Monday, June 13, 2016

Junesploitation 2016 Day 13: New Horror!

Not every monster lives in the wild!

88 comments:

  1. The Sand (2015)

    I don't like sand. It's coarse and rough and irritating and it gets everywhere.

    Oops, that was from a different movie, wasn't it?

    A group of pretty, young (but not very bright) people are stuck at the beach, when they discover that some kind of entity is lurking beneath the sand and will devour anything that touches it. Obviously, there's also a love triangle and all the other clichés.

    As you'd expect, the characters are one-dimensional caricatures and there's no plot to speak of, but I guess it can be fun in a stupid-fun kind of way. The leading girl is ridonculously cute and Jamie Kennedy in a small role lends the movie some much-needed humor. The CGI is awful.

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    1. I figured if I didn't let you win at least one you'd hop on the chuckle rocket and travel to Planet Bust-a-Laugh. ;-)

      Actually, I was working from 6AM Sunday to 7AM today each of my three jobs back-to-back-to-back, so no time for movies. About to crash for a few hours, pick a movie and write a review before Game 5 of the NBA Finals, since tonight is a rare night off for 'moi.' :-)

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  2. EVIL DEAD (2013)

    I think this flick is insane & fucked up & Jane Levy is GREAT & I sat there in the theater amazed it got an R rating & I kinda love it.

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    1. Glad to see that I'm not alone in kinda loving it. I thought it was a ton of fun.

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    2. I won't go so far as to say I love it but I cut it a lot of slack for using practical effects instead of cgi. I didn't dislike it but I haven't revisited it since seeing it in the theater.

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    3. I haven't seen this one since the theater, but it was really one of the most fun and adrenaline fueled theater experiences I've ever had.

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    4. Michael GiammarinoJune 13, 2016 at 8:37 PM

      I was lukewarm towards it when I saw it theatrically, but I have warmed to it enormously.

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    5. I was possibly the most worried about this film, its really special to me, but I ended up loving it, The head on the toilet still makes me shudder, it could of been so much worse

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  3. Indigenous (2014)

    This is what’s happened to horror movies in the age of selfies. You’d think the jungles of Central America would be a good location for a scary movie – something to enhance that feeling of isolation and disconnection from civilization that worked so well in films like The Blair Witch Project. Well, thanks to social media – and some rather improbable cell phone service – we have the whole damn world tuned in to the fate of our six brainless protagonists as they struggle not to get killed by their own stupidity. F__king millennials.

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  4. The Conjuring (2013)

    It really doesn't take much to scare me, I am a wuss. Something just out of frame, the right sound mix and I will jump. I am that really annoying person in the theatre who will start jumping before the actual scare.

    I know this is a movie I am going to return to, I loved how Wan used darkness, and blurring things so you couldn't exactly see. The Cast was brilliant, and I loved how procedure focused it was. But it really freaked the living crap out of me, it didn't help that when Lorriane was in the basement my cat decided it was the perfect time to knock something off the bookcase. Told you I was a wuss.

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    1. Cats are assholes and I think they try to scare us on purpose.

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  5. Dusk (2015) Dir. Michael Maney

    More of a Mystery than a Horror film, Dusk really tries to be clever and relies heavily on the script. A man wakes up to find his wife has been kidnapped. He finds a tape recorder where a man instructs him to deliver his life savings to a cabin in the woods by midnight. I liked that though a series of flashbacks the film gives us the origin of our leads relationship with his wife. I thought it was a nice touch to give the audience a bit more. However, I don't like that it's pretty much negated by the end of the film (to an extent). All in all, I felt empty after watching this. It's fine, I guess. People might respond to the way the story unfolds. I was more like "Oh, geeeez."

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  6. They Look Like People (2015)
    Wanted to love this one, but something just didn't connect. More of a psychological thriller, but with plenty of horror implications. Interesting story, good plot, good performances. Essentially, a man with possible psychological issues who gets phone calls of his/the world's impending doom reconnects with a friend who is also going through personal trials. There's a constant shift of trying to decipher what is really happening and what is the perception of events. It's one that probably deserves multiple viewings, but I'm not sure I'll want to revisit it. I kept thinking of Take Shelter and The Invitation as playing with similar themes and those pulled them off better than They Look Like People.

