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Thread: Fright Fest 8: Now Accepting Donations for a 4K Restoration

  1. #161

    Re: Fright Fest 8: Now Accepting Donations for a 4K Restoration

    Quote Originally Posted by Dook View Post
    Have you really not reviewed the Sixth Sense? That's crazy
    Is it?

    My most recent watch of it was back in June. Still a really great film that manages to feel different from most ghost movies.

  2. #162
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    Re: Fright Fest 8: Now Accepting Donations for a 4K Restoration

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim View Post
    Is it?

    My most recent watch of it was back in June. Still a really great film that manages to feel different from most ghost movies.
    It feels like as far as fairly modern films go one of the biggest. idk.

    Spoiler:

    I solemnly swear I am up to no good


    Quote Originally Posted by Steve
    I stopped reading when it became clear it was the same butthurt smarkf*g "real wrasslin'" crybaby rant on every youtube vid featuring Cena.



    Quote Originally Posted by Buff Bagwell on John Cena
    But I think he's bigger than Buff Bagwell. I really do.
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  3. #163

    Re: Fright Fest 8: Now Accepting Donations for a 4K Restoration

    Quote Originally Posted by Dook View Post
    It feels like as far as fairly modern films go one of the biggest. idk.
    It's certainly a significant modern horror, but it's hardly the only major horror film I haven't covered in Fright Fest. With only approx 31 reviews per Fright Fest and this is the 8th year, that's a mere 248 approx films covered here. That's not that many, especially when I'm trying to cover a little bit of everything. Off of the top of my head, other major horror films not covered in Fright Fest:

    - The Exorcist
    - Jaws
    - The Omen
    - Alien
    - The Shining
    - Evil Dead
    - Carrie
    - Psycho
    - Ringu
    - Hellraiser
    - Scream
    - 28 Days Later
    - Don't Look Now
    - The Blair Witch Project
    - Rosemary’s Baby
    - John Carpenter's The Thing
    - Freaks
    - Let the Right One In


    Fright Fest 9 could practically be a "Best horror movies ever" edition with how many big ones are left to cover.

  4. #164
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    Re: Fright Fest 8: Now Accepting Donations for a 4K Restoration

    well you should do the sixth sense or dr giggles. Talk about a big difference in quality

    Spoiler:

    I solemnly swear I am up to no good


    Quote Originally Posted by Steve
    I stopped reading when it became clear it was the same butthurt smarkf*g "real wrasslin'" crybaby rant on every youtube vid featuring Cena.



    Quote Originally Posted by Buff Bagwell on John Cena
    But I think he's bigger than Buff Bagwell. I really do.
    [02:00 AM] Dakstang : girls ain't dudes


  5. #165

    Re: Fright Fest 8: Now Accepting Donations for a 4K Restoration

    Quote Originally Posted by Dook View Post
    well you should do the sixth sense or dr giggles. Talk about a big difference in quality
    Dr. Giggles is still a possibility (Eh...probably 50/50 chances), but I'm comfortable with my last viewing of The Sixth Sense to hold me over for awhile.

  6. #166
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    Re: Fright Fest 8: Now Accepting Donations for a 4K Restoration

    Thanks for the inclusion of Dead And Buried. It is really amazing and I'm normally not into things that are that is tense and eerie, but Darling Lady loves this movie and we watched it last Halloween. I agree, great jobs on the reveals. So impressed with how it was made.
    -------
    Quote Originally Posted by RaiZ-R View Post
    What the fuck is happening to you guys? I once got a blowjob where she used her teeth a little bit too much and I ended up with a bloody dick, I still enjoyed the blowjob up to the point I started bleeding. I can honestly say that I have never had anything I would call a bad blowjob, that wasn't a great experience but up until I started gushing blood I was having a great time!
    Spoiler:


  7. #167

    Re: Fright Fest 8: Now Accepting Donations for a 4K Restoration

    Day #21
    Title: Funny Games
    Country: United States
    Year: 2007
    Director: Michael Haneke




    A wealthy family is terrorized by a pair of young men that bet the family won't be able to survive the entire experience.


    A few years ago, I watched the original 1997 Austrian film, Funny Games, and loved it. It was so dark, surprising, and far more creative than I would have expected. You look at the film and you see a child having his head covered for a large portion of the film, that same kid who ended up being shot and killed later, thereís breaking of the fourth wall, thereís a scene with remote control to rewind so one of the antagonists can be unkilled, and ultimately all three members of the family dies to seemingly teach their killers absolutely nothing. Austria is not known for their horror movies. Besides 2014ís Goodnight Mommy, 1997ís Funny Games is about it. Yet, itís still one of the better horror movies of the late 90ís.

    Without a doubt, the single biggest flaw of this 2007 remake is that itís a shot for shot remake. There is zero effort in making this remake feel different from itís original. Since youíre literally seeing the same events and things being said, it was impossible for me to be emotionally invested in any of this. The shocking moments of the original no longer seem like a big deal. I wouldnít even compare this to if you had simply re-watched the original. At least if you re-watch the original, you may know whatís going to happen, but you still have to sit back in awe of the craziness. That craziness isnít felt by me in the remake though. Without the emotional ties to the film, the extended period of time when Paul and Peter are seemingly gone for good, was insufferably long. I was bored out of my mind since the death of young Georgie no longer stood out as a shocking moment. So instead, we just had to endure very long never cut scenes when it took forever for someone to just stand up or finish crying. I was begging for Paul and Peter to return since that at least meant something would happen again.

    Without that emotional investment, any of the strange actions that didnít seem to make sense in the original, stands out even more now since you canít simply fall back on the idea that the viewer is in a state of shock and you can show them anything. This is most clear at the familyís utter failure at trying to save their own lives. The family gave in so quickly and without much of a fight. I understand that the husbandís leg was injured and late in the film, a gun is brought into the picture, but why would you go along with so much? Thereís a point fairly early on where Ann is having to talk to a few neighbors with either Paul or Peter by her side. Why not try to get their help whether while theyíre there or just as theyíre paddling away on the lake? Sure, youíre probably going to get hit, but at least youíre potentially saving your family. I really wanted to see Ann get in there and fight for her and her familyís life. Instead, sheís fairly submissive and her husband isnít much better. Her sonís attempt at escape was laughable. I realize heís a child, but his means of quick hiding while upstairs in the neighborís house was awful. If nothing else, find someplace to properly hide in that house. Instead, he fails just as badly as his parents, perhaps moreso since he actually managed to escape, had a good head start, and had the advantage of being on an entirely different piece of property. The most frustrating of all though took place after little Georgieís death. Paul and Peter are seemingly gone for good and George and Ann waste so much time when they should be going for help. I can understand trying the cell phone, but once it failed the first time, it was time to do something else instead of constantly trying to dry the phone. Despite originally stating that it was the plan, the couple didnít even manage to find a place for George to hide since his leg made moving around difficult. Annís actions while on the road were terrible as well. Once you decided not call for help with the first vehicle that passed by, it would have made sense to do that with the rest of the vehicles. Finally, thereís the humiliating scene where Ann is forced to strip. I realize itís difficult regardless of who you are, but when youíre played by Naomi freakiní Watts, it doesnít have the same impact as it would with an actress that has more of a typical ďMomĒ look.

    Despite being a shot for shot remake, you would think that it would be different enough due to the country change. Yet, thatís not the case. I assume the film is set in the US. Itís an American film and they even included some Nascar on TV to further emphasize the point that this is in America. Itís a failure though. If you have to do a shot for shot remake, it needs to at least look different. The original had actors from Austria and Germany. The remake is made up of American actors except for Tim Roth and Naomi Watts (English). All four countries represented by the actors in these two films look too similar. Itíd be one thing if the original Funny Games was an Asian film. At least then the actors would have a distinct different look wise. Perhaps itís because Iím not a part of the 1%, but I canít relate to having an expensive lake house in a gated community. Iím watching the film and with the exception of showing some Nascar, it never felt as if it was taking place in America. Paul and Peter have these slight accents, Tim Rothís character certainly does, and the whole rich lifestyle leaves the family to be living a very non-typical American life. If youíre not going to have it feel like America, why bother seemingly setting it in America?

