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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.
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...
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.
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
"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")
*** This review may contain 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).
*** This review may contain 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.
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.)
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.
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.
*** This review may contain 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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