Archive for February, 2010

Drag Me To Hell (2009)

Posted in Horror Review with tags , , , , , , , , , on February 28, 2010 by Pass the Popcorn!

Director: Sam Raimi

Writers: Sam Raimi (written by) &
Ivan Raimi (written by)

Tagline: Christine Brown has a good job, a great boyfriend, and a bright future. But in three days, she’s going to hell.

Plot: A loan officer ordered to evict an old woman from her home finds herself the recipient of a supernatural curse, which turns her life into a living hell. Desperate, she turns to a seer to try and save her soul, while evil forces work to push her to a breaking point.

Cast: Alison Lohman – Christine Brown

Justin Long – Clay Dalton

Lorna Raver – Sylvia Ganush

Dileep Rao – Rham Jas

David Paymer – Mr. Jacks

Review (spoilers):

I think Mr. Sam Raimi needs no further introduction in the horror movie industry. His Evil Dead trilogy has a cult world wide status (and are one of the best movies ever made, if you ask me).  So last year Raimi made his new horror movie entitled Drag Me To Hell. I was instantly a little sceptic when I heard about this movie, I thought that Raimi maybe lost his touch over the years, I was so wrong. Too bad that Bruce Campbell doesn’t appear in this one, but no matter, it was good anyways ; ).

I’ll give you an advice: watch this movie with your friends while having some booze around you. This movie has a perfect party mood, it is extremely fun, has a quite good sense of humor, it is gory from time to time and it’s full of really cheap scares, classic Raimi. During the movie we follow a girl named Christine Brown (excellently played by Alison Lohman) who gets in a fight with a gipsy woman and gets a curse on her.  Soon after that infamous fight scene Christine finds out that she will go to hell in three day if she somehow doesn’t break the curse. Until the last minute, I wasn’t sure how will the movie end (don’t worry, I won’t spoil too much) so the script was done really nice, finally something worth watching. I enjoyed myself so much while doing so. As I said before, get yourself ready for many funny scenes. The combination of horror and comedy  works very well in the movie industry (for now) and Sam Raimi is the ultimate combinator of those genres. It is a definitely must see movie.

Now for some bad sides of the movie (which are minor). I must repeat myself one more time: this is classic Raimi which may be a little problem. While I was watching the Evil Dead trilogy I thought to myself from time to time “wtf did they just do that?”. Unfortunately, the same thoughts haven’t followed me through Drag Me To Hell because the scenes in it are expected. They are definitely not predictable because I don’t have a clue what will happen next but if you know what is Raimi capable of in his movies, you won’t be so surprised when some sick shit occurs. I hope this somehow explained my sentence that the some scenes in the movie are “expected”.

Drag Me To Hell is surely one of the best horror movies of i’s year but I fear it may not gain further recognition because there is nothing “special” in it.

My Rating: 8/10… Go see it if you haven’t alredy.

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Wrong Turn (2003)

Posted in Horror Review with tags , , , , , , , , , on February 27, 2010 by Pass the Popcorn!

Director: Rob Schmidt

Writer: Alan B. McElroy (written by)

Tagline: It’s the last one you’ll ever take.

Plot: Six people find themselves trapped in the woods of West Virginia, hunted down by “cannibalistic mountain men grossly disfigured through generations of in-breeding.”

Cast: Desmond Harrington – Chris Flynn

Eliza Dushku – Jessie Burlingame

Emmanuelle Chriqui – Carly

Jeremy Sisto – Scott

Kevin Zegers – Evan

Review (spoilers):

I watched Wrong Turn some time ago and I almost fell asleep while doing so.  It’s one of those movies who actually don’t have any plot.  6 “pretty” (this is the most important word) people got themselves lost in the woods and die one by one in the clutches of deformed cannibals. When I first heard what is the story about, I thought to myself: “Not another Texas Chainsaw Massacre wannabe”. This movie desperately wants to be like something else because it can’t stand out on it’s own.

The movie’s beginning was more than good, it starts with 2 brutal murders followed by creepy images of deformed people, pictures of newspaper articles, etc. Very early in the movie you find out that the bad guys are going to be in-breeding cannibals. I didn’t have anything against that early realization but, however, it kills possible future shocking moments in which we could find out the killers real nature. Also, when we meet our protagonists, first victims fall almost instantly. So, similar to The Wolfman, Wrong Turn starts too fast than gets to it’s boring and slow middle part (which is bad) . That boring middle part is nothing more than a cat and mouse chase around the forest, during this I almost fell asleep. It seemed like the director was completely out of ideas on this one so he put some random thrown shit in the movie. We have a scene where the good and the bad guys climb trees and run after each other until the main good guy knocks one cannibal down with a giant branch. I’m not kidding. That was awful.  At least the whole tree climbing scene had one bright side:  a girl got killed when a cannibal swung his axe into her mouth, that was the best (and maybe the only good) kill scene in the whole movie.

