Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Uzumaki/Spiral


--Reviewed by Lindy Loo


Plotline: Spirals (or uzumaki) are everywhere. So it perhaps comes as no surprise that they begin to haunt and obsess a small Japanese town.



Scariness factor: It has the scariness of the original Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, where it mostly just feels like you’re trying to wait out a really bad acid trip.

Gross-Out Factor: Hmmm. A bit of ear-stabbery and someone getting twisted up in a washing machine. I think you’ll be ok.



Complaints: I really really like the idea of this. But the execution of it wasn’t quite so great. It felt just really silly in parts. Other than that, I don’t really have a ton of complaints, other than to say in a general sort of way that it just didn’t quite do it for me.




High Points: The idea of this movie is fucked up and interesting: a town haunted by spirals. And it would probably be way enjoyable to watch when really really high. Either that or terrifying.

Overall: I feel kind of indifferent towards this flick. Some of the images are awesome, like the chick walking down the hallway with insane spiral hair. But nonetheless, it just didn’t blow my mind like I’d hoped.




Grade: B-

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Pulse (2001)


--Reviewed by Lindy Loo


Plotline: This is how IMDB describes it, but to be honest with you, I had a hard time figuring out that this WAS actually the plot: “Japanese university students investigate a series of suicides linked to an Internet Web cam that promises visitors the chance to interact with the dead.”



Scariness factor: Japanese and Korean horror flicks always seem to freak me out at least a little. So it’s definitely creepy, but in a subtle way.

Gross-Out Factor: No hacking off of heads or ripping out intestines. Just some after-images of hangings and people jumping to their death.



Complaints: I was really tired while watching this, so it seemed excruciatingly long to me. But I’m not sure whether that’s the fault of the movie or just a fault of my tired ass. It also seemed very confusing to me, plot-wise. Like, I got the jist of it, but I was confused as to the specificities. Also, this movie made me feel like a total racist ‘cause I had a hard time keeping track of who was who in it which made the plotline slightly confusing to me. Then again, watching American flicks where all the characters are generic young people kind of causes the same problem, so maybe I’m not racist against Asian folks after all.



High Points: I like the concept of the film which was very dark and philosophical. I can’t imagine an American film even attempting to handle the same ideas (and yes, I know they remade this into an American flick, but I don’t remember it being quite so philosophical about loneliness and such).

Overall: I need to rewatch ‘cause I feel like, had I not been so sleepy, I may have enjoyed this more. As is though, I felt like it was a bit long-winded and slow with some good creepy moments here and there, but not enough to make me fall in love.

Grade: B-

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Monday, October 17, 2011

Piranha (2010)


--Reviewed by Lindy Loo


Plotline: It is spring break. There are piranhas in the lake. Really, you don't need to know much more than that.



Scariness factor: This movie is delightfully campy, so don't go in expecting to be scared. Go in expecting boobs, boobs, and more boobs.

Gross-Out Factor: Oh my god, gross-out factor is high high high in this. They really enjoy upping each piranha attack with a newer and grosser one. Definitely not for the faint of heart.



Complaints: This movie is so fricking misogynistic. I mean, it is T & A like a horror movie's never been T'ed and A'ed before. The feminist in me has to bitch about that just a little. Thankfully though, all the horribly douchey males in this movie meet their ends in horrific ways, especially Jerry O'Connell's character, and thank god for that 'cause THAT DUDE IS SO GROSS. He definitely has one of the best one-liners in the movie though.

High Points: Ok. So I really really really wanna hate this movie, 'cause it's so T & A in a way that no other horror movie I've seen has been. So understand: the fact that I LOVE IT SO FREAKING MUCH DESPITE THAT FACT really is a testament to how entertaining this movie is. When I first saw it last year, I saw it in 3D at the theater, and I was the ONLY PERSON IN THE THEATER and I remember feeling like a super dirty old man because it was like nonstop boobs. And not only just boobs but nonstop 3D boobs. And I was just sitting there in a completely empty theater, hunched in a seat with my 3D glasses on, staring at boobs for 90 minutes. But even despite that fact: totally dug it. And rewatching it this Halloween season solidified that fact. And because I do dig it so surprisingly much, we're gonna bullet the shit out of its high points:
  1. Boobs. I know I just went off on how creeped out I am about how many boobs there are in this movie, but seriously: it's impressive, the sheer quantity of boobs in this movie. And seriously: I have seen a lot of movies, and I'm pretty certain I've never seen another movie that has had even half as many boobs as this one. And if you had the pleasure of seeing it in 3D, YOU GOT TO SEE 3D BOOBS, and 3D boobs: not in the slightest bit overrated. Also, you get to see a lady whose boobs got eaten by piranhas. And as much as I hate to admit it: totally funny.

