Thursday, June 22, 2006

Up and Coming Movies

Not much interesting coming out in the next few months--although I have heard that Rob Zombie is going to be filming a remake--in his words "a new take on"--the classic Halloween which makes me wanna start punching people in the nuts...

Muttering under breath{{As though one of the top 10 horror flicks of all time needs a "new take"}}/end muttering under breath

But until then, here's what we've gots to look forward to...

In order from "Looks pretty creepy" to "More likely to be craptastically lame":

The Descent

The Wicker Man


Monday, June 19, 2006


--Reviewed by Lindy Loo

Plotline: Crazy chick has no friends except for a doll. One day she happens to catch a glance of the most beautiful boy she's ever seen. Smitten, she decides to don some corrective lenses to fix her lazy eye and spruce herself up so that she can try to grab his attention. It works, also catching the attention of a female-coworker. But quickly things start to go very wrong...

Scariness factor: No jump-in-your-seat moments. More of a psychological scariness, if that.

Gross-Out Factor: Is gross. Not vomit-in-your-lap gross. But they show stuff. Bloody stuff.

Complaints: This movie was a bit too stereotypically "goth" for me at times. I mean, really, who has a dark and gloomy-looking doll and actually converses with her in her dark and gloomy room? No one. Not even crazy people. My big complaint, however, is really just the ho-humminess of this movie. You can (for the most part) see where it's going the whole time. The acting is by no means bad, but the characters are just kinda eh. I didn't really *feel* particularly bad for the girl, seeing as we've all had to deal with rejection and feeling like an outsider at SOME point in our lives (which is presumably why the creator probably thought we *would* feel a connection or sympathy for the main character, and yet, if that's the case, their goal fell flat). I dunno. I just got through the movie, reached the end, and was kinda like, So?

High Points: It has a certain bizarrely romanticized fairy-tale quality to it that was somewhat intriguing. If it had been drawn out more, this might've made it a bit more interesting. The very very end of the movie (not the beginning of the end, but that very final startling moment) was freaky in that it was strange and unexpected and kinda haunting. But everything else leading up to that? Well, it's been done before. And better. Like 75 years ago. I'd blather about that right now, but perhaps you'd rather not have me give away the ending.

Overall: It was really just kinda blah. It wasn't bad, by any means. But then again, it wasn't really *good* either. It was just kinda meh. If you're aiming for something fun and fairy-tailish and yet creepy, as always, let me point you in the direction of a *better* contemporary fairy-tale of a movie: Ginger Snaps--much more entertaining, and a lot less angsty (or at least self-aware and self-deprecating in its angstiness).

Grade: C


Tuesday, June 13, 2006

The Hills Have Eyes (1977)

--Reviewed by Lindy Loo

I attempted to watch this a handful of months ago (because I wanted to see it before wasting my time watching the remake when it comes out on dvd), but then my VCR broke. But finally it came in at the library for me on DVD, so voila:

Plotline: A family is making its way cross-country to Cali but stops in the middle of the desert in hopes of finding some of the old gold-mines and getting themselves some gold. Problem is, their car breaks down in the middle of an old nuclear-testing site, and... well... they're not the only ones around.

Scariness factor: If you fast-forwarded through all the parts where they actually *show* the bad-guys, this'd be a very scary flick, given the fact that it feels pretty realistic.

Gross-Out Factor: They don't show *too* much. Moreso just bright red blood and the aftermath of people on fire and stuff. Nothing too harrowing.

Complaints: What is up with the one bad guy's really bad black afro-wig? I mean, it's SO obviously a wig that you feel like you're at the Halloween festivities at OU where there's like 5500 men that couldn't think of anything to wear so they donned a really bad wig and some sorta stupid clothing and can't really tell you what they're supposed to be if you ask... Truly, this was the worst part of the movie--the bad guys. They were *so* terribly lame-looking. I mean, not scary *at all*. I mean, you've probably seen scarier puppies or ducklings. Oh, and the only other major complaint: the sudden and inappropriate bursts of 1970's-esque p0rn-meets-The-Million-Dollar-Man music.

