October Horrorshow: Belzebuth

Belzebuth, the 2017 horror flick from Mexico, stakes its claims early on. In the first scene, we see police officer Emmanuel Ritter (Joaquín Cosio) and his wife, Marina (Aurora Gil), at the hospital following the birth of their child. The two are consumed by happiness, as are all the other new parents in the maternity ward. But, not long after, a neonatal nurse starts her shift by stabbing all of the babies in the newborn nursery with a scalpel. Viewers are treated to the nurse’s increasingly bloody arm going up and down, clutching the scalpel like, well, a knife. Ritter’s baby is one of the victims. It’s a hard bit of film to watch, even though the death is one-hundred percent implied. Director Emilio Portes decided to open his film with a shock, but he was still wise enough not to show we viewers any actual dead babies. Thank goodness, really. Continue readingOctober Horrorshow: Belzebuth”

October Horrorshow: Saw III

Here I go again. The absolute worst thing about torture porn is that it’s like driving by a car wreck. I cannot turn away. But, I think that may have something to do with the first two Saw films. They were tamer in comparison to Saw III. The level of physical injuries inflicted on characters in the first two films was gruesome, but this third entry in the series was where my gore threshold was finally crossed. I think it was the moment when a member of the cast almost drowns in shredded putrefied pig that did it for me. This came after seeing a man pull steel hoops from his flesh and a woman have her ribcage ripped from her body. I applaud the effects folks who came up with this stuff. They did a professional job. I just think they did it too well. Continue readingOctober Horrorshow: Saw III”

October Horrorshow: Saw II

Like the poor characters who populate the Saw franchise, I seem to be a glutton for punishment. I roundly excoriated the first Saw film and the torture porn subgenre of horror in yesterday’s review, yet here I am, writing a review of another Saw flick. I can’t seem to look away, and that’s part of the point of these films, right? During the progression of the series, plot continued to descend further into a convoluted pastiche that existed only to place characters into harm’s way, where they were confronted with machinery designed to maim them and delight us viewers. Continue readingOctober Horrorshow: Saw II”

October Horrorshow: Saw

I’ve mostly steered clear of torture porn when it comes to watching horror flicks. Grievous physical injury has always been a part of the horror genre, but it’s only in the last couple of decades that depictions have crept closer and closer to reality. Every person out there has a threshold for how much violence they can stomach before a film is no longer enjoyable. Torture porn usually crosses mine. While most of the films in the Saw franchise not only cross that line for me, but go sprinting past it, the first film has far less violence than its reputation would lead one to believe. To be sure, having less violence than its successors leaves it room for still quite a bit, but when it comes to the Saw franchise, less is more. Continue readingOctober Horrorshow: Saw”