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The Prey (1983)
Watchable, but offers nothing new
Driving out to the wilderness, a group of friends runs into a camp worker while they wait for a spot to open and decide to hike out together, but when they notice their numbers are down they realize a deranged serial killer is stalking the woods and try to get out of the woods alive.
This one does have some half-way decent moments in when it tries. One of it's best aspects is the fact that this one takes advantage of its forest setting like very few others gives it a great atmosphere. The forest setting is disorienting in nature, continually features areas that look identical to other areas they've already past, and in general have a creepy vibe to them allows for some great moments to come from there. The early scenes of the group hiking and complaining in the wilderness carries a nice vibe while clearly showing that they're being watched as they pass through the gorgeous scenery and mountain locales on the way to camp. There's also a lot to like here when it uses that set-up to bring about the interactions with the killer. The first encounter striking the couple in the campground offers up some fantastic stalking scenes as the killer strikes out of the darkness of the woods, leading into a nice extended search through the woods the next morning to look for them only to find splattered blood left behind. Likewise, the scenes of the ranger tracking the teens through the woods have much to like about it slowly dawning on him what's going on, and the finale is pretty good since it leaves with a big enigma and does something clever with it. The only other part that works is that there are some really good deaths as well, as these here are the film's best qualities. There isn't a whole lot of flaws in the film, but they are there. The main issue here is the fact that the killer is kept off-screen until a few shots at the end which is a wise idea since there's almost nothing about him that screams terrifying. The design is decent, and it's intended to look great, but all it does is just look like a ridiculous plastic surgery gone wrong and is a lame attempt at being creepy. There's no way that it looks anything other than this, and is all too ludicrous to be anything other than unintentional hilarity. The last one has to deal with the motive of the killer. This is never spelled out, his back-story is a brief blurb that is never mentioned by or to anyone who comes into contact with them, and it makes him seem like too much of an enigma. Granted, there's a limit to what a killer should be like to maintain an aura of mystery, but this one was just too much mystery. Nothing is given as to why they're on the rampage, and it would've helped out the fear factor a little more. Along with a fairly healthy segment of time with a whole host of scenes showing the wildlife supposedly in the area that takes up an insane amount of time, it's watchable without too much going wrong for it.
Rated R: Graphic Violence, Language and Brief Nudity.
Suor Omicidi (1979)
Watchable if flawed Giallo/Nunsploitation hybrid
Carrying out her duties to the church, a nun finds herself unwilling to go on when she's diagnosed with cancer and leaves to find her sanity, only to come across the realization that she may be the killer behind the spate of murders at a local insane asylum and tries to clear her name.
There was quite a lot to like with this effort. Among the more enjoyable aspects here is the strong combination of exploitations elements with the mixture of the nunsploitation and giallo fixtures. The nunsploitation is quite obvious, taking the idea of the strong, commanding superior with a domineering touch to how she treats the other sisters in the congregation reprimanded everyone in sight regardless of the nature of the offense. With that firmly established, the resulting sleaze apparent in such a situation makes the continuing lesbian dalliances and traditional male seduction scenes expected but no less welcome considering the figures involved even when it goes beyond the asylum walls for several fine, kinky interludes. That, in turn, leads to the film's striking thriller moments when they do arise. The first incident with the resident who gets thrown out of the balcony window to the ground below is quite shocking, while a later scene showing the killer stalking another resident after engaging in sexual dalliances with a patient and getting cotton stuffed into their mouth all while outside in a torrential rainstorm. The centerpiece sequence, where the killer stalks a victim bound with surgical bandages and stuck with pins and a scalpel, displays a far more gruesome and nasty edge than expected which is the case with a later scene showing the killer stalking a handicapped victim desperately climbing towards his walking crutches. Combined with a solid motive for the deaths to occur, there are some rather enjoyable elements to come from this. There are several big flaws within this one. The biggest issue is that there's so much focus early on with the nunsploitation angle that it never really adapts the thriller aspects until way too late to be of much interest for genre fanatics. The first murder doesn't occur until nearly halfway through the film and it doesn't strike the least bit worthy of an investigation until after the next body is discovered as the resulting time is spent on the psychological breakdowns of her psyche. The exploration of her psyche having been shattered with the physical diagnosis and resulting change in behavior does well to get us into her character but none of that helps build-up the film's thriller aspects that well. The other factor with this one is the underwhelming resolution that comes along with the second half of the film. Rather than end this in any kind of satisfactory manner, the ending is a real letdown centered around the twist revealing the killer's identity. This is no mystery at all since it's all telegraphed from the first minute of the film regarding who the killer actually is and so the big shocking reveal at the end has no real weight or impact despite actually seeing how they have gotten away with it. The psychological meltdowns are completely obvious red-herrings in the genre's structure which makes it somewhat unnecessary, leaving this one with some minor letdown moments.
Rated Unrated/R: Full Nudity, Violence, Language, sex scenes and drug use.
Effective ghost story
Heading out on Halloween night, a teen and her friends visit a haunted hospital rumored to be abandoned after a disastrous accident years ago to scout it as a possible haunted house, but they soon realize the former residents are still inside forcing them to find a way to get out alive.
This was an unexpectedly great film. One of the best aspects here comes from the suspense and atmosphere present in the setting which can turn a good film into a great one and a great one into a spectacular one. Most of that is accomplished by the unbelievable location used as the hospital which is exceptionally chilling with the elaborate, long hallways and dim, dank walls are just the perfect setting for the scares to come. The extra incentive that it's designed to be used as a haunted house is a fantastic enhancement of the atmosphere with the uncertainty of the noises and rattling heard off in the distance that is a bonus in creating suspense from the location. That setup allows the film to go overboard on the supernatural action. The reanimated dog corpse comes off well with the practical effects of the animal coming back to life and attacking providing a strong hint that something's wrong with the building, much like the later scenes of the recurring gags featuring out-of-control wheelchairs running down hallways without anyone pushing them along. Any time there's an elevator gag in here is prime material as they're completely different yet effectively creepy with the difference between them in the lighting, the editing and the location easily get the job done to elicit a general feeling of unease. The other enjoyable aspect with this one is the little touches that help make this one so fun and likable. Featuring a fantastic backstory involving the history of the hospitals' haunted nature involving her mother being involved in the accident and the other patient's desire for leaving. This helps make the sporadic gore work as while its the film does sport some nice splatter. On top of a great backstory for the detective helping to investigate the hospital, these here make this one incredibly enjoyable and hold it up over it's few minor issues. There isn't that much wrong here. The main problem is that the ending third of the film needs work. It doesn't seem as strong as the rest of the movie is with an endless circle of babbling speeches that go on and on about what the ghosts' main object is in escaping the hospital and it ends weakly as a result. On top of that, the battles with the now body-hopping ghost get old and repetitive as they just go around in circles doing the same thing and it never establishes any kind of satisfaction with how they manage to defeat him. The set-ups are there, it had the proper direction to do it, but the ideas manifested are a little weak. This is perhaps the film's only misfire, though.
