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Filmed in the deep woods of British Columbia, 2010's "Goblin" tells the
story of a cursed forest hamlet wherein an extremely tall and malicious
goblin appears every Halloween to kill newborns in the town and anyone
else who may get in the way.
Unlike joke-horror films like "Cabin Fever", "Goblin" takes the material totally serious with zero camp or goofiness. This is the way monster movies should be done. After all, once an element of goofiness is introduced it's no longer possible to take the film serious and therefore impossible to be horrified by the events, which is one of the main purposes of horror movies.
I was impressed with the quality of the acting & writing, particularly for a low-budget TV movie. The characters are not one-dimensional; they're written as believable human beings and the actors, professionals that they are, are able to follow suit.
This one has all the mandatory staples of a deep woods horror flick -- gorgeous babes, gorgeous babes fleeing in terror, gorgeous babes fleeing in terror with titillating clothing (I'm just having fun so don't take me too seriously, lol), youthful romantic liaisons, creepy malicious monster, good characters to root for, particularly the father (Gil Bellows) and his family/friends.
The "gorgeous babes" include the main protagonist Tracy Spiridakos, blond cutie Erin Boyes and Julia Maxwell, the latter clad in a hot-goth-girl costume with sexy stockings & high heels (no wonder the Goblin goes after her!). Bellow's wife in the story, Camille Sullivan, also deserves an honorable mention.
Speaking of the monster, aren't goblins supposed to be small-ish creatures? Not so here. The goblin in this movie is close to 7' tall and has the ability to teleport. When he's fully revealed in the final ten minutes he looks too-obviously CGI and Grade-B Pumpkinhead, but throughout most of the film he appears in a cool black hooded robe, which makes him somehow more mysterious, Gothic and eerie. The fact that he emits a horrible stench is an excellent touch.
One critic on the internet criticized the film on the grounds of "the reasoning behind the random killings is terrible. If the thing hunts babies why's it laying waste to random people with no babies? Totally retarded." My response: The goblin's prime directive is to kill babies in light of the curse and because infants represent undefiled new life and potential. As for laying waste to random people, the old man clearly points out near the end that, because the goblin hunts babies, it sniffs out the scent of infants on any person who's been near one; hence, his attraction to the girls who were babysitting the baby Nathan. The goblin is obviously a demon, a minion of the devil, do you think a demon is going to spare the life of anyone who gets in its way? What's the purpose of demons anyway? To "kill, steal and destroy". Hence, the goblin was excited at the prospect of extra people to terrify and kill.
On the downside: Although the story takes place during Halloween, it's obviously summertime (look at the kid's clothes and the foliage, etc.). Also, the climax with the car and spear is rather roll-your-eyes. But these negatives are minor in view of the entire film.
FINAL WORD: Make no mistake, despite being a TV film, "Goblin" is a standout deep woods monster flick. The goblin is actually frightening and the protagonists are so believable and three-dimensional that you care about them, and are literally shocked when the monster tears them to pieces.
ENDNOTE: On another site a reviewer accused me of somehow being involved in the production of "Goblin" since I gave it a "glowing review." The truth is I had nothing to do with this production or any other film production. I'm not in the business. I write amateur reviews simply because I like to write and share my views. Secondly, I had no qualms about pointing out the film's (minor) flaws. Regardless, I stand by my review. I evaluate films according to what they are and aspire to be. No genre is beyond redemption or beneath contempt. In this case "Goblin" is low-budget TV monster flick and I rated it accordingly.
On 31 October 1831, in the Hollow Glen village, the locals sacrifice
what they consider "unclean" in a bonfire to protect their village.
When they throw a deformed baby in the bonfire, his mother, who is a
witch, curses the babies of the dwellers and creates an evil creature
from the bones of her son to take their souls in the Halloween. The
story of the Goblin becomes a legend.
In the present days, Neil Perkins (Gil Bellows) travels with his second wife Kate (Camille Sullivan); his rebel teenage daughter Nikki (Tracy Spiridakos); his baby son Nathan (Jordan Moore) and Nikki's best friend Cammy (Erin Boyes) to an isolated cabin in Hollow Glen expecting to start a business with his partner Owen (Colin Cunningham). The family is warned to leave the village before the Halloween by the drunkard Charlie (Donnelly Rhodes), but they do not give credit to his words.
On 31 October, Neil, Kate and Owen have a meeting with Sheriff Milgreen (Kyle Andrew Wheeler) and they leave Nathan with Nikki and Cammy. The two girls are visited by three friends and Nikki leaves Nathan alone for less than one minute. When she returns, the baby is missing and the Goblin is killing her friends.
"Goblin" is a lame horror movie where it is hard to say what is the worst: the story, the direction, the acting or the edition. The plot is stupid and full of clichés and annoying characters. The performances are terrible, highlighting Colin Cunningham in a silly role. The edition is awful, with inadequate cuts. The direction is very poor. The result is a forgettable movie. My vote is two.
