Thursday, October 31, 2013
I love IFC original movies. I don't know why, but Indie films hold a special place in my heart. That being said, there are always exceptions. I came across Spiderhole on Netflix and decided to give it a shot because it's only around 80 minutes long. I'm starting to think the shorter a horror movie is, the worse it's going to be. But I'll expand on that later. We follow four twenty-somethings that decide to become squatters in London...even though their lives seem pretty comfy. They frequently say it's going to be amazing to be free from society. What has society done to these young adults that makes them decide to go the hobo route? Nothing. They just want to smoke pot, drink, and screw each other. I think they could've done all of that in one of their mothers' basements, but to each his own.
After the most boring sex scene in cinematic history, the group discovers a cabinet that has bloody clothing and also some brain matter. At this point, most people would say hell no and get out. Not so with our group that we're supposed to root for. The ringleader says they should sleep first, and then check to make sure their humble abode is on the up and up. So to make sure we're on the same page: college students become squatters because of reasons, they find what obviously looks like remnants of a brutal murder, but ignore it in favor of drinking and sleeping. At this point, we still have to deal with these people for an hour.
They wake up 12-18 hours later and find that the vodka bottle just sitting around next bloody clothes had been spiked with roofies. Shocker. It is then our champions for the Darwin Awards decide this shit is not right and try to leave. However, the doors and windows have been welded shut. I have to stop here for a second. They want to be "free from society" for stupid reasons. Okay, that's fine. But they choose the one house that is obviously isolated, and also refuse to scope out the place to at least make sure it is safe. And we're supposed to feel sorry for them when they get turned into steaks?
I haven't even gotten to the best part. The person that locked them in and starts the off-screen torture is a man whose father was murdered. I think. It's not quite clear, and after a while you just stop caring like I do right now. To save you 80 minutes, I'll sum it up: stupid asses decide to become squatters because the world is a big meany face (or something), ignore glaring red flags, then die one by one by some dude that gets his rocks off by dissecting people.This is a 0. It's slow, dumb, and has so many plot holes it makes Swiss cheese jealous. I haven't really seen any horror movies about squatters, so I can't recommend anything better. And to be honest if movies about squatters are like Spiderhole, I'll pass on the whole sub-genre.
Sunday, October 27, 2013
I first saw this two years ago when I first signed up for Netflix. I also had this compulsive need to watch every horror movie in their catalog. And, to my surprise, I think it's still pretty decent for what it is. It's about a ghost of an Irish peasant girl whose soul is bound to a box. Whoever owns the box, is also owner of her soul. But there's a steep price that comes along with being Katie Malone's owner. I do have to point out one annoyance. It lists Dean Cain on the cover. I'm going to tell you now it's just a poor tactic to lure you into watching this. I'm not even sure if people born after 2000 even know who he is. The rest of us would remember him as one of the many incarnations of Superman. I can commend him for still getting work, but he has also fallen into straight to DVD hell.
There's also Stephen Colletti. I only know who is because I watched way too much MTV between 2004 and 2008. He was one of the spoiled rich kids on Laguna Beach. But once again, I will give credit where it is due. He has made a nice transition into TV and film. He was in another decent horror movie called Mask Maker. And that pretty much rounds out anyone that is remotely recognizable and talented. The overall pacing and story is okay. It's downright campy at times, but it's still watchable.
I give it a 3 out of 5. It's not completely good, but it is one of the better movies available on Netflix. Once you get past the camp, some of the slow parts, and questionable special effects, it's a good movie to watch to kill some time. And I believe this marks the first time I watched a movie and still liked it a second time. I already know this good news will be short lived...
Monday, October 21, 2013
I really don't remember how I came across this a couple years ago. All I know is I thought it was amazing, and one of the best horror movies I have ever seen. Now I realize whatever I was smoking at the time must have been good if I actually liked this movie. The plot is a bunch of college kids go to Ireland to ingest the mother of all shrooms and have a trip to end all trips. While tripping, they discover they're not alone, and a local urban legend is quite real and out for blood...or is it? I think I'm making this sound way more interesting than it actually is.
