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Thread: Fright Fest 9: Never to be Certified Fresh

  1. #121

    Re: Fright Fest 9: Never to be Certified Fresh

    Day #09
    Title: The Brood
    Country: Canada
    Year: 1979
    Director: David Cronenberg




    One man’s life begins to unravel with welts found on his young daughter, his wife institutionalized with a doctor who uses unusual practices, and those in his life begins to be killed off. How do all of these events connect together?


    Famed Canadian director, David Cronenberg, has always been a filmmaker who I’ve felt as if I haven’t seen nearly enough of his work. Looking over his IMDb credits, it does seem as if I’ve slowly been working through his filmography, most recently watching the bizarre Videodrome. In my desire to watch more of Cronenberg, I set out to watch a Cronenberg movie I had been meaning to watch for over a decade now - The Brood. As it turns out, I should not have been dragging my feet on this brilliant film. It’s certainly bizarre like Videodrome, but The Brood actually excels at making enough sense instead of having the credits roll and even though I enjoyed what I saw, also feeling as if I didn’t understand what I had just watched such as how I felt after seeing Videodrome.

    The Brood is not afraid to go extremes. While there’s not many kills and it’s mostly a movie of non-stop talking, when the film does show a kill, it instantly grabs your attention. I loved the small, dwarf like creatures that were set out to punish everyone that had caused Nola harm. The first time we see such a creature, it comes as a complete surprise. Without knowing much about The Brood before watching it, with the way the movie was beginning, I was expecting nothing more than an unusual thriller with perhaps a few sci-fi aspects thrown in. So imagine my surprise as a dwarf breaks out of a refrigerator and brutally murders Nola’s mother in the kitchen while Nola’s young daughter, Candice, is just in the other room. It was sudden, bloody, and immediately caused me to pay close attention to the rest of the film.

    The most shocking death in the entire movie though would come to Candice’s teacher, Ruth Mayer. The fact that she died wasn’t what surprised me. After all, she’s a minor character in a horror movie and clearly resembled a character designed to be in the movie just to be killed off. Yet, what was shocking was the manner in which she died. With two dwarfs walking into the classroom, easily able to hide amongst the similarly sized children, and suddenly attacking Ruth with classroom objects as weapons in front of all of the children. I don’t know if I can say I’ve ever watched a horror movie where a murder happens in front of children. When it first looked as if the dwarfs were going to attack the teacher, I thought for sure that the film would have frequent cuts with closeups of the attacks and then cuts of the children’s expressions, clearly showing that the children were recorded at a separate time, keeping them from having to see this act of violence. Instead, no, the children are shown in the same shot as the dwarfs attacking their teacher and bludgeoning her to death. It makes me wonder what Cronenberg did on that day to ensure those children weren’t traumatized for real.

    The most horrific moment of the entire film came near the end when Nola’s mental illness caused her to utter a line that was extremely disturbing. Fearing that her husband will take Candice away from her for good, Nola screamed that she’ll kill Candice before ever losing her. I’m not even a parent, but that line still hit me hard because of how real of a line it is. Unfortunately in this world, real life horror like that happens far too often. That final act in general was pretty fantastic with the initial reveal of the dwarfs officially being connected to Nola. It only got weirder once Frank rushed to take Candice away from Dr. Raglan’s Somafree Institute when he learns just how connected Nola is to her dwarfs and reveals her naked form, complete with a new dwarf being “Born”. The reveal and sight of her bizarre body was unexpected and grossly fascinating. Speaking of Dr. Raglan, I loved that throughout the movie, the viewer is left unsure of what to make of Raglan. Is he a cult leader, someone who is obsessed with Nola, or someone who stumbled onto something and is just so over his head? The mystery of who Raglan is and his true intentions was the other main reason, besides the gnarly dwarf based kills, that kept this viewer watching.

    Overall, The Brood is yet another utterly insane David Cronenberg film that manages to be one of his best movies that I’ve seen. There were plenty of surprises, gross effects, and mystery that keeps you interested. I would be curious to see how it holds up on a second watch, now knowing exactly what happens in the film. For now though, I loved it and realize I should have watched it ages ago.

    Grade: A

    Fright in Motion:

    Spoiler:


    ---

    Coming up next, it may not be Halloween, but this babysitter will have a night from hell.