Title (Brazil): "Goblin O Sacrifício" ("Goblin The Sacrifice")
First of all I am not claiming this movie to be a masterpiece by far,
but for a scyfy flick it stands above a lot of the 'syfy' originals I
have seen in the past and if you take it for what it is, its really not
that bad of a movie. I got a chance to watch it late last night on a
snowy New England evening and it was able to keep my attention all the
way through. It had decent acting, decent gore, and a decent scenery
for a TV movie. I think scyfy has come along way from the some of the
older flicks they put out. Of course this movie doesn't really add
anything new to the genre, but cmon we can't expect too much from the
scyfy network. ScyFy is good for giving small little movies to quench
the thirst of die-hards while we wait for the next gem sci fi or Horror
movie to come along. If you expect a hidden gem to come in the form of
a ScyFy original movie you better pack your lunch. My point is its a TV
movie so try to view it as such.
Anyway, moving right along like I said its not likely that we will see Gil Bellows or any of the other actors at the grammy awards any time soon for this, but if you happen to come upon it on the Sci fi channel and don't mind their movies too much you might want to give it a watch.
Keep in mind, I give this a 6 and am rating it as a T.V. movie. If I paid to go see it a theater or bought it new for $14 I would rate it differently.
I did not expect much from the horror film "Goblin" and it still
undelivered. "Goblin" is essentially about a fierce goblin who flies
around a small town hunting babies, largely because he (the goblin) is
not intelligent enough to go hunting in the big cities where there are
(of course) more babies to hunt. Normally such a premise presupposes
that the adults in this film are perfectly safe from the goblin's
attacks because... well... they are not exactly babies. But the people
who made this film created a goblin who is less intelligent than many
of the creatures on the nature channel. The hyena, for instance,
rightly focuses on grabbing a baby sea lion for lunch instead of taking
on the bigger sea lions, but the goblin gets distracted while hunting
for babies and kills several adults in highly gratuitous ways for
reasons that are never adequately explained in this film. I would
suggest cynically than the killing of adults was done out of shock
value rather than for any logical reason.
But Goblin's problems go well beyond the fact that it is little more than a bloody monster fest. The use of the teenage Cammy (Erin Boyes) as a sexual tease shows how low the filmmakers were willing to go to get people to actually watch this film. Finally there is not one performance in this entire film that is actually convincing or interesting in any way. You get the distinct feeling while watching this movie that the actors simply showed up to say their lines, collect their pay cheques and leave. Not one member of the cast was motivated to making this film work at a performance level.
To be honest, I was expecting Goblin to be complete rubbish, which is
the standard I have to put with with a vast majority of SyFy's resume.
But I was surprised that while not brilliant by any stretch of the
imagination it was not bad either.
True, there are a lot of pacing issues with the movie moving a little too slowly for my liking. Goblin also starts off rather dull and the ending is a let-down and takes a while to set up. The dialogue is better than I thought it would be, but some of it was still rather idiotic.
However, the story is intriguing. While the pacing disallowed the story to do more than it had potential of doing, the idea was great and there are some scenes that have a genuine atmosphere to them. The production values are surprisingly not cheap with decent make-up and effects and atmospheric lighting and camera work. The music is also very creepy. The acting is also much better than anticipated, Gil Bellows especially manages to do something quite special with his role.
Overall, a better film than I thought it would be, but part of me thought it could've been better too. 6/10 Bethany Cox
A script that would have been original and worked, I dare say, 60 years
ago maybe. Poor directing. "Overly creative" editing (if that's even a
thing) that just... fails too many times. At the beginning this film
fails every other scene until it starts failing in every scene and it
just turns into a comedy.
But let's focus on the best part...
I felt sorry for the performances from almost every single actor. I really did. It's like "awwwww... she can't act" and then "awwww... he can't act either" and finally "awww... this is such a big mess" (note: that's when the master shot comes up and you have both of them in frame hehehe ;).
Seriously. It really is that bad. But it's so much fun at the same time. That's actually what kept me watching this. If the acting was slightly better it would have killed the film for me because then it would have become unbearable. But it didn't so I give it a solid 10/10 because I had such a wonderful time and actually bothered to write this.
Another SyFy movie... And you never know what you are going to get with
these; it is either really bad or actually quite good. SyFy have been
known to surprise us viewers from time to time.
Unfortunately, "Goblin" wasn't a nice surprise. That being said, it is not one of the worst SyFy movies though. The storyline was a bit interesting, about a town being cursed for some wrong-doings of the past. But the part with the goblin? Well, that didn't really work well with me.
The goblin itself resembled more a ring wraith from "Lords of the Ring" than a goblin. Now, I know what goblins usually look like in role-playing games, so that is what I am using for comparison. But the whole thing with the creature being draped in a large hooded robe and even walking like a ring wraith, nah! I just didn't buy that. I was waiting for Mr. Frodo to come out and wrestle the goblin. But it just didn't happen, unfortunately. The goblin looked really badly animated and it there was never a doubt of this being cheap CGI in my mind. The goblin looked like something from a 80's movie, it was an eyesore.
