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Friday, August 11, 2017

ANNABELLE CREATION REVIEW



Several years after the tragic death of their little girl, a dollmaker and his wife welcome a nun and several girls from a shuttered orphanage into their home, soon becoming the target of the dollmaker’s possessed creation, Annabelle.

Starring: Stephanie Sigman, Miranda Otto, Lulu Wilson, and Anthony LaPaglia

Directed by: David F. Sandberg 

Written by: Gary Dauberman

  Marvel has created one of the best universes going right now with their superhero movies. Not long ago, Universal announced the return of their monster icons in what they’re calling the Dark Universe. And then there’s The Conjuring Universe that is somewhat quietly coming out from the shadows. A third Conjuring movie is on its way, along with “The Nun,” but first Annabelle gets a second chance to win over horror fans.
  With a title like “Annabelle Creation” the audience might expect to see a lot about her creation. However, after seeing dollmaker Samuel Mullins (Anthony LaPaglia) put the final touches on Annabelle, there isn’t much Annabelle backstory until the end. Instead the audience sees the tragedy that happens to the Mullins family, and then years later how they provide a home to some foster girls. It gets the movie off to kind of a slow start, as the girls have to be introduced, and get settled in. It isn’t until Janice (Talitha Bateman), a young physically challenged girl, finds Annabelle that things pick up.
  Being apart of The Conjuring Universe, the scares start happening the way the audience might expect. First Annabelle might appear here and there, and then something in the darkness sets its sights on freaking out the girls. Besides Janice, her best friend Linda (Lulu Wilson) has some run-ins with Annabelle. In one of the better scares, she’s shooting a ball into a dark hallway, and pulling it back with a string. Well, it’s not hard to imagine how creepy that scene can be. 
  The intensity of the scares really kick in when the demon reveals itself, and its intentions with the girls. Also, the story of how the demon attached itself to Annabelle is finally divulged. It might be obvious to some after events earlier in the movie. However, that’s not the interesting part. When the dust settles, the true connection between “Annabelle” and “Annabelle Creation” is revealed, and it puts a nice punctuation on the movie. 
  Before wrapping this up, I have to make a point about Annabelle. After seeing Annabelle in “The Conjuring,” I was instantly drawn in, and wanted to know more about her. However, after two movies my interest in her has greatly diminished. Why…well because after it’s said and done she’s just a creepy looking doll. She doesn’t really do anything other than show up here and there. The demon is the true evil force here, and the one creating the real scares. She’s pretty much the opposite of Chucky, and in the end that’s disappointing.
  Going back to the movie itself, it’s easy to see how “Annabelle Creation” fits into The Conjuring Universe. It has the same feel to it, and the scares are effective, but done in an expected manner. The demon eventually makes itself known and does its best to scare the girls, and the more importantly the audience. There’s usually some strong acting performances, and this time it’s courtesy of the Talitha and Lulu. While “Annabelle” might not have knocked the socks off fans, it seems “Annabelle Creation” might win over more fans this time around. With that said, I give it 3 pools of blood. 

HorrO


*There are after credits scenes so stay to the very end*

Saturday, August 5, 2017

DARK TOWER REVIEW



The Last Gunslinger, Roland Deschain, has been locked in an eternal battle with Walter O’Dim, also known as the Man in Black, determined to prevent him from toppling the Dark Tower, which holds the universe together. With the fate of the worlds at stake, good and evil collide in the ultimate battle only Roland can defend the Tower from the Man in Black.

Starring: Idris Elba, Matthew McConaughey, and Tom Taylor

Directed by: Nikolaj Arcel

Written by: Akiva Goldsman, Jeff Pinkner, Anders Thomas Jensen, and Nikolaj Arcel