  2. #122
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    Re: Fright Fest 9: Never to be Certified Fresh

    The Brood is easily one of my favourite Cronenberg films because of how personal a project it was to him. The entire thing is basically an allegory for his then divorce and custody battle and you can see it easily once you know that was his intention. In a way, it's ultimately even more chilling once you realize that it's not JUST an insane horror movie.

    Also, the teacher scene is definitely one of the most disturbing Cronenberg has ever shot and that's saying quite a bit if you've seen the rest of his works.


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  3. #123

    Re: Fright Fest 9: Never to be Certified Fresh

    Quote Originally Posted by Fuji Vice View Post
    The Brood is easily one of my favourite Cronenberg films because of how personal a project it was to him. The entire thing is basically an allegory for his then divorce and custody battle and you can see it easily once you know that was his intention. In a way, it's ultimately even more chilling once you realize that it's not JUST an insane horror movie.
    That does make a lot of sense, especially if there were any concerns about their child.

  4. #124

    Re: Fright Fest 9: Never to be Certified Fresh

    Day #10
    Title: House of the Devil
    Country: United States
    Year: 2009
    Director: Ti West




    Struggling college student, Samantha seemingly has found the solution to her money problems with the offer of a strange babysitting position. Little does she know that uneasy feeling she gets from the house is well deserved.


    Along with 2015’s We Are Still Here, the Ti West directed film of The House of the Devil is the best example I can think of for a modern horror movie that so perfectly captured the feel of the 70’s or 80’s. The brilliance of West being able to capture the look of the 80’s isn’t just the sets, wardrobe, and hair, but also the cinematography. There’s a bit of grain to the film to help it resemble a film you may have watched on VHS. The still frames and opening credits also helped capture the feel of that time period. Whether the viewer is a fan of The House of the Devil or not, I’d imagine everyone would have to agree that West and company did a fantastic job at getting the right look.

    To say that The House of the Devil has a slow pace would be an understatement. The pace is extremely deliberate. Virtually nothing happens for the entire first hour. In fact, that’s why the death of Megan was so effective. We’re waiting for the film to properly get going and the viewer is left with their eyes slowly glazing over and then suddenly, Megan is shot to death out of nowhere. It’s a great moment. The methodical pacing also allows the viewer to relate to the lead character of Samantha. For the entire middle section of the film, she’s just left to roam around the house, bored, and waiting for something to happen. That’s exactly how the viewer feels. Like Samantha, we’re shown just enough weirdness to know that something isn’t right, but the viewer has absolutely no idea what’s actually going on, we just know that it’s not good. This pacing was also broken up with quite possibly my favorite musical montage ever. As Samantha is snooping around the house and dancing to “One Thing Leads to Another”, she’s forgotten her boredom or concerns, and the viewers temporarily forget about weirdness due to the fun of the song. There may not be a lot going on throughout the film, but I enjoy this lack of happenings thanks to the mystery of it all.

    I found Samantha to be a rather likable character. She’s presented as someone with a good head on her shoulders who is just trying to make it through life. The scene where Samantha escapes to the restroom to cry in peace (Naturally ensuring all of the faucets are running to drown out the sound of her crying), made her into a character I wanted to root for. Considering so much of the film is just Samantha hanging out, it’s critical that the film features a likable Samantha. Had Jocelin Donahue not nailed the role of Samantha, this film would have been an utter chore to sit through. I’d also like to throw some props to Tom Noonan as Mr. Ulman. We don’t get to see a lot of Ulman, but when we do, he always comes across as being unsettling despite the fact that he’s not technically saying anything wrong in his meeting with Samantha early on in the movie.

    Unfortunately, after such a lengthy wait for something to happen, I wasn’t a fan of where the movie went in its third act. The satanic cult is certainly crazy and those final fifteen minutes is nonstop insanity, but it loses my interest. The problem may be centered around the fact that it’s a solid hour of buildup and mystery, without the viewer having any idea what the end result may be. This could cause expectations to be too high and for the viewers to forget that they’re watching a film that’s an ode to B-movies of the 80’s. This bizarre third act fits the film, but I’d be lying if I said my interest level was as high as it was for the first hour.

    Overall, The House of the Devil may have not made Ti West an A-List director, but it put him on every horror fan’s radar. I may not be a fan of where the film went, but it perfectly captures the feel of an 80’s horror film, the strategic pacing I find interesting, and the musical montage has caused me to listen to that The Fixx song far too many times than I care to admit. The House of the Devil helped make director Ti West into a notable horror director and after follow ups of The Innkeepers and The Sacrament, West has yet to disappoint.

