Change Your Image
Upload An Image
Crop And Save
Caltiki il mostro immortale (1959)
Solid enough if still flawed early creature feature
Heading to a Mayan village, a team of scientists looking to understand the mystery surrounding the disappearance of a long-dead city only to come across a living blob of radioactive material that kills whatever it touches and continues to grow in size, forcing the team to stop its deadly rampage.
For the most part, this one wasn't all that bad of an effort. One of the most impressive efforts featured here is the absolutely stellar and imposing atmosphere created by the ruins within the temple. The large, elaborate caverns that make up the majority of the spaces within the temple that we witness here as well as the excessive and extreme look of the different statues and decorations placed through offers a really enjoyable and creepy opening. This is greatly enhanced by the rest of the atmosphere around the village outside, where the local tribe being shown hanging around the temple gives this some extra benefits. The scenes of them warning the team away through their somewhat suggestive dancing and their customs about dealing with the figure within the area gives this one a rather enjoyable setup. As well, the film's most impressive and important feature here is the action scenes with the giant blob in action, getting off some really impressive scenes. The creatures' first appearance in the underwater cavern and attacks the member of the expedition starts this off with a great sequence, leading into the wild attempts to stop it that drives the film going forward as the second half gives this some more wild creature action in the village as now only does the rapidly-growing creature running loose but also the deformed victim trying to seek help for his condition in the wrong manner yet still leaving this one with a strong and frenetic finale that has so much to like. Coupled with the fine gore effects for the devoured bodies, these manage to hold it up rather well over its flaws. The main issue to be had here is where the middle section of the film bogs down to the point of being utterly bland and boring. Once the monster is released and thought dead, it drops the creature feature format into being more about the research into the creatures' origins to the complete detriment of scenes featuring it still being active and around. Normally that would be changed around into keeping the monster around during that time-period as this one is just dull to get through with the technical jargon describing the creature and its history so this becomes rather boring. The other big letdown is the surprisingly obvious cheap-jack nature of the film, from the low-rent sets to the lack of extras and overall look of the film that's somewhat hard to get over. Otherwise, there's not a whole lot really wrong here.
Today's Rating/PG-13: Violence.
Camp Death III in 2D! (2018)
Silly and uproarious if somewhat flawed effort
With the psycho thought dead, the reopening of a summer camp for delinquents and other abusive people is threatened by a maniac cutting a trail of destruction through the participants, and once they realize the true nature of the psycho set out to stop him before he kills the entire camp.
This is definitely a fun and enjoyable parody. That this one takes on the concept of the jokey nature from the very beginning allows this one plenty of fun not only with the overall setup of the backstory spoofing so many slasher killer's histories in order to get going alongside the slapstick comedy featured prominently throughout here starts this off on a fine note. The laughs here, from the abusive camp-leader who's violent, racially insensitive and snaps at everybody around him for no reason, to the equally violent and utterly unpleasant campers to the moronic counselors who are completely unfit to lead anyone anywhere which is all part of the joke with this one. This incredibly goofy and silly approach works nicely to give this effort a truly light and free atmosphere full of jokes and laughs for the majority of the film. The laughs here are all perfectly served for the later scenes featuring the killer in action which is played to comedic effect as well. These elements are treated seriously enough that the series of attacks laid out here are somewhat entertaining, including the opening rampage against the different victims, the killer's first victim in the camp and the series of attacks against the campers where the idea of using the killer's POV to stalk victims through the woods in fantastic parodies of traditional slasher setups. As the finale includes a rushed if still incredibly creepy rapid-fire series of scenes featuring the discovery of the dead bodies strewn around the camp which provides the launch into the high-end battle with the killer at the lake, there's some decent amounts of fine slasher work getting some nice gore involved as well which makes this quite fun as well. There are a few minor issues to be had with the film. The overriding issue to be had with the film is whether or not one's tolerance for the style of comedy present will win everyone over which isn't the case. The goofy, silly and outright insensitive jokes and comedy, complete with constant racial and sexual slurs manages to provide the atmosphere of being non-politically correct which might not appeal to most out there, which goes hand-in-hand with the constant forcing of the situation towards slapstick jokes that could not possibly be seen as funny to those looking for a coherent, cohesive narrative. Likewise, the fact that the finale is incredibly rushed, moving through the slasher setup of the dead body discovery that shows all the campers having been killed already but not done on-screen which turns straight into the confrontation with the killer that's incredibly quick and feels at odds with the rest of the film. Along with the low-budget look that's quite obvious throughout here, these hold this one down.
Rated Unrated/R: Extreme Graphic Language, Comedic Graphic Violence and drug use.
Psycho IV: The Beginning (1990)
All right conclusion to the series
Inspired by a local call-in radio show topic, the psychotic killer calls in and begins recalling his time as a youth, and as he goes through his life story and all of the mental torture inflicted on him he's able to uncover the horrible secrets that puts everyone around him in danger.
As the concluding chapter to one of the greater series around, it really could've been great. The main aspect that works here is the fact that the film gives away its plotline through flashbacks, but it does it while not being utterly confusing. That is a major feat in itself, since this is able to clearly keep the flashbacks and the modern time in a rather easy manner, a technique which rarely works since that mostly leaves the film a big, huge mess. The backstage antics both at the radio-station once they figure out the their caller and trying to keep him under control and the different stories that are told over the course of the interview, ranging from the first set of killings in the motel to the way the actual incidents he always described which give this some really fun moments that have always been apart of the franchises' legacy from the start, helped along nicely by the glorious psychological ranting that's included along the way. The other rather enjoyable aspect here is the final part of the film is a very creepy and suspenseful part, and it really hits the right mark on just about every angle being filled with chases, the strategic hiding places, and the Gothic-style thunder and lightning striking all throughout to make it a very creepy scene and end it on a high note. These are it's best moments as it's a rather flawed film, and it shows at times. The one biggest flaw is that it doesn't gel with the rest of the series all that much. These are big spoilers but the film mostly just makes up several events and ideas and places them together with new ideas and elements, which not always gel at all with most of what's been said about the series and the past. It might be a problem for the most hardcore fans as it's such a rapid departure, but there is a pretty noticeable shift that does occur. The other is that the first half of the film is really slow, as it concentrates on the life of Norman and his mother. It doesn't invoke any scares at all and mainly just seems to be there only for the building up of the story and not on making scares, which is rather crucial here. None of these issues make for all that creepy a series of scenes and it just causes the film to drag on with its simple one-note setup. Other than these two problems, it's not that bad a film.
Rated R: Violence, Language and Nudity.
Psycho III (1986)
Highly impressive sequel effort
After deciding to leave the Church, a nun winds up at the fabled motel and decides to stay for a while as they both begin battling the demons that affect them, but when a rash of disappearances plague the visitors of the motel they find a shocking secret about what's the true nature behind the motel.
