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Exceeded every expectation I had.
25 May 2020
I waited 31 years to watch this but say it's better late than never. This was way better than I was expecting and I find it shocking that according to the IMDB trivia it was shot in only four days. The cast seemed very prepared and lucid in their characters. The writing and comedy was a better delivery than I was expecting. and the scene where our famous beloved Scream Queens transform, was everything and more than what I wanted it to be. It was a delight to watch and lives up to the hype. Linnea, Brinke, and Michelle were very funny in these characters and their transformation was quite cool and clever. If you are a fan of these ladies and for some reason put this movie off for as long as I did, I caught the full film on youtube and was not disappointed. I only wanted to kick myself for waiting a lifetime before watching. It surprised me how well made it was, and fun. I expected a no budget grainy mess but was instead shocked to find how cohesive and prepared the whole thing was. Well done to DeCoteau, and it is an absolute pleasure to see Linnea Brinke and Michelle in this classic amusing 3some. They should have done way more movies together. Lives up to the hype. <3
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Nightmare (1981)
Awesome Ending
22 May 2020
Warning: Spoilers
I caught this little chiller at random streaming on Tubi. All I'm going to say is the ending was excellent as far as gore is concerned!
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Feral (2017)
Watch at your own risk <3
10 May 2020
Warning: Spoilers
A very strong 5 which is good I think. This had a lot of potential. Decent makeup effects even, to boot. A decent cast of average but decent actors who are all lucid and more than capable of understanding their script here with this kind of material. Only that's the real problem. Is the execution isn't very thought out. The most glaring thing about this film and watching it for me is the weaknesses in how it is written which never let's it be as great as it could've been with these actors and makeup artists who all suffered a bit under the weight of hammy writing. It relies far too heavily on familiar cliche annoying tropes like "Nobody has a cell phone" and "Let's go 50 miles out of civilization completely unprepared for ANYTHING." "We never think of calling the police really but let's scramble to the closest creepy park ranger" "A man is screaming outside our tents about 50 feet away and NOBODY hears it or even flinches" How far away did this guy go to take a piss? that nobody in the tents near by could hear him screaming hysterically basically right outside their tents for his life while a humanoid creature savagely rips him apart? Like I said, the plot here is not. thought. out. Again with the police thing, why do some characters in average low budget horror never think of ever wanting to notify the police during their awful little vacations that go horribly wrong but instead think they can handle things on their own nonchalantly. These plot devices work far better when they are well fleshed out and written with great care or context to persuade a horror fan who has seen their fair share of the genre. I hate to rag on this film but I think some contrivances take stronger writing to succeed with. With that off my chest. It's still enjoyable for a bit of low budget weirdness. The DNA by now of horror is not challenged here. It's Wrong Turn down by the Cabin Fever in the Evil Dead woods. But I will say this. It was pretty cool when Scout picks up the baseball bat - it is the best part that makes the movie. The creature makeup effects are quite good and the music is alright in those scenes. The ending fate of the characters was emotionally sad. Like the movie would imply, Watch at your own risk.<3
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Waited 8 years to watch this. It hit Netflix. Not disappointed!
10 May 2020
I waited 8 years to watch this. Was just never a big fan of Jennifer Lawrence and always thought she was overhyped and overrated. Which i still think is true. Although in this she wasn't the worst i've seen. She actually does decent playing this somewhat nondescript and underdeveloped character here. And i gotta say I had fun watching this to my guilt-ridden surprise. The moral of the story was like a crazy Lifetime channel movie and a long-winded plot device cautionary tale to say "always trust your mother". The climax looked like a glorified Lifetime movie more than it resembled Hitchcock like some of the other comments boldly claimed. However, with that said, i still really enjoyed this. 8 years after letting the hype die down i thought this was a fun little thriller not to take too seriously at all. Nothing more or less. I did not expect it to be "horror" with a pg13 rating. i have a guilty pleasure for the Bates Motel knock offs of crime stories like this. It's schlocky and meant to entertain. Max Theriot did pretty good and Jennifer in her prime was decent with the limited material. But the silly story or plot contrivances are a dime a dozen here in order for this story to work. Suspension of disbelief is heavily required.
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Shannon Doherty takes on an army of starved Lampreys
9 May 2020
2016 brought us:... Blood Lake: Attack of the Lampreys. About "starved" Lampreys who scramble to land everywhere to attack Shannon Doherty and a handfull of other brave trouble-seekers just waiting and willing to fall in to a myriad of dangerous plot devices involving aggressive lampreys. If this were made in the 1980s with the right creepy score, atmosphere and dark ambiance, it could've been a classic. But instead we have a tv-grade production that takes place in broad daylight here with cheese ball production quality its more like a glutton of bad cgi & decisions. Watch as our carefully selected heroes fling from one moment of terrifying peril to the next. Works more as an unintentional comedy than it does horror. No real thrills or scares at all. The plot is mostly just silly survival decisions that amounts to unintentional comedy. Watch as a random family (alone?) struggles to cope with aggressive hoards of Cgi lampreys. A paycheck was needed. These characters are clearly ill-prepared to take on such an army of Lampreys. I have to wonder why only this one family are involved in cleaning up this mess. Silly tv grade family movie possibly made for kids based on the style of it. The music screams tv family movie. Odd schlock.
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Hot Garbage. Honestly perplexed by the good reviews..
8 May 2020
Warning: Spoilers
This was extremely overhyped garbage lol. Basic plot is a mockumentary introduces us to watch a "cursed" 1979 fictional low budget movie where an actress playing a manipulative lunatic mother brings her naive and innocent child out to the middle of nowhere for the sole purpose to camp in the woods in order to mentally abuse, brainwash, and indoctrinate her child with a fake religion that she made up herself in order to control and manipulate her child with fear. Even that makes it sound way better and closer to reality than this is. What could possibly go wrong!!?

