Saturday, October 22, 2016

2016 October Horror Challenge #61: "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre"

The first time I saw this movie, I was on Christmas break in college, and I decided to rent this movie, which I'd wanted to see since I was a kid, but didn't want any of my ultra conservative friends to know I was watching it. I cared about such things back in the day. So I rented this movie and watched it, and I was in such shock that I sat awake staring at the TV screen even long after it had ended. I hadn't expected it to affect me like that.

So this movie has been around awhile, so you should all know what it's about, but I'll give a little recap here. A van full of teens, including a young woman and her handicapped brother, are in a road trip when their van breaks down and they go for help, only to stumble on a house of horror. Soon they're getting slices and diced and who knows if they'll manage to escape? Creepy!

Part of what git to me so much about this movie is how unrelenting it is. In most horror movies, the killer is stalking someone for a few minutes, then boom! That person gets killed and it's onto the next victim. In this movie, one character is stalked over and over, captured then escapes then us captured then runs away, bloodied but alive, and it's just worse and worse and worse until I was wishing for the character to just die and put an end to it. Even now after all these years, the movie still unnerves me, and I will always respect it for that.

Friday, October 21, 2016

2916 October Horror Challenge #60: "Uninvited"

OK, technically this movie review only needs one poster, and using two is overkill, but COME ON, "Killer Cat"!? How ccould I not include that poster too? It's just too awesome and illustrates perfectly why I've wanted to watch this movie since I was a kid. They both do. It's about a killer mutant cat! What's not to love?

I really have wanted to see this movie since it came out. I heard there was a movie about a killer mutant cat, and of course I wanted to watch it immediately. I love cats and I love horror movies, so this is a match made in heaven for me. Specifically, this movie is about a stray cat that has been subjected to mysterious experiments that escapes from a lab and sneaks aboard a yacht that is hosting a big party, and kitty causes mayhem.

The description us kind of misleading, the cat doesn't sneak aboard, some guests willingly take him with them (who thinks a cat would have a good time on a boat, you nitwits?) The boat is also full of some unsavory people who really deserve to be killed by a mutant cat, so I don't really feel sorry  for them.

The whole movie has a cheesy 80s vibe which people might not like, but it made the movie more fun for me. It dies take an inordinate amount of time for anything to really happen, but  even though the special effects aren't great, it was still cool seeing little mutant kitty kill the stupid characters. Of course the least annoying characters manage to grow on me, so I was even rooting for them after awhile. Overall, this movie isn't great or anything, but I had fun with it.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

2016 October Horror Challenge #59: "Hayride"

Every single thing about this movie sounds awesome.  I mean, seriously, it's about a killer who escapes custody and hides in a family's haunted Hayride. Doesn't that sound like the coolest premise ever? (You in the back, don't roll your eyes at me, no one asked you). It sounds like a movie *I* would love, at least, so even though every review gave this movie negative two million stars, I remain hopeful.

It's clear that this movie is ultra low budget, which doesn't bode well, but the opening sequence is cool and the acting from the leads isn't too bad, as these things go. A young man is returning home for Halloween, which his family takes very seriously. They run a haunted Hayride every year, and the young guy is bringing his girlfriend to meet the family for the first time, except now there will be a real killer stalking the ride. Eeeek!

Dude, the guy who plays the lead detective is hot! He's not a bad actor, either. Score! Actually no one in this movie is bad, considering how low budget it us. I've seen much worse acting in big budget movies. Plus the Halloween atmosphere is spooky and fun, and who can beat the creepy fun of a slasher movie set in a haunted Hayride? This isn't the pinnacle of cinematic genius or anything, but it's a fun little slasher movie. I dug it.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

2016 October Horror Challenge #58: "The Damned"

OK, I'm really not sure what to think if this one. Netflix predicts I'll give it three stars, bug it has a rotten tomatoes score if only 9% (yes, out if a hundred) and then some sources I tryst have said both "this is good" and "gid this sucks." Guess we'll see.

So the descriptions of this movie say conflicting things, which tells me there's a twist and it ends up being about something other than what it wants us to think it's about. I can see this is the first ten minutes when the lead character us talking about how he doesn't want anyone to find out about his secret. Dude, what did you DO? There's supposed to be a DEMON in this movie, so whatever you did, it's bad. If you summoned this demon, I'll be so pissed at you. For shame.

