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Posts Tagged ‘31 Days of Horror’

The Legend of Boggy Creek, 1972 – Movie Review – 31 Days of Horror

Posted by LiveFor on October 31, 2009

legend_of_boggy_creekDirector: Charles B Pierce
Starring: Vern Stierman
Score: 5/10

This great review by Rich Payne.

Picture the scene: the sleepy town of Fouke, Arkansas, population 350. Nestled deep in swamp country near the Louisiana border, Fouke is an insular but essentially clean-living southern American community of hunters and fishermen. This lonely, ramshackle cluster, flanked on all sides by the sodden rot of thickly wooded Boggy Creek, is the perfect setting for a standard hillbilly scarefest. But this is a different proposition entirely; an at times baffling blur of lo-fi horror and narrator-led documentary.

The boggy backdrops are mostly real locations where sightings of the mysterious creature have occurred. The on-screen faces reenacting reported close encounters with the Monster of Boggy Creek are often the very witnesses themselves. What is lost in finesse is made up for in humble authenticity. Amateur director and ad man Charles Pierce intersperses reconstructions of numerous sasquatch-like encounters in the bottomland of Fouke with his occasionally comical, grandfatherly voiceover, chronicling years of alleged sightings of the foul-smelling, six-foot beast.

Pierce made this film for next to nothing, and it shows. That it has since generated millions of dollars as an underground classic is more likely testament to the original concept than its final execution. Like American Splendor, The Legend of Boggy Creek is for the most part drama, with genre-bending forays into the realm of the documentary. There’s no escaping the lack of refinement, but at times this works in the film’s favour, with mistimed cuts and awkward acting producing a truly unnerving spectacle. Like Mark Borchardt’s Coven, a raw eye for filmmaking and bags of originality compensate for the self-funded indie production values.

From the opening line of, ‘I was seven years old when I first heard him scream,’ Pierce is using his limited resources and experience to good effect. He employs witness accounts to fashion the legend of a monster spotted and heard regularly by Fouke locals for over twenty years. The content of these accounts? Farm animals butchered, huge footprints discovered, and lonesome wails late at night, deep in the stagnant mist of the woods.

It’s easy to see why The Legend of Boggy Creek has become such a cult hit. It’s creative, endearingly rough around the edges and great fun, whether intended or not. Here we have a marvellous concept that struggles to fill the mould it’s carved for itself. It’ll appeal to a certain niche this Halloween, but despite its honesty and quirky creativity, The Legend of Boggy Creek is, like the mythical creature at its heart, destined to fade into obscure folklore.

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Night of the Creeps, 1986 – Movie Review – 31 Days of Horror

Posted by LiveFor on October 27, 2009

NOTC_05Director: Fred Dekker
Starring: Jason Lively, Jill Whitlow, Steve Marshall, Allan Kayser, Tom Atkins

An excellent review by BA Harrison – all part of my 31 Days of Horror.

Send me your horror film reviews.

Many successful Hollywood names have used horror as a springboard to launch their careers, but for director Fred Dekker and his cast, the opposite seems to have happened: after Night of the Creeps, an affectionate homage to the schlock B-movie sci-fi/horrors of the 50s, Dekker had one other hit (with kiddie flick Monster Squad) before crashing and burning with Robocop 3; roles for stars Jason Lively, Jill Whitlow, Steve Marshall, and Allan Kayser dried up soon after (only grizzled tough guy Tom Atkins, who unsurprisingly plays a grizzled tough guy cop, has gone on to have a long film career, but then he is one of the coolest character actors in the biz).

The lack of success for nearly all involved is a real shame, because based on the strength of this fun flick, they all deserved to go onto much bigger and better things (I know I’d liked to have seen much more of Whitlow, who is a total babe).

Beginning with a nifty prologue, which sees an alien experiment crash land on Earth and unleash its cargo of parasitic creatures, and ending with an all-out zombie attack on a sorority house full of teens, Dekker’s script is a delightfully daft but endearing slice of intentionally cheesy B-movie fun. Lively and Marshall play college nerds Chris and J.C., who attempt to steal a dead body from a cryogenic research facility as part of a frat prank; the only problem is, the body they try to make off with is host to alien slugs that enter live humans and transform them into flesh-eating ghouls.

After best bud J.C. falls victim to the brain burrowing critters, Chris sets out to rid the planet of the alien pests, aided by beautiful student Cynthia (Whitlow) and cop-with-a-tragic-history Ray Cameron (Atkins).

