Horror Movies We Love to Help You Celebrate Halloween!
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Susperia (1977) Review
Countdown to Halloween Part 6 – My Eyeballs and Ears are Bleeding (But in a Good Way)
Suspiria | Directed by Dario Argento |1977 | Horror | R | 1 H 32 M
By Jocelyn Illing
I’ll say it right off the bat, the original Suspiria is not really a scary film. It does deal with mysterious and murderous subject matter, but it’s nothing compared to horror films being made today or others made during the 1970s and 1980s. Although there is blood, talk of a murderous being, as well as an overwhelming presence of something sister and supernatural, it doesn’t seem like Argento was focused on scaring his audiences. Suspiria is instead concerned with filmic style and how cranking its effects to the maximum can create a new and interesting viewing experience.
Suspiria takes place in Freiburg Germany during the 1970s. Suzy Bannion (Jessica Harper), a young American ballet student, has been given the opportunity to study at the Tanz Dance Akademie. Upon her arrival, Suzy witnesses another girl suffering from some sort of mental breakdown or episode, departing from the academy’s doors and running into the rainstorm. When Suzy approaches the door, she discovers that it is locked and rings the intercom, only to be denied by the woman on the other end. She returns the next day and is greeted warmly by Miss Tanner (Alida Valli), the head instructor. However, as Suzy begins her classes, she suffers from multiple fainting spells and it becomes apparent that there is something strange going on at the school.
Although the story is a little slow, and I never really felt any sense of terror, the film compensates with a complete manipulation of sound and colour that truly shocks your senses. The majority of the scenes are accompanied by an electrifying soundtrack from Italian rock band Goblin. Their music overpowers any dialogue or other audio in the scene, thus allowing the viewer to experience an uninterrupted merging of music and visual. The music is so loud and so present that any scene without it seems rather sparce or incomplete. Because we have become accustomed to the noise, these scenes without non-diegetic sound actually appear abnormal and you find yourself anxiously waiting for the music to start again.
Probably my favourite component of Suspiria is its use of colour and mise-en-scène (everything in front of the camera). Each composition is so beautiful and colourful that it could easily be a painting. From the opening scene with passengers boarding the train, basking in a red light, it becomes apparent that colour is going to play a large role in the viewing on this film. Every scene is assigned a different vibrant colour palette that takes us aback in a very pleasurable way. While other horror movies rely on dark shadows in order to create mysterious atmospheres, Suspiria achieves the same effect through the use of colour. Often the colours are almost too bright or too vibrant, leading one to feel as if something is off. If you watch the film, you will see just how correct your intuition is.
I would completely understand if you said that this movie doesn’t sound like your type of film. Although I would be sad, for it is truly a work of art, I know that many people expect to be shocked by a horror film not by its filmic effects, but more by the narrative or special effects. If this was the case, I would then direct you to Luca Guadagnino’s 2018 remake of the film, which is also titled Suspiria. Although the film tells the same story, Guadagnino’s aesthetic is much darker and the film is, for lack of a better word, creepier than the original. With a more muted colour palette than the original, Guadagnino’s version puts focus more on the actor’s performances and the psychology of their characters. In addition, I found that the remake’s depiction dance as a performative art consist of some of the strangest, most beautiful and most uncomfortable scenes in films of the past decade. You will know what I mean when you get to the finale.
DISCLAIMER: The audio for the 1977 film was recorded in most production, so some of the dialogue does not match the lips of the actors on screen. I know that this bothers a lot of people, but I encourage you to look past it.
Nightmare on Elm Street Review
Countdown to Halloween Part 5 – Well Hello There Freddy
A Nightmare on Elm Street | Directed by Wes Craven | 1984 | Horror | 18A | 1 H 31 M
By Jocelyn Illing
The thing about dreams is that, unlike reality, there really are no rules. You close your eyes and are transported to a world that might be similar to real life, except something is off. Maybe your skin is purple, maybe you’re floating above the clouds or maybe your friends have transformed into elephants. Dreams can be all good and fun, but it is the nightmares that really get you. They take your fears, buried deep down in your subconscious, and create terrifying scenarios which they then plop you down right in the middle. You don’t know how you got there, and you don’t know how to get out.
