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Saturday, December 31, 2011

TOP 5 BEST AND WORST HORROR MOVIES OF 2011



  Looking back at 2011, it seemed like it was a slow year for horror. Without looking at the official box office numbers, I’m guessing most horror movies didn’t do too well, especially if the movie wasn’t named “Paranormal Activity 3.” I know, there were several remakes, which some people just refused to see. Too bad for the Occupy Remake Movement because there were some descent remakes this year like “Fright Night,” and “The Thing.” Ok, “Fright Night” turned out not being exactly the same, and “The Thing” was a prequel, but still. (The Thing Review)
  Besides some of the major releases, there were some pleasant surprises such as, “Tucker & Dale vs. Evil,” and “Attack the Block” Both of those movies were very fun to watch. There probably was no bigger surprise than “Insidious.” I remember it scaring the hell out the teens in the theater, which was an added bonus to an already great movie. It also proved that maybe there should be some more original horror in 2012 (wink wink). Also, there were some straight to DVD releases, which I enjoyed like “Wrong Turn 4,” and “Quarantine 2,” and some I didn’t such as, “The Howling Reborn.” (Attack the Block Review)
  So now that I have tipped you off on how this list might turn out, it is time to wrap up the 2011 horror movie season, and move on to 2012. Here is my list of favorite, and least favorite horror movies of 2011. As with my list from last year, this list includes only the movies I saw, so if I left out your favorite movie, “sorry.” Trust me, I wish I could have seen them all. Also, I decided to give out a few awards, so without further delay:

My Top 5 Favorite Horror Movies of 2011:


 #5 Final Destination 5: Was this the end of the franchise? For some, I know they hope it is. For me, I have enjoyed the 3D element in the last two movies. I don’t expect much more than just a bunch of bad actors dying in a horrible way, so there isn’t much to complain about anymore. (Final Destination 5 Review)


#4 Paranormal Activity 3: What can I say… it’s growing on me. I’m still not sure if I liked it more, or less than part 2. While it has the usually theme going on, there are still enough decent scares to please me. With how much money it made, I’m sure we will see a part 4. I would hope they start a new storyline, but that isn’t likely to happen. (Paranormal Activity 3 Review)


#3 Fright Night 3D: I like the Fright Night part of it, and not really the 3D part. It has a good mix of humor, and horror. Colin does a better job as a vampire than I thought he would. And the few changes they make are enough for me not to feel it is just another boring scene for scene remake. (Fright Night 3D Review)


#2 Tucker & Dale vs. Evil: This isn’t exactly your typical horror movie, or is it?  It appears that way to start off, but soon becomes more of a horror comedy (an absolutely hilarious one). There are also plenty of deaths, and blood for horror fans. It kind of has the best of both worlds.


#1 Insidious: Well, no surprise here after I basically gave it away in the opening. This was the creepiest movie I have seen in theaters in a long time. I almost didn’t see it because I didn’t know much about it. That would have been a mistake. If you haven’t seen this movie for whatever reason, go get it now, turn down the lights, and enjoy! (Insidious Review)

  No, Super 8 didn’t make the list for two reasons. One it isn’t really horror, and I tried hard not to include borderline horror/sci-fi movies on the list. Two, I just wanted to see more of the creature than they showed. Good story, and I liked the kids though. And Rise of the Planet of the Apes… also more sci-fi, but you will find a comment on that below. Hobo with a Shotgun was good, but while it did have a lot of blood, it felt like more of an action movie. (Super 8 Review)

My Top 5 Least Favorite Horror Movies of 2011:


#5 Dylan Dog Dead of Night: Apparently the comic is a lot better. It seems like a good movie idea, but it doesn’t translate on screen. The acting isn’t great, and the little twist at the end isn’t a big surprise. The only thing really memorable about it is when Marcus becomes a zombie.


#4 The Roommate: Ah I’m sure you forgot this was even released this year. Good for you. Too bad I remembered. This is no “Single White Female.” (The Roommate Review)


#3 Vanishing on 7th Street: Too bad this movie just didn’t vanish. The preview gave me such hope that it would at least be interesting. The darkness came, and you were gone. That is about all that happened with an especially stupid ending. (Vanishing on 7th Street Review)


#2 11-11-11: What a disappointment for a movie with the perfect opportunity to do something special with the whole 11-11-11 thing. It is like you get this opportunity all the time, although next year we could see the sequel 12-12-12. You never know. (11-11-11 Review)


#1 The Howling Reborn: This movie almost escaped this list, as I just recently saw it. At least an hour and a half wasted watching this movie turned out to be of some use. There is just too much time spent on the boy and girl having feelings for each other. It almost reminded me of Twilight, which isn’t a good thing. And when the wolves finally fight, all it amounts to is a bunch of growling, and camera shaking!