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  7. The Funhouse Massacre (2015)

    In my humble opinion, there aren't many "New Horror" films more suited for junesploitation than this.

    This one tells the story of a few restaurant co-workers who go to a haunted Funhouse on Halloween night. But the house just might be taken over my inmates of a prison for the criminally insane...

    This isn't a great movie, and it has problems to be sure. But darnit this movie is FUN. It's crazy gory (with spectacular looking practical effects) and is legitimately funny. The characters certainly aren't the most loveable, but I cared enough about then to want them to succeed. Many classic horror favorite co-star, such as Robert Englund and Clint Howard. I just had a ton of fun. Recommended without revervation!

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  8. Fender Bender (2016)

    This was a nice surprise. Scream Factory produced this slasher, which premiered on Chiller a few weeks back. Directed by Mark Pavia (who also directed the eternally underrated Stephen King adaptation The Night Flier), it's a meat-and-potatoes slasher wherein the killer gets into a minor car accident with his prey and then stalks them using the information they swap at the accident site.

    At the beginning, the tone was a bit off, as it played like a generic, overlit CW show, but as it went on it built up a surprisingly strong sense of dread. I don't want to spoil where it goes, but things get very bleak toward the end in a way that felt refreshing, it felt unsafe in the way a lot of 70s horror would. While some of the setup felt very phony (seriously, who FaceTimes while driving? Is that really a thing?) the movie still committed to the premise in a way that ended up paying off much more disturbingly than I'd have anticipated. Looking forward to the eventual blu-ray release so I can see it uncut.

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  9. Southbound (2016, dir. Various, on DVD) – First Time Viewing: It’s fine (2.5 out of 5 Griers).

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  10. The Abandoned (2015, dir. Eytan Rockaway) - first viewing

    An unstable young woman (Louisa Krause) takes a job as a security guard at an abandoned, swanky apartment complex and begins to notice some strange goings-on during the night shift. The setting is appropriately eerie, I liked Krause's interactions with her jaded coworker (Jason Patric, here a dead ringer for Dennis Miller), and at least one of the dozens of telegraphed jump scares did manage to get under my skin. A competent archetypal ghost movie for roughly one hour before succumbing to Third Act Problems. Lightly recommended if you need to kill 90 minutes.

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  11. AIMY IN A CAGE (2016)
    A young woman lives her life in a childlike manner, and her eccentric family goes to extreme lengths to force her to act her age. The movie is mostly a John Waters/Todd Solondz/Harmony Korine sort of thing, not really turning into horror until the third act. I guess I liked it for how outside the norm it is, but it’s not a movie for everyone.

    THE BOY (2016)
    Truth in advertising: This one’s just as cheeseball as the trailer would have you believe.

    THE GALLOWS (2015)
    A super-cool concept for a horror movie utterly ruined by the exhausted-beyond-death found footage aesthetic. This is made worse by the gross teen stereotypes and the even more gross “bro” behavior of the main character. What a massive, massive disappointment.

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  12. Housebound (2014)

    Really loving New Zealand horror at the moment, great fun with plenty of scares.

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    1. Housebound had me as soon as the lawyer said the most thoughtful use of the word budgeting I have ever heard.

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    2. One of my new favourite horror movies, so much fun and very creative

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    3. This movie is so much fun. Both genuinely scary AND hilarious.

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  13. Spring (2014)

    What's this? A horror movie where the characters feel like actual people and the plot is engaging even without the horror stuff?

    It's best to see this knowing as little as possible beforehand, so all I'll say is if a combination of a romance and a monster movie sounds interesting, you should check out Spring.

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  14. HUSH (2016):

    Second viewing of HUSH, and while I still really like it, I still don't think it makes good on its interesting premise.


    SPOILERS


    I wish Maddie's deafness played more of a role in the film's climax. Don't get me wrong: it's a really fun movie and worth everyone's time. But in a film so much about the senses and lack thereof, I was expecting a little more. I know she does the thing with the smoke alarm and there's the whole "breath on the neck" gag, but what about the ending really distinguishes her from hearing-abled Final Girls? It's a minor nitpick, I guess, but it's one that sticks with me. It's still an expertly made movie with a ton to like.

