It’s my 100th Post! I watched a bunch of movies for Halloween! It’s November 1st! Shit.
House on Haunted Hill
William Castle, 1959
The twist and reversal at the end along with Vincent Price’s charisma make this thing hang together better than it should. It suffers from some half-decisions and bored acting from the side characters. This could have really popped if it had committed to the conflict of the man-made frights and the supernatural instead of just having that one whiny guy talk about ghosts that never show up.
Let the Right One In
Tomas Alfredson, 2008
Austere in presentation, sincere in its feeling, meaty in unpacking its implications…I’m gonna have to write a longer one on this. Stay tuned.
Michael Winner, 1977
This one is almost there in so many ways. A well-stocked support system of veterans (Burgess Meredith, Ava Gardner, and Eli Wallach) and soon-to-be names (Christopher Walken, Jeff Goldblum, Beverly D’Angelo), some weird 70’s fleshiness, and a strong ending are among its good points. But sub-plots are revealed as time-fillers, the main characters shifts from the girl to her boyfriend and back again too often and you can never invest in him because of his greasy mustache. The leading lady is the big problem especially at the end when it should have been like her head was about to explode and instead it was just girlish shrieking. Some good, some bad, solid C, three star sort of movie.
Blood and Roses
Roger Vadim, 1960
It’s an issue of House of Mystery with Alex Toth art. It’s the director fetishizing his wife who he cast in the lead and getting her to do also sorts of lesbian stuff on film. Like Arthouse swingers. Dig that fish miming scene from a different movie in the middle. This was alright.
John Carpenter, 1982
Gruesome and thrilling. Strangely for a movie that’s all about a monster that could be everybody it is very upfront about and matter-of-fact about its kills and what it presents. Whether it is playing the corners like in Halloween or something as big as this Carpenter does not bullshit with presentation which I guess the more economical term for that would be economical.
The Night of the Hunter
Charles Laughton, 1955
I knew this movie had a reputation but I did not know what that reputation was until I started watching it and had to make myself find out. Southern Gothic x German Expressionism. Weird exclamatory monologues. Fast, fast pacing for the first half. What I thought the whole movie was going to be ended up playing out within the first 45 minutes and so I was taken by surprise by what the rest of the movie ended up being. Very charismatic and it’s a shame that Laughton never directed again. Shocking this got made in the 50s.
Twitch of the Death Nerve or “Bay of Blood” or A Whole Lot of Titles.
Mario Bava, 1971
Visually striking, fantastic kills, highly influential for the slasher genre in those terms. The plot is so boring and muddled it took me three sittings to get through it.
-Daniel Von Egidy, 2012