Tag Archives: Gore

Review of Hellbound: Hellraiser II (1988)

19 May

Hellbound: Hellraiser II (1988) is a horror/mystery/thriller film and the second film in the Hellraiser film franchise.

Directed by Tony Randel (Infested (1993), Children of the Night (1991)).

Written  by Peter Atkins (Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth (1992), Wishmaster (1997)).

Starring: Ashley Laurence, William Hope, Clare Higgins, Doug Bradley, Kenneth Cranham, Deborah Joel, Barbie Wilde, Simon Bamford, Nicholas Vince and others.

The Hellraiser franchise, I sort of have fond childhood memories about it. I remember a time when I was about five and watched one of them (probably one of the first three). That is, I watched it for a few minutes, until my mom came in and turned it off. That might be the only time I remember not being allowed to watch something, not because it’s past my bedtime, but because there’s a guy with a ton of nails in his head. Then some time later, during my childhood I bought a lollipop, it was from the high-end, where inside the wrapper they had one of those tattoos, that you stick on your arm and hold under stream of water. So for about a week I had an awesome Pinhead tattoo on my shoulder. So now, whenever I think of how I used to watch a lot of R rated movies when I was a kid, I remember this one time when I wasn’t allowed, probably just because of the intriguing image of Pinhead.

Enough about my traumatic childhood, let’s get into the movie.

It starts with what seems like a recap, but it’s just random clips from the previous movie, that were totally unnecessary, since later on they go over what happened before. If that’s like a setup, to get you in the mood, then if you haven’t seen the previous one, you’d be like „oh, so it’s going to be about a bunch of monsters and cartoonish lighting bolts” and yes, this movie also has probably the only 80’s special effect, that I don’t like – the stupid drawn lightning effects, they are horribly dated, when other effects leave me wondering why modern movies do shitty CG effects instead.

We see the creation of Pinhead, but you do only see him turned from human to a cenobite, nothing is really explained.

Kirsty from the previous movie wakes up in a psychiatric hospital (always a pleasant surprise) and has the brilliant plan of telling the truth – monsters from hell came through a puzzle box and killed her family, leaving behind a bloody mattress, which works as a gateway. Of course no one believes shit like that and the main doctor there keeps the mattress for himself.

I like Ashley Laurence a lot, if I had to choose from all the virginal heroines from horror movies, she definitely would be one of my favourites, because she’s actually not bland. Also she reminds me of Heather Langenkamp.

In the room next to Kirsty’s there’s a girl who just solves puzzles all day. I bet this won’t play any part later in this movie about a puzzle box.

The doctor’s protege sneaks into the doctor’s house and finds out that doctor is actually a sick bastard, who has been studying some of the mystical shit. He puts one of his patients on the mattress (how nice of him), but then the mental guy starts cutting himself and from the mattress emerges Kirsty’s skinless stepmother Julia.

The first two Hellraiser movies had a lot of skinless people, but they later abandoned this, which sucks, since the skinless make-up is just mind-blowingly good. It’s terrifyingly realistic and disturbingly beautiful. This one could be a bit much for people who aren’t used to horror movie special effects.

So for a while skinless Julia just walks around the house in doctor’s white suit and leaving blood stains everywhere. The doctor has a very medical idea, he bandages her up so she looks like the Invisible Man.

Julia kills and devours a bunch of people until she looks like Clare Higgins again. So Julia and doctor guy open up a puzzle box and all things go to hell. See what I did there? To do it, they bring in the puzzle solving girl, but really, what’s the point, the box seems like the easiest puzzle ever. It’s like twist/push a button, a part emerges, twist that and it’s done.

Sadly as the cenobites appear logic disappears from the movie. There’s a bunch of random imagery in the cenobite realm, like babies with their mouths sewn shut, clowns, Kirsty suddenly appearing in a living room that starts bleeding, the puzzle box changing shape, people having blurry sex, something about Leviathan the lord of the labyrinth and other things that happen only because it’s not the real world. It would be ok, if the characters were as surprised as I was seeing those things, I feel like I’ve missed a meeting on „random hell stuff”.

The doctor becomes a cenobite and develops a knack for one-liners like „The Doctor’s in” and „I’m taking over this operation”.

Overall, a decent sequel with some great effects work, but a terribly confusing third act. Recommended.

“Shh, you don’t have to say a thing.”

