Keep It or Remove It! A few of the Best and Worst Horror Films on Netflix! UNDER CONSTRUCTION

WORTH KEEPING ON NETFLIX

STARRY EYES – Unexpectedly brutal, this is a sharp and bloody critique on the demons of Hollywood excess, both figurative and literal. A very different and good film. B+.

THE QUIET ONES – A good film regarding assumptions of science and care, medical misconduct, god complexes, and possession. Grade B-.

ABSENTIA – Great Film. B+/A-.

THE CANAL – The CANAL is an overwrought but well made film about a less than trustworthy protagonist beset by demons real or imagined. It is very much a descendant of films like THE SHINING. It is a very well made, if unoriginal film, capably directed by Ivan Kavanagh. The weakest note is the actor who plays the protagonist, Rupert Evans, as he comes off too one note and pathetic and unlikeable to really command his screen-time. So worth a watch, but possibly not a re-watch. Grade: C+.

ALMOST HUMAN – Low budget but very inventive blend of Alien Invasion and Body Horror and supernatural slasher. Worth more than one look.

HONEYMOON – I quite liked this film. Is a bit of a mystery that grows into something… far stranger. Recommended.

SILENT HOUSE – As a fan of film you have to appreciate the one take conceit, part technical wizardry part gimmick. The issue is it tends to wear out its welcome as it doesn’t make for the most fast paced or interesting film-making, becoming tedious rather than involving. But despite its short-comings as a film, it is worth a look as an experiment.

SHOULD BE IMMEDIATELY REMOVED FROM NETFLIX

PRESERVATION – Three annoying friends in the wilderness, in a shutdown camping grounds, are terrorized and beset by unknown killers. That description is far more interesting than this film is, as it completely lost my interest well before the end. My grade: There are better things to spend over an hour of your life on.

DEVIL’S BACKBONE TEXAS – Starts out interesting but quickly gives way to overwrought acting and an unlikeable protagonist, and incredibly inept and unbelievable character actions and reactions. Makes for a groan inducing and insipid film. Don’t waste your time on this nonsense.

BELL WITCH HAUNTING
VENOM – I liked the multicultural casting, but that was it. I found the whole film a little too ugly, and the super-natural killer, completely uninteresting.
THE SACRAMENT – A disappointment from Ti West. Avoid this and see HOUSE OF THE DEVIL instead.
MOCKINGBIRD- Utter waste of time
MR. JONES- An exercise in tedium and stupidity

THE HOUSES OCTOBER BUILT – I was really looking forward to this film, but like DEVIL’S BACKBONE TEXAS it suffers from characters reacting irrationally to obvious signs of danger. And the stupidity of the writing and characters sinks it for me.

A LONELY PLACE TO DIE – mediocre

Today’s NETFLIX Rave : It is still the Devil of Hell’s Kitchen — DAREDEVIL!!

This weekend’s recommended NETFLIX hit is THE DEVIL OF HELL’S KITCHEN — DAREDEVIL!

I’m almost done with season 1 of DAREDEVIL, up to episode 9, and I am LOVING IT! Some fantastic acting and drama and the cast is stellar across the board.

I mean from Charlie Cox as the titular protagonist, to Vincent D’Onofrio giving a nuanced, and rounded, and haunted, and charismatic, and even sympathetic performance as the heavy, to Toby Leonard Moore as the Kingpin’s frontman and sole friend Wesley, to Ayelet Zurer as Vanessa to director/actor Vondie Curtis-Hall as Ben Urich; the casting, and the quality of writing is simply stunning.

All the actors rising to the level of the writing, which is surprisingly smart and riveting and nuanced, and I think award worthy.

And I can see it being offputting to some who expect something sillier or safer or more routine. The writing here isn’t that, it is dark and dire, and in many ways it is a story without a hero, Charlie Cox playing a damaged character, in many ways a sociopath perhaps more dangerous and delusional than those he pursues. And that tension, you’re watching a man trying to hold that line within himself, that tension runs the risk of making the title character unlikeable, but I find it perfectly counterpointed with the other stories and character arcs.

I find the story, the struggling for equilibrium and redemption, for many characters, in a dangerous world; something I would argue most among us can relate to that.

And the action in this series…. WoW! Some jaw-dropping sequences, kudos to fight cheoreographer Philip Silvera, all the stunt-men, and Charle Cox for doing a large portion of his own stunts, and of course show-runner Steven S. DeKnight (of SPARTACUS fame, who did episodes 3 through 12) and Drew Goddard (who did episodes 1 & 2).

NETFLIX continues to back home-runs. How good is DAREDEVIL? I can see it on Netflix all I want, but I can’t wait to own a Bluray full of special features and cast and director’s commentaries.

Highly Recommended!

Now Watching : ENDANGERED SPECIES and TUSK on NetFlix VOD and Amazon Prime!

ENDANGERED SPECIES- Slow Netflix Night, and despite the atrocious poster, the name Eric Roberts and the premise of a scifi/horror flick intrigues me enough to give this a try. The first thing that strikes you is how incredibly dated the film seems.

Indeed despite the film having a production date of 2003, it looks far more like a film from 1983, with dated special effects, and an anemic budget to match, and borrows from more well known scifi films of the 80s and 90s. But those negatives aside, it moves at a quick clip, and there is some originality here, an unexpected environmental twist that makes the movie keep till the end.
Grade: C-. Horrible and misleading poster, but worth a look.

TUSK- I remember when Kevin Smith did the on-air little joke on his pod-cast that would become this film. The joke on the pod-cast was hilarious, and having seen the film, it should have just remained that pod-cast joke. It’s hilarious as something Kevin Smith is describing on a pod-cast, but the film is ultimately just exceedingly distasteful as a finished product, and backs itself into a miserable and ugly corner. Grade: D-.

Now Watching : Netflix’s DAREDEVIL and WRONG TURN AT TAHOE!

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The Entire 1st season of Netflix’s first Marvel Studios series DAREDEVIL has  dropped, and one episode in and it feels like… it feels like faith rewarded. From the first frame to the last, the show is pitch perfect.

From the direction, to the writing, to the performances, to the action. Charlie Cox as Matt Murdock, the Man without Fear is revelatory.  Charlie Cox in that first scene, with the speech in the confessional about his father, and letting the Devil loose, he defines the damaged nature of the protagonists, and this world. The initial costume is perfectly fine, a work in progress. I really hope Netflix will offer this up on Blu-Ray with commentary and features. It clearly deserves it.

Episode 2 here I come.

 

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Cuba Gooding Jr, has made his share of questionable movies. That said, in the largely direct to video world that has become the domain of most actors, in the last decade or so he has made some gems. WRONG TURN AT TAHOE is one of those gems, and following my first episode of DAREDEVIL, I find the film a nice counterpoint to the Netflix series. Cube giving a wonderfully poised and understated performance… yet full of menace. A great film from beginning to end.

Strongly recommended. Grade: B+