Happy Friday the 13th, all! Move over, Christmas. This is truly the most wonderful time of the year! And pretty much any other Friday the 13th that should occur… and Halloween.
Happy Friday the 13th, all! Move over, Christmas. This is truly the most wonderful time of the year! And pretty much any other Friday the 13th that should occur… and Halloween.
Munger Road (2011): A 1 hour 26 minute horror/mystery/thriller movie, with an IMDB rating of 4.4 and “No Reviews Yet” on Rotten Tomatoes? Well that just sounds like Ally’s little slice of heaven. And really, it was what it was. It was what I expected, and it was not bad. In fact, the rising action was incredible. I was literally holding my breath toward the end, staring wide-eyed at the screen. What’s going to happen?! Who, out of those who disappeared throughout the movie, is going to make it? Did anyone make it? Who is the killer?! Well, here’s the problem…
The movie’s end is one hell of a cliffhanger, AND… there is a Munger Road 2 in the works that is not out yet. I figured the second installment of a movie such as this would have already been out by now. No such luck. And I’m not incredibly sure where they even are in terms of the progress of the filming. I’m not saying I didn’t like the movie. I’m saying I liked it a little more than I thought I would, was craving some sort of resolution, and didn’t get one.
Now that that’s out of the way, a couple fun facts: Trevor Morgan is in Munger Road. In case that name doesn’t ring any bells, he’s the turd in Sixth Sense that thinks he’s better than all the other kids. He’s got a bad case of the “child actor syndrome.” Here’s what I have to say about that: If you’re going to get into acting, you best get into it later in life. Somehow, to me, child actors never seem to age well. They look the exact same as they did when they were 5, 6, 7, 8, or whatever-years-old…but just stretched out to a bigger size in order to pass as an adult. It’s like they’re fooling us into believing they’ve aged.
Another little fun fact is that the movie is set in St. Charles, IL. That might not seem like such a fun fact; but as someone who has been to St. Charles, I found that to be an incredibly random place to stage the movie. I hold St. Charles fondly in my heart, as I once drove through to go to a football game when I had a scorching case of mono. Now, I did not know that at the time; had I known I wouldn’t have gone and subjected people to catching it, or subjected myself to a possible football to the spleen. I assumed this random, western suburb of Illinois was picked because the director or someone who worked on the film was from the area; so I did my research and wouldn’t you know it! The director Nicholas Smith is from St. Charles–graduated from St. Charles North in ’03, got accepted into U of I’s engineering program, and ending up falling in love with directing. SO… he ended up going to Columbia College instead (My Alma Mater! Woo!!) where he would study film.
So although I was left in suspense, and may be in suspense for a while ’til the second one comes out, Munger Road was an enjoyable “teens staying up past curfew to get terrorized” movie. I’m going to keep my ear to the ground for info regarding the sequel… Look out for updates.
Knife Edge (2009). This is commentary, right? I’m allowed to be biased. I can like movies for silly reasons, and I often do. I really, really liked this movie and the first couple of reasons have nothing to do with the plot.
1) I used my noodle, made a prediction early on in the movie about what was to happen later, and my prediction was right. I NEVER do this. I enjoy living in the “now” of the movie. I like to observe the characters’ mannerisms, what they’re wearing, the atmosphere of the movie, etc. I’m far too caught up in “the now” of the movie that I don’t set aside some mind space for predicting what’s going to happen. I enjoy letting the movie unfold at its own pace.
I’m definitely not that person you go to a movie with that slowly leans over 20 minutes in, creepily whispering (because you’re in a theater, mind you; have some creepy respect), “I thiiink I knooow where this is goiiiing.” No. I’m the one who sits through the entire movie without a peep of prediction; and when the movie reaches the climax, I’m like, “Oh no sh*t! It was the butler all along. Makes sense.” Note: There was no butler killer in Knife Edge. Or…was…there? Guess you’ll just have to find out.