I forgot to say that the movie is also very predictable. From the beginning you just know which two are going to be the final couple and also you can predict in what order are other characters going to die. I don’t even want to comment some plot holes which were just too obvious like why didn’t the cannibals instantly kill Jessie after capturing here. In the end of the movie the two remaining survivors kill all three cannibals. That was a little longer scene than I originally expected and is very action driven. It was ok I suppose. Oh, I forgot to comment the make up off the cannibals. The make up was very effective, but in the meantime a little funny, you can’t take the cannibals serious, now when I think about it, some of their habits are a little too ludicrous.  As the opposite to the look of the bad guys, the good guys simply look to beautiful. I just don’t like when the actors have to be so pretty because when it’s like that I can’t get in that tense horror mood, everything seems unreal.

My Rating: 3/10… The whole movie is one boring, predictable plot hole.

Paranormal Activity (2007)

Posted in Horror Review with tags , , , , , , , , on February 25, 2010 by Pass the Popcorn!

Director: Oren Peli

Writer: Oren Peli (screenplay)

Tagline: What Happens When You Sleep?

Plot: After moving into a suburban home, a couple becomes increasingly disturbed by a nightly demonic presence.

Cast: Katie Featherston – Katie

Micah Sloat – Micah

Mark Fredrichs – The Psychic

Amber Armstrong – Amber

Ashley Palmer – Diane – Girl on Internet

Review (spoilers):

When a movie gains the title of “being the scariest movie of all time” so fast I just knew something strange is going on. This movie suddenly came out of nowhere. Filmed in only 10 days, with a budget lower than 15 000$ it soon found itself in the middle of some huge hype.  There was lot of “controversy” about it:  people were freaking out in theaters world wide, some people even got paralyzed by watching it, the commercials for it were banned in Italy etc. You don’t have to be a die hard horror fan to hear something about this movie every other day. After all this talking there are only two more question to be answered:  Is it worth watching? And does it justify it’s hype and fame? No and no.

This movie was pretty bad, even for a low budget one. The idea was an amazing one and I was really expecting something… a little better.  It’s biggest problem, as you may guess, is the script. I even found myself laughing from time to time at some ridiculous dialogue.  Also there were some plot holes and actions made by the characters which were rather unusual. Btw neither Katie nor Micah were very likeable. Sometimes during the movie I just couldn’t stand them, the perfect example of that would be the infamous spider scene. In that one Katie suddenly starts screaming in the bathroom, Micah hears her, takes his camera and rushes like a super hero to her rescue. After doing so he, to his surprise, finds out that the source of all that racket was a little spider, Katie replays to that with something like: – You first took your camera then got here. – Ok, seriously, what was the point of that scene? That was just dumb.

The rest of the scares are also pretty dumb, cheap and worst of all obvious. In mostly every part of the movie you exactly know when a scare is going to occur, that just killed any sort of surprise effect. All truly “scary” scenes happen by night and are seen through the eyes of a camera (just like the whole movie) but during the night the camera is static and has a timer on it. As the time passes by, the timer is going very fast but just before a scary screen, it slows down to it’s normal speed. And besides spooky spiders the things that will freak you out are:  doors, footprints in flour and strange noises. I can’t deny there is some kind of “tense” atmosphere during those night scenes but when you repeat your ideas over and over again it just kills any kind of mood.

There is not much to say about Paranormal Activity anymore.  I haven’t had very high expectations of it and yet it still failed to amuse me in any way. There is only one thing left to do now. I want to sarcastically congratulate the director, Oren Peli, for gaining such big success with such crappy film. He even tricked some people in believing this was based on a real situation. It takes some skill for doing so, don’t you think? 😉

My Rating: 3/10… It doesn’t live up to it’s hype. Actually, it’s light years away from “being the scariest movie of all time”.

The Collector (2009)

Posted in Horror Review with tags , , , , , , , , , on February 23, 2010 by Pass the Popcorn!

Director: Marcus Dunstan

Writers: Patrick Melton (screenplay) &

Marcus Dunstan (screenplay)

Tagline: He always takes one

Plot: Desperate to repay his debt to his ex-wife, an ex-con plots a heist at his new employer’s country home, unaware that a second criminal has also targeted the property, and rigged it with a series of deadly traps.

