#15 – Tigers are Not Afraid
Written and Directed by Issa Lopez
“Tigers are not Afraid” is a living nightmare in a lawless Mexico that is more horrific and real than any fantasy monster could be… although they are still there.
The film is set among a group of homeless children, including one controversial new member who is convinced she has three magical pieces of chalk that grant her wishes, it is an emotional roller-coaster that spares no one, but gives us just a glimpse of hope at the end.
#16 – Halloween
Directed by David Gordon Green, Written by Jeff Fradley, Danny McBride, and David Gordon Green
John Carpenter’s ‘Halloween’ influenced my entire sensibility for how ‘slasher’ films should work. He never felt like you should root for or glamorize the villain, and in doing so he was able to make a classic. The movies after him didn’t hold to his formula and I’d argue while they produced guilty pleasures, they don’t particularly work as FILMS.
If you’re rooting for the antagonist, and the protagonist is weak or irrelevant, then there’s nothing to move the movie forward because you know the villain has to come back for another movie and no character ever essentially changes in the span of the movie. It reduces the movie to a series of increasingly ludicrous setpieces to sustain a sequel because how many ways can you really kill someone with a machete? I didn’t know how this sequel would work.
‘Halloween’ is unique in that it focuses on the trauma that Michael Myers has caused to others. Like the best horror films it invests completely in it’s characters. It also understands that we have questions about the mind beneath the mask, but like most serial killers there is nothing of worth there and understanding those motivations might be the path to madness.
I had this among the best of my list – and then announced it was the first part of a trilogy. I have no idea where this story is going but for now it dilutes the things that made this remake so exceptional.