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  15. The Witch (2016, Dir. Robert Eggers) - First viewing.
    May be a stretch to classify this as an exploitation movie but this is without doubt my favourite movie seen this Junesploitation so far. Incredibly well made, beautifully shot and manages to create a foreboding mood through sound, lighting, pacing, and performance rather than a cheaper jump scare. Understandably it might leave some people a little cold (read Patrick's excellent review) but it worked for me in the best kind of unnerving, unsettling way.

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    1. Practically everyone I say this to thinks I'm crazy, but this is the scariest experience I've ever had in a movie theater. I think this movie is one for the ages.

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    2. The Witch is my favorite movie of the year so far. Perhaps it will grow on Patrick and JB in subsequent viewings, but I understand if something's just not for you. I like movies that show you something you've never seen before, and I have never seen anything like this. The story, characters, atmosphere and constant feeling of all-encompassing hopelessness makes this a unique masterpiece. #Witchsploitation

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    3. Agreed with you all. The Witch is holding strong as my #1 of the year.

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    4. I was really impressed by it. Not sure how often I'd revisit, but it's definitely one of those "oh, I forgot movies could do THIS" type of experiences.

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    5. I want to buy The Witch action figures, I gotta get me a Black Philip yo

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    6. Glad to see all the Witch love. I agree with everyone here. It has now been about 12 hours since I watched it and so many images and moments are still in burned into my mind. Terrifying and wonderful.

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    7. Oh and one last thing, the whole time I'm watching the actor playing the father's performance thinking: who is this guy? He's unbelievable. Only to look him up afterwards and realize he played Finchy in the British version of The Office. Now that is an actor!

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    8. No he's not. They clearly went back in time and found an actual puritan and got him to play himself.

      It's so obvious.

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    9. The Witch is really good. There,that settles it.

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    10. Michael GiammarinoJune 13, 2016 at 8:41 PM

      The Witch has great rewatchability. And I find it works even better in a darkened living room than it ever did in a theater. It shows that a horror film need not have to do anything along the lines of jumping out and screaming boo; it just needs to evoke a potent sense of dread. The Witch does that extraordinarily well.

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  16. We don't need to be friends, were Family...

    Stoker 2013
    Park Chan-Wook'a first English language debut, One of Elric Kane's favourites, I can honestly say that probably 10 years ago I would not of not liked this film, I would of said not enough gore, too slow paced, nothings happening? But I have changed in the last few years, Texas chainsaw massacre, the original was the last Chainsaw movie I would actually sit down to watch but now I enjoy it as much as the rest, maybe more? I'm still working out why? and I know the film hasent changed, Sitting watching this slow burn kinda Arthouse horror and enjoying the build and the tension and the amazing photography is really involving, and the use of lighting in some shots draws me in, a sense of dread rather than horror, a film that needs your full attention to work, it is almost the opposite to cattle prod cinema because the fear is not in the jump scares but in the silences

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  17. Beating out Sharknado by two years is Sand Sharks (2012) - a movie written with Robert McKee in one hand and Gottlieb's Jaws script in the other... "you're gonna need a bigger beach." i kid you not. another missed opportunity, if they had pushed the farcical elements it really could have...no..no..it would have still been something that needs a laugh track and MST3K to make it better. But seriously armored sharks that act like grabboids? what's not to like?

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  18. 28 WEEKS LATER (2007, 100 min.) on Blu-ray for the first time.

    Call me a heretic, but I like this sequel more than the still-impressive-and-influential-as-hell "28 Days Later." It out-"Resident Evils" the Milla Jovovich "RE" movies (District One: Raccoon City), plus its CG scenery holds up better than recent movies (cough, "London Has Fallen," cough!). There is no lead character or main group of survivors, just one fucked-up survival scenario after another with catch-your-breath expository breaks in-between. The survival and well-being of two kids (Imogen Poots's Tammy and Mackintosh Muggelton's Andy) is prioritized even though these brats are the reason the contained outbreak sprouts back to life after being contained for six months. So excuse me for not giving a fuck whether they make it alive across the pond. They're responsible for the deaths of thousands (millions) of innocent people, which for purposes of Junesploitation I'm immensely grateful for because #Contradictionsploitation! :-D

