Starring: Michael Ealy, Meagan Good, Joseph Sikora, Dennis Quaid
IMDb 5.5/10 Rotten Tomatoes 32% Metacritic 39/100
Budget $5-8M Box Office $36.6M
Let’s take a little trip down imaginary lane. I want you to pretend that you’re newly married. And you and your new spouse are wanting to start a family. But not just in any regular old cookie cutter home in the suburbs. You guys decide to buy a house outside of town, like in the country type kind of place. The kind of place that is surrounded by big, beautiful trees and scores of flowers and foliage everywhere you turn. It’s quiet, away from neighbors and the hustle and bustle of the city. More importantly, it got acreage, lots of room for kids to run and play and grow up. And you find this house on the outskirts of town and man is it perfect. It’s everything you are looking for. You talk to the seller; he seems to be a nice guy. He gets what you might consider to be somewhat personal but hey, he’s just being friendly like most country folk, just small talkin’. After a little dealing and signing some papers this dream house you’ve picked out is ALL YOURS.
Or is it?
Imagine, no sooner do you get moved into your new home and the previous owner starts popping up. First with housewarming gifts and such and he DOES seem like he misses the house so why not invite him to the housewarming party, right? Have some dinner with friends, maybe some wine and talk about what you want to do to the house to make it more “YOU”. Isn’t that what people do?
Little do you know that your previous owner has a hard time letting go of things. He doesn’t like being cast aside or slighted, he doesn’t like having to have sold his home and he sure as hell doesn’t want you changing everything in HIS HOUSE. Imagine you start putting up, say, security cameras and the old owner comes up and tells the workers to halt working and starts yelling about holes being put in HIS house. HIS house? Remember, you just bought this house. Don’t forget that. This is your property. Then the previous owner starts showing up unannounced and at inconvenient times.
What’s worse is that as a man in this situation, you also realize old owner dude has fixated on your wife. And I mean like stalker, gets inside your house and watches you shower and sleep, kind of fixated. Imagine what it would be like to be terrorized like that and not being able to really do anything about it. The law is slow and skeptical when it comes to matters like stalking and harassment.
We all know that this is going to come down to which man wins the fight defending his castle. So, who will it be?
I really liked this movie. I thought Dennis Quaid was great. I don’t normally picture him in a role like this but, I think he really did pull it off quite well. There is definitely a true on the edge of your seat kind of suspense factor. The kind where you want to yell at the actors to do something or not to do something, tell them to turn around, not to answer that door…etc. That ambiance is well kept throughout the whole movie.
I also didn’t feel like there were really any holes in the plot line. It’s something I often look for, especially in stories involving crime, the legal system, etc. There is a point where you start to kind of feel for the previous owner, I suppose some people would anyways, but then, as it always goes, the true colors come out and you see who you are REALLY dealing with.
I don’t quite know if this movie centers around the married couple or if it centers around the previous whacko owner. It really seems to focus on the owner quite a bit. It’s almost as if he’s running the roller coaster and the married couple, and whoever else gets in the way, are just along for the wild, twisted ride.
This film is also kind of an eye opener about what people can be like when it comes to being forced out of their homes…and their lives. Sometimes people can’t take the stress. Sometimes they take up oil painting or wood carving. And sometimes, they go attack people they feel have wronged them and helped put them in their current position. (Hey, I’m not saying that’s right, I’m just saying it happens.)
So, other than entertainment value, if you take anything away from this film, it should be this:
Don’t become friendly with the previous owner of your new house.
Happy house hunting my ghoulish friends!
Starring: Ellen Page, Patrick Wilson. Sandra Oh, Odessa Rae
Budget $950,000 Box Office $8.3M
This is a film about a fourteen-year-old girl who calls herself Haley, that plots and carries out a revenge plan against an adult male she suspects of being a sexual predator. The best thing about this movie is that this girl does what most people dream of doing to these monsters when we see them on the news or in crime shows.
She starts out by luring him to a coffee shop to meet FTF (that’s face to face for us older peeps who don’t speak in anagrams). When they do finally meet, she slyly tricks him into taking her to his house. He may think it is HIS idea but, it’s really HERS, it’s part of her plan.
When they get there, like any sexual predator, there’s some light flirting, some drinks are made, he shows her around his house while talking about his profession as a photographer, trying to impress her. But, when he hands her the drink, she says that it’s not a good idea to drink something you didn’t mix yourself. He agrees and says they can go back in the kitchen and she can watch him make the drink but, instead, she takes charge and says SHE’LL mix some drinks…screwdrivers.
She brings the drinks out and then starts slowing pushing him to drink his cocktail, faster and faster, saying that he’s falling behind and needs to be able to keep up with a teen girl. Appealing to his ego, which works, and he continues to drink the screwdriver she made for him. What he doesn’t know is that she put something in the drink to drug him. And it works.
