Phantasm

Film, 1979

Phantasm has inventive, uniquely disturbing horror sequences and very bad writing and characterization. While this dichotomy is not unusual, it is wider than in most other bad horror films. Which is to say that the horror is really really good and the writing is really really bad. But, and your mileage may vary with this, the bad sequences actually heightened my experience with the movie. I laughed hysterically when the protagonist’s older brother, after not believing a word the protagonist said for the whole movie does a complete 180 on his stance after being shown a moving, severed finger for a fraction of a second. “Okay” he sensibly says “So tell me, what’s going on up there?” Was that on purpose? I honestly don’t know. But in the same breath the filmmakers were able to effectively creep me out with only some rustling sounds and some movement in the corner of the screen. I had a great time with this heaping serving of extreme hokeyness and genuinely weird horror. 3



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