I Came By (2022)

From the opening moments of this film you garner an awareness of the warped morality of the vandals who are the leading characters in I Came By. The introduction is brief and well stylized; professing the characters’ locus of immorality to the audience – and the karmic actions conducted to make up for their notoriety.

Considering we’re already living in a society of fear, the notion that anyone entering your home can attain your Wi-Fi password is made abundantly clear – alongside the fact that people most often don’t change it.

Upon the security a judge’s surveillance being breached, what’s to come in this film speaks for itself; with the individual in question denying voluntary police intervention upon (after some delay) becoming aware of an intruder.

Written by Babak Anvari.

The sort of tactics a judge (or anyone else in such a prestigious position) could employ during a campaign of abduction/human imprisonment are put forth in a manner one could regard as frustrating to watch, but that is likely the point; tyranny is pretty annoying…

Produced by Lucan Toh & Babak Anvari.

When considering the main character; my same old juxtaposing of pedantic laws versus depraved villainy comes into effect; and it needs not elaborating upon much further.

Written by Babak Anvari & Namsi Khan.

However, there’s a great level of irony in regards to how legislative forces end up aiding the graffiti artist upon him being captured. The movie doesn’t play into too many cliches by making the officers featured incompetent, either – which is both commendable and frighteningly close to propaganda.

How the media go about presenting the graffiti is another ironic nuance; reporting them as an individual instead of a collective; when they themselves are a group of people garnering publicity for themselves (albeit in a conventionally acceptable manner.)

The career role of the villain is mostly a plot device to make the film more multifaceted in my eyes; addressing just how frequent cases of human trafficking are amongst those in less affluent/respectable positions.

The redundancy of psychiatric help when one is pragmatically at risk of confidentiality being broken (which unfortunately, it often is) is touched upon; there’s not much need for commentary comparing differing people’s pain threshold here.

It makes a few succinct points regarding psychiatry; suggesting that those in such positions are often accustomed to their clients being rather spineless and as a result end up treating most patients with a level of jaded condescension. This is a wide-spread issue that renders many people disillusioned with public mental health provisions.

I Came By gives off Disturbia vibes; although the tactics employed by the vandals (independently turned detective) are much more sophisticated in this movie.
Streaming on Netflix.

Given the covert nature of his prior experiences and initial disillusionment with the powers that be (upon first making his discoveries); taking matters that belong in the hands of federal investigators becomes a fatal risk; which is all too true…


Don’t Hang Up (2016)

Upon first viewing this movie, I was entertained/incapacitated to the point where revisiting it became necessary in order to write a review. For anyone interested in technological horrors – this feature is incredibly engrossing.

Directed by Alexis Wajsbrot Damien Macé.

The opening scene leads one to wonder about the exact nature of what you’re about to watch and this speaks to some degree of realism being imbued into Don’t Hang Up by its creators.

Having known ‘people’ that made calls baring likeness to the ones made by the leading characters, you could question whether this is categorically is a horror or revenge-action feature; but that’s just conjecture.
Produced by Laurie Cook, Jason Newmark, Romain Philippe, Olivier Philippe, Farah Abushwesha, Alexis Wajsbrot & Damien Macé.

The average audience member is likely to reason that it falls into the latter category – although the actions conducted by the protagonists are more jarring to your average audience than the black hat vigilante justice that later befalls them.

The way in which the pranksters succeed in social engineering their victims is well constructed (and believable;) speaking to just how contrived and calculated their every day interactions are.

Given that their motive is to garner exposure at the expense of unsuspecting civilians, it certainly drives home the idea that you shouldn’t have your contact details available in local registries (let alone social media.)

Sadism constituting entertainment is nothing new – and in some ways the film is a paradox when musing upon a notion. It appears sadism under the guise of righteousness is more enjoyable for the average person.

Although a hyper realistic mantra is being employed in evaluating this film, the digital universe it works to illustrate is particularly outdated. Considering just how binding the majority of wide-spread creative mediums are these days; this could be the point made intentionally.

One could first regard the shining finesse of the cinematography and setting as over saturated and conventional; but it works. Ironically, such factors speak to just how artificial the lives of the main characters featured are – and the potentiality of losing the privilege bestowed upon them prior to becoming enthralled in garnering juvenile infamy.

The way in which the main characters’ personal lives are regarded so seriously over social media – even when it comes to intimate, interpersonal associations and the alternation of relationship statuses is quite comical. It immediately emits a reek of hypocrisy from the sort of individuals who devalue the lives of every over being – so long as they serve no purpose to their immediate lives.

In many ways Don’t Hang Up illustrates a genuine lack of empathy – in terms of regarding all beings as equal. Many are conditioned to feel this way as a result of trauma, although the root cause of what drives the main characters into acting so irresponsibly is something subtly presented to you. Parental neglect is the likely answer, given that such characters aren’t featured for a good portion of the movie.

However, it could also be ascertained that their elders’ ignorance to the nature of the internet and just how negative an impact their offspring are having on society at large is the reason behind their children’s messed up priorities. This is made clear later into the film; given one character is intent upon joining the military against his father’s wishes.

The power dynamic embraced by the two leads is swiftly turned on its head by an affronted, retaliatory caller. One could regard him as being superior to them both morally and methodically. This is disputable of course, as an ear for a call will make everyone deaf. This most likely acts as a warning to viewers who think their online infractions are immune from the karmic cycle of the universe.

Fear quickly eliminates the arrogance of Sam and Brady, who are immediately scared to answer their door after acknowledging their tormentor knows their location and online trail. Such immediate regret (not remorse) leads one to believe that if their actions had been compromised by a much more powerful entity earlier; a whole lot of catastrophes would have been preventable.

That’s the problem here, though. The individual opposing them is pursuing deathly retribution rather than just putting an end to their egotistical crusade. The relationship between Peyton and how they go about things prior to their being actual repercussions to their calls speaks to degree of either sadism or ignorance on her behalf.

The dynamic intensity/longevity of how the caller goes about terrorizing the leads likely correlates with the external effects their pranks had upon victims publicly berated online and just how impactful actions of such permanence are.

How the duo go about regarding the person calling them as one individual rather than a collective is a convention that the film didn’t break; but the fact they fail to consider such a factor brought such a thought to mind.

Ignorance of the fact they’re under covert camera surveillance prior to the action really starting speaks to the leads’ ignorance in regards to the situation’s severity: however, this is something the movie should have made contextually abundant to the audience…


Mr Harrigan’s Phone (2022)

One familiarized with Stephen King’s repertoire is likely to regard Mr Harrigan’s Phone as a mash-up of his two prior novels; Hearts In Atlantis and Bag of Bones. The elderly gentleman featured is a combination of Ted and Max from the previously mentioned stories, too, on base appearances.

Directed by John Lee Hancock.

With post-modernistic narration is over-saturating cinema these days; this film embraces cliches and contradicts them incisively. The characteristics of the high-school and its inhabitants (especially dialogue soaked in buzz-words) initially could make one wonder if the rights of this movie cost a dollar. They’d be mistaken, though.

Produced by Ryan Murphy, Jason Blum & Carla Hacken.

People could even disrespectfully joke that film is a satire; with the tropes included eventually becoming something one could regard intentionally contrived. King’s attitude toward adolescent dialogue is often unrealistic; i.e. Under The Dome. Both characters being incredibly literate individuals likens the odds that this is a self-referential plot device.

Written by John Lee Hancock.

The characteristics of a character presented as being a ‘bully’ within the community is quite paradoxical. In reality, he’d be an outcast. The film is surprisingly subliminally duplicitous.

The paternal dynamic is presented in a manner absent of social commentary. Even going as far as fictionalizing the likelihood of the situation in question. Denying a grieving son a ‘Cell’-phone is absurd; although, this is most probably a plot device completely acknowledging money hungry family members by essentially omitting them.

The surprise scratch-card is another throwback to ‘Hearts,’ too. It acknowledges that the elongated dramatization of bereavement is unnecessary by making the characters lazily discuss is another conveniently contrived contradiction.

An Orwellian condemnation of the the digital age is concisely conveyed; another tongue-in-cheek counterargument to that of all things cliched. It could convince technologically literate people to help the elderly avoid scammers/hackers; which is a bonus.

Mr Harrigan having ‘pirateking’ as an alias assures the audience that he actually was already technologically literate ; testing whether Craig would be willing to reciprocate his mentorship – a final test, of sorts.

Mr. Harrington’s demise and Craig’s emotional response to it being more impactful than the death of his mother addresses alienation afflicting families of many. This film is the covertly mocking (and eventually, transcending) the homogeneous conventions of adaptations frequently condemned by King.

The unintentional gang ties someone can attain through acts of good will are discreetly conveyed; alongside the power of the internet in such bewildering forms of alliance. Such affiliations being extended to those closest to the individual in question are viciously depicted.

I’ve touched upon the methodologies sophisticated murderers use in many of my old posts; and this film provides one with a situation depicting how such infractions aren’t noted as something abrasive by onlookers.

Failures of the judicial system and the often deadly impact meager legal repercussions can have on perpetrators are illustriously illustrated, in effect, throwing prisoners into the ‘freedom’ of vigilante crucifixion.

Streaming on Netflix.

Mr Harrigan’s Phone lowers your perceptions of what’s to come in an irregular manner, embracing tropes while simultaneously dismembering them.


The Resident (2011)

This film is oriented upon the social dynamic often occurrent between members of the opposite sex; with the leading male’s sexuality/loneliness driving his every interaction with the female ‘resident’ occupying his father’s household.

Directed by Antti Jokinen.

This is something instantly discernable in this film; before the occurrences presented elevate to that of stalking and violence. Such emotional nuances are made evident through the talent of the cast; before the film descends into predictability.

Produced by Simon Oakes, Cary Brokaw, Guy East & Nigel Sinclair.

One of the main things it targets is the class divide and inequalities between landlords and their residents and the fact that it can often transcend financial extortion to something much more macabre.

Written by Antti Jokinen, Robert Orr & Erin Cressida Wilson.

The elongated cinematography is something metaphoric, in my eyes; exemplifying the boring, representative cycle of the nurses life. This, quickly juxtaposed to her witnessing an overdose in the workplace depicts how her empathy (appropriate, considering her employment) rendered her vulnerable to the vulgarity of what occurs throughout the film; however, it could just as easily have happened to someone else – but they may not have been as amicable to the predators in this movie.

Streaming on Amazon Prime.

Where the elderly, unwell father in ownership of the household is concerned, he is essentially a talisman the leading male uses to be regarded in higher esteem by the female he effectively psychoanalyses and from therein- socially engineers.

With it being a horror, it’s a given that certain characters will harbor heinous intentions; so I attempt to regard such films without being categorically cliched. It puts forward a pretty cynical idea; that genuine people simply are too preoccupied with their own lives/careers to support vulnerable individuals; and that anyone outwardly exhibiting empathy are false; indulging their targets with rehearsed utterances to deceptively (and paradoxically) garner the very thing they’re scaring away, true intimacy or sincerity.

This soon proves to be the case for the younger male ‘resident’ after stalking the lead and acting as if their meeting was coincidental. A lot can be said for this, as of eighteen minutes in – it’s begs the question if absolute desperation can be regarded as natural human interaction; but this notion is naive and optimistic – regardless of what transpires later on in the film.

The brevity with which he comes across this woman; and plays it off as mere coincidence is disputable at the point of witnessing it, which plays in the film’s favor as far as artistic merit is concerned; however, I’m more inclined to believe that the resident is either someone incredibly socially repressed. There is some semblance of beauty in the camera work – juxtaposed to the growing disillusionment with humanity enveloping my mind.

Up until the thirty minute mark, it’s like you’re watching an extremely dubious romantic drama; but I say this in jest. The counterbalance between what constitutes affection; and how much it means to either individual is way off kilter. The tone swiftly changes, though.

Even before anything goes wrong I’m aware of the negative implications even a slight kiss could have for the heroine – in terms of the emotional archetypes we’re conventionally attuned to witnessing in features like this one. Something went wrong earlier, and immediately after though, and that’s some voyeuristic (perverted) modifications applied to the premises – covertly deployed and illustrated by the cinematography only.

In this case, it appears to be a collective means of social engineering the female resident by the elderly owner and his son – but it all depends on how one is to regard the nature of coincidences; or the self-revelatory camera pans early on into the feature. I guess the actors give themselves away, to some extent. The rewinding of the angles/lack of chronology that spawns in here really does give you insight into the protagonist’s obsessive behavior. Unfortunately the movie, at a certain point, thrusts them right in your face.

The fact that Jessica is being drugged throughout the film is quite subtle, until you garner some understanding of Max killing his father. Love’s unconditional (or internally, believed to be unconditioned) nature and the harm such a mentality can have on more than just a couple is something touched upon resultant of such patricide. It’s strange that she isn’t aware of it instantly, considering she’s a nurse..

You’re presented with a pretty nihilistic state of affairs really, with Juliet being evidently traumatized by some previous relationship issues – and a stalker with way too much capital and a capacity for predatory manipulation in his pursuit for intimacy. 

The differences between the two character’s career roles is something worth considering, with one being of the upmost caring intimacy (nursing) and the other of a more; janitorial status, the lack of people to acknowledge in a worldly sense, not just romantically.

So, the turning point here really is wondering how Jessica will go about evading such a ghastly, imposing manipulator in her life and how she will overcome infrastructure that is per-designed to accommodate her victimization.

Upon the arrival of her previous partner, you begin to wonder about the back story of every male romantically involved with her – and can, to some extent, begin to think about what exactly has/hasn’t occurred off-camera and the tremulous nature of delusional love (in the hands of the ill equipped individual.) 

The hardly redemptive emotional purity of Max’s obsession soon becomes that of just plain out absurdity However, the futility of employing surveillance as a victim; whilst already under tyrannical observation is amply addressed – it’d be interesting to see a film use true to life countermeasures where situations as lop sided as these are concerned, though.

Major plot-points played out as one would most often imagine from a feature such as this; and the emotionally engaging, dramatic elements are snatched away too quickly – and I suppose that might be representative just how fragile the human mind can be.


Almost Mercy (2015)

This was something I got through in one sitting whilst feeling like Old Yeller. This is an incredibly dynamic film that sympathetically captures some of the context behind retaliatory mass-murder.

Directed by Tom DeNucci.

In terms of strange observations; the idea that gym-teachers could work to manipulate/label potentially harmful pupils was brought to mind.

Written by Tom DeNucci & B. Dolan.

Where sports coaches are concerned, though, you could regard their endorsement of infantile bullying to come as a result of them being academically inferior to their working colleagues.

Streaming on Amazon Prime.

Almost Mercy is as comedic as it is hard-hitting; and one could go as far as suggesting that it surpasses Elephant (not because it isn’t based around real life tragedies, either.)

One of the negative connotations of this film is profiling, though. Certain people are already scapegoated resultant of their upbringing and the depictions on screen shouldn’t be a reason to demonize those of similar backgrounds; but rather, address the institutional flaws that render similar people misanthropic.

Emily’s narration and overall character during this film is as hilarious as it is depressing. She’s one of the best horror heroine’s I’ve come across in recent years – she’s integral to the film.

Children often lack the experience to emotionally process trauma and as a result such individuals often end up naturally repressing their capacity for empathy – (pedantic psychological definitions are not my field, though) and the two leads do care for one another; (making Prime’s synopsis of it rather inaccurate) and such blanket terms are exactly why such personalities end up polarized in the first place.

The frustrating circumstances presented here provide you insight into two sane individuals (whom during the onset of the movie are victims, both of their family and the microcosm they inhabit at large.)

Really, the two murders are nowhere near as sadistic as the hereditary collectives who continually infringe upon them – and ascertaining this was rather jarring; I’d hate to think about how relative this is to real life…

One film cannot cover how every individual is to some extent shaped by circumstance; but where one of the childhood bullies are concerned; it does promote some degree of introspection in regards to pragmatics endorsing young children to bully others. Mercy’s narration of this is beautifully sassy; alongside all else she does.

The scope Almost Mercy attempts to cover is amazingly executed; it’s like an artistic massacre of the groups that push such murderers to the point of no return (or remorse.) It covers organized religion, education and all things judicial in its eighty minute runtime.

The dynamic between disabled people and their caregivers is put forward in a sensitive manner that’s often disregarded – that being that the suffering of the disadvantaged person leads them into garnering some malicious enjoyment out of treating their children like employed subordinates.

Violence and the idea of what constitutes dirty fighting is determined only by the injured parties and one scene drives this home particularly well.

The leading male winning a three vs one fight by any means still works to damage how people treat him; with the majority still sympathizing with the bullies. One could find this to be funny/ironic but unfortunately, it’s rather accurate.

Emily’s narration seems to also be a plot device used to undermine other films of a similar vein; dispelling cliches with her own cynicism whilst the film still occasionally falls into them – whilst it by no means takes itself too seriously; it’s still truer to life than most other features attempting to empathize/profiteer off of the world’s state of affairs.

I don’t feel like ruining the second half of this film; but it does carry a very malevolent message into how retribution can be better accomplished by such ruthless individuals. It really is something special.

There’s no need for this post to be dedicated to anyone. You know.


Exhibit A (2007)

This was a feature so profound that I couldn’t write a single word upon my first viewing. Taking into account how morbid the subject matters covered are; it’s bewildering that I’m eager to revisit it.

Directed by Dom Rotheroe.

Primarily, Exhibit A hones in on domestic abuse – the phenomenon of paternal figures appearing angelic to the outside world but behaving like a Demon to their immediate families is something acutely conveyed.

Produced by Darren Bender.

The critical scores regarding this are absolutely bewildering – people shouldn’t critique categories of content that they don’t understand in the first place.

Written by Dom Rotheroe & Darren Bender.

Found footage is my preference where horror is concerned – if you hadn’t already guessed. After regarding Hangman so highly; I was amazed about this feature – and rather ashamed it was new to me (after being out for over a decade.)

The prerogative that this format of film pursues is to make the person behind the camera contextually comparable to something occurrent in reality – and I’ve never seen a film accomplish this and essentially succeed it – the daughter behind the camera (for the most part) makes the medium a factor the director embraced (rather than cater to.)

This film could pass off as a genuine snuff film had someone found it down by the railroad tracks…

As far as the cinematography goes; there’s not much more that needs to be said about how genius it is; this is something one needs to appreciate for themselves – and the fact that I’m stopping here (in regards to that) is a testimony to how multifaceted and emotionally insightful this morbid feature is.

The demographic illustrated here is similar to Inbred; which could be setting some sort of trend where British horror is concerned – which must be daunting for such communities; given that art is a reflection of their realities.

Materialism and the average male’s concept of what constitutes success (mortgage, etc) and the pitfalls of prioritizing such prideful before those that genuinely love them (not for the aforementioned reasons) is brought to one’s attention sensitively and ruthlessly – these sorts of alchemic juxtapositions are very rare.

Unfortunately I can empathize to some degree with the victimized members of the family presented in Exhibit A – making the title particularly fitting; it’s representative of domestic abuse occurrent on a widespread basis; that most often goes unaccounted for.

It’s illogical to regard the father with any empathy here – gambling addiction or not; there was evidently capital at his disposal to rent; but it goes without saying.

In some ways, Exhibit A hones in upon the cyclic nature of childhood abuse; given the personality of the son and the father essentially reverting into juvenile retaliation to his daughter’s efforts to help him see the impact of his ego driven neuroses.

Judith’s obsession with the girl next door is illustrative of more than just her longing to live a life like hers. These voyeuristic demonstrations are symptomatic of the abuse she had likely spent a lifetime enduring.

The vocal tone of the leading man in this movie is suggestive of sociopathic traits; and an inherent determination to behave like a conventional father; rather than being a genuine human being treating those inhabiting his home lovingly; with sincere emotive intimacy.