Considering that this is his debut as director, Dekker shows great confidence and flair behind the camera, and gets solid performances from his cast, all of whom have just the right amount of tongue in their cheeks. Working from his own script (that clearly displays both his love and understanding of the genre), Dekker pays tribute to everything from 50s sci-fi, Romero’s ‘Dead’ movies, and teen comedies, and even has time to throw in an axe-wielding psycho and a cameo from genre great Dick Miller for good measure.

Occasionally, the lack of a big budget is evident, particularly when it comes to the effects, which vary wildly in quality, and the cheese is perhaps laid on a little too thick at times—naming characters after famous horror directors ain’t THAT clever, and Atkins’ catchphrase (‘thrill me’) quickly gets tiresome—but for the most part, it all works very well, and the result is a witty, memorable, inventive, and thoroughly enjoyable time-waster.

Previous 31 Days of Horror reviews: The Broken, The Burrowers, The Unborn, Don’t Look Know, Snoop Dogg’s Hood of Horror, Christine, Pontypool, Diary of the Dead, Doctor Terror’s House of Horror, Wrong Turn 3, Zoltan Hound of DraculaHome Movie, The ThingVamp, Audition, The Fury, Blood Feast, Paranormal Activity, Braindead, Halloween, Friday the 13th Part 2, Martin, Fright Night, Zombieland

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The Broken, 2008 – Movie Review – 31 Days of Horror

Posted by LiveFor on October 26, 2009

Director: Sean Ellis
Starring: Lena Headey, Melvil Poupaud, Richard Jenkins, Asier Newman, Michelle Duncan
Running Time: 88 minutes
Score: 5 / 10

This review is by Chris Pandolfi – all part of my 31 Days of Horror.

Watching “The Broken” is like playing an endless game of Clue without ever finding out who killed Mr. Boddy. It’s a mystery without a solution, a tense psychological drama that reveals nothing other than how tense and psychological it is. It plays mind games only with itself, leaving the audience to watch from the sidelines in a bored, confused stupor. The idea behind it is intriguing, and for a time, it successfully builds itself up. The thing is, the act of building is pointless if there’s no height requirement. At a certain point, it becomes painfully clear that the story will only keep building without ever reaching anything. I do give it credit for creating the right atmosphere; the characters inhabit a moody, subdued world where nothing seems safe, not even a person’s own home. But atmosphere can only go so far, even in a horror film. It also needs an understandable story with an ending that doesn’t leave us with more questions than answers.

It doesn’t help that “The Broken” is unbearably slow, and this is despite the relatively short running time of eighty-eight minutes. Specific shots are dragged out so long that I eventually stopped waiting for something shocking to happen. It works only the first few times, at which point I kept in mind that suspense is most effective when things go slowly. After those few times pass, however, the film comes dangerously close to being boring, moments of horror and all. This is probably because it does a fine job showing us what happens, but it does a terrible job explaining why or how it’s happening. By the end of the film, I was unable to make heads or tails of what I had just seen. What a shame, especially since it opens on such a promising note.

The film begins by quoting the final lines of Edgar Allen Poe’s short story “William Wilson”: “You have conquered, and I yield. Yet, henceforward art thou also dead–dead to the World, to Heaven and to Hope! In me didst thou exist–and, in my death, see by this image, which is thine own, how utterly thou hast murdered thyself.” The story, you see, explores the theme of the doppelganger, or the double, where the self is divided amongst two separate yet identical bodies. In Poe’s story, another William Wilson–who looks similar and shares the same birthday–continuously haunts the protagonist to the point of insanity. The same theme exists in “The Broken,” which tells the story of Gina McVey (Lena Headey), a British radiologist who, after seeing a clone of herself, gets into a serious car accident. As she recovers, she begins to fear that things aren’t quite right, that her French boyfriend, Stephan (Melvil Poupaud), isn’t the person he once was.

From here, the story takes a long-winded journey through strange territory, where mirrors constantly shatter and fragmented bits of memory keep flashing on the screen. Gina keeps trying to make sense of the crash, and apparently, so is writer/director Sean Ellis, who constantly shows it in slow-motion replays from various angles. He also relies greatly on composer Guy Farley, whose score is almost entirely made up of dissonant crescendos. It creates a mood, but what good is mood without context? Scary things keep happening, yet there’s no explanation for any of it, which tells me one of two things: Either this movie is an experimental art piece that intentionally challenges rational thought, or Ellis was so taken by the psychological themes that he neglected to focus on an actual plot. It’s difficult to believe that it’s the former, given the fact that Gina is not the only character with a doppelganger problem. Her American father (Richard Jenkins), her brother (Asier Newman), and her brother’s wife (Michelle Duncan) are all affected in some way, probably because of a scene early in the film–when the entire family eats dinner at the father’s house, a large mirror in the dining room suddenly falls over and shatters.

