Monday, February 18, 2019

Final Destination (2000)

Nostalgia day rolls on in my living room and it turns out I've never written a review of the original Final Destination.  WTF.  A classic.   In 2000, I was 17, I had just survived Y2K and I was LOVING this movie in the theaters. Bring me Devon Sawa and Ali Larter and let's rolll.

Pre-9/11 airports always seem so carefree.  Remember when you just kinda waltzed into an airport?  People say that this movie reminds them that they're scared of flying -- flying doesn't scare me as much as it's annoying and squished and inconvenient.  But alas, we all know that the premise of Final Destination is the plane crash, where only a few survive and "cheat death."  Which then continues into multiple sequels that we all know and love.

So now that the few have cheated death, the race to survive begins.  Death is still out to get them, since it missed with the plane.  And isn't the glory of these movies?  The increasingly inventive and cringe-worthy deaths?  This was a new horror concept That's what we all enjoy about the franchise so much -- that thought that it could happen to us all?

Trucks (1997)

Have I seriously never reviewed this movie, which is the knock off of the seriously superior and very coke-fueled Maximum Overdrive?  Today I have a rare 24 hours off, with no family or work, and I'm determined to do some writing.  I got in a nostalgic mood early on, and trolled through Netflix and Amazon looking for comfortable sequels of my favorite franchises, to no avail.  So it will be time to dig for more obscure nostalgia, and first I have landed on Trucks

In this iteration, it's not just a truck stop, but also some cabins that house a hiking tour, which compels this group of people to end up together, surrounded by the now-possessed trucks.  There's all the stereotypes - the grizzled old war veteran, the hippie, the redneck, the strong beautiful woman returning to her hometown, the bickering couple,  the shy teen, the mouthy rebellious teen, and the hero (the much-touted Timothy Busfield).  If you've read the story, it follows pretty closely, if not in a somewhat clunky manner.  Sadly, there are no skeletons driving trucks as depicted by the poster art.  The ending was definitely more of a "woah!" than Maximum Overdrive

While they try to recreate it, the wonderful campiness and environment (Dixie Boy 4 EVAH!)  of Maximum Overdrive just isn't here, even though it's a decent rendition of the SK story.   The story itself is just kind of bizarre, and it lends to overacting and giant green demon trucks, not just a regular movie. 

Sunday, February 10, 2019

47 Meters Down (2016)

So I actually watched this movie a few weeks ago, and I was surprised at how much I liked it.  I am a sucker for ocean/shark movies though and I loveee Mexico, so it's the perfect recipe for success for me. 

Two sisters, Lisa (Mandy Moore) and Kate (Claire Holt) are vacationing in Mexico when Kate finds out that Lisa was dumped by her boyfriend for being "too boring."  After a wild night out and meeting some cute guys, they agree to do some shark diving with them and their "friend" that they go with "every weekend."  The women lie about knowing how to scuba dive, but the captain, clearing seeing their lie, lets them aboard anyway.  Now I've been on a few snorkel/boat trips, and this boat definitely looks sketchy at best.  But all in the name of impressing your ex, Lisa!

All seems well, but this is a shitty boat with a shitty cable and the sisters plummet to the bottom, with quickly declining air and out of range of the radio.  There's lots of complications here -- the sharks, the lack of communication, the limited amount of air.  What I like about this movie is that the two woman actually make concerted and decent efforts and don't just do dumb shit for 90 minutes.  And I was entertained by the little "twist" at the end that I know some may have found annoying. 

I found out later that this was filmed in a tank in the Dominican Republic, and honestly, I was surprised.  I think the set looks realistic.  And Mandy Moore's acting was pretty good...remember when she was a singer?  I think she should make the transition to a scream queen.  You heard it here first ;)

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Before I Wake (2016)

Since I became a parent, I don't watch creepy kid movies as much, because when you live with a kid full-time, you realize that they can in fact be creepy as fuck.  But this movie does look pretty rad, and it's the middle of day and I think I can handle it.

After losing their son in an accident, Jessie and Mark decide to become foster parents. Their first placement is a young boy named Cody, who is said to have trouble sleeping and was abandoned by his previous foster parents.  Jessie finds a stash of pills and caffeine in Cody's room, and he reveals to her that he is afraid to sleep because of someone called "The Canker Man."  That night, the living room fills with butterflies, which soon vanish.  They soon realize that Cody's dreams, and nightmares, come to life.

While Jessie relishes in the opportunity to "visit" with her deceased son through Cody's dreams, her husband feels that she is taking advantage of the situation.  Meanwhile, Cody's dreams get more horrifying.

I'll be the first to admit that I'm super over the distorted face jump scares but I was able to put it aside because I really did like this movie.  Sort of like a fairytale Nightmare on Elm Street mixed with a little bit of Mama.  The ending did have some unanswered questions, but I suppose we are supposed to draw our own conclusions.  Before I Wake was spooky, eerie and had a cool storyline and solid acting.  Definitely worth a watch despite the presence of numerous aberrations with missing eyes ;)

Saturday, December 29, 2018

Rats: Night of Terror (1984)

Obviously Netflix is the go-to but it's important to note that Prime Video (free for Amazon Prime members) also has a shit-ton of streaming horror, including Rats: Night of Terror.   Filmed in Italy using the crumbling Once Upon a Time in America set, the director Bruno Mattei considered this to be his best work. 

225 years after a nuclear apocalypse, several amazingly-dressed survivors emerge from the bunkers underground to seek out a living situation on the surface.  They have names like Video, Chocolate, Taurus, and Lucifer.  I'm already obsessed with this movie, when five minutes in, they find a trove of food and pour straight up brown sugar into their mouths while dancing around.  Their newfound paradise is quite literally crawling with rats, including some that are feasting on corpses.

Someone literally just said "computers and corpses are a bad mixture" -- this movie is incredible.  Despite the massive presence of both corpses and rats, they decide to move right in.  Then the carnage begins.  Rats crawling out of people's mouths, people covered in rats getting set on fire, rats eating motorcycle tires, and rats spilling out of windows onto a squealing woman with 80s hair.   The battle with the rats rages on with several casualties.

This movie truly belonged on an episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000 -- it was so corny and overacted but also just so entertaining and fun.  80s horror excess at its best.  Check it out, the ending was just delightful ;)