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5664 reviews in total 
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Vampire Journals (1997) (V)
A Decent Full Moon Release?, 17 October 2016

An avenging vampire (David Gunn) stalks a king of the vampires (Jonathon Morris) in Eastern Europe, and slaughters anyone who gets in his way.

The Subspecies series is one of those rare gems in the Full Moon arsenal. I don't know if it is the director, or the absence of Charlie Band, or what, but somehow they seem to come out alright. Not that they are great films, but the look and feel of them is still better than your average horror film, which is notable.

This film is a spin off of the series, but till very much a part of it with that look and feel. And even with Radu gone, he is mentioned and factors in, at least sort of. It feels like this series could have kept going, even beyond part four... and yet, instead we get a dozen cruddy Puppet Masters.

Fairly Decent, 17 October 2016

Anna Ivers returns home to her sister Alex (Arielle Kebbel) after a stint in a mental hospital, though her recovery is jeopardized thanks to her cruel stepmother (Elizabeth Banks). Her dismay quickly turns to horror when she is visited by ghastly visions of her dead mother.

I'm always hesitant to watch horror movies on Netflix, because they tend to be newer and lower budget (not that this is always a bad thing). This one is newer, but the budget is there, and they were able to get a few faces I recognize. Especially Arielle Kebbel and Elizabeth Banks, with a nice, smaller role by horror veteran Jesse Moss.

Much of the film plays out sort of like a mystery. What is going on? Is it supernatural? Is the stepmother really who she claims to be? It's not the best suspense film, but it is more than adequate in holding your attention, especially thanks to strong performances. In a way, this film anticipates the widely celebrated "Goodnight Mommy".

Mikey (1992)
Time For a Re-Examination, 17 October 2016

A seemingly innocent and sweet little boy causes murder and mayhem in his new neighborhood and falls for the teenage girl next-door.

As others have pointed out, this film has sort of the same feel as "The Stepfather", except the killer is now a little boy instead of a seemingly caring new dad. Of course, "The Stepfather" is the better movie, but that's no secret.

I do think the film needs to be brought into the light. I had not heard of it until a book by T. S. Kord made me aware, and then when I went to watch it on Hulu, I found the picture quality was not the greatest and the film was cut for full-screen. With horror veterans Mimi Craven and Ashley Laurence, as well as Lyman Ward, it seems like this would be a good film for Scream Factory to pick up.

Jaws 2 (1978)
1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Another Bruce?, 15 October 2016

Police chief Brody (Roy Scheider) must protect the citizens of Amity after a second monstrous shark begins terrorizing the waters.

In October 1975, Steven Spielberg told the San Francisco Film Festival that "making a sequel to anything is just a cheap carny trick" and that he did not even respond to the producers when they asked him to direct "Jaws 2". He may be right, but sequels have their place, and this one does a fair job of capturing the spirit of the first film... much more than the future sequels.

Of course, it remains a sequel and not near as iconic as the original. But that should hardly be a surprise. You can only have one "Jaws", really. But the continuing adventures of the Brody family are worth exploring, whether they have the same level of intensity or not.

This Subgenre of Documentaries..., 15 October 2016

MAN VS SNAKE tells the story of Tim McVey (the gamer not the bomber) who in 1984, on a single quarter (and over forty-four hours of non-stop play) was the first person in history to score over one billion points on a video game.

I love that this is a thing, a whole subgenre of documentaries about classic video games and the people who set the high scores. Walter Day is great, and the whole entourage (Billy Mitchell, etc) are interesting characters. Tim McVey is very much an everyman, and his story is in some strange way inspirational.

Nibbler, man... of all the games to pick... but they did a great job putting this together and keeping it moving. I suppose they could have had a bit more about the game's history and knockoffs, but I don't feel like it would be necessary.

The Nightmare (2015/II)
Terrifying and Informative, 14 October 2016

A look at a frightening condition that plagues thousands; sleep paralysis.

