29 June 2010

The Crazies - DVD Giveaway

In honor of today's DVD release, we are having a CRAZIES giveaway. We've thrown out trivia questions on both Facebook and Twitter and got winners from each. So, let's see who's paying attention.

There is a quick cameo by one of the cast members from the original film. Who is it and what was his/her part?

Comment below with your answer and a winner will be chosen at random.


25 June 2010

Lake Bell Drops out of Scream 4

Just four days before Wes Craven's upcoming Scream 4 was going to start shooting in Ann Arbor, Michigan, actress Lake Bell has had to drop out of the movie due to scheduling conflicts. Bell was going to play Deputy Judy Hicks, a police officer who knew Neve Campbell's Sidney from high school, a character described as "decidedly sexy but a bit off." (Shouldn't be hard to find another actress who fits that bill in Hollywood.)

As Bell posted on her Twitter feed last night:

Sucks: Scheduling conflicts with my current gig means I cant do #Scream4! (Hey horror bloggers, I know who the killer is...) #i'llnevertell

With shooting set to begin on Monday, expect another name to be attached to the role very quickly.

Source: comingsoon.net

23 June 2010

Spiral 2007 - REVIEW

Nothing impresses me more than someone who proves they're not just a "one hit wonder". I became a fan of Adam Green after seeing his "Old School American Horror" Hatchet. I've also had Joel David Moore on my radar since Dodgeball. He's such a great actor and he has that whole sexy geek thing going for him. I'm thrilled to see the depth of his talent come to the surface.

Spiral centers around Mason (Moore) a reclusive telemarketer with a knack for painting. Every day life for him is depressing. He's an outcast at work who is prone to bursting into panic attacks that end with 4 a.m. phone calls to his only friend Berkeley (Zachary Levi). When he meets Amber (Amber Tamblyn), a cute, quirky coworker, Mason slowly starts to open up about his past. But as Amber digs deeper and deeper into her new friend's history she realizes just how disturbed Mason is.

I will do my best NOT to give away any plot points of this film as discovering them while watching is kind of like a journey you have to make on your own. Kind of like a right of passage. Miss them and you won't know what's going on. Know them ahead of time and it spoils the whole story. What I can tell you is that writers Jeremy Danial Boreing and Moore have created a film that can easily be compared to the likes of Alfred Hitchcock and Roman Polanski. The tension in Spiral starts from the opening scene and continues throughout the entire story. No matter how much you THINK you've seen this story before, think again. No element of this story overstays it's welcome. It is unusual, creative and provocative.

The biggest surprise for me was the performance by Moore. His character is developed with such love and empathy that by the end, you're torn between loving him or being horrified by his actions and Moore pulls it off with perfection. In fact, every one of the main characters does a terrific job. Tamblyn is great as the vivacious, bi-polar love interest. Some viewers may not like that her character wasn't explored deeper but I think in terms of story progression it had to be done that way. Levi portrays Berkeley who in some ways is the big brother type to Mason and in other ways he's more of an enabler. His motives for keeping such a closed off person as a friend are never quite clear. Is he using Mason to keep himself from being alone or does he really care about what happens to him?

The cinematography is great as well with the back drop of rainy Portland, Oregon enhancing the dark mood of the film. While some might find Spiral a little slow going, I personally enjoyed everything about it and would definitely recommend it to others. If you're looking for tons of gore or an in your face horror, I'd suggest a viewing of Hatchet instead. This is more of an 80 minute mind fuck. Is what your seeing real or fake? Did he or didn't he? Spiral is a new spin on an old twist. ENJOY!!

21 June 2010

Inside 2007 - REVIEW

As all of you know, I'm a huge horror fan (DUH), probably the biggest in this little town I live in. BUT, I'm a horror fan to a fault. I watch everything, EVERYTHING. From classics like Frankenstein and The Fly to crappy remakes like RZ's Halloween (Hey, it's my blog, don't judge me). I've sat through the best and the worst horror films imaginable and I've watched every single second of them. That's a lot of time invested in horror. I scour Facebook and Twitter and sites like imdb.com to find horrors of all creed and color. Why am I telling you this? Because when I run across films like Inside, I want people to know that I didn't just base my opinion on the first 30-45 minutes. I watched every SECOND of it. And you're probably still saying "And I care why?" Let me run it down for you then I'll get into why.

