skip to main |
skip to sidebar
the past few weeks I've asked people through PromoteHorror.com and HorrO's Gory
Reviews if certain movies made their Halloween watch list. Nothing scientific, just a random selection of movies. Of course there are plenty of great movies missing. So here's what
we came up with...
And a few others:
The Last House on the Left (both versions)
And there was actually a no even though I like this movie!
The Hills Have Eyes (remake)
know it's going to be October before we know."
we need to make another Paranormal movie. Do you think we still have time to do
course. It can't possibly take that long to come up with a story."
That story now moves to Nevada with a
new family that seemingly has nothing to do with the other movies. Most of the
movie centers on this family's teenage daughter, Alex (Kathryn Newton), and
young son Wyatt. Things get weird
for the family when the mother decides to take in the young boy, Robbie (Brady
Allen), from next door after his mom is taken to the hospital. Alex eventually
notices the paranormal activity, but too bad her parents prefer not to pay
attention to her until things hit the ceiling.
Sometimes when there are sequels people
complain that they just made the movie for money because it has little
cinematic value. This movie just might be the definition of that. Seriously, I
wrote the intro like that because that's what it seems like. They felt the need
to do another PA so they just whipped something together at the last minute.
This franchise is all about the scares
so let me complain about that first. You know that commercial showing all the
people jumping out of their seats? Well they must have been watching a
highlight reel from the previous movies because there is no scare in this movie
that tops any of the best scares from the previous movies.
The coolest thing they do is
introducing night vision from the Xbox in the living room. If the audience
looks closely enough, they can see things that aren't suppose to be there. The
problem with that is that it's cool, and not scary. The first few scares, which
are not ground breaking, come from the camera moving at the right time, and
from sources that aren't paranormal. There is one scare that I'm still not sure
how it happens involving a knife. I'm not going give it away, but I seriously
want to know what people think about the knife scene. The only part of the
movie that is remotely scary is the last say 10-15 minutes, but I'll get to
Moving onto my next complaint, which is
the storyline. I realize the movie is all about the scares, but the previous
movies at least have some kind of plot. This movie just moves too fast, and
leaves out too much detail. Part of the problem is introducing a family that
has nothing to do with the other movies. It doesn't make the audience really
care about these people. One of the most interesting characters is Alex's
boyfriend, Ben (Matt Shively). He’s certainly a character that the teenage
audience will relate to. The problem with him is that he provides a lot of
comedy, which again diminishes the scariness.
As far as taking in the random boy next
door, who does that? They make it clear that this family barely knows Katie
(Katie Featherston), so why would they take in her son? Alex does try to get her mother to explain how they got to the point of
taking in Robbie, but the mother doesn’t explain it well enough. Speaking of
things that people don’t do, who walks around their house filming everything?
In the other movies they use security cameras, or there is a decent explanation
to why things are being filmed. In this one, Alex is filming for no apparent
reason besides in the opening scene. She does Skype with Ben in some moments,
but still. And of course she has Ben set up more cameras, but they just stop reviewing the footage at one point so what's the point. Those are just a couple examples of the holes in this story.
Besides seeing if they could create any
new scares, I really wanted to know more about what Katie and Hunter have been
up to. Well audiences may never know because they end up spending more time on
the family than giving the audience any concrete information about what mother and son have been up to. Most of the investigation is spent of trying to figure out why
Robbie is so strange. At one point, Alex does the typically Internet search for
information, but since she can't pronounce what she reads, it totally distracts
from figuring out what she’s talking about. There is a little twist in the
story, which I will give them credit for cause I didn't see it coming. However,
it just opens up so many more questions that I'm not even sure they can answer.
Now back to the last 10-15 minutes,
which are the only moments that had my full attention. I won't get too
specific, but say that Katie finally gets involved. It’s still a little creepy
anytime they show her because you remember what she is capable of doing.
Finally there are hints of expanding on the ideas from the end of part 3, but
just no explanation along with it. They do take things, if you will, to the
next level. However it almost feels like they did the whole movie hoping that
final shot would shock audiences into liking the movie. It’s somewhat shocking,
but again opens up so many more questions.
