Phenomena (1985) [Two Disc Special Edition 4K UHD]

One of the latter day Dario Argento movies is a mind melding, bizarre series of inexplicable plot points that amount to one twisted slasher film. “Phenomena” is Argento at his wildest, directing a script that feels concocted by someone on an acid bender. “Phenomena” is one part “Carrie,” one part giallo slasher, one part revenge thriller, and a whole lot plot elements that make zero sense. Everything that unfolds is so inexplicable and out of left field that I was absolutely baffled most times. And it speaks a lot to the reputation of Dario Argento because a movie like this would have prompted me to shut it down mid-way. But the movie begs the audience to keep going, even though we’re never quite sure what other nonsensical plot point is going to be tossed in at the last second.

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The 10 Best Films I Saw in 2021

There was simply too much released in 2021 to catch everything that I wanted to, or intended to see before the end of the year. That’s either a great thing or a bad thing depending on your schedule. In either case, with the influx of movies being released every single week, I managed to catch some fantastic gems that kept me entertained, thriller, and stunned. 2021 had its share of stinkers, but it also bounced back from the lull in 2020 with some bangers, to boot. This is ten of the best I saw this year.

Of course I’ll still be playing catch up with 2021 over the next month.

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Demons I & II: Special Limited Edition [Blu-ray]

Regarded by many horror fans as one of the greatest horror movies of the eighties, and one of the greatest Italian splatterfests, “Demons” has carved a larger than life reputation in horror cinema, even in spite of its messy sequel line up. Lamberto Bava’s “Demons” is the essence of punk rock horror, a movie so unabashedly chaotic, violent, and gruesome, but one also packing a sense of mysticism. Its sequel is a pretty awesome follow up that repeats the original’s formula, but brings it in to a new arena where humans are hopelessly trapped.

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Suspiria (1977): Two Disc Special Edition [Blu-Ray]

Dario Argento’s horror film “Suspiria” is an immaculate production, one that almost commands you watch it with unbreaking attention. While many have argued it lacks a narrative and often times feels aimless, Argento vies more for a cinematic experience than something that relies heavily on narrative. “Suspiria” feels like one long fever dream, and Argento paints every scene like its being influenced by pure evil. While Suzy herself is being influenced by witches and witchcraft, the audience itself also seems to be pulled in to the same seat, watching every bit of setting being altered in to this realm.

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Suspiria, The Exorcist II, and Story [Fantasia International Film Festival 2017]

There’s been talk of remaking Suspiria for years. So much so that a lot of what I’m going to mention here are thoughts that have been bouncing around in my head for over a decade. The latest attempt at a remake, and the one most likely to happen, is supposed to star Dakota Johnson and Tilda Swinton, have music by Thom Yorke, and be directed by Luca Guadagnino. All of whom are above average artists in their respective fields. So I wish this attempt well and I genuinely hope it succeeds.

At the same time, I think it’ll fail.

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Suspiria (1977)

suspiria77Dario Argento’s “Suspiria” is easily one of the greatest horror movies ever made. It’s one of the very few horror movies I can call perfect, and I rarely ever do that. Argento’s horror film about a ballet academy with a hideous secret is a marvel for the eyes, the ears, and for horror audiences that enjoy brain food with their cinema. Jessica Harper is excellent as young Suzy, a ballet dancer who travels to Germany to attend a very elite ballet school. Upon the surprising realization that she hasn’t been allowed to enter the school thanks to a late entry, she is surprisingly allow to attend when a student is mysteriously and gruesomely murdered in her apartment. Suzy immediately begins to become attuned to her surroundings, and finds her environment within the militant and unusual ballet school most unsettling, to the point where she begins to fall ill, and experiences unusual events.

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