After watching this; one could come to the approximation that some people most certainly shouldn’t have children. Alternatively, you could go down the victim blaming route and wonder why on earth the wife married such a man; but his descent into bullying and insanity is exactly that; a decline.

Having a family should have alleviated the burdens of such a man; yet his own delusional priorities destroyed everything that he may have once appreciated; that goes for the home they already inhabit; too, but it is human nature to take things for granted…

Judith’s character is the positive message portrayed by Exhibit A. She represented a breaking of the cycle; an aversion to the conditioning that many others succumb to. Whether it is through feminine insight into her mother’s sufferance isn’t for me to say; Dostoevsky’s suppositions regarding the female heart remain valid to this day.

Leaving it on a positive note; this is something I would very much recommend watching – it’s an underrated experience conveying just how far abuse can go; simultaneously remaining relatable to people who’ve endured similar infractions – but not to such extremes.

We’re just getting started.


V/H/S/99 (2022)

What is first notable about this addition to the franchise is how it truly attempts to replicate the flaws of the video during occasional transitions, flickering to innocent moments of fun during what I assume to be the introductory segment of it.

Directed by Johannes Roberts, Vanessa & Joseph Winter, Maggie Levin, Tyler MacIntyre & Flying Lotus.

It could be easy to misunderstand how multifaceted the first chapter is, with the infamy of the five protagonists being something discernible from the amount of ‘extreme’ videos they’ve already made.

Produced by Josh Goldbloom, Brad Miska, David Bruckner, Chad Villella, Matt Bettinelli-Olpin, Tyler Gillett & James Harris.

As is sometimes the case with situations like these, killers can utilize and exploit folklore to their own advantage and dispose of a group one would first consider as depraved with snuff-like ferocity.

One male wearing make-up prior to visiting the ‘haunted’ location speaks for the underlying message of how the murderers operate here and I found such self-awareness to be impressive.

It’s pretty dumb to undermine this franchise prematurely based upon one half baked sequel – it’s unlikely they’d succumb to following the route that so many other profiteering enterprises go down and I still have faith in the series.

In any case, post-murder video editing, costumes/reconnaissance conducted by the mercenaries likely worked to immunize them from any suspicion whatsoever. V/H/S/99 started, on base appearances, half-cooked; and I imagine this is exactly why – the ‘entities’ presented in the opening chapter could still pass of as human – costumes and appearances all considered.

I feel like VHS is intentionally lowering their own standards here. The kids TV segment is definitely making some sociological point about injurious audiences and the ramifications of exploiting your kids for monetary profit. How you want the torture scene in this segment of the movie to swiftly transition speaks for how trash a lot of other horrors are too, really.

The fact that it’s exclusive to Shudder speaks to the lowered amount of custom/investment in the industry these days; and I feel guilty for my downloading past..

The voyeuristic Medusa chapter of V/H/S/99 articulates how the medium itself has become a horrific element in our every day existence; with the permanency of embarrassing/shameful media being catastrophically impactful upon people’s self-confidence; and those with which they most often associate.

Later on this becomes all too clear; however, and the poignancy of the segment becomes thrust upon you instead of something to be reflected upon.

It could be a testament to how much further (if that was even possible) humanity has drifted from sincere interaction; cloaked by a digital smoke screen even before pandemic. Which makes one realize online collectives became something legally mandatory during those three years – and the impact of it is still something hard to comprehend.

Considering it’s based Ala ’99 fills one with a longing for a past never experienced; bound as we all are to the technology that rests beside us on every waking morning.

It seems like a big ‘fuck you’ to everyone that gave ’94 negative reviews, to me. This is why we can’t have nice things; I suppose. But thinking more into it, this is likely the very reason the next release is anticipated so much sooner than those that came prior. In all honesty, this seems like a franchise diversion that determined adolescents as its target audience.

Given that these films are essentially a compilation of short presentations (put together by so many different parties;) it feels like VHS is intentionally promoting inventive cinema of a lesser standard than fans are accustomed to; for better or worse; for the betterment of the genre.

For Emma; I’m staying spooky but certainly not safe!


Inbred (2011)

Upon watching Inbred it’s possible to discern that each victim represents a different Jungian archetype – given their differing psychological traits. This is almost like a metaphor inspired by The Brothers Karamazov (I wish;) categorizing differing human personalities and the consequent alienation they face in tightly knit locations.

Directed by Alex Chandon. The phone case in this frame is making some demographic point about how horror movies persecute certain localities – with Inbred being something of an anomaly.

With some reluctance I went about viewing this for the second time (it’s pretty entertaining;) which speaks to the value of newfound media; as opposed to limiting oneself to classical films as many supposed connoisseurs do these days.

Produced by Margaret Milner, Yazid Benfeghoul & Michael Kraetzer.

What’s commendable about a title I never thought be present on this page is just how long it takes for the film to get started, and the empathy they imbue into mostly dis-likable characters (at its onset, anyways); in comparison to the average horror movie. That might be what’s ingenious about it though, the depravity of the villains ends up making you root for the victims.

Written by Alex Chandon & Paul Shrimpton.

The way in which the subtitles are often incorrect is something humorous, even whilst watching it on streaming services. Another point Inbred makes is distinguishing between characters doing things of dubious morality and the people terrorizing them – as if intentionally conveying what really constitutes being a villain in the grand scheme of things.

How the location of origin the people going on the school trip is of a larger populous in comparison to the one they’re visiting likely was why they were completely stunned by the eventual torturous scenario; this is accomplished through it swiftly transitioning to scenes of extreme brutality.

Upon the onset of violence, the idea that people of slight criminality still harbor a sense of morality when faced with absolute degeneracy, with their ability to act as a unit being successfully accomplished upon being met with such a sinister situation; ironically enough.

The forty minute introduction to Inbred effectively endears the audience to characters that initially appear abrasive, with their prior transgressions having much less malicious intent that what they’re subjected to. The fact that the most likeable character is mostly mute says a lot…

There’s a swift transition into cultist absurdity similar to what occurs in Kill List; in terms of pacing. The film begs the question if smaller locations are societies for the most part, or cults?

Exhibitions of physical torture being inflicted on the victims is seemingly representative of the villain’s self-loathing (and the audience’s, which is the entire community,) as much as their situational delusion leads them to believe their beliefs are representative of the outside world.

The murderers featured completely isolate themselves from the outside world; voluntarily excising themselves from what’s considered normal; aiding their delusional perception that their outlandish behaviors are the norm.

Essentially, they’re exploiting the distance between themselves and external enforcement on a judiciary level. While Inbred can be regarded as sensational and exploitative, it begs the question of how many smaller locations go unacknowledged – and how demographics of the like aren’t often thoroughly evaluated.

The content featured in Inbred is so darkly satirical that one has to question what motive drove its creators to make such a scathing, personal social commentary addressing such a succinct location.

You could say that the film incorporates racial tropes in the chronology how the victims are subjugated to such torture, but sadly, this is more representative of reality than it is the ills of the movie industry where this particular piece is concerned. Besides, a whole location is being eyed with prejudicial lens throughout.

Thankfully, the gore presented in this film is more resonant of the ‘comedic’ violence that Ichi: The Killer definitively evaluated the difference between.

Rather than being a depraved and senseless film; the level of resistance those being tyrannically abused give adds to its entertainment value. Whilst Inbred is by no means taking itself seriously, this a sociologically harrowing feature.

It’s curious as to why it honed in upon one location, but one has to wonder how Texans in America feel following such a locale being used as a story device in so many horrors.

It’s like Withnail & I, but with psychopaths!


Brick (2005)

A poignant point one could muse upon after having first watched this movie is whether the leading character’s friend is a figment of his imagination or not; with there being no scenes where ‘brain’ directly converses with any other character.

Directed by Rian Johnson.

It’s a strange phenomenon, how major actors/actresses’ best works are usually their introductions to the big screen. Stuff like Donnie Darko, Disturbia and Mr Robot are examples of this. As for Edward Norton and Emile Hirsche, they do their own thing.

Produced by: Ram Bergman & Mark G. Mathis.

I’ve decided to watch the DVD on my laptop to invoke some form of symbolic literary nostalgia. Against the will of my own scapegoated emotional state, this is the second viewing. Not for the lack of wanting to – it’s more about how impactful this film was and will be once more.

Written by Rian Johnson.

The saying that appearances can often be underestimated is something Brick brings to light from its onset. It’s likely one of the main points the creators wanted to make. Using a Rubik’s cube as a prop during strategic conversations seems self-referential.

How the protagonist regards finding his deceased girlfriend without immediately discussing it with anyone speaks to an individual grasp upon morality and the manner in which he’s going to go about things; however. The first scene itself combats any preconceptions otherwise.

The physical actions and social dynamics between the leading characters comes off as abnormal; leading me into thinking that Brick intended to make a point about audiences becoming conditioned into accepting physiological profiling as the norm – ala type-casting.

My initial watch was during a period of depraved insufflation and I reached its conclusion upon recovering slightly. In an ode to my hedonistic days, I wrote this between naps! There’s an equilibrium between beautiful settings and concise, plot-related content that makes Brick hard to replicate (in a manner difficult to articulate.)

The ambiguity of the leading character’s back-story/occupation is another element that makes it a possibility that he’s better connected than the operation he’s trying to infiltrate; given the fact that characters frequently invite him to embrace his prior lifestyle. Considering how he handles the situation; this is a likely conclusion – he responds in a calculated manner; not beholden to his emotions.

It’s evident that he’s driven into unrelenting cynicism regarding everyone’s intentions through such a devastating discovery, though. The film manages to capture the social dynamic of smaller locations with a generation desperately trying to maintain a grasp on their individual secrets.

With the protagonist, you sense it isn’t just the death of his girlfriend that make characters anxious towards him; but his general affiliations. This gives off the impression that the people in his locality were attempting to entrap him legally; alongside that one of them threw a house party immediately after the as of yet unreported murder – watching this a second time is worthwhile.

The females covertly advocating the main character’s investigation; even at risk to their own life speaks to how unnecessary the murder was – perhaps aware that either route was equally treacherous at that point.

How he doesn’t engage in unnecessarily sadistic violence to send a message is also a commendable element of the film; acknowledging that in some situations what one would regard as a warranted conflict would be one that resembled bullying to other characters in the film’s universe. It captures some of Dead Man’s Shoes’ story-line; but conveys the repercussions in a sophisticated fashion.

The flashbacks including conversations between him and his ex-girlfriend shows that he’s stepped in to deal with similar situations before and that she herself was frightened on accounts of the very people that murdered her. How he doesn’t react aggressively after this does show his acknowledgment of her feelings, impressively enough.

‘The Brain’ serves as a pretty unconventional device in this movie; avoiding orchestrating the main character’s internal dialogue in a formulaic fashion. The conclusion upon my first watch appears to have been true.

How the movie goes about moving through time is abnormally intense in comparison to a lot of movies moving in a linear fashion. How the brain often isn’t treated with much humanity during conversations (not following standard social conventions) lends some solidification that he is a personified metaphor.

The lack of anyone noticing the deceased girl for such a long period gives off the impression that film was disillusioned with investigative forces; although it wouldn’t be much of a movie had they imbued more power into such entities.

Brendan being out of any involvement with the streets could have been a reason his opposition deemed such a violation as feasible. The notion that he had a “calling card” prior and the strategies he utilizes in street fights are much more aligned with the severity of what transpired.

The way he behaves in respect to a crime that’s likely to be blamed on him makes it clear that he’s behaving both offensively and defensively in his pursuit of retribution. There are loads of subtle comedic moments that I don’t feel like ruining.

Here we go again!


We’re All Going To The World’s Fair (2021)

I’d been anticipating watching this film prior to getting acquainted with Shudder and the wait wasn’t in vain.

Directed by Jane Schoenbrun.

With my mood(s) in mind, the lonely world that content creators inhabit is presented to you with harrowing luminosity whilst you watch Casey rehearse/re-record lines of dialogue for her minuscule YouTube audience. Stuff like this gets to me, forget Salo…

Produced by Sarah Winshall & Carlos Zozaya.

The first five minutes speak to the prodigious talent of the leading actress; she confers an isolated, depressed longing through simply looking into her eyes. In regards to the opening, it is abnormally stationary (in terms of camera angling) and the quality of the coloration goes without saying.

Written by Jane Schoenbrun.

The editing of this feature certainly reminds me of ‘Megan Is Missing’ and one has to wonder, how many times has that reference been used in a complimentary sense?

Once the opening credits get going, one really notices the beauty of this piece (in terms of the musical score accompanying Casey traversing the isolated setting) – and the potentiality of what the full feature has to offer.

It was about time that ARGs became something professionally explored under such a medium – all due props go to POSTcontent for being the goat. It’s strange how relative his portfolio is after looking upon this film retrospectively.

Anyhow, the decorations encapsulating Casey’s bedroom depict an inherent spiritual susceptibility to becoming engrossed in such morbid curiosity – and the alienation from her family explores how one could become dependent upon socializing with strangers online. This is a great way of explaining her character; only eleven minutes into the film.

The premise of We’re All Going To The World’s Fair initially seems to be alike Ringu; except the symptoms accompanying this ARG are variable – or just dramatized.. Whether she’s fabricating such symptoms for attention remains dubious; though – she may be suffering as a result of her life experience (or lack thereof.)

The juxtaposition of having an audience as opposed to friends is made clear in just how artificial the dialogue of the lead is while speaking into her camera’s microphone. For someone so young, the multifaceted nature of how this actress goes about exploring such a nuanced spectrum of emotions is great.

This could be considered as an underhanded subliminal to content creators inhabiting a less sophisticated medium; profiteering off of absurd; contrived attempts at fear mongering.

Parental neglect is not the only contextual factor influencing Casey’s mental state; with her being ostracized from her locality/age-group due geographical factors.

TikTok culture and just how paradoxical it is in terms of connecting people through their own loneliness (and the pursuit of external validation) is brought into the blue-light; presenting the ills of the internet in a very dynamic manner. Casey’s premature awareness of this also keeps you on the edge of your own perceptions.

I’m fond of how it turns convention on its head by making what you would first think is a villainous hacker into someone genuinely empathetic; my uncertainty about his nature prior to the ending speaks for the writing quality of the feature.

At the midpoint of the film’s runtime you’re presented with a rather enigmatic situation, questioning whether the phenomenon is just a result of content creators riding waves; or is it supernatural? Or is Casey just a masterful troll?

Furthermore, the negligible amount of views Casey accumulates draws one into thinking that her content is only enjoyed by one individual – making his motives all the more dubious. The fact that he’s using QuickTime makes him all the more creepy!

That’s exactly the point, though, the middle aged man isn’t a technologically advanced black hat hacker; he’s just an obsessively empathetic individual; anybody cynical in regards to his motives mustn’t be all that technologically literate.

Content creators (be they successful, or not!) and the dangers they often fail to recognize – in terms of potentially obsessive (and predatory) audience members is acutely illustrated; alongside the fact that by imbuing such monologues into their work they’re in effect talking to themselves. This speaks for the real world ramifications of a generation maturing while enveloped in technology.

The movie depicts the dangers of collective ARG movements influencing real life events to the point where people put themselves in vulnerable positions – like The Boy Who Cried Wolf, but an internet version of Tails like that…

It makes one question if entertainers behave in an unhinged manner for publicity, or if their actions are ones that harbor authenticity. The lines blur and you begin to realize that they are one and the same.

The cynicism of online culture in regards to anonymized adults online is turned on its head in an impactful way – that’s rather true to life, if you’ve been privy to the nature of online communities in recent years. It’s most often that the more reserved people online that are the most empathetic in their behaviors; whilst those with a following most often perpetuate the sort of gaslighting that would lead a young girl like Casey to suicide (or worse.)

Streaming on Shudder.

The poignant ending is perfect and it’s likely this feature will go down in history. We’re All Going To The World’s Fair is scary for everything that it omits. Without intervention from good men/women, evil will most often prevail.


Hangman (2015)

A jarring emergency call sets the tone for what’s to come in Hangman. The opening perpetuates an unsettling amount of morbidity. It proffers the fear that many so often fixate upon. that being, morbidity portrayed by the media (or one’s life experience) and its effects; making people inherently adversarial towards their fellow being as a result.

Directed by Adam Mason.

The immediate brutality involved in this film pulls no punches. The level of depravity is executed tastefully; illuminating the found-footage genre with an advanced technological lens.

Produced by Simon Boyes, Mary Church, Adam Mason & Jeremy Sisto.

The attention it pays to the killer’s everyday life is something briefly touched upon – not alike overly indulgent movies such as Creep 1 & 2. The way the film illustrates the villain acquiring his own reconnaissance regarding potential victims is portrayed much more succinctly than similar features.

Written by Simon Boyes & Adam Mason.

The way the film transitions between filming devices could lead one into believing that it doesn’t occupy the found-footage genre – which is rather ingenious. At the ten minute mark; one could even begin to ponder whether they’re viewing actual governmental surveillance. This speaks for the level of sophistication the villain technologically imposes upon his targets; and just malevolently someone could utilize such instruments.

His tactics exhibit a duality of intimidation and misdirection; repeatedly breaking into the homes of those he’s psychologically manipulating while simultaneously mocking investigative forces. This is a level of intelligence not commonly associated with the common killer.

Surveillance obtained by the protagonist resembles that of one’s home security system, speaking to the penetrable nature of the modern household’s privacy. It also begs the question of whom you’d rather have in control; if you were under the threat of assassination.

It’s clear that Hangman will one day be regarded as an all-time-great; as far as found-footage/horror goes. It ignites a level of introspective cynicism to a remarkably sinister extreme.

It makes the sound of a two year old crying in the night something parents should regard as threatening. This is contextually driven home to the audience through the circumstances surrounding the initial burglary.

Masterful, harrowing cinematography lacking gore don’t come around often. Infringements upon people’s possessions; privacy and lodgings are conducted by a sadistic, prideful individual. With technology being more effective a weapon than it his his blade (or plastic bag,) the vulnerability of one’s privacy being encroached upon is unsettling.

It eventually becomes apparent that romance/lust are the voyeur’s modus operandi. His motives aren’t particularly clear throughout a good portion of the movie. Whilst this feature is one depicting villainy beyond that of mere burglary; it’s incredibly sensitive to the emotional state of those who’ve fallen victim to burglary.

Making it clear that being historically impeached upon can actually make someone taken less seriously in future situations. It demonstrates how victims can be subjugated to much worse (without external intervention) following first reporting a crime.

It shows how local law enforcement and family members are more likely to regard any future tribulations as anxiety driven delusions; should they report further infringements. Pretty macabre stuff. The circumstances presented here are brutal; but who knows how often this sort of societal failure influences the miscarriage of justice these days.

Streaming on Amazon Prime.

Brightening your day as always!


Hell House (2015)

Upon being introduced to the crew involved in the unveiling/refurbishment of a commercial ‘haunted house,’ you’re met with characters you’re mostly indifferent towards. This isn’t an entirely bad thing – you could regard the characters the same as beings only temporarily mourned for; statistically disregarded by profiteering news-reporters.

Directed by: Stephen Cognetti.

With many features like this one you’re most often hoping for the hasty demise of certain personalities. I guess it’s true when considering the initial lecherous camera man, though. 

Produced by Joe Bandelli & Matt DePaola.

One hour into the film, the saying that ‘the entire world is a grave-yard’ comes to mind; and the blasphemous/disrespectful nature of commercial business in question is something one can muse upon philosophically; even with the film being entitled in such a conventional way.

Written by Stephen Cognetti.

Upon hearing of the history of the infrastructure they’re commercializing, this is all too true. The murder(s)/suicides that historically occurred there opens up a realm of non-supernatural elements that were likely behind the demise of everyone featured; which isn’t a spoiler.

The police force’s ignorance to the whole situation could be regarded as something contrived, considering the lack of intervention or preventative action where such a disrespectful entrepreneurial project (in the eyes of a small locale) is concerned. 

