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Remake vs Original: Episode Two

I come back with the second episode in our Remake vs Original series. This exists in attempt to learn more about the Horror films of our past that I have virgin eyes to. Watching the remake FIRST gives me better judgement and separation of each film. I’m able to go into each unbiased, provide spoiler-free thoughts on each individual film, and evaluate their relation to each other.

In the first episode Psychological Slasher: Maniac(2012) vs Maniac (1980) I learned a lot about the way filmmaking has changed over the years. If I had viewed either film five years ago, I’m certain my thoughts would be different. I’m extremely interested in revisiting all of the films in this series again in another five years to see how my thoughts have evolved.

Taken from K Period Media, Frenesy Film Company, Videa, Mythology Entertainment, First Sun, Memo Films (2018)/Suspiria

The basic premise of each are very similar, but both have their own style, grit, and excitements. We follow a young woman as she begins school at a prestigious dance academy. There’s definitely something going on with the staff that’s just not quite right. And there’s a big performance coming soon…We’ll follow this order:

  • Explore the 2018 remake directed by Luca Guadagnino
  • Dig into the 1977 original directed by Dario Argento
  • Discuss how the remake and original fit together
  • Recommendations

Suspiria (2018)

I have officially seen the most terrifying imagery of Body Horror known to man, thanks to the creators of Susperia (2018). Holy crap. This is staying with me for the rest of my life! Although lighting should be utilized more, the atmosphere leading up to this scene certainly boosts the experience. The audio adds to the slick style and format to create a film which seems very original and very well thought out and put together. Thom Yorke from Radiohead can lull me to sleep and make me feel like I’m being watched from behind, all at once.

Taken from K Period Media, Frenesy Film Company, Videa, Mythology Entertainment, First Sun, Memo Films (2018)/Suspiria

We get to see the former red-headed step-child of Antonio Banderas, Dakota Johnson. The sensuality she brings to the overall film could be provided by none other, assuming her role as Anastasia Steele 2015’s Fifty Shades of Grey taught her a few things. Her overall acting isn’t anything special in Suspiria (2018), but it gets the job done. Now the ever gorgeous Tilda Swinton, she brings the BOOM!

Suspiria (2018) is available on Amazon Prime, but cost money just a few months ago, so if you get the chance, cut it on. Little ones should not be around for the viewing because of the crazy intense body scene, nudity and blood/gore. There’s some very intense scenes and you’ll find yourself confused to start, but trust that everything will come clear if you pay attention. Now I don’t know how the original can stack up to this borderline masterpiece, but I guess we’re gonna find out!

Suspiria (1977)

What a thrill ride Suspiria (1977) is! THRILL RIDE! The ins and outs of this Italian beauty weave us through the knot of uncertainty. The atmosphere is creepy and intense, the sound of crunching maggots will forever be stamped in my psyche. The use of lighting is very, very good and is definitely effective in setting and keeping the tone and feel of the movie. Even though the special effects tell me I am watching an older film, this storyline and situation is viable today.

Taken from Seda Spettacoli (1977)/Suspiria

Jessica Harper plays our new student, and young actors will do good to study her performance. Her face looks good next to technicolor lighting. The believability of her role adds to the strength in relationships, whether positive or negative relationships, on screen. The characters are built well, many with their own wants and desires.

The creepy soundtrack stands out as a favorite. I hear many similarities to modern Horror soundtracks. In Susperia (1977) we listen to the start of music trends, the masterful pieces everyone else is trying to accomplish. Without this music the film would lay flat.

Suspiria (1977) is available on Tubi right now, free! And even though the ending is leaving me with a lot of questions and little satisfaction, I still think anyone who is interested in filmmaking or atmosphere studies should check it out.

How does Suspiria (2018) stack up to Suspiria (1977)?

I have to encourage anyone who has not seen either to watch the remake, and anyone who wants to grow experience with classic films to watch the original. They both have very good qualities, and they both have room to improve. As far as which film is better, I don’t want to choose. If shoved in a corner I would say the remake is better, but that we can’t forget the valuable lessons learned and experience gained from the first film.

Taken from Seda Spettacoli (1977)/ Suspiria

The two pieces follow the same character and situation, but approach the relevant issues very differently, leading the audience to two very different experiences. I’m certainly glad they both exist, but I’m even more happy that we have a decent remake, a remake worth making, a remake worth your time. I truly feel that if I watched the original first, my expectations for the remake would have damaged my overall experience.

