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Sleepaway Camp (1983)

22 Nov

Couuuuusins! Identical cousins, and you'll find... they laugh alike, they walk alike, at times they'd even talk alike (if Angela talked, that is). They're two of a kiiiiind!

I started the month of October with a review of “The House of the Devil,” a new film aiming to resurrect the feel of a 1980s horror heyday movie. It’s fitting, then, that I ended the month with “Sleepaway Camp,” a bona fide and beloved 80s-era slasher. I got the recommendation for the film from none other than horror auteur Eli Roth in his five picks for great Halloween flicks, and I followed his admonition to know as little as possible about the film before seeing it. In that spirit, if you have never seen “Sleepaway Camp,” you should stop reading right now. I’m not giving away any true spoilers, but honestly, it’s best to go into this one absolutely blind. Continue reading

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Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer (1986)

31 Oct

You'll be surprised both by Michael Rooker's intense performance and his aw-shucks handsomeness.

A good supernatural horror movie can give me some shivers and shocks while I’m watching it, but it’s the monster-next-door that really unnerves me. Once a film ends, ghosts and ghouls don’t continue to creep me out, but serial killers aren’t as easy to laugh off. These people are out there, hopefully not as much as they seem to be in horror movies, but they do exist. Often, a horror film of the serial killer variety will give you some twinge of the supernatural, or veer into some comfortably unbelievable territory. Not “Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer,” a movie that has lost none of its power to unnerve in the past 30 years. Continue reading

Don’t Look Now (1973)

26 Oct

This shot is the climax of the amazing opening sequence. It's beautifully filmed, extremely atmospheric and a masterpiece from an editing standpoint.

Don’t Look Now” may be the most adult horror film I’ve ever seen. By that, I don’t mean it’s a film full of nudity (although there is some) or cursing (what foul language there is is quite mild) or over-the-top violence. Rather, it’s a horror film that creates its scares through emotions uncommon to most young people — true grief, despair, the hope of an end to such emotions. It isn’t the most heart-pounding horror film I’ve ever seen, but it’s certainly the most heart-breaking. Continue reading

Thirst (2009)

18 Oct

 

So a priest walks into a blood bank ... Stop me if you've heard this one ...

 

Chan-wook Park has never failed to impress me with his measured, mature films. His “Vengeance” trilogy was aesthetically bold and accented with jaw-dropping action sequences, but beneath the stylish surface was a series of masterful takes on the complex emotions which inspire vengeance. So when the auteur decided to take on a vampire tale with “Thirst,” my interest was decidedly piqued. Continue reading