Monday, October 31, 2016

31 Days of Spooky Movies: The Conjuring 2

Day #14

The Conjuring 2

Lorraine and Ed Warren travel to England to investigate the case of a young girl whose family claims suffers from demonic attentions.

Fright Factor:
3 / 5  Acoustic Guitars

Gore Factor:
2 / 5  Abdominal Thrusts

Should you watch it?

It’s certainly not as good as the original was, but it’s still pretty enjoyable. The problem is that the story just isn’t there. It has a very sequel-y feel to it and seems as if it was primarily made as a vehicle to give fans more Ed & Lorraine and the rest of the story was just an afterthought.

And to their credit, there are a lot of fantastically sweet Ed and Lorraine moments, yet the haunting never really develops as fully or as intriguingly as it should have. Sure, there are a some genuinely creepy scenes, but there are also some overly overt and extremely heavy-handed ones too.

If you liked the first one I think that you’ll enjoy seeing more of the Warrens and their based-on-real-cases adventures. And if you’ve never seen the first one? Well, there’s really nothing in this one that would require you to have and it’s a solid horror movie...

...Just know that the first one was better.

“Ed, this is as close to hell as I ever want to get.”

Saturday, October 29, 2016

31 Days of Spooky Movies: The Innkeepers

Day #13

The Innkeepers

A small hotel is set to shut down for good and the two remaining staff members are determined to prove once and for all that the place is haunted.

Fright Factor:
3 / 5 Customers

Gore Factor:
1.8 / 5 Rude Ghosts

Should you watch it?

Horror movies frequently make the mistake of having unlikable main characters. But unless you’re bringing some real skill to the table to compensate, it’s hard to be truly scared when the worst that could happen is that some dudebro69 is going to get got. But therein lies the greatest strength of this movie: Sara Paxton steals the show as a lead character who’s just too innately sweet and likable for anyone to want to see her get hurt.

This is one of those horror movies that slowly ratchets up the tension as the film progresses and I love when horror movies do that. Not to mention that it’s nice to see a spooky movie that never tries to go way over the top. They seem to have been working with a less-is-more philosophy and it works to great effect here. Going big can result in bigger scares, but working the small stuff is more unsettling in a way, because it somehow seems all the more possible.

And as if those things weren’t enough, I was pleased to learn that the movie is told from a customer service worker’s point of view!

I’m not gonna lie to you, I particularly enjoy any movie that accurately describes what it’s like to work in customer service. The boredom, the drudgery, the fun of having ridiculous conversations with coworkers, the lengths one will go to to make things more fun, the annoying interactions with customers, feeling like a failure that this is where your life has led you and the only reason you stick around is that you don’t know what you want to do instead.

As I was watching the movie I was getting really excited to be able to talk about how refreshing it was to see a horror movie where the two leads are opposite genders and yet just platonic friends. But UNFORTUNATELY they had to go and blow it by having the dude confess his feelings near the end. Come on, dummy! This place is reaching a dangerous level of haunted and you decide that this is the right time for this conversation? What makes it all the worse is that he is clearly mistaking the kindness of friendship as romantic attraction.

But what it all really comes down to is that the film managed to get to me. I actually had to stop this movie at one point, because there was a weird noise coming from somewhere in my house and it was starting to really freak me out. Turns out the ceiling in my bathroom was leaking, but the point is the movie got in my head and started making me feel a little bit unsafe in my own home.

A sure sign of a good horror movie if ever there was one.

“Do you know the story of Madeline O’Malley?

She was the one that died here in the hotel.

She hung herself after her fiance stood her up on her wedding day. The original owners of the hotel, thought it would be bad press and hurt the business. So, they hid her dead body in the wood cellar for three days. Before they could smuggle her out of the loading bay.

When the people of the town finally figured out what had happened here...

They were outraged.

So, the owners had to close the hotel down and were forced to sell it.

Nobody came through here again until the ’60s. And ever since then, people have reported seeing the ghost of Madeline O’Malley roaming the hallways waiting for her lover.

Some say, she’s even looking to take up a new one.”

“Excuse me? What are you doing?”


“What’s going on?”

“She said there’s a ghost in that hotel. She said it’s coming to get me!”

“I never said that.”

“What’s the matter with you? He’s just a child.”

