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Thread: Fright Fest 12: The Horrors of Learning Your ABCs

  1. #101

    Re: Fright Fest 12: The Horrors of Learning Your ABCs

    Quote Originally Posted by Wolf Beast View Post
    I didn't even realize I'd requested 13 Sins last year too
    I imagine if I were to go through all past Fright Fests, there would have been a fair share of multiple requested films in different years.

    Of the other films so far that I've seen, Brightburn was a decent idea, and another fairly easy watch, but it just felt as if the kid embraced the evil too easily without any kind of struggle with his conscience between good/evil. Wasn't very keen on The Dead Don't Die. There's good performances, and that was about all that kept me watching, but the story didn't really do anything for me.
    Eh, Brightburn was about an alien. His lack of empathy felt natural to me.

  2. #102

    Re: Fright Fest 12: The Horrors of Learning Your ABCs

    Day #21
    Title: Us
    Country: United States/China/Japan (REALLY?!)
    Year: 2019
    Director: Jordan Peele




    Following a traumatic event from her childhood, a woman fears what could be waiting as she returns to an idyllic oceanfront town.


    Following the monster, and surprising, success of debut feature film, Get Out, it’d be an understatement to say that Jordan Peele had some heavy pressure on him to deliver again when Get Out was considered an instant classic. Rather than ride the success of Get Out and either release a similar movie or even Get Out 2, Peele attempted to tell a very different horror story.

    Initially watching Us on the big screen, I came away feeling as if it was superior to the slightly overrated Get Out. While I had Us ranked as the second best horror film of 2019 (Behind One Cut of the Dead), Get Out just made the top ten at #8 behind such films as The Devil’s Candy, IT Chapter 1, Raw, and Better Watch Out in 2017. While I wouldn’t necessarily say that my opinion of Us has dropped, it is a different film from my recollection. For instance, I had remembered Us as being this violent and bloody movie, but in actuality, there’s a clear effort placed in minimizing the violence by cutting away from the kills. What hasn’t changed is a belief that while Get Out is mostly a straightforward tale that then has a ton of nods or hints at what’s going on, Us is a far more complicated story that leaves some things ambiguous and thrives on subsequent theories. Just as Adelaide was seen dragging her bad leg behind her as she was on the hunt resembled that of Jack Torrance, so does Us follow The Shining’s formula of finding comfort in not explaining everything.

    In fact, I’m struggling to determine how to review Us when my impulse is to strictly discuss various theories and dive into the twists of the movie. Before I do that though, let’s go over some basics that don’t revolve around theories or twists. The score is wonderful and nicely increases the eeriness of the film. The blending of hip hop and spookiness goes well together. In general, I found Us to be a lot scarier than Get Out where it concerns visuals. Most members of the Tethered maintain this creepy grin on their face. Although the Tethered aren’t nearly as dangerous as they’re perceived to be based on the death count, they felt incredibly threatening to me. Lupita Nyong'o as Adelaide/Red put on an amazing performance that is likely the only actress to even approach the perfection that was Toni Collette in Hereditary in recent horror history. Similarly to Get Out, Jordan Peele put an absurd amount of effort in including so many nods to various things. This includes both nods to different aspects of the movie (Such as Zora wearing a rabbit t-shirt) or to other horror movies (Like the filming of The Lost Boys at the carnival in the 1986 scene). A viewer could reasonably find additional nods with each subsequent watch of Us.