Review of Wrong Turn 4 (2011)

14 May

Wrong Turn 4 also known as Wrong Turn 4: Bloody Beginnings (2011) is a direct-to-video horror/slasher/thriller film and the fourth film in the Wrong Turn film franchise.

Directed by Declan O’Brien (Wrong Turn 3: Left for Dead (2009), Sharktopus (2010)).

Written by Declan O’Brien (The Snake King (2005), Savage Planet (2007)).

Starring: Scott Johnson, Sean Skene, Tenika Davis, Victor Zinck Jr., Terra Vnesa, Jennifer Pudavick, Dean Armstrong, Dan Skene and others.

You know what I really wanted while watching the previous Wrong Turn movies? To know how the inbred freaks started out. I guess, that’s what the filmmakers thought, but who the fuck cares? They’re not interesting characters and you know what they did before they killed people? They killed other people. I didn’t need another movie to make it clear.

So the inbred kids are taken to some asylum, but, as we know, in movies every lock can be picked with a hair-pin. The inbreds break free and turn the place upside down.

You might think this is going to be some trashy horror flick after the previous movie being pretty shitty, but this one is way classier, since we get to see the gratuitous nudity only after 11 minutes. But the wait is rewarded by some interracial lesbian sex. Definitely worth it.

For some reason the budget looks bigger than in Wrong Turn 3, I guess, it’s just that the HD cameras have improved in the two years. It can’t be anyone put high hopes for this movie. I must give it credit, there’s some scenes in snowy landscapes, where the photography is beautiful, it’s sad that the movie keeps getting into the shot. Also the gore effects are much better.

By now I really care what happens to these important inbreds and I hope to god they won’t get hurt. Wait. It’s a prequel, so they’re going to survive. And to think I was getting worried.

So it’s like 30 years later and a bunch of college kids go skiing or something, but they take the „wrong turn” and have to stay at this asylum I mentioned earlier. Thankfully, it has been kept tidy for all this time and the kids get to have some fun. There is the one douchebag, who scares his friends, so we can get some false jump scares as well. I thought to myself „None of my friends is that guy. Oh dear god. I’m that guy.” You know what? I probably am, but since me and my friends don’t usually stay in some desolate, creepy places, I hopefully will never know.

I’m also a positive guy, when I’m watching a slasher movie, I always think „Maybe this group of young people doesn’t consist from total morons.” And then one of them says „Hey, guys, I think we should split up in this spooky abandoned hospital.” and everyone is like „Ok.” and then Shaggy is like „Zoinks, Scoobie!” as eventually the cannibalistic inbred freaks appear.

They continue to make the most idiotic decisions possible. They get the freaks locked up. But they decide they wouldn’t be able to live with themselves if they killed them. Sure I would definitely be rolling around during sleepless nights thinking „Oh, my conscience is eating me alive, I killed these human eating psycho mutants, that killed my friends.” They leave a guy to guard them, but apparently it is incredibly easy to fall asleep when you’re sitting right in front of a cell full of crazy, disfigured people full of your dead friend.

And the girl who delivered the speech about not becoming monsters like them and being humane needs just 5 minutes to completely change her mind and go stabbing one of them like he’s Janet Leigh.

What I did like about it, was that I didn’t know who the final survivor(s) will be right from the start.

Overall, it’s a bland and idiotic movie in an unconventional setting for a redneck killers flick. Definitely not recommended.

“Oh, what have you been up to, you rascals? Three Fingers? Did you rape your sister again? Who put you up to this? Saw Tooth, how could you?”

Review of Wrong Turn 3: Left for Dead (2009)

10 May

Wrong Turn 3: Left for Dead (2009) is a direct-to-DVD horror/thriller/slasher film and the third film in the Wrong Turn film franchise.

Directed by Declan O’Brien (Rock Monster (2008), Wrong Turn 4 (2011)).

Written by Connor James Delaney, who hasn’t done anything before or after.

Starring: Tom Frederic, Tamer Hassan, Gil Kolirin, Borislav Iliev, Jake Curran,  Janet Montgomery and others.

Let’s jump ahead 3 minutes into the movie. We get naked boobs. Already a mark of a quality film. There’s other marks as well. For example, it was released straight to DVD, which means you shouldn’t be fooled by the shitty “shot on digital video” look into believing that it is going to be the worst part of the movie. Because once you get used to it, there’s a whole lot of crap in the movie itself.

