Crazy Eights (2006) Poster

(2006)

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3/10
Bad pacing, subpar acting, and an unpolished script ruin a good idea
Warning: Spoilers
After twenty years apart, six friends rejoin to mourn the death of their childhood friend. At the estate settlement, they find a map that leads them to an old time capsule they buried long ago. Through their journey, they're lead to an abandoned home with hidden secrets. . . that maybe out to kill them.

Of all the Horrorfest films of 2007, this was (for some reason) the only one that I was actually looking forward to. I never got around to watching it, probably due to it always being on the bottom of everyone's ranking for the fest, but I finally forced myself to pick it up. Needless to say. . . I was disappointed. The story tries to play out like Stephen King's It with the group of once-best friends brought together from their separation of time & distance and their attempt to answer mysteries of their past. It's not a bad-looking film as the direction worked well in the settings. The cast (excluding Frank Whaley) was pretty bad, however, and definitely brought down the film a big notch. The script was very muddled and didn't do well to keep our interest for even the short 80 minutes the film ran, which is sad because the story isn't uninteresting. . . it's just the execution of the story in a wider sense that ruined it. Personally, I think, had the script been polished, the ending been changed, and it been stretched beyond a minimal 80 minutes to a length that could've properly held the more complicated story, it might've done better as a good psychological thriller. Unfortunately, being contained to barely feature length made even the 80 minutes nearly unbearable and ruined any chance at any real explanation or intelligence to the film. Pass this one up for the superior films it tries to be, like Session 9.

Final verdict: 3/10. Not worth the time.
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5/10
It's not the worst of the Afterdark Horrorfest, but it's not that good of a movie either
Dragoneyed3633 August 2008
I had higher hopes for Crazy Eights than previous films I had seen from the Afterdark Horrorfests' 8 Films to Die For lines, because after seeing a few, I thought I had acquired the ability to pick out the ones that would be good by then. That incident just goes to show you can never be too sure about a movie. Do not get me wrong, this movie was indeed entertaining, but only so because of how much you are wishing it will pick up at any moment, and it does not do so.

To start off, the main premise is interesting. "Circumstance brings six childhood friends together to face their past, and a secret they share." The performances are not bad; not Oscar-worthy, but worthy of being deemed tolerable. The film itself is watchable, in a sense, but that's all it really is and all that should be expected. It's the way the actual story/plot is played out that makes it so frustrating. There is little to no suspense, and that is only because the pace is so abrupt and confusing at times. The premise as I said is interesting, but the plot ultimately defeats this plus-side, never giving us anything short of excitement or empathy for the characters. It's like the director and writer were drunk on the job, but had potential.

I barely remember the climax/ending because I was put off by that moment, and just ready for the film to be over. I might sound a little harsh, seeing as how I did say I was entertained, but I was expecting a lot more than I got, even if this is a B-movie and much can rarely ever be expected from a wide variety of them. Maybe it is time for me to give this film another watch, but it is only for the fact that I am willing to give it another chance, as I give any film I do not enjoy that much on a first watch another chance so long as I did not hate it, and not because I am ready to watch it again out of satisfaction.
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2/10
The very many problems with Crazy Eights
Jan Strydom13 January 2009
Six people come together after the death of a childhood friend and begin to unravel the secret behind a past they can't remember while trapped in some abandoned hospital kind of place, and thus begins the very many problems with Crazy Eights.

The film is basically one very big collection of plot holes, beyond what I tried to sum up never really made sense, because for someone like me who has a long attention span, I can clearly say that barely anything is explained, for example, what was the purpose of the experiments? why was the dead girl so vengeful if she died accidentally? And how can a group childhood friends remember each other but they don't remember a thing about their childhood? I don't know if the director tried to make one of those films that's suppose to stay with you for a long time after you've watched it, wondering about the same things I just pointed out, well he did, only after I watched it, I didn't really like it.

Another problem is the score, while watching the film I noticed that the score practically played throughout the film, I can probably account for less than three seconds for when I didn't hear it, and it was more annoying than anything else, for the majority of the film it just played, it didn't help set the tone or create a certain mood or help the film build any kind tension, it just played and muffled a lot of the dialog.

