Thursday, October 20, 2016

Submerged Movie Review – Not for the Claustrophobic

Runtime: 99 minutes
Release Date: November 27, 2015
Rating: NR
Director: Steven C. Miller

You could put Tim Daly in anything and the odds are good that I would probably watch it. In fact, he's the sole reason I watched Private Practice. While I only watched Submerged because of him, it turns out that it wasn't that bad.

The movie follows a young girl, not that young though like college, and her friends. Jessie sneaks away from her dad to spend the weekend with her friends at a lake house. Hank, her father played by the super yummy Tim Daly, sends his best man Matt to pick her up. Matt is both a driver and a bodyguard and played by Jonathon Bennett. I find it strange that most of his know him from Mean Girls but that a whole new generation knows him as a host on Food Network. Odd.

Anyway, it turns out that Hank is worth a lot of money and that there are people willing to do anything to get that money. We know that because people show up in a dark car and attempt to kidnap Jessie. All they actually do though is hit the car hard enough that it crashes over the side of a bridge. When the kids try to escape, our bad guys shoot at them. With Matt in the front seat and the other characters in the back, they need to find a way to work together and hopefully escape before time runs out.

Review for Submerged were absolutely terrible, which I find strange because it was actually pretty entertaining. Yes, most of the characters were those classic stereotypes. We have the poor little rich girl who has everything handed to her on a silver platter and still isn't happy, the douchy frat boy you want to punch in the face, and the girl who cares more about hooking up than anything else. When they actually land in the water though, you'll find yourself caring about what happens to them and even wincing when the bad guys thwart their escape attempts.

Like I said up top, this is not for the claustrophobic. Some of the scenes in this film reminded me of The Descent, especially in regards to Matt. The kids in the backseat actually have room to spread out and move, but he's stuck in the front seat of a limo with a bum leg and almost no space to move. It left me feeling really unsettled and wondering what I would do in a similar situation.

And okay, the movie isn't fantastic. Bennett really doesn't come across as the type of guy you would hire to protect your kids. Even when he's doing ass kicking stuff, you still want to giggle because he looks like a huge dork. And Mario Van Peebles, who yes, is also in this flick, looks like he showed up to make $20 bucks and decided to only do $20 worth of work. Even Daly isn't his usually sparkling best. The end also felt so much like a TV movie that I had to look it up to see if this aired on television first.

So while it did have some flaws, I actually enjoyed it. Submerged may just make you wonder what you would do if trapped in a car with the water rising all around you...

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

The Dead Room Movie Review – Too Long and Yet Not Long

Runtime: 80 minutes
Release Date: April 8, 2016
Rating: NR?
Director: Jason Sutter

Similar to The Amityville Horror, The Dead Room deals with a haunted house that was so terrifying it forced a family to take up and leave in the middle of the night. In the hopes of finding out what actually happened, three investigators arrive and decide to spend a few days filming the house and looking for signs of ghosts.

Liam is the lead investigator and the one who most doubts the family's stories. After investigating dozens of other cases, he's heard it all and is incredibly cynical. Many of the things they said remind him of things he heard before. Scott is his right hand man and equally doubtful. He even reminds Liam of cases they worked on in the past that people faked. Also along for the ride is Holly who apparently really is psychic. She finds their stories sad and wonders if they ever found any real proof of the paranormal.

On their first day there, they find nothing in the way of evidence. Holly can't sense any presences in the home, nothing shows up on their cameras, and their other feeds detect nothing. Though they do catch some movement on one camera in the middle of the night, Scott convinces them that it was just the wind. They later capture a rocking chair moving on its own, and Holly sees a shadowy figure that no one else can see. In the hopes of finding more evidence, they decide to spend more time there, which causes the paranormal activity to worsen. As furniture flies through the air and the spirit chases them through the house, they must decide if capturing evidence is as important as their own lives.

The Dead Room had a few things going for it, but most notably, the characters. Liam is the type of character who we need more of in horror films. There are so many movies like this that feature characters dead set on the idea that ghosts exist and willing to go overboard to prove it. Liam is much more mellow and pretty much a skeptic. Even when faced with real evidence, he's willing to find other explanations for what he saw. Holly was fairly interesting too, especially when she actually began detecting the presence, and Scott at least kept things entertaining.

If you think I liked the film because I liked the characters, think again. I put it on Netflix the other day to have something to watch while waiting for a food delivery and kept thinking about fast forwarding. It's a slow movie, and not the type of slow burn that I usually like. So much doesn't happening in the first half that you start wondering if there's an actual ghost or if this is one of those movies that ends with someone living in the basement. It was just too slow for me.

The end to The Dead Room was really good and had a nice twist. I just wish that some of those action sequences occurred early on. By the time we learn what's really going on, I was ready to turn it off. The Dead Room just didn't do it for me.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

The Last House on Cemetery Lane Movie Review – Crazy, Crazy Writers

Runtime: 82 minutes
Release Date: February 17, 2015
Rating: NR
Director: Andrew Jones

Despite being only 82 minutes long, The Last House on Cemetery Lane felt much, much, much longer to me.

John Davies is a successful screenwriter living in London who grows tired of the hustle and bustle of the city. Remembering the fun times he had in the English countryside as a child, he decides to take a break and move back. He finds the perfect home for rent through a local real estate agent. It overlooks the water, has a large property surrounding it, and comes with two full floors. During their meeting though, he learns that there is actually a tenant on the second floor. As she's blind and never leaves, he doesn't need to worry about her. Though he isn't fond of sharing “his home” with someone else, he agrees to rent it.

On one of his first days, he looks outside and sees a beautiful woman playing on the swingset nearby. After chatting with her, he learns that her name is Cassie and that she lives in the neighborhood. Cassie seems a little nervous about being around the house and reluctantly admits that she heard stories about it before. Though interested in the tales, he's even more interested in her.

The longer that John stays in the house, the more unsettled he feels. It starts out slowly. He thinks he feels someone watching him, he finds things missing, he realizes that things moved to new locations, and he hears noises inside the wall. Like most of us, he blames some of it on the upstairs neighbor. She refuses to answer the door or even talk to him, but the real estate agent assures him that Agnes is harmless. Once John starts researching the house and learning about what happened there over the years, he realizes that there might be an underlying reason for all his weird experiences.

Not to be a downer, but this movie really sucked. It was one of those that made me keep grabbing the remote and checking to see how much time was left and feeling disappointed that I had so much time left to go. It's hard to explain, but it felt more like a movie that told us a story instead of one that showed us a story. It was like: here's John, John writes movies, here's this girl, John likes this girl, here's something strange happening, etc. It felt super disjointed and occasionally seemed like the actors didn't even want to be there, which definitely pulled me out of the story.

