Oh good, finally one of NetFlix‘s recent horror movies was actually as good as it looked in the trailer. Directed by The Raid’s Gareth Evans and starring the always enjoyable Dan Stevens, The Apostle presents itself as kind of a modern take on The Wicker Man, but ends up being something quite different than expected. It doesn’t really follow any kind of traditional horror formula, instead mixing in elements from dramas, thrillers, and even a little fantasy. It makes for an experience that can feel a little uneven, but on the plus side this also gives it a lot of unpredictability. It’s dark, mysterious, brutal, and amazing looking. You should really be watching it RIGHT NOW!
Getting to the end of the Friday the 13th movies with the controversial Jason X. This one just says fuck it and goes all out with the comedy, which leads to pretty mixed results (and fan reactions). The humor is about as unsubtle as it gets and sometimes this makes for some pretty cringey jokes, but if you can handle how cheesy it all is, and how much it feels like a TV movie, it’s still a decently enjoyable film.
The next, and last, Friday the 13th was the 2009 reboot. This is another one that seems to be generally hated, though I’m not quite sure why in this case. It’s a pretty standard Friday the 13th movie, with a bunch of dumb “kids” partying in the woods and getting horribly slaughtered by Jason. The lighting can be a bit too dark at times and the final scene was a little silly, but overall it was a pretty solid slasher.
Guess we’ll have to wait and see if this latest rumored reboot ends up actually happening or not if we want to see any more of Jason. I’m sure some of you will ask “what about Freddy vs. Jason though?”. Well, that’ll have to wait until after I re-watch all the Nightmare on Elm Streets (coming soon)!
For now it’s time for a little break to re-watch a few old anthologies though. First we have the old classic, Creepshow. This one’s a bit silly. I know that that was kind of the point, to re-present a bunch of old EC Comics-style pulp horror stories, and it certainly does a good job of replicating that, but some of the stories are so overly simplistic and dumb that they aren’t particularly creepy or funny. The better ones are pretty memorable though, if only for nostalgic reasons.
Personally, I always preferred the sequel. It doesn’t play things as goofily and the result is three very solid horror stories with some pretty cool monsters and effects. I always especially liked The Raft, with that weird living oil slick creature, though I had entirely forgotten about the random casual sexual assault scene out of nowhere. Oh well. Still one of the best horror anthology movies there is.
Next up was Tales From The Darkside, which is rumored to have been made with the intention of being Creepshow 3. Whether that’s true or not, it certainly lives up to the name and provides another three very solid horror stories. Highlights include a story about a killer black cat that takes someone out in an extremely memorable way and a really weird final story about some strange gargoyle beast with a really messed up twist. Definitely another one of the best horror anthologies ever made.
Finally we have John Carpenter’s Body Bags. Haven’t seen this one in quite a long time and couldn’t really remember any of it. Watching it again now, I can see why. Apparently this was originally a pilot episode for a Tales From The Crypt knockoff show for Showtime. It definitely has that made-for-TV feel to it, and not in a good way. Even with John Carpenter and Tobe Hooper involved, none of the stories are very good and the framing scenes with John Carpenter himself playing an obnoxious totally-not-The-Cryptkeeper host are just awful. It’s pretty bad stuff. Easily the worst thing John Carpenter has done, if you ask me. Not recommended at all.
Almost turned this off after the first three episodes because the pacing is so incredibly slow. It’s extremely overly drawn out in the typical NetFlix show fashion, it’s also more family drama than horror, and there isn’t all that much horror or excitement in the first few episodes. The ghost story itself seems pretty straightforward and derivative at first too. Typical haunted house story with a bunch of Stephen King tropes tossed into the mix.
It does start finally picking up in episode four though, and things start taking some interesting turns and you can start to see that things aren’t quite as cliched as they may seem at first. Not sure how they’re going to drag this out into a whole ongoing series though. Seems like it could have all been settled at once as a limited series, but I guess we’ll see….
Speaking of slow, also forgot to mention with all the horror going on, second season of The Gifted started a few weeks ago. Unfortunately, it’s been off to a pretty bad start. I don’t know if its the fact that Bryan Singer got removed from the production or the impending Disney annexation of these Fox properties, but it feels like the writers don’t really know where this is going next and are just treading water. Again, might continue watching it in the background while doing other stuff, but it’s just not grabbing either of us right now.