I just have more questions than anything. Why would you spend an ass load of money just to take shrooms? I'm pretty sure you can go anywhere in the country for the same thing. And why would you put together a group of people that obviously hate each other? There's Mr. Steroids, Kim Kardashian wannabe, Miss Hipster/Hippie, and a guy that can pass as Jason Mewes stunt double. And of course there's the blonde goody two shoes heroine and her dark, brooding Irish friends with benefits. You also get to listen to these idiots bicker and turn on each other for 80+ minutes.There's also the fact that that blondie takes the PCP of shrooms and almost overdoses. We're then subjected to what are either visions or hallucinations. It gets old fast, but the worst part is they just used the same scenes over and over. There's the hyper sped up version that are supposed to be the visions, and then the normal speed. So, if you take out the repeating scenes, I think this whole thing would only be about 40-45 minutes.
To put a pretty bow on the crap present: the characters are horrible people, the visuals are annoying and laughably bad, and the entire thing is just stupid when you really sit and think about it. I don't know what the I was thinking. This gets a 1 out of 5. I give it that much just because the plot is original. Everything else is just lazy and unintentionally comical. After viewing this for a second time, I've come to terms with the fact that I had no taste in movies between the ages of 16 and 21.
Friday, October 18, 2013
I only watched this because it was about to expire on Netflix. I try not to be picky about anime. Of course horror and comedy will be my personal favorites, but I still like to branch out. I even ignored the 2 and a half star rating. That was a massive mistake, and that rating is overly generous. This show is horrible. It's about samurai...I think. The majority of the time we see scenes of rape, mutilation, torture, butterflies, cicadas, and a whole bunch of people that spontaneously give birth to their own intestines. There's also frequent scenes of women getting their nipples ripped off, a graphic birth of a deformed baby, and one guy gets castrated by a hot poker.
Another issue is the lack of variety of colors. Every scene is washed in gray, black, red, or pink. It's very hard on the eyes, and it takes a minute to figure out what the hell just happened. The dialog is nothing more that horrific screams, orgasmic moans, squishy noises, and people insulting each other. The soundtrack is somewhere between non-existent and a didgeridoo. In other words, it's incredibly annoying after 5 minutes. This gets a 0.
The plot is nowhere to be seen and the violence is either random or repetitive. What little voice acting there is just sounds bored and lifeless. I think this might be better in written form, or even as a 90 minute movie. But 12 episodes? It's just a big waste of time, and a bigger waste of talent.
Thursday, October 17, 2013
A parent should never have to bury their child. It's even worse when that child is taken away by a stranger's hand. Seven Days is a French film that starts with a well off doctor and his family. Then his daughter is brutally raped and murdered by a child molester. We see the parents try to make sense of such a tragic event. Their grief and pain is almost unbearable, until the doctor snaps. Instead of letting the justice system put the man away for 25 years, the doctor chooses to kidnap, torture and later contemplates murdering his child's killer.
This was an interesting movie. It is hard to watch, and it never lets up. But it makes yourself wonder if you would take the same action if anything as horrible as that ever happened to you. If a loved one is murdered, is it enough knowing their killer is behind bars? Or would you need your own brand of justice? The movie asks that question, and I don't think any of us could easily answer. It's heartbreaking to see a family ripped apart by grief and tragedy, but it's worse when one side handles such things in such an extreme way.
As a viewer, you want the murderer to pay for his crimes. However, you don't want the doctor to be the one to dole out the punishment. I thought this was excellent. The plot is gruesome, but the pacing and acting makes you feel like you're watching a real event play out. And it also makes you wonder if you would ever do the same if you were in the doctor's shoes. I give this 5 out of 5. As much as I love mindless gore, it's interesting to see gore as a tool of revenge. Give this a shot. It'll be worth your time.
Monday, October 14, 2013
This is one of two movies with the same name. Hopefully the other one is better than this. This crap is the first English film for French director David Morlet. Sound familiar? He also directed the French zombie movie Mutants, which I thought was awesome. When I heard this was his latest effort, I'll admit that I was pretty excited. Mutants was such a strong movie in plot and acting that I mistakenly thought the same would be said for Home Sweet Home. I don't know what went wrong, and how it could be possible for something to piss away any potential in a matter of minutes.