For the sake of argument, let us say that “The Broken” is intended to challenge rational thought. Are we to assume, then, that the plot itself is irrelevant, that we’re only supposed to follow the psychological implications? If that’s the case, then there’s no better example of it than a plot twist near the end of the film, which, if you choose to interpret it metaphorically, effectively raises questions about which side of a mirror represents the reflection.

But again, the fact that more than one character has a doppelganger makes the idea difficult to accept. How could such a broad psychological concept apply to so many people? Maybe this film would have worked had it focused entirely on Gina, because at least then the mystery would be much less open to interpretation. There would be some sense that the story is actually reaching for something. When you have multiple characters with evil doubles of themselves, the symbolic ideas are bound to get hopelessly confused with one another. Such is the problem with “The Broken,” a film that puts too many characters into a needlessly enigmatic story. I have no doubt that Ellis is trying to get at something, but for the life of me, I haven’t a clue what it is. The only thing I got out of it, aside from the atmosphere, was a desire to reread the works of Edgar Allen Poe. So maybe seeing this film wasn’t such a bad idea after all.

Previous 31 Days of Horror reviews:  The Burrowers, The Unborn, Don’t Look Know, Snoop Dogg’s Hood of Horror, Christine, Pontypool, Diary of the Dead, Doctor Terror’s House of Horror, Wrong Turn 3, Zoltan Hound of DraculaHome Movie, The ThingVamp, Audition, The Fury, Blood Feast, Paranormal Activity, Braindead, Halloween, Friday the 13th Part 2, Martin, Fright Night, Zombieland

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Wrong Turn, 2003 – Movie Review – 31 Days of Horror

Posted by LiveFor on October 24, 2009

wrong-turn-10-emmanuelle-chriqui-eliza-dushku-jessie-burlingame-carlyDirector: Rob Schmidt
Starring: Desmond Harrington, Eliza Dushku, Emmanuelle Chriqui, Jeremy Sisto, Kevin Zegers, Lindy Booth

This review by the awesome Action Flick Chick – Check out her site.

All part of my 31 Days of Horror.

Send me your horror film reviews.

It always gives me a warm fuzzy feeling inside after watching two people kick the asses of three inbred, disfigured cannibals who have been killing a ton of people. You can rest easy tonight knowing that there are no more cannibals, and the world is a safe place… that is, until the two sequels, anyway. Well, you can rest easy knowing that the ass kicking fun isn’t over with Wrong Turn.

Wrong Turn was written by Alan B. McElroy and directed by Rob Schmidt. Starring Desmond Harrington (Chris) and queen kicker of asses, Eliza Dushku (Jessie), Wrong Turn is about 6 young adults who get lost in the woods in West Virginia. When trying to find help, they find horrifying, disfigured cannibals instead. Don’t be so quick to judge, the cannibals did offer to help the youngsters…by putting them out of their misery and eating them; however, the group decided that it was more in alignment with their plans if they weren’t the main course of dinner so they ran.

Wrong Turn is a hillbilly hoedown of a good time. It’s really gross and is capable of making you grab the edge of your seat. If you’ve seen any horror flicks at all, then you know that probably everyone doesn’t make it out alive. Gasp! I know, I just ruined every horror flick for you. However, it is really fun to play the game “Who’s going to die next, and in what horrific way will they die?” Everyone didn’t die the same, predictable way and that is always bonus points in my book. The baddies sure were creative for inbred cannibals.

Another thing I liked about Wrong Turn was that the film gives you two really strong characters in Chris and Jesse. It wasn’t just one hero, and it wasn’t automatically the male. It’s nice to see a heroine standing beside the hero. Jesse was a tough female who yelled at the other girls for freakin’ out and also partook in the beatings of the asses. Yeah baby!

Sadly, there wasn’t a ton of action happening. It was a little slow to start, but then it does pick up. There was a lot of hiding and running from the baddies before they ever face each other for the showdown.

Overall this is a good one to watch with a group of friends for Halloween. It’s gory, it can make you jump, and has some decent action. Just make sure you don’t go into the woods for a hiking trip, or if you do make sure you go armed and with your hillbilly radar on full power.

Time until initial action: ~ 3 minutes

Time until the real action starts: ~ 22 minutes

Baddies: Disfigured, inbred, cannibalistic mountain men.

