Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Orphan (2009)

Orphan (USA, 2009) - Color, Director(s): Jaume Collet-Serra
MPAA Rating: R
[UK: 15]
Approx. 123 min.

Z-rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars for a surprisingly bone chilling movie

Cheese Factor: 1 out of 5 stars for trying to make me scared of a little girl... and succeeding.

This girl will DESTROY you...

I have to admit, I hesitated to buy this even though it was on sale at Walmart for only $4. I didn't want to waste my money if the movie turned out to be a dud. Well, let me tell you, this is probably the scariest movie I've seen about a scary little girl since Hard Candy. For some reason, the idea of a highly intelligent, manipulative, and murderous little girl is deeply disturbing to me. When you watch as many of these horror movies as I do, you just get a bit desensitized to them after awhile and they're not terrifyingly scary anymore. You still get a thrill from watching it but you're just less likely to jump at every scare attempt. This movie was just the right formula I guess, because this little girl gave me that chill down my spine and made me feel like I might lose control of my bladder.

You just fucked up...

Isabelle Fuhrman perfectly plays the role of Esther, a mysterious and honestly quite scary little girl with a dark secret. On the outside, she's very sweet and proper but will become murderously violent if you get on her bad side. The way the story builds, you can see that she is highly manipulative and is constantly plotting. She's got a wide array of skills at her disposal such as understanding sign language, having a way of earning trust and sympathy from people, and thinking quickly on her feet. She starts developing an Electra complex, which we later find out she seemingly has a history of, and so begins her rivalry with "Mommy". Esther begins to ruin mother's credibility and soon sets her up to look like an alcoholic with a problem. The ending is fantastic as we find out the truth of Esther's past. I thought she was scary from the beginning but towards the very end, that's the kind of stuff nightmares are made of...

Nudity: None. Perv. There is one scene where the boys are hanging out in the treehouse when one of them busts out a porno mag and they're shown flipping through it.

Gore: Not overly gory but still packs a surprising punch. Very effective use of violence and blood where necessary.

Awesome: VERY. I laugh now when I think back to how I hesitated to buy this at first, thinking it might not be scary. The story is great, Isabelle does an incredible job of playing Esther to the point where it's just terrifying, and I found it to be very scary and original. The coolest thing was Esther's art, with glow-in-the-dark paint. Coolest thing I've ever seen! This is also another Dark Castle film!!! These guys seem pretty popular with me this year.

Piranha 3DD (2012)

Piranha 3DD (USA, 2012) - Color, Director(s): John Gulager
MPAA Rating: R
[UK: 18]
Approx. 83 min.

Z-rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars for purely mindless fun and entertainment

Cheese Factor: 4 out of 5 stars for the B-movie grade cheese

I guess I should've called the review Piranha DD, since I've only seen the 2D version of it on DVD. I was really looking forward to watching it on the big screen but was bummed to find that it wasn't playing at any theaters near me. If you've seen any the Feast movies that I recommended for Halloween 2010, then you should be pretty familiar with the type of humor expected from a John Gulager film. A purely exploitative trashfest featuring memorable lines of dialogue like, "Josh cut off his penis because something came out of my vagina."

The story here is that a new water park is opening up for the summer and it's going to feature "water-certified" strippers. The asshole (played by the actor I hate most, David Koechner) that owns the place is pumping his chlorine treated water out into the lake, which is attracting the piranha who are looking to spawn. Christopher Lloyd is back to explain that the piranha, affected by the chlorinated water, are confusing the water park for their spawning grounds. A marine biologist, played by Danielle Panabaker (Friday the 13th and The Crazies remakes), rushes back to her step-father that runs the water park and tries to warn him of the danger but he refuses to close the park on the opening day. Once the piranha arrive, it's absolute chaos as the water runs red with blood.

Nudity: With a title like "DD" what do you expect? Of course it's going to be a mindlessly entertaining movie that is filled with tons of nudity and sophomoric humor. My biggest complaint is that I didn't see this movie in 3D, my favorite scene from the original was when the two babes were swimming around each other complete nude in the water. Watching that in 3D was so beautiful, I really wish I saw this one in 3D too. Unfortunately, it didn't seem like this one had as much nudity as the first.