The crew’s familiarity/fondness toward horrific scenes/urban exploration is something that stops this film (and their actions) being an absolute cliche. The situation they’re presented with is like a jack-in-the-box containing a grenade. 

The Blair Witch inspired corner stare was too regurgitated to be shocking, although one could consider it an act of homage; when comparing the contextual similarities of the group and their destination to the feature that made the found-footage sub-genre commercially viable – this is actually quite ironic and adds a layer of self-awareness to the film.

As far as the cameraman (Paul) and his initial victimization is concerned, there’s certainly some tongue- in-cheek elements involved; like a horror aficionado would hide under a blanket in the face of life threatening opposition! 

However, with his comatose state in mind (which most audiences would regard as some sort of hypnosis/witchcraft and later supposed actions, both drugging and video editing are possibilities that make what transpired at Hell House an act of calculated callousness.

In terms of who or what’s responsible for their eventual demise, it’s difficult for most audience members to determine that the fates of those featured isn’t resultant of some supernatural trope. It’s making a sociological point about small town politics and death squads with legislative immunity. 

Pranks and such preceding the disappearance of Paul prevents the audience from regarding the decisions of the group as illogical; as they’re actually concerned for his well being – and have no solidified justification to flee with only self preservation in mind. 

The idea that folklore in certain jurisdictions can be used as a smoke-screen to ‘blanket’ legitimate murders is something that Hell House brought to the forefront of my mind; with signal jamming and electricity cuts being regarded by external parties/journalists as something supernatural (or naturally occurring) rather than being reported as meticulously planned murders by sophisticated serial-killers (who most certainly did their due-diligence.) 

Even the placement of the bibles in the basement could be regarded as a tactical, subversive effort to manipulate the narrative of what transpired in the ‘Hell House.’ This is also a self-referential element, with the group regarding them as excellent ‘props’, when in reality they were narrative instruments utilized by the murderous collective.

Later in the film, it’s ascertainable that the ‘clown-actor’ they opportunistically employed at a local gas station infiltrated their entire operation from the very beginning; the abnormal manner by which he manipulates one of his own eye-balls speaks to his depraved character – his later suicide was likely involuntary (and set up) – essentially, the murderers omitted from the movie were clearing up loose ends.

The hanging of their real-time reconnaissance (and one of the victims) ties into the urban legend preceding the establishment; as if to further the notion that these fatalities are the result of something paranormal. In reality, occurrences like these are ritualistic methodologies employed by the most ruthless form of serial killer(s).

Streaming on Shudder.

It probably let down a lot of people in terms of the overall gore and climax, which leads one into determining that this is a film worth regarding within the confines of logical reality.


Saloum (2021)

Within the first five minutes of this feature you’re being presented with a horrific, aesthetic piece that bares likeness to City of God. This is ascertained through the use of narrative subtitles giving context clues. It isn’t trying to replicate it, though.

Directed by Jean Luc Herbulot.

It’s fueled by a more sensational and superficial mantra than what one could regard it as derivative of, however. It’s obvious it isn’t as outwardly gritty as what I initially regarded as being its predecessor.

Produced by Pamela Diop.

From its onset, this is a very visually pleasing film and engaging. However, the mercies occasionally bestowed upon civilians (and law enforcement) by the mercenaries is something worth noting. The trio aren’t just ruthless killers; instead, they’re businessmen (of sorts). Their later amicability towards police officer who fails in his efforts to ambush them them supports such an ideal – a mutual respect towards both duty and responsibility.

Written by:Jean Luc Herbulot & Pamela Diop.

It’s clear a lot of capital was invested into creating Saloum, making it worth the watch if one has a penchant for foreign cinema. It seems like non-western investors prioritize the intrinsic value of artistry more these days…

I feel like one must ruminate upon the humanity tacitly imbued upon a group of mercenaries f; the fact one of them is outraged about the destruction of one of his Prada shoes speaks for itself – and a sort of universal cohesion of materialistic values.

I feel like one must note the humanity tacitly imbued upon a group of mercenaries being gaslighted throughout their continent; the fact one of them is outraged about the destruction of one of his Prada shoes speaks for itself – and a sort of universal cohesion of materialistic values.

By Machiavellian standards the group are, by definition, ‘mercenaries’, taking into consideration their frequent arguments and reluctance to work as a fluid unit. Their individual egotism often takes prevalence. With one member’s amicability a deaf/mute lady attempting become a part of their covert endeavor; such a modicum of inner conflict is ascertained.

Ironically, each individual’s differing moral compass works to bolster the effectiveness of their unit – illustrating that ‘groups’ of mercenaries fit into such a philosophical argument where power’s concerned.

The method by which Saloum transitions from its blood laden introduction into being something psychological is impressive. It transitions from vivid depictions of violence to the group having to socially engineer a closely knit community; and assist another with pellet guns!

Depictions of night-terrors faced by members of the group work to present them as occurrences resultant of survivalist conditioning. The negative connotations often surrounding ‘mercenaries’ are also philosophically presented; with their capacity to do good (and bad) being amply conversed.

Once you learn the history of the group (not the negative folklore most often attributed to them,) Saloum offers the audience something most horror films lack, anti-heroes whom one could endorse. This revelation allows you to understand why they help the community in such a way.

The supernatural elements imbued into the latter half of the film are likely there for the sake of prosperity. The intricacies of film’s first half are incredible – and the genre-bending prevents Saloum from being regarded as a depressing vindication of Africa. Instead, you begin to realize you’re baring witness to a culturally significant presentation – the use of CGI in manifesting the ‘spirits’ involved promote such a conclusion.

The restraint employed by the film’s creators is commendable; especially when considering its budget. It’s quite possible that the ‘spirits’ and ‘curses’ are metaphorical representations of the natural afflictions affecting such locations; either that, or representative of the historical demons blighting particular characters. It’s unlikely a feature so profound would fall into absolute absurdity without some semblance of logic. 

Streaming on Shudder.

The notion of family being determined by bloodline is disparaged effectively through observing the behavior of Saloum’s occupants. Its overall message is one condemning submission to violent retribution.


Boy Meets Girl (1984)

My external hard-drive recently broke, and it’s essentially being imposed that I cauterize my eyes and soul in Boy Meets Girl using my Manjaro notebook. Determined to return to it; I’m as persistent as a Tails conduit flushed down the toilet.

Directed by: Leos Carax.

This film is about romanticism at its core, and the two leads originate from nonreciprocal relationships – making the nature of their first meeting either that of love at first sight or amending emotional wounds. Alex and Murielle are beings whose existences are bound to the pursuit of poetical love, though, so I’m more inclined to go with the former conclusion.

Written by: Leos Carax.

Acknowledging the actions and behaviors of their partners previously behest to them; they were both bound to narcissistic egotists focused upon eroticism from their relationship’s very genesis.

Fate plays a great role in this, with Alex having experienced a breakup as emotionally distressful as that of what he observes between Tom and Murielle during the opening of the film = and from what you can see of Alex throughout Carax’s filmography, the destructive nature of eternal longing is something the director imposes on his recurring male lead aesthetically.

The environment and lifestyles of the star-crossed lovers leads them into both being codependent beings whom suffer should they not be in a relationship and to some extent it’s clear that they’d rather be stepped on than left alone – as if they’ve already surmised that true love is futile; but temperately pursue it anyway.

The population’s habituation toward disparaging suicidal ideation is put forward in a one-sided telephone conversation very hastily; as if the person in question is simply divulging fallacies in their intonations like a comedian.

Human suffering (by means of poverty) is positioned opposing to sexuality in two connecting scenes – as Alex goes about altering his mise-en-scène completely, coherently demonstrating differing extremes of what guides a human being’s psychology.

The severance of ‘loving’ attachment and how it paints a gray cloud over everything, no matter how interesting the surrounding crowd behave, is leading me to conclude this post and film early; so as not to displease destiny.

I can’t handle the entirety of this movie repeatedly, unfortunately. That does not mean to say you should disregard it entirely.


Spun (2002)

Upon revisiting Spun, I’d rather not divulge the circumstances under which I first watched it – but the fact that I got through the whole thing in such a state is a testament to its quality.

Directed by: Jonas Åkerlund.

This film is widely regarded as the anti-Requiem For a Dream and from experience, Spun is more in touch with reality, even amidst its comedic moments.

Produced by: Chris Hanley, Fernando Sulichin, Timothy Wayne Peternel & Danny Vinik.

Brittany Murphy is fantastic in Spun. It’s not often I touch upon specific actors featured in these posts.

Written by: Chris Hanley, Fernando Sulichin, Timothy Wayne Peternel & Danny Vinik.

Anyhow, Spun touches upon the nature of stimulant addiction – or more precisely, methamphetamine. It’s not worth condensing the message of this film to a singular substance, however.

The addicted distributor in this movie isn’t one that actively sells on a grandiose scale, but rather maintains his addiction in the midst of a circle of what you might consider acquaintances. His level of contempt towards those who’re dependent upon him (and not so much vice versa) and the authority he commands over his fellow addict is very realistic.

It’s a combination of stimulant psychosis, over-exposure to chemically parasitic entities, and the fact that nobody actually cares about him as an individual. For all of Spider’s negative attributes (and there are a great many), he is representative of a darkly empathic individual getting not so much what he deserves, but what he’s unwittingly brought upon himself.

The Cook is the most interesting character featured; with him being more amicable towards Ross than he is toward his own ‘distributor’, likely through recognizing Spider lacking the social acumen to be successful in the drug trade; and is just as bad – if not worse than your average consumer.

This is demonstrated within minutes by Mike’s inability to even open his front door in order to generate custom from those outside his immediate circle.

Mike’s aggression is something that certainly cumulates from being regarded as an ends to a means by everyone around him – and the frustration of being stuck in a situation where he can’t get rid of such individuals, be it through addiction, emotional fulfillment or just simple financial necessity.

The jolting transitioning of frames throughout Spun are incredibly effective; homing in on the very audience it’s trying to address, encapsulating the fleeting attention of one whose abused stimulants to the point of having attention deficit issues. It has a peculiar preventative insight into sympathizing with users; encouraging them to take an introspective look in the mirror.

Environmental factors are taken to depraved lengths in Spun; as if to forewarn the hedonist and occasional user alike about how far the rabbit hole of decadence can descend.

The empathogen effects of the substance combined with paranoia are prevalent in groups like these; leading the ‘distributor’ to effectively be in control of everyone in his immediate surroundings; turning them more into animalistic beings than individuals themselves.

In some ways, their mutual engagement in these activities (on a social level) can be regarded as making up for something those featured lack or suppress emotionally – that being, empathy or a lack of apathy.

Such a notion is made clear by the unyielding consumption of methamphetamine within Spider’s group (far outweighing Ross’ desire for a temporary high).

This isn’t the only thing that Ross is pining for, however; with his delusional infatuation with a sober woman who sees him for exactly what he’s become – a man with no agenda but avoidance of his mother and some ridiculous hope of making her his maternal, romantic savior.

In spite of Ross’ (futile) obsession, he fails to recognize the potential salvation Nikki offers him – which is, unfortunately, the nature of either love or lust.

This movie holds a special place in my heart, and I don’t feel that the poignant ending needs analyzing. That might change…


Megan Is Missing (2011)

I suppose one is placed on a list for merely watching this movie, let alone  reviewing it with virtuous aims. This will be my second viewing – I will leave it for you to decide upon whether I reached its conclusion.

Directed by: Michael Goi.

From the very introduction of the movie, you garner an awareness that it is not just villainy that makes one susceptible to heinous crimes, but also paternal ones – alongside a teenaged desire to  conform to societal norms.

Produced by: Mark Gragnani.

Victim blaming is certainly inappropriate, but one has to consider those who have not yet been subjected to abuse and the preventative measures both parents and their kin can undertake to prevent things including grooming, abduction, rape, and murder.

Written by: Michael Goi.

The two main characters in Megan Is  Missing are polar opposites of one another in terms of their personalities, and this allows the film to address and forewarn a whole spectrum of young adults about the covert malice that so often goes unaccounted for in society.

It could also be regarded as the best social media/found footage based horrors in existence, with the former being of most importance, considering the fact that social media is widely regarded as the solution to existentialism these days.

The juxtaposition of wealth between high-school girls (reliant upon their parents’ capital) and older males – and how this separation of wealth enables sexual/emotional abuse, is something made abundantly clear.

It also covers the dominion of local drug dealers in small demographics; analyzing just how far-reaching their potentiality for grooming goes; beyond that of capitalization from their distribution subordinates.

Looking at this film from the perspective of a reclusive burnt out hedonist, Megan is Missing  portrays the aesthetic motives that most often fuel one’s initiation into drug/party culture.

The negative consensus regarding the more sheltered character (Amy)  amongst girls her own age (not older men) enables so many more infractions to occur – illustrating the negative impact of both community indoctrination and exile equally.

The most often eternal nature of online content binds both Amy and Megan to their respective situations, pragmatically juxtaposed to one another through shame, blackmail and addiction.

Early exposure to sexual abuse being regarded as something nostalgic instead of abusive by Megan is a reflection of our reality that often goes unaccounted for by parents and victims alike. It’s like a warped sense of Stockholm Syndrome that  carries on throughout what you briefly witness during Megan and Amy’s lives.

Most predators involved in this movie (there really is not just one) speak with a contrived arrogance that is apparent during most interactions between individuals pursuant of sexual relations; however, not everyone can be this cynical. Many males lack self-awareness and endorse a warped locus of morality;  regarding social engineering as an essential tactic in such circumstances.

The socioeconomic and parental failures Megan was faced with prior to her interactions with the nechrophilliac further enabled his superficial facade. With the vast majority of her acquaintances endorsing a lifestyle of reckless hedonism; Josh’s contrived righteousness became something all the more effective; preying upon someone already exploited.

There’s no doubt he subtly conducted reconnaissance amongst her social circle; eventually determining her as being the most viable initial target, too. Inadvertent word of mouth originating from those who had already abused her may have also been a contributory factor.

Given Josh’s location and dedication, he was effectively just practicing his traits as a social engineer;  picking his targets with darkly empathic scrutiny. The correlational way both Ben and Josh initially empowered Megan (albeit not equally sophisticated) exhibits the morally bankrupt nature of their manipulative mantra; emotionlessly evaluating the emotional (and later physical) vulnerability of their target(s).

Josh avoiding Megan during their first ‘date’ allowed him to evaluate her vulnerabilities and the likelihood she’d approach a more remote destination; to later accommodate to a seamless abduction.

Considering the fact that Megan never had to chase after guys, Josh’s proffered ‘shyness’ deflected his every despicable prerogative; presenting himself to Megan as everything contrary to his macabre manifesto.

Adolescents prioritizing social status beyond all else in their disregard for Amy’s immediate concern hindered investigation following Megan’s abduction, and goes to show exactly why she held Amy in such high regard – and how Josh was so easily able to alternate his MO and victim without police intervention or the implementation of precautionary measures.

The way in which the media, parents, associates and institutions prioritize themselves before potential victims in portraying those missing in an entirely positive manner is a hindrance to localized police forces in distinguishing the nature of such crimes.

People’s inherent concern for their own reputability in the face of public scrutiny truly negates the likelihood of victims being rescued.

Unfortunately, scapegoating is inherently embedded in the human psyche and as a result, the focus is most often on the villain, rather than the victim(s).

Journalistic pressures within every location, be it through intimidation, political regulation, public scrutiny (not only in regard for themselves, but for the societies they live in) is a major issue that unfortunately contributes to the supposed necessity of vigilante justice – although the same could be said about the prerogatives of journalists themselves.

Overall, this movie exposes the nature of modernized sexual predators of differing levels of depravity, effectively demonstrating how enactments absent of abduction or murder most often go unnoticed. This sort of institutional sociological failure is one that makes potential victims all the more vulnerable to the occurrences presented in the latter half of the film.

Features like this one are often demonized for being depraved profiteering ventures created for mere shock value; whilst their educational and preventative qualities most often go unnoticed.


Disturbia (2007)

Revisiting Disturbia is a lot like re-watching Donnie Darko. There’s a wholesomeness accompanying the morbidity of this feature that’s hard to find elsewhere.

Directed by: D. J. Caruso.

Emotively, Disturbia is driven by the emotional impact of bereavement – and how governmental institutions, society at large, and the remaining parent fail to see the bigger picture; insensitive to the impact such trauma has on someone so young.

Produced by: Joe Medjuck, E. Bernett Walsh and Jackie Marcus.

The impact of being absent of internet whilst confined to one’s home is a factor amply illustrated; unlike incorporating a System of a Down song in a commercial feature.

Written by: Christopher Landon & Carl Ellsworth.

The conflict of interest exploited by the officer responsible for enforcing the terms of Kale’s house arrest is a commonplace issue in certain microcosms. Their continued persecution of him, whilst already enduring the results of his prosecution and extenuating circumstances (let alone societal condemnation for criminality) reveals the fundamental flaws of small-town justice.

House arrest is not demonized all that much in this movie; instead, pedantic authoritative ardor expressed by tyrannical officers is presented as being obstructive to justice; pragmatically and contextually.

Disturbia demonstrates how one can appreciate  the small things that life has to offer following such sentencing; endorsing the culprit to appreciate their later liberty.

The overall arc covers alienation/boredom whilst trapped within one’s own premises, inspiring the protagonist to distract himself; constantly observing his surroundings with binoculars. In doing so, Kale maintains a birds-eye view over his surroundings.

What’s so charming about this film is how amicably Ashley responds to what would commonly be regarded as voyeuristic behavior, eventually ingratiating herself with Kale’s preoccupation with righteous fluidity.

The ever-increasing cynicism of the younger generation is an important factor to consider here. While most of the street’s residents wouldn’t scrutinize the likelihood of their neighbor being a serial killer – Kale is much more insightful.

Compared to the prejudgment that often dominates smaller jurisdictions, Ashley represents the attitude of someone raised in a city. With her effeminate insight aiding the investigative efforts of the two leads, she is imperative throughout the film.

The remaining maternal figure attempting to get another male to empathize with Kale is a common occurrence following a paternal bereavement.

Regarded as a prodigal son resultant of his criminal infractions; Kale’s unable to even confer that the man with whom his mother’s associating is a serial killer; all through her own archaic prejudices and the negative re-enforcement already tainting her perspective on the reliability of his deductions.

The primary murderer homed in upon in Disturbia is incredibly sophisticated. He bends the circumstances and vulnerabilities of those suspicious of him to his will, both physically and empathically; employing intimidation tactics and decoys.

Acknowledging Kale’s circumstances; the killer’s efforts to entrap someone already bound to unfortunate circumstance demonstrates the thought processes of a very callous individual.

The villain is a competitive predator that places little to  no value on human life, only one-ups-man-ship and the bolstering of his own egotism. The way he  ingratiates himself within his community (and the eyes of the local  police) through intimidation/charm is a common phenomenon, be they murderers; groomers, or voyeurs.

Disturbia’s characters represent differing extents of criminal morality; demonstrating that people harbouring differing levels of resentment for the law (and ultimately, vice-versa) most often despise the likes of murders/rapists more.

With their jadedness/evasive mindset being juxtaposed to that of employed enforcers, the trio become a more efficient investigative force than those who’re motivated by either bureaucracy or monetary gain to incarcerate such despicable entities.

Amidst all this, it’s incredibly heartwarming and at times comedic.

The way in which the villain’s domicile is modified to suit his sinister purposes also begs the question; what does everyone else hide behind closed doors?

One of my all-time favorites.


The Poughkeepsie Tapes (2007)

This was merchandised as a pseudo-investigatory snuff movie upon its release, and some people questioned its authenticity. It left a lot of viewers deservedly disappointed.

Directed by: John Erick Dowdle.