Best Line: “Can you hold this? Cause we’re going to knock this f***er out of the tree!”

Most Unique Kill: Two of the six people decide to stay with their car while the others walk back to town to get help. Francine (Lindy Booth) is not paying attention to her boyfriend, Evan (Kevin Zegers), as he wanders off into the woods and gets killed. She finally notices that Evan is gone and she is all by her lonesome, so she goes off into the woods looking for him. As she sees his shoe and bloody piece of an ear, she gets a string of barb wire put into her mouth and wrapped around her head. The unseen cannibal pulls the barb wire tightly making it cut into her cheeks and lifts her up off the ground. As if that wasn’t bad enough, the cannibals take her back to their shack and hack her up into pieces and do what cannibals do best, eat her.

Best Explosion: Wrong Turn is a little better than your average horror film because it actually has an explosion, and a pretty good one at that. Towards the end, Chris and Jessie are having their final show down against the inbred cannibals. They’ve escaped the cannibal’s shack and are looking back at it. The three cannibals are still inside. Earlier, a truck with some gas tanks on the back was crashed into the front of the shack. Chris shoots the gas tank and it explodes. The whole shack explodes and pieces of it float down from the sky.

Biggest Lapse in Judgment: Carly (Emmanuelle Chriqui) is one of the last three survivors. Carly, Chris, and Jessie are all jumping and running across the large tree tops to get away from the baddies. Carly gets a little tired and scared when they have to cross a narrow limb, so she decides to sit down and rest while the others cross. Well, that was about as productive as a booger eating contest. I mean seriously, what are you really getting accomplished? A clean nose maybe but you will forever be known as the one who ate their boogers for fun, which is not something most people brag about. Carly won’t be doing any bragging about how she stopped to rest and gather her thoughts because with that lapse in judgment she won a fast pass to her own death. She was gathering her thoughts a little too long because one of the cannibals caught up to her. Swinging and axe from behind Carly, the cannibal landed it right in her mouth chopping the top of her head clean off.

Action Rating: 2 Wrong Turns/Right Turns, out of 5

Previous 31 Days of Horror reviews: The Unborn, Don’t Look Know, Snoop Dogg’s Hood of Horror, Christine, Pontypool, Diary of the Dead, Doctor Terror’s House of Horror, Wrong Turn 3, Zoltan Hound of DraculaHome Movie, The ThingVamp, Audition, The Fury, Blood Feast, Paranormal Activity, Braindead, Halloween, Friday the 13th Part 2, Martin, Fright Night, Zombieland

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The Unborn, 2009 – Movie Review – 31 Days of Horror

Posted by LiveFor on October 23, 2009

Director: David Goyer
Starring: Odette Yustman, Gary Oldman, Carla Gugino, Cam Gigandet, Megan Good
Running Time: 87 minutes

This review by Rob Hunter over at Film School Rejects.

all part of my 31 Days of Horror.

Send me your horror film reviews.

The Unborn opens with a dream sequence that includes a dog wearing a mask. And yes, the rest of the movie is just as funny. In fact, if you go into the movie expecting a comedy you’ll come out extremely satisfied. Just don’t expect anything resembling a competent horror film.

Casey Beldon (Odette Yustman) wakes from the nightmare that also featured a creepy little boy and a fetus in a jar, but the visions continue into her daily life. Her eyes are changing color, the neighbor kid assaults her and mumbles strange warnings about Gumby, something’s knocking from behind her bathroom mirror, and there are bugs everywhere. And what about her mother’s suicide several years earlier? And is she a twin? What can it all mean?

Nazis. Obviously. It seems an evil was born in the bowels of Auschwitz, or not born as the case may be, and now it wants to born again. Or something. There are spirits that for one reason or another are barred from entering heaven, so instead they wander the nether regions between here and there waiting for an opportunity to re-enter our world. The best doorways for this are twins, because what are twins but the ultimate mirror! Just another reason why twins freak me out.

Helping Casey make sense of it all are her best friend Romy (Meagan Good), her boyfriend Mark (Cam Gigandet), an old Jewish woman named Sofi (Jane Alexander), and the friendly Rabbi Sendak (Gary Oldman). Good actually has some of the only intentionally funny lines in the movie, including one where she tells the four year-old neighbor Matty (Atticus Shaffer) to fuck off after hitting him with her car. Oldman’s presence can only be explained by his friendship with writer/director David Goyer, who wrote Batman Begins and has a story credit on The Dark Knight. Oldman’s role is a supporting one at best, and even he can’t make some of Goyer’s terrible dialogue sound believable.

