What horror/sci-fi films have you been watching?

Kim Greene
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Joined: Nov 10 2004, 10:28 PM

Apr 2 2018, 09:15 AM #4721

Hmmm-----so when people get drunk or take drugs, I'm assuming that part of the brain is the most affected, which makes sense in explaining why some people go crazier under the influence than others.🐉
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Joined: Oct 24 2004, 05:57 PM

Apr 2 2018, 08:36 PM #4722

In fact, the heroine of REVENGE takes peyote at one point. I don't remember if she is tripping when sees her boyfriend as a lizard. There are several images shown from her POV when it is distorted for various reasons.  
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Kim Greene
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Apr 4 2018, 02:17 PM #4723

Been seeing trailers all the time for this new horror thriller called  A QUIET PLACE, which is coming out April 6th. It's the third film directed/co-written by John Krasinski,formerly of the long-running hit NBC sitcom THE OFFICE (and the recent drama DETROIT.)  It's also the first film in which he co-stars with real-life spouse Emily Blunt (SICARIO, THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN, LOOPER) who's also one of my favorite actresses out there today. Based on the trailer, it looks like a cross between SIGNS and last year's creepy thriller IT COMES AT NIGHT, but that's just my impression. It definitely looks chilling enough to check out, that's for sure. Here's a brief interview with Krasinski about the film, how being a parent inspired him to do it, and what it was like working with his wife, and the child actors:

Cinemovie------A Talk With The Director Of A Quiet Place


Here's Cinema Detroit's lineup for this month----I'd been trying to see when this indie horror film called THE ENDLESS would actually be coming out, which I'd already seen the trailer for on the tube some months ago,and which has been described as "very Lovecraftian"---sounded like it would be worth seeing. Was really geeked up to find out that it will be playing at Cinema Detroit later on this month (it also comes out this weekend, according to IMDB.) It's about some escapees from a cult being drawn back to the cult by something strange going on. Both director/writer/editor/producer Justin Benson and actor/producer Aaron Moorhead star in it as the two cult-escapee brothers. Here's a trailer and all:

Cinema Detroit's April lineup, featuring THE ENDLESS
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Kim Greene
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Apr 5 2018, 04:28 PM #4724

Steve Erickson wrote: Here's my review of UNSANE: http://gaycitynews.nyc/soderbergh-bets-movie-house/. There are spoilers within, so if that matters to you, you should probably wait to read it till after you've seen it. The final two paragraphs also reflect an argument I got into with someone on Facebook over his attitude that "Netflix is saving cinema." 
Saw UNSANE yesterday (just read your review) and really got caught up in its main character's paranoid world view, which has been brought on by her constantly trying to evade her stalker. Claire Foy is actually pretty good as the lead---she plays an ordinary but tough,smart woman who, after realizing the situation she inadvertently got herself into,tries like hell to get out of it any way she can. The whole film has these really tight shots that actually add to the main character's increasing paranoia/fear in the film, and give it a genuinely claustrophobic look and atmosphere that fits the subject matter perfectly. I liked the fact that Sawyer (Foy) was willing to kick some serious a** to defend herself if she had to, and lets people know real quick that she gives zero effs about swinging on someone if they step to her in a threatening way--she's not gonna be the one to back down, and that's fun to watch, even though it did cost her a number of times. I also liked seeing the talented and funny former SNL cast member/comedian Jay Pharoah (one of my faves on the show when he was there) as the only other patient/person she comes to trust/count on in the facility---he's hilarious as usual, and also gives a good performance (he also currently stars in his own Showtime comedy series called WHITE FAMOUS.)

