Tag Archives: horror movies

TIFF20: Get The Hell Out

Technically, this film does have a premise and a plot. I mean, it totally and legitimately does. But as a Taiwanese comedy-horror that mixes zombies, martial arts, and politics, it probably didn’t have to go to the trouble. As part of TIFF’s legendary Midnight Madness program, it’s not just a case of fitting in, but establishing a new bar for the kind of oddities the best of genre cinema can offer.

Hsiung Ying-ying (Megan Lai) is so mad the government wants to tear down her father’s house to build a new chemical plant, she gets herself elected to parliament to actually do something about it. But opponent MP Li Kuo-chung (Chung-wang Wang) is a veteran politician and isn’t about to just back down and let her have it. In fact, he instigates a brawl that riles Ying-ying into busting out some badass kung-fu moves, including her signature huracanrana, and then calls for her resignation, having successfully baited her. Bumbling security guard Wang You-wei (Bruce Hung) is the one who broke up the fight, and his corresponding rise in popularity has both camps thinking they can use his seat for their own purposes. But You-wei only has eyes for Ying-ying, so on the appointed day and time of the power plant vote, he shows up to Taiwan’s parliamentary chambers ready for a fight, but not the kind that actually goes down.

Turns out, the Prime Minister himself has contracted a virus and the minute he starts rabidly biting into people’s flesh, hell breaks loose and the building goes on lockdown. A measure normally used to protect the Prime Minister from outside threats, this time it’s trapped his colleagues in chambers with him, and he’s turning fellow politicians into crazed zombies faster than Donald Trump can spout lies to the press. In fact, he’s going through victims quicker than if he was a wood chipper, while his bored security detail looks on, seemingly unperturbed – they’re there to protect him, not protect others from him. Don’t question it, it’s the kind of magical “logic” politicians rely on every day.

As Ying-ying watches from the safety of the press pit, her rival, her protege/love interest, and her father (Tsung-Hua To) all fight for their lives. The blood spatter is voluminous, exuberant. Luckily Taiwanese politicians are exceptionally well-dressed, battle lines drawn vividly between fuchsia and tangerine. Director I.-Fan Wang’s larger than life, cartoonish violence reminds me a little of Edgar Wright circa Scott Pilgrim vs. The World. It’s a monstrous spectacle, but you can’t deny its vigor. I dare you to pass up the opportunity to see someone wield the person they’re giving the Heimlich to as a weapon. Where else on earth are you going to see that?

The comedy is broad, the violence gleeful and gruesome, and the satire unsubtle. Even as they wield axes and nail clippers, anything that might help them get the hell out, they continue to wheel and deal, consummate politicians, the vote never quite forgotten. If their political criticism is to be believed, cowriters Wang and Wan-Ju Yang don’t have a lot of respect for Taiwan’s actual legislative fights. They do, however have a lot of fun lampooning them. It may not be pretty, but Get The Hell Out is loud and exhilarating, and in a guilty pleasure kind of way, it’s actually pretty fun.

The Babysitter: Killer Queen

Cole is a junior in high school who meets with his school nurse Big Carl to discuss his delusions. I mean, Cole (Judah Lewis) is adamant they’re not delusions: two years ago, a blood cult really DID try to kill him and if there’s no evidence to support that, well, it hardly means he’s crazy, right? Big Carl (Carl McDowell) disagrees. So does the student body, who know about his outlandish claims, and they’re not shy to label him. Even his parents (Leslie Bibb, Ken Marino) are about to kidnap him away to some school-hospital hybrid for psychotic teenagers. But Cole catches wind of this and so he absconds with his only friend Melanie (Emily Alyn Lind) and they hit up “the lake” for “some fun.” Melanie has a boyfriend (who’s coming), but she’s a girl and she’s been polite to him, so of course Cole thinks he might get to fuck her. But he’s wrong. Dead wrong.

As Cole should have guessed, the lake is code for murder town. I mean seriously, if you narrowly survive a blood cult, the LEAST you could do is start boning up on horror movies and, you know, get a clue. Lucky for him, the mysterious new girl who he only just met that morning, Phoebe (Jenna Ortega), is also at the lake to “have some alone time” despite the crowded beach party. A very inconsiderate second round of blood cult is about to go down, so they’ll get plenty of alone time to put his freshly purchased Magnum XL’s to good use while literally also running for their lives. Trust me, I know that math does not add up, but that’s called “movie magic” and the first rule of movie magic is you never fucking question it.

