Horror Films A–Z, Sept. 2020: I, J & K

Idle Hands

Year: 1999
Runtime: 1h 32m
Rated: R

Director: Rodman Flender

Writer: Terri Hughes Burton, Ron Milbauer

Stars: Devon Sawa, Seth Green, Elden Henson (and Jessica Alba, and Vivica A. Fox)

“Don’t you watch the news?”

“I hate that fucking show.”

Initial: Rewatch of a movie I haven’t seen in a long while. Had forgotten that Seth Green was in it, or that it contained one of my favorite tropes: undead friends.

Production Notes: Christopher Hart, who played the severed hand (and also played Thing in the Addams family movies), is a magician! Check out this rather nice torn & restored.

What Did I Think: (possible spoilers ahead)
I didn’t realize that this movie was a financial flop and has terrible ratings. Like 15% on Rotten Tomatoes. It is *not* a serious movie. In fact, if you go into Idle Hands thinking anything other than, “This is going to be ridiculous,” you’re doing it wrong. I find it pretty funny. Devon Sawa does some great physical comedy. It funnier and gorier than scary. It’s soundtrack is also very 90s.



Jennifer’s Body

Year: 2009
Runtime: 1h 42m
Rated: R

Director: Karyn Kusama

Writers: Diablo Cody

Stars: Megan Fox, Amanda Seyfried, Johnny Simmons

I wasn’t always this cracked. I used to be normal. Well, as normal as any girl under the influence of teenage hormones. But after the killings began, I started to feel—I don’t know—loose around the edges or something.

Initial: I’ve heard that this movie is great, that it’s overrated, that it’s trash… Since my first “J” pick fell through, I’m finding out for myself.

Production Notes: Horror movie veteran Lance Henriksen has a cameo at the end.

What Did I Think: (possible spoilers ahead)
I watched a YouTube video quite a while back on how Jennifer’s Body was probably poorly marketed. Viewers looking to see Jennifer’s body, or rather Megan Fox’s body, were disappointed. Maybe. I do think, like Idle Hands, it isn’t quite as scary as a horror audience might want, and it isn’t as funny as a comedy audience might want. And it’s also a film about female friendship and how those relationships can be toxic as well as tender.

I liked it well enough. Especially, I liked that other than the bad guys, not all guys in the movie were creeps. I also liked the sort of very Midwest/Heartland-ness of a few things, like Needy making a fried bologna sandwich with margarine on it.


Knock Knock

Year: 2015
Runtime: 1h 39m
Rated: R

Director: Eli Roth

Writers: Eli Roth, Nicolás López, Guillermo Amoedo, Anthony Overman, Michael Ronald Ross

Stars: Keanu Reeves, Lorenza Izzo, Ana de Armas

I don’t think people just pick randomly. I think that, if we are here together, it’s because there’s something we have to learn from each other.

Initial: Probably more of a thriller than a horror movie, but it is directed by Eli Roth, so that should automatically make it count, right?

Production Notes: Filmed Santiago de Chile for the Hollywood hills.

What Did I Think: (possible spoilers ahead)
Poor Keanu, always getting seduced…

Knock Knock is a remake of 70s film Death Game. There was some controversy about whether the original was social commentary or just an exploitation flick. Eli Roth’s involvement with the remake doesn’t make that clearer. I appreciated the inversion of what usually occurs to women. Since women are taught to be polite and pleasant, we can be manipulated through that. But this film takes kind of an odd turn at about mid-way that muddies any actual point this movie might make.

Peeve: What is up with this movie’s timeline. This movie starts on Father’s Day, which is a Sunday. Even if it starts with celebrating Father’s Day (with cake and presents?) on Saturday, the family doesn’t get back until Monday. Father’s Day isn’t a long weekend holiday…

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