Best of Shudder - November 2016

Posted on Tuesday, November 15, 2016 by

I've been raving about Shudder since getting access to its beta last year. (You can read my initial review here.) They've added a ton of changes and it works smoother than ever and dare I say I spend more time on its iPad app than Netflix? It's the horror lover's streaming dream and if you haven't already subscribed, you're missing out. Shudder should seriously send me a referral link or something because I can't stop recommending it. (Uh, you're welcome, AMC.)

To continue passing on the Shudder love, I'll be compiling a monthly collection of my favorite flicks from classic horror to indie titles for you to stream. I'm here to make your movie night a little easier. No need to endlessly scroll with me around. Writing with purpose over here. Enjoy!

Phantasm (1979)

The Tall Man is here in a Shudder exclusive, totally remastered format. Phatasm is a horror/sci-fi classic that's influenced many genre films and is a cult favorite. If you're going to watch anything this month, this is my top pick. The remastered cut is really beautiful and what better way to pay tribute to Angus Scrimm this year?

Innsmouth (2015)

I love that Shudder is starting to include short films in their lineup. Izzy Lee is one of my favorite feminist filmmakers. There isn't a single thing she's created that I haven't loved. I reviewed her film Postpartum last year. Innsmouth is an award winning short that takes on classic H. P. Lovecraft material and is perfect for suspense lovers. Take ten minutes to sneak this flick into your day. 

The Perfect Host (2009)

The Perfect Host is part black comedy, part thriller, and a really fun watch that proves you don't need ghosts to make an entertaining horror film. (Looking at you, Blumhouse.) I overlooked this one for many years and after checking it out last month, realized it's a totally underrated title. I recommend grabbing some beers (and other recreational material, real subtle, right?) before hitting play. When you're finished, check out director Nick Tomnay's original short that inspired it. 

Society (1989)

Brian Yuzma's Society is one of my favorite body horror movies of all time. Yuzma's cult horror films are some of the very best in the genre, which is kind of hysterical coming from the guy who directed the Honey, I Shrunk The Kids movies. Fans of Cronenberg will really dig this fucked up narrative about what it means to be the weirdo in an acceptance obsessed society. 

Berberian Sound Studio (2013)

I can't believe I haven't heard more people talking about Berberian Sound Studio. Berberian Sound Studio explores its character's experiences working on a giallo film, which blur the lines between reality and a psychedelic dream, while keeping the film's content a mystery. Berberian Sound Studio is visually striking and pays tribute to its 1970s Italian predecessors. It's unexpectedly spooky and deserves more praise.

Best of luck narrowing down your Shudder watchlist this month and I'll catch you in December with more Shudder recommendations. Happy viewing! XO

I Watched The Neon Demon So You Don't Have To

Posted on Friday, November 4, 2016 by

The Neon Demon review

This summer, I went to my first solo movie and it totally changed my outlook on all solo outings. Going to a movie by myself was so great because I didn’t have to share my popcorn, I got to sit where I wanted, and I didn’t have to fuss around someone else’s schedule. Best of all, I got to see a flick in theaters that I may have missed because my boyfriend wasn’t into seeing it. It’s unfortunate that the film I caught was underwhelming.

I was so excited about The Neon Demon when I saw the trailer. I love Elle Fanning. I love Jena Malone. It looked like Suspiria with glitter which is exactly what my dreams are made of. Writer and director Nicolas Winding Refn is best known for Drive, a highly rated and beautifully shot crime thriller starring our favorite punk rock eye candy, Ryan Gosling. Apparently Refn wasn’t sick of the pink and blue lights and decided to embark on another thriller journey. 

The Neon Demon review

The film opens with a beautiful still image of Jesse (Elle Fanning) soaked in blood and covered in cosmetic crystals, followed by bright flashes of light from the photographer on what we learn is a photography set. This is the first of many neon, picturesque shots. Visually, The Neon Demon looks like Sophia Coppolla and Dario Argento had a love child. The cinematography is probably the most consistent part of the entire film. When cleaning off her blood, Jesse meets Ruby (Jena Malone), a makeup artist who compliments her skin before taking her out to a party. Ruby’s friends join the ladies in the bathroom where they have a really gross conversation beginning with lipstick shades. “They say women are more likely to buy lipstick if it’s named after food or sex.” Ruby asks Jesse “are you food, or are you sex?” Then, the ladies drill Jesse about her body, her dead parents, and “who she’s fucking.” This conversation isn’t a parody of how vanity obsessed women speak to each other. It’s clear that Refn wrote the dialogue based on the age old misogynistic idea that women inherently hate other women and consider them competition. The party ends with a performance art piece with an uncomfortable, anxiety inducing light show reminiscent of a scene from a Gaspar Noe film.