Gore: There was plenty of gore in this movie too, unfortunately though, still not as much as the first movie!!! The cheesy humor and B-movie goodness was definitely there, no doubt. There is some gore but not as much, or as well done, as the first movie.

Awesome: Pretty damn awesome. If this were a standalone film, I think it would be rated a lot higher. The problem is that it's overshadowed by it's predecessor. A lot of people actually bashed this movie when it first came out. I think that the movie is a lot of fun and a decent sequel. Ving Rhames is hilarious as always, there are a couple other cameos that are pretty funny too. This is just an all around fun movie that is very entertaining if you just sit back and let it entertain you. Sure, it's no Piranha 3D, but it's still a damn fun movie. (I don't know that anything can match how awesome the original was!)

Monday, October 29, 2012

ChromeSkull: Laid to Rest 2 (2011)

ChromeSkull: Laid to Rest 2 (USA, 2011) - Color, Director(s): Robert Hall
MPAA Rating: R
Approx. 93 min.

Z-rating: 4 out of 5 stars for a totally bad ass sequel to a totally bad ass movie

Cheese Factor: 2 out of 5 stars

ChromeSkull ink!

This movie picks up right where the first one leaves off. The survivors from the first movie are just leaving as a team of people move in. Just like MiB, these guys are the clean up crew that came to scoop up the pieces of ChromeSkull and try to put him back together again. These guys talk about protocol like they're part of some large organization. Really strange for a killer to be part of a network. While the original ChromeSkull is out, this other dirtbag from the organization tries to step up and finish off the survivors. This really enrages CS when he gets the news. I'm not sure what this mysterious organization is but Danielle Harris seems to be one of the ladies in charge. They tempt CS out of his hospital bed with a new girl and he's quickly back into action, showing that other douche how it's really done. CS is apparently the man running the show cause he has the power to fire that other dude, causing him to "snap" then shave his head and trying to don the chrome mask. Before he was kicked out of the organization, he commissioned a team to create a giant throwing star-like weapon that has the signature ChromeSkull blades at the end of it. When the two finally meet, it becomes immediately clear... there can be only ONE!!!

Okay, so the story focuses a little more on the girl but nobody really cares. We're all here for the gore and the violence!!! And they deliver all that in spades. I like that they were so ambitious with the storyline. There's a story going on about a girl who's going blind and is trying to survive this nightmare that she's in, there's another about an internal power struggle between two people who want the same position within an organization, and it's still a Slasher film all at the same time.

Nudity: Doesn't show much more than the first but at least there's a shower scene in the first 10 minutes of the movie. Gotta give them credit for trying!

Gore: Tons. There's buckets of this stuff. Definitely the centerpiece of this slasher double feature. While I loved the original Hatchet, I thought the sequel went downhill as far as the special effects. I'm not sure if it was a budget issue or what, but I know I didn't enjoy it nearly as much as the original. This is top notch gore from the beginning of the series to the very end. I am very much a fan of the special effects in this series, provided by Almost Human Inc. (A special effects company owned by the director, Robert Hall)

Awesome: Very. I really enjoyed this series even though it wasn't anything groundbreaking. The special effects are amazing and that's really what you're watching it for. These two movies should be shown in a double feature at any Halloween party. I consider this to be part of the new wave of Slashers, I just wish more people were aware of good ol' ChromeSkull...

Laid to Rest (2009)

Laid to Rest (USA, 2009) - Color, Director(s): Robert Hall
MPAA Rating: R
[UK: 18]
Approx. 90 min.

Z-rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars for a totally original and gory as hell Slasher

Cheese Factor: 2 out of 5 stars for bad acting and bad dialogue

Laid to Rest is a very original horror movie. I had heard a lot about this movie when it was releasing but was never interested enough to sit through it. Something about it really put me off and I think it's what put most people off this movie. The killer with a chrome mask that calls himself ChromeSkull sounded like it'd be too lame of a concept to actually work. Well if everyone's always complaining about remakes and how Hollywood recycles old movies without coming up with any new ideas, why weren't more people supportive of this movie? The guy dresses like he's in MiB and walks around with a camera attached to his shoulder like a parrot. He looks like some sorta tech pirate walking around with two big ass knives carving up pretty girls. What's not to love?

