Week 6(66). We’re so close to the end, so close in fact that technically there’s only one film left to review. I’ll figure that out later, but for this penultimate column we have some good, some bad, some surprisingly good, and some surprisingly bad. Let’s kick it off with Guillermo del Toro’s Director’s Cut of Mimic, a film I saw at the drive0in when it first came out and now find a lot to enjoy, even as it reeks of studio interference. I still don’t know what to make of Troll 2, which is most certainly not a sequel to Troll (thanks studio distribution hacks!) and despite being labeled the “Best Worst Movie” is just a terrible movie with a few fun moments. I wish I could endorse Dario Argento’s return to giallo with Dark Glasses, but sadly a lot of his preoccupations don’t translate as well now, and the style has suffered in the decades since his heyday. Deadstream, however, is very much of the moment, and I found myself delighted with the found footage horror comedy. V/H/S: Viral has some great segments but unfortunately can’t overcome its bad ones. Still – check out the “Dante the Great” segment if you can. And finally, I caught up with Halloween Ends. I’m definitely the lone horse here at Nine Circles in that I actually enjoyed it.
As always you can read the full reviews over at Cinema Dual. In the meantime, smoke ’em if you got ’em…
A crippling disease strikes New York, killing thousands of the city’s children. Primarily carried by cockroaches, a young scientist and her CDC official boyfriend genetically alter a cockroach into the “Judas” breed, releasing it into the sewers to kill off the roach carriers with genetic coding to ensure its lifespan is limited to six months. Three years later the disease is history, but evolution is a tricky thing, and something is taking and killing people, centered around an abandoned church in the city? Who is Mr. Funny Shoes, and what does he have to do with the “weird bug” some kids sound in the subway system? Have you ever seen a sewer system look as Gothic as it does here? Do you need anything else to tell you this is a Guillermo del Toro picture? Count the circles framed perfectly, marvel at the practical effects even as you cringe at the late 90s CGI, but make no mistake…the Judas breed has evolved, and if Mira Sorvino can’t stop it, shit’s gonna hit the fan (it’s already all over the ceilings…just ask Josh Brolin).(full review here)
The Waits family (no relation to Tom, sadly), recovering from the death of patriarch Grandpa Seth decides to do a house exchange with a family in the rural town of Nilbog. Young Joshua has premonitions of how bad an idea this is thanks to the appearance of Ghost Grandpa™ warning him that goblins (not trolls) are real and ready to turn you into plant-based nutrition so they can eat you. You’d be shocked to learn no one believes young Joshua, so off they go followed by young daughter Holly’s boyfriend and his loser crew. What dangers does Nilbog hold? How about that 80s Italian prog in the beginning of the film, huh? Not to mention the poorly costumed “goblins” and their wicked druid leader who feels like sexy goth witch librarian was on sale at Party City…Joshua certainly has his hands full!(full review here)
Diana is a high priced escort who, after being attacked and pursued by a serial killer with a penchant for call girls, is left blind in a horrific car accident that claims the lives of a Asian couple, leaving only their young son named Chin alive. Soon Chin is living with Diana and on the run, because the killer is still out there, and he wants to finish what he started…(full review here)
Shawn Ruddy is trying to claw his way back into corporate sponsorship and viewers after falling into disgrace for his livestream show where he faces his fears. His solution? Spend a night in the haunted Pratt house, where young Mildred Pratt hung herself in the 1800s, and he’s gonna livestream the whole thing. That may not have been the best idea, as the dunce whose only concern is growing followers and getting clicks awakens the evil in the house and is stuck having to figure his way out of a house he locked himself into, and the weird monsters who are out make his livestream…a DEADSTREAM!(full review here)
The footage is a killer…literally! Four tales take our obsession with filming ourselves to a new level of horror…with varying results! I know, you’re shocked, but you shouldn’t be because after all, this is another entry in the V/H/S series! Now with an even more annoying wraparound segment! But also penis monsters, so maybe it all shakes out in the end!(full review here)
It’s been five years. No one in Haddonfield has seen The Shape since the events of the previous film, and Laurie Strode along with her granddaughter Allyson are trying to move on with their lives. The town, though, has other plans and if they can’t direct their venom at Michael Myers, they’ll find other targets, among them young Corey, who accidentally killed a young child while babysitting on Halloween Night four years previously. That event, and the town’s explosive PTSD trigger an evil long thought gone, and before you know it Laurie, Allyson, and Corey are drawn into a horrific night of terror…one more time.(full review here)
Next week we’ll wrap up Hooptober with the new film from Henry Selick, and maybe talk about a few more I watched but didn’t review. We’re almost there, folks…
Until then. keep it Blood Red.