Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Horror Films on Netflix 2012 (Part 3)

And I'm back for 5 more films to quench your thirst for horror. [Insert rest of witty intro here] Don't forget to catch up with Part 1 & Part 2.

October 11th: Poltergeist II (1986)
I have to start by stating that the first Poltergeist is a personal favorite. That fact alone set the bar of expectation for this installment very high. It wasn't particularly bad; I just couldn't get behind some major details. The new Native American and evil cult leader characters were stereotypically goofy. They would have benefited from a darker feel that didn't make them look like such cartoon characters. Then again, these films were always made to be "Family Horror" so I guess we're stuck with this.
October 12th: Nosferatu (1922)
Surprisingly creepy. Though this isn't because of excellent film making. Nosferatu is creepy because Max Schreck is naturally creepy. I know it's a classic and perhaps ahead of it's time, but I would have shown way less of the Nosferatu character. That way we can relate more to other major characters. More build-up would have gained Nosferatu a lot more mysticism and would make for a great reveal. Instead we get a few awkward scenes of Mr. Nosferatu walking slowly with his finger nails up. A lot of it seems like the director walked around a set saying "Ooooh, this place is creepy. Max should walk down these parts!" I'd give this film 5 stars due to it's impact on the horror genre, but I guess I must be in a bad mood or something. Sorry Nossy...
October 13th: Hellraiser (1987)
Hellraiser gives goosebumps. No comedy, just a lot of dark, twisted horror. Something a lot of 80's horror films could have used. Not the best acting, but at this point, do we even expect great acting in horror films? I don't usually say this, but this is one of the few horror classics that could use a grand reboot. Pinhead has taken a backseat to Jason, Michael, and Freddy and has been mostly forgotten by today's youth. It's time to raise some hell.

October 14th: Grave Encounters (2011)
Maybe it's because I've always wanted to work on a ghost hunting show, or maybe it's because I can relate to the whole "reality" TV production background. For whatever reason, I love this film more than I should. I'd be the first to say how much the horse has been beaten by "Blair Witch knockoffs", but it comes down to one question: Did your hair stand on the back of your neck? I'd have to answer that with a big "Yes". Sadly, these films don't have much replay value since the jumps are best when unexpected. In fact, the only replay value they really have is watching them with friends to see their reaction. Very "2 Girls, 1 Cup-esque". Gross, I know. But Grave Encounters does a fantastic job of taking it's viewers for a strange ride. Oh, and there's a sequel...

October 15th: The Faculty (1998)
What do Frodo Baggins, Jean Grey, The Daily Show, Shooter McGavin, Hyde from That 70's Show, and Usher all have in common? They're all in this film. And I haven't even mentioned Josh Hartnett or Salma Hayek yet. This might be the strangest assortment of actors I've ever seen. The film is fun but in no way scary. A good way to describe it: Aliens invading the set of American Pie. If I wasn't so familiar with the entire cast, I might have lost all interest within the first 10 minutes. Luckily I get a kick out of seeing actors in a worse state.

Yadda yadda yadda, witty witty witty. Bridge to Halloween music. End Scene.

Marilyn Manson
"Sweet Dreams"
Some of them want to use you
Some of them want to get used by you
Some of them want to abuse you
Some of them want to be abused.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Horror Films on Netflix 2012 (Part 2)

And here we go again with the next installment of Horror Films on Netflix 2012. If you missed the first part you can catch up by clicking here.

October 4th: The Fog (1980)
Who let that creepy old sailor near those kids? This has John Carpenter's fingerprints all over it from the feel to the pace. It doesn't even come within a stone's throw of the original Halloween but it still is efficient enough to get the scares that audiences desire. And I use "scares" loosely. I was never on the edge of my seat but the story was intriguing enough to keep me interested. Sadly, if John Carpenter wasn't the director/writer/music behind this film, I have a feeling that it would have been forgotten with time.
October 5th: The Thing (1982)
Sorry to all the dog lovers for that video, but John Carpenter redeems himself with this instant classic. And no, I'm not talking about that new prequel. The original has such a suspenseful feel to it so you'll have no choice but to get involved with the story. You'll be teased with potential scares over and over again until you just can't take it anymore and develop anxiety. Last year I had The Thing ranked as the #2 horror film on Netflix. Maybe it'll take the #1 spot for this year???

October 6th: Tucker & Dale vs. Evil (2010)
Genius! While watching this film, I had the sudden urge to rip the concept off and do my own movie just for fun. I love the idea of having a friendly pair of rednecks who just want to enjoy their new vacation cabin in the woods but are terrorized by neighboring college kids due to stereotyping and a lot of bad luck. The action is ridiculous at times but you can't help but feel for these two backwoods boys as they go through this hilarious yet unrelenting ordeal.

October 7th: Atrocious (2010)
Another one of those "Oh look! A camera! I should videotape everything until I die in the not so distant future!" kinds of movies ... except it's in Spanish. Very slow despite it having a short running time of 1 hour and 13 minutes. I understand why the filmmakers were spending so much time developing the vastness of the maze, but I found my interest getting just as lost as these characters. The payoff was decent though. It ends on a scary note but had nothing original to add to the popular "Oh look! A camera! I Should videotape everything until I die in the not so distant future!" sub-genre of horror. Official name?

