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Under the Bed (2012)
You can tell from the title alone that "Under the Bed" is attempting to pay homage to the host of other child-horror movies that proceeded it in the eighties. You can see there is real love for films like "Gremlins" "Monster Squad" and even "Poltegeist." The story starts out well enough with a teenage boy returning home years after a tragic event took his mother's life. His younger brother is happy to see him back, but old wounds from the past resurface and both boys are put in a position where they must choose to finally confront the monster that has been plaguing their family for years. The major problem with "Under the Bed" is that it really has no idea what kind of movie it wants to be. Moments in the movie have an innocence long lost throughout the years of horror, but at other times it attempts to be too grown up for its own good by using profanity and generous amounts of fake blood. If this was the movies only sin, we could probably give it a pass, but it is not. The script is shaky to say the least, while many parts throughout simply do not make sense. It also does not help that the shoestring budget is very evident up until the last 20 minutes of the movie. I certainly respect the guts of all involved in trying to accomplish this feat on what little they had to work with, but there are much more suitable, and frankly better child horror movies to sit down and watch for ninety minutes.
The ABCs of Death (2012)
There should be a zero rating
I've been a horror lover all my life. I especially enjoy anthology films like "Creepshow." I was super excited to see some up and coming filmmakers showcase their talent. Little did I know that this is what would happen. There are maybe two to three decent shorts in here, but for the most part this is embarrassing. Rather than concentrating on telling interesting horror tales, the filmmakers here have decided to make crude and incomprehensible films. Most of the stories concentrate on sexually perverse imagery. The few decent (when I say decent I mean up to the level of an amateur) shorts are surrounded by absolute garbage. There is no artistic merit to be found. Most of the stories are lazy and inept. It's sad to say that most of the amateur shorts that were made for the contest leading up to this film are far superior. This is embarrassing. I am ashamed that I paid to watch this movie. If most of these shorts were introduced in an introductory film school class, they would be torn to shreds. This is quite possibly one of the worst films I have seen in my life. I'm sure people will jump to the movie's defense and say things like "they were given creative freedom" or "this is art, you just don't get it." Sorry, this is trash! This is bottom feeder garbage. Don't pay to see this movie and don't waste the two hours watching it.
The Collection (2012)
A great idea for a sequel
In my opinion "The Collector" was a very underrated film. "The Colletion" is a worthy sequel, but it is far from perfect. Dunston and Melton came up with a great way to continue the story, but the cracks show in this follow up. They decided to go the "Aliens" route and introduce a band of mercenaries that attempt to track down the collector, save the life a young woman, and put an end to his crimes. They bring our hero Arkin, fresh off his escape from the hands of the collector, to guide them through the collector's maze. The story itself is awesome, but shoddy dialogue slightly derails the story. The practical effects are great, but many of the traps seem recycled. Josh Stewart, as Arkin, is enjoyable as always. Don't get me wrong, this is an fun movie, but at only around 75 minutes, the story is too fast paced and a lot of the creepiness is lost in favor of "gruesome" death sequences. Not having Randal Archer return was also a mistake. It was nice to them revisit the story, but hopefully if they do it again they will take a little more time fleshing out the characters and getting rid of some of the dialogue. If you do see this movie you will at least walk away saying "Arkin is hardcore!"
Silent Night (2012)
Great practical effects, but clunky execution
Let me get this out of the way. I had not seen the original "Silent Night, Deadly Night" until last week. I am a huge horror fan and this one kind of slipped under my radar. The original is by itself pretty bad. The acting is bad and any shades of a good horror movie are lost in the mess of bad acting and nonsensical plot. This movie attempt to rectify the problems with the original by establishing a much simpler storyline. The kills are there for sure. The practical effects are for the most part pretty good. It's a welcome sign to see a horror film that attempts to take full advantage of the advances in practicals. There are some cool callbacks to the original and its sequel while at the same time the film separates itself from the original series. The major issue with the film is that it's just not very exciting. Kills happen, and they are cool, but there is just no tension built. Even though the storyline has been slimmed down compared to the original, it feels like they missed a lot of opportunities to develop some three-dimensional characters. Everyone is just kind of there. Malcolm McDowell is the weakest part of the movie. I'm not sure when he decided to start playing every character the same, but his crazy old man routine is getting stale. Jamie King is mostly okay. We really don't much of a back story on her character and her eventual transformation is kind of out of left field. Donal Logue is probably the best thing in the movie, but his character is also just another throw in. It's a weird movie because it looks professional enough to be a wide release movie, but the holes in the film are just too wide to overcome. All and all it's a fine rental if you have 90 minutes to waste, but it certainly doesn't break any new ground. The original is certainly not hallowed ground. It's the kind of movie that just begs to be remade. I'm fine with what we ended up with. This isn't The Exorcist, The Thing, or Halloween so I'm not going to go off the deep end over a classic being remade.
The Descent: Part 2 (2009)
Better than most of the American Horror, but a little stale.
