This review of Saw III is part of the Saw Franchise Retrospective series in anticipation of this month’s release of Jigsaw.
Saw III might be the most dull installment of the torture porn franchise. Directed, like with the first sequel, by Darren Lynn Bousman, this seeming end to a trilogy sees the final waning days of John Kramer (Tobin Bell). Kramer is an aging man with terminal brain cancer. He is also an eccentric serial killer known as Jigsaw.
While needing critical brain surgery (he kidnaps a woman and forces her to operate to solve this issue), Jigsaw has another crazy plot Continue reading Saw III (2006) Movie Review
The found footage horror film The Houses October Built begins with documentary archival footage and inter-titles that describe how dangerous haunted house attractions can be.
This intro is appropriate, given that the film is a restructuring of a 2011 documentary film by the same filmmakers. It is seemingly impossible to find a copy of this documentary, so one can only assume that Continue reading The Houses October Built (2014) Movie Review
Phoenix Forgotten opens on Sophie’s (Florence Hartigan) 6th birthday party. Family members give testimonials to camera about Sophie; advice for her as she grows up. Then, a voiceover from Sophie begins the narrative. Her brother Josh (Luke Spencer Roberts) and two of his friends went missing in the desert in 1997. Now, Sophie is returning home to make a documentary about his disappearance.
The film plays with framing through this setup. In 1997, Josh, obsessed with seeing lights in the Phoenix sky that may or may not be a UFO, starts Continue reading Phoenix Forgotten (2017) Movie Review
The premise of The Ring has always seemed silly. “You ever hear about the videotape that kills people in seven days?” This is one of the first lines of Rings, this third English-language installment of the franchise, itself a remake of the J-Horror sensation Ringu.
On a plane, two people who watched the tape are killed by Samara, the pallid, greasy black-haired monster of the film, as she climbs out of a monitor in the cockpit. This essentially unrelated cold open is the shoddiest scene in the entire film; a strange way to Continue reading Rings (2017) Movie Review
Rob Zombie begins his sixth feature film by somewhat breaking the fourth wall with a monologue of almost poetic sadism. Hired killer “Doom-Head” (Richard Brake) spits acid words in closeup, to invigorating effect. This inaugural scene, with its tight closeups and deliberate cadence, is a truly engrossing intro to a horror film.
Zombie, who takes much of his horror stylings from the likes of Tobe Hooper, delves deeper into the raw maw of this inspiration’s brutal realism with 31. The backroads Americana. The rambling van of freewheelers. The promise of chainsaws. 31 wants to be Continue reading 31 (2016) Movie Review
October is upon us, and the tidings of the season are centered on one glorious, oh-so-beautiful word: Horror.
To pay homage to the genre that dominates the Halloween season, here are 10 horror films that you may have never heard of. In my opinion, these movies are under the radar and deserve a higher viewership.
Trick ‘r Treat
There are plenty of anthology horror films out there, and some are better than others. What hinders most of them is the jerky narrative structure in which the segments do not have a cohesion to a larger arc. Trick ‘r Treat is different. Taking place in a small residential town, each segment of the film involves characters in the town on the night of Halloween. The characters’ stories overlap with each other, and the viewer is able to see Continue reading Top 10 Horror Movies You Haven’t Seen
We Are Still Here begins atmospheric. Vacant. Long takes focus on empty sets. A homey living room. A snowy, rural yard. A stone-walled and dirt-floor basement. The house in the woods where a middle-aged married couple has just moved in following the tragic death of their son. A lonely picture of the boy rests on a table near the staircase. Some unnatural presence, or perhaps just an innocent rush of wind, knocks the picture face-down with a loud clap, and the ghost story begins.
The first thing that is noticeable in this film is its hyper-apparent score that come on strong in the early scenes. It meanders or drones, almost whirring a mechanical hiss at us. It implores us to Continue reading We Are Still Here (2015) Movie Review
In David Robert Mitchell’s It Follows, teenager Jay (Maika Monroe) and her new boyfriend Hugh (Jake Weary) share an intimate moment in the back of Hugh’s car following a date. When the deed is done, Hugh goes to retrieve something from the trunk while Jay monologizes about how strange it is to no longer be a child. She is then promptly chloroformed by Hugh.
Hugh later informs her, when she comes to tied to a wheelchair, that he has regretfully passed on to her a terrible curse. It may take the form of a complete stranger or a close loved one, but it will always follow, painfully slow, until it Continue reading It Follows (2015) Movie Review