This one isn't all that bad an entry in the long-running series. The biggest aspect of this one is the fact that it's far more generously shot gives it a far better technical appearance. In one dazzling scene, there's a re-staging of the shower murder mixed with a vision of the Virgin Mary, wherein he enters a shower room just as someone attempts to commit suicide, where the sudden sight of the character in drag holding a knife becomes a vision of the Virgin Mary holding a crucifix. There's also a classic moment where the sheriff opens the ice machine and pulls out a cube to suck on in the blistering heat whilst he watches on in horror as the ice cubes are covered in blood. Another really intense moment comes from a daring escape from a drowning car and coming across a really unexpected entity in the quest to escape. The fact that the slashing in the film features a little more action here is a nice bonus, and we get some really nice deaths. One is beaten with a guitar until it splinters, another gets sliced up with a knife that's framed to imitate the shower scene from the first one, another is decapitated, and there's also a brutal impaling with a knife, making this one fit in pretty well with the more kill-happy crowd. As well as the nice sleaze and nudity, this one wasn't all that bad. There's really only a couple of small comments against this one. For as much of an opportunity as there was to kill, very rarely does it show through. It's not as big of a body count as there really could've had, and it probably could've done a little better had it off a couple more here-and-there. The other major beef is that the film tries way too hard to mix in several different themes and ideas that some of them get shuffled around and get a little confusing. The religious angle for the events was a big one as it serves its purpose getting her featured in an angelic light but it is melded into the other storyline and it becomes a mess. As well, the psychosis angle is once again brought up and it's quite boring to retread the same ground once again in the series, especially in the later half where it comes up once again. However, other than those issues, this wasn't all that bad of a film.
Rated R: Graphic Violence, Nudity, Graphic Language, a sex scene and drug use.
Psycho II (1983)
Decent follow-up to a classic
After being released from prison, the psychotic killer returns to his home by the hotel and tries to assimilate back into society but as he keeps getting reminders of his past life he fears he'll revert to his murderous ways and discovers a shocking secret that might affect his struggles to remain sane.
This one was actually pretty good. As a sequel to one of the most influential films ever, this really had the potential to fail, especially with the over-complicated plot and many twists and turns later on. However, the fact that the twists are sometimes pretty nice, and they come about pretty naturally, are fun to see as to how it had built up this tension of who the killer was as the back-and-forth nature of the story made it a real challenge to figure out who was actually behind it all. That alone is what makes the final third of the film a load of fun, in that everything that comes together is lots of fun with the true nature of their familial ties being revealed and the genesis of their plans going up in flames. As well, the fact that so much of this one plays on their ongoing psychological factors, ranging from the impressive series of phone calls and flash-glimpses of the mother walking around to the strange series of clues that suggest maybe he's been playing it off for the truth all along and it's true that he's been crazy from the start. This creates an incredibly strong sense of tension in the later half of the film as it brings about a really clever and enjoyable series of setups that prove this series of plans which all make for quite a fun time as the running feature of whether he's truly healed or still under her influence that is only enhanced by the issues that crop up to derail the plan set into motion with the twists that arise due to that. There is some more blood and gore in here than what was allowed in the original, thanks to the time it came out, and makes it feel more like a concurrent movie and was a great feeling to finally see what could only be hinted at in the original, where the body count here is much more in keeping with the times. This turned out really good as there isn't a whole lot to really dislike with this one. The pacing here is the biggest problem. The beginning does a good job of setting up the characters and relations, but then it introduces the needless subplots that hammer home what was already known beforehand. The second diner sequence was really unnecessary and could've been trimmed. The ending explanations were a little convoluted, and while they worked, it could've been done with some clearing up. There's a few little middling problems, but they're not all that detriment to the enjoyment of the film. This wasn't as bad as it could've been.
Rated R: Graphic Language, Violence and Brief Nudity.
A classic in every sense of the word
After picking the perfect moment and taking her boss' money, a woman on the run stays at a remote motel to let the heat die down, but when she disappears and the private detective hired to find her does as well the woman's sister and boyfriend decide to check out the Bates Motel for themselves.
This is one of the best horror films ever made. The biggest impact featured here is the film's technical prowess since the Black & White cinematography is so gorgeous and so sparse in that we see so little that the suspense is just dripping off the screen. One of the best examples of this is the death of the investigating officer where he's just calmly walking up the stairs when we see a door open ever so slightly on the balcony unseen, and then the killer walks out and stabs him which causes him to fall down the stairs. The way that he falls is so creepy because he falls in such a supernatural way that it just sticks out in contrast to the rest of the material around it. It reaches the level of technical highlight just as much as the infamous shower scene that includes probably the most famous death scene in film history without violence or obvious nudity. The rest of the technical qualities here are just as impressive which really shows the genius was known for the time it was made where it is a sign of good filmmaking of giving the viewer just enough to give them a little jolt whenever it comes into question with the rest of the scene. Many people know of the relationship between Norman and his mother, and the very first time we know of her when he's talking about her in the parlor room is a perfect example of that which is one of the creepiest scenes by the way he's saying things and how he's saying them that something's off and yet he keeps an air of respectability that lends itself perfectly to his character and the relationship between them which is rather creepy. Even the motel where they're staying is like that. The dark interiors, the weird stuffed animals along the walls, and the secrecy that surrounds it is remarkable that most of the time we are wondering the secrets behind it. That allows the film to really get a lot of suspense out of so many scenes that it has the effect of being able to draw in a viewer and really highlights the fantastic work in the later half as the ruse is unveiled with the sequence down in the cellar. Armed with one of the finest and first twist endings in the genre, there's a lot to really love with this one that holds it up over the one main minor flaw. The biggest letdown from this one is the fact that the film does stumble a bit in the middle half where it slows down to a rather bland and sluggish pace as it focuses on her sister trying to find someone to go with her to look into the disappearance. These scenes don't really maintain the kind of impressive atmosphere or pacing that the rest of the film completely excels at. This one does slip down to a rather minor degree as the various starting points to the later half and it's not that enjoyable to sit through. As well as some obvious issues that are raised specifically about the time-period that don't apply to modern-day issues, there's not much wrong with this one at all.
Today's Rating/PG-13: Implied Violence and off-screen Brief Nudity.
Tourist Trap (1979)
Highly enjoyable and creepy early slasher effort
Heading out on a trip together, a group of friends taking a vacation through the countryside gets stranded at a former roadside wax museum where the proprietor warns them about a masked maniac lives that begins picking them off one-by-one and turning them into the wax-coated mannequin displays.