As a low budget movie, the special effects were particularly bad. The director should have just skipped the idea of adding special effects and tried to give the film an unsettling feel with things like creaky footsteps in the hallway or dark shadows over his shoulder. It lacked anything really new or even different.

As someone with friends in the industry, I know that you can do a lot with a very limited budget. It seems like the director of this one didn't learn that. I kept waiting for something interesting or entertaining to happen, but it felt more like a play that grudgingly walked us through the story...

Monday, October 17, 2016

Movie Review: Lights Out – Keep the Lights On

Runtime: 81 minutes
Release Date: July 22, 2016
Rating: PG-13
Director: David F. Sandberg

While it isn't really terrifying, I highly recommend watching this one with all the lights out if possible.

A woman working in a mannequin warehouse sees what looks like the shadow of a woman standing in the back room. When she turns the lights off, the woman disappears. She warns her boss, Paul, before leaving for the night. Though Paul doesn't believe her, he sees the woman for himself. She gets closer and closer as the lights go out. Despite trying to make it back to his lit office, the shadowy figure kills him.

We then meet Rebecca and her friends with benefits Bret. Though Bret clearly wants more, she keeps blowing him off because she doesn't believe in forming attachments to other people. We learn why when she gets a call that her half-brother Martin keeps falling asleep in school. It turns out that their mother Sophie suffers from mental illness. When she's on her meds, she's fine, but Rebecca learns that her mom stopped taking her meds and keeps talking about her friend Diana. Every time she stops her meds, she sees Diana. We also find out that Paul was Martin's father and Diana's second husband. Rebecca's father took off when she was a kid and never came back.

After stopping by the house and finding light bulbs missing and lights turned off, Rebecca decides to take her brother home with her. Despite him finally getting a solid night's sleep, a social worker comes to see her and claims that her mother wants him back and that she' fine. Rebecca begins remembering when she saw Diana herself as a child and wonders if the woman really does exist. With the help of Bret, she goes through her stepfather's things to find proof of who Diana was and to uncover a mystery to help both her mother and her brother.

Lights Out really was a pretty good flick. I saw it at the drive-in with both my boyfriend and my roommate, both of whom like horror movies. All three of us had moments where we started laughing nervously and tried to hold a conversation because it meant looking away from the screen. The roommate even took out his phone to suddenly look up something he had to know right then instead of watching it. The people in the next car over actually screamed a few times too.

Let's get it out of the way: Diana is fucking terrifying. She's this shadowy creature that seemingly stands feet above everyone else at times, had long dark hair that hides her face, and can move as quick as a bunny in the dark. Whether it was her running across the floor on her hands and knees or slowly creeping up in the background behind someone, I was about to jump out of my seat.

While the ending is a little cheesy and the explanation of who she is came out of nowhere, I really liked Lights Out because it actually made me a little scared to turn off the lights after watching it.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies Movie Review – Read the Book!

Runtime: 108 minutes
Release Date: February 5, 2016
Rating: PG-13
Director: Burr Steers

Anyone who ever took a woman's literature class in college or a course on British literature probably read Pride and Prejudice before. While adding zombies to the story should make things more interesting (and keep me from nodding off), the film version was pretty meh.

Just in case you don't know the story, the writer literally took the original book and added new scenes that involve the Bennett sisters hunting zombies while trying to find husbands and spend time together as a family. All the iconic characters are here, including Mr. Darcy, who actually does do the jump into the pond while fully dressed that so many women love. It's basically a classic British story with elements of love and scenes of zombies thrown in the middle.

The first time I saw a trailer for Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, my jaw literally dropped. Though I remember reading the book in college, I also remember finding it so boring that I skipped entire sections and skimmed over pages just to get to the end. Throwing in action sequences and letting the ladies fight zombies at the same time seemed like a great idea. I should also admit here that I absolutely loved Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter and got a kick out of the film version. As much as I wanted to like this movie, it just didn't do it for me.

The problem is that it felt like such a departure from the book itself. I kept waiting for scenes that I would recognize from the book, but it felt like the screenwriter and directed wanted to make a movie that focused more on the zombie elements than on the original story. Instead of getting scenes of the girls talking about love, we get scenes of them talking about weapons or sharpening their weapons. There were very few scenes that seemingly came from the book, which leaves me suspicious that the film only features the new elements added to the book.

You can't think about Pride and Prejudice without thinking about Elizabeth and Darcy. Despite the two of them having their share of ups and downs, you know that they'll wind up together in the end. The film spent so much time keeping them apart that I didn't even pick up on a romance vibe. It probably didn't help that the two had absolutely no chemistry together. Darcy came across as just some random guy who happens to kill zombies instead of a romantic lead.

After reading reviews that talked about how funny the film was, I kept waiting for a scene that would make me laugh. Being a huge fan of Monty Python and Hot Fuzz type films, it really didn't deliver any laughs, not even “dead” pan laughs.

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies was just plain boring and something I can't imagine myself ever watching again.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

The Darkness Movie Review – No Bruce, No!

Runtime: 92 minutes
Release Date: May 13, 2016
Rating: PG-13
Director: Greg McLean

I had the chance to see this movie at the drive in earlier this year but was feeling sick and skipped it. I'm kind of glad I only paid a few bucks to rent it.

The Darkenss takes a family of four to the Grand Canyon. There's workaholic Peter, his recovering alcoholic wife Bronny, their typical teenage daughter, and their autistic son Mikey. As they have fun with their friends, the friends' teenage son takes the other two on a hike. Left alone, Mikey stumbles, falls through a hole in the ground, and lands in an underground cavern. He finds weird black rocks that have white symbols across the front and decides to take them home without telling anyone.

This naturally sets off a massive shit storm. Bronny gets irritated at Mikey for constantly leaving the kitchen faucet on, but he tells her that it was his new friend Jenny. He also makes comments about the people on the ceiling. Stephanie, the daughter, sees dark handprints on her bedroom walls, which she assumes is her brother being a pest. Bronny experiences some strange things of her own, including finding her son in the attic and him claiming that Jenny showed him a short cut. They also discover small fires around the house that they believe Mikey set.

As the ghostly activity amps up, everyone starts acting differently. Bronny finds that Stephanie started throwing up everything she ate and keeps jugs of her vomit under the bed. We learn that Peter had an affair, which makes his interactions with the new hot girl at the office a little disturbing. Bronny finally breaks down and has a drink, which leads to her full on falling off the wagon. After talking about their problems with Peter's boss, Peter finally snaps and reveals that he knew she started drinking again and that he just wants her to shut up. With the help of the boss's wife though, they may finally find a solution to their ghostly problems.

