#100DaysOfHorror (2020) Part 5

September 22, 2020
Alix Turner 0
Features

#100DaysOfHorror 2020 Part 5

A nicely mixed batch this time, with some modern films, some old, and a variety of qualities and subjects. No foreign language again, though, and only male directors. Will try harder.

#60       Followed (dir Antoine Le, USA, 2018)

Another social media blended with found footage (a bit like They’re Outside). The central character was more interesting than he first seemed, and elements of the story itself are inspired by real events, which can make any film intriguing. I found this one effective in parts, even though it was very patchy. Find out more in my full review.

#59       The Barge People (dir Charlie Steeds, UK, 2018)

Thought I’d give this film from last year’s Grimmfest a try, following my chat with Charlie Steeds about Death RanchThe Barge People is a filthy, slimy, nasty backwoods horror set in rural Britain. Very two-dimensional good guys and utterly bad bad guys, yet the film is exciting in a comic-book kind of way: things go really wrong, keep going more wrong and don’t require much explanation. Wish I’d seen it sooner.

#58       All Cheerleaders Die (dirs Lucky McKee and Chris Sivertson, USA, 2013)

An odd film, but enjoyable. Odd because – for some reason – I had expected more humor, and the tone actually turned out to be similar to The Craft; except instead of witches, the main characters were undead cheerleaders. Very dark at times.

I’m also never quite comfortable with the misogyny in McKee’s films. Sometimes it’s clear that it’s there for a purpose, but not often enough.

#57       Excision (dir Richard Bates Jr., USA, 2012)

This is one of those films that has me wondering if it’s horror at all, but then I suddenly understand why it’s been given that label, just before the end. All of the film is captivating though, with an endearingly weird central character and snippy dialogue. It’s refreshing to see a film about someone who doesn’t actually mind that she’s going a bit mad, and tries to use that to improve the lot of her sister. You might disagree with me if you watch it, and that’s ok. And what a cast!

#56       The Dead Center (dir Billy Senese, USA, 2018)

Definitely horror, definitely creepy, and I’m definitely glad I watched this one. It’s about a psychologist (flawed, of course), and his patients in a hospital, including one who was declared dead and then went missing. Started to remind me of Fallen towards the end, but that’s not a bad thing.

#55       The Droving (dir George Popov, UK, 2020)

This one was disappointing. It was about a soldier returning home to solve his sister’s disappearance, in the context of a rural festival. But it didn’t feel at all sinister, I didn’t feel connected to the characters, the acting was mediocre and the ending unsatisfying. Can’t win them all.

#54       Antiviral (dir Brandon Cronenberg, Canada/France, 2012)

I watched this particularly in anticipation of Cronenberg’s new film, Possessor. Strange, strange story, but beautifully shot and quite captivating. About a world in which people are so besotted with celebrity that they pay for the exact viruses their idols have contracted, and even “meat” that has been grown from them. There’s so much white in Antiviral, everything is so clean, it’s almost a wonder anyone gets a disease. Loved the ending, especially though (and it reminded me of an episode of Dimension 404).

#53       Beast Within (dirs Chris Green & Steven Morana, Canada, 2020).

Interesting to see a modern film with a very similar format to the classic The House on Haunted Hill. Decent writing and special effects compensate for the short duration. (And I’m actually glad there are more wolf-themed films about this year.) Read more in my full review.

#52       The Corpse Grinders (dir Ted V. Mikels, USA, 1971)

I was expecting a film with this sort of title to be much more violent and gruesome than it was. But it’s very similar in style to The Toolbox Murders, which I described as a Hardy Boys-style mystery. And it turns out The Corpse Grinders is the film to watch if you like the sight of skinny women lounging around on their sofa in their underwear. Who knew!

#51       The Wretched (dirs Brett Pierce and Drew T Pierce, USA, 2019).

I liked this film a lot. The witch was creepy, the special effects were effective, and none of the film was dumbed down, as can happen when the main character is a teenager. The way the story was presented from his perspective reminded me of Phantasm: everyone can be saved thanks to this kid because the adults won’t believe him.

Has there ever been a horror film in which everything depends on a kid or two, and the adults do believe them?

 

If you enjoyed reading #100DaysOfHorror 2020 Part 5, you can also check out Part 1Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4.


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