Rated R: Graphic Language, Graphic Violence and Brief Nudity.
Far more enjoyable than expected
Heading out to a remote house, a group of friends arrive to look over the property and prepare it to move in, but when they're inundated by strange dreams and visions of something in the house with them they realize what's going on around them and must get out of the house alive.
There was more to like here than expected. One of the more enjoyable features here is the strong sense of atmosphere throughout here that comes from some far more chilling scenes. The early parts of the film focus nicely on the quick flashes of a figure crossing behind someone's back that they're unaware of or showing gnarled fingers reaching out to grab them, giving off some great hints that something is going on. The later dreams are just as creepy, with the vision of the ghost girl contorting herself to chase after the victim or the later one featuring the murder of the family taking place at the house and help to give this one more context for the last half of the film. This final half is where this one sets itself up as being rather enjoyable. Dropping the supernatural aspects with the random mention of the real history behind the house, the shift in tone and appearance into more of a slasher film complete with a human killer, and some traditional elements found in that scene. From the discovery of the bodies and realizing that the killer has already been there to a fine series of stalking scenes throughout the grounds of the house which has some suspenseful moments and decent kills in the process. Coupled with a fine, imposing killer that looks suitably appropriate to handle the physical activity here and a fine, brisk pace that allows this to zip by, there are some entertaining elements There are a few flaws here, and they all stem from one place in the generally weak story. There's no storytelling going on here at all, shifting from the appearance of the ghosts at the house which doesn't cause any concern about why they're there especially since the twist at the end makes the fact that they're there at the house pointless. This one should've given them a reason to be there by spelling out the backstory on the house since that's dropped in a haphazard manner an hour into the film with no warning and missing plenty of holes in what it's trying to get across. All it does is serve as the motive to suddenly introduce the human killer for an unknown reason which would've been great to get more info on if we had more time here which is not the case and the biggest detriment to the film.
Rated Unrated/R: Graphic Violence and Graphic Language.
Cemetery Gates (2006)
An enjoyable if flawed creature feature
Heading out for a film-school project, a student and a group of friends arrive at a cemetery out in the wilderness to start, but when they start to go missing they realize it's due to the escaped Tasmanian devil his father created and must try to find a way to stop it from killing the rest of the crew.
For the most part, this one was quite the fun creature feature. One of the better elements of this one is the enjoyable setup that manages to strand everybody together. With the activists who steal the animal and are rightfully attacked by the creature when they stop to release it and forcing the scientists to go looking for it, this one works nicely enough to get the animal loose into the world. Going alongside this is a fine storyline involving the friends working for their movie shoot which gets them out into the wilderness as well, giving this one some solid and really enjoyable main setup for the film. As well, the film scores incredibly well with action and practical effects. By using a practical rodent suit and head for the majority of the attacks, there's a fantastically cheesy charm to these scenes seeing the creature crawling over the victim ripping them to pieces in exceptionally brutal manners. The completely practical and cheesy gore here manages to allow this one plenty of short, vicious confrontations which carry out in various locations around the woods and into a frenzied battle through the beats' underground lair that packs in tons of action alongside the bounty of bloodshed on display. These here are what hold this one up while there are some flaws to be had here. The main issue is the continuous ability to shift focus away from the main story to draw in random characters simply to get more of a body-count on-screen. The film stops dealing with the characters shooting the movie or the scientists tracking the creature to focus on a random character having a graphic and brutal encounter with it, creating a wavering tempo throughout here as it zips around to something else at random intervals. That also factors into the idea of a weak storyline here by focusing on unrelated encounters for a major part of the running time. The other big flaw here is the rather cheap look throughout here that does pick up from time-to-time. The fact that the entire time the creature has a strange series of marks across the creatures' face that never moves or changes makes it look inherently fake, especially with the obvious puppet arms and suit-work for the creature making for a cheesy feel at times. However, it's the over-the-top blood-splatter that gets the most attention here because it's red-colored water erupting from a hose splashing over everything which is so far from realistic behavior that it is distracting and jarring in quite extreme measures due to the number of attacks in that matter. It's the biggest issue holding this one back.
Rated R: Extreme Graphic Violence, Extreme Graphic Language, Nudity and drug use.
Far better remake than expected
Living in a remote town, a teen caught up in a feud with a rival is forced to assist the sheriff to investigate a series of strange accidents to the residents, and when they find the cause to be a giant Gila monster released and rampaging through the area must try to stop the creature.
There was a lot to like with this one. Among the finer qualities on display is the old-school atmosphere of a feature set in that period. There's a lot to like with the 1950s culture setup here, with the loner and town outcast with a grudge against the perfect kid who has the perfect life as well as the hot-rod racing culture and the early beginnings of the lifestyle that would come out of their framework all manage to make for a really engrossing experience featuring the various subplots that help to engrain everything together in that period. That makes for a fun time as the overall atmosphere of the 50s small-town vibe meshes nicely with a more modern-day series of influences with the creature action. Featuring the constant short interactions that focus on utilizing the shock of the creatures' size and presence for a wholly enjoyable series of action scenes, with the creatures' first appearance, an attack on a farming couple and the derailing of a train which is a fun and over-the-top action scene, the majority of the film combines together into a wholly fun and exciting time with a great pace here. As well, that leads to the finale where it has a lot more to like. That they launch an initial attack on the creature by going after it in the cave hideout, but the resulting ambush doesn't stop it allowing for a big confrontation later on where the team confronting it blast away with all the gathered firepower which has a lot to like. The explosive finale is a fine if somewhat underwhelming based on the previous action but still manages an explosive take on how they destroy the creature. These here are what manages to hold the film up. Whatever's wrong with this one can be traced back to the genesis of the effects work used with the creature being the usually atrocious CGI. The classic complaints and features usually associated here pop up once again, from the constant size and dimension changes within the scene, never completely looking or moving at all like a real creature and never interacting with the rest of the live-action taking place whenever it's on-screen. As this is to be expected and not a surprise, there's not much detrimental about this feature, which when combined with the finale's underwhelming fight with the creature are what do lower this one.
Rated Unrated/R: Language and Violence.
Awful and near unwatchable killer spider effort
Following their successes around the world, a multinational commando team is gathered together to lead an operation on one of the largest drug trafficking organizations in the world, but when they arrive at their target they find the area overrun by massive spiders and try to get away alive.