The effects are sometimes practical, but don’t worry,  because you still get to see a guy getting CG sliced in 3 pieces and another guy getting his face sliced off in effects shots, that even The Asylum would work harder on. But don’t get me wrong, the practical effects suck as well, one guy cuts another one’s leg off, because the inmates are chained together and he just goes through it like he was slicing a big cucumber. The inbred make-up also doesn’t look very good.

Of course, there’s the typical slasher movie set-up, where a group of characterless teenagers appear for a few minutes, just to be killed. Then we switch to our actual characters. In prison. I’ll give the movie that, it is an interesting concept than just some young people, I didn’t expect it. In this prison the inmates seem to be allowed to wear whatever they want, yet they all dress in the same prisony way. Then a group of them is transported in a bus by three prison guards, one of them being our bland protagonist. And we can enjoy some awful green-screen bus driving.

We get to see Three Fingers again, although he got shotgun-blasted in the chest in the last movie, shit, those inbreds sure know how to heal fast, due to the shitty make-up he looks like some kind of goblin. They are actually some amazing creatures. They’re all like idiot savants. They can’t really talk (or choose not to?), but they can master archery, trap-making, knife-throwing and be inhumanly strong and not feel pain. Three Fingers is an amazing archer, he shoots people in eyes all the time, he even shot a chick in the nipple, so when they decide he should miss someone completely, it instantly feel very unconvincing.

However, the interesting thing is that Three Fingers and the gang aren’t the villains of the movie, they’re like zombies, a big threat, but the real villain is one of the prisoners, who at one point is unconscious and everyone hates him, but do they kill him? Of course, not, because otherwise he couldn’t be back a few minutes later and keep being evil.

The bus falls of a cliff, the prisoners gain control and so they all just walk through the woods in search of a truck containing bags of money (no, they didn’t have huge dollar signs on them). Oh, no, that isn’t true, they just walk through the woods and stumble upon the truck. I think I’ll have to go exploring the woods.

They throw in a final little twist, which had me fooled for one second and I thought “Oh, ok, that happened.”, but then I realized how incredibly idiotic it was and got pretty pissed off..

Overall, a stupid and badly made movie, but it isn’t totally awful, if you for some reason like the Wrong Turn franchise (although, I did like Wrong Turn 2), then you might find it almost competent entry in the series. Still, not recommended.

Hey, turn a bit, at least then I’d feel like I’m watching Friday the 13th Part III !

Review of The Cabin in the Woods (2011)

27 Apr

The Cabin in the Woods (2011) is a horror/comedy/mystery film, which adds a little more to the stock horror clichés.

Directed by Drew Goddard. This movie is his directorial debut.

Written by Joss Whedon (Alien: Resurrection (1997), Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997 TV)) and Drew Goddard (Cloverfield (2008), Lost (2004 TV)).

Starring: Fran Kranz, Anna Hutcherson, Kristen Connolly, Chris Hemsworth, Richard Jenkins, Bradley Whitford, Jesse Williams and others.

Watching the trailer I was quite intrigued by this movie, a “cabin in the woods” movie, which turns out to be something more. Sounds good enough to me! However, the trailer also created this misconception, that it is totally a standard college kid horror flick until it turns out there’s more to it, which would mean the movie is already spoiled. And that’s what I’m going to be very careful about, because there’s a lot to spoil. However, the movie opens with a scene in some scientific facility, so they’re really not hiding this fact, but they do keep to themselves a lot about why all the stuff that is being done there is done.

It is best to avoid knowing anything about the movie, since there’s so many twists and turns, which combined with the mysterious organization that is behind it, makes the movie really unpredictable.

There is some genre-bending as it slides from the usual horror stuff to some comedic lines, to the very dark meta humor, that is going on in the control room, where Jenkins and Whitford …control stuff, which intentionally plays on their similarity to horror screenwriters picking out from various stock monsters, characters and settings.

The college kid characters are the basic jock/slut/smart guy/comic relief/virgin ensemble, but here there is a reason for it and they are actually likable and not one note, they all have at least a little bit more to their characters, but they are forced to show only these sides of them. And the comic relief stoner guy is very funny and seems to be the only one who actually is aware that their vacation is turning into a horror movie. At one point the jock (played by Thor) suggests they should split up and he’s the only one who goes like “Really?”. And this was one of the rare times in a horror movie, where I really didn’t want any of the kids to die.

