Archive for April, 2010

A Nightmare on Elm Street: The Dream Child (1989)

Posted in Horror Review, Nightmare on Elm Street week with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 30, 2010 by Pass the Popcorn!

Director: Stephen Hopkins

Writers: Wes Craven

John Skipp

Craig Spector

Leslie Bohem

Tagline: It’s A Boy!

Plot: Alice, having survived the previous installment of the Nightmare series, finds the deadly dreams of Freddy Krueger starting once again…

Cast: Robert Englund – Freddy Krueger / Featured Maniac

Lisa Wilcox – Alice Johnson

Kelly Jo Minter – Yvonne

Danny Hassel – Dan Jordan

Erika Anderson – Greta Gibson

Review:

I’m sorry for being absent again this past few days. But now I’m back with the review of the Dream Child, the 5th movie from the Nightmare on Elm Street series. Freddy is revived and back again to haunt the dreams of Springewood teenagers. Now he uses Alice’s unborn baby to get to “fresh meat”. Despite this plot summary, which may sound stupid and dull, I found Dream Child to be an ok, watchable movie.

When I started watching it, I thought to myself that it could be the best sequel in the NoES series so far. It begins with one of Alice’s dreams, which was very creepy and disturbing. In it we see how Amanda Krueger, Freddy’s mother, was overwhelmed by 100 maniacs in the asylum where she worked. Robert Englund even had an awesome cameo in those scenes as one of the maniacs.  After that, in another dream, we see more disturbing scenes like Amanda giving birth to Freddy. That second dream somehow revives him and he is back again. This is what Nightmare on Elm Street is all about. Twisted creepy scenes perfectly combined with dark humour. The movie managed to completely amaze me by then. After Dream Master (an ok movie which really lacked any kind of horror elements) Dream Child came to me like a breath of fresh air. This sequel also features some of the best murders in whole series. Freddy almost didn’t use his razor glove at all but killed his victims in all kinds of humorous and interesting ways. Unfortunately, there are only few deaths that occur during the movie. His “new style” had much more potential and shouldn’t have been wasted on few kills.

Even though it seems that Dream Child has only some minor flaws, it definitely isn’t a very good movie. It had a very strong and decent beginning but as soon as we meet our main characters, it all goes downhill. They are a bunch of one dimensional, undeveloped idiots full of cliches, which were quite annoying and boring to watch. And the worst of all, the character who annoyed me the most survived the whole movie. In addition to their shallow personalities, acting was awful. I know I can’t expect some special characters from a movie like The Dream Child but at least they could have been a bit less irritating – two previous parts from the series didn’t have problems like this. I have to say something about Alice’s son, Jacob. In some scenes his appearance helped create a creepy atmosphere but in other one he seemed completely useless…so I don’t know what to think of him. Besides that, as the time was passing by, the movie was getting worse and worse. Some scenes didn’t make sense at all,  the whole plot synopsis is bad and accomplishing some things seemed too easy (like finding out how to defeat Freddy and doing so). In conclusion, the movie suffers from a huge script writing problem. It is interesting how can a movie have such a good start and continue/finish being below average. All in all, I give it a same grade as I gave to The Dream Master.

My Rating: 5/10… Nice beginning but almost everything else sucks.

A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master (1988)

Posted in Horror Review, Nightmare on Elm Street week with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 27, 2010 by Pass the Popcorn!

Director: Renny Harlin

Writers: Wes Craven

William Kotzwinkle

Brian Helgeland

Jim & Ken Wheat

Tagline: You shouldn’t have buried me, I’m not dead

Plot: Freddy Krueger returns once again to terrorize the dreams of the remaining Dream Warriors, as well as those of a young woman who may know the way to defeat him for good.

Cast: Lisa Wilcox – Alice Johnson

Andras Jones – Rick Johnson

Danny Hassel – Dan Jordan

Rodney Eastman – Joey Crusel

Tuesday Knight – Kristen Parker

Review:

Nightmare on Elm Street week continues with A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master! After being “put to rest” in the previous part, Freddy is back to kill the remaining Dream Warriors and some “fresh meat”. Our main female character in this one is Alice Johnson, a girl who comes from a troubled family and has problems with day dreaming. Alice, just like Kristen from Dream Warriors, has some special powers, which could help her kill Freddy.

