Monday, June 29, 2015

Month in Review: June

Night of Fear (1972) – 01/06/2015 ★★★
An expose on the violence and depravity of a reclusive individual, driven by primitive desire and instinct. The absence of dialogue allow actions from the characters to steer the film's loose narrative to a somewhat chilling conclusion. This 50 minute slice of exploitation is worth seeing at least once; mainly for its influence on various classic titles, which is noticeably evident through the production design and main antagonist.

The Wild and Wonderful Whites of West Virginia (2009) – 07/06/15 ★★★
An insightful and unflattering portrait of an extended lower class family who have achieved notoriety for mostly all the wrong reasons. Despite being sadly caught in a cycle of unemployment, crime and addiction; the film celebrates their devotion and fierce loyalty to one another. The level of vulgarity on proud display will no doubt be a turn off for some viewers. However the many colourful antics from the various individuals shown, prove to be uniquely entertaining.

The Blob (1988) – 13/06/15 ★★★1/2
This remake of the 1958 classic is well adapted to its modern setting; utilising impressive special effects and graphic imagery to portray the ambiguous creature's malevolent nature. The director's love and appreciation for the original is very evident through the use of visual style, story and filming techniques. While there are a few plot clichés throughout the film in addition to disposable characters, it serves more as a feast for our eyes rather than our brain. Fans will no doubt agree that this creature-feature does justice to one of Hollywood's more unique movie monsters.

The Nightmare (2015) – 14/06/15 ★★1/2
The frightening condition of sleep paralysis is examined based on the shared experiences of eighth individuals. This documentary feature is executed quite poorly with its focus only on the personal experiences of the chosen subjects. The repetitive nature of their accounts in addition to the underwhelming re-enactments will likely leave viewers feeling bored and uninterested. Most disappointingly the extensive and cultural history behind the neurological phenomenon is only briefly explored.

Amityville II: The Possession (1982) – 20/06/15 ★★★
This highly fictitious account of the DeFeo family murders works surprisingly well as it plays on the notion of the house being haunted by an unseen demonic force. Numerous bizarre scenes and behaviour from the characters hold the viewer's attention, in addition to effective use of sound and practical effects. While performances vary amongst the cast, the emergence of the lead protagonist during the film's second half elevates it's from being just another run-of-the-mill horror sequel.

Session 9 (2001) – 28/06/15 ★★1/2
An ambiguous and thrilling horror/mystery which revolves around past acts of violence and the heavy burden of guilt; mirroring the history of an abandoned mental hospital. Its atmospheric setting combined with haunting photography and sound keep the viewing on edge, while pieces of the puzzle-like plot slowing fall into place. The video format in which the film is shot in addition to the overall low budget style bring a level of realism. Intensity between the different characters and the sense of isolation bring this underrated psychological horror feature to life.

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