The acting was so so, but whatever kind of film the filmmakers tried to make obviously doesn't work, want my advice? Broaden out the storyline leaving fewer plot holes and make less use of the score and more use of sound and lighting effects to create a lot of atmosphere, I am sure it'll work better.
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5/10
An Incredibly Disjointed Film... Goes From Good to Worthless
gavin694211 November 2007
Warning: Spoilers
Don't read this unless you've already seen the film or don't care, because I will be discussing parts at the end of the film.

A few days after a group of friends each begin having nightmares, they are alerted to the death of a friend they hadn't really seen in twenty years. At the funeral, they are given a map to a time capsule. The capsule contains a shocking part of their past: a dead girl. The rest of the day involves unraveling their combined pasts that had gone long forgotten and trying to survive when their guilt comes back to haunt them.

What was the selling point for this film? I think for me it was the interesting plot synopsis (one of the few to not include zombies or cannibals or inbred family members) and Traci Lords (who played Gina Conte). Lords, as I'm sure you know, is known for her underage pornographic work... I also happen to really enjoy her musical career, which runs in the techno-industrial vein.

What works for this film: I thought the film was very well done. The scenery was great, the characters were enjoyable and the plot and dialog seemed to flow nicely. Some parts were going a bit slower than I'd like, but the general pacing was good and we were given hints and clues along the way to solve the puzzle (although whether or not the puzzle can be solved remains to be seen).

What doesn't work: Although I liked the characters, I found them not easily distinguishable. Keeping names and faces straight took a little work, and due to the fact their backgrounds were secret we couldn't know much about them: which really begs the question of what they actually recall about their pasts and how they grew up to be a respectable part of society. The big problem with this film, which actually really upset me, was how abrupt the ending was. I was enjoying the movie, I thought a good ending would make this one something worth recommending, and then it just dies leaving me with the feeling that I had just wasted the last 90 minutes of my life. If there was a point to the film, the ending ruined it. This is why I must rate it low, and have to hold myself back from rating it lower.

How to understand this film: I will try to defend the horrible ending, although it won't be easy. We are told by the priest that "guilt leads to compassion", and we know that when the group was younger they were being taught guilt. At the very end we see a flashback of the dead girl getting ready to enter the box. This leaves me with the impression that the hospital crew planted her there rather than the kids coming up with the idea, as they recall it. What happens in the present day is the conclusion of the experiment from 20 years ago -- this was a way of teaching everyone guilt (20 years later). In order to go from guilt (thinking they killed the girl) to compassion, they must go through what the girl did to truly feel for her. Hence, the guilt is relieved through their own deaths.

If that's the correct interpretation, or something similar, it still seems lacking -- did we really need the girl to come back as a ghost? The supernatural element seems like it wasn't really crucial if the point was to have them feel guilty rather than hunted. Either way, the ending is just too sudden. It's good to leave a viewer with questions so they view it again, but this one just left me hollow and quite upset. If you can get money back, I'd want it back on this one. So, as you can probably tell, I'm not recommending this film despite the potential it clearly has. When it gets released on DVD, I have compassion for those who rent it (but I won't let myself be feel guilty by suggesting it).
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2/10
Messy Collection of Clichés
Claudio Carvalho4 September 2008
Between 1954 and 1976, a large number of children were submitted to behavior studies in the South of the USA. When Brax Young dies, his childhood friends Jennifer Jones (Dina Meyer), Gina Conte (Traci Lords), Father Lyle Dey (George Newbern), Wayne Morrison (Dan DeLuca), Brent Sykes (Frank Whaley) and Beth Patterson (Gabrielle Anwar) reunite after twenty years. While in Brax's house, they discover a letter asking them to search a time capsule from their childhood and map indicating its location. They travel to Entonsburg and find a trunk with some objects and a skeleton hidden inside. Their discovery triggers traumatic recollections from their childhood with tragic consequences.

"Crazy Eights" is a messy collection of clichés, with a confused story about a government study that affects the subjects, proving that it was no harmless as promised to the families. The characters and situations are awfully developed, and the circumstances why the group becomes trapped in the abandoned house are ridiculous. Why should six people in a truck stop the car during the daylight to break in an abandoned house to seek directions? Further, the soundtrack is annoying. My vote is two.

Title (Brazil): "Lembranças Macabras" ("Macabre Recollections")
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3/10
I think I just threw up in my mouth...
keenanrh14 November 2007
I'm as big a fan as any when it comes to low-budget, B-Horror films.

