My Horror Film Diary- 2013
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Silent Night (2012)
I've always wanted to watch the original, but haven't yet had the pleasure. While this was a good horror flick it was a bit trashy for my taste. Still, there are some fantastic kills and Jaime King delivers a worthy performance, proving to perhaps be one of the next big scream queens. Slasher or gore fans should dig this one.
The Loved Ones (2010)
These were the first horror films I ever watched. They used to scare the crap out of me, but I'd beg to watch them anyway. I haven't seen them since I was about five. I figured this was the perfect time to re-watch the franchise to prepare for the DVD release of Prometheus. While this was an enjoyable flick it got a tad bogged down here and there. Plus the "less is more" approach just doesn't really work here, thank heavens that Aliens capatalized on that. However this is honourable for it's place in horror history and certain scenes such as searching for that darn cat stand out.
I was really pretty skeptical of this one. When it was first announced I envisioned a low-budget parody, just like most did. When the trailer first appeared I decided it looked interesting, but a little shallow. I can happily say that this has been my favorite horror film of 2012 so far. The action scenes are fantastic and the writer managed to intelligently incorporate vampires into the life of one of our greatest presidents. I also love how the vampires have a "Lost-Boyish" look to them. This turned out to be shockingly great.
Battle Royale (2000)
I'm not really a big fan of Japanese horror seeing as most of it centers around ghosts and I'm just not that interested in supernatural horror. This is one of the few J-Horror titles that caught my attention and I've long since wanted to see it. And after seeing this one, I'll happily check out some more. The concept was truly original back in 2000 (that's right you prissy fangirls, this "rip-off" was made BEFORE the first crappy Hunger Games novel was even written) and the action and violence is highly stylized. The characters are loveable as well and the story has enough emotional value in it to accompany all the brutal violence. All in all, this was fantastic and something I'll be proud to add to my collection someday.
Truth or Die (2012)
I was wary of watching this Mother's Day rip-off from the start, but this is more dissapointing than I could have imagined. Besides the lead actress all of the characters that we're supposed to feel sympathetic towards are self-rightous bastards. On top of that the main villian, while intimadating has confusing motives and spouts meaningless metaphoric explanations of his actions far too often. On top of that this the film is capped off by a lame, forced ending that takes all subtley out of the quiestion. Not even worth a peek.
Tape 407 (2012)
I only watched this because I heard rumors that it was real. I've never believed any of the "real footage" hype surrounding the legends of the sub-genre like Blair Witch or Cloverfield, but the fact that it was put out by an independent company and the effects basically looked pratical in the trailer made me believe that this could very well be real. After watching this boring, annoying piece of trash I can say it's defiently NOT real. The CGI at the end gives it away. The camera work is too spastic and the whole ordeal feels like Blair Witch in Nevada with dinosaurs. Ugh.
The Moth Diaries (2012)
I probably wouldn't have watched this if it weren't for my mother's fasicination with all forms of gothic horror. It was okay and the story was original, but the acting and directing is severly lackluster. Scenes jump from one to the next so quickly that it almost feels like a strung together documentary than a horror film. This sort of directing removes almost all emotional attachment from the film and makes it incredibly difficult to become personally involved in when every time you get into it the scene changes. Lackluster, but worthwhile at least one viewing if you're into vampire films.
Phantasm II (1988)
I haven't seen the first yet, though I've long wanted to, however my Mother's fiance is a huge horror fan and filled me in on the original so I could see this one. After what I've seen I'm eager to watch the rest. This is such a fresh and inventive concept. There really is nothing else like it. The "Balls" are creations of sheer genious.
Piranha 3D (2010)
I've been weary of watching this since it came out, but after watching the trailer a few times I made up my mind to at least rent it. While this isn't anything special, it never tried to be. Piranha is just big, stupid bloody fun. However, being an Alexandre Aja film you knew there was going to be alot of overdone gore and disturbing scenes. Said scenes are even more disturbing because the film is always trying to be campy. In one minute you'll have a corny joke and the next someone will be having their dick bit off. Some of the CGI for the Piranha is laughably cartoonish looking as well, but it makes for fun viewing with a group of friends. Just don't watch it expecting a masterpiece.