    So now let’s dive into the nitty gritty. The big twist in the third act is what garnered a lot of talk for Us after moviegoers went to see it. My recollection is that I suspected that Adelaide was born a member of the Tethered, but I didn’t begin to suspect it until late in the movie. When you re-watch the movie, there’s a ton of clues to this. I’m a fan of the twist though, not just for providing viewers with hints to look for in future viewings, but it added some interest in terms of the character such as giving Adelaide a lot more reason to be terrified of what was happening due to knowing who the Tethered actually are. The big debate though is whether or not Jason was actually a member of the Tethered or not. You can find many Youtube videos on the topic, each providing their examples of proof that Jason isn’t from our world. Some pieces of evidence include Jason’s building of sand tunnels on the beach, his difficulty in performing his magic trick, and how strange he tends to be especially in comparison to Zora. I will admit that it does stand out how often Adelaide is concerned about Jason being missing, insinuating that she knows what can happen when a child goes missing and helping create a bigger connection between mother and son. Personally, I don’t support the theory though. It’s an awkward theory when you realize that the belief is that Jason and Pluto were switched around a year earlier when you remember what difficulty Adelaide had in coming off as being “Normal” around her parents. What difficulty is Jason facing as a former member of the Tethered now living in the overworld? He struggles with a magic trick? He’s not the most popular? That seems pretty normal to me. If anything, Jason's oddness reflects someone who is a son of a member of the Tethered and has been raised his entire life by one parent who struggles to appear to be normal.

    For a movie that has such immense effort placed on nods, foreshadowing, and references, I do find it odd how little is actually explained or appears to be plot holes. The biggest being how every member of the Tethered is forced to replicate the actions of their counterparts in the overworld...except when they don’t. Considering what a gigantic effort it would have taken to plan the uprising, it seems impossible that Red could accomplish such a task when the Tethered didn’t have control of their own lives and daily living was so limited that they were forced to rely on eating rabbits to survive. For that matter, considering the whole existence of the Tethered was so secretive, it seems awfully convenient that a little girl could wander into the passageway between the under and overworld. I know that the super vague government experiment had been abandoned, but you’d think that there would have at least been a locked door somewhere. So little of this movie makes sense, but this criticism can be applied to The Shining as well.

    The fact that Us was so ambiguous is what I’d consider to be a major strength. It’s not a popcorn flick where you watch it once and you forget all about it. Along with Hereditary and It Chapter 1, I spent so much time discussing the movie with friends - hearing about different theories, spotting various Easter eggs, and just in general trying to wrap my mind around what all was happening. I love being able to find such films that generate so much discussion when a lot of horror can be so surface layer.

    Overall, in some ways, Us isn’t the same picture I saw at the cinema nearly two years ago. The violence I remembered seeing never actually existed, few events in the film are properly explained, and Adelaide’s family has such an easy time all surviving the movie because the Tethered seem disinterested in offing them when they have the opportunities to do so. At the same time, the movie allows for so much discussion and the trading of theories, has a wonderful score, is visually unnerving, and features a breakout performance by Lupita Nyong'o (Well for me since I apparently missed her in all of her appearances in other blockbusters like Black Panther or 12 Years a Slave). Us was a film where Jordan Peele could try to connect a million different real life events, theories, and reference points together. Does it sometimes feel as if he was more concerned about adding some absurd link between an aspect of the Tethered and a damn t-shirt from the 1980s rather than properly explaining all of the events in the movie? Sure, but I’m all for Peele expressing his creativity as he continues to strive to be more than just a horror director. I know I’m excited to see where he goes from here.

    Grade: B

    Fright in Motion:

    Spoiler:


    ---

    Coming up next, the letter is V. It’s obviously going to be vampire based. Duh.

  3. #103

    Re: Fright Fest 12: The Horrors of Learning Your ABCs

    Day #22
    Title: Vampires
    Country: United States/Japan
    Year: 1998
    Director: John Carpenter




    After Jack Crow’s vampire slaying crew is massacred by the most powerful vampire master, Valek, Crow must set out to stop Valek before the evil can discover a way to walk during the day.


    When going through the filmography of John Carpenter, it’s not difficult to see what genres shaped his mind as a child. Carpenter might be one of the most well known horror directors, but it’s sci-fi and especially westerns that Carpenter found a love and appreciation for. With that in mind, you can see the influences that westerners have had throughout his career. Carpenter has never shied away from showing his fondness for Howard Hawk’s films including remaking Hawks’ The Thing from Another World and Rio Bravo. The latter was remade twice, first with the original Assault on Precinct 13 and again in 2001 with Ghost of Mars, which just happens to be a sci-fi film.

