Rosemary’s Baby

Get Out

Film Title: Get Out

Get Out (2017) – Horror | Comedy | Thriller

Directed by: Jordan Peele

Starring: Daniel Kaluuya and Allison Williams

How I Watched: Theatres

Review by Nick Spanjer

Here’s the thing about the first big horror movie of 2017: it is not that scary. Now before you turn away from this review, know that I loved the film. While each trailer wraps it in a pretty horrific little bow, the truth is, the film is more of a psychological clusterbomb, meant to fuck with the heads of the droves of white audiences filing in to see it. I know you’re thinking, “Oh man, Jordan Peele just made a movie to rip on Trump voters?,” but, no.

The smartest part of Get Out, was not that it rips on Trump, Trump voters, or even white people in general. What the movie actually does is firebomb the white, liberal elite; those same ones that were sure Hillary Clinton had the election in the bag. At one point, a terrific Bradley Whitford, who plays main character Chris’ girlfriend’s father, tells Chris that if he could have, he would have voted for Obama a third time. This sort of forced validation with the “black” community that Chris represents shows how out of touch these people really are.

I’m not going to go too much further into the plot, but what I can tell you, is that this movie definitely did its job in making me horribly uncomfortable. Being a white liberal, I could just feel the awkwardness of Bradley Whitford and his wife (played by an awesomely creepy Catherine Keener) almost giving each other pats on the back of how accepting they are of their white daughter’s new black boyfriend. The musical score does its job to inflict unease (with the exception of one over-the-top section at the end of the film), but the most discomfort is caused by the characters’ interactions. While there are plenty of classically tense “horror” moments in this, these moments are the most uncomfortable. And trust me, there are plenty of them.

I think my favorite performance in the film came from Caleb Landry Jones, the brother of Chris’ girlfriend. From the get-go, you can tell the character is off his rocker and it is one of the more well-acted pieces in the film. There is a dinner scene in which I was sinking further and further into my chair as the tension built. There are also moments which made me think of films like Rosemary’s Baby and Under the Skin, where the movie almost descends into a dreamlike abyss, causing you to feel the worst case of inescapability. At one point, Chris is hypnotized and his state of claustrophobia was nearly infectious upon me.

Get Out is not a horror movie in the classic sense. Yes, there are jump scares and there is some pretty gruesome violence. In all reality though, this is Jordan Peele’s living nightmare on film. He took what he saw was happening in our country and all over the world, and made it into a film. Our world has become a pretty horrific place for a lot of us, and there are funny moments, as well as really uncomfortable ones. We do not treat each other right, and we have not been treating each other right for a long time. This is the movie that shows us just how awful it has gotten – and that is the most horrific part of Get Out.

Final Score: 3.5/4

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Similar Films: Rosemary’s Baby, Green Room, The Stepford Wives 

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Antibirth

antibirth

Antibirth (2016) – Horror

Directed by: Danny Perez

Starring: Natasha Lyonne and Chloe Sevigny

How I Watched: Netflix

Review by Eric Scot Lemons

So there is this movie on Netflix called Antibirth and it is basically about Natasha Lyonne getting super pregnant despite not having sex after her recent miscarriage during a drunken bender in some white trash, creeptown tavern. I was interested in seeing this movie when it was On Demand through my local cable provider around Halloween time, but then I saw 31 by Rob Zombie instead. So once it came on Netflix, I was all, “Hey that’s the lady from Orange is the New Black and Slums of Beverly Hills and But I’m a Cheerleader, plus it has Chloe Sevigny, and they both play burnout, drug addict lowlifes and I really like films like that. So I watched it.

But this movie is fucking weird. And generally, I say that in the most lovingly complimentary way possible, but this movie, not so much. The best way to describe this film in a completely derivative fashion is that it is like Cabin Fever meets Rosemary’s Baby if directed by Rob Zombie in an attempt to woo Harmony Korine. The characters are white trash, but in that punk rock way that only independent filmmakers tend to see them; larger than life, spewing profanities like phlegm at the slightest provocation while taking bong rips and shitting with the door open. Natasha Lyonne is really wonderful in this film, but her character is so surreal in a ‘Gathering of the Juggalo’ masturbatory fantasy, that the fate that befalls her seems apropos at best.

So the meat and potatoes of the plot is just that she gets infected with some mutated mutant sperm injected by the always great, Mark Weber, who is a pimp and drug dealer, and must carry this strange thing to term. It is pretty straight up Cronenberg body horror, but probably thinks it is feminist because is has to do with motherhood being forced or some shit. Towards the end, with a belly as big as a big belly, Lyonne hobbles around with a cane imposing herself in the search of answers. She looks exactly like Danny Devito in Batman Returns. It is fucking hilarious. But the answers come in the form of some X-Files bullshit about who cares.

The culmination of the film results in her giving birth to some neon glowing goomba from Super Mario Brothers, THE MOVIE! And while it is comical, the third act feels like the best parts of William Friedkin’s Bug. We spend so much time in movies hearing the protagonist say, “I know this sounds crazy, but…” and we are like, yeah it sounds crazy but I believe you cause I saw all this happen. But there is a large part of AntiBirth that feels like this is just the final broken piece of brain matter shuttering off in a broken person’s schizoid delusions. You can imagine the reality of a woman, no bun in dat oven, screaming about secret government programs and mutant embryos and shit, and it is just kind of sad.

I noticed, after seeing this film, I would describe it to others much like I described it to you, using other film’s references to make a point. And I believe that is the fatal flaw with this film. It doesn’t feel, despite its erratic editing and music that sounds like STP, like it has its own voice. It is a pastiche of punk cinema and Marilyn Manson music videos and Liam Lynch pre-internet creativity. It is boring to look at cause we have already seen it. It doesn’t shock. It is just weird.

31 Days of Horror – ‘At the Devil’s Door’

atthe

At the Devil’s Door

Directed by: Nicholas McCarthy

Starring: Ashley Rickards and Naya Rivera

Review by CinemAbysmal

This a strange fucking movie. Not exactly in the good way, either. The acting is pretty underwhelming, the dialogue is laughable and it seems to be pieced together by a drunk person. However, there almost seems to be an underlying intent to all of this as the movie stumbles along.

What we have with At the Devil’s Door is a good enough horror film. It plays on concepts from other movies such as Rosemary’s Baby and The Omen, while mixing in some haunted house jumps. There’s even a mysterious girl donning a red rain jacket, which immediately reminded me of the creeptacular Don’t Look Now. There are some genuine frights in this and the Satanic storyline is actually pretty damn unsettling. It’s also really pretty. A lot of the shots are bathed in a greyed out palette and McCarthy is particular with his use of bright colors to surprise the eyes. He’s also very careful about his use of the devil in this. He is shown many times, a tall man with horns, but he is always blurry and it’s creepy as all hell.

The timeline in this film is probably the most distracting part. It begins with a teenage girl in the 1980’s and jumps around between then and now, but it feels forced and does not really come natural at all. I already mentioned the acting, but I think it’s worth talking about again. Most of it is pretty god-awful, and I can’t really tell if McCarthy meant for the hamfisted presentation of it all. I really think this would be a legitimately good movie if the dialogue was more carefully written and he grabbed some better actors.

At the Devil’s Door is currently streaming on Netflix. If you are into jump scares and some pretty damn good satan-soaked evil, this will probably satisfy you. It tends to move at a snail’s pace sometimes, but it really is a pretty vicious horror film. It’s just not that good of a movie-movie.