I Still Know What You Did Last Summer (1998)

I watch a lot of bad movies. When you watch a horror movie a day, your bound to come across a few, and that’s alright you expect it. But when I re-watch a movie I loved as a kid, only to see how truly weak it is. That hurts.

The film starts off with a dream sequence of our main character, Julie James, played by Jennifer Love Hewitt, in a church, telling the story of the first movie. Don’t worry, if you miss it this time around, she’ll do it again later just to make sure your all caught up.  Julie, having survived the events from the first film, has left her small home town, and her love interest, Ray, played by Freddy Prinze Jr, behind for college life. She has new friends, that consist of the annoying black roommate, the annoying black roommates boyfriend, and the new guy Will Benson. The black roommate wins a trip to Bahamas, by answering a question wrong, and Julie invites Ray to go. He turns her down, but changes his mind and decides to spend the night driving up, but gets attacked by The Fisherman, and doesn’t make it, so Julie takes Ben instead. Once there, ready for fun in the sun, they learn that it’s the start of storm season there, and all transportation off the island is canceled, leaving The Fisherman to hunt as he pleases.

Now, I’m going to get into spoilers, but really if you haven’t seen the film already, your not going to. Or at least I hope your not going to.

The Fisherman’s plan was as follows: Have his son Will ( Get it Benson? Ben son!) become friends with Julie. Buy four tickets to the Bahamas for when storm season starts. Set up a fake radio contest in order for them to win said tickets. Make sure Ray can’t make it in time so that Julie has to take Ben. Head to the Bahamas yourself, where you can now pick off everyone involved. Fucking genius. I would of just got Will to stab her, problem solved, just find an alley way.

This film is truly horrible, and has just about every cliche you can think of. They include a dancing scene, where the black roommate and boyfriend talk about how good they are at dancing, and then fail to prove it. They have a karaoke scene turn fright fest. and just about every cheap attempt at a jump scare you can come up with. My favorite, and I use that term lightly, is when Julie comes home, grabs a knife, and we get startled with our first interdiction to the annoying black roommate.

There is also a side plot going on about how Ray was going to propose to Julie, and how after he is attacked, he spends the rest of the movie trying to get to her. The best scene of which involves him pawning the engagement ring for a gun, and telling the pawnbroker he’s not going to stand for the waiting period. and still getting the fucking gun!

The acting in the film is terrible. All of the main characters give completely weak performances, Freddy Prince Jr and the black couple, Karla Wilson, and Tyrell Martin, they left a very bad taste in my mouth, on how stereotypical they are portrayed. The best part of the movie comes from two great cameos. One is Jack Black playing an awesome stoner, and you can tell he’s just having fun with the role. The other is Jeffery Combs playing the hotel manager.

Besides for the two awesome cameos, the gore in the movie is well done ,for what little we see. There is quite a bit more gore and kills than in I Know What You Did Last Summer, but at the same time, it feels weaker due to how quickly it moves on past it. You barely have enough time to register what happened, let alone appreciate it.

It’s hard to believe I use to love this movie when I was younger, but it’s been 12 years since I seen it, so I’m willing to forgive myself, if I have been able to turn any of you away.

Score – 5% – And that’s just for Jack Black and Jeffery Combs
Gore – 5/10


Don’t Be Afraid Of The Dark (2011)

 If there’s one thing I hate about movies, it’s trailers. It seems that they never do a film justice, either giving away to much, or giving the wrong impression of the film your about to see. I blame DBAOTD’s trailer for the later.

 The story follows Sally, a young girl who’s mother ships her off to live with her father, Alex, and his new girl Kim, in the house they are  restoring.  Sally happens to find a window in the garden, and discovers a basement, so of course, they tear out a wall blocking the entrance going down. This has the terrible luck of unleashing little monsters who like to feed on children’s teeth though.

While the movie is indeed quite fun to watch, it is nothing like I thought it would be. I haven’t seen the original, so I was just going off the trailers, and the trailer I had seen made it look like a jump fest, even going so far as to making some friends of mine scream. But the movie it’s self is very light on scares, with the only real jump being shown in the trailer already! Aside from the wrong impression I got, the movie is indeed quite a blast to watch, the little creatures that are after Sally are awesome in the way they move and attack.

  The effects in the movie are quite good, the creatures are entirely CGI, and it’s fun to watch them swarm a victim.  The part of the effects that stand out most would have to be the gore though. While there isn’t very much gore in the movie, what you get is a treat for the eyes, my favorite being a broken leg near the end of the movie that will make just about anyone cringe.

