Nightmare Cinema (2018)
September 8, 2020 11:53 AM - Subscribe

A series of down-on-their-luck individuals enter the decrepit and spine-chilling Rialto theater, only to have their deepest and darkest fears brought to life on the silver screen by The Projectionist: a mysterious, ghostly figure who holds the nightmarish futures of all who attend his screenings.

A horror anthology film from Shudder, with segments from Mick Garris (Masters of Horror), Joe Dante (Gremlins), Ryuhei Kitamura (Midnight Meat Train) David Slade (30 Days of Night), and Alejandro Brugués (Juan of the Dead.)
posted by DirtyOldTown (4 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
How in earth did this get 77% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes?

It's not very good.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 12:51 PM on September 8, 2020

The scariest part of this while thing may be simply the sight of Mickey Rourke in 2020.

Has anyone else noticed that horror cinematography in the age of high def video cameras has started to look pretty same-y?

The Thing in the Woods (Brugués): This is silly. The twist is mildly funny, but the buildup to it exhausted a lot of my patience before it got there. And it has zero interest in character or theme, it's just a gag.

Mirare (Dante): Standard Twilight Zone knockoff. When I realized they were going the plastic surgery route, I expected punchier satire. I watched the whole segment and honestly couldn't tell you what Dante was trying to say. Richard Chamberlain was marvelously creepy though. Genre films need to make use of him.

Mashit (Kitamura): Kitamura manages some actually cinematic shots, but is still handcuffed but the budget and the low budget HD video sameness of it all. Cool closing fight with the school full of possessed kids though.

This Way to Egress (Slade): This has a terrific look. Great visuals. Freaky premise. And Elizabeth Reader! She's always great. But once they stake out that premise, they just sort of quit.

Dead (Garris): Garris shows his time in tv horror by handling the budget limitations and limited scope better than most of the entries here. Still pretty standard stuff, but even in the compressed time, there is characterization, drama. The best of these in many ways, but still would be an afterthought in a better anthology.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 2:29 PM on September 8, 2020 [1 favorite]

I know I've seen this. More than once even. And yet I can never remember it. That means it's not awful, but it's not good. Which in a way is worse. Truly terrible movies have their own joy. This is just meh.
posted by miss-lapin at 4:40 PM on September 8, 2020 [1 favorite]

I just watched this, and though I agree with everything you said DirtyOldTown, I came away from it liking it well enough. Maybe because I went into it with low expectations? Like, sure, “The Thing in the Woods” was just a gag, but at least I didn’t have to sit through an hour of set up for it.

The one segment that I liked without qualifications was “This Way to the Egress.” It reminded me of one of my favorite horror sequences of all time, Jacob being wheeled deeper into the hospital in Jacob’s Ladder, with a bonus Cronenbergian pulsing, oozing handgun. The imagery was chilling and I liked how under-explained they left the premise.

Dante’s segment was creepy enough, but the ending seemed disconnected from what it was building toward. Garris’s was good, but the scene of Riley going into the light was a laughable misstep. Kitamura’s bit was a fun and creepy execution of a familiar story, even if the why of it all was scattered.

The segment I liked least was the framing story, also directed by Garris. Introducing Mickey Rourke right after the plastic surgery nightmare made me think they were going somewhere that they didn’t.
posted by ejs at 2:01 PM on September 13, 2020 [1 favorite]

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