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Seriously?
20 November 2007
This is just.....ah! WHY is there a seemingly 11 year-old girl in this movie? That's just wrong on so many levels. Offensive and shameless, uninvolving, zero character development, bad quality and bad acting, but not in a good way, and utterly pointless. Not that a movie like this needs ALL of those elements, but, gosh, it could certainly use at least one of them! I really, really wanted to turn it off within the first few minutes, but I opted to stick with it because of the buzz. Bad idea. Why does that always happen to me? I should just learn to follow my instincts, and shut it off! Haha.

Avoid this disaster at all costs.
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Bizarre
20 November 2007
Warning: Spoilers
"There's a WOMAN chasing her with a chainsaw!"

Haha. Wow. Just wow.

This was a blasphemous abomination. Suffering through this nerve-grinder to only be let down with a wacky, cliffhanger-like ending was enough to make you wanna slap Renee Zellweger and Matthew McConaughey for starring in it. :(

Henkel mimics the 1974 original in many ways, with obvious modern updates, trading in the original's sympathetic, likable, and creepy characters for dumber, more over-the-top ones. There is zero suspense or self-awareness....its campiness is relentlessly psychotic and it definitely shows no respect to fans, either. And what the heck was up with the nipple dude?? The only plus is Zellweger, whose transformation in the film was well portrayed. She rarely lets us down. ;)

For fans of the series only.
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Woo woo!!
20 November 2007
Warning: Spoilers
"There's Roadkill all over Texas!" Starring then unknown Viggo Mortensen, this romp holds itself up with biting humor and genuine madness! All the stuff is here - good death scenes, lots of chases, good music and suspense. The cool thing, or the thing that really stands out, is that there's some decent foreshadowing here, too, with the Armadillo at the beginning - the heroine is unable to kill it. Then, at the end, she's made a complete 180 as she smashes the chainsaw dude with that same rock like fifty times, with NO hesitation. She was a changed woman. One of my faves, she is. "Sorry! Little! Guy! SORRY! LITTLE! GUY!" :D

The double R-Rated/Unrated DVD Version was shockingly excellent. Lots of extended scenes, yes, even extended gore (including an extension of the rock-beating at the end that I mentioned and even Viggo's alternate death scene), and even some great extras make it a must-have for any fan of this series. I unabashedly award it a 9/10.
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Captivity (2007)
Well....
20 November 2007
Warning: Spoilers
Controversial? Ha! Not hardly. It's more of a boring rehash of better films, if anything. Nothing new here. The lead is terrible and unlikeable...the movie overall is NOT scary, frustrating, and predictable, except for a part-way twist that's fairly decent and redeemable. There's also an extremely disgusting scene involving a blender that I won't bother regurgitating. So for those two details it gets a 5/10. Watchable, I guess. Vince is good, as always. The other dude was forgettable. :)

I'd recommend you approach it with no expectations. Don't read the descriptions on its cover cause it'll only get you all hyped up.
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*laughs*
20 November 2007
What was THIS mess? Was this a remake? Totally unfaithful to the original in so many ways it's offensive. And what the hell was up with the slutty babysitter? I preferred the one in the old version that had braces and was, well, more likely to be a real person....let alone a babysitter. Good performance by Ryan Reynolds. But watch the original, it's eons better than this mess. 2nd worst remake yet. It has zero suspense, no chills, no thrills, and it doesn't make you think....it doesn't really do anything...except fail entirely. Sorry. Whether or not it was a "re-imagining" or a "remake", it still sucked.

4/10, only for Reynolds' decent performance as George Lutz.
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Wolf Creek (2005)
20 Minutes of Gold
20 November 2007
Warning: Spoilers
The scene with the girl running down the deserted stretch of road in her bare feet is one of the most haunting things I've ever seen. Great cinematography, believable characters, and straight-up terror like I've never seen. There are some drawbacks....it's generally boring, but if you can mellow out and get through the hour and ten minutes of insipid dialog and occasional long drawn out silences, then you'll be in for a good time depending on your tastes.

I'd say you have to be in the mood for a movie like this. There's no action, really, until the last twenty minutes, and those last twenty minutes were superb. So don't rent this if you're expecting some grandiose, action-packed gore-fest....you'll only be disappointed. Rent it when you're in a mellow mood. :)

7/10
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Donnie Darko (2001)
Brief...
20 November 2007
After coming across 'Donnie Darko' several times while it was airing on cable, or something, I pretty much believed that it was something stupid since I always caught the scenes where all the kids are waiting at the bus stop and they always seemed to be teasing some girl, and I ultimately never stuck with it. But then, after coming across it at my local video store, I was surprised to see that it featured Drew Barrymore...and Patrick Swayze! Hmm. Odd. Where has he been? Anyway, I've read almost all of the reviews on this sight and I personally would find it exhausting and pointless to summarize the plot of this title...so I won't. What I will say is that 'Donnie Darko' is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and I believe that no one should miss it. Seriously. DON'T miss this one.