A Nightmare on Elm Street, master of horror Wes Craven’s 6th feature film, focuses on the connected spooky dreams of four teens: Tina (Amanda Wyss), Nancy (Heather Langenkamp), Glen (a very young Johnny Depp in a football jersey crop-top) and Rod (Jsu Garcia). The subject of their nightmares? A man with a cut-up face (which frankly, looks like it was covered in jam) and knives for fingers, Mr. Fred Krueger. After Tina awakens from a particularly frightening dream to find her night-gown torn to shreds, she and her friends vow to stay awake in order to block the merging of dream and reality. All of this is set to a haunting children’s rhyme, warning the teens that “Freddy’s coming for you.”
Craven’s film flourishes on the endless possibilities of the dream-world. The central setting for the nightmares is a sort of deserted boiler room. Dimly lit and grossly humid, we watch as Tina scrambles through the maze of pipes, trying to find a place to hide from Freddy. As we watch her, we feel an immediate sense of fear and isolation, for Craven has created a scenario that is so specifically sensuous. We can see the condensation dripping from the pipes and sweat off Tina’s brow. We can hear the piercing screeching of Freddy’s knives against the pipes.
In a similar way to Friday the 13th, A Nightmare on Elm Street utilizes the horror movie formula in a way that sets the standard. However, Craven chooses to take a more visual approach, allowing the audience to witness the horrors instead of alluding to them. The films scariness comes from its shocking and bloody imagery. As I previously mentioned, because of the nightmare setting, Craven can let his imagination run wild. This means we get people eating beds, blood volcanoes and a Freddie with expanding arms causally stalking our heroes down the street. You might want to look away but then you will miss out on some pretty fun practical effects (oh how I miss them).
At the end of the day, these are the main reasons why you should watch this film: Freddy Krueger’s visage and fingernails protruding through a wall, second-hand embarrassment from hearing Tina and Rod getting it on in the room next to Nancy, and Johnny Depp in a crop-top. What I am trying to say is that Craven understands that not everyone wants to watch a creepy man chasing teenagers for 90 minutes. The humanizing and entertaining comic relief provides a great contrast to the bloody visuals, a formula that is characteristic of many of the great slasher flicks of the 1980s.
Friday the 13th Review
Countdown to Halloween Part 4 – Always Listen to the Town Crazy
Friday the 13th | Directed by Sean S. Cunningham | 1980 | Horror | R | 1 H 35 M
By Jocelyn Illing
One of the most important components of a contemporary slasher flick is its opening sequence. During these first moments we get a feel for the tone the film is going to take, what kinds of characters we are going to be dealing with and, most importantly, the style of horror and murder that the film with portray. You can tell a lot from the first few moments of Sean S. Cunningham’s Friday the 13th. We see young people, innocently singing songs by the fire, the hopelessly in love couple trying to find privacy and, of course, murder. However, the film takes a unique direction when it comes to the killings. Instead of showing the act of murder itself, the camera takes the perspective of the killer, providing the audience with a first-person point-of-view of the terrifying expressions on the victim’s faces. The establishment of the camera as the killer is gives the film its edge, and fosters a deep sense of paranoia and anxiety throughout the film.
Friday the 13th tells the story of a group of young people heading out to a secluded lake to prepare a long-abandoned summer camp for reopening. On the way to the lake one woman, Annie (Robbi Morgan), is warned by a truck driver (Rex Everhart) to turn back, for the camp is cursed as a result from the drowning of a boy there many years ago. She, and the other camp counsellors, dismiss these warnings as they reason that the townspeople are just being overly superstitious. However, after Annie goes missing and the rest of the counsellors settle in, it becomes apparent that there is something truly sinister going on at the campgrounds.
