This is Halloween, Halloween, Halloween! I have been knee-deep in horror movies since midnight.
Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2013 was up first. The original is incomparable, and to suggest this remake holds a candle to it is to suggest the absurd. It's needlessly gory and possessed of the slick, self-impressed smugness that afflicts most modern horror. It also inexplicably tries to turn the cannibalistic Sawyers into sympathetic figures, innocent victims brutalized by troglodytic rednecks. Uh, the local yokels are horrible in their giddy sadism during the attack on the Sawyer homestead, but the fact remains that the Sawyers are a clan of cannibals who hunted and killed people and turned them into jerky and chili. So, the "oh, the poor, blameless Sawyers" narrative they're peddling here doesn't work, especially when the opening credits openly admit guilt by using the ending scene from the original. So, uh, oops.
But I love this movie anyway. Because with the exception of one, this new crop of Stihl fodder deserve what they get. Steal the Sawyer silver? Brrrrzt for you. Cheat on your girlfriend with her purported BFF? Here's one for you, you shameless dicklogs. Torment Leatherface's family, drape it in the guise of justice, and call him retard while you try to feed him through the industrial grinder at the slaughterhouse? Enjoy your stainless steel proctological exam, asshole. Whee! The gimp bests his tormentors, and I am always down for that.
I know it's odd to be rooting for the chainsaw-wielding retarded guy raised as a cannibal, but until popular culture gives me some better role models, he's what I've got to work with, okay?
And no matter how many times you keyboard weasels try to change it, his name is Bubba Sawyer, dammit, not Tommy Hewitt or Jedediah Sawyer. Bubba. Fuck you.
Next up was The Exorcist extended edition. This movie is a slow burn with a huge payoff. It's relentlessly disturbing, and the tension and unease, establish in the first shot, never evaporates. It's an exercise in mounting dread and helpless horror, a visual representation of malaise and broken spirits. It's never explained how or why a demon unearthed in Iraq would choose to possess a twelve-year-old-girl in Georgetown, but that's a minor quibble. The movie is timeless, and for good reason.
Then, there was Friday the 13th IV. Dumb, dumb, dumb, and Corey Feldman was annoying as Tommy Jarvis, the precocious twelve-year-old who takes down Jason. It made for good background noise while I ate and checked email, at least.
Lastly, I watched The Ruins. On first watch, I'm ambivalent. As psychological horror, it does fairly well in showing the steady disintegration of the psyche when placed under extraordinary duress. It also works as body horror, with amputation sans anesthesia and all the self-mutilation in the name of survival. As supernatural horror featuring sentient vines? Not so much. It was worth the four dollars I paid for it, which is more than I can say for a lot of movies.
I still have the original Halloween to watch, and thus will end my annual celebration of all things boogedy-boo.