After appreciating the sociological nuances and judiciary failures it brings to light, it’s become apparent that I was too hard on it upon my first viewing (many years ago).

Camerawork and perspective is paramount in scenes depicting the criminal’s methodologies; it’s equally focused on his physical/social techniques as it is the  vulnerabilities of your everyday citizen/child.

Written by: John Erick Dowdle.

A large majority of both critics and…well, other critics really don’t like this film.

I believe that The Poughkeepsie Tapes must be regarded as a  warped mirror, reflecting the extremity of morbidity encapsulating our planet.

Sophisticated serial killers who operate in an almost infallible manner  – whilst all the while appearing disorganized and impulsive, are entities illustrated with a level of sophistication/investigative insight that’s absent in most exploitation horrors.

To some extent, the medium in which the footage was  investigated – and created endorses the necessity of  technological surveillance; although this is a topic that will always remain a double-edged sword…

The Poughkeepsie Tapes is a  very misunderstood project. I only wish it had been presented in a more linear format; alike true-crime documentaries.

Cinematography wise, it’s pretty clever. It’s not so much about putting you in the predator’s (camera’s) point-of-view for mere shock value as it is demonstrating the vulnerabilities of your average citizen and the calculation that a sophisticated sadist employs – although, I don’t like to use psychological labels to profile others.

Narcissism is a big element here. Even when potential victims are allowed respite, it’s as if the perpetrator takes pride/solace in what he considers merciful acts, either to vindicate his own messed up locus of morality or brag to the investigators he created the tapes for.

However, the murderer’s inactivity during certain periods of time ties into his prodigious exploitation of the judicial system.

Providing insight into how serial killers are capable of perverting the cause of justice by implicating those whom they believe would most easily be scapegoated; the message it delivers conveys an essential modicum of insight.

I feel like shots like this were intentionally placed in this movie – to misrepresent it and disappoint the sort of individual that browses just gore websites.

The vocal intonations of the villain are what I’d imagine are close to life, much alike the  desperation and fright expressed by those subjugated to all that occurs  throughout its runtime.

The fact that no gratuitous rape scenes were used in this film as a means of generating public outrage – and consequent profit, especially with necrophilia being one of the perpetrator’s preferred indulgences, is something commendable in a feature like this one.

My comments in regard to the  lead investigator being incompatible with his role could actually be  something the creators contrived deliberately; to demonstrate the emotional impact of crimes so unprecedentedly severe – alongside the judicial failures that accompanied them.

The Poughkeepsie Tapes disappointed exploitative cinema enthusiasts and disgusted those opposed to the genre – and that’s what makes it such a paradoxical masterpiece.

More psychologically indulgent than it is physically; profiling is likely why the film is so unappreciated; and, funnily enough, the exact reason why the featured culprit evaded capture.


Benny’s Video (1992)

Beginning my second viewing of this in a blurred duration of years, this is a film I’m more eager to write about than revisit it, per se. 

Directed by: Michael Haneke.

Class and financial affluence influence a great amount of what occurs throughout Benny’s Video; It contrasts nature versus nurture in a very macabre manner.

Produced by: Veit Heiduschka.

With the protagonist being a reclusive, albeit not all that socially impaired cinephile with an abundance of capital at his disposal, the notion of his reality being just as artificial as the very films he obsesses upon is something executed effectively by means of camera work, ironically enough.

Written by: Michael Haneke.

The editing of the feature as a whole is reminiscent of a Babushka doll of television screens and camera recordings compiled under a lens nobody sees – this is something often glossed over by reactionary critics.

Presenting the church and other religious institutions as an insular sect on par with whatever is expected of the Freemasons, (except that even children are in attendance of the former – without even needing to apply) is something a single scene of Benny’s Videos touched upon in a succinctly penetrative manner.

The unyielding argument of media influencing criminality is one taken to extraordinary measures here, illustrating that it is not so much the content, but the most abnormal audiences of such media that take such movies to heart; and stop the beating of others…

The younger villain’s desensitization to death and murder comes in multiple forms; with Benny witnessing lively pigs being executed – in their physical presence -just going to show the futility of pinpointing an exact cause for violent psychopathy and the absurdity of placing a gag upon creative/journalistic freedom.

The fact that violence in media is more acceptable as that of pornography is always a taboo counterargument to the world of objectification we’re so often immersed in. Benny being infatuated with the former (neither are particularly good attributes) goes to show that in especially rare cases, sexual objectification is a much lesser evil –  provided it does not degenerate into acts of rape and so forth.

Benny’s motives were not all that clear during my first viewing, but lying to his victim in regard to not having a sister demonstrates the reconnaissance he conducted before his murder from the very beginning – this film also drives home the role of parental alienation influencing mental states such as the ones exhibited here.

There’s a lot omitted prior to the onset of what occurs before and after the film’s run-course. Whilst your instant reaction to his murder may be misguidedly regarding it as impulsive/accidental, the way in which he literally caters to his victim, (through acknowledging her lower socioeconomic status). Observing his victim repeatedly lingering outside the video store, rather than within it, goes to show by what means he made such a deduction – demonstrating the work of a prodigious social engineer, considering his age.

This is not something to be commended, though and in the realm of reality, this is something that needs to be accounted for by parents and peers alike, whom often place little value on the malevolent capabilities of one so young. This is all too evident in how Benny brandishes his materialism to his victim, who places little to no value on it.

A lot of things in this movie are oriented around or linked to objectification in differing forms. Benny’s disinterest/dismal of the potential friendship this girl had to offer him is almost tragic.

The film really does take a subtle dive into exactly what made Benny such a malignant individual; whilst all the while retaining a great about of obscurity.

Benny’s Video to some extent presents you with an individual that was not influenced by movies, but studied them prior to acting out. These features are not so much emulation as they are motivation/technique for him. 

The impulsiveness of his evasive maneuvers – such as shaving his head immediately after committing the murder, works ironically contrary to that of a legible alibi, with his family already being known by the hairdresser. 

The way in which he gave his victim a chance to kill him using his own bolt pistol prior to using it himself is both an expression of the lack of value Benny placed on his own life and a demonstration of him basking in just how successful his manipulation tactics were, in regard to manipulating his victim.

In taking the young girl’s life, it’s as if Benny equivocates it as a mercy killing upon the bolt pistol not killing her instantly – sympathetically reacting to the lack of immediacy; where her demise was concerned. It’s almost as if he regarded the death of the girl as that of a farm animal.

The way in which Benny resents witnessing human suffering in reality and detaches himself from it speaks for his slight humanity, making him more of a calculated sociopath than he is that of your average impulsive psychopath.

The unfortunate death of the girl involved is a double-edged sword with his cinematic grand finale being derivative of the aforementioned discontentment plaguing his life, or it could be (in the most warped of senses) preventative of him being a serial killer of continuity and sophistication, the fact that he made a situational alibi demonstrated his regret and a new-found motive for self-preservation, however, so it’s unlikely representative of Benny’s self-sacrificial nature.

Sexuality is another factor to consider here, with that not being a single prerogative in the presence of his victim; and considering he was young and renting adult movies from a video store, the notion of privilege is once again brought into the equation; however, his cigarette consumption makes his alienated state the most logical conclusion.

Later in the film, you grasp why the lead is so disillusioned with humanity and ambivalent to his parents. Loss of life being depicted so statistically on the news and failures within the educational system are also portrayed poignantly – surmising a whole plethora of causes influencing a killer’s consciousness – not just artistic expression.

Self-preservation (in the midst of criminality) and a testing of parental love are involved here – and the externally indifferent lengths people will go to in preserving their own secrets is, in what I can grasp, very true to life.

Ruining Netflix and chill since 2011,


Annette (2021)

From the very beginning of Annette, I’m drawn to thinking of my first  ever blog post. I also notice I’ve got my arms folded, as if to defend  myself from whatever Leos Carax has for me next.

In terms of the sort of continuity amongst his work, I at first supposed this to be an  anomaly, but the aesthetic seems much alike Holy Motors. But I’m ten minutes in.

How the director goes about disseminating the  different types of performing arts and merges them with that of a  fictional reality is not much like anything I have seen, and for me, that’s  commendable albeit annoyingly difficult to articulate.

It also  says a lot about how public figures regard themselves as being constantly  in the public or technological eye… kind of says a lot about how  exposing one’s insecurities to the sadistic public scrutiny is seen as  entertainment, but that’s a rather rudimentary observation.

People don’t like to see others happy, and Annette just shows how the  limelight/peanut gallery can flip at you at any time, given enough  collective ushering. I’m beginning to get depressed, but the blog must  go on. It’s irony over irony out here. The contrived enactment of how  this occurs in such an ironic manner is hilarious.

Conventional  relationship issues that are so frequently dramatized in both  entertainment and the media are also presented in such a self-aware  theatrical nature.

The futility of human emotion in comparison  to that of action is something exhibited incredibly poignantly:  alongside the bewildering absurdity I’ve come to love about movies like  this one. That does not go to say this is simply a dark comedy by any  means, it balanced upon a thinly entwined tightrope.

Annette’s great, just  like the rest of his portfolio. I’m going to end this review halfway  through watching it. There’s little more I have to say, other than it  clowns societal norms and the functionality of the average human psyche  in a spectacular fashion, alongside a lot of other films. A  musical expose of reality, fueled by cynicism and jadedness.

Oh, yeah! This one’s in English!

Never cast your eyes down the abyss.


Martyrs (2008)

It was imperative that I had to abuse some form of herbal remedy prior to compiling this post.

Directed by: Pascal Laugier.

This is one of the most harrowing things to ever be presented utilizing the cinematic medium, and the American adaptation didn’t do the original justice.

Produced by: Richard Grandpierre and Simon Trottier.

Martyrs isn’t an exploitation film; as much as the content featured could draw one into making such an assumption. The empathy you feel for the leads and the hyper-realism of the physical torment is a contingency that audience members were unprepared for; let alone other directors.

Aristocracy and the dangers of  secular cults with an infinite amount of wealth at their disposal is  something already prevalent within the mainstream media; which begs the  question, what are the things that go unreported and unnoticed?

Anna’s unconditional care for Lucie – with the latter being a victim of unfathomable childhood abuse, is amply illustrated throughout the introduction of Martyrs; hastily transitioning from Lucie’s infancy to adulthood.

This is essentially the groundwork (no pun intended) of why Martyrs is so emotionally excruciating – the camerawork, music and acting are so cohesive in accomplishing the crowning  achievement of extreme French cinema.

A combination of the  psychological and physical ramifications, alongside the   justified reasons for exacting revenge, are what makes the beginning of Martyrs less bothersome than the later half.

To regard viewing the  murder of an entire family in such a way says something about the  heights (or lows) it reaches.

Geographical/environmental  factors play a great part in what occurs throughout Martyrs, with the Lucie escaping (in her infancy) and an investigation later being conducted in a city; whilst the opposite occurs in a remote countryside location fifteen-years later.

This is certainly a sociological point that can be  derived from the time-lapse that sets the scene of Martyrs, beyond that  of you simply identifying with the victims to a greater extent – the  fact that she was able to escape as an infant whilst Anna wasn’t further solidifies this point.

Ownership of property and  the ability to design infrastructure to accommodate to such depraved acts  – without needing official legislation (planning permission) is what  enables what occurs in the latter half of Martyrs – and whatever else  the collective movement hoped to accomplish.

The futility of vigilante revenge  for those victimized is something made abundantly clear within the first  half hour. Abuse at such a level may as well be considered emotional  murder – and such a turn of phrase implies that the longevity of every sufferance endured by Lucie go well beyond that of simply being killed.

Martyrs acts as a forewarning to those sadistic enough to perpetuate such ritualistic (covert) physical torture – it’s not just the  predator someone so impeached upon will seek in their retribution, but  everyone affiliated with them in their public life.

Lucie almost killing her childhood friend following her rampage demonstrates how her vengeance went was an act of temporary psychosis,  even though the shooting of her childhood abusers was premeditated.

The manifestation of a demon and Lucie’s futile physical battles with it is all too metaphorically explanatory of the eternal battle abuse survivors face; and the suicidal lengths to which it can push people in a world that is mostly incapable of truly remedying such torment.

People like Lucie most often don’t end up employed as  psychiatrists; and from the very start, authoritative bodies are focused upon catching the perpetrator more than they are than helping the victim; however, this is a double-edged sword; potentially preventative of making others undergo similar tribulations.

Divine motives seem to be the driving force behind the astronomical level of torture and disfigurement that occurs in the film’s latter half – with the collective (or leader) deigning that inflicting the epitome of suffering is a necessary step toward answering existentialism.

This is clearly denial and a paradoxical  justification for such depravity, showing just how delusional a clan can become and just how easily they can be herded by figures of supposed spiritual/academic intelligence.


Caché (Hidden) (2005)

The first time I watched this I remember drawing some weird conclusions that bewildered the individual showing me it, time to confuse myself, I suppose.

Directed by: Michael Haneke

Plot wise, this film is oriented around a family being plagued by cassette tapes being delivered to their doorstep. It is not the archaic nature of the medium of the media that’s so bothersome, though, but the fact that these are recordings of the family themselves.

Produced by: Veit Heiduschka, Michael Katz & Margaret Menegoz

Early on in the movie you get the impression that the paternal figure has something to hide – and it’s representative of something almost karmic – the idea that your past can, indeed, come back to haunt you.

Written by: Michael Haneke

Considering the career role of the father, the pitfalls of public scrutiny and the vulnerability of one’s status – (should your past be littered with immoral acts) are presented very poignantly.

This is all too applicable to the era we live in, with social interactions most often being accompanied by the lens of a mobile phone. The problem now however is with distribution; considering the haste and range of internet communications…

The inherent selfishness/narcissism of particular members of one’s family and the effects it can have on all of those surrounding them – in terms of conditioning, alienation and a general inability to communicate with sincerity are demonstrated capably by the actors featured.

Duality is a crucial element throughout this composition. At many moments, it’s hard to differentiate between what is cinematic and what is contextually historic.

Collective gossiping and the insular nature embraced by certain sects of society are subject touched upon – with sadistic utterances of pride and what is essentially bullying being played off as simple dinner conversations.

The fear of the unknown, or realizing just how many victims are in pursuit of vengeance against those who he could have potentially wronged is a large burden for the lead – this is actualized rather early in.

Human conditioning and looking upon acquaintances and family alike as accolades rather than beings capable (or in most cases, incapable) of empathy is something problematic and Cache (hidden) most certainly honed in upon this emotive flaw.

Superficiality and giving off the impression of political correctness within these collectives – in terms of multiculturalism seems to be a mostly ostentatious act; with the socialites featured in the film not being all that spiritually inclined.

Parenting and the discrepancy between how one can often view their elder custodians with guilt – yet fail to recognize that their own kin will eventually hold them in a lower regard, is exhibited in a very nuanced manner, too.

Another factor prominent in a great number of films like this is the cause and effect nature of parental success, with financial affluence leading children into a state of motivational indifference.

Conversations being of a narrative/sycophantic nature instead of a reciprocal one are unwavering throughout a good portion of this movie, even amidst all the concerns about harassment, illustrative of a worldly decline of enlightened empaths, replaced by either those exploited or ones with Machiavellian traits.

Transitions and dreams portrayed intermittently throughout the film exhibit a sort of Jungian framework of whatever it is the leading character expects is closing in on him – and it appears that only through remorse/fear of something external that the protagonist attempts reconnecting with his mother.

Nihilism often prevails here, with even the supposed ‘innocent’ parties using their own children as a counterargument/defense mechanism when faced with unknown opposition and the threat of exposure – or worse.

Gender roles and the subservience of the main character’s wife (who is incredibly more sensible – unconstrained through ignorance) is portrayed well and needs no further elaboration.

The rarity of true intimacy and trust being an action rather than a condition is stipulated upon in a way that I imagine plagues many relationships, predestined for failure. And as is so often is the case, individualistic pride takes prevalence over the preservation of human life – or aiding a kidnapping investigation.

Without going to too great a length and spoiling the rest, Hidden Cache places great value on the amount of intelligence and self-awareness young children have; unlike most parental guardians; the ending scene goes to show just how many juvenile sins can cauterize your future.

People in glass houses should not leak intimate videos…

Bliss (2019)

Good evening or whatever time it is for you lot. I’ve really begun to reflect upon just how much I hate technology recently – and the internet, and that’s coming from an individual who’s spent a fair portion of his life focused upon distraction or most recently; the ostentatious happiness of newlywed parents boasting their claims to materialism and newborn children (which seemingly may as well be the same thing) and have decided upon downgrading most things.

Directed by: Joe Begos

Without a functional PC at this very moment, I’m writing this booting from USB on a clapped-out 2010 MacBook, which is the way in which I prefer to create whatever you would refer to these crude compositions as these days. After waking up with a plate of food still perfectly balanced in my hands five hours later most recently, I’m wondering if I should feel lucky. Maybe I should quote Paid in Full, huh?

Starring (or staring) Dora Madison

Today I’ll be looking at Bliss (2019) again, drinking some camomile tea as opposed to the energy drinks I determined as being necessary for my survival in recent times. I’ve trawled through fucking loads of terrible horror movies in my time and maybe this stupid blog can be why – so you don’t have to, that is, if I maintain any semblance of resilience for a prolonged duration (unlikely). I remember my first thought about this film was that it was most definitely inspired by Gaspar Noe, but I digress (too much).

‘Bliss’ reeks of the frustration occurrent within contractually obligated artistry having to be pumped out and swiftly descends into hedonism – with the fictional designer drug ‘Diablo’ being described as a combination of DMT and coke, which I would assume to be on par with combining a cathinone and ketamine, the former would just make my burnt-out ass fall asleep.

These little transitions where the heroine rises from the ground really are great; I don’t know how best to describe them.

I might be giving the film almost too much credit here but the way in which drug abuse can be viewed as self-harm and the bleeding out that occurs through artistry as a result is something empathize with all too much as I rise from the dead for a duration that will most likely be my final time – not on this blog, of course, there’s way too much shit to rant and rave about.

What this sexy vampiric goth flick lacks in sophistication at times is made up for by the cinematography and coloration, which is jarring but doesn’t render you feeling jaded,(compared to the likes of Irreversible) and what I thought at first was overcompensation (in attempting to replicate reality) in the dialogue is made up for by the more malevolent characters featured, who speak with a  contrived articulacy that annoyed even me – maybe that is the point.

I’ll avoid blathering about adrenochrome just in case the elite want me to unsurprisingly not wake up one morning, but there’s a lot of subliminal messaging within this film, relative to artistry, the value of true friendship, and the ignorance of acquaintances into how soul-destroying imbuing one’s heart into their work is, alongside fair-weather friends and the pretentious socialites that are never there in someone’s time of need.

This is more than a gore-filled chic vampire trope and looking at it once more through my weary eyes I’m surprised I didn’t pick up on it during my first viewing and if you decide upon looking at Bliss, maybe I’ll have helped you along the way.

There are a lot of metaphorical enactments of masonic ritualism involved in this movie and if you think into it, the fourth wall is broken down on many levels; involving class, the power struggle of femininity, and the self-sacrificial nature of artistry at its purest form – the sexualization of women in movies like this too is done both tastefully and tastelessly, making for an all too effective paradoxical message to be conveyed in a film I didn’t appreciate so very metaphorically on my first viewing. Perhaps I underwent some spiritual enlightenment in recent years. Yeah, right. Its blood moon, honey.

Doing some reading as of late, maybe I’ll be inclined to blog again soon. Obviously, my hardware isn’t as clapped out as when I began this post now; I had to buy a fucking display port cable for all of this website’s photogenic needs.

I dedicate this one to you. I apologize for spelling out your name in shards oh so long ago. Lol.


