It’s been three weeks of horror thanks to Shudder so far and I am enjoying the nightly ritual of watching something, oftentimes some film I have never seen before. So, how do this week’s movies rank for me?
#7 – Still/Born
The 19th film I have watched, the Shudder exclusive Still/Born, is fun but ultimately a little shallow. The film follows a couple who lose one of their twins during childbirth. What follows is an extended metaphor for postpartum depression which integrates demons or ghosts, it’s kind of confusing what the entity actually is, and a traumatized mother trying to protect her remaining child.
The film includes veteran actor Michael Ironside who… doesn’t really add much to the proceedings. As a whole, the movie is just sort of bland. Not a terrible way to kill some time, but not one I want to revisit right away, either.
#6 – Mausoleum
How this movie never ended up on an episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000 is a mystery to me. The 16th movie of the festivities is Mausoleum. This cheesy 1983 possession “thriller” stars (a term I use loosely) Bobbie Bresee, and Marjoe Gortner (of Starcrash-fame). The movie follows a woman who, as a child was possessed by an entity in a mausoleum, who one day starts murdering horny men with her psychic abilities.
The movie is an entertaining mess. There is nudity, ridiculous death scenes, and largely it makes no sense whatsoever. So I expect this to be on The Last Drive-In with Joe Bob Briggs next season.
#5 – Found Footage 3D
Film #15, Found Footage 3D, wears the inherent ridiculousness of the concept of a 3D found footage movie, and I assume that the 3D effects were pretty fun. I wouldn’t know because I do not own 3D glasses and watched it like a normal film. Without the 3D gimmick, much of the film just seemed like a pointless lampshade hanging on the tropes of two genres of film and little else.
I wouldn’t mind seeing it again with 3D glasses, at least. I feel like I probably missed a lot with this one without them.
#4 – Spiral
Shudder’s latest addition to its collection of LGBTQ+ horror films is Spiral, which was the 17th movie in this little 61-day experiment. The film, unrelated to the upcoming SAW spinoff turned out to be a fun and chilling little movie about the anxiety felt by gay folks in strange little towns. It’s got a nice creepy concept though the actual scares were minimal. It wears the small town cult-trappings fairly well, and it has a decent sense of scale thanks to the recurring nature of events played out in the film.
It also is a period piece, taking place in 1995. Yes. Movies set in the 1990s are now period pieces.
#3 – Warning: Do Not Play
Movie #18 is the South Korean ghost story Warning: Do Not Play. It turns out to be a fun, if somewhat predictable metacommentary of obsessive personalities and the perpetuation of poor choices by obsessive personalities. The movie follows a screenwriter who becomes obsessed with a film that was supposedly shot by a ghost. Naturally, her desires for this film cause her to make poor choices and inevitably bring her into the path of the only survivor of the film, all to predictable but fun ends.
This movie is not revolutionary by any means, but it’s shot well and it’s effective. It is definitely worth a watch.
#2 – The Taking of Deborah Logan
One of the better of the possession horror films of the last 10 years and a solid found-footage horror film to boot. The Taking of Deborah Logan is the 14th movie of the 61 Days of Halloween event. The movie follows a film crew as the document the stages of decay of Deborah Logan, a woman who has Alzheimer’s. It turns out there there is something a little more supernatural going on, though. The movie has some genuine chills, and the found footage format actually adds to the feel of the film rather than appearing as a gimmick.
It also has one of my favorite “wtf” visuals of the films I’ve watched over the last three weeks. Keep your eye peeled at the end for something “jaw-dropping.”
#1 – Phantasm
Look, if the week includes Phantasm then Phantasm is probably going to be my number one choice. This is just inevitable, as is the setting of the sun in the west. If you’ve not seen Phantasm then you are missing the first installment of an all-time great horror series. I’d say it’s akin to The Evil Dead as far as legacy and influence goes. The film follows two brothers and a close friend as they investigate an odd funeral home and the dangerous, otherworldly entity that resides within.
Look, just watch it, okay?
So, that was week three. You can always check the week one and week two impressions as well. We do not know what is lined up for week four. Regardless, I’m on-board for the long haul. See y’all next week with a new batch of impressions.