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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

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

THE BELKO EXPERIMENT REVIEW



In a twisted social experiment, 80 Americans are locked in their high-rise corporate office in Bogota, Colombia and ordered by an unknown voice from the company’s intercom system to participate in a deadly game of kill or be killed.

Directed by: Greg McLean

Written by: James Gunn

Starring: John Gallagher Jr., Tony Goldwyn, and Adria Arjona

    You ever have one of those days where you feel like you don’t get paid enough to put up with your job? Maybe you’ve had a day or two when you’ve even wanted to punch a co-worker. At Belko it appears like those days barely ever happen. There are plenty of smiles on their faces, employees in no hurry to get their work done, and even some time for office romance. All is good until the Belko experiment begins.
   Of course when the voice orders the employees to start killing each other they have a hard time believing it. Once they get a little motivation, the experiment becomes a mind blowing experience. No really, it’s literally a mind blowing experience as employees’ heads blow up. The panic starts to set in with some wanting to stay as a group and find a way out, and others who start to go along with what the voice wants. 
  Now there’s 80 employees in this building, and a lot of killing to do. As a horror fan, this is a great opportunity to see some potentially awesome deaths. There are a few good ones, but overall it becomes a little disappointing. While fun and extremely bloody, the head explosions wipe out too many people. A bunch of others die by gun shot, which also becomes too repetitive.
  As the number of survivors dwindles, the audience might be rooting for certain people. One or two give it a good try, and last longer than the audience might think. However, picking the last few survivors is kind of predictable. What’s not predictable is the ending. There’s a nice surprise in the action, and an interesting small twist with the experiment.
  In a way, orchestrating “The Belko Experiment” is like the people working behind the scenes in “The Cabin in the Woods.” It would have been nice to see more creative deaths like another movie… “Saw.” Instead, too many of the deaths are by either gun shot, or head explosions. While it’s a good and fun story, they missed a chance to make it even better. With that, I give it 2.5 pools of blood.


  HorrO

Sunday, March 19, 2017

CHATEAU SAUVIGNON: TERROIR REVIEW



A gruesome coming of age story about a vintner son's disobedience and desire to care for his ailing mother.

Starring: Michael Lorz, Sean Weil, Anthony del Negro, Nancy Nagrant, and Pooya Mohensi

Directed and written by: David E. Munz-Maire

  Nothing like going out for a nice drive in the country, and stopping at a vineyard. Get out, take a look around, and taste some wine. Sounds like such a good plan, what could go wrong? Well, if you stop at a vineyard like the one in “Chateau Sauvignon: terroir,” a whole lot could go wrong for you! 
  This short horror film has many things going for it starting with the location and atmosphere. A vineyard isn’t the typical setting for a horror film, nor does it sound all that scary, but this one is. There’s a creepy feel to the film right from the start, as it takes the audience behind the scenes of the Chateau. It’s dark, too quiet, and then there’s the strange tension between father and son. 
  Speaking of strange, that definitely describes the son. He seems a little slow and moves at his own pace, especially with the way his father treats him. However, he proves that he’s willing to do what’s needed for the family. Michael Lorz does a great job portraying the son’s odd behavior, and flipping it just enough when his character has to host visitors. 
  The nice slow build of the film leads to a horrific ending. There’s a nice quick death, and one that’s much more bloody. The story wraps up neatly with some much needed family bonding. From the location and creepy atmosphere to the good acting and bloody ending, it’s easy to see why “Chateau Sauvignon: terroir” has won so many awards. With that, I give it 3 pools of blood, and a glass of wine!


  HorrO

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

KONG: SKULL ISLAND REVIEW



A team of scientists explore an uncharted island in the Pacific, adventuring into the domain of the might Kong, and must fight to escape a primal Eden.