    It’s understanding Carpenter’s interest in this genre and its characteristics that makes a lot of his film choices more understandable. At the same time, this is where I feel Vampires is immediately hit with a hurdle that it’s unable to jump over. Carpenter loves his cliché macho hero longer character that kicks ass and has some wise cracking lines to further show off how cool he is. Why do you think Carpenter happened to cast Kurt Russell in multiple movies? Russell, especially as Snake Plissken oozed this cool character that got the job done and kicked a whole lot of ass in the process. Roddy Piper’s Nada even boldly stated, “I have come here to chew bubblegum and kick ass... and I'm all out of bubblegum.” in 1988’s They Live. This is the sort of character that Carpenter loves to depict and time after time, he shows just how good he is at finding the right actor to portray him.

    I’m willing to bet that the first time I ever saw James Woods in any sort of movie or TV show, it was in Carpenter’s Vampires. For years, I saw Woods as the sort of actor who was naturally a bad ass who could also talk the talk. If I were to wager a bet, it may have been a full twenty years since I last saw Vampires. This time around, I can’t help, but feel as if Woods is terribly miscast. At no point whatsoever do I buy the character he’s desperately trying to portray. Jack Crow feels as if it was written with someone like Russell in mind. Without Russell’s natural coolness, Crow comes across as an asshole when he’s trying to state his biggest lines and is awkward when attempting to come across as a tough guy. You can say a lot of things about Woods, but he is a good actor. It’s just that he excels at playing the unlikable smarmy asshole. I’m not saying Disney’s Hercules is a particularly strong animated movie, but even Disney knew what sort of role to cast Woods in. Jack Crow being believable, the movie suffers.

    Story wise, Vampires don't bring much to the table. You’ve got your big bad vampire on the hunt for a means of being outside during the day without being fried up. Enter our MacGuffin for the movie - a big old black cross. The story is padded out more with Crow’s buddy, Montoya (Played by the most forgettable Baldwin brother, Daniel) caring for and eventually falling for the soon to be vampire, Katrina. Since she has a Halloween 5-like mental link with Valek, Crow believes she’ll be of some good in trying to hunt down the ever dangerous Valek. Once the film ditched the vampire hunting after a large party turned massacre committed by Valek against all of Crow’s crew, the film’s pace slows down and becomes a bore. It’s clear that besides his love of westerns, Vampires sought inspiration from From Dusk Till Dawn as it blends westerns, vampirism, and Mexican culture all together. Considering how much superior From Dusk is to Vampires, you’re better off sticking with the Robert Rodriguez film instead.

    I haven’t been all that positive on Vampires, but if there is one area in which it doesn’t disappoint it’s the effects and gore. As I said, it had been many years since I had watched Vampires, so I was a little concerned that the film would use that new fangled CGI that was starting to pop up a lot in the late 90s. I have little doubt that had the film been shot ten years later, maybe even just a short five years, it would have been nearly entirely CGI. Instead, the effects are wonderfully crafted by the fine folks over at KNB EFX. The best effect comes early on in the film as Valek bursts into a motel room and slaughters Crow’s crew starting with one man who was ripped in half with a single hand. It’s a shame the film didn’t rely more on just watching the carnage that Valek is capable of unleashing because it greatly outdoes the tired story.

    Overall, I love John Carpenter. Halloween is literally the reason why I became a horror fan. However, you either pull a James Whale and leave the horror industry when you’re still on top or you last long enough that you find yourself a shell of your former self. The 90s was a decade where Carpenter’s drop in quality became apparent and Vampires stands out as his weakest of the decade. In fairness to Carpenter, I don’t know if he could have made James Woods work as Jack Crow even during his peak. The story is dull, the film tries too hard to attempt to be cool, and all that’s left is the practical effects to try and carry the production. I recommend only watching Vampires’ when you’re going through Carpenter’s filmography or you want a better understanding of what makes his superior films work. Sadly, Vampires exhibit the opposite of what Carpenter did to succeed in his prime.

