Saturday, January 7, 2012

Blog plug - A Lifetime In Dark Rooms

I figured you might be tired of reading overblown appraisals of the significance of a website, so here's something you might enjoy.

A Lifetime In Dark Rooms is to horror films what Trial By Ordeal is, in some ways, to metal. Handled solely by Cliff Evans, the blog contains some of the best reviews/analyses of horror films that I've ever seen. With a keen understanding of film-making's elements as well as an intuitive grasp of what makes a truly great horror film, he dissects horror films in an unapologetically academic manner, treating them as art first, films second, and "horror" and the grab-bag of stereotypes the word invokes last. His writing is intelligent and analytical but eminently readable, and of five or so films he's recommended that I've managed to check out so far, every one was excellent and unique. In another parallel to Trial By Ordeal, though, he doesn't let the academic tone of his work prevent him from analyzing work typically dismissed as prurient or exploitative: check out his brilliantly lucid two-part analysis of "A Serbian Film" for a firsthand example.

If you're into horror or intelligent analysis of film in general, you owe it to yourself to check this out. My only complaints are his somewhat erratic update schedule and perhaps consciously restricted article length- frankly, at the end of just about any of his reviews, I want to hear more about his interpretation of symbolism, cinematography, and atmosphere.

And though it's mentioned infrequently, he's a metalhead, too.

7 comments:

  1. I'll give it a look, mostly 'cause a few of my friends have started doing horror movie nights at their houses the last few months. So far, it's been deliberately towards the hilariously rubbish budget end of horror (Mega Piranha and the like) but someone broght in some amazing oddball Korean horror film and it was great. Thanks for the link :D

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  2. His tendency is toward the more cerebral, slowly unfolding style of horror- a slasher fan he is not (or at least doesn't appear to be.) His movies are less suited for a movie/party scenario and more for a quiet, studied listen alone or with a close friend. Watch a film he recommends when you're in the mood for dread over jump scares and you'll get the best results.

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  3. A quiet, studied viewing, even- clearly this has been a music blog for too long.

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  4. That'd be cool if you could at some movie reviews to TBO. I've been thinking about writing a review for Santa Sangre some time, but I don't really know where I'd start because it'd be the first review I'd written for anything ever.

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  5. Oh fuck, I dun goofed on that first sentence. What I meant to say was "that'd be cool if movie reviews were also featured on TBO".

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  6. I'm planning on doing one very soon.

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  7. Thanks for the kind words - I really appreciate it!

    I'm still trying to work on the update schedule - I struggle between posting frequently and making most of my posts thoughtful and detailed. I also try to be vigilant about not going on and on, so that's why some of the posts are short. Also, I'd rather err on the side of not giving the whole movie away (my recent post on Kill List drove me nuts because I wanted to talk about how awesome it was, but so much of what makes it awesome means you have to go into it blind.)

    That's a lot of words. Sorry about that.

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