  Not that he went anywhere, but it looks like Stephen King is making a come back. The T.V. show ‘The Mist’ has been running for over a month now, and of course the highly anticipated remake of “IT” is not far away. Sandwiched in between is “The Dark Tower,” based on one of King’s longer novels. While this movie doesn’t cover the whole novel, it introduces audiences to this strange universe King created.
  And an introduction it is. While they fill the audience in on some things, it almost feels like something is missing from both the story, and the characters involved. The story follows a young boy, Jack Chambers (Tom Taylor), and the visions he has been having. He’s sure his visions are real regardless of the disbelief from the people around him. He draws things in his visions like the Gunslinger, Roland Deschain (Idris Elba). 
  One of the visions gives the audience background on Roland, in his last battle along side his father. Both of them have been in a long battle with the Man in Black (Matthew McConaughey), but that’s the only past battle that’s shown. With Roland having so much hate for him, it would have been nice to see more of their history. As for the Man in Black, they could have given the audience more information on his rise to power, and why he’s so determined to make the Tower fall. 
  Even though it would have been good to know more about these characters, they’re still pretty good at what they do. The Man in Black can make almost anyone do what he wants. He walks past people acting all cool, gives a simple command, and they do it. It also makes him pretty intimidating. Being a Gunslinger, it’s obvious what Roland is good at. While watching him shoot is good, it might be even better watching some of the ways he reloads.
  Too bad it seems the audience doesn’t get enough of them. As mentioned, they don’t show much of them in the past, and limited interaction between them until the final scene. Going into the movie, it felt like there would be plenty of action, but there isn’t anything spectacular until the end. While the story follows Jack, maybe there would’ve been more action if it followed Roland. Then it could have covered the backstory better, and had more action in their world. Jack comes from the real world, and nothing much happens there early on. There's some decent humor when they return to the real world, but this isn't a comedy.
  For those who haven’t read the novel, like myself, maybe it leaves you a little lost. It just felt like there should be more to this story. Being a long novel, it’s easy to understand them leaving stuff out, but it truly felt like they should have covered more. If they spent more time in the other world then maybe they could have covered more things. It would have made more sense, and definitely could’ve provided more action especially between Roland and the Man in Black. However, for those who read the novel, maybe it made enough sense, and therefore they did right by the story. Either way, I give “The Dark Tower” 2 pools of blood.

  HorrO

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES REVIEW



After the apes suffer unimaginable losses, Caesar wrestles with his darker instincts and begins his own mythic quest to avenge his kind.

Starring: Andy Serkis, Woody Harrelson, and Steve Zahn

Directed by: Matt Reeves

Written by: Mark Bomback, and Matt Reeves 

  So many remakes fail to live up to the original, but so far this new Planet of the Apes series has held its own. “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” and “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” were terrific movies for many of the same reasons. They're so terrific, each movie got 5 pools of blood from me, and that’s not something that happens often. So could “War for the Planet of the Apes” complete the trifecta, and get 5 pools of blood as well? 
  As reminded in the opening, the events in those movies have all led to this war. The beginning also reminds audiences how brutal war can be. There’s a quick, but intense battle between the humans and apes in which many lives are lost. Soon enough Caesar (Andy Serkis) makes his appearance, and is very much the same old Caesar. However, that quickly changes and his story becomes even more fascinating. Caesar begins changing into his old rival Koba (Toby Kebbell), and fights with this demon inside him the entire time. For the first time, both apes and the audience have doubts in what Caesar is doing.
  Koba might be Caesar’s personal demon, but he has some familiar faces by his side in Maurice (Karin Konoval) and Rocket (Terry Notary). The audience knows what to expect from them, but it’s some of the new faces that are a welcome addition to the story. First, there’s Nova (Amiah Miller), who’s a young girl that quickly bonds with the apes. She can’t speak, and that may trigger a connection to the original movie for some. And then there’s the comic relief, Bad Ape (Steve Zahn). He’s unlike any ape to date, and his humor is welcomed in such an emotional movie.
  Speaking of emotions, one of the beautiful things about all three of these movies is how they pull at the emotions of the audience. As mentioned, just watching Caesar struggle like he’s never struggled before is tough. It’s even tougher watching him when he knows he’s let his fellow apes down after doing so much for them. Then there are moments like Nova bringing water to Caesar, or placing a flower on a dying ape. Hell, an argument for sympathy towards The Colonel (Woody Harrelson) can be made even after all of the bad things he’s done.
  The emotional rollercoaster leads to an amazing final act. It’s do or die time for the apes and humans. As expected, Caesar steps up, and puts his life on the line for the apes. He’s also still motivated by revenge, but the world has a twist of fate for his plan. When the intense battle seems to be over, another avalanche of a surprise drops, and changes the landscape in the war for the planet of the apes. 
  For those who haven’t seen the original series, you might be missing out on what makes this trilogy truly special. They’ve just done a fabulous job of retelling this story from different angles, while leading to the same end point. It’s great being able to see Caesar become the iconic figure to apes, and this time really facing personal demons. It’s just another of the many continuous comparisons between humans and apes the series makes. While fighting for the planet, they fail to realize how alike they really are. This movie might be more emotional then the others, which is helped with the addition of Nova. Again for those who have seen the original series, the ending should be satisfying, and make you look forward to the what should happen next. So as you might have expected by now, yes the trifecta is complete because I’m giving “War for the Planet of the Apes” 5 pools of blood.