She gets him tied to a chair, bound well with nylon ropes. And from that point on SHE is in control. And she has a purpose. She wants to get a confession out of him. A confession about a missing girl named Donna Mauer, who he admits he met for coffee.
Throughout the film we see the two of them play mind games back and forth. Haley claims to be an honor student and very bright. And she seems to live up to the claim. Jeff, the adult male predator, claims he’s not a pedophile, which in my opinion is a matter of semantics.
Quick lesson: The term pedophile gets thrown around to encapsulate ALL sex offenders that prey on minors. This is NOT accurate and is very misleading. A pedophile is a predator that preys on pre-pubescent children, usually the law says twelve and under. After that they are labeled sexual predator. Or rapist.
She finds all kinds of hidden secrets in his house and she toys with him like a cat with a mouse. Eventually, Haley sets Jeff up for an ultimatum. And it comes down to him making a choice. It will be a life changing choice either way he goes. And that’s her intent. She’s going to change his life. And his will.
I loved this movie. Haley is played by Ellen Page and she’s awesome in this film. She is excellent at the cold-hearted attitude this kind of person must have to do the things to Jeff that this girl does. The funny thing about this movie is that we go along through the whole movie believing Haley from the start. Jeff seems like a perv. And even if he isn’t the exact predator she thinks he is, because he continuously claims he’s not, he’s a predator in her mind, nonetheless. And for that, the ends justify the means. I guess in some cases it’s better to ask for forgiveness than to ask for permission. But, then again, she’s not really worried about forgiveness.
What strikes me is that she’s a fourteen-year-old girl and she’s doing things that an adult wouldn’t be able to handle. She’s quite the thinker, definitely living up to her claim as an honor student. She definitely has a level of sarcasm and dark humor that I can appreciate, although her victim didn’t seem to find anything funny at all. Can you believe that? Not one thing. No sense of humor.
I have watched this film three or four times before I decided to write a review on it. I was originally watching it because I found it psychologically interesting. This is definitely a psychological thriller. At least in my opinion. I mean, this girl plays with this guy’s mind in every way possible making him almost crazy with fear and anger and anxiety. The mind games and psychological torture she puts this guy through is pretty impressive for a fourteen-year-old. I mean, she comes up with things that NORMAL teenage girls wouldn’t, couldn’t even imagine. She’s also very good at planning ahead, her ability for foresight is astounding. She’s quick thinking and fast on feet. It’s almost like this guy Jeff doesn’t seem to stand a chance against her, and she’s just a kid.
But, then again, this film is a good example of how much we underestimate our youth of today. They aren’t the same. Fourteen years old in 2020 is not the same as fourteen years old in 1994. We’re talking a completely different generation, with a completely different upbringing and a completely different mindset. These kids aren’t kids anymore. They grow up faster, they experience more earlier in life and they don’t do the things we did at that age. Yes, the general stuff about being a teenager, all the angst and awkwardness and such is still there. That’s just biology and natural and that will never change. But attitudes and maturity do change. And things are different now. Oddly enough, this film reminded me of just that.
There’s no blood, no gore. No slasher scenes and no chases of big breasted blondes running from madmen with big bladed weapons. This is altogether a different kind of thriller and it’s a good one at that.
Todd Phillips and Scott Silver
Starring: Joaquin Phoenix
Budget $55-70M Box Office $1.067Billion
IMDb 8.7/10 Rotten Tomatoes 69% Fandango 88% Metacritic 59/100
So, right up front I am going to tell you some things that don’t seem to be very popular in this day and age.
First and foremost, I have always felt VERY strongly that, in Hollywood, there is, was and always will be only one of each of the following:
One Superman: Christopher Reeve
One Batman: Michael Keaton
And ONE Joker: Jack Nicholson
I have felt this way since I was a small child, growing up watching the movies of these incredible men doing unthinkable things. So the idea of ANYONE else playing The Joker is almost offensive to my sensibilities.
Next, I am not a Heath Ledger fan. Yes, I realize the young man has passed on and that his death was a heart wrenching tragedy. But, his death has absolutely nothing to do with his acting ability. Yes, I saw him in A Knight’s Tale and it was a pretty good movie. I wasn’t big on the love story aspect but hey, I know they have to throw that in there, I mean hello??? The story involves knights, there has to be a fair maiden with whom he falls in love. Not having the love story in that movie would have been like making that movie without horses. But, I’m getting sidetracked. I admit I refused to see Ledger’s performance of the Joker. Having seen this film, I feel it will be necessary at this point in order to accurately compare all of the Joker performances I’ve seen. But, at the time, I had no interest in seeing Ledger play Joker.