    "28 Weeks Later" delivers some excellent set-pieces (infected carriers vs. helicopter blades, sniper visor to navigate dark tunnel, District One bombing, etc.) and character development isn't an afterthought. Catherine McCormack and Robert Carlyle make a lasting impression with very limited screen time (2014's "Force Majeure" is so clearly inspired by this movie), and Jeremy Renner's Doyle is such a cool character he was imported whole two years later into "The Hurt Locker." I came into it with no expectations and like it. It's more "Dawn of the Dead" '04 than "28 Days Later," and that's a cinematic DNA mix I can live with.

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    1. Thank you! I've praising this one for years. It may not have as original a premise as 28 Days Later, but boy does it know what it's about and do it well. Never lets up. Delivers where and when needed and just doesn't mess around. That opening scene grabs you by the guts and drags you around until the bitter end.

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  19. Michael GiammarinoJune 13, 2016 at 8:33 PM

    Extraordinary Tales (2014)

    I could see a middle school or high school English teacher showing Extraordinary Tales to students as an introduction to a course on the works of Edgar Allan Poe. It brought me back to many of the short films I saw in school when my English classes would tackle Poe.
    Extraordinary Tales is a portmanteau of several of Poe’s greatest hits, each done in a different style of animation. House of Usher is done in an almost cubist manner, narrated by Christopher Lee; Tell-tale Heart in a Frank Miller/Sin City style, using a very old, tinny, recording of Bela Lugosi narrating the story; Julian Sands narrates The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar, animated in an E.C. Comics style, with the mesmerist made to look strikingly like Vincent Price; Pit and the Pendulum is rendered digitally, narrated by Guillermo del Toro; and The Mask of the Red Death, nearly completely silent, animated in beautiful watercolors. The wrap-around concerns Poe, now reincarnated as a raven, beseeching the angel of death, who here talks through an angelic statue and later a statue recalling Dickens’ Spirit of Christmas Yet to Come, that his literary legacy continue, even if he is doomed to die. This too is done in a somewhat (I think) cubist manner.
    It's a well done series of shorts, if nothing more.

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  20. Last Shift (2014)

    Okay, I love horror movies, but this one was almost too scary for me. I'm with Patrick - I just don't really prefer horror movies that are too scary. (I think I remember him saying that? I might just be making that up.) It's a nice stew of some pretty great elements that comes together really well: Assault of Precinct 13 meets haunted house meets the Manson family. There's some great gore, a strong female lead who actually makes good, logical decisions, and a nice twist ending. A few too many jump-scares for me, but I guess that's basically the whole point of the movie. I would recommend this one, but again, it scared the shit out of me.

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    1. I like horror movies that are scary! And ones that aren't. I think what you're remembering me saying is that I'm generally not scared by horror movies. But I agree that Last Shift is scary. I dig that about the movie. It doesn't hold back on trying to be scary.

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    2. Ha yeah that makes more sense, I probably mis-remembered a line from a podcast like two years ago. But yeah, this one does not hold back. I think I'm turning into a scaredy-cat in my old age.

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  21. We Are Still Here (2015)
    Kept putting this on the back burner despite reading the review on the site last year. Figured today was as good a day as any, and boy do I wish I had watched this sooner. Really dug the performances, story, and deliberate pacing. Also, holy crap was that ending sequence amazing. I'll definitely be revisiting this one again.

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    1. I was going to watch this one - but I couldn't find it on Netflix Aus - I could have been imaging it was there or they took it off. Maybe will rent it for a free space - I have been meaning to watch it for awhile

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    3. I watched it on Netflix, but I'm in the US. I'd say it's definitely worth a rental in my opinion. If you like most horror that is recommended on this site, then you'll probably like this movie.

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  22. The Witch (2016)

    It was seeing Chaybee call this his No. 1 of the year so far that finally got me to watch it, and I was not disappointed. Such a beautifully bleak, dreadful and horrific movie - several times I caught myself just totally into it, jaw agape, hand poised above my potato chips (ketchup flavoured because Canada), completely absorbed and in the moment in a way that doesn't happen very often. I loved it. Not quite perfect - I find it kinda wraps things up a bit too quickly - but it's really great.

