Carrie (2013)

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6.5/10

Chloe Moretz and Julianne Moore star in this remake of the 1976 thriller about a girl with telekinetic powers. This film wasn’t as bad as i thought it was going to be. The dialogue was awful, the high school kids were a little over the top with their villain hatred, and it’s a little hard to believe Chloe Moretz in this role. Moretz is a great actress and a great pick for the role of the prom scene, but it’s every thing else that i have a problem with believing her in the role. Moretz is too beautiful to play a role that was described as an “Ugly duckling” in Stephen King’s book. The prom scene is pretty badass though. They modernized it to make some pretty gruesome deaths that much more interesting. Julianne Moore and Judy Doyle were amazing as the mother and gym teach of Carrie White, respectively. Moore is one of those actresses that can play any role you put her in. She is just that damn good. I sort of wish the film were a little longer than the 91 minute cut that we received. I can imagine there are some decent deleted scenes as there was a good chunk of the story left out. Still, Carrie isn’t a bad little film. I would recommend it for the dollar theater if you want to get out of the house. We don’t really learn anything new in the story, so the only reason to see it is to see the performances by the different actors at the helm.

Birth of the Living Dead

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6.5/10

This documentary about George Romero’s original zombie masterpiece shows us the struggles of introducing the world to zombies. It’s hard to understand today just how much Romero went through with trying to get this film into theaters and drive ins because the world as we know it today loves zombies. What i loved about this film was all of the stuff i learned about the cast, what it took to purchase the equipment and the copyright mistake that led to a horror classic possibly losing millions of the take it brought in. This documentary gives us some great in depth interviews with Romero. The master of zombies tells us that no one wanted to give a first time 27 year old director a chance, and how that was his motivation to get the film released. The only thing i didn’t like about this film was how many films outside of the horror world that it took credit for. I don’t exactly think The Godfather trilogy was made because of the negative ending in Night of the Living Dead. It’s a bit of a stretch to claim many cinematic classics, but i see what they were going for. Check it out if you are like me, and a big fan of the Romero zombie epics

Machete Kills

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6/10

A decent sequel from the same people who brought you the legendary original. This film lays the ground for a very unusual trilogy. I will not give much away about the upcoming third film, but this film gave what it always promises. It had great and goofy action scenes with a lot of blood. It had laughs that were a little few and far between, but still there. It had crazy characters played by some big time actors. The best of those performances are from Mel Gibson and Cuba Gooding JR. Cuba is only in the film for a few minutes, but his performance is one of my favorites just on the attitude he brings to the role he is playing. Gibson is great as the villain of the film. He creates a Star Wars-esque scenary (Yes you read that right) that creates an over the top finale. The things i didn’t like about the film were petty, but they were there. I have never been a fan of CGI blood when there are so many amazing special effects guys anymore. Hell, Tom Savini was starring in the movie, so there is absolutely no reason for this. I get that they might do it to make it look cheesy, but i think human effects would make it even funnier. I also didn’t like the ground work laid for the 3rd film. I will definitely go see it, but i am not looking too forward to it based on the scenery. These films are all about the goofy, but sometimes you can take it a little too far. I recommend Machete Kills if you want a good time at the movies. There isn’t anything wrong with waiting till dollar theaters though to see it.

Curse of Chucky

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7/10

The moral of this story is to never judge a book by it’s previous covers. The Child’s Play franchise isn’t one one of my favorites in horror, but i did enjoy the first one. I think it’s a pretty silly premise, but has it’s charms with some great death scenes and a story that is good but never gives us a full history lesson. That is all multiplied by 5 with Curse of Chucky. This is the best film in the franchise by far. It’s got amazing death scenes, an amazing story that i will get to later and a cast of great characters. Brad Douriff dons the voice of the knife hurling doll known as Chucky. It was great to also see his daughter, Fiona Douriff as the lead of the film as a wheel chaired victim who must overcome her situation. The film is filmed with other amazing cameos that i am not going to spoil for you, and we finally get to find out the back story of the killer who possesses the Chucky doll, Charles Lee Ray. Brad Douriff had a lot to do with writing this film because he wrote a very clever way to bring Chucky back which none of the other sequels have figured out. Chucky is also menacing in this one like he was in the original. Sure, there are some comedic lines, but it’s not overdone. Chucky became a literal joke to everyone with the last couple films and this rightfully brings him back as a legend in the horror genre. The acting was terrible as usual with this film and some of the characters are dumb by actions, but i don’t think the film suffered as a result of it. Curse of Chucky is one of the biggest surprises of the year in my book, and it definitely reaches the top 5 in horror for the year of 2013. I recommend this film to fans of the franchise or anyone who thought that last few movies were crap. I think this is a film that likers and haters of Chucky will all enjoy.