Joaquin Phoenix on the other hand, he has a natural creep factor on screen that is just cosmically mesmerizing. I mean, even in Gladiator he was a creepy, wretched little man who wanted to sleep with his sister and rule the kingdom. No, not incredibly narcissistic , delusional or oedipal at all. Not at all. So, we’ve see that, even without the Joker makeup, Phoenix can portray quite a shady and suspicious creature.
One thing to keep in mind is that this particular Joker movie is an origin story. This is where we learn how and why the Joker became the cold, heartless villain that he is.
Now, because this film was only release about two and a half months ago, I’m going to avoid spoiling anything for you. So, here are my thoughts on the film, WITHOUT giving you the whole film summary. I think saying it’s an origin story is pretty clear enough
I actually really liked this film. I found myself truly empathizing with Joker as the movie went on. It is also an excellent example of how people with ANY sort of mental illness, big or small, are treated like some kind of pariah. As is mental illness is contagious. It truly left the film surrounded in a deep darkness, a loneliness and a feeling of despair. There’s not a whole lot of comedy in this film although there is some, it’s required seeing how it’s a movie about the Joker. But, think about this…we (the audience) have known for a long time that Joker has some serious issues, that he’s not playing with a full deck of trick cards, that he’s not really there mentally or emotionally like the average human being. But in this film, we find out why.
And Joaquin Phoenix…wow! I have to admit, as far as the new generations of Jokers go, Phoenix is the one that really has it down. He feels who the Joker really is. And he played the creepiness to the hilt. I mean, perfectly. It was truly an amazing performance.
I also like that Phoenix was the lead in this film. I think he is very talented and sometimes gets overlooked when he’s playing the support roles. But he really put it all out there for this film and it really came together in such a fantastic way that, once it was over, I wanted to watch it again. I used to really be a Batman fan. Michael Keaton was a hero when I was a kid. But after watching this origin film, I really feel like I have switched over to the “dark side” and become a Joker fan. He’s a very complex character. Batman really isn’t. But, the Joker, he’s got layers…like an onion.
So, if you get a chance to watch this, it is an absolute must. It’s a different kind of Superhero/Villain movie. Not a lot of action, very up close and personal on Joker and some things slid in there to make you think…if you catch them. So, enjoy the birth of this villain, because he’s like no other before or since him.
Scott Kosar, Ray Wright
Starring: Timothy Oylphant, Radha Mitchell, Joe Anderson, Danielle Panabaker
Budget $20M Box Office $55M
IMDb 6.5/10 Rotten Tomatoes 71% Metacritic 55/100
Ahhh The Crazies. I saw this cover and thought “Oh, my people! Is this a home video?!” Just kidding. I am a little nuts though. Lol. No, not really. Okay, maybe a little. Anyways, I had tried to watch this movie once before and only got through about the first fifteen minutes. So, I wanted to give it another shot. I couldn’t believe how much money it made when I looked it up before I watched it. To me that is usually a good sign on a horror flick.
In this film, “the crazies” are people that have been infected by some virus. At first, it makes them stand there all blank and wide-eyed, looking totally creepy, if I do say so myself. It truly is this weird zombie like effect but without the standard hunger for brains.
The first to notice the odd behavior of the townspeople of Ogden Marsh, Iowa is the sheriff David, played by Timothy Olyphant, and his pregnant wife Judy (Radha Mitchell). David and his deputy then try to find the reason for the newfound virus that seems to be infecting the township at an alarming rate.
David and his deputy soon find that a military aircraft has crashed nearby and that it was carrying some sort of cargo containing a pathogen, which has now infected their own water supply for the town. On top of that, since it WAS a military aircraft that crashed, the town soon comes until military control. The town is hoarded into holding centers and tested for this virus. If they pass, they are taken to one area of the quarantine station and if they test infected, they are taken to another area. Unfortunately, David passes the infection test but, his wife, Judy, does not, and she and David are split up.
Now, remember, the town is under military control, so it is now like a police state. (I know some of the people out there think this is the way we should actually be living but, [I pause while I catch my breath from laughing my ass off] there is NO WAY anyone in their right mind would be okay with MPs (military police) coming into their homes and tearing their families apart just because they MIGHT be sick. All roads in and out of town are blocked off, no one is to come in or leave until the problem has been resolved.
The resolution? The military has been ordered to destroy all human beings in the town. Eradicate them. Kill them. Yes, kill them. Everyone. Every single person in the town. Every single living being in the town. Men. Women. Children. Even the family pets. All are to be dead before the military leaves the area. So, in order to survive, David must figure out a way to escape quarantine, find his wife, develop a plan to leave the full quarantine area AND get out of the town, ALL without getting caught and killed or infected by this strange virus.