It is a movie for both the horror savvy and the not so much. Because for the horror fans this can be like a game, where you laugh about the next cliché that is thrown at the characters and guess what is a reference to what. Like “Hey, is that guy with the buzzsaws in his head a reference to Pinhead from Hellraiser?” or “Hey, is that werewolf a reference to any werewolf movie in existence?”, so it’s really fun. The other group can give into the suspense, jump at the jumpscares and laugh about the comedy.

Also it has a great cameo at the very end. I think I’ll stop right here, because the less is said about the movie, the better it is to watch it. It is a beautiful mess, where not everything is explained and it only gains from it.

Overall, a very fun, entertaining and clever film. Definitely recommended for both horror fans and those who just like some thrills with their laughs.

"Wow, I'm not doing that with my arms! ...oh, and also I'm not a girl..."

Review of Halloween: Resurrection (2002)

19 Apr

Halloween: Resurrection (2002) is a slasher/horror/thriller film and it’s the eighth film in the Halloween movie franchise and the final one before Rob Zombie’s remakes.

Directed by Rick Rosenthal (Halloween II (1981), Bad Boys (1983)).

Written by Larry Brand (Christina (2010), The Drifter (1988)) and Sean Hood (The Crow: Wicked Prayer (2005), Cube 2: Hypercube (2002)).

Starring: Jamie Lee Curtis, Brad Loree, Busta Rhymes, Tyra Banks, Bianca Kajlich, Thomas Ian Nicholas, Katee Sackhoff and others.

I won’t waste much time, this movie is a piece of shit. I wish I felt like my job here is done, but I have to pretend that I have at least a tiny bit of professionalism in me.

So we start with Jamie Lee Curtis in a mental hospital with long hair (she looks younger already). Wait, what? I didn’t know she was in this movie. Why? But, of course, because she fucking dies 15 minutes in!

It is explained that Michael didn’t die at the end of the previous movie. Well, the explanation for it I thought wasn’t bad, except that the final shot of H20 doesn’t make sense, however, it still made a lot more sense then this movie’s existance as a whole. So Curtis is in the loony bin, killed an innocent man, waiting for Michael to come after her and growing hair. And he does come and kills Laurie Strode. That’s it, his job is done. Naturally there’s nothing better left for him to do, than to come and hang around in his old house, because it surely doesn’t make more sense that he would go after Laurie’s son.

Then we switch to some stupid college kids and then I realise why this is a horror movie as I see Tyra Banks and Busta Rhymes in the same frame in a Halloween movie. I thought „Oh god, what have I gotten myself into?” and the answer was the steaming pile of anal-raped whore shit that Resurrection is.

And the fucking title. Yes, H20 was a stupid title, but this is definitely at the top of the most generic sequel subtitle list.

We find out that Rhymes and Banks has the genius idea to have a live reality show (ah, yes the early 2000’s when people would actually watch a show that is in lower quality than that of the built-in modern laptop webcams) in the old Myer’s house. I guess they didn’t know that the owner is home.

And that’s the main problem here, you should care about the teenagers, but here they are just so completely unlikable and also trespassing while Michael just wanted to chill after almost 25 years of going after his sister. I’d be pissed off as well. When back in the 80’s Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert were concerned with people identifying with slasher villains, they talked about this movie, because here the other characters are so despicable, that I couldn’t help but root for good ol’ Mike.

Sadly, soon you realise that Busta Rhymes is nowhere near the worst actor in this. That is until, of course, he runs into a burning room, spewing bad one-liners and throwing Wat Chun Lee inspired karate chops at Michael. In a way this sounds equally absurd as Jason in space. “Oh, shit. Who’s knockin’ on my door this late? Whoever this is, is distracting me from seeing Wat Chun Lee whoop some ass. ” I’d also rather see this, I guess, made up actor whoop ass than this.

I have to mention this as well, when did cellphones display text messages letter by letter? Who has ever been stuck waiting for the end of their message to finish appearing? No one, that’s who, you stupid assholes. That is not how you create suspense.

Overall, this is a really bad movie. From all the Halloween, Friday the 13th and A Nightmare On Elm Street movies, this is the only one, that I just completely despise and plan on never watching again. It’s a worthless fucking movie equivalent of an abortion gone wrong and still living as a disfigured shadow of what it could have been. Not recommended.