This horror film newly available on Netflix is a sequel to 2017’s apparent hit, The Babysitter, as astute readers will have guessed from my casual use of “two years ago” up in the first paragraph, which you can now appreciate for having been deeply meaningful. I never saw the first one and you won’t have to either because the sequel makes heavy use of flashbacks, but honestly, it’s also just pretty darn shallow. Blood, knife, run. You know the drill. It’s a classic teen slasher flick and by god there will be slashing. This movie is not big on actual horror, it’s not scary, it’s not even tense, but it is gory and rather graphic. It takes perverse pleasure in ripping bodies apart at the seams and showing every stringy inch of it.

I should mention here that the movie is directed by McG. Not that anyone else is fool enough to start calling himself McG, but yes, that McG, the McG who directed all those crazy annoying earworm 90s music videos you’re still having PTSD about: Smashmouth’s All Star AND Walking on the Sun, Offspring’s Pretty Fly (For A White Guy) and Why Don’t You Get A Job, Fastball’s The Way, Sugar Ray’s Fly, Barenaked Ladies’ One Week, and yes I could go on but I won’t because ew. But maybe just remember this is how he got his start, so that if, just for random example, this horror movie has a quick music video sidebar in the middle of it, you won’t be too surprised. He also directed Terminator Salvation, but don’t worry, you needn’t remember that because this movie references it HEAVILY.

We recently reviewed Get Duked!, an actually funny horror-comedy. This one isn’t a horror-comedy but it IS unintentionally funny. It doesn’t take itself seriously though, it embraces the absurd with open arms, it’s an odd kind of film and it knows it. For that reason alone, perhaps, I couldn’t hate it. I didn’t think it was good, but it was definitely having fun and I guess it rubbed off. Plus, if you liked the first, you’ll likely be pleased with the second. Are you in it for Robbie Amell’s random absence of a shirt? Done. Want to see if Bella Thorne finds a way to top her self-compliments? Go for it. This movie takes a lot of weird turns, plays a lot of unexpected tunes, and really keeps you guessing. Not in terms of plot or anything, you know how it’s going to end, you’ll just be pretty surprised at some of the pit stops they take in getting there.

If this sounds remotely interesting, it’s on Netflix so the risk is low. So’s the first one if you’re curious, but believe me, you can easily treat these as stand alone movies. Just don’t get attached to anyone. Or their heads.

#Alive

Just a week or two ago, Sean and I were doing the Fantasia Film Festival thing and were about to watch a movie called Alive, for which I’d read the following synopsis: The rapid spread of an unknown infection has left an entire city in ungovernable chaos, but one survivor remains alive in isolation. It’s funny how we watch movies differently now that we’ve been living in pandemic-related isolation ourselves. Now I can’t even watch people in movies without face masks without feeling a bit of a fever coming on. But it turns out we were watching a different movie, also called Alive, no hashtag, and only now are we getting around to the more social media ready one, which is in fact the one with the raging infection.

Oh Joon-woo (Ah-In Yoo) wakes up alone in his apartment. His parents and sisters have gotten an early start, and Joon-woo isn’t exactly an early bird. Although he appears to be more or less a grown man, they’ve left him grocery money to restock the fridge, and his mother’s last plea is that he not spend the whole time playing video games while they’re away. Commence: video games! Except this turns out not to be just another ordinary day in Joon-woo’s life, as attested by the running and screaming of seemingly everyone else in his high-rise apartment building. Bits of news filter in from various media: some sort of infection transferred through blood is making victims extra violent and quite cannibalistic. You and I might call them zombies, or at least we did before we started battling super-bugs in real life. What will our zombie movies look like now? I bet they’ll cough.

A garbled final message from his parents implores him to survive, so he vows to stay in his apartment, but a) you’ll remember he never went for groceries and b) his apartment isn’t exactly invulnerable. Many days later, on the brink of starvation and in the throes of understandable depression, Joon-woo is all but resigned to his death when a laser pointer indicates another human presence. Out his window he sees that someone else has survived in the building across from his – a young woman named Kim Yoo-bin (Shin-Hye Park). Too far apart for real communication, and with flesh-craving zombies crawling around both their buildings and the parking lot between them, they remain alone but just a little less lonely.

I’m fond of movies that are about how life goes on even during the worst of circumstances, like how little boys still need to live their childhoods, even in Nazi Germany (Jojo Rabbit). And how romance can bloom even while a blood thirsty army is banging down your door. Ideal circumstances? Definitely not. But since when has that stopped anyone?