So, do they escape? And what about Judy? Will she and the baby survive? Will the baby be affected by all this in any way? And where will they go if they do make it out alive?
Watch and find out.
So, as far as horror movies go, this wasn’t bad. I wouldn’t necessarily call it a zombie film, as these infected people are not actually ever coming back from the dead. But I will say that the way they stand and stare is creepy as hell. It reminds me of all those K2 videos that the news stations were playing for a while where the people were using K2 or Spice or whatever and walking around like drooling zombies, standing on the sidewalk with their eyes barely open like a heroin addict that just lit up a vein. This was very reminiscent of those images. And I have to be honest, that kind of thing really gives me an uneasy feeling. It’s not that it scares me so much, even creeps me out isn’t really the right description. It’s unsettling. That’s what it is. And it’s because that look, that behavior, that blank stare and emptiness and absence of soul, it’s just unnatural.
Now, the whole police state idea…that scares the shit out of me. I grew up in a second-generation military family and my father was a cop for my young childhood. From a very young age I was taught about my rights as not only an American citizen but, as a human being. I was regaled with spirited talks from my father on the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, the Bill of Rights, on their meaning, the spirit behind their conception and what IDEALS this country strives for and to represent. So, the idea of a bunch of our own soldiers (all of whom I appreciate, support and defend by the way) coming into my town, seizing control of the town’s authority, bursting into homes and dragging us out, taking us and stuffing us all into containment areas with the sole purpose of complete genocide, yeah that tends to make me a little jumpy and paranoid. That is just way too similar to events like what Hitler did during WWII or the millions of lives Joseph Stalin snuffed out.
Interestingly, I think while most people are going to be focused on these infected people, I’m one of the odd balls that just couldn’t seem to get past the whole police state and quarantine factor. Even now as I write this, it makes the hairs on my forearms stand up. And to try to escape from a scenario like that? THAT is scary stuff. I mean, these soldiers are trained to kill and here these people are trying to run away…and runners are the enemy. Plain and simple.
I will say that while I couldn’t get into this movie the first time I tried to watch it, this time I actually did like it. Now, it won’t be one that I’m going to grab as one of my favorites on a dark night with a cup of hot cocoa and a fire to curl up and watch in the shadows of my living room. However, it was certainly worth seeing and I do believe I will be watching it again at some point. I happen to like Timothy Olyphant. I like his sarcasm and he has this way with his delivery that’s like it makes him slightly arrogant but, you can’t help but like him, ya know? (Personally, I thought he was perfect for the role he played in Scream 2.)
I did like the violent scenes in this film. The kill scenes were good and the gore was fun. Nothing looked cheap although, to be honest, this is probably a B-Rate horror film. At the top level of B-Rate but, B-Rate nonetheless. Which is totally fine. Most horror films don’t make it to A-List ya know. But this one was definitely worth the watch. I mean, at least once. If for no other reason than to see the gory kill scenes.
So, I hope you do take the time to chill out with some popcorn, soda, milk duds (whatever blows your skirt up) and sit back a relax. Keep in mind this is NOT Oscar material. But if you are a horror lover, this will be a decent flick for you.
Directed and Written by
Starring: Sherri Moon Zombie, Bill Moseley, Sid Haig, Richard Brake
Budget $3M Box Office $2.2M
IMDb 5.7/10 Rotten Tomatoes 52% Metacritic NO DATA
I finally got to see this last night. It was released September 16 of this year but, it didn’t spend a lot of time in theaters or that many theaters, for that matter. I had been looking forward to this since I wrote my first post about it being in production in January of 2018. It was well worth the wait.
I still have to say that out of all three films, House of 1000 Corpses will always be my favorite. HOWEVER, 3 From Hell was a great third addition to what has now become a series I suppose, since there’s three films. It’s not really a trilogy because the plot line doesn’t have some sort of weird twist back to the first film that brings it all together.
Now, when I first saw that Rob Zombie was thinking about making this third film, my first reaction was, “Okay, how are they going to explain the fact that they were all shot to shit at the end of The Devil’s Rejects.” Granted, we don’t ever see them actually dead. We just see an intense shootout with the cops where they are pummeled by a hail of bullets as they drive head on into a police barricade. Death is implied with the wounds we see them sustain.
But, that’s the thing about implications…they don’t actually define anything. So, in the beginning of this third film, we find out that after they were turned into human swiss cheese, the cops took them into custody and rushed them all to the hospital where, slowly but surely, all three of them, Otis, Captain Spaulding and Baby, eventually healed and were put on trial. And this trial is so…Manson-esque (yes, I just made that word up and no, I don’t care that it doesn’t really exist). They get a couple of really good shots of Baby and Otis, each playing their own respective Manson Family type roles…Baby, the floating, mindless follower and Otis, the charismatic, psychotic looking and ranting leader.