    Grade: B

    Fright in Motion:

    Spoiler:


    ---

    Coming up next, a horror legend returns to hack up victims once more.

  5. #125
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    Re: Fright Fest 9: Never to be Certified Fresh

    Hey I've seen this.

    I've actually seen two really good Ti West films and heard him on a number of podcasts. I think he's great.
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  6. #126
    Crotchety Old SMOD

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    Re: Fright Fest 9: Never to be Certified Fresh

    It still bugs me that West's name is forced to stay attached to Cabin Fever 2 because he wasn't a member of the DGA when he tried to have it removed. As it stands, I always see that sticking out like a sore thumb on his resume even though I know that the end product wasn't really his vision at all. I'd argue that the segment he did for V/H/S wasn't the greatest but then again it was still better than a couple of the others in that anthology.

    Anyhow, yeah, House of the Devil is all kinds of great and I didn't even have as much of an issue with the final 15 as you did because I fully embraced the bizarre. I would concur that the first 2/3 of the film are much better though and I wouldn't have even been disappointed with a more low key ending. Regardless, West definitely showed the brilliance that we'd see even more of later in the films you mentioned. Agreed on the casting as well, Donahue makes for an excellent final girl/protagonist, Noonan and Mary Woronov not only add credibility due to their cult film pasts but also nail their roles and I also liked AJ Bowen as Victor.


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  7. #127

    Re: Fright Fest 9: Never to be Certified Fresh

    Quote Originally Posted by Fuji Vice View Post
    It still bugs me that West's name is forced to stay attached to Cabin Fever 2 because he wasn't a member of the DGA when he tried to have it removed. As it stands, I always see that sticking out like a sore thumb on his resume even though I know that the end product wasn't really his vision at all. I'd argue that the segment he did for V/H/S wasn't the greatest but then again it was still better than a couple of the others in that anthology.
    I completely forgot about Cabin Fever 2. Although it is a blemish on West's resume and obviously not so good, the Cabin Fever remake helps Cabin Fever 2 no longer be the worst film in the Cabin Fever series.

  8. #128
    Crotchety Old SMOD

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    Re: Fright Fest 9: Never to be Certified Fresh

    I've never seen the remake but I'm not about to rush out and watch it after that comment.


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  9. #129
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    Re: Fright Fest 9: Never to be Certified Fresh

    I had actually forgotten there was a Cabin Fever remake. I definitely must see it!

  10. #130

    Re: Fright Fest 9: Never to be Certified Fresh

    Quote Originally Posted by Big Papa View Post
    I had actually forgotten there was a Cabin Fever remake. I definitely must see it!
    You...you really shouldn't.

  11. #131
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    Re: Fright Fest 9: Never to be Certified Fresh

    I haven't seen House of the Devil since 09 but I remember really enjoying it. Like you I loved the 80s style look.
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  12. #132

    Re: Fright Fest 9: Never to be Certified Fresh

    Day #11
    Title: Leatherface
    Country: United States
    Year: 2017
    Director: Alexandre Bustillo and Julien Maury




    After four inmates of a mental asylum escape with a nurse captive, they must deal with law enforcement on their trail, internal drama amongst the group, and the secret that one of these young troubled souls is the future Leatherface. Ugh. This plot fucking sucks.


    Generally speaking, I’m quite a fan of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre series. It isn’t a series I tend to think about when it comes to my favorite horror series, but other than Texas Chainsaw Massacre The Next Generation, I’ve enjoyed every other movie in the series. I’m someone who believes Leatherface: TCM 3 is is underrated and great despite being destroyed by MPAA. Apparently, I’m also one of the very few people that loved Texas Chainsaw 3D. Despite my fondness for the series, it’s also an incredibly frustrating series due to the lack of continuity. Everything is fine with the first two, but once Leatherface: TCM came out, every film was practically a remake, whether officially or unofficially. Sometimes there’d be connections to other movies, other times there would not. Rather than create new family members in the sequels/remakes, I wished the series had just focused on the core family of the Drayton/the cook, the hitchhiker/Nubbins, Chop-Top, Grandpa, and of course Leatherface.

