Either way, The Cleansing Hour comes to a great conclusion, capping-off one of the better possession horror films I’ve seen lately. And if nothing else, at least we get to see a religious profiteer get what’s coming to him.
One aspect the film does share with The Strangers is a grim sense of inevitability that hangs over everything. There aren’t any real narrative surprises, nor does Bertino try to throw us any. The Dark and the Wicked is more about the journey than the destination, and as such, it’s a trip worth taking for fans of haunting, atmospheric horror.
Bolstered by down-to-Earth performances and a subtly sinister atmosphere, The Beach House ends up being creepy as hell without ever relying on gratuitous jump-scares or a preponderance of gore (though it gets plenty icky at times). Smart and extremely well-made on a low budget, this is a great little horror film. One thing is certain…you’ll never look at oysters the same way again.
Once again, the fact a screener was sent to me, isn’t the reason for my positive comments. Believe me, This movie managed to surprise me. It looks slick. And to be honest, I didn’t know which way it would go until the last minute. The uncomfortable feeling I had is partly due to the realistic image that is being created. The feeling you have when you end up in a situation and you don’t know how to rescue yourself from that terrible predicament. The only (minuscule) minus I could cite is that the denouement immediately reminded me of “The Invitation”. But that’s such a negligible element that I can only say you should definitely check out this intriguing movie.
The real-life smiley face murders never made it past the theory stage, meaning the entire movie is fabricated, which ain’t necessarily a deal-breaker. After all, Tobe Hooper pulled the same stunt with The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. The difference is Hooper knew the genre inside and out, while Ellis and Hunter confuse horror with dull nihilism. Ultimately, Smiley Face Killers is likely to leave the viewer more bummed-out than horrified.
A chip off the old block, Brandon Cronenberg also demonstrates a penchant for uninhibited, wince-inducing violence, marvelously rendered with good ol’ fashioned practical effects and completely convincing. Since the gore scenes are in service of a sharp, challenging story, those with strong stomachs will consider them icing on the cake. A potential cult classic, Possessor is a superlative example of sci-fi body horror, courtesy of a director who probably grew up around it.