After watching the reboot not too long ago, and the original first film late last year, it was time to revisit the sequel. Is it good? I’m definitely more a fan of the reboot and the way they position Chucky (as an A.I. run amok, instead of the supernatural take of the original films), but Brad Dourif’s voicing of Chucky is still classic and fun to hear. I did feel a bit bored throughout, but there were a few fun sequences, especially the climax and the way they “kill” Chucky at the end. It doesn’t really make me want to revisit the other sequels though.
I had watched the first couple of episode of this Shudder-produced series adaption of the classic 80s anthology film during my October marathon last year, and only now have I gotten around to watching the other episodes. I’m glad I did, because as I wrote in that original post, this is a really fun series, and does a great job of telling the same sort of creepy (and occasionally silly) stories that the original film did, which makes me happy. I was reminded of the series with the recent announcement that a new animated Halloween special is getting released later this week (also on Shudder).
Released back in 1987, this is another anime film I dug up while searching for anime releases that were horror-themed. It’s pretty much a take on Alien, and so a crew on a long-distance cargo ship starts having to deal with something killing the crew. Nothing groundbreaking, but it was entertaining, and decently animated. I only wish I could have watched the original Japanese edition — I could only find the American dub, which was apparently heavily edited (by Carl Macek of Robotech fame no less).
Since I’m a big fan of Junji Ito’s work, I’m really surprised that I had missed the release of this (back in 2012) — I just stumbled upon it while searching for horror-themed anime to watch. If you’re a fan of Ito, then you know what to expect: deliciously grotesque happenings of the weirdest kind — in this case, fish (and other creatures of the sea, including sharks) start roaming the streets with insect-like appendages. And then it gets even weirder. I quite enjoyed this, and would now like to read the manga story it’s based on.
After Nocturne, watching the Suspiria remake suddenly came to mind, and I’m glad I did as it made for a very good match. I’d been meaning to watch this ever since its release, but for some reason never felt in the mood to do so — I had even started it at some point, but stopped after about 10 minutes. Well, this time I was completely sucked in, and enjoyed the whole thing from start to finish. I watched the original Suspiria a few years ago, and while it does keep the main ideas, it does swerve quite a bit, but in a way that makes for a much more interesting story. The way its shot and the general aesthetic of the film are definitely its strong point, and I particularly liked the division in acts with an epilogue. Yes, it gets pretty nuts towards the end, but in what I thought was a satisfying way, and I felt that the scene that sees torture through dance (movements from one person affecting the other) was particularly inspired. A very good film indeed.
One thing I’ll note though is that I continue to have issues with subtitles on “auto” in Prime Video, in that they just stop working, and so when you’re watching a film that includes sequences in languages other than English (there’s a lot of spoken German in Suspiria) you need to put on Closed Captioning, which I find incredibly distracting. I had the same issue watching Jack Ryan, and it made it annoying to watch at times. It looks like this is a known issue with Prime Video, and I wonder why they don’t fix it.
If you’re into horror films than you definitely know of Blumhouse (the company behind some of the best indie horror films of recent years), and this past month Prime Video released four new exclusive films produced by them, under the “Welcome to the Blumhouse” banner. Nocturne is the first one I watch, and I enjoyed it. If you were to compare it to something then I guess it would be Black Swan, in that it’s about an artist (in this case a piano player) who deals with the stress — and pyschosis? — related to the pressure of being at the top of her game. Not a bad little film.
I enjoyed this. I seem to remember that when it originally came out the reviews were pretty negative for it, but since I have fond memories of watching the original TV series when I was a kid, I was still pretty curious to check it out. Maybe going in with low expectations helped, but I thought it did a pretty decent job of reviving the show — even though the original show was of course not as graphic, it did usually end up that the fantasies would turn pretty dark. This new Mr. Roarke doesn’t feel like a great version of that character though, but that didn’t really bother me much. And I thought the little nod at the end to the original “assistant” was fun. All in all, not a bad movie to watch on stream (it’s on Prime Video).
This is an animated prequel to the Korean zombie flick Train to Busan (by the same director), and as I’ve been meaning to watch the sequel (Peninsula), I thought it would be fun to start with this. I wasn’t sure if I had seen it before, and as I was watching it it slowly started coming back to me, but I’m still glad I rewatched it. It’s really well animated, and looking up what else the director has done, I see he has two other animated films that I now really want to check out as well. One thing I was happy about this rewatch is that I had forgotten how it ends, and it’s a really good ending (not “good” in a happy sense, but interesting).
Watching Shudder’s Spiral film reminded me of the 2000 Japanese film Spiral (Uzumaki), itself an adaptation of the excellent Junji Ito manga, and so I decided it would be fun to revisit it. This is such a strange film, and not just because of the story (which is strange as fuck) but because of the way the film is made, including an odd cast, eccentric maybe even wooden acting, color correction that gives the entire film a somber green-ish tint, and an all-together old school feel (not something that was made in 2000). That said, I enjoyed my time with it, just going with the flow. Of course, it’s nowhere as good as Ito’s original manga, but it’s still worth taking in for the way it tries to tell that story.
As I mentioned in my write-up of the first House film, I wanted to see the sequel, and now realize what a mistake that was. This is not a good movie, to a point where I was barely paying attention during the second half. It leans even more in the comedy side of things than the first one, but it’s not funny, caught somewhere between an uninspired Jumanji and Gremlins. The one fun thing was in some of the casting though, and that’s for the inclusion of John Ratzenberger (who replaces his Cheers pal George Wendt from the first film), and Bill Maher as a sleazy record exec. The first House is a bit of silly fun, but don’t bother with the sequel.