You ever see a movie and just assume it's not going to be good? Smile is all about creepy smiles! Oooh, I'm shaking in my boots... Plus, they showed what is most likely the best jumpscare in the trailer--if you know, you know--so what else is there? But I heard reviews were rather positive for this film. Was it actually worth watching? Or did it make me hate myself like that awful, awful movie Smiley? Writers call that a hook!
Broadcast Signal Intrusion (2021)
Sometimes it's hard to put into words why a movie didn't resonate with me. Using a recent example, Antlers was a perfectly fine movie with a pretty basic ending, but it just didn't live up to my expectations. And that's the case with Broadcast Signal Intrusion. The creepy atmosphere is on point, but the ambiguous ending just didn't land. And I'm usually a huge fan of ambiguous endings! So let's analyze what I think didn't work.
Trailers lie all the time. Sometimes it's for good reasons, like Avengers: Infinity War hiding how many Infinity Stones Thanos had when he fought Captain America. And sometimes it's for bad reasons, like Slender Man cutting a bunch of scenes that would explain what the hell was going on while apparently forgetting that they were left in the trailers. Then you have a movie like Run which lies like a fucking pro.
The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (2005)
Now wait, you might be saying to yourself. Didn't he already cover this? Well, yes and no. Yes, I started this week with a post on the 1920 silent film The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari. But no, today's post is on the 2005 remake that I can't absolutely confirm is a shot-for-shot remake, but it's the exact same movie. Except the characters now talk. A lot. And it's not good.
The Cabinet of Caligari (1962)
It's December, which on this blog means... more Caligari movies? Hm. Last year, December was nothing but Christmas and/or winter holiday movies, but this year I'm breaking that pattern up a bit. See, I've been meaning to do these three Caligari movies for months now, so I'm forcing myself to do them now. Santa and all that will be coming eventually, but so will at least two breaks from the format since Spider-Man: No Way Home is coming out this month and there's another, non-winter movie I watched that I want to talk about. With that out of the way, let's dive into The Cabinet of Caligari, a movie hampered by its title.
The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920)
One of my goals for 2022 is to cover more franchises on the blog. Outside of events, most of what I do are stand-alone movies and that has not been conducive to clearing out my list of "movies I've mentioned on the blog but haven't covered yet." But it's never too early to start a project, so let's have a mini event this week, starting with the horror classic, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari! What's the theme? All in good time...
Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2 (2000)
Last year I said that The Blair Witch Project is a great film, and I will always stand by that statement. Sure, it unleashed a plague of cheap found footage garbage, but can you really blame the good thing for all the cheap knockoffs that follow? Speaking of cheap knockoffs, this year we're talking about Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2, a mistake on just about every level. Sure, that sounds a bit unfair, but how else am I supposed to feel about a movie called "Book of Shadows" that doesn't ever feature--or even reference or mention--a spooky and/or witchy book? So the title is a lie, right out the gate? Fan-fuckin-tastic.
The Lodge (2019)
The Lodge was one of the movies that I was super excited to watch and it just... somehow passed me by. No local theaters were showing it back in early 2019 and by the time I got the motivation to travel to see it, it had disappeared from all theaters. So this one has been on my to-watch list for a while, and I figured a month dedicated to horror movies would be the perfect time! Which makes it such a shame that I really didn't like it.
Hellbound: Hellraiser II (1988)
The Hellbound Halloween continues! It's a reference to The Hellbound Heart, the story by Mr. Clive Barker that Hellraiser is based on, by the way. This is the last film in the franchise that Barker had a direct hand in, which is a little concerning since it's only the second film. Yup, from here on out the quality steadily decreases--although I remember Hellraiser: Inferno being decent--until we hit the bottom of the barrel with the last two. But that's something we'll touch on later in the month; right now let's end Julia's reign of evil!
Otto; or, Up with Dead People (2008)
Once upon a time, I started a movie blog. The twist of the story is that what I created was not this Chwineka Watches, but a different, earlier blog whose name escapes me at the moment (probably also Chwineka Watches). The reviews were more longform, with posts being around 4000 words and featured several screenshots that had quirky captions because I was obviously inspired by Cracked Dot Com. One of the movies I reviewed at the time was Otto; or, Up with Dead People, a film about a gay zombie, something I'm redoing here as part of Pride Month. Looking back years later on that early review is weird to me now, because I can see how my opinions and thought processes have changed over time. Lemme explain.