And will audiences ever get answers to
those questions? Well maybe in part 5. Yes, I said part 5. If you stay to the
end of a very quiet credits sequence, there is a bonus scene letting you know
this isn’t over… really! Seriously, when they said they were doing a fourth
part, I really wished they would’ve started a new storyline like American
Horror Story is doing in their second season. Instead, they are just going to
drag this on. I was all right with the decision to show where Katie took
Hunter, but they ruin it with the lack of details about how she got to this
Paranormal Activity 1 started off well,
but pissed me off by the end. To this day, I’m still not sure if I like
Paranormal Activity 2 or Paranormal Activity 3 better, but I did enjoy them. Paranormal Activity 4
is clearly the worst movie in this franchise. The scares are nowhere near the
best scares in the previous movies. There are too many holes in this storyline,
which creates a family that audiences won’t care enough about. And they just don’t give audiences enough new details
tying this movie in with the others. No surprise here, I give this movie 1 pool of blood.
American Horror Story Asylum premiere sure made an awesome birthday present.
The only way it could’ve been better is if The Walking Dead also premiered, but
I’ll take that premiere as an early present. So I thought I would put together
a few thoughts about last night’s premiere, and give a chance for any of you to
share your thoughts.
I guess I could just say “Bloody Face,”
and end this right here. Last season’s mystery character was the man in the
rubber suit, and now it looks like Bloody Face will be his replacement… not
bad. He certainly is creepy looking. Since we saw him in the present, I guess
the mystery is who from the past is he, and why is he still there in the
I liked that they opened in the
present. It gave a little perspective, including the info the newlyweds just
happened to share with us like the death chutes (definitely what to know more
about them). I do wonder if that is all of the present we will get to see since
it appears the couple didn’t make it. And how about those opening credits? Now
that is the way to get a show started. I actually watched them a few times just
to soak in all the craziness.
The last thing I thought I would’ve
seen last night is an alien. I know AHSA is suppose to be insane and all, but I
didn’t think they would go there. Apparently that isn’t the end of it either
since that little chip stood up and walked away. It’s still hard to think about
aliens on this show, but ok. It’s also hard to think of a bakery in an asylum.
Are they actually selling baked goods, or is that for the patients? I sure as
hell want nothing from the asylum’s bakery!
Wow, Jessica Lang is good! One of the
best moves they made was bringing her back. I guess after her award winning
performance last season that was an easy decision. She puts on such a
commanding performance. It was also good to see Evan Peters back. Looks like
he’s going to go from being a tortured soul to a probed one.
The new character that almost stole the
show is the crazy doctor. What asylum doesn’t have a crazy doctor? While he’s
very interesting, of course we all want to know what his experiments are all
about. I was a little confused cause it appeared he was feeding something
downstairs, but the nun was also feeding something in the forest. Are they the
same creatures? What a great conversation between Sister Jude and the doctor.
Loved how they played what seemed like a violin (not a music expert) when key
things were mentioned. Season 1 had a lot of interesting music and sounds so it
looks like they will continue to do that this season, which is fine with me.
I think I will leave it at
that. Definitely excited to have the show back. Season 1 set the bar high, so
let’s see if they can surpass what they accomplished last year. Can’t wait for
the doors of the asylum to open next week!
has been a while since I’ve added a review to my short film series. After
writer/director Neill Morris shared his film “Seven Minutes” with me, I thought
this would be the perfect short film to add to the series. So posted below is “Seven Minutes," 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/comments in the comment section.
by nightmares of a demonic man ever since her childhood. Anabel quickly learns
that her nightmares are a lot more real that she could ever have imagined. A
normal day quickly turns into one of terror, as she is hunted down and lead to
a shocking truth by the person she fears the most.
/ Directed / Shot and Edited by
film might be about seven minutes long, but it certainly doesn’t waste any time
grabbing the audience’s attention. It’s a decent scare having that guy pop out
of the shadows. As the film then focuses on Anabel, the audience is left to
wonder who he is. Obviously he’s coming back because that isn’t the first time
Anabel sees him.
Besides stressing over the man in her
dreams, it appears that there is something strange happening as the film moves
so quickly from forest scene back to her house. That is when the mystery and suspense
starts to creep its way into the film. It’s a simple touch having her blinking
her eyes in front of the computer screen, and don’t forget the wine glass. The
audience isn’t sure if she has fallen asleep when she sees the man again. The
woman who plays Anabel does all right through out the film, but the thing I liked
most is how she constantly gives that look as if she is half asleep. It helps
hold the mystery of what is going on.
It's another nice scare having the guy in the hallway.