10/10 is my vote. Have fun with it. It's definitely on my top ten list for 'best films of all time'. Open your mind a little before you watch it, though. ;)
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Phantasm (1979)
Whoa
20 November 2007
"You play a good game, boy...but the game is finished. Now you die!" Sports the #2 scariest ending ever. Terrible acting, an original story, great lines, superb music, and some really messed up other stuff like evil dwarfs, an insanely tall mortician, a flying metal ball that performs lobotomies, and a huge fly make this an 8/10 for me.

Sometimes I find myself laughing (mainly at the lead's acting and its dated look), and sometimes I find myself genuinely creeped out. It's also totally original and inventive. Loved it. I wish there were more movies like this.

Recommended. :)
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Darn..
20 November 2007
Warning: Spoilers
*sigh* Of course, a disappointment. What a bummer. Someone needs to tell Wes Craven to stay retired and not come back anymore.

Alexandre Aja, who directed the remake of the original and who also directed "Haute Tension (2003)", should have done this one, too. Abandoning likable characters for over-the-top characters that illicit no sympathy is NOT cool, so who said it was? WHY do they always do that? Kill them all, who gives a hoot? This formula is the complete opposite of the first film. Too dark, too loud, no surprises, offensive, terrible acting, predictable, a yawn-fest, nobody to root for but the crazies, and a straight-up let-down. And, yeah, the rape scene was disgusting. Please don't do that again...or at least do it right next time.
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Witchboard 2 (1993)
One of those sequels.....
31 August 2005
Warning: Spoilers
'Witchboard 2:The Devil's Doorway' is the second film in director/writer Kevin Tierney's unorthodox trilogy of Ouija board films which center around, uh, well, Ouija boards...and their respective "evil spirits". This time around we have lovely and cute Ami Dolenz in the starring role. She plays Paige Benedict, an aspiring artist fresh out of a co-dependent relationship with policeman Mitch, who is now on her own for the first time. She rents an artists loft from a sleazy, overweight drunk named Jonas and his hippie wife Elaine(former SNL star Laraine Newman). Eventually Paige finds a Ouija board in her closet and out of curiosity she decides to play it and ultimately begins to converse with a spirit named Susan Sydney who claims to be the former tenant. Of course, Susan is helpful and friendly at first, revealing to Paige that one of her coworkers has stolen an important report from her. Next the spirit becomes demanding, and starts to off everyone associated with Paige unless Paige can call out Susan's murderer. Need I go on? We all know the drill, right? Same director, same writer, both the same person anyway, so of course the formula is familiar. The scare factor is just as high as the first film, and this time around the scare scenes are way better and will give you the chills. However, the spirit in part one was scarier as far as appearance is concerned. But I'm not complaining. Susan's appearance does suffice. :)

But the big reveal at the end in this one just ruined it for me. It was so hokey, and Susan's voice...and her laugh...it was just plain bad. That's my only complaint. The acting is average, the characters are once again well written, especially for this type of movie, and it just has that odd ability of grabbing your attention every time. You want to know what happened to Susan Sydney, so you keep watching.

So for that I don't want to reveal anything else because, at least for me, 'Witchboard 2' is one of those movies that you like that always escapes memory, therefore you forget important plot details, so for me it's fun to come back and watch it every year or so.

On an interesting note, since this is considered a sequel, this is one of those occasions where overall it was better than the original...but not by much that's why I gave them the same rating. Only by a little bit, but still better. I think it's only because of Ami Dolenz. :)

6/10 is my rating. Followed by the final installment 'Witchboard III:The Possession'.
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Weak sequel
1 July 2005
Warning: Spoilers
I watched 'Nightmare on Elm Street 5:The Dream Child' back in '89 during a matinée double feature with 'Jason Takes Manhattan'. The latter film came on first and I had a blast watching it(don't discredit me for that). Then came this film. After it was over my friends and I had nothing good to say about it. We mainly talked about how much we enjoyed the Jason movie. Compared to the previous films, with the exception of 'Freddy's Revenge', 'The Dream Child' kind of sucks. To me it is the most heavily cut of the bunch, and it goes the whole horror/comedy route which, in my opinion, worked in the previous installment but not in this one. The only part I found funny was in the opening scene where Freddy comes face to face with his nun mother, Amanda Krueger. Their exchange was pretty amusing, especially what Freddy tells her just before the church doors slam. Hilarious.