"Michael? You know what, he's a douchebag! All these years going after me in his stupid onesie and that shitty Star Trek mask. He's standing right behind me, isn't he?
Hey Mikey, wait, you know I didn't mean those things!"

Review of Halloween H20: 20 Years Later (1998)

14 Apr

Halloween H20: 20 Years Later (1998) is a slasher/horror/thriller film and the seventh film in the Halloween movie franchise, which marks the return of Jamie Lee Curtis.

Directed by Steve Miner (Friday the 13th Part III (1982), Forever Young (1992)).

Written by Robert Zappia (5ive Days to Midnight (2004 mini-series), Christmas Is Here Again (2007)) and Matt Greenberg (1408 (2007), Reign of Fire (2002)).

Starring: Jamie Lee Curtis, Josh Hartnett, Chris Durand, Adam Arkin, Michelle Williams, LL Cool J and others.

So it opens with a great opening sequence, where as an instant mood setter „Mr. Sandman” by The Chordettes is used. Fallen leaves, a nice 50’s song and a pumpkin being violently carved. The mood is set at the perfect balance of innocence and violence.

A middle-aged nurse arrives at her house, when she understands somebody has broken in, she goes to her neighbour’s and gets two boys, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and nobody. Levitt appears with a hockey mask. Oh, I wonder what that is referencing so subtly? Maybe I should ask Steve Miner, the director of two Friday the 13th movies? They check out the house, don’t find any tall man in a Shatner mask, so they leave. Needless to say the nurse is fucked.

Then we get a title card and I just have to comment on this. This is might be the most idiotic title they could’ve come up with. I know it’s the nineties, when the trend of poor literacy being cool really started, but seriously, what the fuck is that? H20: 20 Years Later. The „H20” makes it look like the chemical formula for water or the 20th Halloween movie there is. I suppose it sounds a bit like „age 20”, but if the „H20” makes it so clear why do we have this „20 Years Later” shit added, in case you still don’t get it?

We get back Jamie Lee Curtis and she has a son now and she is also his teacher. People say the filmmakers ignored parts 3-6, but I say Laurie Strode is an asshole and chose to have a son instead of a daughter. A young Michelle Williams is cute as her son’s girlfriend. Besides Curtis we see her real life mother Janet Leigh not being stabbed in the shower.

This movie is really a surprising one, when else do you get to see the 7th movie in a slasher franchise, that is not totally absurd, doesn’t have bad acting and tries to be a legitimate mainstream movie. I guess when you ignore four of the six movies in the franchise. And I suddenly realised that this exact same thing applies to the A Nightmare On Elm Street franchise as well.

Ok, so a long story short, Curtis is now a paranoid alcoholic, seeing Michael Myers everywhere and pouring wine down her throat. Her son and his friends are having a little party. You guessed it, it is going to be interrupted by Michael. There’s one guy who deserved it for riding an old service kitchen elevator. Which then is surpassed by the classic stroke of genius in sticking your fingers in the sink’s garbage disposal. Laurie can’t help to rescue her son’s friends from their stupidity, but she can try to rescue her son from Michael, so finally in the last 20 years there actually is a reason to act insane and she goes after Michael with her „I told you so… for the last 20 years… What? You don’t believe me? Who the fuck is „the boy who cried wolf”?” face.

So Michael is back and despite being even older than Curtis in what I call her lesbo-hair stage of life, he can keep lifting people up and even more, lift himself completely above a pipe, on which he is holding with one hand and somehow then slowly and silently descend himself behind Curtis’ back. You could say, he’s in the best shape of his life. See what I did there?

I’d say that this time Michael’s last „death” is pretty cool and probably should be considered the definitive end of him, although as we all know there is this one last sequel, who did a lot of things and none of them good.

Overall, a decent Halloweenmovie, I think one, that even non-Halloween fans might enjoy, although for me, except for the ending, it seemed to lack impact and for most of it was still kind of bland. Recommended, still one of the best slashers the 90’s have to offer.

At least I'm not the only one who thinks that Jamie Lee Curtis with each year looks more like an old man.

Review of Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers (1995)

10 Apr

Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers (1995) is a slasher/horror/thriller film and the sixth film in the Halloween movie franchise.

Directed by Joe Chappelle (Phantoms (1998), CSI: Miami (2002 TV)).

Written by Daniel Farrands (The Girl Next Door (2007), The Tooth Fairy (2006)).

