There are some really good dissections of the plot on YouTube - the largely
accepted theories explain most things but are still mindblowing.
There are some really good dissections of the plot on YouTube - the largely
Thanks for the suggestion – I’ll check those out.
I kind of see The Wailing as a Witcher story set in modern day Korea, where the Geralt character is a manipulative bastard and there’s more of a focus on the hapless peasants caught in the crossfire between these forces they just don’t understand.
Maybe the most disarming thing about that movie is how it establishes one tone and shifts into a completely different one by the end. The first act with that movie is rife with silly but very human moments, with the protagonist being less of a traditional detective and more of a Keystone Cop. So stuff like the daughter getting possessed and that utterly nihilistic ending has all the more impact.
My impression is the director intended to leave a lot of the plot open to interpretation. mine is that the Japanese man and the woman in white are clearly at opposite ends of the spectrum, and the shaman is the Japanese man’s servant or partner. Possibly they are Christian style Devil and God, or ghosts that are taking on those roles. im leaning towards ghosts or spirits because the influence and power of both seem quite limited
The humor in the movie seems very out of place which in the end unsettled me even more because I was never quite sure what to expect.
And keep in mind that the only character to see the fisherman in True Demon Form is the priest, who, while not played as an unstable or delirious character, has definitely been through some shit and maybe isn’t thinking straight by the end. The fisherman even says something to the extent of the priest seeing only what he wants to see (though, him possibly being the devil, that could just be another trick).
Also, kudos to Jun Kunimura. I’d only previously seen him in Shin Godzilla, where he had an unassuming, super tertiary role, but he projected such incredible menace as the fisherman. Props to the shaman’s actor, Hwang Jung-min, as well.
It’s just a really good horror movie overall that knows how to mess with your feelings and expectations and is one of the few works in the genre that benefits from being longer rather than shorter. There’s something about its meandering pace that draws out that unease.
Good stuff, everybody. I’m also conscientious that there’s probably some cultural meaning that, while I can certainly pick up on themes, probably has a much more profound and deeper resonance for a Korean audience.
- The perceived antagonist is Japanese. I don’t know a lot about Korea-Japan relations, but there’s definitely some big-time othering going on there, that at one point I thought had to be a red herring, and then wasn’t so sure. The matching Minoltas can’t be a coincidence, either
- The woman in white is on the receiving end of a lot of language like “tramp” – tossed out awfully fast and casually. I guess this fits a pretty classical fairy tale “witch” kind of treatment, now that I think about it.
Yeah, this was really unsettling to me. When we first see the cop we think of an authority figure, but quickly realize that he’s sort of a provincial guy who’s probably just okay at his job on a good, quiet day. Then everything goes to hell and my expectations never felt calibrated with how he was going to respond to things. But that arc he went through was totally fascinating to me.
The more flawed and less cool/badass a horror protagonist is, the greater the likelihood of them not thinking fast enough and/or making a bad decision. Consequently, the suspense is more believable and thus more effective.
The extent of my Korea-Japan relations knowledge only covers Japan occupying Korea during WWII. I won’t weigh in further because I’m a white North American and that subject is not at all my area of expertise, so I will say that any othering definitely contributed to the movie’s dread-heavy atmosphere.
If you’d like to continue discussing the flick in DMs, by all means do, but I’m worried I’ve turned this thread into All The Wailing, All The Time, so I’ll stop now.
Rented Get Out recently and I liked it for the unusual premise and quirky humor, though the TSA guy comic relief humor fell flat for me and the ending seemed really contrived, but then I stepped back from myself for a minute and realized that the protagonist inexplicably surviving fits the goofy satirical tone of the movie.
Double feature finished! I watched The Church, followed by Prince of Darkness. Thank you for the recommendation! It was quite fun. These films work very well together. They both cover similar ground: An ancient evil beneath a church, satanic corruption, the 1980s, etc. There’s something to be said for both movies involving people taking the reigns after the old ways fail and trying their best in the face of the apocalypse. Something about that speaks to me right now.