Director Il Cho navigates the complexities of a zombie-horror-romance in the smart phone age with blood, guts, and selfie sticks. Plus vlogs and drones for good measure. South Korea often does horror very well, and while I might not put this in Train to Busan territory, it’s a pretty decent watch, and since we are, for the most part, still social distancing as much as possible, it’s a good reason to stay home and stay safe, and let others take the stupid risks and internalize those consequences.

Stay #home, stay #Alive.

Get Duked!

Duncan (Lewis Gribben), Dean (Rian Gordon) and DJ Beatroot (Viraj Juneja) know they have failed pretty spectacularly in their high school careers to have earned this punishment: the Duke of Edinburgh Award. They would have rather been expelled but instead they’ve been “volunteered” for the expedition portion of the award, which is apparently a real thing. Their teacher, Mr. Carlyle (Jonathan Aris), is dropping them off in the Scottish Highlands with only a map and…well, only a map, really. I take it they were supposed to have come prepared in some way but the only one who is marginally prepared is the fourth fellow who I haven’t mentioned yet, a home-schooled chap named Ian (Samuel Bottomley) who’s looking to pad out his resume. To be honest, though, not one of them notices the quantity of MISSING posters behind them as they pose for a farewell photo.

I saw this on Amazon Prime and knew that I’d seen some reviews of it lately, so I pointed it out to Sean, with some trepidation. I thought it was a horror movie. You know me and horror movies! But in a nice surprise, Amazon Prime politely told me it was a comedy adventure. Click!

Then the movie went on to rather rudely clear that up right quick: I was right the first time. I’m always right. But luckily it’s a horror movie the way Shaun of the Dead is a horror movie. Yeah, there’s some crazy killing going on, but it’s actually comedy, which goes a long way in diluting the heebie jeebies.

Turns out, them there hills are haunted with…The Duke of Edinburgh himself??? Well, he’s armed with a rifle and he’s pretty intent on hunting and killing his prey. Meanwhile, the chaos this little expedition is causing has completely confused the podunk little police force, and their inept little officers are now out to find a terrorist pedo urban gang of zombies.

This movie turned out to be the best kind of surprise. Even though it is indeed a horror movie, it’s a comedy-horror, and the rarest breed of those: an actually funny comedy horror. It doesn’t have lofty goals, it seeks only to entertain us, and thanks to a wonderful ensemble cast and a cute script that keeps finding fresh directions to veer off into, it doesn’t matter that the film has no compass. We’re off grid here, and it’s a total utter delight.

I’m Thinking Of Ending Things

A woman, our unnamed protagonist, gets into boyfriend Jake’s car. After just 7 weeks of dating, they are driving to meet his parents for dinner at their secluded farm. The woman (Jessie Buckley) doesn’t particularly want to go, she’s got stuff to do, and she’s been concerned about some bizarre phone calls, but more importantly, she’s thinking of ending things. We are privy to these unvoiced thoughts as she and Jake make their snowy drive, but she keeps them from him. Or at least she thinks she does. Does she? They discuss life and philosophy in strange and circular ways, they quote poetry to each other, and we see flashes of someone else’s life, a school janitor. Whose memories are these? We don’t know.

Pulling up to the farm, Jake (Jesse Plemmons) tempers his girlfriend’s expectations with some warnings about his parents, who may come off as odd. The girlfriend starts to wonder if they’re even expected or indeed welcome, but such thoughts are quickly swept away when his mom (Toni Collette) pelts her with prying and invasive questions all dinner long and his dad (David Thewlis) seems more and more angry. Right around dessert time, what has up until now been merely creepy starts to turn toward the surreal. Time, identity, and memory start to dissolve, and as the girlfriend begins to doubt herself, so do we. Meanwhile, that mysterious janitor only seen in flashbacks (flash forwards? flash sideways?) is now watching a film directed by Robert Zemeckis, and our own director Charlie Fucking Kaufman, seems really intent that we watch along with him. But why, Kauf? Why?

Back on the road, with a blizzard coming down around them, wrapping the car in a bubble of white, we’re feeling off-kilter, disoriented, disturbed, claustrophobic. And the Jake leaves the dark and deserted road to take an even darker, more deserted road. Turn back, you want to scream, you know they should, but they don’t.

If you were a fan of the book by Iain Reid, you’ll have some idea of what awaits them ahead, but you won’t be totally right. It’s Charlie Kaufman who’s adapted this, and the dude has some IDEAS. All told, I think the movie ends up less scary than the book, but weirder, if you can believe it. And it’s Kaufman we’re talking about, so you best believe it. If you’re a fan of his, you knew you were in for a strange and unique experience, and that’s exactly what you’ll get.