The most important element of a horror film comes down to the scares. They can be jump-type scares or even a creeping feeling of dread, as long as it’s something to make the audience feel uneasy, to make the heart race, the fingers clench… but The Unborn has none of that. (Although Yustman’s shower and underwear scenes definitely make the blood flow.) Nothing in the film is allowed to be organically frightening. The scares are manufactured and forced by way of quick edits. Some of the visual effects can be pretty creepy, the old man crawling on all fours in particular, but those scenes are extremely rare. For the most part we’re stuck with flash cuts that zoom in on screaming faces, ”spooky” images inter-cut with normal scenes, and the little kid popping out of medicine cabinets. Oh, and a dog with an upside-down head. The showing I attended last night was to a packed house, and there was more laughter during the movie than during any two Judd Apatow films.

Goyer gets credit for making an “original” horror film instead of just another remake, and for trying to imbue his story with some historical background, but he proceeds to lose it all (and then some) with ridiculous dialogue and some unanswered inconsistencies. **Possible spoiler! ** The spirit is trying to regain entry into this world by taking possession of an existing body, right? So first it’s able to successfully reanimate a dead boy, then it possesses a kid in the womb, the neighbor kid, an old man, and a few others… so what’s the problem? Why all the fuss about twins and babies and Casey when clearly the spirit is already able to take over whomever it wants? And why did it wait fifty years before returning? And why’d the baby across the street die?

Bottom line, there’s nothing new or interesting here. Scary kids? Been done a million times before, usually better. Ditto the nightmares, the exorcism, etc. It’s perhaps a bit harsh to wish that Goyer had been aborted, so I’ll settle for him being banished from film-making. Sure, the Blade trilogy is a guilty pleasure of mine, and I’ll accept that Goyer had some input into the two recent Batman films, but that’s really it. The Invisible? Jumper? Nick Fury: Agent of Shield? He belongs in the direct to DVD world, yet somehow has crossed over into the land of big-budgets and theatrical releases. Perhaps an exorcism is in order…

The Upside: Yustman in her underwear not once but twice in the first thirty minutes; practical effects were cool.

The Downside: Incredibly stupid; explains so much but still leaves huge gaps of logic; screenplay is both terrible and unintentionally hilarious.

Previous 31 Days of Horror reviews: Don’t Look Know, Snoop Dogg’s Hood of Horror, Christine, Pontypool, Diary of the Dead, Doctor Terror’s House of Horror, Wrong Turn 3, Zoltan Hound of DraculaHome Movie, The ThingVamp, Audition, The Fury, Blood Feast, Paranormal Activity, Braindead, Halloween, Friday the 13th Part 2, Martin, Fright Night, Zombieland

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Don’t Look Now, 1973 – Movie Review – 31 Days of Horror

Posted by LiveFor on October 22, 2009

480_dontlookDirector: Nicolas Roeg
Starring: Donald Sutherland, Julie Christie, Hilary Mason

This great review for a classic film is by Mari Walker of the excellent Supermaw site –all part of my 31 Days of Horror.

Send me your horror film reviews.

I first encountered Don’t Look Now in my early teens, and it was love at first watch.

I had always been a fan of horror, but till then my experiences had been limited to standard examples of the genre. I had seen plenty of in your face horror, video nasties, blood strewn Hammer Horror and traditional creature features, but I wasn’t sure what to expect from Nicolas Roeg’s film. Within minutes I knew that Don’t Look Now was different. It wasn’t trying to scare the pants of you in every scene. Instead it builds up slowly, forcing you care about the characters, showing real grief and drama, not just teenagers being slashed by psychopaths or busty maidens being stalked by Dracula. That’s not to say it isn’t scary. While it might initially seem low on gore and monsters, the absence of constant scares only serves to heighten the tension, creating a world we can believe in, making it all the more frightening when that world becomes dark and menacing.

The film opens with Donald Sutherland and Julie Christie in a homely scene, a husband and wife working and reading in their country home, while their children play outside. In between these seemingly mundane shots we see their young daughter playing with a ball, while her brother rides his bike nearby, her bright red plastic mac glinting in the sunlight, bringing colour into this otherwise muted intro. As the scene unfolds we switch back and forth between the young couple and their daughter, playing closer and closer to the water then, almost inevitably, the ball and the child become drawn into the deep water.