From this point on, the film is what one would expect and want from Rob Zombie. However, while the first film, House of 1000 Corpses, focused on the violence and madness of the deranged Firefly family, the second film, The Devil’s Rejects, seemingly focused on the sexual depravity and violence of the Firefly clan. In the first film, we get a lot of Otis’s ranting and raving about everything and nothing, while destroying multiple people in the process. In the second film, the terrible trio are much more violent. Almost everything violent in the second film has sexual connotations to it, while sex was more like a by-product of the violence in the first film.
In this third film, Zombie backs off of the sex as a main plot line and focuses more on just these three as people. Demented and sad, but people nonetheless. Also, in the third film we get introduced to another family member, Otis’s half-brother.
Remember now, the trio are all in prison. The half-brother is on the outside, so naturally, there is the issue of getting them out of prison. This film moves more like a regular horror/thriller movie, rather than the wild-eyed back and forth of the first film. I was surprised that this film was almost two hours but, at no time was I checking the counter to see how much time was left.
I thought it was a good movie, a good final entry to the series. At least I assume it’s the final film. You never actually know with Rob Zombie, do ya?
Bill Moseley as Otis is, by far, one of my favorite horror characters ever. And as I said in my review of House of 1000 Corpses, Sherri Moon Zombie’s little crazy china doll laugh is one of the most eerie things I have ever heard in a horror movie. She does that a little bit in this film but, it’s almost like Baby’s grown up or something since her shootout with the police. She has a different mania about her when she walks and talks, when she dances around, when she kills. Otis hasn’t changed much at all which make it an entertaining thrill kill kind of movie to watch. And the addition of the half-brother is a fabulous expansion on the family dynamic.
Any Rob Zombie film fan would like this and dare I say, love it? I actually thought it was better than the second film but I don’t know if Zombie will ever top House of 1000 Corpses. 3 From Hell was a very close go at it though. And I think they did a damn good job of bringing it all together. Especially since there was such a long gap between the making of the second and third film. This is one I’m glad I bought so I can watch it again.
Eli Roth, Mac Cappuccino, Cody Ryder
Christopher Ford and Jon Watts
Starring: Laura Allen, Christian Distefano, Andy Powers, Peter Stormare
Budget $1.5M Box Office $2.1M
IMDb 5.7/10 Rotten Tomatoes 46% Metacritic 42/100
I just happened to pick this up at the used movie store down the street from my house. I didn’t know it existed and hadn’t heard anything about it until I saw the cover in the store. They had a special rack of horror movies set aside for Halloween. I grabbed this on a whim just because of the cover image. It looked creepy enough to me to have potential.
Now, while it wasn’t IT by any stretch, it definitely didn’t leave me feeling disappointed. I hate when I watch a movie and after the end I feel let down. So, there’s that to start with. Interestingly, the clown costume slightly resembles the new IT clown to me, but then again, that could be just me. I mean, all those antique clown costumes are hideously terrifying. I can NOT imagine who ever came up with the idea that clowns would be or could be entertaining to ANYONE, let alone small, helpless, hapless children.
Okay, so in this film, we have a typical family man, Kent McCoy, who is a real estate agent just trying to make a living to provide for his ever-growing family. We start on his son’s birthday. Kent’s wife, Meg, had ordered a clown but due to double booking issues, the company screwed up and no clown was sent for the party. Jack really wanted a clown; he was so looking forward to it. To find out that a clown wasn’t coming would just crush him. Meg calls Kent and tells him the situation. Kent, the doting father, springs into action.
When he gets Meg’s call, he’s at one of his properties he’s listing. It’s an old property and the previous owners left quite a bit of stuff. Kent starts to go through the boxes and chests in the basement and thankfully, by some miracle, he finds a clown costume. With a few other random things from around the house Kent becomes Domo the Clown and heads off to his son’s party. He’s a big hit with the kids and his wife is proud and considers him the hero of the day. After a long evening of entertaining a bunch of kids, Kent falls asleep still wearing the clown suit.
The next morning, Kent wakes to find that the clown suit is a little more than difficult to take off. The wig, the red rubber nose, the suit itself, have all seemed to adhere to his body. His family thinks it’s cute and his son even thinks it’s cool that Domo the Clown drove him to school. But Kent is no longer laughing. When he tries to remove the rubber nose it causes him pain. The same happens with the wig. He can’t wipe off all the clown makeup either. He even takes a little handheld jigsaw looking tool to the collar of the suit, trying to cut it off. But, it’s completely indestructible.
