In this second part of a two-part article, I focus on the film(s) that I introduced at the end of the first part: Michael Haneke’s FUNNY GAMES (1997 / 2007).
“Post-horror” is apparently a ‘thing’ now. The thing is, it’s really nothing new.
Going back eight years is not much of a throwback in time. Yet writer-director Travis Betz’ “Lo” (2009) is worthy of a Throwback Thursday shout-out anyway. It’s an overlooked and undervalued film that deserves a wider audience. A genre-blending horror comedy musical with romantic drama elements, this indie picture takes a lot of chances and still succeeds.
On one level, Peter Bogdanovich’s first feature film, TARGETS (1968, prod. Roger Corman) is about a shift in horror cinema. In the late 1950s, gothic/supernatural and extraterrestrial monsters started to give way to the monsters of everyday life. TARGETS is a metaphor for this change in the major source of cinematic horror.
The strong negative reaction to Walter Hill’s most recent directorial effort has more to do with disappointed expectations than controversial material.
“The Eyes of My Mother” (2016) combines an edgy, boundary-pushing story with painstaking attention to form and execution in filmmaking.
Perhaps it’s not fair to expect, but I wish this film had scared the crap out of me like its 1979 ancestor did. Still, it does accomplish what it set out to do — to explain the origins of the Xenomorph.
Although Wes Craven began his career with low-budget exploitation films later seen as ‘progressive,’ by the mid-80s he seems to be hedging his thematic bets. Case in point: A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET (1984).
The monstrosity of America in early 1970s? “It’s Alive” in Larry Cohen’s classic 1974 exploitation film!
While the inevitable comparisons between Blair’s directorial debut and the Saulnier pictures in which he appears might find Blair’s film lacking, it’s really a case of ‘apples and oranges.’