Monday, October 25, 2021

Ayuda

Ayuda is a 2018 horror short film (11 1/2 minutes):

Sunday, October 24, 2021

The Rickety Lady

The Rickety Lady is a horror short film (2 1/2 minutes):

Saturday, October 23, 2021

The Damned Thing (Masters of Horror)

The Damned Thing, inspired by the Ambrose Bierce short story, is a 2006 episode of the Masters of Horror television series.

Friday, October 22, 2021

The Invitation

The Invitation is a 2016 horror film. I watched it on Netflix, but it looks like it's gone from there now. You can watch it on Tubi.

trailer:


The Guardian calls it an "elegant film that treats its audience like adults and gets the payoff it deserves." Roger Ebert's site says, "“The Invitation” is a dinner-party-from-hell scenario best served as unspoiled as possible. After all, a psychological thriller built upon slow-simmering tension is only as good as its surprises." Rotten Tomatoes has a critics consensus score of 88%.

Thursday, October 21, 2021

The Magician

The Magician is a 1958 film directed by Ingmar Bergman and starring Max von Sydow, Ingrid Thulin, Gunnar Björnstrand, and Bibi Andersson. Blending elements of psychological drama and horror, the film was distantly inspired by G.K. Chesterton 's play Magic, which Bergman numbered among his favourites (from Wikipedia). It's available on several paid services (if you have Hulu you're in luck), but I can't find it freely available anywhere. You can rent it on YouTube, Amazon Prime, or Apple TV.

trailer:


Moria says,
In The Magician, Bergman’s greatness is his evocation of the characters – the mephistophelean presence of the sickly Max Von Sydow; the cocky Tubal; the androgynous Aman; the haughtily hypocritical ministers.

Bergman’s art is not even necessarily his ability to offer penetrating character analysis but rather to cast actors perfect for the parts and to reveal everything through the dialogue.
Rotten Tomatoes has a critics consensus score of 100%.

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Martin's Close

Martin's Close is a 2019 television horror short film, a BBC Four adaptation of the M.R. James short story. It stars Peter Capaldi.


The original story can be read online here, and you can hear the Librivox recording here. It begins:
Some few years back I was staying with the rector of a parish in the West, where the society to which I belong owns property. I was to go over some of this land: and, on the first morning of my visit, soon after breakfast, the estate carpenter and general handyman, John Hill, was announced as in readiness to accompany us. The rector asked which part of the parish we were to visit that morning. The estate map was produced, and when we had showed him our round, he put his finger on a particular spot. ‘Don’t forget,’ he said, ‘to ask John Hill about Martin’s Close when you get there. I should like to hear what he tells you.’ ‘What ought he to tell us?’ I said. ‘I haven’t the slightest idea,’ said the rector, ‘or, if that is not exactly true, it will do till lunch-time.’ And here he was called away.

We set out; John Hill is not a man to withhold such information as he possesses on any point, and you may gather from him much that is of interest about the people of the place and their talk. An unfamiliar word, or one that he thinks ought to be unfamiliar to you, he will usually spell—as c-o-b cob, and the like. It is not, however, relevant to my purpose to record his conversation before the moment when we reached Martin’s Close. The bit of land is noticeable, for it is one of the smallest enclosures you are likely to see—a very few square yards, hedged in with quickset on all sides, and without any gate or gap leading into it. You might take it for a small cottage garden long deserted, but that it lies away from the village and bears no trace of cultivation. It is at no great distance from the road, and is part of what is there called a moor, in other words, a rough upland pasture cut up into largish fields.

