Blog Books Websites Film/Video/Animation CGI Logos/Brands/Print Architecture/Design Drawing/Photography books Home Send Email

Category: Horrorthon Reviews

(1990) ***** Once again I’m going back into previous decades and watching material that, as much as any other reaction, astonishes me with how much time has passed—not just as evidenced by the old cars and clothes and haircuts and cell phones on the movie screen (that looked totally modern and up-to-date at the time; […]

165 comments  » Read the rest

(1999) ***** From the moment the “Haxan Films” logo comes onto the screen, I’m hooked—I’m plunged back into an utterly unique cinematic mood; a blend of mundanity and dread, of ugly visual noise and fleeting, nearly transcendental beauty that can only mean one movie: The Blair Witch Project (1999). The “haxan” logo gets me because […]

4 comments  » Read the rest

(2010) ** I don’t know what can be done about movies like Shutter Island, because there’s no getting rid of them — they occupy one corner of the horror movie game board as permanently as low-budget splatterfests occupy another. As long as people get involved in the intellectual implications of scare stories (like, on blogs […]

5 comments  » Read the rest

2010-01-11 :: Jordan // Horrorthon Posts + Horrorthon Reviews
Avatar

A whole bunch of stupefied guys who just saw Avatar (2009) ** [UPDATED BELOW] 1) I didn’t like AvatarI didn’t like Avatar. However I am not here to start a fight. I’m not indignant or resentful or marginalized or offended or anything like that. I just didn’t like it…I found it dull. My posting here […]

15 comments  » Read the rest

2009-12-22 :: Jordan // Horrorthon Posts + Horrorthon Reviews
Silent Hill

(2006) **** If you drew a straight line from The Matrix to Dark City and then extended the line along the same axis, you’d eventually hit Silent Hill, French director Christophe Ganz’ feverishly obsessive cinematic rendering of the acclaimed computer game series of the same name. This odd, grisly, beautiful movie was a box-office disappointment […]

378 comments  » Read the rest

2009-12-13 :: Jordan // Horrorthon Posts + Horrorthon Reviews
Near Dark

(1987) ** Horrorthon ’09 is “officially” over (and I’ve already done my summation), so I don’t feel compelled to do a particularly circumspect job on this flick. I wasn’t even going to review it, except I’m a little bit irritated because I feel like every time I turn around these days I’m dealing with James […]

13 comments  » Read the rest

2009-10-31 :: Jordan // Horrorthon Posts + Horrorthon Reviews
The Jacket

(2005) ** Let’s get one thing absolutely straight from the outset: I watched this movie for one reason and one reason only (and the more alert amongst Horrorthon readers have probably already figured out what that reason is). In one of his commentary tracks, writer-director Nicholas Meyer (who had nothing to do with this movie) […]

4 comments  » Read the rest

(1978) * This is really just shooting fish in a barrel, since this movie is such complete garbage, but I have to do it anyway because I’m puzzled and troubled by a surrounding set of phenomena that seem to have some bearing on the broader questions concerning literary vs. cinematic horror, adaptations, suspense plotting, and […]

10 comments  » Read the rest

(1988) **** This was a problematic movie for me, because of exactly the “remake” issues that have been discussed elsewhere on Horrorthon. There are two versions of The Vanishing: the acclaimed 1988 Dutch original and a not-particularly-well-regarded American 1993 remake. Two decades later, the consensus about today’s Hollywood remakes of foreign horror movies is that […]

4 comments  » Read the rest

(2007) ** This movie diminished in my estimation with each passing scene, so that my prediction of the rating I would give slipped from four-star to three-star to two-star over the course of its (brief) running length. It’s too bad, because writer/director Juan Carlos Fresnadillo and the other filmmakers clearly wanted to follow respectfully in […]

8 comments  » Read the rest

(1997) ** [NOTE: The following was written in 1997, after my first viewing of Alien Resurrection, and sent by email to several of my friends. Since it’s twelve years old, it hardly counts as a Horrorthon review; still, it might have some relevance.] I suppose this is as good an opportunity as any to discuss […]

4 comments  » Read the rest

(2008) *** When in Rome… This isn’t really my cup of tea, but it definitely delivers the goods, and I have to give the movie full credit for achieving exactly what it sets out to do, and then some. I had a great time, and I admire the intentions and the technique, but I can’t […]

12 comments  » Read the rest

(2007) **** I’m told that the box-office failure of Hostel Part II was the main reason that the “gore-nograpy” sub-genre failed (except for the endlessly-lucrative Saw franchise). This is both a shame and a mystery, because Part II is as surprisingly innovative and remarkable as Hostel (2005) (which I liked), perfectly extending and repeating its […]

7 comments  » Read the rest

2009-10-10 :: Jordan // Horrorthon Posts + Horrorthon Reviews
Quarantine

(2008) **** At what point does a trend in the arts become a full-fledged sub-genre or even a “movement”? Manifestos can be written (the Bauhaus; Dada; Dogma) or critics can invent names for what they see (like Clement Greenberg coining “Abstract Expressionism” in the ‘Fifties). I’m not sure whether I’m looking at a trend, or […]