 Now onto the acting. Sally is played by the young Bailee Madison, who is one of the few child actors who I think can really act, and I hope to see her go far. Katie Holmes plays the very likable Kim, and while I dislike Katie Holmes, I found myself not minding her in the role of Kim, but that might just be because the character of Kim is written as the hero. Guy Pearce plays Sally’s father, Alex, and while he does a good job in the role, I fucking hate Alex. All three of the main characters are very well done, and don’t make those decisions that go against characters which ruin many horror films. The supporting cast, what little there is, are quite likable. I even think Del Toro is in the background in the start on the airplane, but I can’t say for sure only seeing it once.

 So, would I say run out and see  Don’t Be Afraid Of The Dark in theaters? No not really, as much as I like to support horror in cinema, it just wasn’t worth the price these days. But would I say avoid it? Absolutely not, it’s worth the time, being well written and well acted.

Score – 70%
Gore – 7/10 

The Thing (1982)

It’s hard to review something everyone has seen. While most everyone who will read this has seen The Thing, and know right away what kind of score it will be getting, I’m going to approach this as if you the reader, has not. To which I say, get the fuck off my review and go watch it!

The Thing is the story of an Antarctic research base, while on a day just like any other, a Norwegian helicopter lands by them, the people inside shooting at a dog that runs to the Americans at the base to hide. Shooting one of the Americans, they kill the Norwegian, and take the dog in. Among checking out the Norwegian base, they find that the Norwegians have made a discover in the ice, of a ancient spaceship. Long story short, the dog is really an alien who can take the shape of any form, a perfect clone, unable to tell who is human and who is alien.

While it sounds like it could be a downright cheezy film, The Thing is one of the best cases of paranoia in film, since the original Alien movie. There is an almost palpable air of paranoia coming out of the tv screen when viewing the movie, which is one of it’s strongest points, with all the characters going crazy in their own little ways.

Even more so than the paranoia, this film is best known for it’s creature effects. The creature effects in the movie are so badass, and I haven’t seen anything like them recreated since. It’s even more impressive that this came out in ’82, and still looks amazing today. You have heads growing legs, and moving like spiders, stomachs opening up into mouths, it’s nuts.

I don’t normally talk about the score in films, but as with any John Carpenter movie, you can expect a haunting score, that really makes it’s self known. There is a scene when they are at the Norwegian base, looking at hollowed out ice, and the score keeps getting louder and louder as the camera pans, it’s really something to be heard.

All of the characters are believable and well acted, which is good because otherwise  the movie wouldn’t be near as good as it is. The highlight is of course Kurt Russell, who plays a helicopter pilot who steps up into the role of leader when times get tough. I really loved his character,

So if your still reading this, what the hell is wrong with you, go watch The Thing.

Score – 99%
Gore – 10/10

Monster Mondays : The Children

Kids are creepy. It’s a fact, and while you may think your little one is an angel, it doesn’t change the fact that they are still creepy. Thankfully there are few kids as creepy as The Children from The Village Of The Damned.

  During a blackout that left the town of Midwich unconscious for several hours, ten women end up pregnant. Being paid by the government to keep the babies, nine months later, nine are born healthy, with one being a still born.

The Children are anything but normal, with scientist Susan Verner discovering that they are the last remaining survivors of an emotionless race. All are gifted with platinum blonde hair, pale skin, and impressive intelect. They also have psychic powers, that when used, cause their eyes to glow a variety of different colors.

The kids have no understanding of pain, leading them to use their powers to inflict pain on the people who cause it to them. This leads them to cause many a death, without needing to lift a finger. All it takes is to implant a suggestion of suicide into the mind of someone, and they do themselves in for you.

The Children do have one weakness though, concentrated thought. If you concentrate hard enough, their powers of suggestion and mind reading can be blocked out for some time. It’s the perfect opportunity to say, plant a bomb.

  Next time your watching your child play, and you see a glow in their eye, don’t be so sure to think it’s just the sun.

Stir Of Echos (1999) aka This One’s For You Paul

1999 was a great year, we got The Matrix, Fight Club, Boondock Saints, all sorts of movies I hold in great respect. Kevin Bacon also did his last horror film ( unless you count Hollow Man) the same year, that being of course, Stir Of Echos.

