Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Midnight Madness #1

V/H/S 2

 Even despite the extreme gimmicky nature of this particular horror anthology, the "V/H/S" franchise so far has been very entertaining. Part 2 is no different.... as a young private detective and his girlfriend break into a house searching for a missing man and discover a cache of weird tapes.... in which they unduly watch. Gaps in logic aside- such as why would one VHS tape feature subtitles???- part 2 is better than the first, its highpoint being Gareth Evans long middle section entitled "Safe Haven". What happens in this episode, as a journalism crew explores the inner workings of a cult in Singapore, goes from terrifying to insane and then just bat shit insane. It's a brilliant, deplorable, jaw dropping exercise in first person mayhem. If nothing else, V/H/S 2 may be my new favorite perennial horror film just because of this section.

The Gorgon

Hammer horror film that matches Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing as, basically, equal good guys for a change. In the village of Vandorf, people are dying and being turned to stone. There's talk of an evil entity stalking the nearby woods. Directed by the workmanlike Terence Fisher, "The Gorgon", like all the Hammer films, relies on atmosphere and blue/green mists to convey its sense of impending doom. This film has all that, and a Medusa-like demon. My unapologetic interest in the Medusa myth had me hooked at the beginning, but "The Gorgon" is also an old-fashioned treat.

Deadly Blessing

This 1981 slasher has a few things going for it: an early role for Sharon Stone, an early film by Wes Craven, and lots and lots of gooey, creepy crawling things to add an ick factor. Besides that, its story of Hittite (!) preacher Ernest Borgnine and the presence of young pretty girls in his supposed land is a rote effort. Although for someone like myself with an acute fear of spiders, this is probably the most terrifying film of the three!

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