Wednesday, November 14, 2018

The Gracefield Incident (2017)

Months after a car crash in which Matthew loses an eye and his wife loses their baby, they decide to spend the weekend at Matthew's bosses cabin in the woods. They invite two other couples and plan to have a fun weekend at the luxurious cabin in the middle of nowhere.  Matthew makes a fake eye and places a camera in it so he can record the whole weekend. Why? I don't know. How does he keep the camera running and how does he charge the battery? No idea.

The first night, a bright light streaks through the sky and a meteor lands in the woods.  Matthew and his friend go out to wander the woods and find where it hit.  There is a hole in the ground that Matthew sticks his hand into to see what made it.  Matthew is an idiot.  No good can ever come from this.  

Soon after he pulls a mystery blob of what looks like rock from the hole, a creature starts stalking them.  They decided not to tell the girls that there is something out there as they don't want them to panic. Because it's so much better to have something dangerous near you that you're totally unaware of, right? Am I right?

Things go from bad to worse as this creature doesn't seem to conform to the same gravity and time that humans do. There is talk that perhaps the creature is Bigfoot since his boss mentioned Bigfoot sightings in the area. But it's ridiculous based on the creatures movements and size.

Most of the video is shot from the point of Matthews eyeball. If you are prone to motion sickness, you'll hate the filmmaker for this.  I wish people who shoot point of view videos understood the impact of watching a film that literally makes you feel like you're going to puke.  It's only going to make your movie less likable. 

Also stop Blair Witching it. We don't need another movie where someone stands there not moving with their back to the camera, while someone tentatively shouts their name.  Yes, we get it. Something is terribly wrong.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Tales from the Hood 2 (2018)

A horror anthology with a wrap around story about a rich,  white, racist, sexist, jerk named Dumass Beach who invents the Robo-Patriot - a robot that can police the populace and hand down sentences to those who commit crimes.  Beach hires Portifoy Simms to tell the robot stories about human behavior. Then the robot can use these tales to build a profile of unacceptable behavior and punish those who go past that line.

Here is a synopsis of each tale:

Good Golly - Two college friends, one white and one black, go to a museum of racist artifacts where they see a doll called a golliwog.  The white girl has a collection of the dolls and doesn't see them as racist since they were part of her childhood. After failing to get the proprietor to sell it to her, she comes back after dark to break in and steal it. Things go horribly wrong.

The Medium - After thugs accidentally kill a pimp while attempting to find out where he keeps his money, they kidnap a famous psychic in an effort to contact the pimp in the afterlife. As you can imagine, thing go horribly wrong.

Date Night - Two clean cut date rapists use a dating app to find two females and then roofie them while at the women's house. Thankfully things go horribly wrong.

The Sacrifice - a black politician is subservient to a white politician and is not true to himself in a bid to get more power.  His pregnant white wife keeps seeing a boy who she says wants to take their baby. The real story of Emmett Till is part of this morality play, and other tragic real deaths are referenced to hit home the point.

I'm not sure how it would affect anyone if they are not familiar with Emmett Till. But if you are familiar with history, then this story will suck the air out of the room. There were three of us watching the movie and when it ended, we were all silent and depressed. So if they were trying to make an impact, point accomplished. I'm just not sure if will impact those who don't know that Emmett Till was a real person who was brutally murdered. Also many people watch horror movies as a fun escape which this segment is not.

Keith David is awesome, as he is in almost everything. He's a lot of fun to watch. And of course you know that Beach is going to get what's coming to him, since he has no redeemable qualities.

One thing that drove us all nuts was that in Date Night, you actually have to watch four people play two rounds of Cards Against Humanity. This is annoying on it's own because who wants to watch someone play cards? But even more so because they keep track of who plays which card. That's not how you play it, people.


Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Ghostwitch (2015)

When Nerd Zeke and his computer go to a cool kids pool party, they get thrown in the pool.  Zeke is rescued by Mattie, sister of the parties host. Since his computer is ruined, she offers him her computer and they discover they both are interested in the paranormal.

Zeke is part of a paranormal group called G.H.O.S.T. (we're never filled in on what this stands for). Mattie asks if he'll investigate an old house her family owns. She had an experience there as a child and there are legends that it is haunted.

Zeke, Mattie, and the team arrive at the home and find there is no dust or cobwebs, and the floors are super clean. It looks like someone lives there but nope, it's abandoned.

