Sunday, November 22, 2009

I'm in your blood

Let's Scare Jessica to Death is a quiet, creeping film from 1971 that makes a lot of people's most-underrated list. We went to a 16mm screening with the director, John Hancock, in attendance last week. Thought the print was a little too dark, it was great to watch in the theatre and get some backstory and commentary from him. Someone asked what he thought upon viewing it again after 38 years and he said "It's much better than I thought at the time!". The stark, relentless soundtrack by Orville Stoeber makes the tension that much stronger.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


The Strangers came out last year, and I've just caught up to it. It's remarkably stripped-down, almost flat: couple terrorized in an isolated house by nameless, silent people. Very rarely do I get genuinely nervous watching a film.
While it wobbles a little bit - the last quarter meandering into commoner tropes - the first three acts unspool beautifully while slowly, and expertly, building dread - the soul of true horror.