#100DaysOfHorror 2020 Part 9
Watching 100 horror films for the first time in the 100 days leading up to Halloween, and film festivals certainly help with that. Seven out of this batch were included in FrightFest, another virtual festival (and better than the summer one, in my opinion).
#20 Broil (dir Edward Drake, USA, 2020)
Broil was great to look at, and I admired Jonathan Lipnicki’s performance (despite the somewhat stereotypical presentation of autism)… but it seemed to not be quite sure what it was supposed to be: cool coming of age story or supernatural period drama? It probably would have been more successful as a six-part TV series, as that would have allowed the right amount of time for background and depth that a family dynasty merits. Read more in my full review.
#19 Benny Loves You (dir Karl Holt, UK, 2019)
This was fabulous, a horror-comedy I’ve already been recommending to other people. The humor is in the slapstick, the gore, the contrasts; frankly, there is humor to be found all over the film. Horror comedy can be a tricky blend to get right and doesn’t always fit with my sense of humor, but this one had me laughing more within ninety minutes than I had in years. Read more in my full review.
#18 Evil Things (dir Dominic Perez, USA, 2009)
This was a film that I watched on Amazon Prime because someone in a “found footage” group on Facebook recommended it. Unfortunately, having watched it, I cannot for the life of me see what was worth recommending. I can hardly even remember the content, except for a bunch of people squabbling about being lost.
#17 For the Sake of Vicious (dirs Gabriel Carrer and Reese Eveneshen, Canada, 2020)
This is another film with great action and pace, but several problems with the writing; and it mattered. I enjoyed what I was watching at the time, but I had to keep on mentally excusing some script issues in order to keep going. Read more in my full review.
#16 Leprechaun (dir Mark Jones, USA, 1993)
Found time, at last, to fit in one of those films that horror fans are supposed to have seen; partly because it spawned a franchise with a following, and also because of Jennifer Aniston. Not my cup of tea.
#15 The Brain that Wouldn’t Die (dir Joseph Green, USA, 1962)
A story of old-fashioned misogyny dressed up as ethics and madness from various angles… which I watched simply because I heard that a homage-style remake was going to be in the FrightFest programme. Worth watching, despite how dated it is, simply as an interesting example of sci-fi horror of the early sixties.
#14 The Brain that Wouldn’t Die (dir Derek Carl, USA, 2020)
Now, this was wonderful: a richly colored and very witty tribute to the old film of the same name, which affectionately pointed out all the issues with the original. Read more in my full review.
#13 The Banishing (dir Chris Smith, UK, 2020)
Not a great film, unfortunately: lavish period production, beautifully made, but not exciting in the slightest, and too many plot strands. I found the people interesting, but the story would definitely have benefited from being simpler.
#12 The Reckoning (dir Neil Marshall, UK, 2020)
Sorry, but I didn’t like this one at all. Another period drama, this time about a farmer accused of witchcraft, but it was all about showing her off (complete with inappropriate make-up and gratuitous nudity), rather than a decent story. I’ll stick to remembering Marshall for Dog Soldiers.
#11 The World We Knew (dirs WW Jones & Luke Skinner, UK, 2020)
Reservoir Dogs meets An Inspector Calls in the rural UK. No doubt that sounds odd, but the tension in this film, about a gang of crooks hiding out after a disastrous job, was incredibly effective. Read more in my full review.