rodney ascher

TGoF Hangover: ’71, Child 44, The Nightmare, and The Gallows

On this edition of TGoF Hangover I take a trip into “The Troubles” in Belfast during 1971, go on the hunt for a child killer with Tom Hardy, experience sleep paralysis, and watch some Nebraskans completely botch found footage horror.

’71: I’m simultaneously the best and worst audience for movies with historical heft. The best because I tend to be more engaged as I feel like I’m catching up on a topic I previously was ignorant on, and the worst because I usually can’t even begin to view it with truly honest eyes. By that I mean since sometimes I watch movies about something I had no or little knowledge on I can’t have a discussion on its realism. All that said ’71 is a tense and gritty telling of true events that sometimes feels a little overlong. The film opens incredibly with an über tense riot sequence before slowing down into a stealth sneak around thriller. In the end, it’s a film that deserves a watch even if just for the extended chase sequence (even though shaky cam almost unravels it’s tension). (more…)

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Movie Review: The ABCs of Death 2

abcsofdeath2_posterThe rebirth of the horror anthology over the last few years has me more than a little excited. I suppose one could argue they haven’t really gone away, but we can agree that the quality has gone up recently. Perhaps until a greenlight is lit for a new Tales from the Crypt HBO series I won’t be truly happy, but I’ll take wins where I can get them. I generally prefer my anthologies with three or four shorts that ideally tie in together, but I was pretty intrigued by THE ABCS OF DEATH. 26 ultra short segments featuring a different way to die based on a letter of the alphabet. It’s a morbid premise, but as a horror fan it raises a curious eyebrow.

As history would have it I thought the first ABCS OF DEATH was a commendable experiment, but the balance of good and bad tilted heavily towards bad. The fart and poop jokes combined with some really pointless and bizarre segments made the first film a chore to watch. Luckily it seems the folks putting this installment together wanted segments of more substance rather than fart and poop jokes every three minutes. THE ABCS OF DEATH 2 brings on 26 new directors for 26 new shorts that land on the opposite spectrum of the first film. The good outweigh the bad this time around, though I still can’t say I’m excited for a third entry.

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