There are strings pulled in the very beginning that see you through to the end if you were alert enough to follow them, and not distracted by the red herrings, or the terrific and layered performances by the cast. Luckily Netflix is the perfect home for such a movie. If you’re into this kind of thing, you can immediately give it a rewatch, searching for those breadcrumbs, reinterpreting with the benefit of a view or two under your belt. And it’s still not enough, but it’ll give you a fighting chance. Kaufman’s movies reward your due diligence. They’re meant for cinema snobs who will invest their time and energy into a story, who are willing to work for it, and work at it. Deciphering the ending is its own adventure, and in some ways I suppose you get to choose your own – it’s ambiguous, unexpected, and a little bit haunting considering Kaufman’s leaving us with his own spin on longing, regret, and the frailty of the human condition.

Best of luck.

Alone

Jessica (Jules Wilcox) is driving alone on the highway at night. If you’re a woman, that alone is enough to send chills down your spine. We’ve all had to confront that fear, that feeling of eerie vulnerability. Should you get a flat tire, or your engine quit, or a patch of black ice send you careening into a shoulder of snow that won’t let go – you’ll be a sitting duck. It’s sad when a horror movie doesn’t have to introduce any other element before this scenario, just a woman driving at night, is already creepy.

But since this is a horror movie, Jules will not stay alone for long. In broad daylight, a slow-moving Jeep impedes her progress so she ignores the double solid yellow lines and undertakes a pass – which is when a) the Jeep of course suddenly decides to speed up, and b) a tractor trailer comes barreling toward her. With a thumping heart and shaky hands, she barely swerves back into her lane on time. She’s still shaking that evening as she speaks to her mother on the phone at a rest stop. She is disconcerted to find both the Jeep and its driver (Marc Menchaca) are there as well. This is only the first time she realizes he’s been following her, but not the last. Eventually she will wake up hog tied in his basement. But that’s not the worst of it. The worst is when she makes a break for it – high tails it out of his cabin only to find herself alone and barefoot in the woods. She’s at a huge disadvantage, her pursuer is relentless, and now she’s got two things to battle and survive: the man, and the elements.

I am kind of a wuss about horror movies (haha, “kind of”), but every summer I make an exception for the Fantasia Film Festival which brings together an exceptional lineup of genre cinema that is so weird and wonderful I simply cannot resist. Director John Hyams takes full advantage of my generosity by crafting a film that feels like a personal affront: pretty much everything I’ve ever lost sleep about is in this movie.

Since the pandemic has dried up our main source of movies (ie, cinemas), I’ve actually been watching a greater number of horror movies lately, and I can’t believe I’m going to say this, but my main complain has been that they’re not scary enough. As a well-established chicken, if I can sit through your film comfortably, you have failed as a horror director. Hang up your hockey mask and go. But Hyams has managed not only to bring the dread, but to sustain it throughout the entire 90+ minutes of the film. The tension is uninterrupted and it is serious.

The film is almost entirely a two-hander, with both Wilcox and Menchaca well cast and believable. Earlier that day I’d been reading an article for actors which said that one of the most important things you can do for yourself is know your type. Solicit opinions from trusted directors and colleagues and have them assess which type you best fulfill – which may be hard to hear, but is essential to succeeding in your career. So watching Alone, I couldn’t help but send mental kudos to the person who looked Menchaca dead in the eye and said “pervert.” It takes guts to tell someone they have a future in playing perps: abductors, rapists, all around creeps.To his credit, Menchaca grew the obligatory mustache and has clearly embraced the trope. There is some freedom in playing a man so detached from morals and social order and Menchaca clearly thrives in that pocket. But Wilcox is more than merely prey. Some of us are paralyzed by fear, but Jessica remains engaged, and willing to take risks. This is why it’s appropriate to give props to the screenwriter, Mattias Olsson, who subverts our assumptions about victim and offender and really puts his own spin on our expectations. Everyone involved in the film is pushing hard, which is what elevates Alone from being just another girl-being-chased thriller on the shelf to something I think genre fans should actually seek out.

The Prey

A prison yard fight is instigated, as a group of wealthy men look on. As the prisoners exchange blows, the men watching from above nod at some, shake their heads at others. The men they’ve chosen are hooded and driven out to a field. When the hoods come off, a lineup of shabby prisoners stand before a trio of men, each laden with weapons. It looks and feels like they’re standing before a firing squad, with one important difference: these wealthy men will allow the prisoners to make a break for it. How kind of them! The prisoners will scatter, each trying to reach the relative safety of the woods beyond the field. Very few will survive, but those who do survive only to become the prey.