The film opens with Alice, one of the survivors from the previous film, in a dream sequence centered around the conception of Freddy Krueger, the whole "son of 100 maniacs" theme, with her as the mother. She wakes up disturbed and freaked out that she was not in control for the first time since she defeated Freddy. Alice temporarily puts it behind her in order to enjoy her graduation, but then later wakes up in a hospital to learn that she is pregnant and one of her friends has died in a car accident. This time around the dream sequences are happening while she is awake. This is because Freddy is using the dreams of Alice's unborn fetus to slay her remaining Elm Street friends. Pretty clever premise, nonetheless spoiled by a lack of stand-out. Alice isn't as interesting this time around, and Freddy is hardly on screen enough to please fans. It still works, though, thanks to the character Yvonne(Kelly Jo Minter)who played in several 80's films including 'Summer School' and 'The People Under The Stairs'. She's the unbelieving best friend with an attitude, and her job at the hospital is constantly in jeopardy because Alice keeps coming in rambling about Freddy Krueger haunting her baby's dreams. Kelly Jo is just fun to watch, and her being in the film is the only reason I continue to watch this one.

Dream sequences include a girl being force fed her own voodoo doll insides, a comic book world in which an ideal hero turns back into his own paper-thin wimpy self after being felled by Freddy's claw, a diving board that turns into a big claw, and an odd motorcycle sequence that I can't really describe. I think others have referred to it as the "Freddy bike". All the sequences would have been way better if they weren't so tame. I expected much more grossness to the force feeding sequence. It was obviously trimmed down. One shot shows her being fed the first bite, and in the very next shot her cheeks are completely full. In another scene, after one of the characters gets sliced up in a dream sequence all that we are shown back in reality is a bloody hand. That definitely spells disappointment. I shouldn't blame the filmmakers for trimming and trimming the scenes enough to get by with an R-rating, but since there is no unrated version then the R-rated version is all I have to base this review on...and I didn't like it this time.

4/10 is my vote. I hate having to rate it so low, but this installment is just not one of my favorites. Bottom line is that 'The Dream Child' is completely unscary with almost no gore or violence, so it relies on storytelling, dialog, and a lot of character interactions to pass the time. This was supposed to be a horror movie. At one point or another your going to have to toss a good amount of blood towards the camera to get my vote. Followed by 'Freddy's Dead:The Final Nightmare'.
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Cursed (2005)
Not a total bomb, but...
23 June 2005
"Unrated Version"

'Cursed' certainly isn't the worst horror movie ever made, but it isn't a very good one, either. I shouldn't say that it isn't good. Ignore that I said that. What I mean is that it just isn't special. More than anything else, 'Cursed' will inevitably become one of those forgotten horror movies, kind of like 'Shocker' or 'Witchboard'. You saw them, and even though you may have enjoyed them, the memory of the film did not linger for very long. This is the case with 'Cursed'. Surprisingly enough, at the director's helm we have Wes Craven, a script written by Kevin Williamson, makeup effects by Rick Baker, and a leading role played by Christina Ricci, who plays Ellie. Sounds like a recipe for greatness, huh? Not really. Craven's direction is fine, to say the least, and Christina Ricci, who I think is wonderful, seemed a little laid back. As for the makeup effects, well, it was a bit too animated if you know what I mean...what happened to those old school werewolf transformations from the seventies and eighties? Those were much better than the transformations in this film.

Warning:Minor plot details and details of one minor scene.

The movie opens on the first night of the full moon cycle, and while driving home, Ellie(Ricci), and her teenage brother Jimmy(Eisenburg), hit a large animal which then causes them to lose control and knock another car off the road. While Ellie and Jimmy try to help the passenger in the other car(Shannon Elizabeth), all three of them are attacked by what Jimmy believes is a werewolf. Now they're "cursed", hence the movie title. Ellie is unconvinced, but Jimmy does some research and discovers that several people have been murdered recently, and investigators believe that some wild animal is responsible. Now it is up to Ellie and Jimmy to find their attacker and slay him before they fully transform into beasts of the night. Basic formula, yeah, but with such a fine cast it could have been elevated above average. It wasn't. Ricci holds her own given the material, and Scott Baio even has a small role, and the movie also features Judy Greer(Wedding Planner, Adaptation, 13 Going On 30). She was okay, but I liked her better in her other films. There's also a small 'Urban Legend' reunion in Joshua Jackson and Michael Rosenbaum. Michael Rosenbaum wasn't very important, but Joshua Jackson gives a totally lethargic performance. He didn't get into it at all. I know the guy wasn't an award winner before, but I think he's lost some of his charm while being MIA over the last couple of years. Other than that the cast was good. Even Mya and Portia de Rossi have small roles. From what I've learned, most of these players weren't even going to be in the movie. See the "trivia" section. With those actors and actresses this film could have been much better. Woulda, coulda, shoulda...