Last year I went to 5 of the 8 by myself, and thus far this year, i've hit 4 of the 8, some of them by myself, simply because I lack a circle of friends who enjoys the genre for what it is.

my love and admiration for crappy horror films stated, understand that this movie has no place in the horrorfest 8. It's funny, because even though I know I'll end up going to all 8, I still pick and choose carefully which ones I'll attend first. In that process, I read as much IMDb info as i can, from the syndicated reviews, to the user reviews, and I must admit that I was suckered into this based on the user reviews, something I usually trust.

This movie was atrocious. It establishes very little up front, which is irritating initially, but in the long run more so because of how basic the premise is. It is very cliché, which most B- Movies are, but this one so much so that it seems very amateur, and who likes watching something they feel like they could have written or produced?

Please believe that this isn't your average bully picking on someone lesser than him. I'm of no real merit in the movie review world, but I do watch a lot of crap-horror mainly because I feel like there's nothing better than a movie that accepts itself for what it is, and has fun with it's status, and that's a lot of what horrorfest has come to be. This movie, however, seems to treat itself like it's the freshest and most original idea ever, when in reality, all they did was combine a series of elements that many movies have used in the past (i.e. house on haunted hill, the ring, saw, the grudge, and yes, as mentioned by others, and somewhat out of place in the previously listed, the big chill) ...SIDE NOTE: if you enjoy, in any way, the previously mentioned movies, and figure that because you liked some of those, that you'll like this, you wont, i'd request that you send me your $9.50 instead, and stop supporting a skid mark of movie

There's very little promise in this movie, I do recall one point where I got an inkling of excitement in thinking that soon and very soon, something worthwhile and exciting was going to happen, but alas, no such scenario. It became so frustrating at one point that I nearly walked out, but having only done so once in my life (Shoot 'Em Up), I opted to hold out, JUST IN CASE something came along that made the last hour of my life mean something. instead, when the credits rolled, I felt an overwhelming urge to break something or combatively discuss the movie with other patrons in theater. unfortunately for me, the only other person in the theater had left about 45 minutes in

Far and away, more insulting and disheartening than anything about this movie is that this villainous embodiment that is doing all the killing is on screen for roughly 250 whole frames of the movie. you barely get a look at what's causing all the mayhem, and when you do, it's less than satisfying

3 stars for effort and that 15 to 20 seconds of promise...you'd be okay missing out on this though...
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1/10
Crazy Eights is a crazy waste
bigdarvick1 April 2008
To describe the plot of Crazy Eights would be a waste of time because there wasn't one. This movie was a big bomb that would've found a home on Mystery Science Theater 3000. While watching it with friends, all we did was crack on it.

My opinion of "8 Films to Die For" is steadily lowering after seeing a few really bad movies in their line up. Previously, they had some great picks like "Grave Dancers" or "Unrest." But lately, I think they've been taking bribes to include films like "Crazy Eights" or "Tooth and Nail" (even worse than Crazy Eights). Do not bother renting this movie. I did so at RedBox and was so p----d off for wasting even a buck on this pile of dreck, that RedBox gave me a free rental.

p.s. Traci Lords sucked too (no pun intended.)
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7/10
Big Chill of ghost movies
Indyrod12 January 2009
Another one of the After Dark, Horrorfest movies, that is kind of a Big Chill horror movie with a very angry ghost. The death of a childhood friend of six others, bring them all together at the funeral. The deceased has outlined something he wants his friends to do, and that's follow a map that leads them to a spooky building, that they get trapped inside with a little girl ghost that takes them out one by one. Not a lot of action in the first half of the movie, mostly dialogue between the six which is pretty interesting, but might not sit well with a lot of horror fans. After the ghost comes into the story, it becomes a survival against all odds, and with a very strong cast, they pull it off pretty well. I kind of liked the movie myself, but I can see why other genre fans may not be too fond of it.
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5/10
Not totally awful, but really not good either...
macysboy7821 March 2008
Unfortunately, the next movie in my After Dark alphabetical lineup was not quite as good. With a cast that has had a somewhat undeserved amount of attention placed on it, "Crazy Eights" is a story of 6 friends, reunited by another friend's funeral, who in following out said friend's last wishes, find themselves trapped in an abandoned medical facility, that as it turns out, holds the key to an event they all shared, but had blocked out of their memories. Despite the somewhat promising premise, the film turns out to be about as well written as my last sentence (can anyone say "run-on"?). The dialogue is generally bad, the plot developments are easily figured out way in advance, and some events come off as just silly. When one character manages to severely break his leg, one can't help but wonder just how clumsy he is to have done all THAT in a little tumble. There are some scenes that seem a bit creepy, but they are all to often ruined by an obnoxious synth-string theme that keeps popping up and/or very sloppy editing. While not exactly awful, this film is not really recommendable. So far, I'm saying this is this year's equivalent of "The Gravedancers" in the first 'fest. And in case you're wondering, that's bad.
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7/10
Taken on its own terms this is a pretty creepy movie
dbborroughs30 July 2008
Warning: Spoilers
Warning: There are spoilers ahead.

