The Favourite was directed by a Greek director, Yorgos Lanthimos. His other major films include, The Lobster, Dogtooth and the killing of a sacred deer. I have seen and got all of his films, and all three are great works. He is an Arthouse Director, and you can tell this film was directed by him. As he follows his same unique style of filmmaking.
This is the film that made me decide, that I never want to have kids haha only joking. Ok so We need to talk about Kevin, was directed by Lynn Ramsay and starrs Tilda Swinton, John c Riley and Ezra Miller. This is a psychological thriller/drama, Mark Kermode who is a leading English film critic, who I really admire.Said this was one of the beat films in the last decade. Now after just seeing this film for the first time, I can see why he said that.
Melancholia was directed and written by Lars Von Trier, and starrs Kirsten Dunst, Charlotte Gainsbourg and John Hurt. This is an Arthouse/ fantasy drama. It is set in one location which is a huge house, with a golf course surrounding it. It’s story centres or Dunst and Gainsbourg, who are sisters. Dunst is called Justine and it becomes apparent that she suffers from depression, hence the title Melancholia which means sadness.
Verónica is a Spainish possession horror film, directed by Paco Plaza. He has directed a film called REC which was also a great horror film. This film was released on Netflix so it went under the radar from me. Thank god I managed to see it, because this is a great film. Spain are no strangers to great horror films, such as The Orphanage, Julia’s eyes, Devils Backbone, REC, The others, The skin I live in etc. It’s quite safe to say that Verónica can join this list.
First thoughts after seeing this film ‘holy shit this film packs a punch, left hook and an uppercut all blended together’. This film is half on French and English, directed by a French director. Revenge is of course a revenge movie, and I am a huge fan of the revenge thriller genre. With favourites such as Kill Bill, oldboy,
This is not a review but my personal opinion, on what arthouse cinema is, and why I love it so much. Arthouse basically is a sub genre of mainly dramas. That being said arthouse can also be horror, comedy, sci fi, historical and romance dramas. Art films started way back in the 1920s with the land mark film (The passion of Joan of ark). Directed by Carl Theodor Dryer. Most film critics would say this was the pioneering art film.
Arthouse films are aimed at a more niche market, and are typically serious independent films. Rather than a mass market to which a larger majority will enjoy. With genre’s like action, adventure, family, sci fi etc.
You will never find a serious art film, showed all around the world, in cinemas with most audiences loving it. Arthouse films are generally very artistic, beautiful and experimental. This is enough to put your average movie goer off. People who aren’t in tune with art films, generally end up walking out, after five minutes of watching the film.
Filmmakers in this genre rarely use special effects, a big budget or mass marketing/ advertising. Most of the time it’s the complete opposite, using only intelligent non linear story telling, strong performances, beautiful music and stunning visuals.
I for one instantly got gripped into arthouse film. I started very late however, as when I was young I had no idea about serious films. My first memory of seeing a unique art film, was probably Antichrist. Although not for the faint hearted, as this is a heavy duty film. What I did find was a film like no other. I saw through the graphic violence, and knew not to take everything I saw literal.
Since then I have seen many art films, such as. Tree of life, under the skin, Badlands, There will be blood, Eraserhead, The fountain, Elephant, to the wonder, The Three Colours trilogy, Stalker, Song to Song, Melancholia, Knight of Cups etc.
It’s safe to say that Arthouse films are my second favourite genre of film. Horror still remains number one , but art films are close behind. The style, feel, energy and ways of telling stories are simple mind blowing.
My personal top three Arthouse directors are as follows. Lars Von Trier being number one, Terrence Malick is number two and lastly Andrei Tarkovsky. Most film critics would say that Tarkovsky is the greatest art director ever. With groundbreaking films like Stalker, Solaris, and Andrei Rublev.
For me I just prefer Von Trier’s films. His best works are Dogville, Melancholia, Antichrist, Dancer I’m the dark, Manderlay, Nyphomaniac 1-2 and I have yet to see his latest. Which is The House That Jack Built. So try it for yourself don’t always feel the need to watch what everyone else, is watching. Don’t fall victim to, the mainstream world.
Simply try searching online about artistic films, and you might just be in for a treat. However like I said this sub genre of film, is not for everyone. It’s a matter of loving it, or hating it.
It’s just about trying to think outside the box, on a separate tangent. Von Trier stated that when he makes his films, he takes a simple idea. Then see how far he can go with it, but bending the idea all the way to the end of the film. That for me sums up what, the beauty of Arthouse cinema is.
This is not a review but a summary, of how the horror genre evolved in my own words. I won’t go back to the 50s, as I have very little interest in horrors from that decade. As they are dated now, and I can’t take them seriously now. However really old horror films, should still be highly respected. As they helped mould the genre, into what it is now.
For me horror didn’t really kick in, till 1960. Alfred Hitchcock definitely redefined the genre, with Psycho. This film introduced a great sense of realism to the genre. Where as before there were only, films such as. Earth vs flying saucers, the Frankenstein films, and numerous other farfected monster films.
So when Psycho came along, this was a new type of fear. So it really did mark the turning point, or shift I’m horror. With the follow up being (the birds). Which was another critical success. Other films in the 60s that stood out for me was, Rosmarys baby, peeping tom, repulsion and the haunting.