Now onto the script. Kevin Williamson was the screenwriter of 'Scream 1 & 2' and 'I Know What You Did Last Summer', and he definitely pioneered the "teens avoiding horror movie clichés because they are in a horror movie" formula, and he did it well. With this script, however, I find it quite ironic that his writing falls right into those familiar clichés which he so cleverly avoided before. For example, after nearly being ripped to shreds by a werewolf inside an elevator, one character hears that all is quiet now and decides to leave her designated area of safety. What would the characters in 'Scream' say? There are other instances where he falls prey to similar clichés, but I'm not going to bash him for it. I still respect Williamson for his work, I thought 'Scream' was brilliant, but I just find it kind of funny that he couldn't avoid these clichés for very long.

In the long run, I would have to say that if you really feel like seeing 'Cursed' then go for it. It's not a total bomb, but if you're looking for something that's actually scary then I would recommend renting 'An American Werewolf In London'. I actually had a kiddie-fear of werewolves thanks to the opening scene in that movie. 'Cursed' failed to scare me even once, and given what I just said about my fear it should have been easy. No. This one was more concerned with playing "guess the killer's identity" and looking good on the outside rather than actually delivering something genuinely frightening. :)

4/10 is my vote. Bottom line, if you're looking for something scary then you probably won't like it, but if you're looking to be entertained for an hour and half then you shouldn't be disappointed.
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Prom Night (1980)
Needs an update
19 June 2005
'Prom Night' is a decent little slasher-mystery starring Jamie Lee Curtis in her third scream queen role. The movie also stars Leslie Nielsen as Jamie Lee's father and Hamilton High School principal. Everyone else in it are just bit players, but we must consider that this film stars one of the wickedest you-know-whats in slasher movie history. Her name is Wendy, and she is played by Anne-Marie Martin. Who this actress is, or was, I have no idea, but I know I hated her character with a passion. One of the biggest bonuses for horror fans in this movie will be the big chase scene with her and the killer quite near the end which was deliberately filmed super dark. You can hardly see what's going on and for me it is the best scene in the whole movie. Big points for Wendy's chase scene. It works since she plays the role well, and we've waited so long for this scene and it comes pretty much near the end, but it delivers.

Anyway, 'Prom Night' opens with a tragedy in which young Robin Hammond, who is Jamie Lee's character's little sister, accidentally falls to her death from a two-story window after being cornered by four brats(Wendy, Nick, Kelly, and Jude)who were trying to scare her. Freaked out that they may be in serious trouble, they all make a pact to take it to the grave, initiated by Wendy, the leader of the brats. Ultimately the blame gets pegged on some serial pedophile and no one ever suspects the four kids. But someone else knows and was there and saw the whole thing. We continue twelve years later. It's the day of the prom and all four of the kids receive raspy phone calls, asking them to "come out to play". It concerns most of them, but eventually their minds stray back to the prom. Some of them have dates, some don't. Jamie Lee ends up going with Nick who just dumped Wendy, so Wendy hooks up with Lou, who sort of serves as John Travolta's Billy Nolan from 'Carrie', and the two of them plan to play a prank on Jamie Lee and Nick since they were voted Prom King and Queen. Pause real quick. Remember, Nick is one of the kids who was involved with the death of Jamie Lee's little sister. Could you really keep a secret that big from someone you are "going steady" with? Also, the two other girls involved, Kelly and Jude, appear to be good friends with Jamie Lee's character. I don't think there is much logic in that, but hey, it's a horror movie. I have to overlook it.

In the end, prom dreams are sliced and diced as the vengeful killer begins knocking each of them off, eighties style. The movie is definitely pretty corny and cheaply made, but that's all part of it's charm. The suspense is there, the score is really creepy, and Jamie Lee does her thing. However, the best part is the mystery. Who is the killer? I'm sure we all know twenty-five years later, but it was fun finding out. Everyone is a suspect in 'Prom Night', as mentioned by Randy from the first 'Scream', and it will keep you guessing right up to the climax. Well, actually, when it gets to that point there are only a couple people left that it can be...but it was still a bit of a surprise.

Honestly, I think 'Prom Night' could use a remake. My VCR copy has such awful quality that it's really quite hard to see what's going on on the screen, and I hear that the DVD isn't any better, so I think we could all benefit from a remastered version, or even a remake at this point.

6/10 is my vote. A decent little slice and dice mystery from days long gone. How I miss them...
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Boogeyman (2005)
Ridiculous
9 June 2005
'Boogeyman'...another in the disturbing trend of PG-13 "horror" movies.

