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Ray Pride

By Ray Pride




Scary stuff! Talk about A Ghost Story (mark spoilers where necessary)? There’s both hate and love out there for David Lowery’s life-looping melancholy.

What have you seen in the past year that rattled the windows, whether new or something you’ve watched for the first time? (Not including the 3pm, 5pm, 7pm and 10pm headline news drops.)

The Wailing? It Comes At Night? The Bad Batch? And is there such a thing as Post-Horror?

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43 Responses to “BYOSheet”

  1. spassky says:

    ‘The Bad Batch’ may have been the worst film I’ve ever paid to see. I am absolutely perplexed how someone could read that script and not smell the shit from a mile away. I was unimpressed by “A Girl Walks…” as well, so kind of feel vindicated in learning from ALA’s second film that she has horrible narrative instincts, but a lot of style. She should be doing commercials or getting other people to write her screenplays.

  2. Chris says:

    Last year was a great year for South Korean film, between “The Wailing” and “Army of Shadows” and “The Handmaiden” and a movie I’d argue is even creepier than “The Wailing: “Last Train to Busan.”

  3. Sideshow Bill says:

    I bought The Handmaiden on Blu Ray but still haven’t watched it. Shame on me. Haven’t watched Okja yet either. Never heard of Army Of Shadows so I will look out for that one. I loved Train To Busan despite it being a bit trope-y here and there. It was intense.

    But The Wailing. If I had watched it last year it’s possibly be in my top 10. Thought it was brilliant and haunting. I’ve been puzzling over the ending and how to interpret a certain character SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER

    I see the woman in white as a God figure, and “The Jap” as The Devil. But why did The Shaman have his pictures at the end? Did the interruption of the ceremony cause the devil to enter the shaman? Was he playing both sides? Or was a he a fraud who caught up in forces higher than he could handle?


    There probably is no clear answer and I don’t need one but I wonder what others thought. I find the puzzle to perfectly satisfying.

  4. EtGuild2 says:

    WE ARE THE FLESH, which is undoubtedly the most grotesque movie I’ve seen this year, but also is mesmerizing and surreal, could be categorized as post-horror. The comparisons to Bosch are fairly on point. The protagonist character is maybe the most insane looking actor I’ve ever seen, and there’s moments where I felt like I was sliding into the movie and was actually hypnotized by something evil. That’s something I haven’t experience since Wheatley’s KILL LIST, or maybe even MARTYRS.

    The problem, if there is one, is that it hits such crescendos of madness in several scenes that it isn’t really sustainable (I disagree with the dismissals of the movie as an over the top commentary on “Mexico: 2017” but then again I’m not Mexican). Still, there are many moments–for better or worse–I’ll never forget.

    HOUNDS OF LOVE also deserves some love for its style, acting and “satisfying but not a cop-out” ending.

    Glad you caught up to THE WAILING Bill…….SPOILER……. I think you’re probably right in your analysis, but yeah I’m not really sure it matters. It was a masterlass in genre more than anything IMO. It’s been a year since I’ve seen it so it’s something to revisit…was the woman in white trying to save him or allowing the murderous rampage to commence?

  5. Stella's Boy says:

    I love The Wailing and Train to Busan. Such great horror flicks. I also like Okja. I didn’t really want to see it but I heard a review, I think on NPR, and decided to give it a shot. Really entertaining. Strong cast. Good visual effects. I need to check out We Are the Flesh. Looking forward to A Ghost Story. Just caught up with Ain’t Them Bodies Saints and like that one a lot.

  6. Sideshow Bill says:

    I’ll have to look for We Are The Flesh, also. Wasn’t on my radar. Tragedy Girls is on my radar though but I’ve heard nothing since it played SXSW. Anybody know anything? IMDB doesn’t have much.

    And I’m been meaning to watch Hounds Of Love. Thanks for the reminder!

  7. EtGuild2 says:

    Definitely! I forgot about TRAGEDY GIRLS so thanks…finally doing OKJA this weekend.

    Two acclaimed horror movies I wanted to like more than I did this year: RAW and THE LURE.

  8. Stella's Boy says:

    That’s too bad re: Raw. I have high hopes for it. Also want to watch The Void now that it’s on Netflix. Hear it’s derivative but lots of fun.

  9. hcat says:

    While not a horror movie I had to turn off Nocturnal Animals and start it again the next night due to the anxiety it was causing. Knew almost nothing about the film going it except that I adore a Single Man and was not expecting that film. Very good and damn is Shannon turning into what Harry Dean Stanton was decades ago where you feel that little shot of glee when his name comes up in the opening credits.

    But man that was a tough sit. Not only did I tell myself Its only a movie but that it was only a movie within a movie.