Now, Meg is a nurse so the two of them together think that she is a perfectly capable person to help with the removal process. So, she grabs her hemostats and after a few very painful tries, they just straight rip that red piece of rubber right off his nose, taking a lot of skin and some underlying tissue with it. That’s also when Meg notices that the wig isn’t a wig anymore, it’s become Kent’s actual hair.
And as if all that wasn’t bad enough, Kent starts getting the horrific desire to eat small children. Afraid he will hurt his wife and family; Kent runs away and moves to a motel. But he also finds the brother of the owner of the clown suit. He goes to this man looking for answers but what he finds is much more terrifying.
The man tells him the suit is a demon and it is taking over his body. The only way to end it…is to kill himself before the suit takes full hold of him. Kent isn’t thrilled with this idea, I mean, who would be? And neither is Meg. Now, it’s a race against time to see if they can figure out an alternative solution that doesn’t require beheading Kent before he is lost to the demonic clown suit forever.
This was a good film. Although it wasn’t ultra-fast paced or action packed or anything like that, it was still entertaining and creepy. Upon its United States release in 2016 it received very critical reviews with few people having nice things to say about the film at all. Personally, I didn’t think it was that bad. I’ve seen way worse. This wouldn’t get an Oscar or anything but I wouldn’t even go so far as to call it B-Rate horror either. The acting was fairly good. I recognized the guy that played the clown suit’s owner’s brother. He’s in one of the John Wick movies, I believe it’s the second one.
This was a pretty dramatic film. There wasn’t a lot of comedic relief, if any. No witty jokes really, no snappy one-liners. It did make for a slightly depressing movie. I mean, if you have a heart at all, you start to feel for Kent and his plight. Though it does also bring to mind the old adage “No good deed goes unpunished.”.
Still, I’ve not seen anything like this before. It was definitely different. I can’t say it’s a film I’ll be watching over and over however, it was worth watching at least once. I will say that if I had gone to the theater to see this, I probably would have been a little pissed, with how much it costs to go to the show anymore. But I got it used at the movie store for $5 or so. So, I feel I got my money’s worth. It might be fun to check out, especially if you love clown horror movies like I do.
Starring: Y’lan Noel, Lex Scott Davis, Joivan Wade, Steve Harris
Budget $13M Box Office $137M
IMDb 5.1/10 Rotten Tomatoes 54% Metacritic 54/100
It has been quite a while since I have seen The Purge, which was the first Purge movie. I do remember that it messed with my mind and I thought it was a pretty damn good movie, although I also remember it wasn’t something I was willing to watch over and over again. Maybe that’s because of the idea behind the plot of the movie.
This film, The First Purge, is about the very first Purge in the United States. Now, remember that the original movie was just a depiction of a typical “Purge” night. By then the people have long fortified their homes and have chosen one side or the other, whether they participate or stay home.
So, for those of you who don’t know, “The Purge” is an idea the government has put into practice that allows all crime, ALL CRIME, to be 100% legal and acceptable without retribution or consequences from the law for 12 hours each year, providing they don’t attack any government officials. Medical and Emergency are available the whole time. So, one night every year for twelve hours, all crime is legal and unpunishable.
Again, remember the first movie took place in 2022. THIS movie takes place in 2014, when the new government first passed the law allowing the Purge. In, this film we see the original purpose of the Purge night and what happened therein. Not to mention, we get a very good idea of how the agencies involved in the Purge exploited people in order to try to make it more successful. It becomes a fight for survival as people start to realize that they really are free from the law for twelve straight hours.
It must be the whole idea of this Purge thing that spooks me the most. The idea that for twelve hours our government would say it’s acceptable to murder or rape someone just, well…scares the shit out of me. There really aren’t many movies that can give me the willies or make me feel uncomfortable but, these Purge movies, they are some twisted stuff.
I liked that we got to see the origination of The Purge itself. When I saw the first movie I was like, how did this happen? Were there not people opposed to this? Funny how, in this movie, they answered my questions completely.
I liked this movie. It made want to watch the first one again. And the other Purge movies. There’s a whole slew of them PLUS a television series now. Definitely a major franchise. So, I assume the other movies will be good too but, then again, we have Halloween III: The Season of the Witch…ummm yeah. So, you never really know where they’re gonna take it at times. Still, I think this is a good flick for a Friday Night Fright with friends and food. There’s action, horror, a tiny bit of love, suspense. Practically something for everybody in the horror club!
Kevin Kōlsch and Dennis Widmyer
Based on Pet Sematary by
Starring: Jason Clarke, Amy Seimetz, John Lithgow
Budget $21M Box Office $112.4M
IMDb 5.8/10 Rotten Tomatoes 57% Metacritic 57/100
As you all know I am a huge Stephen King fan. Also, you should all know by now that I am NOT a huge fan a remakes, reboots, redux, re-whatevers. I love the original Pet Sematary and so I had to see this just to see what they did to mess it up. Because I assume if it is one of those RE-somethings it’s not going to be as good as the original.
