Friday, December 29, 2017

Creep 2 Review

Creep 2 (2017) Poster 
You didn’t think I’d leave you all hanging through the New Year without first posting a new review, did you? Well, is there anyone still reading this blog? This thing has been alive and well for many years, and I’m still chasing the wind, so to speak. This time around, there are 3 actors that put on a show in this movie. However, Karan Soni isn’t in the movie for very long. The movie moves alongside Mark Duplass and Desiree Akhavan. The same premise that you got before is now here, only things aren’t going to smoothly for our main character, Josef. This time around, he is calling himself Aaron, and he invites a woman named Sara to his house to help do some videography. “Creep 2” pushes the boundaries of how comfortable you are going to be with someone, and really scares through a tension point that is absolutely stellar at times.

The plot of the movie is very much the same as you would expect from the previous release. This time around the villain admits he’s a serial killer, and is interviewed by the woman. However, things start to get weird as she turns to the camera and confesses that things are getting odd, and that Aaron is starting to become weirder and asking for odd things. The same progression happens that the other movie goes through, only this time, Sara isn’t afraid, doesn’t jump, and goes head first into the psychosis that Aaron presents, even turning the tables around and causing him to run for his life at times.

“Creep 2” slowly builds, and continues to build through 78 minutes of two characters trying to get the one up on each other. The movie is scary, but in a very familiar way, causing you to second guess what you’re watching. There’s several scenes that are bloody, or cause panic, and are quite alarming for this type of found footage movie. As the movie progresses, however, you get a serious twist, and some stellar framework, and nice push forward to breaking through what you expect from the film. It’s not what you think, until the very end, and right before it, actually. I would love to ruin it for you, but it’s a movie that requires patience, because it slowly burns down, and eventually breaks into sheer terror in the closing minutes.

With only 3 actors, and 2 of them carrying the film, you would think that you’d get bored. However, it carries well, and it builds on the first movie, without breaking down into a schlock fest, which is appreciated. Overall, this is one killer movie, and it’s different, yet feels similar too. It’s a good way to end the year if you haven’t seen a lot of horror movies, or you want something different.

I would suggest picking up “Creep 2” on DVD and seeing what the hype is about. It’s one of the better pieces of horror and suspense in the found footage genre. It works on so many levels.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Creep Review

Creep DVD Cover
There are a lot of movies that use found footage, but nothing has been as well done as “Creep” if you ask me. Ok, I am partial to the “Paranormal Activities” movie where they had the Mexican kids in it. I love that one. I think it’s called “The Marked Ones”, but I’ll digress. “Creep” is a movie that stars Mark Duplass as an isolated loner in a cabin. When a photographer answers a Craigslist ad for a photographer he is met by a man named Josef, played by Duplass, and the story moves forward from there. It’s a POV type of movie, that mixes the found footage element, with secondary shots that feature only Patrick Brice and Mark Duplass going through a day trip.

The movie progresses to where you follow the two. The photographer and Josef, and things get a bit weirder and weirder. The goal of the photographer is to capture Josef talking about his life, because he’s going to die and wants his kid to know his father, and the videos are supposed to help. However, as the story unfolds, you are taken through different moments during the day in which Josef seems to be psychotic and starts making jabs at the photographer, named Aaron.

The movie goes very quickly, and ends up with an insane moment where the photographer wants to leave, but he can’t find his keys. He gets Josef drunk, and then tries to make a run for it. Eventually he gets away.

But that’s where things get even weirder. The more the movie goes, the more you start to realize that this is a serial killer movie, and if I go any further, I’ll ruin the movie. Point is, however, the movie is a creepy, and sinister story that unfolds with some incredible element. There’s a mix of horror, found footage, and first person documentary style elements to this movie. It gets so creepy, that you just keep watching to figure out what’s going on, and while there’s no gore, it starts to get scarier and scarier as you watch, until the end.

It’s a psychologically profound, modern, horror movie that slow burns until the end. “Creep” stays with you, and it’s sinister. However, it doesn’t use gore, sex, or violence. There is some violence, but it’s not in your face, and it’s fascinating to see how minimalist set pieces can bring about so much horror today. This is a low budget, effective horror movie, and one of the better ones that I’ve seen in a long time.

You can buy “Creep” on DVD and see why I’m picking this as one of the best horror movies I’ve seen in 2017, and recommend it for those that are jaded by modern horror movies that don’t deliver.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

The Babysitter Review

The Babysitter (2017) Poster 
I’ve seen my fair share of babysitter movies, and no, I don’t mean porno. But this is not the same thing that you are going to get from the 1980s adventures, or the mid 1990s babysitting movies or sitcom shows. This is a rated R horror movie and it is perhaps one of the best horror movies to come out of any studio in the year 2017. I know high praise, right? But for whatever reason the Netflix people were able to pull off what many mainstream studios haven’t been able to put together, and that’s a solid horror movie with a lot of elements that make sense, rather than getting to the nonsensical route. I’m not going to say that this is ultra realistic, but there are enough elements to make you think twice about nominating another movie as the best of 2017.

