John Carpenter's Cigarette Burns is probably the best project he's done in a decade. The story about hunting down a legendary film that supposedly drove audiences to violent insanity plays out with a compelling originality one doesn't often find in horror movies anymore. As the mystery starts to unravel and our hero gets closer to finding the lost film, the situation becomes more and more cosmic and terrifying. All of which makes the climax a bit of a letdown. Once the film is finally screened, it should have resulted in something far more apocalyptic than it did. Still, it was good and it felt fresh. I liked it a lot.
Stuart Gordon's Dreams in the Witch House wasn't quite as good. The whole thing felt rather trite to me, and the little man-rat looked ridiculous (and spoke in a faux Peter Lorre accent!). There were no surprises to freshen the story up, either. It plays out exactly how you think it's going to. I think I lost my suspension of disbelief early on, when the 300-year-old witch first appears to our hero in a cloak, then throws off the cloak to reveal her naked body underneath. Somehow I don't think a 300-year-old witch would have shaved her pubes into a landing strip. But maybe that's just me. Dreams isn't terrible or anything, it just suffers in comparison to Carpenter's far more original entry.
I'm looking forward to seeing more!