Tuesday, September 22, 2020


The (Premature) Wrap-Up

We really don't need a recap here of what's been going on in TFNY 2020.
We’re all living in the same waking nightmare, after all.
Deep diving into that here seems repetitive and pointless, given that it’s everywhere you look.

This is what I’d like to say here:

I’ve always made it a point at the Iguana to give my ¡Q horror! recommendations without making any overt references to what’s going on in my personal life.
And that’s because, as far as I’m concerned, we’re here to celebrate horror, and these films and TV shows that get the ¡Q horror! seal of approval? They’re meant to exist outside of time, to be appreciated today, and years from now, regardless of what’s going on with me.

But, as brutally proven by TFNY 2020, this has been a year of many, many firsts, precious few of them, if any, good.
For the first time, my Watchlist queue has backed up not because I haven’t had the time to sit down and watch something (we have, after all, in TFNY 2020, an overabundance of time, all COVID-melty and oddly exhausting though it may be), but rather because, for the most part, the all-too-real horror happening all around us has been enough for me, thank you very much.
I didn’t need some fictional horror story to narratively induce fear and worry and anxiety because we were all already marinating in that particular stew of dread…
And as October began to loom (October? October?!) and the number of Candidates hadn’t even hit two digits, much less 13, I realized I had little choice but to write this post.

If you’re still in the mood for some ¡Q horror!-approved horror this fast-approaching Halloween, then please, feel free to consider the 7 Candidates thus far as Finalists this year. (Plus, an additional two-ish; see below.)

In the meantime, I should also say that, at this point, I can’t tell when my current attitude towards horror will shift, or revert back to its usual Lifelong Horrorhead levels.
It will, of course, depend greatly on how TFNY 2020 continues to unfold.

I’d like to think that, every once in a while, I’ll try and make a dent in my Watchlist queue, which continues to lengthen, given my recent neglect of it…
I just don’t know if I’ll be doing the whole ¡Q horror! Candidate posts thing (as I said, COVID time is oddly exhausting)…

For the time being, I think I’d like to use the Iguana to highlight what’s been keeping me sane these days, and that’s the comics side of my life.
That side has never really been “easy” (and the logistics end of self-publishing comics in TFNY 2020 has become exponentially more difficult), but there’s something to be said about spending time in the headspace of characters who are meant to be inspirational, about writing and telling stories that hopefully move and uplift…
So I’ll continue to make ‘Verse comics announcements here whenever there’s any news (and yes, there should be a ‘Verse post coming up soon-ish), that, I’m certain of.

In the meantime though, to close out this (Premature) ¡Q horror! 2020 Wrap-Up, two more titles you can safely consider ¡Q horror! 2020 Finalists…

one of which, I viewed quite a while back…

(March 2020)

“What is this Avatar sh!t?!”

Director Craig Zobel (who helmed three episodes of The Leftovers, including the pivotal “International Assassin”) reunites with Nick Cuse and Damon Lindelof to gift us with absurdist levels of gory, over-the-top violence in The Hunt.

espite the premature “controversy” in the wake of the trailer’s initial release, this title insists on equal opportunity ribbing, as shots are taken at both sides of the American sociopolitical divide, with a notable cast that includes Hilary Swank, Betty Gilpin, Emma Roberts, Amy Madigan, Ethan Suplee--as “(Shut the F*** Up) Gary”--and an uncredited Justin Hartley.

“This seems a little obvious, like, like maybe they wanted us to find it.”
“Depends on whether they’re smart pretendin’ to be idiots, or idiots pretendin’ to be smart.”

and the other, one I viewed a lot more recently…

(September 2020)

“Accept what you are. You are nothin’!”

If you’ve seen the trailer for Antebellum, then I’m spoiling nothing here by saying this:
Whatever the plot mechanics may be as to how the narrative bridges the Civil War and present day scenarios, the film is clearly about race.
And even if you see the trick coming, that doesn’t make Antebellum any less harrowing, opening as it does with a particularly difficult 13-minute section.

As she proved in the second season of Homecoming, Janelle Monáe is a potent lead, but I’d also like to point to both Gabourey Sidibe and Jena Malone, for bringing interesting textures to their supporting roles.

Antebellum is the feature debut of co-writers/-directors Gerard Bush and Christopher Renz, and it’s a provocative first shot.
I’m looking forward to seeing what’s next for the duo…

“This doesn’t end here. We’re nowhere… and everywhere…”

and for the -ish… something I also viewed quite a while back, and it qualified as an -ish since it’s a single episode of a TV series…

Osgood Perkins’ blackly comic, entertainingly biting indictment of human consumerism, “You Might Also Like,” his contribution to the second season of Peele-era The Twilight Zone.

This Perkins-described “bacon-wrapped hotdog” of an episode may not look it at first glance, but the connection the writer/director makes between the particular emotion that so consumes Gretchen Mol’s Janet, and consumerism itself… well, that’s horror right there…

The Egg will make everything okay again. And this time it will be okay forever.”

There we are.

I truly hope you’re all keeping safe (and sane) out there.

And have a Happy(?) and safe-slash-responsible Halloween, however you choose to celebrate it.

(The Hunt OS’ courtesy of impawards.com; Antebellum OS courtesy of screenanarchy.com.)

No comments: