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  • Writer's pictureMaxwell J.

May 2021 Review: The Best and Worst Movies I Saw Last Month

May was a really intense month at work so I had to take a bit longer to write this. That being said, it was a great month! We saw the return of big budget movies at the theaters and I personally saw four really amazing new releases, two of which end up on this list. I watched 36 horror movies this month and, without further ado, here are the three best and worst!

WORST #3) Bonehill Road (2018); Director: Todd Sheets; United States

After escaping an abusive husband and father, mother-daughter duo Emily and Eden find themselves in an even worse situation when they crash their car on an abandoned road following an animal attack. Soon they realize that the creature they hit is no ordinary one and that their day isn’t getting any better. Eventually the duo makes it to a farmhouse where they take a stand against the relentless creatures pursuing them while stumbling onto a new horror separate from the werewolf carnage preoccupying their minds. Can the women make it out alive or are they destined to be dead by dawn? A painfully incoherent and nauseating venture into lycanthropy, Bonehill Road refuses to commit to a tone, characterizations, or a logical storyline. It starts off rather shoddily and only gets worse after a second act reveal sucks the few remaining slivers of tension and charm into the void. As written and directed, scenes linger for interminable lengths of time before sauntering to the next irritating sequence of events. Highlights of the film including rather mediocre practical effects and a very brief cameo made by Linnea Quigley don’t make up for everything else dragging it down further. A woeful attempt at creating nostalgic werewolf exploitation, Bonehill Road is one film you hope doesn’t see the light of the full moon anytime soon.

Overall Score? 2/10

BEST #3) Army of the Dead (2021); Director: Zack Snyder; United States

Please check out the full review here.

Overall Score? 8/10

WORST #2) Oasis of the Zombies (1982); Director: Jesús Franco; France/Spain

After killing the only survivor of a skirmish in World War II, Kurt and his team of mercenaries learn the whereabouts of six million dollars of gold in the Northern African desert. The son of this British Commander goes on a treasure hunt in the after finding his notes from the conflict. Once they all converge on the location, however, they are attacked by the ghosts of the past war­: German zombies hellbent on protecting their gold and territory at all costs. What starts as a fun day trip for some ends in death as they scramble to survive to see the night. Oasis of the Zombies is a sleazy cash-in on the zombie subgenre that offers very little substance, even for back then. An obviously low-budget venture with little talent involved in the scriptwriting, acting, or special effects arenas, Oasis of the Zombies is a particularly grueling watch for anyone with a modicum of self-preservation. Lacking substance, entertainment quality, scares, or any mildly intriguing ideas, the team behind Oasis of the Zombies opts to hone it in for 82 long minutes of light zombie mayhem before finally sending viewers on their way. Oasis of the Zombies is a mirage plain and simple: empty and disappearing from your memory quicker than it manifested.

Overall Score? 2/10

BEST #2) Psycho Goreman (2021); Director: Steven Kostanski; Canada

Please check out the full review here.

Overall Score? 8/10

WORST #1) The Witching (1993); Director: Matthew Jason Walsh; United States

When his parents leave for a concert, a teenager is left caring for his dementia-stricken grandmother and clueless yet affable friend. As the night goes on, he grows frustrated with his predicament and curses the boredom of staying at home on a weekend night. This culminates in him reading from some strange books in his basement which opens up a portal to hell in the family refrigerator. A connection between the netherworld and the real world sets off a chain reaction where this young man and those around him must battle a witch and her army of ghouls. I’ll be honest, I struggled to remember what even happened in this movie. For a film that barely clocks in at an hour, it doesn’t leave much of an impression. It’s reasonable to assume this is another no-budget film without any professional support or backing. It’s bland, poorly produced, and offers trite storytelling that fails to even be charmingly so-bad-it’s-good. Truthfully, there’s not any redeeming quality that makes sitting through this film worthwhile except a chuckle every now and then. It’s not the worst thing you can experience on a Saturday afternoon, but your time is better off spent doing pretty much anything else.

Overall Score? 2/10

BEST #1) Perfect Blue (1998); Director: Satoshi Kon; Japan/United States

Perfect Blue is an animated mystery horror that follows popstar turned actress, Mima. The transition in her career stirs up a lot of controversy, so much that it inspires a stalker to create a fake diary of hers and post it on the internet. Slowly, this takes a toll on her mental health and sense of reality. Mima finds herself daydreaming, blacking out and missing time, and exhausted beyond measure. Meanwhile, there’s a killer that is dispatching those around her in plenty of gruesome ways. Is Mima’s stalker naturally progressing into something more sinister or will Mima learn a painful truth about herself? I’m actually still kind of blown away by Perfect Blue; it is such a well-made and exciting film. It is a beautifully filmed, cleverly written, and surprisingly nasty murder mystery dealing with the psychological and existential horrors of ambition. Thanks to a taut script with good dialogue, Perfect Blue slowly nudges the viewer into the unease of Mima’s life before taking a sharp plunge into insanity in the final act. The visceral horror behind the deconstruction of identity predates later horror classics like Black Swan and to a degree, Starry Eyes. I hope you’ll join me in supporting Mima’s acting career by watching Perfect Blue asap.

Overall Score? 8.5/10

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