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.
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.
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...
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.
Hellraiser: Hellworld is a real turning point in the Hellraiser franchise. Not only is it a bad movie in itself that was filmed back-to-back with Hellraiser: Deader, but it's also the last time that the incomparable Mr. Doug Bradley would play Pinhead. What a completely lackluster ending to such an iconic performance! It's actually a little sad, and exhausting in a way I can't really describe. I'm sure I'll figure out my feelings by the time we reach the end of this installment of the Hellbound Halloween.
There's something about franchises--particularly big horror franchises--where it sure seems like each one has a film that just refuses to stick in my head. I wrote about Children of the Corn: The Gathering just last year, but even then I still only remember the barest of details without looking at the post. Something about a fever...? In that same vein, was it Leprechaun 2 or Leprechaun 3 where he was at a pawn shop? And A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master is just a total blank to me. The point being I've seen all 10 Hellraiser films before, but had no memory of what the hell Hellraiser: Deader was about. But now I've rewatched it and can safely say that I'll most likely forget every detail of this boring movie--again--by next month, if not next week.
I have a list bookmarked that ranks what most people regard as the best horror movies ever made. And I've... covered an embarrassingly few of those movies on this blog. I definitely have seen a huge chunk of these films! I just tend to gravitate towards garbage because ranting about something being bad is easier than making a post with nothing but praise. But I have plans to burn through a couple of my personal to-do lists, so let's kick off this burst of motivation by talking about something actually good for a change: Carnival of Souls.
I don't want to come off as some sort of movie snob or purist. There are many different ways to tell a story, and sticking to a rigid structure is not always the best course of action. Case in point, Hellraiser: Inferno was a detective mystery that had some Hellish aspects, and I think it worked. But I guess Miramax thought they could try the same formula and create another interesting movie out of a script previously unrelated to the franchise. But no. Hellraiser: Hellseeker sucks and I hate it. Welcome back to the Hellbound Halloween. We're officially in the bad half of the franchise.
Whoa! We're halfway there! The Hellbound Halloween continues with the fifth movie in the Hellraiser franchise, Hellraiser: Inferno. This is the first film in the series not to be released in theaters, and also the first where it's really, really obvious that this was originally an unrelated script before the cenobites were tacked on. As a result the execution is... polarizing. It's a very strange movie, but I think I can safely say it's the best Silent Hill film yet!
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.