Odd Thomas (2013)Quick thoughts: A somewhat interesting idea that unfortunately is poorly executed with way too much narration and kind of iffy sfx work and a cast that doesn't seem to take anything seriously. On the plus side nice to see a movie where the cops believe the kid can see dead people right off the bat and things do pick up in the 3rd act a little.My 8 word review:Oddie, stop ruining Willem Dafoe's sex life #cockblocksploitation
V/H/S (2012) on Amazon Prime for the first time.Color me surprised, but I really enjoyed this anthology of five separate found footage horror mini-flicks despite the unpleasantness of misogyny hanging around every one of them and a home invasion plot tying it all together. No, individually they don't add-up to much (even Ti West's segment is by-the-numbers and only good-enough to be an in-between time filler) but as a whole they really flow well together. Even the weaker segments had something I could sink my teeth into, and not necessarily the pulling-guts-from-within gag that I saw repeated more than once. Only the "host" segments tying the other five (and the weakest part of "V/H/S") had anything to do with actual VHS tapes, but as an excuse to indulge in (and exploit them as budget-conscious filmmaker trickery) track-skipping, video drop outs and sound cutting these intentional flaws will bring a nostalgic wave to anyone who grew up watching VHS movies in the 80's and 90's.The anthology movie is an old concept given both a contemporary and traditional spin with "V/H/S," which sadly seems to be relegated to the diehard horror film geek community instead of playing in mainstream theaters. But heck, now I don't have an excuse not to listen to the 'F This Movie' podcast on V/H/S. :-)
Insidious: Chapter 2 (2013)Gorgeous Rose Byrne goes super stressy and constantly scared in this sequel. I can take a lot of Rose Byrne, due to the before mentioned gorgeousness and also due to her being a good actress, but I found her single gear in this movie (due to the role) beginning to grate after a while. Also, ghosts during the day dont seem to pack the same punch as at night, especially when some shots linger a little long. Quibble quibble quibble. The flick was good.Gorgeousnessploitation!
I second the gorgeousness of Rose Byrne. Cheers!
LOLLIPOP MONSTER (2011)If John Waters and Lucky McKee had a baby, it might make this movie. Two teen girls, one a goth and one a girly-girl, develop a friendship (with benefits!) and then everything gets messed-up and violent. For the first two-thirds, it’s more of a teen movie with horror-like imagery, but that’s OK. You’ve heard of magical realism? I think this movie just invented magical horror realism. If you’re grousing that it’s not “real” horror, just keep watching. The movie’s got a real ‘80s music video vibe, and I mean that in a good way. Garish colors, wild face-painting, flashy edits, and an overabundance of style. The only good horror being made these days is the real quirky stuff happening way, way out on the fringes, and that’s this one.
Rabid Love (2014)For some strange reason the filmmakers set this story in 1984, which has no bearing on the story except for one scene where a character wears a “Reagan/Bush” t-shirt. There are some elements (the hippie chicks, a male character’s sideburns) that actually fit the1970s better. Anyway, this is an okay slasher movie. It has a good visual look (which again fits better with the slasher films of the 70s more than the 80s), decent acting, clever direction, and an appealing female lead. Unfortunately, they can’t stick the landing. Once again a horror film sacrifices any sense of narrative closure to give us one more scare. I was pleasantly surprised to learn that some forms of rabies have the side effect of making your teeth ultra-pearly white! Does Colgate know about this?
Devil's Due (2014)This movie tries to be a Rosemary's Baby clone, but fails miserably. This is another found footage movie which personally I'm kind of tired of. I guess they do an OK job explaining why they are filming, but with a half hour in I feel like I'm watching someone's home movie in real time. No real payoff in the end made this a pretty boring movie. Looking forward to Free Space!
Texas Chainsaw (2013)The first 10 minutes says "Fuck You Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2". I didnt take offence.I dont do Junesploitation for tight scripts, complex characters and high quality performances. I do Junesploitation for.....other stuff.Interesting set up. MIddle bit went all "cutty cutty chopy chop", then the end part was all like"lets make the killer sympathetic", so I went "right, ok. cool, i guess".In the end, not as bad as other Chainsaws, Alexandra Daddario :-) and it ticks enough boxes of Junesploitation.Sufficientsploitation.
So you're saying it did its thing, cuz?
Triangle (2009, dir. Christopher Smith)Melissa George and a group of friends go for a boat trip, hit some bad weather and board an abandoned yacht, where things get...interesting. The movie is very smart and well constructed but left me kind of cold. I suspect it would improve on repeat viewings, but even those would only be to marvel at the construction and not necessarily get further drawn into the story. I don't have any real complaints about the movie, just that it wasn't for me. But I'm glad to have seen it, as I've been hearing good things about it for a few years.
Stage Fright (2014)This is a tough one. It succeeds in every way that I think it intends to BUT I still didn't like it very much. It is very very very in love with musical theater and I am not so it's like trying to convince me to like the taste of a tomato (this would make sense if you knew I hate tomatoes). The slasher parts are well handled though so it wasn't a complete loss.
That's a bummer. I don't love musical theater either (at all), but I loved this movie.
First you takedown Alien and now tomatoes?! You're a monster, Riske!
If Ansel Elgort was in it I would have loved it. I love ketchup, hate tomatoes. I'm the most complex man you will ever know.
