The Viewing

The Viewing ★★★½

I am not gonna let temptation get the better of me.

The Autopsy had the hairy vibrating alien goop ball, and now The Viewing has an equally goopy alien demon brain. Guillermo del Toro, Panos Cosmatos, and David Prior have spoken: The world needs more goop! I for one welcome this idea. I really liked The Autopsy a lot as this compact but fulfilling and three-dimensional horror film, whereas I do admittedly find The Viewing to be more of an exercise in style within its short runtime than anything else. (I think you could argue that the setting of 1979 and the ending of this is about how demonic energy and a generally twisted capitalistic mood came through the sewer into 80's American life, but that might be stretching things.) Not like that's bad at all, of course. I love Panos! I'm glad to get to see him work again with Mandy co-writer Aaron Stewart-Ahn, and in the absence of Jóhann Jóhannsson, Daniel Lopatin is a damn good artist to have for supplying textured synth music. I think I also understand why this episode is rated a little lower compared to the others from this series, where even though I'm all in for seeing this mix of actors just talking with each other and doing drugs, if you're explicitly watching this for horror, it takes a good while before you get there. What I was expecting my favorite part to be did in fact end up as my favorite part: Eric Andre is great here. I love Eric's look in this, and him and really everyone else here gets characters that suit their sensibilities well. (Sofia Boutella is another great aid towards the vibes, and Peter Weller with his white boy samurai locks and robe was also lovely to get.) If you're looking for morbid humor, some good gore, and a lot of really pretty lighting, would you expect nothing less from Panos Cosmatos?


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