14 comments  » Read the rest

2009-10-08 :: Jordan // Horrorthon Posts + Horrorthon Reviews
The Omen

(1976) ** In 2006, when the remake of The Omen was released on June 6th (and titled The Omen 666, just in case anybody missed the point), the reviews argued that there was no reason to remake the “classic” Omen beyond the 6/6/6 date gimmick; the consensus seemed to be that the original was a […]

8 comments  » Read the rest

(2008) **** The Strangers is on the opposite end of the horror spectrum from Hostel. It’s pure atmosphere, pure style. As I wrote below, a movie like Hostel works on multiple levels, employing complex storytelling techniques to convey political and philosophical overtones (in the great tradition of Halloween and Dawn of the Dead). The Strangers […]

15 comments  » Read the rest

2009-10-07 :: Jordan // Horrorthon Posts + Horrorthon Reviews
Hostel

(2005) **** This is a very impressive and very interesting movie. It’s quite different from what I had anticipated; it’s cleverer and more sophisticated than its plain, flat presentation suggests. I had certain expectations because of the controversial “gorenography”/”gore porn” labels that got attached to the Hostel and Saw franchises; since I’ve seen three of […]

13 comments  » Read the rest

I don’t really have the goods for the whole Horrorthon routine on this one. In fact, everything about this post is completely half-assed: I haven’t really seen the movie in question; I haven’t read to see if anyone else here reviewed it; I’m not planning on saying very much anyway; It’s not quite worth uploading […]

4 comments  » Read the rest

2008-02-03 :: Jordan // Horrorthon Posts + Horrorthon Reviews
Cloverfield

2008 (*****) (NO SPOILERS WHATSOEVER) Wow. I’ve been home for about half an hour and the adrenaline’s finally starting to abate — walking out of the theater, I was practically shaking with cathartic nervous anxiety, which, in my opinion, is how you should feel walking out of a horror movie: like somebody who just got […]

10 comments  » Read the rest

They’re coming to get you, Barbara! 1968 (*****) How can a movie this bad be this good? The last two entries in my “Masterpiece Series” (Alien, The Exorcist) are premier examples of big-budget, Oscar-winning, meticulous Hollywood artistry and craftsmanship with A-list actors, groundbreaking special effects and some of the most renowned and accomplished photography, sound […]

8 comments  » Read the rest

1973 (*****) Nominated for ten Academy Awards (including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actress, Best Supporting Actor) and awarded two (Best Sound, Best Adapted Screenplay), The Exorcist cannot reasonably be excluded from any “Masterpiece Series.” This was a truly revolutionary horror movie, the first legitimate ‘blockbuster” of the genre as well as […]

16 comments  » Read the rest

2007-10-14 :: Jordan // Horrorthon Posts + Horrorthon Reviews
Alien

You still don’t understand what you’re dealing with, do you? A perfect organism. Its structural perfection is matched only by its hostility. I admire its purity: a survivor, unclouded by conscience, remorse or delusions of morality. 1979 (*****) This movie is perfect. It is flawless. (Actually it has one flaw; see below.) As I continue […]

10 comments  » Read the rest

2007-10-10 :: Jordan // Horrorthon Posts + Horrorthon Reviews
Psycho

You know what I think? I think that we’re all in our private traps, clamped in them, and none of us can ever get out. We scratch and claw, but only at the air, only at each other, and, for all of it, we never budge an inch. NORMAN BATES 1960 (*****) My Horrorthon “Masterpiece […]

20 comments  » Read the rest

1978 (*****) If I was going to do a Horrorthon “Masterpiece Edition” series this movie would definitely be in it. It’s simply one of the best there ever was. I wasn’t necessarily going to review this but ac made a comment on my Invasion review Tuesday, suggesting that there might be some interest in that […]

10 comments  » Read the rest

2007 (***) This movie flopped completely about two months ago (it only made $5 million). Which means that almost nobody will ever see it, ever…which is a shame. Am I recommending it? Not as such. Is it “bad”? We’ll get into that below. The important consideration here is that this is the real thing — […]

9 comments  » Read the rest

Well, this was the dessert course that nobody expected, wasn’t it? A big slice of cappucino cheesecake sent over compliments of the chef and on the house—with brandy, espresso and a Cuban cigar. Yeah. For me, these zombie movies turned out to be a roundabout re-introduction to what makes right now, the present moment, such […]

14 comments  » Read the rest

2006-11-21 :: Jordan // Horrorthon Posts + Horrorthon Reviews
Saw II

Very clever indeed. This definitely kept me guessing until the end, and (unlike its predecessor) was put together with a cinematic flair that actually justified a lot of its more garish features (like those stacatto montages that octopunk complained about so hilariously). I’m glad somebody decided to just write James Wan a check, thank him […]

7 comments  » Read the rest

The zombies are better. There’s no question about that. Day started very strong, with the helicopter-level view of the blasted-out landscape and the much-improved zombies staggering around. The subsequent portion introducing the setup in the underground base was intriguing and suspenseful, and the mad doctor trying to “domesticate” the zombies (having tacitly given up on […]

7 comments  » Read the rest

(1976) **** Okay, here we go with another HORRORTHON entry: “The Bringers of Wonder”, a two part episode of Space: 1999. Not suitable for Horrothon, you say? Nonsense! This is two hours of pure fear! Take it from me. (If it were merely an ordinary single episode of Space: 1999, of course, I wouldn’t dream […]

9 comments  » Read the rest