Buffalo ’66 (1998)

It’s been a while and I apologize for being in a self-imposed coma for the last two months. My dopamine is as rare as adrenochrome these days and the extraction of it, exhibited so poignantly here is just as fearful a procedure.

Directed by & Starring: Vincent Gallo

Anyhow, after recovering from a four-day migraine and vomiting about fifty times, I’ve concluded that I might as well put up a fight against the fate that so eagerly awaits me.

This isn’t the face of a woman that’s all that intimidated by her kidnapper and to an extent, this film reminds me of an episode featuring Faith in one of the latter seasons of Californication.

2 am on this morning, having only just woken up from whatever depressive psychoses overtook me I’ve decided upon writing about Buffalo ‘66, a film recommended to me by somebody now long gone from my life – but herein immortalized by just the simple implication.

For all its surrealism, this film captures the emotional toxicity of narcissistic parents and the consequences of such an upbringing with an honestly beautiful amount of optimism.

I’ve watched a lot of films in my life and have many to re-watch and write about, but there are just as many that I haven’t appreciated yet and I wish I could look at things with such optimism with clear blood running through my veins.

The father’s indifference and the mother’s mental condition ask many questions, looking back at it again now. Maintaining thoughts like those you’d surmise whilst re-watching The Wire or The Sopranos are what makes a great film in my eyes.

Over the course of the last two years of what I barely remember and don’t care to reflect upon all that proudly I place this film in my top three or four. Scratch that, this is no place for statistics – other than those still visiting this page each day, which comes as a pleasant surprise to me, and I appreciate it. Especially those of you attempting to character assassinate me.

Christina Ricci is gorgeous in this film and it amused me to discover she played Wednesday Adams in The Adams Family, although I never watched that shit. Pow, pow.

Anyhow, after this lengthy, self-indulgent rant I’m going to begin watching this again and maybe convince you to try and watch it – it’s hard to take recommendations on board, but when you do, you often find yourself glad you did, assuming the person suggesting the film to you isn’t an absolute idiot, which accounts for most people I try and avoid these days.

The consequences of obsession and delusion are covered in regards to scapegoating occurring on the behalf of the individual and just how easily such a warped perception of reality can be washed away.

I’m somewhat in love with this film and it’s difficult to write too much about it, especially with my usual syntax. This film’s all about parental alienation and following the worst kidnapping attempt of all time, I’m more inclined to make note of the photographic, nostalgic transitions that occur occasionally in this movie – and just how perfect the casting is between the two main characters; the film – it wouldn’t have worked any other way and would have fallen victim to cynicism and evaluations regarding Stockholm Syndrome had it not been composed so methodically well.

Billy’s lack of self-worth and just how highly those in his community rate him (unbeknownst to him) are excellently executed and for all his villainous traits, there’s a humble individual behind the facade.

For once I’m enjoying watching something again and my inclination to write along with it is wavering, nor is it necessary, given I’ve already seen it.

What can be said about this scene? Majestic.

What’s most notable to me, returning to writing this a day later is all that Billy goes through on behalf of protecting an incredibly unreciprocating family – this film speaks of a great many societal issues in a subtle and comedic way. It can to some extent be regarded as what makes (and can prevent) someone from becoming murderously suicidal, the value of love – and all the other sorts of philosophical points I’ve made about films in my blogs preceding this one.

I’m inclined to agree with Layla here.

There’s a charm and majestic element to the cinematography of this film – especially considering it’s regarded as one of the best independent movies ever made that will stick with me for life – it impacted me a great deal at a much higher point in my life, but to distinguish between the highs and lows is as obtuse as it gets anymore.

I welled up a few times, as usual, watching this, my output has wavered due to reasons the rumor mill is sure to discern for reasons of morbid curiosity only. I’d forgotten how much I loved doing this blog!

Christina Ricci’s ambivalence to everything, from her gaze to her flirtatious actions (little appreciated by an incredibly alienated Billy) in this movie is excellent and this film is the definition of cinematic alchemy, in my opinion.

I have nothing specific to say about this frame, for anyone who doesn’t like spoiling films entirely for themselves.

The inner child that’s so often a part of Billy’s vocal intonations throughout this film and just how highly everyone thinks of him (except himself) are elements that perpetuate a lot of introspection. The things that are left unsaid or obscured in Buffalo ‘66 aren’t integral to why it’s so great, but they certainly made the second viewing almost as enjoyable as the first.

Am I back? That’s yet to see.


The Wall (2017)

This is one of the few times I’ve begun writing here immediately upon finishing a film, rather than pausing and giving reactionary observations about the feature. A film featuring John Cena is certainly one you wouldn’t expect for me to be writing about and it certainly wasn’t one I anticipated watching, upon finally taking heed of my friend’s advice and actually watching it.

The seemingly unbelievably paranoid deductions of the main protagonist definitely gave me L vibes, but I’ll try not to rant about Death Note…especially the horrific adaptation that came to be of the film version.

In ‘The Wall’ there’s so much at play psychologically – and considering just how dead-set the terrain is, there’s a lot of action, for a film exhibiting modern warfare, or the outcome of it. As much as I don’t like to focus on the news, politics, or anything even somewhat relevant to real reality.

Written by: Dwain Worrell

I’ve always found that there has been little out there that compares to the likes of Jarhead and The Hurt Locker in recent times. I remember watching The Green Room when I was younger, although I’m not sure if I thought it was good or bad.

It’s funny, writing this with a certain retrospect. Suggesting that things are all in a person’s head is usually a phrase used to disregard the legitimacy of one’s beliefs; whilst in reality, a much more oblique definition comes to my mind, at this point in my life.

As averse as this blog is in regard to writing about film synopses and specific story elements, the two opposing snipers (or spotters) at play in this movie are so deeply characterized for a film with a runtime of only ninety minutes, with so many sophisticated elements regarding psychological warfare and social engineering coming as a great surprise to me, even now as I write about it in retrospect.

Directed by: Doug Liman

This is not a film that glorifies either side of the conflict and nor does it play down the intelligence of the opposition. I remember writing a university assignment on why American Sniper sucked (sue me) and The Wall is certainly not a film that falls under such a caliber if I’m to attempt to make a play on words here.

I don’t wish to go into too much detail, as this is something that is most certainly more worth watching without having looked at spoilers; which I thankfully didn’t.

That doesn’t mean to say that the ghostlike enemy in this movie is presented with many redeeming qualities, but he is certainly presented with some fearsome, malevolent, and tactical qualities that you almost have to admire in the sort of movie where American troops always come out on top. In reality, this film might be one that actual soldiers have more respect for, with the educatedness of the adversary being so very callous – yet somehow justified.

The back and forth between the two combatants is just brilliant and although some of the discourse could be regarded as a plot device to make the film appear all that more sophisticated, it worked for me.

The dialogue was excellent and everything about this movie was impressive to me. It felt like it lasted for a longer duration than it was, yet I wished it went on for much longer – but perhaps that is the point; especially in the climate many unfortunately find themselves in today. The technological manipulation and the sense of the soldiers being truly trapped within enemy soil, rather than seamlessly infiltrating it was excellent – and I can’t say much more without ruining the plot.

Produced by: Dave Bartis

Plex displayed the audience score of this one as being at 44%, with a higher critical appraisal, however…I think this film deserves a lot more praise for being as omnidirectional and unsettling as it is. I’m choosing my words carefully, as I don’t like to talk too much of realities I can’t truly empathize much about.

The lack of distinguishable difference between frames here shows just how effectively executed the dialogue (primarily) and action (subsidiary) is.

‘Juba’, the elite sniper they’re faced up against is one of the most impressive villains I’ve seen depicted in a film like this – and that’s saying something – not that he’s all that likable, but it’s necessary that films of this nature don’t depict opposing forces as imbecilic meat shields…and that is something The Wall definitely does not do.

The villanized character in this story is most certainly the most literate and educated and perhaps that is another philosophical point that can be derived from watching this, the value of intelligence as opposed to brute force in all forms of conflict/survival tactics.

So many things are brought into question and occasionally answered throughout these ninety minutes and all I can say is that it’s fucking underrated, it’s not a film you can go back and watch your most favored clips of, either, it’s an all or nothing presentation and it removed a lot of the weight my current collection of media is imposing on me emotionally.

I’d actively encourage everyone to watch this, even those of you who think I’m just a pretentious prick writing about art house films to impress scene girls. Thanks for the recommendation and bits of plastic/dinnerware, my friend(s).


Alpha Dog (2006)

Welcome to twenty-twenty-two, when everything’s going to change for you and all of your habits picked up through a lifetime of breaking this pact will surely change. I really don’t want to type words today and that’s exactly why I’m attempting to, so, be pre-warned, it’s an amateur hour from here on out.

I’ve been thinking about returning to editing my strange novel, so I’m going to rant about it here. The syntax is relentless, and it needs to be something that’s equally exciting to write about, any drafts of the novel released publicly are old. The pressure upon me to make something that fits between my idealistic levels of perfection is always horrible and it’s always a difficult process.

The fact that the character he’s addressing is a neo-nazi on-base appearance just showed the level of insight and empathy the lead tried to maintain before being pushed over the edge with the characters attempting to one-up another.

It’s such a good film that I’m not going to say much more about it, but if you look at it from a certain perspective, the humanity and alienated insight Truelove had from the very beginning toward his enemy’s life was the reason things seemed to have gone so bad in this movie.

I’m surprised they depicted the older brother of the victim so ruthlessly and that might be poetic justice. The irony is that the opposing criminal to the main antagonist became a snitch after being spared his life three times.


V/H/S/94 (2021)

I attempted watching Your Name (2018) yesterday, but it was to no avail. It made me too emotional to continue watching it, let alone write about it, so I’m taking it appropriately easy following delving into the quest that was Sátántangó. I’ve always been fond of the V/H/S franchise and I reckon it’s pretty unlikely a lot of you reading this are aware that another installment has been released.

The news correspondent in this segment of the film really did remind me of Gale Weathers in Wes Craven’s Scream movies and this film did a good job with the limited time it had to add a level of empathy to such a character.

These films have been a breath of fresh air as far as the horror genre is concerned over the past decade, they’re never overly serious, nor are they too much of a parody. Sure, certain skits in the previous ones varied from mediocre to incredible – but that’s my exact point, they always try something new, and twenty minutes into watching this one, I’m impressed.

There are still some brilliantly comedic parodies of the mainstream media too, there’s a lot of subliminal shots in this movie towards other creators and institutions and that’s what art is all about sometimes…

In terms of the narrative structure, these films only get better – displaying video cassette presentations within found footage presentations, like a Babushka doll of horror. The content itself always has its ups and downs, but it only adds to why these films are so impressive in my eyes – they always deliver something unexpected and are rarely focused purely upon the gore, but rather, the cinematography and absurdity of all that goes on during their runtime. Take these opening paragraphs as my regards for the previous movies, I suppose.

Directed by: Jennifer Reeder, Chloe Okuno, Simon Barrett, Timo Tjahjanto & Ryan Prows.

Going forward, it’s great to have leading characters that aren’t inherently vulnerable – or straw men/women, so to speak. You have a SWAT team infiltrating an abandoned facility…which is the main arc in the story; even making use of the malevolence inherently presented by shopping channels during intermissions; few and frequent in between.

Produced by: Josh Goldbloom, Brad Miska & Kurtis David Harder. Written by: David Bruckner & Brad Miska.

Not to say that V/H/S/94 is without gore though, there’s a lot of it, but the creators of these movies sure know what they’re doing. In a scene I thought was going to let me down and be exploitative, all convention was flipped completely on its head and made for some unbelievably philosophical points – alongside reminding me of the monsters included in the DOOM games. It’s a common occurrence, especially in this movie… Just when you come to jaded predictions imbued in you through other horror movies, it really gets inventive.

I feel like this segment of the movie really takes inspiration from the only good thing about the Doom (2005) film adaptation; that being the FPS-oriented cinematography at the end of it.

The final act was amazing. I had come to some level of assumption that this sequence was taking shots at the August Underground trilogy and other movies of the like, but I’m amazed at how accurate my deductions really were there. V/H/S/94 is likely to be the best horror movie of 2021, in my honest opinion – and maybe not only this year, either. I can see why critics gave it a higher score than audiences; this is a film dedicated to true acolytes of the genre and it didn’t let me down.

The subtle occultism and use of static televisions throughout really intrigued me, it’s a rare thing for me to enjoy a modern horror movie and I’m trying not to give away too many spoilers, even in the screenshots I present here; just because of its sheer entertainment value.

To those of you familiar with the franchise already or to other veterans of horror, I recommend it to you. It’s still a very brutal film, on all levels, but it is done remarkably tastefully if you can make such an assertion about presentations falling under such a category. It also doesn’t rely on jump-scares whatsoever, which always speaks for the credibility of the arrangement and the integrity of its creators.

The final segment of the film essentially mocks/depicts a private militia. It begins with hyper-realism then becomes something much, much different. I can’t believe I have so much to say about this film, in all honesty.

I’ve tried to avoid spoilers on this one and following my last post, I wanted to take it easy on the analysis. Have a good day all and thanks for reading…


Sátántangó (1994)

Three hours into watching Sátántangó, I really don’t have anything all that observant to say about it, confused as to whether the story-line is being told from a linear perspective or if it keeps transitioning between flashbacks. I must also say that I get a feeling that the story-line is somehow derivative of Dostoevsky’s Demons, but that’s merely pseudo-intellectual conjecture from me, only halfway through this movie; by observing what first appears to be the characterization of villainous, duplicitous personalities.

Directed by Béla Tarr

Duration is key here and so is pacing. Fifty minutes of this film goes faster than twenty minutes do of those harboring a shorter duration. I’m unsure as to why and maybe that’s the reason; prolonged ambiguity and the promise of something special should you make it to the conclusion. I only say this through reading a comment somewhere that An Elephant Sitting Still (2018) was a modernized Sátántangó – and given the correlation between the opening scenes, it’s clear to whom Hu Bo was paying homage.

Screenplay by Béla Tarr and László Krasznahorkai

Maybe that’s the problem with cinema today and the reason why television shows are becoming all the more prevalent in terms of video presentations – people are so quick to dismiss a movie for being four hours long, let alone seven; yet they’ll happily go home, and binge-watch a season of Californication. Anyhow, I don’t intend to analyze this with great scrutiny, as I’m sure many reviewers already hold this in the same regard as whoever the fuck enjoys Ulysses. This film is literally seven hours long, but it is presented in an episodic format.

The dangers of charisma and faith in what appears to be righteous amongst those deprived of anything close to a humane existence are well-presented and left open to interpretation or opinion.

Prior to this film, I was incredibly on edge for reasons I won’t delve too far into, but watching the dilapidated, morbid settings and intense character conversations actually made me feel a hell of a lot better, unlike now, with my chest caving in out of simple aversion towards Microsoft Word. That’s how bad it’s become, as meticulous as I attempt to be in editing…

Produced by György Fehér, Joachim von Vietinghoff and Ruth Waldburger.

And that’s why I’m making note of all that I auto-didactically study here for the sheer fun of it, just to see if by some means I can find writing to be a rewarding process again and maybe continue climbing the mountain. Enough about me – let the remaining three hours commence.

Within five minutes of returning to this (after a habitual nap) I wonder why I’ve somehow been confronted with a child tyrannically abusing a cat. Good fucking morning, Oldes. I love cats and even mine has climbed on top of the TV mantle during this scene. For real. I’ve never seen ‘it’ so engaged in a movie. I’d get a picture, but I value her OPSEC. I’m typing to distract myself from this scene, it appears.

I had to take a picture. They say the psychotic drowns in the waters that the mystic swims with delight, but I’m definitely doggy paddling. My cat never actively obstructs the television. I don’t want to play this game anymore.

I first thought this to be a comparative observation of the origin of murderously psychopathic traits; through the child watching how men treat women or prostitutes within this time and jurisdiction… and then things became seven-fold more depressing and self-aware. Goddamn.

Falling into asymptomatic stasis at the end of part two, or the ‘tango’ act so to speak, I can only articulate my own observations about it being a demonstration of just how ugly alcoholism and what constitutes entertainment to uncultured adults is, interweaving the worth of integrity versus financial affluence in the maintaining of a relationship…and the depressive acceptance of one character who physically keeps a level head.

Maybe I make no sense, I’d rather it be this way than regurgitate statements of fact, whilst other characters regurgitate their drinks. There’s so much at work here, yet so little, all at the same time. The rarity of the narrative poetry only adds to a feeling of spectral power emanating from this film, but I’m getting pretentious.

These elongated scenes absent of dialogue, taken in one shot seriously seem to be inspired by the likes of Tarkovsky.

Overall, Sátántangó delves (in my eyes, I’m not exactly educated about Marxism) into the origins of communism on the level of a microcosm and the result of it, perhaps not in such an order. It captures how every individual isn’t thought of with compassion as far as the higher powers that be are and most definitely sends a warning of both the dangers and virtues of charisma and supposed righteousness; however, the way in which a supposed greater good is to be accomplished is counterintuitive and shows how a communist regime is not that all-inclusive.

Much like a Dostoevsky novel, I feel like this film requires multiple viewings to understand the ironies and nuances at play.

Forgive me, I’m not all that politically educated, and with thirty minutes to go after having to take many naps, prior to refreshing my Remeron cache, my writing definitely isn’t up to the standard I’d like. This film has way too many virtues and I’m unable to compress them into my typical syntax, nor do I want to.

There’s definitely a breaking of the fourth wall here and I’m inclined to agree, but going with the premise of the blog, I like to write in pure ignorance and give more of a reaction than I do a review.

The saying that ‘the road to hell is paved with bad intentions’ comes to mind and I’ll return upon reaching its conclusion. The frequency and insignificance of the events this film homes in upon with a magnifying glass are also made poetically clear and Sátántangó is at heart a very sensitive film, giving virtue to even the most decrepit and immoral of human existences as if to remind all that personality traits are a matter of cause and effect – and that everyone at heart wishes to be a good person; while in reality, self-interest seemingly most often prevails. The lack of sensitivity in whatever climate this film presents in regard to the disabled is also very jarring.

The setting juxtaposes class divides very well and the prolonged nature of takes like this is likely intentional, hoping for the audience to come to such a deduction.

Juxtaposed to one another are an elderly, alcoholic writer who is wise and pessimistic, whilst another remains naïve and intellectual, with the latter being one who is evidently incapable of empathizing with what is to come upon him losing the structural augmentation of what makes him a functional human being.

The way in which people are effectively insignificant statistics in the eyes of those with governmental power is driven home (or away from home) ruthlessly.

Everything is alluded to and there isn’t as much explosive action as many would likely wish for, but this film is far too much for me to analyze any further. It puts the powers of divinity to work against the prevalence of those of functional constitution and I’m honestly too bewildered to write anything else. I must read up on this film, it seems. If my writing makes little sense to you, it’s probably an illustration of just how far-reaching and ridiculously insightful this poetical onslaught is.

The power of the written word, originating from various elements and arguments is emphasized greatly in this movie, on a more positive note.

This is as dark as I’ll be going for a while and good luck if you ever choose to watch it, but I doubt all that many of you will. Every element of the production and casting is to a high standard, but my poor confused mind can’t muster anything else all that substantive to write about, I am exhausted. There are levels to this one, levels beyond even me.

Thanks for reading this one, if you got this far. I imagine this is one of the most complicated, convoluted posts I’ll be making on here and that’s how it had to be as far as Sátántangó is concerned in terms of correlational reactions. There’s a reason I didn’t post yesterday, don’t be expecting any more seven-hour epics any time soon. I can’t even recollect how many naps were necessary while watching and composing this post.


Taste of Cherry (1997)

After awaking this evening nauseated from the most picturesque, haunting of dreams I logged onto my PC only to become terrified of what must be the most acute occurrence of psychological projection and synchrony I’ve ever experienced. Although, it was a very lovely manifestation of reality… bearing incredible likeness to my dream. Maybe I’ll start writing about Jungian psychology, someday.