  2. The opening sequence. I was in a theater by myself when I first saw this movie, and I seriously giggled with glee at the opening sequence. It was worth sitting through this movie for the opening sequence alone, it's that adorable. For those of you who haven't seen it, I'm not gonna tell you what it is 'cause it'll ruin it, so stop reading. **SPOILER ALERT** For those of you who HAVE seen it: how brilliant was it to have Richard Dreyfuss fishing and singing the song he sings in Jaws??? Fucking loved it.**END SPOILER ALERT**

  3. The fact that this movie exploits boobs boobs and more boobs but really, all the super-douchey male characters really do meet horrible demises. And very specifically so, with Jerry O'Connell's being the most enjoyable (and deal with the lack of spoiler alert on that one 'cause it's not ruining anything).

  4. The special fx. If you've been reading this blog for more than 5 minutes, you know how very very very very very much I hate CGI. And that's mostly 'cause it looks horribly cheesy on a regular basis. So you also know what a big deal it is for me to say that the CGI kicks ass in this. The piranhas are creepy as fuck. The moments where it's very obviously CGI are cheesy enough to make it enjoyable rather than annoying. And I honestly am not sure how much of the gruesome parts were CGI and how much were not. Which also says something. The special fx definitely have a very old-school Tom Savini feel to them. And I'm not a gore person, but the gore is so over the top that I found it really entertaining in this. In fact, if you talk about the movie with your friends, almost everyone has their favorite death moments. The whole massacre scene in the water really is quite fantastic and impressive and absolutely disgusting.




  5. The fact that the movie does not take itself seriously at all and--in a way reminiscent of old school horror flicks of the 80's where it's abundantly clear how much love and care folks like Tom Savini put into the gore--you can really tell that everyone who was involved in making this just had a fucking blast with it, and the gory scenes were--to me--one of the rare moments in modern horror in the past ten years or so where it really felt like the folks involved in the special fx were just having a goddamn blast goring that shit up. It's weird to put it this way, but there's just a loving care to the special fx that's absent in a lot of newer horror flicks that're just CGIed the fuck up.

  6. Adam Scott. I dig the dude in pretty much everything 'cause he really is funny. But normally I don't go for the skinny dude with a really big head look. And for some reason Adam Scott's face always makes me think of Fievel from An American Tail. So I don't know if maybe it's just the manliness that comes with fighting off man-eating piranhas, but Adam Scott is a fucking hottie in this. He's all scruffy and stubbly and adorable and his reactions to everything just cracked me the hell up. So what I'm saying is: Adam Scott, you, me, and a few man-eating piranhas. How 'bout it?




Overall: Love. It is over-the-top and delightful and cheesy and fun and gory as hell and really, just a goddamn blast. See it if you haven't. You won't regret it. Unless you absolutely hate boobs.

Grade: A

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Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The Last Exorcism


--Reviewed by Lindy Loo


Plotline: An evangelical minister who thinks the practice of exorcisms is being misused allows a video crew to film his last exorcism. It's supposed to be a fake exorcism (everyone is aware of this except for the family of the possessed girl) but degrades into something horribly real.



Scariness factor: I don't know if I've just been watching too many horror movies lately and my scariness gauge has been dampened as a result of sheer glut, but I didn't find this as creepy as I thought I would. And I watched it out on my roof, which makes EVERYTHING creepier. And yet still: meh.

Gross-Out Factor: Breaking of fingers, aftermath of knife-slashing. Nothing too horrible.