After an incredibly gory opening credits montage of girls being cut up and open, the movie starts off with some chick waking up to find herself locked in a casket. (Interesting way to start a movie!) She finds her way into the next room and tries to call for help. This is where you first get a sense that there's something wrong with her, like maybe she has brain damage from being locked in the casket for too long. When she peaks out the door, she sees a man wearing a chrome mask in the form of a skull. This is the first time we see our killer.

Now, he's not your average slow moving dumb beast of a killer. Aside from his attire, he drives around in a nice car with vanity plates and carries a chrome briefcase with him that has medical supplies as well as the glue he needs for the mask. YES!!! This killer will stop in mid-kill just to reapply his mask before continuing to kill. I thought that was absolutely hilarious.

The rest of the film just involves the girl trying to survive and everyone around her becoming a victim of this lunatic. The acting in this movie is mediocre and the lines of the girl with head trauma is just downright annoying. I understand that she's supposed to be have brain damage, but the way she talks drove me absolutely insane the first time I watched this movie. Also, why does every computer they use look like it's running Windows 95? The gore effects are what really steal the show. As cheesy as the rest of the movie might seem, the gore is top notch and is pretty brutal to look at. And in any Slasher film, the star should really be none other than the gore effects. I give them kudos for getting that right.  

Nudity: The other half of the equation that seems to be missing here. Whenever I think Slashers, I always think piles of dead bodies and boobies. Where are the boobies?

Gore: The gore effects in this movie are FANTASTIC. Absolutely top notch. Like I said before, they absolutely steal the show. I love that he walks around with two big ass knives and just cuts people into pieces. ChromeSkull is such a bad ass.

Awesome: Totally. Definitely one of the better slashers to come out recently. The last movie I saw with effects of this quality was Hatchet (2006), which is one of my all time favorites. This one is likely to be overlooked and I want to make sure I recommend it any slasher fan. In fact, I highly recommend putting it into the queue for Halloween this year.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

The Cabin in the Woods (2012)

The Cabin in the Woods (USA, 2011) - Color, Director(s): Drew Goddard
MPAA Rating: R
[UK: 15]
Approx. 95 min.

Z-rating: 4 out of 5 stars for an absolutely FANTASTIC concept

Cheese Factor: 2 out of 5 stars for all the references and "in-jokes" that horror nerds eat up

A group of teens are away for the weekend in a cabin in the woods. Unbeknownst to them, what seems to be a government agency is orchestrating their deaths for a ritual sacrifice to appease some ancient gods. (Called "The Ancient Ones")  Apparently, each country around the world is attempting to organize their own version of the ritual sacrifice but every country seems to have failed except for Japan and America. A wrench is thrown into the works when the kids start catching on to what's happening...

What is there to say about this movie? For one, I had a hard time trying to classify what kind of movie to even consider it. Supernatural? Slasher? Stoner Horror? Whatever subgenre you want to categorize it under, it's definitely worth a look if you haven't seen it yet. If only for the last 15 minutes of the film. It's absolute CHAOS!!!!!!! Maybe even the best 15 minutes in recent horror history. The problem? The rest of the film. Not that the movie was slow or hard to watch, it is just so mildly interesting compared to the better parts of the film. The first 20 minutes or so is absolute rubbish. Things start to get interesting once the cellar door opens and even then, it's just building up towards the last 15 minutes. Once they go downstairs, they choose their own method of death depending on what they pick up and play with. When you see the connection these items have with the method of death later on in the movie, that's where you start to see the references to other films show up.

Place your bets!! What will be killing the kids?

As a horror geek, my biggest complaint is probably the same as everyone else. Why wasn't the last 15 minutes longer?! The movie was only 95 min. I could've watched another 30-60 minutes of monsters on a rampage. Other than that, I definitely think this movie is worth at least a watch if you like horror movies. There are a TON of references and things to notice so it's a satisfying watch for horror movie geeks. 

Nudity: Not much in the nudity department for this movie. There is one scene where the blonde girl takes her shirt off and we see her topless. So do the guys in the control room! One scene is better than none!!!

Gore: Lots. Heads decapitated, blood, guts, and people torn apart. Sheer volume, but a lot of it comes from violence that's implied. So while there are a lot of remains, not too much of that violence actually happens onscreen.