  I know, what a weak pick for number 1. Of course a straight to DVD movie, especially of a franchise that hasn’t done anything special in years, is more likely to suck. Oh well, that is what they get for releasing a movie late in the year so that I can easily remember how bad it is. I missed Hellraiser: Revelations, but from what I’ve heard, that might have made the list too. And yes, The Darkest Hour just barely escaped this list! (The Darkest Hour 3D Review)

And now for a few awards:

Honorable Mention for Favorite Movie- Again, it is more sci-fi than horror, but Rise of the Planet of the Apes was one of my favorite movies of 2011 (Rise of the Planet of the Apes Review)
Best 3D in a Horror Movie- Final Destination 5
Worst 3D in a Horror Movie- Fright Night 
Best Horror Remake- Fright Night
Worst Horror Remake- Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark
Most Disturbing Horror Movie- Red State (upsetting The Human Centipede 2) (Red State Review)
Biggest Disappointment- Priest (Scream 4 was close) (Priest ReviewScream 4 Review)
Most Blood- Hobo with a Shotgun (yes I just said it wasn’t horror, but I had to give it credit for something)

Horror movies I wanted to see but haven’t: TrollHunter, Rubber, Atrocious, and I Saw the Devil

Horror movies I didn’t really want to see, therefore are not on this list: Beastly, and Red Riding Hood

Horror movies I am most looking forward to seeing next year (if they are released as planned): Halloween 3D, Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3D, World War Z, and Prometheus 


And I can't end the year without again mentioning how much I liked American Horror Story! If I was giving out awards for TV shows as well, they would clean house!

  HorrO

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

HOSTEL 3 REVIEW



  Scott (Brian Hallisay) is only a week away from getting married to Amy (Kelly Thiebaud). Carter (Kip Pardue), as any best man is suppose to do, sets up a bachelor party, which is a trip to Las Vegas. When they arrive in Vegas, they meet up with two other friends, Justin (John Hensley) and Mike (Skyler Stone). Then the parting, and drinking leads to the craziest day of their lives, in what becomes one of the best comedies of the last few years. Wait a second, something is wrong here. Am I reviewing “The Hangover” or “Hostel 3?”
  Apparently the writers of “Hostel 3” are fans of “The Hangover” because the storyline is very similar. I’m a fan of “The Hangover” too, but it makes a better comedy than horror movie. I’m also a fan of the Hostel franchise, so I was disappointed to find out part 3 would be a straight to DVD release. I figured it wouldn’t measure up to the previous movies, but was I right?
  The first complaint about this movie, besides my obvious dislike for the similarity to “The Hangover,” is that it goes over 30 minutes before there is a death. This is Hostel, where is the blood? Instead, the time is spent setting up "The Hangover" theme. There are several times where they make it appear like something bad might happen, but it never does.
  There are a couple of other changes they made, which I didn’t care for. One is changing the setting to America. It felt somewhat wrong not being in Europe. It was always a good change of scenery, and I miss that crazy gang of kids. They also made the deaths about gambling. Instead of bidding on people for you to kill, they are betting on aspects of the kill such as, how long it will take before some mentions they have a family. I guess this is just the way Hostel is done in America.
  Making the deaths more about gambling than the deaths themselves takes away from some of the creativity the audience sees in the previous movies. The people doing the killing were enjoying it, even making it almost like their artwork. This time it is about entertaining the gamblers. Some of the things they gamble on are funny, but that is not what Hostel is about. I don’t want to give away any of the specific deaths. I’ll just say that the first death is all right, but they get weaker from there. Yes, there is some blood, and body parts chopped up, but it isn’t all that creative. The final death of the movie might have been fun if the audience got to see it happen.
 There are some twists and turns, which you may or may not see coming. As with the other movies, the prisoners get a chance to escape, and that sets up some excitement. It is also where probably my favorite death occurs, which is one that is not even part of the game. Not giving away who it is, but one character’s body is used to help a car escape the garage. Now that is the kind of creativity I’m talking about.
  So yes, this straight to DVD release didn’t measure up to the first two Hostel movies. Partially because it went straight to DVD, and partially because of the changes they made. The problems start with  “The Hangover Gone Tragically Wrong” storyline. The biggest change for the worse is a lack of creativity with the deaths. They please the gamblers more than the audience. With that, I give this movie 2.5 pools of blood.

