Monday, October 31, 2016

2016 October Horror Challenge #101: "Paranormal Activity: the Ghost Dimension"

I watched this movie last year on Halloween as well. It became sort of a tradition on Halloween to watch the latest Paranormal Activity movie, started when I scared myself into a heart attack watching the third movie in theaters. The third one is still my favorite, too, but I like this one as well. For the sixth movie in a series, it was better than it had any right to be.

It seems to drag a bit in the beginning, watching it now, but there are some creepy moments. I like the new little girl. Kids can be creepy, and that was probably my favorite part about the third movie, the creepy little girls. This one is kind of a direct sequel to the third movie, opening with the family finding the box of tapes and the camera from the third film. The dad of the family plays around with the camera, not realizing it will somehow link him to the demon from the third film, and will allow the girls from the third film to connect with his daughter. Spooky!

This movie got to me again like it did when I first saw it. There were some good scares, some freaky jump shots, and a creepy little girl chanting in front of a mirror. Everything you need to make a good scary movie, right? I like seeing the dad and uncle first get caught up in the "fun" of investigating a possible haunting, to getting more and more terrified as the evil closes in on them. Thats what attracted me to all these movies, seeing regular people slowly being infected by evil. It's definitely not perfect, but this series of films was pretty consistently good from start to finish.

2016 October Horror Challenge #100: "Birdemic: Shock and Terror" with Rifftrax

Well, this is what happens when you piss me off on Halloween with your terrible ass movie. I decide to watch what most people agree is the worst horror movie of our generation, "Birdemic: Shock and Terror." People have been talking about this movie in horror circles for awhile now, but I've never had the guts to see it, because seriously? But I might as well watch it now, only I refuse to watch it without Rifftrax, because I don't want to be the only one making snide remarks this time around.

So I can't actually tell you what this movie was supposed to be about. I mean, obviously it's about birds coming down with some kind of epidemic and attacking and killing people, but you wouldn't know it to watch the first half of the movie. Seriously, this makes every slow paced boring movie I've watched this year seem like a thrill a minute ride. Dear God.

This movie spends over twenty minutes showing people driving around with no dialogue, in between shots of people walking around to the sounds of elevator music. As one of the guys remarks, " I think people forgot to tell this movie that it's in a movie." It must be unbearable without the snarky comments. Thank the Lord i don't have to watch it that way.

2016 October Horror Challenge #99: "The Killing of Jacob Marr"

This movie sounds so familiar. I thought maybe I'd seen it before, but nope, I think it's just that so many peoplperaved about how good it was that I imprinted the titlein my mind. I do love slashers, so this one is supposed to subvert the slasher tradition and turn it on its head, if the reviews of this movie are to be believed.

The movie begins with a young boy finding a mysterious object in the woods and taking it home, with disastrous results. Years later, 5 friends go on a camping trip to the cabin where the boy used to live, and things get bloody. My question is, how come none of the friends have heard the legend of what happened in the cabin? Can't we rely on small town rumor mills to keep us safe from not knowing our neighbors' business? Plus who thinks it's a good idea to rent a cabin in Maine? Right, because Stephen King doesn't exist in this universe.

As it turns out, though failing in their duty to pass on the creepy history of the cabin, some if the locals do try to warn our characters that some workers have recently gone missing in the woods surrounding the cabin, and these geniuses decide to stay there anyway. And really, these are some of the dumbest and most annoying characters I've ever seen. Nothing happens for what feels like hours, so I'm forced to listen to these idiots say stupid shit to each other until I want to punch myself in the face.

I really wanted to like this movie. I was leery of the reviews being so positive, but I thought I'd enjoy this since I like slashers so much. There are some tense and scary moments, and there are a few good lines ("I saw something outside!" "What, like the darkness?") But it felt like the good bits were few and far between the scenes of people staring awkwardly at each other and spouting annoying dialogue. I feel like even when things start happening, they spend way too long having boring fights about it. There's some cool gore and some tense moments, but it's not worth wading through the rest of the movie to get there.

2016 October Horror Challenge #98: "Splinter (2009)"

I like this movie poster, even though it kind of rips off the one for the Hills Have Eyes remake. This movie has been lurking around my subconscious for awhile, but I never got around to seeing it until today. It's about a parasite that takes over people's bodies and uses them as a host for splinters that grow out if their skin. Ew ew eeeeww! Disgusting, right? And it's real, or there actually is a parasite like this that exists, though it might not be exactly like it's pictured in this movie.

So someone please explain to me why were still stopping for hitchhikers? Like, seriously? I'm a kind person and I give to charity and all, but I'm not stopping for your ass in the middle of nowhere and getting murdered for my trouble. It's not happening. I like the two people dating who try to go camping but fail to put up a tent. They're dippy but cute. I'm not a huge fan of the criminals they meet on the road ( and like I said, huge fan of not stopping for hitchhikers in the first damn place) but it helped me enjoy the movie more by having characters I actually like.

