Monday, June 18, 2012

Paranormal Activity 2

I have to admit that I really hated the first “Paranormal Activity” and I couldn't even get through this one the first time I watched it. Then, we watched all three in a row and the series started growing on me. This time marked the third time I watched it, and I think I like it a little more with each viewing.

So, this one takes place before the start of the first movie. Kristi and her husband Dan are shocked when someone breaks into their house and trashes most of the house, even stealing a necklace that her sister Katie gave her. Dan is worried about their new son Hunter, so he decides to put in new security cameras. Dan catches the housekeeper Marine “cleansing” the house and fires her because he doesn't believe in that crap, even though his wife and sister-in-law mention being stalked by a demon.

Ali, Kristi's step-daughter and Dan's daughter, gets stuck sitting one night and hears someone banging on the door. Instead of calling the cops like a sane person, she goes outside and the door locks behind her. Ali discovers that Hunter is the first son born into the family in generations and learns that demons can make deals for children that important.

A bunch of other random things happen, like the dog gets attacked. Kristi stays home with the baby so the others can take the dog to the vet and something grabs her and drags her into the basement. After an hour, she walks out obviously possessed.

Poor Ali gets stuck at home the next day with her crazy step mom. She finds the Latin word for mine carved on the back of the basement door and a bunch of scratches. She then sees Kristi obsessively holding Hunter and warning her to stay away from him. She shows her dad the tapes from the night before and he brings Martine back into the house. Martine tells Dan that the only way to save his wife is to send the demon onto another member of the family, so he decides to stick it to Katie.

Things go batshit crazy when Dan tries to exorcize the demon from Kristi with a cross made by Martine. She attacks him, the lights flicker, and Kristi takes off with the baby. As Dan watches in horror, the entire house starts shaking. Dan manages to find Kristi in the basement and get the cross on her. She screams, the house shakes some more, and then it all stops. Dan burns a picture of Katie as a young girl, which is the picture they find in “Paranormal Activity.”

The movie then jumps ahead a few weeks, showing footage from the first movie. Katie tells her sister about some creepy stuff going on in her house and Micah shows her the awesome new camera he bought. After a few more minutes, the movie jumps ahead several days. Katie sneaks into her sister's house, kills Dan by snapping his neck, and heads upstairs. After killing her sister, she throws her body into the camera. The last shot is Katie running away with Hunted and the sound of her laughing.

A few moments at the end explain that Ali left on a school trip. Seriously, after her family going crazy for a few days she just up and left? When she got back, she found her dad and stepmom dead. The movie also tells us that no one knows what happened to Katie or Hunter, which screws with the end of the first movie where they say no one saw Katie since she killed Micah.

Don't I Know You From Somewhere?

Um, no I don't. The actors here are primarily known from the “Paranormal Activity” franchise.

The Best Death

I have to go with Kristi. While her death isn't that interesting, I love the way Katie just hurls her at the camera like she's a pillow and her body knocks the camera down.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

When a Killer Calls

What do you get when you cross “When a Stranger Calls” with a movie that has even less money? The answer my friends is “When a Killer Calls.” From everything I read, the people behind this movie rushed it into production to compete with the remake of the aforementioned movie. Unfortunately, this movie falls way flat.

The movie picks up with a man sneaking into a house to kill two kids and their mom. Since this is one of those “modern” horror movies, he has to take some pictures with his cell phone. The movie then abruptly jumps to another house and our poor sitter Trisha. Trisha thinks the little girl Molly is adorable, but she had a bad experience on a past sitting job. She meets the creepy next door neighbor and Molly tells her that he's a nice guy. This totally reminds me of the teeny bopper book The Babysitter from R.L. Stine.

Anyway, we learn that someone killed Molly's parents, but the movie just glosses over that before we go back to Trisha who starts getting creepy phone calls in the middle of the night. This guy is even ballsy enough to send her text messages. Personally, that takes some balls. For some reason, she thinks that it must be her boyfriend Matt. Um, okay. If your boyfriend thinks it's fun to send you threatening and harassing messages, you might want to think about dating someone new.

