8/10/2015

3 Quickie Horror Reviews for 8/10/15

It's been a year since I did one of these multi and mini horror review posts. With me having watched a couple of genre films for the first time, this felt like the right time to do so.

ALL REVIEWS OUT OF 4 STARS

Don't Look Now- This wonderfully acted, expertly directed horror flick from director Nicolas Roeg tells the tale of a couple grieving over the accidental death of their daughter. The wife (the lovely Julie Christie) talks with two sisters, one them blind and psychic who says the daughter talks to her. The hubby (Donald Sutherland) does not believe in such things. But, he is haunted by visions of a girl in a red raincoat hood similar to the one their daughter died. All in the meantime, in Venice, Italy (where the couple now resides) someone is murdering women.
The acting is amazing and Roeg spins a compelling story with some of the finest editing in any film. The ending is one of the finest in the history of horror. Quite horror at it's very best and most stylish.

Though, I heard about this classic movie before, I had never seen it until I blind bought the excellent Criterion blu-ray. This gets my highest possible recommendation and is rightfully recognized as one of the best British horror movies ever made. 
****

C.H.U.D.- Flesh-eating mutants who come out of manholes and live in the NYC sewers and kill people. A cop (Christopher Curry) and a dude (Daniel Stern of Home Alone fame) who runs a soup-kitchen team up to discover what the fuck is going on and ultimately stop the monsters.
A state coverup of toxic waste and radiation adds a nice layer socio-commentary to a fun monster movie that doesn't take itself to seriously. It's got a great cast (including a cameo by John Goodman!). Stern is particularly good delivering the best lines.
This cult favorite moves at a good pace and the FX while not the greatest are still cool and fun a sort B-movie of way. In fact it feels like a 50s B-movie meets an 80s gore flick by way of old-school NYC. 

Note, the DVD version is supposedly the real and preferred cut of the film, but I saw the R-rated theatrical cut on El Rey. Either way if you like I have made the mistake of never seeing the movie that has become a cult favorite and even mentioned on The Simpsons and The Flash, as it's acronym meaning- Cannibalistic Humanoid Underground Dwellars, you need to change that and see it now!
***1/2

The Gift- Blumhouse moves away from their usual teen horror ghost flicks, for this mature thriller about a couple (Jason Bateman and Rebecca Hall) who run into an old high school acquaintance (Joel Edgerton who also directed it) of the hubby. He begins to give them gifts and visit them, but hubby is creeped out by him. Meanwhile, we learn that something happened between the two guys in high school. And, now it's coming back to haunt hubby.
A slow buildup of tension is expertly handled by Edgerton who really comes up with some nailbiting moments. Not a horror movie, but more intense than most released this year, The Gift is the finest thriller of the year. The acting is excellent here, with very complex characters. The gorgeous Hall provides us with the moral center and heart of the movie. And, then there is that ending!
You need to see this one before anyone ruins it for you!
***1/2

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