    Iím a fan of the initial premise of the original film. Had we saw a proper remake where they took the basic story and re-told it in a different manner, it could have been fantastic. Lets dump the rich lifestyle and show a family from the middle class. America is known for itís stereotype for loving guns. Lets see what happens when Peter and Paul has to cope with the family going after their guns. Iíve never been a person who insists on having a mixed cast filled with both sexes and various races, but I would have been all for having some minorities in the film. Above all else, I wanted to see something different. I would imagine that the majority of the people that watched this remake, had previously seen the original. Anyone who had seen the original knows what happens and when it happens. Flip the script and change or switch things around. Hell, even if all youíre doing is changing the means of death for the characters, it would have been fine.

    Ultimately, I believe the best chances of someone enjoying this film is if they had never saw the original. If thatís the case, the viewer is going to see a movie that is seemingly quite clever, filled with surprises, and a nonstop series of humiliating actions done to a family. However, if you havenít seen the original, Iíd suggest simply watching the first one instead. It feels far more realistic for it being set in Austria, a country that perhaps Americans arenít that familiar with beyond Austriaís role in World War 2 and it being the home country for Arnold Schwarzenegger. So anything that might be considered unrealistic (The absolute utter failure of this family fighting back or their actions after Peter and Paul leave for awhile), can be explained away by ďEh, maybe thatís normal for Austrians?Ē I hated this movie though. To me, the 2007 version Funny Games has absolute zero value. Any good qualities it may have, are solely because it borrowed everything from the superior original movie.

    Grade: D

    Fright in Motion:

    Spoiler:


    ---

    Coming up next, in a change of pace, we look at some of the newest horror shows you can find on the air.

  8. #168

    Re: Fright Fest 8: Now Accepting Donations for a 4K Restoration

    Day #22
    Title: The Exorcist, Wolf Creek, Black Mirror, and Channel Zero
    Country: United States/Australia/United Kingdom/United States
    Year: 2016



    Due to the fact that seemingly every other horror movie made in the last thirty years now has a television show based on the original story or even one in development, I decided to take a day and casually look at four of the newest shows.

    The Exorcist

    Out of the four debut episodes I’m looking at, this is the one I had the most concerns about. After all, this is the series that’s based on one of the most well known and greatest horror movies ever created. If that wasn’t tough enough, the follow ups to the Exorcist has been a gigantic struggle. The Exorcist 2 is THE example of a horror sequel that failed massively. It’s almost worth watching just to see what a disaster it was. The Exorcist 3 is actually good, but it’s always been one of those films that has had problems in getting the attention that it’s deserved. The Exorcist Prequel was a disaster behind the scenes thanks to production and the actual theatrical release failed to bring in the money. So if any of these four shows were going to be duds, it’d seem likely that it’d be this one.

    In this first episode, three stories unfold and by the end of the episode, they’re loosely tied together. In the first story, Father Marcus is down in Mexico, trying to perform a difficult exorcism for a child while the church does not seem to be fully backing him. In America, the Rance family is in turmoil as the father is dealing with some sort of condition, one of the daughters is coping in the aftermath of a car accident that saw the death of a friend, and the poor mother is beginning to suspect something is going on in her home. Finally, the priest at the Rance’s family, Father Tomas, is struggling to keep his passion for his career thanks to an apparent desire to be with a “Friend” and the never ending silly confessions that he must listen to from his churchgoers. These three stories comes together as Angela Rance asks Father Tomas to talk to her daughter while Tomas also begins having dreams of Father Marcus’ failed exorcism in Mexico.

    I found myself pleasantly surprised by this first episode. The writers set up a lot of future sub plots for future episodes. For example, Father Marcus had a run in with Father Bennett in Mexico and nothing ended up happening there. Chances are, Father Marcus is going to find himself in some trouble soon. There were a few good creep scenes and scares. A couple of which involves animals such as a crow and a rat. There’s a couple of nice nods to the original Exorcist including a website article referring to the original incident in Georgetown and we saw a repeat of one of the more memorable moments from the original Exorcist, only with far more realistic ramifications.

    What stands out the most was the ending as the big twist is revealed - the Rance daughter that is possessed by a demon is the seemingly normal Casey, not the depressed Kat. I only suspected this twist right before Father Tomas was going to climb up into the attic, realizing that the demon possession has been really straightforward...almost too straightforward. Still, despite predicting the twist, I still loved it. For a character that appeared to be irrelevant, it gave great purpose to Casey, while not hurting the Kat character because she still has her own stuff going on.

    Without seeing any other episodes yet, I’m expecting some good things. Father Marcus is a likable guy and I’m looking forward to seeing just how crazy things will get with Casey’s hint that there’s more demons around. I am a little cautious in that I hope that we don’t see some mass demon possessions taking over the city. A handful of demons will be fine, but anything more seems like overkill.

    Fright in Motion:
    Spoiler:



    Wolf Creek

    I originally saw the first Wolf Creek in the theater shortly after it premiered in the US. I loved it. At that time, the grittiness of the torture porn sub genre hadn’t been cemented yet, so Wolf Creek felt fresh and I loved how brutal it could be at points. John Jarratt did such a fantastic job as the funny, yet terrifying Mick Taylor was the highlight of the film to the point where he has to be one of the more memorable horror villains since 2000. I was also a big fan of the fact that they switched things up with all of the women dying and the sole survivor being a man. Not only did I not expect that, but the one who I initially pegged as the final girl (Liz) ended up dying first. As for the sequel, I enjoyed it, but it clearly wasn’t as good as the original. The change of tone fit Mick Taylor well, but it didn’t exactly make me care about the potential victims. I do believe Wolf Creek 2 gets a little too much hate though.

    The TV mini-series kicks off with an American family, the Thorogoods, vacationing in the Outback to help their track star daughter, Eve, get over her vague problems with prescription abuse. It’s while relaxing at a billabong that the family first meets Mick Taylor after he saved the son from a crocodile attack. Within hours though, Taylor has stabbed the parents and shot both of the kids. Unbeknownst to Taylor, Eve has survived her bullet wound and is eventually found and saved by some fishermen. With Taylor celebrating yet another series of killings, Eve is desperate to convince the authorities that a man in a blue truck is responsible for her family’s death. By the end of the episode, Eve vows to find Taylor and to make him pay.

    The first ten minutes of this was pretty crazy. When Mick meets the Thorogood family, it was a safe assumption to make that he’d eventually kill them, but all of that happens within the first ten minutes. The stabbing of the father happened so quickly that I was expecting it to be revealed to be a dream sequence or something. This scene of the family being killed is both my favorite and least favorite part of the first episode. On one hand, I loved how unexpected it all was, which made it difficult to be able to predict the rest of the episode and even series. After all, they actually did what so rarely happens in horror - they killed a kid! The problem? CGI blood. CGI blood may be my biggest annoyance with horror in the 2000’s. It feels so unnecessary to add in some blood post-production when all they’d have to do is rig up a little device to have blood shoot outward from the father’s neck.

    At this point, I’m not sure what to make of the lead protagonist - Eve. I like that her motivation in the series appears to be hunting down Mick, something that didn’t really happen in the other movies. I’m just not sure how believable it is that this girl will be a threat to Taylor. She’s already doing a tad bit too much thanks to leaving the hospital after just a couple of days and running all around. It does seem as if she might struggle thanks to her need of prescriptions and still recovering from being shot. We saw one glimpse into Eve’s struggle when she incorrectly finds “Mick” and makes a huge scene at a strip joint. The star of the series after the first episode though is John Jarratt. I doubt I’d have any desire to watch the mini-series if they had found a new Mick Taylor. Chances are that if you’re a fan of Taylor’s antics from the two previous movies, particularly the second, you’re going to continue to love him here.