The movie is simple enough, starring Samara Weaving as a babysitter, and Judah Lewis as the pre-teen that is in love with her. The two have a good chemistry together, and are friends. But things go awry when he comes out of his room to see the babysitter and her friends doing a cult satanic ritual. They figure out that he saw something, and they want to kill him because he’s a virgin, and that’s where things take a turn. He’s not going to play dead, he’s going to fight back, and as the teens try to kill him, he turns the tables and while “Home Alone” had funny moments, this takes those funny elements and kills off the villains one by one, until the finale leaves your jaw on the floor, because this is not your average horror movie. It has consequences, and those consequences are absolutely thrilling at times.

The gore is turned up. This is not a kid’s movie. The villains get brutally taken care of, and our main character is not without punishment either. He gets beat up a bit, he’s slapped around, but the villains aren’t nearly as smart and end up getting beat up a lot, and eventually, man, you have to see the movie because there’s a sick stunt at the end to really make you question where McG and Brian Duffield came up with this idea.

All of the movie’s elements are well thought out. You get explanations for most of the movie, and when the thrills go down, they are filmed with a precision that only McG could bring forth. He throws in a lot of action that is very well done, giving this a killer production line, and a stellar focus of driving, burning, and gun play. Oh, did I mention the gore? Holy crap, this is a hard R if it were to be rated for theatrical release.

Overall, “The Babysitter” is perhaps the best horror movie that I personally saw in 2017. It has everything you want, without going with gratuitous nudity which is the only reason I won’t say that this is a perfect movie. Other than that, this is a great romp, fun, and comedic, with incredible stunts and a story that actually makes sense overall.

I would recommend that you get this on Blu Ray or something, but it’s only available on Netflix streaming. A service that I’m going to have to buy again, because the company keeps putting out some stellar horror and other stuff.

I do want to shout out Stay Still Reviews, as I was looking through images and found their blog, and it's awesome, go read that!

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

The Ball Review

What if you could scare someone in roughly 8 minutes? That’s the question I asked myself when I first saw the short, “The Ball”, and you know what, it’s as though Edgar Allen Poe has put together a short and thrown it to the masses. The story is simple, Pearlie waits for her boyfriend, and a force comes to throw a wrench into her plans.

The full sequence isn’t long, but it’s poetic, it’s visually compelling, and it’s horror done within a breath. There’s a lot going for this short, from the visuals, to the language, to the sound design, to the editing, “The Ball” grabs you by the neck as soon as you put your guard down and doesn’t let go. I loved it.

Check out the Ball below, and share it with everyone you know, this thing is a true shocker.

This short is directed by Zach Lorkiewicz.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

The Brood Review

The Brood Criterion Collection Cover Blu Ray 
For today’s review we are going to have to go back to the year 1979. That’s when David Cronenberg shocked audiences with a very heavy movie that features horror and science fiction all in the same level. Cronenberg has a knack for creating beautifully haunting pictures, and he has a way of mixing the grotesque with stellar ideologies. In this case, you’re going to find an “art house” focus with the cinematography of Mark Irwin, but the grotesque is not lost, as there’s an insanity plot that you have to see to believe towards the end. The movie in question is none other than the famed movie, “The Brood”.

The focus of the movie is on a psychiatrist and his patient. He is working with a technique that is known as psychoplasmics, which is supposed to let go of problems within the body, and then manifests it outside in other arenas. There are physiological changes to the patient, and through focusing and redirection of the energy, the sickness leaves and manifests in another benign area of the body. However, things get weird when the psychiatrist gets a visit from a patient’s husband, embroiled in a custody battle, he wants to get sole custody of their child. However, the doctor wants to protect the best interest of his patient, so he creates an intense plasmic environment, which ends up causing serious issue.

The plot thickens when small alien children start attacking people around the ex-husband’s world, including a grandmother, and others. As there becomes an investigation, it turns out a dark secret is being held within the compound of the psychiatrist, which turns out to be quite sickening. You see, the patient in question is giving birth to alien children based on her psychotic episodes, and Cronenberg shows you a cycle of birth that is equal parts grotesque, horrific, and gore filled. You have to see it to believe it, as it’s 1979 yet the practical effects are far beyond what you’d expect for the time.

The movie breaks a major taboo towards the end, and that’s the killing of children. You never see that, but in this movie, “The Brood” are not just children, they are alien children, and they will murder at all costs.

The movie is incredible. It has a slow pace, but quickens in the end, so if you aren’t a fan of slow burns, you may miss out. It takes time to build, but when you finally see the villainous brood, you cheer for the main characters and hope for something grand in the end. It has a lot of elements that are going to shock and awe, but only if you invest in the movie long enough to see the end. I can see some people getting bored with this, even though the Howard Shore music keeps you entertained. This is very much a subdued, psychological horror masterpiece, with a nod to science fiction as well. However, it’s slow pacing is going to cause some to turn it off, while others will be grossed out by the birthing cycle that is evidenced in the third act reveal.

If you’re a fan of David Cronenberg, you’re going to love this one. It’s got every trait that you’d expect, and it’s well put together. I highly recommend checking it out, especially for the special effects that are evidenced towards the end of the movie.

You can buy the superior Criterion Blu Ray Edition of “The Brood” by clicking here, as it’s well worth an addition to your collection.

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