This here was a generally awful genre effort. Among the many problems here is the fact that so much of the film's running time is spent on areas outside the field of interest for genre fans. Those exploits of the military team take up far too much of the film here, seeing them first take out the drug runners in Mexico before going to the jungle commandoes getting into position to take out the random headquarters in the jungle serve as fine low-budget action scenes but to segue from those into one of the most drawn-out, pointless exposition means on a worldwide drug conspiracy organization just makes this one feels so boring and uninteresting during this section. None of it has anything to do with the creatures and has very little of any interest in watching people sit around a conference listening to pseudo-scientific jibberish about the organization while it shows the drug-dealers listening in on their meeting only to follow it up with another military meeting bringing everyone together. The other major issue with the film is the generally cheap and underwhelming look that comes off here. The low-budget here is apparent with bland and unappealing settings featured for the endless scenes of the team engaging in their strategy meetings, the laughably awful background plates for the sense of scope that means people are placed into obvious CGI scenes for no reason or the dark and confined laboratory that never comes close to looking like the massive facility used to house a major drug-trafficking ring. That also leads to the other bad CGI work for the giant spiders themselves, which is quite a shame with them being on-screen for so little but their scenes are inept and badly handled where the distortion is obvious, the movement is completely wrong and they behave nothing like general spiders while they're growth scenes are as believable as a cut-scene video in a video-game. Altogether, these make for a decidedly cheap and cheesy genre effort. As mentioned, the lack of time with the spiders is a major issue here with them being supposedly at the heart of the film and what ties this into being part of the genre. There's no mention of them at all and just randomly appear in the film nearly an hour into it with no warning, setup or explanation for what happened, why the drug-traffickers are using them or how they turn into gigantic beings the same size as the soldiers around them which really make for quite a few problems here. Still, the film has a fun action-movie charm in the scenes with the soldiers shooting away endless rounds at the approaching hordes and seeing the spiders get blown to pieces as a result, and with the confrontations taking place in extremely dark rooms there's a nice atmosphere to be had here when they're confronting the creatures as there's a highly enjoyable energy to this section of the film as well as the thrilling escape attempt which is about all this one has going for it.
Rated Unrated/R: Graphic Violence and Language.
What you would expect to find in this kind of creature feature
After a series of strange incidents, a group of friends hiking out in the woods finds evidence that a local construction project has awakened a gigantic prehistoric snake that is running loose in the countryside killing everyone it comes across and forces them to call the authorities to deal with it.
This here was an expectedly decent enough creature feature. Like what is usually the case with these films, the high amount of action here battling the creature makes for a slew of cheesy creature feature goodness. From the opening ambush on the construction worker that doesn't notice it stalking towards him, the attack on the hikers going innocently through the park or the son's first encounter with the creature where it forces them to hide in the cave with the artist working in the area all make for some fun moments here, and with the series of scenes featuring the snake hunting stragglers in the woods it makes for an even better time getting to the finale. Bringing in a helicopter ambush, a series of gun-battles against the snake and an explosive finale, there's some strong cheesy creature action that keeps the film moving along rather nicely and making for the film's best aspects. There are still some problems with this one. The most obvious issue present is the lame CGI that feels like every other bargain-basement style production in the style where it never really employs the kind of realistic work it should be capable of. The snake's size and generally quite energetic appearance means that it has to look incredibly cheap to get it to perform those actions, causing the infamous style of graphics that come from cut scenes out of a video game. Its dimensions are never accurate as it seems to tower over anything and everything one minute then manages to sneak into the most obscure places to strike out at victims whenever possible which just highlights how off the material in those scenes is. The other real issue is the film's padding with rather useless side-plots that go nowhere. It's not necessary to keep coming back to the constant complaining about the need for all the different attempts to stop the company building in the area. It's a common trope that doesn't mean much to the film as a whole, manages to go nowhere when it's brought up to various individuals in higher authority only to have the entire thing wiped out without any resolution. The cheating housewife scenario doesn't help matters, and with the lack of any exploitation to come out of this feels like padding to add a reason for the characters to be there to ramp up the body count. As well, with the shoddy-looking single-location feel that still shows busy highways running by in the background unaffected by what's going on, which makes for quite a cheesy feel, these are what hold this one back despite being expected for this kind of film.
Rated Unrated/R: Violence and Language.
Terror Birds (2016)
Far better than it should be but still somewhat flawed
Attempting to find her missing father, a woman and her friends head out to his secluded ranch in the wilderness to look for him, finally coming across another isolated farmhouse housing a doctor's secret collection of vicious terror birds and must find a way to get away alive.
Overall, this one was quite fun for what it's trying to do. One of it's better features here is the fun setup that emerges here to have the birds get loose in the facility. The idea of the facility being based to study the creatures in secrecy after being discovered on the expedition, out in the middle of the woods and filled with plenty of security and secrecy serves as an appropriate launching pad for what's going on here. The scientists' discovery of the site results in a fantastic attack scene that gives this one the impetus for its true plotline of having the kids coming to look after him and get caught up in the same mess he did. Likewise, with them completely unaware of their existence and no one being forced to explain why these creatures are still alive so we're spared that kind of useless padding that typically fills these kinds of films. That also brings up the series of fun attacks by the killer birds which is rather enjoyable throughout here. The initial attack by the birds while being released from their transport vessel makes for a strong opening here, and the fateful attack that brings the kids into the storyline has a modicum of suspense with the desire to get him out of their corral before the creatures get to him. Later on, when the group arrives and the realize the creatures are there really starts this one going with a relentless series of attacks and encounters that builds up the pacing far more than before. With attacks and chases throughout the corral as well as interference with the other guards attempting to kill them without getting their hands dirty and trying to force the birds to actually deliver the killing blow which is a rather unique tactic, giving off some great action of the dwindling survivors trying to get off the ranch. As these provide enough gore to stay interesting during this section and showing off the great design of the birds, these here are what make this one enjoyable. There are some issues with this one. One of the biggest issues with this one is the rather unnecessary padding that is quite prominent in the first half of the film. There's plenty of subplots in this one, namely the series of arguments over the ethical treatment of the birds and what's going to happen to them following the accidentally killing of the father in the compound which is completely overbearing and mishandled with the way he disregards everything like always in these kinds of films. As is the case with the constantly-complaining sorority queen that joins them on the expedition to look after her boyfriend that has no business being out there or a subplot featuring some stranger following them for retribution after insulting him as these two plot-points make this one take longer than necessary to get to the creature action. The birds are distractingly CGI but it's not detrimental which is perfectly fine for this kind of film and really amount to its only real flaws.
Rated Unrated/R: Graphic Violence and Graphic Language.
Anna 2 (2019)
A better effort if still somewhat flawed
Following their previous supernatural encounter, a pair of amateur paranormal investigators hear about a potential investigation in an abandoned amusement park and set out with old friends to look at the location, only to realize they've accidentally stumbled into the literal depths of Hell.
