Posted in Other Media

Horror Films A–Z, Oct. 2020: M, N, O & P

Mr. Books

Year: 2007
Runtime: 2h
Rated: R

Director: Bruce A. Evans

Writers: Bruce A. Evans, Raynold Gideon

Stars: Kevin Costner, Demi Moore, William Hurt

Finding someone you think would be fun to kill is a bit like, well, it’s a bit like falling in love.

Initial: Haven’t seen this movie in ages. Really liked it the first time I saw it. My husband says it isn’t as good the second time around.

Production Notes: Mr. Books was potentially the first of a trilogy. Since the movie didn’t do well enough financially, nothing came of it.

What Did I Think: (possible spoilers ahead)
I had really forgotten a lot about this movie. I remembered Dane Cook, but I’d forgotten about William Hurt as Mr. Brooks’ “dark passenger” and whole subplots concerning Brooks’ daughter and Demi Moore’s police detective. The plot feels a little over complicated; maybe better suited to a season of a TV series. The best part of this movie really is Kevin Costner as a serial killer and William Hurt as his invisible alter ego. The two play each other so well, sometimes as adversaries and sometimes utterly mirroring each other.

The Nightingale

Year: 2018
Runtime: 2h 16m
Rated: R

Director: Jennifer Kent

Writer: Jennifer Kent

Stars: Aisling Franciosi, Michael Sheasby, Maya Christie

“You white ones go fast, fast, fast. Get no where. I go slow. Get everything done.”

Initial: Another revenge movie that I’ve heard a lot about. Like The Lighthouse, I’m not sure The Nightingale is exactly classified as horror.

Production Notes: This is Jennifer Kent’s followup to The Babadook.

What Did I Think: (possible spoilers ahead)
Yes, this isn’t horror movie and I’m a little torn about including it in this frivolousness. On the other hand, The Nightingale is about the horror of how humans can treat each other. Unlike the near over the top violence in I Saw the Devil, the violent acts here (including several rapes) are brutal and have immediate consequences. This isn’t an easy film to watch, but it is very deliberate. There is a mirroring of themes and sequences throughout which makes it a cut above many films I’ve seen.

The Other Lamb

Year: 2019
Runtime: 1h 36m
Rated: N/R

Director: Malgorzata Szumowska

Writer: C.S. McMullen

Stars: Raffey Cassidy, Michiel Huisman, Mallory Adams

“Why do you stay?”

“Because I’m afraid.”

Initial: I don’t have too many notions about this film going in. Picked because it was “O” and on Hulu.

Production Notes: Filmed in Ireland.

What Did I Think: (possible spoilers ahead)
Well, that was a movie…

While The Other Lamb is more clearly marked as “horror,” I found it not horrific or scary at all. Mostly, I just don’t know what I’m supposed to take away from this movie. I don’t see how this group of women ended up following this super low-key messiah. If it wasn’t written and directed by women, I’d really wonder…


Year: 2018
Runtime: 1h 23m
Rated: TV-MA

Director: Nacho Vigalondo

Writer: Gerald Olson

Stars: Nyasha Hatendi, Latarsha Rose, Jon Daly

“Look at all the pretty lights.”

Initial: I really love the character of Phouka in War for the Oaks. I expect that this Pooka has little to do with that one.

Production Notes: Another entry in Hulu’s Into the Dark series, produced by Blumhouse.

What Did I Think: (possible spoilers ahead)
For an hour and thirteen-ish minutes, I was on the fence with this movie. It has some creepy moments, some uncomfortable moments, and a lot of “what the heck is going on?” moments. Nyasha Hatendi’s earnest performance was pretty much keeping this movie in the positive column for me…until the end. Pooka! won me over at the very end by being a more-traditional-than-I-realized Christmas ghost story. I need to give it a rewatch. Is this the best way of telling a story? Maybe not.