  HorrO

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

WISH UPON REVIEW



A teenage girl discovers a box that carries magic powers and a deadly price for using them.

Starring: Joey King, Ryan Phillippe, and Ki Hong Lee

Directed by: John R. Leonetti

Written by: Barbara Marshall

  Clare (Joey King) is a teenager who is already struggling at life. Her mother passed away when she was little, and her life in high school isn’t going so well. On top of that, she’s continually embarrassed by her father, Jonathan (Ryan Phillippe). If only a girl had something she could “Wish Upon” to make her troubles go away!
  Well, she’s in luck because her father just gave her the best early birthday present ever. What appears to be just a cool looking box, is apparently a box that grants wishes. After her first couple of wishes, she slowly realizes that they’re actually coming true, and is benefitting from them. As the audience might expect, she wishes for many of her struggles to go away in one way or the other.
  While suddenly living the good life, she fails to make the connection between the people passing away around her, and the wishes. The box has some deadly warnings on it, that unfortunately she doesn’t get translated until it’s too late. As for these deaths, there’s actually a couple of them that would have been nice to see in full effect. Unfortunately, the movie is PG-13 so either the deaths lack blood, are too dark to see, or are cut away as it happens.
  Really, the movie couldn’t be any more directed towards the teenage audience. Not only with the deaths, but the story is meant for them. Many of them will be able to relate to what Clare goes through, or maybe with some of the characters around her. On top of that, they probably won’t realize the subpar acting, including a lack luster performance from an experienced actor like Ryan Phillippe. 
  It won’t take long for older horror fans to realize that the deaths in “Wish Upon” play out a lot like those in the Final Destination franchise. While the suspense is there, the deaths are more like Final Destination lite. While the movie tries to pull surprises, it fails for anyone actually paying attention, and even ends as expected. Basically, if you’re a teenage horror fan, go enjoy the movie. For those that actually want to see a death scene play out in full, forget about it! With that, my wish is to give this movie 1 pool of blood.

  HorrO

  *There is an after credits scene*

Thursday, June 15, 2017

47 METERS DOWN REVIEW



Two sisters vacationing in Mexico are trapped in a shark cage at the bottom of the ocean. With less than an hour of oxygen left and great white sharks circling nearby, they must fight to survive.