Kevin Bacon plays Tom Witzky, a telephone repair man, and a family man. Not a man who believes in the paranormal, Tom challenges his sister in law, Lisa, to hypnotize him, and of course it works. While under, Lisa  plants a suggestion in his head, one to “be more open-minder”. You really have to be careful with how you word things. Tom starts to experience creepy visions, of violence towards a young girl. A young girl who has been missing…

At it’s core, Stir Of Echos is a paranormal mystery film, with some horror elements. The horror side of things comes in creepy images, visions, and all around mood the film inspires to evoke in the viewer. The dark tone of the movie, really helped me get into, and I felt genuinely concerned as to the outcome of the mystery.

Stir Of Echos is very effect light, and there is almost no gore to it. That being said, when there is blood, or something of that nature, it is done quite well. There is a scene where a tooth is knocked out that I found to be quite brutal, maybe not Hills Have Eyes or Inside brutal, but still unnerving none the less.

While the mood the film emits is by far the highlight, the acting is a close second, with an amazing job done by my main man Kevin Bacon. Kevin Bacon is one of those actors I will watch in anything, and if you like him in this, watch The Woodsman, for what is ultimately his best performance to date. Illeana Douglas also does a wonderful job as Lisa, and carries the role with the same charm she is known for.

So while not strictly horror in the usually sense of what I review, I think Stir Of Echos is a great movie, and deserves to be seen at least once.

Score – 85%
Gore – 2/10

Four (More) actors that should return to horror.

1. Johnny Depp

When you start out in A Nightmare On Elm Street, it’s hard to land a better horror movie role, but Johnny Depp has been given many great performances to horror fans. From films like Sleepy Hollow, and From Hell, to an odd little cameo in Freddy’s Dead, Depp knows the genre, and it’s time he returned to where he started.

 2. Robert De Niro

While not truly horror, Robert De Niro shocked and terrified as Max Cady in the remake of Cape Fear, and if that role doesn’t say he’s a man that can pull off horror, I don’t know what does. He’s been in films such as Godsend, and Hide And Seek, and while neither of these jump out as great films, you can always bet on a great performance From De Niro.

 3. Kiefer Sutherland

Kiefer might be best known for his role of 24’s Jack Bauer, but genre fans should remember him from the 87 classic The Lost Boys, the movie with ‘All the damn vampires”. Kiefer has done a lot of thrillers, but his most notable horror role aside from The Lost Boys, is without a doubt, Mirrors in 2008, making him the person closest to the genre on the list.

 4. Kevin Bacon

One of the first few roles Kevin Bacon ever had involved getting an arrow through his neck in Friday The 13th, a kill that is near and dear to my heart. He has also starred in Tremors, one of the movies I have the most nostalgia for, and a great creature feature to boot. He’s even starred along side Kiefer in Flatliners. But I think the reason Kevin Bacon needs to return to horror most, is having worked with director James Wan on Death Sentence in 2007, wouldn’t you love to see him in one of Wan’s films?

Fright Night (2011)

 I want to start this out by saying, I have never had as much fun going to a movie as I did with Fright Night. That being said, let’s jump right in.

 The story of Fright Night is basically the same as the 1985 original, Vampire moves in next door. It’s very simple, but it’s not about the story here, it’s about the characters and the action.

 In this remake, we have a lot, and I do mean a lot, more action. There is explosions and some of the coolest vampire fight scenes. Now the action in the movie is quite over the top, but I personally loved it for that reason, it’s just balls to the wall insane. There’s gun action, explosions, car chases , and even a fight with a battle ax. Those who remember the original might not like it for this reason, it changes a lot, but as it’s a modern re-telling, I don’t really mind.

 The acting in the movie is absolutely some of the best I’ve seen in a big budget horror flick in a long time. Colin Farrell plays the vamp, and manages to be both charming and malevolent at the same time, in what I think is one of his best roles. Anton Yelchin proves once again that he has what it takes to move up in the acting world ( if you want to see him in a chilling role check out the Criminal Minds episode he is in)

 The effects in the movie I’m half and half about.  The way the vampires move when fighting tends to look really fake, but they don’t do it very much, which is a good thing. The blood is cgi, and looks fake as all hell, but the gory bits, which are also cgi, look really good, so you can forgive them on the blood. Some of the 3d effects made it hard to focus on what was going on I found, like when a vampire is reduced to ashes.

 Seriously guys, give Fright Night a chance, I think if you go in, and don’t try to compare it to the first, you’ll have a great time.

Score – 90%
Gore – 8/10