Weekly Roundup: June 1 – 6

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I’m one week into this crazy experiment and it seems to be going well. All told, I watched six movies:

  • Devil’s Pass (2013)
  • The House at the End of Time (2014)
  • Housebound (2014)
  • Poltergeist (1982)
  • Poltergeist (2015)
  • Suspiria (1977)

Of these six movies I would only give one a hard pass (Devil’s Pass… no pun intended). As for the other five, here’s where I rate them:

  • Worth Seeking Out (i.e. Worth Paying For): Housebound
  • Worth Watching via Free Streaming: The House at the End of Time, Poltergeist (1982), and Suspiria
  • Worth Watching on an International Flight or While Doing Work: Poltergeist (2015)
  • Worth Avoiding and Doing Something Better with Your Time: Devil’s Pass

I’m not sure what next week holds for me and, as I mentioned yesterday, I’ll probably be a bit light on movie watching for the next couple of days. However, later in the week I’m sure I’ll play a few more rounds of Netflix Roulette (even Devil’s Pass couldn’t scare me away), I’m thinking I might revisit The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and I may do a marathon of the Insidious movies. I’ll hopefully be doing the last one with a friend of mine, who, in general, is more forgiving of horror movies than I am. She thoroughly enjoyed the first Insidious, while I was less impressed… but more on that next week.

Lingering thought: The more I reflect on The House at the End of Time the more I think about The Orphanage. I had this feeling about halfway through watching the movie, but I didn’t include it in my original post because I thought it may be a bit reductionist. In other words, I was afraid that I was comparing the two simply because they were from Spanish speaking countries. Now, though, the more I think back on the film I feel that there are some legitimate parallels. I can’t really say what they are as they would give away key plot points (of both films), but if any of you have seen both I like to get your thoughts on this… am I crazy (not in general, because I already know I am, but crazy for seeing similarities between these two movies)?

That’s all for now. Until next week.

me

Random Thoughts: About Time

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So, for the past year or so, I’ve been having an internal (and external, to anyone who will listen) debate about how long a horror movie should be. I’ve been a firm believer of the 90 minute-or-less horror film. The pacing of a horror film is probably one of the trickiest things in filmmaking. As many critics have pointed out, there is a bit of a formula to horror-movie making. While most of us are not cognitively aware of this formula, I feel that anyone who has seen more than a few has at least a subconscious understanding of the major beats. This means two things. First, some of the best horror films are the ones that play around with these beats (which is probably why I enjoyed Housebound and The House at the End of Time). However, if you’re going to make a fairly straightforward horror film (I’m looking at you Devil’s Pass and Poltergeist (2015)) you better keep it short or else you risk people getting bored. So, please, try to keep it less than 90 minutes.

Those are my thoughts. I’d love to hear what you have to say about the length of horror films? Should they be longer (or shorter) than 90 minutes)? Can you think of any examples of straight forward horror movies that are longer than 90 minutes that you enjoyed?