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  • Häxan

    Häxan

    ★★★★½

    HoopTober 6.0 #15: 6 Countries (Denmark/Sweden)

    What is a witch? In the popular imagination, a witch is a practitioner of black magic, a consort of the devil, a crone of wicked intent who cooks infants and flies astride a broom by night. If your husband inexplicably falls ill, why, it may be a witch - but be wary the one you accuse does not accuse you right back. If you can't produce tears on cue, you might be a witch,…

  • Culture Shock

    Culture Shock

    ★★★

    HoopTober 6.0 #14: 1 film from a Mexican director

    Lots to chew on with Culture Shock, which starts out with a harrowing border crossing before moving into something considerably stranger. As in most things horror (or horror-adjacent, as this one mostly feels), the less we know about what's going on, the better.

    Where Culture Shock is most successful is in its not-so-subtle skewering of American assimilationism, the idea of a "melting pot" where everyone just kind of smiles at each…

  • The Omen

    The Omen

    ★★★★

    HoopTober 6.0 #13: 6 Decades (The 70s)

    Hard to believe I'd never seen this one! The Omen is one of the classics of the genre that I'd never managed to watch before, and I found it quite effective. Damian was less creepy than I'd imagine he would be; Mrs. Baylock, on the other hand, was a sinister delight.

    It would be impossible for this film to surprise me in any meaningful way, but the scares were still largely effective. A…

  • Little Monsters

    Little Monsters

    ★★★½

    HoopTober 6.0 #12: 6 Countries (Australia)

    Little Monsters is yet another entry in the zombie comedy genre - somehow, there's really nothing more hilarious than the walking dead! This one distinguishes itself through a focus on children, not to mention the presence of Oscar-winner Lupita Nyong'o. I also appreciated the Australian setting and sensibility.

    Plainly, Little Monsters has a lot going for it. Parts of it work pretty well; Nyong'o is fabulous and basically carries the picture, while Josh Gad…

  • Prisoners

    Prisoners

    ★★★★

    A great, complicated film with stellar performances. Does at times feel like Fincher-lite, and eventually loses track of everyone but Jackman and Gyllenhaal, but otherwise, there's really not much to nitpick about here. Oh, and of course, it's gorgeous - a scene near the end that features a character racing down busy streets, cars stretching out before him like a sea of shining lights in the rain, is simply phenomenal.

  • Hatchet

    Hatchet

    ★★★★½

    HoopTober 6.0 #11: 6 Films Whose Year Ends in 6; A film featuring the work of John Carl Buechler

    Look, everyone has their thing, right? Even within the horror community, there are "big bug" fans, body horror fans, ghost story fans ... the list goes on. I love all those genres, but personally, if I had to choose, for me, it will always be slashers. Some people watch Hallmark movies; my comfort food is a good slasher. Give me a…

  • El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie

    El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie

    ★★★★

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    Obviously only works as intended if you saw the show, but much like the Deadwood movie from earlier this year, I appreciated the opportunity for closure. On the other hand, this movie doesn't really tell us anything we couldn't imagine from the end of Breaking Bad, which on the whole definitely didn't lack for closure the same way Deadwood's accidental finale did. Still, what a trip - and a good reminder that Breaking Bad was, and continues to be, a masterpiece.

  • I Walked with a Zombie

    I Walked with a Zombie

    ★★★★

    HoopTober 6.0 #10: 6 films from before 1966; Films from 6 Decades

    Delightfully spooky and (perhaps not surprisingly, given the pedigree) deep, with themes that I would be happy to explore in more depth if I were not very tired. Will probably update this review in the future (or maybe I'll just watch the movie again - it's very good!).

  • Nosferatu

    Nosferatu

    ★★★★

    HoopTober 6.0 #9: 6 films from before 1966

    A wonderfully gothic, weird, and compelling variation on Dracula. Probably not as compelling as it would have been if I hadn't already seen approximately five million versions of this story, but this is still clearly up there in terms of Dracula adaptations.

  • Santa Sangre

    Santa Sangre

    ★★

    So originally this was gonna be my Hooptober entry for "1 film from a Mexican director," until I thought to look it up and realized that, though the film itself is a Mexican-Italian co-production, Jodorowsky is actually Chilean-French. I discovered this about a half-hour from the end of the movie, and let me tell you, realizing this wouldn't even count for Hooptober made it extremely difficult to finish, because this just did not work for me. Honestly, it was borderline…

  • The Devils

    The Devils

    ★★★★★

    HoopTober 6.0 #8: 1 film where the men and women of the church are having a bad day

    Good grief, where to begin? I guess I can say that this nicely fits the Hooptober prompt, because the men and women of the church are having a very, very, very bad day.

    The Devils is a horrific assault on all the senses. It features sequences of depravity and cruelty that showcase the absolute worst of humanity. It's also kind of fucking…

  • The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari

    The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari

    ★★★★½

    HoopTober 6.0 #7: 6 Countries (Germany)

    Letterboxd Season Challenge: Week 4 - Horror Beyond Words Week

    Justifiably famous, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari is one of the most successful early horror films. It's also certainly one of the most influential, with its German expressionist backdrops, dramatic lighting, and demonic close-ups. Of special note is Conrad Veidt, who in real life was an anti-Nazi badass, playing the somnambulist himself with glowering intensity.

    It's hard to overstate how significant Caligari is to…