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Neek's HORROR Binge

Been working on a treatment for a micro-budget found-footage horror feature, been watching a lot of horror films of Netflix and Amazon for inspiration. Figured y'all might have some recs/might want to get mad at my opinions.
1Two People
First Body

The Invisible Man: 9/10
I was honestly blown away by this movie. The visual storytelling was incredible right from the beginning and the climax was breathtaking. While a few of the beats were a bit too unoriginal, they all led very well into each other and the overall atmosphere of paranoia was suffocating. Moss delivered an incredible performance and Leigh Wahnell continues to be a fantastic genre director, especially in his action sequences. Pumped to see more from both of them.
2Cult of Luna and Julie Christmas

Event Horizon: 6/10
Okay, I definitely enjoyed this movie more than I should, but what can I say? It's a fun-ass sci-fi horror space romp that has an incredible set up of foreboding and atmosphere. It definitely loses a lot of that by the end as it decends into wacky 90s-ness and the villain becomes straight-up unbelievable, but I give this film a lot of credit for the feel of it and the exquisite production design. It draws you in effortlessly, and even if it doesn't completely pay off, there's a lot to be said about that quality.
3Anna von Hausswolff
Dead Magic

As Above So Below: 5/10
Definitely mixed on this one. On one hand I appreciated the realism it portrayed in the first half and the way it ttied to tie its horror into feelings of guilt in the characters (not the most original idea, but hey they tried). It really all comes apart when you look at the film as a whole though. There's no clear point where things start to go crazy, plot points seem to progress at random parts of the film, and while it effectively deals a great deal of mood and claustrophobia, the Tomb Raider opening is pretty tonally jarring in comparison. I wasn't totally convinced by this film, but I appreciate it for what it is. But for this budget, I felt like it could've been so much more.
4Chelsea Wolfe
Hiss Spun

Gerald’s Game: 8/10
Well, I suppose this doesn't count so much as a horror film outside of the bizarre coda (which I definitely count against this film, some things, especially that weird-ass shit, can better be left unexplained), but as a character study doubling as a one-location psychological thriller, it's brilliant. While it could've been hokey, the inner-dialogue scenes were conveyed so well, as were the scenes detailing her past (which could have faltered horribly in the hands of a male director). I'm a sucker for stories in which a tragic past helps us to overcome the present, and it worked great here. That gross-out moment was truly fucked, but even that worked well in context. This was a great flick.
5Queens of the Stone Age
...Like Clockwork

Final Destination: 8/10
Pleasantly surprised by this one, I think the knowing tone was what made it work. Definitely a post-Scream horror film, even though it wasn't a flat-out comedy, it used the ridiculousness of the kills as a way to let the audience laugh at what could've been morbid brutality, yet it doesn't ask you to let at the characters' demise directly. This balancing act of maintaining seriousness over the characters' fate and the amusement at the spectacle was hard to pull off I'm sure, but it worked so well here. Debating watching more of the franchise just because this was such a fun jam, even if the epilogue wasn't so great.
6My Purest Heart For You
Tragic End

47 Meters Down: 2/10
Dude this film blew fucking chunks. One of the most useless protagonists I think I've ever seen, made even more useles by a fake-out ending that negated the only actions she took in the whole film and served only to pad the film by 20 minutes. Furthermore... this is a shark film with like three sharks in it! They don't feel like an ever-present menace so much as an obvious plot device to fuck over the characters. I'll admit the use of water pressure as a challenge to overcome was interesting, but then again this is a movie that decides to spend 10 fucking minutes having its character try to use a harpoon to reach an oxygen tank. This movies sucks, one of the worst films I've ever seen.
Art Angels

Velvet Buzzsaw: 5/10
Yeah this film was definitely a mess, but it was an entertaining one I'll give it that. Jake Gyllenhaal is always great and a pleasure to look at, but fuck if he didn't even need to be in this film. Actually, there's very little in way of plot for anyone to even follow. You could take out half this film and it would actually make more sense, but then again I suppose plot wasn't as important here as the neverending satire of art-world people being killed by their own art. I guess. Well, it was vibrant, amusing enough, and a decent time, but if you're looking for anything that'll stick once it's over, or, yknow, a captivating story, you won't find it here.
Burial Songs

