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  • Black Christmas

    Black Christmas

    ★★★★★

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

    I remembered that Bob Clark leans on the suffocated girl's corpse pretty heavily for scares from my previous viewing of the film, so this time I counted. He cuts to her nine times! Part of that is due to structural issues. The second kill in this slasher film doesn't happen until 45 minutes in, so for a long time the cuts back to the corpse are the only source of tension. (And for the first couple times, on first viewing…

  • It's a Wonderful Life

    It's a Wonderful Life

    ★★★★★

    I have to laugh sometimes when I read the reviews of aggrieved kids who freak out about George never getting to leave Bedford Falls— “He never got to escape his shitty cowtown! This movie’s so negative!”

    George learned to build bridges between people instead of things. That’s much more important.

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  • Barbary Coast

    Barbary Coast

    ★★★

    The Joel McCrea side of the love triangle feels pretty contrived, partly because it’s squeezed for time (he doesn’t make his appearance until about fifty minutes in), partly because his infatuation with Miriam Hopkins feels like it’s based on nothing more than convenience. Instead of the one night of passion Garbo and Gilbert spend together in Queen Christina, McCrea and Hopkins have an hour of pleasant conversation (thanks to the Breen Code mucking things up), and not much in the way of screen chemistry. Edward G. Robinson is much more compelling as the gangster with class anxiety who’s desperate for Hopkins’s approval.

  • Aftermath

    Aftermath

    Embarrassing edgelord shit. Tries real hard to be shocking, but a pretty good latex puppet still moves like a puppet. Nothing in here is as awful or obscene as the scalps folded over the faces of the real-life dead in Stan Brakhage’s The Act of Seeing with One’s Own Eyes.

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  • Night of the Living Dead

    Night of the Living Dead

    ★★★★★

    The first time I ever saw this, I was in my early teens. I watched it alone at home on some fall night. Somehow I wasn't spoiled on the plot, even though I'd read a little about it and had seen some production stills at some point, so I had a basic idea going in that there was a farmhouse under siege by walking corpses that could be held at bay by fire. Something about Ben's struggles in the farmhouse…

  • The Fly

    The Fly

    ★★★★★

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

    I think it’s the best thing Cronenberg ever did, the counterpoint to Videodrome’s depiction of what it’s like to fall apart from the inside. There’s so much about Brundlefly’s plight that I can personally relate to, but the hardest part for me to watch has always been the attack on Stathis at the end. It’s so horrifyingly brutal that I’m always a little afraid to watch The Fly no matter how many times I see it.

    I do wonder what…