The various characters the lead interacts with almost act as different philosophical counterarguments, in a sort of categorical way, looking back at it now.

Through experiencing something so profound, I’ve become seemingly motivated to delve into the deeper realms of content as far as my current inventory of unwatched films is concerned, Unfortunately, Plex displayed a rather unfortunate spoiler for me, and the first thirty minutes were ruined, with an as of yet inexplicably suicidal protagonist searching, or rather, begging for somebody to bury his corpse, be it dead or alive for a significant amount of money.

Becoming acquainted with a seminary halfway through, arguments of divinity and morality come into the equation and this is certainly a dialogue-focused feature, with very weighty words.

What I must note about Taste of Cherry is the leading character’s tendency to ask questions of those he comes across, contradicting the more cynical of my societal observations that human interaction is based upon mere mutual intentions and nothing more. However, this character has the most depressing of intentions – I’ll return to this after I’ve been emotionally decimated further.

Directed, produced & written by Abbas Kiarostami

Twenty minutes away from the film’s conclusion, I must say that it intellectualizes suicide like no other movie I’ve witnessed. You could say that the continual driving around in circles is a metaphor regarding the thought processes both condemning and condoning such an act – and you can look upon the setting as either beautiful or dismal too, as is life.

The protagonist’s aversion to listening or adhering to advise from people he seemingly recognized haven’t endured anything remotely similar to whatever it is he went through is made clear. The fact that his exact sufferances aren’t divulged only adds to the relatability and positive message that this film has to offer.

The fact that the protagonist says nothing regarding his own internal suffering – so far truly does articulate the level of hopelessness one has to succumb to, for every well-intentioned sermon or attempt at empathy seemingly being empty words washing over him.

Characters go from questioning and fearing the lead’s outlook to (in my opinion) becoming his own inner monologue, in a way. I stumble across most of these features randomly and this film isn’t as overtly depressing as one would expect, but instead, it bears the potential to deliver a very optimistic message to many an indigo soul.

This character and actor seriously stole the show. I don’t wish to give out too much information and explain why much, but he’s the only one capable of ‘driving’ the protagonist into being completely silent.

I became inexplicably emotional throughout the conclusion of the film, neither in a positive or negative way, it’s hard to explain, but this film is one of divine purpose, in a geographical location plagued by warfare, it’s an exhibition of the beauty of humanity and artistry…all the while capturing the nature of serious suicidal intentions with sensitive lucidity. I feel like saying less is more with this one and will leave it here.

Essential viewing. Have a good evening, from your occasional Wiccan.


Suspiria (1977)

So then, Suspiria. Forty minutes into this film I must remark upon how the quality of the cinematography could stand up against films of the modern-day, and considering it was released almost fifty years ago, the constantly picturesque, luminous settings are absolutely remarkable. Aside from the dated depictions of gore and violence, it really could pass off as something released in the present – actually, no, it’s too good a horror movie.

Directed by Dario Argento, Written by: Dario Argento & Daria Nicolodi

I’ve gone easy on myself for a little while and have decided upon attempting to avoid films that induce an emotional, introspective crucifixion and I’m coming to realize I may not have made the wisest of choices.

I won’t mention it again, but the camera-work in this is great – the duality of reflections here is awesome, considering the timing of its release.

What I initially perceived as sub-par acting in this movie only adds to the absurdity of the environment (a boarding school) the American heroine finds herself in, from the moment she gets off the plane to enroll in her newfound, foreign place of education.

This is just rain, and the unrelenting sort of chic coloring must have inspired the likes of Bliss and many other films, who knows, it seems I’m only getting started on my journey into old-school cinema (yeah, right).

There’s a level of pretentiousness and overzealousness to the characters and from witnessing the opening murder, there’s more at play in Suspiria than simply a knife-wielding maniac offing teenaged girls – there’s a supernatural sort of imposition about it too.

There are too many beautiful frames and use of lighting for me to juxtapose to my writing here and I’ve made an effort to pick out some of my favored ones (that aren’t already virally renowned) here.

Jarring, sometimes overwhelming audio effects resonate from the background during scenes of transition. As always, I like to make some observations whilst ignorant to the remainder of the plot…and by the time you read this, I’ll have obviously already returned to it.

Aristocratic enclosures like these are a common trait amongst many films, both past, and present and this film maximizes the infrastructure at hand to its visual potential.

I didn’t expect to accidentally fall asleep upon taking a break from this film. I can’t even say I’m nocturnal, I have no semblance of a body clock. Anyhow, my Friday evening and beginning of my Saturday morning ended and began with Suspiria, with the latter half of it being surprisingly absent of the tropes I had a gut instinct that it was playing around with.

The helplessness of a blind man and his dog in this situation was too much – but the setting speaks for itself. Perhaps there was some breaking of the fourth wall at play here.

The calm, ironic ambivalence (to a certain degree) of the heroine to everything around her was brilliant, in my eyes, whilst of course, Susie (huh, kinda correlation between the protagonist’s name and the title of the feature) doesn’t spend the duration of the film completely calm whatsoever, there’s something charming about her and this film and it certainly went on to inspire The Witch – and a good many other things, but I’m just making assumptions.

Overall, this movie was a great exhibition of camerawork, settings, coloring, music, and likely at the time, gore. I don’t place much value on gore anyways, funnily enough, I have a low tolerance for it, unlike certain weirdos that look for real-life scenes of mutilation…

It’s inventive with its brutality, non-the-less, I could remark that these scenes are in some way similar to In A Glass Cage, however, obstacles like this were what made the goddamn Saw spin-offs…

Suspiria effectively converges all horror movie tropes into one effective display and doesn’t take itself too seriously, nor does it take itself too lightly – the occult, witchcraft, Amityville Horror (haunted house) vibes, and slasher/psychological cliches are all converged into this production and I only wish I was at more liberty to remark upon whatever impact it did have on the genre as a whole.

Again, the cavernous, affluent, and occult-related settings are dope.

In my eyes (and aching temples), it was ahead of its time by far – I can even see where Innocence derived some of its influence from here and I can see why it has such a high audience/critical score on Plex. Definitely worked to pioneer a lot of things, maybe too many to count.

Whilst I initially found the heroine to be hapless, as is a common occurrence in slasher cliches, there’s a level of intelligence (I wouldn’t say common sense though) that prevents Suspiria from falling into such a generic criterion.

The next film might be a romantic comedy, they’re more like horror movies to me these days. Appreciate the level of engagement recently, I’ve invested a little more into optimizing the blog as a whole, anyways. Thanks.


Videodrome (1983)

Good morning or afternoon, depending upon when I get done writing this. I’m beginning this cozy Friday morning by delving straight into the abyss of debauchery, although it has promise, as most films do (or need to) in order for me to write a single word about them.

I must note, the nature of the cinematography and presentation of this film seems to inspire a great many online ARGs that the likes of Nexpo dive into, the sorts of pseudo-mind controlling broadcasts he enjoys milking.

Halfway into Videodrome I’m impressed by the quality of the acting in this Canadian film (I know right, for once?), and considering the date of its release, its insight into sadomasochism is especially impressive, considering how far-reaching such an analysis of it is not even close to the halfway point; and that’s coming from an individual who knows from whom the word ‘sadism’ was specifically coined. No. I’m never watching Salo again for this blog…Good as my word is for anything these days.

Written & Directed by: David Cronenberg

Anyhow, with this film being one addressing television stations themselves and the desensitization audiences, pornographic actors and producers endure/enjoy, I feel rather ashamed of myself for not having watched it previously and if you know much about me personally, you can probably see why.

Videodrome blends fiction and reality in a very uncliched way that is still rather effective to this day – and I’m not talking on a plot level – I’m talking about psychological hallucinations manifesting before my own eyes whilst I watch this movie; alongside some of the more grotesque, (effectively presented through ironically enough terrible VHS quality) supposed snuff scenes.

I gave a lot of credit to Man Bites Dog in an earlier post, however, the means by which this film is narrated/presented isn’t of the organic, homemade footage – hyper-realism caliber, that’s for sure, so I won’t be making too many comparative statements, however, I do to some extent retract my thoughts of it being all that revolutionary – and I don’t say this out of naivety either.

The idea that watching a videotape could bestow upon you some irrevocable illness or fate seemingly started here and not with Ringu, although I’m sure someone (maybe even myself, eventually) would be able to correct me about such a matter.

Upon finishing Videodrome I let out a long sigh of bewilderment and relief, probably down to the fact that I chose to watch it first thing upon waking up on a morning. I don’t want to go into depth with spoilers here, but it puts freedom of expression to war against governmental tyranny and for any of you out there that have taken less acid than I have and lost your sanity, it really does bring some MK Ultra mind-control shit into the forefront of your mind (and the protagonist’s).

To some extent, I wish this film was longer and delved deeper into the motives, setting, and just about everything else to do with it. This could have been a double-edged sword, however, and would have left perhaps too little ambiguity for audiences to muse upon.

Considering it came out in 1983, this film is particularly innovative and has more substance (in terms of the horror genre) on a technological level than most films today – the horrors of the modernization of technology have not yet been accurately depicted in such a medium, in my honest opinion.

Yeah, if you’re a fan of horror, this one’s a cornerstone. Can’t believe I haven’t already watched it. Enjoy the rest of your day and thanks for reading this, whoever the fuck you all are.


The Lovers on the Bridge (1991)

I really should have watched Leos Carax’s movies in chronological order, although watching Boy Meets Girl again doesn’t really appeal to my fragile mind. Anyhow, after a long recovery from viewing Pola X, I decided upon watching another one of his features, otherwise going by the title: Les Amants du Pont-Neuf.

At the beginning of this movie I was dreading something baring likeness to the enigmatic onslaught that was Holy Motors, something that I do intend to watch again someday, however, this film is thankfully linear and maybe I was recommended the worst possible Carax film to first delve into.

From the first ten minutes, you’re plunged into visual depictions of extreme poverty, something that brought Orwell’s Down & Out in Paris and London to the forefront of my mind. What’s interesting to me here is the Alex character, who appears in the majority of Carax’s films, generally becoming more deformed and terrifying throughout this director’s body of work – I’ll get around to writing about Tokyo! Eventually.

Directed & Written by Leos Carax

This film characterizes what was up until now a most enigmatic individual in my eyes, having only watched Holy Motors and the majority of Tokyo prior, although I do remember the lead in Boy Meets Girl also being called Alex (not sure)…maybe I’ll do my research one day, but for now, I’d rather remain confused.

The movie does a great job of illustrating just how difficult the night is in comparison to daytime in the life of a vagrant. The lighter scenes make the desolate setting beautiful, whilst the darker ones do otherwise. I kind of noticed this in Pola X.

And perplexed I definitely am forty minutes in, with two destitute characters seemingly bonding, or the male character chasing the homeless woman whom he seemingly loves. A certain mantra has come to mind, as I’m cooking some food before resuming the movie – and that’s if you’re chasing love, it’s most likely running away from you.

The question of how the daughter of a military general ended up in this position always remains somewhat oblique, although I’d put it down to the reasons of infatuation, like most things in Carax’s harrowing filmography.

Anyhow, I’ll return to this once I’ve finished it, already feeling rather certain it won’t top Pola X…but that’s not what this blog is about. The value of art should not be a democratic process, especially with most people who find the time to spout their bullshit online. Hypocritical, maybe!

Most of the time in this guy’s movies, characters are both running away from something and towards something simultaneously. Maybe that’s just life, I suppose.

Twenty minutes later I notice how this film’s drawing attention to just how much more difficult and precarious a situation it is for women to be homeless; with the vulnerabilities, you’d most often with ‘them’ in modern society. There is compassion between the three unsightly main characters and it’s as if they live in their own world on this temporarily abandoned bridge; or may as well, as alienated from society as they have become.

The value of love and affection above that of anything else for Alex is clear; as if he has already deduced that there is no materialism or comfort that can mask the void of reciprocal emotional intimacy…and once again, a Leos Carax film is forcing me to take a nap, so as to return to it with a mind prepared for whatever turmoil is so likely to engulf the already tragic leading roles.

Looking back at this retrospectively, both characters have pretty borderline traits and it works to explain Michèle’s understanding of Alex’s actions later on in the film. Acceptance, however? I don’t give too many spoilers.

Waking up at 6 pm struggling to find a reason to get out of bed or eat, I’ve managed to convince myself the last twenty-something years aren’t representative of how hopeless the latter half of my life will be and continue on with this film.

Drinking a green tea in vain, this movie represents the highest level of infatuation someone can face whilst devoid of anything else that brings them happiness in life other than that of love, with Alex going as far as throwing two thousand francs away whilst in a position where he can’t even afford shoes that fit him.

The elderly, a mostly well-intentioned character in this movie to some extent goes forgotten and I think this is intentional, it exemplifies the lack of empathy and the tragedy of the human condition. Man, I’m pretentious.

Self-harm, guilt-induced psychosis, and abandonment anxiety are tackled in this film in a way that’s relatable to everyone, no matter class or income. What was also interesting to me is how easy it is for one to portray themselves as ‘normal’ by aesthetic appearances in society, with their sufferance all the while remaining unknown and uncared for – that is, unless it’s with the ulterior motive of reciprocal affection, which ironically enough, is the only thing that would cure the protagonist in his dilapidated state.

The lead’s own insecurities or desperation seem to drive him to do the very thing that could possibly drive Michèle away and there’s a beautiful cohesion to this film of unexpected mutual understanding, looking back it retrospectively now…

I’ve still got half an hour to go with this one, so I’ll keep the remainder of my rantings to a minimum. It’s best I don’t allude to the conclusion of The Lovers on The Bridge too much, I was incredibly surprised myself. It depicts the selfish nature of love, the disregard for all else in the face of it (be it other relationships or the welfare of others). Most of all, it does what I like best when it comes to films of this caliber, it leaves room for you to ascertain the deductions the characters make and their silent emotions rather than spoonfeeding it to you.

Both characters are incredibly debased and immoral, but it’s almost justifiable. Cause and effect, I suppose.

Judging by the word count of this one, yeah, wow. Soberly recommend!


As Tears Go By (1988)

It’s 6:45 am and my cat’s looking at me with an accusatory, guilt-inducing grimace. I’m unsure what else I can do to make her happy, she has gourmet, she has it all. Anyways, after three days mostly asleep for some reason unknown to even me I arose and watched As Tears Go By, aware it was created by the same director as Fallen Angels (1995) beforehand.

Directed by Wong Kar-wai

This film brings up a lot of emotive points, primarily featuring a hardened assassin looking after his halfway crook younger brother, who is clearly seeking validation for himself in the eyes of either himself, his brother, or his more estimable colleagues. Which one specifically? Watch the film and find out for yourself, or be lame and ruin most cinematic experiences by going on Wikipedia beforehand like I used to.

With the elder usually having to get him out of trouble, familial loyalty and masculine pride are addressed in a succinct, entertaining way. However, it is nowhere near as stylistically presented as Fallen Angels, as could probably be expected, with As Tears Go By preceding it by seven or so years.

Upon doing a little research, I’ve noticed this was Wong Kar-wai’s debut feature and as such, most of my more negative observations about it are kind of invalid…

Thinking more into it, with the romantic associations of the elder sibling and cousin and an awareness that there are other members of their family existent at the time, the film begs the question of the worth of pride and reputation in a certain demographic in comparison to that which can be offered externally, be it love, redemption, or a whole new way of life.

Narcissistic – almost to the point of delusional assertions of criminal/violent prowess juxtapose scenes exhibiting purity and a chance of redemption for the lead, who is especially frustrating to watch as he remains bound to a brother that reminds me of Ziggy from The Wire.

As Tears Go By begs the question of what legacy will be left behind in one’s lifetime if not one of the most depraved criminality, should you not have any other avenues of what constitutes ‘success’ in this world and perfectly balances malevolence with romance, as I see is something of a trend where this director is concerned.

 I didn’t think I’d be able to write much about this one as I watched it all the way through without a break and couldn’t think of anything all that profound but looking at it detachedly upon finishing it; this is both an entertaining and deeply philosophical film and not just simply another gangster movie, as many will likely regard this.

The question of loyalty and priority is one often raised here, along with the idea that money doesn’t buy happiness, heart, or pride.

This flick’s high on my list so far, in terms of sheer entertainment value and its karmic prerogative. I’m honestly surprised about what I’ve philosophically surmised post-viewing and you might be too.

The one being threatened with murder isn’t the one offering money here…

Watch it…


Solaris (1972)

It’s four-thirty in the morning and I’m an hour and ten minutes into Solaris. What I first must note about this movie is just how fast the first hour has passed me by, a level of engagement that’s surprising when considering the films I’ve either enjoyed or endured as of late; the ones I consider more as a challenge to watch and almost on par with reading a book, so to speak, with my attention span being as fleeting as it is these days…

Directed by: Andrei Tarkovsky

Succeeding 2001: A Space Odyssey in the timing of its release, a matured Tarkovsky feature about space travel was always going to be incredible. I don’t know if I’m the ignorant one for not having seen it before, or if it’s genuinely just slept on, but the focus on the destination rather than exploration itself is made very clear and it wastes no time throwing you into a claustrophobic, mind-bending fray as a psychologist tries to reason with the two ‘human’ passengers inhabiting Solaris’ space station.

It’s clear to me that both Moon and Interstellar derived some influence from this movie and if Interstellar is a modernized version of A Space Odyssey, I’d say that Moon is a poor man’s adaptation of Solaris, with the fixation upon psychological absurdities and scientifically paranormal activity being central throughout what I’ve viewed so far. These last three or so paragraphs were so fucking easy to write, too, so I’ll return when I’ve completed it, as is the usual syntactic tactic I so tacitly employ when rambling on this self-indulgent blogroll that for some reason has amassed some semblance of a cult following.

Whether you’re laughing at me or not whilst reading this, I truly appreciate the traffic. Thank you. Something else I wanted to make note of is how the more horror-related elements reminded me of the hallucinatory alienation featured in Kubrick’s The Shining (1980), so maybe there was some artistic warfare/licensing at play between the two prolific directors at this point in history. Either way, it’s got me typing impulsively without having to force my hand and that’s good enough for me. I’m really going to go watch it until its conclusion now, I swore…

I might return to add context clues, not now, though.

With aching eyes, I’ve reached the two-hour ten-minute mark and it turns out I’ve lied once again, with the necessity of noting just how incomprehensibly well Solaris blends immortality, divinity, delusions, the human condition, science, and what could possibly be the powers of a higher, sentient force being like no other film I’ve seen. It doesn’t go too far for the horror angle, or anything else that sensational. But it sure as shit is mind-warping.

I have no idea how on earth I wasn’t made aware of this film sooner, but it makes The Shining look like child’s play. Stephen King would be happy and so would the leading lady of Kubrick’s dissemination of the novel – judging by how she was treated on set. It’s 6 am now, but I’d like this to be finished with the movie entirely fresh in my mind.

As far as the protagonist goes, he is personified so little that the film becomes all the more relatable on an existential, personable level and quite frankly, it’s a Gatling gun of philosophical/spiritual shots to one’s perceptions of the unknown, or what should remain unknown to the collective consciousness of humanity.

The platitudes Solaris reaches for and accomplishes are beyond that of my own immediate understanding or comprehension to even beg many questions. This is some next-level shit and maybe the director’s magnum opus but even before reaching its ending I’m almost at a loss for words, the disputes between ‘human’ characters regarding the immortalized, unrelenting reincarnations of the protagonist’s loved ones are so articulately presented and it will always remain inaccessible to the masses.

Will I watch it again? Yeah, after doing my due diligence and fucking research. It’s now 7:30 am and I’m in enduring an unanticipated, ranting existential crisis…

Uhhh, try and watch this film. Good luck – from yours truly, the emissary of understanding exactly how little we’ll ever understand. One love, I think?