These rich men have not paid the sadistic prison warden (Vithaya Pansringarm) to play at execution. They have paid to hunt – to hunt the most dangerous prey. The fact that the prisoners are running only makes the game more exciting to those with guns. The chase is on, and prisoners make the perfect prey – no one will miss them, no one will even notice they’re gone. Except: except that right now, 2 police officers have just stepped into the warden’s office. They are looking for their man Xin (Gu Shangwei). Xin is no average prisoner. He’s actually an undercover cop…who is now running for his life in a very one-sided fight that wasn’t part of the job description and sure as heck isn’t reflected in the pay.

Filmed in the jungle of Cambodia, you get a real sense of danger not just from the hunters but from the environment itself. Director Jimmy Henderson is only the most recent in a long and proud history of remaking The Most Dangerous Game but his film certainly has a local flavour that makes it worth seeing – especially if you love martial arts. Fight choreography blends kung-fu with bokator, Cambodia’s own close quarters martial art, to deliver satisfying bone-crunching action. The Prey may not be making any unique contributions to the genre, but it’s a solid effort nonetheless. Under Pol Pot’s regime, Cambodia’s culture was nearly wiped out completely, so it’s nice to see them rebounding, and it’s extra nice that for once the blood is being spilled only on screen.

The Prey is screening in virtual theatres in major cities including Los Angeles and New York, and is now available via VOD on platforms including  iTunes, Amazon, Google Play, Xbox, and Vudu.

Random Acts of Violence

Todd (Jesse Williams) writes a comic book inspired by a real-life serial killer known as Slasherman. The murders took place in and around the small town where Todd grew up and caught people’s interest because of their brutal and seemingly random nature. The killer was never caught but Todd has made him the hero of his graphic novels. Slasherman doesn’t just kill, his murder scenes are the canvas to a very bloody work of art.

The Slasherman comic books are coming to an end. Todd’s publisher Ezra (Jay Baruchel) has arranged for a little book tour of sorts, through small town Americana, where Todd can draw inspiration and push through the writer’s blog that’s plaguing his last issue. Joining them on the road is his assistant Aurora (Niamh Wilson) and his girlfriend Kathy (Jordana Brewster). Kathy’s got a mission of her own. She’s interviewing anyone with ties to Slasherman’s actual victims. She’s worried that Todd’s work fetishizes horrific crime and glorifies the perpetrator. She wants to keep the victims in people’s memories, but to Todd, and from the story-teller’s perspective, the victims’ stories are finished but Slasherman lives on. As you can imagine, it’s a point of contention between them.

But ethical debates are soon going to fall by the wayside because this little press tour is going to attract more attention than they’d planned for. Someone is committing the exact same murders Todd has illustrated in his book. Shit’s about to get real, boiiiiii.

Jay Baruchel turns director for this film (he cowrote it as well, with Jesse Chabot, based on the comic by Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray) and clearly has a handle on what a slasher flick should be. He plays around with colour in an interesting way, he fleetingly touches on themes like our fascination with anti-heros and whether they legitimize violence, but ultimately, it styles itself a horror film and it delivers the goods: dread and gore.

This is a movie based on a comic book about a guy who writes a comic book about a serial killer protagonist who then gets stalked by a serial killer himself. There are so many levels of meta it’s best not to do the math. It wants to say something about the implications of consuming graphic violence while also presenting graphic violence. It has a brain, but most of all it has guts. Guts galore. The violence may or may not be random, but it is brutal and it is varied. Enjoy.

We Summon The Darkness

Picture it: a road trip circa 1998. The car is fully stocked with ding dongs, and there’s some snack cakes in there too (ba dum tss). Friends Alexis (Alexandra Daddario), Val (Maddie Hasson), and Beverly (Amy Forsyth) are a trio of metalheads on their way to a concert. The newspaper and radio warn that satanic ritual killings now number 18 in the area but so far the biggest threat on the road seems to be from a van full of rowdy boys splashing chocolate milkshake across their windshield. It’s super awkward when they all meet up in the parking lot of the show later, but nothing a little light-hearted mutual pranking won’t fix.

