Review Roundup - Masks and monsters

YOU'RE NEXT (2011)

Just I recently came across blog that offered an idea that I found particularly interesting, that John Carpenter was becoming someone of influence to new horror directors. Now as a fan of a lot of his films, in particular those with horror and science fiction elements this was a nice prospect. The release of his recent Lost Themes album, a project that showed some of his musical compositions that were never used on film struck a chord with me too, and as a film maker any kind of resurgence was something to look forward to. So with You're Next I was excited to see those influences being to materialise in a slasher plot with certain moments that were very Haddonfield, 1978. Even if the rest of the film will need some further examination.

Review Roundup - Satanic panic

HOUSE OF THE DEVIL (2009)

I often complain about the stylistic choices of films which intend to conjure up certain period visuals. A story set in the 1970s or the 80s will usually have a few bad hairdos and maybe attempt to thrown in some questionable tastes in fashion, but will fail to use the right kind of colours and visuals to really nail that illusion. Once in a while you get something that really fits though, and Ti West's atmospheric horror picture has a lot of that from the washed out look of things to the intro credits. It really adds to the tone, which is important for a plot of this kind where the homage ideas are clearly on show. But while the setup is excellent things take a few wrong turns towards the end, which I will get into.

Review Roundup - Nocturnal activity

NIGHTCRAWLER (2014)

There are some movies out there which are pretty twisted and dark but they still manage to make you root for the main characters at some point or another despite their lack of redeeming features. Nightcrawler is a lot like that. Comparisons to films like American Psycho may be a little unwarranted but it is something that crossed my mind during this, and it does have that uneasy feeling at times where you're following behind someone who is slowly going over the edge. While it rarely ventures into what could be considered black comedy, the way things play out as an off kilter version of the typical underdog story against the backdrop of morally lacking TV news does have that vibe about it. But it runs with that stock premise to deliver something a little different - and the central hero being so enigmatic and sinister is what brings this all together.