This Day in Horror

18 January 2015

Amityville 4: The Evil Escapes 1989 - REVIEW


The Amityville franchise has more films to it than you might think.  Did you know there are 9 Amityville films, including a 2005 remake?  The later sequels after the 3rd one are direct to video so they may not be as well known as the original 3.  After the part 3 the focus wasn't so much on the house in Amityville but the objects that are in the house and now make their way out to the world.  Part 4 is about a possessed Lamp that comes from the haunted house in Amityville.

Rummaging through a yard sale, Helen (Peggy McCray), finds a very peculiar and ugly standing lamp.  She buys it as a joke and sends it to her sister in California.  Her sister, Alice (Jane Wyatt), is about to take in her daughter and 3 children to live with her at the time the lamp arrives.  Nancy (Patty Duke) has just lost her husband and she has no choice to move in with her mom and try and get her and her family on their feet.  Coinciding with the arrival of the lamp, little does she know what she is in for.

I am going to say right off the bat that I love to watch this movie.  It is not good by any means but has a pretty decent story and a well rounded cast.  Of course everyone remembers Patty Duke from her show when she was younger with her "identical cousin".  It's kind of fun to see her in a role like this doing horror.  Another notable cast member is Zoe Trilling who went on to star in other horror movies Dr Giggles and Night of the Demons 2.

At time this movie is very cheesy and comical but that where the charm lies.  I believe it was a made for TV movie.  Those type of horror films generally don't do well.  Although I have seen quite an increase of the availability of this entry as of late.  Some decently priced and some not so much.  Most of the Amityville direct to video sequels only have one DVD release and  they are all long out of print and hard to find in some cases.

I would have to rate this film 6 out of 10 stars.  It definitely could have been alot worse, then again could have been a bit better too.  For the time period of the late 80's and the subject matter, I think they did a pretty good job to put a different twist on the series.

 


16 January 2015

Don't Go in the Woods 2010 - REVIEW


When you hear the name Vincent D'Onofrio, slasher musical definitely isn't the first thing that comes to mind. His name and the fact that it's his directorial debut is undoubtedly what has brought or will bring 90% of viewers to Don't Go in the Woods. It's not the first time an actor has branched out into directing and it certainly won't be the last. So that raises the question, is D'Onofrio as good of a director as he is an actor?

At the insistence of their leader Nick (Matt Sbeglia), an indie band goes to the woods in order to focus on writing some new music that will hopefully help propel them into stardom. Unfortunately, the rest of the band doesn't take life or the music as seriously as Nick does and immediately busts out the weed and booze. It doesn't take long for the groupies to crash the party and everything starts falling apart. As Nick's anger over the situation increases, the group becomes divided and people quickly start disappearing.

One can only imagine that the majority of this cast was put together based entirely on their vocal ability. But in all fairness, when the characters of a film break out in song every couple of minutes, there isn't much call for acting. Which is pretty much the case here. Don't Go In the Woods is really just an acoustic free for all with a built in soundtrack; hell even the groupies get in on it. The little bit of acting we do get, is bogged down by horrible dialogue and bad film making decisions in general.

I can appreciate that they tried to do something different, but Don't Go In the Woods missed the mark and ends up landing right next to every other "twenty-somethings getting killed in the woods" cliche around... but with singing. Girl gets mad at boy and leaves... singing. Boy gets lucky in sleeping bag... singing. Friend just got murdered and I need to warn the others but I have to sing! What's worse is that it's not even cheery, cheery, everything is awesome singing, It's super dark, I wish I were dead emo shit. In fact the whole movie plays out like one long amateurish emo music video.

Even the horror isn't really horror. You have to get through about 40 minutes of campfire sing-a-longs before anything actually happens and then most of it happens off screen. Once you get passed the dodgy camera work, bad acting, even worse songs and horrible story you're left with the only two redeeming qualities of the film... Eric Bogosian and the credits. In the end, Don't Go In the Woods fails as a horror film or as a musical so unless you just want to intentionally give yourself a screaming headache, you should pass on this one. AND, should you decide to watch it anyway, don't say I didn't warn you.