I think the best thing about the film is that it knows what it is and what it is not. To begin, it knows it’s a horror film and does not try to be serious. Unlike a lot of horror films, Friday the 13th also doesn’t rely on the cheap tricks of gore and raunchiness to make the film entertaining. Instead, it relies on the campiness of its characters and the power of the camera to keep the viewer engaged. Rather than an in your face approach to horror, the film chooses instead to allude to acts of violence. A film does not need blood and guts to be scary.
What the film does instead, as mentioned in the introduction, is create an overwhelming sense of anxiety over who’s perspective the camera is taking. After the obvious first-person perspective during the first murder, we cannot help but wonder if the camera will take the same position for the rest of the film. The camera’s voyeuristic stance not only creeps us out because the killer is spying on its victims but also because we assume the same position as the killer, thus making us feel just as villainous. The obvious presence of the camera thus does not call attention to the constructed qualities of the medium, but actually brings us into the world of the film, so that we are not just a viewer but an active participant.
Because of its “tame” direction, in regards to the murders, and experimentation with perspective, I would argue that Friday the 13th is the perfect film for first time slasher-flick viewers. It’s not scary enough to push them away but it’s also entertaining enough to keep them watching. There’s blood, but it’s not too graphic, and there are jump scares, but not too many. If not for the amazing 1970s fashion and the witty banter people the characters, watch it for its climax. It’s sure to not disappoint.
Countdown to Halloween Part 3 - Always Read the Terms and Conditions
Countdown | Directed by Justin Dec | 2019 | Horror | PG-13 | 1 H 30 M
By Jocelyn Illing
You are a nurse who learns that one of your patients had an accident in their stairwell to the hospital. You are concerned, but also suspicious. There has been an app going around, claiming to predict people’s deaths, so you decide to investigate. You go into the patient’s room and take his phone from his personal effects, but oh no, it’s locked. What do you do? Obviously, you take the phone down to the morgue, find his body, and test different identification techniques until you unlock the phone. Is this okay procedure? Probably not. Does it showcase the determination of Justin Dec’s Countdown’s heroine Quinn Harris (Elizabeth Lail)’s determination in the fight to cheat the app, and therefore death? Yes.
The premise of Countdown, as you may already be able to tell, is quite simple. Quinn is your typical horror movie blonde, a nurse who has recently acquired her license. During her congratulatory cake-break, she and her co-workers discuss the new phone application that supposedly predicts when you are going to die. Quinn and her co-workers are mostly skeptical about the legitimacy of the app, claiming that not only is impossible to predict one’s death but it’s also unnatural. However, later in the day as she receives an invitation to join the app by one of her co-workers, Quinn’s curiosity gets the better of her and she creates an account. The only problem? She skipped through the terms and conditions, the rules of the app which help to determine her fate.
What I liked about this film is that it doesn’t seem to be trying to hard. It knows that it’s a commercial horror movie with a catchy premise and uses that premise to keep the audience engaged. Although not all of the characters are thoroughly fleshed out, they all have redeeming qualities which make us root for them; Quinn is a health care worker trying to report her creepy boss; Jordan is her little sister, grieving after their mother’s death; and Matt is… the hot guy that keeps Quinn company? (I should mention that one of the main tropes in American horror movie’s is conventionally beautiful people. Countdown ticked off that box).
Like many other horror films of the past five years, Countdown’s villain takes its form in a piece of technology. Through this framing, the film is commenting, rather comically, on the dangers of technology. We all know that no one reads the terms and conditions for they are too long, too boring, and we assume that there won’t be any consequences for skipping them. Countdown’s argument seems to suggest that we really need to think hard about the information we are giving to websites and phone apps, for there indeed will be consequences down the road.
In the end, the film comes down to two essential questions, one philosophical and one not so much. It first asks the viewers that if you could learn the exact date you will die, would you want to know? I think this is a rather interesting conversation for it causes one to think of what they would do if they knew when they were going to die. Would they live their life to the fullest, or crumble and count down the days? The film also asks, in the digital age, what are the consequences of not reading the terms and conditions? Yes, death is a bit of an exaggerated consequence, but it gets us thinking about how we often give our information to companies without thinking.