    Fright in Motion:
    Spoiler:



    Black Mirror

    I had only found out about Black Mirror by recommendation this summer with the suggestion of checking out the episode of “White Bear”. It was an incredible watch. Insanely depressing, fascinating from the very beginning that you had to keep watching to see what happened next, and the end leaves you feeling both satisfied and further depressed. Checking out some of the other episodes that Netflix had at the time, my feelings on the show remained the same. It’s an amazing show set in the near future where technology has messed the world up to some weird degree. However, despite loving the series, it’s not one I’m alright with binge watching. It’s too dark and I need a little light in between the episodes to keep from going crazy. I find that’s a fair gauge on whether or not a dark program is effective or not. In theory, if you’re watching something depressing like Black Mirror, you want it to stick with you after the credits are finished.

    Initially, I was only going to watch the first episode of the debut season on Netflix (Which technically is season 3), but then I ended up getting ahead of myself and watched the first four of six episodes instead. Thus far, the new season has been a mixed bag. In the first episode, “Nosedive”, Bryce Dallas Howard stars in a pastel covered world where everyone is glued to their cells and are constantly rating each other. Literally, everything gets rated. If you order a drink from a food cart, you rate your experience with the guy handing you your drink. If you exchange some small talk with someone in an elevator, you both rate each other once the ride is finished. The darkness of the episode comes into play when it comes to how desperate characters become to be highly rated, the drawbacks to not having a certain minimal ratings, and the anxiety one feels when everything is spiraling out of control. It’s certainly an episode where you’re left wondering if you care too much about social media in the present time. This episode filled my need of seeing a depressing story unfold, although the ultimate conclusion to the episode seemed oddly upbeat. It’s a good first episode though and fits the overall theme of “Technology based story of fright” quite well.

    The second episode of “Playtest” features the story of an American traveling around the world, but when his bank account is emptied, he’s forced to accept an online job offer to test out a sketchy video game while in England. This episode was far more in your face than the other episodes of Black Mirror that I’ve seen. At the same time, if you’re a horror fan, it features more clear cut horror than anywhere else in the series. A large portion of the episode takes place in a video game based mansion that feeds on your worst fears. Such fears include spiders, both of the regular and supersized variety, the return of past bullies, weird noises throughout the mansion, and the ever increasing uncertainty of knowing reality and what’s only part of the game. My biggest frustration with the episode was how often the lead character was drawn out of the VR game, only for it to be revealed that he was still in it. It was overkill and these sort of multiple endings do more to kill my interest than to keep me invested. I do believe horror fans are more likely to enjoy this episode than others.

    Up next was my favorite thus far in season 3, “Shut Up and Dance” due to the fact that it summed up everything I love about Black Mirror and I felt it was comparable to “White Bear”. In this episode, a teenage boy is blackmailed with a webcam recording of a little action he did while sitting in front of his laptop. The episode was just one giant mystery and the further along it goes, the more questions pop up. Throughout this teen’s story, he comes across several other people that seem to be blackmailed as well with their own unknown secrets. At no point did I ever feel confident in which I knew what exactly was going on. As a result, I was constantly changing my assumption of what was going on with everyone, whether anyone the teen interacts with is fully honest, and if the teen is actually a true victim or not. Unless episodes 5 or 6 end up blowing me away, I’d be surprised if this doesn’t end up being my favorite of the season. Horror wise, it may be light due to the fact that the fear this episode creates is the terror of having your secrets revealed to the world, but it’s still my top recommendation. Stop reading this review and watch the episode.

    Finally, there was the fourth episode, “San Junipero” features the relationship between two women that seem to not be limited by time or age. This episode was a complete failure for me. It wasn’t until around the twenty-two minute mark or so that some sci-fi aspects of the episode finally began. Even then, it didn’t cause me to enjoy the episode any more than I previously wasn’t. By the end of the episode, I didn’t feel as if anything was depressing, horror-related, or featured the proper drama that I expect from Black Mirror. In reality, it’s some random tale of romance with a slight sci-fi twist. I suppose if you’re not a fan of how dark Black Mirror can be, this might be more of an episode that you can be into. I hated it and it’s easily my least favorite episode I’ve seen from any season of Black Mirror.

    Overall, my opinion on season three of Black Mirror will greatly depend on my views of the final two episodes. There was one great episode, one lousy one, and then two mostly good, but not without it’s imperfections. Go out of your way to watch “Shut Up and Dance” though.

    Fright in Motion:
    Spoiler:



    Channel Zero

    The only series of these four that I don’t have any prior experience with. It wasn’t until after I had watched this debut episode that I had read the creepypasta that inspired the series. In the creepypasta, it was simply a forum based series of posts where a group begins discussing a television show that they have vague memories of watching during a two month period of their childhood. With each new addition to the list of posters, the recollections begin to expand until a surprising reveal by one of them. The debut episode took that initial idea and expanded it so that this bizarre television show from 1988, Candle Cove, coincidence with a series of missing children cases. Now in the present time, the series appears to be back on the air for the children of a small town with the former children of 1988, now adults, having to deal with the consequences of such a happening.

    Scare wise, the first episode featured some great moments. Within the first minute or two, there’s a huge WTF moment. While it wasn’t featured often, any of the shots of Candle Cove was terrifying. It’s all old school puppets and creepy without “Intending” it to be creepy for children. It seems to also be that there’s a willingness to have more over the top type of creatures in the series. There was one tooth based monster that falls somewhere between being just weird and being scary looking. Really though, the most effective scare from the first episode was the case of the missing girl and the fear that comes from not being able to trust anyone due to her disappearance.

    With the intention for the series to tell a different story each season, ala American Horror Story, there’s some solid potential for Channel Zero. My impression after just one episode is that the series is going to show some restraint, unlike American Horror Story, so that it’s not just a series of never ending horror tropes being thrown at your face. It seems to me that if you’re a fan of Stephen King’s IT, you’ll likely enjoy Channel Zero.

    Fright in Motion:
    Spoiler:


    ---

    Coming up next, prepare to...laugh at the doctor's office?
    Last edited by Jim; 10-22-2016 at 01:22 PM.

  9. #169
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    Re: Fright Fest 8: Now Accepting Donations for a 4K Restoration

    Not sure if it's just a typo on your end Jim, but Black Mirror is a UK show created by the fantastic Charlie Brooker.

  10. #170

    Re: Fright Fest 8: Now Accepting Donations for a 4K Restoration

    Quote Originally Posted by Ed View Post
    Not sure if it's just a typo on your end Jim, but Black Mirror is a UK show created by the fantastic Charlie Brooker.
    If you're referring to the countries portion in the opening, then yeah, I completely botched that. I took a quick glance at it and initially went with just United States. Then right after hitting post, I realized that Wolf Creek clearly wasn't an United States program, although completely missing the obvious that Black Mirror wasn't US either.

    Oh well, at least I got it right for The Exorcist and Channel Zero.

  11. #171
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    Re: Fright Fest 8: Now Accepting Donations for a 4K Restoration

    White Bear is my favorite episode as well. Haven't watched the new ones yet though


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  12. #172

    Re: Fright Fest 8: Now Accepting Donations for a 4K Restoration

    Day #23
    Title: Dr. Giggles
    Country: United States/Japan
    Year: 1992
    Director: Manny Coto




    After escaping a mental asylum, the son of a doctor-turned killer returns to his hometown to continue where his father left off in stealing the hearts of all of the residents.


    As someone without any prior knowledge of Dr. Giggles, I expected a cheesy little slasher with some charm thanks to itís fun value. Basically, I figured it would be a doctor version of The Dentist. Instead, itís mostly just a snoozefest that never managed to capture my interest. My biggest disappointment is likely tied around the fact that none of the death scenes were impressive. On one hand, Dr. Giggles features a wide variety of kill methods, although every death is tied around Dr. Rendell having access to the heart of his victim. The problem I had is that there was never much blood in any of the kills. With fake blood being a fairly cheap thing to make, Iíd assume that a small budget movie like this would be loaded in blood to up the fun factor. Thatís not the case and it keeps the death scenes from being a positive in the movie.

