REview: A Classic Horror Story (2021) | Expectation Subversion Done Well

One of the many things that irked me about the brouhaha over Justice League (2017) was that in explanation as to why so many people were seemingly upset with his take on the DC Extended Universe (DCEU) movies his wife and producing partner, Deborah Snyder said something to the effect that what upset fans of Superman and Batman was that they were bothered by her husband’s subversion of the characters.

It implied to me that she doesn’t understand what ‘subversion’ means.

It’s not subversive to take characters almost revered by people and turn them into something mean-spirited and ugly.

That’s not subversion, that’s cruelty for the sake of being cruel.

I mention it because A Classic Horror Story – currently streaming on Netflix – borrows liberally from more than a few more renown horror movies, but does so seemingly with the purpose of creating one of the more interesting horror movies on the streamer.

And perhaps most importantly, the people doing so appear to genuinely love the material they’re working with (something that also can’t be said with any certainty about the Snyders).

That being said, if you’re not well-versed with horror movies you might miss some of the references. After all, not everyone has seen The Shrine (2010) or The Wicker Man (1973) though more people are likely aware of Misery (1990) or The Village (2004), which A Classic Horror Story also plays homage to.

It’s just a clever, fun, well-done movie that turns tropes into strengths, which is not something you see everyday.

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