We start the film with a masked intruder invading the home of a married couple that is out on a date night. He drinks milk, eats their food, goes through their photos, and sniffs the wife's underwear before hiding until they return. Once they arrive home, we're subjected to 30 minutes of meaningless conversation. Nothing happens until the 45-50 minute mark, then the remaining time is the wife trying to escape and she ends up dying anyway. And the masked intruder? A local police officer that gets his rocks off by torturing and murdering random town residents. Why? Because screw you, this is only 80 minutes long and there's blood and gore. You're not supposed to pay attention to the plot.
I just can't believe an officer in a very small town could get away with murders of that scale. You're also led to believe this happened more than once. The guy has one huge duffel bag filled with booby traps, a sword, guns, knives, and things that any normal person would question why a cop would be roaming around with stuff like that. Apparently he also scoped out any potential victims by stalking their homes. In this case, he's spotted by the wife who calls the police. Somehow all calls from her house get routed to his cell phone. Every. Single. Time. I don't know much about law enforcement, but why would emergency calls be going to someone's personal cell phone? Did I miss something?
In order for such events to happen, the police department would have to be oblivious. But with today's technology, I imagine it is damn near impossible to commit such crimes without someone saying something. Then there's the married couple. I understand putting a lock on a gun for safety, but why the hell would you only have one key that's down in the basement? And then even after you have the gun, you hesitate is shooting the killer. He then chops off your hand with a sword and stabs you in the heart.
I'm willing to overlook a lot of things when it comes to movies. But when things would only happen if people were that damn stupid? I can't do it. Anyone's survival instincts would completely take over. If that means you have to shoot the bastard 5 times and once in the head for good measure to insure you will live, then dammit that's what you're going to do. And let's not forget the fact this psycho murdered your spouse by scalping him. I don't know about you, but if I had the option to take out whoever killed my husband, that dude would have more holes in him than a pincushion.
This gets a 0. While I understand the writer was trying to show some kind of humanity on the wife's part by not going for a kill shot, it comes off as stupidity and weakness which leads to her death. I refuse to believe such a situation could happen even in the dumbest of circumstances. When faced with death, most of us won't go down without one hell of a fight. Home Sweet Home basically says otherwise, and takes too much time to do so. This falls into the category of home invasion movies, but I'm so sick of seeing these things everywhere that I can't recommend a good one right now.
However, if you want to see highly unlikely circumstances that lead to outrageous results, check out Tucker and Dale vs. Evil. At least in that one the sheer stupidity makes sense.
Friday, October 11, 2013
Here's another thing I watched only because it was going to expire on Netflix. I remember I tried starting this a couple years ago, and I wasn't all that impressed. I'm glad I gave it another chance. This kicks ass. It's only 12 episodes long, but there is zero filler and each episodes forwards the plot. It's about a war between different classes of vampires. Each clan rules a different territory, but there's a race called The Kowloon Children that threaten the peaceful relations between vampires and humans.
It's action packed, funny, and a take on vampires that doesn't make them glitter covered wimps. The only downside to it being short is that the first season is that a lot of questions are left unanswered. You see the dynamic between the characters, but it's never explained why people are acting the way they are. However, I've heard a lot of this gets cleared up in the second season.
I think my absolutely thing about this is the voice talent. It's almost all of the Funimation regulars, but every single actor holds their own. J. Michael Tatum, Colleen Clinkenbeard,
Jerry Jewell, Brina Palencia, and many others round out the all star cast. I give this a 4 out of 5. It was better than I thought it was, and it's nice to see vampires how they're supposed to be: sexy, brutal, and bloodthirsty.