I also like how non-Hollywood and real the cast looks---which is par for the course with a number of indies,anyway. I also liked how Sawyer made a couple of smart decisions which actually made sense given what she was trying to do (I was like, "Yeah, that's how you'd do it in real life!") and how the appearance of a man who she's convinced is her stalker ratchets up her desperate fear to the level of a true nightmare---not only may he have found her, but she might be trapped in there with him. That last part of the film where she goes the hell off on the guy about his BS delusions about her, and how he's literally destroyed her life in the process, was illuminating to listen to. It's definitely a tight,well-made and creepy thriller---I can't believe it was only shot in 10 days, like IMDB claims. Here's an interview with actor Joshua Leonard (who plays the main villain) about working with Soderburgh, how he kind of wandered into acting as part of the original BLAIR WITCH cast, why he's preferred doing indie films, and his latest film as a director,BEHIND MY HEART:

How the BLAIR WITCH star turned his back on Hollywood and stays doing indies
Last edited by Kim Greene on Apr 6 2018, 03:38 AM, edited 3 times in total.
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Joined: Oct 24 2004, 05:57 PM

Apr 5 2018, 09:40 PM #4725

To me, the plot of UNSANE doesn't makes literal sense and only works as a nightmare or metaphor for the way men can control women's lives. I can believe that Leonard's character could follow Sawyer around; I don't think he could get a job at the mental hospital, keep it and hang around there knowing that she would eventually become a patient. The film has a very non-Hollywood look and, as I said in my review, breaks the rules of sightline editing that film students are taught in Filmmaking 101 classes. 

BLAIR WITCH PROJECT star Heather Donahue found her acting career drying up quickly and turned to launching a  medical marijuana farm to make a living instead, about which she wrote a book I flipped through at a store but haven't read. At least Leonard still seems to earning a living from the film industry. 

I am seeing John Krasinski's A QUIET PLACE this evening. I'll report back tomorrow. I have high hopes, since I've read nothing but praise for it. 
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Kim Greene
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Apr 6 2018, 04:53 AM #4726

Yeah, I was thinking that too when I saw UNSANE---how it could be construed as a metaphor for how a woman could lose control of her own life,and have to fight like hell to get that control back, since the film does come off like a true nightmare about what could happen when that control is suddenly taken away without any warning. And, yeah, the part where she's found out that she's unknowingly signed herself in that hospital didn't make any sense----why the hell would anyone sign something like that without even reading it through? And how come nobody bothered to explain to her exactly what was going on before they just ran her through the preliminaries? That didn't make any sense either,since IRL that is usually explained to you before you sign anything like that. It dosen't take away that much from the film itself though, which is pretty good, unnerving and suspenseful.

Here's a couple of interviews with the BLAIR WITCH cast and crew, and how the movie's success affected them and their careers in ways they never anticipated:

They Wished I Was Dead: How The Blair Witch Project Still Haunts Its Cast And Crew

Papermag----Catching Up With Blair Witch Star Heather Donahue


I read an interview years ago with Donahue on her book,how she got into marijuana growing in the first place,and why she basically left acting--pretty interesting. Here's a more in-depth interview about her book and why she also left the pot business:

Q & A with Heather Donahue on pot and life

I'm going to see A QUIET PLACE TOO-----it sounds and looks nice and creepy.
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Kim Greene
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Joined: Nov 10 2004, 10:28 PM

Apr 6 2018, 07:21 AM #4727

Here's an interesting review of SCREAM 3 (2000) and how the reviewer feels that it deals head-on with the issues at the center of the #MeToo movement,even though it was made nearly 2 decades ago (and it was a Weinstein Films production, ironically enough:)

How Scream Foreshadowed Hollywood #MeToo Moment
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Joined: Oct 24 2004, 05:57 PM