Okay. Now I am officially mad! I haven't seen a real horror movie since the 'Dawn of the Dead' remake which was like a decade ago already. Having just recently seen 'Darkness', 'White Noise', and 'The Amityville Horror'-remake, I will go ahead and vomit now that I took the chance and rented this one after clearly knowing better. I had heard a thousand times that it was awful, but I've just been starving for a decent horror movie that I decided to give it a chance. Bad, bad, bad. So bad. I had no clue of how I was supposed get involved in this ridiculous piece of garbage, and I really felt NO emotion while watching it. I wasn't happy, sad, scared, or anxious. Absolutely no emotion at all. And let me just point out that most of the time I like 'jump scenes', even though they aren't very genuine, but in this film they clearly served as a means to wake me when I dozed off. Unfortunately there was one every couple of minutes so they kept me awake for the entire duration of the film.

Overall my biggest issue with 'Boogeyman' is that it seemed completely disingenuous. The whole thing is one big numbing jump scene, and right when it became promising(when the girlfriend disappears)it got one hundred times worse. Lots of people getting flung around, lots of the boogeyman face screaming into the camera lens, lots of people disappearing, lots of traveling through time. Luckily I've learned a valuable lesson thanks to this film/I will avoid PG-13 horror like the plague.

3/10. Gave extra points for the decent acting from the Smallville guy and for remnants of a decent storyline. But I would avoid this title, especially if you like your horror movies medium-rare. :)
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Darkness (2002)
Avoid it...
26 May 2005
Wow. 5.5/10 is a pretty high rating for 'Darkness'. I'm not usually too hard on movies, but this title never really stood on its own feet. It borrowed from several movies in the genre, including 'They', 'Amityville Horror', and 'The Others'. That's not always a bad thing, but this one never offered up an ounce of anything remotely original. Everything in 'Darkness' has been done before, and with better results.

On top of that the performances were questionable. Aside from the charming Anna Paquin, who plays the daughter Reggie, we then have the mother, played by Lena Olin(Chocolat), who gave a rather wretched performance. What was going on with her? In my opinion there wasn't a bit of believability to her character. She had no compassion at all for her suffering husband or her concerned daughter, and there was really no process in between where at one point she's a loving wife and mother and the next she becomes an emotionless existence. She's just a mess from the get-go. The character was way too weird to be believable, basically. Then we have the father, somewhat reminiscent of the father in 'Amityville', who is slowly going mad from seizures provoked by a repressed childhood memory, and all the while quite incapable of bringing his character to life. In his case there wasn't any performance at all. Well, anyway, once strange events begin to occur in the house, which are limited to ghostly images of children lingering in the shadows, and also the odd behavior from her parents, Reggie begins to fear for her little brother's safety, so she starts the whole research bit on their house's disturbing history and....yeah, I bet you can see where this goes. And actually, to top it all off, it goes but it never gets there.

2/10 is my vote. An extra point for Anna Paquin. A poor endeavor, but if you insist on watching then at least get the unrated version. That way you'll get even more "flasing/disturbing images" scenes and some more cuss words. :)
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Memento (2000)
Film Achievement
29 March 2005
'Memento'. Hmm. Where to begin. It's all backwards....This clever little film-gem stars Guy Pearce as Leonard, a man suffering from a brain disorder which prevents him from making new memories. He cannot remember anything after the murder of his wife, and he has tattooed his entire body with clues about the killer's identity. This guy, in my opinion, is a mess, sadly. Can he really trust his notes? Oh my, the paranoia. Anyways, I know that films of late are often credited as "Hitchcockian", but this one is the only one that really is. It's original, to say the least, in an array of unoriginality that plagues most films nowadays. Great emotions abound. Paranoia. Confusion. Fear of the outside world. Deception. The story, honestly, is really nothing new, other than the brain-disorder part of it. I've seen several of these murder-mystery thrillers....but the great thing about 'Memento' is that its director and writer(Christopher and Jonathan Nolan)dramatize this classic tale in an intriguing and unconventional way. Great stuff. Can't complain about originality...

Overall, I was definitely pleased with this title, although I have a feeling I haven't quite figured it out yet. That's the beauty of it, though. I'll keep trying, and I have some theories, but I won't address them here...

10/10 is my vote. An awesome experience.
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Scary Movie 3 (2003)
The best so far...
29 March 2005
'Scary Movie 3' is the third installment in this wildly raunchy, comedy-horror-spoof franchise. This time around we have a new director, David Zucker, who was involved in the 'Airplane' movies, which I have not yet had the pleasure of seeing. Nothing against the Wayans' brothers because I think that they're great, but this Zucker guy finally got it right. He effectively combined the plots of 'The Ring' and 'Signs', and the entire movie definitely kept me entertained from start to finish. It's raunchy and offensive, but that stuff is actually funny this time. Not some stupid scene with a guy screwing a zombie-chick with a bag over her head. That was getting old. The only thing I was disappointed in from this sequel was the lack of the character Brenda(Regina Hall). She's only in a couple of scenes, and over the previous two films I have come to enjoy her character's sassy attitude(the theater scene in the original is one of the funniest scenes EVER). But oh well. From the looks of it she is going to come back for the fourth installment, along with Anna Faris. Cool. This series could go on into the double-digits, given that there is always some silly horror movie to make fun of.