Tuesday, October 8, 2013
Just because you can make a movie, doesn't mean you should. Paranormal Asylum is the poster child for that fact. Notice that someone had the balls to say this "gets it right". Yet another case of bribery or the threat of physical harm to get someone to tell a huge lie. The plot is a group of jackasses decide to go to the abandoned asylum that once housed Typhoid Mary, and film any evidence of paranormal activity to sell to a TV show for fame and fortune. The people we're supposed to root for even though you want them dead after 5 minutes are Mark, Andy, and Michelle. Mark is a failed L.A. writer, Andy is the stereotypical ass monkey that mooches off airhead fiancee Michelle.
The film quality bounces back and forth between film school and "found footage". The supposed abandoned asylum has brand spanking new paint and hospital beds. Then there are the ghostly inhabitants. I think whoever made this thought TV static was the scariest thing since Pennywise. Any movement by the ghost, jump scares, and even some scene transitions are nothing but static. Also, jump scares are the only method used to try and be scary. It's kind of hard to take any of it seriously when the ghosts look like Marilyn Manson music video rejects.
As you can guess, the acting and writing is close to vomit inducting. Everyone looks stoned, and make no effort to deliver a line with any molecule of emotion. I think the most confusing part was the interaction between the people we're supposed to want to live. They suck. Andy is verbally and emotionally abusive, Mark is a doormat, and stupid ass Michelle holds a seance to "stir up some evidence". Who thought it was a good idea to create this abomination? Writers Fred Edison and Gregory Scott Houghton, and director/producer Nimrod Zalmanowitz. This is the first major film for the writers, but the director has worn many hats in his 13 year career. However, none of his credits are worth mentioning. While he has several titles as a producer or editor under his belt, they're all straight to video or short films.
I don't even know what else I can say about this. It gets a zero. It's dumb, a waste of time, and I can't help but think this is making fun of the real filmmakers out there who are still struggling to be noticed. Also the director's name is freaking Nimrod. What good could come a grown man named Nimrod? Absolutely none. If you want to see something that actually looks like a haunted asylum, look for the House on Haunted Hill remake or Session 9.
Thursday, October 3, 2013
You probably can't read the quote on the poster, but a critic claims this rivals anything by the Coen Brothers. Either someone heavily edited that quote, or that critic was paid to tell a bold-faced lie. The official description is a TV show host seeks to destroy the lives of his cheating wife and her famous lover. However, the title and the actual film forces you to focus on a scam called Remarkable Power that leads to an accidental murder, and a whole bunch of people that are affected by it. You basically watch two different movies play out, and neither make sense.
The first is the TV host. His show is being cancelled, and he decides to use his final show to show a tape of his wife banging a famous (and also married) baseball player. This story takes all of 20 minutes to tell. The other is a burned out pothead that buys tapes from an infomercial to change his life. He believes that the tapes help him unlock his inner potential or some shit like that. I gave up on paying attention because the whole thing is a jumbled, boring mess.
It bounces around everywhere. 3 months ago, a week later, 6 months later, present day. And none of the flashbacks or flash forwards help explain why everyone is either incredibly dumb or a douche. All the characters are just weird and unlikable. It's labeled as a comedy, but there was nothing funny about it. And I'm pretty sure the whole thing was film on someone's personal camera. This gets a 0. It's a waste of film and talent. No wonder it was on Netflix for only a couple of weeks...
Tuesday, October 1, 2013
It took me forever to watch this. I love Johnny Depp, but the guy is in damn near everything. When I heard he was doing yet another children's film, I didn't exactly rush to see it. Rango is a comedy western about a pet chameleon that ends up in the desert, and must find his true identity while saving the dying town of Dirt. I am aware of how dumb that sounds, but just hear me out. It's not all that bad. It's actually funny, the voice acting is great, and I was entertained. There is one major problem. This was marketed as a kid's movie. The dialog and subject matter is around the PG-13 and sometimes R range.
I don't believe in sheltering a child. But murder, suicide, sexual innuendo, and a major identity crisis? And an almost 2 hour run time? I think that's a bit too much for kids to handle. That being said, I think this is a great movie...for those that are 13 and up. I give it a 4 out of 5. It's different without trying too hard, and also has a cast of characters that are both funny and memorable. Give it a one time watch, but I think really young kids should skip this one.