This one ended up being a marginally better sequel with some enjoyable elements. One of the more entertaining features here is how this one brings out a rich history to set up the present. That there's a lot of animosity and hard feelings that are brought up with the two teams being former colleagues and a split in their organization resulting from their immature behavior that was set up in the first film which is some fine continuity and helps to sell the reluctance in getting together. There's also a lot to like with their investigation once they start to work together, from the interviews with the local to their first encounter inside the room with the possessed girl who begins to display far more deadly powers and tricks than they expected, especially once they start encountering the supernatural actions like walking on the ceiling or reacting strongly to Holy Water. That also leads to the film's best aspect in the investigation of the main park. The supernatural antics here are driven up to a wholly absurd level with the team encountering demons and monsters almost from the moment they arrive. A fantastic encounter in the nearby lake featuring one character tormented by the spirit of her aborted child who turned various figures into vicious monsters is merely the start of the fun with this one, taking the other characters to even more terrifying extremes. Watching the literal demons emerge and torture them in graphic, brutal manners as they're dragged around the park, cut into and bleed profusely or interact with the demonic creatures that are shown later on in frenzied final half. With the series of endlessly dark and chilling scenes throughout here and a truly warped reaction to the events that are played out, these here are what hold this one up rather nicely. However, even with all this, there's still a major, overriding factor here in that once again the main characters nearly ruin the film with their antics. Once again, the feeling here is supposedly based on the film treating them as heroes but they're anything except heroes, which the film had a good grace at least to point out with the initial refusal to work with them but they still come off with the same feeling of the first entry. There's plenty of utterly moronic remarks and comebacks featured here once again, and the entire film is centered around their once again throwing people into a situation beyond their control and ultimately ends with their death due to their ignorance of the situation. Thankfully, this feature doesn't run as continuously as it did in the first one so it's not as detrimental, and along with the lackluster finale due to the apparent low-budget, these here do lower this one overall.
Rated Unrated/R: Graphic Language and Graphic Violence.
Watchable haunted doll effort
After hearing about a haunted doll, a pair of amateur paranormal investigators decide to steal the doll and bring it back to their lab to study it for their show, but the more they're around it the more they realize the stories about the doll's powers might be true and try to stop it.
For the most part, this one was an interesting enough effort. One of the film's best aspects is how the low-budget on display serves as a method of enhancing the atmosphere throughout here. The first scene featuring the doll among the family in their tight, cramped apartment has a great life to it with the strange lighting keeping the real content hidden away, while the later attack where it stalks the strange coming over to shoot with them carries the atmospheric lighting to a greater degree highlighting the doll running around out of eyesight tormenting her. A supposed ritual with a friend that causes some incredibly chilling scenes and visuals as they get in over their heads with all the demonic whispers and voices going on through the scene which sets up the stellar and over-the-top finale showcasing their descent into an atmospheric take on an alternate dimension. The final act of stopping the doll is rather fun, and with the doll's look being incredibly creepy-looking there are some enjoyable elements to be found here. That said, there are quite a few major problems with the film. Most of the issues stem from the outright infuriating leads that border on making this unwatchable. The impression given here is that the two and their banter is supposed to be funny yet they come off as being utter morons with the questioning of the actions they bring up making the viewer wonder why they're still friends or how they've survived in the world as long as they have. The arguing is even worse, displaying a juvenile outlook that further questions their survival skills while also highlighting the major factor in they're sheer unprofessionalism. Arguing opening in front of clients, leading them into dangerous situations against their knowledge that results in their death because of how unprepared they are and in general mocking the attitudes and lifestyle of the people they're coming to for expert guidance which is nearly unacceptable in a professional sense. Combined, that makes for a troublesome duo that we're supposed to be following. The other real issue with the film is the low-budget aspects that do this one some rather problematic features. There's not too many sets or locations, and the ones that are, look flimsy and about to fall apart, the concept of a paranormal museum taking up a single corridor and a room shown from two angles since it can't fit more than two people in the space as well as the props they're looking at. These here really showcase the overall cheap look of the film that's even further enhanced by the technical limitations with the sound and general photography. There are times where the dialog is completely stripped out of the scene despite taking place in a situation that should feature ambient noise or just disappears altogether as if it is so low it ends up rendering this hard to hear. That the lighting is so dark that it's impossible to tell scenes of what's going on, which are enough to lower this one altogether.
Rated Unrated/R: Graphic Language and Graphic Violence.
Dracula 2000 (2000)
A decent vampire guilty pleasure
After being freed in a robbery, the legendary vampire travels to New Orleans in search of a special woman he needs to regain his immortality and forces both her father and his assistant to try to stop him and the horde of vampires under his control from carrying out his deadly plans.
This one was quite the underrated effort. There's quite a lot at work here in dealing with the glorious change of adapting the old-school Gothic atmosphere with the more modern touches on display. The opening bank-robbery down in the crypt and into the trap-filled lair are quite exciting scenes utilizing classic Gothic landscapes with the skulls, traps and on through the casket itself which provides more fun in the release scene where he gets loose in the plane where the Gothic awakening melds nicely into the bloody action wiping out the crew. There's also the main vampire himself who exudes Gothic romanticism throughout here in nearly all of his scenes, and taking advantage of the New Orleans setting is perfect at exploiting that kind of atmosphere along the way. That leaves the action to compliment that atmosphere incredibly well, with the attacks on the different eventual brides in fine quick ambushes, the great attack on the vampified heist crew in the town hall that's very enjoyable and the abduction in the cemetery makes this one rather enjoyable with the crypts coming into play here and the hunting being pretty tense, all making for quite fun scenes. The finale in the lair with the queens toying with the hunter during the seduction attempts makes this one quite fun while the big brawls against the vampires are even more fun which follows through on the rather impressive backstory that shines a light on the vampire legacy throughout history. All of this completes this one being as fun as it is. There are some middling, minor flaws here that are enough to hold this off down. The biggest factor here is the vampire's tendency of stalking his victims doesn't really leave the first half with all that much in the way of action scenes by building up the mystery of his purposes towards everyone and where to catch up with the different groups are hiding out, which doesn't offer up a whole lot of really exciting action scenes. These are enjoyable and doesn't have too many boring parts, but that does cause the pacing to lag at times without the traditional vampire stalking scenes that should've been brought to bear with the vampire being out so early. It's slick and glossy which does leave the gore more mainstream in terms of bloody necks and bite-wounds, but otherwise, this one was quite an enjoyable effort.
Rated R: Graphic Violence, Graphic Language, Brief Nudity and a brief sex scene.
Chupacabra Terror (2005)
One of the Sci-Fi channel's better monster movies
Smuggling a vicious creature on board, the passengers on a cruise ship find that a zoologists' captured animal is a real-life chupacabra that has escaped and is running loose throughout the ship, forcing them to deal with the passengers while finding a way of stopping its rampage.
