This has got to be one of the strangest movies I’ve seen yet…and so far, not in the best way. I am actually writing this review as I watch this movie because it is just a little too weird for me to do things my normal organized way. So, I’ll just jump right in and we’ll just find things out together.
First, we begin in the car with four friends. Three chicks, Susan, Denise and Jen, one dude, Todd. Jen is a shy, quiet, obviously stressed out, nervous young woman who can’t seem to loosen up. I’m sure the fact that they are driving into a town that is being evacuated for weather isn’t helping her anxiety much.
While they are driving they spot two hitchhikers on the side of the rode. These two guys, Cody and Wyatt, are carrying surfboards and are complete smartasses. Still, they decide to give these guys a ride, even though the dudes have no destination in mind.
They get into town and stop at a bar. There they meet a man named Joey who is behind the bar. They assume he’s the bartender but, we see a dead body on the floor behind the bar at Joey’s feet. He’s probably the bad guy. Then a new guy walks in. His name is Billy. Billy apparently doesn’t care for Joey too much.
As everyone sits there and drinks the storm outside begins to rage into the beginnings of a hurricane. As they head out, Joey offers to let them stay at his house but, they decline, laughing at him saying they already have reservations somewhere else. However, when they get outside their car won’t start. So, they take Joey up on his offer. As Joey asks Billy to take them to the house, two more men walk in wanting to be served. Joey tries to explain that they are closed but, they persist so, he let’s them sit at the bar. Then, once they start to order with attitude in their voices, Joey kills them, right then and there.
He then meets the others at the house. Billy is being creepy. He’s being very evasive and truly just acting like a sullen teenager. But, he’s in his twenties. As he shows them into the house they all notice that it looks more like it’s been closed up for quite some time. Sheets on furniture and such. But, there’s also a creep factor in that there’s plastic everywhere too. Just sheets of it over things.
Jen asks for a room to change and while she’s changing so is Joey so he can avoid the others seeing the blood all over his shirt. As Jen is looking for something to wear she notices that Billy is watching her through a crack in the door. She gets angry and slams the door in his face after another warning about how crazy Joey is. After she is dressed, she lays on the bed and starts fantasizing about Joey. She’s imagining him making love to her until she envisions a man sitting in the room watching them. Once he speaks she comes back to reality. When she opens the door, she finds that Joey has been standing outside her room. He takes her downstairs to rejoin the others. Every interaction she has with Joey is flirtatious.
Once they get downstairs, people start thinking about food and better alcohol so Joey and Jen go to the kitchen to see what they have. There, they find that a woman who looks like an ate-up crackhead has busted in his back door and broken in to see Billy. Neither Billy nor Joey is happy about this and Billy soon expresses his displeasure with her by backhanding her in front of everyone when she starts talking about the house being cursed and him not telling the group.
The new chick, Kristi, goes upstairs to rest, I guess, and Joey is mumbling rapidly to himself while peeling shrimp in the kitchen. The rest of the group is getting high and watching Cody make out with Denise on the floor.
The crackhead is seemingly going through Jen’s bag and stealing her money in the room when she hears something in the hallway. Going to investigate she finds Joey waiting for her and he punches her, knocking her out. She wakes to find Joey sitting on the tub beside her, where she is laying in the tub and the tub is being filled with her it in.
Meanwhile, downstairs Billy is getting irritated with the live soft-core porn show and makes a comment almost starting an altercation. But, it fizzles as quickly as it started and he walks away.
Back upstairs in the bathroom, Joey decides to take it upon himself to be an angel of death and “help” Kristi through her pain…by slicing her wrists with a straight razor. The whole time she fights he tells her to let go of her pain, there is no pain, etc. And he has a change of clothes again in the bathroom ready to clean himself up.
Jen is getting bored watching everyone else make out so she goes to look for Joey. In the kitchen, hallucinates again and then bumps into Joey, waking herself back up. As she is standing there while Joey cooks they start talking back and forth. When the power goes out and then comes back on right after, she asks if he’s ever thought the house was haunted. He tells her no and that he thinks it’s full of life.
As the group sits in the living room and talks to each other about the house, Billy starts telling a story of the family that lived there and how they were murdered. Plus, how he believes the house is full of death. The power goes out again. It comes back on a few moments later and with that Billy leaves the room as Joey and Jen bring in the food.
Chick and Cody are now heading downstairs to get their freak on while Billy is upstairs, looking for Kristi. He finds her in the bathtub and sits down in the bathroom with a gun in his hand. The group goes about their conquests while Jen and Joey “talk” but, he’s being very evasive. Although, he doesn’t waste time talking about his attraction to her. He also seems to have a fascination with the storm.
Then Billy comes downstairs to talk to Joey. Billy takes Joey to the bathroom and the girls, being nosy, discover the body of Kristi. Now, everyone is freaking out. As all hell breaks loose, Billy starts to get violent and Joey tries to talk him down. While he is distracted Wyatt attacks Billy and beats him to the ground, punching him about the face. In the struggle, the gun goes off. After all the commotion is over they all realize Joey is bleeding from the top of his ear. He is nonreactive and calmly walks off to go treat the blood stains on this shirt before they set. (Can I just say this guy changes clothes for often than a runway model? Jesus.)
