I was celebrating a new job, looking forward to an unexpected week’s holiday, when my father fell at home, so I’m spending that week in Wales.
I was caught in a work storm for a few months over the summer. Things settled enough for me to take a small risk, which paid off, which means I can finally tack for calmer waters.
It has a purity that other slashers don’t have — the crisp cinematography, Laurie’s naive, nerdy charm, the simple (perfect) motif of the score. I can’t fully explain it.
My favourite discovery of the month. Barely ninety minutes, looks beautiful, has a startling final image, and I’m still thinking about it a day later.
Feeling insignificant in the face of a fictional disaster, whether natural or alien, has its psychological comforts. Sometimes you just want something big to fuck shit up.
It’s bleak fun with some good twists. Everyone apart from Erin, our survivalist heroine, is awful. Is this where the current trend of violent final girls began?
I watched Duel dozens of time on television as a kid, as well as it’s rip-off cousin The Car, so it was a treat to revisit it. I didn’t remember the crisis of masculinity.
The gang of punks hanging out in the graveyard are everything I wish I’d been as a teen — vibrant, trashy, horny, loud, and sometimes naked in public.
A man who wanted to have a romantic weekend in the woods with his girlfriend is instead made to fight for his life against demon-possessed corpses.
A pastiche of black and white science-fiction films, but subverting them by having the aliens turn people into conformist fifties stereotypes instead of communists.
Naked space vampires hidden in Halley‘s Comet, you say? I’m in! Plays on a much bigger canvas than I expected and owes a debt to Quatermass.
A man pays dearly to escape his writer’s block when he accepts the malign attention of a woman who wants to test him to destruction.
Graphic body mutilation, big ideas and knowing performances that lead to some surreal laugh-out-loud moments. A raised eyebrow at all that he has made before.
People bleed from the eyes. An artist’s studio is painted with staring faces. The citizens of Point Dune dress respectably but do terrible things. The four protagonists share a bed. (Groovy.)
A masterpiece — ghost story, sort of, psychological thriller and family drama, certainly — a magical exploration of a marriage under the strain of a tragic loss.
Camp horror fun with a nasty edge. Ken Russell was a genius. I taped this off the TV back in the day and watched certain bits over and over... naked nuns and Amanda Donohoe.
It’s silly — it’s called Slugs! — but as lots of these cheap 70s and 80s horrors were, it’s creative, fun and weirdly sexy.
Keeps a steady pace as a ghost story, making the most of the spectacular empty ship as a location. The final act really dials up the horror. Also - KINDERTRAUMA!
The surviving friends from Scream 5 go to college as a pack, and in New York the franchise finds some fresh energy.
Ah, the plot. It’s a whodunnit, but with lots of stabbing. Twas ever thus. David Arquette’s Dewey is the best thing about it. I think I’m finally too old for Scream films.
A mix of Cabin in the Woods, Friday the 13th, Evil Dead and Scream, but with no budget. It’s fun, a broad horror comedy that isn’t afraid of the horror. Cheap but clever.
The Reilly family arrive in Italy to inherit a castle left to them by an elderly Duchess. The creature she’s been keeping in the dungeon breaks free. Gothic melodrama and cannibalism ensue.
A gory take on Frankenstein with a psychopathic scientist, an evil academic, and a morgue full of reanimated corpses. The ever-present syringe of neon green liquid is iconic.
An alien gets stranded on Earth when an asteroid hits his ship. There is a fellow survivor. There are challenges. There are dinosaurs.
A nineteenth century murder mystery set in the snowbound US military academy at West Point, where a cadet is found hanged with his heart removed from his body.
A flawed film filled with wonders. More of an existential downer than I expected — yes, it’s about a demon bringing hell to earth, but it goes strong with what that might mean.
An exiled patriarch tempts four soldiers to his island with a hope of settling an old score. Tonally weird — part western, part comedy, not much zombie threat — it’s a clunker.