Dream Master easily follows the direction in which Dream Warriors, as a movie, went. So this part is also full with hilarious quotes, Freddy’s funny one-liners and innovative kills. Correct me if I’m wrong but I think Dream Master has the greatest number of deaths in the whole series so far and all of them are surely the movie’s most memorable moments. I think it’s needless to say that Freddy lost his horror aspect entirely in this sequel. Now he rather looks like a stand up comedian, which isn’t bad at all because it depends on what do you expect from this movie. Similar to Dream Warriors, if you want to watch a serious horror, better skip Dream Master but if you are interested in watching a simply fun movie, you go for it. This sequel also offers much more amusing characters than the ones from it’s predecessor. Although character development is utterly bad, I couldn’t predict who would survive and who would die so some scenes and “twists” (if you can call them that way) were “shocking” to me.

Despite Dream Warriors had less interesting characters and many flaws, it still is a better movie than Dream Master. This one simply won’t entertain you enough if you’re not a Nightmare on Elm Street fan. It has an average story, bad acting, interesting kills and some funny moments and that’s it. Similar to the Dream Warriors, Dream Master had a script that had potential but failed in making it a more amusing movie, which would appeal to everyone. It’s very easy to compare them: they are pretty much the same because of all the similarities they have. Dream Warriors, however, made something new and innovative in the series. On the other hand Dream Master simply follows that formula. Furthermore, don’t expect anything special from Alice’s power, which I mentioned in the review’s introduction, they were just somehow useless. Oh yeah! I forgot to mention that the movie has a terrible ending. It is almost as bad as the one in Freddy’s Revenge, which left me really disappointed, and if it had been different I would have surely given Dream Master a better rating. While Dream Warriors was good from start to end, Dream Master had lot of ups and downs and generally it’s a worse movie than its predecessor.

My Rating: 5/10… Dream Warriors is slightly better. Better check that one out.


A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors (1987)

Posted in Horror Review, Nightmare on Elm Street week with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 26, 2010 by Pass the Popcorn!

Director: Chuck Russell

Writers: Wes Craven

Bruce Wagner

Frank Darabont

Chuck Russell

Tagline: Freddy’s just around the corner…

Plot: As Freddy Krueger continues his murdering, the kids, led by Freddie’s main opponent in the first film, prepare to fight back.

Cast: Heather Langenkamp – Nancy Thompson

Craig Wasson – Neil Gordon

Patricia Arquette – Kristen Parker

Robert Englund – Freddy Krueger

Ken Sagoes – Kincaid

Review:

We start our Nightmare on Elm Street week with the third part of the series, which is named Dream Warriors. First of all, I have to say all reviews made during this week are dedicated to my dear friend Ydolon who introduced me furthermore to the Elm Street series. Now back to the review. Dream Warriors is the directing debut of Chuck Russell (he is famous for directing The Blob remake and The Mask) and I must say I’m satisfied with his work on this movie (it is also important to mention that Frank Darabont, the famous director, was one of the writers).

One of the best things in Dream Warriors is that the actress Heather Langenkamp is back as Nancy Thompson. Although I didn’t like her very much in the original Nightmare, it was nice to see her reprising the role that made her famous. Her comeback was surely one of the movie’s highlights. After the events, which occurred in the first part, she became a psychiatrist specialized in dream therapy who works in a local hospital with children who also have problems with Freddy. All of those children have some sort of powers and abilities in their dreams and with their help Nancy decides to get rid of Krueger once and for all. In addition to the plot summary, which sounds interesting by itself, Dream Warriors is a much better movie than A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge. Apart from being an infamous serial killer, Freddy’s personality changed slightly. He became an even more likeable character with all those funny one liners and interesting kills, that was an excellent improvement. Besides that, we learn something about his background, to be more precise: that he is the bastard son of 100 maniacs. Besides all that, this sequel features some very creepy/weird special effects and a catchy nurzery rhyme, which perfectly fits the movie’s atmosphere.

Although Dream Warrior is better than the 2nd part it is still much worse than the original A Nightmare on Elm Street. I think that the script writing could have been a little more advanced because the “dream fighting” idea had huge potential but during the movie it all just feels somehow undeveloped. Speaking of undeveloped, some characters were pretty useless, they were just free kills (but I guess that just works that way in average sequels of classic slashers :D). And by the way, dont’ expect this movie to be scary at all, it does have some minor horror elements but they are nothing more than pure fun. Even though I said many positive things about Dream Warriors, I found it to be nothing special. It is still just your average slasher sequel, which is stupidly amazing (or amazingly stupid – you chose :] ).

My Rating: 6/10… A fun movie you’ll probably enjoy.



Nightmare on Elm Street week!