Compound Fracture (2013)Fun fact about Tyler Mane: he can act. You can't tell by the parade of unstoppable murderers and musclemen he's built his career playing, but he's solid in the lead here as a man trying to bring his family together at his childhood home. There are secrets and paranoia and possibly supernatural goings-on, and while it feels like the story might have worked better as a short than a feature it's all still reasonably compelling and well-made. There are some troublesome performances (the goth-y nephew in particular seems to change personalities from scene to scene for no apparent reason) but for the most part I really enjoyed it. Mane co-wrote (with his wife, who also stars) and produced it, and I'm impressed with the quality of the final product. Definitely looking forward to what he does next. Also, while I get why he chose the title he did, doesn't "Compound Fracture" sound like it should be an action movie title? For the record, I'd absolutely pay to see Tyler Mane and Derek Mears face off in an action movie. Get on that, Mane Entertainment.
The Woman (2011)Oh man, the eating was just...super gross. I don't usually look away from things, but I couldn't help myself at times. I found myself really liking this one. It isn't like anything I've ever seen before, and I liked the exploration of gender and gender roles.
Maniac (2012): There could be a lot to discuss about having Frank be an artist but I don't think they really go very far with that idea. The point of view camera is slightly unsettling, but I don't agree with certain critics that it makes you feel 'sympathetic' to him (are they mentally sound?). It does look pretty great, even though the tone is so grim. I haven't watched the original but I think I will go try seek it out and see if I like it more.
Drag Me To Hell (2009)Incredibly silly but a lot of fun. When it works, namely the slapstick violence and set-pieces, it really works. When it doesn't, it's Justin Long. Also, what the hell does Sam Raimi have against Alison Lohman's mouth? Bugs, mucus, fists...
The Dead Want Women (2012): This was so stupid and bad. It was kind of aware that it was bad, so there was some silly moments that made me laugh (very few). It was very dull and could have gone a bit crazier so it would have provided us with a more entertaining film. Or at least they could have done something more with the silent movie connections or references that might have been fun.
This is a FMS movie, right? I haven't watched that one yet...and it sounds like I don't have to.
Yes it is! There were a few I found that I actually want to check out that fall into the New Horror category. I can try and watch some on the Free Space days. It was funny yesterday I was just about to watch The Hellcats and saw your and Heath's comments and changed my mind!
Willow Creek (2014)Found footage. A couple films themselves camping. One of them wants to find Bigfoot. They get scared in their tent. Woeful.
How did you get to see this? Is It out yet?
Hey Brad, It's on Amazon On Demand
All Cheerleaders Die (2014)Lowered expectations helped with this one. It's very uneven but there's enough good here where I ended up liking it more than not liking it. Kind of a letdown for a Lucky McKee movie though (this feels like a first movie oddly enough) and I'm not sure how I feel about that ending just yet.
The film itself is a remake of a straight to VHS film Lucky McKee made before "May". Portions of which can be seen on the bonus features for McKee's Masters of Horror episode "Sick Girl".
The Conjuring: The final film in my New Horror trilogy today! I ended on a high note! I really loved it. I definitely see coming back to it for a future Scary Movie Month. I watched this on the telly (we have a planner as a part of a satellite television service. It has a choice of movies that you can watch whenever you like, which always changes). There are problems and it does have a better first half but it is also really fun, very creepy, some great characters and performances.
Sorry I should have said triple bill!
I watched this one as well. First viewing since it came out last year. Still stands as one of my favorite horrors of the past few years. Has some great jump scares, but thankfully doesn't rely solely on those to get you going. Love this movie.
Stoker (2013) First ViewingI know it's not fair, but it was from the director of Oldboy and the structure was so similar I couldn't help thinking about Oldboy most of the time. Performances are fine and it's artfully done, but this is 1% of the movie Oldboy is. Worst Juneploitation experience so far for me.
Excision (2012)Not a horror movie.Wolf Creek 2 (2013)Mick Taylor aka Freddy Krueger.Hostel Part III (2011)88 minutes long.
I really dug Excision and I agree that it's debatable as a Horror film. Wolf Creek 2 was a ton of fun!
Insidious (2010)Watched this in preparation for the sequel as I hadn't seen it since it came out and it was a lot better than I remembered with quite a few good scares. Goes off the rails just a little when they head into "The Further" (groan) but I'm looking forward to Chapter 2 tonight.
If you're not a fan of the stuff in The Further, Chapter 2 should be interesting for you.
Hmmm... I wouldn't say I wasn't a fan of The Further per se (though definitely not a fan of the name) - I just found the haunted family stuff leading up to it more interesting and scary (and I would have preferred poor, ever-frightened Rose Byrne to have a more heroic part in the finale).I think I can handle a more The Further (ugh)-centric movie if that's what you're implying the sequel is...
The Purge (2013)Ethan Hawke in horror mode, Lena Headey and a pretty interesting premise. I wondered why the responses had been pretty uninspired, but now having seen it I know why.It's rare that in the modern trend of overly long bloated movies you can accuse one of being too short, but I really think its true here. It is trying to be 5 different movies at the same time all in under 90 minutes, a horror, a sci-fi , with some contemporary statements on society and class thrown in for good measure. It had potential. And based on the trailer alone I'll still watch the sequel.