This here was an admittedly fun and enjoyable cheesy creature feature. One of the better features here is the fact that this one manages to get a lot right here letting the creature out loose among the ship so early. That there's plenty of encounters here, from the opening ambush trap in the jungle that sets this off nicely with the night-time setting making for a perfect aid to it's surprise ambushes jumping out of the dark in some in some really fun action scenes, the scene of the creature getting loose in the ship and then attacking the few crewmembers in the area and the rather enjoyable efforts of it running through the outer tier of passengers around the ship in rather gory fashion gives this a lot to like in terms of getting the creature on-screen. The second half here features even more screen-time for the creature not only in dealing with its surprise attacks and gory kills but also manage to include all the fun of the different stalking scenes showing the crew hunting the creature down in the hallways of the ship where they get to engage in numerous fun and cheesy gunfights that take place throughout the ship. As well, there's a series of even more fun battles to the final half when they get the special forces agents to come on board to engage in greater action-packed fun with them getting involved in numerous high-energy action scenes hunting down the creature in the darkened sections of the ship in far better firefights and confrontations between the two sides spread throughout the ship which brings out plenty of gore-filled kills. These here are great at giving the film a breakneck pace where it's always dealing with the creature, and along with the fact that there's a lot to like due to the creature being a costume for the majority of the time here hold out over the few minor flaws here. The main thing with this one here is the behavior of the doctor towards the rest of the crew who puts them through the stereotypical attitude of capture the creature despite plenty of evidence to say it's far too dangerous to keep in captivity. The holier-than-thou scientist who always talks down to everyone who has a viable and reasonable plan of handling the creature gets old, and his incessant desire to keep it alive by lying about what he really brought on-board, willingly sending people out to die against it and still believing that the creature shouldn't be harmed is quite moronic on numerous levels keeping the authorities in the dark for as long as he does here for his misguided notions of keeping an animal that has killed innocent people on a ship from being harmed. Along with the dodgy CGI the few times it appears, these are the film's flaws.
Rated R: Graphic Violence, Language and violence-against-animals.
Killer Sofa (2019)
Highly enjoyable horror/comedy
Following the death of a friend, his friends receive a strange recliner chair for their apartment and moves on with her life, but when a series of strange murders strikes her friends she comes to find that the chair is possessed by a vicious spirit and must stop it before it's too late.
Overall, this one was quite an enjoyable horror/comedy. Among it's greatest virtues is the most obvious one where this one takes such a silly and over-the-top premise that's taken with far more seriousness than it deserved. The idea of the possessed chair feels inherently goofy in theory yet has a nice sense of gravitas to it through the early setup here featuring not only the sacrificial ritual that allows it to be haunted but also the gradual reveal that it does have the killer's spirit inside. From the seemingly innocuous accident that cuts open the movers' fingers to the medium reliving the past incident involving the girl running through the woods in his hallucinatory visions that spurs the interest in the occult research and the discovery of it's being haunted, there's a strong overall setup that starts this off. With this setup established, the film goes overboard with the idea of the possessed chair attempting to woo the girl as if it's under the impression she'll return the favor. Using far-fetched yet seemingly plausible concepts of trying to impress her with a romantic breakfast and being upset the boyfriend takes credit, to the later attacks where he survives the first attempt to get pushed into the open oven but is later attacked and killed in the living room, thee's enough of an idea of what the chair is trying to do that makes the later scenes all the more fun when it continually flashes to the chair's continuous and often-times outright hilarious expressions that keep changing to fit the various moods it's in. That turns into the wild finale where it gives the chair something to do and gives this a lot to like for the most part. There are a few issues to be had with the film. The biggest problem is the fact that, beyond the concept of a recliner chair is haunted and killing people, the film isn't really funny in the slightest. There's a seriousness to the material that doesn't allow much room for jokes or humorous situations to crop up here and the film is never given the chance to play into the goofiness of the situation. That also comes about due to the convoluted and problematic storyline that tries to explain the possession of the chair but never really explains all of it and even leaves a gaping plot-hole that the characters themselves bring up when discussing this. It's not detrimental enough to lower this one completely but it does drag this down a few notches.
Rated Unrated/R: Graphic Violence and Language.
Fun and wild over-the-top indie slasher
Caught stealing from her husband, a woman is put into their twisted circus display and sets out to get revenge on them through a demented spell but when they are turned into ravenous supernatural clowns and go on a massive rampage through town a group of friends race to stop them.
This here was quite the fun and schlocky effort. Among the film's fine qualities is the strong setup that plays nicely with the demented carnival at the forefront of the film. The cliched notion of the cheating wife and lover being caught is quickly brushed aside to get the scenes of her being part of their show, featuring plenty of insane twists on circuses gags that serve as the motive for her wanting revenge and giving that storyline plenty of motivation for wanting to seek revenge on the owner and his gang. With the group turned into supernatural killers with the spell-gone-awry while trying to dispose of the lover's body out in the woods which sweeps them up into the storm and carries them around, this section of the film has a lot to like settings things up going forward. The other fun aspect here is the usually high-quality indie gore and blood on display. The film packs in tons of carnage, with limbs being cut off and removed, having their hearts cut out, several people getting their skin pulled off, another has their head removed around the jawline, another has their intestines removed and played with, numerous graphic stabbings that unleash rivers of blood from the wounds as well as the insane notion of a clown turning parts of their body into a fanged-lined creature that devours a victim whole which is all just the tip of the iceberg featured here. With this coming into play with several frantic and wild action scenes including the attack at the diner or out along the highway as well as the fine chase through the storage facility to put their plan into motion, there's plenty to like with the film. There are a few issues here with this one. The main problem is the fact that this one tends to feature brief bonus scenes that serve no purpose other than getting more cameo appearances on-screen. The extended scenes of them in the bar meeting the rude customers does nothing but allow them to meet up while showcasing the other characters that we never meet again simply because of who they are. The other factor is the film's obvious low-budget not only with the goofy-looking CGI for the scenes that give it grandeur and spectacle but also the indie-flavored gore that ignores common sense for over-the-top splatter. It may not be what everyone looks for in a film but these are what hold it back.
Rated Unrated/R: Extreme Graphic Violence, Graphic Language and Nudity.
Watchable if somewhat flawed horror/drama
Troubled by the loss of her daughter, a woman plagued by brutal nightmares heads off with her husband to a remote house in the countryside to help move on, yet when she's convinced someone is haunting the house from her past she sets out to figure out what's going on to save her sanity.
