#284- Häxan

Quick recap: A documentary-ish about Witchcraft through the ages

Don't feed after midnight

Don’t feed after midnight

Fun (?) fact: Director Benjamin Christensen originally planned on writing the script with the help of experts but dropped that idea when he learned they were against his movie.

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My thoughts: Another year of HorrorFest is in the books and another year where I still think the 1920s were a pretty creepy time. Häxan alone didn’t do much for me because ‘meh’ on witches, but people dressed UP as witches, no thank you. I’m not talking about the sexy kind we have walking around these days, but the ones with dead eyes featured in this film.

Häxan is half dry documentary about the history of witchcraft and half stories that the director heard. The dry documentary part was more interesting to me than the vignettes because people a long time ago imagined some pretty scary stuff. I’m all for science and learning how the world works, but sometimes it would just be nice to blame things on witches, you know? Like, it’s not my fault I didn’t get grades on time- my witch is a neighbor! I was going 30 mph over the speed limit because a witch cursed my foot. It works in every situation. We make jokes how stupid people back then used to be but they sure were the masters of shirking responsibility.

The vignettes are your typical witch fare of curses and making weird brews in a big pot. One ‘fact’ the director wanted us to remember is that witches like to kiss the butt of the devil. He mentions it 3 different times, complete with recreations of a bunch of witches lined up, ready to literally kiss ass. It seems like such a weird thing to focus on, as if that is the most offensive thing witches do. I didn’t know that was a thing before the movie, however, so I can’t completely hate on it. The more you know, I suppose.

Final review: 1/5. I’m still ‘meh’ on witches, but please don’t make me look at people dressed up during Halloween in the 1920s.

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Up next: The Wizard of Oz

 

#282- Eraserhead

Quick recap: Poor Henry can’t catch a break on vacation- his girlfriend leaves him to care for their new mutant baby and he has a terrible time of it. Luckily, he has his weird neighbor to keep him company as well as a girl in the radiator.

Mondays, am I right??

Mondays, am I right??

Fun (?) fact: Director David Lynch has been cryptic about the origin of the mutant baby- everything from it being a calf fetus to something having been born nearby.

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My thoughts: Here’s a fun tip for all you cinephiles out there- do NOT watch anything of David Lynch’s body of work when you are alone in a hotel room. Trust me on this. What makes it worse is that I know what a Lynch film is capable of doing to me and I STILL went through with it. This is why I can’t have nice things.

No, I have no clue what this movie is about or what the symbolism means. David Lynch has said that it is a very personal film for him and if so, I’m really worried. It’s hard to pick the most wtf moment- when the mutant baby got sick, the whole chicken carving scene, when Henry’s girlfriend kept birthing (?) little alien worms which he then proceeded to throw against the wall? All of them traumatized me in their own special way. At the same time, I couldn’t look away. There were times I had to remind myself to blink because no matter what, I had to see what horrible thing would pop up next. It’s rubbernecking in the most extreme sense.

There is a part of me that thinks even David Lynch doesn’t know why he did what he did. At times, it just seems like he cobbled together all of the weird dreams he probably has and put them on film so we could suffer too. Maybe he is hoping someone, somewhere can find meaning and interpret what is a very active subconscious. That person isn’t me, though. After the movie ended, I could clearly hear girls in the next room laughing just like the mutant baby at the end of the film. I jumped off of the bed, threw on clothes, ran downstairs and sat in the sunlight for a few minutes, thankful that here, David Lynch’s imagination can’t hurt me.

dude has a thing for checkered floors. Someone should explore that.

dude has a thing for checkered floors. Someone should explore that.

Final review: I feel like I should give this a made up number like eleventeen but in the end, I’ll stick with 4/5

Up next: HORRORFEST is sadly drawing to a close

 

#277- Nosferatu

Quick recap: Nosferatu is just a vampire doing vampire things.

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‘the death ship had a new captain’- If that’s not the most emo title for a song, I don’t know what is

Fun (?) fact: The creature the guests at the inn called a werewolf was actually a hyena. I knew it! Also, I have many questions as to how it was easier to get a hyena than a wolf.

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You’re a vampire, buddy. Stop being a creeper and go bit that neck. 

My thoughts: Welcome to Horrorfest 2016, where I watch only horror films from my list. I saw Funny Games a few years ago during this time so I don’t think I’ll be traumatized much this year, but you never know. Nosferatu, unfortunately, wasn’t scary but it’s such a classic that I didn’t really mind.

I got a chance to watch Nosferatu at the Drafthouse with a live band that wrote an original score. Yes, it was as badass as you imagine it could be. I’ve had the pleasure of watching a few silent films at the theater now, and each time it makes me wish I could watch all films this way. Sitting on my couch, even with the lights off, wouldn’t have made Nosferatu creepy but when there is a haunting score complete with creepy whispering, it really turned the mood into something more sinister.

Nosferatu as a character didn’t scare me in the slightest. In fact, I kind of felt sorry for him because he was so weird looking. His teeth reminded me more of a rabbit than vampire and the way he moved just made him seem like an old guy with really poor social skills, especially the scene of him running around town with his coffin full of dirt. It was then that he seemed more scamp than menacing vampire.

The concept of Nosferatu stuck with me long after the movie was over. There was something so haunting about evil moving into a town that had no idea what was about to happen and powerless to stop it. It reminded me a little of the recent Ebola outbreaks in villages and how neighbors just had to sit back and watch as death consumed the people they loved. This may be a vampire story, but the idea sure isn’t.

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Final review: 4/5. Next time, less bunny teeth and I’ll be more scared.

Up next: more Horrorfest!

 

#269- The Princess Bride

Quick recap: A classic fairy tale kings, queens, knights, pirates and Billy Crystal.

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Fun (?) fact: Cary Elwes, who played Westley, later continuing his stunning actor career by playing the villain in Twister. Yes, there was a villain. No, it wasn’t the tornado. OR WAS IT?

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Jonas! Why didn’t you just listen to Bill Paxton? WHYYYYY??

My thoughts: Before I start the review, let me make a couple of points: 1 being that I didn’t watch The Princess Bride until I was an adult and 2 yes I do have a sense of humor and anyways, my mom thinks I’m hilarious so isn’t that all that really matters in the end?

As you probably already guessed, I didn’t really care for this movie. It’s not to say I didn’t like it or that I thought it wasn’t very good. I mostly just don’t get the cult following it has. The local Alamo Drafthouse does Princess Bride quote-alongs often, at almost the same frequency as Monty Python and the Holy Grail, which is just downright silly to me. I was entertained but not to the point that I would watch this 20 times in a row and then squeal with delight every time someone made a reference to the movie.

I truly feel like I’m being unfair to this movie, having only seen it as a jaded, cold-hearted adult. My six year old loved it, so to me, The Princess Bride did its job. He cracks up every time he hears the ‘My name is Inigo Montoya’ quote and it’s not hard for me to imagine him one day growing up and watching a midnight screening at a local movie theater to bring back all those good childhood memories. As for me? I thought it was a sweet movie and creative, and yes, even funny sometimes, but ultimately, a little out of my age range. Sorry.

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Final review: 3/5

Up next: Happiness