Movies

Freaks (1932)

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Going way way back to a controversial classic horror movie. Freaks from 1932 is about a traveling band of circus performers and freaks. The main plot thread is about one of the performers taking advantage of one of the freaks for his money and let’s just say the other freaks are not having any of it. I liked this movie a lot more than I thought I would; the characters were well rounded, some of the jokes were funny, and the horror elements made me uncomfortable. This is a movie that hits all the marks and is made even more legendary because of its history which I’ll get into in a minute. Before that, I  just want to apologize for referring to them as freaks for the rest of this review, the exploitation of people with deformities and medical problems for entertainment is actually pretty messed up. Hans has it right when he says most big people laugh because they don’t realize he’s a man with the same feelings they have. But, on to the review…

You can read a lot more about this all over the internet, but this movie is famous for being so disturbing that the studio had to cut out almost 30 minutes and re-shoot a new ending. Based on the original script, some of the things they cut out were how Cleopatra turned into a duck woman and the scene showing that Hercules was castrated. That would’ve been shocking 30 years ago, but in 1932 I can totally see how it would’ve been too much for audiences. I, personally, would love to see the uncut original version but most of the deleted scenes were lost. I’ll count the world lucky to have even the scraps that we have now. However, it would be nice to have a more restored version with better audio because I had a hard time understanding some of the dialogue. The dialogue that I could understand, though, was really well crafted. I love early 30s movies because women were still given strong parts. Venus and Cleopatra (even though she was evil) had great parts with some funny lines. These were the times before women were confined to be the love interests of James Stewart and Cary Grant and what a wonderful time it was.

One scene that stands out for me is the wedding scene when the freaks try to initiate Cleopatra into the family by chanting, “We accept you, one of us! Gooble Gobble!” Not only is that weird but also very creepy. That kick starts the end of the movie where most of the creep factor is. You see the freaks under the wagons and you know they’re planning something big. Then comes the most well known scene where they’re chasing after Cleopatra and Hercules in the rain and mud… very disturbing. What’s even more disturbing, and sad to be completely honest, is that they used real–I’m sorry again, this is just the name of the movie–freaks. The core message of the movie is that we’re all the same and you shouldn’t treat people badly based on how they look, but it’s a little undercut by the title. Something like this would never fly today. In American Horror Story, they have a character that’s a “Pinhead”, but it’s accomplished with make up and effects not by actually using someone with that condition.

I don’t know how to recommend this movie because I think it was fantastic, especially for 1932, but at the same time I feel bad watching these people being used for entertainment and horror. This is all I can really say, you judge for yourself.

Verdict: 8.4/10 Gooble Gobble

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Movies

Eden Lake (2008)

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I found this movie on a list of modern horror movies you probably haven’t seen yet… which was pretty accurate at the time because I hadn’t seen this or even heard of it. This one has the Michael Fassbender in it! It’s basically about this couple who go on vacation to Eden Lake and are terrorized by a group of teenagers. It was a decent movie, but it didn’t do anything new or exciting to earn a re-watch badge with me.

I’ll start with the effects because I’m me and duh. There were 2 shots I remember that had great effects and made me really uncomfortable. One was the close up of Steve’s wounds because they looked pretty realistic and you could see the blood gushing out of them. The second one was when his wife, Jenny, gets the spike through her foot and she’s trying to pull it out. Both disgusting and painful to look at. Don’t believe me? Look at the image for this post and tell me that wouldn’t hurt!

As far as the acting goes, Fassbender was top notch and just like in The Mist, the A-lister steals the show. The kids were decent enough, but I found it extremely difficult to understand what they were saying, with the main kid being the worst offender. The British accent was so thick I could’ve benefited a lot from subtitles. Going back to the main kid, I thought he looked familiar and it turns out he starred in Starred Up a few years after this movie came out which I found very fitting. It’s almost like a sequel to this movie, where his stupid ass gets sent to jail for being a violent psychopath. It nearly makes up for the story which I’ll get into next.

The story itself isn’t too original; a couple goes away and the locals attack them. The execution was good, but it still had some annoyingly cliche scenes. One cliche being “woman hears noise outside tent and man goes to check it out”. Sure it scared me a little bit, but it was too cheap of a thrill for me to really appreciate. Another thing that annoyed me in this movie was that whenever they got into a car they would floor it through the woods. Hello, the guys you’re running from are on foot or, worst case, on bikes. You don’t need to floor it, just drive at a safe woods speed and you’ll get away without getting stuck or crashing.