The characters do things that make no sense.  When their friend disappears, they wonder if they should call the police but decide not to because they don't want to call the locals attention to the house.  But they'd already been to the local diner and asked the waitress about the legend and the house. When she warned them about it, they scoffed at her. So yeah, the locals are already on to you, and they don't like you - especially since you ordered breakfast and then left before your order came and never notified your waitress.

Later someone knocks on the door of the home and they are afraid. They decide to be quiet so whoever is outside will go away. First of all, the lights are on in the abandoned house and it's night - they can see you. Second, they can hear you. Third, you're there with a girl whose family owns the building. So why are you afraid? If this scares you, are you going to be able to handle seeing a ghost?

This is the only paranormal team with a member who complains about investigating a house that might actually be haunted. She is angry that so many things are happening that she can't explain. Isn't that why you ghost hunt? To find some sort of proof that ghosts exist?  Why is this girl on the team? She's unnecessarily aggressive, accusatory, angry and other unflattering things that start with the letter A.

Skip this one as there is nothing new to see here. Move along.

Stupid dialogue about ghost hunting at a home known to be haunted

"She brought us here to investigate some house that she already thought was haunted and miraculously all these unexplainable things start happening. Coincidence? I think not.  It's probably not even real." - paranormal investigator that doesn't seem to grasp that unexplainable things happening can be classified as paranormal

Sunday, October 21, 2018

The Revenge of Robert (2018)

Holy crap, why did I watch this. I wish I had remembered that I barely got through the first movie, Robert. Since sequels are never as good as the original, it's a good idea to pass when the first flick was crap.

The first forty minutes of the film are focused on two people who appear to be the main characters, but disappear half way through the film. Be prepared to wait to see the dolls since they don't show up until then.  One of those dolls is a clown whose make up is just like John Wayne Gacy's, which is creepy in a gross way, rather than a scary way. Also creepy? That I recognized the make up.

The puppet master is obviously wearing old man make up. He's an old man in the 1940s and yet still alive in present day.  Everyone has a bad german accent, and there are no likable characters in the movie.

This takes place during World War II. Nazi's want to kill the toymaker and the Allies want to protect him.  At one point, they end up on a train. It's a finite space, yet the Nazi assassin can't find the toymaker.  What an idiot.  Also one of the Nazi's has a hat that is too big for him which is really distracting because it waggles when he moves his head.

I ended up fast forwarding through some of it to see if anything interesting was going to happen. It doesn't.  If you're looking for Nazi's and puppets, you'd be much better off watching one of the Puppetmaster movies.  Avoid Robert at all costs.

Friday, September 7, 2018

The Meg (2018)

When a research sub with three crew members becomes disabled on the ocean floor, Jonas Taylor is called in to attempt a rescue. Jonas is the only one man in the world can perform this type of rescue. Coincidentally his ex wife is on the stranded sub.

Years ago Jonas saved eleven people in a sinking vessel from death. But the ships doctor - who was one of the men rescued -  states Jonas is a coward who left two men behind to die. Jonas has a different story - there was something down there in the depths that was attacking the sub and if he hadn't made the decision to leave, they all would have perished.

Things go horribly wrong as almost every cliche you can think of is packed into this film which made it lots of fun.  Every time someone got knocked into the water at an inopportune time, I had to laugh.  And theres a scene right out of Jaws where the killer shark is hung up and people gather round to take photos of their prize, when the most knowledgable person on board mutters, "that's not the right shark."

I'd recommend going to the theater with some friends and seeing it on the big screen. 

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Deadshadows (2012)

When Chris was a boy, his parents were killed on the night that Halleys comet was seen.  Now an adult, Chris is scared of the dark and socially awkward, preferring to stay in his apartment and work online so he doesn't have to interact much with people.

There is a new comet that is passing over Earth and theories of an apocalypse abound.  People throughout the city use this as an excuse to throw huge parties and get crazy.

Chris is invited to a party by his attractive neighbor and decides to go. But at the party things get weird. People start acting strange, some get violent, and others mutate into creatures with disturbing appendages.

While Chris is able to retreat to the safety of his apartment, he eventually is attacked and has to team up with other survivors to try to figure out how to stay alive.

You can't help but think of Night of the Comet since it all revolves around something strange happening as a comet passes over the Earth.   Overall it's okay, but the ending is unsatisfactory... kind of like this review.


Sunday, September 2, 2018

The Nightmare (2015)

Well I guess if you like seeing people talk about their night paralysis, then this film is for you. There is no narration, no set up, and no explanation for the stories.  It's made up of watching re-enactments of the stories, or people sitting in front of a camera relating their thoughts and experiences.