Back inside Sutherland has been studying a slide of a church he is due to work on. He notices what seem to be a strange figure in a red hood in the image, which seems to seep the image with blood after he spills some water. He is then suddenly and inexplicably overcome with panic. He stands up violently then runs outside, towards his daughter, but sadly arrives too late. We then witness the heartbreaking scene of him clutching the wet and lifeless body of his daughter, unable to hide his pure misery from his scared young son. Although the characters have barely spoken, this dramatic introduction has dragged us straight into the couple’s lives, and we already feel great sympathy for them after witnessing such an awful accident.

The next scene of the film takes place a short time in the future, and we quickly gather that the couple are in Venice, combining a trip abroad with church restoration work that Sutherland is undertaking. Although they initially seem happy, we are unable to forget their earlier tragedy, which tinges everything with sadness. The tension soon bubbles to the surface, resulting in arguments as Christie expresses her desire to reconnect with her daughter after meeting an unusual pair of sisters, one of whom is blind yet claims the ability to communicate with the dead. They are clearly both still deeply upset and angry about their loss, but the differences in how they deal with this pain creates obvious divisions between them.

As a contrast to all the tension and unhappiness, we are now treated to what has to be one of the best sex scenes in modern cinema. The commitment the actors give to this performance has led to many claims that they did in fact commit the act. I suspect this has more to do with the quality of the film making and acting than the content, as it isn’t shockingly graphic or erotic. It’s just a very genuine and un-rushed depiction of a couple enjoying a good time. Once again Roeg edits this in an unusual way, this time switching to mundane shots of them getting ready to go out between shots of them having sex. As unusual as this scene might seem, it serves a valuable purpose (beyond getting Julie Christie naked), as it reminds us that they are a young couple who are still in love, despite all the misfortune in their lives.

Okay, so far we have some great film making, a shocking death and a few spooky moments, but what about the horror? It isn’t initially obvious why, but somehow the film manages to convey a menacing and somewhat spooky feel, even when there is no obvious danger. As they are in Venice they are inevitably surrounded by water, which serves as a subtle yet constant reminder of their daughters watery demise. We are also made keenly aware of not just dampness, but also a level of dank claustrophobia and unexplainable fear. This is illustrated perfectly by the disoriented couple as they lose their way in the dark, deserted streets.

As the story unfolds the ever present sense of danger is heightened by news reports of a series of vicious murders, Sutherland being involved in a near death accident, his wife collapsing and the repeated appearance of the pair of elderly British sisters. All these strange elements then start to come together, plunging Sutherland from disbelief into a state of panic as he begins to fear for the safety of his wife. Reality becomes blurred as he is haunted by impossible images, premonitions and visions of a child in a familiar red mac. He is frightened, yet compelled to seek out the truth behind these visions, which draws him towards a fate that he has unknowingly glimpsed. The twists in the plot, along with the heightened sense of fear and confusion, combine into a riveting, scary and moving conclusion to this brilliant film.

I have watched this film many times, and always enjoy it, as there are so many great elements too appreciate. The beautiful yet eerie surroundings, lovely muted style, the relationship and tensions between the characters and the confusion and mystery of the plot, all combine to make an outstanding film. This film offers plenty of intellectual stimulation for film buffs , suspense and drama that should engage any intelligent viewer, and plenty of tense, creepy and jump out of your skin scary moments to please even the most hardcore horror fans. I can also guarantee that watching this film will change the way you look at small children in red coats forever.

Previous 31 Days of Horror reviews: Snoop Dogg’s Hood of Horror, Christine, Pontypool, Diary of the Dead, Doctor Terror’s House of Horror, Wrong Turn 3, Zoltan Hound of DraculaHome Movie, The ThingVamp, Audition, The Fury, Blood Feast, Paranormal Activity, Braindead, Halloween, Friday the 13th Part 2, Martin, Fright Night, Zombieland

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Snoop Dogg’s ‘Hood Of Horror’, 2006 – Movie scnizzle review-izzle – 31 Days of Horror

Posted by LiveFor on October 21, 2009

Director: Stacy Title
Starring: Snoop Dogg, Ernie Hudson, Danny Trejo, Pooch Hall, Anson Mount, Jason Alexander, Billy Dee Williams
Running Time: 84 minutes
Score: 8.25 / 10

This review by Paul –all part of my 31 Days of Horror.

Send me your horror film reviews.

You’ll have to bear with me here readers, this is a hidden gem! I found it on Halloween night after a nights graft in the pub. I came home, feet throbbing, mind far too sober for a friday night, and slammed on the magic Virgin TV box-thingy in the corner with lots of flashing lights.

