H. is a hard film to classify, falling somewhere between mystery and drama with a sprinkling of horror. But the thing about this movie is that it’s a tease. All these strange things happen, and even if they are interesting or occasionally frightening in the moment, nothing is ever explained. Now, I’m fine with movies which want to keep their events ambiguous and mysterious, but if they do than those events and the people that interact with them need to be compelling enough to stand on their own. And that’s the thing: the events of H. are not interesting enough to stand on their own.
To be fair, if I had seen this before the terrifying and intense psychological horror They Look Like People the night before, than maybe I would have liked this film more. Compared to that, this movie seemed extremely tame and extremely slow. But even if I hadn’t, H. is a movie which aspires to the mysterious and ambiguous tradition of horror-mystery but sadly, to use the old expression, its reach exceeds its grasp.
Combining a well-written plot with a cast of experienced actors, Wildlike is a touching drama film about two people who start as strangers and slowly come to care for one another. Both Ella Purnell and Bruce Greenwood are excellent in their respective roles, the former as the vulnerable young girl and the latter as the world-weary older man. Because of this and the phenomenal writing by writer/director Frank Hall Green both Mackenzie and Bart feel like real people, and as they get to know each other we as the audience do as well. By the end, the two of them are like old friends to us.
Not to mention the fact that the cinematography is absolutely gorgeous. The movie was filmed on-location in a variety of Alaska locales, most notably the pristine wilderness of Denali National Park. I enjoyed the film even further as I have a personal connection to Alaska and I have been to many of the same places that Mackenzie travels through. Even if you can tell that the cameras the movie was filmed on were not the highest quality ever, the raw natural beauty of the place makes up for it. Wildlike is a beautiful film, on both a visual and emotional level, and I await its full theatrical release so I can go and see it again.
DEATHGASM is ridiculous, hilarious, extremely gory, and downright awesome. It’s a horror movie and splatter comedy based entirely around Heavy Metal music which does not take itself seriously in the slightest and runs entirely on sheer mayhem and absurd comedy. Featuring everything from literally satanic Metal music, a Dan Brown-style secret society intent on hunting down and murdering DEATHGASM, and Brodie and Zakk trying to kill demons with giant dildos, this is a movie which positively revels in its own insanity. The over-the-top gore and high level of genre self-awareness makes for a rollercoaster ride of violence, comedy, and awesome battles with evil demons. And of course, the movie has an awesome soundtrack with tons of brutal Metal music; the creators of the movie obviously have such a love for the music and it comes across beautifully in the movie.
And what makes all of this even better is that the movie is actually exceedingly well-made. The acting is very professional, with the actors giving it their all in even the most absurd scenes and clearly having a whole mess of fun while doing it. The writing is extremely clever, managing to be both play straight and make fun of the typical splatter movie tropes simultaneously. There’s even a little B-plot about Brodie and Medina’s blossoming romance which manages to both really cute and super Metal at the same time. And the special effects, while often intentionally cheesy, look really good, especially when Brodie and company kill demons in extremely bloody and… creative ways. Put everything together and you have a ludicrously fun horror-comedy which is simultaneously a love-letter to everything METAL. Trust me, after you watch this movie you’re going to want to go home and blast Metal music into your ears at the highest possible volume (which is exactly what I’m doing as I write this review). All in all, DEATHGASM is one of the funniest and most fun movies I’ve seen in quite a long time.