Wednesday, 10 June 2015

It Follows

"It Follows" (2015, David Robert Mitchell, Animal Kingdom, Northern Lights Films, Two Flints) is a smart horror that teaches us a lesson about having sex with people we barely know...

We open with a pretty brutal scene and it is just perfect and really grabs viewer attention.

The hue of the film and the way that scenes are lit is very 70s and early 80s horror retro, the styling and camera work are captivating and the score is an awesome concoction of Halloween-style nostalgia mixed with suspense. Stylistically this film is really attention grabbing and I enjoyed watching it, not due to plot, but for the experience. It was like finding an old film reel in your attic and watching it alone.

The plot is pretty simple. Jay (Maika Monroe) is a college student in Michigan. She enjoys paddling in her outdoor pool and hanging out with her sister and her friends. She's seeing a new guy called Hugh and she doesn't know much, if anything, about him. Jay, of course, doesn't care about that and the two wind up going at it like bunnies in his car on a very strange date.

As it happens, 'Hugh', has actually just given Jay a spooky sexually transmitted disease and now the creepy thing that always follows him is now following her. It's slow moving, can look like anyone and it just wants to kill her. And, in an almost Ring like fashion, the only way to get rid of it is to pass it on to someone else... via sexy, naked fun.

The film is well made and spooky as hell. While there is some quality gore now and again, the main fear comes from the haunting itself, and the feeling of dread is perfectly captured and built upon through the 'demon' as it unhaltingly stalks its prey. It's also a nod to the old horror trope: have sex, get dead.

My only flaw with this film is that the last act takes a while to come to a head. I suppose that this is done purposefully, but I did feel like a lot of running in circles was going on.

But, I have to take my hat off for this film, it is truly a work of horror art and has certainly made its mark in the genre!

[Image: Animal Kingdom, et al]

Sunday, 7 June 2015

The New York Ripper

"The New York Ripper" (aka "Lo squartatore di New York", 1982, Lucio Fulci, Fulvia Film) is an Italian giallo film based in New York. It was also the subject of much censorship and banning.

I'm visiting NYC soon for my first trip there, so naturally, my first line of research into the city is to watch an Italian made slasher film. I'm sure it's very representative... Ok, no. At least I hope not!

So this film is chalk full of prostitutes, burnt out detectives, scantily clad young ladies, mental old ladies and mysterious slasher killers speaking like Donald Duck, only more psychotic. There's not much in the way of plot and pretty much every second scene is NSFW due to nudity, sexual acts... etc...

A strange film which is all about the (hopefully exaggerated) older, sleazier side of New York's culture. Fulci shows unflinching scenes of attacks on women by his deranged killer with some truly gross effects. Usually, this would not phase me, but the film is possibly just a little too sleazy for me. It's not an enjoyable gross-out-fest, it's just a bit uncomfortable to watch.

The cartoony voice does serve its purpose, that of making this film memorable, but on the whole it kind of negates any threat the killer had. Essentially, we are just lurching from kill to kill at a slow, drunken pace whilst our detective goes down all the wrong paths on his investigation.

Not the best example of Fulci's work.

[Image: Fulvia Film]