#100DaysOfHorror (2020) Part 2

August 18, 2020
Alix Turner 0
Features, Film

#100DaysOfHorror 2020 Part 2

There are a couple more in other languages this time, but still not terribly broad. Here’s hoping the festival titles (starting in Part 3) will resolve that. Still, a good mixture of monsters (land and sea) and killers (dream demons and children), supernatural baddies and real ones… and four different decades.

Part 1 can be found here if you’re interested.


#90       The Pale Door (dir Aaron B Koontz, USA, 2020)

A horror western makes a great change. This one explores responsibility and what it means to be good when one’s role models aren’t; and it’s about witches. Slow to start, though tense as it progresses and beautifully produced. Read more in my full review.

#89       Final Exam (dir Jimmy Huston, USA, 1981)

One of those eighties slashers that I’ve just heard about in recent months, thanks to Final Exam Horror Trivia… but I’m honestly shocked at just how boring a slasher can be! Sure some of the kills were entertaining, and the killer unguessable, and I know the added character detail made the plot a bit more rounded than the typical slasher… I just didn’t find it exciting or memorable.

#88       Shifter (dir Jacob Burns, USA, 2020)

The low budget did not let down this film: turned out to be a subtle sci-fi horror that intrigues as well as chills. Read more in my full review.

#87       Beaks AKA Birds of Prey AKA El ataque de los pájaros (dir René Cardona Jr., Mexico, 1987)

Not entirely sure what I think of this one: clearly Cardona felt inspired by The Birds, and extrapolated the premise to many types of birds in many locations. It started off somewhat pedestrian but gradually became truly nasty. Don’t think I’d recommend Beaks; not because it was poor, but simply because there are others I’d recommend first.

#86       Host (dir Rob Savage, UK, 2020)

Now, this is contemporary realism, found footage for the quarantine age. The latest made-for-Shudder film; or was it made to stay sane (and original) during lockdown? I was glued to my seat for most of the film until the end made me jump. Read more in my full review.

#85       The Woman in Black (dir Herbert Wise, UK, 1988)

A near-perfect old-fashioned ghost story; loved it, admired it and I’ll watch it again. Read my full review to find out why.

#84       Ils AKA Them (dirs Xavier Palud, David Moreau, France, 2006).

I bought the DVD knowing the film’s scary reputation. But when I was about to press Play, I had a nagging feeling I’d seen the film before. Turns out when I got to the end, it was only the end that was familiar. The whole thing was incredibly tense, though, with a strong Funny Games vibe. The one thing that annoyed me was that the man tells his wife what to do way too much.

And is it my imagination, or do the scariest films come from France?

#83       Piranha (dir Scott P Levy, USA, 1995)

I confess that, in my haste, I thought I’d bought the seventies original, but this is a made-for-TV remake. Strange tone: it’s gruesome in parts, without being scary; well-produced, without being exciting. Ah well, some of the dialogue was fun, though: “I didn’t mean to kill anyone, damn it! I was doing it for science!”

(Funny, last year’s #83 was Piranha 3D, a much more fun film.)

#82       A Nightmare on Elm Street (dir Samuel Bayer, USA, 2010)

A more serious, non-cheesy version of the film that spawned a franchise. I didn’t find it especially gripping or scary, but it was well made and kept me watching.

#81       Sea Fever (dir Neasa Hardiman, Ireland/USA/UK/Sweden/Belgium, 2019)

Great tension and special effects (loved the fabby glowy thing in the sea, and the sucky thing in the wall of the boat), but I didn’t appreciate the fake Irish accents. The claustrophobia and fear of infection make Sea Fever feel more contemporary than it is, though thankfully, I’m not likely to come across such parasites or gore as these in real life.

 


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