First off I am a huge fan of the first film. Sure there was a little too much of the girl power stuff, but it was original and truly scary. Now the Descent part 2 comes along and tries to replicate everything that made the original so good. It's successful in some ways and a massive failure in others. Let's start with the good: water scenes are really claustrophobic, the monsters are still pretty scary and Sarah is a good lead. Now the bad: blood scenes are complete overload, male characters have no personality and are complete weaklings, apparently Sarah and Juno know some type of martial arts? and there are lights on in sections of the cave!!??? The movie felt cheaper and it felt like it was shot in a sound stage, the first movie felt like you were really in the cave. My biggest complaint is that after seeing the first one, this movie seems like an inferior knockoff. Bringing them back in the cave for more of the same is just too easy. Bringing the monsters out of the cave would have been much better! Think Alien compared to Aliens. This would have opened the story up a lot more. The ending was a silly twist that was completely unnecessary. The worst part about the film is that there is no character development! This was the key of the first movie. We actually cared about each girl and we really felt for Sarah. This may sound like a very negative review, but it's that way because my hopes were so high. It's still a decent horror flick and was more that deserving of a theater release in America.
Good old action!
After the disappointment of Universal 2 I was afraid this would be just as bad or maybe worse. To my surprise it ended up being a pretty good action movie. The story is straight forward. A situation arises and requires the return of Luck (Van Damme). The fighting scenes are pretty well crafted and the return of Lundgren was quite enjoyable. I suppose I need to remind people again that these types of movies are not intended to change the world! They are action movies and should be reviewed as such. As far as the bad, the story is really basic and the movie is a little short. I was pleasantly surprised by the acting overall. Yeah there is almost no dialogue, but Lundgren and Van Damme seemed to have learned a little bit about their craft. I hope Van Damme continues to make these types of movies and I look forward to one of them getting a serious theatrical release. It's been a long times since one of these movies has hit the big screen. I for one would love to support this type of movie.
Ninja movies are back!
First let's get one thing straight! This is a genre movie. If you go into it thinking you are going to watch the Godfather then you are going to be disappointed. Scott Atkins delivers the goods big time as the hero ninja Casey further cementing him as a go to action guy. The moves this guy can do are out of this world. The story is pretty basic. An adopted American taken in and raised as a ninja. The fight scenes for the most part are beautifully done. Tsuyoshi Ihara is the real discovery of this movie. This guy should be getting some steady work. Now the bad stuff. The C.G.I. blood was cool in some parts, but over the top in others. The gliding with the wings could have been left out. The C.G.I. was a little over the top in the sword fights. I was also disappointed with the character Namiko. She was a little to frail for modern day women in action movies. Yes there are some cheesy lines, but that is part of the fun of these movies. The movie screams old school 80's movie, but in a good way. It ends up being a far superior film than Ninja Assassin and was made for a fraction of the cost. If you love action movies and hate the metro-sexual heroes that we get jammed down our throats every film then this is the movie for you. I hope we get to see more like this because this movie had my blood racing the entire time.
What a waste!
Such a good ending wasted on such a bad movie. I never understood why people liked this movie. I guess Michael returns and that makes it acceptable. While some of the eerie Halloween flavor is still intact you can tell the story is running pretty ragged. Dr. Loomis spills out the same dialogue about Michael being pure evil. The towns people don't believe him at first then find out he's for real.Blah blah blah. You know where this goes. The only saving grace is the ending which is a mirror image of the beginning of the first. It would have or should I say could have breathed much needed new life into the series. It could have taken it out of the shadow the character Michael but alas. Just like in so many instances of this series they screwed it up big time. How may mistakes could one series make and still be successful? Well if you want to see all the movies go ahead and check it out but for me the only Halloweens worth a damn are Halloween, Halloween 2, and H20.
Halloween: Resurrection (2002)
Top 10 worst movies ever!!!
On the one hand I'm happy Jamie lee Curtis took the 3 million to do this. It's nice that she got some of the payday. I also like that it took the character Laurie away form the horror that this series became. But on the other hand Laurie should not have died and this piece of crap should never have seen the light of day. The movie starts based on the worst premise ever having had Michael switch places with another person in H20 so he didn't actually die. That doesn't really explain why he would rise up in the back of the ambulance, attack Laurie and be able to stand right up after a car hits him. After that we get a little Laurie vs Michael, Laurie dying, then Michael killing a bunch of college students on a reality show. The performance of the movie is made by Busta Rhyms. He yells things like f*** and motherf***er and it's actually some of the worst dialogue I've ever heard. He then Bruce lee battles Michael myers complete with Bruce lee sound effects and ninja kicks.( I am actually being serious this really happens!!) All and all one of the worst movies I have ever seen. I wonder why the director from Halloween II would come back for this. I always felt the second film could stand up almost equal to the first. I'm sure he got a much needed payday. If there was a zero rating I would give it to this movie it should never have been made.It destroys all the good the series had and should be burned and forgotten forever!
A pleasant surprise
Quite a surprise to see such a good movie highly ignored. The film is shot similar to the Bourne movies but carves out it's own niche. Great job by Neeson who once again proves that he can basically do any role and is highly underrated. The premise of the movie is simple and the action starts out with a bang. I just wish the release date would be the same in the United States as abroad. Supporting cast is solid.Action seens ae intense and much more realistic then what is normally shot. I think this could have had a very good theatrical run but being released so early in other countries means it will just be pirated. Hopefully we'll get to see a sequel but I doubt it. Check it out you won't be sorry.