Wednesday, October 7, 2015

2015 October Horror Challenge #23 "Out of the Dark"

I like Julia Stiles, and Scott Speedman, and Stephen Rea, so this movie appealed to me because it had a good cast.  That doesn't always mean the movie will be good, but it helps.  The plot also sounded familiar but intriguing.  A family moves to a fairly remote area in Columbia so the wife can take over her father's business.  It's evident right away that the family is wealthy but the surrounding area is filled sith abject poverty, and from the opening sequence that takes place 20 years ago, it would seem that there are dark forces around that don't appreciate this woman or her family.  Soon the family is rushing to solve an old mystery and save their young daughter.

It seems to me that if my father asked me to move to the other side of the world and live in a house that is basically a palace compared to the rest of the area, I'd have a few questions, like "are there evil spirits here that will terrorize my family if I move in here?" but that's just me.  I would at least be suspicious, you know?  It's pretty clear that somethings not right, since all the old files ate missing and the woman's father doesn't seem to want to tell her anything about the company.  Damn you Stephen Rea, being all arrogant and evil.  He plays evil well, though.  Like I said, the movie isn't the most original story in the world, but it's not bad. I enjoyed it.

2015 October Horror Challenge #22 "Stalled"

This movie is about a guy trapped in a public restroom stall during the zombie apocalypse.  Yep.  Everyone seemed to be making fun of the premise when it came out (what a shitty premise for s movie, lol, get it?  Shitty?) but I didn't think it sounded that bad.  Or rather that simply pointing out that it had a weird premise automatically meant it would be a bad movie.  I nean, when the zombie apocalypse gomes, there are bound to be some people in the world who have to take shelter in public restrooms.  The idea of being trapped in a small, claustrophobic space while there are Zombies trying to get in and eat you sounds creepy enough.  So what's the verdict, was the movie worth watching?

Well first of all, I refuse to believe that the janitor guy was lucky enough to happen to be hiding in the women's bathroom when two hot girls decided to make out.  Never in my life have I been that lucky, and I'm a chick, so my odds of being in a women's bathroom are that much higher.  Bleh.  It did set up a pretty cool horror sequence, though, so i guess i can't be too mad.  The gore in this movie is good in general.  Ickiness and nastiness galore.  Plus I found myself laughing at most of the jokes.  Maybe because I'm a ten year old boy inside, but still.  Hee hee hee, zombie police, and all that.  Though this movie might leave you questioning your life choices (or how the filmmakers managed to stick in an unnecessary dance sequence into a movie with one guy in a bathroom stall) I still enjoyed it.

2015 October Horror Challenge #21 "Alvin and the Chipmunks Meet Frankenstein"

After watching a creepy movie about a cursed killer doll that kills a baby and then tries to kill a bunch of other people, I kind of needed to wind down a bit.  Enter Alvin and the Chipmunks.  I've always loved Alvin and the Chipmunks, and this Halloween special of theirs is really cute.  Alvin, the lead singer of the Chipmunks band, and his merry band of chipmunk pals, stumble upon Frankenstein's monster and they have to thwart the Evil doctor Frankenstein's plot.  I had fun with it.

2015 October Horror Challenge #20 "Baby Blues"

This is a movie that Netflix keeps recommending to me, and the movie poster is so creepy that I definitely wanted to see the movie, because I knew it would have imagery that creeped me out enough to make it worth watching, even if I didn't like the movie.  The premise is a good one, too: a pregnant woman finds a creepy doll in her new house, and when she gives birth to twins and one of them is stillborn, she becomes obsessed with the doll and believes it to be her dead baby.

It's a sad and spooky premise, the kind that makes for a good horror movie.  The movie has lots of nightmarish imagery, too: freak car crashes caused by demonic forces, possessed babies, a doll that comes to life-and the movie never explains if these are nightmares.  They seem to happen in the minds of various characters, not just the wife, but like I said, the movie never explains this, so the whole movie feels like a nightmarish fever dream at times.