Though he only wrote the screenplay, Dario Argento’s flair shines through in The Church. Visual style, excellent special effects, and an excellent last half-hour make something spectacular out of what could have easily been a boring giallo gorefest. It has its schlocky moments, but not enough to detract from the movie. The demon scenes are fantastic and spooky. I think what makes them so strong is how mundane it looks. The Satan sex scene doesn’t look like a dream. It just looks real and that’s terrifying. If you’re down for gory, apocalyptic, biblical horror, The Church is worth the time. Especially when paired with its American cousin, Prince of Darkness.
I liked Prince of Darkness quite a bit. Combining theoretical physics and ancient lore without mixing them was a cool idea. The concept of a broadcast from the future beaming into the brains of those who are charged to fight the Anti-God is pretty damn cool. The performances are solid and the pacing is impeccable. That being said, I can see why this is the least known of Carpenter’s Apocalypse Trilogy. The ingredients of Prince of Darkness are nothing special in the grand scheme of 80s horror, incorporating demonic schemes, rot-faced possessed girls, exactly one black character who manages to steal the show, a cameo from a rock star, Victor Wong as strange mentor, and Donald Pleasence as the smartest man in the room that no one trusts. Compared to The Thing, which is so much itself, and At the Mouth of Madness, which is full-on H.P. Lovecraft, Prince of Darkness just doesn’t stand out. It’s a solid movie and it’s still Carpenter so it’s a ton of fun to watch, but there’s something missing.
Over all, I would recommend other folks trying the double feature idea with these movies. They’re both strong enough to stand on their own, but they play off each other very well.
Calder’s possession is legitimately one of the most effective parts of that movie, be it his wailed rendition of “Amazing Grace” or his guttural cackle. I’m glad you enjoyed the movie overall too!
I’m glad you enjoyed them both!
Something else interesting about The Church is, due to how stuff is happening because of mass hallucinations caused by a “contagion” the way the deaths all very closely mimic either real fire and brimstone demonic stuff or straight up homage to other horror movie scenes and this is actually consistent with where the characters are at faith-wise at the moment, like the longer people have been in the building the more monstrous they perceive the stuff, but say like the bride literally reenacts a scene from Poltergeist with the mirror/face ripping.. The way the whole movie is edited and paced like a slow fever dream works out really well for this and it’s crazy to me that this guy that’s mostly known for Demons and Stage Fright and stuff directed something that works so well as a deconstruction of how the dark forces the church ostensibly protects people from literally only exists because these massive cathedrals were built to keep wherever it springs from in one place. Like in building a barricade out of fear, humanity is fucked and also a statement on how horror movies are the new mythology for the common person today.
The Church actually began life as “Demons 3” but Soavi wanted to separate it because he realized how much better it was going to turn out than those movies.
That’s not to say that Demons is bad movie, on the contrary…
Demons is awesome though and worth checking out. They’re basically flicks where people go to a movie theater, but the movie theater’s owners are evil and zombies happen. Like with “Zombi 3” there’s quite a few movies that were released at various points as “Demons 3” but they’re all trash and Soavi/Argento/etc. had nothing to do with them, The Church is the real deal.
I really do love the similarities between them. Part of it is because Carpenter (I can’t find a link to the interview where he says this alas) was intentionally going for an Argento vibe with Prince of Darkness, and you can really see that like in the part where Alice Cooper kills that one dude, the way insects are used, and so on.
It’s not really a zombie horror movie, but Raimi’s Drag Me to Hell remains one of my favorites in the horror genre. What a fun, dumb, great horror movie.
If you live in Brooklyn, the Alamo Drafthouse by the Fulton Mall is showing Zombi 2 tonight!!! If you’ve never seen it this is a great chance to see this awesome movie that regularly fluctuates between bleak and completely wild.
YES. I think a lot about how Raimi described this as a “spook-a-blast,” and have really struggled to think of other movies that qualify in this niche genre. The kind of movie where you gasp and then immediately laugh at yourself about it. Extra points for not even being all that gory.
The Void is on Netflix now, it’s a decent cosmic horror movie, had fun watching it.
the effects for the reanimated void creatures were cool, and all the jump cuts were effective to not expose the monsters for more than glances, though he strobe effects were a bit much in one scene.