Eden Lake is an alright one-watch horror film. It has good acting and gore effects, but the story has been done to death. Without Michael Fassbender, I think this would’ve been forgettable, but since he’s in it I’d say it’s worth a watch at least once in your life.

Verdict: 6.8/10 *mumbles something in a British accent*

Movies

The Voices (2014)

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The Voices is a comedy horror about a man who talks to his dog and cat and ends up killing people. Based on the summary for this movie, I don’t think I would’ve ever watched it, but my boyfriend picked it randomly for us to watch and I have to say it wasn’t bad at all. I found myself actually laughing at some of the lines, especially the cat’s which I found especially funny because cats are evil. Case in point, “Oh, Jerry, change the fucking channel before I explode!”, says the cat as he watches lion’s having sex on TV, followed by him saying in wonder and awe, “Check it out, a crocodile killing a motherfucking antelope.” I don’t know, is there any more proof that cats are evil than this? Meanwhile, the dog is just chilling on the couch being a good pet.

Aside from the positive light this movie casts on dogs, there were some other good points. Namely, the way the movie shows the difference the drugs make for Jerry. When he’s off the drugs, everything is bright and cheery and his home is clean then when you get snapped back into reality everything literally turns to shit. His apartment is filthy, has animal shit on the floor and, oh yeah… decomposing dismembered body parts. The execution of this idea was done perfectly, and just when you got used to off the drugs Jerry, you’re quickly brought back into the real world and realize that he’s got some serious mental problems.

Overall, this was a fun horror movie that provides some good laughs. The plot is unusual, and is actually genuinely horrific with how disgusting it can be at times. Ryan Reynold’s does a fantastic job as Jerry and the voices of his pets.

Verdict: 7.4/10 Sing a happy song… sing a happy song

Movies

Trick ‘r Treat (2007)

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I heard about this one from a YouTube reviewer that I follow. I agree with a lot of his reviews and I thought maybe this will be a fun horror movie to watch on a Sunday afternoon. I can’t even count the number of times I fell asleep and had to rewind the movie. I know I fell asleep at least 3 times during the last 20 minutes. This was just so boring and I’m not sure what the point even was. For those that don’t know, this movie is, I guess, about some weird little jack-o-lantern faced thing that sort of kills people but also people kill people and it’s Halloween.

I couldn’t care any less about the characters and I found everyone just so boring. I love Helo from BSG, but even he couldn’t save this movie for me. There are several different plots that intertwine at different points in the movie and it sort of begins with the ending… or ends with the beginning. The only positive thing I can say about this movie is the twist with the girls being werewolves was very unexpected. That’s actually all I have to say.

I was pretty bored with this movie, but maybe if you watch it with a group of friends under the right conditions you could find it fun. As a solo movie, I wouldn’t really recommend to watch this. There isn’t anything remarkable about it and you aren’t going to be missing out.

Verdict: 5.9/10 *Goes back to sleep*

Movies

Wait Until Dark (1967)

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Wait Until Dark is about a blind woman who comes into possession of a heroin filled doll that is being sought after by a trio of criminals and contains exactly zero spiders! I was intrigued by the idea of the main character being blind since, for some reason, I’m always drawn to horror movies with unconventional main characters. I loved watching the cat and mouse game between Susy and the bad guys. It was fun watching her try and come up with ways to survive. I was fist pumping when she threw gasoline on Roat, like good luck lighting a match now buddy. She kind of kicked ass at the end of the movie… she even stabbed the guy! Very cool character and I enjoyed watching her a lot.

There aren’t too many negatives I can come up with for this movie. The only thing that really sticks out in my mind was the plot which I felt was a little hard to follow at times. I think I missed something at the very beginning because it took me awhile to understand who had the doll and how they got it. Probably just my own fault and not really the movie’s though.

Overall, I had fun with this one and I think it’s a pretty good little thriller. Susy was a great character and the ending was as good as any I’d see in movies today. This is definitely worth a watch.

Verdict: 7.8/10 Tap so I know where you are!

Movies

The Incredible Shrinking Man (1957)

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Before I get into this, let me just apologize to spiders everywhere for what I said in my last review. When I told you to bring it on, I was just joking… I didn’t really mean it, I swear. I’ve learned my lesson and from here on out, I know my place.