If that's not bad enough it of course backfires and apparently during their misserable stay in the woods they bump in to real baphomet-worshipping hillbillies who rape dead animals and kidnap our characters to put them in cages.

The fictional film we get to snooze through is apparently cursed with demonic scrawlings and scratches too on the celluloid that causes mass "real life" deaths in a movie theater playing the movie later or something....? Something we only hear about in the beginning.

As the film is capped off with dramatic warnings and interviews in mockumentary style. The murky demon shots weren't nearly enough to save this. In very anticlimactic undercooked fashion it abruptly ends after telling us again the film was cursed by demonic symbols and pentagrams.

If they can dupe people in to watching this tripe it's really the only chance this movie has...I found nothing compelling, impressive, or redeeming here. The mother was unlikable to begin with lieing to her child, putting him in an unsafe situation mentally and physically. She was an awful parent. The writing couldn't carry or save this piece, either, nor was there any kind of sense involved worth waiting until the end of the movie for. People praising this film, i really have no idea why or what they're thinking, but maybe they haven't seen a whole lot of other horror movies and happen to really get their juices flowing by woodsland hillbilly demons with pentagrams. It was not scary nor well developed at all so i'm seriously confused about the wild praise some are giving this. This is just an abortion of a film and execution and i came here to warn viewers to save their precious time watching something else. No redeeming qualities really to write home about. You gotta be messed up or delusional to think you got something good out of this lol. But to each their own. Did not care for this at all! Whether you watch as a skeptic or a believer this was a turd waste of time in my opinion.
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Evil Dead (2013)
The good outweighs the bad in a rare case.
2 May 2020
Revisiting this in 2020 was pretty interesting and satisfying. I needed that much time to let my thoughts on this film marinate. First let me cut to the chase the main cast, you could tell they put all their effort and trust in to this crew. The dedication from most of the cast and the make ups and gross-out initial story progressions were part of the extreme highlights.

I think it's cool that they filmed majority of the film in order, in order to benefit from the cast's understanding of the escalation in the story. All of the pieces were there to fit in the spots. Jane Levy was committed, exhausted, and beautiful. Jessica Lucas was her usual excellent and persuasive self, I love her subtlety and realism, and always thought she was an underutilized actress. The other main actors all looked and acted their parts well both alive and especially dead. The practical make ups and unique body horror/ contagion / almost sci fi parasitical nature of the plot's re-tweaking all worked surprisingly well for a one-off.

But that brings me to the weaker aspects. The story doesn't make much sense, and it's glaringly obvious especially towards the end. Even for Evil Dead standards. They couldn't really tell what vibe they wanted to go for in some parts. Gore was the top priority, and although that plays out well, especially with the deadite's, the sense of it wears thin by the end. Some of it works awesome, some of it seems a little lazy and contrived. It's a mixed bag.

The writing and script suffered the most I think, and a lot more than is fair for the actors and their dedication to the roles. Had the writing and script been stronger, the good visuals could've benefitted a lot more from it. The end was a scattered wtf moment. But the initial production was not bad.

I see this as an enjoyable horror film for the most part but the flaws are very evident. Some of it could've even just been fixed in editing, how they didn't notice or retweak some of the flaws in post-production is a bit of a mystery after all that work and effort of the cast.

