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A Year with Hitchcock: The Ring, by Reed Lackey

23 Jan

An outlier in the filmography of a man mostly dedicated to suspense stories, The Ring is a sports-centric, love-triangle drama, and one that is surprisingly effective, despite some obvious flaws.

There is some conflicting information surrounding the chronology of The Ring in Hitchcock’s filmography. Most sources place it as immediately following The Lodger (which is where I’ve chosen to include it). However, according to “Hitchcock Truffaut” by Francois Truffaut, this was actually Hitch’s sixth picture. I mention this trivial contradiction because regardless of whether it was his fourth or sixth film, Hitchcock himself regarded it as his second “true Hitchcock film.”

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The Fear of God: Raw

23 Jan

In this episode, Reed and Nathan discuss Julia Ducournau’s Raw.

A Year with Hitchcock: The Lodger, by Reed Lackey

20 Jan

Hitchcock, and most of his critics and fans, consider The Lodger to be the first “true” Hitchcock film, despite the couple of earlier entries in his catalogue. It is unquestionably the most noteworthy of all of his early silent films. The Lodger certainly feels like what you would expect from an early Hitchcock film. It contains nearly all of the suspense master’s trademark qualities: suspicion, intrigue, murder, and – of course – blondes.

It is also the first representation of his most common theme, although mentioning precisely what that is would certainly constitute as a spoiler, so I’ll save it for the end.

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The Fear of God: mother!

16 Jan

In this episode, Reed and Nathan discuss Darren Aronofsky’s controversial psychological horror film mother!.

A Year with Hitchcock: The Pleasure Garden, by Reed Lackey

11 Jan

Hitchcock began his career in films designing title cards for the London branch of Paramount Pictures. He eventually worked his way up to assistant director and ultimately, of course, to director. The very first directorial effort by Hitchcock was a film called Number 13, but a production cancellation midway through due to financial difficulties caused the film to remain incomplete and what little there was of it has been lost to time.

I half expected The Pleasure Garden, the earliest surviving directorial effort from Hitchcock, to be flat and uninteresting. On the contrary, I rather enjoyed it.

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The Fear of God: It Comes at Night

9 Jan

In this episode, Reed and Nathan discuss Trey Edward Shults’ It Comes at Night, starring Joel Edgerton.

A Year with Hitchcock, by Reed Lackey

5 Jan

The phrase is this “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.” What I think we mean when we use it (or its reverse that the whole is “lesser”) is a certain intangible quality that can’t quite be dissected or calculated. It reflects a sensibility that language is still struggling to define about why something “works” or doesn’t.

We consider this issue when discussing film constantly. Franchise installments are constantly being ranked in comparison with their sibling entries, which deepens and furthers the conversation on that particular franchise as a whole.

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The Fear of God: Rear Window

2 Jan

In this episode, Reed and Nathan discuss Alfred Hitchcock’s classic Rear Window.

The Fear of God: Beetlejuice

26 Dec

In this episode, Reed and Nathan discuss Tim Burton’s Beetlejuice.

Christmas Evil, by Reed Lackey

24 Dec

If you’re of the ever-growing variety of holiday movie-watcher who prefers sardonic wit and dark humor to sentiment and sap, or who prefers a bit of menace and violence to caroling or cookies, then top off the eggnog, because there’s a holiday treat in store.

Better Watch Out, a new film from director Chris Peckover (only his second feature), begins simply enough: responsible babysitter Ashley (Olivia DeJonge) is set to watch over 12-year-old Luke (Levi Miller) on Christmas Eve while his parents attend a party. This will be one of, if not THE last time, that Ashley will watch over Luke before she goes away to college and Luke wants things to be special. Unfortunately, the night is not long underway before it appears that someone may be trying to get into their home… if they aren’t already in.

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