High Points: I really kinda enjoyed this. It has a lot of the campiness of 1970's horror flicks. But it also has a lot of that gritty realism as well (if you don't count the lame-ass bad-guys). The victims react realistically to the violence inflicted upon them. And the violence is disturbing in that people get killed off so abruptly and with so little finesse that it rings of the truth of actual real-life violence and murder. It has a bit of an abrupt ending, but I kinda liked that as well.

Overall: I kinda dug this movie. It's by no means perfect--I mean, the bad guys just royally suck. But it's good and entertaining despite that fact.

Grade: B+


Wednesday, June 07, 2006

They (2002)

--Reviewed by Lindy Loo

Plotline: A group of people is drawn together due to circumstances surrounding the suicide of a friend, only to find that they all used to have night terrors when they were little and that they're all experiencing the return of them as well. Slowly they begin to see that perhaps their dead friend wasn't crazy after all, that perhaps something from their past is returning to "harvest" them.

Scariness factor: It's creepy moreso than scary, I'd venture to say. There's no real jump-in-your-seat moments, but there are some bizarre and creepy dream-like sequences.

Gross-Out Factor: Not very high--the worst you'll see is someone poking at an open-wound on their head and slowly and gratuitously pulling out what looks to be a very large splinter.

Complaints: Explanations, Wes Craven! I totally dig the notion of a horror flick about night terrors, but I have about 1500 questions surrounding the circumstances that unravel in this movie which are never cleared up (and whose answers are never even *hinted* at)! What are the creatures that are returning for these people? Why are they returning anyways--what purpose does it serve? (That's my biggest question.) Why kill them? Why not kill them back when they were kids instead of tracking them, waiting forever, and then returning for them 20 years down the road? Why the weird wounds left behind on them as "trackers?" How exactly do they function as trackers? Why can't the bad creatures be in the light? At least you could've answered the LARGER questions--I mean, the success of the whole movie rests on us believing that there COULD be some sort of reason that these people are having night terrors again and that they're being hunted back down by some evil force, and yet WE NEVER FIND OUT WHY. /end lecture, Wes Craven. Other complaints: as with most of these types of horror flicks, there are lots and lots of incongruities and nonsensicalnesses (yeah, that's a word!), so prep yourself for that.

High Points: I really *do* dig the notion of a horror flick about night terrors. I used to have them when I was little, and I still very vividly remember a few of them. And the way the nightmares lap over to actually become part of your waking reality WHILE YOUR EYES ARE OPEN is a terrifying (and crazily strange but fascinating) thing. So this seems like prime subject matter for a flick. And the actual instances of night terrors in this movie *are* fairly creepy and do capture the sensation of what it's like to pull your actual nightmares into reality. But unfortunately these moments are few and far between. I also kind of liked the physicality of the evil creatures (though again, the CGI is a bit hit-or-miss at times)--they actually seem like an embodiment of shadows, the way that they move around and form out of the darkness as though they ARE the darkness in a physical form. This movie kind of reminded me of Final Destination at times (which is a movie I really quite like) until the evil creatures became more visible because until then, they seemed more like a force tracking down the victims rather than an entity. And that always creeped me out (and was what was brilliant about) Final Destination as well--that the protagonist is not in fact a PERSON or BEING but an inescapable force.

Overall: All in all, I think I liked the *notion* and idea of a movie about night terrors more than I actually liked the movie itself--if *I* had gotten my hands on this material before Wes Craven, well, I would've made a piece of shit, of course, seeing as I have no movie-making background. But I *definitely* would've explored the melding of nightmare and reality a bit more. However, while not a mind-blowingly fantastic movie, it was entertaining if nothing else. So if you happen to see it at the library or something and have some time to kill, it wouldn't do you any harm to pick it up.

Oh, and that book with brain on it that you see featured at the beginning of the movie and then a couple times later? I felt like a big old nerd last night after I got all excited because I JUST FINISHED READING THAT! Phantoms in the Brain: Probing the Mysteries of the Human Mind--too bad they don't actually discuss night terrors in the book though, because I bet you it would be fricking FASCINATING.

Grade: C