While the film itself was not particularly scary (minimal jump scares, not really any gore, semi-creepy looking demons), the plot was interesting enough to capture my attention and make watch the entire film. Countdown is an easy watch, but not a regrettable watch.
Child's Play (2019) Review
Countdown to Halloween Part 2 – New is Not Always Better
Child’s Play | Directed by Lars Klevberg | 2019 | Horror | 16+ | 1 H 30 M
By Jocelyn Illing
Living in the current age of sequels, reboots and remakes, it has become evident that new is not always better. Many filmmakers are not able to capture the essence and magic of an original, the thing that made the movie successful in the first place. To be clear, I am not referring to the elements of movies that made them great cinematic pieces of art, for a film does not have to be, for lack of a better phrase, “made well”, in order for it to be successful. Some films are just so bad or campy that they capture the hearts of audiences. Lev Klevberg’s 2019 reboot of the Child’s Play franchise is an example of such a failure. The turn to digital, while providing some important commentary on our increasingly digital worlds, removed the camp-factor and took itself too seriously.
Klevberg’s film begins in a modern-day Vietnam factory where workers are tirelessly building the hottest new toy, the Buddi doll, under poor work conditions. A disgruntled employee manipulates the doll he had been working on, disabling its safety functions before placing it in line with the rest of the dolls to be packaged and shipped. We then cut to Chicago, where a customer at the local supermarket is returning a Buddi doll, claiming that it isn’t functioning the way it is supposed to. Tired single mom and supermarket attendant Karen (Aubrey Plaza) decides to take the defected toy home and give it to her teenage son Andy (Gabriel Bateman) as an early birthday gift. Although Andy rejects the gift at first, claiming it to be a toy for little kids, he soon forms a bond with the robot doll. However, Andy soon witnesses the power of the toy’s artificial intelligences and the murderous length it will take to protect his “best buddi”.
This is what didn’t work in the film. For starters, the design of the Buddi doll, when compared to the Chucky doll from the original series, was not that creepy. Due to its robotic form, the Buddi doll could not make the same facial expressions as the original possessed doll. Although it would move its mouth mechanically, it could never achieve a look as sinister as Chucky’s, a fact mentioned in the movie when Andy wants to use Buddi to scare his mom’s boyfriend. This new origin story of the Buddi doll also prevents it from being as terrifying as Chucky as its agency is the direct product of his programming. There is a bit of creative licence between turning off safety mode and murdering people, but the magic just isn’t there. As the entire plot revolves around the Buddi doll, the movie falls rather flat.
Another fault of the movie was the casting of Plaza. Plaza is known for playing sarcastic and irresponsible characters that are still extremely likeable, for they make the audience laugh. Unfortunately, her knack for sarcasm does not benefit her when playing Karen. I just felt that Plaza was not believable as a mother. Throughout the film she seemed to stay on a neutral level that is characteristic of her previous rolls. Even when her son was in danger, Karen didn’t really show any strong emotions. Although this might be the product of artistic licence, it did lead to the character being very unlikable.
However, there are a few things that the film did get right. For starters, the casting of Mark Hamill as the voice of the Buddi doll was excellent. Hamill has made a respectable career post-Star Wars as a voice actor due to, in my opinion, is ability to channel those creepy voices inside of your head that sometimes wake you up at night. I was also impressed by Bateman’s performance as the sweet, loner kid Andy.
The most interesting component of the film is perhaps its overarching themes of the dangers of capitalism and technology. The story is set up as a revenge plot against corporations who exploit their workers. We further see the effects of consumerism as people become transfixed by the Buddi doll, its popularity prompting the store to host a launch party for the doll’s second edition. As we watch the film we also begin to see how technology shapes the lives of all of the characters. Not only is Buddi an electronic toy, but also a product of smart technology with the ability to connect to and control all other Kaslan Corporation products. Throughout the film we begin to see the power that Buddi has in controlling different aspects of our lives.