‘Lets check out the 99p offers shall we?’ I suggested to myself, had a vote, and won.

This was the one that drew my eye instantly. I love Snoop, dont get me wrong, but I’ve never really given him much wieght as an actor (see Mr. Bones or Dr. Bones, it’s so shit I can’t remember the title). I paid my money, made me smoke, cracked the stella and settled down.

It was ace.

The film opens with a fantastic anime sequence, lasting about 10 mins if memory serves me right (regular readers will know that my eyes kinda go quite frequently). It was really top quality and so unexpected I couldnt take my eyes off the screen. Jaw dropping stuff, even Manga Snoop looked a nice balance of cool/evil/unspoken threatening. Then the film moved into the next phase, live action filming, but the film has an old style quality to it. The three interlinking ‘short scary stories from The Hood’ have the look of the 70’s Twilight Zone:The Movie. Bright jumpers, off-colour orange everywhere, ya know?

To be honest, I was outta phase when the live action was on, like stepping through the Time Tunnel, but each story was interspersed with more anime, a story within a story (I see plans within plans). Wish I could tell you more, but I can’t. Take my word for it, it was 99p and it really kicked arse. Seek it out.

It was a nice place to visit, but I wouldn’t want to live there…

Previous 31 Days of Horror reviews: Christine, Pontypool, Diary of the Dead, Doctor Terror’s House of Horror, Wrong Turn 3, Zoltan Hound of DraculaHome Movie, The ThingVamp, Audition, The Fury, Blood Feast, Paranormal Activity, Braindead, Halloween, Friday the 13th Part 2, Martin, Fright Night, Zombieland

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Christine, 1983 – Movie Review – 31 Days of Horror

Posted by LiveFor on October 20, 2009

Director: John Carpenter
Starring: Keith Gordon, John Stockwell, Alexandra Paul, Harry Dean Stanton, Kelly Preston
Running Time: 110 minutes

This review by Paul –all part of my 31 Days of Horror.

Send me your horror film reviews.

I first fell in love with this film when I was about 13, a long time ago! It was one of the few videos that were for rental in the local garage – yesteryear’s Blockbuster! and it had swearing in it!

The story has the classic geek-turned-god aspect centered around one Arnie Cunningham (Keith Gordon), a 17yr old spec wearing geek who falls for the Christine of the title, a red and white 1958 Plymouth Fury (what a car!). What he doesn’t know is the car is possessed by an evil malevolent sprit, which is going to be his undoing.

When we first see Christine, she (opps, it’s got me as well!) is for sale outside a ramshackle building, and held together by the rust of ages. He needs her and the first spell is cast on poor Arnie. His folks understandably go mental so he hires a spot in the local garage, with the intention of doing her up. Not very exciting yet is it? oooooo, but you gotta stick with me here.

At this point we have already seen Arnie being bullied by the school hard knocks, until his hero-jock mate saves him and the day from the nasty Buddy Repperton. Understandably Arnie is a bit miffed and pours all his energies and love into Christine. I can’t describe the state of the car, but when you hear the words ‘show me’ fall from Arnie’s mouth you sit back and prepare to be amazed. The car fixes herself! better than ever before! Pristine condition! and as the old dude that told him says, ‘there’s nothing in the world that beats the smell of a brand new car, ‘cept maybe for pussy’ (you can see why a 13yr old loved this film, he said pussy!). the effects are pretty mindblowing for a 1983 film, before CGI was even thought about, the way the car bends back into shape and the glass all reforms still does it for me even today.

Arnie turns up at school the next day, minus the specs and riding in Pristine Christine, to the envy of all, even his soon-to-be-on-crutches best mate, and especially Buddy and the badlad crew. They find where Christine is housed and trash her, big style. (I may have some things out of order but the jist is there).

Now comes the Revenge!

Arnie/Christine hunt the dudes down one by one and disposes of them in ruthless fashion. The scene where he crushes the fat kid in the alley stuck with me for years! and the shot of a burning Christine driving down the road is pure cinema joy. Hear me roar!

I’m not usually a Stephen King fan, but it is the presence of John Carpenter that brings this film to another level (as usual). I read the book (and still chuckled at the pussy line) and now have the DVD. The first re-watch of this after so many years brought a big smile to my old chops, like going to visit an old friend, although a big red scary one that kicks ass!

And the final scene, well, the very final shot, where we see a bit of broken bent mental swaying in the beeze makes you turn and go oooooooo to anyone not hiding behind the sofa.