Starring: Mandy Moor, Claire Holt, and Matthew Modine

Directed by: Johannes Roberts

Written by: Johannes Roberts and Ernest Riera

   As a big horror fan, it’s hard to find a horror movie that truly gets me to jump out of my seat. However, with a true fear of sharks, shark movies have always kept me on edge. Envisioning being in the situation these characters find themselves in always keeps a little terrifying tingle in me. So how terrifying is it “47 Meters Down?”
  Lisa (Mandy Moore) and Kate (Claire Holt) are sisters with different personalities. Lisa is the cautious type, and may be even described as boring. Kate, on the other hand, seems to always be up for the next adventure. When two locals ask the girls to join them in an underwater experience with great white sharks, it’s no surprise which one of sisters is all in. 
  After the slow introduction to the sisters, they make it to the boat, and see a cage that only a crazy person would get in. Yes, they’re crazy, and in they eventually go. It’s all beautiful looking out into the ocean with several giant whites around until the cable breaks, and 47 meters down they go. Finally the movie has my full attention, as I begin my string of “hell no’s” to everything the sisters do to try to save themselves.
  Being the more experienced diver, Kate swims out of the cage to get radio communication with the boat. It might not seem like much, but the darkness surrounding her and knowing sharks are out there is crazy. Soon enough, it’s Lisa’s turn to swim out of the cage, which is even crazier because she’s no where near as calm as Kate. It’s almost laughable cause she really has no idea what she’s doing. The sisters hang on just long enough to appear to have been rescued. The cage begins to rise, but then the audience gets an even wilder fall back to 47 meters down. 
  Running out of air, both sisters find themselves in pure desperation mode. It’s here that the movie really makes its mark with some unexpected chain of events. Without spoiling these events, I’ll move onto the sharks. If the audience is expecting this to be bloody, and filled with deaths…forget about it. Much like “The Shallows,” the sharks do more swim by scares, then killing anyone. It’s definitely more psychological through most of the movie, just knowing they’re out there, but not ever being sure when they’ll appear. Probably the best moment with the sharks occurs with the use of some underwater flares, and what comes shortly after.
  Mandy and Claire both do a good job handling their roles. Mandy seems to have the harder job because her character did more of the freaking out. After watching “The Shallows” and seeing most of the action take place just off shore, it’s good to see an underwater shark movie. However, much like “The Shallows,” it’s lacking in deaths by sharks. Seriously, if audiences want to see sharks and no deaths, they can see real ones on Shark Week! Because it still has moments that will freak out someone who fears sharks like me and a nice twist, I give "47 Meters Down" 2.5 pools of blood.

  HorrO

Saturday, June 10, 2017

THE MUMMY REVIEW



An ancient princess is awakened from her crypt beneath the desert, bringing with her malevolence grown over millennia, and terrors that defy human comprehension.

Starring: Tom Cruise, Sofia Boutella, Annabelle Wallis, Russell Crowe, and Jake Johnson

Directed by: Alex Kurtzman

Written by: David Koepp, Christopher McQuarrie, and Dylan Kussman

  A while back fans found out that there would be another mummy movie. More recently they then found out Universal has bigger plans in store with the introduction of the Dark Universe. Forget about The Avengers, and The Justice League, bring on Dracula, and Frankenstein. But first, can “The Mummy” get the Dark Universe off on the right foot?
  Being a mummy movie, someone needs to find its tomb, and unleash its evil on the world. That someone is Nick Morton (Tom Cruise), along with his partner in crime Chris Vail (Jake Johnson), who are looking for treasure in a dangerous area of Iraqi. They’re forced to call in an air strike in order to save themselves from some unfriendly locals. Of course the air strike opens a hole to the tomb, and the adventure is about to really begin.
  With the help of archeologist Jenny Halsey (Annabelle Wallis), they get the U.S. military to pull the coffin out, and onto a plane. It doesn’t take long for strange things to start happening, including Nick seeing visions of Ahmanet (Sofia Boutella) in ancient Egypt before she became a mummy. These visions plague him throughout the movie, as Ahmanet has formed a bond with him. The visions are important to what’s happening to Nick, but also seem to make his character seem a little stupid at times. His character kind of stumbles along the process, as opposed to being a hero and adventurer the audience might think him to be. It also seems to dumb down Cruise’s performance.
  With the help of Jenny, and Dr. Henry Jekyll, they’re actually able to capture Ahmanet. And yes, apparently Dr. Jekyll is now into capturing creatures like the mummy! Really not sure why they introduce Jekyll into the movie unless they have plans for him somewhere else in the Dark Universe. There’s a decent scene of him transforming and fighting Nick, but that’s really it for Jekyll.
  As expected, the movie is light on scares, with the mummy sucking the life out of people and creating zombie like creatures probably being the most extreme thing that happens. The mummy herself isn’t even that scary looking. Really audiences should be looking for the action more than horror, and even that seems a little light. There’s the dramatic plane crash, a few chase scenes, and then the final sequence. None of the action feels like what audiences might expect for a summer movie. A good example of this is a nice looking scene of Nick swimming away from these zombie creatures, but while it looks nice, it amounts to very little. 
  Overall, “The Mummy” can’t be the way Universal wanted to kick off the Dark Universe. There isn’t anything new or exciting here. The mummy is found, unleashes a little evil, and then comes the final show down. Tom Cruise’s character isn’t that fantastic, and his best moments might be playing off Jake Johnson’s character. While it’s not a surprise there’s not many scares, it’s surprising the action isn’t bigger, and more daring. With that, I give it 2 pools of blood.