In the end, although this reboot worked to showcase some of the flaws in our current consumerist, technological society, it wasn’t scary and lost the magical campy feeling of the original. It is just another film about Artificial Intelligence gone wrong.
Countdown to Halloween Part 1 – That Moment When You Forget About Much Horror Movies Trigger Your Flight or Fight Responses
Gerald’s Game | Directed By Mike Flanagan | Horror | TV-MA | 1 H 43 MIN
By Jocelyn Illing
Since we are now in the middle of October, I thought it was about time that I begin watching scary movies on the regular. Searching through my endless Netflix cue I had to decide exactly which type of horror movie I was in the mood for. Early 2000s supernatural? 1970s gore? One of the Chucky movies? Gerald’s Game had been on my list for quite some time and a friend had mentioned it the other day, so I thought why not? What I did not know when I chose to watch this film is that it triggers many bodily responses that I had never really experienced when watching a film. Clearly after my dry spell of not watching horror films, this was not the best way to ease back into it. However, although I felt my heart beat faster, sweat dripping down my neck, and my stomach churning so much I feared that something might come up, it was all experienced in the best way possible. These responses are perhaps one of the most powerful effects of cinema, and I welcome them with open arms.
Gerald’s Game begins with a simple premise; Jessie (Carla Gugino) and her much older husband Gerald (Bruce Greenwood) escape to their country cottage for the weekend in order to spice up their marriage. Almost immediately after they arrive, Gerald makes the purpose of this trip known, leading Jessie into the bedroom and, much to Jessie’s surprise, retrieving a pair of handcuffs that he had packed in his over-night bag. Now, if the two of them were on the same page in terms of their sexual kinks, I would have applauded them for their experimentation. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Upon being handcuff, Jessie shows extremely visible signs of discomfort and even expresses verbally that she does not give consent. Hushing her, Gerald continues his little game (see what I did there) until he gets his comeuppance. He has a heart attack and falls on top of Jessie. Alone, apart from the stray dog who gnaws on her husband’s corpse, and handcuffed, Jessie must race against the clock and find a way to escape before it is too late.
When I first started watching the Gerlad’s Game I was hesitant about the its potential. From what little I had heard of the film; I was afraid it was just going to be some torture porn film that would make me so uncomfortable that I would have to shut it off after the first 20 minutes. Thankfully, the film dug a little deeper into the characters and the scenario. The structure of plot (I’m going to try my best not to spoil it) invited us into Jessies’ psyche so that we can better understand her and so that her situation becomes even more real to us. This is partly how the film causes our bodies to respond in certain ways. We can empathize with her and steps into her shoes. Additionally, Gerald’s Game gifts us with many other horror movie tropes - such as gore, jump scares and ghosts - that act as delightful little cherries on top of this deliciously frightening sundae.
What I also did not think about when choosing to watch this film was how it would relate to my current situation. Although I am not handcuffed to my bedpost I have been “confined” to my house since the beginning of the pandemic. Staying in one place for two long and seeing the same people over and over again is enough to make a person to go mad. As I watched Jessie talk to herself and experience hallucinations, I could not help but feel her loneliness and fear of the future (to a lesser degree of course). Additionally, I began to think about what I would do if I were in her situation? Would I panic and give up or would I be able to find the strength in me to problem solve and fight my way out? I think that might be what makes horror films, such as this one, so scary; your ability to put yourself in the protagonists situation and think “what if this happened to be in real life.” Kind of a dark note to end this review but yeah.
