Sunday, October 23, 2016

Shocktober '16 #2

Witching and Bitching

Pretty typical Alex de la Iglesias hyper-confection of comedy, horror and action. It's never meant to take itself seriously and, judging by the 4-5 other Iglesias films I've seen, he fancies himself a sort of Spanish John Waters. There are a few scares in this heist-film-turned horror when a group of bank robbers (with one of the men's young son in tow) run into a coven of witches intent on eating them. Compared to "Day of the Beast", this one is definitely more interested in the wham-bam aesthetic.

Return of the Evil Dead

In the second film of four "Blind Dead" entries, more isn't better. In fact, after the quasi-fun of seeing the first 'skeletor' Knights Templar exacting revenge from the grave, "Return of the Evil Dead" is pretty lackluster in every facet this time around. I think the same footage of the undead rising from their graves is used here, which reveals alot of the motivation and creativity involved.


After the unmitigated success of their international shocker, "Inside" (2007), which still ranks as one of the best horror films of the last 25 years for me, the sky was the limit for French filmmaking duo Julian Maury and Alexndre Bustillo. "Livid" is that follow-up and while it's not the violent masterpiece of their debut effort, it is a spellbinding exercise whose scattershot ellipses to black and perfectly attuned atmosphere feel like someone breathlessly whispering a gothic fairy tale into your ear. It's also the home-invasion-turned-horror-house that Fede Alvarez's "Don't Breathe" so desperately wanted to be. It's calm mixture of gory shock, palpable dread and wisps of the fantastic all add up to a hugely satisfying and underrated horror flick, barely released here in the States and still only available on a Region 2 DVD. Seek this one out.

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