Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Director: Adam Gierasch
Writer: Jace Anderson, Adam Gierasch
It might be a bad idea for me to share my thoughts on Night of the Demons because I really didn't enjoy the original. I know it has a bit of a following though, and I'll admit, it did some creative things with interesting characters. Still, I didn't enjoy it much and the same holds true for this more recent version.
Honestly, the first thing I thought of when watching was Hellraiser: Hellworld. If you've never seen that film you should continue to never see it. For those that have watched it though it probably doesn't need to be said that nothing should ever be bad enough to remind you of it. Thankfully, after the introduction the film crept away from memories of Hellworld and I felt immediately better. Still didn't like the film though.
There were some positive points in the movie for me. I really liked how they managed to keep in a famous scene with a breast but also inject a bit more into it. The changes brought into the film do make it a bit better than the original. That's just my thought on the matter though as many will probably find that a near-sacrilegious statement.
Monday, February 27, 2012
Director: Scott Spiegel
Writer: Lawrence Bender, Scott Spiegel
Genre: Horror: Slasher
If you like slashers then I hope you've seen Intruder (which goes by a few names). If you haven't, then why not? It might have a super dull name but the contents are pretty great. Something that's always bothered me is the mass of horror films taking place in same-y locations. I tire of creepy old houses/mansions and summer camps. Intruder takes place in a supermarket.
Unlike Chopping Mall this film is able to be relatively entertaining as well. Actually, I guess Chopping Mall is entertaining but in a horribly 80s "this doesn't make any sense" way. I like this film better. The cast is primarily young adults who work at the market, but there's a few older people in management there too. Also, since it's a market and on work time there's little to no time for romantic shenanigans. Thank god. That's something else I tire of in slashers.
The characters are nicely believable and keep you interested. If there's any problem there are a few too many characters. I had a bit of trouble remembering who was supposed to be who as people were slowly killed off one by one. At least that helped to keep me guessing about who was left to be the killer. Speaking of which, the murders are pretty gory for the 80s. I guess this is due to the film verging on the 90s so there's a great deal of skill involved with each effect. Still, it's more graphic than was expected.
I like this movie a lot. It isn't the best slasher but it is a pretty fun one. Intruder is not quite a classic but it's still worthy of a viewing.
Friday, February 24, 2012
Director: Nicolas Gessner
Writer: Laird Koenig
Genre: Drama, Horror
The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane was an unexpected film to me. From just the title alone it conjures up images of the typical horror "scary little kid". That's not the case in this film at all and I think that may have played a part in me liking it more. Perhaps that trope has only really come to fruition in the more modern day. I'm not sure, actually, maybe that really found its footing in the 80s with modern spooky, not so much The Bad Seed but more The Brood.
So for this movie we're greeted with a young but very autonomous girl. She's just about 13 (or 14 as she sometimes claims) but acts much older. I found myself completely in awe of the character. She certainly looked the part of a young girl but seeing such maturity coming out of her really threw me for a loop. I enjoyed every moment she spoke.
We all know that something is odd about this girl though because of how she carries out various chores in the city. Nobody ever sees her parents around. It's quite the mystery, although it is solved not too far into the film. Still, seeing her try to hide the truth, as well as seeing how others react to it is a joy. It might be a dark joy, but it was all quite enjoyable.
It's safe to say I quite liked The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane. It's not quite horror, and mostly some sort of building drama, but still a cool film. It also seems to have aged relatively well. I could see this movie existing today with little change.
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
Director: Alfred Ramirez, Scott Aschbrenner
Genre: Horror: Comedy
It's rare that I watch a movie that I absolutely cannot find through IMDB. I was able to grab some information of it from ZMBD, but what a rarity! From what little I've found, it appears that the movie is based off a comic book of the same name. I guess that makes sense since it plays out as a compilation of short films.
The first few films didn't really interest me but after that there were some really great ones. A short about a girl who is obsessed with watching TV was my favorite. I'd recommend watching it but it's probably a little hard to find. However, it is one of those super cheap movies that would probably appear on Netflix streaming if they were able to grab onto a copy. There's so much on the service that's so cheap, but still a gem.
Like I said though, it's a supremely cheap film overall. The video quality makes it seem much older than it actually is, and the acting sometimes leaves much to be desired. If you can look past those things though it's quite an odd little treat. Check it out if you like Creepshow, but then, who doesn't like Creepshow?
I took a few screenshots from this film for some reason. You can check them out if you want.
Monday, February 20, 2012
Director: Sally Mattison
Writer: Catherine Cyran
Genre: Horror: Comedy, Slasher
More girls! More blood! More silly murder man! Of course this is what one should expect and it's exactly what they get in the conclusion of the Slumber Party Massacre series. I have a feeling that this one is a bit better than the last, although it's hard to quantify, since they are all pretty similar films. Although it was made in 1990 though it still feels about the same age as the rest.
I honestly can't remember that much different between the second and third films so I'm not even going to try. I just want everyone to enjoy how wonderfully 80s the film is. At one point, the girls all bust out their goofily choreographed dance routine. Is this really what girls do at slumber parties? I think so.