This was an exceptionally fun and enjoyable entry. One of the better features here is the absolutely creepy and chilling atmosphere that's present throughout the film. The idea of the wax dolls and mannequins littering the grounds of the museum as well as the remote house on its grounds is perfectly creepy on its own, yet the idea is given excessive marks over the film by focusing on the concept of them potentially being alive. The way they continually stare at nothing, their blank expressions and the creepy whispering done during their scenes offers a wholly mystical quality that's appreciated by the overwhelmingly creepy atmosphere and ambiance afforded to the film. As well, this one also manages to feature a wholly amazing amount of action which is quite fun. The opening attack starts this off with a lot of action, while the later attack in the house where the second victim is telekinetically attacked by objects in a living room gives this a creepy tone with the dolls around the room and the masked killer in the middle of the action. A mannequin ambush on a trespasser is also highly creepy and chilling, and the scenes of the mumbling killer preparing for the deranged waxing ceremony are rather dark and morbid. As well, the other big enjoyable element is the thrilling finale which really packs in plenty of action. With several foot-chases through the wilderness outside the house, the escape attempt that's halted by the dolls inside the museum and the truly chilling ceremony held in the attic where it utilizes the mannequins lined up and on being manipulated into tormenting the last victim, this is a wholly enjoyable set of action scenes that offer-up a lot of creepy moments. Likewise, with the revelations that were played out and settled in here as well as the creepy battle with the killer, settle this one incredibly well and give this one a lot to like to hold over its negative aspects. The one main issue that really holds this one back is the decidedly slowed-down pace that accompanies this one once they uncover the truth about the museum owner. Since he captures the group early on, the opportunity for a series of fine stalking scenes out in the middle of the creepy dolls is lost due to this being kept out in favor of monologue sequences with the masked killer informing his victims about what he's going to do to them. The other minor issue to be had here is the silliness of the characters' powers which is so hamfisted into the story it really didn't need to be included in the film to score nicely and just feels tacked on here. Otherwise, there's not much to dislike here.
Rated PG: Violence and Language.
Pretty overrated but still enjoyable enough
Living in a remote mountain cabin, a logger finds that his girlfriend has become targeted by a sadistic cult leader who summons a horde of demonic bikers to take her back to him, forcing a long, bloodthirsty trail back to the cult leader's hideout in a crazed attempt to get her back alive.
This one ended up being a big disappointment even with some enjoyable elements. Those are mostly centered around the film's final half, where it turns itself into a full-on gore-soaked grindhouse style effort. This turns into a series of exciting, non-stop action scenes as he takes out the group one-by-one with a series of devastating tactics, including the crossbow out in the woods, the series of hand-to-hand brawls with the bikers in their lair or the absolutely thrilling chainsaw duel with the cult-member which offers up a reasonably graphic and over-the-top resolution. That carries over into the rest of the scenes of him disrupting and chasing the cult down for what happened to his girlfriend where it focuses on his over-the-top resolutions to the situation as the crazed psychedelic style featured throughout here makes it look even more psychotic tone. This is far more impressive than expected and goes for the jugular due to the effectively graphic work throughout for the kills. As some might appreciate the stylistic arthouse approach here, these are what hold it back over its flaws. A lot of what undermines this one is due to the excessive, overlong length. There's no reason for this one to last as long as it does, with the running time approaching two hours before the credits barely drag it over that mark which is completely unnecessary for this type of story. The early scenes of them waxing poetic on the dreams she was having, the bland dialog scenes that have no life or energy behind them or scenes that don't need to be there which are so detrimental in keeping this one from getting any kind of momentum going forward. The film takes forever to get going due to these scenes and it's not all that interesting to see how the cult's interest in her takes form as it's really not that clear why they would care about her based on the one lone interaction they have with her in the store. Likewise, the film's excessively stylized look and tone is an absolute disgrace to sit through, not only undermining the effects to see what's going on in the scene at the time but doing so simply because it could where it shoots scenes like her fantasies sparked by reading the novel, the neon-lit cult hovel or the distorted wave-effects accompanying psychedelic music in the background of the scene for no real reason other than it could while none of the animated interludes do anything other than simply disrupt the pacing. This is all highly distracting, disorienting in the worst way possible and utterly brings this down so much that it's one of the biggest detrimental factors of the film. The other big detrimental factor here is the lack of information given about the cult, which is central to the film's storyline. We know nothing about what they are, what they're after or why they chose her which really just makes this seem like an errant stream of gore-gags for the most part. There's so little about how they're able to summon the bikers, what they're for or anything remotely resembling an explanation for them which really leaves the film feeling empty. Overall, these here are what really drags this one down.
Rated Unrated/R: Extreme Graphic Violence, Graphic Language, Full Male Nudity and drug use.
Highly enjoyable and engaging reboot
Still in captivity from his previous rampage, the maniac is spurned on by news of his escaped target still being alive to track her and her estranged family, also living in the same town, to escape and target her on Halloween night forcing her to use her years of survival skills to stop him.
This serves as a solid and highly enjoyable entry in the series. One of the strongest aspects presents here is the strong rewriting of the story that offers a fine setup for what's to come in the film. The ignoring of the sequels allows this one to offer up a decent reboot of the storyline where the events that have taken place here have a stellar series of resolutions and payouts, from the emotional toll the events in the past have taken on her and the strained relationship everybody has with each other in the family which helps propel this one along. Coming in conjunction with the events at the asylum where they find him in the opening to the later scenes at the compound where it's fully revealed how psychotic she has become in the interim, the film provides this setup quite nicely and provides the backbone for the slasher film roots. These scenes here are quite fun, ranging from the first attack at the remote gas-station where he takes out the two doing the TV show on the case to the rampage across the town taking out the stragglers around town setting up the big rampage at the end where he comes across the babysitter in the house and then leads him back to the trap-filled house at the end which has some rather enjoyable straightforward stalker action for these types of scenarios. These here hold it up over the film's few problems. The main issue to be had here is the film really doesn't seem all that interested in making the side-characters that interesting before the rampage comes. There's a complete lack of information given about who the rest of the family is or their friends, leaving a lot of the middle to feel pretty lame and just not that interesting, especially when it dives into petty teen problems as not only are those utterly uninteresting but then to have them committed by these uninteresting people. That also makes the middle portion of this one leading into the finale feel way too sloppy and disjointed as it deals with the revelation that he's come back to the town as there are so many scenes going back-and-forth to the various figures in his way which really feel jumbled and disorganized as it tends to go through some rather confusing moments. As well, the other real problematic issue here is the fact that there's just no sense of closure or suspense in why he's targeting the family since there's no real point as for why they're being targeted. The lack of real build-up here is quite disappointing as the house ambush is just a blur compared to the rest of the film and just ends abruptly due to the lack of build-up, and all-told really brings this one down somewhat.
Rated R: Graphic Violence and Graphic Language.
Casa de Sudor y Lágrimas (2018)
Bland and utterly unappealing non-horror
Living with her commune members, a young woman who is continually plagued by strange and disturbing dreams about a prophetic visitor that disrupts the community finds those dreams coming true and tries to prevent the other cult-members from devolving into madness.
