Horror Flicks

I used to watch a lot of horror movies, but I don’t have much time for them any more. Just recently I saw a few (a failed attempt to erase Alone in the Dark from my brain), so here’s a few impressions.

  • The Shining (1980) – This movie is famous for a reason. It’s got all sorts of stuff going on, yet it manages to be subtle and subdued. The presentation, particularly the music and cinematography, is fantastic. And the story is wonderfully suggestive without being explicit. Highly recommended.
  • House of 1000 Corpses ( 2003) – You know how sometimes a movie can have a terrible title but then turn out to be pretty good underneath? This is not one of those movies. Directed by Rob Zombie, House of 1000 Corpses is sort of an amalgam of every slasher flick made in the last 25 years. Unfortunately, it’s not constructed in a way that might be interesting. I’d guess that there really are 1000 corpses in this film, and man, do they get boring after the third or fourth. You’d think after watching so many horror movies Rob would have realized that gore and nudity are never good replacements for plot. Moral of the story: if the director is famously related to horror but has never directed before (I’m looking at YOU, 976-EVIL), the movie will not be good. Stick to the music, Rob. The one redeeming quality of this movie is the Captain Spaulding character, who is both well-delivered and hilarious.
  • The Ring Two (2005) – So like most everybody else I throughly enjoyed the original Japanese Ring movie. The sequels weren’t that hot, but the first movie was inspired. I was unimpressed by the American remake because it added all kinds of superfluous details and yet still failed to meet the subtle horror of the original. So I went to see The Ring Two with cautious optimism, especially after I learned that the director of the original Ring was responsible for the American sequel. I really should have known better. The Ring Two isn’t terrible, it’s just not very good. It’s actually fairly similar in quality to the Japanese Ring 2 (which has a pretty different story), but its somewhat less interesting because it goes in too many directions at once. The worst sin of the film is that it discards the “killer tape” mechanic, which is what made the series interesting to begin with. There are some nice moments (a particular climb up a well was pretty great), but overall there’s nothing here you haven’t seen before.

In summary: see The Shining, avoid House of 1000 Corpses like the plague, and wait for Ring Two to be a $3 DVD rental.

6 thoughts on “Horror Flicks

  1. “Society,” eh? I’ll have to check that one out. I think I’ve sat through almost every horror film produced in the ’80s, but somehow I must have missed this one.

    I think the lack of good horror movies is mostly the result of horror being a cash cow for production companies. There’s no reason for them to really invest in quality because they can make a profit on the legions of teenagers that will go see every slasher flick that is released. It’s a sad state of affairs, really. Every 3 or 4 years a good film comes along, I guess, but the vast majority is crap. Perhaps that’s why foreign horror seems so much more affecting; I suspect that the teenagers-funding-crappy-horror is a phenomenon fairly unique to America.

    And yeah, the older I get the less tolerance I have for camp.

  2. you really don’t get the point of the movie House of 1000 corpses do you. I haven’t met a single person who doesn’t like it. odd

  3. Well, now you have.

    I got the point all right. But if you want to make a movie that is a homage to a collection of other movies, the least you can do is try to come up with something interesting. Tampopo is an excellent example, though of course it isn’t horror. House of 1000 Corpses wasn’t nearly as interesting as all the movies it was influenced by, which to me is certainly a mark of failure.

    You might refer to Rotten Tomatoes. 16% is not very good.



  4. I really liked House of 1000 Courpses!! I thought it kicked ass. I guess you have 2 know style and like your movies a little bit messed up to enjoy such an artsy film. Sorry you couldnt understand it though.

  5. Hi Kevin,

    I’m glad you liked House of 1000 Corpses; I thought it was crap. I don’t think it is “artsy,” and I think that it’s not nearly as good as the films it is based upon. I do think I “got it” though–there wasn’t all that much to miss, frankly. Perhaps you can explain the error of my reasoning? Is there some hidden meaning in the movie that transcends the crappy acting, nonsensical plot, and horrible special effects? If so, please enlighten me.

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