Monday, October 24, 2016

31 Days of Spooky Movies: The Ward

Day #12

The Ward

It’s 1966 and an amnesiac is committed to a mental institution after being found burning down a house. However, she soon finds out that the ghost of her room’s previous occupant is haunting the ward and picking off its occupants one by one.

Fright Factor:
2.5 / 5  Examples of 1960s Medicine

Gore Factor:
3 / 5 Shock Therapy Incidents

Should you watch it?

From a technical standpoint it does a lot of things I really liked, but from a story perspective? Terrible.

I don’t even know what else to say. The writing was far from the best, but it was within acceptable levels for a horror movie. It was well shot, had some characters I really liked, a creepy setup, great costumes, and it all leads to an ending that makes you wonder if you can get a refund on that hour and a half of your life.

Also, dear 1960s medicine, WTF is the matter with you?

“Look at me!”

“Sorry, I don’t converse with loonies.”

Sunday, October 23, 2016

31 Days of Spooky Movies: Child's Play

Day #11

Child’s Play

An evil doll is bitten by a radioactive 6-year old and gains the proportional strength, speed, and reflexes of a little boy.

[Okay, okay, fine! That’s not true. It’s about really about...]

A murderer uses his dying breath to transport his soul into a doll. Now he seeks revenge on those responsible for his death...and the young boy who took him in.

Fright Factor:
1.7 / 5  Stupid Dolls

Gore Factor:
1.5 / 5 Stabby McStabbykins

Should you watch it?

Ummm...I’m gonna go with Yes.

It’s not actually scary or particularly well made, but if you’re looking for something ridiculous and 80sy then look no further.

I mean, seriously, think about it: it’s a doll! Sure it can catch you by surprise or make people think you’re crazy, but other than that you kind of have a serious upper hand here. And yeah, sure, I guess he knows some “voodoo” magic, but even that requires you to have made a number of terrible decisions to even get him into a position where he can use it.

Which brings up the biggest of the movie’s inherent flaws: in order to compensate for the fact that a living doll isn’t frightening (or formidable) the filmmakers have to go WAY out of their way to get Chucky into situations where he can be competently menacing.

You know that gag in the Naked Gun movies where someone would throw something stupid at a character and they’d pretend it was actually effective? That’s essentially Chucky fights in a nutshell.

Although, to be fair...there is one truly scary scene in the moive: the one where the kid tries to make breakfast by himself. It is hard to watch. The kid is spilling stuff everywhere, almost starting fires, and putting a truly freakish amount of sugar on his cereal. It’s nerve wrecking to watch.

In summary: a great one to laugh at with friends, but just go into it knowing that it’s not so much scary as it is silly.

“Talk to me.


Come on, talk!


I said, ‘talk to me,’ dammit!


All right. I’ll make you talk!


I said talk to me dammit or else I’m gonna throw you in the fire!”


Friday, October 21, 2016

31 Days of Spooky Movies: The Addams Family

Day #10

The Addams Family

A band of crooks try to con a loving—although incredibly macabre—family out of their fortune by convincing them their long-lost brother has returned.

Fright Factor:
1/5  Mamushkas

Gore Factor:
1/5  Uncle Niknak's Summer Wardrobes

Should you watch it?


Of course you should! Frankly, I’m kind of surprised you haven’t seen it already.

This movie could have so easily been some cheap appeal to the lowest-common-denominator money grab, but it isn’t! A lot of really talented people worked on this movie, both on and off camera.

And yes, there’s some really fun humor and visuals and acting and sets and so much more, but the thing that really sets this movie apart is also the crux of the humor: that in spite of being dark and macabre, the Addams are an incredibly loving and supportive family. The result is that (whether intentional or not) the Addams end up as one of most functional and stable movie families you’ll ever see. Morticia’s mother lives with the family and this is shown to be a normal thing and not a source of mother-in-law jokes. The kids are loved and supported in their interests. Gomez and Morticia adore one another and take equal responsibility in raising their kids and taking care of their household. And the list goes on!

In terms of family friendly, spookily-themed comedy, you can’t go wrong with The Addams Family.

“Wednesday is an excellent student, but frankly I’m concerned. You see, this is our class bulletin board. This month our theme is ‘Our Heroes,’ people we love and admire. You see Susan Ringo has chosen the President. Isn’t that sweet? And Harmony Fell has picked Jane Pauley.”