Wrong Turn (2003)
This was one of THOSE films. When I first watched it a few years ago I thought it was terrible. However, after continuing to hear people say good things about it I decided to give it another chance. As with films like Freddy Vs. Jason, I liked it much better the second time around. The first time I was expecting something really scary, and the film, while tense, doesn't offer up much disturbing violence as far as backwoods horror goes. Things move at a quicker pace, including kills. Still, this is just a fun, simple throwback to seventies and eighties style horror, with great gore efffects by none other than Stan Winston. It's not spectacular, but it's one of the most enjoyable backwoods horrors you'll likely see.
Cold Prey 2 (2008) (2008)
I'm a HUGE fan of the first Cold Prey and have long awaited the American release of the second. While a decent enough slasher flick, this one just doesn't live up to the standards set by it predesscor. And yet again the film tries to explain the origins of it's hulking killer, but falls short due to a confusing backstory. There's already a third, but even if it does get a US release, I probably won't watch it. This is one case where agree with the age old saying, "You don't screw with the original."
The People Under the Stairs (1991)
Here's another film I had the same problem with as Wrong Turn. When I first watched it I expected a classicly scary Wes Craven film. However it's obvious that good ol' Wes just decided to have fun with this film. And taken a little more light-heardtly...it's absolutely fantastic. The antagonists might be outlandishly over the top, but that's what makes them fun to watch along with exceedinly good performances by the child actors. All in all, it's a creepy, fun horror film that makes few mistakes in it's formula. One of Wes Craven's best, in my opinion.
Santa's Slay (2005)
I started watching this once before and thought it was fantastic. However, I didn't get very far into it before it had to go back the video store. This time I re-rented it and watched it almost instantly. Further into the film it looses some of it's quirky charm by being a little TO corny. Still, the film is loaded with great kills and loveable characters. It's probably the best christmas themed horror film out there.
Maximum Overdrive (1986)
How in the world can a master of horror like Stephen King have written such a frickin' piece of crap as this? I had heard bad things about Maximum Overdrive before, but no one really told me how bad it was. If I could take this crap out of my brain I would. It's simply THAT bad. There's no redeeming aspect for it either. The characters are all unlikeable pricks, the horror is more action oriented than anything else and the plot potential is completely wasted on trucks and cars with a few other mishandled scenes peppered throughout. This is probably the worst thing King has ever been responsible for, and after seeing this it's easy to see why he never got back in the director's seat again. I'm not kiddning. This is one of the worst horror films you'll ever lay eyes upon. And I'll close this commentary by saying this. Once you watch it, you can never forget it. How do you forget something so bad that it breaks the barriers of bad film-making? Just please.....for the sake of all things good.....don't torture yourself with this crap. DON'T FREAKING WATCH IT. UGGGGGHHHHHH!!!!! *spasm*
Stake Land (2011)
This one was just...dissapointing. The trailer makes this look like some kind of emotionally charged vampire epic, but in reality this film is shallow, with plot potiental that never gets used. All in all, it's just a wasted opprotunity, and the actors do their jobs so well, that all you can do is wish they were in a film more deserving of their talents. It's just...generic. Not horrible, but not good by any stretch of the imagination.
This has to be one of the worst things that's happened to horror since Uwe Boll was born. The plot is inventive and incredibly original, but it's totally wasted. Don't get me wrong, this movie is freaky. But suffering through the plodding, uninteresting parts is too much of a bother. And on top of that, the ending is shocking but stupid anyways. It's obvious that the creators of this film made it solely to start a new internet craze, but when you think about that it just makes this "film" even more fathomable. Also, the lingo and "way of talking" may be hard to keep up with for some people, myself included. Sorry, but I don't keep up that well with faggot hipster language terms. If this is the direction horror films are going...I'd rather just be jaded and stick with pre-2012 stuff. Luckily, I don't think that's going to happen, but in the meantime don't waste your time with this new wave crapfest. Seriously, Shane Dawson. I expect better of you, bro.
