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Author Topic: Useless Movies  (Read 10772 times)
schild
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on: June 08, 2016, 01:21:54 PM

Weeee:

The Vatican Tapes: 2/10
The Exorcism of Molly Hartley: Watch Emily Rose Instead/10
Triangle: 6/10 (way better than it should have been)
The Pyramid: 3/10
The Visit: 5/10
Final Girl: 6/10 (dialogue not withstanding, it was gorgeous)
Contracted: So Bad I Couldn't Watch the Sequel/10
The Vvitch: NO/10 (this was abhorrent garbage)
Insidious 3: As a stand alone movie, terrible. Watching 1, 2, and 3 in one sitting makes it amazing just because of how they weave together.

Evildrider
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Reply #1 on: June 08, 2016, 01:32:05 PM

Check out He Never Died on Netflix.  It's not a super great movie but worth it just for Henry Rollins.
schild
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Reply #2 on: June 08, 2016, 01:39:19 PM

Funny, I avoided watching it because of Rollins. Up next is probably the entire V/H/S series.
schild
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Reply #3 on: June 08, 2016, 01:41:16 PM

The Witch (VVITCH) was the biggest let down for me. I wanted it so badly to be good. But it was like a slice of life salem movie and just absolutely terrible.
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Reply #4 on: June 08, 2016, 03:11:14 PM

Too bad.  The Witch got decent reviews for a horror film.  I was hoping they were accurate for a change.  Terrible horror films can be good fun if they're terrible due to being culty and campy or hilarious.  Not so for serious horror films that end up just being bad.  The worst crime, in my book, is when a film that's described as being a thriller or suspenseful is predictable.  I don't get scared when I know what's going to happen.  At best, I'll watch them for special effects or something.  In the last several years, the ones I remember being good were:  The Babadook, Dead Snow 2 and Housebound.  There's more but my brain is dead right now.  And It Follows... that was good, too.

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schild
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Reply #5 on: June 08, 2016, 03:24:56 PM

I intensely disliked The Babadook, mostly because of the kid. Also, Deborah Logan was fairly dreadful, not that you listed that.
Samwise
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Reply #6 on: June 08, 2016, 05:57:52 PM

Up next is probably the entire V/H/S series.

I really liked those.

Add Oculus to your list if you haven't already seen it.  Aaaand Pontypool?  That one's old but it sticks out as a really nice "rando Netflix horror movie" surprise.

"Nice attempted blast about my "drinking".  I do enjoy a nice cuppa, but that is because I am a bon vivant of gregarious nature and cheery disposition." - Ab
schild
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Reply #7 on: June 08, 2016, 06:06:22 PM

Seen both of those. Oculus was more entertaining. Pontypool was the better movie.

I'm 2/3 of the way through the first VHS. It's... ok. The fourth short is by far the strongest. First three were a mess.
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Reply #8 on: June 08, 2016, 06:24:11 PM

One of the things I liked best about VHS was that as a collection of shorts, if one of them isn't quite landing it at least gets out of the way quickly enough.

"Nice attempted blast about my "drinking".  I do enjoy a nice cuppa, but that is because I am a bon vivant of gregarious nature and cheery disposition." - Ab
schild
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Reply #9 on: June 08, 2016, 07:54:37 PM

I'm writing thoughts about the V/H/S series as I'm watching it. It's already at 2,000 characters. I think it's going to get its own thread.
Margalis
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Reply #10 on: June 08, 2016, 08:55:54 PM

V/H/S 1 & 2 have their charm. The third, Viral, is just super super bad.

vampirehipi23: I would enjoy a book written by a monkey and turned into a movie rather than this.
Velorath
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Reply #11 on: June 08, 2016, 09:25:18 PM

I liked Witch and Babadook but they aren't horror movies really.

I think Hush is worth watching on Netflix.
schild
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Reply #12 on: June 08, 2016, 09:34:58 PM

Hush is on the list for damn sure. I actually just got to "stuff that's on Netflix." Everything else was shit I had to track down.
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Reply #13 on: June 09, 2016, 10:14:50 AM

I just realised that as far as horror goes, I liked very little from this year so far or last year.  2014 wasn't bad, 2013 was better. 

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schild
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Reply #14 on: June 09, 2016, 12:54:54 PM

Samwise
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Reply #15 on: June 09, 2016, 01:20:39 PM

You mentioned Lovecraft movies in the VHS thread.  Have you seen Dagon?

"Nice attempted blast about my "drinking".  I do enjoy a nice cuppa, but that is because I am a bon vivant of gregarious nature and cheery disposition." - Ab
schild
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Reply #16 on: June 09, 2016, 01:22:12 PM

Yes, it's garbage.
Samwise
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Reply #17 on: June 09, 2016, 01:36:28 PM

 Mob

It's definitely not for everyone, but I think it's the closest anyone's come to making a Lovecraft movie "right".  It devolves into (glorious) schlock at the end, but the middle is IMO a pitch perfect adaptation of Shadow over Innsmouth.