That creepy mask the one guy created... wow. He should be in the movie business or something, because that was just as disturbing as any effect that this film has to offer (and it is no surprise it is used in much of the promo material).

What I really loved about this was the connection with aliens. I have never seen much about sleep paralysis before, which is a surprise given how terrifying it is. You'd think it would be more widely studied. But as an explanation for alien abduction? That makes so much sense, and could be the solution we were looking for... all those years of watching "Unsolved Mysteries" and "Sightings", and here was the answer.

Most reviews were generally positive. IGN was more negative, awarding the film a score of 3.5 out of 10 and saying "Like a person floating on the edge of sleep who never quite succumbs, The Nightmare grazes its subject but never truly dives in." Some are critical because the film does not have interviews with doctors, which is a fair note... but wow, the people behind this did a great job projecting the fear these people have into our living rooms... scariest documentary ever.

Pleasantly Surprising, 14 October 2016

As a war between humankind and monstrous sea creatures wages on, a former pilot and a trainee are paired up to drive a seemingly obsolete special weapon in a desperate effort to save the world from the apocalypse.

I resisted seeing this film for a while... I was under the impression it was going to be a lot of CGI robots and monsters bashing each other, which I really have no interest in. There is still some of that, but director Guillermo Del Toro made sure that things went a bit deeper than that, with some decent human characters.

Really, the casting is to be praised. Del Toro regular Ron Perlman plays one of his best characters yet, and the choice of Charlie Day as a scientist was brilliant. I wasn't sure if he'd be the right sort of person for the story, but he was beyond perfect... that Charlie humor we love, with just a twinge of madness.

2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Generally Pretty Good, 14 October 2016

Jack (Henry Rollins) has developed a routine for his life that he sticks to in order to avoid giving into the impulse to engage in cannibalism. He stays away from society other than regular trips to a local diner, bingo games, and to the hospital, where he purchases blood from a hospital intern, Jeremy (Booboo Stewart).

Although there is a little bit of some bad acting (especially characters in the first 10 minutes), this seems to clear up. Rollins is a dominating force, which is no surprise. He has always been great at commanding attention, and this is a character that is well-suited for him.

I am confused about this being listed as a comedy. Some reviewers even say it is "laugh out loud funny", but I just didn't see it. There are some moments of dark humor, but as a whole it really doesn't play as a comedy and I think it would be better if they didn't suggest that it was. Let the film speak for itself.

Most disappointing is how the film is essentially a pilot for a miniseries. I love the characters, love the Biblical themes they were going for, but it was clear this movie was not scripted to be wrapped up in one movie. If the miniseries were to fall through, the movie would suffer as a result. I see that as a shortcoming, though it is one that could yet be rectified.

A Nice Slow Burn..., 12 October 2016

Twin boys move to a new home with their mother after she has face changing cosmetic surgery, but under her bandages is someone the children don't recognize.

If you enter in to this film after seeing the trailer, you might be disappointed or at least mislead. Whoever edited that thing make the music scarier, the action more intense, and that is just simply not what the film is about.

Instead, we get a slow burn that is on some levels a horror film, but on other levels a sad story that has far too much grounding in reality. The true scariness of the film is not the mask, as you might think from the trailer, but rather the interactions of a family that is unable to completely build trust.

Rather Humorous Short, 12 October 2016

Dracula (Peter Loewy) travels to New York for a change of scenery.

In retrospect, this film is perhaps best known for opening the door to "Vamp". But, really, it is a fine film in its own right, and in some ways far funnier. Both Dracula and Renfield are fun, corny characters. This could have been a cheap-looking film,but actually ends up looking pretty darn good for a small project.

The real mystery, at least to me, is how they got away with the music rights. Presumably, the first time around, they just used music and didn't bother to pay anyone. But what about in future DVD and Blu-ray releases? Other films have been held up for music rights (heck, "Freaks and Geeks" was bogged down hard)... so how did they do it?

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