I really think Bruce Campbell should've been the truck driver at the end. If they were going to turn on the campy faucets to that degree, might as well take it all the way home with more than an after credits one-liner. Overall not the worst it could've been. The potential and glimpses of talent still shine through. But some of the contrivances, nonsense, rushed editing, and unintentional campiness was a little all over the place I can admit.

I think most of the cast did great and I still think with that said, I like this film more each time I watch it. The good outweighs the bad in a rare case. It took me a while to accept this film as a part of the main series. But I think I've finally wrapped my head around it as a sequel more than a remake.
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The Lurker (2019)
Scout Taylor Compton is 30 playing 18.
13 February 2020
Nothing special here. Watch a real 80s horror movie. This one pales in comparison.
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Lovecraft & Richard Stanley... do I need to say more?
19 January 2020
I first became a fan of Richard Stanley because I found myself utterly addicted to his cult film called "Hardware" (1990) which I thought was aesthetically special, bombastic, and a kick ass cyberpunk cinematic experience with fun music. I also loved the style of the film so I was looking forward to enjoy this for a while. Richard Stanley's comeback, with Color Out of Space.

Where do I begin, Well first of all, HP Lovecraft is cosmic horror royalty. We know that. but Richard Stanley is back, the 80's called, and have a left over relic undiscovered until now with a love letter to HP Lovecraft, and where that page left off on was a fascinating trip to pick things back up on. From here on this page. The cosmic nature has no mercy. This is more eccentric art horror than it is drama. Of course it has it's cheesy bits, some that could have been less rough around the edges, but it cuts it's own path. The cgi is a little heavy-handed in some parts, mainly the filters that borderline on cartoony at times. But the aesthetic and bright pink and purple is easily forgiven as a call back to Lovecraftian neon horror like "From Beyond" (1986).

But the execution here is something to appreciate. Not with out flaws of course. But it is there to have fun and ponder the perils of Lovecraft through Richard Stanley's vision, the Lovecraft adaptations are getting more distinct with this entry in the Lovecraft cinematic universe that has evolved.

The MUSIC score is an incredible part of the experience and worth mentioning and deserves praise for stealing the power of some of the ambiance and making it all *work*.

Lovecraft, the writer who barely made money while he was actually alive conjuring up these wonderful cosmic horror stories; To see how his art has impacted the world and not to mention translated and kickstarted a whole genre -that is something so much more... Is the stunning truth of the nature here.

Damn. This is not a perfect movie to watch over and over, but it does Lovecraft a bit of due time! I read the short story before watching, and yes, it is quite faithful but also takes it's own liberties for sure and can borderline on forgivable cheese.

Howard Phillips Lovecraft brought me here, and I was not too disappointed. It's unforgiving, haunting, grisly. and a decent small bite.
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Underwater (2020)
Lovecraftian popcorn
11 January 2020
As a fan of William Eubank's 2014 film "The Signal" I was pretty excited for this. The Signal offered a lot of thrills and suspense and a twist ending that leaves you gobsmacked.

Underwater did not quite live up to the same shock value. Less build-up or development to make much of it float anywhere above mediocre. The setting, scenery, and cinematography and music however is stunning.

