Showing posts from December 31, 2023

The Dead (1987) [Revisited]

I've been meaning to re-watch this for a while. I originally wrote about this back in 2016, and while I'll link to that post , it's not one I'm proud of. Having a "review" up for a critically acclaimed adaptation of a James Joyce story where my take is basically just me whining that I found the movie boring hasn't sat well with me as my appreciation for different kinds of films has expanded. I suspected - correctly, I might add - I'd react differently if I gave the movie another chance. That said, I agree with at least part of my original sentiment - this one really isn't for everyone. It requires a great deal of attention to follow the large number of characters and their relationships. Multiple viewings are probably the best approach if you're unfamiliar with the source material - at an hour and twenty minutes, that's not too heavy a lift (I watched this twice yesterday, for anyone curious). Even then, the movie and its underlying plot (w

Cronos (1992)

I first saw this ten or fifteen years ago while exploring Guillermo del Toro's filmography.  Filmed in a combination of English and Spanish, Cronos is his first film. I recall thinking it was good but being a little underwhelmed at the time, particularly compared to his follow-up, The Devil's Backbone. If I noticed this was set at New Year's, I forgot it soon after. While this didn't leave much of an impression on me then, it absolutely did now. I think I was expecting a more typical vampire story, and as a result wasn't ready to fully appreciate the more subdued, thoughtful film del Toro delivered, which is more a fairytale assembled out of deconstructed horror elements than the usual superpowered monsters. In my defense, understated genre films were more common in the '90s and early '00s, so something like this stood out less then than it does in 2023. Regardless, this is fantastic, which means it's time for a mandatory spoiler warning. If you're a