Candyman: 8/10
Okay, I see what the hype is about now. Even if some of the more slasher-y moments don't gel with its higher ambitions of creation a parable of oppression, it certainly works way better than "Us" did last year. This film is gritty, gorgeous is the ugliest way, and a worm that gets stuck in your mind. It's not to be fucked with, just like its title character, and it contains memorable scene after scene. All I've gotta say is, they better not fuck this one up. But I have faith the new one will be excellent too.
9Sharon Van Etten
Remind Me Tomorrow

Creep: 8/10
This is a sneaky little fucker of a film. Probably the most helpful out of all of these in terms of what I'm looking for for inspiration, it's just so incredible how engaging this film is with only two characters, awkward humor, and a creepy, smart script. It just goes back to my realization that good sound, acting, and writing are all you need to make a movie. It also really intelligently subverts the expectations of the audience in our trying to decide whose film this is in the end, whoever ends up with this footage is the one that ends up putting it together for us to see. That's something I want to get into more in my film.
10Zola Jesus

Paranormal Activity: 7/10
Ditto what I said about barebones filmmaking for creep, although the characterization here was definitely not as interesting. I can't say what it would've been like to see this when it came out (this is my first time watching), but even now it holds up exceptionally well thanks to the strength of its actors and simple but effective writing. The most frustrating thing was probably just how repetitive the rinse-and-repeat storytelling was, but it did little to diminish the seriously freaky shit going on in this film.
11Claire Cronin
Big Dread Moon

Hush: 8/10
Same guy who directed Gerald's Game, and I have to say that I'm enamored with this guy's ability to create such tight, skillfully told horror flicks in such limited settings. One house. Almost no dialogue. And yet it remains gripping from start to finish. It makes me very aware of what excited me in a horror movie, these smart creepy-ass beats such as him removing his mask, the pictures of her, they hook you in so so well. I was definitely taking notes for this one.
12Black Sabbath

Creep 2: 9/10
All I can say is wow. They really nailed this one, improving on the first with a protagonist who can hold their own against who's quickly becoming one of my favorite movie villains. Despite your certainty of this guy's evil, they manage to incorporate a lot of doubt and twists and turns into this one, and even with maybe one too many endings, this is still one of the best acted and all around best horror films I've seen in a long time.
Master of Puppets

Saw: 6/10
Was a big fan of the vibrant and overblown style of this film, even if it went against the grittiness it seemed to be going for. And while this was certainly entertaining/exciting, the sheer amount of subplots and flashbacks seriously diluted this and turned it into some weird chaotic mess that is definitely representetive of its time period. Even the reveals here were dove into with a surprising amount of reverence, as if they'd been built up for an entire franchise rather than just one short movie.

Krisha: 8/10
Okay, this is definitely more of a drama than a horror narratively, but the way its shot is very reminiscent of horror. A bleak and uncompromising look at the emotions tearing apart a family, the film is a unique and incredible example of independent filmmaking, as the director shot the entire thing at his parent's house and the cast and crew are largely friends and family, including the fantastic work from his titular aunt Krisha. While the bleakness of this overall detracted from what could've been an inspiring and hopeful message, it's no doubt one of truth to the filmmaker and was overall probably the best way it could've gone.
15Cannibal Corpse
The Wretched Spawn

VHS: 5/10
Okay so this was definitely a mixed bag like I expected. I had no love for the first segment, but almost all of them had some amount of intriguing elements. The third's bizarre slasher take and the fourth's unnerving dive into a serial abuser through a webcam were super intriguing, and even the second and fifth ones had lot going for them even if their pacing and direction were a bit out of whack. Overall though the framing device fell apart completely and made this even more fractured than it already felt, leaving it to be a thoroughly "meh" experience. Still, I've heard the 2nd is much better so I'm excited to check that!
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