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Blair Witch (2016)
Nothing to see here. Move along.
It wasn't even half into the film that I started thinking about all the underpriviledged people in this world and how better the money could have been spent. This sequel/reboot does nothing for fans of the 1999 original and I doubt it will endear newcomers to the franchise. By the time we get to 'the creepy house' cliché', Blair Witch 2016 becomes a Scooby-Doo episode and I'm not even going to get into the plot-holes & inconsistencies. I'm pretty easy on Horror films but there is one action in this one's finale sequence that nearly led me to walk out. I was 28 when the 1999 film dropped and I know that society is being dumbed down through music & media but this movie just takes the cake. Tripe such as this only serves as a wake-up call to those willing to take heed. Skip it and view the original.
Alien Abduction (2014)
POV film shot by a minor with autism - no, seriously.
This is a POV film shot entirely through the eyes of a minor who admittedly has autism. No, seriously. The only reason I forced myself to make it to the end of this film is because I spent the day vegging on B movies with low IMDb ratings - I had LOW expectations. It seems direct-to-video is primarily what Netflix is offering these days so I thought I'd give them a go. Some were fun and funky but this one is just utter crap - be forewarned. If you enjoy frame after frame of images that are either distorted, out of focus and/or out of frame then this movies is for you. Alien Abduction started off OK but honestly, a high school freshman could pull this poor excuse for a feature-length film off.
I was impressed with the overall tone of your film - so much so that I checked out your credentials at Wikipedia. A few things just didn't add up for me with this movie and perhaps these can be addressed in future installments. 1. Where is Josef getting his money from? Trust fund baby? The call from his sister added a nice layer of tension but if such a danger, 2. Why is Josef not in a psychiatric hospital? Did he escape, buy a cell phone, call his sister and she's then calling him back? Again, where is this money coming from?? I'm going to assume that Josef obtained Aaron's address via the towing company but this is also a question that lingers. Finally, Aaron is spooked enough to sit in his car upon first meeting Josef and yet he doesn't sit in his car for their final meeting after everything has gone down -and- he sits so comfortably on a bench that he can't even be bothered to look to his left or right. What is that? I would like to rate this movie higher as I think it's original and indeed creepy - just wished it had been airtight.
The Visit (2015)
Not sure if M. Night is waving at us or giving us the finger ...
As I write this, per IMDb, this movie has made its financial return five times over. I'm hoping it's just M. Night's way of saying that he can still pull because for the guy that gave us The Sixth Sense, The Visit is nothing spectacular. I admit that I didn't get the twist until its reveal -and- he got me good as I was looking for something much deeper. Still, it was underwhelming... in a 'The Village' sort of way. The best (okay, second best) is yet to come and I believe it will come within these indie excursions. This review comes from someone who gives Lady In The Water a thumbs-up so I am on the generous side. As long as I don't get another 'Devil' with its totally misleading adverts or 'The Happening' which has me still wondering what happened, M. Night is cool with me. I may be missing one or two stinkers here but he's entitled to a few.
The Babadook (2014)
It's technically 'Drama' but I'll take it over the POV Horror crap Hollywood is spitting out any day
Untreated depression is quite horrific and if you think this movie is stupid then you've never had a parent tell you that they wish you were never born. Original, poignant and well-acted, I found myself losing sleep as this bogeyman is as about as real as they come. The story goes a bit haywire towards the very end with the stabbing sequence but as with depression, it usually gets worse before it gets better. It's a little hard to place this one as it could even be a children's story for those affected by depression. Imagine kids knowing they are not alone in what they are experiencing? Usually, they are much too young, too frightened or simply don't know how to reach out on their own.
The Prowler (1981)
I hope Joseph Zito got the help that he needed ...
I have not seen nor do I plan to see a snuff film but from what I've heard about them, The Prowler (1981) is pretty close. The aforementioned director, Joseph Zito, plays out these death scenes as if he were getting real pleasure from them. It's scary and uncomfortable to watch to say the least and I can't think of any other slasher movie to come close. With others, there is always an underlying sense of humor and/or a question of believability but this one is relentless. Even the cat and mouse scenes are frightening. Let's just put it this way, it's December 2014 and upon this first viewing, I'm creeped out. I think a lot of it too has to do with zero character development - either that or the 1981 dialogue was lost on me. It starts of painfully slow and you don't feel a connection with anyone which sort of places you directly in the shoes of the killer. Not sure if this was intentional but it's kind of genius. 7.5/10
A $165,000,000 trainwreck
This film is tripe. Synonyms - cheese, crapola, dreck, muck, rubbish, sleaze, slop, slush, trash. Related Words - camp, kitsch, claptrap, humbug, nonsense, bomb, clinker, clunker, dud, lemon, stinker, turkey; mess, muddle, shambles. The one good thing about this movie is that it made me want to view Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey again. Not even IMAX saves this film and an 8.9 rating here is proof that Hollywood owns IMDb. You'll be better of getting your reviews from Rotten Tomatoes because this movie isn't at all fresh. Christopher Nolan, you had me with Inception but you lost me here. Please leave the 'blockbuster' drama to Steven Spielberg and the planetary Sci- Fi to Ridley Scott & James Cameron. Thanks.
As Above, So Below (2014)
So bad that I had to watch it twice
These movies are cheap to make but they must stop now. When a mastermind of horror like John Carpenter has a script ready for The Thing 2, why on earth are the studios trying to feed us this drivel. This is a 4.3 movie at best and the ratings hustle is the only thing that's scary about this POV horror movie. Please people - stop paying to see these POV/found footage movies and the studios will stop making them. I waited for it to be uploaded online and I viewed it twice because I couldn't believe how bad it is. Did someone tamper with it before uploading it? Did I miss something? Were my expectations too high? Nope - it's garbage.
Horror filmmaking at its finest
This is quite possibly the scariest thing I've ever seen. Even scarier is that the actual caller was not convicted despite direct evidence connecting him to other calls similar in nature. You are what you eat and if Super Size Me didn't put you off of fast-food then this movie surely will. I took a pause just now to put myself in the manager's shoes but there is no way in hell that I would comply with this caller - no matter how busy and/or flustered. And if in fact the caller said the district manager was on the other line, why not ask to speak to the DM? Yes, she was bullied and brainwashed but have a fraction of a brain. When a drunk fiancé is called in, I knew it would go from downhill to crash and burn. 'Napoleon Dynamite' gave us a comical look at rural America while 'Compliance' shows us its horrors.
Devil's Due (2014)
No wonder Eli Roth liked this film
I can only imagine Eli Roth liking this film because it nods to 'Hostel' in that tourists are easy prey. Devil's Due sucked balls through a coffee stirrer and the only thing due is my time. One would think that this is the last nail in the coffin of the POV/found-footage genres but as I type this, 'As Above, So Below' is now in theaters competing for the worst POV/ found- footage film of 2014. PLEASE STOP. It must be economical to make these types of films but if you are a failing company, go out with some dignity. I streamed this for free and to think that I nearly hopped on a subway to travel to the cinema and pay to see this? This isn't even worthy of a drive-in movie double feature.