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    1. Yes! Awesome, Sol. Happy to hear you liked it.

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    2. I'm also humbled that you value my opinion. Thank you, sir!

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  23. Crush the Skull (2015, dir. Viet Nguyen)
    The Man in the Orange Jacket (2014, dir. Aik Karapetian)

    Wasn't feeling either one of these. First was a comedy pretending to be horror, the second was social commentary and should've just been a short. Time for one more though, I think.

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    1. 13 Cameras (2015, dir. Victor Zarcoff)

      YES! Loved it. LOVED IT. Outstanding.

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    2. I loved Crush the Skull and MITOJ - not so much 13 Cameras, haha :)

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  24. Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension (2015)

    Some dude finds an old, shitty camera that records shit like it's broken, becomes obsessed with it, and records everything. Some sick bastard finds the footage and decides to torture the rest of the world by sharing it.

    Let me preface this with two caveats:

    1. I have, in general, at least remotely enjoyed the PA films. I loved the first two, was obviously disappointed where the third took the series, and very pleasantly surprised by the third.
    2. I am far from on the "Fuck all found footage it's sooo bad and overdone" bandwagon. Taking of Deborah Logan righted the genre for me and appreciate, when done right, the opportunity it presents for low budget/indie filmmakers.
    3. Exploitation? Maybe sequelsploitation....

    These things being considered, honestly don't understand who the fuck is making creative decisions with this franchise. First - the decision to include the witch nonsense was completely unnecessary. It's the typical supernatural film third act "let's have an explanation for everything!" which historically ruins many films in this genre.

    Second - who thought "all these subtle, nondirect, creative are getting old, let's have a camera that can SEE the entities! That'll get shit done!"

    There must be a serious disconnect between studios and audiences, because very little about the direction this film took I justified in any way, shape, or form.

    More specific to this entry in the series, the complaints are endless. The lack of subtlety is present and problematic across the board. The repeated red herring "scares", the nonsensical pseudo-self aware dialogue... none of it works. The "we're filming everything now!" element is at an all time low, as the cinematography is revolting over-directed and all encompassing.

    I'm sure I'm over thinking all of this and people will shout, "it's just the newest PA cash grab, dipshit, what did you expect?". I legitimately respected the first couple films and will forever hold at least a respect for what they did for the genre. This film feels like it was written not only with minimal effort, but actively with the intent of shitting on the earier entries. By flipping off what could actually be considered respectable filmmaking and settling for lowest common denominator, copy-paste, lazy bullshit.

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    1. Agreed. This is how I process the disappointment. All the odd numbered movies are really pretty good (some would disagree with #5...not me) so if they make a 6th it should be pretty decent :)

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    2. do'h 7th...that would be an odd number.

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    3. The Conjuring 2 utilizes jump scares, but does so effectively and earns them through utilization of creative cinematography and characters we empathize with. PA5 shoves them down your throat so harshly you might choke to death.

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    4. Sure. No PA is on the same level of Conjuring (haven't seen 2) but there are worse ways to spend your time watching a found footage shenanigan...like PA 2,4 & 6.

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    5. Your logic I confusing me, but that may be the beer:

      Are you saying 3 (intro of the cult) and 5 (ohgodwhy) are superior to 2 (really solid twist) and 4 (creative change of setting and scope)? Not saying that you're not entitled to your opinion, if so, merely that we could not be on more opposite pages. Shit, if that's the case, we're not even in the same book!

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    6. Enjoy what you like. Good on you for making a point.

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  25. Housebound (2014)
    This was a barrel of fun. Personally, I found the first two acts, which played off of the haunted-house-horror element, much more fun than the third act, which played way more off of the comedy element. But I still really liked the whole thing anyway. Totally worth a watch.

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    1. So right! Such great characters and dialogue. I completely agree about the third act. SPOILER... getting tired of the whats in the wall maneuver it takes away from the bill of sale.

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  26. The Witch (2015)

    I sometimes judge a horror movie by how mad at me my wife gets for showing it to her. She's currently furious with me. Also, I'm now calling my dick Black Phillip. That'll do, The Witch. That'll do.