Friends reunite for the funeral for one of their childhood group called "The Crazy Eights". They are left a box and told to open it together. Inside the box is a map which leads them to a house where they find a trunk…and more revelations as the group ends up at the ruins of a hospital where things begin to go wrong and they begin to perish. Its not giving anything away to say that the adults met when they were children taking part in psychological experiments (The opening text implies as much) and that the hospital is found out to be the place where they were "tested".

I liked this film a great deal. Its not perfect but there is something edgy about the way its put together that I found frightening. I liked the rapid editing in some sequences that make it seem as though you've caught something out of your eye. More than once while watching the DVD I backed things up to see if I saw what I saw. With in one or two seconds there are times when the picture shifts and we get images, children, faces, ghosts mixed into the action. I know this bothers some viewers but it kept me on edge since it made it seem like the ghosts are real or that it was the mind of the characters breaking through. I liked that the camera didn't hold on the visions since it allowed for my mind to take over. Or in the case of some of the deadly appearances the small motions on the edge of the frame just before the next scene makes you wonder what you just saw.

The script is an odd mix of the sort of thing you'd find in this type of film, and some touches that blur the line about what you are seeing. Is the film now or then or something else? I don't know. The film is constructed as a film taking place in the here and now but there are clues that that may not be wholly the case. The final sequences (which many people don't seem to like) I found oddly affecting. What exactly are we seeing anyway? I'm not sure. Just as I'm not sure about the intrusions of the memories through the earlier parts of the film, but its in a good way since it requires me to think about what I'm seeing. I think if the director had been less sure of himself the film would have collapsed on itself, something the film is never in danger of doing.

The acting by the reasonably well known cast (Frank Whaley, Tracy Lords, Gabrielle Anwar) is good, if somewhat histrionic. Clearly they are aware of the films limitations but are trying to at least go for it.

I liked it. I think this is worth a look
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6/10
session 9 meets the big chill
rivertam269 November 2007
Think session 9 meets the big chill but not as good as either. The film is pretty good however a little slow in bits but rather creepy and involving. Lords and Meyers give two great performances and the film making is original if not terribly creative. It centers on a group of friends who discover a secret when one of them passes. Haunted by ghostly visions they decide to confront it at the place where it all started. It has some nice jump out scares but ewarns it's spooky mood modeslty. A decent film and definitely worth a look. A nice additon to horrorfest library. My one big problem with this film is the questionable villain and unpolished look the film carries besides that it's pretty good.
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3/10
Not playing with a full deck
movieman_kev18 June 2008
A cast made up of some fairly well known stars embarrass themselves with this highly disjointed ghost story. After 20 years, six childhood friends gather together for the funeral of a seventh. This in turn leads them on a path of remembrance and revelations. The movie did have promise, I will say that. Good locations and a good story or both sadly derail by bad editing, mediocre acting (if this were a cast of newish actors I'd be apt to overlook that, but most of them are seasoned pros so I can't), and the film just raises more questions than it answers. Sorry, but another miss for After Dark Horrorfest. It's down there with "Deaths of Ian Stone"

My Grade: D
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3/10
Wait, seriously?
BakuryuuTyranno23 January 2011
Much like "Unrest", "Crazy Eights" is the same thing currently oversaturated in big-budget horror and something that shouldn't be showing at a horror festival. I would've thought the people hosting it would have the sense to instead show something with imagination and ambition behind it, not some concept produces every other month.

Some old friends reunite after the death of one of their own. On request of the dead man they journey to somewhere they buried a time capsule, which they dig up.

While trying to leave, they seemingly travel in circles, passing the same house again and again. It's similar to the spacial distortion trick commonly found in haunted house films except they haven't entered a haunted house yet. Additionally, the mandatory "no way out" scenario provides the only other haunted building tradition.