I'm a HUGE fan of both the the first film and the games, so you can expect I was pretty psyched about this sequel. In fact it was probably my most anticipated film of 2012. While this film is decent enough, it's obvious that the main focus was on the 3D effects. I really appreciate how well this film captures the mood of the games and for the most part it stays true to the source material. However, way too much story was packed into a scant hour or so, the first film taking a decent amount of time to tell it's complex story. This just feels rushed and shallow. It could have been a great film, if only the director was in it for something more than a paycheck. It's probable there will be another, and as a fan I'll check it out, but I won't meet it with the same anticipation. The disappointment is just too hard. *sniff*
I don't even....the heck? I think.....my brain just MELTED. I knew from the trailer that this film was going to be zany, but, even in zany films there is a line. And if you cross that line...all you have is weird crap. Which is exactly what this movie is. From the opening scene, too halfway through the film, promise is all over the place. But by the time the plot actually starts up, far too many obnoxious, off the wall things have happened. Instead of enjoying the weirdness you're left going, "What the heck just happened? Wait! Don't skip to the next scene, I want that explained!" I was in a state of confusion for most of this film, which totally takes the enjoyment out of it. And in this case, I don't think a re-watch would change my opinion. There's more than a few cute scenes and genious ideas here. Too bad they weren't handled better.
The Clinic (2010)
I was intially interested in this film due too the whole, "based on a true story" bit. While I don't know how closely the film sticks to it's source material, it was better than I thought it would be. The atmosphere and plot are disturbing enough, but the true plot is certainly disturbing and an original idea. It's mysterious and atmosphereic enough to have better scores than it does. It's not anything spectacular, but it's a good horror film that will likely stick with you. I wouldn't reccomend viewing it while preganant, though. ;)
Lake Placid (1999)
Another film I hated upon my first viewing and like much better the second time. In fact, I loved this movie. When I first watched it, I expected something at least semi-serious. While this film has plenty of suspenseful moments, a lot of it is just hilarious. But that's not a bad thing.
The Collector (2009)
Yet ANOTHER film that I hated upon my first viewing and now love. The first time I watched this film, I found it incredibly disturbing. So disturbing, in fact, that I couldn't finish it. However with the release of it's sequel, The Collection I knew I had to finish it. The Collection looks AWESOME. So I headed down to my local rental place and took out both. I don't know if it's because I'm more accustomed to gore now or not, but I didn't find it nearly as emotionally scarring this time. In fact, I thought it was pretty dang awesome. It's rare that we get an INTELLIGENT horror film nowadays, especially with a likeable protagonist that knows what he's doing. Arkin, the main character, is probably one of the most intelligent horror characters ever written. Which makes it even harder to watch him get tied up and tortured. The Collector himself is also, probably the most intimadating horror villian in our generation since Jigsaw. All in all, we have one of the best horror films of the two-thousands right here, and I only hope the sequel can compare.
The Collection (2012)
PRAISE THE GOOD LORD! I was getting pretty wary of new horror films (if you couldn't tell from this journal), but this film gives me hope. While not as masterful as the first entry in this franchise (at least I hope it'll be a franchise) director/writer Marcus Dunstan proves that he knows a thing or two about making horror films. The Collection has a Saw II-ish type vibe about it (a group of people trapped in a booby-trap making killer's lair) but has it's share of original ideas. My only problem is that it moves at a quicker pace than the first, sometimes too quick. Still, this gives hope for a bright future in the horror genre. I'll be keeping my fingers crossed for the next. ;)
I've watched this one before, but felt like I needed another watch. I'm also preparing for the third and haven't seen the second yet. As far as I'm considered this is one of the most overated horror films of all time. Don't get me wrong, it's an enjoyable slasher with some great kills and plenty of shockingly funny moments, but it's just not that great. My biggest problem is with the swamp sets. I know Adam Green had a small budget here, but that's never been an excuse for crappy sets. The whole "swamp" feels like several rooms, copy-pasted together. However, a good sense of gore and a funny script keep the film going. Hopefully the sequels step it up a notch in terms of budget, though.
