Thursday, October 1, 2015

Unfriended Review

Every few years an innovative horror movie comes out. I thought that Unfriended had some clever marketing and it seemed to be different at first glance. However, as I started to watch the movie, I realized that it was a cheap parlor trick. Though there are some great elements of fear, it doesn’t seem like the type of narrative that deserves so much praise, albeit, there are some moments that had me second guessing.

The movie is simple enough, a girl’s suicide as a result of bullying comes back to haunt a group of friends. The friends all start out by chatting via Skype, and then slowly get killed off by a stranger. At first, I thought it was a real person. My wife said it was a ghost. I was holding on until the end hoping that the reveal was in fact a real person, and not just a ghost, but you take what you can get sometimes.

The movie is told through the screens of chat and Skype and nothing else. Everything is a matter of noise and talking, interaction, pixelation and more. There are red herrings thrown at you, there are moments of deviance, but overall it’s all a winding and narrow movie with a ghost element thrown in for good measure. It’s a short movie that really shouldn’t garner a sequel, but it is getting one.

Overall, Unfriended is my least new horror movie to come out in some time, but that’s not saying a lot. It’s got some cheap thrills here and there, and if you can keep track of all the typing and random elements, you’ll find that this is a movie that will be thought of as creative, but missing that horror element. I think the cinema element is missing. How this made it to the big screen is beyond me. I’d rather have narrative over just watching others chat and what not. That’s my two cents.

Looking for grindhouse, horror, or sci-fi films? Please check out our amazon astore featuring all things horror. Don't trust astore? Check out, surprisingly they have more grindhouse,horror,and rare sci-fi than you may not have thought possible.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Elysium Review

I am pretty jaded about a lot of things. However, this weekend I was able to sit down and watch Elysium on blu ray. I’m one of the few that still rents movies from Netflix, and this was definitely one of the options I have been waiting to see for some time. I didn’t know anything about the movie going in, other than it was a science fiction movie and that Matt Damon was in it. That’s all I knew about it.

The story as it goes is a compelling one. The visual design flow of the movie is absolutely fantastic. There’s a lot going for this movie in terms of looks. I love the views. I love the presentation of a dystopian Los Angeles in contrast to the Elysium luxury living element. I loved the clarity of the presentation, and I didn’t get lost in anything.

The movie flows through a major theme of poverty, immigration, and the future. I felt compelled by the story because I am a naturalized American. I was born in Mexico and came to this country for a better life, and in the movie it’s represented in a fashion that is closely held to my heart. It showcases a struggle, and it showcases reality in ways that great media does.

Aside from the themes, we get a good performance from Matt Damon. I loved his working class job, his heroics in hopes of helping himself not only live, but his first love’s child live. I love the juxtaposition created with the rogue agent as well, and the political elements involved were grand too. Overall, the movie had a lot to offer in terms of story, visuals, and continuity.

This movie made a lot more sense in terms of fighting and themes than “The Dark Knight”. I loved the way things moved forward in this and the social class, justice system, and science fiction elements all work like a very good novel. I knew the story before I saw it happen on screen as there’s some predictable moments here. However, I found myself completely enthralled with the movie as a whole. There are so many great elements here, and the end result, is a hero’s tale that is absolute, it’s perfect. I loved it.

Elysium is the best movie I’ve seen in a long time. Thematically it’s brilliant. The acting is good. There is a lot here, especially in terms of fighting, political exploitation, and so much more. There’s layers to this. I don’t know, maybe I just connected with the notion of immigration and health care. Maybe it’s not that great, but I know one thing’s for sure, this is a heady and serious movie if you let it be. Otherwise, it’s an entertaining science fiction movie with lots of tropes you already know, but with a passion for something greater. I loved it. I highly recommend this one. Visually complex, great narrative, and heavy handed at times, I think it’s the best in a long time.

Pick up Elysium on BLU RAY here, It’s a great science fiction picture.

Monday, August 31, 2015


We lost a great mind, Wes Craven.


There's no posts or news I will post for a while.

Go watch some of his movies.

