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Monday, May 30, 2011

THE DEAD HOUR: INDIE HORROR WEBSERIES



  Do you remember the good old days when there was Tales from the Crypt? You can’t forget that creepy looking skeleton that loved to tell us his favorite twisted tales. He loved to laugh at the pitfalls of others. Well, DJ Raven has picked up where the Crypt Keeper left off introducing us to The Dead Hour, a weekly radio show devoted to striking fear into the audience. She has some of her own gruesome tales to tell in this indie horror web series.
  Donor: “In a time where banks are failing, homes are shuttered, and one-and-a-half out of ten people are unemployed, Seth discovers a way to maintain the lifestyle he and his wife have become accustomed to…but at a crippling cost.” After reading that, you can kind of guess the direction this tale goes. You have to check out this story to see just how far Seth goes, as he puts everything on the line for his family. One of the best things about this story is how his wife reacts when finding out what he is doing, and I just loved the ending.
  Alcoholic Vampire: “Vic Henderson considers himself a cursed man. He yearns to be free of addiction, but defeat drives him further into a world of deadly indulgence. When the twelve steps continue to fail, can anything bring peace to an addict?” Vic definitely finds his peace. I wasn’t sure where this story was going, as I thought there was going to be some kind of weird message about drinking. That wasn’t the case, and I enjoyed the unexpected ending to this story as well.
  Cougar: “Miss Juniper has just moved into the neighborhood, and she hasn't gone unnoticed by anyone — especially the local, hormone-strung high school boys. As she makes herself at home, the neighbors get a little closer than they expected.” Awe, a story of young boys getting in over their heads. They should have kept their eyes on girls their own age. While it is a little more obvious where this tale is going, it is good to see Miss Juniper teach the teens that playing with cats can be a dangerous thing.
  The Hole: “After 40 years of working, Arthur Paxton is ready to retire. Or is he? While his wife, Betty, encourages him to relax, his mind refuses to listen. An unexplainable discovery breathes new ambition into Arthur's life, but leads him into a deep hole of unanswered questions.” Unanswered questions indeed, as this tale will have you wondering what the real reason is behind Arthur’s newfound obsession. For those of you that are married, you might be able to relate with the position that Arthur is in almost all the way to the end. Betty means well, but her inadvertent nagging helps push Arthur over the edge.
  Cannibal Girls: “In the barren fields of middle America, two young girls fight to stay alive following a near apocalyptic disaster. With much of the world's food supply eliminated, they have no choice but to feed on the flesh of other humans. What happens to the mind when living becomes the only thing to live for.” It is always interesting to see how people react when put in apocalyptic situations, and this story puts two women in that position. One of them has adapted well, while the other is still struggling to survive. This story is full of tension, and suspense, as the search for food becomes harder and harder.
  Overall, The Dead Hour presents a good mix of tales. There is something for everyone: action, suspense, blood, and mystery. The stories are to the point, and short enough, at about 15-17 minutes apiece, to keep your attention. The acting isn’t bad, and the scenes are shot well. My only suggestion would be to have DJ Raven sum up the story at the end like the Crypt Keeper did, but I can see the need for The Dead Hour to want to separate themselves a bit from Tales From the Crypt. If you are looking for a web series to watch, then I encourage you all to visit www.thedeadhour.com today!