And then, well, people stumble about, jump scares will substitute for attempts at atmosphere, and a ghostly woman goes around killing anyone who - sorry, there's no "anyone who", she kills people she's intending to murder, but takes longer to murder them than you'd expect. Seriously, they can't hurt her - lets not forget, she's a spirit! And they're locked in the building through her powers so therefore, nothing's really stopping her from slaughtering everyone very quickly.

Of course the ghost's past becomes relevant. Of course the opening scene involves people studying a subject important to the plot. Apparently someone forgot to write one of the characters as a skeptic who doesn't believe a spirit could be killing, but don't worry, people will have other things to be skeptical about as the plot progresses.

Jump scares cause most problems here because while normally a poor replacement for atmosphere, for "Crazy Eights" lacking atmosphere leaves viewers watching people sitting in a room while daylight pours through the windows talking about how there's no escape. The building refusing its captives an escape route is a commonly used idea, no atmosphere means the building comes across as nothing more than some building.

If it was some big budget Hollywood film this would get four stars on account of its what I expect from them. However it's a horror festival selectee and whoever runs Afterdark should've known better. Higher expectations equals lower rating therefore.
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1/10
Not the worst, but close
bazillionand119 September 2009
This movie isn't good enough to be fun or bad enough to be funny. Luckily, I saw it on the channel formerly known as Sci-Fi, and was able to accomplish some things (like folding laundry) while it was on. I kept waiting for something to happen (ho hum) and then I kept looking for the control (dang those new-fangled TVs), and finally just left the room. I love grade B horror flicks, but this hasn't anything to recommend itself - oh, and the score, there's some syn-instrument that keeps plinking out the same chords - the tune reminds me of that Intel commercial - THAT was the best thing about this movie, and when the best thing about a movie is that it reminds you of a TV commercial, then 'nuf said.
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3/10
Unfathomable Saw II style horror film.
Paul Andrews14 December 2008
Warning: Spoilers
Crazy Eights starts as six childhood friends who called themselves the Crazy Eights attend the funeral of a seventh mutual friend Brax, afterwards the six friends learn that Brax left them a map to an old barn & a note saying to find an old wooden chest there. The six travel to the isolated barn & find the chest & along with various childhood trinkets find the rotten skeletal remains of a young girl inside. Shocked they all decide to just go but end up driving round in circles, then they see a large house & decide to ask for directions. One of the friends hurts his leg & the other's take him inside the house which suddenly turns into a hospital where the vengeful spirit of the dead girl stalks the corridors seeking revenge on those who killed her & left her body in the chest...

One of the entries in that annual 8 Films to Die For After Dark Horrorfest festival thing Crazy Eights was co-edited, co-executive produced, co-produced, co-written & directed by James K. Jones & I have to say it's one of the most poorly written horror films I have seen in a while. For a start the title Crazy Eights is terrible from a marketing point of view, it doesn't tell you anything about the film & the words Crazy Eights will mean nothing to the majority of people. The film itself is no better, there are plot holes galore & a story which is just all over the place. The pace is pretty slow to begin with & the first forty odd minutes is sleep inducing stuff, then there's the almost total lack of exposition or explanation for anything that happens. There's no explanation as to why the six friends can remember each other but not the fact that they were orphans or the fact that they spent time in the hospital, we never really find out anything about the dead girl except that she was killed somehow & she blames the Crazy Eights, despite being trapped inside the hospital there are plenty of glass windows that the character's surely could have broke & climbed out of & there's no reason as to why the house suddenly turns into a hospital or why it's abandoned or where all the pictures & clues scattered throughout came from. The script is a mess, either that or the makers didn't shoot enough footage & merely had to use what they had whether it made sense or not which it most certainly doesn't. The ending is terrible too & doesn't make any sense, I was waiting for some sort of twist but it never comes & the whole film ends in a very blunt, abrupt & unsatisfying way. The set-up during the second half of the film feels very much like Saw II (2005) as a group of character's are trapped in a single location unaware of what's going on or why they are there & they begin to get killed off one by one, unfortunately Crazy Eights has nothing that made Saw II so good like the twist's & turns, the gore, the clever traps, the surprise ending & quick pacing. Throw in some nonsense about nightmares, some pointless flashbacks, the ghost of a young girl straight out of any Asain horror & you have a confusing mess that leaves the viewer with many unanswered questions as the end credits roll. Crazy Eights just doesn't feel like one coherent film, it's very bitty with a poor plot that is badly written & explained. Even the character's are standard stereotypes & the dialogue is forgettable, overall Crazy Eights is a bit of a mess from start to finish.