Awesome: Pretty freakin awesome. Like I said, the dull parts can get pretty boring especially when compared to the best parts of the movie. However, this movie is more of the package deal. The first time watching it, you'll either love it or hate it. If you're a horror geek though, you'll probably come back to it. On repeated viewing, you catch more of the references and the dull parts become easier to sit through. You have to judge it as a whole and not by its parts. I wouldn't go as far as to call it one of the best horror movies of the year but it was fun and worth at least one watch.

Idle Hands (1999)

Idle Hands (USA, 1999) - Color, Director(s): Rodman Flender
MPAA Rating: R
[UK: 18]
Approx. 90 min.

Z-rating: 5 out of 5 stars for laugh out loud horror hilarity!

Cheese Factor: 3 out of 5 stars for stupid fun cheesiness

Time for a fun movie, this is an oldie but goodie. Idle Hands is one of those movies that I can watch over and over again. Part Horror movie that almost feels like a Slasher film at some moments, part stoner film, part teen scream with a young and sexy Jessica Alba, and all Comedy!!!

A lazy stoner kid named Anton (Devon Sawa who later stars in Final Destination) and his two stoner friends like to hang out and get stoned. (He uses a modified inhaler as a pipe!) Anton's parents are murdered and when they finally discover the bodies, all the evidence points to Anton being the killer. As it turns out, his hand is possessed and it proceeds to kill his two best friends too. Anton has a crush on the girl across the street (Alba) and inadvertently gets her involved in all this too. The hand wants a soul to take back to Hell and when Anton foolishly cuts his hand off thinking it'll solve the problem, the hand is free to go on a killing spree and roam about in search of the soul it wants. Meanwhile, a bad ass Druid high priestess (Vivica A. Fox) is hunting down the demon that possessed Anton's hand, she's the only one with the weapon to stop the hand.

This movie is lots of fun and recommended for anyone who has to entertain for people who aren't hardcore horror fans. Also good to play at party or something. Even more fun when you have a bong to pass around while watching this movie...

Nudity: There's one scene with nudity that clearly sticks out in my mind. The rest of the scenes are just them talking about sex or making references to it. 

Gore: Not bad in the gore department. More than I expected. Seth Green gets stabbed in the head with a glass bottle and I think you can head the liquid slosh around inside. Definitely more than I expected from a Horror/Comedy

Awesome: Totally! I think this movie is absolutely hilarious and like to watch it every now and then. Stoner humor with a lot of references and things to look at in the background. The Offspring are playing at the dance, there's Rob Zombie's Dragula music video is playing on TV in one scene, and they're watching the original Dawn of the Dead in another.

The Entity (1982)

The Entity (USA, 1982) - Color, Director(s): Sidney J. Furie
MPAA Rating: R
[UK: 18]
Approx. 125 min.

Z-rating: 4 out of 5 stars for being effectively disturbing

Cheese Factor: 1 out of 5 stars for the cheesy lightning effects that look dated

The shocking first look at "The Entity"

This movie is supposedly based on real events that took place in the 1970s. There is a really unsettling rape scene in the opening of this movie. I know all rape is unsettling in general but the fact that you can't really see the attacker makes it impossible to gauge the chances of her escape. Also, the pounding score emphasized by her struggling makes the viewer even more uneasy. When I first heard about this movie, I thought that the ghost rape would be laughable at best and expected the movie to be totally cheesy. To my surprise, the scenes were very intense and the tension from the score was unbelievable!!! You can actually see Barbara Hershey's breasts being groped by invisible hands. (Hershey also plays Josh's mom in the movie Insidious)

That's just disturbing...

First, she seeks psychiatric help but, when she starts getting a hard time from her therapist, she employs the help of two paranormal geeks that she meets down at the bookstore who do your typical "Ghost Hunters" act. The psychiatrist thinks that the paranormal geeks are just encouraging her "fantasies" and fights to have her continue treatment with him. Finally, they try to design this elaborate set up in order to trap the ghost in the end. Pretty crazy stuff, I wonder how much of the last part is actually true?

Nudity: There are a few scenes with nudity in it, of course, Hershey's character is getting raped in most of the scenes. Probably even all of them.

