black kid sat next to me and shouted "go back in there and fuck that bitch, dumbass" at Cary Elwes at one point.

I can't speak for Sean, but I'm a big believer in The Descent. I have never thought of it as a slasher though.

Yeah same here, doesn't fit the profile. Also I think when the monsters show up it ruins the crazy effective claustrophobia in the early parts.

Sean / Tucker:

Figured it wasn't in the realm. All the Final Girl-ing got me curious about yr. opinions, though. I mentioned it mainly for the (prob'ly wrongheaded) possibility that the morlocks were a macguffin. Her escape to the surface was imaginary, so I speculated the beasties just as easily could be...

She accidentally offed her worst friend, after all, so I wondered if the monsters weren't her mind's way of excusing the deaths around her, in addition to her own culpability in at least one of 'em. This mindset helped preserve the claustrophic aspect, for me...

Been yonks since I've seen The Descent, though, so I could simply be retarded.

And no, I haven't seen the sequel. The flick didn't seem to require one, so I skipped it as a likely screechy turd.

Dang. Co-signed on The Descent tip. Favorite horror film of the 21st century. These entries are great, and makes me think of all the non-slasher horror I'd love to see you write about(The Tenant and Possession come to mind immediately. Also Henry, which I regret saying Henry wasn't a slasher). Also, someone recently talked me into watching the first Jeepers Creepers, and the first 20 minutes of it is actually pretty great. You could actually just watch that and turn it off, but that much of it is worth watching.

Good job, man. I'm so gonna watch The Prowler now.

SEAN, DON'T LET THIS BE THE END!

Although I'm pretty sure you touched 'em all. Amazing stuff.

Wonderful piece on Halloween. Over the past few years I've gotten into seeing old cult flicks on 35mm, and I caught a print of Halloween a couple of years ago. Really stunning to see that on the big screen. I had practically forgotten about the ending montage you mentioned until I saw that print. What a brilliant damn way to end that film. It looses the vice grip but at the same time makes things more frightening by implying that Myers is anywhere and everywhere. Amazing. I'm shocked more films haven't lifted that, since so much of Halloween's been lifted. Even a year later, Phantasm took the Myers-across-the-street shot in a pretty funny, inspired way.

Aside from how beautiful some of the shots are, I think one of the major, major strengths of Halloween's camerawork is how you'll get something completely left-field in the middle of something mundane. The wandering mental patients at the opening, the Judith Myers headstone on the bed, just some amazing strangeness there. But strangeness that fits.

It's weird and a testament to how influential Friday the 13th and Halloween both are that they ended up crossing wires and becoming each other. The first couple of Friday the 13ths are meditations on loss - you talked about the surprising patience and lushness of Friday earlier, and it's really true. It's a surprisingly thoughtful movie for a slasher, and it's a shame that people took the wrong lessons from it. I think one of its best facets is how natural it is, both in the look of the film and the way the actors play off of each other. So many slashers missed that.

I don't know, I saw a print of Friday a week and a half ago, and it's slowly crept up on me as something to think about constantly for awhile. It still surprises me even now.

sean witzke r0ped and murdered a w0man in 1994.

Did you put Grantland on your CV to get the Factual Opinion gig or vice-versa?

And I was shocked when Alex linked to some of Abhay's stuff once.

Good.

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