Relic (2020) – Old Creaky Horror

Released: 10th July
Seen: 2nd August

Relic Info

One of the great things about the horror genre, indeed the thing that’s probably kept it thriving for so many years, is that horror is a fantastic way to tell a story through metaphor. So many of the greatest horror films of all time have been metaphorical tales decrying certain things in culture. They Live is an anti-Reagan era film, Get Out was calling out liberals who use performative wokeness while still engaging in systemic racism, every zombie movie made since Romero has been a metaphor for something. It’s a great genre to work in when dealing with a major topic… the catch is you’re still a horror movie and you still need to scare the audience at some point.

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Follow Me (2020) – Very Good

Released: 16th July
Seen: 20th July

In the early part of 2019, I reviewed a little film called Escape Room. While it was something of a hit financially it was less so critically. I particularly didn’t like it for three main reasons. The first was that it wasn’t as smart as it liked to think it was, the second being how tame everything felt and the third was the strobe lights. I didn’t exactly give that film a high mark, but if a film came around with a similar concept that didn’t pretend it was smarter than it was and actually made things feel dangerous, maybe I’d like it more. This was my thought pattern when walking into Follow Me which I definitely enjoyed more, but I still don’t think this concept has worked out all the kinks yet.

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The Hunt (2020) – The Most Dangerous Movie

Released: 13th March
Seen: 18th April

The Hunt Info

The most controversial movie of the last decade is easily The Hunt. Easily, just based upon the reaction its trailer got alone it will go down as being one of the most controversial films in history, alongside its controversy cousin The Interview. Much like The Interview, the film became a major discussion piece throughout pop culture due to its subject matter and the trailer used to promote it. What else makes it just like The Interview? The fact that the controversy was obscenely stupid on every front and was a vast overreaction by everyone involved. Guess who gets to talk about politics in a review of a film in the year 2020? BECAUSE THIS YEAR DOESN’T SUCK ENOUGH ALREADY!

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Cursed Films – Twilight Zone: The Movie

Vic Morrow. Myca Dinh Le. Renee Shin-Yi Chen. These are the names of the people who died on the set of Twilight Zone: The Movie. You might not even know that film exists, you might not even remember what happened during the film but you undoubtedly heard about the helicopter crash that changed everything. On the set of Twilight Zone: The Movie a shot of a helicopter flying over a Vietnam village went horribly wrong and those three actors were killed when the helicopter crashed onto the set. It’s an accident that changed how films are shot and effectively ended the era of the 70s auteur director where we were fine with madmen in charge of film sets… and it’s the subject of the finale for Cursed Films, and what a finale it is.

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Cursed Films – The Crow

Before I begin this, I’ve already talked about the other episodes in this series before. If you’re curious on my thoughts regarding the Poltergeist and The Omen episodes you can head over to Soda & Telepaths to read them, and then you can go to my review of the episode around The Exorcist. I’ll be dropping my review for the final episode in the next few days but now that I’ve officially seen every episode of this amazing little docuseries and now that I’ve completed the entire thing, I can definitely say that it’s a series that improved dramatically over the course of its run. Its structure got tighter, the middle section became more relevant and they were clearly building it up to the pair of ‘Cursed Films’ that are easily the most emotionally devastating. 

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Necrologies (2018) – Lots Of Fun

Released: 7th March (DVD release)
Seen: 10th April

One thing I’m noticing about films I am being sent to review is that a lot of people want to try the Anthology film as an early work, and I totally get why. It’s a good way to get a bunch of first-time filmmakers to make little short films and string them together without needing to come up with a 90-minute long plot. You just need a good wrap around and a basic idea of the kind of film you’re making and voila, you’ve got yourself an anthology. It’s really hard to do a great anthology film though, I’d probably say Creepshow and VHS are the gold standards of the genre and over the last few weeks, we’ve stumbled upon some anthology films that would probably just barely make the Bronze ranking… well, today I have an easy Silver medalist of Anthology films, it needs a bit of work to get to gold but it’s still wildly impressive on its own merits.

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The Black Gate (2017) – It’s a very pretty gate

Released: 9th July 2019
Seen: 8th April

The Black Gate Info

I know that I’ve been a little harsh on some lower budget features and I swear it’s not intentional. Lower budget features and first-time films tend to come with some serious drawbacks in terms of just what is actually available for the filmmakers to use. Your first film isn’t going to be some grand epic where you have access to the world’s best lighting and sound equipment or an editing bay with high tech CGI to correct issues you didn’t spot on the day. Let’s be honest, your first film will probably be made with mates, shot on a weekend and edited using a pirated copy of Premiere that you’ve had since you downloaded CS2 back in the early 2000s. Sometimes your first film will not look that good and the sad truth is that it’s a little hard to look past sometimes. I promise you, my problems with these films are never about the things that can be explained away by budget because we’ve all been there. Any film student who had to put together a 5 minute short film on a budget of nothing knows how it feels to try and make that work, I’m judging these films based on things that are fixable at any budget level… which brings me to today’s offering, The Black Gate.

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Cursed Films – The Exorcist

Over on Soda and Telepaths, I recently had the opportunity to write about 2 episodes of the series Cursed Films, the episodes in question being about the movies Poltergeist and The Omen. I suggest you go over there and read it because in that I talked about the series as a whole and my hopes for it (also because it’ll make me look really good if people go there because of me… I can be a selfish promo whore occasionally). One thing I did lament about was that I wasn’t going to get to see the rest of the series because Shudder only streams in America and I had no chance to see the rest of it. Well, apparently Shudder are also big promo whores because they sent me another screener for the first episode of the series and my belief has always been that if you’re going to send me screeners then I’m going to watch and review them. Heck, I have 6 more films in my emails that sent me screeners that I will be getting to over the coming weeks, I’ve just been slow because of *gestures to the state of the world right now*

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The Platform (2020) – We Eat In A Society

Released: 20th March
Seen: 1st April

So… how’s everyone enjoying the apocalypse? I have to admit that I was expecting something more like a Mad Max apocalypse or even something like the TV series Blood Drive (which is very fun and you should check out) but nope, no our apocalypse has to be boring and require all of us to stay at home all the time. Naturally, this means that we have a whole lot more time to sit and watch Netflix movies, which are going to have to replace going to the actual cinema for the foreseeable future. I have now got no excuse and have to actually get through these (and through a few older films and some that’ve been emailed to me, I have a list of films that’s rapidly building) and normally a Netflix original film, especially this early in the year, would make me nervous about its quality. Fortunately for me, I picked The Platform and it feels weirdly appropriate for this period in time.

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