Tag Archives: Body Horror

Review of Cabin Fever (2002)

23 Dec

Cabin Fever (2002) is a horror/comedy film made by the horror enthusiast Eli Roth on a relatively small budget ($1.5 million). The film grossed about 20 times its budget.

Directed by Eli Roth (Hostel (2005), Hostel: Part II (2007)) and this is his directorial feature film debut.

Written by Randy Pearlstein (Cabin Fever 2: Spring Fever (2009)) and Eli Roth (Chowdaheads (1999 TV), The Rotten Fruit (2003 Short)).

I’ll start by saying that Eli Roth can’t write dialogue, he seems to have learned how people interact from 80’s slasher movies and haven’t been good at that either. However, I must admit that he’s not all that bad at directing, although at times he’s not great at that either. He makes a jarring choice to have a scene where he is playing some bald guy in a campfire story immediately followed by him stumbling in with a fake goatee and acting as a total douchebag.

The characters just suck so much, almost everyone is written as an idiot or a dick/bitch. It is not good that you want the protagonists of a horror movie to die. They are neither likable nor realistic.

The acting is pretty bad, but I’m not sure if they are to blame, because it would take good actors to make the script tolerable and they are not good actors. Well, Rider Strong is sort of ok, maybe it’s because of the horrible performances from the others or the fact that I was a fan of Boy Meets World, but he stands out as not irritating.

The police deputy character was kind of funny, but then again I felt like being slapped in the face by the total disregard of any realism to introduce another stupid comic relief character. Also he shows up twice in the movie and the second time, which is the next day, his moustache is a lot thicker.

“Pancakes! Pancakes!” a kid in a bad wig at the gas-station screamed for no reason, before busting out in kung-fu moves. I guess it was to accentuate that the townspeople are real rednecks and he’s probably a child of incest. You know, a flesh-eating disease isn’t enough, we need some asshole hillbillies as well.

The special effects are pretty great, like when a girl decides to shave her rotting legs and the result shows that she could’ve basically just used a potato-peeler. So yeah, the gore is good, what I can’t say about a scene where they show a dog’s POV and it’s all tinted red. Why? Then there’s a shot where a guy has swallowed a harmonica horizontally, which I very much doubt could be possible.

Overall, it’s an ok throwback to 80’s “cabin-in-the-woods” movies, it is fun if you look past all the idiotic shit. I’d actually recommend it, although I didn’t like it that much.

"This is the last time I try to bleach my femstache using sulfuric acid."

Review of The Thing (2011)

31 Oct

The Thing (2011) is a sci-fi/horror film, which is also prequel to The Thing (1982), which was a remake of The Thing From Another World (1951), which was based on the novella Who Goes There? (1938) by John W. Campbell, Jr. So there’s quite  a history there.

Directed by the Dutch filmmaker Matthijs van Heijningen Jr. (Zien (2004), Red Rain (1996)) and this is his first theatrical feature-length film.

Written by Eric Heisserer (Final Destination 5 (2011), A Nightmare On Elm Street (2010)), so you know what you’re getting is generic.

Starring: Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Joel Edgerton, Ulrich Thomsen, Eric Christian Olsen, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje and others.

I loved John Carpenter’s The Thing so much and it is widely regarded as one of the best horror as well as sci-fi movies ever, so how could they ever think they could be able to make something even remotely as good as that, I don’t know.

The title shows just how uncertain the movie is about what it wants to be. Sure it is a prequel in a sense that it takes place in the Norwegian station before the events of the original, but in quite a few instances it hits basically the same beats as the original did, which makes it seem a lot like a remake.

There’s a joke in the opening scene and it iss a really good one. But they negated the good impression of the humor in the movie, by throwing in a stupid comedic jumpscare, which I know was comedic, because the guy sitting next to me was laughing (and snapping his fingers) like crazy.

Why did the Norwegians talk in english so much? Even in stress situations, they kept speaking in english for no other apparent reason except so that the americans would understand them. And I really doubt that in the 80’s so many Norwegians knew english that well.