“Have you spoken to her parents?”

“But Wednesday brought in this picture: Calpernia Addams.”

“Wednesday’s great aunt Calpernia. She was burned as a witch in 1706. They say she danced naked in the town square and enslaved a minister.”


“Oh, yes.
But don’t worry, we’ve told Wednesday, ‘College first.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

31 Days of Spooky Movies: Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse

Day #9

Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse

A cocktail waitress and a trio of high school boy scouts are the last line of defense when a zombie outbreak threatens their town.

Fright Factor:
1.5 / 5 Cat Ladies

Gore Factor:
3 / 5  Modified Weed Wackers

Should you watch it?

Shouldn’t they have put an apostrophe in that title? It kinda feels like there should be one, right?

Anyways, I went into this one with incredibly low expectations and it surpassed them! I mean, it’s 100% a movie aimed at teenage you
’ve gotta keep that in mind. But if you can put aside your critic cap and accept that this movie was made for a demographic that’s notoriously immature and clueless...well, you might just have some fun.

While there are a number of really fun scenes in the movies, I was hoping there would be SIGNIFICANTLY MORE scout action. In actuality, the scouts in the movie really don’t use their scout skills all that much. Especially not in the hilarious ways I was hoping for: making a snare,  tying two zombies intestines together using a special knot, the shooting of a bow and arrow, surviving in the forest, etc. Frankly I’m still rather bummed out about this.

But hey! The main female character actually wears a bra! And you never get to see any more of it than the straps! Now there’s a combo you don’t see very often in a horror movie, let alone one made for teenage boys.

I do feel the need, however, to inform the public that despite the advice given in the movie, do NOT just go up to girls and kiss them out of nowhere. It seems like a good idea in movies, but a little warning bell should be going off anytime you find yourself thinking, “It always works in the movies!” Believe it or not: most people don’t want to randomly kissed by you. It’s a sad fact of life, I know.

Did I mention that the always amazing Cloris Leachman is in this movie? Because she totally is! And in one scene she totally puts her lips on someone without their consent, and their reaction pretty much proves my whole point about that issue.

“It’s the zombie apocalypse! Come on, we’re scouts! We’re trained for this!”

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

31 Days of Spooky Movies: Cloverfield

Day #8


The found footage from a group of friends' videocamera depicts the events that took place when New York City was attacked by a gigantic monster.

Fright Factor:
1.5 / 5  Shaky Cameras

Gore Factor:
2.5 / 5  Post-attack wounds

Should you watch it?

While it does has an interesting premise, I don’t think I’d go as far as saying that it’s particularly worth your time. Especially because the whole movie kiiinda feels a bit like a sub-par handycam ripoff of the 2006 South Korean movie 괴물 (aka The Host). Now, I’m not saying it is a ripoff, but I am saying that The Host does what this movie was trying to do and does it far better.

And that’s Cloverfield’s problem in a nutshell. I really shouldn’t be able to make that comparison. The Host is a movie about a family trying to rescue their daughter after she is taken by a mutated creature. It deals with government incompetence endangering the populace and about the importance of family. Meanwhile Cloverfield is about a Godzilla-sized monster attacking New York City. Giant monster movies are more-or-less the horror/sci-fi corollaries of natural disasters;  they offer the same destruction, but focused on an actual entity instead of an ethereal natural phenomenon.

And yet they are comparable, because Cloverfield doesn’t want to tell the story of the disaster, it wants to tell a story about people surviving monster attacks. And to make that work they have to go way out of their way and actively work against their own set-up and film style. If they wanted to just do monster attacks scrapping the handycam angle style would have created a much better shots and atmosphere. But the found-footage thing would have been really interesting for a disaster movie!

I mean, have you seen pictures from areas affected by natural disasters or terror attacks? They’re chilling. You can’t help but to wonder how it would feel to go through something like that. I was thinking that Cloverfield would try to tap into that those kinds of frightening questions. Crowds of panicking people, clouds of dust are making it hard to see/breathe, buildings that are structurally compromised, utilities destroyed: the city itself turning against you. And its all coming from something you have no power to stop.