Complaints: I find myself wanting to use bullets again because there were so many, but I'll see if I can do without. I finally caved and got this dvd at the library because of the cover (which you can see above). I'd seen it there about 337 times but always passed it up because even though the cover looked creepy I'd never heard of it. Really: I should've just trusted my first instinct. The highlight of this movie's creepiness is shown ON the cover. It's all downhill after that. The pacing is terrible. The first half of the movie is boringness and more boringness about the damned minister and what a douchebag he is. Could've easily been condensed down to half its time with just as much effectiveness. The moments of the actual possession are fleeting and really, not all that interesting. There's a creepy moment here or there, but for the amount of non-creepy shit you sit through to get there, it's definitely not worth it. **SPOILER ALERT** The ending is terrible. It's like if Blair Witch Project and Rosemary's Baby had a baby together and the baby ended up NOT being a devil baby and you were kind of just like hey that was disappointing because I thought this was gonna be a devil baby but it's just a regular old baby and I can see one of those anywhere. Also: the ending got ludicrous immediately. Why did they throw their demon baby in the fire? I don't get it. Is the fire supposed to empower demon baby? And don't get me started on the whole handheld camera bullshit. Ok. I love it when it's done well. I really do. I'll even suspend my disbelief when it's done well. But **DOUBLE SPOILER ALERT** when you have a bunch of devil-worshippers chasing you through a forest while you're running with your video camera in hand and then they kill you, don't you think they'd be like, Hey, we just killed some people and shit, and we ripped a devil baby out of a chick's vag, and all of it got caught on camera, so maybe, I mean--just a thought--but MAYBE WE SHOULDN'T LEAVE THE VIDEO CAMERA HERE FOR SOMEONE TO FIND?? In other words: there is no way in hell this supposedly "real" video footage would've ever made it to us--at least in Blair Witch Project and [REC] they make an effort to explain why it would. **END SPOILER AND INCESSANT FURIOUS RAMBLING** Oh wait. One more: why is there suddenly a sparse score midway through the movie with violins trilling creepily and all that? Isn't this supposed to be handheld? COME ON.



High Points: The possessed girl ends up with sweet boots. Really. That's all I can think of.

Overall: Boo hiss. Super lame. Rent The Exorcist. And if you've already seen it, rent it again.

Grade: D-

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Monday, October 10, 2011

Devil (2010)


--Reviewed by Lindy Loo


Plotline: Five people are trapped in an elevator. One of them is a douchey mattress salesman. But the other just might be... THE DEVIL.



Scariness factor: It wanted really badly to be scary and moody. In fact, the music was so obnoxiously moody with its swells and crescendoes that it almost SEEMED to be scary and moody. But really, when it comes down to it, it somehow managed to miss the boat.

Gross-Out Factor: Mostly just aftermath images. Nothing you'd want your 4-year old to be staring at, but stuff that most adults could handle.

Complaints: Well, I started off with just a couple, but then they multiplied, so let's bullet:

  • Really, I didn't give a shit about any of the characters. And when the majority of your movie consists of five people in an elevator, this seems kind of important. Otherwise you end up not giving a shit about whether they live or die. Which was definitely the case here.

  • The acting was pretty terrible.

  • The premise really lent itself to something that could've been creepy as fuck. And yet, it was surprisingly unscary.

  • The score was obnoxious and forced. In moments where it was trying to lend tension and drama to the scene, it was so overwhelmingly forced that it actually just ended up making you very aware that there WASN'T enough tension or drama in the scene to warrant the over-the-top music.

  • And finally, SPOILER ALERT!!!! the ending had a twist way too reminiscent of Saw. I will admit, I didn't see it coming, and it creeped me out for a second, but then I was like: "SAW!!!" /END SPOILER ALERT




  • High Points: It was mildly creepy. In a "hey let's put this on in the background while we play Scrabble or surf the internet" kind of way.

    Overall: Yeah, I was horribly underwhelmed. Like I said, the premise of this is good enough that it could've been creepy as hell. And yet, it never really is.

    Grade: D+

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    Paranormal Activity 2


    --Reviewed by Lindy Loo


    --Reviewed by Lindy Loo


    Plotline: I guess you could call this the prequel to Paranormal Activity. The sister of Katie (the main character in the original) recently had a baby, and shortly thereafter, creepy, supernatural events start to transpire in the family’s house. This movie also attempts to explain the haunting of Katie in the original.



    Scariness factor: Ok. I was pleasantly surprised in a big way. I watched it home alone, and it creeped me out in a big way. It’s definitely a jump in your seat-type flick.

    Gross-Out Factor: The only real stomach-turning events happen at the end, and they’re relatively mild in comparison to most movies nowadays.



    Complaints: I’m not sure how I felt about the ending. I kind of liked it, but then I also kind of thought, hey: if this actually happened, then wouldn’t it have also been mentioned in the original?? I also had mixed feelings about the storyline they use to connect this movie to the original. In some ways it works, but in other ways, it’s kind of hammy. The logic is also a bit creaky in parts—there seemed to be many more instances in which most normal people would check their security footage to see what actually happened (the dog incident, for example), and yet: they don’t. Also: baby over the crib-bars was kind of a lame moment.



