• Jaws

    Jaws

    ★★★★★

    This is one of the first movies I remember watching growing up and I still think about it to this day when I’m in the ocean. If that isn’t powerful cinema I don’t know what is. Thanks for the trauma, Spielberg.

  • The Texas Chainsaw Massacre

    The Texas Chainsaw Massacre

    ★★★★

    One of the best theater experiences I’ve ever had was seeing this when it came out. Every seat was full and people were sitting on the stairs until the ushers kicked them out, so you can imagine how loud it was. This is just a fun slasher. There’s some cringeworthy elements about it for sure, like the awful backwoods hillbilly stereotypes and that kid with his stupid teeth. It’s an easy movie to criticize. From a technical standpoint, I like the slick…

  • Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood

    Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood

    ★★★

    The telekinetic Final Girl seems like she’d be more at home in a Nightmare on Elm Street movie, but here she is in a Carrie vs. Jason scenario. I used to like this one a lot because I thought the idea of Jason being in peril was fun, but nowadays I can take or leave it. The characters are forgettable and dull, and the whole film is kind of a downer compared to the previous ones. But… the kills are fun (the infamous sleeping bag kill and the weed whacker for starters) and visually this is one of my favorite versions of Jason, so there’s that.

  • Friday the 13th: A New Beginning

    Friday the 13th: A New Beginning

    ★★★★

    The Scooby-Doo of Friday the 13th movies. There’s a wealth of memorable - dare I say “iconic” - characters here and some of them are irrelevant to the story; they’re introduced just to be killed. It’s insane. This whole movie is insane. An utterly stupid film but so much fun.

  • Seance

    Seance

    ★★★

    Friends at a private school start dropping dead after dabbling in Ouija, but they’re all mean and unlikable, so who cares. A very blasé and lifeless film, from the characters to the aggressively muted color scheme, but yet strangely charming. Suki Waterhouse made this watchable for me, not just because she’s good in it but because her character is a bit of a wildcard for reasons I can’t spoil. Decent cinematography and soundtrack. The last 20 minutes reminded me of You’re Next, which didn’t surprise me considering this is the product of Simon Barrett. Probably wouldn’t watch again.

  • Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers

    Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers

    ★★★

    Producer’s Cut

    I haven’t seen the theatrical version in years but I’m sure that if I rewatched it, it would still be my least favorite of the franchise or at least cemented in the bottom half. At least the Producer’s Cut features more of the Thorn cult, which isn’t great but it’s something. I actually feel like this has more in common with Season of the Witch than the other Halloween films because of the pagan elements and more of…

  • A Chinese Ghost Story

    A Chinese Ghost Story

    ★★★★½

    Mind-blowing. A mash-up of genres with a lot going on: Wuxia, comedy, romance, monsters, magic, and there’s even a musical interlude where a priest raps about Daoism while doing flips in a dark forest. Raps! The film moves really fast and it’s a lot of fun if you can keep up. It took me a little while to get into this one because it’s pretty much just a slapstick comedy to start, but by the end it’s a supernatural horror spectacle full of jaw-dropping visuals and creative special effects.

  • Halloween Kills

    Halloween Kills

    ★★½

    A chaotic bloodbath that borders on comedic more often than not. Three people wrote this?! At least it lives up to the title, I guess, because this is basically just Big Mike killing the ever-loving shit out of people for most of the run-time. A lot of people die spectacularly. And I have to wonder if the lynch-mob aspect of the film is a reflection of our social climate the last few years. If so, it hurt the film for…

  • The Village

    The Village

    ★★★★

    There’s a lot of hate for this one and I get it. That twist! People felt cheated. It never bothered me that much though. I always appreciated how out of left field it was, for better or worse. And let’s not overlook the rest of the film. The horror and suspense elements are effective. The cast is stacked with talented, amazing actors. There’s a weird Pagan aesthetic to the village and the characters even though it’s not really that. Ok,…

  • Wishmaster 2: Evil Never Dies

    Wishmaster 2: Evil Never Dies

    ★★

    Formulaic and cheap-looking but there’s some cheesy fun here. This was made with half the budget of the first one, so I shouldn’t be too critical of the fact that it’s a downgrade in pretty much every way. It is what it is though. The KNB EFX team are definitely missed; the special effects are fine here but this lacks all the creative deaths and gory set-pieces that helped make the first one so enjoyable.

  • Dreamchild

    Dreamchild

    ★★★½

    I only watched this to see the contributions of Jim Henson’s Creature Shop. Turns out the appearances of their puppets and characters are few and far between but memorable nonetheless. They’re basically grotesque versions of Alice in Wonderland characters and show up in the flashbacks and hallucinations of the lead character, Alice Hargreaves, who was supposedly the real-life namesake of Lewis Carroll’s novel. The bulk of the film is an elderly Alice reflecting on her life and peculiar relationship with…

  • Scary Stories

    Scary Stories

    ★★★½

    This is a pretty thorough documentary about the “Scary Stories” books. More on the informative side than entertaining, but that’s totally fine. This gives some insight into the author as well as the elusive artist whose drawings were arguably more terrifying than the stories themselves. Plus we get a lot of talking heads and feedback from people who were both inspired and offended by the books, and there are even some breakdowns and analyzations of some of the more memorable…