Don’t go in with huge expectations but if you like movies like the original Hellraiser or Mouth of Madness give it a shot.
First post on the Waypoint forums right here haha. I’m a huge horror movie fan, and try and see basically everything of note in the genre when it’s released.
I’m going to make one recommendation here to start, and it’s to back up @bonfire_lit’s rec of Lake Mungo
It’s a slow burn, and there’s only one scary scene in the whole movie, but it does an amazing job of exploring the way a family deals with the loss of a loved one, and has a lot to say about the legacies that people leave behind, and the way we view people after they die. This (along with probably Let The Right One In and The Eyes of My Mother) are movies that I would recommend to the snobby “cinema” type who would probably turn their nose up at genre films. Also I know @patrick.klepek mentioned he’s a big horror movie buff so I would definitely recommend it to him if he hasn’t checked it out yet.
Been getting back into the rhythm of watching (and writing about) a lot of horror over the last week. A trio of flicks I finally got around to:
Blair Witch: I adore The Blair Witch Project, which straddles a very fine line of 1. feeling genuinely authentic and unrehearsed 2. having some singularly terrifying moments and 3. leaves enough open to interpretation that the viewer can project the worst parts of their imagination onto it. Unfortunately, the sequel doesn’t achieve any of those points, being overtly plotted, redoing a lot of the first movie’s scary moments but BIGGER and LOUDER, and explains/shows too much while trying to give the freaky phenomena concrete rules and limitations. Though it was competently done overall (by the same director/writer team as You’re Next) and does have a few good scares and messed-up imagery that might have worked better in a different, non-Blair Witch movie. I wrote more about it on my blog if y’all are interested: http://ashtreelane.blogspot.ca/2017/07/review-blair-witch.html
@LuckWillows, thanks for recommending The Blackcoat’s Daughter: a slow-burn of a movie that can be read as either supernatural or psychological horror while still being incredibly impactful either way. It stars Kiernan Shipka (Sally Draper in Mad Men) and Lucy Boynton as two teenage girls who are forced to stay at a Catholic boarding school over the winter break, also featuring Emma Roberts and 2 Fast 2 Furious’ own James Remar. I won’t spoil much except that it gets VERY violent at the end, disturbing for how realistically it’s portrayed. That movie contains the only instance where the words “Hail Satan” chilled me to the bone and has some similarly unnerving imagery. Kiernan Shipka also has incredible range. You may also enjoy director Osgood Perkin’s more recent film, I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives in the House, which is on Netflix and is one of the better haunted house flicks in recent years.
The People Under the Stairs: I’ve always been more of a John Carpenter guy than a Wes Craven guy, but Craven’s _People Under the Stair_s is goofy and subversive in the way a lot of Carpenter’s work can be and, for a flick released in 1991, is, like super relevant? Like it’s all about gentrification, capitalism-enforced poverty, the idle white rich, lack of access to healthcare, wealth hoarding, with even some racism thrown in. Everett McGill and Wendy Robie (Big Ed and Nadine Hurley in Twin Peaks) play the villains and clearly had the time of their lives making this. Also: Craven, like me, loved his Penderecki, with “Threnody for the Victims of Hiroshima” being a constant musical motif. Jonny Coleman over at LA Weekly examined the social elements of the movie just a few months ago: http://www.laweekly.com/arts/wes-cravens-gentrification-fable-the-people-under-the-stairs-is-an-la-horror-movie-were-all-still-living-in-8138722
I can’t wait to see what Osgood Perkins does next, because I also loved I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives in the House.
Speaking of slow burns, have you seen It Comes At Night yet? It wasn’t at all what I was expecting it to be, but I thought it was incredibly well done. It was genuinely upsetting, and I left the theater feeling like I’d just been punched in the gut for an hour.
It Comes at Night is so good it got a couple of those “DON’T CALL IT A HORROR MOVIE” articles.
God, I hate that trend. I’d call it erasure but that term has kind of a different, more important usage now so I’m just going to use “genrephobia.” Heaven forbid we recognize that human fears are valid and worth exploring in non-traditionally “classy” settings.