2) Accents! French…British…all very pleasing to the earholes. Plus the leading lady’s son is constantly dressed like a proper, little gentleman throughout the film. The costume designer can dress me any day of the week; there were some great fashion choices being thrown around in this movie.
The atmosphere was phenomenal. The leading lady, Emma, decides to move back to England to start a family with her husband and her child from a previous marriage. Her husband Henri surprises her by buying them an old lodge to live in. The lodge and grounds make for the perfect scary movie setting.
Of course as soon as the family gets settled in, weird stuff starts to happen. Emma starts to have night terrors and sees terrifying visions of what she assumes to be the lodge’s past. She questions why her husband bought this particular property as he spends more and more time away from the house and has night terrors of his own.
Knife Edge, you done good. I give this movie two thumbs up (although it does have the rooftop chase scene that I may or may not have mentioned recently). Hey, it’s a scary movie. It should have a stereotype or two, right?
The Tall Man (2012) was less scary than it was suspenseful, and ended by tugging at my heart strings. Without giving too much away, I can say that this movie is based on the abduction of children, but it isn’t at all what it seems and there is a twist ending fit to be in the catalogue of M. Night Shyamalan. The movie had enough power to make my maternal instincts kick in and ultimately made me salty. Although the lack of jumpy moments was somewhat upsetting, I’d say this was an overall good movie. It wasn’t entirely what I was expecting, but that’s nice sometimes.
First and foremost, I saw that Jessica Biel stars in it (Let me show you a few things, show you a few thiiiings abouuut loooove). Any movie that stars what I might consider to be a D-list actor (although she did kind of nail the role of Mary Camden on 7th Heaven) automatically seems like a good idea.
The movie left me questioning the morality of the twist ending. It was the same feeling I had after the movie Gone Baby Gone. It was not the most action packed and bordered on the mundane side after the initial shock of what’s happening in this small town (like the first half hour); but again, the ending will leave you with a little something to chew on.
Lovely Molly (2011) begins with footage from a wedding, where a happy couple celebrates with family and friends. Then it cuts to the couple’s current living arrangement, which happens to be the leading lady’s (Molly’s) dead parents’ old house.
Just to give you a good idea of the flow of this movie, let me take you through some of my thoughts during it:
“Oh wow this movie is jumping right into the action. OH MY GOD SO CREEPY.”
“Oh man I can’t wait to see where this is going. SO. CREEPY.”
“Alright… kinda slowing down a bit. Where is this going?”
“Good lord this is a graphic sex scene.”
“Ok, what the f*ck.”
“Well… I guess I’ve spent an hour and a half of my time in worse ways… No probably not. At least I can blog about it and warn others of the terrors I’ve just witnessed.”
The movie started with some genuinely scary material. I was holding my breath with my hands held up to my face, feeling the suspense. Molly and her husband Tim’s lives take a turn for the worse quickly. Molly used to have drug problems, which start to plague her again. And basically the rest of the movie takes you on the journey of her slowly slipping into insanity. There’s obviously something haunting her from her past, which her sister is also well aware of; but Molly’s husband seems out of the loop.
But nothing ever comes out; nothing is answered; everything is lost in weird metaphors. I realize art/movies don’t always have to answer everything or come right out with the facts. I understand this and I can be perfectly content not being spoon fed plots. But Lovely Molly just leaves you feeling like you chowed down on some bad portobellos for dinner. It doesn’t play the “leaving you in suspense and full of questions” card well.
So, if you enjoy staring at all your fellow audience members after a movie in complete disbelief and confusion… watch this movie. Now enjoy a couple disturbing images from the movie that will leave you as baffled as I still am.
House of Fears (2007) is a solid “group of friends leave party to engage in additional illegal shenanigans only to meet an untimely demise” type of horror flick.
The movie takes place in a haunted house, which attracted me to it to begin with. It reminded me of a similar movie I saw probably a decade ago called The Funhouse (1981). The Funhouse was way creepier, I recall, and not just because I was 13 when I saw it. I will have to revisit it and give it a post of its own. I’m also just a big fan of haunted houses in general, so I gave this movie a try.
