This isn’t looking good, folks. The last movie of 2015 and the first movie of 2016 I watched were both a bust, and they really shouldn’t have been.
So, first things first. The last movie of 2015 I watched is Fiend Without a Face, a 1958 horror/sci-fi film starring and directed by nobody special. Now, I know what you’re thinking. Why on Earth would you expect a 50’s movie called Fiend Without a Face starring and directed by nobody special to be, well, special? Because FWAF happens to be spine number 93 in the Criterion Collection. Obviously no list is perfect and all lists are subjective, so one shouldn’t expect to like everything in any collection. Salo is in the Criterion Collection too, and I’m certainly not going to be watching that one any time soon. But according to their FAQ, each film supposedly is “an exemplary film of its kind,” be they art house or out house, and I don’t see how Fiend Without a Face is exemplary. The Thing from Another World doesn’t make it, but this movie does? Makes me want to start a new blog called, How the Heck Did this Junk Make It Into the Criterion Collection?
The first movie of 2016 that I watched is one that’s been on my radar for quite a while, and I finally got around to watching it, Let the Right One In, the 2008 Swedish horror movie that’s been called, “the best vampire movie ever made.” Don’t get me wrong, LTROI is vastly superior to FWAF in every way imaginable. It’s well done and inventive in the way it mixes traditional horror tropes with straight up drama. But in the end, I was underwhelmed. Maybe I just expected too much from it, what with all the build up. Or maybe I just didn’t get the vaguely suggestive sexual themes and so the impact of all the Freudian imagery was lost on me. In any event, I was disappointed.