Cutting Room
March 2017

It's the middle of the month, and Cutting Room for March 2017 is here! CR is a monthly post where we all do short, single-person reviews for movies we’ve watched on our own.

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 have some thoughts on any of these movies, and check out past posts in the "More Horror" section up above!


JACK'S SECTION

Get Out (2017)
8 Ornate Teacups

This was one of the most hyped horror movies in the last little while. And it turns out, it was for good reason. The movie deserves all the praise it's gotten. Well, maybe not all of it, because it has gotten a shit load. Is this one of the best horror movies of all time? Probably not. But I would be damn surprised if this doesn't end up being one of the three best horror movies of this year.


JAKE'S SECTION

Spring (2015)
8 Italian Women

This is a weird one for me. If I try to explain it, the movie sounds like something that wouldn’t work at all, but I’m going to try to explain why it does. Spring is a romantic body horror flick. Now, I know that sounds either crazy or just plain bad. Want me to make this even harder to understand? You don’t? Fuck you. I’m going to. I hate romance movies. I don’t particularly like body horror, either. And I loved this movie. How can it be so? Start with phenomenal acting and a ton of heart, and weave the body horror element into what is primarily a romance. What you get is an interesting and gripping narrative that has emotional resonance the vast majority of genre films don’t even attempt to capture, but with deep and well constructed horror elements.You could pop this one on for date night and both parties would very likely be satisfied. Cannot recommend Spring enough.

Pontypool (2008)
5.5 Hot Takes

Pontypool had been on my list for awhile coming into this year. I’d heard somewhere that it was a Valentine’s Day horror flick, so I decided to fire it up around the holiday in a feeble attempt to get some joy out of a truly rage inducing shit heap of a holiday. Did it deliver? Well, I can tell you right now that Pontypool is a V-Day movie like Halloween is a Halloween movie. Which is to say it has absolutely goddamned nothing to do with the holiday but has some shit lazily hung up that lets you know the time of year during which it takes place. Outside of that, I actually sort of enjoyed Pontypool. It is an interesting take on the overdone zombie subgenre, where the infection causing said Zed-word-ism is transmitted through spoken word. It sounds a little hokey, but it was pretty well done and I liked the isolation of the soundbooth the main characters are working in as a setting for a movie like this. I’d give it a soft recommend.

We Go On (2016)
6 Phobias

We Go On was recently picked up by Shudder as a streaming exclusive. It’s the newest in an increasingly impressive line of acquisitions for the burgeoning genre collection, so I wanted to give it a go. While this movie isn’t going to knock your socks off by means of a totally novel premise or outrageous fear factor, what it does do is a relatively good job of building tension and dread through its main character. The general conceit is that a dude is scared of pretty much everything as a result of a general phobia related to dying. He wants proof of an afterlife as a sort of peace of mind, and boy oh boy, careful what you wish for, bud. I’d recommend it for its atmosphere and interesting take on the paranormal.


MARK'S SECTION

The Funhouse Massacre (2016)
7.5 Gigantic Mallets

This was my Top 1 for HRR back in June. I picked it over The Conjuring 2, and I don’t regret a goddamn thing. Don’t go into this one expecting anything serious. This is basically half comedy and half funhouse themed ultra violence. This is genuinely fun outing and would be an excellent movie to watching in a large group of people who all want to yell at the screen. It’s got a great cast of “that guy from that things” that you’ll recognize from across the horror spectrum. I would say this is a horror movie for horror fans, but honestly I think almost anyone would enjoy this one as long as they were cool with the level of violence.

Santa Clarita Diet (2017)
4.5 Little Red Balls

I’m gonna nip this one in the bud: this isn’t a horror TV series. It is, however, horror adjacent. It’s basically a family dramedy that just so happens to include a mom that is a zombie. A mombie (their joke, not mine). The show does a few creative things with its concept. Basically the mom, played by Drew Barrymore, sorta just randomly dies one day and wakes back up no worse for wear. She doesn’t sleep, doesn’t feel pain, thirsts for human meat, but otherwise acts basically normal. The issues I had with the show are more in its script (or potentially it’s directing). It just feels like the actors aren’t given enough room to breath in their parts. Most of the line readings sound like they’re happening at gunpoint. This show has a good story, but a pretty rough script. This results in you being only tenuously connected to the narrative at the start of each show, but then hooked by the end. Also, don’t expect a conclusion at the end of the season… it feels like Netflix maybe accidentally didn’t upload the season finale?

Ghostbusters (2016)
5 Ghost Pilgrims

This movie seems to be very divisive in how people rate it. Jack god damn hated the thing. I thought it was pretty good. Well, maybe not pretty good. Pretty medium? Is that a rating? Look, this was entertaining and acted well enough by all involved. The script is a little contrived, and very clearly is just exploiting its bloodlines. If you go in expecting a standard low-scare-level blockbuster that is effects driven and heavily workshopped you’re going to have a good time. If you go in expecting Shakespeare then you’re going to have a bad time.

Ouija: Origin of Evil (2016)
6 Planchettes

I have the unenviable position of weighing in on this movie without having a previous review of its predecessor to go off. I saw Ouija before we started this site so I never wrote the thing up. It was okay. Pretty standard blockbuster horror fare… basically a series of jumpscares with some twisty-turny plot elements. Ouija: Origins of Evil builds on that model, and does it slightly better. This is a prequel, and frankly both movies are pretty self contained, so you can watch either as you wish. Overall I had a good time watching this movie, but that good time was a result of both well-designed well-shot scenes as well as horribly executed laughable scenes. But hey, you take the good, you take the bad, you take them both.

Mine Games (2012)
5.5 Dropped Wallets

“Who Cares? Run!” Might be the best line ever written in a horror movie of this ilk. Other than that, there isn’t a whole lot to write home about in this movie. This is an intentionally mind-bending flick that is unique enough to warrant a mention, but not creative enough to really catch you off guard. It’s actually a hard movie to recommend because it’s of the same quality level as most turn-off-your-mind Netflix movies you put on when you’re tired, but it requires you to pay enough attention to it that I’m not sure it would be enjoyable in that mood. How about this: if you’re physically exhausted but are mentally down to watch a movie in the middle-tier of quality that requires a bit of attention then go for this one. I’ll see you in a year and you can tell me how many times that instance came up.