The film briefly touches on some of that horror, but it never stays for very long before shifting the focus back onto monsters. They even introduce smaller monsters in addition to the giant one just so they can make that focus work.

Although to be fair, even if they had focused on the disaster I still would have issues with it for having really dull characters. The only character I really liked was Lizzy Caplan’s and she leaves the main group like halfway in. Meanwhile you’ve got to deal with T.J. Miller’s character for the whole movie! Where is the fairness in that?

“Ocean is big, dude. All I’m saying is a couple of years ago, they found a fish in Madagascar that they thought been extinct for centuries.”

“So what? It’s been down there this whole time, and nobody noticed?”

“Sure. Maybe it erupted from an ocean trench, you know? Or a crevasse. Crevice. It’s just a theory. I mean, for all we know, it’s from another planet and it flew here.”

“Like Superman?”

“Yeah, exactly like... Wait. You know who Superman is?”

“Oh my God. You know who Superman is?”

“Okay, I’m not...”

“I’m, like, feeling something...are you aware of Garfield?”

Monday, October 10, 2016

31 Days of Spooky Movies: The House of the Devil

Day #7

The House of the Devil

It’s 1983 and in a desperate attempt to come up with some money a college sophmore takes a chance on a rather unusual babysitting job. However, things go from weird to straight up sketchy when she learns that the family has no kids and that something very suspicious is going on.

Fright Factor:
2 / 5  Discarded Pizzas

Gore Factor:
2.8 / 5  Lunatics

Should you watch it?

This is a really hard film for me to talk about, because there are so many things that I loved about it, but there’s also a fair bit that I just couldn’t get behind.

First and foremost the entire movie is shot in a 70s/80s horror style. And I don't mean that they simply make an homage to the movies of that era. I mean they straight-up shot it all on 16mm film and even use a number of film techniques of the era! It makes for such a intriguing blend of old and new. I mean, that alone makes it worth watching. But then they add a fantastic lead actress and some wonderfully tense slow-burn-style terror and this movie was just hitting all of my buttons.

However, there’s just a couple of things that ended up sticking in my craw:

  • The text at the beginning of the movie ruins any surprise you could have had about what’s going to happen at this babysitting job.
  • I very much didn’t like Tom Noonan’s character nor his performance. The character is practically an atmospheric black hole to any scene he’s in.
  • The ending is kind of dumb and doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. The film masterfully winds up all this creepy tension and then wastes so much of it with a subpar payoff.

So there you go. Overall, I’d say I loved about 90% of this movie. It’s a wonderfully original horror movie, not so much in its plot, but in its execution. And I think, if nothing else, it’s definitely worth giving a watch.

“Are you out of your mind? Do you remember the game plan? The game plan was, if they’re weird, we leave. This beyond weird. It’s mental. You know, they lied to you. They lied to you.”

“I know, okay.”

“They’re liars.”

“I know, I know. You’re right. But it’s $400. It’s $400 for four hours. This equals first month’s rent and then some, and all I have to do is sit inside and watch TV. It’s too good to be true.”

“Did you ever think it IS too good to be true?”

“Megan, please. I need the money.”

“It’s so stupid. It’s SO stupid.”

Saturday, October 8, 2016

31 Days of Spooky Movies: Day of the Dead

Day #6.b

Day of the Dead

The zombie apocalypse has ravaged the country, but in a military bunker a group of scientists are trying to find a solution. As fear, isolation, and hopelessness begin to reach a tipping point, the soldiers—meant to be protectors—start to become dictators instead.

When surviving is the only thing you can do, what do you do when you’re stuck between a gun and an undead place?

Fright Factor:
2 / 5 Armed Zombies

Gore Factor:
4 / 5 Feeding Frenzies

Should you watch it?

First there was Night of the Living Dead, then there was the Dawn of the Dead, and now George Romero brings us Day of the Dead! Like the other two, the story once again deals with a band of survivors trapped in a building surrounded by the living dead. However, while Dawn took the ideas of the previous film and expanded on them (adding a whole new dimension to the story,) the same cannot be said of Day.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not a bad movie. In fact it’s a pretty gosh darn fun zombie movie. It’s just that after Night and Dawn...well, this one just feels like you went to a famous restaurant and they served you leftovers from last night. Sure, the leftovers are pretty good, but you kind of went in because you wanted more than just old reheated ideas.

