Tag Archives: horror

71 – Hereditary – Second Screening

We go deep on Hereditary, occult/folk horror, and indeed horror in a wider perspective with guest contributor and horror guru (Mike’s words) Dr. Matt Denny from the University of Warwick, a film scholar with a particular interest in precisely the milieu Hereditary occupies. (He’s also a former student of José’s who was an undergrad alongside Mike, so it’s not all down to his credentials.) He brings an insightful and informed perspective to the film, picking up the baton where Mike and José dropped it in the previous podcast, and running off with it.

We consider what the occult subgenre is, what makes such stories interesting and where Hereditary in particular digresses from them, and the effects that has. Matt offers a historical perspective on the treatment of women in horror and how the film puts forth a muddled version of that, and the influence of Kubrick (in particular The Shining) on the film. We consider Mike’s dislike of how the film hides information or clues behind codes, and Matt suggests that this is really just a function of how this type of film works – and indeed how the occult works. And is it reasonable that Mike associates the occult film with British cinema in particular?

All this and more in a fascinating discussion.

The podcast can be listened to in the player above or on iTunes.

With José Arroyo of First Impressions and Michael Glass of Writing About Film.

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70 – Hereditary

Perhaps we lack the specific horror fundamentals that would open Hereditary up to us, but we find it a muddled, almost adolescent film – a particular disappointment given it’s also an engrossing family drama with a brilliant central performance from Toni Collette. Our conversation includes considerations of the compositions and props, including repeated imagery of miniature models of the family’s home, and complaints that it feels as though we’re deliberately being withheld a clear explanation of what the hell is going on by a writer-director who’s keen to seem smarter than us. In its cruel and brutal treatment and imagery of women, José finds the film misogynist, which reminds Mike of It Follows, which he found misogynist. And José spends a few moments decrying The Exorcist, why not.

Everything we discuss is a significant plot spoiler as the film operates on revelation and surprise, so make sure you either know or don’t care what happens before listening.

The podcast can be listened to in the player above or on iTunes.

With José Arroyo of First Impressions and Michael Glass of Writing About Film.

69 – Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom

Jurassic World returns with The Orphanage and A Monster Calls director J. A. Bayona in charge, transforming the colourful knockabout thrills of the previous instalment into a volcano disaster-cum-Gothic horror film. We both love the heightened drama of the mansion half of the film and how Bayona finds new life in what has, over the last 25 years, somehow become somewhat stale imagery of reanimated dinosaurs. José adores the casting of Geraldine Chaplin and Mike finds the reduced importance of love stories a positive thing. And seeing businessmen get killed is always fun. Cracking movie. Hugely enjoyable.

The podcast can be listened to in the player above or on iTunes.

With José Arroyo of First Impressions and Michael Glass of Writing About Film.

56 – A Quiet Place

A Quiet Place is a deceptively simple horror film that finds a surprising degree of variety in its premise: the planet is overrun with monsters that cannot see but hunt by sound. We marvel at its creativity and technique, and indeed, the way it silenced the audience. We talk over its performances, its ending, the way it manipulates and moves characters to generate threatening situations, the intelligence of its editing in moving between storylines, and the shortcuts it takes with its internal logic in order to keep the story moving. We also mull over a potential for a sequel and decry one plot decision in particular.

But fundamentally, we urge everyone to see it. It silenced a full cinema, and that was quite remarkable.

The podcast can be listened to in the player above or on iTunes.

With José Arroyo of First Impressions and Michael Glass of Writing About Film.

55 – Unsane

A low-budget psychological thriller, Unsane is a less involving film than its subject matter and star deserve. Claire Foy is extraordinarily powerful as a paranoid prisoner of mental trauma inflicted on her by a stalker and bureaucratic malfeasance, distressed, knowing, sarcastic, resistant. The film fails her in other areas but is an intriguing experiment nonetheless, and we find much to discuss, including its cinematography, relationship to termite art, and potential audiences.

The podcast can be listened to in the player above or on iTunes.

With José Arroyo of First Impressions and Michael Glass of Writing About Film.

9 – Flatliners

With a weary sigh, we get to Flatliners. Ellen Page, James Norton, Diego Luna, Nina Dobrev and Kiersey Clemons expand their minds and run around shitting themselves in fear.

Questions abound: Why did they call this Flatliners when the obviously correct title is Hot Doctors? Was Kiefer Sutherland wasted? Is it wise to be wasted while appearing in a film? In precisely how many millions of ways is the film inconsistent? Just how stupid and blind is its attitude towards the very real problems it presents? Does it make sense as a horror flick? Are Mike and Jose too obsessed with the cast’s attractiveness? Are we perverts? Most importantly, who’s hotter: the ginger guy or the hot girl?

All this and Catholic guilt too.

The podcast can be listened to in the player above or at this link.

With José Arroyo of First Impressions and Michael Glass of Writing About Film.