Obviously, with it being October, I watched a ton of horror movies.
I watched some classics like The Old Dark House and A Bucket of Blood. I had never seen a Hammer film, a production company known for horror films in the 70s’, so I watched The Curse of Frankenstein and Horror of Dracula, both of which adapts the stories of their respective names and both star the talented duo of Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee.
Of course, I watched films for our Film Club, which were Killer Klowns from Outer Space and The Vanishing. Killer Klowns is an excellent and hilarious B-Movie about killer aliens, who look like clowns, that invade a town and wreak havoc. The Vanishing, which I talked about in last month’s edition of “What I Watched in…”, is one of the most terrifying films I’ve ever seen. It’s about a man’s journey to search for his missing girlfriend, and that’s all I want to say,
To close out my horror recommendations, I watched Jennifer’s Body, which is about Jennifer, a popular cheerleader, who gets possessed and starts seducing and offing her male classmates as her best friend struggles to deal with her friend’s recent transformation. The film, directed by Karyn Kusama and written by Diablo Cody (who also wrote Juno), is smart and funny. I don’t think it fully reaches its potential, but it’s still a really fun time and I encourage anyone to try.
Although it seems like no films have come out, I can already say I found one of, if not the, greatest film of 2020s, Dick Johnson is Dead. Released on Netflix, the film is an intimate portrait of filmmaker Kirsten Johnson’s ailing father. Johnson is mainly a documentarian; her previous film, Cameraperson, was strung together by using B-Roll and extra footage she filmed as she was filming other documentaries.
Surprisingly, Cameraperson turned out to be a fascinating and beautiful film, and one of my favorites of the 2010s. Dick Johnson is Dead uses “movie magic” to celebrate the life and death of Kirsten’s father. She stages his death several times in the film, ranging from a simple heart attack to something even wackier that I dare not spoil. As the film goes along, the duo of father and daughter confront the inevitable, but they still want to share and enjoy the remaining time they have left. It’s difficult not having your heart strings pulled by this film, as it’s relatable to everyone. I’m sure most, if not all, of you have access to Netflix, so I strongly encourage all of you to check it out as soon as you can.
I also watched Space Jam and Ponyo, both of which were terrible and underwhelming, especially Ponyo. I’ve only seen a handful of Ghibli films, but they’ve all underwhelmed me. I’m not sure what it is, perhaps the magic of Ghibli is lost on me. Maybe there’s a potential article in there…