Day of the Dead does add new something to the franchise though: exaggerated goofiness. It’s full of things like zombies learning how to use guns, a mad scientist, and an overabundance of silly specialty zombies (football player, clown, bride, marching band member, etc.).

Although, to be fair, the movie Romero made after this was about a psychic helper monkey who falls in a love with a quadriplegic and kills anyone who gets in the way of that I should probably just be glad it wasn’t significantly more outrageous.

But as long as you don’t go in expecting it to be the cultural powerhouse the previous films were, I think you’ll have a good time. There’s some really great effects. Sherman Howard’s portrayal of Bub is fantastic and Joseph Pilato makes for a phenomenally unhinged commander that you just love to hate. Lori Cardille, Terry Alexander, and Jarlath Conroy are an extremely likable trio of heroes.

It’s just some good ol’ goofy/gory zombie fun...from the guy who invented an entire genre of horror and made two of the most famous horror movies ever made.

He’s earned the right to have a little fun, too, I suppose.

“Maybe if we tried working together we could ease some of the tensions. We’re all pulling in different directions.”

“That’s the trouble with the world, Sarah, darlin’. People got different ideas concernin’ what they want out of life.”

Friday, October 7, 2016

31 Days of Spooky Movies: The Midnight After

Day #6

[The Midnight After]

The passengers on a late night bus in Hong Kong suddenly realize that everyone else in the world has disappeared except for them.

Fright Factor:
1 / 5  Pop Rocks Sponsors

Gore Factor:
2 / 5  Major Toms

Should you watch it?

I have very little idea what was supposed to be happening in this movie. It’s a lot like Stephen King’s The Langoliers or perhaps the TV show Lost? But a version that didn’t care about the cause of the characters’ supernatural isolation so much as it did cultural shifts in present-day Hong Kong?

To be honest, I considered turning it off multiple times, but I REALLY wanted to know what possible explanation there could be for all the madness. BUT IT NEVER CAME! Many things are mentioned (alternate dimensions, purgatory, nuclear explosions, and so on), but nothing comes of them. Watching the movie is a lot like watching TV with someone who’s channel surfing and keeps changing the channel right when you start to get interested in the show.

Oh, and just to warn you: there’s a rape scene in the movie. Why they felt it was necessary to throw one in is beyond me. It kind of comes out of nowhere and doesn’t really serve much of any point.

I went and read some online reviews hoping that maybe I was just missing something and the reviews do seem to point out that the film primarily serves as a satire. However, the satire is extremely esoteric; I get the sense that you’d need a pretty strong familiarity with Hong Kong in order to understand what this film is all about. So as a satire maybe this film is pretty great? However, from a horror perspective it’s far more likely to put you to sleep than to keep you up at night.

“Have you heard of David Bowie?

“I’ve heard of John Travolta...

Thursday, October 6, 2016

31 Days of Spooky Films: Tremors

Day #5


When a small town (pop. 14) in Nevada is attacked by gigantic subterranean worms the locals must work together to make it out alive.

Fright Factor:
1 / 5  Degrees of Kevin Bacon

Gore Factor:
2 / 5 Sacs of Goo

Should you watch it?

Yes, of course you should. It’s Tremors!

Here are some of the many reasons why I love Tremors:

  • While Val, Earl, and Rhonda are the primary characters, there are a total of 10 main characters who get a lot of screentime and lines. And 4 are Women: a geologist pursuing her PhD, a competent survivalist, and a mother and her young daughter.
  • Additionally 2/10 aren’t white and actually get a lot of screen time/lines AND aren’t just walking stereotypes.
  • While Valentine and Earl aren’t homosexuals, they are very intimate friends and are far from the usual male stereotypes you usually see in media (especially in a mainstream movie from 1990). These two live together, work together, spend all their free time together, take turns making each other breakfast every morning, try to help each other be better people, and they both would rather risk their own life than to see anything bad happen to the other. In short, while not a romantic couple, they are still a really cute couple.
  • The closest the movie gets to sexualizing someone for no reason is when when Rhonda gets her jeans tangled in some barbed wire and a worm is heading towards her, so she’s gotta pull a lizard and ditch her pants and boots to get away. And even then she’s got practical underwear on (not lingerie or anything) and they give her a new pair of pants/shoes pretty much immediately afterward.