Gore: Not much in terms of gore, but there are scenes on intense sexual violence

Awesome: Very, in terms of it being a dark and terrifying movie. Not the type of movie you enjoy for fun but the powerful type of movie that really makes an impact on you. I'm a guy and I never thought I could be scared of getting raped by a ghost at night. Anyway, I like to pretend that this is the prequel for Insidious and that's really why she was so familiar with that psychic Elise.

Sinister (2012)

Sinister (USA, 2012) - Color, Director(s): Scott Derrickson
MPAA Rating: R
[UK: 15]
Approx. 110 min.

Z-rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars for an enjoyable story

Cheese Factor: 1 out of 5 stars

There is a lot of talk comparing this movie to Insidious. I'm not sure why but I guess I can see some of the similarities. Either way, I found it to be a very interesting story about a fictional deity that lives in pictures and consumes the soul of children.

A true crime novelist, played by Ethan Hawke (Taking Lives, Training Day), moves into a new town with his family and into the house where a family of four were hung in the backyard. Unbeknownst to his wife and children, he's researching the murders that took place in this house and happens upon a box of Super 8 films that document each of the murders up in the attic. The local law enforcement generally doesn't seem too pleased to have him in town so rather than get the police to help, he watches the films by himself at night and finds clues to link the murders. His son suffers from night terrors and has been known to walk around in the middle of the night. He starts hearing noises in the middle of the night but decides to keep watching the films. One of the deputies in town is actually a fan of his and asks him for an autograph. The deputy also asks to assist him in his research of the murders and helps gather information. Weird things start happening in the middle of the night, like the projector starting up on its own in his office, but he just keeps watching the movies. Slowly he's beginning to crack at the edges and is a nervous wreck because he thinks that the mysterious figure he sees in all the movies is stalking him in his own house.

The weird demon thing wasn't as big a part of the movie as you would think. The presence of this creature can be felt but it really only appears in a couple critical scenes. This one almost plays out like a crime drama with a horror side story. I thought the story was good, but there are so many things that could've been expanded on and other things that could've been shortened. The movie is nearly 2 hours long but you don't get a sense that they used their time wisely. There are characters that I think should've been utilized more, such as the University Professor that was an expert in the occult. I felt like he was the biggest source of information for the viewer but we only see him for short periods of time and he only shows up twice in the film!!

Nudity: None

Gore: A lot of the violence is implied or the main character looks away to avoid seeing the violence from the film. I think the R rating is for language rather than violence.

Awesome: Not bad. I like that the movie had a sense of humor, some of the conversations were so stupid that you couldn't help but laugh. The crime drama aspect of the film was so interesting that I almost want it to just be in a different genre altogether. (Taking Lives was really good!) I was a little disappointed to find out that the deity is completely fictional and made up for the script of this movie. I would've appreciated being able to come home and do my own research on this deity, making it more real for me. That would've been more fun anyway, still, an interesting movie overall. I think if I were to compare it to Insidious though, Insidious was creepier and did a better job of setting the mood. Also like Insidious, this film tries to addresses moving out of the house that's haunted. Well, you'll see how that plays out.

Insidious (2010)

Insidious (USA, 2010) - Color, Director(s): James Wan
MPAA Rating: PG-13
[UK: 15]
Approx. 103 min.

Z-rating: 3 out of 5 stars for being a decently creepy PG-13 horror

Cheese Factor: 2 out of 5 stars for the cheesy computer graphics that makes this movie look silly

This movie made a big buzz when it was coming out in theaters, apparently this went head-to-head with Scream 4 back in April 2011. Some horror fans saw it as a battle for the future of horror, if Scream won in the box office that would mean studio execs would see more profit in milking out sequels from the same tired old franchises. Insidious was supposed to be a completely original movie, a fresh idea, and maybe studio execs would invest more into independent films if it out performed Scream in the box offices. I think they both performed about equally well, but the budget for this film ($1,500,000) was significantly lower than Scream 4 ($40,000,000). I hope the studio execs were paying attention!

