I'm a horror author and foulmouthed critic of all things horror. New reviews posted every Monday.
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Reed Alexander's Horror Review of 'Necrosis' (2009)
SPOILERS!!! Oh yeah, it's that bad. We're starting with the spoilers. Now, to be fair, it is Good-Bad or "So Bad It's Good." In fact, this was the movie I was promised when I originally heard reviews about The Sand (2015). That movie was actually unfairly maligned, because, yeah it was low budget, yeah it had bad acting, yeah it had shit CGI, but for the most part it was good enough for horror, and even pretty smart. This movie is what I expect when people say "So Bad It's Good." So if you're looking for good riffing material, watch this, not The Sand. The Sand isn't actually all that bad.
Reed Alexander's Horror Review of 'No One Will Save You' (2023)
You know what was super neat about this movie? It takes place in modern times. It's hard to tell at first but then you see the main character has a flat-screen TV and a c.a. 2010's Subaru. But for the most part, the setting is pretty old fashioned. Rotary phone, old appliances, c.a. 70's garments; the kind of thing that gives the movie a retro feel. It's kinda like It Follows (2014), how the setting is 70's but they have modern things like cellphones. It actually gives the movie a feel kinda like Pearl (2022). It feels very Pleasant Valley Sunday. Like a 1950's sitcom, not a horror movie. The setting gives it sorta a zany vibe. It really makes the atmosphere tangible and interesting. It also gives the movie a much more creepy feel than it might have in a modern setting like Dark Skies (2013). Old stuff is just creepy and it really helps the atmosphere.
Reed Alexander's Horror Review of 'Prince of Darkness' (1987)
Cosmic Horror developed from the idea that there are measurable forces, tangible entities, and connected realities, all of which are scientifically feasible. This actually has been a bit of an issue with horror in general. There really isn't a need to have tangibility in horror. Why does Michael Myers keep getting back up? Is it some mystical force? Sure! It could be anything. It could be demons, the spirit of Samhain, evil incarnate, whatever. It honestly doesn't always need an explanation. That was my critique of The Hallow (2015). Sometimes scientific plausibility kills the mood of horror.
Reed Alexander's Horror Review of 'Man-Thing' (2005)
So, I should start off by saying, this movie was released a full three years before the MCU really took root with Iron Man (2008). It seems like they were exploring concepts and how seriously fans might take the material pulled from the comics. I guess they figured it couldn't hurt to throw Man-Thing on the table just to see how it would be received. But this movie never got any spotlight. I mean, Man-Thing is one of my favorite Marvel Creations and I heard nothing about this movie. I didn't even know it existed until the day before this review. It's like Marvel's dirty little secret, and I can tell you why. It's BAAAAAAAAD. Ho-Ly-Fuck is it BAD. It's like a series of laughable tropes strung together in such a way you'd think a 12yo wrote it. It's kinda like Frankensein's Army (2013). That movie was like if 12yo me was given the clearance to write a script for a movie, and this movie was no different.
Reed Alexander's Horror Review of 'Guns Akimbo' (2019)
On the surface, this movie sounded like a blast. Some random shmuck gets two guns bolted to his hands and is forced to take place in an illegal city-wide man-hunt that is streamed live on the web. That just sounds fucking fantastic, but it was genuinely kinda boring and a little forced. Movies like this come from a long line of ultraviolent action movies that are so nuts they're a wild ride. Hardcore Henry (2015), Smoking Aces (2006), Hell Fire (2015); action with a bizzaro feel that makes them closer to movies like John Dies at the End (2012). We're not talking about cinema gold, we're talking about movies that are violent for the sake of being violent. So if you fuck up a plot that simple, it's pretty bad.
Reed Alexander's Horror Review of 'Godzilla Minus One' (2023)
Godzilla was always supposed to be scary. The original Godzilla (1954) terrified people but today, Godzilla is synonymous with actors wrestling in rubber monster suits. When my father told me the original Godzilla scared the shit out of him as a kid, it seemed silly to me until I really thought about it. Godzilla is a metaphor for the atomic bomb. A huge, unstoppable, radioactive, walking disaster, reflected the powerlessness the Japanese people felt from the advent of the atomic bomb. Imagine being a person confronted by something so massive and unstoppable. All you can do is run and it might not make any difference. Godzilla isn't even trying to kill people, per se, it's just the outcome of its very existence. By simply existing it causes destruction and chaos. I talked about this a little bit in my review of Cloverfield (2008). We'd lost sight of what giant monsters are supposed to be about with the entire Kaiju Genre.