Recommendations

Because I don’t know many vintage films, I will recommend films released in this millennia. I hope this changes as I continue with the series!

  • The Witch (2015)
  • Hereditary (2018)
  • Apostle (2018) (Netflix)
  • Eli (2019) (Netflix) See my full thoughts here
  • Midsommar (2019)

I’m extremely interested in your thoughts! Did you like either better than the other? Which Remake vs Original should I dive into for Episode Three? Let me know in the comments below!

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The Last Drive-In Valentine’s Day Special Live Watch Party February 10th!

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The sweet putrid stench of love lingers through the air which can only mean one thing…Valentine’s Day and its annoying little winged cherub, Cupid, is fast approaching. Soon, partners will be spoiling one another with extravagant bouquets of roses, heartfelt Hallmark cards, obnoxiously large teddy bears, glistening diamond jewelry, and heart-shaped candies or boxes filled with assorted mediocre chocolates. You know? Normal things couples do. I tend to prefer my chocolate boxes filled with bleeding hearts, à la ‘My Bloody Valentine’ but, beggars can’t be choosers, right? All jokes aside, Valentine’s Day is special for many couples, however, there are also many others who find themselves celebrating this day without a significant other. Luckily, Shudder, along with drive-in king Joe Bob Briggs and co-host Darcy the Mail Girl (Diana Prince) will graciously be keeping us lonely mutants’, and yes, all you horror fanatic couples’ company on Friday, February 10th as they return with The Last Drive-In Valentine’s Day Special, premiering live at 9pm EST.

Love Spells Abound…

Back in 2021, Joe Bob and Darcy invited us to a gruesomely passionate night of spell-binding love witches and animatronic dinosaurs infused with teenage human brains during The Last Drive-In: Joe Bob Put a Spell on You. Many, including myself, were introduced to the tantalizing 70’s inspired retro throwback ‘The Love Witch’ and the graphically goofy cult classic ‘Tammy and the T-Rex’, providing the perfect viewing pleasure to mend any broken heart. While the two films for this year’s morbid love-induced special have yet to be announced, we here at HauntedMTL are eagerly awaiting the return of the ghoulish duo. As is tradition, we will be proudly hosting a watch party on Twitter during the live broadcasting of The Last Drive-In Valentine’s Day Special. Be sure to follow us on Twitter and tag us  @hauntedMTL as well as @shudder@therealjoebob, and @kinky_horror to partake in this night of unholy love.

Drawn image of Joe Bob Briggs pouring  a drop of pink liquid into a clear glass potion bottled filled with a glowing red substance. To his left lies a book a magic spells with a golden pentagram necklace resting on top. Also on the books rests a human skull with heart shaped pupils for eyes hiding behind a pair of clear glasses. In bold white letters a text reads "Join us on February 10th as we live tweet The Last Drive-In Valentine's Day Special".
Follow @hauntedMTL for live tweets and replies!

What started off as a one-time special premiering on Shudder July 13, 2018, ‘The Last Drive- In’ was originally meant to be Brigg’s swan song; one last special before hanging up the bolo tie in retirement. However, due to so many mutants, excuse me…viewers tuning in and breaking the Shudder servers, it was only natural to announce an official full season of ‘The Last Drive-In‘, which would make its explosive debut March 19, 2019. Since then, Darcy and Briggs have spawned many exclusive holiday specials, have graciously donated to many charities within the community, and have accumulated 4 seasons of ‘The Last Drive-In’, with a fifth currently in production premiering on Shudder’s 2023 schedule sometime this year, let’s hope sooner rather than later.

Picture of Joe Bob Briggs, Darcy the Mail Girl, John Patrick Brennan and Yuki Nakamura standing together dressed in medieval costumes. A cardboard cutout of Tom Atkins stands between Darcy and Yuki. Darcy is seen drapped in a beautfiul elegant princess dress, satin white with gold trim. Yuki is seen holding a small wreath of purple, white, and yellow flowers that match his loud medieval king costume. Resting atop both their heads are golden crowns. Joe Bob Briggs is seen standing to the left of Darcy, as he smiles whilst wearing a half-put together jester costumer. Lastly, we see Brennan with two wooden recorders in his hand as he mimics playing them both dress clad in a bright yellow dress.
An unexpected ceremony during The Last Drive-In: Joe Bob Put a Spell on You (2021) special.