Cast: Madeline Zima – Jill

Josh Stewart – Arkin

Andrea Roth – Victoria

Juan Fernández  – The Collector

Daniella Alonso – Lisa

Review (spoilers):

First of all, I have to say I don’t usually like movies like The Collector which rely mostly on senseless gore and blood (as I was expecting), but this time I was pretty amazed because there is much more in it.

As you can see, the plot is a very simple one, it almost all the time follows the same routine which is that a psycho killer traps and tortures his victims. You can’t expect any good twists from it, you can’t expect a very well written script and of course, you can’t expect an original idea. However, this movie made a good impression on me without all mentioned bad things. It’s atmosphere is on a decent level, I’ll have to compliment the soundtrack which perfectly matched some of the scenes.  The combination of Bauhaus’ song Bela Lugosi’s Dead and some freaky awaiting for a trap (or something) to occur left me breathless.  It would be very wrong of me if I don’t mention the luminance. All the green / orange / red color ( I can’t remember what colors were there exactly ) in some scenes made a big part in creating such a tense atmosphere.

I also have to compliment the actors, they were nicely chosen for their roles. None of them is a big, awesome Hollywood star which did perfectly fit the mood. All characters did seem somehow real and possible because of that (except the character of the main bad guy, I’ll say something later about him).  As I said before, the whole cast made a good job, nothing perfect, nothing special but very decent. I hope to see Josh Stewart in more movies, I liked his acting the best.

Now it’s time to discuss the things that really move the movie around – traps and gadgets. As I said, I usually don’t watch films like The Collector so I can’t compare it to other similar ones.  But from my point of view, all ideas for traps and all the torture / killing scenes seemed pretty nice, nothing amazing but still worth watching. Somehow my attention wasn’t so focused on this “details”.  If you are an average movie watcher or you just got into the horror genre, I think you’ll be more than pleased. The best torturing scene to me was the one with some big bugs, roaches, or whatever the fuck they were, that was painful.

Now on to some bad sides. The worst thing about this movie is the character of the bad guy, named Collector. We don’t know nothing about him, just some random thrown images, you don’t see any reasons why would someone do such horrible things. Without a decent explanation for his deeds, the film just starts to seem unreal and towards the end you see that he has even some supernatural powers. A chandelier with knives attached to it falls on his head and he continues to walk around to make more menace (during that, he was almost unscarred), that didn’t have much sense to me. Note to the movie director: If you are going for a psychotic killer in your movies take some time to introduce the public to his history, explain his motives a little than continue with all that bloodshed. If you go for the bloodshed first and put everything else in second plan it is possible you’re killer will have some crappy charisma. I think there is going to be a sequel to The Collector, I hope the killer’s supernatural powers are going to be explained in it.

Except the awful characterization of the bad guy, this movie is a good watch.

My Rating: 7/10… Nice to kill a hour and a half of your time + you get some really cool soundtracks in it and more.  Check it out.

The Wolfman (2010)

Posted in Horror Review with tags , , , , , , , , , , on February 21, 2010 by Pass the Popcorn!

Director: Joe Johnston

Writers: Andrew Kevin Walker (screenplay)

David Self (screenplay)

Tagline: When the moon is full the legend comes to life

Plot: Upon his return to his ancestral homeland, an American man (Del Toro) is bitten, and subsequently cursed by, a werewolf.

Cast: Benicio Del Toro – Lawrence Talbot

Anthony Hopkins – Sir John Talbot

Hugo Weaving – Abberline

Emily Blunt – Gwen Conliffe

Art Malik – Singh

Review (spoilers):

I went to see The Wolfman yesterday and I didn’t like it very much,  but let’s go from the beginning. The first scene in the movie is a classic chase in the woods where a werewolf kills a young man named Ben Talbot. Early in the movie we can see that it will be full with cheap “jumping out” scares which I don’t really like but never mind. After the death of Ben, his brother Lawrence wants to find out what actually happened, soon after that he also gets bitten by a werewolf. This everything happens very early in the movie, a little too early if you ask me. I didn’t want the plot to be so fast, it just killed the mood of old woods of Victorian England and the whole visual experience.

