But this new Black Christmas is a heck of a lot more than a talented filmmaker beating a socially-conscious drum. Takal has manufactured a monstrously entertaining horror riff that intelligent audiences of all backgrounds, races and genders will hopefully find just as much fun to watch as I did, this merry little not-really-a-remake remake a gleefully malevolent horror gift I’m happy I took the time to unwrap.
This new Rabid definitely has bite, and while that it fails to draw any more blood than that produced by a pinprick is undeniably a problem, it’s not a big enough on that I can entirely dismiss what it is the filmmakers have done here.
“When the Jews return to Zion
And a comet rips the sky
And the Holy Roman Empire rises,
Then You and I must die.
From the eternal sea he rises,
Creating armies on either shore,
Turning man against his brother’Til man exists no more.”
– THE OMEN (1976)
While there’s the high probability that Paradise Hills will grow on me on re-watch, as magnificent as the visual elements are and as strong as the social commentary might be, that’s not near enough to overcome the places where this motion picture falls disappointingly flat.
The only clock I cared about while watching the movie was my internal one, Countdown wasting so much of my time I couldn’t wait for the counter to hit zero so I could exit the theatre and go do something else.
The Lighthouse is one of 2019’s most uniquely satisfying creative endeavors, and even if I’m still not sure what the point of it all is I just as assuredly cannot wait to head back to the theatre and weigh anchor on a second viewing as soon as possible.
Trick isn’t much of a Halloween treat, and like a sour apple stuffed with razor blades washing the bad taste of this one out of my mouth is going to be difficult to do.
Begos’ maturation as a filmmaker is undeniable, and I love that he’s centered Bliss in such an introspectively human way. He finds a kindred spirit in Dezzy, and as despicable and abhorrent as her tale might be, the young woman’s act of artistic creation is one that feels strangely universal even with all the dismemberments, rips of flesh and gushes of blood.
I Trapped the Devil isn’t going to end up on my end-of-year list of 2019’s best horror movies, but that doesn’t make it any less memorable or worthwhile. Writer/director Josh Lobo manufactures a consistently unsettling sense of building menace and dread, while actress Susan Burke delivers an outstanding performance in the middle of all of this discombobulating psychological mayhem.