Posted in Nightmare on Elm Street week with tags , , on April 25, 2010 by Pass the Popcorn!

After being busy/away for some time I decided to come back with a new event that will occur next week only on Drugsbunny’s horror reviews!

I bet all horror fans are very interested how will the remake of Nightmare on Elm Street look like! So until the day of its premiere comes you can check me out daily because I will post reviews of  every movie in the series.

I already reviewed the first and the second one.

Bye.. for now!

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003)

Posted in Horror Review with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 17, 2010 by Pass the Popcorn!

Director: Marcus Nispel

Writers: Kim Henkel (1974 screenplay)

Tobe Hooper (1974 screenplay)

Scott Kosar

Tagline: Inspired by a True Story

Plot: A group of friends passing through are stalked and hunted down by a deformed killer with a chainsaw in order to sustain his poor family who can only afford to eat what they kill.

Cast: Jessica Biel – Erin

Jonathan Tucker – Morgan

Erica Leerhsen – Pepper

Mike Vogel – Andy

Eric Balfour – Kemper

Review (spoilers):

Yesterday I noticed I have a DVD of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre in my collection so I decided to give it a watch. That was a really bad thing to do. I’m not a huge fan of the original movie, I just find it to be very decent and above average but this remake is just….horrible. I think you are all familiar with the movie’s idea about a psychotic (and cannibalistic) family and its members who kill nearby travelers (read: a standard group of teeny friends who want to have sex and do drugs).

The movie starts with a fine, narrative intro which makes us think we are watching a documentary rather a horror movie. The same style was used in the original TCM so the remake seemed so far so good. Unfortunately, it all went downhill from there. Now we are being introduced to a bunch of friends who are going to a Lynyrd Skynyrd concert. I don’t think it’s really necessary to mention that the characters have almost no development at all and that most of them are simply pure cannon fodder and free kills. And, of course, their actions and decisions are too stupid, even for a teeny horror like The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Besides that, the movie is too predictable and obvious, it seems like the script was written by a person who is a half retard. Speaking of bad writing, I was simply amazed at how many pointless, stupid and unnecessary things are in the movie. In the original TCM the cannibalistic family consists of only 3 members, in the remake the family is huge (at least 6 or 7 of them)! I think every time the script writer ran out of any real ideas for the further plot, he introduced us to a new family member – some of them even serve as a “deus ex machina”. Scenes like those were so irrelevant to the main plot that they didn’t make any sense at all. This version of TCM also features a stupidly boring 10 – 15 minute chainsaw chase during which I almost fell a sleep. In conclusion, by the time the movie ended there was no suspense at all. If you are going to remake a cult horror movie, you could at least try to make it enjoyable but I just think that this remake is purposely bad, just another mainstream, American teeny horror (in a very bad way).

The original Texas Chainsaw Massacre (19745) was a strangely disturbing movie that opened some new horizons for other horror movies. It’s a shame it has such a bad remake, which lacks everything that made the original so famous. It isn’t disturbing at all but hollow and I’m not a big fan of gore but this movie could definitely use some more. The remake really needs something special, worth watching and remembering, something to stand out with from the rest of the generic horror movies. Btw, I was shocked by the remake’s positive ratings and reviews on imdb. Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003) is nothing more than pure crap.

My Rating: 2/10… Boring. Yawn. Don’t watch it at all costs.

Leptirica (1973)

Posted in Horror Review with tags , , , , , , , , on April 13, 2010 by Pass the Popcorn!

Director: Djordje Kadijević

Writers: Milovan Glisić

Djordje Kadijević

Plot: Story follows young man Strahinja who is in love with a local beauty Radojka, but their relationship has an obstacle – her father Zivan, who considers Strahinja as nothing but a loser.

Cast: Mirjana Nikolić – Radojka

Petar Bozović – Strahinja

Slobodan Perović – Živan

Vasja Stanković – Kmet

Tanasije Uzunović – Pop

Review:

After I watched Zone of the Dead the other day, I though to myself that I definitely have to watch some ex-Yu horror movies. So I started my mini “marathon” with Leptirica, a cult movie dating from the early seventies. I’ve heard that it was one of the scariest movies ever made so I really had to check out those rumors furthermore. Well, were the rumors true? No! Does this make Leptirica a bad movie? Hell no!

