Cover art for horror films these days can be very misleading. That could be said for every genre but I think horror is the one that stands out the most since it’s the one I’m way more passionate about. The cover of The Midnight Game is one of those covers you most certainly would look past at a rental store or Wal-Mart. It is generic and doesn’t grab you at all, even giving off a little torture porn vibe because it looks like a pentagram is carved into a woman’s back. These types of things make me want to pass but still, I will watch anything. I’ve been misled by covers before and I was definitely misled by this one.
Found footage films are getting more eyerolls every year, it seems. I’m a huge fan of this subgenre but I will be the first to admit there are some films out there that are not that great. Also, the ones that are not that great are the more popular ones for some reason and that I just don’t get.
The 1983 Canadian tax write-off known as Curtains has long been out of print, except for deplorable VHS and DVD transfers. In the 30 years since its theatrical release, it’s become an iconic cult horror film, particularly because of its uniquely chilling ice skating murder sequence. Now, Synapse Films has restored the film from its original negative and released it on Blu-Ray. So, does Curtains hold up?
I feel compelled to tell the people who are reading this that a couple years ago I wrote a review for a film called Bloody Homecoming. If you pay attention to my writing and you know anything about me you know that I don’t trash films in reviews. Well, I didn’t trash Bloody Homecoming but I did speak my mind about the film. Bottom line: It wasn’t good and the review was much on the negative side.
There are many elements to making a decent sci-fi/horror/apocalyptic independent film. Money is the biggest evil when it comes to this type of thing. For one, you need good effects. You need money for that. Well, if that doesn’t play in your favor you need to make up for it through other means. Since you don’t have money you can’t have A-listers so you need to find the best of the best in the indie community. Secondly, since you can’t have tons of locations you need to have a badass screenplay with a fresh story as well. Many other things follow suit in this equation like well-written characters and all that.
Mill Creek has blessed us many times with their double packs and some great Blu-Rays. Yes, they come up criminally short of special features, but they do have some decent transfers and their prices are next to perfect. Recently Mill Creek has reissued some classics and I think they look fantastic.
I find it harder these days to write reviews of films that I thoroughly enjoy, and easier to review the films that I think are OK or not the greatest. Under The Skin will be in my Top 10 for this year and will not move from that spot.
Lucky McKee has been on my radar ever since I saw his first feature May and I’ve made sure to follow his career closely. After May, McKee did a small film called The Woods, which I’ve been a fan of for a while and which still holds up. Then, came a thriller called Red that represented a change of pace for McKee, although it still had many horror elements. In 2011 McKee shocked audiences with The Woman, which was brutal, beautiful, and gave him the chance to show his true talents. The Woman is a well-shot horror film that focuses on a more technical and storyline-driven aspect rather than a ton of brutality. Now McKee has another horror film under his belt called All Cheerleaders Die.
These days it feels some films are made because of their “twists.” Please stop. Twists are fun and they work some of the time, but if you have a cool minor idea for a twist, please don’t build a very subpar feature around it.