    And YES, the scene would have been INFINITELY better if Earl had been the one to have to ditch his pants. I will gladly admit this, because it is the truth. Think about it: Val yelling at him to get out of his pants. Rhonda offering to sterilize the wounds on his legs afterward, but Earl insisting that Val do it because he's embarrassed. It would have been genius.
  • Speaking of Rhonda, she’s a fantastic character and, what’s more, she avoids so many of the stereotypes of the genre. She wears long jeans and a tucked in button-up shirt and when you first meet her she has that goofy white zinc sunblock on her nose (because she’s practical!). As she’s fighting these things, her and the guys actually get dirty and sweaty instead of doing that thing that horror movies like to do wherein the leads always need to look as attractive as possible. She’s really intelligent, but unlike the brainy characters in other movies, she doesn’t magically know everything. She does need saving a couple of times, but that’s true of every single character in the movie. Plus she saves others more often than they need to save her.
  • The movie is rated PG-13, but aside from some cursing and some light gore (fake monsters filled with goo, scattered remains, etc.) there’s really nothing graphic that happens in the movie, so it’s one you can watch even with people who don’t like things to get too scary/gory.
  • The worms are actually incredibly capable adversaries. Pretty much anytime you start to wonder why they don't just try such-and-such a move...BAM! They'll do it. They make those heroes have to get really creative in order to survive.
  • It features a wonderfully motley crew of stars, such as: Kevin Bacon (Footloose, Stir of Echoes), Fred Ward (Escape from Alcatraz, Big Business), Victor Wong (3 Ninjas, Big Trouble in Little China), Ariana Richards (Jurassic Park), and even country music singer Reba McEntire!
  • And did I mention that there is some great dialogue and some fantastic lines? Because there are!

Really, the whole movie is just a lot of fun. The idea of creatures attacking you from the ground beneath your feet is so wonderfully unique. There’s excitement and laughs and monsters and lots of memorable moments and great characters.

“So what if we make it back to the rocks? We’ll only last for 3 days!”

“Well I wanna live for the 3 days!”

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

31 Days of Spooky Movies: The Corpse Grinders

Day #4

The Corpse Grinders

A cat food company is using dead people as the meat because of reasons!

Now cats are starting to develop a taste for human flesh!

It’s up to a doctor and his nurse girlfriend to get to the bottom of this mystery?

Fright Factor:
0.5 / 5  Hungry Cats

Gore Factor:

[okay, I’m gonna level with you here. There is one short bit (like 10 seconds maybe) in which a doctor is getting a tissue sample from a very fake dead cat, but they use real organ meats. And seeing organs is generally some level 3 gore. However, the gore for the entire rest of the movie is so pathetically attempted that I would be generous to give it even a 1. So take from that what you will.]

Should you watch it?

I’ve seen movies that were more painful to watch than this one, but I don’t think I have ever seen anything quite so technically bankrupt. If it was not for the fact that it had the decency to be short, my roommate and I would have turned it off. Bad acting, constant use of bizarre and manic cuts, a terrible script, the list just goes on and on;  I truly can’t think of a single element of this film that wasn’t shoddily done. At one point they forgot their own timeline and managed to have a character go into the past? For goodness sake, it even went inexplicably out of its way to be insulting to the deaf community.

Why did I ever watch this movie you ask? Well, the blurb for the movie was as follows:

“When the Lotus Cat Food Company finds itself in financial trouble, the owners decide to find a new, cheap source of meat, the local graveyard. Only one problem, soon cats develop a taste for human flesh, and tabbies are tearing out throats all over town.”

A bunch of house cats terrorizing people? That sounds amazing!

However, the movie really doesn’t focus on killer cats at all! And I’m strangely thankful for that, because (as the cat attacks they did have made it abundantly clear) they didn’t have the proper budget or skill to pull off cat attacks.

Instead the movie focuses on the company owners nefariously acquiring dead bodies. But why are they using dead bodies in the first place? It doesn’t make any sense! There is no way that paying some dude to dig up dead bodies is going to be cheaper than buying a bunch of bulk meat scraps from some butcher. Not to mention that rotting bodies all full of deadly mortuary chemicals typically does not make for repeat customers. PLUS what kind of small volume insanity does this company have wherein a few dead bodies is providing enough raw material for their entire production line?