I’ll start with my only couple of complaints: 1) Jared Padalecki had a 3-second cameo. I got excited thinking he’d be in the whole movie, but no such luck. He was one of Rory Gilmore’s finest of boyfriends, and this movie would’ve been tops if he were in the whole thing. 2) There was a creepy awesome clown on the cover, and there wasn’t as much actual clown action in the movie as I would’ve liked.
The movie has a nice, smooth flow. It doesn’t dive right into the action, and it sets up the impending doom by laying out some of the characters’ fears (foreboding much?). A fair deal of violence and gore ensues, but nothing on par with Saw or Hostel. Characters get picked off one by one as they make their way through the haunted house. There is no physical, human killer; but rather the teens’ fears (connected to a monkey statue uncovered in Africa at the beginning of the film) take on the killing role.
Who, if anyone, will survive this house of fears!? Well, Jared Padalecki for one…
Watch to find out.
Yes, this girl.
The Ward (2010) started off promising then quickly hit a wall for me. Continuity is important in a movie. You’ve got to stay true to whatever era your movie takes place in. That’s why there are costume and makeup artists, and people who study the small details like dialects, etc.
Getting a movie that takes place in the 1960s right should not be that hard. It wasn’t that long ago. Hell, John Carpenter directed it and he was born over a decade prior. Yet the leading lady comes onto screen looking like Kesha, rocking the name “Kristen.”
According to socialsecurity.gov’s “Top Names of the 1960s,” the name “Kristen” was ranked the 193rd most popular female name of the 1960s. I’ll give the movie that–it actually made it onto the top 200 list of popular names. I wasn’t there in the 60s so I wanted to look into that. “Kristen” didn’t seem like a very popular name for that time, but I’m being a little nitpicky with that one perhaps. More importantly, Heard’s Kesha-esque hairstyle definitely does not fit that era. She eventually gets a hairstyle/wardrobe that actually works for the 1960s, but starting the movie like that made me feel like I was watching a movie from 2013. I want to be taken away to the exact place the movie intends for me to go–a 1960s psych ward. After the movie ends, I want to feel like I had just time traveled.
Hair and makeup rant aside, the movie eventually incorporates an evil creature that conducts the killings and it’s all downhill from there. All promise the movie had=lost. When you bring in a computer animated creature, or even just someone in costume/makeup, it’s got to be done right. Creepy little girl form The Ring? Nailed it. You know that movie gave you nightmares. The Ward’s ghost looks like a villain from Scooby-Doo.
And she would have gotten away with those killings if it weren’t for that pesky Kesha wannabe…
So these next two movies actually weren’t too shabby. But like the title of this post says, there is a fine line between… ^^aw heck, just re-read the title.^^
Session 9 (2001) and The Pact (2012) are two movies that actually are a step above my standard shitty scary movie. They weren’t good because they were so bad; they were actually just kinda good. I did think The Pact was the better of the two.
Session 9 would be the movie about asbestos removers that I referenced in the last post. It takes place in an abandoned mental institution (yes another one). I don’t know what it is about abandoned mental institutions that I love so much, but they are the coolest. The movie was filmed at Danvers State Insane Asylum.
This movie was a bit of a thinker. The setting was great. There were creepy sights, creepy sounds, creepy errthang. This crew of guys goes into the abandoned asylum, claiming to be able to rid it of asbestos in just a week. Of course their progress is hindered when the haunts of the old asylum get into all of their heads. It wasn’t terrifying by any means. There weren’t any “jumpy” moments or anything like that. It was more along the lines of a mindf*ck… but maybe more like a mind-heavy-petting.
You know when you’re watching a movie, and you can just tell it was cheaply made and is going to be terrible? This did not have that going on for it, and it definitely kept me interested.
The Pact is the type of movie that has you holding your breath almost the entire time, just waiting for something creepy to pop out. It does a good job of building up the creepy moments–not with that stereotypical music that says “something terrible is about to come onto screen,” but rather with silence (which makes it so much freakier).