"Nice attempted blast about my "drinking".  I do enjoy a nice cuppa, but that is because I am a bon vivant of gregarious nature and cheery disposition." - Ab
schild
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Reply #18 on: June 09, 2016, 01:44:33 PM

The whole thing felt like schlock to me :/
Samwise
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Reply #19 on: June 09, 2016, 01:46:02 PM

I might be influenced by the fact that it's so restrained and dignified compared to Re-Animator.  Which I love in its own way.

"Nice attempted blast about my "drinking".  I do enjoy a nice cuppa, but that is because I am a bon vivant of gregarious nature and cheery disposition." - Ab
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Reply #20 on: June 09, 2016, 01:48:22 PM

Yea, I just find both to be pretty poorly done.
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Reply #21 on: June 09, 2016, 02:40:50 PM

Dagon is probably one of the best Lovecraft movies done. It just happens to be low-budget and also based on Lovecraft, which means its mostly schlocky regardless of what you do.

schild
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Reply #22 on: June 09, 2016, 02:41:32 PM

There is not a single thing in Lovecraft's writing that screams schlock to me. And yet, every Lovecraft movie is full of it. It is beyond aggravating.
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Reply #23 on: June 09, 2016, 02:43:38 PM

You mean you don't consider the overwrought prose schlocky? It all feels very 20-30's pulpy to me, which isn't a bad thing but prone to the schlock. I don't know of many screenwriters/directors who can capture that feel of Lovecraft without descending into utter cornball. Del Toro I would think could do it. Guys who direct for the Syfy channel? Probably not.

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Reply #24 on: June 09, 2016, 02:57:27 PM

Isn't this precisely why a pure Lovecraftian movie has no shot at being created? There are so many different interpretations of the work that it would be difficult to even storyboard something like that let alone get it to work for a wide audience. Who's mind would you trust to develop any of the stories into a movie?

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schild
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Reply #25 on: June 09, 2016, 03:17:39 PM

Quote
Who's mind would you trust to develop any of the stories into a movie?

Del Toro, as Haemish said, would be the first choice. In modern times, Lovecraft needs a bit of an editor. Also someone who will translate his work, not just shove it on screen. Just because some of the writing had a touch of ehhhhhhhh "era-specific" crap to it, doesn't mean that shit has to be translated. Hell, when I read it, the literary floral garbage Haemish alludes to glosses over me like white noise.

A Lovecraft story should be Establish Place -> Establish Dread -> Establish Horror -> Everyone Dies, mostly. There's no need for any of it to be hamfisted, poorly acted, or otherwise. Hell, David Fincher could do it. He *did* do it (with Se7en) to a degree.
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Reply #26 on: June 09, 2016, 03:53:49 PM

I would say the better Paranormal Activity is pretty Lovecraftian in the setting of creeping horror. The way the sound, lighting and camera angles work together to slowly build and release tension. I'll enjoy just about any mediocre flick that can get that part right, because for me it's more about setting a mood. Naturally, I watch any movie like this late at night with all the lights out and the sound system cranked to 'hope the neighbors don't call the cops'.

I'm also partial to good set pieces, a good location can elevate a mediocre movie for me.

I wish I had thought to start a journal on stuff I began watching when Amazon started Prime Video, I've been far down their corridors of horror. Not much slasher/jump scare stuff, I like the suspense kind of thing.

To be more helpful: Session 9 was a great film. Unfortunately, it was one of the first I remember watching on Amazon and it's been mostly downhill from there. Also, check out Coherence. It was shot in a pretty cool, improvisational way that I feel worked more often than not, where the actors would know who they were and some topics or motivations, but not what was going to happen in the scene. Another one I really dig is Timecrimes, one of my favorite time travel movies (my other favorite after suspenseful horror).

On to the more mediocre. I found Grave Encounters to have a lot of potential, maybe a 6/10 with deductions for jumps, acting and predictability (all usual suspects for found footage, anyway). But it had some of that atmosphere setting stuff I enjoyed enough to mostly put up with the rest of it. The second one, not so much (though I still watched it because pickings are slim).

Muirhouse I actually liked pretty well. There was one long section in the late middle/early end section, where a 'chase' scene dragged on overlong. Otherwise I found it a good, slow, setting type movie. Not much happens, and I'm ok with that because most films can't make 'stuff happening' very well.