8/10 is my vote. The best so far in the 'Scary Movie' franchise.
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Wrong Turn (I) (2003)
Almost Excellent
29 March 2005
Warning: Spoilers
I'm sorry. I had to give 'Wrong Turn' a 9/10. It was great. I was thoroughly surprised by it, and even though it's merely an homage to those other great films that did this whole bit better(Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Deliverance, etc.), I still find it to be somewhat unique and definitely entertaining.

This film stars Desmond Harrington(Ghost Ship), who plays Chris Flenn, a young man traveling by car to Raleigh, N.C. since he has no money to fly because he put all of his savings into the car he is driving. Unfortunately the interstate gets jammed up, so he decides to take a dirt-road detour, and eventually crashes into another car that was sitting in the middle of the road. Chris is unhurt, and the passengers of this other car were all out of the vehicle when Chris hit it, so none of them were hurt, either. Turns out these other travelers ran over some barbed-wire that was left in the middle of the road. Hmm. Interesting trap. Anyway, the only problem I had with a couple of these other vacationers is that they seemed more concerned about their own car and not concerned with whether or not Chris was hurt. They didn't even ask if he was okay! That kinda turned me off from them. And later on, when Chris, Jesse(Eliza Dushku), and two others go look for some help, the two remaining vacationers, the insensitive owner of the other car involved in the crash, Francine, and her stoned boyfriend, Evan, have sex on the side of the road after just raiding Chris's vehicle for CD's and cigarettes. I was glad when the two of them were taken out.

The rest of the characterizations are pretty decent for this type of film. You get to know the remaining four fairly well, and they're all relatively likable. It's even sad when they leave us. Then there's the mountain men. There are three of them, all horribly mutilated, thanks to generations of inbreeding, and they have a taste for tourists, if you know what I mean. Oh, I have one more minor complaint. There are so many missing persons in this West Virginia area, mostly tourists, and we naturally assume that the mountain men are responsible, due to the entourage of articles during the opening credits. Then later on we discover that the men have hidden all of these missing vehicles in a grassy clearing in the woods. Over the past thirty years or so, wouldn't a helicopter have seen that? Probably. Oh well.

Like I said in my title, 'Wrong Turn' is "almost" perfect. It has some simple imperfections, and it's all good. I've seen this title several times, and EVERY person I have shown it to was well pleased. So that says a lot, since most of the people I know despise horror films.

Overall, 'Wrong Turn' is great as an homage to some of those other classic horror films which feature a "wrong turn" scenario. It has some pretty memorable scare scenes, and it will definitely keep you on the edge of your seat once it gets going. I think it's great. A definite must-see.

9/10 is my vote. Great makeup, decent violence, and worthy acting.
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John Q (2002)
Worth a viewing or two...
20 March 2005
Warning: Spoilers
Just watched 'John Q.' again, for the second time, and although I was thoroughly pleased with the film the first time that I saw it, I have to say that I was not too impressed with it this time. The movie stars Denzel Washington in the title role, whose son collapses at a local little league baseball game due to heart failure. Well, it turns out that the son needs a heart transplant, and since John Q. has some shady health care, they will have to put the son on 'the list'. Anne Heche is the bad guy in the film, playing the Hospital Director, and I have to say that I thought that her acting was horrible in this one. Albeit Heche is NEVER that great, I still found this to be her most awful performance. She was stiff with the material. There was almost no emotion in any of her dialog. Still, film faves are abound in this in Ray Liotta, Robert Duvall, and James Woods, but Denzel steals the show with another stellar performance, working his best amidst all of the clichés.

Nevertheless, I still believe that 'John Q.' is worth a viewing or two, thanks to its ability to keep the audience entertained for a couple of hours. Like I said before, I really enjoyed this film the first time I watched it. It entertained me, just like any good movie is supposed to. However, I still have two major problems with this title. One is personal, and one is technical. Personally, I didn't like John Q.'s wife, played by Kimberly Elise. She's responsible for pushing her husband to "do something!!". And, of course, he results to desperate measures. Washington portrays a very noble, very brave father, and the wife just came off, in my opinion, as super-stressed and really pushy...and bitchy. She could have been a little more sensitive to her husband's situation. He was doing his best. And, technically, I do not believe that after John Q. takes a handful of patients hostage at gunpoint that the police would just casually hand over the hand-cuffs and tell him to put them on. Don't think so. I'm sure that situations of such threatening magnitude would not be treated so nonchalantly.

