Monday, July 31, 2006

Damien: Omen II

--Reviewed by Lindy Loo

Plotline: It is 7 years later, and Damien is just about to hit his teen years. He appears to have no memory of previous events from the original Omen, and now he is living with relatives and going to a boy's academy. At the academy, he is introduced to the fact that perhaps he possesses more power than he knows.

Scariness factor: Scary in that 1970s sorta way.

Gross-Out Factor: Gross in that 1970s sorta way.

Complaints: I have to admit--I fell asleep for about 15 minutes towards the end of this movie, so I probably am not going to be able to give it a completely fair review. Once upon a time, I never fell asleep during movies. Now I'm turning into an old fogey and if something doesn't hold my attention well enough (or I'm just tired enough, period), I'm out. For this reason, at some point, I will watch it again and review it again. But until then, I can definitely say the following: a horrifying, bone-chilling, evil child is much much scarier than a horrifying, bone-chilling, evil teenager. Kids are supposed to be innocent and pure of anything evil, so when you see a young Damien giving an evil grin or causing someone's death, it chills you to your core. However, when you see a teenager do the same thing, it just doesn't have the same effect. Teenagers are f-ed up and demented a lot of the time, unfortunately, so it doesn't have the same hollow ring of evil. PS. Someone who reviewed this on the web said it was better than the original. I have yet to see a sequel (minus two--The Terminator and Godfather II--that even comes close to achieving this success. And this did not fall into the ranks of those two movies. You can't beat the original when it comes to The Omen series. Oh, and how in god's name could Damien be living as a teenager with no memory of his prior evilness?? This I don't understand *at all*.

High Points: Lance Henrikksen. I likey. There were also a few creepy moments, while I was still awake. And I awoke to someone on fire--a bit unsettling, yes.

Overall: All in all, it would be unfair of me to rate this movie seeing as I did fall asleep during an integral 15 minutes during the end of the film. So I shan't rate it until I watch it again, though you can at least read my comments and take them for what they're worth.

Grade: Forthcoming


Monday, July 24, 2006

April Fool's Day

--Reviewed by Lindy Loo

Plotline: A college student named Muffy invites a group of her college friends to her parents' summer house for a weekend of debauchery and fun. In true April Fool's tradition, some of the guys begin to pull pranks on each other before they even get to the island. But Muffy outdoes them all with the menagerie of pranks she's set up in her home. Very quickly though, the pranks begin to unravel and start to go awry as the students begin disappearing, only to turn up dead.

Scariness factor: Scary in that 1980s, Flock of Seagulls kind of way. Entertainingly mild scariness, but nothing that'll get caught in your throat.

Gross-Out Factor: Very minimal--blood, dead bodies, etc.

Complaints: I really have very few. There were a lot of inconsistencies and a frequent lack of logic in this movie, but it was tolerable seeing as it was entertaining despite that fact...

High Points: This movie was way too much fun. I don't know if I just was in the mood for a goofbally 1980s horror flick or what, but I enjoyed it immensely. It is in the true spirit of 1980s horror movies--relaxed and silly and with a sense of humor. The acting is surprisingly good for a 1980s horror flick. The characters are fun and amusing. It has a dirty and irreverent sense of humor. I read the book when I was younger (don't ask me--I'm not sure if the book was based on the movie or vice versa) so I knew the ending, but it was still fun leading up to that. It made me laugh quite a bit. The scares were kinda campy and very 1980s'-ish, but I like 1980s-horror, so it was a good time. It most certainly was one of the more entertaining horror flicks I've seen in a while.

Overall: This is a good entertaining slasher-film, and I'm glad I held onto it for an extra day to watch it (despite the fact that it got me a late-fee at the library). If you're a fan of 1980s horror, this is a definite must-see. It is not nearly as creative as, say, A Nightmare on Elm Street, but it will definitely keep you entertained for 88 minutes, no doubt.

Grade: B+


Monday, July 17, 2006

Near Dark

--Reviewed by Lindy Loo

Plotline: A young cowboy happens across a hot little number while out on the town. He quickly realizes that she's not exactly what she seems to be and finds himself pulled into a web of vampirism.

Scariness factor: Not so much scary as creepy.

Gross-Out Factor: There's a lot of shooting and torturing, so as long as you're prepared for that, you should be ok...

Complaints: I guess I have no huge complaints other than that this movie isn't anything hugely special. It's solidly put together, it's filmed in a gritty way that's fitting for the subject matter, and the acting is for the most part good. But it still doesn't make my toes curl despite all this, for some reason.

