Tag Archives: horror

Lists (AKA Time to Get All Nice and Halloweeny for you in this our Darkest Hour)

Hello all,

I’ve been meaning to get to this for a little while, and now that I have a nice little corpus of short reviews in the form of film lists, I’m sharing links to four lengthy, substantive, hearty lists I’ve written over the past month for an online website, Taste of Cinema, that specializes in cinema classics, art-house productions, and foreign cinema.  Even if you don’t pay attention to the list order (some of the lists aren’t ordered in terms of film quality any way), the text provides quick-and-dirty bite-sized analysis of films, and for the sake of seasonal cheer, mostly horror films at that. Obviously, most of these films are works I either like or love, several of which are transcendent masterpieces of the form, and  some of which you’ll note have much longer reviews already on the site. Nevertheless, here they are for your pleasure. Enjoy!

 

20 Best Horror Films Made by Non-Horror Directors 

15 Best Silent Horror Films

20 Best Black-and-White Horror Films of the Sound Era

And the outlier for the month, but a personal favorite, the 25 Best Disney Animated Feature Length Films

Have fun,

Jake

Midnight Screenings: The Innkeepers

220px-the_innkeepers_posterDirector Ti West has become something of a cult sensation in recent years among the horror film-going crowd, beginning with his 2009 genre pastiche The House of the Devil. That film was consummately effective, if less than ethereal or skin-crawling. Nonetheless, it worked, and a film that takes all of its skill and put it out on the screen simply for the purpose of working these days is rare. But with The Innkeepers, West really proves his credentials as a horror filmmaker worth following, emerging out of his shell of repackaging horror to truly creating it.

As with many horror movies that work, The Innkeepers works primarily due to its atmosphere. This is a subdued film that emphasizes the tease over the money shot. It understands that what is implied works more effectively than what is shown. And this isn’t to say that it sacrifices impact for a sort of intellectual focus on the technique of teasing and limiting what audiences see: it is this very technique which allows the film to play well with the lights on in the head and to shoot straight for the bone. This is a slow-moving motion picture where every scene builds on and comes from the previous one. There are moments of humor to break the ever-increasing dread, but dread wins out in the end, as it always does, and as it should. Continue reading