    While a bit over the top in nature to the point where I couldnít believe he was real, unlike a character like Dr. Alan Feinstone, the highlight of Dr. Giggles was Larry Drake as Dr. Rendell. For a man that wasnít physically scary, despite his size, Drake brought some fun to the character and I appreciated it since fun wasnít an easy thing to find in this film. If youíve never watched Dr. Giggles, I can assure you that Rendell lives up to the title of the film by giggling quite a bit. Itís very odd and a little uncomfortable seeing such a large man giggle as if heís a little girl. Rendell was also responsible for the one truly memorable scene of the film. Throughout the first half of the movie, there was a never answered question that had haunted the town of Moorehigh for decades - how did Rendell Sr. help his son escape the house when the authorities finally caught Rendell Sr. for all of this evil doings? Iíd rather not spoil that reveal, but itís easily one of the craziest scenes Iíve seen in a horror movie all year long. With both blood and shadows on the wall being used, it made for a highly memorable visual.

    Character wise, I couldnít care about anyone. The final girl, Jennifer Campbell (Played by a pre-Charmed Holly Marie Combs) has some decent sympathy for her with her mother recently dying, her dad now dating an unlikable woman, dealing with health problems revolving around her heart, and walking in on her boyfriend making out with one of her friends, but Jennifer disappears for large portions at a time, to the point where I keep forgetting that sheís supposed to be a main character. The rest of the characters are mere cannon fodder, and uninteresting fodder at that. With uninteresting characters and death scenes that failed to live up to their potential, I was left bored and checking the time frequently in the second half.

    Overall, I went into Dr. Giggles expecting some dumb fun and while I did get one of those things, the fun never truly came. The kills left a lot to be desired, the characters were instantly forgettable, and the film dragged on despite being ninety-five minutes. Larry Drake as Dr. Rendell was the sole decent thing about the movie. Truthfully, I wouldnít be against the idea of seeing a Dr. Giggles remake with the basic idea of a deranged doctor killing off a bunch of people in order to get their hearts. I wouldnít even mind if a remake would have the same amount of comedy that this film had. Chances are, the only way you can be entertained by this film is if you watch it with some buddies to laugh at the stupid things happening in the film. Although the film has one killer scene, thereís far better wacky horror comedies to watch instead.

    Grade: D

    Fright in Motion:

    Spoiler:


    (Involves the crazy scene I refer to earlier in the review and ďNudityĒ)
    ---

    Coming up next, itís time to rev up that chainsaw once again.

  13. #173

    Re: Fright Fest 8: Now Accepting Donations for a 4K Restoration

    Day #24
    Title: Texas Chainsaw 3D
    Country: United States
    Year: 2013
    Director: John Luessenhop




    After inheriting a large mansion from a family member she didn't even know about, Heather and her friends travel down to Texas to check out the place, unaware of the chainsaw wielding maniac who also comes as part of the inheritance.


    Despite being a fan of the Chainsaw films, this was the first time I had gotten around to seeing the (For now) most recent Leatherface movie. While the series has never been perfect, and certainly was never concerned with continuity, Iíd say for the most part the Leatherface series has been mostly enjoyable. The original film from 1974 is without question, a horror classic. Itís a movie that with each view, I pick up something new or look at it from a different perspective. The first sequel from 1986 changed the tone and created a stupid, yet really fun follow-up with plenty of great gore. Leatherface, the third movie, is one I consider to be greatly underrated, although the forced edits by the MPAA did hurt the movie some. Iíve only watched Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation once and Iím perfectly content with not watching it again any time soon. The less memory I have of it, the better. The 2003 remake was not only really good, but Iíd claim it played a huge role in the remake craze that took over the world of horror in 2000. Finally, the follow-up to the remake in 2006 was a bit pointless, but it was an excuse to see Leatherface again and it wasnít an embarrassment like TCM: The Next Generation.

    As for 2013ís Texas Chainsaw 3D, I feel you can break the movie down into two halves with an exposition filled transitional segment combining the two. The first part was yet another re-telling of young adults driving a van in Texas while picking up a mysterious hitchhiker. Iíd compare it to both Leatherface and TCM: The Beginning where itís just an excuse to see Leatherface do his thing again and Iím just fine with that. To the credit to the filmmakers, they did a swell job at keeping Leatherface in the shadows or rarely showing him during this period. It was all about keeping Leatherface mysterious. There were a couple of times during this first half where Leatherface jumped out and made me jump. Furthermore, this first half made me really curious about what was behind Leatherfaceís big metal door that they refused to show the audience. It was all about having to wait to see what was behind the door.

    The transitional scene was my least favorite of the film. While Heather (Alexandra Daddario) is in the police station learning the truth about what happened on August 19th (The events that took place immediately after the original TCM ended), a lone police officer follows a bloody trail back to Heatherís mansion and going all the way down into the basement and into Leatherfaceís hidden rooms while streaming what he was seeing back to the police station. I hated this scene. It lacked any sort of logic that one police officer would actually follow this trail without waiting for backup. For a good portion of this scene, the police officer wasnít even concerned about his safety, only near the end realizing that this may have been a dangerous situation. Yet, the scene keeps going on and on. Weíre shown the bodies of the male victims and the police officer accidentally shoots and kills Nikka after opening a freezer and she jumped out. Finally, Iím put out of my misery when Leatherface shows up and kills the officer. This scene alone nearly ruined the movie for me. It dragged on and I couldnít wrap my head around the idea that a police officer could be expected to go into a building by himself when itís so clearly the scene of some grisly crimes.

    The second half of the film is where the script gets flipped and the police are the antagonists and Leatherface is positioned as a hero of sorts. While Leatherface had been a neutral character before, this was the first time he was fully the hero. I found myself really into this idea. Heís hardly the first horror killer to be changed so that heís saving the day. It fits the character and it doesnít feel forced. Itís a bit of a shame that the next Leatherface film doesnít just focus on Leatherface being the hero from the start. Itís something different from simply telling the same story over and over. The handling between Leatherface and Heather was also well done. Leatherface never becomes Heatherís lovable monster. Thereís respect there, but Leatherface isnít interested in bonding with Heather and Heather seems to realize that she needs to treat her cousin Jedidiah as if heís a wild animal and to always be on alert. My assumption by the end is that while Heather and Jeb wonít be having any lazy Sunday picnics, theyíre going to be able to get along and if anyone ever messes with Heather, theyíre going to have to deal with her ďCuzĒ.

    Other than that scene with the sole police officer investigating the bloody trail, I had a few other problems with the movie. In the first half, thereís a lot of time devoted to the sub-plot of Heatherís boyfriend, Ryan, cheating on her with Heatherís best friend, Nikki. Yet, it never goes anywhere. Ryan and Nikki apparently hooked up once before and they do again in the barn during the events of the movie just as Heather is running for her life from Leatherface. Iím not even entirely sure if Heather ever realized that the two closest people in her life was screwing her over. If she never found out, what was the point of that sub-plot in the first place? I was also disappointed by the lack of chainsaw based kills. For a movie that has ďChainsawĒ in itís title, there sure wasnít a lot of chainsaw related deaths. Off of the top of my head, the only death caused by the chainsaw was to Kenny. However, even then, this was after Kenny was struck by a meat hook and later dropped on another meat hook. The chainsaw was just the final way to put Kenny out of his misery. If youíre not going to give your audience chainsaw based kills, why bother including ďChainsawĒ in the title? The line, ďDo your thing, cuz!Ē spoken to Leatherface by Heather may be the single most embarrassing horror quote of the 2010ís. Itís so cringeworthy.