Reed Alexander's Horror Review of 'Escape from New York' (1981)
Can we please talk about the fact that the first half of this cult classic is essentially Kurt Russell just walking around looking cool? And you know what's fucking dumb about that? That is the perfect embodiment of the Action Hero Trope throughout the history of the Action Genre. Literally, just the hero looking cool. Everything the hero does, HE HAS TO LOOK COOL. Not just cool, but fucking cool, a blown-out caricature of what a hyperactive, fifteen year old boy thinks is cool. I argue no one has ever done it better than Kurt Russell's Snake Plissken. I mean, at one fucking point he sits down in a lawn chair and just sits there looking cool. So, technically, that means the acting is superb because it's the right kind of perfectly fucking hammy.
Reed Alexander's Horror Review of 'The Boarderlands' (2013)
Can I just start off by saying the Shakey Camera style of filming was completely un-fucking-necessary? Imagine the money they wasted on crappy webcams and headsets when they could have just had one or two cameras shooting the whole film. And there were basically no other FX outside of the cinematography so why did they need it? Are filters and lighting honestly so expensive that an indie film would rather burn money on a gimmick? In my review of Alien Abduction (2014), I explain when Shakey Camera is appropriate and in my review of The Taking of Debora Logan (2014) (TDL), I explain when it's not. It boils down to this. Was it necessary because you couldn't afford to make the practical FX look good, or was it necessary because you had no talent for creating atmosphere? In this case, how hard would it be to make such a beautiful set look good with filters and lighting? Again, there were really no practical FX to hide with the Shakey Camera so why go that rout?
Reed Alexander's Horror Review of 'It' (1990)
Let me start off by saying that there is a lot about this movie that might disappoint a modern viewer who had never seen it before. It's campy, the production quality is actually pretty low, the acting honestly isn't that great. Frankly, we have to be honest that those of us who love this movie, are really riding a lot of nostalgia. That's why we ended up with It (2017) and It Chapter 2 (2019).
Reed Alexander's Horror Review of 'Deathwatch' (2002)
Can we just talk about the fucking atmosphere in this movie? It's got every bit as much grit as 1917 (2019), Saving Private Ryan (1998), Enemy at the Gate (2001), and Dunkirk (2017). Honestly, this movie was every bit as good as those, but it's never going to get the credit it deserves because it's horror. Big awards never take horror seriously and that's a fucking tragedy. You can really feel this movie, hell, you can fucking smell it. It's an atmosphere you can cut with a fucking knife. It's not quite picturesque like The Lighthouse (2019), or The VVitch (2015), but that's seriously hard to pull off and there's a reason why only Robbert Eggers can do that so consistently. He's one of a kind. But this movie did come close.
Reed Literary Horror Review of 'Beneath the Unspoiled Wilderness' (2022)
On the surface this is just your basic slasher novel. Some young adults go camping and something picks them off one by one. But as that plot progresses you realize there is still a ton of book left. So, after the final girl does her thing, what's left? And that enters the next phase of the book. You see, there are three distinct parts to this novel. It's not just some slasher, it's everything that would go along with it. What happens to the final girl after the nightmare is over is what this story is really about and it is indeed gripping. Gripping and quite tragic, I should say, without going into the spoilers.
Reed Alexander's Horror Review of 'Antiviral' (2012)
God damn, this movie was pretty. Can we just take a moment to sit back and appreciate that fucking movie poster? The whole damn movie is like that. It goes from sterile clean to noir gritty, back and forth in these beautiful contrasts that are absolutely breathtaking. One moment it's like you're in a hyperbaric chamber and the next you're in a butcher's kitchen among the grime and awful drippings. This atmosphere is to contrast the beauty of the celebrities that are harvested, and the fact that they are literally harvesting germs.