With this movie, I was right AND wrong. They change quite a few things from the first film. For example, the circumstances of the death of Ellie’s cat are different. Why? They bring up Zelda, Rachel’s dead sister, way earlier in this version than the original AND they changed the way she died. For what purpose? What was wrong with the original story?
Now, I will admit that I have NOT read this book. So, I can’t say what parts are accurate to the book itself and what parts are not. But there is something that is missing from this new remake version that I feel is crucial to the story. And they completely left it out.
We all know that Ellie’s cat Church dies. Louis, her father, takes the dead animal and goes with the neighbor from across the street, Jud, to bury it in the Pet Sematary. In the original, Jud is taking Louis to the old Native American burial ground beyond the Pet Sematary. He gives Louis a speech as Louis buries the cat, telling him that what you put in the ground is yours, and it will always come back to you. I have to tell you, that’s one of the creepiest moments in the original and they don’t have it in this version. Plus, how they end up dealing with Church after he returns has been changed too.
There are some other changes but I don’t want to ruin the whole movie for you. It’s not that I didn’t like this version. I actually did. But I have to say that I think some things were needlessly altered. Then again, some of the changes had a very strong impact just as taking out some things did too.
All in all, I did like this film and I thought it was done well. I wouldn’t be afraid to recommend it to anyone who likes horror, thrillers, those kinds of movies. I do hope, as with all remakes, that you will keep an open mind when you watch this if you’ve seen the original and are a big fan. I’ve seen all of the Pet Sematary movies so, I knew they would be changing some stuff just to switch things up in an effort to make it fresh. But it was fun to watch and there were definitely a few moments where I was shocked and surprised to say the least. You should probably check it out if you haven’t already.
Written and Directed by R. Lopez
Catherine Daisy Coleman as Sheena Star
Bryan Slusher as Muppet
Cody Calderas as Andy
Dakota Danger as Sidwell
Melesa Murphy as Teresa
Special appearances by Benjamin Bartlett and Jeff Homan as Tobi and Duke from The Toking Dead
No Sauce LLC.
Rose Parlor Tattoo
The Toking Dead
Crude Comics Inc.
I FINALLY got a chance to sit down and watch a screener of a movie I was sent a while back. I am kicking myself that I didn’t watch it sooner. It’s a horror comedy made by R. Lopez at Crude Comics Inc. I personally LOVE horror comedies. It seems to be one of the most unbridled forms of horror freedom on film.
Now, to truly appreciate horror comedy you need a good sense of humor, a strong stomach and a passion for horror. You have to be willing to overlook things like budgeting and film resolution quality in order to get to things like having fun and letting loose. When people decide to create a horror comedy their purpose is for the audience to have FUN and the makers want to have fun in the process of that creation. These guys OBVIOUSLY did exactly that.
Now, I don’t want to give a lot away because I really, really want you guys to see this. But we start out meeting Stoner Jesus. (Oh, stop being offended, it’s a comedy film, for crying out loud, nobody’s preaching anything). I was laughing the whole way through. This film has all sorts of humor in it. Everything from slapstick to toilet humor. I do have to admit, and I giggle even as I write this, that if you haven’t done certain drugs in your lifetime, there are probably parts of this movie that aren’t going to be funny or make sense to you. Sorry, but that’s just the way it is. But for those that may (or may not, depending on the advice of your attorney) have had a misspent youth, some of this stuff is going to be absolutely hilarious to you. (On the advice of counsel, I decline to answer as to whether or not I have any sort of direct or indirect knowledge of any aforementioned substances that may or may not give me insight on the hilarity factor of this film. Moving on…)
If I were going to try to describe this film to someone, I would have to say it’s like Texas Chainsaw Massacre and House of 1000 Corpses got into a head on collision and then comedy of all kinds violently poured down upon the crash site. There are so many small jokes, funny little references, snappy one liners. There’s regular stuff that really happens in real life between stoners that people that get high truly do laugh at.
I recognize that, to an extremely straight arrowed kind of person, this movie would seem very haphazard and without flow, might seem strange (to say the least) and might seem like a waste of time. But that’s not who it’s meant for.
I loved watching this film. It’s like watching a home movie of a bunch of stoner friends take a road trip and then some weird creepy ass stuff gets thrown in the mix. There’s weird stuff going on with Sasquatch type monsters, creepy old men, creepy younger men…ravioli.
All in all, definitely fun to watch. If you need laughs this is your ticket to them. Oh, and a killer side note…our killer friends over at The Toking Dead not only have their comic and some of their TTD gear shown in this film, the guys actually make a special appearance!!! I was so excited to see them!!! I was already stoked when I kept seeing their comic and merchandise but, then POOF there they were! Totally cool!