    Since I had went a few years without seeing Texas Chainsaw 3D, I was able to read a lot of reviews and random thoughts on the film. Now that Iíve seen the film, I can conclude that the most common criticism Iíve heard is not worth complaining about at all. The issue is tied around the fact that Heather was a baby during the events of the original TCM in 1974 and now that sheís in her early 20ís, it seems impossible that this movie could take place in 2012. The problem is the film goes out of itís way to avoid years. Whenever you see references to August 19th, they never include what year it took place in. Itís a bit of retconning to tell the audience that the year of the original TCM isnít relevant. Donít worry about. For whatever reason, it seems as if many viewers failed to pick up on this and still felt the desire to complain about the year problem, as if itís an obvious goof rather than something the filmmakers fully realized what they were doing.

    Overall, my 3+ year avoidance on this movie seemed to be without reason. The movie certainly had itís flaws, particularly with the scene with the lone police officer and other logical problems, but for a movie that lost me in the middle, they managed to suck me back in before the end. Iím all for any excuse to see Leatherface again and this film seemed to put special care in treating the character well. Even something as small as Leatherface putting his mask on seemed like a big deal due to actually stitching it to his cheeks. If I had to rank the TCM series, Texas Chainsaw 3D would be ranked behind only the original and the 2003 remake.

    Grade: B

    Fright in Motion:

    Spoiler:


    ---

    Coming up next, you don't have to go to Texas for a chainsaw massacre!

  14. #174

    Re: Fright Fest 8: Now Accepting Donations for a 4K Restoration

    Day #25
    Title: Pieces
    Country: Italy/Spain/United States
    Year: 1982
    Director: Juan Piquer Simůn




    Forty years after killing his mother with an axe, the now grown killer looks to continue his killing at a local Boston college.


    Along with a few other movies, Pieces was one of the movies that just missed the cut from being watched and reviewed last October. I was gutted that I didnít get around to watching it and I imagine I was subconsciously putting off watching it so I could get around covering it for this October. Without ever seeing the movie before and mostly just hearing some really positive talk for this, I was expecting one of the best slashers ever made. Iím talking an epic serious slasher classic that I would instantly join the other fans that praised this movie. Upon reflection, my expectations couldnít be further from the truth.

    The movie starts off well enough with a scene that I would credit as the best of the entire movie. Itís reminiscent of Psycho, particularly Psycho 4, with a poor boy that is terribly emotionally abused by his crazy mother. In this scene, she walks in on her young boy putting together a puzzle of a naked woman. She goes apeshit on her son and threatens to burn everything. Naturally, this young boy has one logical conclusion - hack his mother to death with an axe. Itís twisted and incredibly bloody. Yet, the scariest moment of this scene doesnít happen until after the death and the police shows up. This young child had enough sense to rush into the closet and act as if heís a traumatized child, covered in the blood of his own mother after an unknown invader had killed her. Knowing this young boy so casually killed his mother, chopped off his head, and had the forethought to act innocent makes him one sick kid.

    Being that the last movie I had watched prior to Pieces was Texas Chainsaw 3D, Pieces gave me what I felt was lacking in TC 3D - chainsaw related kills. Thereís multiple chainsaw death scenes and you get to see plenty of gore and even more blood. This movie featured the amount of blood you think you originally saw in the first Texas Chainsaw Massacre before you realized that 1974 film featured very little blood at all. Even when the chainsaw isnít involved in the kills, the death scenes remain a fun sight to witness. Besides the axe kill at the start of the film, thereís a basic knife kill that stood out thanks to it happening on a waterbed. That meant the already plentiful blood was allowed to make a larger mess as all of the water turned red. If youíre someone who cares more about fun deaths than story, Pieces is the sort of movie you should go out of your way to watch.

    My original assumption that this would be a serious slasher was severely incorrect. Basically, Pieces was one of the most nonsensical horror movies I can remember seeing. Very little of the plot and lines spoken make any sense. Early on, I thought perhaps I was just watching a poorly dubbed copy of the movie. Yet, the longer the movie went on, the more difficult it became trying to explain away scenes that made little sense as just being problematic because of the translations. Thereís one scene where a man attacks a female teacher with martial arts. He ended up getting hit in the balls and thatís when itís revealed that her would be attacker was just the martial arts professor. Uhh...okay then. Speaking of the female teacher, Mary Riggs, she makes even less sense as a character since her role is fairly substantial. From what I gathered, when the kills on campus began, the police decided that it needed to plant two female police officers on the staff so that they could gain an insiderís idea of which faculty member was behind the kills. That somehow resulted in Mary Riggs, a tennis player, to be hired on despite the fact that she doesnít have any police background. Meanwhile, the second police officer that was supposed to join the staff never does and itís completely baffling why they were ever mentioned in the first place. The police also utilizes one of the students, Kendall, to help protect Mary Riggs. For whatever reason, the police officer in charge of the case, puts his full trust in Kendall despite the fact that his sorta girlfriend was one of the victims and Kendall was seen running from the scene of her murder early in the movie. WHY IS KENDALL TRUSTED WHEN HEíS ONE OF THE TOP SUSPECTS?!

    It gets to the point where this bizarre movie even becomes a comedy. After one death, Mary Riggs has this over dramatic reaction where she just keeps yelling ďBASTARD!Ē over and over. One of the main red herrings, Professor Brown, is asked by the police to help them determine if a chainsaw was responsible for the death of a girl when the bloody chainsaw is literally right next to the cut up body! Luckily by the end of the film, we learn that Brown canít possibly be the killer because he actually happens to be a homosexual. What Brownís sexual orientation has to do with anything is beyond me. Thereís another point where the big player on campus, Kendall, is with one of his many conquests and he actually stops to complain about how loud of a moaner she was being. The biggest chase scene of the film was kicked off by absolutely nothing. The student simply became paranoid and began running for her life before stumbling upon the killer at the elevator (How the killer got there when she had such a head start and he slowly walked is a mystery) and sheís suddenly relaxed. Even little things like inflections and tones can randomly change in just one scene. A character can seem bored one moment, anxious the next, and casual to close out a minute long talk with another character without any explanation for the random changes.

    The big question I had after completing Pieces is was it supposed to be a serious movie? Were the filmmakers under the impression that they had actually made a terrifying movie that made even the tiniest bit of sense? If the intention was to create a serious horror, they failed miserably. Despite this colossal failure of making a logical movie, I had so much fun watching Pieces. Itís a bizarre movie that you canít help but laugh throughout due to the plot, quotes, and awful acting. While those aspects were so bad that they ended up being good, the actual gore and death scenes were straight up great horror. In some weird way, by the time the credits hit, I think my original expectations of seeing a horror classic were actually met. If youíve never watched Pieces, go out of your way to watch it before the end of October. Iíve purposely left out some of the other hilarious characters, illogical moments, and baffling ending because itís well worth seeing everything for yourself. I can see myself enjoying this movie more and more with each additional view now that I fully know what to expect.

    Grade: B

    Fright in Motion:

    Spoiler:


    ---

    Coming up next, we head to Norway for a weekend of some snowboarding fun that will totally not see us get hacked to death by a masked killer.

  15. #175

    Re: Fright Fest 8: Now Accepting Donations for a 4K Restoration

    Day #26
    Title: Fritt vilt
    Country: Norway
    Year: 2006
    Director: Roar Uthaug




    After an accident while snowboarding, a group of friends take shelter in an abandoned hotel where they are unaware of the fact that theyíre not alone.


    Also known as Cold Prey, Fritt vilt is a movie I know of solely because of Horror Movie Podcastís coverage of the film early on in itís existence and even then, it only stood out because it was a review promised at the end of several episodes before it finally got covered. Prior to watching Dead Sno in 2010, I had never even heard of any Norwegian horror movies. However, now with Dead Sno 2, Rare Exports, and Trollhunter, itís becoming a country that may not be releasing many horror movies, but when they do, they deliver. I can now safely add Cold Prey to that list to the point where Iím not interested in adding Cold Prey 2 and 3 to my ďTo watchĒ list.