It also throws in some minor references, like the axe in the wall, just to explain the stuff they see in the original, but then they choose to ignore some other.

And it is in a way ironic that the best thing about the original is the worst in this. I’m speaking, of course, about the special effects. I just can’t believe that they fucked up so much. The Thing (1982) showcased practical effect use at its best and seeing them is an experience. However, in The Thing (2011) you get to fully experience how bad CGI still looks and even though CGI always pales in comparison to traditional effects, this was really bad even by exclusively CGI standards. The effects just look laughable and unimaginative. Also if the trailer led you to think there’s a fair amount of practical effects, you are misguided, because all there is an autopsy scene and maybe some brief shots of something that might not be a cartoon.

Also if you’d take off the little subtitle at the beginning saying “Antarctica, Winter, 1982.”, there’s barely anything indicating it doesn’t take place in modern-day.

The sequence that connects the two movies is shown only intersected by end credits, seemingly thrown in there at the last-minute, just to make sense of how the two films fit together.

To be fair, the actors did a decent job and I wouldn’t call it a totally bad film, but there were parts that just pissed me off. I can’t let this to be the only horror movie I’ve watched on Halloween, so I’ll probably have to dig up something classic and enjoy myself.

I’d say this is a very mediocre film with a bunch of shitty CG …things and maybe if you haven’t seen the original, you might like it, but actually you should just watch the original instead. Not recommended, but might be ok for some 14-year-olds, who wants to see their favourite creepy monsters from a standard horror video game (maybe The Thing (2002)) cut out and pasted into a movie.

"Hey guys, I've been waiting to star in my own movie."

Review of The Human Centipede (First Sequence) (2009)

8 Oct

The Human Centipede (First Sequence) (2009) is a Dutch sci-fi/body horror film, which is considered quite controversial, I guess, mostly by those that haven’t seen it.

Directed and written by Tom Six (I Love Dries, Gay in Amsterdam), who after the centipede movies is certainly not Netherlands’ favorite son.

Starring: Dieter Laser, Ashley C. Williams, Ashlynn Yennie, Akihiro Kitamura and others.

This movie has been described as “the most horrific movie ever made”, “torture porn”, “deliberately intended to inspire incredulity, nausea and hopefully outrage” among other things and anyone who’s not a little girl and has seen this movie will agree on that it’s total bullshit.

The movie starts out with the only two female actresses in it, showcasing painfully awful acting. They blow a tire and are creeped out by a horny gross fat guy who stops next to them. At this point I started feeling like the film is intended as a sort of dark comedy. And throughout it there came up quite a few of these comical moments, but I was never sure if it was intentional, maybe not and I’m just a bad person.

So the two girls find this house, where they meet Dr. Heiter. And this is the only highlight about the execution of the movie – Dieter Laser. He was creepy as shit, very skinny, square-jawed, cheekbones you could cut metal with, emotionless eyes, in a white overcoat, aviator sunglasses, carrying a dart gun. Looked like a classic Bond villain, this Udo Kier/Lance Henriksen/Christopher Walken vibe, yeah, you know the one. A bit was how when at the start of the movie he’s all bad-ass and calm, but then by the end he starts totally losing it. And in between he’s just batshit insane.

So when the girls are in Heiter’s house, he tells them he hates people (yes, just like that) and then they just drink some water, which of course is drugged. And this isn’t the dumbest thing done by the characters here. At one point a girl manages to escape, but instead of leaving and getting help she goes back to carry out her friend. She’s captured again and now wakes up with her mouth sewn to a Japanese guy’s ass and her ass sewn to her friend’s mouth.

That’s the most disturbing thing you’ll get out of this movie – hearing about the concept of connecting people in this manner. There’s nothing shocking or graphic about the execution itself, because all you see is some stitches on the cheeks of the victims and everything else is covered by bandages. And if that seems in any way disturbing to you than you’re a sick fuck with a too vivid imagination.

And I mean, come on, how can people think something that is R-rated could be really disturbing?

SPOILERS! This is all you'll see!