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Whistle And I'll Be Too Terrified To Move....
Utterly terrifying. Truly. As a horror flick fanatic from an early age, there's very little in the genre that actually scares me anymore. I mean, REALLY scares me. Most horror/thrillers just entertain me, but that heart pounding 'scared' is virtually impossible to get out of me. Enter, Whistle and I'll Come To You. The tone is set early on. A fairly desolate inn near seaside cliffs, where a lonely old academic has chosen to take a holiday. The character is a sweet old man, but not the most socialized. He's stuck in his academic world, can't seem to properly converse with others, and is very staid in his opinions that everything has a scientific basis and explanation. You can literally watch his descent into madness as he grows more and more isolated and unsure of himself and his surroundings. I love that you never really know what he summoned with that whistle he found by the grave. Was it a demon, a ghost, or just the scariest thing an old man can ever face...senility/dementia? As to the scares, this film triumphs where many horror films of today fail. It really IS terrifying. There were two scenes that I thought would cause my poor wee heart to come out of my chest! A truly frightening little tale. Perfect for a late night scare!
Cape Fear (1962)
Terrifying. Simply Terrifying.
I adore Robert Mitchum. The man was one of the most gifted actors of his generation...and unfortunately one of the most under-appreciated as well. His performance as Max Cady has given us one of the most terrifying and believably evil characters in the history of cinema. The only other character that comes close is Harry Powell in Night of The Hunter...again, Mitchum. The man is brilliant. Period. The foil to Cady's evil is Sam Bowden. Gregory Peck is, of course, brilliant in the role of the lawyer whose family is being terrorized by a man he sent up the river years ago, who has just been released from jail. Polly Bergen is equally brilliant as the tough as nails wife of Bowden. In fact, she steals the show in the final scenes! This movie keeps you on the edge of your seat and doesn't let up for a moment. One of the best thrillers ever made.
And Soon the Darkness (2010)
And Soon You Will Loose Interest.....
At first I thought I'd made a mistake in watching the original 1970 version of this film before seeing this, remade version. I was wrong. The mistake was in watching this film full stop. Even if I hadn't seen the original...which, for those who haven't seen it, is extremely subtle, mysterious, and nail bitingly suspenseful...I'd still have thought this movie was awful. First, there is no mystery. Not long after the girl disappears, you see a flash of her being carried off. You can even tell who the man is! It's so predictable! The original has you wondering who can be trusted, if anyone, up until the very last scene of the film. This version makes the characters too one dimensional and answers most of the questions before you even have the time to ask them. No subtlety here at all! It's just boring and bad...actually, that's a bit harsh. It's not completely horrible, as the acting is pretty good and some of the shots are quite beautiful. For that, I'll give it a 3/10. Don't waste your time on this one. Find the original instead.
Live Again, Die Again (1974)
Sounds a bit ridiculous, but really not a bad little film
You know the kind of movie that, when you describe it out loud to someone else, sounds utterly ridiculous? Well this is one of those films. Thing is, though, 'Live Again, Die Again' is actually a pretty decent film. Donna Mills, as always, is gorgeous as the main character who's been cryogenically frozen for over 30 years and comes home to find everyone changed. Even harder for her to come to grips with is the fact that her daughter is apparently certifiable. And what's worse, she's got a lot of angst from growing up sans mama and seems to be intent on destroying anything that reminds her of her mother...especially her mother herself. Even though the slight 'twist' is somewhat predictable, there's still a lot of fantastic suspense build up in this film. It held my attention quite well. My only complaint is in the editing of the final scenes. The odd choice to use multiple shots in one frame and over the top of one another actually made it hard to figure out what was going on....and that's not a good thing when you're dealing with the climax of the movie. This is certainly not one of the best movie ever made. It's not even the best TV movie ever made, but all in all, it's a forgotten film that's worth giving a go. You won't be disappointed.
First Time a Horror Villain Made Me Cry
This is one of those films that you hear about for years but never get the chance to see. I've been aching to see this for ages, but never came across it until recently. It's not a bad little piece of early '70s horror, really. Actually, I only have two major gripes: First, the kid. He made me want to feed him to the rats for the majority of the film. The strange marionette obsession, the circus-like songs he 'wrote', the annoying heavy breathing when he'd supposedly overexerted himself....the kid's weird and in a male-Shirley-Temple kind of way. He's creepier than Ben ever thought about being. But I suppose it was meant to make his outcast status believable, in which case it works beautifully. No other kid in their right mind would hang out with Danny! My second gripe is with the climax of the film. Frankly, it just runs on too bloody long. Seems like watching the same scene over and over for twenty minutes, which is monotonous. Aside from these two small quibbles, I have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed 'Ben'. I've never had a horror villain make me cry before, but Ben not only had me all weepy at the end but I was rooting for him pretty much the whole movie. He's just so darn cute!
