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Showing posts from April, 2014

They 2002

They falls in the category of, I nearly turned it off. What an ill-conceived, poorly scripted, terribly acted piece of crap.

The gist: A group of friends had childhood night terrors in which some kind of creatures tried to kill them. In their adult life, they find out that they were "marked" by these creatures who are now coming back for them. There is something about "alternate universes" or at least "a creature world that is invisible to humans but can be inhabited by humans".

Things may get confusing from here on out if I don't stop to mention that these creatures are called (you guessed it) THEY.

Where this story falls down: Why these four people and NO ONE ELSE IN THE WORLD?! This isn't really explained (or was unsatisfactorily explained).

Why do THEY bring people into their alternate monster universe to be killed when they can maul people in the regular human world? This seems inefficient at best. And like bad writing at worst.

Why is the &quo…

The Haunting Of...

The Haunting of Molly HartleyThe gist: teenage girl has a crazy, religious mother and has to deal with mean kids at her high school. Bad things happen.

If this sounds familiar, it's probably because you've been watching Carrie.
Or you had your own crazy mother and hated high school.
Or both. It could be both.

The story is fairly predictable with moments that feel like The Craft and moments that feel like Carrie and then some that seem kind of like The Devil's Advocate. Despite being an underwhelming and derivative little film, it wasn't entirely terrible.

What did give me a pleasant little surprise was the ending: no one was "saved" and everyone who did survive lived happily ever after as a servant of Satan. Hooray! Kind of like The Omen complete with a set up for a sequel that would likely run parallel to Damien: Omen II, were anyone to care enough to make said sequel. Unlikely.

Overall, the movie is just a high school drama with a horror bent. If you're…

Bug: paranoia, terror, and redemption.

I've been ignoring Bug for years - which is silly because it's directed by William Friedkin (best known for directing The French Connection and The Exorcist in the 70's).

Perhaps it's the cover: It looks like some super-low budget, "independent movie" about some kind of giant cockroach infestation. (Like that segment in Creepshow, "They're creeping up on you!" where the germ-o-phobic old man's apartment is flooded with bugs - classic!) Now, I'm not scared of bugs, per se, but I'm just not excited about bug movies.

Side note: Way back in college, I remember reading an article about why humans hate swarms of things (written from a sociology perspective) and why we thus feel frightened by subcultures and minorities. Great article - wish I could remember the details so I could write more about it here. You'll have to rely on your own Google-fu to track down this terrific piece of writing.

So recently (and I use "recently" in…

Devil (Sans Twist)

At this point it's a fairly well-known joke that M. Night Shyamalan's movie formula concludes with some sort of mind-bending, life-altering "twist" at the end of each film. While this joke (like any stereotype or cliche) is grounded in truth, it completely over-looks Shyamalan's skill as a story-teller.

Let me pause here while many of you become riled up.

I'm not, by any means, saying that Shyamalan is the best director. I'm also not saying that you need to like his movies. What I am saying is that he has immense talent for crafting a story.

There are few writers out there in Hollywood who are as accomplished as Shyamalan. Throughout each of his movies, there are clues and hints and layers of subtext that he communicates both visually and through carefully structured dialog. Seriously. Like the plots or not, he is a great writer.

When Shyamalan became a known entity in Hollywood, the other major component of his films (aside from the twist) was his non-A…

The Boys May All Love Mandy Lane But, I Couldn't Care Less.

All The Boys Love Mandy Lane must have been written for high schoolers by a high schooler - there is no other explanation for how stupid this movie was.

The plot is tissue paper thin with a laughably pathetic red herring that wouldn't even fool the Scooby gang.

The gist?
High school girl becomes zipper-bustingly-hot over the summer and the entire school becomes (literally unbelievably) obsessed (like, to the conspiracy level) with popping her cherry. As with any newly minted high school hottie, she's got an awkward, outcast best friend who still hangs around. Hot girl goes to party with new friends at secluded location, then people start dying.

If this story seems lacking at all, it's because I haven't told you yet that there's a "creepy" ranch hand at said secluded location. And by "creepy" I mean the delicious man candy you probably know from Hell on Wheels (or your deviant sexual fantasies), Anson Mount.

This was the best they could do? I mean…

Evil Children And The Devil Within Her

All horror fans have some genre element or subgenre that really freaks them out regardless of how diehard they are. For me, it's evil children. I know that sounds like a weird choice, but hear me out.

Children are kind of mysterious as it is - they aren't quite human in the way that adults are. They are outside of society's general rules - we say it's because they 'don't understand' or they 'lack experience' or any of those things but what if they really did understand and they were simply plotting something terrible? We'd never know.
They also have this tiny stature that makes them seem less threatening. They really lull us into a sense of security by being small and cute.
Little bastards.

Side note, my editor shared this hilarious blog post with me. I'm clearly not the only one who thinks children have evil intentions.
So yeah, evil kids creep me out.  That doesn't stop me from watching a wealth of evil kid movies.
My all time favorite…

6 Souls

Usually I can bang out the gist of a movie in a mere sentence, but the plot of 6 Souls is so convoluted, I'm not sure I can pull that off.

Here's one:
First I thought I was watching Primal Fear until I realized that I was really watching Fallen.

Here's another:
A psychiatrist loses her husband but not her faith - then is forced to confront a patient who appears to have a severe case of multiple personalities - it turns out he's 'possessed' by the souls of his victims - eventually, she must fight him for the soul of her daughter  - as you can imagine, it doesn't end well.

Yeah... that's a sentence. Take that, grammar!


Now that you know all the plot spoilers, let's talk details.

Because I'm some ridiculous glutton for punishment, I yet again selected a movie for myself that stars Julianne Moore. It seems doubtful that I'll ever learn my lesson in this department...

But hey, at least it seems like every time I willfully subject myself to her terr…

Contracted Or I Just Watched A Zombie Movie

Seems like horror fans fall into two buckets these days: zombie lovers and zombie haters. That dividing line just keeps getting deeper and darker the more zombies gain "mainstream popularity".

I currently fall into the "I am so tired of zombies I could puke" bucket. I haven't stopped watching zombie movies so much as I've started avoiding them at all costs, literally watching every other subgenre offering I stumble onto, regardless of how terrible it is.

I seriously re-watched Wishmaster this past week. That's how far out of my way I've been going to avoid the significant number of zombie movies flooding Netflix.

Then I accidentally watched one.

Contracted - 2013 I'm sure it was partially due to the really terrible movie synopsis that Netflix provided, which I'm prepared to admit that they may have nothing to do with and that I likely didn't read it very well.

In a strange twist of events, the movie cover actually helped persuade me to wa…

Rebuttal: 17 Disturbing Horror Movies You Will Never Watch Again

When I'm not watching movies, I'm reading about movies. I stumble across all kinds of articles, blog posts, book excerpts, etc. in my quest to absorb as much movie knowledge as possible.

Now, I'm snotty and loud-mouthed and opinionated but I'd never begrudge another human their opinion. Seriously. You're absolutely welcome to have any opinion about any thing you want. However, I must warn you, if I think your opinion is stupid, I'm absolutely going to say so.

I've recently stumbled on an article completely brimming with so many idiotic opinions that I'm actually compelled to craft a response.

Here's the gist of the original article: there are some horror movies out there that are so disturbing, you'll only ever want to watch them once. I've have taken her original list and refuted her claims without pulling her entire article over. You can read the original article here.

Let's start at the beginning, with her opening statement:
"Hor…