I bet you thought, “Why do they always open the door?” As that door opens, the
twist in the story begins to take shape. I definitely didn’t expect the guy’s
eyes to light up, which is a pretty cool effect. With the man flashing as she
awakens, I was still wondering if she was dreaming the whole time, or what.
I really can’t believe I missed that
one. That's a very good job with the twist, as I didn’t expect her to be dead
already. I guess I was just focusing too much on whether she was sleeping or
not. It’s good to see it all makes sense in the end. It’s actually a much more
depressing ending than I could have imagined once it started. Overall, I
enjoyed “Seven Minutes,” and I hope you did as well. It should be making its
way to film festivals soon, so please help support it if you run across it.
I get to attend some awesome events, and this was definitely one of them.
Thanks to Keep It Classic, we not only got to see “Sinister” early, but there
was a Q & A with the director/writer Scott Derrickson, and writer C. Robert
Cargill afterwards. Because there was a Q & A, I had high hopes that it
would be a pretty good movie. So was I right, or were they in for a long night
Ellison (Ethan Hawke), a crime
novelist, moves his family into a new home in order to do research for his next
novel. While his family is used to living near the crime scenes he is
researching, this time it’s different. They are actually living in the house
where a family was horrifically murdered. Upon moving into the house, Ellison
stumbles upon a box of old films. He decides to watch them as part of his
research, but they soon become more than just research.
While the movie has its fair share of
suspense, there is no suspense in this review. I’m going to come right out and
let you know that I love this movie. You know how some people talk about love
at first sight, well that might have happened to me during the opening
sequence. While some horror movies give audiences a little set up before
hitting them with a bang, this one combines the set up with the bang. The first thing the audience gets to see
is a family getting murdered, and soon after sees that is where Ellison just
moved his family.
One of the interesting things about
this movie is the different use of found footage. Instead of this being an
entirely found footage movie, Ellison is the one who finds the footage, and the
audience gets to watch it with him. It’s good to see found footage where the
audience knows exactly who is watching it unlike some of these movies that just
play found footage, but never explain who exactly is watching it and why
besides the obvious fact that it is a movie.
On top of that, the found footage is of
Super 8 films, each showing the murder of a family. The Super 8 films give the
murders uniqueness not just in how the murders are committed, but how the
audience gets to see them. As you might be able to tell, the first murder is my
favorite, but that is not to take anything away from the other ones. The
original plan was for there to be six films, but they cut it down to five,
which turns out to be a good enough.
This movie really has a little bit of
everything in it. The films supply the real horror with the murders. There is
plenty of suspense and tension in scenes where Ellison hears something in the
house, and goes to investigate. The tension usually leads to some pretty good
scares. Then throw in the mystery that Ellison is trying to solve.
Finally there is the guy we all see in
the movie posters. For purposes of this review I’ll call him Mr. B., as I don’t
want to give away his full name. He is as creepy looking in the movie as he is
in the poster. Scott let us know that they actually found the design for the
face from an online search. Sometimes it pays to put your work out there. They
don’t over use him in the movie, as they seem to pick just the right times for
him to appear.
While Mr. B. doesn’t dominate this
movie, Ellison certainly does, which brings me to the acting. Ethan simply puts
on a fabulous performance from loving father to obsessive writer. They told us
Ethan actually wasn’t too sure about doing a horror movie, but after his first
scare scene he settled right into his role. I totally believe that because the
audience will completely feel his fear when he roams around the house trying to
figure out what is going on.
Juliet Rylance puts on a strong
performance as Ellison’s wife Tracy. Michael Hall D’ Addario and Clare Foley,
who play Ellison and Tracy’s children, don’t have a lot of screen time, but
they definitely create some memorable moments. James Ransone quietly puts on a
great performance as a local police deputy. At first audiences might just think
his character will come and go, but he definitely grows on the audience the
more they see him.
The last thing I will mention is the
score, which you know I rarely bother to mention. Part of it is done
Christopher Young, and part of it is from music that Scott found. It absolutely
adds to the tension that is created. I picked up on it mid way through the movie,
but it really stands out in the movie’s final sequence of events.
They took C. Robert Cargill’s idea of
finding a box of films, and really came up with a terrific film. It’s full of
suspense, tension, scares, and pure horror. For those looking for originality,
it has that too. Mr. B is certainly creepy, but Ethan steals the show. I really
didn’t know much about this movie going in, and that is certainly the way to
see it. Don’t watch the trailers because as usual they show way too much. Just
believe me when I tell you that you need to see this movie because I give it 5
pools of blood.