Leptirica follows 2 interwined stories. The first one is about a vampire who kills local man who dare to sleep in the village mill, and the second one is about a young man, Strahinja, who loves a girl, named Radojka, and we will just do anything to merry her. What I like the most about this movie is that it perfectly follows the life of local village’s folk: you can see their lifes, everyday troubles and strange traditions (even some “pagan” rituals). I could even consider Leptirica as a documentary of some sort, because it is a perfect example of how some people lived back then. In addition to that it also features some social elements (like Strahinja being poor). The horror elements in this movie were done absolutely brilliant, some of them were even very disturbing, unfortunately, during the movie only 3 or 4 scenes feature this kind of atmosphere, which is achieved through some strange shrieking and weird vampire looks. One of the best things in the movie would surely be the twist in the end but I won’t spoil that out. Besides the creepy atmosphere,  Leptirica also offers a very strong cast which fit their roles perfectly (most notably Slobodan Perović as Živan & Tanasije Uzunović as the priest), wonderful. It also has some humorous scenes worth mentioning.

The running time of the movie is about one hour, which is bad, because even though it’s running time is short it easily becomes boring from time to time. Apart from that, I didn’t find Leptirica to be anything special becaus it simply lacks a few more horror scenes, which would surely raise it’s effectiveness. But it still is a decent horror movie you should definitely check out if you haven’t already (especially if you are from the ex-Yu region). Over the years, it gained quite a cult following.

My Rating: 7/10… I gave it a shot and it didn’t disappoint me.


Pandorum (2009)

Posted in Horror Review with tags , , , , , , , , , on April 12, 2010 by Pass the Popcorn!

Director: Christian Alvart

Writers: Travis Milloy

Christian Alvart

Tagline: Don’t fear the end of the world. Fear what happens next.

Plot: A pair of crew members aboard a spaceship wake up with no knowledge of their mission or their identities.

Cast: Dennis Quaid – Payton

Ben Foster – Bower

Cam Gigandet – Gallo

Antje Traue – Nadia

Cung Le – Manh

Review (spoilers):

Pandorum seemed like a decent movie to watch on a rainy Monday afternoon. It has a pretty high rating on imdb for a sci fi/horror flick so I was instantly interested in watching in it. Little did I knew that this movie will turn out to be a complete disaster. It has very poor script writing and, worst of all, doesn’t offer anything new nor innovative. In theory, it had huge prepositions for becoming a memorable movie in it’s genre, but in practice, it is utter rubbish not worth watching at all.

The plot goes something like this: In distant future our planet, Earth, becomes overpopulated. So 60 000 people are sent in a huge spaceship to colonize a new planet, named Tanis. But during the flight,  the 3 members of the flight crew find out that the Earth somehow (never explained) exploded and because of this discovery they experience Pandorum – “a psychological condition brought on by extended periods of hyper-sleep (suspended animation) and its symptoms and effects, including severe paranoia, vivid hallucinations, and homicidal tendencie”. The members of the flight crew kill each other and only one survives. He soon starts to play god with the ship’s travelers who sleep sound in some sort of cells. In the meantime, a flesh eating mutant outbreak occurs. Some people wake up from their cells and find themselves in the middle of this hell made of this Pandorum & mutants. Wait, what? The whole movie’s synopsis doesn’t make any sense at all, it’s just… retarded.  When I watched it, I had to click pause every 10 minutes so I could read on the internet what’s currently happening in the movie. I just didn’t understand a thing…I mean, I did but it seemed a little too stupid to be real. You don’t get any decent plot explanation until half through the movie. It was all very confusing and strange to watch, in a bad way. And I really think they should have made this movie with one threat, not two. It would have been a lot of better if it focuses it’s plot on only this Pandorum or on the mutants, not on both. The former would make a nice sci fi slasher and the latter a good survival sci fi horror, I guess.

But let’s put aside this awful script writing for a minute. I just have to say that the mutants look exactly like the ones from The Descent… And that’s not all of it. Some claustrophobic scenes and neon lightning are also very similar to our beloved British movie. Yes, Pandorum just looks like a stupid sequel of The Descent that is set in space. Yawn. And of course, every real sci fi fan would instantly notice some similiarities between Pandorum and the Alien serial. In short, this movie offers nothing new! Furthermore, Pandorum is very boring due to it’s awful script writing. You would at least expect some killing in this movie but that doesn’t occur until late in the movie and those kills weren’t nothing special. Now that I think about it, I can’t remember anything positive about Pandorum, it was very painful to watch it. And yes, let’s not forget about the wooden, one dimensional, undeveloped characters in it, the existence of some of them was clearly unimportant. It is simply amazing how Pandorum turned out to be so bad.

My Rating: 3/10… A movie that could have been good, it turns out it has a retarded script, which makes it painful to watch