This was a fine if somewhat problematic effort. Most of the enjoyable aspects here is the film's approach to the day-to-day lives of the members involved with the cult. Their traditions and general way of life, living in a seemingly underground bunker with elaborate Gothic-lined candles, dressed all in white and featuring plenty of overt religious iconography from the idea of the one figure controlling them in a position of power and influence all gives off a rather intriguing affair. Even the idea of wearing expressionless masks and being driven around in marked cars when leaving the compound offer up that kind of interesting dynamic with the cult and its regulations. Alongside the nice gore shots included here for the few kills, there's not much else for this one as it does have a few major problems. The biggest issue with the film is the fact that it's just deathly dull and boring. It's nearly impossible to care at all about the exploits of the cult and its members when it's so dragged out and completely unwilling to go for any kind of faster pacing to simply speed this along further, resulting in over-long sequences that are so bland and uninteresting that the film feels far longer than it's already rather long running time. Seeing how long it takes to get through their routines, traditions and preparations doesn't really offer up much of anything interesting, and by doing this ends up pushing the horror out of this one to the point that the fact it's about a cult is really the only piece of genre involvement throughout here. The film never maintains even the slightest hint of genre hallmarks due to this and is really weak as a whole in the first place by going for the religious banter as much as it does without actually showcasing any purpose or point instead, which really manages to undermine this one and holds it back the most.
Rated Unrated/R: Graphic Language, Graphic Violence, Brief Nudity and a clothed sex scene.
Solid and enjoyable psychological thriller
Working as a cam-girl, a young woman determined to raise up the ranks of the website rankings suddenly finds her world turned upside down when she gets locked out of the account and a far more sexually explicit series of shows starring a doppelganger of hers at the center of the exploits.
This was a rather enjoyable horror/thriller. One of the stronger aspects of this one is the fact that there's a lot of enjoyment to be had within the confines of the webcaming community that's featured here. Constantly trying to get more visitors to her shows and the struggles with the other models on the site as they spend their lives trying to backstab each other and raise their own profiles which goes hand-in-hand with the sudden change into the stolen identity. There are the usual exploits here as they get involved with the various other shows featured, from the nudity and the different sexual antics that are usually brought up here which gives this a decidedly sleazy atmosphere capped off by the stellar finale where it all comes back around. There's a lot to really like here even though it does have its flaws. The main issue to be had here is the fact that there's no real explanation for what happens to the account in here. The realistic nature of the film beforehand, showing us how she handles the day-to-day aspects of her life against the gaudy life of the web streamer is set-up to give this a truly grounded approach that clashes with the result of her account getting hacked. This is a supernatural-based explanation that doesn't actually explain anything anyway, as it never explains how it all happened or why it hasn't happened before which is a complete liability in how the mystery unfolds. The wrap-up never goes into detail about how it happened which really does make for a slightly lowered experience. The rest of the film is rather enjoyable without too many problems.
Rated Unrated/R: Graphic Language, Full Nudity, Violence and sexual content.
Dèmoni 2... l'incubo ritorna (1986)
Great follow-up to a classic
Gathering together in an apartment building, guests are hypnotized watching a TV show about demons, and when the demons come to life and slowly picking off the remaining humans inside, it becoming a fight for survival against the bloodthirsty creatures to get out of the building alive.
While the original was one of the best Italian horror films at the time, this one is just as good. A lot of what makes this one work is the same atmosphere that worked so well in the original. Of course, most of the suspense is derived from the building itself, a proved inescapable fortress that no one can get in or out of, which is perfect for trapping everyone inside. As well, the fact that the majority of the first half being the movie show on TV that sets this in motion by being a rather enjoyable start with the excavation at the crypt and the resurrection of the demon which is nicely echoed by the events out in the real world correlating in the release of the demon plague there. Once the demons are out and killing due to this early set-up, the pace picks up so considerably that three different plot-lines go on at the same time and allows for wall-to-wall action in here that is deftly executed. The attack on the party guests is an absolute blast with all sorts of stellar action as she rips them to pieces, the encounter between the lone woman and her transformed dog in her apartment is one of the best examples as it's a series of small sequences that is quite fun and the massacre in the parking lot is a perfect example as it occurs within a large amount of time and allows for several great sequences starting with them appearing in the weight room and chasing them down into the garage where the full extent of the fun takes place. The other good part to this one is that, like with all Italian films of this style, the emphasis is on the gorgeous and gruesome makeup, and there is no shortage of that here. The style allows the film to wallow in the effects, making them an effective highlight whenever they are shown. The transformed demons look good, complete with fang-lined maws, inhuman facial features, long claws and those glowing eyes form one cool monster, one that is perfectly suited to deliver a series of continued shocks. Throwing in the transformation sequence as one visibly erupts out of a person's body in addition to a shocking TV gag early on that looks marvelous in this day and age, the effects here hold up nicely and give this one a lot to really hold itself up. Even without these elements, there are a few minor flaws to be had here. It's biggest issue is that this is not exactly an original movie, as it basically takes the exact same plot as the first one and puts it into a new building. There's still a demon outbreak that results from watching a movie about the creatures, the disbelieving horde struggles to get a grasp on the creatures, there's a group of punks on the outside traveling to the location with the creatures and they even smash through a barricade set up to stop them which were all plot-points and ideas from the original. It's not that big of a deal, but it is there and somewhat noticeable. Some of the effects might also be seen as cheesy, but the main issue here is the rather overt familiarity to the original.
Rated R: Graphic Violence, Language, and children-in-jeopardy.
One of the best in the genre
Receiving tickets to a movie premiere, a group of friends arrives at the theater where they find out that it's for a horror film, but as the movie continues several participants turn into demons inspired by those in the film and try to find a way to completely take the demons out.
This is one of the best Italian horror films around. One of the best features here is the fact that it uses one of the oldest tricks in the genre, trapping a bunch of people in an isolated location with a terrifying threat and knocking them off one-by-one. This is made all the better by the ingenuity used to make such a part workable as well as allowing for enough to keep it interesting. The idea of being forced into the movie theater through happenstance and then coming upon the possessed demon beings makes for a fun turn and starts this one off like most great genre efforts with the people being trapped inside with no way out. Also noteworthy in the film is it's incredibly high action content. This one is really packed with tons of outstanding action scenes which get really entertaining and do a lot of good for the film. The first assault, when the demons break loose as the sight of them emerging from the screens, is simply chilling, and once the realization sinks in the panic is incredible, the scenes of creatures popping up to attack people out of the blue inside the balcony or chasing them around the various auditoriums creates quite a fun time overall. There's also the spectacular scene in the theater when one of the survivors grabs a promotional sword and a motorbike and drives in circles slashing up the demons, using the walkways to the advantage while a pounding metal song plays in the background. It's fun, bloody and one of the best which is coupled with the other great action scenes in here. The other big plus here is the demons themselves. Their transformations are top-notch, being done slowly and pay attention to detail, as the nails slowly split open to reveal the claws and the teeth are slowly pushed out by the fangs coming in. The eyes change and the body starts to transform, making them look impressive and quite intimidating. The sight of them coming up the theater with the blue back-light and glowing eyes is memorable and really packs a punch. The gore here is plain spectacular, as this one has plenty of juicy moments to allow for some fantastic gore to come out. Along with the fact that the movie that was playing in the theater wasn't that bad, these here are what really help put this one over. There isn't a whole lot here that doesn't work. The fact that it feels very 80s in its cheese and overall tone might not be appreciated by some as it's really heavy with both of these items. From the music to the clothes to the type of action on display to the explanation for their appearance to the special effects of the demon transformations, this one really reeks of an 80s cheese-fest. The fact that the demons constantly speak in incredibly fake deep voices is a minor complaint, as it's a vocal tone used often and really makes them feel completely non-threatening. The last flaw is that there's too much time in between the big action scene in the theater to the final escape at the end, these here are all that don't work.