    It’s due to this that the opening scene of Leatherface (That’s Leatherface (2017) not Leatherface: TCM III since apparently this series is incapable of coming up with new titles) started off the movie on such a high note. As Leatherface celebrates his birthday and given his first chainsaw, we see familiar faces around the table including Drayton, a young Nubbins, a lively Grandpa, and Grandma. I’m all for a movie that focuses on the Sawyer family and we get to know these family members better prior to the start of the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre. My first annoyance of the movie came as the movie immediately shifts away from this family, jumps ahead in time, and instead we’re forced to spend nearly the rest of the movie with five unlikable characters, four of which are escaped inmates at a mental asylum, one of which is a future Leatherface although we don’t know which, and the fifth is a nurse at the asylum that is forced to be their captive. As the group continues their travels to the safety of Mexico, we spend an equal amount of time with the corrupt Sheriff Hartman. There is not a single character in this entire movie that I like. Everyone is either unlikable or their characters are so unremarkable. Even the nurse, Lizzy, is essentially nothing more than someone made to be a victim. We don’t learn a single thing about her and it’s because of that that I struggle to care if she lives or dies. Just because a character isn’t a villain doesn’t mean I care about them.

    The supposed appeal of the film is the whole mystery over which character will end up being Leatherface. Of the escaped inmates, there’s three suspects. First up is Ike. While Ike is a natural villain and a psychopath at that, he’s not like Leatherface at all. So right away, you knew that he wouldn’t be Leatherface. Next up was the large Bud. Bud is exactly what you’d expect a young Leatherface to look and act like. He’s a big hulking silent character that while he does have a kind heart, he’s prone to snapping and killing. However, I also quickly dismissed Bud as possibly being Leatherface because he was too obvious. If he was to be Leatherface, why even bother having a mystery? That only leaves Jackson, which creates another annoyance I had with the film. Jackson is a bit of a charismatic guy who in shape and attractive. The idea that this guy would end up becoming Leatherface is laughable. I believe Jackson was chosen for Leatherface solely so that this film would have an unexpected twist. I hate it.

    Speaking of hating aspects about this film, I hated how this didn’t feel like a Texas Chainsaw Massacre film. Whether it’s true or not, I get the impression that this film was an unrelated script that was collecting dust for years before it was edited to include a few connections to Leatherface so that it could get made. The characters of Ike and Clarice feel like a cheap version of Natural Born Killers’ Mickey and Mallory. These two characters do not feel as if they fit in a TCM story. Similarly to how Rob Zombie’s House of 1,000 Corpses and The Devil’s Rejects felt like Zombie’s ode to the gritty films of the 70s, in particular Texas Chainsaw Massacre, this film felt like an ode to Zombie’s films. Unfortunately, they remind me more of the post-Devil’s Rejects projects from Zombie than Zombie’s good movies. A big reason why The Devil’s Rejects worked so well is that there was emotion connected to the characters. Every character was unlikable to some extent, but they were likable in terms of their connection and love for each other.

    The style is another swing and a miss for me. To save some money, I imagine, there’s a ton of blood, but each kill is shot in such a way that you either don’t see the damage being done or it’s cut in a style where you don’t properly see it. For example, an early bloody kill happens while the light flickers on and off over and over throughout the kill. It’s just uncomfortable to watch, not because it’s too intense, but because it hurts my eyes. The cinematography also has this jittery jerking style that is shown every minute or so throughout the entire movie. I’d compare it to watching a DVD where there’s too many fingerprints on the disc, so it plays poorly.

    Overall, I went into Leatherface with the impression that it can’t possibly be any worse than Texas Chainsaw Massacre The Next Generation. As it turns out. It wasn’t. It just came extremely close. The film tries to be a mixture of The Devil’s Rejects and Natural Born Killers, but it never finds the heart that is so clearly there for both of those superior films. I don’t expect much from a Texas Chainsaw Massacre film, just Leatherface doing his thing by hacking up innocent people and revving up his chainsaw and I felt robbed of even that.

    Grade: F

    Fright in Motion:

    Spoiler:


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    Coming up next, Jim gets to torture you with a review for absolutely free.

  13. #133
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    Re: Fright Fest 9: Never to be Certified Fresh

    Considering it was painfully obvious that Jackson would end up being Leatherface from the moment all the characters were introduced, I had a hard time caring about anything in the movie afterwards. Unbelievably, it then proceeded to actively make me mad as it just piled steaming garbage on top of steaming garbage with each passing minute. I honestly considered turning it off after the diner shooting scene but I felt the perverse desire to keep going to see how much worse it could get.

