Tag Archives: foreign

“The Canal” (2014) REVIEW

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Let’s just get this out of the way: the box art is terrible, basic, and derivative, and does not do the actual movie justice. This, I promise.

That said, I would argue this is the best un-hyped horror film from 2014 that I just watched, truly. Meaning: until I saw a glowing recommendation for it on Twitter, I had never even heard of it. I knew nothing about it. I briefly watched the trailer beforehand, but went into it pretty blindly.

I hate to even compare it to “Sinister”, because this is a far superior film, but it follows a very similar trajectory of “guy realizes murders were committed in his home after viewing some old reels, and now he thinks he’s being stalked/haunted by the original killer”. But as I said, this movie does a far better job with that structure than “Sinister” did.

There are other familiar elements, from other great horror movies, that seem to be woven throughout. In both tone and setting, it occasionally gives off vibes of Jacob’s Ladder, Pet Sematary, Candyman, Ringu, Mothman Prophecies, and The Babadook. It’s a really great horror movie for horror fans.

Plus, it’s beautifully shot, with wonderful use of colors and shadows. It’s set during Christmastime, so there are eye-catching, twinkling bokehs throughout the film.

And the music is a major plus, too. Frenetic, frantic, scraping strings that sound like the buzz of angry bees – it compliments the unsettling and intense plot perfectly.

I give this film such a good and thorough review because so rarely do I come across a movie I’ve never seen — never even heard about — that I am so impressed by and end up enjoying so much.

Two severed thumbs up. Go watch this movie.

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“Who Can Kill a Child?” (1976) REVIEW

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When it comes to ‘killer kiddies’, I’d have to say this Spanish film from 1976 is my favorite — far surpassing Village of the Damned and even Children of the Corn. The kids in this film don’t kill because they’re from another planet, and they’re not inspired to kill because some god of harvest told them to — they simply do it because it’s how they ‘play’.

An Englishman and his pregnant wife decide to go holiday before their baby is born, so they head to an exotic Spanish island that they soon find is fairly deserted. In fact, the only inhabitants they do come across are kids, no older than their early teens. Soon, things turn grim as the couple realize the kids possess incredibly cruel and violent tendencies.

What I really love about this movie is, as I mentioned before, that the kids aren’t robotic, silent killers. They laugh and play and run around while killing people. They act like normal children, except incredibly deranged. Also, the title of the film brings up a moral dilemma that seems to be overlooked in all of these ‘killer kiddie’ films: you may think you’re capable of anything if pushed far enough, but when face to face with one, would you be able to kill a child?

Well shot, great score, incredibly tense and filled with jaw-dropping scenes — this is a must see.