A family is apparently just moving into a new house, mom's a composer and dad's a teacher. They're slowly unpacking but some things seem to be moving around on their own. After going up to the creepy attic, one of the kids inexplicably falls into a coma. The doctors can't find anything wrong with him, and 3 months later, they send him home from the hospital. Things start getting really strange after that, with mom hearing a strange whispering over the baby monitor that slowly get louder until it turns into shouting and wakes the baby. Other strange things start happening like getting mysterious visitors in the middle of the night but what really sends them into a panic is one day mom finds a handprint on the bedsheets of the boy in the coma one day.

This is where things start to get interesting. The most common question asked about these kinds of movies is why doesn't the family just leave? Move out of the haunted house and go somewhere safe where it's not haunted? This movie actually has the family move out after a night where the spirits materialize and tries to grab mom in bed, that's when they decide that they're going to move. (They should get an award for smartest family in a horror movie!) Unfortunately for them, whatever it is seems to have followed them into the new house. Mom consults a priest but Grandma (on Dad's side) says she has a friend to suggest that might be able to help. They agree and are sent a pair of "investigators" to check out the house first, to verify that it's really haunted. Once it was confirmed, they call in the psychic medium, Elise, who arrives and immediately recognizes Dad from when he was younger. She walks around the house and, once inside of the son's room, she sees a demon that she describes to one of her "investigators" who sketches it out.

Elise then comes out with an explanation for all the strange events that have been taking place. The son is able to astral project in his sleep, so he has wandered too far from his physical body and gotten lost. The weakening link between his spiritual and his physical body is inviting malevolent spirits from another plane of existence to take over his physical body. At first, Dad doesn't believe them and kicks them out of the house but then invites them back after realizing that they're right. The truth is revealed that Dad used to astral project in his sleep as well, that's where the son gets it, and he's only one who can go in and get his son back.

Nudity: None.

Gore: Being a PG-13 movie, there was no gore and not much blood of any kind either. This was more a "chills and scares" than the "blood and guts" type of movie. 

Awesome: Very. There was some interesting camerawork employed here, which gave the film a lot of style but the music was what really stole the show. Very creepy music would heighten the tension on certain scenes, felt kinda like Psycho. My biggest complaint were the cheesy effects used to animate the "smiles" on some of the ghosts. I thought the story and music were doing a great job of setting a creepy tone and atmosphere but the cheesy effects took me out of the moment and made me want to laugh at how ridiculous it looked. James Wan is very talented (famous for directing Saw, which was a sleeper hit) that really shows his range and skill as a director by nailing both rated R and PG-13 horror films. Also showing how valuable he is as a filmmaker by pulling such large returns for films made with significantly lower budgets. (This one alone grossed $97,009,150 worldwide)


Sorry everyone, I fell behind once again on my reviews and it was hard as hell to catch up. I would like to apologize to all the readers that checked back each day hoping for a new review. By my calculation, I still owe all of you 5 more Supernatural Horror movie reviews and about 5 mixed horror reviews, including today's review. I will do my best to catch up before Halloween. Starting now, I will be publishing a new Supernatural Horror review every hour. I will be posting the mixed reviews by tonight. Happy Haunting to all!!!

Friday, October 19, 2012

The Woman in Black (2012)

The Woman in Black (UK/Canada/Sweden, 2012) - Color, Director(s): James Watkins
MPAA Rating: PG-13
[UK: 12A]
Approx. 95 min.

Z-rating: 3 out of 5 stars for a spook film that falls a little flat

Cheese Factor: 2 out of 5 stars for trying to get me to take Harry Potter seriously

I really wanted to like this film seeing as the only other film in director James Watkins' filmography is Eden Lake, which I really enjoyed and wanted to show my support for his second attempt at sitting in the director's chair. (Not to mention it's a freakin' HAMMER FILM!!!) I also applaud his confidence in working on the other end of the ratings spectrum seeing as he rocked the R-rated Eden Lake, this was a chance to see what he could do in the PG-13 end of the rating system. Unfortunately, he doesn't quite pull it off in my opinion.

One of the problems is this movie is hard as hell to follow. Not that the story is too complicated but that there is so much talking and such long boring scenes that put me to sleep. I first tried to watch this movie after it came out on DVD, I had to try on at least 3 or 4 separate occasions before I finally finished the damn movie. I usually applaud films for taking the time to build a creepy atmosphere but here it just drags on and I lose interest. (I watched Turkish Star Wars on VHS with no subtitles, I think I can safely say that I have a lot of patience when it comes to sitting through movies!)