    Grade: D

    Fright in Motion:

    Spoiler:


    ---

    Coming up next, last year we barely escaped traveling through the outback, now we must go back.

  4. #104
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    Re: Fright Fest 12: The Horrors of Learning Your ABCs

    Interesting timing. I rewatched Vampires earlier this month. Loved it back in the day but been years since I've seen it. Completely agree on James Woods being horribly miscast. Honestly, he might have been better as the dickish sidekick character, with someone with more natural charisma as the lead. Or if they stick with Woods, then morph the Crow character into something other than the tough badass leader... But it definitely could have done with more likeability in the lead and sidekick roles.
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  5. #105

    Re: Fright Fest 12: The Horrors of Learning Your ABCs

    Quote Originally Posted by Big Papa View Post
    Interesting timing. I rewatched Vampires earlier this month. Loved it back in the day but been years since I've seen it. Completely agree on James Woods being horribly miscast. Honestly, he might have been better as the dickish sidekick character, with someone with more natural charisma as the lead. Or if they stick with Woods, then morph the Crow character into something other than the tough badass leader... But it definitely could have done with more likeability in the lead and sidekick roles.
    I don't know if even altering the character of Crow over the course of the film would have helped. I was doubting the believability of the character from literally the first scene he was in.

  6. #106
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    Re: Fright Fest 12: The Horrors of Learning Your ABCs

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim View Post
    I don't know if even altering the character of Crow over the course of the film would have helped. I was doubting the believability of the character from literally the first scene he was in.
    Sorry, I was meaning more in terms of the writing of the character. If you HAVE to cast James Wood, evolve the writing of the character in the script to fit him. The leather jacket-wearing, wise-cracking badass is a poor fit. I can imagine Woods pulling off a Constantine-type character - world weary and snarky, with the badassery more subtle.
    EVERY ENDING IS A NEW BEGINNING.
    YOUR LUCKY NUMBER IS NONE.
    YOUR LUCKY COLOUR IS DEAD.
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  7. #107

    Re: Fright Fest 12: The Horrors of Learning Your ABCs

    Day #23
    Title: Wolf Creek 2
    Country: Australia
    Year: 2013
    Director: Greg McLean




    Mick Taylor is back to hunt down those poor souls that happen to be traveling across the Outback.


    Last year, I spoke heavily about my love and personal experiences with the original Wolf Creek. It’s a movie that I’m still able to greatly appreciate. A core reason for its success was its unpredictability including not even recognizing what the threat would be for nearly the entire first half of the film. When news broke that Wolf Creek would be getting a sequel and that both director, Greg McLean, and its star, John Jarratt would be returning, I was pretty thrilled. Could they recapture the match that was created in 2005?

    I suppose it shouldn’t have surprised me that Wolf Creek 2 picked up where its predecessor left off in terms of not being what I expected. After re-watching Wolf Creek 2, I went back and read over my review for the original Wolf Creek again, trying to get back into that same mind space I was in with the movie so fresh on my mind. Something that stuck out to me in that review was a little throwaway line at the end - “Mick’s very Freddy Krueger-like…” While watching Wolf Creek 2, I couldn’t shake the impression that the tone reminded me of a slasher sequel four or five entries into the franchise. I specifically recall getting similar vibes as I would watching say A Nightmare on Elm Street 5 or something comparable.

    Typically, this tonal change occurs over the course of multiple films highlighted by the killer gaining a larger and larger role, the victims becoming more forgettable, and the killer’s few witty lines becomes a full blown comedy routine. Wolf Creek 2 jumps right ahead by putting all of the focus on its killer by opening the film up with Taylor not only being the lead, but placing him in a sympathetic role by being subjected to being pulled over and harassed by a couple of shady police officers. While Mick naturally takes things too far it’s easy to empathize with him being mistreated and Mick giving the police a chance to back away by confirming that they wish to proceed with giving him a ticket. For Mick, it’s not his “Fault” that this had to happen. He didn’t wish to use his shotgun to blow the brains out of the younger police officer and turn the older police officer into his trademark ‘Head on a stick’ before burning him alive. They practically forced him to do so!