The cast of The Darkness is really the best part about the film. Not only do we get Kevin Bacon as Peter and Radha Mitchell as Bronny, but we also get the hillarious Matt Walsh and gorgeous Jennifer Morrison as their best friends at the beginning. Who doesn't love seeing Morrison and Bacon together again after Stir of Echoes? Paul Reiser and Ming-na then turn up as Peter's boss and the boss's wife.

Sadly, the rest of the movie is just eh. The only scene that really got me came when Stephanie was in the kitchen late at night and thought she head something. You expect to see something pop up behind her when she closes the refrigerator door, but it's actually just a flash of something in the microwave as she walks through the room. That scene was done so well that I wonder why the rest was so bad.

And, don't get me started on the ending! It was like someone watched Poltergeist, started writing a movie, and then gave up at the end. It's literally a healing that causes Mikey to go through a ghostly portal as his dad does everything to save him. The very-very end was even worse and felt like some random TV movie ending.

Though The Darkness wasn't the worst film, it felt like a retread of a movie I've seen many, many, many times before.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Movie Review: The Conjuring 2 – Oh God, Not Another One

Runtime: 134 minutes
Release Date: June 10, 2016
Rating: R
Director: James Wan

Nothing will make me believe a “true story” less than a film that starts out with an investigation of the Amityville case. The Conjuring 2 takes us to New York as Ed and Lorraine investigate the “haunted” house. They then do a television interview that causes Ed to lash out at man who doesn't believe in him or his wife. When the man makes a comment about how Lorraine never met a house that wasn't haunted, I laughed my ass off. Ed recently started having visions of a demon, and when Lorraine reveals that she “saw” the same creature kill him, they agree to take a break from ghost hunting.

Too bad that there is another case about to bring them back to the fold. Over in England, a young girl named Janet gets in trouble for smoking on school grounds. Even though she was just holding her friend's cigarette, her mom doesn't want to hear it. Peggy is a single mother of four kids living in a council house and just trying to hold things together since her husband knocked up a woman around the corner and took off. Janet brings home a spirit board that she made with her friend, which seemingly sets off something sinister in the house.

Janet “levitates” in the air at several points. They hear knocking inside the walls, and furniture moves on its own. Janet then begins speaking in a demonic voice. A police officer even sees the furniture move. The family moves in with a friend and calls the church for help. The church then invites the Warrens to spend a weekend in England. Based on what they find, the church will decide what to do next.

Though the Warrens enter with no idea of what to expect, they quickly find that there is something sinister happening in the house. Of course. Despite evidence that Janet and her sister faked a good portion of the poltergeist activity, Ed becomes convinced that he must save the poor family. Lorraine has to keep a watchful eye on him and hope the demon doesn't return.

I have absolutely no belief whatsoever in anything the Warrens ever did. Hearing all the evidence about the Amityville case, it really pisses me off that she still swears it all happened. She's even given interviews and talked about things that others proved didn't happen but still says it did. Reading up on the case about the “true” story in this movie only pissed me off more. Those kids admitted that they made stuff up, people caught them faking stuff on camera, and don't even get me started on the bull shit “levitation” thing. Other also spoke out and claimed that the two only spent a single day in England, but the film version has us believing that Ed swept in like an action hero and saved them all. Gag me.

Despite really not liking The Conjuring, I disliked The Conjuring 2 even more. There was maybe one scene in the film that had me freaking out, which was when the demon nun came at Lorraine through a picture frame. Everything else had the sense of something I saw before. As much as I like James Wan, I wish he would just abandon this franchise and move on.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Lizzie Borden Took an Ax Movie Review – How Did This Inspire a Show??

Runtime: 87 minutes
Release Date: January 25, 2014
Rating: NR
Director: Nick Gomez

Despite my Christina Ricci loving roommate renting this when it first came out on DVD and me having it in my Netflix queue for months, it took a rainy Saturday and the house to myself for me to actually sit down and watch it. All I can say is that I'm shocked this led to Lifetime doing a whole show about Lizzie Borden.

Lizzie Borden Took an Ax wants you to believe that Lizzie was just a young lady with a frisky spirit, or at least in the very beginning. Despite the fact that people in town view both she and her sister as spinsters, Lizzie has a ton of friends and a bit of a teenage attitude. She's not above sneaking out of the house to hang out and drink with her friends, and when she learns that her stepmother cut off her line of credit a a dress shop, she simply steals what she wants.

Oh, and let's not forget that she clearly has an incestuous relationship going on with her father. Despite there being no evidence or even any rumors of insect, she's constantly touching her father in inappropriate ways, bringing up the fact that he always wears the ring she gave him, and acting more like his girlfriend than his daughter. Honestly though, if Stephen McHattie was around me, I'd probably have a hard time keeping my hands to myself too!

After some backstory, we finally cut to the infamous day. Lizzie screams from her father's office and tells the maid that someone killed him. While talking to the police, she mentions her stepmother and how someone should check on her, which leads to the police finding her dead too. Though there is very little evidence in the case, the police arrest her and put her on trial. They dig up things like how she bought rat poison and her family later got sick and how she despised her stepmother, but the jury finds her innocent and sends her home.

Then, in a scene that makes it clear Lifetime considered this a one time thing, Lizzie confesses to her sister that it was her all along! Gasp, the horror!

Lizzie Borden Took an Ax was bad, even for a Lifetime movie. It felt like whoever wrote the film only knew the basics of the story and decided to make up a bunch of stuff to fit what he/she wanted. Christina Ricci, who is usually so much better, plays Lizzie like some teenage girl who wants to rebel against her parents by drinking and hanging out with a guy from the wrong side of the tracks. It doesn't help that Ricci is incredibly skinny in this movie. Seeing all of her bones poking through her skin was the creepiest part of the movie. Clea Duvall, who I also love, was just wasted her. As Lizzie's sister Emma, she does nothing more than stand around in the background, occasionally voice her doubts, and then do nothing.

Lizzie Borden Took an Ax is just another bad made for television movie based off a real story that spent too much time focusing on fictional things than dealing with the actual story. I'd love someone to do a similar story but actually do a good job.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Movie Review: Sweet Home – Don't Go In Old Apartment Buildings

Runtime: 80 minutes
Release Date: May 8, 2015
Rating: NR?
Director: Rafa Martinez

Alicia works for the Spanish government as some type of housing inspector. She's tasked with visiting with an old and deciding if the building he lives in is safe or should be condemned. While checking out the building, she finds an almost hidden apartment. The man tells her that a couple started constructing the apartment and got shut down for doing it illegally. Though the building is safe to live in, she warns him that the owner wants him out and that it might be best to just move.

Finding that hidden apartment turns out to be a stroke of luck. She and her boyfriend Simon want to celebrate their anniversary but agreed to not spend a lot of money. After meeting with him later that night, she takes him to the hidden apartment and tells him that it's their chance to get away and have a romantic time together without worrying about money. Their chance at romance quickly fades as a group of bloodthirsty serial killers quickly descends on them in the middle of the night with the goal of killing them both.

