A 2021 Film Journey: Day 3

We’ve been in an artsy horror golden age for a while now. A24 has lead the way with their take on the genre, primarily long and slow burns. Even further outside of the norm, there’s been a renaissance of loud synth scored, neon highlighted horror films that have become their own unique genre. Nicolas Winding Refn’s may have the most prominent progenitor of the style, but each year the genre’s output is increasing. Earlier in 2020, I watched the Nicolas Cage vehicle Color Out of Space (dir. Richard Stanley) which was a fun entry if a little basic, but I had a few more 2020 horror films on my list yet starting with…

Possessor (2020, Dir. Brandon Cronenberg)

Possessor' Review: David Cronenberg's Son Has a Mind of His Own - Variety

Brandon Cronenberg proves that he inherited more than just a name from his father. Possessor was a brilliant horror thriller that borrowed just enough of Brandon’s father David’s penchant for body horror to create one of the most thrilling options this year. The body inhabiting plot seems a little overplayed on paper, but Cronenberg cranks the style to 11, fading back and forth between the characters inhabiting a single body, and with Jennifer Jason Leigh almost celestial voice beckoning from afar.

Short post on the film today, because after watching Possessor, I watched…

She Dies Tomorrow (2020, Dir. Amy Seimetz)

She Dies Tomorrow review: figuring out how to spend your last day is really  damn hard - The Verge

While this film did not quite fit into the specific sub-genre I mentioned at the opening, it is an example of artistic revolution undergoing low budget horror. While Possessor relied on style to enhance the somewhat generic substance, She Dies Tomorrow thrived on its bat shit premise. Taking the concept of ideas as contagious to its most literal resulted in a truly unique experience. An extremely funny horror film that somehow never feels outright comedic, She Dies Tomorrow was a great watch.

And because tomorrow I’ll have less time when I go back to work, I decided a third 2020 horror film wouldn’t kill me and watched…

Run (2020, Dir. Aneesh Chaganty)

Run' Review: A Wheelchair-Using Teen Tries to Escape Her Sadistic Mom -  Variety

Of the three films I watched today, Run is the most conventional both in plot and style, but it makes up for that by just being the best realized and an utterly terrifying film. Director Aneesh Chaganty comes off his gimmicky but highly effective Searching (2018) and proves that he’s just as talented at building tension with a moving camera as he is confined to a computer screen. Highlighted by an unhinged Sarah Paulson and a miraculous debut performance by Kiera Allen, Run was a great final film of the long weekend, and final film of the first weekend of this challenge.

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