  10. Stella's Boy says:

    I also love Nocturnal Animals. It’s gripping, looks great, and Shannon is fantastic. The initial abduction is one of the most suspenseful scenes in any film last year. I had some friends say it’s OK but all style, no substance. When the style is this good that doesn’t bother me.

  11. arisp says:


  12. EtGuild2 says:

    THE VOID is another one I wanted to like better, but I enjoyed the throwback vibe and creature effects. The acting, whether intentionally bad or not, was a problem for me.

    A DARK SONG is a weird one that was pretty good. Woman hires an alcoholic medium to communicate with her dead son and they lock themselves in a house for six months which glides onto an astral plane. It’s Welsh…different.

    Love, love, love NOCTURNAL ANIMALS. Lingered with me for weeks.

  13. hcat says:


    Have tried the Witch three times, but always after 1030 and haven’t gotten far. I always wake up and have no idea how much I missed.

    Had the same thing with the Red Turtle, it was like an Ambien, took a week for me to get through it.

    Its funny, not knowing anything about ANIMALS other than it was about Amy Adams and her relationship with her ex, I was going to take my adverse to violence and tension wife to go see it in the theaters and really dodged a bullet there. I knew in the first thirty seconds she would have turned to me and said “we are watching this why?”

  14. Stella's Boy says:

    That’s pretty much what I expect from The Void. Also, after looking forward to it for a long, long time, when I finally got to see The Blackcoat’s Daughter I adored it, but that one came and went quickly. It’s very creepy and atmospheric and unsettling. Between it and I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives in the House, I am psyched for whatever Oz Perkins does. He’s the real deal.

  15. Sideshow Bill says:

    The Void is not entirely successful but I thought it was a fun mash-up of Clive Barker/HP Lovecraft/John Carpenter. Three of my all-time favorite people. Lower your expectations going in and you’ll have some fun.

    I LOVE the Michael Shannon/Harry Dean Stanton comparison! That is so spot-on. I have a HDS rule which states any movie with HDS automatically gets one star better than it should. I always point to Carpenter’s Christine as an example. He has 3-4 scene but they elevate a fairly pedestrian movie (although I think that shot of Christine on fire is amazing. One Perfect Shot should cover it). Shannon is one of my favorite working actors and he does bring something to every role.

    I gather I should watch nocturnal Animals then?

    What else? I liked A Dark Song a lot. i actually found it quite moving. I need to rewatch Blackcoat’s Daughter to see if it holds up because I adore it when I saw it first. I had I Am The Pretty Thing… on my top 10 list so I’m an Oz Perkins fan too.

    We Are The Flesh is on Shudder so I may watch that this weekend. I have such a backlog of stuff to watch. I haven’t even watched this week’s Twin peaks yet. I spent last night finishing Resident Evil 7, which was fun.

    And yea, arisp: The Witch. Saw it 3 times in the theater. My tummy flutters when I think of it.

  16. chris says:

    No wonder you’ve never heard of “Army of Shadows,” Sideshow Bill. I mis-typed. It’s “Age of Shadows,” from the same director as “I Saw the Devil.” Some folks were up in arms that S. Korea selected “Age of Shadows” (and not “Handmaiden” or one of the other excellent options) as its Oscar submission last year. They shouldn’t have been. It’s great.

  17. EtGuild2 says:

    Yes, the ending to A DARK SONG gave me some goosebumps, and not the scary kind.

  18. arisp says:

    Well, Army of Shadows is a Melville masterpiece. Everyone here should know about it.

    [Edit: The Criterion listing for Melville’s Army Of Shadows is here.]

  19. hcat says:

    Thanks for pointing out Age of Shadows, really enjoyed Saw the Devil and his Good, The Bad and The Weird hit me right in the rollicking adventure pleasure center of my brain that the Pirates movies always shoot way wide of.

  20. chris says:

    …and, arisp, I’m pretty sure the titular similarity between “Age of Shadows” and Melville’s “Army of Shadows” is deliberate — the newer film has the same themes, mood, ambiguity.

  21. GdB says:

    Ghost in the Shell is now the go to demo piece if you have an HDR/Dolby Vision capable display. It looks fantastic in Dolby Vision via Vudu, and I normally prefer Blu-Ray. But since it was the only way to get the Dolby Vision version I went for the stream purchase and I have not been disappointed.

    I expect it will be eclipsed when Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2. comes out in Aug being the first Disney 4K Blu Ray, but for now, GitS is a great demo piece or something pretty to run in the background while you listen to music or do other things.

  22. Spassky says:

    Age of Shadows was fun (that opening scene!) but really has wonky pacing. Thats bong joon-hos thing but it really shouldve wrapped up quicker or gone a bit deeper. That being said, Korean filmmakers really killin it.

  23. Sideshow Bill says:

    Age Of Shadows. Got it. i love I Saw The Devil. It was one of my earliest Blu Ray purchases. I’ll check that out for sure.