Let's just get this out of the way right now, I didn't like Sweet Home. It started out fine, then started dragging, and by the time it got to the action, I didn't really care. I'm fine with films that start out slow and slowly build up to the action, but this one felt like it just took too long to get going. At one point, I checked the time and it was already 30 minutes into the movie and nothing had really happened. It's also a fairly ridiculous idea for a movie. I don't know about you readers out there, but if my significant other took me to an almost abandoned building for a romantic rendezvous, I think I would just leave. It's also hard to believe that this place could have running water or even electricity.

Despite the first half going so slow, the second half really amped up the action. Once we finally learned about the people in the building and found out that they were following the couple, the story got a lot more interesting. One of the more disturbing scenes came when one character – I won't name any names – dies after being thrown over the side of a staircase and falling several stories. Though you will need to suspend your disbelief when that character manages to stay along for like an hour after that just to pass something along to another character. As gruesome as the original scene was, I had to roll my eyes at that point.

While Sweet Home is a foreign flick, it's Spanish, it only has a few subtitles. Alicia talks to a few people in Spanish, but most of the film uses English. If you're like me and tend to do other things while watching flicks, you'll find that helpful.

Despite having an interesting story surrounding killers stalking a couple trapped in a building, Sweet Home isn't one I would recommend.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

They're Watching Movie Review – Bloody and Just Plain Fun

Runtime: 95 minutes
Release Date: March 25, 2016
Rating: NR?
Director: Jay Lender & Micah Write

They're Watching may seriously be my favorite horror movie of the year. I started watching it while playing a game on my phone and quickly realized that there was absolutely no way I could ignore it. It hooked me from the beginning and had me laughing my ass off for much of the film.

We meet Becky and her boyfriend, a professional soccer player, as they search for a place in Moldovia, on the popular house hunting show Home Hunters International. After finding a rundown place in the middle of nowhere, she decides to buy the house and turn it into her dream home. Months later, Greg and Alex, two of the original crew who shot the episode, return with Sarah, a new employee, to see if Becky really transformed the house. They meet up with their producer, Kate, and Vladimir, the only real estate agent in town, to check on her progress.

Alex thinks the whole thing is pretty ridiculous and can't imagine that she did anything. All he really cares about is finding some random chocolate bar, and Greg only cares about potentially hooking up with Sarah. They quickly learn about the legend of a witch who once lived in Becky's house and how people in this tiny little town are still scared of the witch. While shooting b-roll footage around town, they mistakenly wander into a funeral and shoot footage before getting run off. When Sarah shouts their word for witch in the middle of the town's restaurant, people are less than thrilled. All of this is just backstory that leads up to the whole crew getting trapped in Becky's house as bloodthirsty locals wait outside. Are they after the crew for what they did in town, or if there something more sinister happening behind the scenes?

They're Watching really is one of those films that hooks up in from the very beginning. What other movie can you name that literally starts out with a girl getting an ax through the head and then reintroduces her minutes later as a main character? While you know she's going to get it in the end, half the fun is watching the story unfold and waiting to see what happens to her and everyone else.

My favorite was Kris Lemche as Alex. You might remember him as the goth/emo kid from Final Destination 3, which I reviewed not that long ago. While he's still got the whole sarcastic jack ass thing going on, he's easily the standout of the film. One of the best moments comes when the crew is stuck in Becky's house and trying to sleep in shifts. He's stuck listening to Greg and Sarah flirt in another room and finally yells out at them if they're done before mumbling to himself about how he needs to get some sleep. It's hard to explain, but the scene actually made me snort.

And let's not forget the Home Hunters International, which even used a song and cut scenes similar to the real show. You could almost believe that this is a show that would air on HGTV up until the second half. Given that I just watched all episodes on Netflix, it was hysterical.

The last 10 minutes of They're Watching were some of the bloodiest 10 minutes I've seen on screen in a long time. Once the witch makes her appearance, the bloodshed starts and doesn't let up. In addition to a woman getting an ex to the head, we get a man turned into frogs, a guy vaporized into nothing, a guy literally ripped in half, and a guy's face get ripped in half. It was far gorier than anything I've seen in recent times. Between the humor and the gore, I just couldn't get enough. They're Watching is one I would recommend to any horror fan.

Monday, October 10, 2016

The Pack Movie Review – Wild Dogs are Bad

Runtime: 90 minutes
Release Date: February 5, 2016
Rating: NR
Director: Nick Robertson

The Pack opens up with a scene of a man in the rural outback checking out noises in his barn. When his wife finds that he left a cigarette behind before disappearing, she goes to check on him. A wild dog jumps out of the barn and attacks her.

We then meet the Wilson family. Adam is a farmer in the outback while his wife, Carla, works as a veterinarian. They also have a young son named Henry and a teenage daughter named Sophie. Sophie hates living in the middle of nowhere, especially since her parents will no longer let her make expensive long distance calls to her friends. Adam discovers that something killed several sheep the night before.

This is important because the family has some serious money problems. A manager from the bank comes by to tell them that there are once again behind on their payments and that the bank plans to foreclose. Though Carla swears that they will soon have more money coming in, he just laughs and points out that it won't be enough to save them. On the way back to town, he stops long enough to pee and gets attacked by a wild dog.

When the power goes out that night, Adam heads outside to start the generator. He sees a wild dog in the woods and runs back to the house, but the dogs throws itself repeatedly at the door in an attempt to break it down. Carla rushes in and manages to call the police, though she can't get out much before she accidentally rips the phone cord out of the wall. When the police arrive and also get attacked by the dogs, they realize that they either need to find a way to escape or find a way to survive the night before more help can come.

The Pack is one of those films that you come across and assume will be terrible but then it surprises you. I thought it would play like that terrible USA film they always played in the 90s about killer dogs, but it was actually pretty damn good. Sophie is the only unlikable character, but that's only because she plays a realistic teenager. She hates living in the middle of nowhere, misses her friends, and willingly wishes that the bank would foreclose so they can move.

Adam is something of a superman. Not only does he manage to get outside and get to his truck to help his family escape, but he manages to survive despite being bit and attacked multiple times by dogs. The character of Carla is pretty realistic too because she puts the well being of her kids above all else and is willing to do anything to protect them.

Reading the synopsis on Netflix might make you think that The Pack is just a glorified television film, but it's far better than that. The Pack is a tight little thriller about one family's survival that might make you think twice the next time you hear something outside...