This is the love child of Alien, Cloverfield, A Quiet Place, The Abyss, Soma, DeepStar Six, HP Lovecraft Etc. But doesn't carry as much weight.
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ashes of the past
21 December 2019
I changed my mind, I actually liked this installment. A New Hope will always be my favorite installment too though.
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Victims (2013)
Decent thriller
17 December 2019
If you accept its a torture thriller drama from the get go and are fully on board with it it does what it intends to. The moral dilemma was well stated and the writing of the characters was a strength particularly with Katherine Isabelle channeling her best post-ginger fitzgerald character well here. I felt for her character because she understood the character she was playing well and was able to portray the emotions and nuances. This could've been a run of the mill stupid torture fest but it's actually a cut above. It was handled as a dark drama and thriller about what is often a horror. And the actors and writers were able to pull off what they set out to achieve. Some of it is of course in poor taste in theme. But the story right from the opening credits made no mistake in promising that it would be sad/dark. Despite that It leaves a somewhat good resolution or message in the ability of survival, and good over evil. and Katharine Isabelle.
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Rabid (2019)
Good spin-off of the source material
8 October 2019
This reimagining of the Cronenberg-Marilyn Chambers classic is actually quite a guilty treat on it's own and a surprise. It wraps all the themes and elements together of the source material and does it with flair. The lead actress was great in the role and paralleled the emotions of what you felt like while watching Marilyn Chambers in her original peril. The music and cinematography was better than expected. Though there were some moments of cheese I felt they fit with the theme well enough even going in to B-Movie SciFi realm a bit. Overall this film impressed me for the expectations I had and I find it may very well be the Soska sister's finest work to date.
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Lovecraftian Jump-scare Fun
18 September 2019
This film, though it is mainly a "jumpscare" film; was actually quite interesting and effective for me. It mainly focused on jump scares and keeping the story moving rather than trying to overly explain or prove anything. Though not with out flaws it gets away with a lack of cohesiveness due to the documentary style filming and unashamed pace it moves forward. It breaks the fourth wall and becomes campy nonsense but with a serious delivery. It succeeds at being fun jump scares and is unashamed of it right until the very end. and last but not least the Lovecraft shout-out sealed the deal for me as this film is a bit in homage to the story "From Beyond". Don't expect this film to make perfect sense, it absolutely doesn't. But if you want to suspend disbelief and hold on for the ride it's worth a shot if any of the subject matter interests you . Easily one of the biggest surprises I've had going in to a film blind lately a very long time.
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SHARKS. GIRLS. & FUN. A bite to enjoy for shark horror fans who have no shame.
18 August 2019
I was invited to go out to see this movie for free last night. Being a low-key fan of the first 47 meters down, which I still think is a modern cult film on it's own (with out overhyping it). I still had extremely "low" (pun intended) expectations for Uncaged. I went in blind avoiding trailers. and was simply just willing to enjoy the ride. I ended up nearly loving the film. and thinking it was about just as good as the first one if not even quite a bit better. First of all the sound score and cinematography was awesome and a character on it's own. We see these young beautiful women in these dark turquoise underwater caves fighting for their lives while these albino-ish blind, evolved, great white sharks circle and hunt them. Que awesome bone-chilling music and unpredictability and you got yourself a tense one. Every time there were sharks on screen there'd be this sound score music that represented them. It gave the film a great feeling of suspense. The bodycount was vicious and the underwater set design was awesome, lifeless ancient cave statues, turquoise depths, and white-eyed terrors altered by evolution hunting them like monsters. I was entirely satisfied. Don't spend too much to see it, but the theater experience is the way to go if at all. A fun shark horror experience. More giving than the first 47 meters down. A bite to enjoy for shark horror fans who have no shame.
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Season 3 was a Stab in the right direction!
12 July 2019
I LOVED season 3. But first let me mention Seasons 1 & 2, as they were a guilty pleasure for me as well. But admittedly the first 2 seasons felt like a contrived & serialized soap opera compared to the Scream legacy and what followed after. All the main characters, though I liked them, in season's 1 and 2 - majority had plot-armor and by the end some became too lovable to even be killed off. I enjoyed season 1 & 2, but ended season 2 completely ready for what would come next. Season 3 was the reboot this show desperately needed. With out spoiling anything, my favorite character turned out to be the final killer, and I somehow did not see it coming at all until it had cornered me. Season 3 put this show back on track after the first 2 seasons were teetering a bit out of bounds. Season 3 felt more like a part of the Scream saga. and was a brilliant fresh take on the series. The first 2 or so episodes felt a bit rusty, but some how they managed to grapple with the story in a way that kept it churning. It kept me guessing and the 'whodunit' factor finally was a stronger part of the story. Like I said my favorite character turned out to be the killer with out me even seeing it coming. The red-herrings were well played. and the horror satire being turned at different angles was a pleasant surprise and true to form. I could not stop thinking about this show once it ended. I am over-hyping it a bit. But I just really dig a good whodunit slasher. and this one for what it was, was satisfying for me. Is it without flaws? Of course not. Is it perfect? Hell no. But it finally took this series somewhere else. and has kept this series alive for me. It makes the original (which I love, respect, and adore) almost look a bit paint-by-numbers now that the tropes are really all too common, and that is exactly what a Scream installment should do. A fun ride. and a welcome installment and achievement for those who were a part of it. I loved the cast as well. Still cannot shake off that ending reveal. Talk about shocker for some of us who are in to this kind of thing. I will watch what every comes next. Bring it on ASAP. <3
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Child's Play (2019)
22 June 2019
As a fan of the old ones I did not let the behind the scenes controversy steer my opinion or bias. I was willing to enjoy this as a standalone film for what it is. A modern techno-thriller that takes place in an unspecified slight-future setting, not too far from our own. A satire on technological learning, dependance, and consumerism.