  HorrO

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

IT COMES AT NIGHT REVIEW



Secure within a desolate home as an unnatural threat terrorizes the world, a man has established a tenuous domestic order with his wife and son, but this will soon put to test when a desperate young family arrives seeking refuge.

Starring: Joel Edgerton, Christopher Abbott, Carmen Ejogo, and Kelvin Harrison Jr.

Directed and written by: Trey Edward Shults

  “It Comes At Night” opens with a family in the  middle of an apocalyptic world. Unfortunately Bud (David Pendleton), Sarah’s (Carmen Ejogo) father and Travis’ (Kelvin Harrison Jr.) grandfather, has fallen ill. Paul (Joel Edgerton), the head of this family, has to make a tough decision, and ends Bud’s life for the safety of the others. The scene gives the audience a quick look at the new world the family lives in, and the possibilities of what’s to come.
  As the story starts to unfold, it will soon become evident that this is a slow moving film. Yes, it has a few creepy moments mostly courtesy of Travis’ nightmares. Then there’s a few more intense scenes like when Will (Christopher Abbott) tries to break into the family’s home. He claims that he didn’t know anyone lived there, and is just looking for food and supplies for his wife and child. After a family discussion, Paul decides to allow Will and his family to stay with them.
  So why is it a slow moving film…because it’s very character driven. Paul is the strict leader of the family, who sets rules to ensure their safety. Sarah is a loving mother to her son, and always right at her husband’s side. Now Travis is a little bit of an odd teenage boy, which may simply be because of his new found way of life. He’s kind of quiet, plagued with nightmares, and no one can blame him for developing a crush on Will’s wife. Will and his wife seem normal, and are just looking to survive like Paul’s family. Of course when you put two families together who protect their own interests first, something will go wrong. 
  The real problem for this movie is that it leaves too many unanswered questions. From the beginning, the audience is thrown in the middle of this family’s life. There is no mention of how long the world has been turned upside down, or the cause of it. There’s a sickness, but the audience is left to assume how they get sick and what happens to them when they get sick. Do you become a zombie, or what? The most frustrating moments are when they act like there’s something out in the woods, but is there? Most importantly, what ultimately is “it,” and did “it” ever come at night?
  Don’t be mistaken, even with all those questions, “It Comes At Night” is still a well done movie. The times at night in the house are very dark, and intense. The few nightmares that Travis has are creepy, and even can be disgusting. With a character driven story, it’s important that the acting is good, and it’s definitely solid all around. It’s alright to leave a couple of questions unanswered, however this one leaves a few too many. With that, and the slow pace, I can’t give this movie more than 2 pools of blood.


  HorrO

Saturday, May 20, 2017

ALIEN: COVENANT REVIEW



The crew of a colony ship, bound for a remote planet, discover an uncharted paradise with a threat beyond their imagination, and must attempt a harrowing escape.

