Horrorfest 2022 Presents: Pearl (2022, Ti West)


It’s a shame that Mia Goth won’t get an Oscar nomination for Pearl considering how the Academy ignores horror movies. Too bad, cause she definitely deserves it. The movie is really good too, maybe even great, yet none of this works without Goth breathing life into Pearl. You sympathize with the character at first, then get freaked out by her, and then you are completely scared by her. This is a brave performance, used in a movie that almost feels like The Wizard of Oz meets The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, only not quite.

Even though this prequel is that rare good one it doesn’t quite address certain questions that both it and X raised, although maybe West just didn’t feel like filling in all the gaps. I do enjoy how he went from covering 1970s indie cinema to classic Hollywood, which is pretty cool. I also cannot wait for the third installment, which will be set in the 1980s. I’m sure that one is going to be just as gory and insane as the other two in the franchise.

Look ma, it’s Pearl!

The Dog Days…I Mean, Films..Of Summer


Inspired by Willow from Twitter. In no order:

Friday the 13th series

Dazed and Confused

The Sandlot

Jaws

George Washington

Heavyweights

Wet Hot American Summer

Terminator 2: Judgement Day 

Bottle Rocket

Do The Right Thing 

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 

The Graduate

Horrorfest 2013 Presents: The Funhouse (1981, Tobe Hooper)


Part well made scare marathon, part funny and cheesy homage to previous 50s and 60s horror films, Tobe Hooper’s The Funhouse (1981) is another example of his gift at making entertaining horror movies. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre was absolutely terrifying and captivating, while Lifeforce is pure cheesy goodness on an epic scale. The Funhouse works almost as a bottle episode stretched out as a full length feature movie: a bunch of kids are trapped in a carnival funhouse, stalked and hunted by carnival freaks. One of them is even more freak than man, a monstrous evil that might be inhuman. At the same time Hooper can’t help but conform to slasher genre conventions, which both helps and hurts this movie.

Chief among those conventions being the need for a “Survival Girl,” a woman who is considered pure although in this case she is more just slightly aware of what is going on. This girl keeps thinking that going deeper into the carnival is a bad idea, that maybe something terrible is going to happen. Of course she ends up being right, yet by the time the rest of the group she goes in with figures it out the murders begin to happen. Violence is responded to with more violence, and by the end of the long gory night people will never be the same. Especially that poor young lady who should have remained at home and kept her sanity.

At times Hooper gets too cheesy, and there are a few scenes that are rather downright predictable. The Funhouse almost wears out its welcome, and yet its still a really good horror film, a movie that presents the carnival scene, warts glory and all. Not to mention a really creepy and memorizing performance from Kevin Conway, who does a great job being two different people. Underneath the bright lights, past the freak acts and the cheap parlor games, lies a darker world that only some are aware of. Those who dare to enter must pay the fee, and the fee is rather high. Rather high indeed.

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