High Points: If I remember correctly, a fellow horror-movie nerd I was friends with in grad school considered this his favorite vampire flick (and perhaps one of his favorite horror movie flicks as well, though I can't be quite positive). I'd seen it once before, but it's been about five years. So when my mom told me she just recently watched it and dug it, I figured I'd rent it again. I don't know that it's my favorite vampire flick, and it's definitely not one of my absolute favorite horror flicks in general. But it's a good one nonetheless...
A definite high point is seeing soft and cuddly Bill Paxton playing the craziest whacked out most violent vampire in the bunch.

This is also an entertaining and gritty twist on the mythology of vampires, kind of an apocalyptic vision where vampires blot out van-windows so that they can drive in the sun without being fried and where they frequent bars at night, torturing the local trash and sucking their blood. Plus, Lance Henriksen rocks as always--he has the best vampire voice ever. And the special fx are quite fun and decent--especially with folks catching fire in the sun.

Overall: This is definitely an entertaining movie, between the grittiness and the special fx. If you like vampire flicks, you should definitely put it on your list of must-sees.

Grade: B


Wicker Man (1973)

When a horror movie begins with a song about "Corn rigs and barley rigs" that sounds like it's sung by an Irish Cat-Stevens-wannabe, you know it can't be good...

--Reviewed by Lindy Loo

Plotline: A policeman travels to Summerisle to investigate the disappearance of a young girl. On the island, he discovers that the locals have very strange philosophies on life and sex. He begins to speculate that the disappearance is being covered up, so he must delve deeper into the culture to do his police-manly duties.

Scariness factor: Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.

Gross-Out Factor: Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.

Complaints: Oh my god. Where to even begin...
I decided to order this from the library because a) I knew they were going to be remaking it and figured it'd be fun to see the original before seeing the new one, and b) someone actually had this on their list of top 10 horror movies. This someone deserves to have a chainsaw taken to them and their list.

  • What the hell is up with all the singing and dancing in this movie? Lemme tell you, singing and dancing does not a scary movie make. Even *if* some of the singing and dancing is done by naked buxxomy chicks. There is a scene about 15 minutes or so into the movie that entails the innkeeper's daughter very nakedly singing and dancing and pounding on the shared wall while in the room adjacent to the policeman, apparently in an attempt to cast a sexual spell over him. You get several shots of her pounding on the wall and singing, all while her buttcheeks jiggle. Perhaps this might fall aptly into the "scariness factor" category, but not for good reasons.

  • I have never wanted someone to die so badly as I did the main character of this movie. Granted, I think his annoyingness was intentional and necessary for the plot-outcome, but still. The man wears his police uniform (complete with hat) the whole time he is on the island. He also just walks around barking orders at people and shrieking about how unChristian and pagan they are and how the island is mad for its cultural ways. I seriously wanted to run onscreen, boot his hat off all bullyish, pin him down on the ground, and start flicking his ears really hard while shouting pagan, anti-Christian obscenities.

  • The main "bad guy" character wears a big fluffy dickie in one part of the movie. Yes, again--very scary.

  • You can see the ending coming from 1,000,000 miles away.

  • The Corn Rigs and Barley Rigs song that keeps popping up throughout the movie.

  • This song and all the other horrible songs sung in this movie will get stuck in your head, despite their horridness, and you will spend the next few days humming the melody to some of them.

High Points: There is only one. Ok--no, two. A brief image at the end of the film that is startling and haunting, as the crowd reaches the crest of a hill to reveal what lays on the other side. And the only other high point--that they are remaking this film (and will hopefully do a better job with it).

Overall: If you wanna find yourself puzzled and confused and perhaps a bit amused but NEVER EVER remotely scared, this is the movie for you.

Grade: D


Thursday, July 06, 2006

Calling All Recommendations

I have a few horror flicks on order at the library and am just waiting for them to appear. But soon, my fountain of inspiration will begin drying up.

So I ask of thee, loyal readers:

What horror movies should I be ashamed that I haven't yet seen? Which should I watch and review that I haven't already?

Please please please, gimme some suggestions so that I don't get desperate and rent something the likes of the really bad alleged horror movies I occasionally see on the shelves of the library--I mean, could it *possibly* be scary and yet have Lou Diamond Phillips in it? I think not.

(As I'm sure you've noticed, a complete list of the horror movies reviewed here can be found alphabetically in the sidebar... So, bring it!)