As for the acting in "Goblin", well then the actors and actresses were actually doing a well enough job with their roles and what they had to work with. Of course, there is no award-winning performances to be found here, but on the plus side, it is better than what have been seen in other SyFy movies previously.
The movie is labeled as a fantasy, horror and sci-fi. Well I can understand the fantasy part well enough, but the horror and sci-fi? Not so much. The movie wasn't scary, not in the least.
The good part of "Goblin" was that there was a good constant flow to the story, and you never really were left to be bored. Plus there were some nice moments in the story along the way as well. But these were hardly enough to lift the movie up from being under average. Having seen the movie now, I can say that it is not a movie that I will be making a second trip back to watch.
Typical of the entries in the Sci-Fi scheme of things is this tale of
an ancient curse being perpetuated on a small town where danger lurks
in the woods whenever Halloween approaches.
GIL BELLOWS is the father who takes his family to a rustic cabin for a vacation, accompanied by a teen-aged daughter (TRACY SPIRIDAKOS) and her giggling friend (CAMILLE SULLIVAN), along with wife and baby. He meets a few of the townspeople and we're aware that something is out of kilter--there's a secret being held behind closed doors and we know the family is in immediate danger.
That's the set-up, accompanied by lots of exposition about witches and an ancient curse involving human sacrifice, with the story set just before and during another Halloween. Actually, the script is fairly good at developing the characters (for a change), the photography is very striking, and the acting on a generally higher level than you'd expect in this sort of horror film. There's some bloody gore to satisfy fans who crave the sight of injuries inflicted on innocent victims.
The goblin creature itself is kept shrouded in a dark cloak most of the time and when revealed is a pretty frightening sight, with all due respect to CGI effects. The music is creepy and the atmosphere of dread takes on a stronger feel for the last part of the story, which takes a little too long to set up the whole thing.
After a dull beginning, not too bad but could have been more tightly paced.
This is just a mediocre horror that has a CGI monster in it. Some parts
did deliver the goods for horror buffs but the action was left out and
there's no suspense to see anywhere.
I won't go into any details about the story because that you have see a thousand times before. I was rather surprised about the use of low gore here and there. But it didn't work because there were some faults to see. When one's head is smashed by the monster or goblin you see indeed in a gory way that his face is crushed but the next shot when falling down his face is in tact.
It's one of those movies that you will love or hate. you don't watch it for the acting you just watch it for the horror. I have see flicks about creatures that couldn't stand up against this one but still it's mediocre and just offers here and there a nice 'gory' shot. It's just sad that the goblin was full CGI all the time which shows a few times even as the CGI wasn't that bad after all. It will make teenagers frightened but buffs will have a big laughter with this one, you know what I mean.
Gore 0,5/5 Nudity 0/5 Effects 2/5 Story 2,5/5 Comedy 0/5
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I caught this film on the SyFy channel one night and had to watch it.
Mainly because it was a bit better than a lot of films I see on the
channel these days. There was some good bloody kills and the monster,
while not spectacular was better than creatures featured in other SyFy
films where giant sharks battle crocodiles or huge piranha terrorize
the seas. I do not believe this film was made by SyFy which probably
explains why it was a bit higher quality than those films I referenced.
It was not great by any stretch of the imagination, but it did make for
an interesting watch.
The story has a family with an infant losing said infant. There is the general panic and then they hear of stories of the goblin, a creature that steals little children every Halloween. They soon find out this creature is real, but other things seem to be at play as the townsfolk seem to be keeping some sort of secret. Meanwhile, an old man may have the means of destroying the goblin once and for all.
The story is your typical monster kills, but there is something else afoot because we need to make the film longer. The whole conspiracy thing going on is there simply to pad the film. It does not work, as the logic behind it is completely flawed. This creature has been snatching a child during Halloween over many decades now, why would it bargain with anyone? It gets what it wants, and people think that if they withhold what it wants it is simply going to give them what the want in exchange for what it wants? Completely flawed logic, and like I said it seems to be in the film to simply extend the running time.
The goblin looks okay, most of the time wearing a cloak. It is fully computer generated, and at the end you see it in all its glory and it sort of resembles Golem from Lord of the Rings. Just not as there. I think the monster would have looked a lot better as a costume, because once again in a low budget film, a monster that is computer generated does not look like it is there. You know its just an image placed in a scene. I can sort of understand it when the beast moves in a way that would be difficult for a human to achieve, but that is just not the case here. They could have easily made the monster part costume and part computer and it would have been a much better monster.
So this film was for me, not entirely good and not entirely bad. If they had tweaked the story a bit and made a costume instead of a fully computer generated monster the film would have been much better. However, there was a couple of good kills in it and for a low budget horror film it passed the time nicely and kept me watching. So not good not bad and that is my opinion of this film.
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