Overall, this one proved to be a wholly enjoyable effort. One of the greatest aspects featured here is the exceptionally strong and well-balanced drama that starts the storyline. Bolstered by a believable tragedy, the grief and shock from the incident rightfully keep her hesitant, reluctant and withdrawn for a large part of the film's first half as they move into the new house. Understandably unable to cope with the tragedy despite the efforts of a shrink to help her on top of moving to a new, quiet house out in the country as a complete surprise that all moves towards making for a reasonable rationale for her behavior. When this is enhanced by the interactions they have trying to settle in, ranging from the disrupted sexual encounter to the threatening notions against the friendly neighbor and the reactions to her medication, the first half her is quite impressive at building an engaging and immersive drama. Hanging off this build-up is a fine collection of haunting scenes that are wholly chilling and creepy. A dream where she ventures out into the woods thinking it's her daughter only to be confronted face-to-face with another ghost entirely is creepy, as is the encounter alone in the house where the spirit attacks her and drags her across the floor. A later nightmare involving a figure killing and cutting up others in front of her has some surreal moments with the bright red lighting throughout the scene, much like the frantic nightmare she has later features plenty of flash-cut images and distorted camera angles of the ghosts appearing before her which also doubles to fill in some of the missing plot-points about his extramarital affairs from earlier. The finale, featuring an incredibly gruesome and brutal outcome based on the various side-plots that have gone on, gives this a solid and satisfying conclusion to this one. While there isn't much wrong here, the film does have a few issues. One of the biggest problems is the utterly cliched and unnecessary side-plot involving the husband who hits every single trademark in these movies without exception. Despite initially appearing as though he's trying to help her, every time she brings up the ghosts he dismisses her story and calls her crazy, has a backstory featuring him cheating on her yet was forgiven for it and as a result, he doesn't do much overall here with him spending more and more time away from her later in the film. It's lazy and hackneyed to keep going to these same tropes for this character in these movies as it doesn't produce drama at all but instead contempt for utilizing that setup once again when numerous other films have already done this concept better. The pacing might skew towards drama too often for some hardcore horror fans who'll think this is slow and dull, but otherwise, there aren't many other flaws here.
Rated Unrated/R: Graphic Language, Graphic Violence, Brief Nudity and a clothed sex scene.
A wholly unimpressive and troublesome genre effort
Struggling after leaving a secret project, a researcher haunted by the tragic accident that ended the project returns to the site to get some closure, but when she learns that the Tyrannosaurus Red they created is still alive they try to get out of the building alive before it gets to them.
For the most part, this one was a rather troublesome effort. One of the biggest aspects of this one is the overall setup of the film. The start of the project, consisting of coordinating research on the creation of artificial human limbs and organs through grafting strands of DNA to make these organs, is a wholly useful and original setup to start one of these films with. The whole series of double-crosses here as to the overall purpose of the experiment by the various agencies coming into play here gives this some solid twists and turns is quite an enjoyable storyline for this kind of low-budget effort. There's also a rather strong feeling throughout here of how appropriately this one stretches its low-budget make-up for its good. The simplistic storyline here that keeps everything in one location with minimal outside influences on the film serves it well, and with the small cast in this setting, there's some fun here in seeing how things play out. That also extends to the use of the giant dinosaur which is decidedly obvious about its puppet nature from the beginning due to the immobility and inflexible nature of the beast that becomes obvious the second it's on-screen yet becomes quite enjoyable for being a practical effect utilizing its budget. These here are what manage to hold this one up. There are a few major problems with this one, and they all tend to revolve around the films' budget limitations. There's nothing at all that happens in the film here since there's nothing in the budget to have anything go on or go anyplace with so few locations in the film. This one can't afford action so it replaces that with utterly endless scenes featuring the three of them discussing the exploits of the experiment and what happened at the end, reducing the dino action to just a few minor minutes at the very end. Then the film seemingly ends without any kind of resolution or payoff due to the film's lack of budget, so without much dino action or gore, there's not a whole lot to this one.
Rated Unrated/R: Violence and Language.
Paranormal Activity 4 (2012)
Enjoyable entry in the franchise
Hanging out with her family and boyfriend, a teen comes to find the next-door neighbor who's staying with them to be acting strange around her younger brother and tries to videotape their exploits, eventually coming upon a far more deadly secret then she ever imaging that puts the whole family in danger.
Overall, this one was a decent enough entry. One of the more impressive features here is the wholly impressive and fun build-up throughout the first half of the film. Getting a full-on view of the family dynamic as well as the interaction with her boyfriend, that early work gives this a fantastic counterpoint to the burgeoning horror scenes later on. The seeming innocence of it all, especially being neighborly and helping shelter the friend while his mother is away has quite a lot to like as the seemingly normal way he comes into their lives and begins to act menacingly towards her prompting the need to document everything from that point on is incredibly fun. That leads into the seemingly endless supernatural antics which make for a lot to enjoy here. The early part that plays more in league with realistic endeavors, hearing voices in the night downstairs, secretive behavior between the two or just popping out of nowhere despite incessant name-calling seem like fine starts to things as they're all fine clues to greater events while being seemingly innocuous. Once it goes for more deadly and dangerous fare from the falling chandelier or the attack in the garage, the pacing and intensity pick up considerably as the scares become creepier and more shocking. These lead nicely into the finale where the full extent of their plans come together to provide stellar attacks on the family, some strong suspense-filled chases and several fantastic jump-scares that have some life to this part of the film. These here are what hold this one up overall. That said, there are some rather large flaws here. The main factor to be had is the ridiculous storyline for how everything plays out. As there's no real motive to have the son stay over in the first place, the fact that they're setting up cameras to record everything with no proper motivation to do so or the outright failure to explain what the trick involving the night-vision attached to the video-game console is supposed to mean when it is brought up for an intriguing idea yet goes nowhere as the film never makes any mention of what that does to ghost hunting. The fact that the finale, which supposedly to going to tie everything together as for what the kid was doing or why that house instead just ends on a lame jump-scare that doesn't do anything hurts this one. That is a rather large problem in the film as well since the vast majority of the film's scares go nowhere or just plain don't work. A gag with the falling knife is generally ignored, much like the other scares here involving anything going on. From the slow-build of the devil marks on the son and his subsequent withdrawal in personality to the other scenes here involving her being attacked in the garage or a truly chilling sequence involving her being levitated off her bed while she sleeps unaware of everything despite having all the video evidence there at their disposal and not giving it a watch to show something's wrong. Since there's far more of a focus on the traditional scares featuring things crashing in the distance, something jumping out at people with provocation and shadows flashing suddenly on the wall behind them, that's quite disheartening and lowers this one overall.
Rated R: Graphic Language and Violence.
Enjoyable enough if slightly flawed found-footage remake
Shadowing a firefighting company, a reporter and her crew find their call to an apartment complex leaves everyone stranded inside by a government quarantine against a strange viral infection that turns it's ravenous, cannibalistic killers and must try to get out of the building alive.