Hatchet II (2012)
This is just another dissapointment. After hearing eighties horror fanatics such as myself rave about the quality of these films, I expected something much better. Although this film is interesting enough, everything feels mishandled. The cast (besides the beautiful Danielle Harris) is atrocious, including Kane who does a suprisingly poor job as Crowley this time. The gore effects also take a serious nose dive. The blood looks like brown water in most of the kill scenes. Said scenes were probably disturbing and gory enough on paper, but are excuted completely wrong with too quick camera movement during kills. Even the plot twists feel lame. The first film was nothing incredibly special, but it deserved a better sequel than this. As horrible as I just made Hatchet II sound, it does offer up some mindless fun, and if you're creepy, some excellent eye-candy. But the whole thing just feels lackluster and mishandled. Please, Adam, get a bigger frickin' budget for number three. :/
Texas Chainsaw 3D (2013)
I didn't nesscarily have high hopes for this one, but the end result is not at all what I expected. Instead of being a sequel to the re-makes this film is a direct sequel to the 1974 original. As brilliant and confusing as that may sound, a strange cast (Trey Songz? Seriously?) and poor directing waste what potential this film had. It's not to say it isn't serviceable popcorn entertainment, but it's severly medicore and I don't care at all for the plot twist at the end. A shaky sense of morality also destroys any sympathy you might feel towards the characters. There'll be another...we know there will. But if it's a direct sequel to this, I think I'll just skip it.
Little Deaths (2011)
This is another of those films that is quickly becoming commonplace. I'm all for innovation and pushing boundries, but there is such a thing as going overboard. The focus of Little Deaths seems to be on the horrors of sexuality. Instead of being a magnificent exploration of the subject that delves deep into human psychology (as it was marketed) it devolves into another low-budget shock fest. And here, the film is certainly sucessful. The imagery is vibrant (as well as contrastingly bleak) and the subject matter of the stories is disturbing. Also, I've never seen so many dicks in one movie (albeit deformed, mutant ones). All of this does not, however make a worthwhile film. Instead, Little Deaths focuses on the shock factor and completely disregards an interesting narrative. However, that wouldn't have made much of a difference to me. As someone who loves horror, but not degraded, sadistic trash, this film would never be my kind of thing. And I should hope, for the sake of your sanity, it's not yours either.
I Saw the Devil (2010)
I have to be honest, after hearing all the praise and critical aclaim heaped upon this film, I was expecting something better. Don't get me wrong, I Saw The Devil is an effective horror film that suceeds where it aims to. It strikes a hard emotional chord, and it's intruiging tale of revenge and murder is interesting, but never fully exploited. Much of the film is bogged down by the fact that the main character keeps purposely letting his target escape. I understand the logoistics behind this, but it makes for a boring pattern that is later broken, but continues for too long. For awhile, we repeat the same thing over and over again. The killer is let go, kills people, puts females in sexual peril etc. only for the hero to intervene JUST in the nick of time. As I said, I understand why this was done, but it just doesn't make for an engaging film expierence. On terms of revenge films, this one certainly delivers. But it's a little bland. Just not my cup of tea.
I'm not a huge fan of this series, but I can't help watching them. It's just such an interesting concept, but besides the first and third none of these are favorites of mine. This one continues the story from the incredibly flawed, but enjoyable fourth. Unfortunately it's the last in the franchise to focus on second generation "Puppet Master" Rick, seeing as the storyline had lots of potential. Still, this film is squandered in a big way by completely missing it's mark. It's bassically the fourth installment, slightly re-written with some annoying new additions to the group of humans. However, great special effects and some fun scenes of puppet antics keep things moving along till the end. Due to those things, I had to up the score to a six. But it's not to far from a five. Not great by any stretch of the imagination, but it's good popcorn entertainment...and really, what else are Full Moon films supposed to be?