Sunday, October 9, 2016

10 Cloverfield Lane Movie Review – Better Than the First, but That's Not Saying Much

Runtime: 104 minutes
Release Date: March 11, 2016
Rating: PG-13
Director: Dan Trachtenberg

I am not a fan of Cloverfield. At all. In fact, I'm still angry at so many people for recommending that flick to me and that I actually spent money to buy a copy before seeing it. Watching the trailers for 10 Cloverfield Lane made me think that it would be a lot better. While it was better than the original, that's not saying much.

Michelle is driving through Louisiana after a fight with her fiance when she hears radio reports of blockades going up in major areas. Before she can give it much thought, someone forces her car off the road. She's knocked unconscious in the crash. When she wakes up, she finds herself chained inside a concrete room that looks more like a cell than a room. She eventually gains enough freedom to find that she's in an underground bunker with two other men.

Howard is the man who created the bunker and the man who saved her from the wreck. Emmett saw what was happening outside and ran to Howard for help because he always heard that he was prepared for the apocalypse. Howard refuses to tell her exactly what happened but explains that it was bad and that she couldn't survive outside. He also warns her not to escape. Though she agrees, she later finds his keys and manages to get all the way to the last door. She then sees a woman begging for help, but she then goes crazy and reveals the lesions all over her skin, which makes Michelle realize that Howard was right all along.

Though the three live together for a number of days, Michelle eventually begins thinking that Howard abducted and killed a young girl. Emmett agrees with her, and the two work together to create a suit that will help them survive outside. Once Howard uncovers their deception though and makes steps to stop them, the film amps up the action and leads to us discovering what actually happened outside.

The best thing about 10 Cloverfield Lane was John Goodman. As someone who still watches Roseanne on a regular basis, I can see why people thought he might get a Golden Globe or even Oscar nod for this film. He's the perfect amount of creepy and loving at the same time, which will leave you wondering if he's a good guy or a bad guy. As the movie progresses, he does a good job of transitioning from one side to the other.

Mary Elizabeth Winstead, who I usually love, wasn't her best in this one. Michelle is a pretty terribly written character, and I had a hard time rooting for her or even wanting her to escape. She comes across as this really petty girl who isn't happy with anything, which made it hard to believe her transition in the end.

Many of the reviews I read kept the ending a secret, which I appreciated, but I actually felt like the ending wasn't needed. It felt like two completely different scripts. There was one script about three people trapped in a cellar and a second flick that takes place during the last 10 minutes or so. I much prefer the first script to the second. That ending was just bad. So bad that I actually laughed out loud during the very last scene. 10 Cloverfield Lane would have been better as a film about the cellar itself.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Sacrifice Movie Review – Like a Lifetime Flick

Runtime: 91 minutes
Release Date: April 29, 2016
Rating: NR?
Director: Peter A. Dowling

Tora is an obstetrician, which makes it sad that she cannot have a child of her own. Though she and her husband, Duncan, tried multiple times in the past, it always ended in a miscarriage. In the hopes of escaping their old life, they move to a remote island off the coast of Scotland to start over again. Duncan hopes that a change of scenery will make her finally give up on her dreams of having a child.

While walking around the island and checking out the land near their home, Tora literally stumbles across a dead body. The woman, who gave birth not long before her death, has a massive wound in her chest and runes carved all over her skin. She learns that the woman's DNA matches that of a local woman who died of cancer and was cremated, which doesn't make sense. The locals urge her to drop it and just walk away, but Tora wants to learn more.

After doing some research, she discovers that there was a cult that once existed on the island. Members sacrificed the mothers who gave birth to enhance their ranks. When she attempts to talk with others about what she uncovered, they tell her that it's just an urban legend. Tora eventually discovers that there is more to the legend and that people she knows and cares about may have a connection to the mystery.

The trailer for Sacrifice made it look like a fantastic thriller. The first time I saw it, I even restarted it and made my boyfriend watch it because it looked so good. That trailer made it seem like this was a film about a woman who uncovers some deep mystery and keeps finding dead bodies all over an island until she learns the truth. It almost looked like a modern version of Jessica Fletcher on vacation or something. The actual film paled in comparison to the trailer.

Radha Mitchell (Silent Hill) does what she can with the role as Tora, but she doesn't have a whole lot to work with. We don't learn what motivates her, why she would agree to move to the middle of nowhere, or why the hell she continues to work with pregnant woman despite saying multiple times that she feels devastated by the fact that she can't have a child of her own. It also takes way too long before they even discuss the topic of adoption.

By the time she discovers what connection her husband has to the mystery of the island, you expect her to feel angry and infuriated, but she really doesn't react much. While she's clearly angry and upset, she comes across as cool and uncaring. I'm not sure if that's the way the character was written or just her acting. Most of the other actors demonstrated the same traits.

The problem with Sacrifice is that it plays like a Lifetime movie. Most of the actors just sleepwalk through the film, and it doesn't have the twists that you might expect. The story is way too linear and puts things together in a way that lets you work out the story well before the end. If I wanted to watch a Lifetime film, I'd watch a Lifetime film and not Sacrifice.

Friday, October 7, 2016

JeruZalem Movie Review – Better Than You Might Think

Runtime: 94 minutes
Release Date: July 7, 2016
Rating: R
Director: The PAZ Brothers

Who doesn't love a good apocalypse flick? If you always wanted to see how the world ends through found footage shot with a pair of glasses, now is your chance.

JeruZalem started out with a few scenes that made me wonder if I was actually watching the movie I thought I put on. We see footage shot in the early 1970s by three priests from different denominations called in to exorcise a woman. Her son claims that she died several days ago and went from being calm and sweet to crazed and psycho. Before they can do much, she shrieks at the camera as wings sprout from her back before flying off.

We then meet Rachel and Sarah. Srah lost her brother about a year ago, and Rachel convinced her that they should take a trip to Tel Aviv to have some fun together. Sarah's dad gives her a pair of glasses that function like a tablet/computer. She can remain in contact with him, get directions, take photos or videos, and even post on Facebook with her glasses. On the trip over, they meet a student named Kevin who convinces them that they should go to Jerusalem instead of Tel Aviv. Though she thinks he's hot, it takes Rachel some work to convince her to change their plans.

Things go okay at first. Rachel hooks up with a local named Omar who shows them a side of the city they never expected to see. Sarah attempts to hook up with Kevin, but it ends when he puts on her glasses and sees her posts with her brother. Thinking it was an ex, he makes fun of the guy, which leads her to ditching him pre-blow job. No worries though, they later hook up after he apologizes.

Sarah and Rachel head off alone to the Western Wall and make their own wishes. Sarah naturally wishes that her brother would come back. After seeing a swarm of bugs and some other strange things, Kevin tries to convince them to leave town. It turns out that he's a student of the apocalypse and obsessed with all things creepy. He basically sees the signs before anyone else. By the time they realize the apocalypse really is upon them, it's too late. They need to find a way out of Jerusalem or die there.