After the first part of the movie in which is everything so fast happening, we get a very slow driven and boring middle part of the movie. Even famous (and good) actors like Anthony Hopksins, Benicio Del Toro & Hugo Weaving couldn’t save this part from a boring disaster. Their characters are wooden, the characterization was very poorly done as the interactions between them.  The especially bad was the introduction to the Hugo Weaving’s character – Abberline.  He comes out of nowhere and we know nothing about him, actually I’m not sure what was his part in the movie supposed to be. We only find out that he worked on the infamous Jack The Ripper case but that information makes no difference, his character just wasn’t special in any way.  Also in this second segment of the movie we get the first werewolf transformation which pleased my appetite, that was really nicely done.

By this time, I had most of the problems with script which I found to be disastrous. It is so predictable in every way, especially the twist which, if you ask me, came very early in the movie and was poorly done.  In that scene we don’t see any real motives of Sir John Talbot, we don’t see what has turned him to a madmen and why did he really kill his wife. Any of this doesn’t make any sense and is really shallow, hardly believable.  So…now we move to the third (and final) part of the movie.

That part, and the whole ending, look more like an action movie and they lack that simple but effective horrosish tense which slowly built itself through the movie. The last 15-20 minutes are similar to the beginning, they are also very fast moving and let’s say slightly hard to watch, I didn’t enjoy that. So the movie is too fast, then boring and too slow then again too fast. The final battle between father and son was so simple and sped up, it lasted like 15 second? And the final wood chase lacks any kind of horror atmosphere. When the main character, Lawrence Talbot, dies  we see the movie’s biggest problem, the audience can’t sympathize at all with characters, they don’t care who will die or when. Anyways, I hope there will be no sequel (which is very possible because of the ending) because I think it will be even worse than this.

This movie simply failed, it’s a pity as the actors are big names in the movie industry.

My Rating: 5/10… It’s hard to give it a lower grade (visualy, the movie is fantastic) and it’s hard to give it a higher grade(the script is retarded and the characters are simply too wooden).  It’s a shame, I really expected that this movie to become a cult one.

The Birds (1963)

Posted in Horror Review with tags , , , , , , , , , , on February 20, 2010 by Pass the Popcorn!

Director: Alfred Hitchcock

Writers: Daphne Du Maurier (from a story by)

Evan Hunter (screenplay)

Tagline: Suspense and shock beyond anything you have seen or imagined!

Plot: A wealthy San Francisco playgirl pursues a potential boyfriend to a small Northern California town that slowly takes a turn for the bizarre when birds of all kinds suddenly begin to attack people there in increasing numbers and with increasing viciousness.

Cast: Rod Taylor – Mitch Brenner

Suzanne Pleshette – Annie Hayworth

Jessica Tandy – Lydia Brenner

Tippi Hedren – Melanie Daniels

Veronica Cartwright – Cathy Brenner

Review (spoilers):

Talking about classics, I watched The Birds the other day and guess what…I was very disappointed.  After all, this IS Hitchcock and his Psycho simply blew me away but…but….but this movie is just plain dull…

The first 50 minutes of movie are suffering from a soap opera effect.  Actually nothing happens in that time except some awful love story. I had the feeling I was watching Breakfast at Tiffany’s all over again. Yes, this movie is just a stupid (and much worse) version of Breakfast at Tiffany’s but with attacking birds. And btw, what is it with all this bird attacking thingy? I was expecting from old Hitchcock to make a goddamn decent movie with a goddamn decent plot not this. Yes, I know that the movie is based on a short story and the poor summary isn’t Alfred’s fault but why did he had to make a movie out of it? I was expecting to see something like that on Sci-Fi channel, not from THE Alfred Hitchcock.

So what’s the wrong about the synopsis? First of all, there is never explained in the movie why do the birds attack. I guess there are no explanations because the writer wanted to make some mysterious and weird feeling about the plot. However, his attempts weren’t very successful, everything just looked shallow.  But never mind the explanations, let’s talk about the attacks of the birds, that is the second problem. They attack for no apparent reason, leave for no apparent reason, wait for about 10-15 boring minutes in which the characters discuss the bird attacks then attack again. And that goes all around, urgh, it’s boring. From time to time it was even painful to watch it.

Of course, the movie is supposed to be suspenseful because the movie plot is a complete failure. Sso you would at least expect some nice suspense from any of the scenes so the cult status of the movie could be vindicated. I’m going to disappoint everyone now. There is no suspense in The Birds. I think the reason for that is cuz the movie lacks any kind of soundtrack or anything else that isn’t stupid birds shrieking.  And I’m not going to comment some effects in the movie because they were for the lulz.

Also, the ending of the movie is horrible.

My Rating: 3/10 … Just skip this movie. I know it is supposed to be a cult movie and it’s director is a legend but it is still bad anyway.