At times it worked better as it's own film rather than a part of the Chucky legacy we all know. With that said it is a standalone companion film that doesn't try to throw the same punches as the original. Not with out flaws by any stretch and of course it is far-fetched and contrived, but has enough charm to keep you involved.

Is it a complete replacement over the previous trademarked films? Oh of course not. You will respect or disrespect those just the same I like every single sequel for clarification, even Seed and the others that garner backlash- Yes I'm looking at you Don Mancini, you know you ignited a classic. This new one is far too different and it's own for me to even connect the two. But with the voodoo aspect gone, it plays more like a killer robot movie. Which for fans of sci-fi might be a welcome surprise and a fresh angle to the genre and tradition of these films. There is no magic here. But instead a cold future hinged on technology where if you're not careful it can be exploited, used for danger, or worse. The slight cyberpunk vibe was an interesting theme to meditate on. It leaves you questioning your dependence on technology and willingness or trust towards it. Then there is the consumerist nature of the film, all of these topics, more thought-provoking than expected with a story about a killer doll.

Now to the doll. I liked the new robotic design, well I mean, I didn't HATE it. The face is a little rough in some scenes, but in others works very well. Glass soulless digital eyes, glitchy voice. The doll looks very different. Sometimes is works well, sometimes it feels a bit like foreign deja'vu. There was something missing of course. Some say quite literally, "A soul". and that is where the biggest difference lies. The doll is not playing the same character. There is no personality his own, no real, self-thinking wit. It is simply a learning, and killing machine. This is not the same doll capable of numerous unique sequels and spin-offs like the original, and nor is it the same doll to ignite a legacy of it's own. I liked it but it does not replace the originals. But it is an alternate plot to muse on things a bit differently.

It was nice to see Aubrey Plaza in a "serious horror movie" role even though they didn't give her much material. The characters don't get a lot of character development as a whole. But they still had good performances and chemistry that kept things feeling more organic. The gore was also well done enough to avoid complaint.