I've wanted to check this one out for a while, seeing as it's directed by Victor Salva, the man who created my favorite horror film of all time (Jeepers Creepers). However, while shockingly scary and enjoyable, Clownhouse is missing something. The child actors are pretty poor, but they get slightly better as the film progresses. The actors portraying the evil clowns are brilliant in their roles and are truly creepy. The score and atmosphere are also well tuned, and should easily tap into anyone's fear of clowns (they sure did mine. :O) But after seeing both Jeepers Creepers and becoming accustomed to a grisslier Salva this film seems tame. Sure, someone's neck gets broken and there's a little blood, but nothing shocking. It's a little dissapointing, but it's scary and fun party viewing. Just don't expect something as fantastic as Salva's later work.
I should also mention the film's unfortunate history has a bit of a negative effect on my rating. If you don't know what I'm talking about, look it up. Just don't let the man's past mistakes keep you from watching his brilliant films.
Jack Brooks: Monster Slayer (2008)
Anchor Bay seems to be the go-to place for throwback horror films these days what with them producing hits like Hatchet, Behind The Mask, Wrestlemaniac etc. that harken back to eighties horror films. I didn't find the Hatchet films to be as great as everyone said, but I had high hopes for this film. While enjoyable, JB: Monster Slayer doesn't really deliver. The effects are excellent and the storyline has tons of potiential, but there are several big problems. First of all, the film is sadly short, and doesn't really start up until shockingly close to the end. This makes it feel like the pilot episode of a great TV show instead of a feature-length film. You expect more just as the credits begin rolling. Second, although he becomes likeable later into the film, Jack can be an incredibly annoying character. That's not a good trait for your main character to have. And lastly, the whole end is much too simliar to the vastly superior, Slither, which was released only a year before this. Watch Slither and you'll see what I mean. All in all, Jack Brooks would have made a great series, or even a television show, but as a stand-alone film, it's just dissapointing, while mildly enjoyable. At least Robert Englund is terrific, but I'm sure no one was worried about that. ;)
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)
I've recently decided to look into which horror films I can find for free on Youtube. I started with Clownhouse and then decided to start looking in my watchlist. This is the first one that I could find a decent copy of, so I downloaded it right away. I'm a pretty big fan of the 2003 re-make and I've seen The Begining (though I hated it) and TCM 3D (which wasn't too great either). I was willing to risk this one seeing as Tobe Hooper has done some pretty awesome horror films and this one is regarded as a classic. After seeing it, I have to ask why. This film is absolute rubbish. The editing and directing are off the charts-awful and none of the characters elict any feeling of sympathy. They all seem to be genuine pricks. That's not to say the rest of the film isn't incredibly disturbing, but it IS in awful taste. You feel so dirty after the credits roll that you want to take a shower. I fully understand that this film inspired countless others and may very well be responsible for making horror what it is today, but all I can see is that it definetly hasn't aged well. I won't be taking any "it was his first time directing" crap either. Look at Halloween. Then this film. First time directing isn't always bad. But this one is.
Warm Bodies (2013)
This was one of my most anticipated films of the year. I've never read the book, but the trailers for this film looked AWESOME and present a kickbutt alternative to Twilight's dominance in the supernatural romance genre. Although this film is sadly not quite as fantastic as it's trailer suggests, it is a fun, heart-felt comedy with just enough genre content to qualify as a horror film. The cast is mainly good, only excluding the Kristen Stewart look-alike lead actress. Not only are her hard looks completely wrong for the role she's playing, but she presents one of the dryest performances of the year. She's definetly not a worthy choice for the lead actor's love interest. I need not inform you that John Malkovich is fantastic. However the weakest point of the film is sadly the directing, which sometimes hops about a bit too much. These flaws however don't stop Warm Bodies from being an enjoyable film and a perfect date movie.
