When you ask me what my favorite horror movie is, you are opening a deep, dark well into my mind where I could choose a different film every time you ask. However, there is a genre of film that I always go back to and that is Italian cinema. Since my first viewing of Suspiria, I’ve been a huge fan of this style of filmmaking and could easily go on and on about the works of Dario Argento, Lucio Fulci, Sergio Martino, Mario Bava, and the like. But there is a film of recent years that blends all of their works into one film, and that is The Editor from 2014.
Directed by Adam Brooks and Matthew Kennedy of the Astron 6 Collective, The Editor is a story about one of the greatest editors in the filming industry named Rey Ciso (Matthew Kennedy) who lost 4 of his fingers during a horrible accident. Afterwards, he had to resort to editing trash films. One day, the actors of one of these trash films start getting murdered one by one and Rey is thought to be the suspect. As the bodies start piling up, Rey has to struggle to prove his innocence and learn the truth behind what is lurking behind the scenes.
This film is a complete love letter to the Italian films of yore, which is just one of the many reasons why it has become one of my favorite horror films. Every time I watch this movie, I notice something new that is an homage to the greats of that bygone era. The red, blue, and purple gel lighting is easily a nod to some of Bava’s work and most notably Argento’s Suspiria. There’s even a scene where Rey Ciso picks up a book titled The Three Mothers, a nod to Argento’s Three Mothers trilogy.
Besides that, one of the other reasons I enjoy The Editor as much as I do is the whole “movie within a movie” backdrop. The film that is being made is done in a comedic tone where certain actors have their voices dubbed over in hilarious fashion. If you are a fan of Italian cinema, then you know that dubbing over voices was a big part in how they make their movies. The acting in this inner movie is cringeworthy, but that just gives the film more charm. The humor throughout is dark and gets me laughing out loud every time I watch. Apparently I have a perverse, dark sense of humor.
Another thing that needs to be brought up is the practical effects. I don’t need to tell any of you that CGI has been being used as a cheap and easy go to for effects in horror films in recent years. Even with a really low budget, Astron 6 used all practical effects in The Editor, which makes this film even more impressive. From violent stabbings that color the rooms red with blood to a very gruesome axe to the face to a woman getting her face ripped off then put back on again, the effects look great and would please any of the gore hounds out there.
You don’t have to be a fan of Italian cinema to enjoy this movie. There’s plenty in here that will please most horror fans. On the other hand, if you are into the Italian style of filmmaking, then you will find plenty to unpack. I have watched The Editor a half dozen times already and I still find something new in each viewing. I urge you to give this movie a chance, and if you enjoy it, I highly recommend checking out Astron 6’s other work, Father’s Day and Man-Borg.