Hello, welcome to Cinesthesia!
My name is Carlos Cuevas and I’ve been a fanatic of genre movies since I was around eight and my parents took me to see the special edition of Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977). Several years later I bought Peter Nicholls’ book The World of Fantastic Films (1984) and I was changed for life. The result is the website you’re reading now.
If you’d like to submit a review, please write me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Grading movies is a largely silly exercise. While there are obvious indicators of craft, the experience of watching a film is highly subjective and elastic. But since we need some sort of guide, here is how I rate them (with exhibits from John Carpenter’s filmography):
An unforgettable experience. Emotionally resonant and technically impressive films that push the medium forward. Example: The Thing (1982).
***½ Very Good
A cut above the rest. Films that go above and beyond in terms of skill and overall effect. Example: Halloween (1978).
Generally solid. Films that are enjoyable and worth your time, even if there are some minor kinks here and there. Example: Assault on Precinct 13 (1976).
**½ Pretty Good
Hits more than it misses. Somewhere between average and good, these are films that are entertaining and work reasonably well, but feel like they could just be a little better. Example: In the Mouth of Madness (1994)
Mostly forgettable. While they may have some okay moments, these films fail to make a lasting impression. Example: Vampires (1998)
*½ Below Average
Mediocre and incompetent. Films that make you wish you could get those two hours of your life back. Example: Memoirs of an Invisible Man (1992).
The worst of the worst. These are not “so bad they are good” cult films that could conceivably earn a higher spot on the list. No, these are just… bad. Yet in their own appalling way, they demand to be seen. Example: Escape from L.A. (1996)
Site title generously suggested by Gerry “The Stillness” López.