Holidays (2016): This holiday (all the Western holidays, I’m still waiting on Christian Orthodox horror, Chanukah, and so on, and so forth, though thanks to Hong Kong we’ll never need to be without a Lunar New Year horror fi´lm) anthology starts off strong, with a first half of segments that are female-centric, weird as all get out (I have no words to describe Nicholas McCarthy’s Easter bit) in all the best ways and not as dumb as V/H/S style horror anthologies often are. After that, unfortunately, there comes a dreadful Kevin Smith thing, and two five minute jokes that sort of work but aren’t exactly the place you’d want to end a film. On the other hand, Sarah Adina Smith’s and Anthony Scott Burns’s pieces in the first half are so strong, it’d be worth watching the film for those two alone.
Retribution (1987): Guy Magar’s late 80s low budget horror
about a depressed artist attempting suicide by jumping off a roof only to
survive and add “astral body possession through burned to death gangster” to his
list of problems is a bit of a frustrating affair. It’s a film that’s often too
subtle and interested in its characters as relatable human beings instead of
fodder for the killing scenes to be your typical piece of 80s horror, but on the
other hand way too interested in your typical 80s horror nonsense (neon and
disturbing haircuts and overlong gory kills) to work as the subtle and
psychological horror film the other half of it attempts to be, ending up in an
awkward half-way place. It’s too bad too, for there aren’t too many
places elsewhere in 80s horror where you will find actual sympathy for (and a
bit of a romantic idea of) the left behind and losers of this world, a competent
yet empathic female psychiatrist who isn’t falling in love with her patient, and
Dennis Lipscomb in a pretty great leading performance?
The Green Inferno (2013): This on the other hand is exactly
what you’d expect from Eli Roth making a cannibal movie: it looks really nice,
but is utterly thoughtless and vapid. It is of course the sort of stupid film
that thinks it’s oh so clever and can’t help but grin smugly in your face.
Unlike the Italian cannibal films, which at least came by their bad taste in an
honest attempt to do the Roman circus thing, this is tasteless in that pointless
sort of way I can only tolerate from three-year-olds playing with their own