I must admit that Crazy Eights looks quite nice with one or two nicely lit & shot scenes, unfortunately it's not worth sitting through the rest of the film to see them & in isolation on their own don't add up to much anyway. I don't know if it's just me but this looks cut, whenever there's an opportunity to show some gore the makers either shied away from it or it was cut. This sometimes makes it difficult to understand what is going on in certain scenes, the bit when Gina suddenly clutches her face with blood streaking down her cheeks is a good example as we never see what has happened to her. I assume something has happened to her eyes but we never find out for sure. The only reason this would get an adult rating is because of the profanity rather than the violence or gore of which there is virtually zero. The ghost of the dead girls pops up occasionally but seemingly at random & we never really get a good look at her or even find out who she is or indeed was. The special effects are alright but there's hardly any anyway.

Probably shot on a pretty low budget somewhere in Maryland this actually has good production values & looks like a proper film. The experienced cast is pretty good here, to reinforce the Saw connections Dina Meyer who was in Saw (2003), Saw II, Saw III (2006) & Saw IV (2007) stars here while ex teenage porn star Traci Lords continues to try & make a career as a proper actress.

Crazy Eights is a mess of a film that feels like a cross between Saw II & a Asain ghost film but without any of the merits of either of them. No gore, no twist's, a mess of a plot & a slow pace makes Crazy Eights yet another one of the 8 Films to Die For that is quite frankly pants.
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1/10
Ouch!!!
bigjoe27-125 June 2008
I will keep this review as short as possible. If 0 or negative stars were available this movie would not have gotten this 1 star. It is worse than awful... i love movies, good or bad, i'll watch the whole thing and typically find a few things about it that i thought were interesting or at least done well. Not this time, this was pure garbage. The plot was simple the acting was terrible, and they call it a "horror" flick... maybe powder puff at best. I only wish that I could call redbox and have them send me a check for the $1.05 that this movie cost me to rent. Do yourself a favor and just go watch your lawn grow, i promise it will be more rewarding than watching this movie.
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Captivating
unbrokenmetal13 December 2008
In a classic Old Dark House situation, a bunch of people are trying to find out what they have in common. Slowly a memory returns of something they tried to forget. And it's terrible enough to be lethal. Kudos to the camera department: there are great shots of faces in the shadow while light comes from behind, this is a good technical means to symbolize the psychological destruction of the individual, yet it's not overdone. The music often consists of slowly rising and fading synthesizer pads, deliberately creating an atmosphere of time standing still while it is impossible for anyone to get out of the house. "Crazy Eights" is neither something completely new (if you saw some Japanese movies recently), nor a masterpiece, but it captivated me for the whole running time and I can't say anything bad about it.

Fortunately I decided to rent the DVD by chance, i.e. without reading any reviews first. That would have told me little about the movie, but a lot about horror movie reception in the 2000s. So, if no maniac with a chainsaw jumps at you every 2-3 minutes, a movie is "badly paced", "slow", "boring", "lame" and so it goes on and on. Oh my. Thankfully, many directors get into the movie business who have other intentions than just the body-count.
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1/10
Maybe the worst movie I have EVER seen
synergy09816 August 2008
Warning: Spoilers
Spoiler/Cliffnotes:

Note: The real spoiler is enduring this film for 90 minutes.

For some reason, a group of friends are summoned via friend's will to a chest in a barn in the middle of nowhere. In the chest is a kid's skeleton, presumably from a hospital where they all were as kids where some funky experiments took place.

They leave to call the cops (no cell reception) and miraculously get lost. They pass a house a few times, which turns out to be the hospital...yet no one can remember it for some unknown reason. Though it looks like a large house on top, there is really 100 miles of underground spooky tunnels with no escape underneath...where of course they get trapped after "exploring"...though why they would do that after it was found to be abandoned is anybody's guess, since they were trying to find directions/phone.

Now trapped in the basement, they splinter off into groups where they are picked off one by one by the girl's (trunk skeleton) ghost. Why? It makes no sense. And not until 90% of his movie is through do they realize that it's THE hospital. Amazingly, the hospital, though abandoned, still has power and a full library of medical records untouched...as well as valuable equipment and the like.