One of the drawbacks about the film is there is no background on what sleep paralysis is, or any scientific theories and explanations. So if you aren't familiar with it, you could be  confused.  There aren't even any crazy theories. Just people endlessly talking about their nightmares.

Sleep paralysis is incredibly frightening for those who experience it, and some people have hallucinations.  One person talks about shadow people he saw in the bedroom and that he couldn't move, but later he says "and then I woke up..." Not sure if it's the editing or how he told it, but if your story ends with you waking up, then all the viewer is left with is that you had a terrible dream.

Stories include the following:
  • guy whose visitors were aliens
  • guy who'd never heard of sleep paralysis until his girlfriend told him about hers. Then he started suffering from it the next night. So he tells a friend, and then the friends suffers from it the night after that.
  • woman whose sleep paralysis stopped when she found God .... hiding under the bed (rimshot)
  • woman who reveals she suffered extreme abuse as a child
  • man who mentions not wanting to stay at parents home due to terrible things that happened there (beside his sleep paralysis)

Friday, August 31, 2018

Prom Night IV: Deliver Us From Evil (1992)

In the 1950s, Father Jonas kills two teens having sex in the back of a car. Instead of calling the police, his fellow priests sedate him and lock him in the basement of the monastery.

Thirty years later, a young idealistic priest is tasked with the care of Father Jonas, who is still sedated and shackled to a bed. It looks like he hasn't aged a day. But he desperately needs a shave and a haircut because he resembles Rasputin.

Our idealistic young priest had one job, sigh.  But he decides sedation is not needed and soon he's sleeping the eternal sleep while Father Jonas gallivants off into the night to find more sinning teens to murder.  Surprisingly no one asks how a man who hasn't moved for thirty years still has enough muscle tone to overpower a priest and run off.

In a convenient plot point, this happens to be the night of the prom and two couples are winding their way to ones family mansion for a romantic evening.  A mansion which coincidentally happens to be the old monastery. They're on a collision course with wackiness and Father Jonas.

It's snowing which is really weird considering they are going to the prom. What kind of school holds  prom in the winter? I'm highly suspicious of this.

Ridiculous Dialogue that implies someone was held back an amazingly large number of times -
"I can't believe we finished 12 years of high school."
(If it took you 12 years to finish high school, you've done something terribly wrong.)

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Vanishing on 7th Street (2010)

During a blackout, anyone without some sort of flashlight, candle or other battery powered light source disappears, leaving behind nothing but a pile of clothing. Those that are left alive figure out there is something in the dark and the key to staying alive is staying in the light. Yet their grasp on the life giving lights is tenuous at best.

Never have so many people tripped and dropped flashlights when they are the only things keeping them from being taken by whatever lurks in the darkness. Yet there our characters are, falling and flailing while their lights roll out of reach when they hit the ground. Damn it, people! Hold onto your damn flashlights like your life depends on it - because it does.

The lead character isn't that likable which is a problem, and there's no real resolution or explanation for what's happening. While some movies can pull that off, this one can't and you'll be left feeling kind of annoyed.


Thursday, August 16, 2018

The Temple (2017)

When Kate heads to Japan to photograph temples for her college thesis, she brings along her jerk boyfriend James and her best friend Chris. Chris speaks Japanese which is useful but Kate doesn't notice that Chris seems to want to be more than friends.  James discomfort with this situation is the only  likable thing about him.

While at a small shop, Kate tries to purchase a book. But the shopkeepers smile fades when she sees it. She tells them it's not for sale and immediately closes the shop.  Not a good sign in any culture, but Chris doesn't get the hint and later that night, buys the book from a small boy who says he works there.

The book shows the location of a shrine and the next day they travel to a small town near its location.  When Chris asks the locals about it, he receives a warning about people being multilated when they visit. He decides not to scare his friends and holds back this incredibly vital information.

People, if you go to a foreign country and someone says, hey don't go to that place because people die or get horribly mutilated there, and you're the only one who speaks the language - tell your friends! They have the right to know so they can decide whether they should laugh it off as superstition, or stay away.  Sometimes superstitions are based on facts that can't be explained. Or there just may be  horrible people wanting to hurt you hiding in isolated places.

Our protagonists traipse on and do everything they can to get themselves in stuck at the haunted temple. Mission accomplished.  This is a frustrating movie to watch and the ending will not make you feel any better about what happened before.  Expect to be disappointed.