JeruZalem is a really fantastic little flick. The directors actually add in a scene of a kid stealing Sarah's bag with her only other set of glasses in it to explain why she keeps wearing the pair she shoots with. They also added in scenes of the glasses not working because of no internet signal or because she falls down and damages the glasses. A lot of flicks would have us just believing that the glasses worked perfectly the whole time. There are even a few heartbreaking scenes of her dad trying to contact her to make sure she's okay after seeing the footage on television.

It's hard to explain what I liked about this film, but I think it's because most of the apocalypse flicks out there are so bad. We either get way over budgeted films like 2012 or incredibly cheap flicks from The Asylum. JeruZalem shows that you can make a great apocalypse flick on a limited budget that is still entertaining and just plain interesting.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Movie Review: Flight 7500 – Thanks XBOX!

Runtime: 97 minutes
Release Date: April 12, 2016
Rating: PG-13
Director: Takashi Shimizu

Every so often, I use my XBOX One as a way to check out upcoming horror flicks. I go through, check out the horror section, watch some trailers, and add some films to the internal list in my brain. Flight 7500 was a flick listed on there that I had a heck of a time finding. It turns out that it was filmed in 2011 and set for release the following year, then pulled from the schedule and held back until earlier this year. Though I did locate a copy at Family Video, I probably could have just skilled it.

Flight 7500 tells the story of a “doomed” flight. Our cast of characters includes Brad an Pia, a couple heading off on vacation with their close friends despite having broken up. They decide to just not tell anyone until after they come back. We also meet a weird guy who keeps a tight handle on a random wooden box, a thief, and a stereotypical goth chick. Suzy and Laura are the two flight attendants, and Laura is the midst of a not so secret affair with Pete, the captain on the flight who is also married.

After flying for a few hours, the plan hits a patch of turbulence that freaks everyone out for a few minutes before it passes. They then find that the man traveling with the box suddenly starts bleeding before dying. The captain makes the decision to quarantine his body in the first class section and move all the other passengers until they can get to their destination. A bunch of random stuff happens, including the air masks dropping and water bottles collapsing, and one woman even sees a fighter jet next to the plane that the captain and others can't see. As people begin disappearing, the others must figure out what happened to the plane and what connection the mysterious wood box has to their flight.

Look, I love films that take place on planes. I'm still a big fan of Snakes on a Plane despite it being so awful, and I have a fondness in my heart for Outbreak on a Plane, which I should totally review in the future. Flight 7500 though was just kind of middle of the road for me. It had a few interesting moments, but much of it just felt like a filler.

One problem is that they spend way too much time setting up all the other characters. Instead of having a scene between the flight attendant and the captain, we have to hear them talk about the two having a relationship and then have a scene or two between them. It serves no purpose in the film except to have her break up with him later. It's a filler story that has no place in the movie. We also have to hear Brad and Pia talk about why they decided to divorce and deal with multiple scenes between the two of them just so they can reconcile at the end.

I figured out what happened pretty early on but kept hoping it was something different. Did the wood box contain a virus that would kill everyone? Was it all just a dream caused by a cabin pressure change? Nah, it's exactly what you think happened judging by a few scenes that occur within the first few minutes. I was hoping for more, but Flight 7500 gave me less than I expected.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

13 Cameras Movie Review – Lots of Hidden Cameras in the World!

Runtime: 87 minutes
Release Date: April 15, 2016
Rating: NR?
Director: Victor Zarcoff

Depending on how and where you watch 13 Cameras, you might also know it as Slumlord or apparently Landlord/The Landlord.

13 Cameras opens with a few notes about the number of hidden cameras out there in the wold today and how many people are recorded daily before introducing us to our main characters. Claire and Ryan are newlyweds who just moved across the country for Ryan's new job. While he goes to work, she stays home to get things ready for their new baby and to spend some time just being pregnant. They rent their new home from Gerald, one of the creepiest men I've ever seen before in my life. He's the type of guy you could probably smell before you saw.

As you might guess from the name of the film, Gerald placed a series of hidden cameras all around the house. No one but him knows that they are there, but even without knowing that, Claire isn't exactly comfortable having him around. Not only does she find him creepy, but she doesn't like how he always seems to know what's going on. To make things worse, when they need help around the house, he only seems to have time in his schedule when Ryan is gone.

And, Ryan is gone quite a bit. Despite having a heavily pregnant wife at home and having just moved to a brand new city, he manages to find a woman with an interest in him. Hannah works in his office and has no problem starting an affair with a man who has a pregnant wife at home. What a keeper! They totally deserve each other. Ryan claims that he needs Hannah because she can fulfill the needs that Claire cannot. He somehow thinks that he can juggle both women and then dump Hannah later without Claire finding out. That becomes less realistic when Hannah starts showing up all the time, making demands, and even threatening to tell his wife. Gerald loves all this because it gives him more chances to masturbate.

I'm not even joking about that last part. He literally uses the CCTV footage as a masturbation aid while chilling at home. As 13 Cameras progresses, Claire grows more paranoid about Ryan spending time with a hot girl, Ryan begins worrying about the future, and Gerald amps up his creeper appeal.

13 Cameras is great because it doesn't give us a lot of information about Gerald. Other films like this might tell us about how he killed women in the past or how his mom beat him/worked as a hooker, but this one leaves us to decide why he would do this and why he would do what he does at the end on our own. The actor really gets into the role and will terrify you way more than someone in a mask would.

And yes, the relationship drama is a little much at times. Ryan is an extremely unlikable character, especially once you learn about his affair and after he explains why he started it. You completely feel for Claire and are on her side, especially when she learns about it and decides to throw him out. That relationship drama really does add to the story though and explains why Gerald finds them all so fascinating. While I may not give it two thumbs up, 13 Cameras was fairly entertaining.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Movie Review: Invoked

Runtime: 85 minutes
Release Date: September 5, 2016
Rating: NR?
Director: Humberto Rosa and Thairon Mendes

I'll be upfront about my review on this one. I don't know how much I can write because it didn't hold my attention and I wound up playing a game on my phone for most of it.

Invoked opens with a series of title cards to tell us that everything we see actually happened. A group of young people visiting an island in Ireland mysteriously went missing, but they just so happened to have cameras with them to capture everything that happened. It's up to us to decide the fate of the group and to determine what actually happened to them.

If you're looking for more of a synopsis, you need to look elsewhere. That it almost the only thing I know about the movie because it didn't take long after those title cards to lose my interest. We meet a bunch of characters who are the stereotypical people you see in horror movies like the couple who just love each other so much, the prankster who loves playing jokes, and the guy who comes across as a total douche canoe. They go to the island, start playing games with each other, and weird stuff starts happening.