  HorrO


Saturday, December 24, 2011

Win A "Hoyt for Sheriff T-Shirt" From Tshirtbordello.com!


  With 2012 knocking on the door, election season is about to kick into full gear. There are plenty of politicians who are not going to be re-elected. Well, how about we support someone who should be re-elected… Sheriff Hoyt! The first step in showing your support is by entering this contest, and winning a great "Hoyt for Sheriff T-Shirt" from our friends at Tshirtbordello.com.
  There are 2 ways to enter. 1) In the comment section below, post your best campaign slogan for Sheriff Hoyt. Be sure to include your name, and email address in the message. 2) Email me at horrosreviews@aol.com with the subject line “HOYT T-SHIRT CONTEST” and include your best campaign slogan for Sheriff Hoyt along with your name. If you can’t think of a good slogan, it is all right just to include just your name, and email address. Please only enter once per person! The contest will end on January 4th, where I will randomly pick the winners who will be notified via email. Good luck to you, and good luck to Hoyt in his re-election campaign. And don’t forget to please check out Tshirtbordello.com for a great inventory of Horror, Sci-Fi, and just plain old hilarious t-shirts! 

Happy Horrordays,
     
     HorrO & Tshirtbordello.com

Friday, December 23, 2011

THE DARKEST HOUR 3D REVIEW



  “Survive the Holidays!” Not a bad tagline, but the movie has nothing to do with the holidays except the release date. Oh well, onto the point. I had two concerns while watching the preview. One, hopefully the previews didn’t show all of the disintegrating human tricks. Two, hopefully it wouldn’t be as bad as Skyline (what a nightmare). So did The Darkest Hour send 2011 off with a bang?
  Sean (Emile Hirsch), and Ben (Max Minghella) land in Moscow in order to pitch a big business idea. To their surprise, they are beaten to the punch by a colleague, Skyler (Joel Kinnaman). Losing out on the deal, the two head off to do the next best thing… drink and look for women! That is where they find a pair of American girls, Natalie (Olivia Thirlby), and Anne (Rachael Taylor). Just as the flirting begins the power goes out. Everyone exits the club to witness these beautiful glowing lights coming down from the sky. Ah, so pretty, yet so dangerous!
  Once the crowd gets a demonstration of what the lights can really do, the chaos begins. Everyone runs for their life, as the audience gets to see several people turn to dust by these sometimes glowing, sometimes invisible aliens. Our main characters make it safely into the basement of the club. It is here that the audience gets the first of several attempts to show how time lapses. There are quick flashes of the group in the basement, as the days appear at the bottom of the scene. I’m sorry, it did nothing but make me laugh at this ridiculousness. Just end the scene, and pick it up when they are ready to leave. The audience doesn’t need to see them eating, and arguing. There are other moments in the movie where they flash scenes advancing the characters ahead. It just didn’t work for me.
  From here on out the plot is pretty standard for this type of movie. The group fights its way through Moscow looking for other survivors, and a way to fight off the aliens. There is a lot of talk about electricity, and how that affects the aliens. I have no idea if any of it makes sense to anyone, so I just rolled with it. If they say they can shoot microwave waves at the aliens, so be it. There is one scene where a few of the characters are standing there ready to fight the aliens with these makeshift guns in their hands. I really wanted to yell out, “Ghostbusters!” If you see it, you will know what I mean.
  It would be easy to come out and say the acting is bad, in some cases it is, but the writers are probably more to blame. There are just some really bad lines, which are even worse when they come from some of the Russian characters. Then there are things that don’t make any sense. At one point, the characters find a radio that is in a small cage. Instead of taking it out to use it, Sean slides a stick into the cage to turn it on and off. Moments later they need to leave the room in a hurry, so Anne just opens the cage, and takes the radio. What did I miss?
  Later on, they are on a boat, which eventually gets knocked over with the characters falling into the water. Most of the group comes out in one place, but one girl ends up miles away. How in the hell did she end up so far away when she knows where they are going? Oh, and the ending. It is like “well we are out of money and ideas, so this looks like a good place to stop. That’s a wrap!”
  All right, let me talk about a more positive aspect of the movie, the special effects. The disintegrating human trick looks pretty nice in 3D. It’s good to see they didn’t give away all of the tricks in the previews (at least the previews I saw). The audience eventually gets to see more of what the aliens look like, which happens in a crazy special effect. Speaking of the 3D, it isn’t too bad, except there is a part where stuff explodes, and it would have been nice to see the stuff come at me.
  So I probably made you think I hated the movie, and you will see it on my list of top 5 least favorite movies of 2011. Spoiler alert… it’s not on the list. Yes, it has plenty of flaws, but it isn’t as painful to watch as Skyline. Instead, I just sat, and let the movie happen, with a few chuckles at some clearly ridiculous moments of course. The special effects are good enough, and it is good to see there is a little more to the aliens then what is shown in the previews. The Darkest Hour may have sent 2011 off with more of a flicker than a bang, so I give it 2 pools of blood.

