Clay Talks (Lesser-Known) Horror
Over at Awkward Press, Clay McLeod Chapman offers us a list many of us could use for our Netflix queues: the Top Ten Horror Movies of 2009 That You Probably Didn’t See.
Although I haven't seen many of the movies on this list (and neither have you, so don't act all superior), I have seen a few of them, including the movie on his #1 spot.
(At this point, I'll actually let you read the list before I put in my cent and a half on the entries I've seen. Go on. I'll wait.)
I'm very much with Clay on his assessment of Chan-wook Park’s Thirst (it kinda takes forever to get going, but once it does, the final act makes it all worth the wait). In September, I wrote in my summer movie roundup that the movie has "some stunning imagery...and although it's a bit slow going and not particularly scary, it is a haunting and meditative take on the vampire mythology."
You guys have already read my assessment of the retro-awesomeness that was The House of the Devil, so I won't repeat myself. The link to my review (and my use of the made up compound adjective "retro-awesomeness") should suffice.
Now for the number one movie on his list. Deadgirl.
As I told Clay when I read the list, I'm very glad he posted this, since this is a very unnerving movie that (understandably) got very little attention from the critics. Basically, it's about two high school losers finding a naked and apparently undead girl chained up in the basement of an abandoned mental institute and using her as their personal sex slave. I'm not kidding.
I was contemplating writing about this movie after having seen it, but was very much on the fence about it and ultimately decided against it. It's not because I found this film about too disturbing (although it is very disturbing) or that it crosses some ethical line and is morally repugnant (it isn't, although it certainly appears that way; it's really about how weak people find ways to dominate others even weaker than them). It's because I found its two protagonists too vile and unlikable to care about in any meaningful way. The more dominant and sociopathic of the two friends, J.T., is just a straight-up psycho, and the character you're theoretically supposed to be rooting for, Rickie, is maddeningly, insufferably spineless.
Clay tells me that's one of the things he found so unnerving about Deadgirl: the two main characters are listless teenagers with no moral code and have no morally redeeming values whatsoever. This is a very valid point: it's obvious that the zombie girl isn't the monster in this film. (I still wish I didn't spend the movie wanting to punch the supposed hero of the piece in the area where his junk should be the whole time. Seriously, Rickie, grow a pair!)
And in his honorable mention section, I agree: if you consider yourself a science fiction fan and often complain about the dearth of good sci-fi films out there that don't insult the audience's intelligence and haven't seen Moon or District 9, quit your bitching and go see them immediately.
As for the rest of the movies on Clay's list, I'm Netflixing the fuckers.
Except for Antichrist. I think I'm done with von Trier.
Not done with the scawwy,
James "Deadguy" Comtois