Insidious : Chapter Two

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5/10

I am convinced that i may be the only person who didn’t like this movie. I have seen posts over the last week from people saying it was “The best movie ever” and “The best horror film of the year”. It all left me scratching my head after watching it. Insidious 2 does have it’s moments. I particularly enjoyed the storyline about the abused little boy and the spirit of the woman in black. It made complete sense when they were explaining the back story and some of the things that happened in the first film. The one thing i didn’t understand was how the good spirit of Josh could hear the alarm going off in the first film and then be the one ringing the alarm at the same time in the 2nd film. The thing that is real depressing is that i laughed my way through a lot of this film. The fight scenes were anything but suspenseful and the scenes are just utterly pointless. The comedic dialogue was great (especially with the two nerds), but it doesn’t belong in a demonic film this dark. The score is once again phenominal. There is something about hearing violins during jumpy scenes that really heightens the terror. I also enjoyed the work of Patrick Wilson and Rose Byrne. They were definitely the right choices for the mother and father of this family. This film really made me sad for the first one because i LOVED that movie. The suspense was great and it didn’t need some cheap comedy laughs or even a backstory for it to be great. Speaking of which, where the hell did the man with the red face go in this sequel? He is nowhere to be found. You would think that he would have a lot to do with this abused child becoming a killer. Overall, i DO recommend this film because i know people are going to like it because some people were not raised on classic horror films. This is a genre that i am a very tough critic with because it’s my favorite kind of films, but i do not give this a passing grade.

All The Boys Love Mandy Lane

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3/10

What a horrible piece of mess. This 2006 shelved film just came out this year and stars Amber Heard as a teenage girl who goes on a weekend getaway with the popular crowd. I can only imagine that the reason this film was on the shelf for 7 years is because it is a complete failure. I appreciate the original idea they were going for with this film, and some of the deaths are cool, but this film has a lot of problems. First of all the acting is terrible. Even for a straight to DVD horror film, the acting is some of the worst of the year. With that acting comes awful dialogue. Even for stupid teenagers, i can’t picture them saying some of the conversations that are said in this film. Not one character you give a single bit about. They are all expendable and a waste in the truest form. The film is a whodunnit? which takes us back to the horror films of the 90’s, but you realize who the killer is within the first 25 minutes. It is during the 40th minute when the killer reveals themselves, and 50 minutes still to spare. The thing that the director didn’t realize is that there is nothing left after you give the big reveal, so it struggles for the rest of the movie. The remainder does include a swerve that i can say i did see coming, but it does work. It’s just too late by this point. The close of the movie shows possibly the worst 10 minute fight scene i have ever seen. Neither person work well in a fighting angle, and it looks like a teenage girl slap fight. This is dead and useless film here people. Do yourself a favor and pass on this one when you see it on the movie store shelf. You will be glad you read this review first

Riddick

 

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7.5/10

I really enjoyed this sequel to Pitch Black and The Chronicles of Riddick. In my opinion, this film is more similar to the style in Pitch Black. It’s rated R, and the storylines of the two films are very similar. There were of course some very enjoyable differences. This film has the best characters of the three films. The acting is a little dull with a couple of them, but i haven’t cared about characters fate as much as i do in this one. That cast is led by Katie Sackoff, who i think is the best character in the film. She is kind of like a female Riddick without all of the cliche’s. She is definitely the biggest badass female i have seen in cinema this year. I also enjoyed the ending as i felt it gave something different to this trilogy. I was worried that this film’s ending was going to fall in the same category as the other two, but it gave a little twist at the end that made you keep from rolling your eyes. I thought the CGI of the landscape looked great at night, but very fake during the day shots. I think Riddick films work better at night anyway because that is what he is all about. If there is a fourth film in the series, i would like to see a movie completely at night time. The monsters in this movie were very original and packed a lethal punch to give Riddick a hard fight. I recommend this film to fans of the series and action buffs alike. There are parts that will have you rolling your eyes at the believability, but come on, it’s a Vin Diesel movie.

You’re Next

 

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4.5/10

This film just didn’t do it for me. Maybe i will be wrong about this one and people will enjoy it after they watch it. There is certainly enough to like about this film. It has an amazing female lead who is tough to the core and has no problems defending herself. It has a good setting in a creepy mansion in the countryside. That certainly makes for some eerie scenes. It has an amazing score which at times took you back to an 80’s horror suspense. Finally, it had a great setup. When you find out who the killers are, you realize that it is a great idea for a movie. The problem is that i didn’t really care about the killers when i found out who they were because i haven’t been given enough time to care. The movie starts with two quick murders and then slows down for the better part of 20 minutes. It shows us a fight with a family and then the murders start again. So basically, these characters whine about the dumbest things and seem like rich snobs. Not exactly a stereotype we can all sympathize with. I also felt they were a little sluggish with the death scenes. Some of the murders are shown, but a couple were given the camera-away shot with the violence. The acting and dialogue were awful. These are the dumbest characters in a movie maybe ever. They know that three masked people are shooting arrows at them from outside, but still want to run outside because they feel they have a good chance to get away from them. The ending is kind of abrupt and doesn’t give the greatest answer with what happens. I would really be curious in having other people watch this film and see what they think. My two friends liked the movie, and thought it was good. Maybe i am just a tough judge when it comes to horror because it is my favorite genre, and the genre i grew up on. I certainly could understand if someone liked this film, but it’s just not for me. As a result, i can’t really recommend this film, but i would like to get some opinions from other people who have seen it. Please post if you do