  HorrO


Monday, December 19, 2011

SHORT FILM SERIES: "SLASH-IN-THE-BOX"



  “Slash-In-The-Box” is the second film in this short film series. This film is only about 5 minutes, and I think you will like it. Remember, watch the film, and post your review in the comment section. You will find my review below as well. Watch the film first, as my review will have spoilers. Enjoy!


  The opening scene reminds the audience there is nothing like a boy and his toy. The husband thinks the jack-in-the-box is so cool, but the wife says it is creepy. Don’t you guys hate when women prove they are always right? There is some decent humor to start off after the jack pops out of the box. It sets a good mood, and keeps the attention of the audience.
  Of course the husband hears a sound, and has to go check it out. Who knew the jack-in-the-box likes baseball? Again the husband couldn’t resist playing with his toy. He really should have been more concerned with why the baseball is rolling around by itself. There is some good blood splatter there, but it would have been fun to see what the jack-in-the-box did to him exactly.
  Now it is the wife’s turn. The silence raises the tension, but it might have been a little more realistic if she called out for her husband at least once. When she sees box playing by itself I was thinking… “Um run!” That is a great terrifying look on her face. I’m not sure how his head fit in the box, but I love the imagination in putting it there. This is definitely one of those films that end with a bang.

  HorrO

For more information on this film, please visit http://www.PopGoesTheEvil.com

Saturday, December 10, 2011

SHORT FILM SERIES: "ANNA"



  Thanks to PromoteHorror.com, I have had the privilege to promote several short films. While I hope most of you had an opportunity to see them, I’m sure some of you missed them. So I thought I would try something a little different, and give you a chance to review some movies along with me. Posted below is the first film in this short film series, "ANNA", which is followed by a short review. What I would like you to do is watch the film first, as the review will include spoilers, and then post your review in the comment section. Enjoy!


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eW__oMfQS64&feature=youtube_gdata_player


  As you noticed, the short film is only of the video chats. It is actually very interesting that the entire film is shot via Skype. I certainly would like to see if there are any other movie ideas out there that could be shot this way. It would be almost like an added challenge to filmmaking.
  Obviously this is a “Paranormal Activity” type film. It isn’t on a grand scale like “P.A.”, but it does just enough in a short time. One of the better moments, besides the ending, is when Laura receives a phone call, and there is no one there. Just as she is turning it off, the audience gets to see something move that she clearly doesn’t notice.
  Lisa-Marie Long (Laura) and Matthew Solomon (David) do a good job acting as the loving couple at first, even hinting at some long distance sexual activity. It is a good angle to start with before the situation quickly changes. They perform just as well when the stress builds, particularly Matthew. 
  It is good that there is just enough back-story of Anna squeezed into the film. I don’t know much about Skype, but I’m guessing the ending might have been the hardest part to shoot. It adds to the creepiness to see Anna kind of flash to the front of the computer screen. They also do a good job giving her that glowing look.
  So there are a few of my thoughts on “ANNA.” Now it is your turn. Please post your thoughts in the comment section below.

  HorrO

For more information on “ANNA” and writer/director/actor Matthew Solomon, please visit http://matthewsolomon.weebly.com/ 

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Holiday Horror Wish List




  So I thought we would have a little fun to kick off the holiday season. Basically I want all of you to come up with a Holiday Horror Wish List. It could be something that you could really get like a DVD of your favorite horror movie of 2011, or a collection of Stephen King books. Your list could also be something you would like to see happen in the world of horror for 2012 such as, a sequel to your favorite horror movie, or no more remakes! To give a few more examples, here is my Holiday Horror Wish List:

-More episodes for season 2 of American Horror Story!
-For another network to do a zombie show! Hell more zombie movies and less vampire movies!
-The release of Jeepers Creepers 3 already!


-For horror movies not named Paranormal Activity 4 to make over $10 million on opening weekend!
-Supernatural to be renewed!
-The strength to see 1 more Twilight movie!


-The Insidious DVD please!


Now it is your turn! Please post your Holiday Horror Wish List in the comment section below, and we will see if Horror Claus will make it come true.

  HorrO

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