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Dune (2021)

We’ve both read the trilogy, we’ve seen the original movie (diected by David Lynch), I’ve played the video game on Commodore Amiga (one of my favourite, even though I’m not into RTS) and my nickname – Sardoken – is a derivative of Sardaukar, the elite military force of the emperor.

There was no way that we would miss Dune on the big screen!

My first advice is: if you’re a fan of Frank Herbert or of Science-Fiction in general, watch this movie at the theatre. The amazing images and the otherworldly music of Hans Zimmer make for an amazing spectacle that deserves to be seen on a huge screen.

My second advice is: if you know someone who has something negative to say about Dune… You know, the kind who always finds something that he would have done better… Turn your back and walk away from him/her. This movie is incredible and nitpickers should be ignored.

Dune is a very complex story and Villeneuve’s adaptation doesn’t sacrifice the impressive detail of Frank Herbert’s original vision.

I could have used a picture of Rebecca Ferguson for the post, she is awesome as Lady Jessica. But even her couldn’t steal the show from the real star of the movie: the worms of Arakis.

The Call (2020)

In the fall of 1987, a group of small-town friends must survive the night in the home of a sinister couple after a tragic accident brings them to the couple’s door. (source: IMDB)

A bunch of teens at a street fair in the 80’s, it all started so well… Then begins the revenge game of a couple of old (what are they even?) witches. One slow scene after another, until we became restless in the couch, fighting not to fall asleep. We made it until the end but we won’t make it again, this post will make sure of it.

The Mortuary Collection (2019)

An eccentric mortician recounts several macabre and phantasmagorical tales that he’s encountered in his distinguished career. (Source: IMDB)

There are 2 things that I really enjoyed in The Mortuary Collection: the voice of Clancy Brown and the aesthetics of the movie.

Unfortunately, the stories told by the mortician were too unsurprising. With such a setting, it could have been much better, if only the tales wouldn’t have such a feeling of deja-vu.

Spontaneous (2020)

Imagine this: you’re sitting in a classroom, falling asleep on the monotonous tone of your teacher’s voice when the girl in front of you suddenly explodes, for absolutely no reason. Later, another kid from school follows the same fate, then another and you might be next.

There’s something incredibly creepy in waiting for a death that may or may not come, in an hour or in a day. Ineluctability is one of human’s greatest fear. When each moment might be the last, everything has to happen now, especially love.

We were afraid to watch a modern teen romantic comedy. Fortunately, the movie didn’t become over corny, probably thanks to the excellent performance of Katherine Langford (13 reasons why) who’s mostly portraying very unlucky teens. I wish that she’d never age, so she could save many more teen movies.

Vacancy (2007)

Illustration by Ruth Gwily.

A married couple becomes stranded at an isolated motel and finds hidden video cameras in their room. They soon realise that unless they escape, they’ll be the next victims of a snuff film. (Source: IMDB)

Another underrated gem, perfect for a Saturday evening. The tension is built through the first 20 minutes of the movie and it doesn’t let go until its conclusion. The casting is great. As usual, Kate Beckinsale is fantastic and Frank Whaley plays a really good freak.

The advertising strategy for the film made use of a toll-free phone number. The number was made to sound as if one is actually calling the Pinewood Motel. In the background, screaming can be heard accompanying the voice of the proprietor, who informs callers about “slashing” prices and the “killer” deals that the motel has, if it has a vacancy. (Source: IMDB)

The Happening

When nature strikes, humanity doesn’t stand a chance. This time, the threat isn’t a tornado or a volcano, but a toxin released by the plants. It has two effects: it pushes humans to kill themselves and it makes actors play bad.

However, if you don’t mind a bad scenario, a lot of mistakes (like Zooey Deschanel suddenly changing outfit even though they didn’t bring anything with them) and a super awkward acting, you’ll maybe make it until the end… After all, it’s only 90 minutes. This movie is the evidence the M. Night Shyamalan doesn’t make only good movies.

Trivia: We watched The Happening while we were both experiencing hay fever, which made it even weirder.

Friday The 13th: The Final Chapter (1984)

The title is deceptive because the franchise actually counts 12 movies (why go that far and not making a 13th?).

Like Part III, the film was originally supposed to be the final installment in the series. It’s not entirely bad, it even has a few good parts, especially those with Corey Feldman and Crispin Glover’s dance scene. However, this is where our full rerun ends. If I remember well, the next chapters are not worth watching, unless you’re a hardcore fan, or you’re really bored.

Friday The 13th II (1981)

Jason’s mum is dead, and Camp Crystal Lake is shut down, but a camp next to the infamous place hosts a counselor-in-training program.

Let’s get this out of the way: starting a movie with a recap from the previous chapter is bad and useless. With that in mind, I already enjoyed the start of the movie much less than the original. As for the rest, I wish that I could keep in mind that it was 1981 and that slashers were a brand new genre… Unfortunately, I can’t. I write this post in 2021 and I’ve seen a lot of better movies since then. I can’t erase 40 years of horror just to write an objective piece.

The second part of Friday The 13th is not horrible but it isn’t good either, the new camp crew is boring, the kills are uninventive and unentertaining and the end is unsatisfying. This sequel is like its vilain, ever-decomposing and always returning to screw something that was fun.

Friday The 13th (1980)

Summer is here, the perfect time for a complete rerun of Friday the 13th… So, for more than 2 months, we’re going to rewatch a movie of the franchise every Saturday night. We started last week-end with the first instalment from 1980.

“In 1957, a young boy named Jason drowns in a lake near Camp Crystal Lake. The next year, two counselors are murdered. In 1980, a descendant of the original owners reopens Camp Crystal Lake with some counselors’ help. The counselors gets killed one by one by a mysterious person. Could it be Jason, out for revenge?” (source: IMDB)

This movie is a legend. It’s Friday the 13th before Jason Voorhees, it’s the first “ki ki ki ma ma ma”… After so many years of being a fan, I’ve just only read on Reddit that “ki ki ki ma ma ma” is meant to resemble Jason’s voice saying “kill kill kill, mom mom mom” in Mrs. Voorhees’ mind.

Even if the original Friday the 13th is not the first slasher ever made, since the movie is widely inspired by John Carpenter’s Halloween (and the movie Meatballs), it is the first slasher ever made where people get murdered while on vacations in the wild.

The movie nears perfection in many ways: the setting is amazing (Camp Crystal Lake, the first), the sex scenes, the booze, the stupid friend, the uninterrupted rhythm of the action, the absence of drama, the soundtrack, the amount of gore… In short, it is the perfect template for a slasher.

Friday the 13th is not only a genre defining movie, it is also at the top of our all-time favourite horror movies list.

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