This one was pretty much deadlocked through with good points and bad ones. What really helps this one is the sense of realism that runs throughout here, not only with the opening in the firehouse along with the way they handle the call at the apartment to the confusion once it starts as the panic that occurs from the shutdown of the services and then sealing off the group inside with some intense preventative measures to ensure that which makes for some really good times. Beyond this, there's more to like here in the second half which picks up the action even more here as the ravenous infections begin spreading and continues throughout the entire section. This basically starts with the initial investigation of the infected tenants' apartment and resulting attack on the firefighters there which is fine enough, but once the few infected begin streaming out of the darkness this one takes off considerably with the ambush by the maid, the hallway attack by the rabid dog and finally the wild confrontation with the infected crewmember attacking which all makes for truly exciting times here. Once the containment crew arrives, there's a lot more to like as the close-up capture of the testing system which leads into the breakdown attack and gets the others loose inside the building as there's a wide-ranging sense of fun here with how the infected keep running after the group left running around the stairways and hallways in numerous, near-continuous attacks. That the attacks are plain brutal and graphic is another nice touch that helps sell the viciousness and the brutality of the kills here, which are more than enough here to hold this up against the flaws. The biggest issue here is the film's main gimmick of using the singular vision camera-work in here. It was just really hard to see through that endlessly aggravating shaking cam used which never once did anything positive for the film as that leaves the viewer without some sense of what happened or what's going on. It's a tactic that doesn't give any sense of what happened in the frame by jerking this around and disorients the action so much during the pivotal parts of the film. The other flaw here is the origin of the virus was a little weak and could've been better as there's some perfect opportunity to show this off at the end up in the attic only to leave all the clues responsible for figuring this out to be left at such an angle that it's impossible to make out what happened here. This also came out so late that even if there's a definitive answer it comes as being quite late to matter. All in all, it was a little uneven but was still good enough to matter.
Rated R: Graphic Violence and Graphic Language.
Better than it should be
Settling down for an interview, a vampire recounts to a reporter about his past when he was initially turned into a bloodthirsty creature by an equally vicious vampire and how they've lived among humanity throughout the years spanning the country's history and how he has dealt with it.
This was a rather pleasant surprise and was a lot better than expected. One of the better examples of this is that the film contains a lot of really nice action scenes that have so many good parts that it never manages to get boring or dull. There are some good scenes of him at the beginning after the transformation coming upon the different traits and encountering the people who don't know of him so they allow him to feast on them before turning into the fiery destruction of the mansion as the more flames spread across the estate the more the realization dawns that there's little escape, and it has a really rousing finale that works perfectly. Some of the other scenes, including the night-time hunting in the Louisiana town to the fire in the bedroom and the Paris finale that is a huge, epic fight where the torture method is intense and painful, the revenge is worthwhile and is one of the film's highlights. The last one here is the film has a huge assortment of kills with its big body-count that is worthwhile and makes the other moments all the better. These here are the film's good points as there isn't much wrong with this one, but there's a pretty big flaw to it. This highly detrimental flaw is the manner of portraying its vampires as incredibly whiny and constantly complaining about everything that happens. The reluctance to do anything that usual vampires engage in, from the neck-biting to the supernatural powers are touched over here and there and the same conclusion about the vampires being in that behavior-set is always brought up. That is hardly any way to be able to treat it's vampires since they're supposed to be very creepy and frightening, yet not so much in here. It takes a lot out of the film since that's mostly how the beginning of the film plays out for the majority of the time in those sections, and it rarely comes up from them. It also causes the pace to be so slow and dragged-out featuring all this bland and unexciting non-vampire action. Another small flaw here is that the kills are all done in the same way, and hardly anything else is used here. It really could've used some variety in here, and it's not detrimental but otherwise, these here are the film's flaws.
Rated R: Graphic Violence, Full Nudity and violence against animals.
The Windmill Massacre (2016)
Watchable if underwhelming slasher
Trying to escape the police, a young woman in Holland stows away on a site-seeing tour of the local windmills with several other locals, only to find that their unscheduled stop has dropped the group in the hands of a vicious killer living there killing them one-by-one and must find a way to get away alive.
Overall, this one wasn't that bad of a slasher. Among it's finer aspects here is the use of a fine old-school style setup to get everybody acclimated to each other. Since everyone here gets some kind of fine introduction, the early scenes giving us a chance to get to know them. As each one comes with their backstory filled with individual reasoning and purposes for being involved, this section gets us interested due to the payoff, later on, involving the setup for each of the attacks. That is the other really enjoyable part here with the film delivering some fine slashing scenes throughout here. The opening ambush in the woods creates a wholly enjoyable surprise attack which starts this rather well, while the later attacks provide plenty to like. Using their past sins against them, the theme of meeting the greatest sins in their life allows for some supernatural action-styled stalking including the doctor traumatized by a patient who meets the killer, a former model meeting a similar path as someone she stepped over and the chilling encounter with the deceitful businessman that encounters the killer which has a lot to like. Combined with the strong finale and some great gore, these here are what hold this one up over its flaws. There are a few flaws with this one. The biggest problem to be had here is a rather troubling issue common to most slashers in that the characters are incredibly problematic in setting up the slashing elements. In time-honored fashion, there's a wholly useless excuse given here as for why the lone character conveniently escaping every possible encounter with the killer can have her story dismissed due to the medication she's taking. Not only is it highly problematic and increasingly cliched that this happens but the singular manners of how they continually keep throwing her story out as a possible explanation make them incredibly less likable. As well, the finale here works great for context as to being a stylish twist et seems to be an incredibly underwhelming cheat that doesn't work without the context of the situation. These here are the film's biggest issues.
Rated Unrated/R: Graphic Violence, Graphic Language and drug use.
The Butcher (2006)
A clichéd and stupid, though entertaining slasher
Traveling together to Vegas, a group of friends celebrating their upcoming graduation get stranded in the woods after taking a detour and find themselves stalked by a family of deformed killers living in a rural house in the area, forcing them to fight off the group to get away alive.
This here was quite an impressive and enjoyable slasher. One of the biggest pluses here is the strong action in the opening section which starts this off strongly as the roadside accident and repair, chase through the woods and the eventual accident that results in their friends' death get this started on a great note. That continues along nicely as the discovery of the other girl out there and their quest to get help brings them into contact with the family is some really fun scenes here with the foot-chase through the woods being pretty thrilling, the stalking in the basement is fun with the race to escape undetected and getting found-out leading to the brutal encounter between them as the remaining friends try to save him and the creepy encounter on the second floor of the house is a lot of fun with the use of the darkened room providing a fine hiding spot to launch the surprise ambush on the victims while letting their fighting here be quite exciting. These all allow for quite the exciting pace as there are plenty of enjoyable encounters spread throughout here to give this hardly any down-time as this all leads into the better action found in the finale. That is where this one gets plenty of fun encounters in a thrilling chase through the walls inside the house while he tries to break inside to et at them, a great brawl in the living room where they go after the policeman attempting to rescue them and a rather thrilling battle with the survivors out into the woods around his house that makes for a really enjoyable finish here. There are also a few chilling and suspenseful scenes here as they explore the house by themselves that injects some great atmosphere into the film. As all these give the film a big body count which also gives this one some decent deaths and gore as well which help this nicely, there's enough provided here to hold off the film's flaws. The main issue here is the film's rather obvious low-budget nature which trips itself up at times, especially in the beginning where this one tends to let them be front and center. From the way they showcase the closed-in atmosphere, weak camera-work that looks distinctly digital and the cheap feel here that all give away the low-budget nature, and while they're all problematic the digital camerawork becomes distracting here when the blurriness is featured constantly for numerous scenes and ruining their impact. The other issue here is that there's absolutely zero impact here against the main killer who isn't really that threatening as he's barely bigger than the other guys, the scar is ridiculously cheesy-looking instead of imposing and the lack of backstory until the final act makes for a simply confusing and makes for a truly lame and rather disappointing main villain. These here do hold this one back though there are enough positives here to make it enjoyable.