    Got tickets for Spider-Man tomorrow afternoon. I’m keeping my expectations in check.

  24. Spassky says:

    “Suntan” and “Chevalier” two films that really caught me up. Both explore similiar themes as well… would be a great double feature… anyone have thoughts on those two?

  25. Spassky says:

    …and on the subject of melville… caught a big chunk of the forum retrospective… was suprised to find “bob la flambeur” didnt really hold up for me, but one i havent seen (“un flic”) has become instantly one of my favorites of his– interesting casting of delon and some wonderful cinematography — but im thinking im in the minority on this.

  26. Greg says:

    Maybe not that new but Starry Eyes is excellent. The Mind’s Eye is another newish fave. The Windmill had a great villain and some great gore. Fender Bender was pretty good. The Hallow had some scary little creatures and a great sense of dread.

  27. Arisp says:

    Le Samourai and Shadows are the 2 of his best IMO.

  28. Stella's Boy says:

    I like all of those as well Greg. All are very good low-budget flicks worth watching.

  29. Sideshow Bill says:

    Starry Eyes is indeed excellent. needs a rewatch.

    Maybe low expectations helped but I flat-out loved Spider-Man:Homecoming. It was a whole lot of fun from top to bottom. I won’t debate whether it’s better than Wonder Woman because I loved that movie too, but I may have enjoyed S:H a bit more than WW. I’m just happy we’ve had such high quality in our superhero films this year. Hopefully it stays that way this Fall.

  30. Sideshow Bill says:

    Well I can’t say EtGuild didn’t warn me. We Are The Flesh is one of the most deeply unpleasant experiences I’ve ever had. It’s formally impressive but awfully upsetting. It obviously has something big on it’s mind but I don’t know what and I don’t care. I have my limits. My soul needs a shower.

  31. EtGuild2 says:

    It skirts the line into HUMAN CENTIPEDE and A SERBIAN FILM territory for sure….boundary shattering and soul sucking grotesquery. But it also dances back at points into MARTYRS/French New Wave territory for me as well in that it does have something on its mind, and it’s hard to deny the actors’ camp-free commitment.

    I enjoyed CHEVALIER. An interesting examination of straight-group masculinity.

  32. Sideshow Bill says:

    …that being said WATF is undeniably a work of art. I love provocations and it’s a fucking balls-out (literally) provocation. I can’t stop thinking about it. And the ending…man. Your observations are spot on EtGuild.

  33. EtGuild2 says:

    This has been a great year for film so far. I haven’t had a Top 10 this early since at least 2013, and it’s been spread out between genres/countries (with comedy notably absent).

    1. Frantz (the OTHER WWI female protagonist movie)
    2. Personal Shopper
    3. Baby Driver
    4. Logan
    5. Lost City of Z
    6. Colossal
    7. Apprentice
    8. John Wick 2
    9. We Are the Flesh
    10. Norman: The Moderate Rise…

    Honorable Mention (in order): A Quiet Passion, Ghost In the Shell, Hounds of Love, The Survivalist, A Dark Song, Lovesong, Lego Batman

    Best Actor: Richard Gere
    Best Actress: Cynthia Nixon
    Best Director: Ozon, Assayas or Wright

    Richard Gere has his fourth bound to be forgotten gem of the past decade (The Hoax, Arbitrage, Time Out of Mind). Given the movies’ minor similarities, he’s practically inventing his own sub-genre at this point. Maybe he and Ethan Hawke should team up to finally achieve recognition.

  34. Triple Option says:

    So, Dunkirk, Valerian and Girls Trip all open next week. Anyone want to take a stab at guessing what order they’ll finish and what their opening w/e grosses will be?

  35. Movieman says:

    Good list, Et.
    “Frantz,” “Personal Shopper,” “Baby Driver,” “A Quiet Passion” and “Lost City of Z” all make my list, too.
    I’d add “Song to Song” (Malick’s best, most accessible movie since “Tree of Life:” puzzled by the meh reaction from even Malick-o-philes), “It’s Only the End of the World,” “Son of Joseph,” “My Life as a Zucchini,” “The Beguiled” and “The Big Sick.”

  36. EtGuild2 says:

    Nice Movieman! I have been holding on “Song to Song” and “It’s Only the End of the World” so I’ll check them out.

    I liked Zucchini! I just wouldnt include it on this year since it was a 2016 Academy submission (it got the “Still Alice” two-theater token run last year I believe).

    “Son of Joseph” was interesting. In that vein, so was “Ma.”

  37. Movieman says:

    Et- One of the chief pleasures of 2017 so far is the # of solidly made genre/popcorn movies.
    “Logan,” “Batman LEGO,” “John Wick 2,” “Apes,” “B&B,” even “Skull Island” which I enjoyed far more than I expected to (and certainly more than Peter Jackson’s elephantine 2005 “Kong” reboot).
    I even had a reasonably good time at this year’s “F&F” iteration, a franchise I’ve mostly run ice-cold on.
    And I still think that “Life” was underrated.
    P.S.= I’m including “Zucchini” as a 2017 release since it opened in NYC for the first time this year.

