Spacewocket

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)

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.

AHS 1984

Every Friday night we watch an episode of American Horror Story, I already loved the TV-show, but 1984 is amazing! We’ve skipped a few seasons only to watch this one, and it was worth it. Weirdly enough, season 9 got a lot of bad reviews. In my opinion, it’s one of the best seasons with such an electrifying 80’s vibe, it makes you want to plunge into the Camp Redwood bloodbath.

While it doesn’t fail to capitalise on Camp Crystal Lake references, Jason Voorhees, or the notorious serial killer Richard Ramirez, the TV-show is full of 1980’s nostalgia with a compelling story that keeps you engaged. You have to hand it to the creators, they’ve got it all right, from the aerobics-scenes, to the music (Kajagoogoo, Billy Idol, Greg Kihn,…), the fashion,… it’s a straight trip down memory lane. The opening credits alone are worth the watch:

Also, the casting is as great as always, among my favourite characters this season: Matthew Morrison (Trevor), Emma Roberts (Brooke), Billie Lourd (Montana), and Zach Villa (Richard Ramirez). The scenes have enough gore and horror to keep any slasher fan entertained, and has a somewhat happy and satisfying end. AHS 1984 is an instant add to our regular rerun list, now I only have to find it on blu-ray and we’re all set.

Army of the Dead

With the abandoned, walled city of Las Vegas overrun with zombies, after a disastrous government fault, the billionaire casino magnate, Bly Tanaka, realises that he has left something in Sin City: $200 million to be more precise. (source: IMDB)

We already had to run away from zombies, hide from zombies and even fight zombies… However, making a heist in a zombie infested Vegas, that is new.

I don’t know if it’s because we went in without any expectations, but we enjoyed Army of the Dead. Once again, I don’t understand the bad reviews, what do people expect? It’s a zombie movie from the 2020 era, do people really watch such a movie for its depth and character development? Does such a thing even still exists in cinema nowadays?

Anyway, we had a great Saturday evening following Dave Bautista and his team. Clearly, it isn’t an original Romero, but it does a good job at keeping the pace and delivering a new experience in the franchise. It actually makes me wanna do a complete rerun of all the “of the Dead” movies, maybe an idea for this year’s Halloween (if we don’t all turn into zombies after the vaccination).

Wolf Creek 2 (2013)

While trying to help a girl who’s running away from a killer, a young guy has to fight (and eventually participate in a quiz) to survive.

This sequel may be more gore and more violent, but it is also less enjoyable than the original. There’s a lot of dialogues, too much for a high tension slasher.

Warning: Spoilers below!

A lot of scenes are really good, but the rhythm of the movie is broken during the quiz scene. It was a good idea, but it takes too long for the captive to only lose a finger. Also, the end is disappointing. Spending so much time to capture the victim, only to release him with a note “you lose”?! It’s as if a porn movie would stop right before the final scene.

All in all, not a bad horror movie, just a disappointing sequel.

Wolf Creek (2005)

Three backpackers decide to have a road trip in the Australia outbacks. At some point, their car refuses to start and they are stranded in Wolf Creek. Later that night, a local approaches them and offers to repair their car. After a few hours towing in the dark Australian desert, they finally arrive at his place and fall asleep, only to wake up to their worst nightmare.

This time, no American hillbillies, it all happens in Australia. Naturally, we were a bit scared, Australian horror is often a hit or miss (and we witnessed more misses than hits). But Wolf Creek is great, it manages to replace the often goofy killer by a very creepy psychopath.

John Jaratt, well known in Australia at the time as the host of a gardening show, is a method actor and spent weeks living in the Australian desert preparing for the role of Mick Taylor. In addition he also avoided bathing before shooting so he would have a much more rugged appearance.

At one point during the shooting of the scene where Mick is torturing Kristy whilst Liz looks through the window, director Greg McLean wanted to get a shot of Cassandra’s POV, so he cleared the crew out of the shed in which the scene was being shot, leaving only the two actors inside. When he called action, they began playing the scene, however, after a minute, Mclean became convinced that Jarratt had gone too far and that Morassi’s cries for help were genuine. He burst into the shed only to find both actors stunned at the disruption. Morassi was fine – it had simply been the intensity of her performance which had fooled Mclean.

Unbeknown to the crew the abandoned mine where they chose to film had actually been the site of the real life murder of a woman. The filming prompted a protest from locals who erroneously thought the film was about those events.

A very eerie coincidence occurred for the second unit crew sent out to get footage of the Wolf Creek Crater. Since the location was many hours from any town the small crew decided to camp out in their car at the site after shooting. During the night a mysterious stranger showed up in a truck to investigate. The stranger indeed looked very much like the character of Mick Taylor, right down to the rustic truck. The stranger left, but the crew was so spooked that they drove an hour down the road before finally stopping to camp for the night. (source: IMDB)

Wolf Creek became Australia’s highest grossing R rated film with a box office achievements of $5,970,770.

I actually have a nephew who moved to Australia a few years ago… So, Thomas, if you read this, avoid the outbacks, don’t trust the locals and don’t drink their water.

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