    If that opening scene wasn’t enough to convince the viewers that it’s Mick who is now the lead of the franchise, the next story introduces a new pair of soon to be victims, neither of which end up surviving to see even the halfway point of the film. It’s a jarring experience though as Mick is far less sympathetic as his victims this time around aren’t the ones who started the problem nor are they the bad guys in the scenario. We’re introduced to a young German couple, Rutger and Katarina, backpacking through the Outback. It’s a long build-up as the couple is struggling to find rides as they slowly arrive at their destination of the famed Wolf Creek. The horror genre can be a little odd in that the killers can still be likable when they’re slicing and dicing, but the prospect of sexual assault is where some viewers may draw the line. I wasn’t fond of Mick’s creepy behavior towards Katarina. It gets to the point where it seems as if Mick is moments away from raping her before the already injured Rutger comes to her defense before succumbing for good at Mick’s hands.

    Rather than turn the film into a survival horror with this Katarina as the star, we’re introduced to yet another new arrival in the form of British traveler, Paul, who happens across Katarina and being the good Samaritan that he is, tries to help her reach safety. Instead, one poorly aimed shot by Mick causes her sudden death and the film finally settles on a story with Taylor turning all of his rage after losing his latest female plaything in wanting to take out his frustration out on Paul. This survival horror takes place across the Outback with Paul nearly killed multiple times before finally settling on a cave of sorts that Mick has transformed into his den for misdeeds against the women he’s picked up.

    The unexpected comedy or cheese factor doesn’t let up there though as Paul stumbles into discovering Mick’s weakness - jokes. Paul managed to prolong his own death by keeping Mick entertained, showing off a new side of Mick that perhaps all of these other victims stood a chance if they could just find a way to humor him. I suppose this is where the film can succeed because it’s really putting over what a crazed psychopath Mick is when he finds all of these murders and agonies of torture to be entertaining to him. The very fate of Paul highlights Mick’s peculiar attitude as Mick opts to keep Paul alive after all. Rather than this being positive news for Paul, surviving this only results in police suspecting him as being the one who did all of the killings forcing Paul to have a mental breakdown as a result. Perhaps by allowing Paul to live wasn’t a charitable move by Mick, but rather a carefully crafted choice to ensure his own protection.

    One point of contention for Wolf Creek was the claims of misogyny that ran wild on it. Personally, I didn’t feel it was misogynistic since the character of Liz was treated so well while sole survivor, Ben, was utterly hopeless. This time around, the lack of a strong female character became glaringly obvious. Minus the old lady that briefly took Paul in, every woman in this movie was just presented as either a soon to be sexual victim for Mick or a now deceased woman who had been a sexual victim for Taylor. At the same time, much like the previous film, Wolf Creek 2 doesn’t present men in the best of lights either. Besides Mick being Mick, you have the two crooked police officers, the German boyfriend who fails to save his girlfriend, and lastly Paul. Paul may not be as pathetic as Ben, but the only thing he manages to succeed at is making Mick laugh. Unlike Ben, who technically managed to get away on his own, admittedly because Mick never bothered checking in on him, Paul only managed to escape because Mick transported him to safety. I think it all comes down to the fact that Mick Taylor and the Wolf Creek property isn’t misogynistic, but rather it’s mean spirited. This strikes me as odd since the Wolf Creeks are centering around a wise cracking killer and how is that any different from any other horror franchise that features a similar killer? All I can come away with is that wise cracking killers tend to be supernatural of some sort. Freddy Krueger was a demon that had been killed and returned to haunt teenagers in their nightmares. Chucky was a doll that happened to have the soul of a serial killer. Now Mick Taylor? He’s a believable regular person. Unlike the Child’s Play/Chucky and A Nightmare on Elm Street franchises, the Wolf Creek films presents itself as being based on a true story. Again, another layer to Mick Taylor being realistic, which makes his actions come across as more mean spirited than similar lines and actions by Freddy Krueger.