Starring: Donald Pleasence, Paul Rudd, Marianne Hagan, George P. Wilbur, Mitch Ryan, Kim Darby, J.C. Brandy and others.

We start off with a bizarre childbirth scene in some kind of warehouse/temple sort of place, where all the walls are black and the only light sources are candles or some low power lightbulbs. Surprise, this is not a real hospital.

Then I find out that this girl, who is not Danielle Harris, yet is Jamie and she’s a teenager now, having a child and for some reason is in the care of these nice people in long black robes. She gets the opportunity to get out of this place, so she grabs her newborn child and runs. Out of nowhere comes Michael Myers. I can’t stress enough how little sense this makes. Are they telling me that Michael was just hanging around, waiting (to be fair he is good at that) until Jamie gives birth to her child, just to kill them both if they attempt to run?

Then we switch to a family who live in Michael’s old house, probably got it very cheap. We meet our heroine, who is pretty forgettable, her son, mother and asshole father.

And I realized that 90’s really don’t suit slasher films. No wonder they kind of died after 80’s. Are you used to an upbeat movie about teenagers having fun being interrupted by a killer? Well, there’s none of that here, since here it’s mostly just miserable people being put out of their misery.

And then we get the best thing about this movie – Paul Rudd. I had no idea that this is how he started his career before turning into a comedy star. And he actually does the best acting in the movie. He plays Tommy Doyle (the kid Laurie babysat in the first movie), he’s now a weird, obsessive, nerdy guy, who is into the occult and Myers, which are some things that probably mean that you’re not the right guy to find a baby and keep it. Unless, it’s Jamie’s baby, which, of course, it is. Oh, yeah Michael kills Jamie, one of the two Halloween characters I actually cared about.

This brings me to the other one. It’s Dr. Loomis. No, he’s not dead yet, which takes away some impact from the previous movie. It’s nice to see Donald Pleasence for one more time, although he doesn’t have much to do in this movie, except look old and still be oddly respected and considered sane. You can see he’s not in good health and soon after this movie Pleasence died.

The writer obviously tried to do something interesting with the series, but what we end up is the bleakest Halloween movie possible, with an irritatingly cliché cultism inserted, which offers the worst possible explanation of Michael’s source of evil power. If you’re trying to be this very straight-faced slasher, you shouldn’t bring up concepts as idiotic as semi-druid occultism.

Overall, I know I sound like I hated the movie and it wasn’t that, I just could barely find anything much to like about it. It embodies what is wrong with Halloweenseries. It throws around these absurd ideas just as much as other slasher movies, yet just because the first one is so highly regarded, it takes itself much too seriously and sucks all the entertainment out. I’m not recommending it, not because it’s bad, but because even if you watch it, you’ll probably soon forget it.

"You know Rudd, I used to do Shakespeare before all this."
"Oh, really? I'm also doing Shakespeare after this, Romeo + Juliet"
"Plus?"
"I know, shut up."

Review of The Descent (2005)

7 Apr

The Descent (2005) is a horror/adventure/drama film about a group of women who go cave exploring only to find that the cave has been explored before them.

Directed by Neil Marshall (Dog Soldiers (2002), Centurion (2010)).

Written by Neil Marshall (Killing Time (1998), Doomsday (2008)).

Starring: Shauna Macdonald, Natalie Mendoza, MyAnna Buring, Nora-Jane Noone, Alex Reid, Saskia Mulder and others.

There’s really not many horror movies where the main cast consists solely of women, but here we are following six women, who have in my opinion one of the worst hobbies imaginable. Fucking cave exploring.

I prefer to think of myself as reasonably claustrophobic. Rides in elevators don’t bother me at all, scenes in action movies where people are crawling through vents make me feel slightly uneasy and the thought of crawling through sections of caves, where there is no possibility to turn around, stand up or be sure you won’t be squashed by some boulders is fucking terrifying to me. So I guess I’m the target audience of this particular horror movie.

The movie starts a year before the main events with the women doing some dangerous shit in the water (was it rafting?) as our main character’s husband and daughter wave to her from the shore. As they get ashore, it is important that you don’t miss some very meaningful glances between some characters as they foreshadow some tension which leads to the finale, there’s other hints sprinkled throughout the movie, some of which make sense only after seeing it.

The husband is distracted on the ride home and causes an accident, which leads to Sarah running through a hospital hall and having a Hitchcock zoom performed on her. There’s other consequences as well.