With that out of the way, let’s get into this interesting movie from the 50s. The Incredible Shrinking Man is about… a man who incredibly starts to shrink. Something about insecticide and radioactive material, but that doesn’t really matter. This movie is all about the effects. If you’ve read any other reviews of mine you might notice a trend of me heavily commenting on effects. You might be thinking to yourself, “Great, she’s about to destroy this movie because effects from the 50s can’t be very good by today’s standards”. Well, jokes on you cause I’m actually going to say the opposite. I was very surprised at just how well the effects held up. They really built giant objects and sets to make the man look small. I loved the scissors which earned the screenshot position for this review–they looked and sounded totally real. When he was trying to move them, I really believed it was a little man trying to move a normal sized pair of scissors. When he bent the pin into a little grappling hook, I was losing it. I loved all his ideas and how he re-purposed everyday items into tools. The most shocking thing for me was the giant wedge of cheese. It was definitely not a real giant wedge of cheese. It looked like it could be styrofoam but then the guy ate it so I don’t really know what to believe. Either the health and safety regulations were extremely relaxed 60 years ago and eating styrofoam was just a part of the job, or cheese in the 50s isn’t what it is today.

The one part of the movie, as you might have already guessed, I did not enjoy was the giant tarantula spider boss. First of all, I could have lived without seeing a close up of a spider’s face and its disgusting hairy legs through the entrance of the matchbox. Second of all, were tarantulas just common types of spiders to find in your basement in the 50s? That’s all I can bring myself to say about this part of the movie because even thinking about it to write this review is creeping me out. I’m just gonna go ahead and block this out of my memory.

Alright now where was I? Right… the ending. The ending was actually pretty interesting in that maybe a new race of tiny people is the future. Maybe he was just the first of his kind and the radioactive mist stuff will make more like him. This is one movie that I’d be interested in seeing a sequel of. They could do it like an epidemic where the mist got into the city and now everyone is shrinking. Dammit Hollywood, you better be reading this… I want to see that sequel. Just put some money into this instead of another foreign horror movie remake.

Anyways, this was a pretty cool movie and I definitely recommend giving it a watch. Not sure how horrifying this really is, to me it’s more of a sci-fi or thriller than a horror movie, but an interesting one all the same.

Verdict: 7.8/10 Another reason to never own a cat… dogs for life

Movies

The Mist (2007)

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As unbelievable as this sounds, The Mist is about a small town that’s terrorized by… a mist. That really took me by surprise, but once I got over the shock of it, I was left with an emotionally confusing movie. I just don’t know how to feel about it. There are a lot of moments I genuinely enjoyed and there are ones where I nearly broke my nose face-palming so hard.

I’ll go ahead and start off with the best part of the entire movie, and that’s, hands down, Thomas Jane’s performance. He is just amazing and completely carries this movie on his back. You see him go through a believable range of emotions as this mist starts to attack, and the last scene of the movie is so well acted that it rips your heart out of your chest and throws it on the ground. Then there are the characters in this movie that are just so annoying; Mrs. Carmody, the one dimensional religious freak; Brent Norton, the neighbor that for some reason believes the entire store is trying to trick him… like get over yourself buddy; and Carol from The Walking Dead’s character, who thinks someone is actually going to walk her home in this mist and gets mad when they don’t. Such unlikable people with unbelievable motives and actions. I also thought it was a little unfair of the movie to provide such spoilers for The Walking Dead. Killing Andrea and Dale? Not fair! Carol gets to survive? Come on! Boy am I glad I watched this after watching that show or I’d be pretty upset.

On top of all my issues with the characters, the special effects were pretty… 10 years old. I guess the movie tried its best, but those effects dated real fast. Thankfully they didn’t detract too much from the story because I still bought into what was happening. It was built up really well and the whole premise was interesting. The spider like creatures shooting acid webs just gave me another reason to murder any spider that enters my house. Try it spiders… bring it on!

This was an alright little horror movie with a fantastic final scene. I mostly watched it for the ending, which I think is pretty well known at this point and if you haven’t watched it yet I’d definitely recommend it. I think I might even go back for a rewatch on upcoming Halloweens.

Verdict: 7/10 If you’re gonna do a shout out to The Thing, do it with sweet effects not just its poster