A Classic Horror Story (2021) – A Buffet of Horror

Released: 14th July
Seen: 27th July

I’ve made it no secret on this blog that I’m a big fan of horror films, in particular the low budget slashers of the 80s. Sure, they might not be the most highbrow films that are trying to impart some essential message about the meaning of existence but they are an endless amount of fun. Even if the film isn’t technically great, chances are good there’s at least a creative effect or a funny line or something that’s going to be worth talking about later. Recently Netflix impressed the hell out of me with their Fear Street trilogy, a series of films that paid homage to different eras of the slasher genre… well, A Classic Horror Story decided it wanted to try and do that too, only in about a third of the time.

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Things Heard & Seen (2021) – Unsee This

Released: 29th April
Seen: 26th July

Things Heard & Seen Info

In 2016, author Elizabeth Brundage released All Things Cease To Appear, a book that was popular enough to receive a coveted positive book jacket quote by Stephen King so you know it had to be pretty good. It was certainly popular enough to get noticed by Netflix who began production of the film adaptation in 2019, an adaptation they would call Things Heard & Said… because I suppose calling it “Boring Romance And Spookies” would’ve been a little silly. 

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Synchronic (2021) – An Interesting Time (Travel)

Released: 11th February
Seen: 23rd July

Synchronic Info

Time travel in movies is always a fun thing to try and deal with because everyone will try to logic around it. I saw this happen most recently with Endgame where a large amount of people kept trying to explain away how none of the time travel stuff made sense because it should’ve created alternative timelines and things of that nature (something that grew so large that Marvel just spent a full season of television going “look, if an alternate timeline did happen, these space cops would come and stop it”). I have a personal rule about time travel in movies, which is “It’s not a real thing, it’s literally a trick to explain why modern day people are in the past, stop overthinking it” which is possibly why I had a somewhat good time watching Synchronic which might have one of the more interesting uses of Time Travel I’ve seen in a while.

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Long Story Short (2021) – Too Late

Released: 11th February
Seen: 18th July

Long Story Short Info

I really do wish that I got to review a lot more Australian films here, it feels like I should because there should be a lot more of them available but unfortunately (due to a complex series of issues surrounding tax laws and funding bodies) there just aren’t that many made. Hell, the closest I’m gonna get to really doing Aussie films is whenever I talk about films that use us as a backlot. An actual Australian film with a fully Australian cast and crew feels rare these days (I believe the last one I did was The Dry way back at the start of the year) so when I find something like Long Story Short I feel excited to get to share a piece of Aussie culture that might have slipped through the cracks… and then I watch it and realise that it probably fell through the cracks because it’s threadbare and can fit through those cracks very easily.

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The Unholy (2021) – DAMN IT!

Released: 15th April
Seen: 12th July

The Unholy Info

Of all the horror genres there are, the is one that I’ve never been exactly fond of and that’s the paranormal horror. Things like Paranormal Activity or Annabelle where there’s a haunting and the film is usually nothing but a set of jumpscares surrounded by mediocre characters who don’t run for their lives when that’s the safe and sensible option. Sometimes there can be exceptions, the first Conjuring movie is a prime example of a film in this genre that understands how to put tension and real stakes in to make it work… we don’t have a film like that today, we have The Unholy and I hate it.

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The United States vs. Billie Holiday (2021) – You Let Me Down

Released: 29th April
Seen: 11th July

The United States vs Billie Holiday

As I mentioned in my Judas and the Black Messiah review there were 2 films that were part of the major categories of this year’s Oscars that I didn’t get a chance to see in time. Judas was possibly the one I had the most chance of seeing, since it appeared in Sydney a month before the ceremony (but that’d involve a train ride into, what is still an epicenter of Covid cases). The one that would prove to be impossible to view in time was The United States vs. Billie Holiday… a film released on Hulu in the US back in February, because nothing says “thing that should be impossible to view legally” like a film put on a streaming platform. Anyway, it finally became available down here so I watched it and… well, I get why the only point of awards contention was the lead performance.

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Judas and the Black Messiah (2021) – Thank God!

Released: 11th March
Seen: 9th July

Judas and the Black Messiah Info

Earlier this year we had the Oscars… and they were something of a shitshow. The lowest viewed ceremony in history, filled with baffling nominations that no one really understood (how the hell was Mank the most nominated film?) and an ending that was so cynically planned that it could only end in spectacular failure.

Like with every year I made a prediction post and this year I named two films that I had missed due to lack of availability. One of them was Judas and the Black Messiah, a biopic about the Black Panther party leader Fred Hampton. It would end up taking home best supporting actor and Best Song… my question is why it didn’t take home more because it’s absolutely brilliant.

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Fear Street Part Two: 1978 (2021) – Fri-YAY The 13th

Released: 9th July
Seen: 11th July

Fear Street Part Two: 1978 Info

Last week we got the first part of the Fear Street trilogy, a reverential love letter to the 90s horror classics that also opened up a larger story around the tale of Sarah Fier, a witch who cursed the town of Shadyside. When we left that film, we were about to meet up with the lone survivor of a massacre at a camp in 1978 and I was hyped because that told me we were getting a Friday the 13th style chapter and that’s a franchise I adore. So, does Fear Street Part Two: 1978 live up to expectations? Oh hell yes it does.

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Run, Hide, Fight (2021) – Die Soft

Released: 5th May
Seen: 9th July

Run, Hide, Fight info

As a general rule I try my hardest not to let my personal politics impact my enjoyment of a film. I won’t pretend I don’t have intellectual differences with certain films ideas, I even spell them out in order to give context, but I can and have enjoyed movies with values I don’t agree with made by companies run by people who I don’t agree with… so, even though this movie was released in the US by Ben Shapiro’s website, The Daily Caller, a site I would consider a gateway drug to fascism and white supremacy, I promise you that connection had nothing to do with my enjoyment of the film… no, because in order to enjoy this film I would have to have little to no good taste even before I looked into its connections because it’s just so poorly made.

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Nobody Promo Image

Nobody (2021) – Nobody’s Perfect

Released: 1st April
Seen: 29th June

Some films are really easy to talk about, they hand you a long list of positives and negatives that you can put into an order that gives a fair and balanced view of who might like it. Some films are so bad that it’s like a game of mad libs trying to come up with the most visceral description of disgust… rarely is there a film so good that I want to just make the entire review “IS GOOD GO SEE”, but Nobody is that rare film where I want to just not bother trying to be smart and just go with my base instinct of yelling “IS GOOD GO SEE”… but the internet seems to prefer it for the algorithm if a blog post is about 1000 words so here we go.

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