Today’s episode of Sounds of Cinema caught up on reviews of some 2023 horror pictures. Here’s a quick run through of titles covered on the show and horror films reviewed earlier this year:
The Angry Black Girl and Her Monster is a fun and intelligent reworking of the Frankenstein story.
The Boogeyman was based on the story by Stephen King. It’s a generic ghost story that is passably scary but the filmmakers brought little that is new or novel to the genre.
El Conde imagines that former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet Pinochet is a centuries old vampire who now lives in a rural home. This is an ambitious film with a provocative political edge even if the various parts of El Conde don’t quite come together.
Evil Dead Rise was a new start for the long running series and it didn’t do much that was new but it did provide Evil Dead fans with exactly what they’d want and expect.
Huesera: The Bone Woman follows a newly pregnant woman who has visions of a violent spirit. This is a thoughtful work of horror and fantasy that dramatizes anxieties about the body and identity.
Insidious: The Red Door is the fifth film in the series and it is adequately scary and has a thoughtful idea but the concept isn’t followed through logically and the latter portion of the movie doesn’t make sense.
Knock at the Cabin was a compelling horror thriller. Like a lot of M. Night Shyamalan’s films it struggles to find a satisfying ending but the bulk of the film is tense.
The Last Voyage of the Demeter was a spinoff inspired by a chapter from Bram Stoker’s novel Dracula and it was a well-crafted horror picture that brought a fresh approach to the material.
M3gan was the story of a young girl who is gifted a lifelike artificially intelligent doll. The film was both really smart and very entertaining.
No One Will Save You is a sci-fi home invasion story in which a woman is stalked by extraterrestrials. The story is a bit thin but the stalking and survival scenes are done quite well.
The Nun II was another underwhelming spinoff of The Conjuring series and it was the clearest example of the fundamental problems with this franchise.
Renfield is a comedic spinoff of Dracula in which the vampire’s assistant tries to get out from under his undead master. It’s a lousy execution of an interesting idea.
Saw X is among the best films in this series. It showcases many of the best elements of this series with a focus and viciousness and emphasis on character that distinguishes this installment.
Scream VI was a middle tier addition to the series. It has sequences that are thrilling and vicious but the film stumbles in the ending.
They Cloned Tyrone was the story of a drug dealer who gets together with a pimp and a sex worker to uncover a plot to clone the people of his neighborhood. It’s a movie with a provocative premise that is interesting to analyze but it is not so successful as piece of sci-fi action entertainment.
When Evil Lurks is an Argentinian production about two men who unwittingly unleash evil on their community. The movie draws on various horror subgenres to create a distressing portrait of people struggling with the existence of evil.