Friday, February 17, 2012
Director: David Carson
Writer: Bryan Fuller
Carrie is a pretty damn famous piece of work. The novel and first film rendition are modern classics, so it always seems weird to see remakes for them. Still, in the world of remakes I would say this is a pretty decent one. It also happens to be a made-for-TV remake which makes it all the more surprising as to how decent it is. Of course, IT was also a TV special so apparently that path doesn't always spell doom.
The film is very much like the older version with some modern flair. The characters are more 2000s teen, which may be a good or bad thing. Still, the basics remain the same. Carrie is still ostracized, living with a fanatically religious mother, and discovering her psychic powers. At times it seems exactly like the original film, although it strays from that path by bringing more of the novel into the movie. This may please some.
As it is a TV movie the effects are very laughable at times. Still, you've got to give them credit for trying to remain authentic to the source material. Presumably the TV audience wouldn't really care one way or the other. Angela Bettis plays Carrie - and she seems to have a knack for these kinds of roles. I remember thinking she did pretty well in the film May. Apparently she was also in Girl, Interrupted and Toolbox Murders but somehow I don't remember. You think I would since she has such distinctive facial features.
Anyway, the film definitely works. Some choices are a bit laughable, but beyond that I liked it a lot. It fares better than the Psycho remake at least where there's absolutely nothing new thrown into the mix. This version of Carrie has a distinctive spirit so I commend it for trying.
Wednesday, February 15, 2012
Director: Jamie Blanks
Writer: Donna Powers
Genre: Horror: Thriller
Usually when I go into more modern horror films I don't expect much. This movie doesn't intend to blow your socks off but what it does it does very well. You'v got a cast of very likable (and attractive) adults all going about their lives. Valentine's Day is coming around so the group is certainly rather focused on finding or maintaining love. Unfortunately, some weird things are going on where their friends are slowly dying off.... receiving weird Valentine's cards, and that sort of thing. Seems like this year things are going to be pretty different.
The movie is a little silly but mostly I really liked the characters and the progression of the story from mildly creepy things to "Look behind you! Watch out!". Maybe that's just me though. The characters mostly are agreeable although their Hollywood glamour makes you sometimes focus on how fake the film is.
Valentine is good at getting you to follow the wrong trail. I always tend to enjoy movies that will confuse you as to who the killer is. Sure, most every film tries to keep that a secret but often it's hard to actually maintain that secrecy. Or, movies will just throw something completely out of left field because that's the best they could do. I like being deceived when it makes sense though, and it made sense here.
Totally check it out since, well, it's Valentine's Day!
Monday, February 13, 2012
Director: Deborah Brock
Writer: Deborah Brock
Genre: Horror: Slasher, Comedy
The Slumber Party Massacre was pretty campy. Between the title and the plot, while it was played it straight, was still eyebrow-raising at points. I don't know if that makes sense, but I hope it does. So, what do you do after you've made a semi-serious, semi-funny film? You just go fully in one direction. In the case of this sequel they went all out with their attempt at comedy.
Perhaps this is the movie people would imagine when hearing the title "Slumber Party Massacre". It must be something dumb and goofball and show lots of girls in their underwear or having pillow fights or something. The most notable thing about this film is the killer. He's some sort of retro rock idol with a satanic guitar. Of course his guitar has a drill on the end (why not?) which he uses for his murders.
In a way this film strangely presents a sort of fight for feminism. The rocker is from the old days and doesn't want women encroaching on his manly musical domain. At least, that's what I got from it. It helps that the main group of girls are in a "girl power" sort of rock band, too.
The movie is pretty silly. It's still a decent watch with likable characters, but a little out there too. I think this is my least favorite of the trilogy. It just seems too far gone to be taken as worthwhile viewing. Maybe I'm looking at it too harshly though. Again, it's a movie about girls having a slumber party so you can't expect something completely highbrow.
PS: Slumber Party Massacre II has one of the most fun title screens I've seen in a while:
Friday, February 10, 2012
Director: Robert Englund
Writer: Brian Helgeland, Rhet Topham
Wow. This movie. I actually never knew Robert Englund (Freddy Krueger) directed any movies. Now I think I see why. It's not that 976-EVIL is a bad movie but it leaves the impression on you that it is. There's just so much silliness to it that it's hard to take seriously as a film overall.
The story is basically this: There's this number you can call and it is supposed to tell you your HORRORscope. Haha, get it? Anyway, the phone line is actually much sinister as it promises people great powers. However, upon accepting such powers they must eventually either fall prey to it or revolt and get killed in the process.
The lead actor, Stephen Geoffreys, is most famous for his role as Evil Ed in Fright Night. I liked him more in Fright Night. He certainly gets a chance to go all-out in this film though, that's for sure. So there seems to be a good mix of skill put into this film but it's only average - although it's a "weird" average movie. There are however some pretty neat effects on display, as well as creative murders. You might get much more out of it than I did though, so maybe give it a chance if you haven't already.