I know, I only have myself to blame for investing time and money in the un-trustworthy torture porn genre. But although these films can simply be an excuse for nudity, appaling imagery and general ugliness, certain films such as the Saw franchise and yes, the first Hostel have nailed the right ingredients. Abundant blood&gore, loveable characters and a deep emotional apex. Turistas may nail the blood and gore, and it's characters are somewhat likeable, but it forgets the most important factors. Story and emotional investment. The plot is nothing but a re-hashing of Hostel set in Mexico instead of Europe, with a few motive twists for the main villian that add absolutely nothing to the expierence. Meanwhile, once the action gets started, things never really slow down. Characters die without warning or filmmaking grace and are simply "gone". You just don't give a crap. Although it's somewhat entertaining and most guys will enjoy ogling the females, Turistas brings nothing new to the table and doesn't even try. Therefore, I really can't even reccomend a peek.
I watched this for only two reasons. One, I was bored and this was the only thing in my collection I hadn't watched that stood out at the moment, and two, people are constantly raving about how beautiful Rose McGowan is and I've never found her attractive. Overall, I can't say I wasn't mildly entertained by this film. It strikes the same chord that most Lifetime movies do, and if you find yourself sucked in by those, you'll reap a little enjoyment from this. But just a little. All in all, the plot is pretty average, filled with mishandled kill scenes and a terrible anti-climatic ending. The comic relief detectives are annoying as well. Devil In The Flesh isn't really worth a look, but it's not the worst movie ever made.
The Reflecting Skin (1990)
I've wanted to see this film since I first saw the trailers, and my step-father reccomends it, which usually means it's great. While this film surely isn't horrid it's just not my cup of tea. This doesn't mean others won't enjoy it however, and lots of people have appreciated it a lot more than I have. I certainly wasn't bored either as plenty of strange personalities and disturbing scenes litter the film. It's an extremely effective coming of age tale as well, and delves deeper into the subject than most films dare to. I also found myself joking back tears as Seth screamed at the sky for release from his pain. But all in all I wasn't as wowed as I hoped to be. Some may think it's a masterpiece, but I think it's just a decent film.
This film was a big part of my childhood, but I haven't seen it in ages. I'm not sure whether it's because it scared me so much, or because of the lackluster directing, but I didn't enjoy this film as much as I wanted to. Don't get me wrong, the sets are beatiful, the actors are extraordinary in their roles and the film tells the Dracula mythos as it was always meant to be told. But the direction is a huge killing point for me. This is the only Coppola film I have yet too see and if they all hop around as much as this film does, I can't see why his work is so highly regarded. He seems to want this film to be over as quickly as possible and most of it feels incredibly rushed. Scenes adruptly change, characters act excedeingly strange at certain points and some of the lay-over editing is absolutely sloppy and horendous. It may just be me, but this film felt very sloppy in it's editing, and that creates a feeling of dis-connection from the characters and story at some points. However, with all that being said this is easily the best film concerning the tale of Dracula and is worth watching just to see Gary Oldman and Anthony Hopkins' expert performances. But if you're picky about editing, such as myself, you mind find yourself very annoyed.
The Call (2013)
I was rather excited for this one seeing as we haven't had a decent thriller in years, but we still don't have one. Don't get me wrong, the first half of this film is great with an emotional apex and some truly intense sequences. But once we start to focus on the kidnapper himself things take a turn for the worse. His motives are confusing and never fully explained. Which is strange seeing as the film focuses so much on what he's doing. This puts a huge kink in things for me, not to mention the spastic camera and generic ending. Not really worth a look.