Diabolique (1955)

Yeah, I’ll be going a lifetime back in cinematic history. I started watching this movie before having to medicate out, but considering the year of its release, it really must have been making some virtuous point regarding feminism and just how oppressive men can/could be; when bound by simply by marriage but neither income, integrity, nor even mutual respect/attraction.

You’re immediately introduced to the most dislikable of figures and considering the time of its release. Diabolique definitely had a positive impact on the world, one way or another.

The storyline follows what I suppose is the comradery of a headmaster’s old mistress and newfound wife, the latter of which displays much more empathetic qualities than either of the elder pair.

Directed by Henri-Georges Clouzot

Whilst this film orientates around their conspiracy to murder the headmaster to be free of his evidently abusive tendencies, the motive for their ruse is made all too evident and reminds me of I Spit on Your Grave, albeit not to the grotesque levels of the original or remake – it has more humanity to it.

The conflicted nature of both the villain and mostly the victim is endearing, to the point of this film having at least some level of emotional impact on my ‘dissolute’ persona.

Whilst I have no intentions of being an activist of any form in my ramblings, the historical tyranny imposed upon women is made clear from the very beginning of the film, and the victim of the two protagonists is all too deserving of such a fate. I’m going to continue watching the latter half of this flick now, I’ll get back to you.

Twenty minutes before completing this movie, I feel I must note upon the generational differences in how one is to regard women in an all-boys school; with the pupils themselves having more sensitivity than the headmaster did himself were the feelings of his wife/their teacher were concerned.

The way in which women were encroached upon physically, be it in the small things up to the point of rape is also quite startling in a movie this old. It’s resonant with the societal norms of the past and the imperfect progression of the present.

This was more than a simple whodunnit and considering the time of its release, the levels of manipulation employed by certain parties throughout justify the esteem in which both reviewers and audiences hold this film. It also doesn’t work to villainize all men of the older generation and concluded on a point much less depressing than I envisioned, thankfully.

Antiquated cinematography has a certain darkness to it, beyond that of the limitations of the past. This film really did a good job of portraying gaslighting of the utmost extremes and I have little more to say about it without sounding contrived, other than that I definitely haven’t seen enough horror movies.

Thanks for reading, as always – I’ve missed you…


A Touch of Sin (2013)

Waking up feeling like utter shit, I didn’t think I’d be capable of watching anything substantive today and intended to sleep for the foreseeable future. However, A Touch of Sin was absolutely engaging from its onset.

Written & Directed by: Jia Zhangke

Plex surmised the film as narrating four random acts of violence occurring across modern China, however, it’s all too evident to me that these weren’t senseless acts, but the stories of various people pushed to the point of no return. It is presented beautifully, too.

I’m typing with a reluctant hand today, but I got through this film in one sitting, which is always surprising during my odyssey into random films not of my native tongue. You really are thrown into the utmost morbidity of the story in the first act and it gradually becomes more emotional and nuanced.

Even the inclusion of a tiger-patterned fabric in this period of the film is illusory to its Buddhist elements. There’s definitely a lot of metaphors at play with how animals are involved with this film throughout, too.

Reluctantly I’m going to mention how this film reminded me of An Elephant Sitting Still and this will be the last time I mention that amazing movie on here – the way in which the characters cross paths isn’t so direct and fluid though and the duration is nothing close to what Hu Bo insisted upon with his magnum opus.

Small demographic politics and trespasses upon one’s pride are illustrated, alongside the consequences of a murderer that initially seems morally just…

There are elements of Buddhism throughout this film and the value of human life as opposed to that of animals, or the loss of human life more primitive and harmful upon the majority than those of wild animals is definitely something incredibly observable. I noticed someone make a similar deduction about the metaphorical depth of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre at one point and was inclined to agree. I spent two years vegan at one point, before becoming incredibly anemic, just so you know!

Even the lashing of the horse reminded me of Crime & Punishment.

A Touch of Sin switches effortlessly between being brutal and extremely sensitive and class/wealth differences alongside the value of love as opposed to money are made clear throughout. The definition of ‘sin’ itself can be brought into question, too, if you take a while to think about it, upon the film reaching its conclusion; one I found to be surprisingly optimistic; albeit in a very conflicted way.

Overall, if you want something that has impressive settings and cinematography, a message, and enough entertainment value to carry you through two hours, even whilst suffering from a comedown/the epitome of clinical depression, I’d recommend this film highly on this lowly blog.

I’m definitely going to watch this film again at some point and might return to edit this. Being as apolitical as I am, I don’t read other reviews anymore and can’t offer much cultural context, but this one was a gem and I feel blessed to have chosen this feature instead of chomping down more sleepers upon waking today.

The allure of criminality in a demographic where the economy is essentially corrupt and abusive toward the working class is brilliantly illustrated too, ranging from those engaged in prostitution to those working in factories or mines; articulating both similarities and differences of each one in an immensely poignant way.

Anyway, I never wanted this blog to be something I tried too hard with in regard to output and I apologize for the lack of quality I’m observing in my own writing today. For me to even watch something, let alone write anything in this state is a testament to how good this film is.

“Do you understand your sin?”

Besides, I don’t like writing about films from too retrospective a state of mind.

Don’t grow up to be like me.


Nocturama (2016)

From the opening ten minutes of Nocturama, I felt my inherent perception of impending doom increase, judging by the many characters you’re not so much introduced to, but thrust upon at the beginning of the movie. Reaching the one-hour mark of my first viewing, it’s clear that this movie is a slow burner.

Directed & Written by Bertrand Bonello

I didn’t read anything about this film before viewing it and hoped that by title alone it would be something less morbid than what I last delved into, but it seems I made the wrong choice. Instead of brutal depictions of murder I’ve been met with scenes displaying domestic terrorism occurring in France, on a fictional level, of course. I’ll try and find a nice romantic comedy for you all someday, I promise.

Anyhow, I’m going to get back to watching this film and return upon reaching its conclusion (for real this time, I don’t feel too well today). The cinematography and character associations are very jarring and imposing and I can see why it received more critical appraisal than it did from its audience (plex displays that much to me on a preliminary level, at least.)

Unable to continue watching this film without taking a break, I feel like I must note how much the following half-hour dragged; albeit in a good way, if you’re to consider it on an artistic level rather than mere entertainment value – and if you’re accustomed to this blog by now, you know I focus upon the former.

There are definitely some great frames and the cinematography is on point with this film, but it’s worn me down so much I can’t bring myself to comment much further, nor do I want to, if I’m to keep with the niche of never giving too much away about these movies…

There’s an extreme level of nihilism and evil that permeates from this film in a way I find hard to articulate. It could be the seeming lack of motive from the characters and lack of personality portrayed by the majority throughout, but something about it is really getting under my skin. I couldn’t possibly imagine being a news correspondent, but different archetypes, or something…

Following what comes to be of their scheme, the parties responsible take covert refuge in a shopping mall, for reasons I’m still unsure of. Symbolism? There’s a lot of ambiguity around the characters and their motives, perhaps contrived against those within their own coven…

Upon finishing Nocturama I don’t want to give away too many spoilers, but this film reaches no climatic points, in a good way. It was like watching a two-hour panic attack envelop your soul, increasing ever further until you end up feeling exhausted. This was a great movie and has a lot of political, materialistic, and karmic points to it and isn’t the emissary of evil I thought it to be at one point. In terms of existential meaninglessness, however, it certainly is; and it holds no prisoners.

It’s worn me down so much I can’t bring myself to write much more, but I’d say it’s essential viewing. I’m coming to realize there are levels to this movie stuff and there are so many diamonds out there that remain unacknowledged, especially if you remain averse to watching movies with subtitles. Should you decide upon watching it yourself, be sure to have some mental stamina.



Man Bites Dog (1992)

Urgh. Sorry everyone, but it’s one of those times where I’ve ended up engulfed in murky waters. I’m halfway through watching this macabre Belgian feature and from the opening seconds you know the sort of film you’re dealing with; albeit to a level of extremity that I’m incredibly surprised about, considering the year in which Man Bites Dog was released.

Written & Directed by: Rémy Belvaux, André Bonzel, Benoît Poelvoorde, Vincent Tavier

Some context is necessary for this one and it finds a camera crew following a serial killer around throughout his many endeavors. It’s clear where Creep (2014) and Creep 2 (2017) derived their inspiration from, alongside The House That Jack Built (2018) too. I can see how Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer (1986) could have influenced the makings of this movie though, just through how the characters associate with one another on an interpersonal level.

I’m going as easy as I can on the frames here and this is the worst I’ll be uploading. This film was messed up. But not as messed up as the news!

The overzealousness and social dominance of someone capable of murder amongst those around him are made clear; although those filming the protagonist don’t seem at all disgusted by any of the many methodical, calculated murders contained within this film. I’m glad I’m Sedlo right now and was dreading attempting to write something substantive about this feature, that is; until I got a little bit further into it.

Things happen so fast and so brutally that the stench of realism is almost haunting. I don’t want to keep writing about it, but for the leading actor to play someone so incredibly debased does deserve some kudos.

Extreme cinema has always been a thing and this movie is at many points a poke in the eye to those engaged in the creation of similar films and through a lifetime of being pretty on point as a horror movie geek, this one seemingly worked to pioneer the ‘found footage/pseudo-snuff’ genre and the likes of The Blair Witch Project and VHS franchise.

The black and white presentation of Man Bites Dog definitely works to its advantage, dismissing the necessity of graphic violence in a way that’s almost paradoxical. Every scene of such morbidity becomes more about the method than it does the mess and for that reason, I regard this film as ingenious, amongst the many other ironies involving the camera crew’s rare expressions of empathy throughout.

There is a level of self-awareness to this movie, but it doesn’t get in the way of any of the malevolence. This is a very rare equilibrium to find in ‘satirical’ horror movies and I’m unsure I’ll find one of the like again.

I’m going to take a deep breath and finish watching this. This one’s a trophy for the mantle of morbid curiosity and it makes The August Underground trilogy look even more juvenile and senseless than it already is. In all honesty, I was much less affected by horror films when I was younger. These days effectively executed ones really plague me with either disgust or direly penetrative nihilism. I’m tempted to take a nap; I’ll get back to you…

There are definite subliminal messages towards other directors of the genre and the camera/sound crew are not at all innocent, inactive parties throughout this absolute onslaught.

Upon finishing this film, I let out an elongated sigh of relief (reminiscent of my more stimulated days) that I’ll never have to watch it again, but this would-be snuff film essentially kills all others (to this date).

The brilliance of this subliminal is just too much.

There is a message to it and there is very little comedy, as the categorization of the film itself specified… It lacks empathy for either the victims or collateral damage – and that is why I still champion Martyrs (2004) in the horror genre but Jesus Christ. I need to watch something less soul-destroying. I did indeed have a nap and woke up with my head in a vice, the second half of Man Bites Dog did little to alleviate that.

I’d only recommend this movie to the most desensitized audiences of horror movies. But I would recommend it to those select few. I have nothing more to add other than I feel like this movie had a clear objective in mind. Nothing truly surpasses it to date in such an exhibition of Ben’s (the protagonist’s) sociopathy and it seems to me not enough horror directors have seen it, or truly got the message…

Indeed. Alright, there are a few comedy elements. I’ve gone to great lengths to avoid spoilers or descriptions of the more gruesome/karmic elements involved in this movie. It’s necessary viewing and might make you never want to watch exploitative cinema ever again.

Sweet dreams – and to most of you, don’t watch this movie.


Long Day’s Journey Into Night (2018)

As always, I got an hour into this film before being compelled to take a benzodiazepine-induced nap. It has essentially become a task for me to relax these days; so I make a point of watching films that I would most often avoid, ones that induce some level of introspection in the ‘empty shell’ of a soul that a friend of mine so comedically describes.

Directed & Written by Bi Gan.

The first hour of this film left me very confused, knowing I’d need to be in a position where I wasn’t magnetized to my own sporadic depressive slumber. Whilst I don’t go to great lengths to research the movies I watch; the audience score on this was low and I can understand why. The unfolding of the plot and what occurs over the two hours isn’t at all what you’d expect.

The cinematography and transitioning between settings were excellent in this film and the fictional medium in which it is presented is used to break the fourth wall on multiple occasions. Strange character interactions and their own ambivalence to what occurs in front of them make Long Day’s Journey into Night all that more oblique and leave you with a hell of a lot more questions than it does answers. Destiny/fate seems either correlational and beautiful or like plot devices, but either way, it worked for me.

Love is the central point of this movie, or maybe that of eternal infatuation; depending upon how cynically/jadedly one is to view the world. There is little sexualization involved in this movie in its own matured, innocent way; something that is all too often lacking in cinema today and probably why it isn’t given more appraisal. The question of racial identity and differentiation is pretty clear to me throughout this film too, as the protagonist holds the torch for someone who he once loved; but it’s not my place to go too far into that.

It isn’t the protagonist speaking here and little moments like these almost guarantee that this film is worth watching twice, as you’re left utterly clueless as to what’s going on for the first half, even upon reaching the conclusion on your first viewing.

Ultimately, this movie makes you think of those nostalgic, regrettable moments in your life where action or inaction can leave you forever bound to memory and truly illustrates the danger of living in the past. Although for once, I feel hopeful after reaching the conclusion of this film, which is a rarity, considering my repertoire as of late.

Strange transitions of setting and the directions in which this film took me almost guarantee I’ll watch this again eventually. I believe there’s a lot more to be garnered from this movie than what I initially observed on the surface level.

Happy birthday btw, Sam – you both should take a look at this one. It’s certainly not An Elephant Sitting Still, which is a good thing for you two, but not for me. The mission to find a superior film continues…

No context here, but what a beautifully presented scene.

Looks like I’ll be posting more frequently again, provided I don’t give myself mild serotonin syndrome for a while. That shit sucks. Thanks for reading, if you’ve got this far. I’ll make this blog more accessible (historically) for mobiles soon.


Innocence (2004)

Returning from another involuntary hiatus, I’d rather not get into the habit of introducing my every post like this. There’s always the sense of societal dread and self-hatred that comes alongside expressing oneself honestly online; juxtaposed to the many inarticulate and mostly insane-looking souls spamming their own newsfeeds/elderly bigots appraising newspaper articles with comments fighting fire with fire.

Directed & Written by: Lucile Hadžihalilović

Anyhow, with the ridiculous spike in unique visits I’ve witnessed over a couple of days, I figured it’s due time I posted something else. I’d prefer it if you all didn’t read this blog. This was the one time I found myself able to write/rant without being scrutinized for quality.

From the very beginning of this film, you’re faced with an ominous and potentially malevolent environment that plays host to a girls-only school; accommodating to just infants and juniors from my observations as of forty minutes in.

I’m writing before returning to finish the rest of it now and the way in which the pupils conduct themselves and organize one another (almost unsupervised) amongst their own delegated, hair-band colored hierarchy begged one question of me almost instantly. Would it be possible for males of such an age to behave in a manner so code-pendant and organized? Or is this film just illustrative of a fictional reality itself?

Ten minutes later after resuming watching the film I’ve been bombarded by scenes that don’t work to dispel the cynicism/truth of society and maybe that’s a good thing. Why can’t you just watch a comedy, Sedlo? Why are you writing about yourself in the third person, Sedlo? Looking at the film from a detached and wordily perspective, though, it’s a testament to the integrity of the director and those involved that this film even exists. No more blathering from me until the conclusion, I promise (I lied).

It’s blind fate that I’ve discerned the leading actress from Love Me If You Dare whilst watching this. Innocence is one of those films long stored on the external hard drive that I dared not face up to watch, just through the gravity of a French film being entitled ‘Innocence’. For some reason, I had some preconception the film wouldn’t end up being all that innocent.

In conclusion, I’m getting strong Martyrs (2004) vibes from this in observing the friendship between Bianca and the main protagonist. Whilst I haven’t brought myself to watch Martyrs without skipping the ending (fuck the remake), the imposing, cavernous settings often remind me of it; alongside the cult-like behaviour of the figureheads behind it.

The exploitation of innocence and the later exploitation of maturity is made so succinctly clear in this movie and the occurrence of aristocratic grooming on an incredibly contrived, covert level is something all too observable, be it in generational gaps or that of wealth.

Nexpo made a great video about childhood behavioral camps not too long ago that resonates with this film and my thoughts about it a lot; agents of morbid-curiosity or truth that we may be. I’m always of the belief that fiction is a reflection of reality and most often, the reflection is not so clear and things are much likely to be worse.

This film was difficult to get through, in a good way. There’s so much ambiguity and fear of the unknown that you feel at one with the victimized parties – and that is what makes a good film, be it horror, or drama. I won’t describe the ending; some things are better left unsaid. I’m glad I wrote in cohesion with the film, you lot asked for it.

Thanks for reading, and good luck to you, if you decide upon facing up to this one. It plays with one’s own locus of innocence, too, but I’d rather my writing be derivative of my own perceptions as opposed to those of others.


Another Round (2020)

“Look, he finds it sensible to drink…”

Another Round essentially finds teachers intellectualizing the consumption of alcohol based on productivity and a more positive worldly outlook; whilst I try to avoid synopses, the context is necessary whilst discussing this movie; especially in the three-day retrospect I currently find myself in.

Directed by Thomas Vinterberg, Written by Thomas Vinterberg & Tobias Lindholm

For me, the film spoke largely upon substances that went entirely unmentioned, with the growing alienation from what is considered a conventional society displayed throughout almost exacerbating just how harmful drugs of a greater severity are on a person’s mindset and external appearance when associating with the world around them.

Really, it’s a shame that I wasn’t in a fit state to remark upon this film more whilst viewing it. The movie touches upon generational gaps, the sense of worthlessness teachers bound to a curriculum feel and the growing hopelessness that juxtaposes becoming older and the solemn lack of options that can coincide/be felt as someone who essentially feels obsolete in a world that continues to move forward…

The film makes some astute observations regarding politicians/artists being propelled forward as a result of consuming alcohol and certainly differentiates abuse from pure alcoholism, too.

It was a depressingly touching film, with an outlook as optimistic as it was nihilistic. The value of friendship and dependence upon chemicals to have a good time are made clear; alongside just how quickly the world moves on if one is to commit suicide. One of the most affecting things I noticed about it is how the most optimistic member of the group was essentially the most depressed; and how taboo discussions of mental health seem to many of both the younger and older generations.

All had something in common…

Overall, this movie drove home the significance of every human being’s inner struggle or ambitions, be they minor characters or the protagonist. I tried watching a film of my native tongue soon after and began to find the acting sub-par in comparison to many of the features on my agenda as of late. So, I guess I’ll stick to watching movies with the subtitles on, to stay edgy, or something.

The main four characters are all teachers and this sort of disillusionment with their careers is something I even felt whilst observing them when I was a bit younger.

I might return to this, having three films I need to go back to when they’re not so fresh in my mind; but as always, if it was good enough for my writers blocked existence to make a dialogue about; then it’s a film I genuinely hope you watch, whoever you lot are…

It’s been longer than I anticipated to post again on here. A mixture of over-sleeping, or recovery sleep maybe. I never knew it was possible to have a dream so profound and lucid – they say it’s the cousin of death, but it sure as shit gave me some sort of ego death; although I’m still rather egotistical. These days/daze of recovery must amount to something, but I digress (self-indulgent jabbering).

Sometime soon I’m going to optimize this website further and put more time into making my unique mark in this generation of terrible blogs, but for now; my tank’s most often running on empty. We’ll get there.

They really do attempt to treat it as an academic study, measuring their blood alcohol levels throughout. I’m always one for symbolism, too.

I would have liked to have included more interesting frames, but they would be too illusory to the storyline and spoilers. Plus, it’s much more difficult to navigate the movie in hindsight. Keep up the momentum, everyone.


