Tag Archives: thriller

Sisters (1973)

9 Nov

Common sense should dictate that an open flame shouldn't be that close to super styled hair, but Phillip is a boundary pusher like that.

So “Sisters” is a bit of a cheat. Though Criterion lumps it under its “Scary Films” header, it’s more straight-out thriller than horror. The difference is subtle; for me, a horror movie makes me feel immediate “danger.” The film seems to threaten me, personally, and so evokes that fear response. In a thriller, all the danger is for someone else. A thriller may intrigue and shock, but it never steps beyond whatever the boundary is that makes a horror movie frightening. Which is not to say “Sisters” isn’t a great film; it’s just not a horror movie. Continue reading

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

Peeping Tom (1960)

9 Oct

 

This character's relationship with his camera is not a healthy one.

 

There was a moment while watching “Peeping Tom” where I physically shuddered. And I have the benefit of being a modern viewer and knowing there are certain places a film from 1960 just will not go. I can’t imagine what audiences of the time must have thought of this shockingly effective psychological thriller. Continue reading

The Girl Who Played With Fire (2009)

13 Sep

Don't let this photo fool you. This film is boring.

Lisbeth Salander captured the world’s attention in the wildly successful “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.” The character’s complex blend of indifference, intellect and sex appeal proved irresistible for readers and film audiences alike. Unfortunately, “The Girl Who Played With Fire,” the second installment in the Salander trilogy, isn’t as compelling as the initial offering, and the marked decrease in strength of story casts serious doubts on the trilogy’s finale. Continue reading