Unfortunately, it takes way, way, way too much time to get going. I felt like I spent more time listening to the characters bicker and argue or talk about random shit before anything happened. I tried really hard to pay attention, but it felt like there was nothing to pay attention too. When I watch a horror movie, I expect the horror to start early on. This one left me wondering if it was a horror movie or a movie about some friends on vacation.

One of the other reviews I read said that the action didn't start until 45 minutes in, which seems about right. That means that over half of the movie has nothing to do with moving the story forward. We get scenes of the characters on a boat, in a vehicle, them talking about what they'll do on the trip, them reminiscing about stuff that happened in the past, and of course, them having sex. Nothing says horrifying like two young people having the sex!

It doesn't help that this is the type of found footage movie I dislike. I understand that there is a big difference between found footage films that look realistic and those that look too slick. Hell, I've called out films for looking too produced, but this one is possibly a little too realistic. The scenes are so dark and so gritty that it looks like they shot on cameras from the 1980s. Even my cell phone camera could shoot brighter footage than this film has. That makes it hard to see what's happening, especially when characters start screaming and running away, which makes the film even darker and more jumpy.

Though I have a fondness for bad horror films and a special place in my heart for low budget flicks, Invoked wasn't my cup of tea. If you make a horror movie with a run time of 90 minutes or less, you shouldn't spend half of the movie or longer just getting to the horror elements!

Monday, October 3, 2016

Most Likely to Die Movie Review – The Best High School Reunion Ever

Runtime: 90 minutes
Release Date: April 25, 2016
Rating: NR?
Director: Anthony DiBlasi

Ashley is your classic high school popular girl who still thinks she's in high school. She landed the hot hockey player who just recently got cut from the NY Rangers and is less than happy about it. Since the two made plans to host some of their former classmates the night before their big reunion though, she tries to cheer him up on the way to his remote beach house where he's waiting for her. She arrives, puts on the smallest graduation robe I've ever seen, and follows a series of notes around the house that she thinks he left for her. The notes actually come from a killer who stalks her through the house before killing her.

Not long after, the other guests begin arriving. Gaby became a professional poker player who somehow plays professionally despite choking on big hands and having huge tells. She's not too happy to learn that Brad, the high school boyfriend who dumped her and became a big star, is coming. Nor is she happy when he shows up with his supermodel new girlfriend. There's also the girl most likely to succeed, the guy who was the class clown, and Freddie, who was/is gay, later became an alcoholic, wound up in jail, and broke parole to hang out with his old friends. Jake Busey even pops up as Tarkin, the former owner of the town's liquor store who sold alcohol to minors, later lost his job, and is now the caretaker of the house.

Not long after arriving, they talk about something bad that they did years ago. It's super confusing, but the gist is that they defaced a kid's picture in the yearbook. They also did some other stuff to him I guess, but the school recalled the yearbook, which featured his face scratched out and most likely to die beneath it. The kid was so depressed that he moved to San Francisco with his mom, and rumor says that he later killed himself. This is really all just exposition that leads up to the moment when the killer finally strikes.

This killer is one of the best I've seen in recent years. Instead of running around with a ton of weapons, he primarily uses his graduation cap, which has a thin and super sharp razor along the edge. Literally, what can you say about a film that shows a killer killing someone by slamming the corner of his graduation cap into the center of her forehead multiple times as blood spurts out? Or when someone gets a utility knife right across the eyes? My roommate came down in the middle of one death scene and kind of just stood to one side to watch what happened, then went upstairs and probably added it to his own Netflix queue.

And yes, there were moments/scenes you know are coming. You know that as soon as Brad sees Gaby that he'll somehow realize he doesn't love his supermodel girlfriend because he's still in love with her and that they'll wind up together. Though honestly, who wouldn't fall in love with Heather Morris? You also know that two other characters will wind up in bed together because they conveniently had a crush on each other in high school.

It's even pretty easy to figure out who the killer is, if you pay enough attention. I had a theory in mind that it would end like the original Scream and have two different killers, but I was completely wrong. I don't recommend movies a lot, but I definitely recommend Most Likely to Die. It gets my nod as the top horror film of the month and one that may be hard to beat.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Last Man Standing Season 1, Episode 4: Last Halloween Standing

I thought I would try something new this year and recap/review some of the television shows that I watch that have a horror theme or a special Halloween episode. Since I'm currently working my way through Last Man Standing for the second time, I just finished watching its very first Halloween episode. If you never saw the show before, Tim Allen plays an extremely conservative republican who lives with his wife and three daughters in Denver.

Kristin, Mike's (Tim Allen) oldest daughter, got pregnant in high school and raised her son Boyd at home with her parents after his dad left town. His youngest daughter Eve recently decided that she's too old for Halloween because a boy she has a crush on thinks the holiday is immature. Though Kristin doesn't want her son going out because he's too young and because she has to work, Mike takes him out anyway. He accidentally mistakes another kid for Boyd, and another family takes Boyd home. Kristin gets home, discovers the problem, breaks down, and finally confesses that she just wanted to take him out herself. Problem gets solved when Mike encourages her to take her son out anyway.

Top Moments!

Vanessa, Mike's wife, dresses up like a sexy pirate in a costume so inappropriate that when she bends over, you can see her underwear. Naturally, her girls are completely grossed out. A neighbor brings his kid over for trick or treating, sees her, and becomes obsessed because she looks so great. He keeps showing up and talking to her with stars in his eyes. When he comes by in the middle of the night, he finds her with ratty hair and in her pajamas, realizes that she doesn't always look like a sexy pirate, and sheepishly says he'll see her next year before leaving.

Mandy, the vapid middle daughter, wants to dress up like a sexy cat and asks Mike to pick up her costume for her. Mike describes it as a furry bikini with ears and puts his foot down. Since she wants to dress up like a cat, he rents the biggest Garfield costume he can find for her to wear all night. Though it's one of the cutest costumes I've ever seen, it makes me sad that she doesn't really know who Garfield is. When did they stop showing his Halloween special on television?

While trick or treating with Boyd, Mike runs across Ed, his boss at Outdoor Man, which is pretty much a rebranded Bass Pro Shop. Ed introduces him to his close friend who turns out to be Elvira. I cannot believe how great that woman looks! Not just for her age but for any age. She has a few one liners that will make you laugh, though she's really only in the episode for a short bit.