Four months after losing her husband in a violent car crash, Sarah (Alysson Paradis) is due to give birth on Christmas day. As she settles in for the night, a strange woman (Beatrice Dalle) knocks at her door asking for help. After Sarah refuses to help, the woman continuously bangs on the door and we soon find out that she doesn't want help at all, she wants Sarah's child. Freaked out (rightly so) Sarah calls the police and a search of the grounds and house reveal the woman has gone. Yeah right. They assure her, someone will come around again to check on her during the night then leave.

As Sarah is sleeping, the woman suddenly appears in her bedroom and attacks her with a pair of scissors. Sarah manages to fight her off and locks herself in the bathroom. Our Femme Fatale tries and tries to get in, banging and kicking the door, stabbing it with the scissors. Screaming that she wants Sarah's baby. She torments Sarah through the night and kills anyone who tries to stop her.

I was told by my horror buddy @johnnyhorror30 that this was one of the goriest films he'd watched in a while... He was right! The gore quotient was definitely high and I'll give Alexandre Bustillo and Julien Maury props for making even MY stomach turn a little. BUT, can the film hold up on gore alone? That's the real question and I'm sure most of my "friends" won't too much care for my answer. RUH ROH! Hmm, would they want the good news or the bad news first? Let's go with the good news.

The performances by Alysson Paradis and Beatrice Dalle were superb and convincing. I felt for Sarah and what she was going through. She portrayed desperation to a tee. Beatrice Dalle was frightening (her actions, not her looks) and unrelenting. The world of horror is more than familiar with psychos and creepers but little can rival that of a woman scorned and she totally pulls it off. As far as protagonist and antagonist they were totally on point.

Inside is kind of like taking a trip back into the 70's and 80's being that the simplicity of it all carries the movie so far. It's set in a very confined place which enhances the claustrophobic atmosphere and the plot is fairly simple so it's easy to stay on point with what's happening.

Now the bad news: What irritates me are directors and writers who suck you in with a story that has such great potential and then they throw something in that's so off the beaten path that all you can do is go "What the fuck just happened?!?" Don't get me wrong, a WTF ending can be great... if it's done right. I like unanswered questions and forming my own conclusions but it was just downright depressing what they did to this film. It was like just as you're getting pulled in by the action, you're suddenly ripped out by something that draws attention to the implausibility of it all.

Character after character kept showing up and the audience knew nothing about them. They were pretty much just fodder to connect one gory scene to another. I wanted this movie to be great. And it was, up to a certain point and then came the ending. I didn't get it. If I'm promised an in your face psychological horror, that's what I want. Don't fuck it up by throwing in something so pointless and off story that it ruins the whole film.

What it comes down to is... Would I watch it again? Yes. Would I recommend it to others? Yes. Simply put, it is a good film and worth watching but be warned, this movie will bring you up then tear you down.

19 June 2010

Daddy Dearest

With Father's Day right around the corner, we thought it only appropriate that we remember the Fathers who don't normally receive the recognition they deserve. Even an average Joe turned nut job or the offspring of cannibalistic inbreeders need love too. So, without further ado and in no particular order, here is our list of the greatest dear old Dads.

28 Weeks Later 2007

Robert Carlyle stars in the second part of this epic zombie/virus flick as Don. He did what I'm sure most men probably dream of doing every night of the week... leaving their helpless wife in a house full of zombies to save his own ass. Then when she's found alive he does everything but strut in with an "It's all good" hoping she'd forget he abandoned her. Once he becomes infected he goes after his son and daughter like they'd taken the car out for a joyride and wrecked it.

Frailty 2001

Bill Paxton takes on what I think is his darkest role to date. His idea of outdoor games is a little different than that of the ordinary Dad. Teaching his kids to catch involves sinning strangers and an axe. Let's just hope he's nowhere near the next time I go to the grocery store. Eek!

The Amityville Horror 1979

Is there anything scarier than a Dad who goes bonkers for no apparent reason? James Brolin plays George Lutz, a man who gladly becomes the head of a blended family then gets possessed by a house dwelling demon. Kinda reminds me of my stepdad but without the demon.

The Shining 1980

Talk about demon possession, Jack Nicholson stars as Jack Torrance, a struggling writer who drags his family off to a mountain resort and ends up kissing corpses, drinking with dead people and trying to murder his family. And they considered that a vacation?