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    1. Greatest... junesploitation comment.... ever.

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    2. So Evangeline Lilly doesn't mind having to pet Black Phillip on a regular basis? :-O ;-)

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    3. Mike, I was about to show this to my wife and decided against it. I stopped myself and said to her "this is going to be one of those times you are mad at me after you watch it. Let's not do it." Had you seen it before?

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  27. Goodnight Mommy (2014)

    I agree with what Patrick said on the podcast 100%. It was very well made and probably really good, but I figured out what was going on pretty early and it probably lessened the impact a lot. I don't know if I would have noticed it if I wasn't looking for something, but I was and I did. The kids and the mom all give great performances and the movie is kinda creepy, but never particularly scary (except for a few specific images which were gross).

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    1. I loved this movie and was probably the last person to figure out what was really going on.

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  28. Darling (2015)

    Been wanting to get around to watching this one since Patrick's review and this provided the perfect opportunity. Not much I can say about it here that hasn't already been said, but I did enjoy it and thought that it was a very strong performance from Lauren Ashley Carter.

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  29. Pod (2015, dir. Mickey Keating)
    I guess Mickey Keating is becoming the Joe Swanberg of indie horror in that he makes movies very cheaply and puts out 5 a year. The only thing I had seen from him prior to this was Darling (thanks, Ross!), which I really liked. This felt like taking a step backwards. There's some creepy stuff and I'm happy to see Lauren Ashely Carter again, but the movie reaches a shouty fever pitch early on and then never comes back down. It's all one shrill note. The performances are a little uneven and the 'twists' feel borrowed from better movies. Maybe this was some stuff he wanted to work out of his system before he could move on. I didn't hate it, but I probably won't go back to it. On the plus side it's only like 75 minutes long.

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    1. I saw Pod before Darling so I had the opposite reaction of "taking a step backwards" as I witnessed an amazing progression from Keating to Darling (and Lauren - who I saw progressively as well from Jugface to this to Darling) I didn't think Pod was great, it reminded me of an overlong Twilight Zone Episode, but for what it was I'm okay with it.

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    2. I think Pod was before Darling. If not, I'm baffled.

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    3. I think Pod was before Darling. If not, I'm baffled.

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    4. It was, Brent. I think what Patrick was saying is that he had not seen Pod before Darling.

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  30. House of the Devil (2009)

    Love this movie. Can Jocelin Donahue be my girlfriend?

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  31. The Conjuring - 2013

    Watched it for the second time to get ready for Conjuring 2, James Wan knows how to direct horror, the film is truly scary and I don't tend to scare easily.

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  32. The VVitch (2015): I've read that this movie is crazy polarizing (Patrick mentions as much in his review, here: http://www.fthismovie.net/2016/02/review-witch.html), but I found it pretty damn engaging. Not really all that "SCARY" (in quotes), but moody and atmospheric and unsettling. I DOUG IT.

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  33. Housebound (2014)

    NZ crushin' it as usual. I laughed a lot at this. Very creepy house as well.

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  34. House of the Devil (2009)

    Love this movie. Can Jocelin Donahue be my girlfriend?

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  35. The Conjuring 2 (2016)

    I so wanted to love this movie but I still really like it and that's...okay.

    Everything that I've seen from James Wan, I have liked. This was no exception. I think my least favorite movie of his is Saw. I think Dead Silence is underrated. Insidious 2 is my favorite. He directs the crap out of this movie. I think the length is the only thing that I would complain about. Patrick Wilson is great. I will watch anything with a woman that has the last name Farmiga. I would probably stick this movie in my top ten, so far, but I don't know if it will be there at the end of the year.

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  36. The Conjuring 2 (2016)

    Unlike Brent up above, I didn't just want to love this movie....I did love this movie. I was into this movie from the get go. Wan is just so good at creating a tense atmosphere. He put a lot more jump scares in here than the first Conjuring, but I though they were all well timed, well filmed and well earned. He also creates characters you actually care about. I hope to see further exploits of the Warrens in the future. Hopefully Wan will come back for more. High recommend for this one.

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