Apr 6 2018, 04:42 PM #4728

A QUIET PLACE is a really unconventional Hollywood film. The weaker elements of it seem to come from the fact that Krasinski has stated that he doesn't like horror films yet he more or less made one. The on-screen appearance of monsters is a bit silly: the danger of one's foot getting stabbed by a nail actually comes across more strongly than getting devoured by an alien. But this is a film that contains about 90 seconds of speech in 85 minutes of action (plus 5 minutes of credits). Krasinski and his real-wife Emily Blunt play the main couple, and one of their two young daughters is partially deaf, wearing a hearing aid. They are the only four people who ever appear in the film.  Mainstream American cinema generally tries to make sound design invisible. That's hardly the case here. There are scenes which try to depict the perspective of the deaf daughter, such as one in which we hear the monster making an extremely loud noise and then a softer but unpleasant feedback sound in her hearing aid. (And the scenes in American Sign Language are subtitled.) The film works fairly well as a depiction of the anxieties around parenthood and on some larger allegorical level, a warning about media saturation backfiring. 
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Kim Greene
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Apr 9 2018, 10:07 AM #4729

Saw  A QUIET PLACE--it was nice to see a horror film in the daytime for a change-----I usually prefer going to see them at night, but after seeing how creepy this film was, I'm glad that I didn't,lol. I like how the level of suspense was kept up throughout the film,and I even got scared twice along the way--so it was worth the trip. The only problem was the family that plopped themselves right beside me, with one of the kids constantly making a small amount of noise,and letting their phone ring out a couple of times, along with me wanting to tell them to shut the hell up---the paradox of telling someone to be quiet during a quiet film wasn't lost on me.(To be fair, they didn't keep all that up for too long,thank goodness.) That being said, the film was pretty good, very suspenseful, and really creepy all at some points. It's just that the ending seemed a little too abrupt, which I didn't like, but other than that, it was all right.
Last edited by Kim Greene on Apr 9 2018, 11:09 PM, edited 4 times in total.
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Apr 9 2018, 02:37 PM #4730

Come to any film screening at MOMA, and you will hear the paradox of someone making a small noise and getting told how annoying they are by a much louder and more annoying person. 
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Kim Greene
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Joined: Nov 10 2004, 10:28 PM

Apr 10 2018, 11:26 PM #4731

Here's a thoughtful, philosophical look at BLADE RUNNER:2049 that I thought was worth looking at:

Filmosophy----Blade Runner:2049 And Some Questions About Criticism
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Joined: Oct 24 2004, 05:57 PM

Apr 11 2018, 10:49 PM #4732

That's a kind of reflection on film writing we rarely get. (As for the issue of BR2049's focus on violence against women, Denis Villenueve has said he was trying to point it out as a problem that's not necessarily going to go away in the future, not take pleasure in it or encourage spectators to do so.) To be honest, a lot of recent writing by white male critics about racism and sexism in cinema strikes me as suffering from a white savior complex (I guess mansplaining would be the equivalent for gender.) I know I'm probably guilty of this myself. I have an African-American friend who put THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI on his 2017 top 10 list and was furious at the white critics who initially attacked it as racist. (Of course, then black writers like Ira Madison III and Wesley Morris joined in.) There are other aspects of life where I can only guess what it would be like to see a film having gone through certain experiences: during A QUIET PLACE, I wondered how my POV might be different were I a parent. 
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Kim Greene
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May 14 2018, 01:50 AM #4733