So a year goes by, the women gather to have a new adventure, because doing dangerous shit isn’t half as risky as being distracted on the ride home. And as I mentioned they go cave exploring. To spice things up, the leader of their expedition decides to fuck safety and go to the caves where allegedly no one has ever been before. What can I say, that’s the greatest idea ever. If you’re a professional team of scientists and everything, but not if you’re a bunch of chicks, who cleared out the rock climbing equipment and flashlight store.

Of course they soon start regretting they’re choice, even before they realize that they are surrounded by a bunch of flesh-eating bat-humanoid creatures, who have evolved to have great hearing, no eyesight and look like Nosferatu and Gollum had children. Seriously, the first time one of them suddenly appears I nearly shat myself. The make-up is just awesome.

The caves we see were actually built sets, but there is no way you can tell, at first I was wondering how the hell they shot it in actual caves. The few, low powered light sources really help in concealing the fact that they are not real, while also creating the atmosphere and claustrophobic feeling. But it also made it kind of hard to tell the women apart at times, the fact that they were in helmets, dirty and had different accents and names I did not manage to memorize.

The movie does raise a lot of questions, mostly about the creatures, but I enjoyed the movie enough, to let it go. I stopped worrying and learned to love The Descent.

Overall, definitely one of the best horror movies of the 2000’s, a creature feature where the creatures aren’t the only scary thing. Recommended for sure.

Evolution of crawlers explained.

Review of Halloween 5 (1989)

3 Apr

Halloween 5 (1989) is a slasher/horror/thriller film and the fifth film in the Halloween franchise.

Directed by Dominique Othenin-Girard (Omen IV: The Awakening (1991), Crociati (2001)), whose name is misspelled in the opening credits.

Written by Michael Jacobs (Boy Meets World (1993 TV), 3:15 (1986)), Shem Bitterman (The Job (2009), Play Dead (2009)) and Dominique Othenin-Girard (After Darkness (1985), Henry Dunant: Red on the Cross (2006)).

Starring: Danielle Harris, Don Shanks, Donald Pleasence, Wendy Kaplan (Foxworth), Ellie Cornell, Beau Starr.

During the opening credits we get some brutal pumpkin carving, which leads to a recap of the previous movie’s ending, except they show how Michael Myers survived. So it picks up straight afterwards the previous one for a bit, even showing the twist ending. But then it cuts to Jamie Lloyd waking up from a nightmare. At first it isn’t clear is she just dreaming about what happened or is it her horrible nightmare. Turns out it did happen.

It picks up like a year later and little Jamie Lloyd is in some hospital/mental institution place. And she has lost her voice. Oh, those kids and their strange ways of coping with their uncle being an invincible serial killer. Actually I kind of liked that she had become mute, because otherwise I’d have to listen to her screaming and crying all throughout the movie. So again they succeed at making Jamie one of the least annoying kids in horror movies.

Meanwhile Michael shows off both his amazing ability to just wait out his injuries and his impeccable timing as he wakes up on October 30 after lying still for a year. He’s been staying at some bum’s weird shack and when he wakes up just kills the guy. Michael isn’t good at showing gratitude.

Does Loomis still have his medical license or does he just like hanging around hospitals? And nobody cares that he now acts like a complete lunatic and repeatedly screams at and shakes Jamie. He’s like a sitcom character now, who doesn’t know he’s in a sitcom. Everyone is like „Oh, look at that silly old man with a burnt face, who just keeps coming here and yelling at patients and raving about this Michael Myers guy.” And again he goes after Michael equipped with just a handgun. Seriously? Have you learnt nothing?

By the way, there’s also a little homage to Last House On The Left, when two silly cops have their own wacky theme.

There’s way too many scenes that turn out to just be dream sequences or false jumpscares.

Since he wakes up a day early for Halloween, Michael starts just creeping around, he’s very good at it, because no one ever notices the tall guy in a Shatner mask standing behind a bush. Then comes Halloween and Michael has a plan, he kills a guy, puts on his mask and takes his car. Now, I don’t know where Michael learned to drive so well, but he meets the dead guy’s girlfriend, one of our main characters, Tina. Wendy Kaplan’s Tina is considered one of the most annoying characters in Halloween movies (all the others are from Halloween Resurrection, but I’ll get to that), but I actually liked her over-the-top performance.