Would You Rather (2019)
Talk about a useless, pointless film. WYR has an incredibly original premise, and if handled better could have very well been a new classic. But instead, it's just another drab, cliched and soulless torture porn film made to entertain sick bastards. The entire film seems like an excuse to set-up grisly situations and the finale suceeds at making everything else about the film totally redundant. I would go so far as to say it's one of the worst endings to a horror film in years. The fact that the film is this bad is only worsened by the fact that all the actors involved (besides porn-star Sasha Grey) are exceedingly good in their performances. They are definetly worthy of a film more respective of their talents. Instead, they've found thereselves in one of the most underwhelming, useless horror flicks in years. Really, you DON'T need to watch this trash.
This film is just stupid, bloody fun. Stitches is a throwback to the gore-soaked traditions of eighties horror films, in a simliar vein to the Hatchet series. Only this time, we're presented with a deranged clown as the villian instead of a swamp dwelling madman. Stitches (the clown) may not have as much charm built into his character as other wise-cracking horror baddies, like Freddy Kruegar, but it's definetly fun watching him pick off the teens. This film delivers some of the best slasher kills in recent memories. It's worth sitting through just to see the umbrella and air pump deaths. All that being said, however, Stitches is by no means a high quality horror film. The editing and directing are poor, and the dialouge is sometimes downright bizzare. When the film begins, the main characters are all children. Yet, they're all as foul mouthed as your typical modern day teenagers. These flaws mean Stitches isn't the classic it could have been, but it's just a fun diversion from bigger horror flicks. Kick, back, lower your IQ, and watch it with some buddies. You'll have a great time.
Are they ever going to make a great horror film again? This was among my most anticipated horror films of 2013, and as with every horror film I've watched from this year so far (besides Warm Bodies) it's a huge dissapointment. The premise here is genious, and there are definetly some entertaining scenes in this film, but most of the potential is totally wasted. The film's biggest problem is that it's incredibly shallow. You hardly even care what happens to the characters. Next, some of the film's ideas are downright cheesy. Not the good kind of cheesy either. This film is set during coloniel days...so what's with all the guns, record players and 21st century language? It's like the directors wanted to make something extremely campy, but Paramount wanted money and...well, you get the idea. Although this film isn't AWFUL it's not particularly good either, and not really worth your money.
Tower Block (2012)
Yay! A recent horror film that actually delivers! Tower Block has a fresh, surprisingly scary premise and a steep suspense factor. At first, I found some of the characters (namely Jack O'Connel's character) hard to like, but throughout the film they grow on you in a big way. This is an ingenious concept held back only by an overabundance of genre clichés. However, compared to what else has been coming out lately, these clichés feel welcome. You can always count on the good ol' Brits...
Beneath the Darkness (2012)
I was pretty skeptical of this one, but being a Dennis Quaid fan, I knew I had to check it out sooner or later. All in all, this film turned out to be pretty good. The story definetly isn't original, but the characters are genuinely loveable and that helps alot. This is one of the rare, more recent films where you actually care what happens to everybody. However, that doesn't change the fact that this film is incredibly flawed. First off, there's a few annoying plot-holes. Next, Quaid is just not particularly good here. He seems uncomfortable in his role, and it just makes some of his scenes feel incredibly awkward. Worst of all is that the film is so average in it's execution when it could've done so much more with the plot. This is not a bad movie, but it's not the best it could've been, wich just leaves you feeling...dissapointed.
The Gate (1987)
I kept hearing mixed reviews for this film, which thus-far had dampened my enthusiasm to watch it. All in all, this film has some fantastic ideas, but the excution is crap. The demons look like rejects from a Ray Harryhausen film (strange seeing as this was made in 1987) and some scenes are just downright goofy. (Sticking a Barbie doll in someone's eye?) However, some of the film is pretty good and it IS good popcorn entertainment. Just don't expect a classic and you'll get some enjoyment out of it.
The Resident (2011)
Yes, Jeffrey Dean Morgan is freaking MASTURBATING in that picture.
