Holiday Hell (2019)

Score: 3/10

Length: 100 mins

Rating: NR

Language: English

Categories: 2000s, Anthology, holiday, murderer, cult

A four-piece anthology tied together by a girl looking for a girl for her sister at an oddities shop on Christmas Eve. A killer wearing a doll mask killer, an evil rabbi doll, a Santa slasher, and a cult make up the four stories, and the latter takes a mediocre film into a steep downward spiral. It’s not bad for a low budget-horror, but none of the stories really go anywhere and therefore, aren’t exactly memorable. A one-time watch, with acting you can sit through reciting cringeworthy lines.

The Lighthouse (2019)

Score: 4/10

Length: 109 mins

Rating: R

Language: English

Categories: 2000s, recent, black and white, supernatural, murder

Robert Eggers, production designer recently turned director, known for The Witch, teams up with his brother to suck all the colour out of his latest film. This is a story about two sailor men who are on duty as lighthouse keepers. They do their duties. They talk about nothing with their silly accents. They go a little cray cray. They get excited about mermaid vagina. One smokes a lot and one farts a lot. But it’s enjoyable because it’s like looking at black and white artsy photographs. I liked that this movie was simply called The Lighthouse, because if nothing else, I came here to learn about lighthouses, and I feel I’ve been adequately educated. ]I did feel immersed in this incredibly slow-burner of a movie, and I found it easy to picture myself in the setting feeling cold and damp, and bored out of my damn mind. Unfortunately, (intentionally?) I had no affections to either character, Da Foe with his rough and tough fairytale fisherman persona nor Pattinson with his affinity for seagull murder. I can appreciate that the realistic decent into madness isn’t typically fast-paced and full of thrilling events, but the most terrifying thing the film has to offer are likely the shadows on Da Foe’s face during his monologues. The lengthy singing and dancing was more than a little painful to sit through, but it might still be a great stuck indoors due to stormy weather, nothing better to do type-film.

Shout out to Amazon Prime for providing interesting trivia facts to read during slow movies.

Ghost Stories (2019)

Score: 4.5/10

Length: 144

Rating: Mature (Netflix)

Language: English

Categories: 2000s, Hindi, Bollywood, anthology, murderer, monster, ghost

There are a lot of films with this name, so don’t get confused- this is the Bollywood horror anthology film on Netflix. The same directors who worked on Lust Stories share four creepy tales. A few things you need to keep in mind- Bollywood is known for elaborate action films and romances with loads of singing and dancing. It’s not known for its horror films and rightfully so- they don’t compare to the actual horrors we see in most North American, European, and Asian films, they’re more like spooky bed time stories. So take that horror genre categorizing with a huge grain of salt. And maybe some cilantro.

The segments don’t have titles so I’m just going to make them up and review them separately.

The Old Lady – A young woman is a caretaker for an elderly, bed-ridden lady. Strange things happen in the house at night, and eventually, the nurse happens upon a horrible secret which she smelled from the start.

Egg Envy – An almost black and white story about an expecting mother, a jealous child, and feathery fears of a miscarriage.

Monster Meal – I suppose a zombie movie, but more with monsters. Most of the humans are still turning, however, our main monster looks a lot like Harry the sasquatch from Harry and the Hendersons. Funny enough, this is probably the scariest segment, due to some of the frightening acting by the affected-humans. A man visits a small town and finds two children to be the sole survivors of some sort of mutation that turns humans into apelike creatures with bad eyesight who eat humans.

Granny’s Blessing – The final film is strange and not scary, but definitely quirky. An attractive couple plan an arranged marriage, but the wife-to-be has second thoughts after learning that her fiance is obsessed with his dead grandmother.

Midsommar (2019)

Score: 9/10

Length: 147 (yes, it’s like three hours long, but it doesn’t feel like it)

Rating: R

Language: English

Categories: 2000s, murderer, recent, recommended, supernatural

This is the director’s second full-length film after Hereditary, and let me say, I thought it was fucking fantastic. It has everything I want: flowers and hippy euphoria nonsense, strange plot line that actually somehow makes sense, uncommon gore, and a break-up story with a fantastic ending. I think most will probably like Hereditary more (though you have to look up what’s it’s actually about afterwards to appreciate it fully), but this movie was my jam. I also thought the acting was very well-done, the actors were well chosen, and the location was on-point. It’s a story about a rocky couple and their friends who venture to Sweden for a mid-summer festival. Things get very cult-y and weird as the group discovers (and participates in) more “family rituals”. Things go from bad to worse at a believable pace, and I found the choices the characters made strangely realistic for the situation they’re in. The one and only thing, in my opinion,  that’s lacking in this movie is the scare-factor. Don’t expect any tension or jump-scares in this film, it’s not really the director’s style. He’s more of a slow, repulsion kinda guy, and I can’t fault him for that, but that’s why it’s not at a perfect score.