09 January 2015

The Top 5 Horror Movies of 1991


Continuing on with the 90's and onto 1991.  There is not really a whole lot to choose from in 1991 but there are some quality horror movies that were made.  This year saw a few slashers, including Chucky taking another crack at Andy Barclay.  Chucky didn't make my list with his 3rd installment but he is still one of my favorite slashers.


Jeff Fahey stars in Body Parts as a Doctor who loses his arm and gets a donor arm from a serial killer.  This movie is loads of fun and I highly recommend checking this one out if you haven't already.  I did not see this one till 2004 or so and don't really know why I waited that long.

This one probably isn't on alot of people's top 5 list of 1991 but I love this movie.  I am a sucker for all of the Omen movies and this one is no different.  It was a made for TV movie so it's probably not as great as it could be but Asia Vieira who plays Damien Thorne's offspring is creepy as fuck!

Wes Craven was at it again with this one and what a creepy little film it is.  It's not so much scary as original and just a change of pace and a jolt to the horror industry that was needed after huge number of slasher films that just filled the 80's.

It's no secret that I am a Full Moon fan.  It all started with Puppet Master and now here is the sequel, that isn't as popular by the way.  I no way is this a really good movie but it is fun and I love those killer puppets.  This was also the introduction of the puppet Torch.


Full Moon actually made 2 puppet master movies in 1991 but released them a year apart.  Part III is the first Puppet Master movie I ever saw and it is the one that go me hooked.  This one is a prequel to the original and is by far the best of the series.  The role of Andre Toulon was taken over by Guy Rolfe and he delivered a fantastic performance.

A First Look at "The Three" Revealed - PRESS RELEASE










Movie enthusiasts across various genres can experience an exclusive first look into The Three, launched by Versa Media Inc. and AVA Video Productions, both award-winning production companies in the Midwest. The teaser trailer presents fans with a snapshot of the sci-fi, thriller/horror film that illustrates one man’s frightening journey to discover balance and explores the frailty of the human mind.

Starring Lew Temple (The Walking Dead, Unstoppable) and Rob Pralgo (The Vampire Diaries, Taken 3), The Three is co-directed by Andrew Bennett and Kenneth Stevenson and is the first film to explore the relationship between three different classifications of extraterrestrials: the insectoids, the reptilians, and the greys.

When Brian LaRue (Lew Temple) becomes convinced that his father is being visited by extraterrestrials, he takes it upon himself to seek out answers from Jonas Allenbach, a local recluse who claims his son was abducted seventeen years earlier. But as Brian dives deeper in the mysteries surrounding what Jonas refers to as ‘The Three’, terrifying realizations come to light. Brian must confront the many demons of his past, which just might be what ‘The Three’ want.

“I was very engrossed by the story and envisioned each scene,” said Lew Temple, who plays the role of Brian LaRue in “The Three”. “I thought that the script caught the essence of paranoia, depression and helpless loss.”

The teaser trailer highlights 25 minutes of the film that were shot during the summer of 2014. The proof of concept was entirely self-funded thanks to the film’s successful one-month Indiegogo campaign. The film’s producers now plan to tour with these segments and seek additional investment to bring the entirety of the film to life.

“We have thus far enjoyed telling the story of how a man’s ‘inner-space’ can be just as frightening as outer space,” said Kenneth Stevenson, co-director for the Three. Co-Director Andrew Bennett added, "This is a film that draws on source material regarding abductions and extraterrestrial interaction that people are genuinely terrified about. Kenneth and myself are really excited about the web of conspiracy theories that binds this film together.”

07 January 2015

Don't Blink 2014 - REVIEW


The world of filmmaking is changing every day. With more and more filmmakers self distributing and the onslaught of VOD outlets like Netflix and Amazon it's much easier to find your favorite (or not so favorite) indie films. Not to mention there's a Red Box kiosk on every corner carrying a variety of films distributed by one of the many independent distribution companies popping up everywhere. And let's not forget about social media. There are tons of films I never would've heard of had it not been for sites like Facebook and Twitter. Sometimes that's a good thing and sometimes, not so much.