Anyway, what I caught of it, Harry Potter is in some strange town on a business trip for some paperwork. During his stay, he encounters the local town legend of the spirit of a woman in black. She hung herself after her child drowned and is now a vengeful spirit that haunts the small town, taking the lives of other children for revenge. I think they could've done the woman better seeing as she's what the entire movie is based on. The CGI was a little choppy but she had a VERY annoying scream. I thought the bad CGI ghost women that screamed like banshees were a thing of the past, that's a little clichéd if you ask me.

Nudity: None. Some titties would've helped the beginning not be so damn boring. Although, everyone in the movie was either a little kid or older woman.

Gore: Not much, as you probably would've guessed with a PG-13 movie. There is one scene where a little girl that drinks lye dies in Harry Potter's arms. Should've mixed her up some sorta antidote or potion to save the little girl's life!

Awesome: Maybe not as bad as I'm making it out to be but not as great as everyone hyped it up to be. I wanted to make sure I rented this for Halloween cause I knew people were going to be talking about it this year and wanted to review it. I will admit that when we first catch glimpses of the woman in black, those scenes were pretty creepy. Once we're deeper into the movie and she turns into a banshee, that's when I can't take the movie anymore. How difficult it was to get into this movie in the beginning and how annoying the scenes towards the end were just kinda kills it for me. Even though there are a couple creepy scenes in the middle, that wasn't enough to redeem the entire movie. I do like that Hammer's really coming back up in the horror scene and I'd love to show them a little support. This one just wasn't for me though.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Thir13en Ghosts (2001)

Thir13en Ghosts (USA/Canada, 2001) - Color, Director(s): Steve Beck
MPAA Rating: R
[UK: 18]
Approx. 91 min.

Z-rating: 4 out of 5 stars for a good ghost story

Cheese Factor: 2 out of 5 stars for a weak plot for the movie

A rich and obsessed occultist travels the world collecting artifacts and ghosts. He has a psychic (Matthew Lillard) follow him around and help track down specific spirits but his plan is not revealed before he meets his end during one of the nights that they capture one of the more violent spirits. Cut to Tony Shalhoub, who is the nephew of the rich and eccentric occultist, getting a visit from his uncle's lawyer to leave him a huge house. They are shown the enormous house, which is entirely made of glass walls, before the greedy lawyer activates a trap that locks them all in the house. Luckily, Matthew Lillard's character happens to get locked inside as well to explain his past with the uncle and the dark past of the house. Apparently the uncle was collecting 12 specific spirits to power a machine that would open a portal to Hell. The device that he built was actually the house and the spirits are being released from their prisons one after another.

I know this movie gets a lot of crap and I can see why. There aren't many reasons for what's happening on the screen other than the fact that it's happening. I'm not here to praise any qualities that the movie doesn't have, I do think that this is a pretty damn entertaining movie though. Sure, if you over think the movie, you can find a ton of plot holes in the story. The grand scheme of the evil uncle was really stupid but it provided a reason to talk about a variety of ghosts. That's what's interesting about this movie, most of its best writing is focused on what the different types of ghosts are. Once they're all released from their prisons, it's like okay, what now? These bad ass killing machines are on the loose but there's no one to kill in particular. Matthew Lillard does some damn fine acting as a tortured psychic that's haunted by visions of death and evil spirits. There are some genuinely creepy moments, and if not for the damn CGI at the end of the movie, this movie is actually pretty sweet. Alright, so maybe a more solid script would've helped too but I think people would complain less about the script if "the darkness" looked better.

Nudity: Not enough. Shannon Elizabeth of American Pie fame is in this movie, I thought for sure we'd got some T&A. One of the 13 ghosts is a naked girl who cut herself but she's also very dead and gross looking. She's a creepy one.

Gore: Enough. I wouldn't say that there was an overwhelming amount of gore. I wouldn't even say there was a lot of it. There was blood wherever needed and I didn't feel like it was a tame movie by any means.

Awesome: Very entertaining. I wouldn't say this is one of those movies that changed the game but it was definitely lots of fun to watch and pretty easy to follow. I loved how each of the ghosts had distinct personalities, I just wish they went even deeper into the backstory of each ghost. Overall, a very entertaining film.