Anyway, the basic description here is that this movie is that this guy who's a widower and his new fiancee get caught in a storm and trapped at an inn that houses an ancient evil. I hate it when that happens. Peter Facinelli plays the widower, and he's a fairly well known actors. I've seen him in several movies. The rest of the cast is unfamiliar to me, but they're good in their roles. Some of the other characters (one of whom is the guy's teenage daughter) keep hinting in some not so subtle ways that they don't think the new fiancee is as good as the guy's dead wife, which is kind of a dick thing to do, but soon petty concerns vanish as an accident in the storm leads them to the aforementioned cursed inn. An old man tries to warn them away, but people in these movies never listen.

Soon it becomes clear that very bad things are going on here, and the characters assume one thing, which I totally understand, but I worry it might way worse than they think (and I'm usually right about these things after watching hundreds of these movies). The movie actuallyhas some good tense moments and loads of creepy atmosphere. It really is messed up. I've seen similar stories before, but this one is well done enough to be spooky, messed- up fun. Definitely worth a watch.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

2016 October Horror Challenge#57: "Plan 9 from Outer Space" with Rifftrax

This movie is notorious for being the worst movie ever made. It's actually kind of sad, because Ed Wood, the guy who made the movie was deluded and he thought he was making a great movie, and this was legendary actor Bela Lugosi's last movie, and it's kind of depressing watching him lumber around in this exploitative schlock when he was such a respected actor. The only thing that's going to make this worth watching is the snarky commentary, trust me. I don't advise trying to watch this movie without it.

2016 October Horror Challenge #56 "The Witches"

After a few disappointing movies in a row, I threw a hissy fit and decided to watch a movie that I knew would be good. I realize that I am allegedly a grown adult and that this is a kids movie, but I don't care, kid's horror movies are rare, but when they're done well they can be a real treat.

This movie  is about a young boy who goes to live with his grandmother after his parents die. His grandmother tells him tales of witches lurking around the world looking for children to steal ( damn grandma, way to terrify the kid) and he discovers that the stories are true and he must defeat the witches.

I love Angelica Houston, and she's perfectly evil in this movie.  It was also fun seeing a young Rowan Atkinson here, and Jason Fisher, the actor who plays the young boy, dies a good job too. The witches were creepier when I was a kid, but they're still fun to watch now, and watching them peel their faces off is still gruesome and creepy. I miss kids movies like these that weren't afraid to depict evil as truly evil like this and not sanitized for a wider audience. This movie was a lot of fun, and exactly what I needed to see today.

2016 October Horror Challenge #55: "The Hours till Daylight"

From the sounds of this title and the look of the movie poster, this movie was trying to harken back to the horror movies of the 80s. I remember seeing the horror movie covers in the video store as a kid, and how the covers and the titles drew me in and made me want to see the movies, so I appreciated this reminder. This movie seems to have gotten low ratings, but the plot sounds good, so I'm hopeful.

The movie is about a young man who experienced years of fear and torture in his family's haunted house when he was a K d, and now that he's about to start a family if his own, he wabts to put an end to this evil once and for all. The scenes of his childhood are creepy enough, and I like the young man, Marco, well enough, so the movie pulled me in from the beginning.

The problem isn't that the idea behind the movie is bad, it's that the acting is kind of off. It feels a little wooden, and the characters keep referencing what the family went through like it's something terrible, but nothing happens for most of the movie. We know Marco and his sister are afraid of the dark and that there's some kind of presence haunting them, and there are hints that it might have followed Marco into his life now, but they never explain what it is or how going back to the house where he grew up will help stop it.

Most of the movie is a jumbled mess, with random stuff happening that doesn't seem to be leading toward any conclusion. It's frustrating. Originally I thought I knew what was going on, then I decided no, that must not be it because that doesn't make any sense, but it turns out that nope, I was right and that IS what's going on. I guess no one but me cares that it doesn't make sense. Plus as the movie goes on, Marco becomes less and less likeable, until I wanted to throw him off a cliff. This movie could have been good, it had some good ideas, but it winds up being just a jumbled, annoying mess.