Respect remains.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

8 Old School Chillers – Classic Horror Movie Line Up

One of the tropes of horror is the classical monster. The frights that come out of nowhere to shock us as children and young adults. I discovered horror at a young age, and many people I’ve spoken to have as well. That’s why this list was definitely on my mind for some time. This is a list of 8 old school chillers. These are classics, they go way back and they still have a sense of horror, even if you are used to the shaky cam footage movies that proliferate horror today. These are shockers, and still work well for new comers and older fans alike. If you find any of these movies appealing, pick them up via Amazon or the links I provide, thank you.

Island of Lost Souls (1932)

We start our list going way back. This is a movie adaptation of “The Island of Dr. Moreau”, but it has its own charm about it. It’s a classic science fiction movie in which an island is used to experiment on human beings. This one stars Leila Hyams, Bela Lugosi, and others. It’s a classic affair that features exactly what you’d expect from an older horror flick, but it’s the actors that make this one come alive. Lugosi here is great, even if you can only see him as Dracula in your mind.

Stranger on the Third Floor (1940)

Film noir doesn’t get nearly as much credit as it should. You should definitely take a look at how horror and noir mix into a very interesting format. In this one, you are treated to a story of mystery. Who is the stranger on the third floor? A reporter wants to know, and he’s got to deal with a variety of issues before he can figure out the puzzle. Peter Lorre stars, and definitely creeps you out in this haunting portrait of classic cinema.

Nosferatu (1922)

A true adaptation of the original vampire novel, this is a silent picture that is creepy as all hell. It uses a lot of light, shadow, and music to invoke the beauty of the novel from Bram Stoker. It’s a classic that some find boring, since it’s not updated or highly technical. It’s a silent move that is absolutely a thrill to watch, and if you grew up with this before you read the novel or you saw the many vampire movies that came out after, you still get a little nervous tingle when you see the vampire.

The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920)

This is another classic, and if you haven’t seen it, you really need to look at how it’s set up. The cinematic elements here are hands down some of the best. Robert Wiene does a brilliant job of making an expressionist horror film here. It’s got a lot of artistic elements and pushes the notions of horror cinema in such a unique fashion. It’s hard to really paint the proper picture here, but it’s definitely one of the best uses of light, shadow, and mystery in the silent film era.

Repulsion (1965)

Love him or hate him, Roman Polanski has a knack for creating atmosphere and horror through his movies. While this one is not quite like “Rosemary’s Baby”, it has some of the same signature moods and styles that Polanski is known for. Release in 1965, this is a move that really gets creepy as the plot focuses on memory, and trauma. The creep factor is turned up through the loneliness of apartment living, lighting, shadow, which really create a serious art piece here. If you haven’t seen this one in the “apartment trilogy”, you need to check it out. It went to be nominated for BAFTA Award.

The Red House (1947)

George Agnew Chamberlain published a novel of the same name a few years earlier, and it transformed into this classic. It’s labeled as a psychological thriller, but it’s definitely a straight laced horror movie if you look at it from today’s standards. Edward G. Robinson and Judith Anderson star in this one, as they portray characters that find terror in an abandoned home. What secrets are found in the house? Why is there screaming? Is murder afoot? You’ll have to check this one out to find out.

Cape Fear (1962)

Robert Mitchum and Gregory Peck make this movie come to life. Sure, Scorses remade it, but this is the real version you should be watching. This is a strong contender for the best book adaptation. James R. Webb’s novel gets transformed into a scary movie about a stalker. This movie is a tightening wire around the neck, and it really pulls you in with great acting, clever cinematography, and a performance from Mitchum that is well worth praise. If you haven’t seen this one, you owe it to yourself to check it out.

Psycho (1960)

Do I really need to explain this one? This is perhaps one of the best ever. The slasher genre owes everything to the way that this movie discard the main character within the first 20 minutes. Marion Crane stars up front, but it’s Anthony Perkins that makes this movie an insane one. It’s tightened well by Hitchcock, and it is one of the best horror movies ever made. It’s slow moving at first glance, and then, it shocks through sight, sound, and clever editing. It’s a classic, and it certainly lives up to the hype.

You can pick up these movies via Amazon if you’d like, click here, otherwise, find them, rent them, enjoy them!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Time Travel In Popular Culture: How Science and Media Collide

For those of you that follows this blog, make sure that you check out Scary Film Review's participation in this Kindle eBook. "Time Travel in Popular Culture" by Jay Dune. Some of our reviews are in there now, and have been taken down from this site. Pick it up here.