6 Deadly Giallo Gilms
by Marcus Ogden
Since our screening of The Beyond (Lucio Fulci, 1981), a few people have asked me about what other Italian horror films are worth watching. I wouldn’t call myself an expert on the topic, but I’ve definitely made it my niche. My main interest has been the giallo, which is an Italian subgenre of horror and thriller named for the yellow covers of the pulp books they were based on. If I were to describe the genre briefly, I would say it’s where the play of gender dynamics and mystery found in film noir meet the stylized sex and violence of 80’s slashers. There are certain hallmarks people attribute to the genre such as leather-gloved killers, an emphasis on sexuality and gender, an obsession with Freud, and highly stylized filmmaking. These films reserved a space among the exploitation/B-movie milieu of the 60’s and 70’s, but later into the 80’s and even in the present many filmmakers are inspired and influenced by giallo films. This list will explore 6 ‘deadly’ giallo films from some of the major directors of the movement that I believe are great entryways to the genre.
Deep Red (Dario Argento, 1975)
The first film I’ll recommend is Dario Argento’s Deep Red, as it was the first giallo I watched and it spurred me to find more. Argento is the most prolific Italian horror director, with a streak of great movies starting in 1970 with Bird With the Crystal Plumage and ending with The Stendhal Syndrome in 1996. Deep Red follows pianist Marcus Daly (David Hemmings) trying to solve the murder of a famous psychic, with the help of journalist Gianna Brezzi (Daria Nicolodi). This film serves as both an interesting mystery as well as an exciting slasher flick. Argento has such a strong way of infusing a film with energy and intense visual pleasure through his use of shot composition, vibrant colourization, and very rhythmic editing. Deep Red is his first collaboration Nicolodi, who went on to write Argento’s landmark film Suspiria (1977). The film is also Argento’s first collaboration with the band Goblin, who would go on to produce memorable soundtracks for Argento’s later films, as well as work for other filmmakers such as George Romero.
Blood and Black Lace (Mario Bava, 1964)
I would be absolutely remised to not include this Mario Bava directed classic. Blood and Black Lace is critically acclaimed and often considered the archetypal giallo, even the name hints towards the interplay of sex and violence that makes up the genre. The film stars western star Cameron Mitchell, Eva Bartok, and Thomas Reiner. It opens with the murder of a model by a masked assailant, and what follows is a murder investigation that unearths the many secrets of a Rome fashion house. Establishing the narrative template of slashers to come, Blood and Black Lace is an excellent mixture of noir and horror. The film dons a classical aesthetic with a jazzy brass rich soundtrack and a focus on vice, but injects vivid colours and violence into the interplay of darkness and lightness. Bava was part of an older generation of horror directors than the others I’ll be mentioning, but his films are considered highly influential to later slashers as well as to directors like Quentin Tarantino.
A Lizard in a Woman’s Skin (Lucio Fulci, 1971)
Lucio Fulci is best known for his surrealist horror classic The Beyond, as well as his film Zombi 2 which was marketed as a fraudulent Dawn of the Dead sequel. Fulci also directed a handful of giallo films, one being A Lizard in a Woman’s Skin. The film follows bourgeois wife Carol (Florinda Bolkan) who murders her licentious neighbour Julia (Anita Strindberg) in a dream only to find the following morning that her neighbour was murdered in the same way that she dreamed of. As she struggles to parse reality from dreams, her family members investigate the murder to clear her name as well as their own. Set in London, this intricately plotted whodunit is beautifully shot and paired with a score by the legendary Ennio Morricone. Managing to be one of the more grounded and procedural films from Fulci, there is still a few psychedelic dream sequences and exciting scene found within. A certain scene in the film was convincing enough to be brought into court, where special effects artist Carlo Rambaldi had to prove that the gore in the film was fake to prevent Fulci from being jailed.
The Fifth Cord (Luigi Bazzoni, 1971)
Although I love the genre, I often accept the fact that a lot of giallo films are thinly plotted and unevenly written. However, Luigi Bazzoni’s The Fifth Cord is a giallo I would label as Cinema. The film stars Franco Nero as Andrea, a journalist whose life is starting to spiral as he suddenly becomes a suspect when people around him are murdered. Andrea decides to investigate when it’s clear that the killer is cutting off a finger of each victim as a countdown. The Fifth Cord has a very structurally sound and intriguing mystery and the viewer is just as compelled to investigate as the characters are, which is possibly owed to the film being an adaptation of a book with the same name. The film leans much more into being a neo-noir thriller rather than a horror film and fits right in with the New Hollywood films of the 70s. The Fifth Cord is a great giallo for anyone not interested in horror as it is still an effectively thrilling and stylish mystery.
