“Numbness and Arousal in the Post-Postmodern Apocalypse of Too Old to Die Young” (Vague Visages)

“Bound up in taboo fetishism and constantly oscillating commitments between the base and the transcendent, and between comedy and horror (much like Lynch’s Twin Peaks: The Return), Too Old to Die Young uses its genre-codified landscape of moral corruption as an allegorical mirror for America’s crumbling civilization, and as a space for a far-reaching aesthetic study of eroticism and violence in art. Putting itself in conversation with the cinematic genre signifiers most loudly established by Alfred Hitchcock’s oneiric, perverse California masterpiece Vertigo (1958), Too Old to Die Young constantly scrutinizes the wavering spaces where the tawdry mingles with the sublime, where sexual (re)productivity entangles with morbidity and destruction.”

Read the full essay in Vague Visages.

Eli Roth Replaces Trademark Irreverence with Quiet Reverence for The House with a Clock in Its Walls

“At first glance, it’s difficult to situate The House with a Clock in Its Walls within director Eli Roth’s filmography. Following a politically reckless triptych that studied the implications of mass socialization through online platforms (The Green Inferno [2013], Knock Knock [2015] and Death Wish [2018]), this tonally scattershot kiddie Gothic seems almost to surface from nowhere. In some sense, it’s worthwhile to view the film completely on its own terms; but when dislocated from the rest of Roth’s ouevre, it offers little foundation for serious critical engagement. The film is flatly and almost numbingly pleasant. It’s over-designed but not to the point of genuine exuberance; occasionally amusing but never that funny; periodically stirring but by no means truly creepy; and unlike every one of its filmmaker’s preceding films, it moves through its entire runtime without ever straying near the territory of bad taste.”

Read the full review in Vague Visages.

Create a website or blog at WordPress.com

Up ↑