Don't Blink is the story of ten friends who set off on a trip to a remote lodge in the mountains. Immediately upon arrival, strange things start happening when they find the lodge completely deserted. Given that there's evidence of activity (full plates of food, running water) the group splits up in search of any signs of life. What they discover only leads to more questions and when they start disappearing one by one, they soon quickly realize that no one is safe.

You'd think (well I would anyway) that with an experienced cast like Brian Austin Green (Beverly Hills 90210), Mena Suvari (American Pie), Zack Ward (A Christmas Story) and Joanne Kelly (Warehouse 13), the acting would've been a little more solid but it was uninspired at best. Perhaps they were as confused by their characters as I was. As with every "group of friends" horror film, we have the happy couple, the bad boy, the horny boy, the weird one and the easy chick. Normally these characters pretty much stay the same throughout the entire film but that is not the case with Don't Blink. Writer Travis Oates spends the first half of the film creating characters that the audience will connect with, only to flip them 180 degrees in the second half. It's no wonder that even the most experienced actor comes off as stiff and unbelievable.

An interesting concept breaks down rather quickly once the action picks up and while I usually tend to admire films that keep you guessing, Don't Blink left me with the feeling that I'd missed something. There's no real resolution and too many loose ends make the film seem unfinished. It's understandable that filmmakers want to do something different but different doesn't necessarily equate to a good thing. All that said, there are some positive things, the film is well shot and there is some beautiful cinematography throughout. The camera work and editing during pivotal scenes is quite clever. Don't Blink will find an audience and the mainstream sites seem to love it but as horror goes, you might get more fulfillment from the 2007 Doctor Who episode, entitled Blink.










06 January 2015

A Cry from Within Coming to DVD and VOD in March


Breaking Glass Pictures is releasing the horror thriller A Cry From Within on DVD and VOD on March 17, 2015. Based on true events, A Cry From Within recounts writer/director Debroah Twiss' terrifying supernatural experience. Along with Deborah Twiss (Kickass), A Cry From Within stars Academy Award Nominee Eric Roberts (The Dark Knight, Inherent Vice), Cathy Moriarty (Raging Bull, Casper), and James McCaffrey ("Rescue Me").

After a devastating miscarriage, a family trades their city lifestyle for a quiet life in the country. Jonathan (Eric Roberts), Cecile (Deborah Twiss) and their two children Ariel and Morgan settle into a rental home in Long Island that was vacated by a woman and her elderly mother. The family soon finds themselves at the mercy of a terrifying and violent manifestation that Ariel identifies as a young boy named Sebastien. In fear for their family, Jonathan and Cecile must unlock the secret that binds Sebastien's torment with the former occupants and the local priest.

DVD Special Features will include cast interviews and deleted scenes. A Cry From Within will be available on the following VOD platforms: iTunes, All Cable Providers, Amazon Instant, Blockbuster, Google Play, Xbox, Playstation.

New Clip from North Woods Released



Macabre Pictures and Flowtac Entertainment have released an eye-popping new clip from North Woods, their forthcoming motion picture of unrelenting terror. In the 5-minute scene, a game of hide-and-seek turns deadly.



North Woods stars scream queens Lynn Lowry (The Crazies) and Debbie Rochon (Tromeo and Juliet). The film is directed by Chris Moore, who co-wrote the script with Jason Kasper. They were inspired by Phantasm, The Evil Dead and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.

For more from North Woods, don't miss the previously-released teaser trailer and opening sequence.

Trailer: 


Opening Sequence:

Synopsis:
From within the woods, a blood splattered young man, John Prescott, runs out in front of a car, terrified and muttering gibberish. Enter Dr. Pamela Alley, an esteemed psychiatrist, and Detective Morris, her contact and partner from the local police force, who have just been assigned the boy's case. As the teen begins telling his diabolical tale of a local weekend vacation gone horribly wrong, it becomes clear that nothing is ever what it seems when a very troubled substitute teacher, with a webbed past of nightmares, emerges as the center of the proceedings. What keys does she hold to the nearly phantasmic events surrounding the area for the last several years?

North Woods will be released later this year. Follow the film on Facebook and Twitter to keep up to date.