This movie didn’t respect its viewers enough to even attempt to think anything through, so don’t bother thinking twice about it. Trust me, you can find something better to watch. It won’t be hard.

“Oh not another one!”

“What are you babbling about?”

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

31 Days of Spooky Movies: Final Destination

Day #3.5

Final Destination

High school student Alex Browning has a vision that his flight is going to explode and manages to get himself and 6 others off the plane. But when his premonition comes to pass the survivors find themselves with a problem: they’re supposed to be dead...and Death doesn’t like outstanding debts.

Fright Factor:
1 / 5 Rube Goldberg Machines

Gore Factor:
3 / 5 Inevitable Deaths

Should you watch it?

This movie is definitely worth watching, but not in the sense that it’s a quality movie (it’s not). It makes up for its lack of merit, however, by being so inherently stupid that it comes out the other end as rather entertaining. The over-the-top-Rube-Goldberg-machine deaths and the awkward late 90s/early 00s teenage awkwardness combine into something that begs to have you get a group of friends together to laugh at the sheer absurdity of it all.

So many horror movies are illustrative of our society’s fears: infectious diseases, the breakdown of social order, natural disasters, etc. In Final Destination the central fear of the film is just that we could die at any time and there’s no escaping it...which has ALWAYS been the case. Everyone is going to die sometime. It’s inevitable! And since it’s a fear that is an inherent part of our lives, the movie isn’t actually providing us with any additional scares. Maybe one day someone really talented will come around and instill us all with the true horror of slipping in the tub, but today is not that day.

“Alex, let’s go take a shit.”

“Take a shit by yourself.”

“No, dude.”

31 Days of Spooky Movies: Wrong Turn

Day #3

Wrong Turn

A group of friends (and the man who crashed into their car) find themselves stranded in the middle of nowhere as people-eating mutant hillbillies hunt them for food and sport.

Fright Factor:
2 / 5 Sloths

Gore Factor:
3.5 / 5 Chunks

Should you watch it?

My roommate tells me that I was foolish to trust in a horror movie just because Eliza Dushku was in it, as shes not really that big of name. But clearly that is crazy talk: Eliza Dushku is pretty darn awesome.

To his credit though he was right that watching this one was a mistake.

For goodness sake, the mutants all look like Sloth from The Goonies had a baby with one of the orcs from Lord of the Rings! Do you know how hard it is to be scared when the mutants look like they could be distracted with a Baby Ruth bar? Or continually expecting them to pop out of the trees and yell, HEY YOU GUUUYYSSS!??

It just isn’t conducive to a horror atmosphere, people.

Anyways, pretty typical low-budget horror. The plot really doesnt make any sense and the characters are all hopelessly uninteresting. Although for all you naysayers out there let me just say that Eliza Dushku outacts every other person in the movie by leaps and bounds. Sadly, she can only do so much with a script this trite.

Well, okay, the bit near the end where they’re up in the trees was something I had never seen before. Ill give them that. So that one scene and Eliza Dushku and a whole lot of misplaced The Goonies memories are the only things this movie has to offer you.

“Thank you, take care.”

“Youre the one whos gonna need to take care.”

Monday, October 3, 2016

31 Days of Spooky Movies: Cujo

Day #2.d


A rabid dog turns a nightmare into a reality for a mother and her young son.

Fright factor:
1 / 5 Rabid Animals

Gore Factor:
2 / 5 Dirty Dogs

Should you watch it?

For the longest time Ive wondered how on Earth this movie worked. The whole a dog gets rabies premise really doesnt seem substantial enough to warrant a full movies worth of material, right? Turns out this assumption was entirely correct! Id say over 60% of this movie is just padded out set-up, and the rest they manage to milk by having the lady and her kid get trapped by Cujo when their car dies outside his rural abode.

If youre already afraid of dogs this one might freak you out a bit, I suppose. But for me? Any horror there could have been was lost in the sheer volume of coincidences that the writers had to pile on top of each other to make this set-up work.

Not to mention the fact that even with all the makeup they still couldn't stop the dog playing Cujo from looking like a big ol floppy pile of cuddles.

Its not a monster. Its just a doggy.