Matt shows up at the house with two of his buddies, and they promptly start making out. Matt and Trisha, not the two friends. They hear a noise, go upstairs and find one friend beaten near death and the other friend dead. Matt gets slammed over the head and tied up. Trisha apparently doesn't think it's odd that he's missing because she kicks back to watch some TV. That's when she realizes that Molly's parents are dead. After getting another phone call, the cops tell her that the calls are coming from inside the house.

She rushes upstairs and finds poor Molly dead and lying with the dead dad from the earlier family. Huh, I totally would have expected the kid to make it to the end. She trips and gets knocked out, only to wake up dangling from a rafter. Let's cut to the chase. The killer is actually the not dead guy from the beginning. He raped Trisha one night and he's crazy about her. Matt tries to kill the guy and winds up dead, which lets Trisha get outside, find a gun that one of the friends kept hidden in his truck, and she kills him. Then she wanders off without trying to get help or check on her boyfriend nice.

The Best Death

Nothing really comes to mind. We really don't see anything except for the death of the killer and the poor boyfriend.

Do I Know You From Somewhere?

Rebekah Kochan (i.e. Trisha) didn't look familiar at all, but she's been in the horror flicks “Halloween Night,” Freakshow,” “The Telling,” and “Flu Bird Horror.” Robert Buckley (aka Matt) was the young guy on “Lipstick Jungle” and had a role on “One Tree Hill.” Straight-to-DVD horror fans might recognize him from “Killer Movie.”

Friday, June 15, 2012

Fear Island

The movie starts with Haylie Duff running through the woods. I almost called her the less talented of the Duff sisters, but that's not saying much. Plus, I think she was on “Seventh Heaven” and I devoured that shit back in the day. Even though it looks like there is nothing around for miles, a bunch of cops suddenly descend on her. She gets drug back to a police station, where a cop gets nasty with her. Apparently, she has no memory of what happened and he has a bunch of dead bodies on hand. When Jenna (Duff) flips out, she has a flashback to what happened.

Jenna is dancer (yeah right) who is going to Julliard in a few weeks (yeah right). She and her friends just want to visit a lakehouse cabin on an insland in the middle of nowhere for a long weekend. Jenna, Kyle, Tyler, and Ashley just want to have some fun. Then there's Mark. He and Jenna recently broke up and he sees the weekend as his chance to win her back. Once they get there, they find a stowaway on board. Megan is cute and she seems to know way too much about their little group, but they don't find her odd at all and let her stay with them.

They randomly find a dead body on the beach, which is the guy who drove them to the island. Ashley freaks out because her little dog goes missing, and when she finds it in the hot tub, the killer drowns her. After way too much time spent running through the woods, chasing each other, and a guy getting his foot caught in a bear trap, we finally get to what happened...kind of.

It turns out that Tyler invited a dorky girl, Regina, to a party on the island. He got her super drunk, his brother Kyle picked on her, and then Tyler had sex with her. When she tried to leave, he wanted another go around. They fought and she slammed her head into the nightstand. He convinced his brother to help him bury her on the island. I don't know about you, but I wouldn't want to go back and party on an island where I buried a girl.

The group decide to dig up Regina's body, but Megan refuses to go. As she rightly explains, why would she join them when she didn't do anything? Of course when they dig up the grave, they find Kyle's dead body inside. Then Tyler winds up dead, from a snakebite of all things and the guy who drove the boat shows up again.

I guess the movie forgets that he died because he's perfectly fine. Keith (he totally has a name) kidnaps Jenna and admits that he saw his brothers bury Regina. He flashes back to her crying on the grave with dirt on her face. I assumed that she clawed her way out of the ground, but since the movie never explains, maybe he just imagined it. Mark grabs him, they go over the ledge on the second floor and Mark dies. Damn, I actually kind of liked him.

Keith chased Jenna through the woods, she got caught in a trap, and Megan saved her life. Happy ending, right? Not a chance. Megan and Jenna talk about their families and Megan pulls a knife on Jenna. She admits that Regina was her older sister and she's only there for revenge. The movie jumps back to the present day and Jenna breaks down crying about her poor life and how she killed Megan in self-defense. A psychiatrist takes her into a private room so she can cry some more.