Wrong Turn 2: Dead End 2007

Unlike the Dad's on our list whose sole mission is to mame and murder their children, Ken Kirzinger only wants to protect and feed his. Yes, he's gotta kill normal people to do it but wouldn't we all do that for our kids if we had to?

The Stepfather 1987

Probably one of the most sadistic Fathers on the list Terry O'Quinn scared the pants off us all as he searched for the perfect family leaving a trail of bodies along the way.

The People Under the Stairs 1991

Last but not least on our list for this year is Everett McGill who portrays an abusive father in this stylish Wes Craven flick. Mean to the bone for no other reason than he can be, no list would be complete without him.

Happy Father's Day Mother Fuckers!

18 June 2010

Discussion - Best/Worst Horror Cliches

Horror films are known for being over indulgent and sometimes a little dramatic with the cliches and one could argue that such films are merely one recycled idea after another. Especially with writers/directors having such a hard time coming up with new ideas and studios being content with bringing remake after remake to the screen.

Saw burst onto the screen in 2004 with a completely new idea of terror. BUT, with six movies under it's belt and a seventh in the works, it gets a little tiring. I'm sure there are other films that "changed" the face of horror but we won't get into those in this discussion.

With all that said, tell me YOUR best/worst horror cliches. It can be anything you want, but it must be something that's just totally over used. For example -- running in the woods and OOPS he/she falls down -- for me that's almost the worst.

C'mon, what are you waiting for?? Join the fucking conversation!!

15 June 2010

No Aniston in Scream 4

I may be a little behind on this news but as expected, the rumor that Jennifer Aniston would be making an appearance in Scream 4 has been quashed. A spokesperson for the Weinstein Company insists that this casting report is "not true".

Star magazine had reported earlier this month that Aniston's role would've been similar to that of Drew Barrymore's in the original.

Aniston, who hasn't appeared in a horror film since 1993's Leprechaun (FYI: her first movie role) has stuck mostly to romantic comedies most recently The Switch with Jason Bateman. I say "GO FOR IT JEN!!" Scream is a very successful horror franchise and would definitely open her up to a whole new audience. C'mon, it's what like 5 minutes, if that? I'd like to see her do it and I have no doubt Angelina Jolie would have no problem watching her get her "ass cut-the-fuck-up."

12 June 2010

The Dark Hours 2005 - REVIEW

I spend a lot of time flipping through TV channels and guide surfing looking for movies to watch. Anyone who knows me, knows that I'm a sucker for a good independent film or low budget movie that wows me. Most of the time my efforts are reminiscent to that of the infamous Snipe Hunt except that I remain fully clothed, I did say most of the time right?, in that it's pretty much an impossible task. BUT, unlike the Snipe Hunt, there are those rare moments when I find exactly what I'm looking for.

Samantha Goodman (Kate Greenhouse) is a doctor who works with psychologically disturbed and criminally insane patients in a mental institution. When she discovers that she has a rare form of brain cancer and maybe a year to live she decides to surprise her writer husband David (Gordon Currie) and sister Melody (Iris Graham) at their isolated winter cabin to break the news about the tumor. Things are going just as she'd planned until an unexpected guest arrives. Harlan Pyne (Aidan Devine) is a violent sex offender who is convinced that Samantha conducted unethical experiments on him while she was his doctor. Accompanied by his eager to please protege Adrian (Dov Tiefenbach), they force Samantha and her family to participate in sadistic but revealing games.

Director Paul Fox does an incredible job at creating an intense claustrophobic atmosphere and writer Wil Zmack offers up a true psychological thriller. The content of the movie reminded me a bit of Funny Games with a touch of Hide and Seek mixed in. But don't expect the same end result. At first I thought, "Oh yeah, I got this figured out" but after I let it marinate for a bit, I realized I didn't know anything. The whole film is basically left up to the viewers interpretation. If you turn it off because you think you know what's gonna happen, you will miss everything good about it.

The performance by Aidan Devine is just that... Divine and carries the movie into darker and darker territory. In fact, the whole cast brought so much to the table that it's hard to imagine any other crew being able to pull it off. The characters are well defined which makes it easy for you to care what happens to them.

Best of all, Fox doesn't stoop to conventional methods to try and scare the audience. There aren't really any jump scenes and no suddenly loud music. It doesn't make you jump out of your seat, it makes you cringe. There's one part in particular (watch it and you'll know what I'm talking about). It gets the job done at being a taught psychological thriller, but pay attention. Missing five minutes can change your whole outlook of the film. No doubt controversial as you're left to draw your own conclusions. What's the truth? Which way does it really turn out? Did that really happen? If you're the kind of person that likes every detail tied up in a nice little bow, this movie isn't for you.