Starring: Michael Fassbender, Katherine Waterston, Billy Crudup

Directed by: Ridley Scott

Written by: Dan O’Bannon, Ronald Shusett, Jack Paglen, and Michael Green

  Looking back at my “Prometheus” review, it seems I felt there was too much creation talk, and too little alien action. So it’s safe to assume in “Alien: Covenant” a little less talk, and more action would be nice. And how does the movie open…with more odd conversation about creation. Alright, patience is needed, but the aliens are on the way!
  The crew of the Covenant faces some challenges right off the bat, as they lose their captain when a shock wave hits the ship while they are in a sleep state. They must gather themselves under the new captain, Oram (Billy Crudup), and repair the ship. After repairs are made, they receive a strange signal from a nearby planet that might have human origins. Oram is faced with the tough decision to investigate a new planet, or continue to make their way to their original destination. Of course they head to the new planet to investigate, and just when it looks like a great place to settle in, it all goes wrong. 
  One of the most memorable moments in the Alien franchise is the first time an alien comes bursting right out of a crew member. That same event is one of the best things about this movie, as the audience gets to see this happen in fierce and bloody fashion on more than one occasion. The aliens come primed and ready to go on the attack right away. The crew gets stranded on the planet facing down an alien attack before they are rescued by the only remaining crew member of the Prometheus, David (Michael Fassbender).
  This is when the movie takes some time to really get back into creation. David is completely obsessed by it, and tries to convince his robot twin Walter (Michael Fassbender), who serves a similar role on the Covenant, about what he’s learned. David is definitely an odd robot, and being alone on the planet gets him in an experimental mood. There’s a flashback of when David got to the planet, and what happens to the beings that lived there. Now that would have made for a more exciting opening scene than the conversation, but it’s easy to see why they decided to reintroduce David to the audience in the beginning.
  Soon enough the biggest and baddest aliens start hunting the remaining crew members. This leads to some exciting action as the crew fights its way back to the ship with the aliens continuing to come at them. As exciting as it is, there’s also some predictable things going on as well. There’s one thing in particular that they want the audience guessing at, but the audience has to know what’s going on. After the excitement dies down, the movie ends reminding the audience once again that it’s all about creation. 
  “Alien: Covenant” definitely has moments that will remind the audience of the original. It takes the audience back to the aliens ripping their way out of the humans, which is just bloody awesome. There’s also a nice face hugging scene or two, which is always fun. Daniels (Katherine Waterston) is no Ripley, but she holds her own, including going face to face with the alien. And then there are the robots David and Walter, reminding the audience of how Ash seems good at first, but also had plenty of bad intentions in it. Because of its similarities to the original, and having more aliens in it then “Prometheus,” I give this movie 3.5 pools of blood. 

  HorrO

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

NIGHT KALEIDOSCOPE REVIEW



A cynical psychic investigator who peddles his gift for anyone willing to pay. His abilities depleting, he must take powerful drugs to induce his visions. After a series of brutal murders in the city, a contact in the police comes to him for help tracking down the killers.

Starring: Patrick O'Brien, and Mariel McAllan

Directed by: Grant McPhee

Written by: Megan Gretchen and Chris Purnell

  People are always trying to find something different in horror. Sometimes it’s the story, or other times it’s a character. There’s the way a movie is shot like audiences have seen with found footage. And now comes “Night Kaleidoscope,” believe it or not, a movie shot to make the audience seem as if they are looking through a kaleidoscope.
  Seriously, it won’t take long for the audience to wonder what’s going on with the screen. It’s a little all over the place and blurry at first, but then the audience can settle into the look of the movie. It does use a good mix of colors in some scenes, and other scenes are very dark. To top off the crazy imagery, they add a pretty nice 80’s rock soundtrack.
  Now on to the story which follows an investigator with psychic abilities, who is hired to solve some recent murders. The investigator has visions, which gives the movie another opportunity to dive into the kaleidoscope theme. He soon finds out he’s up against a pair of vampires. While he tries to figure out how to stop the vampires, they continue to feast on people creating some nice and bloody scenes. However, the story is a little hard to follow because the audience can get lost in the kaleidoscope view. Also, there aren’t many scenes with a lot of dialogue.
  Overall, if you’re looking for something different “Night Kaleidoscope” might be for you. The way the movie is shot makes it unique, and gives itself its own style. The style overshadows the story, and might leave some lost. Regardless, I give them credit for trying something different, and give it 2 pools of blood.


  HorrO

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Q&A w/ Andre Gower + Ryan Lambert of "The Monster Squad"



On Friday, April 28th, Popcorn Frights hosted a special screening of “The Monster Squad.” After the screening, Marc Ferman from Popcorn Frights held a Skype Q&A with two of the stars of the movie, Andre Gower, and Ryan Lambert. Check out the Q&A below…


Friday, April 14, 2017

INVOKE REVIEW




A young woman unwittingly unleashes an evil spirit in her house. 

Starring: Debbi Jones, Brett DeJager, Joie Bauer, and Shirley Hoesing

Directed by: Carlos Omar De Leon

Written by: Vorasine Vince Phrommany and Carlos Omar De Leon

  After bringing horror fans “Killer Date” and “Kal - The Clown,” Carlos Omar De Leon is back with a new film, “Invoke.” It’s getting late, and a young woman (Debbi Jones) is tired of working on her research as her boyfriend (Brett DeJager) watches a movie. She sends him home and prepares for bed, but not before listening to an audio file she receives from her cousin. The audio tells the story of Eliza Braum, a murderer who vowed to return one day! 
  Too bad for the young woman because that day has come. She doesn’t know it, but she summons the spirit to her house. Once again Carlos does a good job of setting a creepy atmosphere. The house is silent, and the young woman moves right into the dark spots of the house leaving her clueless to what’s lurking about. Eliza makes her presence known in a big way, and the film ends in frighting fashion. With strong performances, a somewhat familiar story, and a creepy spirit, I give “Invoke” 2.5 pools of blood.