There's a slew of pretty meh house type ones for when your queue of quality runs dry, St Francisville Experiment, 7 Nights of Darkness, Spirit Stalkers, Dark Mountain. Again, I wish I had kept notes, some of those might have some redeeming values I liked but forgot. I also take them off my list after I watch them, so I forget which ones I've seen. There was one super-low budget set in an apartment building where the longhair caretaker was the lead character that was oddly enjoyable, can't remember the name.

Unfortunately the Jean Rollin stuff is finally leaving Prime. It's pretty low budget and weird, but it's got tons of euroboob and I like a lot of his stuff as it has a surreal vibe to it. If I still smoked pot or dropped acid I'd like them more :)


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Reply #27 on: June 09, 2016, 04:17:23 PM

Not to derail the thread, but can Schild (or anybody else who feels up to it) give me a list of top stories/novels to read by Lovecraft?

I've never really read much of his work, though I love horror.  I picked up a random old anthology book of his short stories from a used book shop in Berkeley (that was from the 60's), and enjoyed the few I bothered to read.  Need to finally dive in and see his major stuff.

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Margalis
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Reply #28 on: June 09, 2016, 04:19:41 PM

Isn't this precisely why a pure Lovecraftian movie has no shot at being created?

Lovecraft stories rely heavily on mood, the prose and the inner mental states of characters rather than action and dialogue, which doesn't translate well to film.

vampirehipi23: I would enjoy a book written by a monkey and turned into a movie rather than this.
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Reply #29 on: June 09, 2016, 04:32:27 PM

Fincher would do a good Lovecraft as well.

As for which ones to read, the keystones are "At the Mountains of Madness," "Shadows of Innsmouth," and of course "Call of Cthulhu." There's a bunch of others but to me, those are the 3 that stand out. A lot of his earlier works had some of the same horror but didn't really reach the heights of any kind of shared mythology.

Samwise
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Reply #30 on: June 09, 2016, 04:34:59 PM

Not to derail the thread, but can Schild (or anybody else who feels up to it) give me a list of top stories/novels to read by Lovecraft?

Lovecraft has a fair amount of breadth so you'll see a diversity of opinion there.  I really like "Dream Quest of Unknown Kadath" for example, which is more in a fantasy vein than most of Lovecraft's stuff and would be a turnoff to someone expecting straight up horror.  "Call of Cthulhu" is probably his best known story because Cthulhu himself translates better to visual art than most of Lovecraft's monsters, but the story itself is not one of my favorites.

Check out this ancient thread.   awesome, for real

"Nice attempted blast about my "drinking".  I do enjoy a nice cuppa, but that is because I am a bon vivant of gregarious nature and cheery disposition." - Ab
schild
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Reply #31 on: June 09, 2016, 04:43:10 PM

Music of Erich Zann is probably my favorite Lovecraft story at this point.
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Reply #32 on: June 09, 2016, 04:52:30 PM

Not to derail the thread, but can Schild (or anybody else who feels up to it) give me a list of top stories/novels to read by Lovecraft?
Lovecraft has a fair amount of breadth so you'll see a diversity of opinion there.  I really like "Dream Quest of Unknown Kadath" for example, which is more in a fantasy vein than most of Lovecraft's stuff and would be a turnoff to someone expecting straight up horror.  

Yeah, I think he's got two kind of separate (though sometimes overlapping) styles, one is a kind of dreamy fantasy style ("Dream Quest of Unknown Kadath" or "Quest of Iranon" or "Cats of Ulthar") and the other is his more popular weird/horror stuff.  Probably there's a bunch I'm forgetting, but the iconic stuff I think of when I think of Lovecraft is:

  • Call of Cthulhu (obviously)
  • Dagon
  • The Dunwich Horror
  • The Colour out of Space
  • The Nameless City
  • Rats in the Walls
  • The Whisperer in the Darkness (kind of long)
  • Shadow over Innsmouth (long)
  • At the Mountains of Madness (long)
  • The Shadow out of Time (long)

In terms of popularity, it's probably Cthulhu ahead by a mile, followed by Shadow over Innsmouth and Mountains of Madness, I'd guess.
schild
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Reply #33 on: June 09, 2016, 05:12:48 PM

Mountains of Madness, I think, is the best of his popular works. Colour out of Space is exceptional. Pickman's Model should be more respected and talked about. The Dunwich Horror floats in and out of popularity and is very good.

Here's the thing, it doesn't take long to read his complete works. I say just read them all. You'll decide what you like and don't like.

Also, read Robert Howard's (you know, Conan) Lovecraft Mythos stuff (Black Eons, Candles, Dig Me No Grave, The Thing on the Roof, Arkham, etc).

Also, absolutely go deep and read the pre-lovecraft stuff, The King in Yellow by Robert Chambers.
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Reply #34 on: June 09, 2016, 05:24:27 PM

The King in Yellow was good. The rest of Chambers stuff is not.

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