Tuesday, June 23, 2015


Nightlight (2015): The cast isn’t bad, the direction has its moments, yet Scott Beck’s and Bryan Woods’s film is still another POV horror film about pretty young people getting lost in haunted woods. Not surprisingly, the film lacks the vague, yet weird and disquieting mythology of that one big predecessor whose name I don’t need mention, and doesn’t really have much of its own to replace it with. There’s an attempt at characterization through classic teenage angst but whenever I actually started to believe in the characters and cared a little about what happened to them, they began to act not like frightened people but like horror movie characters, and there all caring must stop.

There are a few okay scares in here, but most of the film is of the sort of middling okay-ness that annoys me more than a truly bad movie ever does.

13 Ghosts (1960): For my taste, this is one of William Castle’s lesser efforts at gimmick – the GHOST VIEWER! – horror but I suspect that’s in large part because it’s too much of a family movie for my tastes, with not enough of the sardonic and very dark humour that makes House on Haunted Hill or The Tingler so much fun.

As all Castle films, it’s not a bad movie in any way, but I didn’t find myself exactly glued to the screen watching it, most likely because 50s (and the film still belongs very much into that decade) horror comedy is anathema to my sensibilities.

Route 666 (2001): Who’d have thunk a film about Lou Diamond Phillips fighting an undead chain gang on a by-road of Route 66 called Route 666 could be this boring? Dumb, sure; badly directed by William Wesley (director of not much beyond this and the lightyears better Scarecrows), yes, but boring? Alas, it truly is, thanks to the snail’s pace the plot happens (or not) in, the meandering tone containing much odious comic relief, the less than engaging way the undead attacks are filmed in, and the many, many scenes that could have been cut out of this thing without anyone in the audience noticing before the film would end an hour earlier than is usual. It’s a dire effort.

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