Rated R: Graphic Violence, Graphic Language and Brief Nudity.
Solid and serviceable Spanish haunted house film
Moving into a new house, a young woman learns that her increasingly paranoid reactions and psychotic breakdowns are the results of the lingering ghosts left in the house by it's concealed history from the Spanish Civil War and tries to end the curse left by that tormented history.
This one ended up being a surprisingly fun and decent Spanish haunted house film. One of the more enjoyable features found here is the rather fun and spirited storyline which manages to maintain it's sense of fear and thrills throughout here. The multitracked story manages to include a rather fun amount of thrills here by readily engaging the multiple storylines including the connection to the Spanish Civil War in the continuous newsreel footage or home videos showing the different treatments that befell all the prisoners which comes through well enough here to give this one the kind of setup for later. That backstory sets this one's best aspect, as there are some rather impressive hauntings here which make for a rather fun time when it starts to let them go in the middle half and the visuals that accompany them are a lot of fun. From her dreams and hallucinations of the ghostly figures in her bedroom taunting her by sleeping with her husband to the violent acts she believes she commits against her baby as well as the manifestations of the ghosts around the house, this one generates the appropriate atmosphere with plenty of creepy scenes. The other scenes, featuring the sounds over the baby monitors which ties the backstory into the ghostly actions plaguing the house, her hallucinations of the ghosts appearing as her children or the sounds of creaking floorboards or rattling doors, are far more traditional haunted house style shocks. These also help give this one a far more chilling atmosphere which helps to even out the religious imagery that gets incorporated into a rousing finale that evokes the best of the old-school burning-down-the-house styles so often employed before. This makes for a great ending and raises this one pretty high, although there are a few problems. One of the main issues is that it's too complicated for this type of haunted house story to make sense. This is a case of having way too much going on for its good, as there are three different backstories from the Civil War in the house, her backstory of the family troubles and the later talk involving the Church's actions here all being played out trying to piece together what's going on, and it eventually gets frustrating trying to keep everything straight. What also holds it back is that it has some rather troublesome CGI that looks bad here when it's being used despite not having a lot of opportunities, and although the film doesn't exploit it this stands out for the use overall. That said, it's not as bad as the other issues here.
Rated R: Language, Violence and Nudity.
Watchable but that's about it
After leaving his fiancée for a mysterious woman, a man learns that she's a succubus looking to extend her immortal life, but upon rejecting her after learning of her treachery and hooking up with his ex, she launches a full-scale assault on his family to get him back.
Frankly, this one wasn't all that enjoyable. A lot of this one's problems stem from the film's overall pacing and tempo as this one is a very, very long-winded effort that takes an eternity to get to its good stuff. This comes off with the first hour feeling like a boring romance movie with the back-and-forth allegiance to each side as they both try to seduce him in various methods which are just inherently dull and boring. Seeing everyone trying to use whatever means at their disposal, from the supernatural hallucinations to their history together, for this part of the film especially due to the utterly dull lead they're fighting over who completely doesn't deserve that kind of attention. It gets even worse with the time in the mansion where even less happens and the film just utterly drags itself out with these scenes just being so dully executed that this one loses steam even further so that it's incredibly late in the film that it all makes sense. The fact that this one goes back-and-forth over who he eventually falls for and decides to settle down with really is the most troubling here by not making this feel like a horror film for so deep before the final half makes any kind of good standing amongst the time with a lot of good stuff about it. That is what does turn it around in the end because of who's involved turning it into a horror film at first which is what gives the finale some much-needed punch by going beyond the setup of the demonic temptress throughout here that it kicks up later on in the second half. Offering some fine work with the possession fueling an enjoyable series of stalking scenes throughout the mansion and into the latter half where all the behavioral tricks used to seduce him occurring in the new form only makes the ruse that much more obvious. Once again going back-and-forth on who's who within the confines of the possession as all the different personalities coming into play as this generates a fairly rousing and enjoyable series of scenes to end this on a decent note. The only other good part here is that there's a lot of work here done technically which does give this one some life during this somewhat dull time, as the vibrant, romantic scenes between the two of them have quite an erotic flair. This helps out quite a lot during a bland section of the film by giving this one such a fun atmosphere during these gives further evidence to his affliction as there's a lot added to his relationship with her because of these vibrant, exciting scenes. However, in the end, this one needed to be a lot more consistent to keep it going.
Rated R: Graphic Language, Violence, Brief Nudity and a mild sex scene.
Perkins' 14 (2009)
Enjoyable enough if still flawed overall
After searching years for his abducted son, a small-town cop by a psychotic local and is now part of a team of similarly-minded people raised to seek revenge on the town for years of neglect and must protect his family and the town from their sinister agenda.
This here wasn't that bad of an effort. Most of what works here are the films' use of the small-town atmosphere which is evident throughout the first half. The way the central mystery unfolds, from the central backstory of the child kidnappings that are plaguing the town and how the case affects him, set this off rather nicely with a creepy air and rattles on through the main half of the film which works nicely alongside the scenes with the daughter out partying with friends. Once it moves beyond that into a fantastic extended action/stalking sequence through the town where the deranged killers are showing to ravage the town in numerous high-energy affairs, from the attack on their friends at the remote hideout to the rescue at the motel as well as the small side-encounters along the way. This leads into the rather frantic and stellar sequence of the group trapped in the police station where the ferocity and cunning of the killers are put to great use for these scenes, the frantic barricade procedures to keep them out on the escape attempts that are failed spectacularly while all taking place inside the dimly-lit, claustrophobic location and a cramped, confined setting. Alongside the fine splattery gore, these here are what helps this one out over it's few minor problematic areas. Frankly, the biggest issue here is that the first hour of this is pure, unadulterated boredom merely through the continued insistence and focus on material not in the slightest bit interesting. Although this features a fine backstory about the history of the town and the killers, the rest of the film isn't exciting at all by the utterly inane side-plots which do nothing for this one. The troubled and fractured family life that takes up the majority of this one is insanely dull, as going through it all isn't that interesting with all sorts of cliched tactics to display this, from the alcoholic father, the unfaithful wife and rebellious daughter which has all been done so often there's nothing special about these characters and that leaves this one with an incredible mountain to overcome that is given an admittedly decent attempt to right it through the action later on. Likewise, that leads into the utterly idiotic idea later on where his judgment gets clouded unnecessarily into believing something that puts him in danger against his survival instincts. Had the beginning featured material we cared for, this one would've been really good.
Rated R: Extreme Graphic Violence, Graphic Language, Brief Nudity, a mild sex scene, violence-against-children and heavy underage drinking.