    Overall, just as I did when I originally watched Wolf Creek 2, I come away a little disappointed with this latest watch. Much like any sequel in any horror franchise, you will know what’s the threat going into the movie unlike with the original movie. This is especially a shortcoming of Wolf Creek 2 because the surprises in Wolf Creek were one of the strongest aspects of the movie. You know exactly who and what Mick Taylor is capable of doing in this movie from the first moment he’s on the screen. That lacks some of the fun, but Taylor is still his wonderful wise cracking self. There’s a lot more comedy in this movie, which doesn’t help with the overall quality of the film. The victims here lack any depth and are clearly here just to be killed by Mick. If you’re like me and you love the original Wolf Creek, I suppose it’s worth watching this movie just to get more of Mick, but the tone is so different here that I wouldn’t say that McLean recaptured the magic that he fell into in 2005.

    Grade: C

    Fright in Motion:

    Spoiler:


    ---

    Coming up next, Fuji thinks it’s a certainty that the X movie will be Xtro? Well joke’s on him.

  8. #108

    Re: Fright Fest 12: The Horrors of Learning Your ABCs

    Day #24
    Title: X: The Man with the X-Ray Eyes
    Country: United States
    Year: 1963
    Director: Roger Corman




    After a doctor discovers a way to give himself X-Ray vision, he quickly discovers that his new found power can be too much to control.


    Ah, Roger Corman. Throughout the 12 editions of Fright Fest, I don’t believe I’ve covered any of his movies. I believe the closest I’ve come to covering one of his movies was Silence of the Lambs where Corman was given a bit acting part. There was a time in horror where Corman was the busiest man in all of horror. Case in point, in 1957, Corman directed three horror movies in addition to the six other movies he was directing in that year alone. In a lot of ways, Corman became the inspiration for the folks over at Full Moon or Troma. It’s all about turnover and moving onto the next picture. In the case of X: The Man with the X-Ray Eyes (Also released as simply ‘X’), it took three weeks to film everything. That seemed especially long for a Corman film, but watching the movie, it seems as if it’s only that long because it’s such an ambitious B movie.

    For such a small budget movie, I have to give Corman credit for attempting to go all out for this movie. X has both a big car chase at the end of the film and a ton of special effects sprinkled throughout the film. Given that this is from the 1960s and a small budget film, the special effects do come across as a bit poor though. The very last moment of the film is supposed to be this huge horror moment as Dr. Xavier is so distraught over the anguish in dealing with his X-Ray eyes that he plucks his now blackened eyes out of its sockets only for the sockets to have basically small bits of red paper over his eyes to represent blood. Rather than being grossed out, like I imagine the movie was going for, I burst out in laughter. It looked utterly ridiculous, but gosh darn it, I loved it. The rest of the special effects was geared towards the trippy X-Ray vision. I imagine these moments could be a real hoot if you watch it while under the influence.

    The story, itself, is bizarre in that it comes across as an adaption of perhaps a comic series, but rather than tell the story over the course of a few movies, it’s all compressed into one feature length movie. There’s so much happening in X, but the plot never remains on one story for too long. The first third introduces the viewers to Dr. James Xavier as he creates the eye drops that allows the user to see through objects. Initially, it’s all fun and games as Xavier has some fun taking the eye drops before going to a party to see through all of the clothes of the women. Later, he discovers that he’s able to spot the problem with a sick girl, recognizing that her doctor has it all wrong and if the planned surgery ends up happening, she’ll be killed. This is essentially all of the drama that the eye drops creates early on. A battle of two doctors who both believe they know what’s truly wrong with the sick girl with Xavier ultimately winning out by cutting the surgeon at the start of the surgery so that he’s forced to take over and proceed with what he believes is the right surgery. Then in the biggest surprise of the movie, when he’s confronted by a friend about his over reliance of the eye drops, Xavier snaps, pushes his friend, resulting in the friend crashing through a window and falling to his death.