Another thing worth mentioning about both this movie and Session 9 is that they were filmed in third person (yay!!).
The Pact has the types of scenes in it that, if you watched when you were a kid, would make you want to pull the covers up over your head when you go to bed. So although it didn’t affect me quite the same way as an adult, my point is it was really freakin’ creepy!
This movie also made me realize that scary figures are *always* tall and skinny. And it got me thinking that there needs to be a shake-up in the scary movie world. Let’s get some ghosts/creepy night wanderers with beer bellies. When the camera slowly scans a room and a tall, unusually skinny figure with a concave chest comes onto screen, it is terrifying. Would there be a similar effect with a stout individual? I don’t know, but I’d like to see it happen.
Concluding, this movie had all things creepy going for it; and the plot was good (which is just the cherry on top of the sundae, because that’s usually the least of my concerns when it comes to scary movies). The title didn’t make a whole lot of sense to me after seeing the movie, but it doesn’t all have to make sense.
If I wanted to watch a movie made completely from a first-person view, with shaky footage that makes me nauseous, I’d just watch the original shaky-ass film: The Blair Witch Project.
Netflix is full of great scary movies; but I often find that the synopses all sound pretty similar.
I mean there’s only so much you can say without giving too much away. I understand.
Greystone Park (2012) and Apartment 143 (2011) are a couple of movies that embraced that first-person filming. I’m sorry, but I HATE this way of filming movies. I get it… but I hate it. I don’t want to watch a movie this is shot by someone who does not have a steady hand (and they never do). I especially dont want to watch a movie through mounted cameras that don’t move at all. Paranormal Activity made this really popular, and everyone and their brother has since jumped on the train.
Apartment 143 was your standard “my apartment is being haunted; someone in my family recently died; and I need a professional crew of ghost hunters to come film shit and solve the mystery” type of movie. The most hilarious thing about this movie is that the scariest scene is literally the last 2 seconds of the film. I mostly just made jokes about the movie throughout, and tried to decide in my head whether the leading fella was attractive or not (kinda looks like the poor man’s Andrew “Clutterbuck” Lincoln). And then the last 2 seconds just left me sitting still in fear.
Greystone Park was directed by Sean Stone, son of American director Oliver Stone. Oliver Stone directed classics such as Platoon, Natural Born Killers, and Wall Street. You know what Sean didn’t inherit from his father? Directing abilities.
I just want a scary movie to be unique and surprise me. I rave about Insidious because, to me, it was unique. Greystone Park is all about a group of friends going to a haunted mental institution. Do they have an end game? No, not really. Unless you call running around a mental institution trying not to get arrested an “end game.” Oliver Stone was a cameo in the movie. That was cool. The rest of the acting was awful.
I should also probably mention that I’m not entirely sure where the movie ultimately went because I fell asleep. That fact alone says it all.
I checked out Sean Stone on IMDB. I don’t want to just tool on the kid. He’s 28 and following his dreams, and that’s a great thing. But I have a feeling he gets gigs because of his dad, and not because he’s at the top of his game. That’s just a feeling, and I should check out the rest of his stuff before I say much more. But his dad straight up threw Sean in his movies when he was a baby.
I’m keeping my eyes on you, Sean…
Paraphrased: “Her uterus was ruptured… There were ungodly amounts of semen near the crime scene… So much semen! SEMEN EVERYWHERE! This couldn’t have been the work of one man!”
Later on… “No, this HAS to have been the work of one man.”
Now picture John Cassavetes saying that over and over again (for that’s all that happens in the movie), with a puzzled look on his face (but nowhere near as puzzled and disturbed of a look as it should be).
This is ALL you need to hear about The Incubus. This is not a cop out. I already told you it was made in the early 80s… what more could you need beyond the information provided?! Just see it. I’m not sure what John Cassavetes’ deal is with starring in movies about devil rape, but he owns it.
My mom will not appreciate this post, but I get my sarcasm from her side of the family.