Starring: Tom Hiddleston, Samuel L. Jackson, John Goodman, John C. Reilly, and Brie Larson

Directed by: Jordan Vogt-Roberts

Written by: Dan Gilroy, Max Borenstein, Derek Connolly, and John Gatins

  The King is back in “Kong: Skull Island,” and he’s in a bad mood! Why… well because a few scientist and some soldiers come to his island, and start making a mess of it. Kong wastes little time returning the favor leaving the group battered, and bruised. A long way from their way off the island, the group soon finds that Kong isn't the only thing to fear.
  It doesn’t take too long to realize that certain images of Kong really make the movie. There’s an early one of him with the sun setting, and the helicopters flying around him that is stunning. They do an excellent job of showing that he’s not only huge, but equally as fierce. In another scene, he gets attacked by an giant octopus, and ends up making a snack of it. 
  Kong isn’t the only awesome creature on the island. There’s a couple of unusual and harmless ones, and then there’s the skull creatures. They look like lizards but with no skin. The best part are their weird mouths. The biggest and baddest skull creature is Kong’s ultimate enemy, and they have an epic fight. They are both powerful, but Kong is just a little smarter.
  As for the scientists and soldiers, they aren’t as interesting as Kong. The scientists Bill (John Goodman), and Houston (Corey Hawkins) get the group to the island, but then the focus moves off of them and onto others. The soldiers get a few moments, including some comedy, but are mostly there to sadly die. Then there’s the tracker James (Tom Hiddleston), and photographer Mason (Brie Larson). They take the lead as the heroes, but too bad they don’t do a whole lot to make the audience truly like them either.
  To no surprise the only character that strikes some emotions in the audience is Preston (Samuel L. Jackson). He’s the leader of this group of soldiers, and takes it very personal when Kong kills some of his men. It’s good to honor and defend your fellow soldiers, but he fails to realize Kong’s just defending his territory. Preston sacrifices the safety of the group and their chance to get off the island just to fight with Kong. He’s very much a Samuel L. Jackson character making the audience both like and hate him.
  Overall, there’s nothing too shocking about the story. There’s a good explanation on why they go to the island, and then it becomes a fight for survival. While the characters aren’t too interesting, Kong is simply awesome fighting both people, and the other creatures. It’s not 100% perfect, but there are plenty of terrific images of him that really maintain his iconic status. With that, I give “Kong: Skull Island” 3 pools of blood.

  HorrO
   

*There’s an extra scene at the end of the credits*

Thursday, March 2, 2017

GET OUT REVIEW



A young African-American man visits his Caucasian girlfriend’s mysterious family estate.

Starring: Daniel Kaluuya, Allison Williams,  Bradley Whitford, Catherine Keener, & LilRel Howery

Directed and written by: Jordon Peele

  The easy way to sum up “Get Out” is to say, “crazy white people!” What’s not easy is winning over horror fans these days, but this movie has apparently done it. And how did Jordon Peele do it? Well he comes up with a good combination of horror, and racial tension. 
  Right off the bat the movie starts with a good typical horror movie scene ending in a good scare. A guy has lost his way in a neighborhood, a car pulls up next to him, and it doesn't end well for him. Then the audience meets a couple, Chris (Daniel Kaluuya) and Rose (Allison Williams), and learn about their plans to visit her parents. Not long after that the audience is hit with another nice and simple scare. Both scares set the mood for what’s to come.
  When Chris meets Rose’s parents there’s an instant racially driven awkwardness. Her father (Bradley Whitford) tries way too hard to become buddy buddy with Chris. What makes it really strange are the two black people the parents have working around the house. Both dress and speak like they’re from the past. Chris wants to relate to them, but is left confused.
  He’s also left confused after a late night conversation with Rose’s mother, Missy (Catherine Keener). Missy has learned to hypnotize people, and apparently done it to Chris. He grows increasingly more suspicious of the parents, especially after a family and friends gathering of a lot more crazy white people. It soon becomes apparent what’s happening, but the reason why is really weird, and much more crazier than expected.
  The story really puts the horror and racial tension together well. It’s helped by some strong acting all around. Daniel does an excellent job in every situation his character faces. Allison does a good job of playing the girlfriend who tries to be understanding of the awkward situation her character puts Chris in. Bradley and Catherine do a terrific job slowly bringing more and more craziness to their characters. And finally there’s LilRel Howery. He plays Chris’s friend, and provides some great comic relief.
  Getting the audience to root for certain characters, and hate the villains is often a mark of a good horror movie. In this case, the racial divide makes it extremely easy to root for Chris, and hate the crazy white people. No more evidence is of that is needed then having half the audience screaming at the screen in the final scenes of the movie. The reaction proves “Get Out” has done its job with a terrific story, and very good acting. With that, I give it 3.5 pools of blood.

  HorrO


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