Love Me If You Dare (2003)

It’s safe to assume I didn’t decide upon watching this movie on my own accord. Romantic films are like a gateway-craft to stimulant abuse. That and the fact that most fall into cliches and don’t make many major points, or leave any ambiguity or memorability with you for much longer afterward.

Directed/Writen by Yann Samuell

This movie covers the engulfing nature of love and friendship over a lifetime, resolute around a synopsis you can read somewhere else; if you must. The cinematography featured throughout has a magical, nostalgic level of innocence/beauty that differentiates it from a lot of things I’ve seen. Could compare it with Limitless and the goddamn Harry Potter franchise; however, the level of dark comedy and the realism presented in the conflicts of the heart featured throughout make Love Me If You Dare an individual entity by its own right, by my own cinephilic deductions.

I feel like the comedy is more between the two protagonists, rather than that of the audience of this film, and thinking about it, it’s pretty brilliant how ironic it is in that regard.

It took me four days to watch this film after having drunk too much cough syrup to cure my chronic case of anhedonia temporarily, with the first hour of the film working to destroy me emotionally upon either love lost, a childhood missed out on, or however the fuck else you would most care to define it.

Indeed, Sophie.

The line between love and hate is definitely one covered constantly throughout this movie and it captures those fleeting moments that remain in one’s mind for an eternity; be they ones of regret, hopelessness, or joyousness.

Capturing one of those cemented moments in time…

Sure, there are some cliched moments, but this film transitions through time in a manner I didn’t expect and the second half of it presents a degree of hope. It’s defined as a romantic comedy, on my FLEX; but for some, I doubt there’s much comedy to be ascertained upon viewing this.

Essentially willing to die for one another; unwilling to aknowledge their reciprocal affections as more than a game throughout.

I’ve got a headache as usual and need to eat my magical tablets, but if any movie could define the term ‘love’ as an absolute; it would be this one, in my blogs… I’ll be switching up genres again soon; so i suppose you can expect the expected.

He isn’t talking about driving and i’m not going to ever review The Fast and the Furious.

Goodnight everyone and remember, you always remember the worst times more than the good and it’s human nature to look more to the past than it is the present or future. Don’t end up rambling about romance with a blurred vision on an extremely aesthetic blog, either, that shit’s for weirdos.


Pola X (1999)

My first thought upon watching Pola X is that it’s definitely a Leos Carax film deviating from the typical mise-en-scene I’ve come to associate with the likes of Tokyo! and Holy Motors; with the initially aristocratic setting and characters making a great change in comparison to his other works.

There are so many layers to this scene, considering the rest of Carax’s body of work and the movie itself. I’ll try not to use the word ‘wow’ too much whilst copying in my raving.

I ended up getting an hour in before being compelled by whatever the fuck it is, I’m withdrawing from to go to have a nap. Strangely, two years of stimulant abuse has some ramifications; who’d have thought it?

Whilst not as oblique as the many other Carax films I’m likely to write about, having only watched Holy Motors and the majority of Tokyo; there are still some amazingly poignant frames featured throughout this movie.

Leos Carax is most certainly a director that you have to see the entirety of his works to understand, from my own observation of self-referential throwbacks and recurring characters from what I’ve witnessed so far. Just a warning though, the subtitles can often be as terrible as those that came beside Gaspar Noé’s Climax!

The romanticism of someone living in abundance and saving the misfortunate isn’t the only prerogative of Pierre; whose pride/sense of familial disillusionment drives the film forward.

So once again you get my hour in ravings about a film. The notion that money doesn’t buy happiness crushed me a year or so ago and this film definitely drives that idea home, or away from home; should the pragmatics of the film be taken into account.

I’m not intentionally juxtaposing films with somewhat incestuous elements on purpose; it’s just the order in which I downloaded the films/directors so recently recommended to me. Going to need more recommendations soon, hint, hint.

French catacombs/tunnels are seemingly a fixation of the director; who doesn’t use them as exploitatively as ‘As Above, So Below’ (2014). I don’t have much to say about the latter. Especially right now.

The phenomenon of estranged siblings becoming romantically involved is one actually pretty well documented and the hive-mind of the microcosm in which I reside can go to hell. I’ll write whatever the fuck I want. But for now, I’m going to finish watching the film and sip some camomile tea; maybe that will cure my psyche, substantially depersonalized by what I considered to be a lot of fun! Well, not so much now. Writing’s improved, though!

One of those unfortunate cases where the more one does to help; the more one suffers. Relatable to many, but not to these extremes.

Jesus Christ. I’m glad I wrote something about this film before finishing watching it. This movie is definitely Carax’s best in my books. Maybe it’s the relatability of the struggle behind the artistry. Maybe it’s the collateral damage that comes no matter how much you try to help other people. Maybe it’s the toxicity of the industry and what could come of using a pseudonym. I feel so emotionally slaughtered after watching this and doubt I could watch it again, but it’s essential viewing. Wow.

Isabelle’s character is a mixture of innocence, turmoil, and the cause and effect of such suffering. Whilst seemingly naive, her emotional wariness/weariness transcends all others in this feature.

I wanted to write about the comparative evil between incest and a random stranger beating an infant to death in one blow. I wanted to write about how this is one of Leos Carax’s least oblique films ever made and the spiritual illumination that correlates with the darkness of the setting as the film goes on, but I am stunned.

I can’t even…

There hasn’t been a film that hit me this hard since I watched An Elephant Sitting Still (2018) twice in the last month. I also wanted to write about how suffering prompts output and how art is a reflection of reality but…it just seems so minor, after reaching the conclusion of this underrated masterpiece.

Leos Carax still delivers with the messed-up metaphorical cinematography and that’s what it’s sometimes all about.

Absolutely amazing, I feel decimated. What an incredible movie. It pains me to even write much more into it and I want to sleep, so I’ll leave it here.

An appropriate final frame for me, anyway.

Stay blessed.


Ivan’s Childhood (1962)

Two-thirds of the way through this film, I thought I’d make rare use of this primitive Mac Book I recently got. As an elitist crypto punk prick capable of saying I’m using “Arch btw,” it’s a turning point to be using one of these laptops. Both their formation and limitations are beautiful and great for productivity. They just feel better too. Assange would be ashamed.

The funny thing is who the dialogue’s actually coming from here…

Anyhow – back to the topic at hand. It’s pretty clear that Ivan’s Childhood is not a feature oriented around brutal depictions of warfare or politics at all, but more the human condition and how pain/loss can supersede those of even adult soldiers, even as a child; and for the many of those surrounding Ivan to respect his unrelenting desire for vengeance; or rather, solace in a grimly depicted setting capturing the conflict between Russian and German forces during the second world war.

Director: Andrei Tarkovsky Novel: Vladimir Bogomolov – ‘Ivan’

I don’t claim to be a historian and try and avoid depressing myself with political matters until I’m at a point where my body of work demands such knowledge be fresh in the mind. Politics are like seasonal weather to me now and people just want/won’t change and will continue demanding change no matter the transition.

Male entitlement/objectification is tackled very well, even in circumstances as morbid as those presented throughout this film.

An hour into the film’s ninety-minute runtime sees little violence and rather looks upon the nature of human interactions; mutual understanding based upon suffering. The latter seems to be the cornerstone of movies I appreciate…movies that are not so often made in this day and age.

The video quality of even the most antiquated of films is astounding, should you be as methodical in collecting an inventory on an external hard drive. Anyhow, I’m going to finish watching this movie. There are some strikingly macabre and morbid scenes presented with impressive subtlety throughout this picture without being exploitatively graphic; too many impressive frames for me to correlate alongside writing, that is, if I wanted to be overwrought…….

There are more grotesque scenes, but sometimes less is more…

As a friend of mine says…fuck the future, the past is the future. I guess you’re watching movies now. Reaching the end of this film, I don’t want to go at great lengths to describe the plot, but it captures childhood nostalgia, the calm before the storm and the silence of warfare; the loss of innocence and a loss of will to live – or will to live only for justified retribution with great sensitivity and cinematography, transitioning quickly…

It’s more about the consequences of war and not the enjoyment of sadism itself – which seems to be the go-to with so-called action films these days – and for that, I am greatly appreciative of the film recommendation; and compliment.

It’s a great observation of how people are approaching a wartime nurse, looking for healing in all the wrong places.

It’s 3 am and time is relative, but this film is definitely one to watch; almost acting as further encouragement to watch more aged productions. It’s ironic how the soldiers themselves become partisans, all through the sincerity and respectability of someone so young. Yeah, I’m sober at 4 am.

Sleep/wake well, traffic.


The Dreamers (2003)

It’s been a while. I don’t really enjoy writing, although having written is a good feeling if it’s up to your own standards of perfection; which is a horrible task and certainly not a goal while writing this.

There are a few movies I want to mull over and a couple I can’t be bothered about. Movie critics suck if they’re critical. It’s ironic I guess, but the democratic process of what makes a film appraised or dismissed in the public eye seems to take prevalence over people’s taste these days. Either that or most audiences don’t have a clue how to torrent and are limited to Netflix or Prime. But I digress.

Director: Bernardo Bertolucci Screenplay/Novel: Gilbert Adair (The Holy Innocents)

This is one of those times I’m glad to be writing as Sedlo, as much as any of you sycophants out there want to try and link this private domain to me personally. The sexual and borderline incestuous elements of this film are mind-warping yet surpass that of anything presented by modern-day pornography on an emotional level. Those involved were ambitious enough to create a film so taboo and I don’t mind regarding it with such a voice either.

It definitely helps that Eva Green is fucking gorgeous. It’s kind of funny that Michael Pitt became typecast for this sort of stuff (i.e. Boardwalk Empire), but not as amusing as Funny Games (1997). Hell, I sound as much of a movie buff as the characters in this film themselves do; with the self-referential manner and frequent throwbacks to primitive sixties cinema being present throughout.

Just like the most memorable films you see, with Donnie Darko being the penultimate example of it, this film asks more questions than at answers and challenges the nature of societal conditioning to an extent I was impressed with.

The three main characters are victims of this own inner conflict themselves – both in an internal and cultural sense, indulging in the most hedonistic of lifestyles as “the degenerates” of cinephilia in a time where France was at a point of cultural transition; in an artistic, cinematic sense too, with protests regarding the progression of creative output and the prevalence of the Vietnam War remaining secondary to characters who consider themselves intellectuals.

It begs the nihilistic question of what’s the point in being smart if you’re not using it to the most righteous of your abilities…but I’ll stop character assassinating myself now.

The question of revolution remains throughout this film and it’s only through chance that the nature of pacifism vs fascism becomes truly evident and it sends a clear message that many so-called political protestors make violent statements out of their own personal frustrations; so as to remain at one with their own locus of a conscience than it is for any groundbreaking progress.

You can always go to Wikipedia or some shit to read up more about this film, but my benzodiazepine engulfed receptors and small sparks of dopamine are running out already. I’ve enjoyed writing about this film, I feel at one with the pretentiousness of the characters themselves and maybe that’s something it wanted to convey. Many will have likely ignored the poignant points The Dreamers has to offer out of some ostensible public outrage, but it was good enough for me to write about it, the useless depressing mess that I am.

There will be more posts on here. I don’t intend to just post a couple of bits of bullshit and fall off like so many other bloggers do, so I appreciate anyone that comes back to read these ramblings. I got too sedated to write about Tokyo! and Chungking Express as I watched them and fell asleep before they ended. They’ll be next up. Maybe.


Lowlife (2018)

There are usually moments in time where I catch up with as many horror movies as possible so as to resemble Randy in the Scream movies or some shit. During this onslaught a couple of years ago, I did find some absolute gems amongst a lot of pure garbage. This post isn’t one written as I’m watching it, but more a hazy recollection of why it was so good, going through the frames and what I remember.

Director & Writer: Im Kwon-taek

I remember describing this film as a “good version of pulp fiction” to people ironically quite often after watching this film; modernized to the extent that the antagonist is depicted using an electronic cigarette for prolonged periods; such excellent use of the prop to set a moment in time with a film so essentially debased; on a surface level; but insanely darkly comedic and fundamentally observant of the nature of the most dysfunctional human bonds.

The film is debased and gory from the beginning, and I liken this film to Pulp Fiction as someone that’s only bothered to watch Pulp Fiction once. It’s more modernized in correlation to desensitization in cinema, but not to the degree that it’s exploitative. All of the characters are so absurd; too, and the film seems in a different realm of reality, all making it stand out from the many things I wasted whatever life span that hopefully remains for me.

Whilst ‘El Monsturo’ seems like something too absurd and funny, the character is largely developed throughout the film, to a greater extent than most of the others; seemingly.

The dismissal of race in the face of one ruthless day and priorities is clear in this film and it isn’t to a point where it’s too conscious, or too comedic, it’s self-aware greatness at its best, asking questions rather than shouting at you like most supposedly horrific films these days.

Different, absolutely absurd characters are introduced to the film in later parts, leading to major subliminal observations rather than that of the impending threat/climax that is to reach all of the characters.

The acting in this film was great and from what I can remember it didn’t get bad reviews, although I try not to taint my voice with any other whilst writing my bullshit on here. Whilst a macabre film, it’s one excellently directed and deeply philosophical, whilst being violent and entertaining in all areas on the surface level.

No spoilers alluded to here.

I don’t know, I feel like a lot of people are talking about how good Parasite was whilst a lot of stuff goes under the radar amongst those I know and those equally as passionate about cinema. I’m even amazed at the things I’ve not seen in my prior posts, but I felt like hazily reflecting on this out of the inherent need to write something. I can’t be bothered with this one anymore, but it’s truly slept on.



Fallen Angels (1995)

Produced & Written by Wong Kar-wai

Mostly thinking of doing something and reflecting upon whatever the hell I wrote about yesterday in a stupidly self-satisfied state, I’ve decided to make another great step and decided upon writing about another film; unable to simply just enjoy watching them. As L said in Death Note; “I don’t want to sit like this, I have to!” Yeah. Shoutouts to those privies to my real identity, big things are going on in here.

So far, I’m momentarily bewildered and thinking into how there’s the music of my native tongue in this movie; and it makes me consider how far the convergence of foreign cinema has come or already has in terms of quality/substance; yet the audience numbers of each begs the question…and maybe the audience itself…

Another thought is if it’s possible to delude yourself into being truly happy alone as is seemingly a state of one character at the start – another scene made me feel disgusted by my own descent out of being completely vegan. I’m so great.

Introduced to the internal monologues of a seemingly outwardly mute character early on, you get a clear gaze into sociopathy and a person having nothing to lose and the protagonist being “silently” infamous within the community he is in; or those within his own age group.

And then a father, ice-cream truck, and a family were taken hostage, going on with the main storyline. I’m getting serious Natural Born Killers vibes here – without so much the explicitly entertaining elements – it’s a lot more introspective and less “sensational.” God, I even hate the shit I write. Strike me down.

The retrospective, disgusted/emotionally down state accompanying human sexuality is often addressed in this film too, something which NBK didn’t ask of me, or anybody viewing. Philosophical elements like these are what’s missing from either most modern cinema or most of the audience.

I’m surprised at the release date and this film could pass as something created today. The way in which a mute assassin and his partner seemingly socially engineer situations whilst he narrates the film is intuitive into the malevolence that is either their love or mutual understanding.

The humanity of the lead is shown later in the film; alongside his ironic infatuation with someone nowhere near as emotionally detached; but still detached enough not to reciprocate his feelings. I’m gonna stop writing before I even finish this film; so that should be a sign it’s worth watching from nobody.

Concluding it, it raises a lot of questions about identity and what qualifies as being cinematically enjoyable to an audience without the invocation of violence; while making everyone look inwardly at themselves and how they perceive their cabin fever-induced relationships with those around them. There’s more to this film than the many masterful frames I occasionally felt like capturing to captivate the universal attention disorder.


An Elephant Sitting Still (2018)

My phone ran out of battery at a fitting time for me to get into this film; although I felt like I needed an intermission midway through this masterclass…of just about everything.

Prior to my annoying phone turning back on I did make a memo of my thoughts about the movie an hour in; before acknowledging how sporadic and juxtaposed the character interactions remain in this film, they capture both an inability to communicate and expression beyond words, the meaning of silence; a feeling of ‘real recognize real’ throughout.

Anyhow, here’s how I was going to introduce this – wait, it seems I continued ranting about the film. It’s expressive and engaging from the dialogue down to the very most precise of facial expressions; disparaging the cynicism of humanity whilst all the same showing it at its very worst, with group chats, private collectives; and what initially appears to be a multifaceted, flashback timeline. It’s worth noting that I don’t read synopses all the way through anymore before watching shit. Don’t know why it became so necessary to me at a time.

This is how this post should have started, or maybe not, maybe this is done in some stylistic, subconscious means. Shout-outs to everyone conscious of their shadow self:

Watching an old soul dance through the mist of your own childhood experiences/regrets is an odd way to summarize this post. I like it. Not even halfway through the film and I’m questioning the divide between those hardened beyond thoughts of their own mortality and those that succumb to it; with the seemingly emotionless characters harboring not a semblance of superficial sympathy/empathy, but a great degree of unspoken insight.

26 Year old blogging neek
Hu Bo- (1988-2017). Goddamn, even researching a minuscule amount of information about the writer/director added to my intrigue with watching the remaining hour and a half of this four-hour odyssey.

After reaching the end, I have a vape-induced headache, and my thoughts were mostly rambles from here on whilst watching the film. As is the nature of most of my past reviews; I can’t be bothered editing them now.

The scene panning across a nursing facility for the elderly brings a dragged motion, transitioning between each inhabited threshold in a way that makes you think for the lack of hope remaining for those soon destined for the grave and the many souls lacking hope nor comradery. One of the protagonists seemingly agrees.

Ranging in topic from cause and effect to the nature of blame and fate and the unfolding of emotionally driven collective scapegoating built upon the demise of someone negligible to humanity are covered with the sensitivity of Dostoevsky, with not so deprived ambitions/motives.

It does a lot and while saying little in describing a series of misfortunes derived solely from the exploitation of technology, and I later discovered that there are large spoilers to avoid that make a second viewing quite necessary.

Every protagonist is seen fleeing from something and finding help in most often the wrong places, accurately depicting the most stoic of people, no matter their age, brought to breaking point by mere circumstance.

I’ll take my cue to stop writing this weird fucking blog soon, but the film works with generational bonds, both in a negative and positive light whilst remaining insanely cohesive and realistic, avoiding including brutal depictions for mere shock value like so many other films in such a vein fail to do.

The human will to persevere is exhibited so poignantly with characters built upon excellent foundations. Association by alienation, there’s a light at the end of some tunnels; if you have the strength to navigate them – and for the rest, there’s only karma.

Dedicated to Maioalnsky, if only I could spell; she-devil/venus.

I might get back to this, someone get this anonymous weirdo his sedatives!

8 1/2 (1963)

1963 – Federico Fellini

Having received a list of recommendations from someone somewhat special, I’ve decided to attempt to relax for once, instead of my focus being that of focusing upon concentrating on something for however knows how long.

In doing so I’ve decided to make a casual blog and not try all that hard, just to enjoy writing for once. Don’t be expecting any critical analysis here, I was smoked out and in that sort of mindset where you know you’re being barraged with ambiguous moral questions, ones that I’m still questioning now and might edit. Who knows.

It’s not often that I watch a film so aged, but the nature of human affections, frustrations with producing cinematography, alienation, and societal fallacies are all addressed so well. The transitions were dope too; seamlessly yet disorientingly navigating between what is fantasy, reality, or narrative; all under one fictional, fucking, inception-like premise.

Childhood nostalgia, even the Star Wars theme, man. As a dedicated waste-man with too much time on his hands, I’d recommend watching this to anyone with any semblance of sense.

Thanks for reading, if you bothered with my bored ramblings during this first post.


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