Horrorfest 2021 Presents: Last Night In Soho (2021, Edgar Wright)


This Horrorfest us horror fans were blessed with multiple options via both streaming and the movie theater. I included Last Night in Soho because it only came to my area after Halloween and thus I eagerly watched it before it left my area. Edgar Wright has sort of done horror before with Shaun of the Dead, and Hot Fuzz definitely had some horror movie moments. His latest isn’t as good as those films-well maybe it equals Shaun-however it is still pretty great and is one of the year’s best films.

The very talented Thomasin McKenzie plays a young woman named Ellie who ventures to London to be a fashion designer. There she encounters snobby classmates, a friendly young man (played by Michael Ajao, who is also excellent and very likable), and ghosts. Well at least she sees them, which either hints that they are in her mind or they are very real. The first half of the movie plays out as an eerie drama, the second half very bleak psychological thriller. I saw Repulsion vibes in several scenes, and I’m sure other films influenced this one as well.

Having acting legends Terence Stamp and Diana Rigg in the movie was a fine touch, and I sort of guessed some of the twists but one of them snuck up on me a bit. I think had I viewed this at home I probably would have figured it out sooner. That doesn’t diminish the movie, though, as there are multiple exceptional scenes. Particularly one where Ellie sees the ghosts at a Halloween party. This film also captures London in the 1960s very well, and has a fantastic soundtrack. Silly me I forgot to mention how wonderfully despicable Matt Smith is in this movie as one of the people who exploits Sandie.

What’s also notable is how Anya Taylor-Joy’s Sandie steals the movie even though she’s not the main character. Ellie’s obsession with her goes pretty overboard, yet no one watching this movie can blame her. She captives both men and women alike in this film, and is a device for Wright to comment sharply on the male gaze and men’s creepy actions towards women. My complaint is that such themes get a bit left behind towards the end of the movie. Regardless I’m a fan of Last Night in Soho, and it left a pretty strong impression upon me. Thus closes out Horrorfest 2021, until next year cheers!

Horrorfest 2021 Presents: Halloween Kills (2021, David Gordon Green)


Say what you will about the new Halloween movie, we are blessed to have received another Halloween film. The Friday the 13th and A Nightmare On Elm Street series are dead and Chucky is a TV series at this point. As for Texas Chainsaw Massacre those involved keep trying to keep it alive for reasons that I don’t understand. Meanwhile Blumhouse took over the Halloween series and has so far in my opinion given us two good, solid entries that I liked and saw in theaters.

However I’m not sure if the latest Halloween is a good movie or not, yet it is a good Halloween sequel. I felt those in charge gave us one that combined Halloween II and Halloween 4, which is fine, although they definitely upped the gore in the series. The kills in this one make the film live up to it’s title, and the cast was good as well even though Jamie Lee Curtis was sidelined in this one, just like she was in Halloween II. Anthony Michael Hall is a good new addition, and Judy Greer plus Andi Matichak take charge in this one along with others.

While some characters make dumb mistakes in this movie I guess that comes with the slasher movie territory. Michael is more Terminator than human being in this one too, which matches the rest of the sequels and inspired some complaints. I have mixed feelings about the ending, yet I can grudgingly admire how Halloween Kills admitted it’s just set up for the next installment. I highly doubt that Halloween Ends will be the last one, although you never know. Evil dies tonight! Or during the next movie! Or when the box office goes down!

Horrorfest 2020 Presents: The Invisible Man (2020, Leigh Whannell)


I really wish I had been able to see The Invisible Man on the big screen, but that opportunity was cut short by covid closing movie theaters. This was a pretty engaging, creepy and near great horror remake. I’m not sure if I like the final act, yet the rest is intense and covers PTSD and abusive relationships. Elisabeth Moss turns in a well rounded and haunted performance as Cecilia, who refuses to believe she is truly free of her abusive and controlling husband.

Well, she turns out to be right, even though her best friend (the always great Aldis Hodge), who is a cop, his daughter Sydney (Storm Reid) and her sister Emily think she is crazy anyways. Or at the very least they feel she is overreacting. I liked the scenes where Cecilia thinks her husband is still around because we, the audience, know that he has achieved the impossible: becoming invisible.

Also I liked how certain aspects of this movie were slasher movie related. I’m not sure how the final act works with the rest of the movie’s moral framework, yet I will be thinking about this one for awhile. Give me more of these type of remakes, ones that build upon the original’s foundation. I wonder if the rest of the planned monster movies will be more Invisible Man and less The Mummy, which I didn’t bother to see. One can hope.

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