The whole idea behind the movie skeeves me out majorly. Ugh, parasites growing under my skin, puke puke puke. No thank you. Things like that are scarier than monsters to me, because how do you fight against something that gets under your skin and takes over your body? Plus I feel bad for the people who have to see someone they know taken over by that thing. The acting is really good, so I actually get drawn into the story instead of wondering how these people got hired. This movie was a sick little treat, and I'm glad I checked it out.

2016 October Horror Challenge #97: "The House of Seven Corpses"

This is one of those 70s horror flicks I've always wanted to see, but it always got pushed to the back burner, so I never got around to it before. It's pretty cool lookin, though, and John Cortisone is cool, so this is definitely a good movie to pick for the last day of the challenge.

So apparently, as we learn in this movie, the Beal house is famous for the mysterious deaths of the family members that occurred there years earlier.  Wanting to cash in on the deaths, a sleazy movie director rents the place to make a movie about the family. This is a great idea, until someone reads from the Tibetan book of the dead and suddenly vengeful zombies are rising out of the cemetery out back and killing everyone.

Who thought it was a good idea to put a cemetery in the backyard? Imagine playing there as a kid and accidentally digging up a corpse. And who decided to read from the damn real book of the dead during the movie?! They couldn't make up a fake book of the dead for that scene? People in these movies are dumb.

I don't know what it is about the number seven and horror stories. The House of Seven Gables, Seven Deaths in the Cat's Eyes, The House of Seven Corpses, etc. Those are all cool stories, though, so I guess I can't complain. I do like this movie. It's stylized and kinda schlocky, but that's to be expected. Nobody does sleazy backyard zombie movies better than the 1970s.

2016 October Horror Challenge #96: "Billy Club"

Dude, isn't this poster cool? The poster might be better than the movie.  Hahahahaha OK just kidding, but I really like this poster and kind of want to hang it on my wall. So I'd never heard of this movie before today, but the description sounded really cool, and I'm in the home stretch of the challenge now, so I decided to try something new. We'll see if it was worth it.

So this movie is about a group of little league kids whose season is abruptly cut short by a gruesome triple homicide. 15 years later, 4 friends from the team reunite for a camping trip to commemorate the deaths of their friends. Unfortunately, there's a psychotic killer in an umpire's mask wielding a baseball bat full of nails and looking to get even. That's a really cool weapon, seriously, so I'm impressed. There's also a really cool baseball kill later on in the movie.

This movie took forever to grab my attention. OK, like a half hour, which seemed really long to me. There are some murders before that time, and they're kind of cool I guess, but it's not until the group if friends are gathered around the campfire reminiscing that I really started to care about what was going on. I know, I'm a jerk, but I'm 96 movies in at this point, so it takes a lot to impress me. I actually didn't like most of the characters, which I guess works out, since most of them get killed. As the movie goes on, secrets are revealed, and we find out why the murders are probably happening. I have to say, I don't feel very sympathetic for the victims here. Only one of the characters, Alison, seems to have a conscience and actually regret what happened when they were kids. Jerks. Plus the movie was more awkward and plodding than funny, which annoyed me.

Sometimes I like to read Wikipedia after I'm done watching a movie  and before I write the review, just to see if it changes my perspective at all. This just really confused me, though, because the ending I saw on Amazon Video totally doesn't match the one Wikipedia describes, which actually sounds better than what I just watched. I can't find anything online about there being an alternate ending or whatever, but I did find one other blogger who noticed the same thing I did, so I'm not crazy ( well, much). This movie wasn't as cool as I hoped it would be, though. Maybe the poster *is* better than the movie?

If you want to check out the other guy's review, it's here: Metal Misfit's "Billy Club" review  His whole blog is pretty cool, so check it out.

2016 October Horror Challenge #95: "Don't Look in the Basement 2"

I figured that since I finally got around to watching the original movie, I might as well watch the sequel too while I'm at it. This looks even more ultra low budget than the original movie, if that's possible, but it was made by fans of the original, so I decided to give it a chance even though the ratings were pretty low (IMDB only gives it 3.9/10 stars...yikes!)

This movie takes place 30 years after the original movie, but the opening sequence occurs the next day, and I appreciate how they got lookalike actors and dressed them in similar clothes to match the ending of the original. We move into the present day, and we're in another sanitarium, where events are about to happen that mirror the bloodbath from the original movie. The acting isn't terrible, even though it is obviously low budget. I've seen far worse.

The doctors in this movie seem smarter than the ones in the first movie, not that there's much of a contest there. The nurse is way better, at least. Sam from the first movie is coming into this asylum as a new patient, and the actor who plays him isn't bad either. This movie drags, too, just like the first one did. Guys, you don't have to copy EVERYTHING from the original. Jeeze. But like the first one, once things get going, they get bloody and nasty. I actually enjoyed this one more than I thought I would.