If you do want to give Last Man Standing a try, I highly recommend the first season. They brought in a new actress to play Kristin in the second season and completely changed the character. In the very first episode of the second season, she becomes this complete and total liberal that is a stereotype of what a liberal is. If there is anything you can think of that describes a hipster vegan, it's her. They also bring back her former boyfriend and make the two incredibly annoying to the point where I roll my eyes every time I see them because I know it's going to be bad. While Mike is a stereotypical conservative, he's somehow not nearly as bad as those two, and this comes from someone who is liberal! Still, the show's first Halloween episode was pretty good.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Scream Queens Season 2, Episode 1: Scream Again

Scream Queens, that little show that started last season with a bang and went out with a whimper, is back. Seriously, what were the writers thinking? They made the biggest red herring actually be the killer. I never even considered her because she was so suspicious that I assumed only an idiot would make her the real killer. Well, Ryan Murphy & company are back again with a completely new season that I just watched the first episode of the other night.

You may remember when he originally said that Scream Queens would work like American Horror Story, as in each season would feature some of the same actors but in brand new roles and with a brand new setting. He apparently decided to throw all that out the window because we have some of the same exact actors playing the same exact characters. The only thing missing is the extremely gorgeous Oliver Hudson. Luckily, we have John Stamos to make up for that.

Dean, the ever wonderful Jamie Lee Curtis, became a best selling feminist author and used her cash to buy a new hospital where both Stamos and Lautner now work as doctors. She then tracked down Zeyday, the only one from the old sorority that she actually liked, to also work in the hospital since Zeyday apparently graduated college in just a year and a half before starting med school. Denise got Hester to confess to being the real killer, which led to the Chanels getting released from the mental institution. They got jobs working in the health care field, and when Zeyday complains about the hospital not having enough women on staff, Dean adds the Chanels to her hospital/med school.

We also learn that Jerry O'Connell was a truly terrible doctor. Way back in the day, a hugely pregnant woman came in with her dying hospital. O'Connell lied about his condition, and he and a nurse dumped the poor guy's body in a swamp behind the hospital so they could go out and party. We also have Kristie Alley popping up as a hard ass nurse working in the current hospital. As much as I once loved her, I have to give her the side eye since she came out in support of Donald Trump.

Scream Again was kind of meh in terms of a season opener. If it were the first episode of a brand new show, I'm not even sure I'd pick up and watch a second. While Curtis was great as Dean, it felt just a little too unrealistic, even for a Murphy show. Dean somehow manages to open her own teaching hospital and medical school with no experience, Hester randomly gets caught because she doesn't know what double jeopardy means despite being the one most obsessed with killing, and the Chanels constantly complain about being broke and poor while living in an apartment full of mid-century modern furniture and decor as they walk around in designer clothing.

It also sucks that there was a large lack of killing and any interesting kills. I still remember the moment in the first season where deaf Taylor Swift got run over by the lawnmower and how I couldn't stop laughing and feeling shocked at the same time. This episode gave us a guy getting thrown in the swamp and a woman getting her head chopped off while locked in a hydro bath. I do have to give a nod to the episode playing a song from Dirty Dancing since Chanel #5 will play Baby in the remake of that film.

Scream Again pretty much sums up the way Murphy works. His shows start out good and then fall off pretty fast, but I'll still try to follow along this season and see how it goes.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Creep Movie Review – Reddit Tricked Me Again

Runtime: 77 minutes
Release Date: June 23, 2015
Rating: R
Director: Patrick Brice

In this found footage flick, we meet Aaron, a camera operator heading to the mountains for a short term job. He accepted a job on Craiglist from a man named Josef. When he arrives at the man's house though, he finds it empty and deserted. Just as he gets ready to leave, Josef pops up and apologizes for being late. He explains that he hired Aaron to help him make a video for his unborn child.

Citing the extremely good by under appreciated flick My Life with Nicole Kidman and Michael Keaton, he says that his wife is pregnant but that he recently learned he's dying of cancer and wants to make a film for his child. He makes Aaron film him taking a bath with his “child” before suggesting they go for a walk in the woods. When Aaron finds a wolf mask in the closet, Josef just laughs it off as something that belonged to his dad.

As they spend more time together though, it becomes clear that there is something wrong with Josef. He tells him a story about catching his wife watching bestiality porn and then basically raping her while wearing the wolf mask, lies about a diner he takes him to, and can't seem to keep his stories straight. After convincing Aaron to stay for a drink, Josef hides his keys and things get even darker.

There have been at least three threads on Reddit over the last few weeks that had someone recommend Creep because the movie was so dark and twisted. Honestly though? I've seen movies that were a lot more dark and twisted. Mark Duplass does a pretty good job of coming across as a creep, but the first half of the film leaves you wondering if he's really a bad guy or if Aaron just sees too much into things. So the guy wants to mimic bathing his son or he wants footage of him playing in the woods or he wants to take his new friend to his favorite diner? It honestly seems like Aaron doesn't want to be there and is willing to look too hard for an excuse to leave.

Honestly, the whole section of the film that takes place in the cabin, which is a good portion of the movie, is pretty slow and sometimes boring. It isn't until Aaron goes home that the movie finally gets going. That's when he starts getting packages from Josef. While some of the videos and stuff he sends are really creepy, others actually seem apology gifts.

I think that casting Mark Duplass was a great idea. After seeing him in so many funny movies and on so many comedy shows, it was a nice change of pace to see him playing a character who might be a serial killer but might just be any random guy you might pass on the street. His casting though just might make you think twice about those slightly weird people you see every day.

While Reddit users seem to love Creep, I wasn't a big fan.

Monday, May 30, 2016

The Hollow – Slow and Boring

Runtime: 85 minutes
Release Date: October 24, 2015
Rating: NR
Director: Sheldon Wilson

Aunt Cora lives on Shelter Island, an island out in the middle of nowhere. After running a few errands in town and letting multiple people know that her nieces are coming to stay with her, she dies in a car crash on the way back. Her nieces then arrive in town and stand around for way too long, wondering where their aunt is and why she didn't meet them. Some helpful locals let them know that unless they get on the ferry soon, they'll miss the only ferry to the island.

I could spend a ton of time giving you a huge plot outline, but this movie doesn't really deserve one. The girls basically arrive on the island just in time for a massive 100 year old storm to roll into town that just so happens to be backed by an evil presence or two. The girls must somehow find a way to stick together and survive through the night, even after discovering their aunt's body.

The Hollow was so bad that halfway through it, I said that it was bad even for a TV movie. Low and behold, it's actually a TV movie. There is literally nothing memorable about it at all except that Deborah Kay Unger pops up. When I first saw her, I figured that someone of her stature would have a main role, but she actually plays Aunt Cora and is dead within the first 10 minutes if that.

I checked the IMDB page to see the names of the female characters, but they were so forgettable that I couldn't even remember who was who. There's basically the baby of the family who spends a lot of time whining and complaining, the stronger older sister who will do anything possible to save her sisters, and the middle kid who doesn't really do anything.

As much as I would like to say something possible about The Hollow, I honestly don't recall much of the movie at all. I wouldn't even recommend watching it on Netflix while folding your laundry.