    With Xavier now on the run following the murder, the film jumps an unspecificed amount of time into the future. It’s at least a month, but likely longer. Now, not only is Xavier no longer a practicing doctor, but he’s now a sideshow act at a carnival, using his X-Ray vision to be a mind reader. This is such an abrupt change of pace that I’m struggling to see how he landed in such a position. When a man named Crane (Played by Don Rickles) recognizes that Xavier is legit and there’s no tricks to his powers, Crane realizes that there’s better ways to exploit Xaiver’s gifts. That’s when the movie moves into a new story with Xavier working as a healer because he can now see inside of the body to see if say a heart is in bad shape or not. All of this attention eventually got back to his love interest, Dr. Diane Fairfax, who hadn’t seen Xavier in months ever since the murder of his friend. With the pair reunited, it’s decided that they’re going to leave Crane behind and live in hiding in Canada, but first they need money. The solution? Vegas, baby! Xavier uses his X-Ray eyes to cheat his way into winning a fortune, but in doing so gains some enemies in the casino which leads to a chase scene with a helicopter all while Xavier’s eyesight is so trippy and messed up that it’s a miracle that he doesn’t immediately crash his car. Eventually, the crash does happen and Xavier stumbles into a sketchy church sermon under a tent where the priest is the one to instruct Xavier to pluck out his eyes once Xaiver admits to seeing such evil things with them. You know, the whole “If thine eye offends thee...pluck it out” line from the bible. Do you see how all over the place the movie is? Everything felt rushed rather than being a traditional traveling based movie.

    Ideally, I would have liked to see more horror injected into X. The first half of the movie is your standard mad scientist film, but unlike something like the original The Invisible Man, Xavier isn’t given enough time to go completely bonkers. He crossed some lines in cutting the surgeon during the operation scene, but it’s a little nick on the doctor’s hand and it was ultimately to save the little girl’s life. Likewise, the murder of his friend was pretty extreme, but the scene was so over the top in that Xavier just meant to shove his friend away. It’s not his fault that his friend fell through a window. As things became more and more trippy with Xavier’s eyesight becoming otherworldly, it would have been beneficial had he struggled to identify what’s really in front of him and what isn’t, resulting in some deaths. Ray Milland, who played Dr. Xavier, was fairly likeable though. It’s a bit of a change of pace from seeing Milland as the bad guy in Dial M for Murder.

    Overall, for a movie I chose to watch solely because it’s one of the very few horror movies that began with the letter X, it was...fine. More than anything, I’m left with the impression that it’s a real shame that we’ve yet to see a remake with modern effects. Considering what an important role the effects had in the movie, it feels a little too ahead of its time with the limitations of the early 60s. The other downfall is that the movie tried packing way too much into the story rather than fully flesh out the ideas they already had.

    Grade: C

    Fright in Motion:

    Spoiler:


    ---

    Coming up next, thanks to COVID, you didn’t need to head to the movie theater to watch this 2020 horror.

  9. #109
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    Re: Fright Fest 12: The Horrors of Learning Your ABCs

    I really don't like the name Mick Taylor for the villain in Wolf Creek. Such a generic and uninspiring name...

  10. #110

    Re: Fright Fest 12: The Horrors of Learning Your ABCs

    Quote Originally Posted by Bro View Post
    I really don't like the name Mick Taylor for the villain in Wolf Creek. Such a generic and uninspiring name...
    I'd say that can be looked upon as a positive. If Mick Taylor is this unmemorable name, it fits Mick's character well. He's not someone who is supposed to stand out. After all, he's a character that law enforcement aren't even sure if he exists or not.

  11. #111
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    Re: Fright Fest 12: The Horrors of Learning Your ABCs

    True, in the context of the movie it might be the right choice if the creators were looking for this effect. I am just looking from marketing standpoint. I learned from my old screenwriting classes professor (RIP) that one of the most important things in your script is to give memorable name of your protagonist. It should be catchy and easy to remember.

    I completely forgot the name of the killer in Wolf Creek. I was calling him "The Wolf Creek Killer", before I read your review lol.

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