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Revisiting One of My Favorite Movies of All-Time: Darren Aronofsky’s Requiem for A Dream (2000)

Here’s my review of the scariest movie ever conceived, and it’s one that’s not even categorized as “horror.” 

Requiem for a Dream is the most psychologically brain-damaging drama of all-time. The finale of this film is like watching your soul get squeezed, as your heart slowly shatters, and once it’s all finally stopped, you’re left only with a gutless and empty feeling inside. Now this is why Aronofsky wins. Say whatever you want about the guy glorifying everything in his films, but at least he does it with a passion that can not be matched by any other director. He will get his message out no matter the odds—in this case, the odds being his choice to insert some of the most stressful sequences ever put to film. The first time I saw this film was somewhere around my mid-High-School experience, and it’s frightened me away from ever even remotely thinking about doing hardcore drugs, ever since. FYI, to teachers who are trying to teach kids not to do drugs, don’t show your lame-ass, cheesy, cheaply made, 90s-released, “Drugs Aren’t Cool!” documentary videos, just show them Requiem for a Dream, and I guarantee every single human being who sees it will be scared s***less of doing drugs for a solid and long amount of time. The fact that this movie didn’t even get nominated at the Academy Awards for best editing is an absolute sin, cause the editing in this is some of the most effectively creative but also stressfully poignant, quick-cut mastery ever achieved. And when you add the impeccably dreamy cinematography and EPIC original score by Clint Mansell with the editing, voilà, you have yourself a technical masterpiece. It’s no surprise that Ellen Burstyn got nominated for an Oscar for this movie, she brings home a marvelous performance, and so does Leto, Connelly, and quite surprisingly Wayans. Whenever someone asks me—and this is rhetorical, nobody really has asked me this—”What’s the most f***** up, repulsive, nerve-racking, and unorthodox movie you’ve ever seen?” Typically I answer with Requiem for a Dream (or mother!, but that’s for a whole other review/discussion). But trust me, when I say this, I mean that as the upmost apical, and positive compliment. If there was such thing as an A double or even triple plus, I’d reward this movie with it, but since that doesn’t exist, I guess we’re going to have to rate this the proper way: (Verdict: A+) 

Jennifer Connelly might be the most beautiful woman in the world, but weirdly enough, so might Jared Leto.

This movie is placed on my list: My Top 44 Favorite Movies Of All-Time

This movie is placed on my list: The Victors of the 2000s

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Evaluating Roman Polanski’s Thriller Masterpiece Rosemary’s Baby (1968)

Being a humongous fan of Chinatown, one of my all-time favorites, I had contrived myself with massive expectations for Rosemary’s Baby—which I have been anticipating for many many months—and I’m completely appalled that this film somehow, effortlessly exceeded them. The biggest compliment I can give this movie is that the characters provided in the story don’t feel like actors/actresses portraying a part, they feel like real people attending their everyday lives. I felt like I was baselessly peeping into the lives of real people experiencing real traumatic events, and that’s saying a lot since some seriously berserk s*** goes down in this film. Rosemary’s Baby is doubtlessly one of the most persuasive, and unsettling dramatic thrillers I have ever gutted. It’s parallels to difficult and more burdensome themes that other films wouldn’t dare explore, are boldly risky yet decidedly respectable. Rosemary’s Baby is the upholding standard (or literal definition/pinnacle) of flawless “psychological horror.” Despite my considerably negative feelings towards Polański as a person, as a filmmaker, I can give him top-credit for his masterful direction and perfect writing that can simply not be compared with against any other household name during the era in which Rosemary’s Baby was released (AKA, the 60s). (Verdict: A+) 

There’s a “dream sequence” in this movie (no spoilers of course) that had me squirming with pure terror. I have never, ever been so profoundly disturbed by a dream sequence. And just the overall technicality and scenery/direction of this sequence is masterful in its own right, and makes for one of the scariest acts ever put to film.

Oh yah, if you use Rotten Tomatoes, do not, I repeat, do not read the Critics Consensus for Rosemary’s Baby. One reason I hate the website is because a bunch of assholes on there seem to love to give unwarranted spoilers for various films, even sometimes from the website’s own official consensus!!! So, so glad I went into this one blind without reading any reviews or synopsis for it. 

This movie is placed on my list: My Top 44 Favorite Movies Of All-Time 

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Princess Mononoke (1997): An Animal-Friendly Gem

Studio Ghibli Fest 2018 

I’m so thrilled that I decided to watch Princess Mononoke for the first time ever on the big screen. Studio Ghibli is just nonstop in terms of their animated quality (leaving most animated studios in the dust) even in times like the 90s when this film was released. The action sequences are crafted with such care and such brutality that it’s hard not to be remarkably energized by them. The characters surrounding the movie are so engaging and iconic which immensely supports a deeply fleshed-out and powerfully thought-provoking story. Princess Mononoke is a breathtakingly painted tale of a man on a quest to balance two opposite ends of a war filled with hatred, greed, and violence. The conflict of siding between two teams is quite apparent in the film, and it’s resolutions are as beautiful as they are significantly important in the real world throughout human history and especially today. (Verdict: A+)

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Suspiria (1977): The Mother of Giallo Movies

The crew behind the lighting and color pallet for Suspiria deserve an Oscar (x1000)!!! I felt like I was in some sort of twisted heaven witnessing this movie!!! 

In anticipation for Luca Guadagnino’s remake of Suspiria, I decided to watch the 1977 original for the first time. Suspiria is slasher horror done right, because it’s always molded around in mystery that entices you with a well-constructed lore rather than just faulting you in some typical, random, psycho-killer story. Of course, I can’t go without mentioning the scenery and overall build of the film’s setting/set pieces. It’s all just the damn near definition of “perfection.” Not only is this probably the most visually magnificent horror movie ever made but it also might just be the best scored horror film of all-time (I’d have to think about it). The score alone is an absolute masterpiece that makes most movie soundtracks look like amateur-work. I have but one major flaw with the movie which is the fact that there’s a near 5-minute scene dedicated to a truck-load of exposition that feels heavily forced. Other than that, Supiria certainly lived up to the hype, and as a well-rounded horror fan, I can recommend this movie to just about any respectable horror junkie, any film-lover who is into artsy pictures, and undoubtly to any neo-art finatic. (Verdict: A) 

Is it just me or is young Jessica Harper pure perfection? I have a feeling it isn’t just me!
 
💜❤️

This movie is a part of my list: The 24 Best Horror Movies Ever