Then some more killings happen and Michael goes after Jamie (not mute anymore) and Tina, but turns out he’s not the best driver in the world after all and eventually hits a tree. Here we get a great scene, where they think „great, Michael couldn’t ever survive a car crash, right?”, but then the car horn stops blaring and we understand that he is lying against the steering wheel no more.

And then the action goes to the Myers house, where Loomis has organised a welcoming party consisting of a bunch of cops. Michael doesn’t exactly fall for this as his spidey-sense is tingling while Admiral Ackbar yells „It’s a trap!” in his head. But he still ends up in the house and we get a scene, where Loomis finally gives up with the shooting of Michael and proceeds with beating him with a wooden board, certainly a more effective method.

And the ending is just something unnecessarily random. Oh, and I have to mention the subtitle of this movie The Revenge of Michael Myers. I’ve never really understood Michael’s motivation for killing people, except that he’s fucked in the head. So if he kills just for the sake of it, how can you tell apart revenge from his usual „I’m going after someone I’m related to, while killing a bunch of people on the way” routine.

Overall, I enjoyed it, one of the more entertaining Halloween movies. Nothing great, but I’d recommend it.

"Hey, everybody, I'm going to blow this guy! On the street! ..."going to stab me"? Oh, you say the silliest things."

 

Review of Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers (1988)

29 Mar

Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers (1988) is slasher/horror/thriller film and the fourth entry in the Halloween franchise.

Directed by Dwight H. Little (Tekken (2010), Marked for Death (1990)), best-known for his work on various hit TV shows.

Written by Alan B. McElroy (Spawn (1997), Wrong Turn (2003)).

Starring: Donald Pleasance, Danielle Harris, Ellie Cornell, George P. Wilbur, Kathleen Kinmont and others.

No more picking up the next day after the previous one. This one picks up 10 years after the original and it’s cool that it is in like real-time, since 10 actual years have passed. This rather long period of time leads to Raymond O’Connor playing some security guard, who recaps the previous movies in an everyday conversation manner, which was just painful to watch. Not a good sign, when the first couple of minutes are hard to watch.

But then we hear again one of my favourite movie themes and after the Silver Shamrock song in Season Of The Witch, it’s like …um, music… to my ears.

So Michael Myers is kept in some sanitarium and is in coma (or is he just waiting?) and two things strike me as very odd about this. First is that how come Sam Loomis, who has been trying to kill him so desperately is ok with him just being kept there. Wouldn’t he try to somehow get the job done? And the second is that given how Michael can survive being shot at a bunch of times and getting burned and stuff, wouldn’t some medical scientists be interested in what keeps this guy going?

Of course Michael doesn’t stay in coma, which results in Sam Loomis going after him again and now we really get to see Loomis’ obsession with Michael. I didn’t really care for his character too much in the previous ones, but here I thought Donald Pleasance was just awesome. Oh, and guess on which day of the year do they decide to transport Michael and he wakes up? Halloween? Nope. The night before. Dodged a hugely improbable plot convenience right there, huh?

Danielle Harris is the cutest little girl ever. I usually hate children in movies, but Harris is adorable. And growing up she hasn’t changed much. Sometimes child stars grow up and look just weird, but she’s as hot now as she was cute then. Harris’ character is Laurie Strode’s daughter and she has an amazing hereditary trait – she is having nightmares about Michael, who she has never seen in her life.

By the way, other kids laugh about her being an orphan. Really? Is that a common thing? I mean, it’s not like she lives in an orphanage, she has a family, her clothes are nice and everything. The fact of someone being an orphan isn’t funny at any age, there’s just not that much to it. You don’t have parents. Being adopted is at least a bit funny, having no parents is not. I don’t want to read too much into a slasher movie, but I think little kids psychologically wouldn’t find not having parents funny, because we all have this fear of suddenly losing parents.

Here, watching one of the most basic horror movie clichés – lightning storm during dramatic moments, I realised that I’ve never actually seen lightning bolt light up a room in real life.

I actually kind of loved the ending, although it wouldn’t really work out if they went for the idea, it’s just like the same thing in two of the Friday the 13th movies.

Overall, it’s not bad, but Halloween movies have this problem of taking themselves seriously when they are not and ending up not all that entertaining. Still, I recommend it, even though it was a bit bland.

"Hey, Michael! I brought this gun here, I know they don't do shit for you, but don't I look like Dirty Harry or something?"