I enjoyed it for what it was. A techno-thriller, android on the loose, in a high-rise, in an unspecified future-type of movie. Reminded me a bit of films like 1990's "Hardware". Strong enough film to be it's own. But I feel it is a passing ride, rather than one to re-do it all. I feel the healthiest way to view a remake is just that way. It's not there to cover the past. It's there to build on it. and this does.
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Us (II) (2019)
23 March 2019
If you go in to this expecting it to make sense like some spoon-fed equation of plot then you're setting yourself up for disappointment. But if you want to have fun riding on a fresh genre-bending thriller with some wacky twists and unashamed quirk then you may find it to surprise you. I went in as blind as possible, with low expectations to simply be entertained and it delivered for that to me. First of all the cast is EXCELLENT. Fresh terror on their faces. Beautiful acting. By every single one of them. Even the younger cast was impressive with some thrilling scenes. And next that music score. Dense, fresh, fun, chilling. Wacky. The cinematography and pacing/unfolding of events was edge of your seat anticipation. I forgot I was watching a movie, it did what it was supposed to. The experience was more than sub-par for me. Because I was willing to just go in and have fun. I enjoyed Get Out, Peele's previous film. Now, for the bad. Okay I admit some of the plot was full of holes and some pseudo stuff. Some of it was over the top silly and far-fetched. But I do not expect to go in to a Jordan Peele film and not get that wacky unreality feeling. I have come to understand his style with it's low-key fantasy and scifi motifs and elements that are never fully explained. This was a small part of Get Out's spectacle also. and this film remains to be that same style Peele has developed. It is a fresh hybrid. Respect. Is it perfect? Of course not. Was his artistic vision realized and did it entertain me? Absolutely.
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Suspiria (I) (2018)
90% Great 10% Awful
20 January 2019
Warning: Spoilers
Spoilers Alert. Okay as a well-versed fan of the original (and Italian horror cinema to begin with) I had a lot of personal hype riding on this. After learning that the actors spent a long time preparing for their roles, and the interesting cast. I was hyped. The muted neutral tones to the cinematography and the spacey soundtrack by thom York I was all over. The Suspiria plot beat by beat hitting it's marks while also offering a ton of additional new information and sequences I thought was well-done for majority of the film, especially the first half. The cast was superb and the location and all the pieces were well done as a period piece. It added texture in the remake and a bit of world-building. The cast was all amazing in their roles and that leaves me to the film's one failure. The way the end was handled. They took a film with great confidence and took it a bit too far in to bad filmmaking when the climax happened it just lost me when everyone was naked and dancing uncontrollably in the basement with a red filter over everything trying to mask badly computer animated exploding heads. One step too far. I can see why Dario Argento himself felt this remake was a disgrace that missed the point of his original. Okay. we did not need to see all that. Dakota could've still been turned and had the scene been handled in a much more engaging way. I believe they accidentally butchered a great movie with that god awful scene and it tainted what could've otherwise been a great modern classic revisited. and it hurts. I felt mortified for those actors in the end. Mia Goth was amazing anyway though. I also did not like what they did to Chloe Grace Moretz's "Patricia". She was supposed to have an iconic opening death scene. This is Italian horror we're talking about. But no, let's keep her in the basement to decompose? Just why. They had a great opportunity to do something really edgy with her character and they squandered it for what? 20 seconds more of screen time? I just don't get those shortcomings in what could've otherwise been a great film. Tilda Swinton was so haunting and magnetic. Dakota Johnson was also awesome in this film however, and I truly feel sorry for her in a sense because you could tell her heart was in this film and the whole cast put their trust in to the writers and crew who kind of took the concept too far in to the realm of absurdism. I can see why this film had such a fleeting and obscured theater release, it wasn't even showing in theaters anywhere local to me. and for that budget they did not get their return either. Feel like the whole thing kind of fell apart in the end due to bad execution of the film's finale. 3/4ths of the film is really great. Really this remake had so much going for it and they kind of botched it with the editing and writing with the climax. So that is why I say 90% great 10% Awful. I was displeased with the ending.
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Halloween (I) (2018)
Fair but could have been better
21 October 2018
Big fan of the original 70's film. Followed the sequels growing up. Had so much personal hype for this. It was nice to see an attempt at a classic revisiting of the characters. and though there wasn't much depth, the imagination could fill in some of the pieces. Nostalgia was there ham-fistedly. Callbacks to original scenes. There was a few familiar musical cues and tracking shots. Michael Myers was in top form savagery, one thing they at least did well. The mask hasn't looked this good since the original. The deaths and prosthetics all had an oldschool feel to them. The kills were both relentless and somehow still restrained in not showing too much. There was even off screen deaths...if you're in to that kind of thing. Good mask. Nostalgia. Beat by beat callbacks.
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20 October 2018
Let me begin by saying I first heard of, & became a fan of Mike Flanagan with a little intriguing lesser-known film of his called "Absentia". From there a year or two later I was blown away by his 2013 film "Oculus". After going in knowing I was ready to enjoy the film's same token Mike Flanagan vibe that I was introduced to in Absentia, I was not disappointed. In fact I was thrilled even more, way more.

The Mike Flanagan style of horror is rooted heavily in a strong emphasis of drama, past and present traumas, and psychological horror. With good casts, and character development at the absolute forefront, this style has always intrigued me.

This is where then, the horror leaks in to the center of the scene from the cracks beneath, exposing itself in sinister and unsuspecting ways, leaving your expectations subverted, your psyche toyed with, and the density at the fringes of your being exposed. Mike Flanagan is a scientist in horror, by understanding this process in the viewer.

Would I say these films were scary? Well...Only in the Mike Flanagan sense, which trust me is good enough. But you have to realize this is a dense drama-horror, of the mind.

From there I was eager and willing to watch anything Mike Flanagan was attached to, and I was entertained by the "Ouija: Origin of Evil" prequel/sequel to the hit or miss "Ouija" film. Origin of Evil's use of skepticism was a unique study. and that was where I was introduced to Lulu WIlson & Elizabeth Reaser, part of the Mike Flanagan ensemble, who later appeared in "The Haunting of Hill House".

From there I watched Mike Flanagan get world-wide success even further with Stephen King's "Gerald's Game". But I still wanted more. I still wanted something more savory, something dense, dark, and deeper. and my wishes were granted again when Mike Flanagan then gave us "The Haunting of Hill House" in 2018.

Let me start by saying I have not read the book yet. But I plan to want to. So this stand-alone 10 episode series was to me a great appetizer before I read the book. and it did NOT let me down. I binge-watched the first 8 episodes in a row in one sitting, stir-crazy, and glued to the screen. I could not stop. I was floored, riveted. After 8 I needed sleep badly, so when I woke up I finished the last two episodes immediately after breakfast. This was Mike Flanagan at his finest. The only small landslide was that it had to have an end.

