• Deliverance

    Deliverance

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    Exhaustingly tense man-vs-man-vs-nature thriller a la Texas Chainsaw, boasting a handful of impeccably crafted, absolutely showstopping suspense setpieces. But what's more interesting to me is the way that it (seemingly very deliberately) reconfigures the cowboys and indians western for its moment, replacing the intrepid cowboy with suburbanite explorers and his caricatured, wild man opponent with backwoods rapists and murderers, yet preserving the implicit tension: of anxieties over land and ownership of it. What arises is something relatively new to such…

  • Senior Year

    Senior Year

    that doctor practicing his grotesque plastic surgery skills on comatose rebel Wilson like πŸ‘πŸ‘„πŸ‘

  • Cannibal Holocaust

    Cannibal Holocaust

    censorship bad obviously but life is definitely like a thousand times better everywhere that this movie is banned

  • Freaky Friday

    Freaky Friday

    β˜…β˜…β˜…Β½

    Feature film adaptation of that Twin Peaks subplot where Nadine thought she was in high school

  • The Vanishing

    The Vanishing

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    Deeply disturbing meditation on fate and uncertainty because it recognizes how simple its subject matter ultimately is; the wrong woman crosses paths with the wrong man at the wrong time and because of something he can't control about himself, he has to kill her. Not a character study so much as an existence study. The world moves on, with or without us, and in the vast solitude of nature is room for all this ugliness we'll either seek out at any cost or make peace with because it's the only way to get by.

  • Man Bites Dog

    Man Bites Dog

    This movie is to Funny Games what La Haine is to Do the Right Thing; that is, a cheap, self-congratulatory echo of the same basic ideas with none of the depth or sensitivity that remains naggingly popular only because That Guy in your film class never shuts up about how much of a masterpiece it is (that is, before Those Guys just pivoted to using rudimentary film concepts to mansplain how the new Marvel flick is Shakespearian, actually!). The full…

  • Passion

    Passion

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    Brian lowkey crazy for this one

  • The Abominable Dr. Phibes

    The Abominable Dr. Phibes

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    Turns the most generic Revenge Movie premise into a crazy, macabre funhouse of a movie complete with flesh eating locusts, gothic saw traps, and catapulted brass unicorn heads. Absolute delight.

  • Family Plot

    Family Plot

    β˜…β˜…β˜…Β½

    Ending a weeklong Hitchcock binge with his final film, a much... tackier? ... than usual affair for him, but still an enormously enjoyable, lovingly crafted bifurcated (sort of) crime caper about the power of illusions and especially their capacity to illicit real emotion. I say lovingly crafted because it is sloppier than the average pre-1960 Hitchcock, but still crackles with his singular energy. And moreover, despite its often silly (though in their own way quite charming) narrative contrivances it feels…

  • Frenzy

    Frenzy

    β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…Β½

    Crazy, perverse, messy, searing as hell class satire/murder mystery in the Hitchcockian "wrong man" tradition. It's especially well attuned to the crossing of thresholds - both of gender and class, but also physical (there's a very stirring use of silence in one sequence that delineates the characters' movement from the safety of public space to the danger of privacy) - at which all sorts of nasty, grizzly transgressions take place. The first murder scene establishes this quite savagely with a…

  • The Man Who Knew Too Much

    The Man Who Knew Too Much

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    Twenty two years after the first go, Hitchcock literalizes his own fancy for obsessively tinkering with the same tropes, ideas and plot conceptions reworked across a breadth of his best movies with this staunchly matter-of-fact remake of his own prior film of the same name. What's new - a robust plottiness that replaces the streamlined, nonstop suspense of the original, as well as a greater depth of character and melodrama that occasionally offer something worthwhile to latch onto - is…

  • The Wrong Man

    The Wrong Man

    β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…Β½

    One of Hitchcock's finest; a deeply sad anti-capitalist noir about the crushing weight of working class life amidst the ever-moving cogs of a system you know will inevitably swallow you whole. Its patient, methodical pacing moves so, so elegantly through a riveting first act that illustrates both the fatalistic terror of its premise and the numbing mundanity with which the carceral system consumes its prey. And then, as if its bleak, hopeless mood (underscored by one of Bernard Hermann's very…