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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Fear Street Part Three: 1666 (2021) – Bewitching

Released: 16th July
Seen: 17th July

Fear Street Part Three: 1666 Info

In the last two weeks, the Horror community has been treated to the first two parts of the Fear Street series. Both parts have been outstanding, glorious slasher throwbacks that honoured the material they were referencing and didn’t skimp on the gore or lesbianism. They were truly brilliant and have been leading up to this, the final part of the epic story of Sarah Fier and the town of Shadyside. It not only has a lot of questions to answer but it has to live up to the spectacular first two parts… so, how is Fear Street Part Three: 1666? Exactly as good as it needed to be, which is to say, “downright spectacular”

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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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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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Boss Level (2021) – Game On!

Released: 25th February
Seen: 7th July

Boss Level Info

It’s official, Time Loop movies are having a major resurgence and I am so happy that they are. First there was the horror film Happy Death Day, a film I still wish I had seen in time to put in my best of list for 2017 , then recently we had the Rom com twofer of Palm Springs and The Map Of Tiny Perfect Things which were both just very charming and now I get to talk/gush about Boss Level which is just more proof of what fun can be had with this very simple concept when it’s done right.

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Fear Street Part One Header

Fear Street Part One: 1994 (2021) – Screamingly Great

Released: 2nd July
Seen: 2nd July

Fear Street Part One 1994 Info

In 1989 the first book in the Fear Street series was released. This book, dubbed The New Girl, began a franchise that would probably have defined writer R.L. Stine’s career were it not for the Goosebumps series that started 3 years later. In fact, if you say the name R.L. Stine most people who were around in the 90s will start humming the theme tune for the Goosebumps TV series, because that book franchise got adapted quickly into books and even a couple of films while Fear Street would only get a pilot for a series that never got made. It’s taken over 30 years for Fear Street to finally get an adaptation but oh god damn did it was it worth the wait!

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The Woman In The Window (2021) – Put This In My Rear Window

Released: 14th May
Seen: 20th May

The Woman In The Window Info

Sometimes a film comes out and you can just see its influences before the film even begins. The Woman in the Window as a film is clearly lifting a lot from films like Rear Window and Copycat, which are both fine films to take as influences so you would think that would hopefully lead to an interesting tense movie. Well, apparently this film’s other influence was an overturned trash can that racoons have picked through because this is actual garbage.

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Spiral: From The Book Of Saw (2021) – The Best Saw

Released: 13th May
Seen: 12th May (Advanced Screening)

The Saw franchise is, to put is mildly, polarising. Some people hate it and think it’s disgusting torture porn with little artistic merit, some think it’s a fun over the top slasher series that pushes boundaries, rewards longtime fans and occasionally has something important to say. I fall into the latter category, a fan and defender of this franchise.

Saw 6 would easily be my personal favourite, the one time in the franchise when they really tried to say something about the healthcare system in America. Sure, the series would eventually spiral out of control with the abysmal Saw 3D and the forgettable Jigsaw but really, every horror fan knows that slasher franchises are notoriously hard to kill… and thank god because Spiral might be the best Saw movie ever.

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Run (2021) – Thrillingly Fast

Released: 1st January
Seen: 8th April

Run Info

Do you know the worst part about living in Australia while trying to do film criticism (or whatever we’re going to call what I do on this blog that I run)? There are so many films that I will just never be able to see in a legal manner, not through any local streaming services anyway. We live in a global marketplace where I can have just about anything I want sent to me from anywhere in the world, but movies appear to be one of the exceptions to this rule. 

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