Escape From Tomorrow

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.5/10

WOW!!! What the hell did i just watch? Disney World is put under a dark side in this film that resembles Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. For those of you who don’t know this film was shot entirely guerilla style at Disney World without Disney’s permission. Because the film changes the music in the background, it does qualify as legal use. Disney have distanced themselves from this film and i totally understand why. First of all, the good things. It does have a decent premise that would have been much better under a different and more experienced director. They were going for the whole secret side of Disney thing here, and i can get behind that. It’s execution is done so weird and pointless that you wonder what the hell you just watched. The acting (Even for amateurs) is pathetic. I am going to go on a limb and say anyone associated with this film will probably never work in cinema again. I also liked the music in the background of the film. I think that some of the music mixed with the beautiful noir black and white shots makes for some enjoyable moments. The problem is that those moments are few and far between. This is one of those movies so bad that it has to be seen to be believed. I find it amazing how they filmed this whole movie on Canon cameras and Iphones because some of the shots leave you wondering how the hell they did that. I just wish more effort would have been put to the actual script itself. I never thought i would see one of the best films i have ever seen and one of the worst in the same week, but i am far past surprised in this business, anymore

The Conjuring

 

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7.5/10

I really enjoyed this horror/suspense movie about a family that is the victims of a possession. Based on a true story, this film has been receiving mostly positive reviews with even some comparing it to The Exorcist. Personally, i thought the film was done really well with great acting and a lot of visuals that make the non-horror fan very scared. I don’t think deep horror fans (like myself) will be that scared or bothered by this film. I found 2012’s Sinister a little more bothering to me. That doesn’t mean that this film doesn’t deserve the praise it’s getting. The Conjuring tells a very creepy story that makes you wonder how this family is ever going to get out of it. Some of the negatives of the film was the weak body count and a somewhat anti-climatic ending. Some of the positives was the great acting led by Vera Farmiga as a psychic with the ability to see demons.Also, i don’t praise child actors often, but i thought they were outstanding in this film. All five of the children add something to a great formula. I also think the musical score is one of the best of the year. I think the music in particular is where a lot of the comparisons to past horror films comes from. I would recommend this film to horror fans new and old who are looking for a recipe on horror films done right. There have been many done wrong in the last 15 years, but The Conjuring is one that we will be talking about for years to come.

World War Z

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8/10

This is the happiest i have been after an original zombie film since 2003 (28 Days Later). The world is overrun by disease infected zombies in this end of the world drama. I say “disease infected” because this film treats the zombie epidemic as a disease…..and it works. It’s nice to see a film take an old idea and make it fresh again with the psychology and not the killings of zombies. That is what makes World War Z different; the zombies infect, not kill. Some of the scenes were amazingly scored by rock legends Muse, which only adds to a heart dropping scene like the one in the plane. Things i didn’t like about this film was the camera work. I got a headache watching this film that took me back to Die Hard 5 earlier this year. Shaky cam work doesn’t always have to be a stable in an action scene. I know why they do it, but just shoot the scene and leave it at that. I also had a dispute with the ending, but because of spoilers i can’t get into that. Brad Pitt is just ok as the lead in this film, nothing good or bad. I felt that a no namer could’ve done just as well, but it probably wouldn’t have sold in that perspective. Overall, i recommend this film in theaters but not in 3D. Outside of the plane scene, i didn’t feel it added anything great.

The Purge

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6/10

First off, i didn’t like or hate this movie. The difference with this movie as opposed to The Lords of Salem is that this film had the potential to be great. During the first 70 minutes, it is a good film. It gives a great build-up right to the point of the bad people breaking into the house. From there, it’s like the writers didn’t know how to follow in the last 20 minutes. There is a twist ending that gives the film life again, but they abandon it for an ending that is both predictable and corny. This film is enriched with good performances by Ethan Hawke and the leader of the creepy outsiders, Rhys Wakefield. The movie oozes in symbolism for the way we do things in our current society just to prove a point. This isn’t one of the finer points of the film. Finally, i finished the film wondering how all criminals and murderers obide by rules made by our founding fathers. THEY ARE MURDERERS!!! THERE ARE NO RULES FOR THEM!!!! I would recommend this film if you have a dollar theater in your town. Other than that, i wouldn’t waste your time in theaters.