Rated UR/R: Graphic Violence, Language, Brief Nudity and drug use.
House of the Long Shadows (1983)
Problematic but fun for it's stars
Undertaking a bet with a friend, an American writer travels to an isolated English manor in the countryside only to discover a series of unexpected houseguests all arriving for a family gathering, but when a killer is found to be stalking the grounds they must try to get away from the house alive.
This was an incredibly problematic if still enjoyable effort. Among the best aspects found here is the film managing to collect the beloved figures of the genre in one place and feature them as prominently as it does. Although none of them really have all that much time together, the thrill of seeing these greats going at it for several scenes here is quite fun and really sets in a great feeling that's matched by the stellar old-time mystery setup. From the Gothic trappings of the old-dark-house that's got far more going on than what's being let on, the secretive build-up and execution of the gathering party being utilized that play a large part of the final half where it really comes into fine form with the big twist that comes into play, this one really works a nice old-school tone and feel that's quite exciting and enjoyable. The final half is where the film gets enjoyable with the creature on the loose and running through the old house and generates some nice suspense here due to that type of gothic setup, turning the location into a rather creepy location for the stalking going on here as the house is put to good use. With some fantastic scenes here including the inspection of the child's' room, the discovery of the bodies in the bathroom and the final confrontation in the secret passageways of the house, this one really comes up nicely when it really matters and holds this one up nicely. When this one starts to get problematic is in the rather boring and dull first half that really takes a while to get going. There's so much needless moments in here, from the way the bet is setup to the traveling through the countryside to get there and ending up in the station during the pouring rain in order to get directions which just end up slowing the film down to the point that this one simply takes a while to get going. The scenes of him bumbling around in the dark while at the mansion don't help much either, and with the subterfuge attempts at stalling his progress doing nothing but driving up the running time throughout this, the film takes way too long to get going than it really should. By jumping around to so many rather bizarre and unnecessary elements that just don't move this one along at all, the film takes far too long to get going and then just ends up feeling far too old-fashioned with the gothic trappings just making this one too slow for its sake.
Rated PG: Violence and Language.
Interesting and entertaining film
Following the release of his latest film, a beloved horror actor announces his intention of retiring but when he's dragged out by friends to do another entry a series of killings based on his famous creation begins to toy with him as he sets out to prove he isn't insane and stop the killer.
There's a surprising lot to like in this film. The film's best qualities is that is mixes in traditional giallo aesthetics into a very campy Vincent Price-ish film and manages to pull them off. There's a black-gloved killer stylishly killing off the various participants in a grand scheme that makes no sense, and the murder mystery is used to provide some suspense in the proceedings. There's a really decent amount of enjoyable chase scenes included in the film and they're all quite thrilling to watch, from the chase through the gardens that includes the stellar fogged-in surroundings, the sequence inside the pinball room is straight out of a giallo of the grandest order, full of swinging lights, hysterical screaming and the slow, suspenseful approach from the killer towards the victim and a later scene luring victims to their deaths inside a house from outside. The showdown chase through the movie studios is a nice and really long scene that is thrilling to watch, going through various sets and traps that are quite fun as it's a marvelous scene that works wonders and is the movie's best scene. With the majority here focused on the investigation of the crimes as well as him wondering what's really happening as being in his mind or not that also nicely follows these conventions, the film manages to generate a great cross-section of influences that are rather enjoyable and somewhat decent. It's also one of the best endings, which uses the double twist ending to a great effect and really ending on a great note. The inferno unleashed beforehand, where the first burns down the movie set and is captured on tape leading to the first twist, is a real spectacle that is nevertheless impressive in the long list of films with that same kind of ending. This even features a really nice selection of kills in here, all making this better than it should be. There really isn't a whole lot wrong with the film. The biggest is that the film is set-up as a murder mystery, in typical giallo style, only for it to be painfully obvious who the killer is quite early on. That's not a real plus for the film, having the audience much farther along than the characters, and it doesn't generate that much suspense knowing that. The other main mistake is that the mask of the villain isn't that creepy. The mask looks overly plastic and doesn't inspire fear the way the great masks do. It's not bad, but there could've been a better mask available. The only other complaint against this is the pacing where this one tends to get really padded at times. It's pretty much full of scenes that go on far longer than it should, from the showing of older films of his career to drag this out to the needless side-characters only there for the body-count, and they're pretty blatant. While some might also say the campiness of the film doesn't mesh all that well, this could've been a lot worse than what it is.
Today's Rating/PG-13: Violence.
The Comedy of Terrors (1963)
The best example of Vincent Price's comedic stylings
Following the funeral of a friend, a pair of undertakers in business together find themselves in danger of not being able to pay their fees and decide to drum up more business by killing others, but when they have issues with their target they find themselves targeted by a deadly supernatural figure.
This one ended up being an absolute blast of an effort. Part of what gives this one its impact is that this works more as a comedy than a horror film, and as such, it ranks as a hilariously funny one. This will keep you laughing for a long time after and is quite enjoyable since it's not that expected a Vincent Price movie to be funny, but this was actually much more than expected would be in this type of movie. So many lines and situations are good for at the least a good chuckle. From Lorre never pronouncing Price's name right to his constant bickering with Price's wife to the way he treats Karloff, this film provides a good share of laughs. By Price being drunk half the film, his ramblings are perhaps the best of the quips, though Karloff has some good old man lines. Lorre even has some great slapstick scenes accidentally bungling missions they undertake, from breaking into houses without anyone waking anyone up, sneaking into a locked office and back out again is an absolutely classic and the various escapades that would mean going on and on about the comedy here as it isn't too over-the-top or that eye-rolling type that many films use, this will make anyone laugh. When the film begins to change into a horror film, it makes up for lost time by cramming lots of scares into a few minutes, starting with the resurrections in their care that sets the stage for the final appearance in the last part of the film which results in some fine slapstick-inspired stalking that has a real threatening air to it and then reverts back into standard slapstick. These here are what hold this one up as there's not much to dislike at all from this one. The biggest issue here is that true-blue horror fans will be sorely disappointed as there is barely any horror from the master of the genre Price, so this may be the only thing stopping someone from renting this. Also, Karloff fans will be displeased as he has almost zero screen time and is generally wasted in what could've been a key role. This series of missed opportunities is really all that holds the film back at all.
Today's Rating/PG: Mild Violence and scenes with heavy drinking
The Last Man on Earth (1964)
A tad overrated, but still a good movie
Several years after the fall of humanity, the lone human left alive goes about his normal routine of clearing up the dead bodies littering the streets and changing the defenses on his home to make sure the vampires don't get him as he races to find a cure for the devastating condition.