    Part of the appeal of Fritt vilt is that it doesnít attempt to have a very complicated plot. Itís very reminiscent of the 80ís slashers boom where you throw a group of friends into a location and some unknown masked killer knocks them off one by one. With slashers being pushed to the side thanks to the popular fads of Asian ghost remakes, torture porn, found footage, and supernatural, the slasher sub-genre hasnít played a huge role in horror since Scream brought popularity back to horror in 1996. Despite being a simple story, Fritt vilt managed to do something that even many of the slashers of the 80ís failed to do - create likable characters that you cared about. Even the seemingly one dimensional jerk of the group, Mikal, has moments where he seems like he could be a decent person when he realizes that maybe he was too hard on his girlfriend after learning that she was still a virgin when she denied him sex earlier. Sure, by the end youíre going to dislike Mikal more than you like him, but thereís a certain realness to his character. The saddest moment of the entire film for me was when the killer was dumping the dead bodies into the crevice of the snow and ice covered mountains. There was just something heartbreaking about seeing these characters you liked being so casually discarded, knowing that thereís a chance their bodies would never be found. It seems unfair for this to happen to characters who mostly seem like pretty decent people.

    The big surprise of who the killer is should be one of the more predictable reveals in horror. Once a little bit of the backstory was revealed, it meant either the killer was going to be some random person that had absolutely nothing to do with the story (Fat chance) or it would be revealed to be the young boy with the birthmark covering his eye that was seemingly killed at the start of the movie. What other reason could the filmmakers possibly have to give the kid such an identifiable mark? At the same time, I donít mind this fact at all. At no time did the story ever make a sub plot involving the mystery of the killerís identity. Red herrings were never introduced nor did the group of friends ever question each other. It reminds me of 2003ís High Tension and how a big part of why I was enjoying it was because it was seemingly a very straight forward story that wasnít bothering with any plot twists or unnecessary backstory on the killer. He was simply a sick man that killed people because...he was sick? When the last minute surprise plot twist took place, it disappointed me greatly. To this day, my only real issue with High Tension was the plot twist. Fritt vilt presented a simple slasher and they stuck with that idea. I can appreciate that.

    I canít say I had many problems with the film. Any qualm I may have had was fairly minor too. I didnít exactly care for Eirik surviving his original attack, only to then be killed shortly afterward. It felt pretty unnecessary and didnít add to the story. Oddly, I found my interest levels starting to wane near the end, which I suppose is more of just a sign that I wanted something to happen rather than more hanging around and trying to avoid the masked killer. While I personally didnít have a problem with this, I can see some people growing impatient at how long it takes before the kills finally come into play. This is not the type of slasher that provides a fresh kill every ten minutes.

    Overall, if youíre a fan of 80ís slashers, Iíd strongly advise you to watch Cold Prey. For a movie that can go under the radar due to being a Norwegian movie, I felt it over delivered. Itís an ultra simple, yet effective slasher that gives you an idea of what slashers could be like when theyíre not given unnecessary twists or unusual plot points. If you have any desire to watch Fritt vilt, watch the original Norwegian language/English subtitled version rather than the easier found English dubbed version that is offered on Amazon Video rental, Shudder subscription, ect. The dub is awful and you have better chances of enjoying this slasher if youíre not just laughing at how poor the dub comes across.

    Grade: B

    Fright in Motion:

    Spoiler:


    ---

    Coming up next, The Norwegian Nightmare Isn't OverÖ

  16. #176

    Re: Fright Fest 8: Now Accepting Donations for a 4K Restoration

    Day #27
    Title: Fritt vilt 2
    Country: Norway
    Year: 2008
    Director: Mats Stenberg




    Picking up immediately after the events of the previous film, sole survivor, Jannicke, is found and brought to a hospital to attend to her injuries. When the victims of previous film are also brought in, the hospital staff and Jannicke must cope with the fact that one of the dead bodies isnít dead afterall...


    While watching Fritt vilt/Cold Prey 2, itís difficult not to think about the 1981 Halloween 2 for the majority of the film. Right away when you look at the DVD cover of the film on Amazon, you get a mention of how the nightmare isnít over for her, something not all that different from one of Halloween 2ís taglines of ďThe Nightmare Isnít Over.Ē Once you begin watching the movie, the similarities become even more obvious. For starters, this movie is all about the final girl of the previous movie now recovering in a hospital when her attacker returns to kill off the hospital staff in his attempt to get at the one who got away. Thatís the exact plot of Halloween 2. We get to know a bit more about the killer in this film, thereís a severe lack of people at the hospital, a young boy is at the hospital, and of course thereís love and attempts at love in this. Hereís the thing though, Fritt vilt 2 may come across as just the Norwegian version of Halloween 2, but itís actually a vastly superior film to itís Halloween counterpart.

    Maybe the thing I liked the most was the emotional attachment to the characters, both for the victims of the last film and the ones of this one. Unlike most horror sequels, this one doesnít brush away the fact that the lead character just lost some of the closest people in her life. Thereís an heartfelt scene early on when Jannicke is able to see the bodies of her friends in the morgue. She has little moments with each of them with the exception of Mikal, which is great because it keeps Jannicke from having to react to someone who was a dick, but then it also didnít stand out that she didnít have a moment with him. Instead, Jannicke just had her attention diverted when she saw the body of the killer nearby. I love the handling of the deceased characters from the first film. Since itís thirty-seven minutes before the first kill in Cold Prey 2, weíre also given a good amount of time to get to know some of the characters in the sequel. Again, this is something thatís better than Halloween 2. For me, whenever I watch Halloween 2, all of the hospital staff just felt like random fodder to kill time until Michael could go after Laurie again. Here, I care about the characters and itís a little sad whenever one of them is killed off.

    Similarly to Halloween 2, we learn something new about the killer in Fritt vilt 2 that seemingly changes his motivations some. For Michael Myers, it was learning that he wasnít just going after the babysitters for the sake of going after them, he wanted to kill Laurie, his sister. In Fritt vilt 2, itís revealed that the killer was a stillborn and weíre given the impression that even as a child, there was something evil inside of him. Consequently, that seemingly changes how we look at the killerís parents when it was revealed they had tried to kill him in the backstory in the first film. Maybe theyíre not monster parents, but rather the first ones that recognized this this birth mark on the eye child can not be left to survive. Whereas the killer in the first film was treated as a normal human being, they went a bit further in this film with the killer having more superhuman abilities like Jason Voorhees had later in the Friday the 13th series. I dig it in the sense that itís something different. Even the killer is a little different from film to film.

    One of the big questions in Halloween 2 was the weirdness of having so few people at a hospital. Here, they actually try explaining it. The hospital that Jannicke was brought to was nearly shut down, so they have limited patients. Whether itís accurate or not, because Iíve never been to Norway, Iím able to further believe that thereís so few people at the hospital. Itís far easier to believe that than having to buy into the idea that a hospital in Illinois had maybe a dozen people in the entire building in 1978. Fritt vilt 2 further makes you care about characters by introducing the fact that thereís an elderly woman and a young boy also staying at the hospital as patients. The boy especially stands out because Halloween 2 introduced a blade in the tongue boy, but then they proceeded not to do anything with him.

    Last, Iíd even say Fritt vilt 2 presented a much stronger female character in Jannicke than Halloween 2 did with Laurie. It kind of bugs me that even though itís the sequel, Laurie is even more dependant on outside help to survive Michael. There was even the point where Dr. Loomis nearly had to slap her around just to take the gun he was handing her. Now, Jannicke on the other hand? Sheís a badass. She shows a vulnerable side by breaking down when seeing the bodies of her fallen friends, but when it comes time to fight the killer again, sheís not only not backing down, but at portions sheís having to protect the young boy to ensure he doesnít come into harmís way. Jannickeís actions in this movie resembles Laurie Strode from Halloween H20 more than Halloween 2. These Fritt vilt movies find a good balance between presenting strong female characters without going too far with them that theyíre Mary Sues.

