Saturday, October 31, 2015

Halloween 2015 Horror Movie Review Flashback

So it’s 2015, this blog is still kicking, even though I don’t always find the time to watch horror movies. I remember when I started this blog. I lived next door to a Blockbuster Video in Seattle. I was at the bottom of Queen Anne Hill, and lived in a new world. I loved being across the street from a good pizza place, next door to a Mexican food restaurant, and across town from the Seattle Mariners. But fast forward, and life takes over. There’s not a lot of things that inspire me as much as those times, even though I was living in a life that I couldn’t sustain.

Today, I am coming to you from across the country. I’ve traveled across the United States, I’ve accumulated more cats than I ever thought I would, and I have love again. I’m isolated in some ways, and open in others. Today on Halloween, I’m just myself. No major costumes, no major element to speak of, I’m just me. I’m sitting here and looking back at the world that I’ve talked about for so long on this blog.

If you are new, or if you are still reading, join me in going back through some of the older posts that I put up in the eve of Halloween from different years. Click through and read my thoughts in October from the past. Tonight, I will probably sip on some coffee and just stay home with my cats. But a horror movie may be on, and I’ll reminisce on some of the things that I’ve talked about here, and will continue to post as I go through. So with that in mind, here are some posts and movies you should check out tonight, Halloween 2015.

Elvira Mistress of the Dark via October 2014

Anna Scream Queen Killer via October 2013

8MM via October 2012

Scream 4 via October 2011

Stigmata via October 2010

Saw VI via October 2009

Ted Bundy via October 2008

Friday, October 30, 2015

Sharknado 3 Oh Hell No Review

There’s nothing quite like the overblown media coverage of Sharknado. I finally sat down to watch the third installment, and while I managed to like the other two in the series, this was definitely the weakest one. Then again, I think that’s the point. How can we go insane with the plot and the whole concept of Sharknado? Well, we can make fun of it all and even leave it all with a cliffhanger too. Overall, this is one hell of a movie, but not in a good way, as there are some serious points of contention.

First and foremost, the acting has completely taken a backseat. I know, the other ones haven’t been great either, but there is a special kind of terrible that is sewn throughout this movie. So much that I had a hard time enjoying it, as everyone just phoned it in. If that’s not bad enough, the effects and the deaths are all even worse than ever. Then again, the cameos were kind of cool. I can’t deny that it was cool to see so many celebrities get involved. My favorite of course was none other than Chris Jericho.

Ok, so the acting is bad, so what? Well, the movie is plotted really slow. Slower than the other ones at times, but right when I thought I was going to give up on it, I decided to give it another shot. Simply put, the movie is just boring. I was bored by the time The Hoff showed up. Now that was ok, I liked the notion of going into space to send off missiles, but leaving The Hoff on the moon? (I Kid You Not)

Perhaps the biggest hit to my intelligence was the baseball bat that was Tara Reid giving birth to a baby in the belly of a shark. It was enough for me to walk out of my own living room. Then the cliffhanger, does she live or die? Oh and there will be a Sharknado 4! Come on! Come on! This is just bad. I don’t have fun with these any more. I give up. I’m just done. Instead of investing in the terrible movie that this was, take a moment to reflect on anything better. Ugh, this Halloween season is ruined by another lame movie.

Then again, maybe I’m looking for diamonds in sacks of poop. I know, I’m wrong. I just can’t watch anymore Sharknado movies. I can’t. Yet, I will probably see the fourth one when it comes out. I’m a sucker. Enjoy Halloween tomorrow, I’m going back to watching horror movies and trying to keep this site from dying a slower death than it already has.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Carrie (1976) Review

Carrie is one of those movies that people claim is a classic. Recently, I purchased it on Blu Ray, and wanted to watch it again. The previous time I saw it was when I was a teenager. I picked this up and watched it with fresh eyes, and realized that there are some very interesting ideas pushed forward. Brian De Palma directs this movie, and while it definitely does well to introduce the world of Stephen King to the masses, it doesn’t hold up the way I thought it would. De Palma’s direction is on point, but other than that, I found myself reconsidering some of the ideas pushed in the movie.