This isn't that bad of a film, and it does feature some good moments. As is usually the case with one of these efforts, the majority of the film is linked to the fact that Price is at the forefront of the film's enjoyment. There's an effectiveness to the silent ritual that he goes through, replacing the garlic and mirrors around the house, sharpening stakes on a wood lathe, refurbishing his supply out of a giant walk-in freezer in a department store, staking various vampires throughout the city, that really spells out the society in that time very effectively. The fact that there's really no one else left is spelled out and never really becomes an issue, which makes the suspense and atmosphere present all the more effective. That also ties into the other facet that's enjoyable here with the completely desolate and abandoned setting, as the opening scenes where he's seen being among the ruins and absolutely eerily quiet settings gives this a true sense of a massive plague having hit that goes along nicely with the few encounters he has with the creatures and it makes the film that much stronger. From their attempt to lure him out of the house with the chants beckoning him to rejoin their ranks to the fights inside the house, the film has that sense of isolation rather effectively. The finale is a nice mini-series of action scenes, being the beating outside the house, the chase through the decaying rubble, the seclusion inside the museum and the final resolution playing out nearby that has a lot to love about it, effectively ending the film with a great band that is nicely appreciated. Alongside the rather eerie quality to the creatures, these add up into a nicely enjoyable film as there's not a lot wrong with this one, but what's there is pretty big. The film really ends up dying in the middle section where it stops dead to feature this long, drawn-out flashback that simply drags on and really kills the film. There's really no need for it to feature as much family drama as it does, yet there's plenty in the sequence, as well as a large amount of back-story that goes into the making of the virus that started the film. Rather than use it to draw a series of conclusions about, there's a repetitive feeling to these scenes that goes on much longer than they needed to be. The scene doesn't need to be a half-hour long, as the film spends most of the time dealing with that issue. This ends up to where the pace of it is way off. The other really big issue with the film is that, for being called vampires, the creatures behave much more like zombies. There's no real neck-biting, they all move slowly with very basic movements and a lack of fangs. There's even a scene late in the movie where the creatures are shown to be able to be killed with other instruments not normally associated with vampires, and they work on the creatures as well. There are some other issues at work with the film, yet these are the main issues here.
Today's Rating/PG: Violence.
Keep Watching (2017)
Underwhelming if still somewhat decent home invasion effort
After a series of strange incidents, a family trying to couple with their own emotional problems finds themselves suddenly being stalked by a group of psychopaths targeting them for an illegal webcam stream hoping to watch them kill each other and forces them to fight back to get out alive.
For the most part, this one was quite disappointing overall. One of the only enjoyable aspects of this one is the fact that the relentless nature of attacks here offers some nice relief to the overall film. The first impression of the intruders lurking around the outside of the house waiting for them to get to the point of their invasion starts this going nicely, waiting around for a time to strike that adds some suspense before it turns on the incredibly fun final half where it's based around the continuous chasing that goes on around the house. There's a nice brutality to these scenes as there's a lot to like with the idea of them fighting off the intruders appearing around the various rooms in the house. With the inclusion of various tricks and tactics that are used to make them seem even crueler and a great use of the found-footage setup utilized throughout the entire last half, this is a somewhat fun and frantic aspect than it really should've been. However, there's still a lot more flaws to be found here. What really undoes this is the bland and utterly unappealing first half that deals with the family drama sections that don't give this one all that interesting a starting point. The family drama with them being involved with the shifting dynamics and trying to adapt to how that's affecting them doesn't get interesting at all, and instead just wastes far too much time before they're onto the idea of the invasion that it's not that interesting the longer it goes on. There's also nothing here about what the actual point of the game really is since the whole thing goes on for so long before they realize what's going on that there's nothing to say about the point of what the aim is for the whole endeavor which isn't aided at all by the fact that there's no possible way the house could've been set up with the camera and plans they embark on here. Having the cameras set up in the manner done here, not just having the usual cameras placed over the various rooms and hallways but to see them set it up inside microwave screens, utensils or inside other objects just makes sense as to how it could've been set up without their knowledge and more importantly to have not noticed them for as long into the night as they do which is the really unrealistic part. The overall concept of their plan requires way too much freak occurrences to play out the way this does to where they have the whole house rigged up with devices and special obstructions to force them to do what they want to where they continually run into them whenever they want, making this feel quite contrived and ludicrous that really sticks out here. The last issue here is the absolutely ridiculous setups that are featured here which are based entirely around the lame inability to recognize what's going on and to just continually throw themselves into cliche or utterly unrealistic scenes which are what keeps this one going as the situations here are quite exaggerated and pretty frustrating. Coupled with the lackluster finale that sets up a sequel for no reason, these here are what end up holding this one back.
Rated R: Graphic Violence and Graphic Language.
Solid and decent if slightly flawed effort
After a night out on the town, a group of friends come across a demented, maniacal figure dressed in a clown costume and begins to torment them as he seeks to impose his own psychologically deranged brand of torture on them and anyone else that stands in his way as he chases them in the city.
This one wasn't all that bad and had a lot to offer. A lot of what makes this one work so well is based around the central clown who is one of the more impressive figures in the genre. The concept of the silent, emotionless style of clown make-up as well as the design of the creature itself is quite terrifying by itself, but to add it together to the mime-like antics and sinister looks he continually gives off while stalking really helps to make for quite a creepy persona. That is added onto the other scenes here where he simply spots them out on the streets or toys with them in the various buildings around the warehouse which are exceptionally creepy and chilling. That there's plenty of fun, brutal kills that pop up as a result of his demented attitude provides the main part of the fun here, featuring the stalking to get these scenes set up from the initial encounter with the clown at the restaurant that goes back to show him slaughtering the staff later on, the first encounters at the abandoned building where it all takes place with the stalking in the basement or the various floors of the building taking out the random interlopers that appear along the way and leading into the two major centerpieces that show up. The scene of the character hanging upside down and the eventual outcome is unquestionably the highlight of the film, and along with the final battle in the underground with it there's plenty to like about this which is all about the inadvertent luring of the other sister and then detailing their wholesale struggle to get away knowing full-well what's happening around them. From meeting up with the skinned yet still alive victim, getting beaten down continuously by the deranged clown and then seeing the final resolution that really holds up nicely as well, there's some fun to be had with the big finish to this one and really helps to hold this one up over it's few minor flaws. The main factor here is the fact that there's not much in the story at all here, going from person to person as they randomly happen upon the killer through sheer circumstance that the film really doesn't have any real point at all throughout here. The swerve in the different characters surviving doesn't even give this a plot as to where this one centers simply on showcasing one big gore-gag after a while which is where the film really stumbles. That just ends up making the film feel pointless and repetitive, rendering a lot of the killer's appearances into a bland series of scenes that's simply there to kill someone graphically and leaves this one on the whole rather redundant. This might not be as big a flaw as it really is since that might put off others more than some really do, and is the biggest factor to hold this back.
Rated Unrated/R: Extreme Graphic Violence, Graphic Language and Nudity.