‘Why is this little bit hedged off so?’ I asked, and John Hill (whose answer I cannot represent as perfectly as I should like) was not at fault. ‘That’s what we call Martin’s Close, sir: ‘tes a curious thing ‘bout that bit of land, sir: goes by the name of Martin’s Close, sir. M-a-r-t-i-n Martin. Beg pardon, sir, did Rector tell you to make inquiry of me ‘bout that, sir?’ ‘Yes, he did.’ ‘Ah, I thought so much, sir. I was tell’n Rector ‘bout that last week, and he was very much interested. It ‘pears there’s a murderer buried there, sir, by the name of Martin. Old Samuel Saunders, that formerly lived yurr at what we call South-town, sir, he had a long tale ‘bout that, sir: terrible murder done ‘pon a young woman, sir. Cut her throat and cast her in the water down yurr.’ ‘Was he hung for it?’ ‘Yes, sir, he was hung just up yurr on the roadway, by what I’ve ‘eard, on the Holy Innocents’ Day, many ‘undred years ago, by the man that went by the name of the bloody judge: terrible red and bloody, I’ve ‘eard.’ ‘Was his name Jeffreys, do you think?’ ‘Might be possible ’twas—Jeffreys—J-e-f—Jeffreys. I reckon ’twas, and the tale I’ve ‘eard many times from Mr. Saunders,—how this young man Martin—George Martin—was troubled before his crule action come to light by the young woman’s sperit.’ ‘How was that, do you know?’ ‘No, sir, I don’t exactly know how ’twas with it: but by what I’ve ‘eard he was fairly tormented; and rightly tu. Old Mr. Saunders, he told a history regarding a cupboard down yurr in the New Inn. According to what he related, this young woman’s sperit come out of this cupboard: but I don’t racollact the matter.’

Monday, October 18, 2021

Queen of Earth

Queen of Earth is a 2015 psychological thriller. I have trouble distinguishing this film genre from horror, to be honest, so I'm including it as horror this month.

trailer:



Variety says, "Hell is other people — especially the ones who know you best — in Alex Ross Perry's acidly funny and unnerving portrait of a psychological breakdown."

Vulture says it "Mingles Genres and Captures the Details of a Corrosive Friendship" and "the agony, the paranoia, the sheer existential terror of grief becomes sublimated into the very style of the film. Queen of Earth is a psychodrama shot like a horror movie — Persona meets The Shining. Right down to the haunting, minimalist score".

Roger Ebert's site opens with this:
Alex Ross Perry’s “Queen of Earth” is as unsettling as any horror film that you’ll see this year but it so by virtue of its filmmaking and its performances instead of a twisting and turning narrative. Echoing dramas of internal conflict turned into threats of physical danger like “Persona” and “Repulsion,” Perry explores the concept that it is the human mind and its emotional undercurrents that is the most terrifying thing in the world. Anchored by incredible performances from Elisabeth Moss and Katherine Waterston, this is one of the most mesmerizing pictures of the year.
Rotten Tomatoes has a consensus critics score of 94%.

Sunday, October 17, 2021

Deathdream

Deathdream is a 1974 horror film that begins with the death of a soldier in combat and then the sound of the voice of his mother saying, "You can't die, Andy, you can't die. You promised, Andy. You promised you'd come back. You promised, Andy." It was inspired by the well-known short story The Monkey's Paw, by W.W. Jacobs, and ends as you might imagine it would.


Slant Magazine gives it 4.5 out of 5 stars. Dread Central closes with this: "Overall, Deathdream is definitely an under-appreciated and hidden horror that needs more love. So give it the love that it deserves and go watch it. NOW! It’s a great one. Point blank. PERIOD."

Rotten Tomatoes has a consensus critics score of 83%.

Saturday, October 16, 2021

Inhuman Kiss

Inhuman Kiss is a 2019 Thai horror film about a woman who is a krasue, a woman by day and a demon by night. This is a Southeast Asian folk tale figure. I watched it on Netflix.

trailer:


Far East Film concludes,
All in all, this is a high quality story of ghosts among humans, finding a new approach to a time-honoured horror story. Think of it, perhaps, as Tim Burton’s Edward Scissorhands meeting James Cameron’s Titanic.