There is no real reason why people hate Carrie. Maybe in the book they explore it a bit more, but in the movie, things are just no good for 17-year old Carrie. People seem to hate her, her mother is bad, and she is just trying to navigate high school like anyone else. It’s very odd to me, but you get through the movie with the set up that no one likes her.

Sissy Spacek is a lovely girl, but when watching the opening for this movie, I found De Palma over sexualizing things. The camera goes through like a porno movie from that era. If you have seen any adult cinema from the 1970s you immediately get notes from the many movies that were of the era. What I didn’t like here is that the viewer is looking into a teenage locker room, with full nudity. You’re supposed to be seeing underage girls naked? I found the notion a bit odd. Yes, it’s a movie, and all the actresses are over 18, but they are playing underage, it’s a bit unnerving.

Aside from the sexual tones of the movie, there is a quality revenge coming through. Just when you start to like Carrie, she breaks because of the swerve that happens to her. The blood, her telekinetic powers, and the ultra-revenge comes through. Not as bad as “They Call Her One Eye”, but nothing can be so graphic. Carrie gets her revenge, the movie goes into disaster, her mom gets it too, and then it just ends. I didn’t like the sudden ending and nothing else.

Overall, the movie is stated to be a Stephen King classic. Carrie from 1976 isn’t half bad. I don’t think it’s as amazing as some people say. I don’t think it’s as grand, but Spacek’s acting, and the over sexual tones make this a nice glimpse of the 1970s and how many changes have come to movie making. De Palma’s work is good here, even though it’s far from his best movie. If you’re going to pick this one up, get the Carrie Limited Edition Blu Ray, otherwise, meh, I can go without seeing it again for a long time.

Pick up Carrie on Blu Ray Here, for fans of Stephen King and classic 1970s cinema. 

Monday, October 26, 2015

Things I'm Tired of Seeing in Horror Movies

Maddox x Mission came out with quite possibly the best video I've seen from him in a long time. What he pushes here is what I've been saying for a long time. Yes, I love horror, but come on, sometimes it's just too much stupidity. Ok, here's Maddox, I'm Sir Jorge, I have to fold laundry.

Friday, October 23, 2015

American Horror Story Freak Show Made Me Tear Up A Little

I hate the term binge watching, but I did it recently. I once again fell for the Netflix plan. I picked it up and it was fine, but I don’t love Netflix. That’s for another day. I did manage to have it in time to see all of American Horror story Freak Show. I won’t go into a lot of details or try to review every single episode. Instead, I’m going to talk about 5 major points that I liked and possibly didn’t like about it. It’s not a perfect showcase, and it’s not my favorite of the series. My favorite so far was “Coven”, but this time around there were a lot of elements to like about it. I would even go as far as to say that I wouldn’t mind getting it on blu ray, and that’s very rare for me. I don’t buy a lot of blu ray, but I do admire those that have good collections. I’m just not a collector any more, at least not like I once was.

The Characters

The characters involved with “Freak Show” are amazing. I loved them all in their own unique ways. I even loved Jessica Lange. I loved her portrayal, and the compassion that she had at times for her “freaks”. I thought Sarah Paulson was absolutely amazing too. Every character and actor that was in this show was grand, and I loved every little nuance about it. The characters had charm, they had a sense of belonging, and just held a lot of great elements overall. I liked the way each one was portrayed, and each one had something to love about them.

The Costume and Lighting

The visual design flow of “American Horror Story Freak Show” is bar none some of my favorite design ever. The design flow that was done here was fabulous. From the lighting changes, to the fish eye lens changes, the colors used, and the prominent changeover of lighting and set pieces. I loved the costumes, I thought each puzzle piece fit the theme very well and that’s something that I don’t usually pay attention to.