There are so many holes and idiocies in this film to even address completely. I watched this for free "on demand", and ended up fast-forwarding to the scary parts, just so I could be done with it. I can't not finish a movie (double-negative disclaimer), though this movie would've been a great point to start.

Senseless plot leaves you wondering "why" more than anything. If you find yourself waiting for this movie to get better, it won't. Avoid this movie at all costs...even if you can watch it for free.
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1/10
Avoid at all costs
sharks19479 November 2007
Just saw this one at the "After Dark Film Fest". I want to tell everyone to avoid this movie. Why the other comments here have been positive I can't imagine. Maybe they were people that worked on the movie. Or relatives. Or didn't actually see it. At a running time of about 70 minutes it seemed like 3 hours. Very confusing. All Psycho babble. Tracie Lords went form Porno to making fairly good B movies. She has just dropped down to the D class of films. The other two movies I watched today at the fest were good to very good, Unearthed and Borderland stick to them. I like independent movies, but this one was really lame.
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8/10
House on Demented Hill
John Crane20 November 2007
Warning: Spoilers
What a great combinations of House on Haunted Hill, Session 9 and Death Tunnel. This movie had some great acting, great set design and cinematography, a very confusing yet disturbing plot and some scary moments that make you cringe. The movie is about eight people who know each other who are led to an eerie house were they find a time capsule containing all of their childhood toys. They soon find out that this house was once an old hospital that was home to cruel and inhumane experiments that somehow connects to them. What was good about this movie was that there where some pretty seeable scares they that still surprise you. This movie plays with your mind as it does with those eight people who are trapped.

I'll start off first with the acting. There were great performances by Traci Lords, Frank Whaley (Vacancy), George Newbern and Gabrielle Anwar. I want to especially say that some of the best acting in this movie comes from Anwar and Dina Meyer. I could not rate George Newbern since his role and character calls for a very seldom and calm performance, mainly because he plays a Father. Frank Whaley does a superb acting job as a very angry, skeptical man but take in mind he played in Vacancy and World Trade Center so he had a experience. Gabby Anawr does a splendid job getting into her character and really puts effort and feel into that persona, which is tormented by horrible memories. Dina Meyer does a very okay job in the beginning but near the end her acting level raises and shows what she is truly capable of doing. Traci Lords does a spectacular job but when acting in movies like Blade, The Tommyknockers and Tales from the Crypt, who wouldn't be? The set, which is a very old decaying hospital, was very well formatted. Unlike hospitals from insane asylums or general hospitals, this one was very "kid friendly." This aspect added to uncomfortable and disturbing feel that the hospital had. Like many other haunted hospital movies before it, there were cryptic pictures and data files; there were corridors that led to nowhere and corridors that led in circles. There were three rooms that gave me the chills simply by the way that they looked: the children's playroom, the bathroom and the bedroom. It reminded me deeply of the movie Session 9, but it had the psychotic feel of House on Haunted Hill. There was one set piece that had me pretty freaked out and that was on room with all the plastic over the furniture, than the furniture started to move.

The scares were very heightened in this movie and came out at some of the most random and quiet moments. There were a lot of psychological scares and some unique scares that I cannot place into any category. A great example of fear with a sense of helplessness would be when the group finds the time capsule in the attic of an old barn and inside is all there precious childhood memories, not knowing how they got there. Something about this scene, something deep, gave me chills, and the corpse inside of it didn't help at all. Some of the scarier moments are when the "ghost kids," who remain faceless throughout, kill the group members and then the after effect of the murder. The random "popping-out-of-no-where" scares and the jump out scars. The physiological horror like running down a corridor and finding out that you have been running around in circles down the same corridor and not finding a way out. The horror of not knowing were something is going to grab you, the suspense of knowing something is coming but you can't do anything about it. All of these great horror aspects made me really enjoy this movie, and my theater audience would agree strongly.

All in all, I, as well as my theater buddies, loved this movie despite some minor faults and clichés. It added a new twist and structure of a plot line that had been reworked over and over again; it added some unclassified horror aspects and developed its characters very well. I would recommend this movie to horror fans throughout the world especially for those who love horror movies with mind games and inopportune, in a good way, scares.
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1/10
Don't believe the morons
alansmithee0421 November 2007
The last in this years HorrorFest line up (and not a moment to soon), this film also wins the award for Most Promising Premise Trashed By Sheer Incompetence. It's part The Big Chill and part Silent Hill, all rolled up in a script desperately in need of four or five rewrites.