Final Destination (2000)
A near-perfect modern horror classic
When a vision saves him and his friends, a teenager intending to go to a class trip to Paris learns that the strange accidents befalling them are the result of Death coming to claim them for escaping the plane crash and sets out to prevent their deaths from continuing to kill them off.
This one ended up being quite an impressive and enjoyable effort. Among the numerous qualities here is the fact that there's a ton of high-quality suspense here which runs throughout this one since there's a lot of focus here in making the scenes suspenseful. Due to the ploy of not knowing when Death is going to strike and where, there's a big part of the film that gets really chilling as this one really plays up the accidental nature of the setups to drive home how randomly it strikes as the bathtub sequence, the attack at the teachers' house where all sorts of fun accidents are unleashed in order to keep playing up what's going to be the final killing blow and their encounter in the car out on the highway as they try to pull a friend out of a trapped car-seat with a train approaching them in the intersection which is incredibly fun. These are suspenseful setups that take the concept of his visions and really bring a thrilling underlining to the scene. There's plenty of suspenseful times elsewhere here, as the opening buildup on the plane before the takeoff which reveals itself as a startlingly realistic dream which sets up the remaining storyline about the clues and the possible manners of stopping the events from continuing, the save at the garage and the encounter out in the woods all come off just as good as the actual kill scenes in here which manage plenty of thrilling scenes all throughout here. As well, there's plenty of action here with this one that are just as much fun as the suspenseful ones which keeps this one moving along so well as each of these scenes plays out as truly fun action scenes that take the suspenseful setups into quite enjoyable levels as there's a great bit about actually getting the death scene going which goes all the way to the finale where that comes off really well. The other big plus here comes from the film's ingenious plotline where it continually manages to feature some great twists featuring the way Death is presented here as a physical, thinking entity that plans out life in advance without anything being done, working through this concept here in knocking off the survivors in a special order which is a truly original and unique idea that gets played out in a rather enjoyable manner. Along with the fine gore-packed kills, these here make this more enjoyable enough to hold out over the film's one flaw. There's almost nothing to like here about the federal investigation into the incidents which gets tiring with all their interludes that goes nowhere and never really gets resolved with the attempts to pin everything on him without having any real info to finger him on. Otherwise, this is only what keeps this one down.
Rated R: Graphic Violence, Graphic Language, and Brief Nudity.
Enjoyable enough followup
After the disappearance of their friends, a documentary group looking to investigate the goings on of the previous people who disappeared return to the supposedly haunted hotel to find out for sure only to become embroiled in the same deranged series of encounters that befell the other group.
For the most part, this was a decidedly decent if somewhat underwhelming follow-up. One of the stronger aspects featured here is the opening half that devotes an incredibly enjoyable amount of time to set up the aftermath of the original. The fact that there's a hint of realism featured here as to how the media would handle such a situation with the talking-head TV shows and investigative pieces that look into the history and people involved. This gives the film a solid base to tie into the previous entry as the second half delves into the new group entering the hotel and getting stranded inside. There's a generally creepy air throughout the hotel as they engage in their filming and find the area just as creepy as before with the endless corridors, never-ending maze of dead-ends and mind-games that shouldn't be there including the reappearing props or power changes that are quite prominent at the location. As well, the encounters with the ghosts are rather enjoyable and creepy, managing to work in some great moments here. The hitchhikers encountering the one spirit on the highway and taking her to the hotel where they have a chilling encounter there is a fantastic start to this, while the mysterious figures in the photographs and video footage are incredibly creepy when they manage to just pop up unexpectedly to freak them out. There's a rather enjoyable air of relentlessness at that point where it just sends ghouls and various figures they know shouldn't be there that adds a lot to the film as a whole. Most of the creepiness comes from the deranged look of the ghouls which are quite creepy, and overall these are more than enough to hold this up over it's few main flaws. The film's biggest issue is the finale where it's a major letdown from the previous entry as the full revelation of what the entity's looking for and how they're there are just lame and not all that impressive. It's just underwhelming to know that's the full extent of their purpose for being invited and really just smacks of being an afterthought which isn't the case with the original which had a more pronounced and effective atmosphere. It's also rather complicated in its set-up as to the cutting back-and-forth to the interview segments in the studio and back to their exploits in the hotel itself which is distracting with seeing them alive and then being tortured split seconds later, making the overall presentation if not the setup being quite disorienting. Otherwise, there's not much else to this one.
Rated Unrated/R: Graphic Language and Graphic Violence.
The Mysterious Doctor (1943)
A little flawed, but acceptable
Riding along the English Moors, a doctor hears the story about the town's past as a prosperous mining town forever cursed by a ghost, and upon discovering the truth of the mine and the ghost, a group of town-members goes off in search of the ghost and race to stop it before it takes control of the town.
This wasn't all that bad of an effort. One of the better features here is that this is a pretty creepy film when it really wants to be. The fact that the film starts off with a trip through a fog-entrenched English countryside, which is quite creepy by itself but becomes all the more when a heavy fog rolls in gives this a perfect start to things which is helped along nicely by the false-scare reveal at the end. The scenes in the mine at the conclusion are incredibly suspenseful, mainly due to its spectacular setting and eerie feel that comes from the darkness of the location and its design. These are inherently creepy, and altogether with the camera angles and action, this becomes a really creepy location to how it's twisting, hidden staircases and secret passageways are cleverly incorporated and really manage to work in some great moments. The prime example is the revelation of the killer being completely driven by the location which is put to great effect with the scenes in the different houses and underground tunnels which are quite fun. The sight of the ghost the first time is a pretty great effect, looking like a more normal headless entity than an out-and-out ghost, but there is a slightly odd chill to it that really makes it seem like an imposing creature that is greatly utilized in the ambush sequence in the mine that's quite creepy. This even has an entertaining and interesting backstory for the ghost, as the story told is done in a great manner that keeps the attention there. It's all combined into a really good film as there isn't a whole lot wrong with this one. The biggest factor against this is the film's short length. This doesn't even run an hour long, and there's some really long padding in here that makes it seem like that time is being wasted rather than having something going on more often than not. This is done up mostly with the constant battling over the superfluous characters that do nothing but eat up time in a film short enough as it is, the subplots about the mine needing to be reopened and the various attempts at subterfuge over the visitor questioning the locals over their belief about the true culprit of the crimes. It's needless as the characters aren't at all involved in the outcome of the film, which is its other problem. This is simply way too convoluted and complicated, taking what was a simple ghost story and taking it way over the top with its completely over-blown angle. There's no way this is plausible and is a way to make it feel longer than it really is which only goes to highlight how little the ghost actually is on-screen due to these rather unneeded moves. This here is the main reason for keeping the film down.
Today's Rating/PG: Mild Violence.
The House on Sorority Row (1983)
One of the more underrated and enjoyable slashers
Living in a new house, a group of sorority sisters ordered out of the building by the house mother decide to partake in a prank only for her to be killed, and while trying to hide the accident find themselves stalked and killed by a strange being forcing them to find a way of stopping it.