  38. EtGuild2 says:

    Definitely agree. It’s sad that this looks likely to be a down year when I’ve had more fun than I have in a long time.

    Agree on LIFE. A lot of fun, people just had higher expectations. The ballsiest studio ending since THE MIST.

  39. Sideshow Bill says:

    I enjoyed Life as a home viewing. I think I would have been disappointed had I seen it as a night out. It’s small, solid horror flick with a great ending.

    Kong, however, just didn’t work for me. I don’t know why. I enjoyed the spectacle of it but I couldn’t get into it. It’s not nearly as bad as Dave thinks it is but I don’t care if I ever see it again. I really can’t put my finger on what it is that kept me at arm’s length. I’m pretty easy to please with this sort of thing.

  40. Movieman says:

    Bill- I thought “Skull Island” was breezy fun, certainly compared w/ Jackson’s interminable, pokily paced 2005 version. Enjoyed the cast (Larson, Hiddleston, Goodman, Jackson, Reilly), and appreciated its relative lack of pretension.
    Not playing peek-a-boo with the giant ape like most Kongs was a breath of fresh air, too.
    Enjoyed it a lot more than the recent-ish “Godzilla” reboot.

    I should have added “A:C” to the list of satisfying 2017 popcorn/genre films. (Although I realize that’s probably a minority opinion in some circles.)

  41. Pete B says:

    “Not playing peek-a-boo with the giant ape… …was a breath of fresh air, too.”

    Truer words were never spoken. Godzilla was essentially a cameo in his own film.

  42. Sideshow Bill says:

    I enjoyed the monsters, Movieman. And Reilly is one of my favorites so he brought some life to it. I feel like the rest of the cast was rather lifeless. Like I said I can’t quite put my finger on why I just shrugged my shoulders after it was over. I’m always down for a “breezy” monster mash. I’ll consider revisiting it at some point.

  43. Bo says:

    Waiting to hear from my grown daughter who saw A Ghost Story today as she and I generally like and appreciate the same movies and hate the run-of-the-mill crowd pleasing stuff.

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It shows how out of it I was in trying to be in it, acknowledging that I was out of it to myself, and then thinking, “Okay, how do I stop being out of it? Well, I get some legitimate illogical narrative ideas” — some novel, you know?

So I decided on three writers that I might be able to option their material and get some producer, or myself as producer, and then get some writer to do a screenplay on it, and maybe make a movie.

And so the three projects were “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep,” “Naked Lunch” and a collection of Bukowski. Which, in 1975, forget it — I mean, that was nuts. Hollywood would not touch any of that, but I was looking for something commercial, and I thought that all of these things were coming.

There would be no Blade Runner if there was no Ray Bradbury. I couldn’t find Philip K. Dick. His agent didn’t even know where he was. And so I gave up.

I was walking down the street and I ran into Bradbury — he directed a play that I was going to do as an actor, so we know each other, but he yelled “hi” — and I’d forgot who he was.

So at my girlfriend Barbara Hershey’s urging — I was with her at that moment — she said, “Talk to him! That guy really wants to talk to you,” and I said “No, fuck him,” and keep walking.

But then I did, and then I realized who it was, and I thought, “Wait, he’s in that realm, maybe he knows Philip K. Dick.” I said, “You know a guy named—” “Yeah, sure — you want his phone number?”

My friend paid my rent for a year while I wrote, because it turned out we couldn’t get a writer. My friends kept on me about, well, if you can’t get a writer, then you write.”
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“That was the most disappointing thing to me in how this thing was played. Is that I’m on the phone with you now, after all that’s been said, and the fundamental distinction between what James is dealing with in these other cases is not actually brought to the fore. The fundamental difference is that James Franco didn’t seek to use his position to have sex with anyone. There’s not a case of that. He wasn’t using his position or status to try to solicit a sexual favor from anyone. If he had — if that were what the accusation involved — the show would not have gone on. We would have folded up shop and we would have not completed the show. Because then it would have been the same as Harvey Weinstein, or Les Moonves, or any of these cases that are fundamental to this new paradigm. Did you not notice that? Why did you not notice that? Is that not something notable to say, journalistically? Because nobody could find the voice to say it. I’m not just being rhetorical. Why is it that you and the other critics, none of you could find the voice to say, “You know, it’s not this, it’s that”? Because — let me go on and speak further to this. If you go back to the L.A. Times piece, that’s what it lacked. That’s what they were not able to deliver. The one example in the five that involved an issue of a sexual act was between James and a woman he was dating, who he was not working with. There was no professional dynamic in any capacity.

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