Okay, long story short. Six friends get together after a seventh dies and begin uncovering long buried secrets of their shared past. Sound good? Well, it isn't. The plot spins off into things-happen-for-no-reason territory shortly after we hit the point where the character's predicament becomes painfully obvious to everyone but them.

From there on, all the usual horror film tropes are visited upon us, from the relatively modern cell-phones-that-never-work to the ancient let's-split-up-so-The-Evil-can-kill-us-easier. Unfortunately, even counting the clichés becomes boring long before the film ends.
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7/10
Nice atmosphere and decent plot, hampered by pacing problems.
mattressman_pdl18 April 2008
8 friends have just reunited after the ninth passes away. As they rummage through lost memories, they discover a ghost that just won't stay quiet...now, they're trapped in their old orphanage and one by one they're succumbing to their past.

The cast is fairly decent, however, the show is stolen by character actor Frank Whaley as the narcissistic one. Dina Meyer is a decent lead actress and Traci Lords doesn't bring it down too much, either.

The film, however, has a serious pacing problem. People with low attention spans should go ahead and skip it but jaded horror afficianados will want to see something different like this. And there are a few moments that are subtly creepy.
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8/10
Don't Believe the Haters - This is Silent Hill done RIGHT
Jackalthing12 November 2007
Just because all of one inarticulate reviewer has sandy privates over other people giving this film good reviews, don't let that deter you.

The only thing that's 'off' about this particular flick is the editing -- otherwise, the pacing is VERY steady, the film only seems to drag in places where you can tell they wish they had more time, and there aren't all that many 'boo' scares to speak of. It follows in the tradition of Session 9 in terms of overall atmosphere and mood, but overall, here's the breakdown: We're all sick of slashers and psychological thrillers that fail to meet their mark. What we're seeing here is a genuine attempt to go back to the films that teased at our imaginations and left us feeling subtle chills. No, it's nothing particularly original and the themes have been done before, but considering the slop that's been farted out of Hollywood these past few years, this was a breath of fresh air. And this is speaking as a horror buff that has a penchant for falling asleep during MOST horror flicks in the theatres unless there's a significant level of Drunk going on.

Again: don't believe the haters with sandy privates. Go give it a look and judge on your own. To that end, I will say this: This is a Silent Hill film done correctly. The themes are intact and the very visceral look at guilt and redemption (if indeed there is such a thing as redemption) is sound. Anyone fond of that particular series will find themselves instantly intrigued and drawn back into the mindset of puzzling out the question of 'So what DID happen?' And really, psychological horror is all about questions.

I'm much happier with this than the usual crappy 'you won the movie' sequence. Still, lower rated because, again, the editing was NOT the best.
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8/10
Slow, deliberate horror for the true fan
muninwing13 December 2009
Don't watch this movie if you love special-effects driven gory horror movies. it is far more subtle than that.

Six friends, who seem to remember little about their childhoods except that they were all on a baseball team together (the "Crazy Eights" of the title) reunite for the funeral of one of their members. they discover the secrets that they have been blocking out, and why all of them have been having nightmares, and how these nightmares and their pasts all tie together. interesting premise, but so much more is given here.

the directing was perfect -- lighting, music, pacing, lack of showy special effects, it all served to build an excellent new take on the "haunted house" or "amnesia" style of plots. but the very pacing that makes it scary is a turnoff for people expecting a fast-paced Hollywood horrorfest. it's much more like a foreign horror movie, where technique matters over showiness. if you thought that "A Tale of Two Sisters" was scarier than its remake "The Uninvited," this is the movie for you.
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8/10
Atmospheric psychological horror film
esoterikfilms11 November 2007
I went into this film knowing nothing about it, but I came out of it a big fan. The story is about seven friends from childhood who reunite after the death of one of their former classmates. The package he leaves for them to open leads them back to the past they had all forgotten and someone or something out for revenge.

The cast contains a number of familiar faces (Traci Lords, Gabrielle Anwar, Frank Whaley) who give strong performances all around. The direction is strong, if not flashy. The screenplay is well written and the characters are believable and don't act like the idiots in most other horror films. The production design is very atmospheric yet has a gritty realism to it. There is some gore, but the horror come from tension and suspense, not cheap scares. If you like intelligent, well-made horror films, this is definitely one for you. If you just want gore, look elsewhere.
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