It might not be the bloodiest or scariest of movies, but it still holds it own 25 years on. a demonic car? Beats getting a cab…….

Previous 31 Days of Horror reviews: Pontypool, Diary of the Dead, Doctor Terror’s House of Horror, Wrong Turn 3, Zoltan Hound of DraculaHome Movie, The ThingVamp, Audition, The Fury, Blood Feast, Paranormal Activity, Braindead, Halloween, Friday the 13th Part 2, Martin, Fright Night, Zombieland

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Diary of the Dead, 2007 – Movie Review – 31 Days of Horror

Posted by LiveFor on October 18, 2009

Director: George Romero
Starring: Michelle Morgan, Joshua Close, Shawn Roberts, Amy Ciupak Lalonde
Running Time: 95 minutes

This review by Paul – all part of my 31 Days of Horror.

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I caught this recently on TV. It was late, I was a tad tipsy (day before my birthday) and thought ‘why not?’.

Now dont get me wrong, I don’t usually like Zombie pics. Not that I dislike them, I just dislike Zombies. they scare me big time. Proper. Can’t think of anything worse.

So I was feeling kinda bold when I decided to watch this, especially when the opener said it was Romaro’s most gory film EVER, the most SHOCKING SCENES EVER MADE.

End up watching this and you will be very disappointed. I was looking forward to a shockgorefest but this failed to deliver. I didn’t even wet myself once. It’s difficult to recall what actually happened as the film was so bland. Considering the pedigree of the man I was surprised.

I know this is not a comprehensive review but that’s because I dont have anything to say about it.

It was a non event.

Previous 31 Days of Horror reviews: Doctor Terror’s House of Horror, Wrong Turn 3, Zoltan Hound of DraculaHome Movie, The ThingVamp, Audition, The Fury, Blood Feast, Paranormal Activity, Braindead, Halloween, Friday the 13th Part 2, Martin, Fright Night, Zombieland

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Wrong Turn 3: Left for Dead, 2009 – Movie Review – 31 Days of Horror

Posted by LiveFor on October 16, 2009

wrongturn3Director: Declan O’Brien
Starring: Tom Frederic, Janet Montgomery, Tamer Hassan, Gil Kolirin, Tom McKay, Christian Contreras

Another excellent review by Darren of the excellent The Automaton website. Over half way through the 31 Days of Horror now.

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With a name like Wrong Turn 3: Left for Dead, you know good and well what’s to follow. You’re probably saying: “I didn’t even know there was a Wrong Turn 2!”

Consider a moment the point of such a film, however. Bad acting? Check. Nudity? Check. Blood and guts? Check. So what’s the harm?

Not every movie is supposed to be as movie and thought-provoking as Atonement, nor should it be, so allow me to extol the virtues of this terrible horror flick.

Wrong Turn is based on the seemingly popular notion that everyone in West Virginia inbreeds, and that inbreeding someone does three things:

1. It takes away your faculties of speech.
2. It mutates you in some Freddy Krueger kind of way.
3. It grants you super strength, an immunity to pain, and regenerative capabilities.

Oh, and you have no moral compunction with mass murder and cannibalism. That just about does it.

Now, into this entire state of nothing but trees and super mutants, throw in teenagers, criminals, and police officers who have someone missed on the news that all of West Virginia is crawling with super mutant cannibals.

Okay, so there’s blood and guts. Is it at least done well. In Wrong Turn, alas, there are several moments of crummy CGI blood, which looks as real as The Flying Nun. But most of the deaths are original and fun, and the acting in such scenes isn’t half bad. It’s pretty bad elsewhere, but in the violence, it works.

The fights are pretty well choreographed, which is an unexpected treat. I was also glad to see the gratuitous mutant sex scene absent in this sequel. (There’s really only one mutant to speak of, so that kinda narrows it down).

The other effects and sets range from good to ridiculous, with 1950s-style fake car scenes, where outside the window looks like a different world rather than the passing night. But the explosions, fires, and other effects make up for it.

So, if you’re in the mood for a good bad horror movie (and for those of you who like them, you know what I mean), check out Wrong Turn 3. However, if you didn’t like the first two, don’t bother. Or if you are expecting something genuinely scary or disturbing. This one hits straight at the chillaxing, gratuitous viewer in you.

Previous 31 Days of Horror reviews: Zoltan Hound of Dracula, Home Movie, The Thing, Vamp, Audition, The Fury, Blood Feast, Paranormal Activity, Braindead, Halloween, Friday the 13th Part 2, Martin, Fright Night, Zombieland

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