    I was particularly pissed off with the lack of Lili Taylor's mother character. She was clearly the only person trying to act in the movie and she's rewarded by being on-screen for half the time that Stephen Dorff's terrible Sheriff character is? Let's not forget Finn Jones doing absolutely nothing of note as the deputy until the end when they again attempt a swerve just for the sake of having one.

    Ugh, this movie sucked so much I rated it lower than Wish Upon because at least I got some laughs out of that one.


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  14. #134
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    Re: Fright Fest 9: Never to be Certified Fresh

    This sounds like the Triple H vs. Shawn Michaels of TCM movies.
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  15. #135

    Re: Fright Fest 9: Never to be Certified Fresh

    Quote Originally Posted by Fuji Vice View Post
    Let's not forget Finn Jones doing absolutely nothing of note as the deputy until the end when they again attempt a swerve just for the sake of having one.
    God, what was even the point of that? To ensure that no one was likable in this movie?

    Ugh, this movie sucked so much I rated it lower than Wish Upon because at least I got some laughs out of that one.
    Wish Upon is stupid, but it at least knows how to have fun.

  16. #136
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    Re: Fright Fest 9: Never to be Certified Fresh

    Seeing how bad the new Chucky and Leatherface movies were I'm kinda glad they decided not to make another Friday the 13th movie.

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    Re: Fright Fest 9: Never to be Certified Fresh

    Lol the new Chucky was not bad, like at all.





  18. #138
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    Re: Fright Fest 9: Never to be Certified Fresh

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim View Post
    God, what was even the point of that? To ensure that no one was likable in this movie?
    At first I was wondering if he was going to end up as some long lost relative of the clan considering there is sort of an established history with them having a member in law enforcement, albeit not because he trained to be a cop.

    Alas, nope, it was just an excuse to feed someone to the hogs. I suppose there's some sort of joke to be made there about a pig eating a pig but that may be giving the writers too much credit.

    Quote Originally Posted by ShinobiMusashi View Post
    Seeing how bad the new Chucky and Leatherface movies were I'm kinda glad they decided not to make another Friday the 13th movie.
    Cult of Chucky is so much better than Leatherface it's not even funny. Obviously not on par with the first two but I'd never utter it in the same sentence as the abomination that Jim just reviewed. At the very least, Cult of Chucky is still a fucking Chucky movie!


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  19. #139
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    Re: Fright Fest 9: Never to be Certified Fresh

    Quote Originally Posted by Jiggy View Post
    Lol the new Chucky was not bad, like at all.
    I agree I saw it last week and it's way better than any of films outside of the first two in my opinion. They had plenty of stinkers and the Curse of Chucky was a solid single if this is Baseball, I think Cult of Chucky is a Double with the possibility of a triple or HR next time around.

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  20. #140

    Re: Fright Fest 9: Never to be Certified Fresh

    Cult of Chucky wasn't good, but in comparison to Leatherface, it's pretty great. I'm tempted to watch Cult a second time in order to give it a proper review in this thread.

    It makes zero sense as to why the new Friday was cancelled. Not only is Friday the 13th bigger than it has been in years thanks to the massive success of the video game, but the new movie was shelved because Rings under performed. What? How does Rings failing have anything to do with Friday the 13th? It's not as if Rings was an utter failure either. Not including marketing, they made back its budget in domestic ticket sales, with a worldwide gross making it a completely adequate success. Not to mention, it's difficult to compare The Ring series to Friday the 13th. The Ring had two successful movies (Even if The Ring 2 sucked balls), but there hadn't been any type of Ring news for over a decade. Meanwhile, Friday the 13th has been one of the most popular horror series since it first came out in 1980. Although it's been awhile since the last movie, 2009 is far more recent than The Ring 2's release of 2005. On top of that, using Rings as an indication that horror is dead means completely ignoring the same month release of Get Out that brought in so much money or the previous month's hit of Split. The people behind the new Friday looked at one flimsy piece of evidence that their movie wouldn't do well and decided to cancel the entire project.

    Whether the new Friday would have been good or not, the cancellation of the film is one of the biggest horror missteps of 2017.

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