Torso (Sergio Martino, 1973)
Between 1971 and 1973 Sergio Martino directed 5 well regarded giallo films, one of which being Torso which leans heavily towards the slasher end of the spectrum. The film follows Dani (Tina Aumont) and her friends as they are targeted by a masked killer who believes they can identify him. Although the film features more exploitative sexuality, it is worth watching for the many brilliantly shot and inventive slasher scenes, and its mystery that is rife with red herrings. There is also an interesting discussion around what could, and what could not, be shown as among the violence and nudity in the film, a certain scene stands out as being uniquely censored. Additionally, the film features an excellent soundtrack from Guido and Maurizio De Angelis. While a fairly simple film, Torso is credited as an early slasher and was screened as a double feature with The Texas Chainsaw Massacre in American grindhouse theaters. The film has also been cited as an inspiration for horror director Eli Roth.
Death Walks at Midnight (Luciano Ercoli, 1972)
Luciano Ercoli is another notable director with a handful of good giallo films, his most well-known being his two Death Walks films. Death Walks at Midnight is a campier giallo, but still just as entertaining and stylish as the others. Valentina (Nieves Navarro) is fashion model who takes an experimental drug and hallucinates seeing a man killing a woman with a spiked metal glove. When she comes to, she finds out that the murder had actually happened and that the killer is targeting her next. While the films plot may be convoluted at times, it builds up to a surprising twist and an epic conclusion well worth the journey. The film is well shot and appropriately exciting, with a great performance from Navarro who often portrayed capable and dominant female characters. Death Walks at Midnight also features a very catchy soundtrack from composer Gianni Ferrio and singer Mina Mazzini. Death Walks at Midnight stands out as one of the more outlandish and entertaining giallo films.
As I conclude this article, it is hard for me to not list more and more films, as there are lots of strange, entertaining, and interesting films I’ve left out. Even the directors I already listed had other films I’d highly recommend. If you feel particularly drawn in to watching these and any other giallo films, I definitely recommend Tubi, and if you have a Calgary Public Library card then you can find some great ones on Kanopy. Of course, Shudder and Google Play are also good options for those willing to pay. Lastly, I should note that a lot of these films have very dated and problematic elements, but I think that they can still be enjoyed and seen through a critical and analytical lens that takes those elements into consideration. I lament that there isn’t any examples I know of directed by people of any diverse group, although recent works such as Knife + Heart (Yann Gonzalez, 2018), The Strange Color of Your Body’s Tears (Hélène Cattet and Bruno Forzani, 2013) and Cold Hell (Stefan Ruzowitzky, 2017) have shown that elements of the genre can be reworked to tell stories from more current and diverse perspectives.
By Jocelyn Illing
It is often interesting to see where an actor’s career goes after completing a major movie franchise. Even more interesting is how a child-actor continues after their star-making role. While some stars crash and burn (see Home Alone’s Macaulay Culkin), others grow and thrive (like Leon: The Professional’s Natalie Portman). A particularly interesting career is that of Daniel Radcliffe. Instead of continuing to make high-budget Hollywood films after completing the Harry Potter franchise, Radcliffe chose a different route, starring in a unique variety of both Hollywood and indie films. His selection-taste in his film roles is what makes Radcliffe an important actor to watch. I set out to watch all of Radcliffe’s post-Harry Potter films and rank them from the sublime indie roles to the the rather boring block-buster supporting characters.
*Note: Beast of Burden (Jesper Ganslandt, 2018, USA) has been omitted because I could not find a copy anywhere*
The 400 Blows
Les Quatre Cents Coups :