    Now that Iím done comparing Fritt vilt 2 to Halloween 2, let's talk a bit about the rest of the movie. One addition to this film was one of the doctors, Camilla. She essentially is the co-lead protagonist with Jannicke. Much like Jannicke, sheís a really likable character who has the same love life problems as Jannicke, namely a current relationship that isnít perfect and a friendship that the other party wishes to be more. I liked Camilla enough that if there was a traditional sequel to Cold Prey 2, I would be completely fine with Camilla taking over the role as sole lead protagonist from Jannicke. The kills in this film were better than in the original. There was one that was completely bloodless, but it was such a violent, bone breaking death that itís likely my favorite out of the two movies.

    The only real criticism I have is that at times, it felt too similar to the original movie. Although some might not be a fan of it, I was fine with the sequel following the originalís lead in waiting awhile before the first kill. However, there were a few story points that were nearly identical to the previous film. The relationships built around Camilla is a great example of that. Much like Jannicke, sheís in a relationship that while okay, itís suffering through some sort of problem that is preventing them from taking that next step. In addition, she has a friendship with a guy that clearly has romantic feelings for her, just as Morten Tobias had for Jannicke. In neither case, does Jannicke or Camilla reveal whether theyíre actually into their subtle suitors or not. The fates of Jannicke and Camillaís boyfriends are similar too as Eirik is thought to have been killed earlier, until heís revealed to be alive before quickly being killed for good. Same thing happened with Ole, Camillaís boyfriend. While I liked all of these plot points and feel as if they help me care about the characters, I would have preferred to see a little more variety between the two films.

    Overall though, Fritt vilt/Cold Prey 2 is not only another good Norwegian horror film, but I actually consider it to be superior to the original. If youíre a fan of the Halloween series, I think Fritt vilt 2 is something you should go out of your way to watch to have fun comparing it to Halloween 2 and see if Iím crazy for believing itís Halloween 2, except done truly right. I recognize that these Fritt vilt films may be a little too slow for some viewers since they take their time before the kills begin, but I really like that aspect. While I wonít be watching it before the end of the month, I do look forward to checking out the prequel, Fritt vilt 3 at some point in the near future.

    Grade: B

    Fright in Motion:

    Spoiler:


    ---

    Coming up next, my first horror Blu-ray steelbook is a movie I previously saw in March 2015, if only there was a movie log to look up to easily tell which movie this is...

  17. #177

    Re: Fright Fest 8: Now Accepting Donations for a 4K Restoration

    Day #28
    Title: It Follows
    Country: United States
    Year: 2014
    Director: David Robert Mitchell




    After a sexual encounter, Jay begins to be stalked by a slow moving force that can appear in any body and can not be seen by anyone else. If IT catches up to Jay she will be killed, but the only way to escape IT is to pass it on. Can Jay find a way to keep herself and her friends safe or is she destined to be killed as a result of her promiscuity?


    To some extent, It Follows is responsible for me getting back out there and seeing movies in the theater again. I was regularly going to the theater in the mid 2000ís, but had stopped for whatever reason with the exception of special events (IE. Going with a family member every year to see the latest Hobbit movie). It Follows changed all of that. Part of it is because It Follows was THE horror movie to watch in 2015. It was the most talked about movie and if you were choosing to skip over it, you were missing out on a rare movie that joined the ranks of the original Paranormal Activity and select others as being a horror that you just had to watch. The other reason why I just had to go watch It Follows is because of itís unique handling. For awhile, it was scheduled to just be a VOD release. Just before itís release date, things changed and the only watch to watch the movie was to go to the theater and see it in person. A part of me actually hopes that this last minute change was done by design because it would be a BRILLIANT move. The fact that they changed things at the last minute so you couldnít watch the movie in your pajamas while sitting on your couch to having to actually put on proper clothes and go to your local theater to see the film is such an action where all you can do is throw something at your wall and scream ďScrew it, Iíll see it in the theater then!Ē

    Without question, the strongest aspect of It Follows was the soundtrack. Itís an amazing soundtrack and the type that would make complete sense to download (legally of course) after seeing the movie just to have a fantastic piece of atmospheric music to listen to in the background. I know thatís what I did. With this being the first time that I watched It Follows at home, it benefited greatly from my freshly bought soundbar. Blasting the soundbar, the movie became terrifying due to the soundtrack. It reminds me of some of my first times watching the original Halloween. The soundtrack ends up being scarier than what youíre watching on the screen.

    I loved the mystery early on. In the first scene, the viewer isnít given any answers. Instead, all we see is some unknown girl that is visibly upset about something. Every time someone asks if someone is wrong or if she needs help, she denies it. This girl ends up on the beach, leaving a message for her father that sounded more like a suicide message than anything else. Yet, by morning, weíre shown her corpse and itís obvious that this girl wasnít suicidal, someone killed her. However, the mystery isnít all solved at this point. Once weíre introduced to Hugh, weíre left wondering if the main problem is psychological based. I loved the scene with Hugh knocking Jay out with a rag of chloroform. Itís a complete shock because the viewers do not understand his motivations. They just had consensual sex, so clearly heís not planning on sexually assaulting her. The only thing that makes sense in that moment is that Huge plans on something far sinister. Instead, the real truth comes out and itís an even bigger surprise. For the first half hour or so of It Follows, itís all one giant mystery and you donít know what to believe.

    The first time I watched It Follows, I found Paul to be a fairly likable character. This poor putz was so crazy for Jay, a girl way out of his league, that he was willing to risk his life just to get her. While that sounds all good, this time around, my opinions of Paul was different. I couldnít help but to see Paul as a somewhat unlikable guy. While Jay is going through this horrific experience, all Paul seems concerned about is finally being able to get in her pants. At no time did I ever feel as if Paul truly cared about Jay with this most recent view. Instead, he just seems slightly obsessed with her, quickly becoming jealous of the closeness between Jay and Greg, seemingly only because he wants to be the one to sleep with Jay, not Greg. By the end of the film, I see Paul as someone who merely took advantage of Jay, rather than be someone that was actually supportive of her. With that being said, Paul is actually one of the main reasons why Iíd be curious to watch It Follows in the future. Will my opinion of Paul continue to change with each additional view?

    The invisibility of the antagonist in It Follows was an interesting move. In theory, it does add to the fright. Not only is this...thing going to be walking towards you while possibly not looking like a threat, but others wonít even be able to see it. The problem is that any time Iíve seen negative talk about It Follows, itís based around the cheesiness of an invisible enemy. Iíve read a lot of reviews putting down the big pool scene at the end, but with this watch, that scene didnít seem cheesy. The corniness for me occurred on the beach when Paul swung a beach chair at nothing and was sent hurtling backwards by nothing. Iím not sure if thereís a way to have an invisible enemy without risking some slight cheesiness in seeing the other interact with it. With that being said, if It Follows was a story or an audio drama, it would have still worked without any problems.

    In recent years, Iíve become a fan of movies and TV shows that blur the lines in when the story takes place. The first time I can really remember seeing this and it being effective was in the first few episodes of Bates Motel. I loved the concept of presenting a story where it doesnít feel truly old thanks to modern additions to the film/series, but then thereís also a lot of older elements to keep it from strictly taking place in todayís world. In It Follows, there seems to be a deliberate attempt to do just this. Throughout the film, one of Jayís friends, Yara, is constantly on her clam shaped e-reader. Yet, whenever a character is watching TV, itís an old fashioned CRT television, typically playing an old black-and-white movie. Even the characters seem to be split between being from the past and current. I thought Jeff and Kelly were dressed as if they fit in todayís world while the other characters were dressed in older clothes. Paul was particularly interesting because at the very end of the film as the final scene shows him looking a bit more modern than he had looks previously in the film. Itíll be interesting to watch It Follows in the future to see if it avoids feeling dated due to it borrowing from different time periods.