    High Points: I really was pleasantly surprised by this movie. Minus the ending, which got a bit hammy, it’s really quite spooky. They mix it up by using security surveillance cameras to provide the shots and suspense, and they use them well. The first 2/3 of the movie creeped me the hell out. AND I think what surprised me even more is that it also was cute and funny in moments, in a way that helped it seem even MORE real. I actually laughed out loud a couple times. And the acting was actually not bad either.

    Overall: I wasn’t expecting much from this flick, but I actually thought it was a surprisingly good creepfest. Granted, it doesn’t offer much originality since most of what you get was in some way or another done in the original. But still: if you want to freak yourself out by watching something when you’re home alone, this would definitely be a good choice.

    Grade: B+

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    Thursday, October 06, 2011

    The Mothman Prophecies


    --Reviewed by Lindy Loo


    Plotline: After his wife dies, John Klein, a reporter for the Washington Post, is drawn towards a town in West Virginia where he begins to unravel a strange web of supernatural sightings involving a "mothman" who seems to be unleashing prophecies of deaths upon the town's population.



    Scariness factor: Meh. It has its moments, and my cat managed to freak me out after because I was clearly a LITTLE bit jumpy, but overall, it won't blow your mind.

    Gross-Out Factor: PG.



    Complaints: The interspersing of mothman imagery throughout got tedious. Not EVERY goddamn red light looks like creepy eyes, people. Other than that, I just am kind of underwhelmed by this movie. The ideas are creepy, especially the end of the film, but the way they're handled is as generic as possible. There's no unique style to the directing, no creative element to the creepiness, no mind-blowing acting, nothing.



    High Points: The end scene is pretty good, though again, not mind-blowing. And knowing that this is supposedly based on true events lends an element of creepiness to the whole tale.

    Overall: I saw this in the theater when it first came out, and I remember being underwhelmed by it then. But I figured I'd give it a second chance since it's been close to 10 years. But nope: still underwhelmed.

    Grade: C

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    Diary (2006)


    --Reviewed by Lindy Loo


    Plotline: Winnie's boyfriend recently broke up with her, and she doesn't seem to be coping with it well. Then she meets Ray, a new love-interest. Or is he? Is she going mad? Or wtf is going on?



    Scariness factor: It's psychologically creepy more than scary.

    Gross-Out Factor: There's one moment of throat-slittery grossness, but minus that, not bad at all.

    Complaints: The slow unraveling delve into her madness gets a little bit tedious after awhile. The method of going back and revisiting events only to reveal the "reality" of them, and then to revisit them a third time to reveal the "real reality" was a bit long-winded and could've been cut down a bit.



    High Points: The imagery and the madness were harrowing at moments. Also, the fragmentation lends well to the unveiling of her madness.

    Overall: I love The Eye which is by the same director and creepy as hell. In comparison, this was a little bit too cerebral and slow-moving. But if you're into the psychological horror-flicks, you'd likely enjoy.

    Grade: B-

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    Red Riding Hood


    --Reviewed by Lindy Loo


    Plotline: Little Red Riding Hood is in love with a childhood Twilightesque sweetheart but is going to be betrothed to another. In the meantime, a vicious werewolf is killing off villagers. Love and werewolfiness intersect.



    Scariness factor: It takes energy to be scared of a shittily CGI-ed werewolf.

    Gross-Out Factor: Someone's hand gets severed. And the werewolf bites people. Also, the movie's PG-13. So: fairly low.



    Complaints: Oh, where to start. 1) This should've been called Twilight 4: The Werewolfy version. 2) Amanda Seyfried, does your mouth EVER shut all the way?? 3) World's shittiest CGI-ed werewolf. 4) Why, Gary Oldman, why??? 5) Boring. 6) Why do all the boy villagers have such modern hairstyles? You KNOW that they necessitate gel or pomade or SOMETHING, but where do they manufacture the gel or pomade in such a tiny village???



    High Points: Julie Christie is a HOTTIE. Sweet jesus. I never thought I'd be willing to make out with a grandma, but: TOTALLY DOWN. Other than that, there are a few lovely shots. That's about it though.

    Overall: So. Boring. Omg. Catherine Hardwicke, how old are you and why are you so obsessed with tales of girls wooing boys who can rip out the girls' throats with their teeth? Dear readers, if you're looking for an awesome feminist werewolf horror flick, then check out Ginger Snaps instead.

    Grade: D

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