Then came the 1970s which for me was my favourite decade for horror. With key films being the Texas chainsaw massacre, Carrie, Halloween, suspria. However there are three films that really helped to shift, the horror genre to another gear. I will start with the most obvious film of the 70s, that being William Friedkin’s Tge Exorcist. When this film hit cinema’s it really didn’t go down well. This was another new fear that is being displayed.
The second film was the Texas chainsaw massacre. I did list this film earlier the reason I think it changed things. Was because of the sheer level of skill used, to create probably the best displays of fear. With a film that has no real meaning, other than it is just a experience, joined with its fast paced, rollercoaster ride of fear. Tone Hooper made history with this film, it’s perfo were also so powerful and hard to watch, and listen to.
Lastly the third film is Wes Craven’s Last house on the left. Now the main reason is because this was the first film, to really push boundaries. You see young girls getting abused and killed, in such a graphic way, causing many people to walk out of the cinema.
Getting to the 1980s for me this is when horror, started to get more graphic? Cheesy, and more bizarre. Amongst the madness of the 80s, there were films that really stood out, and yet again pushed the genre forward. Those films consist of The Possession, The thing, Evil dead, The Fly. There are many more films that were hard hitting, however there is only one major horror film that came out in 1980. That of course is my personal favourite The Shining.
When Stanley Kubrick released The Shining, it was not liked by Stephen King. That aside for me this film wins in many aspects. All thanks to Kubrick’s forensic attention to detail. With beautifully crafted camera work, and direction being that of a masterpiece. Kubrick really focused so much when he made this film. Bringing me to the best horror performances I have ever seen. Thanks to Shelly Duvall and Jack Nicholson. It is thanks to Nicholson why this film really feels like no other type of horror film.
As we get to the 1990s we had such films like Jacobs ladder, Bram Stolkers Dracula, Dilence of the Lambs, Audition and the sixth sense. However the 90s was not as strong as the previous two decades if you ask me. That being said there were two films that I think once again changed the genre. The first film was Wes Craven’s Scream.
This film introduces a new type of sub horror genre, which was the self awareness horror. Meaning the victims in the film, were fully aware that they were in a horror situation. Craven blends comedy with horror, this was never done before Scream. The other film that really helped was The Blair Witch Project. This was the pioneer film of the found footage, or home made style of filming. Since both of these films came out, so many films have copied these styles of filmmaking.
Moving to the modern era of the 2000s, with films such as The Descent, Let the right one in, Saw, The Others, REC, the Orphanage etc. This decade for me was both good and bad for horror. Directors have now got so much to go by, being the home made style of filming. REC was filmed in this way, also Paranormal Activity was filmed in this way.
What really scared me with paranormal Activity, was like the Blair Witch it cost nothing to make. The actors weren’t famous and it really felt real. The major difference with this film. Was that they didn’t shoot this film in a dark, eerie forest. But In the comfort of their own home. This just goes to show that horror leeks everywhere.
I think the only other key film to come out in the 2000s, was 28 days later. Now I normally dislike zombie films. However what makes 28 days later so special. Was how Danny Boyle made the zombies fast, and agile. This was a new invention to the Zombie genre, where as zombies should normally walk slow, and not being that scary. There were a lot of really gory films in this decade, with many films pushing boundaries. With other films like the hills have eyes remakes, Martyrs, High Tensión and devils rejects.
So it’s safe to say that horror films were getting incredibly hard to watch. Finally getting us to the present 2010s. Now In this decade I had a four year break from the genre. I went off horror completely I thought that horror was over. I thought everything had already been done. Well how wrong I was I will start by listing some good films of this current decade. I will later list my top five key horror films, which have yet been able to redefine the genre.
I will then conclude and tell you what upcoming horror films you should keep an eye out for. Films like the Conjuring, Sinister, Insidious, It follows, The Cabin in the Woods, Oculus and the IT remake were all great films. In fact 2017 was the highest grossing year for horror on record. Thanks to the amount of game changing films that were made in that year, I must say it was a great year for horror last year.
This year has also proven me wrong and the quality of horror is still alive. Bringing me to my top five, firstly the horror film that pulled me back in. After that four year gap of hating horror was, The Visit. Directed by M Night Shamalan, when I watched this I found myself gripped to it. He shot the film with the home made style, combined with great performances and a really scary story.
I couldent believe how good it was then I’m 2014 I watched a film called The Babadook. Now this is one of my favourite films of all time. This was also one of the game changing films. Purely because this was a sophisticated, non jumpy, horror drama. Horror dramas is something I have seen a lot of this decade. Filmmakers now know that a lot of things have already been done, so they are now having to actually think of intelligent stories.
Two more films that had the same style were It Comes At Night and The Witch. Both slow burning chilling films, which is not aimed at your average film goer. Because they both don’t contain countless cheap jump scares, special effects or big budgets. This is what really made me rethink horror.
Well last year I maybe saw the best horror film ever made in my opinion. A film that has haunted me for a whole year, the biggest modern game changing horror film. Which was Darren Aronofsky’s Mother! I have already reviewed Mother before, but the reason I am mentioning it again. Is because I saw it in the cinema and it was such a depressing, horrible experience. It was like nothing I have ever seen. This is in my opinion definitely the last horror film to change the rules of horror.
So to conclude keep a look out for the Suspria remake and the Von Trier film The House that jack Built. I hope you have enjoyed my post, I hope it was clear and that it made sense. Just remember these are just my words, and my opinions it is not to say that I am right.