Films are scored on both overall quality and personal enjoyment.
This has maybe the most squandered potential of any horror movie ever made. The way that it shifts in scale in the final act, at the expense of all tension, left me wondering whether another, lesser film hadn’t been spliced into the original. This would-be exemplar of everything I look for in the genre loses itself in its message, and tonal whiplash abounds. I find horror films to be more effective the more personal, the more locally rooted, they are. While Pulse…
A somewhat warmer affair than the last Vinterberg-Mikkelsen collaboration, but reflective of social issues in the same piercingly honest way. Here, perhaps, are a set of problems more particular to Denmark than those of The Hunt, but they feel no less universal, no less worthy of being documented and aired to audiences around the world. Vinterberg never presents his subject matter as though it were an exposé on Danish culture, choosing rather to approach and observe and to withhold judgment…
Man and his ambition. Hubris and its nemesis. Risk and its reward. In Fitzcarraldo both filmmaker and his fiction undergo the same trials, succeed and fail as one, and in the end realize greatness of their own endogenous designs.
The film’s ethos, and indeed the ethos of Herzog’s career, may be summed up in this brief dialogue:
Missionary: “We can’t seem to cure them of the idea that our everyday life is only an illusion, behind which lies the reality of…
Dreadful in the right ways, and creative in its generation of dread, Hereditary offers a tense and technically proficient first half before its descent into silly occult tropedom. Far from the sublime finale of A24’s earlier project, The Witch, Hereditary’s closing hour fails to scare—and worse, fails to fill its secular, modern world with any believable diabolism (which ought to be the goal of any scary movie set in the contemporary West). The most frightening thing in a horror film shouldn’t be family drama, but that’s what we get here. Extra half-star taken off for that awful expository voiceover at the end.
Great final shot though.