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31 Days of Halloween

‘Chop Chop’ review: A Tarantino inspired horror movie?

Welcome to another installment of 31 Days of Halloween! This is our chance to set the mood for the spookiest and scariest month of the year as we focus our attention on horror and Halloween fun. For the month of October we’ll be sharing various pieces of underappreciated scary books, comics, movies, and television to help keep you terrified and entertained all the way up to Halloween.

Listen to the latest episode of our weekly movies podcast, Adventures in Movies!

Pulp Fiction is one of the most influential movies of all time. Almost three decades after the film’s release, it still serves as an inspiration. Chop Chop may be one of the most surprising movies to show the influence of the Quentin Tarantino classic. The Matthews are spending a romantic night at home together. Things seem to be going well until a psychotic pizza delivery man shows up at their door. He has a propensity for chopping off heads and the loving couple is next. This leads to a night of chaos.

Things get off to a quick start in Chop Chop. Quick as in the supposed villain is introduced and dealt with in the first fifteen minutes. Obviously there is more, but it seems like the movie has hit its peak at this point. There is too much left unexplained in the film. What starts off as a slasher turns into an exercise in the surreal. It is always a risk to go this route, but it is especially precarious in a horror movie.

The obvious answer is Chop Chop is not supposed to be a horror movie. It seems to want  to reside in the same “frightening but not quite horror” space that David Lynch movies tend to reside in. Unfortunately, this makes things seem more unfocused than anything else. Acting seems stilted (this, the plot comes off as incomplete, and nothing seems to mean anything.

There is some humor involved. As the night progresses and the bodies add up, Chop Chop is able to deliver some genuine laughs. The casual reaction the Matthews have to death is also a nice touch. It hints there is more to them than the story has let on. Chop Chop has a lot of potential. It is darkly comedic and weaves an interesting story. From the music to the use of title cards, it also wears its influences on its sleeve. There is a good movie somewhere in the chaotic action and paper think backstories, but the the film seems content to let the audience figure things out for themselves. 

Has gothic horror gone away?

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