Saturday, November 17, 2018

13 Cameras (2015)

This guy looks creepy as hell and I already think I'm going to like this one.  13 Cameras is about a couple (Ryan and Claire) that moves into a new house and realizes that their landlord is spying on them.  Real life scares, people!  This is something that could actually happen and that shit freaks me out.  I've had my share of landlords over the years, but luckily no scary ones.

Sidebar: does everyone read Jezebel's annual scary stories contest.  The "Little Hole in the Wall" story from last year gave me NIGHTMARES. 

I already don't like Claire, who is pregnant and basically goes to yoga and decorates the nursery, yet nags her working husband about everything.  Like she seriously makes him drive with her like four hours round trip to get a stupid rocking chair for the nursery and then says it is uncomfortable.  To be honest, I don't have a hell of a lot of sympathy for the cheating husband either, but I guess that doesn't mean that these people deserve to be spied on by Creepy McWeirdo over here.


After the initial creepiness of this though, the plot kind of went nowhere. It's a cool concept but lacks the overall eeriness of something like Hangman and nothing ever happened that really made much sense.  Was he just voyeuristic and things got out of hand?  Was the basement room a part of the plan all along? Has he done this many times?  Is he raising his protege?!  So many questions. Perhaps there will be a 13 Cameras: Part Deux.  

Truth or Dare (2017)

So I actually started writing this review thinking that this was the 2018 Blumhouse theatrical release, but it turns out this is some nonsense from SyFy.  Even better!  I'm a sucker for college student hijinks gone wrong, so you've roped me in yet again, SyFy.

Eight college friends go on an annual Halloween trip, this time to a house that is thought to be haunted...involving a deadly game of truth or dare years prior.  Against all common sense, they decide to start a game of truth or dare.  They quickly realize that they are not running the game, and that an outside influence is choosing the truth/dares, and forcing their hand (literally!) if they don't comply.  I was wondering if I was going to get to see some cannibalism this afternoon, and Truth or Dare came through.  Now they have 48 hours to do all the dares or they are going to DIEEEEE.

Hold uppppp, did you put acid burns on the QUEEN, Heather Langenkamp?!  I did NOT know she was in this.  This is a little Saw-like, what with the one survivor and all the stomach-churning obstacles.  I mean this shit went 0-60 pretty fast, from someone burning their hand on a stove to limbs getting hacked off.

Truth or Dare has the same cheesy overacting and fun, if not ridiculous, plot that makes us love SyFy original movies.  They are the Lifetime of horror, and there is nothing wrong with that.  This one ended oddly abruptly and open-ended, but up until then I liked it.  Rock on, SyFy original movies -- keep bringing us college students removing limbs and mutant sharks eating Joey Fatone.

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Friend Request (2016)

In my quest to write more, and consequently take more time for myself, I find myself stowing away to my bedroom on a Saturday afternoon, armed with cheese and crackers and my laptop.  My son squeals with delight in the living room as he plays Madden with his dad and I know it's good to step away every once in a while.

So, onto Friend Request aka Facebook IS gonna kill y'all.  Laura (Alycia Debnam-Carey) is a beautiful and popular college student. I mean, I don't really remember my college years being seaside apartments, cocktail dresses and fancy birthday dinners, but okay.  Shy loner Marina (Liesl Ahlers) friends her on Facebook, and feeling bad for her and admiring her animation talent, Laura accepts.  However, Marina soon becomes obsessive and exhibits disturbing behavior, and Laura unfriends her.  Shortly after, she learns Marina committed suicide. 

Unfortunately, it doesn't end there for Laura.  A video of Marina's suicide appears on her page, and she's unable to remove it, and she also seems to be permanently friended to Marina.  Her friends begin to die mysteriously, as more disturbing videos get posted to her profile, which she is still unable to delete.  Digging deeper into Marina's background, she uncovers a disturbing past.  But as much as she doggedly pursues clues, it may be too late to reverse the course that Marina started. 

So I think this movie had a lot of potential, but the character development was seriously lacking.  Right from the start, Laura and her friends were vapid and unrelatable, having nothing resembling the actual life of a typical college student.  It was hard to feel sympathy for Marina, who tried to be friends with exactly one girl and almost immediately flipped out on her.  Her background story is kinda disjointed and all over the place, and consequently creates more questions than it answers.  All in all, an okay watch, but could have done a lot more with the story.

Saturday, October 27, 2018

The Rezort (2015)

Life as a mom is crazy, because sometimes you're so busy, and sometimes you're so mind-numbingly bored, but among all that time, you get very little time alone.  Whole weekend days used to stretch before me, which I filled with hours of movies and endless writing.  My blog was robust and much-followed.  But these days it's hard to get the length of a movie alone, or the energy and focus to write.  I find myself watching the same movies over and over for comfort, and so I can just zone out.  But I'm making an effort to focus more on myself, so I once again have an afternoon ahead to watch and write.  I'm going to make this happen more often :)

First up is The Rezort, where "every apocalypse deserves an after party."  So in the (British) future, the war against the zombies has been won.  What remains of the walkers are confined to a fancy resort that offers canned hunts that prove both fun and therapeutic. 

Melanie, a survivor of the outbreak, hopes to conquer her trauma by killing the zombies, and brings her boyfriend Lewis along.  Sadie, dumped right before her wedding, hopes to work out some anger on her would-be honeymoon.  Annoying teens Jack and Alfie vow to "tap that ass til it falls off."  Hopefully they will die first.  Archer, a veteran of the zombie war,

Sadie sneaks into a control room, corrupting files, but the employees, not wanting to draw the ire of owner Valerie, decide to try and fix it on the DL.  Everyone embarks on their zombie-killing mission, which is fairly uneventful, and they go to a spot to camp for the night.  Predictably, the security system fails completely, endangering tourists and staff and initiating a "burn it to the fucking ground protocol."

The survivors of course make their best attempt to escape, and there is an interesting twist involving one of the characters.  It's hard to go wrong with a zombie movie, and this fun take on the sub-genre of post-zombie-apocalypse certainly didn't miss the mark. 

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

The Bye Bye Man (2017)

For whatever reason, we have this "premium" cable package, which includes Showtime, HBO, Cinemax, etc.  What I've noticed about these channels is that they all have like half dozen offshoot channels, and for like month, they just play the same half dozen movies interchangeably.  So every time I flipped through, I kept seeing The Bye Bye Man and while that is a pretty dumb name for a movie, obviously I had to watch.

Apparently this is based on a story called "The Bridge to Body Island" about a blind man in New Orleans who murdered people, cut out their eyes and tongue, and brought them to life using voodoo.  That sounds pretty rad to be honest.

The movie opens with a man going on a murder spree in the late 60s, asking each victim if they told anyone else about "the name."  In present day, Elliot, his girlfriend Sasha and friend John move into a rundown house near their college.  Elliot unwittingly sees the name (the bye bye man) carved inside a nightstand and later repeats it in the presence of others.

After that, things begin to quickly go downhill.  Sasha gets sick, and Elliot gets crazy, and poor John is kinda stuck in the middle.   You can avoid all this nonsense by not thinking of the bye bye man or saying his name, but we all know the easiest way to think about something is to know that you shouldn't.  Hallucinations abound, and it's a big mess of who knows, who doesn't know, and who's headed to kill who. But I don't know, it's also kinda fun?  This movie got pretty terrible reviews, but there was something I liked about it, so I'm going to go against the grain and give it a tentative thumbs up.