Cutting Room
August 2016

It's the middle of the month, and you know what that means! It's time for the Cutting Room! CR is a monthly post where we all do short, single-person reviews for movies we’ve watched on our own over the last month because why would we include each other?

We have a long list of films to review, and while the movies you see here haven’t come up quite yet, they may receive the full review treatment in the future. Let us know if you disagree about any of these movies, and check out past Cutting Rooms in the "More Horror" section up above!


JACK'S SECTION

Extraterrestrial (2014)
3 Surprisingly Professional Pot Farms

I didn’t love this movie. I didn’t really even like this movie. None of the scares it delivers are new in any way, and nor is the story for that matter. It’s not the worst movie I’ve ever seen, but I don’t think it’s worth your time.

Under the Bed (2012)
3 Creepy Neighbor Kids

When this one popped up on my Hulu list, I wasn’t expecting much. And not much is what it delivered. The pacing is terrible, the acting is stilted, and while the story is halfway decent, you have to sit through a lot to get there. This one’s probably a pass also.

Housebound (2014)
6 Animatronic Teddy Bears

I feel like New Zealand has a disproportionate number of horror movies coming out these days. This one was surprisingly good. It’s your standard haunted house fare, but with well-written and interesting characters, and a few unexpected twists along the way. While the movie does rely mostly on jump scares, they’re not lazy and a few of them are pretty damn effective. This movie is a lot of fun, and you should check it out while it’s still on Netflix.

They're Watching (2016)
6 Drunk Moldovan Villagers

So this thing popped up on Netflix without any explanation. I had never heard thing one about it before. But there it was so I watched it. And you should too. It’s a found footage flick following a young crew filming an International House Hunters type of show. The acting and writing are great, the characters are funny and relatable, and the pacing is downright awesome. The movie has a great combination of building tension and large releases, and the whole thing comes together really well. Definitely give this one a watch.


JAKE'S SECTION

Stranger Things (2016)
8.5 Horror Movie Posters

Ok, so I cheated. Stranger Things isn't technically a movie. But it's technically badass so it's getting included. Boom. Reviewed. Seriously though, if you haven't seen this already (which you probably have if you are reading this post), stop right now and go binge the entire 8 part first season on Netflix.... Done? Good. Now you're hooked aren't you? Can't wait for Season 2 of this fun horror/sci-fi romp that knows how to pay homage to the genre classics.

Willow Creek (2013)
6.5 Sasquatch Burgers

I did a pretty big 180 on this movie as I watched it. I struggled to stay involved at the beginning but grew to find it more enjoyable as it went, and I really enjoyed the climax. The most noteworthy thing about Willow Creek (other than Bobcat Goldthwait directing) is that it handles several of its more tension-filled sequences in one, long take. And I mean really long. The actors both do a pretty great job in this part of the film as well. Ultimately, my qualms with the early part of the film were not enough to keep it’s enjoyable payoff down. I’d recommend giving it a watch if you can stream through a service you already have, like Shudder.


MARK'S SECTION

Green Room (2016)
7 Unregistered Firearms

This one easily wins the “best cast” award for this month’s Cutting Room. Patrick Stewart, Imogen Poots, homeboy from Peaky Blinders, Alia Shawkat, a few other folks you’d recognize, and Anton Yelchin. The movie centers on a punk band that gets trapped in the green room of a bar run by white supremacists. It’s a novel and well executed concept that continuously delivers brutal and visceral violence. It ties together a solid and relatively plausible narrative without having to jump through too many hoops. My only major qualm stems less from the movie itself, and more from the context in which I’m reviewing it. It’s definitely a thriller, and a suspenseful one at that, but it really dances on the line of “is it horror?” It would be a good starting point for a discussion on the matter. Maybe we should have one of those one of these days.

Just a short tangent here: Anton Yelchin was one of my favorite actors of all time. He was my age, had an intelligent and understated delivery, and took a wide swath of roles that let him show off his talent. His death was incredibly tragic and altogether too soon. If you haven’t acquainted yourself with some of his lesser known films, I highly recommend them. Odd Thomas and Green Room, specifically, both fit into the horror mold fairly well. RIP, Anton. Miss you already.

The Other Side of the Door (2016)
5 Suspiciously Deep Koi Ponds

In my head, this one is closely associated with The Hallow. I say that meaning that they are both movies centering on outsiders living in a foreign land, that end up besieged by the local folklore. I also say that meaning that neither movie did much of anything to really explore the roots of the folklore at all. They just sorta threw it up on screen and hoped it worked. TOSOTD wasn’t a bad movie, but it also wasn’t great. It’s your run-of-the-mill monkey paw type scenario, mixed in with a ton of missed opportunities. I was happy to see some “international” ish horror (despite it being centered on a white American family), but the movie does so little to build the world of its setting that it hardly counts at all. This movie could’ve been set virtually anywhere with essentially no change to the story.

Tusk (2014)
6 Walrus Baculum

This movie really bets hard on the Canada humor. For the most part it works, but it does begin to wear after a while. I was so ready to hate this movie after what Kevin Smith did to the Halloween short film in Holidays (terrible), and what I’ve seen of Yoga Hosers (also terrible), my expectations for this were somewhere between abysmal and masochistic. Lo and behold, it was actually fairly enjoyable. It’s definitely more of a comedy than a horror movie, but it certainly still has a spot here as it lays on the body horror aspect pretty thick. Haley Joel Osment, Genesis Rodriguez, and Justin Long all turn in great performances, but Michael Parks really steals the fucking show here. That’s the most surprising aspect of this film - the acting is god damn incredible. Long story short - this thing was fucking weird, but surprisingly watchable.