Jenna's parents arrive, see the photo of her, and get all confused. Uh-oh, that woman is tots not their daughter. Turns out that the Duffster is actually Megan. She pretended to be Jenna to get the cops on her side. Oh and Keith was never actually dead, he actually helped her plan the whole weekend. Jenna/Megan takes off for parts unknown, revealing that she was the killer all along.

Um, excuse me? I like the twist ending, but this is kind of insane. Why the fuck is she killing people who had nothing to do with her sister's death. Tyler and Kyle are totally guilty, but Ashley, Mark, and Jenna didn't do anything wrong. If having an asshole as a friend makes you a bad person and worthy of murder, I'm totally screwed.

Do I Know You From Somewhere?

There's the whole Duff connection, but there's also Aaron Ashmore (aka Jimmy Olsen from “Smallville”) playing Mark. Also, Lucy Hale plays Megan. I know her from a guest role on “How I Met Your Mother” and “Pretty Little Liars,” but she's also been in a ton of television movies.

Best Death?

Eh, I don't know. “Fear Island” was a made-for-TV flick, so they couldn't show too much. There was one girl drowned in a hot tub, but it's more along the lines of someone thrashing around in a puddle of water and then found later. BTW, every source says this is made-for-TV, but they do get away with the f-bomb.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Do You Wanna Know a Secret?

There's a difference between movies that are bad and movies that are entertainingly bad. Make no mistakes about it, “Do You Wanna Know a Secret?” is just plain bad.

The movie starts out with a college boy, running around trying to find his girlfriend. Think of it like the opening of a “Scream” movie but without any famous faces. Then we get to meet Hank and Beth, two college sweethearts. Beth is a kind of hot blond, but she has absolutely no self-esteem. At one point, she asks Hank if he's dating anyone else. When he denies it, she threatens to cut off his penis, but of course that's just pillow talk.

They head off for spring break where they rented a huge house with a group of friends. Of course, no college kids in the world could afford a beach house with a private beach and enough bedrooms and bathrooms for each person so you should disregard that. Every person in this movie is a stereotype, so you have the feisty Latino best friend, the African American jock, and the slutty blond who constantly walks around in a bikini.

Beth runs into some random guy (I didn't even bother to learn his name) who obviously has a crush on her. Don't worry about him though because he's just a red herring. He turns up every time something happens, just to make you think he's the killer.

Oh, did I forget to mention that people start dying? Yeah, nothing interesting there either. It's the basic, run of the mill stabbings and slashings. Plus, you have Chad Allen playing a jock with a video camera. Chad Allen mainly hits on all the girls and makes comments about Beth's boyfriend dying. I guess he was the guy in the beginning and the police found him dead in her dorm room. Chad Allen (yes, I'm only referring to him in that way) disappears for a good chunk of the movie.

That might seem suspicious, but it won't be when you learn that he's the killer. Yeah, I don't know either. I guess he always loved Beth and couldn't stand to see her with anyone else. Instead of just asking her on a date, he smacks her over the head, kidnaps her, puts her in a wedding dress, and seems shocked when she doesn't want to date him.

Don't I Know You From Somewhere?

If seeing Joey (I'm not calling you Joseph) Lawrence and Chad Allen in a horror movie brings back nostalgic memories, you aren't the only one. Unfortunately, those two aren't a good enough reason to see this movie. The actress playing Beth looks vaguely familiar, but a quick glance at her IMDB page reveals nothing of interest. The slutty chick in the bikini though, she's totally the cheerleader from “Scream,” the one who thinks Sydney is the killer. BTW, I always thought that would make a better end to the franchise.

Best Death?

Like I said, nothing new here. Seeing the Latina chick dancing around, trying to get the slut's attention though is great, especially when she doesn't see the bright red neck wounds or her glassy eyes.

I'm going with Joey on this one. When Beth claims that he's going to kick Chad Allen's ass, Chad Allen casually lifts his hand and shows her Joey's head.