  HorrO

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

PUPPET REVIEW



An infection spreads among a group of friends that turns them into violent killers.

Starring: Tara Cardinal, Leah Ann Cevoli, Ryan Demarest, Matt Jayson, Jeffery Potts, and Berna Roberts

Directed by: Joseph R. Davis & Brian Gerson (DaG)

Written by: Jeffery Potts

  Emery (Tara Cardinal) finally gives in and decides to hang out with her sister, and her sister’s friends. However, they’re not there to just hang out, but also there for Bible study. Emery isn’t into that, and becomes upset when they try to force the religious talk on her. Emmett (Matt Jayson) goes to check on her after she locked herself in a room, and tells her a very personal story just before everything changes.
  In “Puppet,” they do a good job of setting up the Emery’s character, and getting the audience to feel bad for her situation. They also do an equally good job getting the audience to feel bad for Emmett after the story he tells. What’s really great about that scene is just as the audience digests his story chaos breaks out. Blood starts spilling all over the place as true horror takes over. And in the mist of it, the sisters find one more surprising thing to fight over. Will their faith in God be enough to save them? Find out by watching the film I give 2.5 pools of blood to.

  HorrO

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

THE VOID REVIEW



Shortly after delivering a patient to an understaffed hospital, a police officer experiences strange and violent occurrences seemingly linked to a group of mysterious hooded figures.

Starring: Ellen Wong, Kathleen Munroe, and Kenneth Welsh

Directed and written by: Jeremy Gillespie and Steven Kostanski

  Watching the trailer to a movie can make you want to see it, or pass on it. It can also make you so curious about something that you need to know what’s happening. There’s a lot going on in the trailer for “The Void,” but those hooded guys with the triangles where their faces should be had me hooked. Who are they, what’s with the triangles, and what are they up to? 
  Before the appearance of the hooded guys, the audience gets thrown right in the middle of a scene of chaos resulting in a girl getting burned alive. It then moves away from that scene and to police officer Daniel Carter (Aaron Poole). It seems like another slow night for him until a bleeding guy stumbles out of the woods. Daniel takes him to the hospital and the madness begin!
  One of the many good things about this movie is the pace, and how all the strangeness unfolds. The few hospital staff members help Daniel get the guy to a room, and just when things are about to settle down Daniel has a run in with the hooded guys. There is no shortage of creepiness in them, but they aren’t the scariest thing around. Soon enough, the first of several disgusting looking creatures are introduced in a crazy, and bloody scene. 
  With hooded guys surrounding the hospital and creatures inside, Daniel along with others have to figure a way out. Unfortunately after his wife Allison (Kathleen Munroe) goes missing, he has no choice but to go looking for her. As Daniel and some strangers begin the search, the mystery begins to unfold. With some surprises and more creatures, Daniel finally finds out what they have been facing this entire time.
  To put it simply, “The Void” ends up being a wonderfully bizarre story. As crazy as the hooded guys may seem, they are only the beginning. The story unfolds at a perfect pace with twists and turns, as it has the audience waiting to enter the Void. If you’re a fan of say, “The Thing,” then the disgusting looking creatures should be to your liking. The movie might even be for fans of Lovecraft. Regardless of what you want to compare it to, this is definitely a must see worthy of 4 pools of blood.

  HorrO

Thursday, March 30, 2017

LIFE REVIEW



A team of scientists aboard the International Space Station discover a rapidly evolving life form, that caused extinction on Mars, and now threatens the crew and all life on Earth.

Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal, Rebecca Ferguson, and Ryan Reynolds

Directed by: Daniel Espinosa

Written by: Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick

  Humans are always hoping there’s life in space. Some believe that it will be friendly, and maybe even led to benefits for our planet. Then there are those who know better, and fear what’s out in the dark depths of space. Enter “Life,” the story about life in space that’s only interested in death.
  The crew of the International Space Station seems like a good group of people. The audience gets to know a little about a few of them in attempts to gain some audience sympathy for them. One of their wives back on Earth just had a baby, and one of them is even handicap. Too bad there isn’t enough of it to truly care about most of them as the alien begins picking them off. 
  That might be a big thing for some, but that’s fine with me. That means the story moves quicker, which this one general does. Of course the crew and audience have to wait until the alien, named Calvin, does a little growing up. It starts off so small and harmless, but becomes a large creepy octopus looking alien. Not too mention it’s apparently is a lot smarter than the crew.  
  What’s nice and different about this alien movie is that they maintain the effects of gravity in space the entire time. The crew is floating around while the alien seems to have another advantage using its multiple arms to move a lot faster than them. The alien also uses its strength to squeeze the life out of the crew. One of the best deaths is the first one, which leaves the audience looking at floating blood. It’s a really cool effect, and would have been nice to see more of.
  As the crew starts to dwindle, and time runs down, the few survivors are left with a choice. Who’s going to sacrifice themselves for the others to survive? They try to make the ending sequence as dramatic and suspenseful as possible. However, for most who have seen a horror movie, it’s very obvious what’s about to happen. 
  Basically, “Life” is only an appetizer for those waiting for the upcoming “Alien: Covenant.” The crew seem like nice and normal people, but not too normal to be killed. Keeping the gravity aspect of space makes the movie a little different then other alien movies. Calvin is an interesting alien because of it’s smarts and unexpected strength. Too bad its first kill might be the best, and the ending is too predictable. With that, I give this movie 2 pools of blood.


  HorrO

Friday, March 24, 2017

RAW REVIEW



When a young vegetarian undergoes a carnivorous hazing ritual at vet school, an unbidden taste for meat begins to grow in her.

Starring: Garance Marillier, Ella Rumpf, and Rabah Nait Oufella

Directed and written by: Julia Ducournau

  Once “Raw” begins, there’s an almost immediate strangeness to it. There’s an odd car crash that later proves very meaningful. Then the audience is introduced to Justine (Garance Marillier) and her parents, and the fact that they are serious vegetarians. They drop her off at vet school, which begins with a crazy hazing event and wild party. All of that is just the beginning of the strangeness that continues throughout, but helps lead to the greatness of the film. 
  The older students make the new students go through a period of hazing as an introduction to the school. Justine is more shy and reserved, and not really into this. Her older sister, Alexia (Ella Rumpf), who also attends the school and went through this hazing, is very much into it. She encourages Justine to participate, and go along with what they make her do. Part of the hazing results in Justine eating meat for apparently the first time, and this changes everything. She seems to just get sick, but soon becomes addicted to meat.
  Her hunger starts to take over her life, and makes her do some strange things. She eats and eats whether or not the food is cooked or raw. Also, she goes from being the awkward, sexually inexperienced girl to a very outgoing girl with an appetite for sex second only to her taste for flesh. This creates some pretty intense, weird, and extremely satisfying scenes for horror fans. One of the most shocking scenes involves an incident while her sister gives her a Brazilian wax. 
   This amazing coming of age story is put together so well, and filled with so many great ideas. Start with the great idea to put a cannibal in a vet school, where she’s surrounded by live and dead animals. The whole thing with the car crashes is so creative. Just combining many of the common things a young person goes through  with the elements of discovering you’re a cannibal is done so smoothly. It’s all wrapped up in horrifying fashion along with a big twist that puts the finishing touches on the brilliance of the film.
  To top it off the acting is superb. Garance nails all of her characters struggles, and not to mention her awkwardness. She’s never thrown off in the intense moments, and is a very believable cannibal. Ella also does a fabulous job. She handles playing both a good and bad sister perfectly, and the audience is never too sure which one she’s going to be.
  “Raw” has everything an audience can want in a great film whether it’s horror or not. It starts with a terrific story from beginning to end about the coming of age of a young girl. It’s filled with amazing and intense scenes, and has a strange vibe about it along the way. Throw in the horrific cannibal moments that will put a smile on horror fans’ faces, and keep others on the edge of their seats. Both actresses nail their roles, and so does the rest of the cast. Walking out of the theater, I thought “that's why I love being a horror fan!” Because the film made me feel this way, I give it a rare and well deserved 5 pools of blood.


  HorrO

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