In summary, if you like Denzel movies, or you like fast-paced suspense or action movies, then 'John Q.' is for you. But if you're sometimes overcritical or you're a logic buff, then you will probably have a problem with this one.

7/10 is my vote.
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Season of the Witch...
20 March 2005
Warning: Spoilers
Having had many years to accept the fact that this title has nothing to do with the 'Halloween' franchise, I have basically, in a small way, come to accept this little movie all by itself. It's really not that bad, and definitely sports some pretty good scares.

The plot is this/Some sort of warlock named Conal Cochran wants to play a pretty rotten trick on every child in the universe, or at least those who celebrate Halloween and have a television. That is until he is sort of discovered by Harry Grimbridge, whom we meet in the film's opening. Harry is eventually killed in a Northern California hospital by one of Cochran's emotionless, obsessive-compulsive robots. Harry's daughter Ellie shows up, and teams together with a concerned and curious doctor, Dan Challis. The two of them travel to Santa Mira, the home of Silver Shamrock Novelties, where these mysterious masks are being mass-produced, and it just so happens that the late Harry Grimbridge was holding one of these masks when he died, spouting, "They're gonna kill us all". Well, this is getting kind of long. Basically it turns X-files-ish as Dan and Ellie try to foil Conal Cochran's plan before nine-o'clock on Halloween night. Do they? I'm not telling....Mwahahaha! Just kidding.

Anyways, there are several scary scenes in this film. One includes, among others, a woman who is poking at the Silver Shamrock thimble. Wow, my heart fell to my feet. What the hell was that?! And then the gore is there, thankfully, because without it this film would be nothing. So it works, if you can ignore the fact that it's called Halloween III!!! So where's Mikey? Big mistake, I think, but on its own it's really not that bad.

5/10 is my vote.
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No
20 March 2005
Warning: Spoilers
Tobe Hooper's 'Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2' takes place a whole fourteen years after the original film, and stars Dennis Hopper as vendetta-seeking Liuetenant "Lefty" Enright, who is some sort of relative to the brother and sister from the first TCM. After an opening murder scene involving two college yuppies, Lefty has his chainsaw-hunting tale published in the local newspaper. In comes Stretch, played by Caroline Williams, a local disc-jockey who just happened to record the whole murder during her request skit. Lefty convinces Stretch to play the tape again, on live radio, in hopes of drawing out the psychos that are responsible. Of course, Leatherface shows up late in the night, and Lefty doesn't. The usual madness ensues, including a pretty rough scene in which a man gets hammered to death. Not much else worth mentioning. Well, actually, the scene where Leatherface puts L.G.'s severed face onto Stretch's face was really funny, for some odd reason. Maybe it was because Stretch looked so hilarious, and that she said, "No, it's wet!" But, come on!! Tobe obviously tried to make this movie soooo different from the first film, and that's more than okay, usually, but it just didn't work for me, and everyone else that I know finds this title to be one of the worst movies...ever. And it is, in my opinion, one of the worst. The set was nice, though. Lots of caves, tunnels, and Christmas lights, and Caroline Williams definitely turned in a good performance. But it's ultimately not worth your time. I'm sorry. I guarantee that the majority of general viewers will not be able to finish it. It's not that I don't support originality, I just think that this one tried to be so different, and it ultimately ended up just making fun of itself.

I do NOT recommend TCM2, unless, of course, you are watching them all sequentially. Other than that I would definitely skip this title. 1/10!
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House (1985)
Underrated
18 March 2005
'House' stars William Katt as Roger Cobb, an accomplished novelist who moves into his creepy aunt's house after her suicide. In bits and pieces, the audience discovers that Roger once lived in the house, as well, along with the aunt, Roger's wife, and their now-missing son, Jimmy. Roger believes that Jimmy is trapped somewhere in this mysterious house, which just happens to be some sort of portal between past and present dimensions...I think? Anyway, the audience becomes involved, well, at least myself and the rest of my company became involved, and you start to feel for this poor guy who has really sorry luck...in all areas. Roger, our tattered hero, has the pretty neighbor Tanya, who likes to come and swim in his pool, and who ALWAYS catches him at the worst times. Then he has the nosy neighbor Harold, played by George Wendt, who might be out to exploit him or may just be generally concerned. I don't know. Then there is the neighborhood dog who likes to dig up Roger's "saplings"....

Overall, I find this to be a fairly underrated little horror movie. It's definitely one of Steve Miner's more innovative attempts, and the music, reminiscent of the F13 music and performed by the same man, Harry Manfredini, is thoroughly haunting. Also, most importantly, the acting is believable. Major points for that. None of this movie is hokey. It could have been...but it wasn't. 7/10 is my vote.
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Marta Kober
14 March 2005
Hmm. What to say without having a "direct to video" bias. Well, on top of how incredibly cheesy(yet fun)Slumber Party Massacre III turned out to be, there is also a fairly lengthy cameo from busty F13 vixen Marta Kober, who played 'Sandra' in the second 'Friday the 13th' film. I could tell right away by her voice, and with a closer look I could tell the face, too. So that was cool.