This wound up being quite the fun and entertaining slasher. One of the film's strongest points is the slasher-potential of the main setup that gets everything involved in the main storyline. The idea of the house being used to throw a party against the wishes of the arrogant, spiteful house-mother who's preventing their planned fun generates a kind of overall familiarity to the type of traditional slasher fun that comes about in the later half. As the party rages on and they get more and more panicked about the discovery of the body, there's a rather enjoyable atmosphere created here that's paid off nicely by the strong stalking featured throughout mixed with their desire to keep the crime hidden the entire time. That interplay is rather important as the film goes on with so many near-misses and interactions with others as they're trying to keep their activities hidden that the killer bumping them off intrudes on things rather nicely in order to punch up the suspense of their encounters. From the initial encounter in the backyard that results in the scene with the killer appearing behind the boyfriend to the ambush outside the mechanics of the pool room and the scene in the bathroom where they see the killer arrive in the house before and begins chasing them leading into the quest to get to safety in the stalls which gives this one some great moments. The finale as well, with the chase around the house featuring the killer and the doctor both trying to capture the last survivor for their own plans as she has to get away while being drugged the entire time offers up some solid and highly chilling elements as this one builds to a nicely creepy and fun finish as they try to get the upper hand for their own methods. The entire film is based on the idea of mostly stumbling upon the killer accidentally which leads to some nice suspense as the tactic proves the killer really could be anywhere at any time. Coupled with a stellar-looking clown disguise and some brutal, lively kills that are somewhat restricted by the rating, these here are what hold it up over it's few minor flaws. Among the main problems with the film is that the central prank they're trying to set up is moronic and makes no sense at all. Firing a blank-loaded gun at the woman as she attempts to retrieve a walking cane from a floatation device in the pool against her knowledge is simply stupid as that doesn't strike any kind of accord to what she put them through which is the entire purpose of the stunt. Here, this entire prank just seems foolish and destined to turn out the way it does so the entire purpose of this just feels underdeveloped and rather lame. Likewise, the fact that the majority of the stalking scenes emerge as just simply having the killer stumble upon them in the way he does offers a lot to like but it also means the film doesn't have the same type of suspense present by never making us be aware of the killer's presence. This turns some of the scenes into somewhat bland sequences as the idea of the killer being around has a very prominent feel yet somewhat fails to utilize that properly with the way this plays out their encounters as merely shock encounters. As well as the censored gore in the kills, there's not much else really wrong here.
Rated R: Graphic Violence, Graphic Language, Brief Nudity and violence-against-animals.
Brilliant when it's on, decent when it's not
Following a strange news account, a reporter is sent off to Australia to do a story on a group of poachers illegally hunting wild boars, but when she goes missing her boyfriend arrives and learns that a wild, massive razorback is roaming around forcing him to team up to overcome the creature.
This here is a rather decent and enjoyable creature feature. What is easily the brightest spot in the film is where this does a tremendous job on visuals, transforming the desolate outback locations into an eerie shadow-land of surreal imagery. This is never more apparent than the Razorback attack at the beginning, where the scene comes with children's swings blowing in the breeze, scarecrows and wire-fences can be seen outlined against the sunset and the shadow of a weather-vane covering a whole house as it turns in the light of an approaching storm. Another spectacular scene is when one character treks across the desert in the middle of the film into something set in a truly alien world filled with forests of ghostly trees floating out of the mist. The switchover into the creature-feature realm is handled nicely, as the Razorback attacks have an aggressive, vibrant visual energy to them. A night-time attack in the middle of the desert where it rips through everything from the trucks to the victims in the way, leaving behind a wholesale scene of slaughter, is incredibly superb, a shootout at a watering hole provides some excitement and the climactic confrontation in the slaughterhouse is a real highlight with a great location, plenty of twists and turns and featuring non-stop action which provides plenty to like. The Razorback itself looks incredibly mean, with the muscular face and jaws, a huge set of tusks and a really violent attitude, which coupled with the fact that it's rarely seen make it a nice monster. These here make the film somewhat entertaining since this here doesn't have a whole lot wrong with it. The biggest one here is that the monster is rarely on-screen as the majority of the film doesn't even concern the creature, negating its presence for the main portion of the film as two separate subplots take over the film. The first, with the examining of the animal killings and later with the tracking down what happened, means that a lot of time is spent without the creature being involved. It's only when the romance subplot comes in, with the added feature of being needed to bring it in only to make the prologue work for any discernible reason with the friend trying to track the creature down, although it's on-screen so rarely that it's hardly a warranted occurrence, and when mixed together with the first part makes this one feel very slow-going to get started. The other flaw is that not even quick cutting fails to disguise the fact that the creature doesn't move very much and is a pretty lifeless model. The fact that it only does a few movements when actually doing something doesn't help it, and there's some even some really obvious stuff from this. These here make the film somewhat lower.
Rated R: Graphic Violence, Language and Brief Nudity.
The Ring Two (2005)
Very slow and boring sequel
After moving to a new city to get away from the curse, a reporter and her son finds that a series of deaths similar to the earlier rampage by the evil spirit they encountered is returning to target her son to try to get out in the world, leading to a desperate battle to save him before it's too late.
Even though this film wasn't really needed, it did have a few redeeming factors. One of the better factors here is the fact that this one puts a nicer emphasis on the physical threat that was barely hinted at before. With the targets having survived from before and are well aware of what can happen, the sense of her looming over them from the start with the nightmares he keeps having or the hallucinations of the girl around the apartment trying to get at them which results in the appearance of the different portals to the alternate world she inhabits. That brings the other attacks she has, from the dream scare of appearing in the TV set to the chilling appearance in the bathroom as the manipulation of the water trinkets around the room for a strong chilling sequence and, into a rather strong and somewhat enjoyable series of scenes to highlight the supernatural threat present here. The other instances of supernatural activity here work nicely, as the deer attack on the car was pretty suspenseful, and while it was set up beforehand, it was still a shock to see it staged as well as the scene in the hospital that is pretty cool to watch. It's only other positive element is the ending twist was really surprising, and it comes off as one of the best scenes in the film, giving this enough to really hold itself up over it's few main flaws. The biggest factor against this is that the movie just doesn't scare at all. The few attempts at scares were telegraphed so far in advance that they missed the point entirely or the shock just wasn't effective to really register. That is perhaps the worst thing to happen to a film, which is that the scares it's attempting don't register. The film also had a whole heartlessness to it all that makes it feel like it was just made for no real reason. It wasn't that emotionally connected with anything, and that left the film feeling bland. Coupled that with no scares and only a couple weak action scenes along the way, this was just a dull movie. Abandoning the concept of the connection to the cursed videotape and turning into a dull, weak investigation makes for a wholly slow-going effort that rarely contains the wholesale ingredients of the series with that type of setup. With the added fact that the film is rated so low also being a weak sign, meaning that the scares, what little there are, and the violence being so tone-downed that any steam is effectively neutered by having to be scaled back in their intensity. This was all around a disappointment.
Rated PG-13: Violence, Language and children-in-danger.