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 ;)

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Day of the Dead: Bloodline (2018)

I didn't know we were still doing sequels of the "of the dead" movies but here we are!  This is a "re-imagining" of (I guess) both the 1985 classic and the 2008 remake.  This gets a 0 percent on Rotten Tomatoes and a 3 on IMDB, so looks like we're in for some fun!

There's been yet another zombie outbreak and medical student Zoe is a lucky survivor, ending up at a military base/refugee camp, High Rock Emergency Bunker.  Five years into the apocalypse, they've lost contact with other outposts and are fairly isolated.  They do tests on blood samples from the zombies (dubbed "rotters") in order to find a potential cure.

When a little girl at the camp, Lily, becomes ill, several people from the camp go on a supply run for medication.  They run into a number of rotters, including Max, who pre-apocalypse tried to rape Zoe.  Of course he manages to randomly travel back with them by hanging onto the undercarriage of the car, which seems pretty unfeasible but okay. 

They catch Max and chain him up, somewhat proving that he's not entirely a zombie, just sort of, since he can still decide not to bite Zoe instead of mindlessly munching on her.  While his blood proves helpful towards Zoe's efforts at a vaccine, he's not exactly great at following directions.  But he's just such an annoying and non-scary zombie, just repeating "you are mine" over and over. 

There's no point to a lot of remakes, and especially "re-imaginings" but this movie was just....whatever.  The zombies were pretty lame, pretty much everyone was unlikable, and the vaccine was really the only "story."  It may seem obvious, but pass on this one. 

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.

[OKAY SERIOUSLY THIS PART WAS CREEPY AF]



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.