Wednesday, February 8, 2012
Director: Frank LaLoggia
Writer: Frank LaLoggia
Genre: Horror: Mystery
I came into Lady in White with little to no expectations and was pretty blown away. This means that I definitely recommend it. Either way, let's talk a little about what makes the film tick. It starts us off with a young boy in school who is hassled by a handful of bullies, as well as his brother. His life seems ultimately regular though. That is until the bullies lock him up in a school storeroom late at night where he is witness to a creepy fellow sifting around in there.
Then, the story branches out into separate but overlapping tales. There is the regular life of the boy that is changed due to that event. Then there is the repercussions of that event that get someone else wrapped up in a great deal of trouble. Then there is a ghost story happening too. Despite these very different tales all happening at the same time it never gets confusing and they are woven into one narrative quite skillfully.
The ghost story feels almost kiddish in many ways, but maybe that's due to the fact that children are the ones exploring it. If you get beyond that though it's obvious this isn't the kind of film you want to tuck your kids away with at night. It features a whole lot of more serious commentary. There is the cruelness of racism as well as some other seedy parts of humanity on display.
Overally Lady in White is a cinematic treat. I would recommend it to any moviegoer, not just horror fans. As it stands, the horror content is pretty soft anyway so that's not the focus. The focus is more mysterious and dramatic.
Monday, February 6, 2012
Director: Mark Rosman
Writer: Mark Rosman, Bobby Fine
Genre: Horror: Thriller
Here's another one of those movies that has such a generic name you don't know what to expect. Or, you expect it to be nothing much at all. As it turns out The House on Sorority Row is actually a pretty special film.
It's certainly not the best movie that's ever come around but it certainly tries to be more than just your typical slasher or horror-mystery. That's the reason why I found it so enjoyable. You've got a group of sorority girls and their sorority mom or whoever is rather strict and old. After completely humiliating one of the girls, the humiliated girl seeks revenge. She attempts to pull a big stunt with a gun loaded with blanks, but things get a little out of hand...
From there, things start to get crazy. It's a rather slow burn from when things initially get out of hand for other events to occur. It may be because of this that the movie is able to draw you in so well. It lures you in with a bang of a start and then leaves you wondering what the resolution will be and if the sorority sisters will face repercussions for their actions.
You may feel like you know what is going to happen in the film but you may very well be wrong. The climax certainly caught me by surprise, anyway. The movie is good at leading you astray with red herring clues. Beyond that, it also has an exceptional soundtrack.
Friday, February 3, 2012
Director: Amy Holden Jones
Writer: Rita Mae Brown, Amy Holden Jones
Genre: Horror: Slasher
I have a feeling that a lot of people disregard or disrespect this movie due simply to its name. The Slumber Party Massacre sure sounds like it's the basest of slasher fare. Then, with the post depicting a man with a phallic drill posed menacingly over a group of terrified girls... Yeah, it seems like something that caters to the base.
When starting the movie up I had these notions in my head. Perhaps because of them the movie ended up really impressing me. First off, I noticed that the film is almost entirely comprised of women. Well, sure, there are some guy characters but they are mostly there to spice up the cast and get killed off rather quick. This is a film about a group of teenage girls. They talk about a great deal of things too, not just how hot so-and-so is. Perhaps this should be expected seeing that both the director and writer are women.
Anyway, back to the basics of the movie. So there's girls and they have a slumber party. Who would have guessed? The premise is pretty standard but how the characters interact and react to the murderer in their midst is pretty entertaining to watch. Mostly though it's the characters who shine. It's also great to see that Amy Holden Jones had the guts to bring out a murder who was obviously sexual about his kills. It's always been a sort of thing in the background of films but brave to actually have it more obvious.
There are two other films in the series. I am not sure how they were made. Did the first movie make bank? Or was the director just really adamant at continuing her vision? Either way, they're also worth a watch if you like the original. Their posts are coming up so be on the lookout!
Wednesday, February 1, 2012
Director: Jack Messitt
Writer: Jack Messitt, Mark Garbett
Genre: Horror: Slasher
I'll give Midnight Movie some credit. While horror movies that take place in and around movie theaters are nothing new, it does take a different spin on things. A handful of people have come to the theater to watch some super rare horror movie that was made by a madman. As they watch the on-screen killer stalk his victims they become confused as people on the screen start to look like their friends. The killer has made it out of the film and into the theater!
Wee! It's obvious the movie is pretty low budget but that doesn't stop it from being fun. There are only a few people in the theater so you get to know each character at least a little. There's no extraneous killings here, just the important people. The characters are all exhibit their own entertaining quirks too so it's fun to see how they play against each other. The killer himself is probably the weakest aspect as he doesn't offer much up in the creative category. Well, aside from one aspect of himself that I won't divulge.
One really enjoyable aspect of the film is the movie that the characters are watching. You get to see a big chunk of it and it's basically a Texas Chainsaw Massacre ripoff. However, it's a pretty hilariously bad rendition. That alone makes Midnight Movie worth checking out. Thankfully there's other things about the movie, such as the aforementioned characters, which make it a fun watch.
If you do try and watch it the introduction will probably throw you off as seeming like a really tremendously awful movie is in store for you. I think they could have done better to completely strip the intro from the film because it is not at all what the movie you end up getting is like.