Ilove adventures set in geographic extremes, and that’s the biggest appeal of “30 Days of Night” (2007), set in Barrow, Alaska. Odd places like this have me going to the internet, where I learned that Barrow has since been renamed Utqiagvik, and it actually experiences two straight months of night from mid-November to mid-January. Inaccessible from other cities by road, the oil-industry-driven outpost has a population of over 4,000. But the film imagines a town of mere hundreds, only a few blocks wide.
Iliked “Cabin in the Woods” (2011), but I’m uncomfortable with how it has risen to classic status in the horror genre. Wild genre shifting and brazen disregard for the illusion of fear you’ve created for the audience is eye-opening the first time but it would be an unappealing trend. Luckily, films like that aren’t the norm, and if “Cabin” shows how they can go right, “The Hunt” shows how they can go wrong.
Mike Flanagan counts himself as an admirer of writer-director Remi Weekes’ “His House” (Netflix), and it’s no wonder: Like Flanagan’s work, Weekes’ calling-card film uses the structure and tropes of horror to slyly tell a surprising, insightful story about the human experience. Specifically, it’s the chronicle Bol (Sope Dirisu) and Rial (Wunmi Mosaku) Majur settling in the U.K., having fled the tribal war in South Sudan.
Friday the 13th” (2009) is a slick and competent remake directed by Marcus Nispel, who also did the “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” (2003) and “Conan the Barbarian” (2011) remakes. But it leaves a viewer questioning if it was artistically necessary. Of course, the reason for its existence is to cash in on the title some more. But while this is the saga’s second-highest-grossing film — behind 2003’s “Freddy vs. Jason,” the last of the 11-film original series – it ultimately marks the end of the series (for now). The 2010s came and went without a 13th “Friday” film.
After watching “Don’t Look Now” (1973), I’m looking forward to reading reviews and analyses of the work. It’s one of those movies where I didn’t entirely understand the meaning, and sometimes not even the narrative – but in a good way. I understood enough to be wrapped up in the story of a British couple – Donald Sutherland’s and Julie Christie’s John and Laura Baxter – who are on a long-term stay in Venice for John’s job in church mosaic restoration.
It’s an excellent month for an exorcism. From Oct. 21-31, I’m looking back at the five films of “The Exorcist” series as we celebrate Spooky Month here at Cold Bananas. Wrapping it up is the last film, “Dominion: Prequel to the Exorcist” (2005):
It’s an excellent month for an exorcism. From Oct. 21-31, I’m looking back at the five films of “The Exorcist” series as we celebrate Spooky Month here at Cold Bananas. Next up is the fourth film, “Exorcist: The Beginning” (2004):
It’s an excellent month for an exorcism. From Oct. 21-31, I’m looking back at the five films of “The Exorcist” series as we celebrate Spooky Month here at Cold Bananas. Next up is the third film, “The Exorcist III” (1990):
With the sequel “Screamers: The Hunting” (2009), we get further away from the Philip K. Dick source material adapted into 1995’s “Screamers”: the 1953 short story “Second Variety.” But not as far away as you might think. “The Hunting” is that old-school type of cheap horror sequel that repeats the story from the original, starting with a narrative excuse to return the same territory.
For a novella published in 1898, Henry James’ “The Turn of the Screw” is having a boffo 2020. The Netflix miniseries “The Haunting of Bly Manor” is rightfully getting all the hype, but “The Turning” also came out this year, in January before the mass theater shutdown. I watched this lesser-known adaptation out of curiosity after finishing “Bly Manor.” It gets some appeal from the intrigue of how a different creative team (screenwriters Chad and Carey W. Hayes of “The Conjuring” and director Floria Sigismondi) adapts the novella, but also loses suspense because I knew the story’s broad strokes.