The boys can’t believe their luck, really. Bandmates as well as vanmates, Ivan (Austin Swift) and Kovacs (Logan Miller) are just a touch resentful of Mark (Keean Johnson) who will soon be leaving them to pursue fame and fortune in California. But with the drugs and the rock and roll already taken care of and the promise of sex in the air, they’re feeling generally pretty stoked. Gathered around a fire, playing the classic drinking game Never Have I Ever, none of them can yet take a shot for ‘been stalked by a murderer,’ nor would they even think to name it, but by the night’s end, things will have changed.

The film’s score features televangelist Pastor Butler (Johnny Knoxville) telling American that rock music is to blame, corrupting the youth and all. It’s clear director Marc Meyers is a fan of horror movies and his production is pretty slick. I was, however, a little disappointed by the 80s backdrop. If anyone has an excuse to really camp it up, it’s a horror movie, but this one takes such a subtle approach it comes off as inauthentic. If it hadn’t blatantly stated that it was set in 1988, I likely wouldn’t have noticed until people failed to pull out cell phones in an emergency (and even that’s not a dead giveaway since these dildos had access to a landline they also chose not to use). We Summon The Darkness is a bit of subversive send up to slasher flicks but while there’s plenty of blood, there’s absolutely no tension. I get scared by horror movies about as easily as cats get surprised by zucchinis (translation: very, very easily, if you somehow missed this trend, look it up), but this one was so easy peasy it felt more like an unfunny parody. Are you into those, perchance?

Color Out of Space

1. Do you like horror movies? If yes, proceed to #2. If no, proceed to Becoming, a documentary about Michelle Obama that will fill your spirit with hope and strength.

2. Do you like b-horror movies? Perhaps not super low budget, technically, but definitely campy, outrageous, and grotesque. Not going to be mistaken for Ari Aster or Jordan Peele. If yes, proceed to #3. If no, proceed to The Invisible Man, a horror that’s both smart and well-acted.

3. Are you okay with body horror (defined as: intentionally showcasing graphic or psychologically disturbing violations of the human body)? If yes, proceed to #4. If no, proceed to Knives And Skin, a film that mixes fear, desire, and deadpan black comedy.

4. Are you cool with unexplained supernatural or paranormal events? If yes, proceed to #5. If no, proceed to Dead Shack, an ode to 80s slashers and practical effects, it’s a fun, severed-tongue-in-cheek horror that’s been underappreciated.

5. Do you think teenage girls who complain about their rural address and long for fast food but ride barefoot on a horse dressed like Robin Wright in Princess Bride are a) confusing, probably badly drawn characters, or b) exciting and full of intrigue? If a), proceed to Gwen, a spooky and haunting story about a no-nonsense teenager. If b), proceed to #6 and I promise, no follow-up questions even though I have many.

6. Are you comfortable with toxic parent-child relationships? If yes, please proceed calmly to #7 without making eye contact with other readers. If not, feel free to enjoy Game of Death instead – a horror so good it’ll make your head explode!

7. On a scale of 1-10, what is your tolerance for Nicolas Cage gone completely gonzo? If you answered anywhere from 1-8, please check out Prevenge, a film that is daringly transgressive. If you’re sure you can handle a fully bonkers Cage, please see #8, but be prepared to put this in writing.

8. Repeat after me: I, ______________________ (please say your name out loud for the witnesses), do swear not to hold Jay personally responsible, or AssholesWatchingMovies.com generally responsible, if Nicolas Cage adopts and then loses and then finds and then loses and then picks up and then discards an accent that makes no sense, or if he goes completely apeshit on some innocent produce. If you have solemnly taken this oath, you may proceed to #9. If you can’t do it, and I don’t blame you one bit, check out The Orphanage if you got this far and you want a good scare without Nic Cage Nic Caging all over the place.

9. Do you love alpacas? Do you mildly like alpacas? Do you feel fairly neutral about alpacas but wish them no harm? The Cleanse, a horror about loneliness and poop, may be a better choice for you. But if you’re like: “Fuck alpacas!” then by all means, proceed to #10.

10. Wow, okay, you’re still here. Maybe you deserve this movie. I’m partially joking here. This movie is actually well-received by people and critics who are receptive to this kind of thing: a highly stylized, super weird, fairly pulpy, crazy hokey, occasionally downright goofy horror movie that is totally unique, and perhaps fated for cult status. If you’re dealing with any lingering doubts at all, there’s always Zombeavers. Yes, it’s about zombie beavers, but I assure you they’re considerably less ridiculous than Nicolas Cage in Color Out Of Space. But if this is your thing, by all means, have at it. For your efforts, I bestow upon you the following honour.