THE ENDLESS (2017)------Directed/written/produced by Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead. Both directors star in this dark, moody horror drama about two brothers who escaped a cult, and how they're been living their lives ever since. The younger brother (played by Moorhead,who's cute with odd-looking big eyes) still hasn't adjusted to post-cult life for some reason, and is actually thinking of going back to the cult, since he feels like he's not cut out for making it in the real world, so to speak. The older brother (played by Benson) thinks he's crazy as hell to even want to go back, especially since they straight-up denounced the cult on live T.V. as crazy and everything else. One day, the younger brother receives a strange VHS tape sent to them out of nowhere with what looks like a message from the cult,letting them know what's currently going on with them. This is the catalyst that makes the younger brother want to go back to said cult to find out what's up. The older brother is like, "Hell naw, there ain't no way in hell we're ever going back there," but since he doesn't want his younger sibling going back there all by himself (and possibly never seeing him again) he just decides to roll with it and go on this uncertain journey back to the "UFO death cult", as they call it. They arrive at the out-of-the-way backwoods rural farm where the cult resides, and are basically warmly welcomed back by the groups' charismatic head,Hal (Tate Ellington) and particularly by people in the cult whom they share a past with. Neither brother has been there long before they start seeing very subtle strange things happening, to the point where they start to doubt their own sanities because it seems like reality is constantly beginning to distort itself before their very eyes---almost everywhere they turn,as a matter of fact. Then the cult members start talking about this humongous event or thing that's supposed to take place sometimes soon, and the dread and anticipation/suspense just gradually picks up from there. Will they be able to get out of the cult before that happens, or will they be caught up in the soon-to-be-coming madness? This was a pretty good imaginative horror flick, and a refreshing change from the usual slasher/sex/gore-filled flicks that pass for horror entirely way too often nowadays. Both of the leads share an easy, laid-back charm that makes their relationship believable---I wouldn't mind recommending this to folks who like subtle out-of-the-way thrillers off the beaten path.

THE ENDLESS at IMDB
Last edited by Kim Greene on Jun 1 2018, 10:07 PM, edited 6 times in total.
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Joined: Oct 24 2004, 05:57 PM

Jun 1 2018, 04:10 AM #4734

HEREDITARY (Ari Aster)--My review of this film will be published in Gay City News a week from today. I believe A24 opens it nationwide on June 8th. Despite the huge buzz from Sundance, I was underwhelmed. It's a very unconventional horror film that begins as a family melodrama and then takes a trippier turn towards the paranormal in its second half. None of this really worked for me - the emotions didn't click, and Toni Colette's much lauded performance struck me as overly histrionic. The score by composer/saxophonist Colin Stetson, which seems inspired by William Friedkin's use of avant-classical music in THE EXORCIST, is loud, overbearing and ill-used.  Alex Wolff, who plays her teenage stoner son and portrayed the teenage Jeffrey Dahmer last year in MY FRIEND DAHMER, is a lot more impressive in a more restrained role. No gore, although someone gets set on fire in one scene. 
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Kim Greene
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Jun 1 2018, 10:13 PM #4735

Saw an article or two about HEREDITARY with a trailer just over a month or so ago, and it seemed and looked intriguing (I could've sworn I'd already posted about a link about it.) Toni Collette has been one of my favorite actresses for years, and has usually done good films on the regular, so just the fact that she's in it (or in anything else she's been in) is usually a sign that it might be worth watching, and for her usually good/strong on-point performances.

Here's an article on Blumhouse Studios (home of GET OUT, the PURGE series,and the PARANORMAL ACTIVITY flicks) and their latest production, the sci-fi thriller UPGRADE:

Slate----Can Blumhouse conquer sci-fi like they have the horror genre?

Here's a full review of UPGRADE, which looked to me like just another gory macho slugfest retread, but after seeing the trailer, it actually has some humor in it. It's the second film directed by writer/director Leigh Whannell (co-creator of the SAW and INSIDIOUS films with fellow co-creator writer/director James Wan):

L.A. Times----Review of UPGRADE
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Joined: Oct 24 2004, 05:57 PM

Jun 2 2018, 05:42 PM #4736

I've seen UPGRADE and actively disliked it. It seemed like a reprise of ideas from cyberpunk, Terry Gilliam, Christopher Nolan, and there is tons of gore - that didn't bother me in and of itself, but it's not put to imaginative or purposeful use either. It was shot in Australia, but I think the main cast is American and the setting is a generic near-future city where everyone speaks with an American accent. The actress who played the maid in GET OUT gets a fairly substantial supporting role, which I was glad to see.
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Kim Greene
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Jun 9 2018, 09:24 AM #4737