Lopez and his crew really worked hard on getting this comedy right and it shows. They had fun and in turn, I had fun. Total success!!!!
You can buy a copy at crudecomicsinc.com
Bragi F Schut and Maria Melnik
Starring: Taylor Russell, Logan Miller, Deborah Ann Woll, Tyler Labine, Nik Dodani, Jay Ellis, Yorick van Wageningen
Budget $9M Box Office $155.7M
IMDb 6.3/10 Rotten Tomatoes 49% Metacritic 48/100
Okay, so, the whole premise of this film got me from the beginning because I have always been fascinated by the idea of an escape room. Not that I am convinced I could get out myself but, with a certain select group of friends, it would be interesting to try. However, this is a film that might make you think twice about signing up for such an entertainment activity.
Now, if you don’t know, (and honestly the only way you couldn’t know is if you are say, over the age of 80, under the age of 7 OR you’ve been living in a cave being raised by wolves and have no idea what lengths human beings will go to for entertainment, to prove their intellect and for a good adrenaline rush) an escape room is a form of a puzzle room. People sign up and pay sometimes a good sum of money to get locked in a room that presents a hypothetical danger and they must find the clues hidden within the room to piece together the final answer to unlock the door. (If you hate logic games, puzzle games or anything like that, even hidden object games, you probably wouldn’t like or do well in an escape room.)
However, if you like watching people freak out, turn on each other, bond together, logic puzzles, human behavior, killer graphics and movies that give you an edge of your seat suspense feeling with an adrenaline rush kind of feel…then you’ll probably dig this film.
In Escape Room, six people are given invitations to participate in a highly coveted, top-rated Escape Room challenge. IF any of them can be the first to escape, they will win a prize of $10,000. Sounds pretty enticing huh? I mean, it’s just a game, right? Like a haunted house. What could go wrong?
The mix of participants is interesting. We find that among them is a very successful money manager/stock broker type guy. His invitation was a gift from a client for instance. Then, there’s an incredibly intelligent, genius-level intelligent, but, wickedly shy and closed in college student. She got her invite from one of her professors. Next, we have Ben. Ben comes into work one day at the stockroom to find his invite waiting for him on a stack of the inventory he should be putting away. We have Mike, who is a regular guy who drives a truck for a living and we have Amanda, who is an Iraq War Veteran. Last but certainly not least, we have Danny. Danny is an escape room fanatic and has done pretty much every single one in the area…and more. It’s funny to see all six of them sitting in the waiting room looking at each other trying not to look at each other. (I mean, this movie was made this year and that is a perfect example of human behavior. Why is eye contact NOT okay anymore? When I was growing up it was REQUIRED. It’s like people are scared to look at other human beings and make some sort of human connection with them.) Upon entering the main building entrance, they were required to relinquish their phones, otherwise they would have all been looking at a tiny digital screen, pretending to be incredibly absorbed in whatever is on their home screen, homepage or what texts they AREN’T getting at that moment.
So here they are, these six strangers in a waiting room, waiting for the “game” to begin. The only problem is, it already has. They don’t know it but once they all got there and that door closed, the game was on. Now, a lot of escape rooms can be just one room, ya know, like a beginner level. Then there are ones out there that have many rooms with many puzzles that you have to get through. THIS one these people are in…has multiple rooms. BUT, they aren’t just regular rooms.
A LOT of money has been put into this game. A LOT. Who knows who’s backing this sort of thing? Some sicko millionaire? The government? Foreign enemy forces? Some whacked out scientist? I mean, when you think of the things ACTUAL people have done in REAL LIFE for entertainment, the possibilities for the mastermind villain in this movie are endless.
I did enjoy this movie. And since it IS so new, I am not going to tell you a whole lot about it. I will say that I think it was made well. I liked the actors. I think they portrayed their characters particularly well. And the special effects and graphics, very cool. Very well done.
I have to admit there were many times I was surprised and impressed with the way they were able to bring things to life on screen. And whoever came up with the puzzle ideas, they’re good. This guy, gal, people, whoever, talk about some creative work.
One of the best things about this film is that not all of the normal horror movie rules apply.
One of the not so great things about it frankly, was the ending. Don’t get me wrong, it’s good. But, to me, incomplete. It makes me wonder if they are leaving it open for a sequel, a franchise perhaps. But then again, it could have been that they got to the ending and just had a hard time closing it down. That happens so often with horror movies. So many times, we expect that climactic ending like we got in Friday the 13th, an ending that shocks and scares, that final heart-stopper, that final scream. And so many times we are let down. I’ll let you decide for yourself if you feel like the ending was befitting the rest of the film.