The Overall Horror Themes

There are some stark themes here. The homosexual “Strong Man” story really hit hard. The “lobster boy” connection was heavy handed too. I loved the killer clown concept, and I love the throwback to “Houdini” at one point. The overall horror themes here run all over the place. They pick up on all sorts of fears, and just when you think you’ve got it all figured out, the ending wraps up the insanity of the show. I loved it. I loved the pieces and the continual storytelling.

Neil Patrick Harris

There was a lot of hype about this. I read a lot about Neil Patrick Harris jumping into the show. I didn’t see it air, but when he showed up for 2 episodes, holy crap. This guy can really act, and the creep factor that was involved with his character rose to all new levels. I loved the sensuality of the story he was in, and the overall colors, themes, and psychosis involved is absolutely brilliant. That made the show for me, and they certainly chose a great point to throw him into, in my opinion.

The Tipping Point (Crying)

Few shows get me. Few movies get me. However, when the ending started to showcase the true nature of the larger story line, I teared up a lot. I teared up with the connections to the “Asylum”, and I teared up when the “Freaks” were treated as disposable figures. I couldn’t help it. Maybe I’m a freak? I don’t know. It was heavy handed. But the revenge angle and the finale was great in my view, and I liked how it was all wrapped up. I also loved the musical cues from Lana Del Rey to David Bowie, the sound design was absolutely great in the series.

“American Horror Story Freak Show” is perhaps the best of the series. I am now watching “Hotel” and I am not as fascinated. I don’t care about vampirism. I don’t care about Lady Gaga, and I sure as hell do not care about Los Angeles. I highly recommend “Freak Show” however. I can’t wait to dive into the Blu Ray and see it again.

If you're going to pick up "American Horror Story: Freak Show" do so HERE. 

Monday, October 12, 2015

The Walking Dead Is Boring As All Hell

800 plus posts on this blog and I finally am hitting the wall of boredom. The Walk Dead had me thrilled for a few seasons. I even went to viewing parties at a local bar when I lived in Westchester, California. But yesterday, I was watching the season premiere of Season 6 and I realized that the last few seasons have been the most boring television I’ve watched in a long time.

I know boredom. I was bored out of my mind for 2 years while living in Moscow, Idaho. The Walking Dead, for the premise, is a great idea at first glance. But as we go through the episodes, the dynamic of horror and drama has started to lend itself to a stale piece of bread that really just doesn’t hold my attention. I sat through the majority of the episode and just wondered, “why”?

Why do I even care about the characters at this point?

When looking back at horror cinema, you get wrapped up in the story, the plot devices, and the characters. This show now gets me feeling as though I’m watching a soap opera. Some of the ideas, and the dialogue is non sense. Some of the actions are absolutely dumb. Plus the logic has been thrown out the window, to the point where I can’t shut my brain off.

Yes. I’ve shut down my brain many times to watch horror movies, but there are some tropes that I just can’t get away from. Specifically, the fact that there are zombies that are still alive and trying to find people to eat despite being herded like cattle. The notion of them being alive without starving, or a perpetual system of “zombie” behavior is just stupid to me.

Ok, I know, it’s just a show. Yes, but at this point the drama is like a deflated balloon. The story is the same. “Survival”, and what not. Yeah, well I don’t care any longer. Rick is going crazy, ok. The rest of the crew are helping him to survive and get to status quo, or safety, and what next? A villain rises, they fight back, they win, but not without death. Yeah, yeah, predictable tripe.

I’m tired of The Walking Dead. I’m tired of zombies for that matter. I don’t buy into the hype of The Walking Dead at this point. I throw in the towel. There’s just too much boredom on television for me to invest in yet another dumb season. In fact, I think I’m getting burned out on television as a whole. It’s a miserable existence.

I’d rather just not watch any more screens. Is that too much to ask? I’m sure I’ll have another 2 cents to throw on here in the near future, but for now, The Walking Dead is boring. I have no desire to watch it or to go along with the ridiculous premise that is being stretched extremely thin at this point. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t always look for logic, but some things just don’t make sense at all.

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.

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