    To some degree, I find It Follows to be comparable to a zombie movie. At one point, Hugh makes the best case for still appreciating slow moving zombies in this day and age where if you watch a zombie movie, it could very easily showcase fast moving ones. Essentially, while you can always get away from a slow moving zombie, itís still coming for you. It may be slow, but you will always have to be looking over your shoulder to see if itís coming up from behind. It doesnít even matter where you are, youíre not even save in your own home. The ďZombieĒ will get inside and could easily get you if youíre not aware of your surroundings. Itís this fact that It Follows reminds me a little of Halloween. You can either be like Annie and Lynda and not be alert enough to notice a maniac with a knife stalking you or you can be like Laurie and keeps your eyes open and hope that you can survive this unstoppable force. Considering one of the main slasher rules is that you canít have sex without being at risk of being killed off, It Follows is a more literal example of that rule. If you have sex with the wrong person in It Follows, youíre not risking the chance of a killer coming after you, youíre guaranteeing it.

    Overall, I ranked It Follows as my #1 horror movie of 2015 and I had it in my top 5 for overall movies as well. Iím quite pleased to see that it not only held up from my theatrical experience, but I think I actually dug it a little more watching it from home. Early on, itís a fantastic mystery story that keeps you watching so you can learn whatís actually going on. Despite obviously going into this watch knowing all of the spoilers, I was still glued to the TV screen. Although itís still a recent movie, Iíd rank It Followsí soundtrack as being one of the best you can find in a horror movie. When talking about the best music in horror, youíre going to talk about films like Halloween, but It Follows should be one of the first movies brought up as well. For me, the only potential problem in the entire film was the invisible nature of the entity. It Follows is simply a terrifying film that leaves you feeling exhausted due to never being able to feel the characters are safe in the film.

    Grade: A

    Fright in Motion:

    Spoiler:


    ---

    Coming up next, one last requested film will get reviewed as I bug you guys with a film by an iconic horror director.

  18. #178

    Re: Fright Fest 8: Now Accepting Donations for a 4K Restoration

    Day #29
    Title: Phenomena
    Country: Italy
    Year: 1985
    Director: Dario Argento




    A teenage girl with abilities to communicate with insects finds herself at a boarding school in Sweden that happens to be the home territory of a serial killer looking to knock the girls off one by one.


    Much like many of the great horror directors of the 1970ís and 1990ís, I canít say Argento has aged too well with his recent movies. Luckily, unlike some of his American contemporaries, I still havenít seen all of Argentoís best movies. From his prime period, Iíve greatly enjoyed what Argento I have seen with Suspiria, Deep Red, Opera, and Tenebre being the ones that instantly spring to mind. Phenomena has been one Iíve been meaning to watch for awhile now thanks to the interest factor of an Argento film with Dr. Loomis himself, Donald Pleasence. Perhaps itís because Iím so used to seeing Pleasence as Loomis, but I saw a lot of Dr. Loomis in Prof. John McGregor. Like Loomis, McGregor is someone that recognizes the evilness in the killer similarly to how Loomis saw Myers. More importantly though, Pleasence allowed for the most emotional moments in the film.

    The first emotional moment is a bit silly, but seeing Dr. Loomis interact with his pet chimp may just be my favorite thing in the world. I love monkeys and chimps, so seeing one interact so much with such a significant character from the horror series that made me a movie fan was even more fun than it was likely intended to be. Seriously, I dare anyone to watch McGregor chastise his chimp and not have a goofy smile on their face. This relationship between McGregor and his chimp plays a critical role later on as the killer goes after McGregor. This scene worked incredibly well for me. Here you have the poor chimp locked out the house, realizing that something is wrong, and desperately trying to break in while itís making all of these heartbreaking cries. Meanwhile, McGregor wakes up and the viewer is forced to witness something never done in a Halloween movie - the death of ďDr. LoomisĒ. Itís heartbreaking and I know that sort of emotional would not have been there had a different actor been used and the chimp on the outside showing his despair. All of this sets up a final moment in the film that was incredibly rewarding. I donít want to spoil what happens, but it ended the movie with me very pleased with what I saw.

    I found Phenomena a bit weird in that it felt as if it was two stories combined into one. The first story is all about Jennifer (Jennifer Connelly) and her unusual relationship with insects. Itís a bit of a weird story and due to how unusual it is, I wonder if it was merely a concept that was tacked onto another story because it couldnít exist on itís own? The other story is far more common as thereís apparently a killer on the loose, knocking off teenage girls. Itís your typical giallo story with a killer apparently wearing black gloves, and killing their victims in violent ways. On one hand, this isnít your typical giallo with the heavy emphasis on animals, but itís also one that might be a little too out there for anyone who enjoys a good hack and slash type of film.

    The music in Phenomena was glorious. Not surprisingly, a great soundtrack in an Argento film is credited to Goblin. The music in the film was mostly heavy rock base that at points reminded me of something you could hear in a video game made by Sega Genesis. Itís the sort of soundtrack I wouldnít mind listening to on itís own and I found myself banging my head a little to the beat. The great thing about Goblin is that they can so easily turn a tune into something haunting to help the fright element of whatever movie theyíre supplying music.

    The final fifteen-twenty minutes of Phenomena were pretty fantastic. One crazy moment after another occurs and all you can do is sit back and watch it all unfold. While a little predictable by 2016 eyes, the turnaround reveal was expected, but it was still a nice WTF moment. For a movie that had been ďCleanĒ for the majority of the movie, all of that changes while Jennifer falls into a pit filled with body parts, maggots, mud, and possibly excrement? Meanwhile, the cop that was there to save the day is all bloodied up and chained to the wall. Heís forced to break his thumbs to get his hands on the one threatening Jenniferís life. Thatís all before the big turnaround reveal and what happens in the small boat. Which the boat scene is only before the out of nowhere surprise death just before the end of the movie. And then THAT is before the final surprise of the moment, the aforementioned rewarding moment that ended the movie on such a high note. Itís one of the craziest final acts I can remember seeing in a horror movie. The viewer has no idea what to expect and it somehow keeps surprising you. These scenes alone helped up my rating of the film.

    Overall, Phenomena is Argento at his best, presenting a movie that isnít so typical from what movies Iíve seen him make prior to this. With Argento always being more well known for his trippy and violent visuals, Phenomena more than lives up to that. The fun factor is there with McGregorís relationship with his chimp. Considering itís one of her very first movies, itís interesting seeing a pre-Labyrinth Jennifer Connelly. I would say that if you have any desire to watch Phenomena, watch the original uncut version rather than the shortened US version that was re-titled as ďCreepersĒ. Supposedly the latter version is difficult to comprehend. Otherwise, donít be afraid to check out Phenomena to witness Dr. Loomis interact with a chimp, Jennifer Connelly interact with insects, and a very Friday the 13th sort of story at the heart of the film.

    Grade: B

    Fright in Motion:

    Spoiler:


    ---

    Coming up next, Fright Festís annual family day will see a horror take on a magical world.

  19. #179
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    Re: Fright Fest 8: Now Accepting Donations for a 4K Restoration

    I actually watched It Follows earlier in the month but I wasn't as enamoured with it as you. I can totally see the appeal of it, and I absolutely agree about the soundtrack being great and the positives of an invisible menace, something about it just didn't work for me personally.

    I wouldn't even say I thought it was a bad film because I didn't, I actually thought it was very well made, looked and sounded great and had an interesting idea at its core... I just couldn't get on board with it at the same level as everyone else I know seems to be. I don't know why.

  20. #180

    Re: Fright Fest 8: Now Accepting Donations for a 4K Restoration

    Quote Originally Posted by RaiZ-R View Post
    I actually watched It Follows earlier in the month but I wasn't as enamoured with it as you. I can totally see the appeal of it, and I absolutely agree about the soundtrack being great and the positives of an invisible menace, something about it just didn't work for me personally.

    I wouldn't even say I thought it was a bad film because I didn't, I actually thought it was very well made, looked and sounded great and had an interesting idea at its core... I just couldn't get on board with it at the same level as everyone else I know seems to be. I don't know why.
    I'm not even really sure how to respond to this when you're not even sure why you weren't into it.

    Was it just too slow going or you wanted something bigger to happen?

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