Really? That's the end? Really?
Right, so at first I was quite intrigued by this film. The beginning was a bit overdone and campy, but looked promising...B movie promising, that is. Then comes the realization that the beginning scenes are in fact a movie within a movie. Cue the ACTUAL movie. It seems as though the film maker is the descendant of the woman killed by the witch in the film we've just 'watched'. I was slightly intrigued again as this character was played by John Nolan, who I had just seen in an episode of Thriller, In The Footsteps of a Dead Man, from four years earlier which was quite good. Unfortunately, Terror just didn't live up to my hopes. The plot of the family curse by a witch is an old one and, while done well, can make a hell of a film, wasn't done in a convincing manner here in my opinion. The victims of the 'family' curse were mostly random bit players in the film not the 'descendants' who were supposedly 'cursed'. The deaths were nice and gory if you like that sort of thing. Unfortunately I generally don't unless the film is amazing and the gruesome deaths relevant...here, it's not and they aren't. There are many many scenes that just seem to go on for far too long in this film leaving you thinking, "Is this actually GOING somewhere or were they just padding the heck out of this movie?". The answer every time was, "No." and "Yes.", respectively. Then we get to the end...errr, the second 'end'. Literally, left me saying, "That's it? Really? That's the end? Really????
Trip with the Teacher (1975)
Z Movie.....as in zzzzzzz.....
Took me two viewings to see this film in its entirety. First time, I fell asleep less than halfway through. It's a mighty slow starter, folks. Once it does get going though, well, it's not much better. The premise is alright I suppose, for a B horror. Quite typical, really. Bad hippies/ex cons/psychotics on bikes terrorizing people for the hell of it. The acting was suitably bad, the victims were obligingly stupid and helpless. It was predictable as can be from the quiet girl getting killed to the third biker crashing but miraculously recovering in the end to save the day. Actually, it's a pretty standard B movie, which I'm normally a fan of. But I still can't give it higher than a 3/10, mainly because of the needlessly disturbing content and the rape scenes. Even a good movie has a hard time justifying those, and this ain't no good movie.
This episode scared me to death as a kid. I had nightmares for weeks!! In fact, it's the episode that I always remembered having nightmares about, which led me to research the whole series and watch it. Not to mention, it made me a mad fan of Hammer in general. As I got older, I couldn't remember if it was a movie or TV show and it was years before I finally tracked it down online. And it was just as good as I remembered!! The birthday party scene is truly terrifying. There is enough blood and gore to keep the slasher fan placated. But not so much that those of us who prefer atmosphere cannot enjoy every minute. In all, it's very creepy and has a well thought out plot. This is the best episode of one of the best horror series ever! Too bad it only lasted a season!
Les yeux sans visage (1960)
Wow. Just Wow.
I'm so glad that I took the time out to watch this gorgeously grotesque film!!! I'd always heard it was good, so when I ran across it, I was anxious to see if it really was as good as its reputation. Boy, was it ever! The Gothic creepiness is terrifying. The cast, especially the daughter, are amazing...how she can convey so much through that mask with just her eyes is just wonderful and tragically scary at the same time! Most importantly, the story is well thought out and presented. I love films that make me at least feel a bit of a connection with the 'bad guy'. The doctor, while being a serial killer, is still kind of pitiful. I mean, he's doing all this for the sake of his daughter who he obviously loves more than anything. The scenes of him consoling her are actually quite sweet. Course next thing you know, he turns around and knocks off some random girl for her face! But he's doing it for his poor disfigured little girl!! The ending is beautiful. Slightly grisly, but beautiful. This is a fantastic film! Go see it!! You won't be disappointed!
This House Possessed (1981)
Nice mood, but falls a bit short
First off, I DID actually enjoy this film. The suspense was definitely there, the cast was pretty darn good, and the action was fairly constant, which is more than I can say for a lot of similar films of this period. The worst grievance I have really is that I felt a bit was lacking in the explanation of why the house was possessed in the first place. While I understand that it loved 'Margaret' and wanted her to stay, there was no real explanation of just where the house acquired this personality of it's own. Two other little (really silly)annoyances: One, why did they continually drive around with that bloody back window open on the SUV all the time? And two, what was up with all the bloody singing? I understand he was supposed to be a rock singer (more like lounge singer, but I digress), but why on earth was I subjected to so much of that cheesiness? OK, OK, so it is the ever so slightly endearing cheesiness of an early '80s film, so it's kind of cute...but at one point, I was waiting for the house to hurry up and do him in already so he'd shut up! But all in all, I must admit that I didn't feel as though I'd waisted my time on This House Is Possessed. Actually, I kind of enjoyed it! Worth a viewing.