I had to force myself to write this entry in the hopes of saving some poor soul from this insult to thriller films. The Resident might have a wonderful cast, but I have no idea how it accomplished that. Halfway through the film, it begins to focus on JDM's actions as the psychopathic landlord, SHOWING us his secret lair amongst Hillary's walls and completely destroying any feeling of suspense. How can a thriller be thrilling when we already know everything the bad guy is doing? And how in the heck did they get these people to participate in such a monstrosity? I just can't get over that.
If we were supposed to feel sympathy for the landlord character, the film failed completely. He's an immature, crazy, sick bastard. So why focus on trying to humanize him? Was it just for that "money shot" up above, there? (Sorry, for making you look a that again.)
All in all, this is definetly part of my worst horror films ever list. Ugh.
Hatchet III (2013)
I don't know why I get so excited every time a new Hatchet film is announced. While I found the first enjoyable, I thought it was highly overrated. And the second was fairly dreadful. Perhaps it's because Adam Green finally let someone else in the director's seat this time, but I thought Hatchet III could be the best in the series. It's not, but vissualy and diretorialy it is. But past that, we still have a pretty weak film. The characters are all annoying bastards whom I couldn't wait to see die. Evan Danielle Harris's returning performance was obnoxious and crude. However, it was nice to see Zach Galligan return to the screen, even if his character was a douchebag. The kills were mishandeled again as well. Hold freaking still so I can get what I payed for! All in all, Hatchet III is still a very un-refined and sloppy film, just like the first two. But it's still better than the second.
A unique, interesting concept, but it remains largely medicore. Full of countless plot-holes and inconsistencies. So many that it can't truly be enjoyed. Not really worth a look. (I had written a more comprehensive review, but it got deleted.)
The Theatre Bizarre (2012)
Why is it that every horror anthology to come out in the past few years is sadistic, low-budget and vulgar? First Little Deaths and now this. I must say that this film is better than Little Deaths, but only by a hair. Fortunately this film has two mildly redeeming segements. "I Love You" is the best story in the whole film, dealing with a rather bizzare and bloody break-up. Tom Savini's segement is mildly entertaining, but extremely low-budget. The rest of the film is just...well...bizzare and badly made. "The Accident" is the only other well made short here, and it seems pretty pointless. Not really scary. All in all, The Theatre Bizzare has some great ideas, but they aren't well executed at all.
The Thing (2011)
I know I'm in the minority here, but I think John Carpenter's The Thing is the most overrated horror film ever created. Sure, the special effects were awesome, but I thought the rest was pretty boring. After seeing this, I think I need to watch it again. This "remake" is actually a prequel. And a pretty dang good one at that. It's supremely scary and the CGI effects are actually pretty good. I really liked the design they chose for the alien. It tapped into two phobias of mine at once. Phobia of bugs and phobia of sea creatures. There were some really suspenseful scenes too. It takes a little while to get REALLY good, but it's worth it. Probably one of my favorite horror films of the 2010's so far. Don't just write it off as another bad remake.
Never again will I watch a film directed by Jim Isaacs. He has created two of the worst horror films ever made. First Jason X and now this blasphemous "werewolf" tale. Skinwalkers has some awesome ideas, and with a few tweaks could have been a classic, but it's obvious that it's just a cash cow. First off, Isaacs gets things started as quickly as possible. He gives a brief and boring story and then introduces us to some very interesting looking characters. I say interesting "looking" because beyond their names we learn absolutely nothing about these people. For a film that's supposed to be so emotional, this is the biggest crime committable. How do you care about characters that have absolutely no...character? To make matters worse all the actors involved are good and Stan Winston lends some great effects. But the whole ordeal is far too slick and boring. Why on earth do werewolves need freaking guns? All in all, this film just feels like a soulless atempt to garner some money and entertain lesser-minded people, only interested in hot girls, fancy camera tricks and lots of motorcycles and guns. If you're dumb like that, you'll love this movie. If you have a shred of a brain inside your skull, you'll hate it.
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COMPLETED! Check out the new favorites I made this year right here. www.listal.com/list/favorite-horror-films-watched-last :)
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