October 8th: The Burning (1981)
I got into this a lot more than I should have. My rating is based purely on how well the film was made, but if I factor in my love for 80's slasher films, it would be a little bit higher. I enjoyed the characters despite their goofiness. Plus, it has a young, less bald George Costanza. I would make some changes though. I would have trashed the story behind the burnt killer going to the hospital to ultimately turn into a psychopath when he kills a New York prostitute. Either advance his depth of character by showing more of his metamorphosis or keep it as an old campfire story. Or maybe turn the nerd into a schizophrenic, revengeful killer who is mistaken for the burnt man. But it's from the stereotypical 80's so we're stuck with a predictable Friday the 13th rip-off.

October 9th: Trick 'r Treat (2007)
Well this sucks. Trick 'r Treat was just recently pulled from Netflix. I was prepared to go on a rant about how I've watched this film multiple times after my first viewing. Last October, I had it at #6 on my Top 10 Horror Films on Netflix, but now it's become my new favorite Halloween film. It's very entertaining and I can't get enough of it. I assume it'll be back streaming once Fear.net finishes it's 24 hour Halloween marathon of the film, but who knows. How bout we get that planned sequel out?!
RATING (despite disqualification):

October 10th: Creepshow (1982)
Not a film to scare, just entertain. The tagline almost gets it right when it proclaims Creepshow as "The Most Fun You'll Ever Have Being Scared". Basically what we have here is a horror anthology directed by the great George A. Romero with a screenplay from the just as great Stephen King. That makes it's easy to get behind despite it's real lack of horror. The entertainment factor hasn't stopped this film from becoming a lovable classic though. Plus appearances from Ted Danson & Leslie Nielsen can't hurt, right?

Another installment of spooky thrills finished. Just 20 more films to go before we go ahead and make a Top 10 out of these bad boys on Halloween. In the meantime, here's another tune to keep your mind indulged with the spirit of Halloween.

Rob Zombie
"Living Dead Girl"
Crawl on me
Sink into me
Die for me
Living Dead Girl
Blood on her skin
Dripping with Sin
Do it again
Living Dead Girl

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Horror Films on Netflix 2012 (Part 1)

Ladies and gentlemen, it's officially October, which means I've gone horror movie crazy. We're already 3 days in and I'm 3 films deep with a whole list of potential Netflix gems that will keep my mind satisfied until Halloween. And as long as my freelance work doesn't pick up again (looking like it might), I'll be updating this blog regularly throughout the month with reviews and suggestions.

So lets start this bucket of filth off right. The first few days I've decided to ease myself into the process with movies that aren't the scariest or best, but definitely have their perks.You'll see what I'm talking about...

October 1st: Fido (2007)
A Zombie War that ends with Zombies enslaved as the humans' servants? What an interesting Canadian film. I love the concept and alternate 1950's timeline, but I thought the Cinematographer could have done a better job of imitating the filmmaking style of the 50's. I'm not saying it was bad in any way. It's just the music, acting, and writing all fit the content but the cinematography, minus the opening shown above, just didn't do the same for me. Still a great satire on American values and the media with enough zombie fun to please most enthusiasts. Wait a minute... isn't that Trinity from The Matrix???

October 2nd: Killer Klowns from Outer Space (1988)
"What are you gonna do, knock my block off?!" Let me explain my mindset throughout the film. First I started with some laughter for the horrible writing/acting and ridiculousity [new word alert] of everything. Then there was a bunch of "WTF's" let out during certain scenes. My laughter would dissipate... and I slowly dozed off ... I woke up for the not-so-climatic ending and with a negative impression stained to my mind. On a positive note, the clown costumes were incredible for the time. And according to the directors, they're planning a sequel next year. Will I watch it? ...Eh, why not? "Damn". 

October 3rd: Dead Snow (2009)
Well if this doesn't make you want to play a round of Call of Duty: Nazi Zombies then I don't know what will. Basically a Norwegian Friday the 13th installment, but instead of the young, horny campers being terrorized by an undead Jason Voorhees on Camp Crystal Lake (or in Space... ugggh), they're attacked by an undead army of Nazis in the snowy mountains of Norway. I had a lot of fun watching this film. Ridiculous at times, but that was expected. I wasn't too excited about having to read subtitles for 88 minutes, but the actors do a great job of carrying the film despite the language barrier. Thoroughly enjoyed.

Well that be alls I got so far. And just so you can have a sneak peak of what's in store, here's some of the films that made it to this month's Queue:

The Burning
Children of the Corn
Creepshow 2
The Faculty
The Fog
Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer
The Host
House on Haunted Hill (1959)
Land of the Dead
The Last Exorcism
Poltergeist II
The Prince of Darkness
Santa Sangre
The Sentinel (1977)
Session 9

As you can see, I've really dropped the ball by never seeing some mandatory cult hits (Candyman, Children of the Corn, The Fog). I've also fallen behind on the foreign horror scene, which is some of the best right now. And note the lack of Human Centipede films. Take that for what it's worth. Oh, and I might as well keep this month's "Tasty Track's" consistent with content...

The Misfits
Bonfires burning bright
Pumpkin faces in the night
I remember halloween
Dead cats hanging from poles
Little dead are out in groves
I remember halloween