The baby is really cute, and I felt bad for him having to sleep with that creepy doll while both his mom and dad seemed to be falling off the deep end.  The movie is definitely creepy enough that I can forgive its frequent lapses into incoherence.  It's certainly not for everyone.  More than just not liking ro read subtitles, US audiences have a tendency to be impatient with all the nightmarish imagery in a lot of Asian horror movies, which enhance the scariest but also don't make a lot of sense.  Maybe the inevitable US remake will have more of a coherent story and be easier to digest.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

2015 October Horror Challenge #19 "Torment"

This is one of those movies that Netflix keeps recommending  to me, but saying g they think I'll only give it one star (WTF am I supposed to do with that mixed message bullshit?)  So I knew I'd watch it eventually, and I hoped I'd like it more than they think I will.

Katharine Isabelle is in this movie, and she's a good actress, so that was one thing to recommend it, and the plot sounded familiar but ok.  A father and his new wife go on a trip with his young son to a remote cabin for s family bonding vacation, but there's evil in them there woods, so we know things aren't going to go well.  The opening sequence of the movie shows us a family getting killed in the hills, so there's further evidence that bad things are going to happen soon.

I generally like the characters of the wife and husband, but the kid is kind of a brat.  It's sad that your mom died, kid, but quit being a dick to everyone.  Your mom wouldn't like that.  The Killer is creepy enough, though the characters take waaaayyy too long to realize they're in danger.  Overall, this movie isn't anything to write home about, but it's not a bad little slalk-and-slash flick.

2015 October Horror Challenge #18 "Would You Rather"

For those who don't know, I'm really not a fan of the game "would you rather...?"  It's a party game where people take turns listing two unpleasant scenarios and asking each other which they'd rather do (would you rather have to shit out your ears or piss out your nose?)  The goal is to make the options as unique and disgusting as possible, and the person who chooses a scenario gets to turn and ask another player "which of these two disgusting things would you rather do?" and on and on until everyone wishes they'd played a game that was actually fun.

Given my dislike of this game, the plot of this movie, an eccentric rich guy gathers people to his mansion and forces them to play a game of "would you rather" where the scenarios are real, still sounds slightly less painful to me than being forced to play this game.  Plus Jeffrey Combs is in this movie, and he's usually good for a fun performance, and Brittany Snow is in it too, and I like her well enough.
I thought there was a chance this movie might suck, but since dome of the cast were good, and the premise sounded ok (though s little bit like "Saw" on crack) I had some hope that the movie might be good.  Happily, I can report that this movie isn't half bad.  The premise is creepy, the gore is icky, and the acting is pretty good as well.  Sure, the plot isn't grounded much in reality (or at least I hope not, since I like to think that even really rich people can't invite a bunch of people to their house to kill them without someone getting arrested) but the movie was still fun to watch.

2015 October Horror Challenge #17 "We are What We are"

This movie is about a family of cannibals (ick) where the two daughters rebel against the family tradition of eating people (ew) and their father tries to get them to continue Tha family's traditions.  Damn kids, always thinking they know better than ma as pa Kettle (filled with dead people) (yuck).  Yeah, this movie sounds pretty stupid, is what I'm trying to say.  But it got lots of good reviews, and it's supposed to have a truly shocking twist emding, so I decided to cave and give it a chance.

First off, I get the idea that the whole "cannibal" thing is supposed to be a surprise, but then I wonder why every single description of the movie mentions it right away.  Some "twist."  The acting in this movie is very good.  I don't particularly like most of the characters, but the actors do a good job portraying them.  The idea behind the plot is gross and yucky, and with it beinthe worst kept secret twist ever, it got on my nerves.  I can think of at least ten ways they could have described the movie without revealing that aspect of the plot.  Sigh.

This movie is good, though, and the acting and even the music are quite good and add a lot to the story.  Having the family be old-fashioned religious fanatics who think God blesses them and wants them to chow down on other humans lends another level of creepiness to the plot (what bible do these weirdos read?)  While I do wonder how the family managed to survive do many years killing and eating people without anyone noticing (how many people do they have to kill a year?  Just one, on this "holidy" they call "lamb's day"?  Still, that's a lot of dead people for no one to notice after awhile... I  guess it's lucky that the people in this town are so unibservant) the idea is nasty enough and the plot well-executed enough for me to enjoy watching the movie, even if it's gross.  The fact that I've managed to fill three paragraphs with analysis tells me that this movie gave me a lot to think about.  Plus that ending...sheesh.  I admit, I thought this movie was great, and I never expected to like it.