The DIA just kicked off its brand spanking new exhibit, "Star Wars And The Power Of Costume", and they're going to be showing mostly old-school sci-fi classics for free during daylight hours as a tie-in with it. Ironically, they couldn't get a single STAR WARS film to show due to rights issues with Lucasfilm, and they were just about to show 20001:A SPACE ODYSSEY before it got yanked to be shown for a 50th anniversary showing at the Redford Theatre. Here's a nice little article on it:

The Freep----Sc-fi classics invade the DIA, along with the SW Exhibit
Last edited by Kim Greene on Jul 1 2018, 03:02 AM, edited 1 time in total.
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Kim Greene
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Jun 17 2018, 04:55 AM #4738

I just recently started watching a horror host TV show from Chicago that shows and spoofs old-time horror films called Svengoolie on the MeTV channel----hosted by Rick Koz, who plays the Svengoolie character, with his wisecracking rubber chicken sidekick. I'd never heard of the program, but it's been on for many years---here's some history on it:

Wikipedia----Svengoolie show history

Since I started watching the show over a month ago, I've seen the original BLOB, finally saw MR. SARDONICUS, saw the classic 20 MILLION MILES TO EARTH again, and a film I'd never heard of called MAN-MADE MONSTER (1941) starring Lon Chaney as a guy who gets experimented on by a mad scientist (Lionel Atwill) doing electrical experiments with the human body. (I only caught the film halfway through.) When said guy is about to get executed in the electric chair for murder, he absorbs the currents from the chair,and becomes a living, breathing electrical current with glowing face and hands. He escapes from the jail with the warden as a hostage,and wanders the countryside scaring the hell out of folks,naturally. Looked up info on the film, and found out that it was Lon Chaney's first starring role in a horror film, and it actually led to his getting his classic role in THE WOLF MAN (which was also directed by MAN-MADE MONSTER's director, George Waggoner, who ended his career directing some of the best TV shows of the 1960s---the last one being BATMAN.) Here's the film---all 59 minutes of it:


MAN MADE MONSTER (1941)---Lon Chaney horror flick
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Kim Greene
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Jul 1 2018, 04:43 AM #4739

Just heard that sci-fi author Harlan Ellison passed away at the age of 83. He was known for his books and TV work---he wrote two of the best episodes for the original THE OUTER LIMITS---"Demon With A Glass Hand", and "Soldier", which was the inspiration for THE TERMINATOR (it took a lawsuit against James Cameron and the makers of the film to get that acknowledged,though) and his novel A BOY AND A DOG was turned into what became a cult film. He had a rep for being crazy and combative as hell when it came to his work---and just plain crazy, period, which he admitted to in a People magazine article back in the '80s. I was never into his work, but I'd heard of him and saw him on TV once hosting something---can't recall what. I also recall that back in the '90s and '00's, he also had a rep for inappropriate behavior with women at comic book conventions, and the one on the panel with him in those pre-#MeToo times, and that one of the women there (a fellow author, I think) said she knew how to handle him, because there had been complaints about said behavior, but of course it was brushed off as just Ellison being himself (aka no big deal.) Here's some stuff about him, as well a tribute to him on IMDB:

Harlan Ellison at IMDB (looking tired in old photo)

Here's an article about how Ellison wrote what's considered to be the best episode of STAR TREK, and why he couldn't stand it,of course, after it had been rewritten (it also mentions his unwanted groping of a female author at a con) by Gene Roddenberry:

Vox---Harlan Ellison wrote STAR TREK's greatest episode. He hated it.
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Joined: Oct 24 2004, 05:57 PM

Jul 1 2018, 01:27 PM #4740

I've heard that Ellison was a brilliant short short writer - his story "I Have No Mouth But I Must Scream" has been particularly recommended to me - but I've never read any of his work. Somehow posted a piece he wrote where he says he started shouting at the screen 2/3rds of the way through Brian De Palma's BLOW OUT because he couldn't stand the film's misogyny on Twitter. Kinda ironic considering the reports that he groped women's breasts without their permission at sci-fi-fi cons. 
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