Because this film is open to so many different interpretations, if you've seen it, I'd love to debate it with you. If you haven't seen it, I suggest you go out and watch it then come back for a debate. =)

11 June 2010

Splice 2009 - REVIEW

Hollywood history is full of films that depict man's quest to create life by transgressing human reproduction. James Whale did it in his 1931 adaptation of Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein". Roman Polanski evolved the idea in "Rosemary's Baby" and Larry Cohen took contemporary paranoias and brought them to life in "It's Alive". Vincenzo Natali's "Splice" falls somewhere within the same category of mad science and moral/ethical conundrums however, that's about as far as the comparison can go (IMO).

Clive Nicoli (Adrien Brody) and Elsa Kast (Sarah Polley) are two rebellious scientists/lovers who are put in charge of developing a protein by splicing together genes from several different species. When their project goes horribly wrong, they are given an ultimatum, get it done or get out. They decide to ignore all moral, ethical and legal ramifications and secretly add human DNA to the sequence. What they end up with is a creature that rapidly transforms from a nasty little slug type thing into a beautiful winged chimera. Aside from the wide set eyes, she basically looks human from the waist up whereas the bottom half of her looks like something straight out of David Twohy's "The Arrival".

Elsa does her best at being a "protective mother" to the creature she's named Dren (Nerd spelled backwards) but Clive is not as enthusiastic about keeping this dirty little secret. The mother/daughter bond between Elsa and Dren (Delphine Chaneac) progresses nicely until she becomes too much to handle and when the threat of being discovered becomes too great, they move her to an old farm house once owned by Elsa's abusive and now dead mother. Poor Dren is locked away in the barn and left to play with her Barbies and costume jewelry but eventually, this is not enough and she becomes restless, flying into fits of rage, breaking things and running away.

Elsa soon becomes fed up with motherhood and switches back into scientist mode, proving that the psychopathy of the parent can in fact be transmitted to the child. BUT, never fear! The protective parent role is now being played by Clive, well sort of, and he comes to Dren's rescue... sort of. As the bond between parents and child switch, the danger level rises and it becomes clear that the experiment is over. One way or another.

Once again, I'm left wondering how movies are categorized these days. The way Splice was advertised, I expected an in your face SciFi/Horror. For me, this means I'm gonna get some freak, human/animal hybrid that runs amuck, killing and eating people... or eating them alive... or just killing people... kinda like Aliens. Instead I got something that played out more like a SciFi/Drama/Suspense. Maybe the last twenty minutes or so bumped it up to a Thriller but the only horror I found in the story were the actions of two selfish people trying to make a name for themselves without any regard for anything or anyone.

The effects were brilliant, as was the direction and the idea itself was refreshing in this current world of remakes and 3D. The story line didn't seem contrived at all. Everything that happened served a purpose in that it moved the story forward.

So, why am I so conflicted with this film? I'll tell you... I didn't get the complete 180 of either Brody or Polley's characters. Normally it's a transition that you would expect to see but... nope... totally different from one scene to the next. Talk about a bi-polar mess! Even Clive's brother Gavin (Brandon McGibbon) flip flopped like a slinky on a staircase and he was only in 4 scenes, IF THAT. The only consistent character was that of the chirping, purring science experiment and even William Barlow (David Hewlett) started off as an asshole and ended the same way. Consistency people, consistency!

I absolutely hated the fact that Natali gave in to the predictable ending syndrome that affects so many films today. In my opinion, the last five minutes were a complete waste of film but of course, we have to be left wondering "Hmm, will there be a sequel?" Well hell yeah... isn't there a sequel to everything nowadays?

All in all, I found Splice to be fresh and entertaining. I'm not sure that it could scare the pants off anyone over the age of 10 but it's most definitely a nail biter. The innocence of Dren will suck you in and keep you watching, if for no other reason than to root for her.

03 June 2010

Jennifer Aniston to join Scream 4 cast?

Star magazine is reporting that Jennifer Aniston will have a small cameo part in Scream 4. Supposedly, Aniston's long time BFF and 'Friends' costar, Courtney Cox, had a part in getting her into the film. Not sure how much of this can be believed as it's coming from a gossip magazine. We'll keep you posted!!