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Movies n TV

Horror Noire, a Film Review

Horror Noire is a horror collection that includes “Daddy,” “The Lake,” “Brand of Evil,” “Bride Before You,” “Fugue State,” and “Sundown.”

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Horror Noire is a horror collection brought by the combined efforts of AMC+ and Shudder. The collection includes “Daddy,” “The Lake,” “Brand of Evil,” “Bride Before You,” “Fugue State,” and “Sundown.” Horror Noire boasts Black directors and screenwriters, providing six unique stories.

As this collection explores six stories, I will skip the usual synopsis to assess the genres and ideas explored, albeit limited as needed. Expect to find supernatural horror, creature features, and psychological thrillers. Many short films deal with these genres while exploring Black issues, but this isn’t universal for the collection.

The directors and writers include Zandashé Brown, Robin Givens, Rob Greenlea, Kimani Ray Smith, Steven Barnes, Ezra Clayton Daniels, Tananarive Due, Shernold Edwards, Victor LaValle, and Al Letson.

Woman and man wearing a vote for candidate shirt, scared of something off screne
Image from “Sundown” Directed by Kimani Ray Smith

What I Like

Each story remains unique, holding different strengths and weaknesses that highlight drastically different perspectives. Collections like VHS hold a similar premise to create their collection, but Horror Noire gives more creative freedom to its talent to be independent.

My personal favorite short film is Zandashé Brown’s “Bride Before You.” This period piece unravels a fable set in the Reconstruction Era. The entry feels Fabulistic in approach, which happens to be my preferred niche.

However, the best example of horror goes to Robin Givens’ “Daddy,” providing an existential horror tied directly to the characters involved.

Woman listening to a preacher amidst a crowd
Image from “Fugue State” directed by Rob Greenlea

What I Dislike

As mentioned, all have a particular style and idea. The downside of this approach always remains to keep the viewer interested long enough to find their favorite. If you find several underwhelming choices, this becomes a chore. But I imagine that is rare as the variety makes the options refreshing.

Personally, “Brand of Evil” had an interesting premise, but the execution fell short. On paper, it might have sounded like my favorite, which makes the lackluster execution a bigger letdown.

Zeth M. Martinez

Final Thoughts

Horror Noire gives power and control to Black creators, providing a formula for a unique collection against others in the space. While the various subjects and approaches mean you aren’t likely to love them all, there should be a short film for everyone.
3.5 out of 5 stars (3.5 / 5)

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Movies n TV

Dahmer, Silenced

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Episode six of Netflix’s Dahmer was not, honestly about our title character. Instead, it was about one of his victims, a man named Tony. We’ve actually seen Tony a few times during this series. We just didn’t know it was him.

Rodney Burford in Dahmer

And, well, he wasn’t exactly alive the first time we saw him.

Tony was born into a supportive, loving family. This is good because soon after he was born a viral infection took his hearing. He is black, deaf, and gay in the early 90’s.

Tony has a dream of becoming a model. And he certainly has the looks for it. He is beautiful, body and soul. He has lots of opportunities for romance, but it’s not what he’s looking for. He wants a real relationship. 

Eventually Tony moves to Madison, trying to pursue his dream. He gets a job and starts getting modeling work.

Then, he meets Jeff Dahmer at a bar. 

At first, we can almost believe that it’s going to be alright. Jeff seems happy. He’s taking care of himself. He’s not drinking as much. He even has his dad and stepmom over for dinner. It seems like his life is getting on track. Even better, he’s treating Tony right.

Then, of course, things go bad. 

One thing that has always bothered me as a true crime fan is that we know so much about the killers, but not as much about the victims. Not so much if we don’t know who the killer is, of course. But the names that are part of our pop culture are those of the killers. Dahmer, Manson, Jones, Bundy, Holms. The names we don’t know are Roberta Parks, Beth LaBiancas, Leno LaBiancas, and Tony Hughes. And clearly, we should know them.

If Tony Hughes was half the shining, positive person that the show Dahmer made him out to be, I’m so sad that he isn’t with us anymore. We need so many more people like him. And many of Dahmer’s victims were likely just like him. After all, he was attracted to them for a reason.

This was a significant episode, and I understand why it’s the highest-rated episode of the series. I finished it with a heavy heart, saddened by the loss of a man who should still be with us today. 

5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)

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