Furthermore, aside from the highly predictable premise of the film, I actually appreciated the characters because, although they are two-dimensional, idiotic buffoons who have NO idea how to dance...or act, they still stood out enough so that I knew who was who when it came to 'driller-killer' time. It's also pretty violent in a few scenes.

Anyway, I would definitely recommend renting this title one night if you happen to find it at your local video store...and if you are a slasher fan then I would recommend buying it if you can find it for a decent price. And by decent I mean under four dollars.

5/10 is my vote. Better than I expected it to be.
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Dish Dogs (2000 Video)
Silly
6 March 2005
Morgan(Sean Astin)and Jason(Matt Lillard)star as 'Dish Dogs', two buddy philosophers who travel the world, free of commitment, taking up dishwashing jobs at various restaurants across the country. Morgan is the the talkative one. Blah-blah-blah, immovable rocks and omnipotent gods. And Jason is the free-spirited sidekick who is basically just "going along" with Morgan's philosophical lifestyle. So, when they return home for a friend's wedding, Jason rekindles his relationship with an old flame Molly(Ward)and Morgan is left to do some soul searching. And, believe it or not, he ends up falling for ball-busting stripper Anne(Shannon Elizabeth), much to his own dismay. These two film stars are kind of an odd couple...

Anyway, 'Dish Dogs' is pretty amusing, and the script very rarely takes itself seriously. I do think that Sean Astin kind of talks too much, though. This may turn the viewer off, but I would recommend sticking with it. The second half of the film is much better than the first half because Morgan has to confront reality and stop asking those unanswerable questions about love and marriage. The ending is pretty cool, too, I guess.

5/10 is my vote. It has its good points.
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Witchboard (1986)
Entertaining enough...
6 March 2005
Warning: Spoilers
When I first saw 'Witchboard', back when I was about ten, I really found it to be quite scary. Having seen it recently I realize now that it is not scary but rather hokey, and kind of funny(intentionally). It stars Linda Blair, oh, wait, I mean Linda Brewster(Kitaen), a fiery redhead who believes she is pregnant and has an emotionally inept boyfriend, Jim(Allen), who, I assume, doesn't give her the attention she needs. This drives her to use the Ouija Board, which was accidentally left at her apartment by former-boyfriend Brandon(Nichols). She contacts David, the spirit of a ten-year old boy who supposedly died in a boating accident. David is helpful and friendly at first, but eventually starts to terrorize Linda so he can break down her resistance and ultimately possess her. He is only able to do this since Linda has been using the Ouija alone. She mistakenly tells Brandon about this, and he goes and confronts Jim with the news. Fearing that his woman has fallen into "progressive entrapment"(as suggested by Brandon)Jim recruits a medium, Zarabeth(Wilhoite, from Drowning Mona)to rid their apartment of this evil spirit once and for all...

Unfortunately for them, and since Linda used the Ouija alone and made herself vulnerable, it turns out that she was never really talking to a little boy at all. She was actually conversing with an ax-murderer who used to live in their apartment building, and she ultimately gave him the power to use the Ouija as a portal into the living world. Hmm...Malfator is the ax-murderer's name, and he is pretty freaky looking to say the least. Actually, this guy is the epitome of what a serial killer should look like.

Overall, this entire film is a little silly, but it still manages to be fairly entertaining. Brandon's acting is so bad that it's hilarious. Almost everything that comes out of his mouth is side-splitting-funny, and I don't believe his lines were meant to be funny, either. He's the more serious one. Jim provides the real comedy with lines like, "If Barbie's had been around that long then I guess you would be talking to them, too," and "Hey, man, I don't talk to cardboard." Tawny Kitaen is a beast, and displays some of her "domestic" qualities in a few scenes...hehehe. Watch for the scene at the lake...it provides a couple of genuinely scary moments.

In summary,'Witchboard' is nothing more than an entertaining and average horror film, and albeit better than its competition(Witchtrap, Witchcraft, etc.)it still remains an underrated little eighties movie...and maybe that says it all. I even presented it to one of my friends and after it was over he said, and I quote, "That is probably the dumbest movie I have ever seen." But I disagree. It's a good horror movie/guilty pleasure, and that's about it. Really, what more can be expected out of a film like this? It's already been done a million times before, so just watch it with an open mind and take it for what its worth.

6/10. Since it is sort of a trilogy, I do recommend watching this title before viewing the sequels, 'Witchboard 2:The Devil's Doorway' and 'Witchboard III:Possession'.
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