Mike Flanagan continues to rise to the top in horror and I'm so glad I got to experience it beat by beat from the very beginning. This series was excellent and much better than I was expecting when I already knew it would be some high caliber stuff. Highly recommended to fans of drama-heavy horror and all things haunted.
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Cynthia (2018)
It's Alive! A Pleasant Surprise.
7 October 2018
I am going to give this a 9 out of 10. First of all I am a fan of Scout Taylor Compton, Sid Haig, & Bill Moseley. I'm not a fan of babies or children I admit so I didn't expect to care for this. However, I loved it. Right from the beginning to the very end I was hooked. It was much better than I was expecting. There's not too much gushy baby crap to bog it down. It really cuts to the punch of the comedy and horror value fairly nicely and well paced. Scout Taylor Compton was a great lead and this is one of her best new roles where she had a character who was a little more fleshed out than she has had in a little while now in horror and it was great to see her walk the tight rope of comedy satire and horror. It's a genre hybrid she is a natural in. I loved the satire of the script, it gave you those dry bitter snicker kind of giggles where you know the writer's sense of humor is vivid and wild yet somewhat restrained so that it's compelling right off the bat. The acting was much better than I was expecting, with not too many weak links. You could tell this was a passion project and not just bad actors reading lines. It was a blessing that they mostly used practical creature effects for the title character, Cynthia. They did a lot of things right here. It is in the family of horror comedy that you seldom see anymore. It is FOR fans of horror comedy. It is not confused with it's genre, and I'm glad the film was self aware enough to walk that tight line. It reminded me a bit of films in the vein of Basket Case (1982) It's Alive (1974), Bad Milo (2013). I wish there had been more gore. There was certainly gore to be had, but had there been more over the top, it would have bounced this film to a whole new level in the genre. All in all a treat for fans of horror comedy or fans of the acting/directing trio involved. The end was a bit shaky and loses a little bit of that control it has in the beginning but not enough to damper the experience. I just wish the music during the cynthia bedroom scene was more audible and over the top in either an overly jokey terrifying way or a silly quirky way. And the Cynthia sound effects needed a bit more character, screeches or growls to make it all more intense. In other words i was expecting the end to become over the top madness, gore etc like the first half of the film was headed and it was slightly underwhelming instead, though still enjoyable. It would be a shame if the horror community doesn't grab a hold of this and give it the recognition it deserves, so that is why I felt compelled to write a review. I actually hope there's a sequel lol! And if the director or writer is reading this, take it all over the top. Let Cynthia evolve in to the agile fierce killing machine she deserves to be. Let this be more over the top like Peter Jackson's Dead Alive baby scenes. Lol. You got this.
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The Toybox (2018)
Cheesy nachos
19 September 2018
Warning: Spoilers
If you're reading the synopsis and thinking "Well, there must be something more to this to make it seem good." You'd be mistaken. I wouldn't say it's an awful waste of time, but it's not a very good waste of time either. It belongs on the Syfy channel as a tv movie. It just has that hokey unrealistic vibe to it. Not scary. Not realistic at all. Denise Richards isn't awful in it but she's not very good either, mediocre is the word I would use. Mischa Barton, oh Mischa, Mischa. I find it interesting where her career has gone.

Anyway back to this movie. The RV is killing people. If you stab the rv's walls, the rv bleeds. That is all I have to say for you to understand where this film goes.

You're welcome.
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Decent little chiller thriller
19 September 2018
Warning: Spoilers
I found this little gem on Hulu, and after reading the synopsis It immediately piqued my interest. An actress trapped in a limo for the duration of the film. I am a sucker for films of this genre that use one location and mounting suspense to tell a story. A bottle episode, if you will. A claustrophobic paranoia thriller in a sense. Dripping with doom and dread. And for the most part I was not very disappointed at all. The film has a total of 3 actors only, for the majority of the film.

The film literally starts with a shot of the actress (Paola Bontempi) leaving her house and entering the limousine. and she is trapped inside ever since. The plot unravels slowly enough however. The music and her acting is really what kept me engaged. The music was that nice mix of subtlety and progressive dread/terror.

The story, though a bit contrived for sure was mostly interesting. Her experience in the limo parallels themes of hollywood actor's desperation, and an actor's willingness to do anything for money, even to go so far as jumping in to a limousine and be lead blindly to their destination as an ordinary happening. That is life for some hollywood actors. Their success is just fabricated from the final product of their films, and the reactions to them. Their fame is a result of their blind obedience as they are carried through life one limousine at a time to one event after the next. They live a superior illusion, and this film takes that and shatters it. From drugs, to sex and forced exploitation, this film juxtaposes tragic things actors are subjected to and makes the audience experience it along with the actress trapped in the limo.

