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the telethon runner

I watch TV and write about it. Sometimes I watch movies too.

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horror

Overrated movies: The Witch

It’s not often that I watch a movie that profoundly scares, upsets or disturbs me, but which is a tough one to recommend. Such was the case with Requiem For A Dream, for instance: I watched it alone, at night, in my dorm room, and it stayed with me for weeks. Although not a horror flick per se, it terrified me far more than any monster or haunted house movie ever could, because in the case of Requiem, the horror factor was all too real. It’s not for everyone, therefore I wouldn’t be quick to recommend it to a lot of people, unless they have the stomach for it.

Torture porn movies are also famously hard to recommend, even to a horror fan, because I realize not everyone shares my tolerance for gore. Yes, they fit the bill in that they’re scary, but they’re also quite disgusting, and a far cry from the type of horror flicks that seem to top ‘best of’ lists, such as The Babadook, Insidious, The Conjuring and every type of paranormal activity movie that usually leaves me cold. (The one exception to the rule was The Blair Witch Project, and only because of the is-this-real-or-not hype surrounding its original release).

All of this is by way of explaining that, for me, what classifies a movie as ‘horror’, or at least good horror, is quite subjective.

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Gerald’s Game

It’s been a big summer for Mr Stephen King, hasn’t it? With It racking up rave reviews left and right, Mr Mercedes about to wrap up its first season, and now Gerald’s Game out on Netflix, it seems the King of Horror can do no wrong these days.

I’ve yet to see It (it was just released this week in these parts) and I’m holding off to binge-watch Mr Mercedes, but I did just see Gerald’s Game, and it didn’t disappoint.

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Summer Roundup part 2: movies

Alright, we’ve done books and TV, now let’s dive into this random assortment of movies; there’s no rhyme or reason to this selection, other than it focuses on (mostly) recent films, so without further ado, here’s what I watched this summer:

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Split

Every time there’s buzz around a movie, I promise myself I won’t give in to the hype. And every time I get sucked in.

M. Night Shyamalan’s Split was no exception. No matter what kind of drivel the man has produced since The 6th Sense, it seems like the world keeps hoping that he’ll finally come up with something to equal the well-deserved success of his breakout film.

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Get Out

The problem with tremendous hype around a movie is that, when you finally get to see for yourself what the fuss is all about, your expectations are inevitably sky-high. Having been subjected to rave reviews of the movie, ranging from ‘sleeper hit’ (is it me or is that term thrown around excessively lately?) to ‘best horror picture‘ of the year, I went in fully expecting to be terrified by Jordan Peele’s feature film directorial debut.

What I got, instead, was his particular take on racist America, interspersed with humor and a few instances of horror towards the end of the movie.

Don’t get me wrong, I loved Get Out – just not for the reasons I felt I was supposed to. There was very little horror to contend with, and, in the end, its power was diminished by the message.

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The Autopsy of Jane Doe

Few things annoy me more than an over-hyped movie that doesn’t deliver; one of those things may just well be a critically praised movie that partly delivers only to let me down in the end, because it means I am already invested in a premise that appears original… and then Ι get sucker-punched by the most common of horror tropes.

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Train To Busan: best zombie movie ever?

I know I’m probably missing out on a lot of phenomenal films, but I usually steer clear of non-english-speaking films because I find subtitles too distracting and/or annoying. There are very few examples of Asian movies I’ve decided to bite and bullet and watch, such as the original Oldboy and Ringu, Battle Royal and Audition, all most of which I enjoyed (Audition was just too damn weird), but when everyone and their mother tout Train To Busan as the best zombie movie ever, I’m sure as hell not going to let a couple of lines of text get in the way of some good ol’ horror.

And let me tell you, I’m so glad I didn’t. Keep Reading!

The Neon Demon, aka worst movie of the year

Okay. So this one had a decent rating and was directed by Nicolas Winding Refn. It had a big-name cast, if not a slightly odd one – Elle Fanning, Christina Hendricks, Keanu Reeves, the guy who played Jack Bass on Gossip Girl, and the girl who played Joanna in the Hunger Games. It’s got a semi-interesting plot line – young pretty girl tries to make it as a model in L.A. but jealous bitches will do everything to get what she’s got.

I’ve seen movies that had much less going for them this year, but each and every one was better than the utter drivel that was the Neon Demon. I know, I know. The title alone should have tipped me off. But hell, I liked Drive, I liked Bronson, I (kinda) liked Only God Forgives; I thought Refn’s momentum and quasi-cult-following in recent years pretty much guaranteed a decent movie. Boy was I wrong.

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Captivity

Captivity is a slightly older movie (2007), but it sparked my curiosity when I read all the mixed reviews it had received, depending on which version of the movie audiences commented on. The original movie was more psychological thriller than horror, but the studio decided to milk the torture porn frenzy that was going on at the time (remember, these movies were at their peak in the mid-2000’s) and re-shot, re-cut and basically re-vamped the entire film.

I was unsure which version I was about to watch, which gave the experience an added level of suspense. It turned out to be the tamer version, which, judging from viewers’ descriptions of the added gory scenes, I was definitely not upset about.

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