  HorrO

Friday, May 13, 2011

PRIEST 3D REVIEW



  I had high expectations for this movie from the second I saw the first preview. I am not sure what got me all excited. Maybe it was those scary looking vampire creatures. I couldn't wait to see the priests take them on. Maybe it was my immediate interest in wanting to know more about these priests. More than anything, I got an epic vibe from it. Something told me this was going to be a great adventure. So did “Priest” turn into an epic movie, or just an epic fail? 
  The movie is based off a graphic novel by Min-Woo Hyung. It takes place after years and years of battles between vampires and humans. With the help of these priests, humans are finally able to defeat the vampires, and are trying to rebuild in these post apocalyptic times. While the church believes vampires are no longer a threat, a vampire attack on a family living on an outpost leads to the kidnapping of a young girl, Lucy (Lily Collins). This is no coincidence because Lucy happens to be related to one of the priests, who is left with no choice but to go on a journey to find her.
  The story opens with a group of priests searching through a vampire hive. Before you even get a good look at all the priests, they are attacked, and the scene ends pretty quickly. It then shifts gears into an animated recap of the history of battles between vampires and humans. This animated sequence is pretty cool, and well done. It definitely got me excited for what was to come, but the timing of it confused me at first. I wondered why not just start with the animated history instead of that short action scene. Well, I jumped the gun because that scene actually becomes very important as the movie goes on.
  After watching the vampires take Lucy, the audience gets a chance to learn a little about the Church, priests, and Priest (Paul Bettany). Yes, somewhat confusing as these vampire-killing warriors are called priests, and the main character is only referred to as “Priest” so stay with me. There is even Priestess, who joins Priest later in the movie. The Church promotes belief in God and hard work, and downplays any thought that vampires are still a threat to society. It is interesting to see how the Church, which is supposed to be all high and mighty, is just using God as a way to hold power over all the people. God appears to be just a pawn for the Church, but is actually very important to the priests. The priests seem to gather a lot of strength from God, and quickly pray before fighting the vampires.
  The priests are basically outcasts now that the vampires are gone, and are left to roam the enclosed city reliving their nightmares of the past. Just as life seems as meaningless as ever, the sheriff of the wasteland approaches Priest, Hicks (Cam Gigandet), who informs him of Lucy’s kidnapping. At first it seems Priest is too caught up in his own pity party to want to embark on this adventure, but he quickly snaps out of it. He seeks permission from the Church to leave the city, but they deny his claims that vampires took the girl. So instead of doing it the easy way, Priest breaks his vows to the Church, and the hopefully epic adventure begins.
  Priest leaves the city on his motorcycle. It looks like nothing more than a bunch of assembled junk, but is not short on power. Amazingly enough, the thing reaches speeds of more than 200 mph without falling apart. The speed comes in handy, as they show almost laughable clips of Priest traveling across the deserted lands.
Speaking of speed, it won’t take long before you notice the pace of the movie. It is less than an hour and a half, and almost feels much shorter. On one hand this is good because whenever there is no action and the characters are just talking, the scene ends just before boredom sits in. On the other hand, some of the action scenes, particularly early in the movie, seem to end just when you want more.
  Eventually Priest makes it to the home where Lucy is taken, and reunites with Hicks. Unfortunately, the two decide to join forces in their search for the girl. Why unfortunate you ask? Because Hicks is played by Cam Gigandet, who carried over his bad acting performance in The Roommate right into the middle of this movie. As the movie went on, I was just cringing every time he tried to deliver an important line. No wonder why they kept the scenes short, and to the point. To make up for Cam’s poor performance, there is Karl Urban, who plays Black Hat. He did a great job of playing this very smooth, and extremely evil villain.
  Since the movie moves at a fast pace, let me stop rambling on, and try to speed this review up. Priest finally takes on some of these vampire creatures. It is interesting how these vampires are truly another species in this movie, and aren’t like the human vampires as we see on TV all the time. They left me wanting to know more about them, but there is never really any detailed discussion about them. Priest mentions the different types of vampire species, but that is about it. The only other thing you get to know about them is that they hate the sun, and what they do in a fight.
  The fight scenes aren’t bad, but again are too short. They focus more on Priest being such a great warrior that he kills the vampires too quick. If they wanted to do short scenes, they should have had more vampires for him to kill. The fight scene on the train is more what I was looking for when I decided to see this movie. Another problem I had with the fight scenes is when the characters went into slow motion. They should have just let the scene play out instead of randomly slowing down certain moves the characters make. The only things that are good to see in slow motion are the weapons that the priests use.
  For those thinking about seeing it in 3D, forget about it. There is nothing going on that has to be seen in 3D. There might have been one or two brief moments when I thought maybe one of the weapons was coming at me, but that was about it. With or without the 3D, the movie is visually nice to look at, particularly the shots going in and out of the city. Actually seeing it in 3D only enhances the shot, and made me notice one thing: the cross on the priests’ head didn’t look straight all the time. I know it kind of changes with the expression on their faces, but in some scenes I swear I could see a difference in the cross. It is hard not to notice with all the close ups on their faces, and who isn’t distracted by a cross that is right on the person’s forehead.
  They try really hard making this movie seem as epic as possible. It is very fast paced, as the story moves on with as little conversion as possible. The scenes change with high volume music pumped in trying to get you excited for what is coming. Then you have the great warrior, and his sidekicks on a journey to find a kidnapped girl that ends with a showdown with a villain. As hard as they try, it does come up short of being epic. They could have slowed down the pace just a little, extended the fight scenes, and given more details about the vampires. It turns out to be one of those movies that if you told me you like it, I wouldn’t argue with you. Nor would I argue with you if you told me you hated it. I guess you could say it isn’t that epic after all, so I give it 2.5 pools of blood.
 
  HorrO


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