Evil Eye Horror Film Reviews: La Llorona, The Dark and The Wicked, Summer of 84, Hell House LLC II: The Abaddon Hotel and Porno.

La Llorona (2019) was, unfortunately, a snooze-fest for me. Minimal horror, a slow pace and a lack of empathy for any of the characters did little to offset four beers and a heavy dinner. If I could have stayed sober and awake I might have got more out of this film. There’s probably a lot to take from it – a modern retelling of a traditional Latin American ghost story that incorporates crimes of colonialism and embraces indigeneous beliefs. But it went over my stupid head.

The Dark and The Wicked (2020) is disorientating and gritty, mixing primitive fears and modern woes. Easy to follow but difficult to predict and almost impossible not to be terrified by. However, I found the film too reliant on jump scares and violent imagery, which at times became too much to take. I wish the film could have toned itself down in one or two scenes and saved something more substantial in the tank for the closing scene.

Summer of 84 (2018) is billed as a horror/thriller but I must have blinked during the horror part. It’s a film about a 15 year old kid who suspects his neighbor is a serial killer. It’s formulaic but could appeal to someone less cynical than myself. On the plus side it’s set in the 80s and has a cool soundtrack. 

After a few lacklustre films I wanted something that was certain to scare, so went for the sequel to the amazing Hell House LLCHell House LLC II: The Abaddon Hotel (2018) picks up where the previous film left off. More mockumentary found footage in what could be the most terrifying haunted hotel ever. Not quite as frightening and not quite as brilliant as the original but still a movie to get your heartbeat racing and keep you up at night wondering if that sound you heard could be something sinister. I’m interested how the trilogy plays out although from reading a few reviews, it seems as the Hell House universe expands it becomes ever more far fetched until it finally explodes in on itself. Kind of like reality.

Kind of like Porno (2019), which as the title suggests contains a fair amount of nudity. What you might not realise from the get go is that a lot of this nudity relates to a satanic demon who enjoys rippings guys’ cocks off. So possibly not the kind of nudity you might be expecting or hoping for. Genital mutilation aside, Porno is a goofy, shocking movie that doesn’t quite hit the mark in terms of comedy and is about as subtle as a sledgehammer to a nutsack, but by the end it does transcend its ridiculousness (after taking farfetchedness beyond any sensible limits). Definitely an original film you won’t forget for awhile. And well done if you can ‘keep it up’ to the end.



Simon Alderwick is a poet and songwriter from the UK. His work is featured or forthcoming in Whatever Keeps The Light On, Re-side and the Squiffy Gnu anthology, among others. Follow him on Twitter @SimonAlderwick.

Categories: Film

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