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Finally, a film that is what P.O.V Horror is supposed to be
This movie is a good example of what storytelling, believable narrative,character interplay and balanced action is ALL about. I was unacquainted with the sub-genre of this film and went into it expecting to let it unfold as a cautionary tale, in a similar manner as the movie Contracted. It is really rare,in my opinion, to actually stay interested as a film develops its characters and back-story. The solid acting, quirky dialog,pace and storyline are interesting enough that the viewer is content to watch as Derek and Clif prepare to undertake filming the vacation of a lifetime. Afflicted manages to avoid sticky,boring clichés and deliver some real thrills as the story and palpable desperation begins to unfold. Without giving away too much of the plot, I will say that this movie is EASILY one of my favorites in a much over-used genre, and the sympathetic, believable protagonists in the film will really keep you caring what happens to them next. Stick around for the credits and enjoy this refreshing, intense and superbly done film. Cheers!
Under the Bed (2012)
Bravo! Well-made,nostalgic horror for horror fans
I've seen several reviews of this work, and was shocked by the negative commentary. I found this movie to be a lot of fun, entertaining, engaging and ultimately really delivered the scares. This film has some of the cliché horror staples (ie. unbelieving parents,distracted,persecuted anti-hero-type..etc)but is legitimately able to build on them and do something original with them. This film is NOT for you if you are of the instant gratification/jump-scare mindset (which I absolutely hate). This film actually takes time to develop it's protagonist and supporting cast with enough depth,quirk and humor to actually make the viewer care what happens to them (even the people you may not initially like!). The film's ultimate selling point as a great little unsung feature, is its ability to be OK with NOT answering some of the pressing questions. It does so without leaving the viewer unsatisfied; better yet,it avoids answering the questions posed,but stupidly or cliché. I like and find the most intrigue/fear from features that leave you uncertain,but in an intelligent,realistic way. Incidentally, Gattlin Griffith as our hero Neal's younger brother Paulie has some real scene stealers and does a great and believable job of playing side-kick to Neal's anti-hero. All in all, I found this movie thoroughly entertaining,pretty much from the start and would recommend this for fans of the horror film genre. It's a slow but effective burn to the bloody,violent confrontation with hellish monstrosity that lives Under the Bed. Cheers!
A choppy mish-mash of half-explored ideas
I was prepared to love this movie. I read the reviews posted here, watched the trailer and was quite excited when I finally had a chance to view the film. As it turns out, I couldn't have been more disappointed. The film begins telling one story and clumsily transitions into something completely different. I am objective and pretty liberal when it comes to indie films. I have a healthy tolerance for a little disconnect as it relates to attempting to involve multiple elements is a decently written story. The fact of the matter with Cassadaga is it is not very well written. There are very few genuine scares and they come after irrelevant character interaction that is never explored deeply enough to matter and seems out of place. Some of the special effects in the film are outstanding,but sadly the weak storyline just doesn't support the effort.
Insidious: Chapter 2 (2013)
A Hillariously Underwhelming flop of a horror movie
I have read several stellar reviews of this film, which I rented last night, and have only one question; just what in the HELL were you people watching? The movie had great potential for scares (I watched it at the in-laws home in the dark hills of Carson City,NV with the lights off), and the movie actually had a chance at some story continuity established in the semi-frightening first chapter. That, I'm afraid is where the potential ended, and the hysterical laughter began for me. The antagonist,with her sudden screeching verbal/physical assault on the family was absolutely ridiculous and un-scary. Mrs. Lambert's reaction to viewing the last scene from the first film is completely dry,lame and unbelievable. I am a fan of the horror genre, and will make excuses within my own mind to excuse some substandard acting or events, if the overall effort is in any way ambitious. Here we have yet another(shameless) money grab for the mindless masses that have facilitated the lazy and uninspired garbage that passes for horror films today. Complete waste of time unless you are in the mood for an absurd,laughable 'horror' film that will put you to sleep when you aren't rolling on the floor laughing at the family being slapped around by the cheap-looking ghost.
WTF??? (Spoilers Galore)
I'm a huge fan of both the zombie sub-genre, and ambitious indie films. I came across "Deadgirl" on a list of most underrated indie horror films. I settled in thinking that the premise had a lot of promise to actually generate some chills and nail biter moments and boy oh boy was I wrong. Deadgirl is a juvenile,unambitious, convoluted film that doesn't know what it wants to convey and has plot/event holes in it that you could drive a semi-truck through sideways.I allowed myself to follow the cliché main characters' angst-ridden journey to the abandoned mental asylum, all the way to the unsealing of the ominous door that contained the title character, The Dead Girl. What followed was a confused, lazy approach to story telling that left me asking more questions that it even attempted to answer. The cheesiness was overshadowed only by the depth of the misogynist,homo-erotic exhibitionist overtones.J.T and Wheeler seem not only OK with,but anxious to watch each other have sex with "Joann", and eager to bring Ricky into the fold(s)necrophilia, as a taboo subject matter, is nothing new to me as I saw Jorg Buttgereit's "Nekromantik" almost 2 decades ago, to much better effect. This story is so full of undefined,lazily written elements it became frustrating to watch. The school parking lot beat down and subsequent kidnapping of Ricky and Wheeler was both unbelievable and completely stupid. Follow that up by antagonist/jock/bad-boy Johnny's being goaded into oral sex with the carnivorous Joann and you have a clear picture of the childish,ridiculous devices used to tell this potentially interesting story. I won't even begin to question seemingly random,misused elements like: the ominous black dog that I had assumed had some supernatural link to Joann(boy was I wrong; why Wheeler's whining,screeching admission of having their own private sex-slave motivated Johnny to even bother to kidnap Wheeler and Ricky and investigate the asylum. There are so many completely unreal and stupid attempts at moving the story along, that this already lengthy review would be twice as long as it already is.I will concede that Joann's makeup special effects are masterfully done and chilling (see: Ricky's daydream.) If you are about 14 years old, completely bored, and have no sense of the art of story narrative, please watch this movie. Anyone else that watches this ridiculous B.S is pretty much wasting an hour and change that will leave you feeling dumber for the experience.