The only thing I did not like about the film was the few scenes of rape. Though it served a point in telling the story and matched the themes of the story. It is still always an ugly thing to bare witness to. and I felt it could have been left out of the picture to have the lead actress be so violated. but that's not the story it wanted to tell.

I could not help but think the entire time watching, the film would be brilliant for an American remake (in the right hands). As the story really resonates with western audiences and the hollywood obsession. I could only hope if it does become an american remake they leave out the grotesque scenes of rape and find other ways to get their point across.

Now for the twist and ending. It was, like I said, contrived. But eerie and very cool nonetheless. They take a film that is veering out to be an isolated thriller and turn it in to an almost gothic horror shock & reveal in the end. There is some creepy prosthetic makeup and you really won't expect the visuals you do end up seeing of the evil-doer and their appearance.

All in all I would definitely catch this film while you can on Hulu if you're in to suspense and grim thrillers & exploitation horror, or any interest in the ugly side of hollywood.
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The Nun (2018)
CHEESY! Comedy Gold.
10 September 2018
Warning: Spoilers
*DO NOT* expect this movie to scare you. At your own risk of disappointment. Heed my warning. I am writing this to FULLY PREPARE you of how exquisitely cheesy this movie instead is.

One of the cheesiest movies I have EVER seen. I'm talking laugh out loud. The word "Cheese-Tastic" literally appeared vividly and sparkling in my mind while watching this third act and beyond. It's almost on the so-bad-its-good made-for-tv-80s-movie level of bad. Almost. (And I LOVE the 80s). I was lit up with inner glee at how bad it was. Seeing a franchise that's taken so seriously fall so hard face first in to a bucket of cheese is a treasure to behold. That was what was astonishing about it, and why It was a surprisingly guilty pleasure. I felt compelled to write this review due to that process. However, that's not to say the film doesn't fall short. it certainly does. But I saw it with a glass half full attitude in order to save this dreadful experience.

I am alarmed by how the marketing did not suggest such a cheesy film, but instead a brooding, serious, & terrifying one. Very far off the mark. I used to be unable to tell if I liked these "Warren" Family inspired movies or not. Now I understand I do and for all the wrong reasons. It's quite clear and obvious that these movies are made to troll their audience. Period. End of story.

This time, the cheese, is slathered on so thick it's incredibly hard to miss if it wasn't already. Only, I can't tell if they were trying to be serious or not. It would appear they are. Horror movies are usually supposed to send a wave of chills down your spine and then you know damn well a creepy scene was effective. Not once did this film ever achieve that and it actually seemed like it was intentional that it didn't want to.

If you want a "scary" movie this is not the film to pay for in theaters, you've found the wrong film for that. If you want a hokey nonsensical religious fantasy you came to the right place. If they exposed how cheesy it was in the trailers, people would not have shown up to see it, and that's where the marketing was a brilliant sham. They are laughing to the bank and it was easy money. I have never seen a film dupe with their marketing as hard as this one. I got to see it for free and my expectations were so low that I still managed to enjoy the experience though. The only reason due to a morbid fascination with bad horror movies, and this one turned out to be a crowned queen.

The cheap jump-scares were more funny than anything. and hardly effective again after the first cheap and premature one. This was made to be a "fun" kind of horror movie, akin to films like 'Drag Me To Hell'. Unintentional comedy. This did not seem scary nor serious. The writing was very immature.

Now for the spoilers.

During the "scary" action of the third act our fearless nun-in-training halts all horror chaos, to get her vows of nunhood prayed upon momentarily, as a way to become a real nun, and complete her nun training. Meanwhile chaos lurks around them but no, let her nunhood thrive.

Apparently, being french-canadian is a demonic safe word and can inflict nun damage.

The whole fragile plot was held together by a special vial of Jesus Christ's own blood. It looks like a christmas ornament. and spitting it's blood on the nuns face is the straw that stops her.

At another hilarious moment a demon licks a priest with a wildly large, fast, bendy, snake-like CGI tongue. People were wincing with awkward giggles through out the theater and not for ANY of the right reasons. The cgi demon tongue action literally came out of nowhere. and no the visuals are not as cool as they sound.

It was so silly and cheesy that I'm glad I saw it with my own eyes. But do not in any way shape or form expect this movie to be scary or a serious venture. They were trolling HARD. Don't pay for this in theaters unless you are fully prepared for a comedy.
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