Don't Be Afraid of the Dark (2010)
Ridiculous and empty
The mere setting of this movie garnered me more unease than the so-called story line! Although the acting was truly uninspired and unconvincing, the dialog and lack of any sort realistic response to being confronted by the supernatural evil in the estate was the final straw. What infuriated me even more was the fact that the 1973 original of the same title did a masterful job of exploiting the eerie atmosphere and mystique of the "fairies". They were MUCH too visible in this flop. Another failure in the film is the glaring inconsistencies as it relates to the creatures fear of bright light and selective targeting of victims (see: the groundskeeper). There are SO many points in the movie where proof would be evident, but is apparently and blindly over looked. This movie insults anyone with any shred of common sense (like the grounds keeper's facial wounds being unbandaged and unwashed by the hospital staff). Avoid this flop of a movie unless you enjoy being bombarded by stupidity.
Forget Me Not (2009)
A never ending cliché
First of all, if you actually enjoy this film and you are over the age of 18, you should probably raise your artistic standards (for lack of a better phrase)just a bit. This movie suffers from a number of problems,not the least of which, are its bodacious use of clichés and flat-lined characters that we have all seen hundreds of times (and probably better executed)over the years. The actual story had potential in the hands of a competent film maker,and the special blood effects were pretty well done. HOWEVER, the awful monster effects are something you can see on any youtube facial transformations videos and FAR sub-par for a so-called movie. I hated the majority of the one dimensional characters immediately,and the only one I was convinced might have been modeled from a realistic personality-type was the younger brother. From the exaggerated, MTVish usage of the terrible soundtrack to accentuate the recklessness of the 'typical teen' archetype, to the bogus reactions of the characters in various situation ( see: the cop and his daughter...yeah riiiiight)this movie utterly fails. I'm pretty sure any real horror fan with access to a laptop and track board could have made a superior production. Seriously, if you are able to make it through this entire nonsensical movie I commend you for your resilience and shake my head at your having voluntarily wasted your time on this turd of a movie.
The Strangers (2008)
I can't tell you how disappointed I was by this nonsensical bull**it. This movie was soooooo cliché and the "victims" were completely stupid people. A complete and utter waste of time,The Strangers is indicative of the empty,flash in the pan thrills people call cinema. Not even worthy of a good startle reflex,because you can see what's coming from a country-mile off! If the protagonists in the film had acted at all like people in real life, this movie probably would have been over about 5 minutes after the drawn-out, emotionless stiff attempt at developing the character's recent romantic history together.Do yourself a huge favor and don't bother watching this movie. It is a sub-standard offering in a much overplayed genre. If you are a semi-intelligent person over the age of 12 or 13,The Strangers will indeed provoke a deep emotional response from you: Anger for having wasted your time on a movie you've seen done better 100 times over. Absolute garbage.
An original,stylish and thrilling piece of work
Pontypool was an amazing film for a number of reasons.The story pays a respectful homage to horror greats like Night of the Living Dead and 28 Days later without ever becoming cliché. The approach to the mass "infection" was something that I never saw coming. The acting was excellent and I got the genuine impression I was listening to talk/news radio. The authenticity of the radio broadcast and culminating events were enough to actually draw me into the anxiety that the characters felt,which says a lot considering the 2-dimensional feel of the majority of movies I have seen as of late. I highly recommend this movie to any real sci-fi/horror fan that is fed up with the standard fair.Also, watch the final frames after the credits! Great job. 10/10
Survival of the Dead (2009)
Zombies on Horseback??
I grew up DREADING Night of the Living Dead. Dawn of the Dead scared me so badly, I wanted to leave boyscout camp early. Even the last GOOD submission, Diary of the Dead has genuinely chilling moments that haunt me. Land of the Dead began a serious down turn in the Horror legacy of The Godfather,George A. Romero. The zombie "leader" was a little more than my jaded Z-fan sensibility could bear, but even that outrage PALED in comparison to the disappointment I felt after watching Survival. A total hokey,gimmicky failure that made some seriously pathetic attempts at blending horror and dark comedic moments. I was Hugely let down by the empty-headedness of this garbage flick, especially as it pertains to a genre that I grew up both being terrified of, and hopelessly drawn to watching.
Lake Dead (2007)
Lake Dead should be called Lack Dread
At the risk of sounding overly judgmental, this movie is total nonsensical GARBAGE.From the way sub-standard make-up effects, to the OMFGWTF cliché storyline, this movie is a complete let-down and does not belong on the Horrorfest roster. It's full of silly inconsistencies and plot holes big enough to drive a Mac truck through. Not even good for a cheap thrill. This movie is like every poorly written slasher flick thrown together and sold to a producer desperate for crack money. Don't even bother watching this flick if you get a chance to see it for free; you'll feel like you want the time wasted watching it refunded to you! The fact that After Dark Films allowed this lackluster submission into their annual horror anthology would bother me if not for some of the outstanding work I've seen in the collection.