Now, Todd, the guy from the four friends originally in the car, is completely losing his mind over the dead girl in the tub and knocked out Billy and the creepy ass house. Jen goes to get Wyatt some ice for his injury from Billy’s headbutt to the face and she sees Joey at the sink, mumbling about the blood in his shirt. Then, when she offers to help with washing it out, he yells at her. Todd decides to go out into the storm to get help.
Now, once Susan sees Wyatt set his own broken nose, she starts griping about this being the worst vacation ever and how her friend Denise (the one sleeping with Cody in the basement) is a bitch. Susan starts yelling that they have more important things to do than tidy up and Joey gets irritated and gets up, telling her they should go find her friends.
As they walk through this house in the dark with a flashlight, Susan is complaining angrily to Joey. He gets pissed and yells at her to shut up. As this happens he hears Denise and Cody downstairs having sex. When Susan goes to listen closer he comes up behind her and quickly snaps her neck.
Next, Jen is upstairs scrubbing blood from the floor when Billy wakes up and wants to know where Joey is. Joey is downstairs where our two sexcapaders are doing the deed. Todd looks to be back at the bar, looking for someone not creepy to render some help. He finds the two last patrons dead on the floor and runs out screaming.
Now, Billy and Jen are having a talk about who Billy has murdered and that she’s hallucinated his family while she’s been there. Joey is hacking Cody to pieces in front of Denise downstairs. Denise escapes the basement, kicking Joey down the stairs in the process. He rapidly catches up to her in the living room where Billy is screaming for Jen to untie him. Denise runs in, screaming in terror, and Joey comes up right behind her and tackles her to the floor, stabbing her in the back.
Wyatt reaches for the gun that is sitting on the coffee table but, Joey puts the butcher knife right through his forearm. Joey grabs the gun just before Todd runs into the house hollering that Joey is a killer. But, it’s too late…obviously. Joey has the gun pointed at Wyatt who, now knifed to the coffee table, is pretty much helpless. Joey shoots Wyatt in the head. Todd screams and runs at Joey, pummeling him to the ground. Billy is still asking to be untied. Now Jen is the only one available.
When she gets the knife free, Todd is killed by Joey. As Joey stands there looking at Jen he loses touch with reality for just a second, just long enough for her to stab him in the stomach with the knife. He starts babbling about how they both hear “them” and how lucky they are, then he kisses her (yuck). Jen runs off.
Joey takes the knife out of his stomach and goes after Jen. He doesn’t make it far, collapsing in the foyer. There he has a confrontation with Billy and shoots him. Afterwards, he crawls up the stairs, calling out for Jen, telling her everything is okay and she can come out now.
He goes to his old room and lays on his childhood bed. Jen is hiding in the closet. He’s having flashbacks of when his parents are murdered.
There’s a guy older than him talking to about his gift and how he can use it to save people. They save people who aren’t happy there at that house. The older guy hears his little brother Billy in the closet. Billy is in there with a woman, I assume their mother. He says that he doesn’t think Billy is happy there either and that he needs their help to be saved. The man shows Joey a gun and says he’ll show him how to use it. As the man goes to the closet door, Joey shoots him in the back, saving the lives of both people in the closet.
Next, we see him sitting slumped on the bed and Jen is trying to sneak out of the room. But, he grabs her at the last reach. Startled, she hits him and runs away. He pursues her, begging her to stay at gunpoint. As he is talking Billy comes up from behind him and shoves a fireplace poker into his back. Billy sits cradling Joey as he dies. Billy tells Jen to leave and she does.
Last scene is Jen standing with her arms out in the rain. Just standing there.
Oh lord, this movie was bad. I was just sitting here thinking “that’s 84 mins of my life I’ll never get back”. Nobody should ever feel like that after watching a movie. Not only was the filming bad in this movie but, the story was poorly written. It was not smooth, fluid and cohesive. The dialogue is terrible. There’s whisper upon whisper and it’s all unintelligible. The lighting in this film is bad as well. Also, you’re left for so long wondering what’s going on, who these people are, when something cool is going to happen, that it just wears you down by the time any action comes along.
In addition to that, the nonsense everyone was spouting throughout the whole movie was barely brought together and explained. It was all so random it really just seemed like pointless filler. I was left checking the counter every ten minutes wondering how much longer the movie was going to take.
This is a classic horror set up. There were so many opportunities and avenues available to make this a decent movie. Why they chose not to, I’ll never know. I do know that I won’t be recommending this to anyone anytime soon…or ever.
***I apologize for the lack of preview images. There were only a couple available.
Mother's Boys (1993)
This film, directed by Yves Simoneau, comes to us from Miramax films. An early 90s suspense/thriller, this is a movie that can make anyone terrified of the soon-to-be ex-wife.
We start at the opening credits, actually, where we hear a woman talking about how she will not allow her husband to get a divorce and how she’s going to get her family back.
We open to a biology class, where a young boy of twelve named Kes has a bit of an episode when he is asked repeatedly by his teacher and his lab partner to slice into the frog in the tray in front of them. He, in fact, stabs it repeatedly after learning that mother frogs lay their eggs and then abandon their young, which he apparently thinks is mean and doesn’t agree with that part of nature. He causes a huge ruckus and is sent to the Assistant Principal’s office where he receives two weeks cafeteria duty. Good news is the principal isn’t going to tell Robert (Peter Gallagher), Kes’s father.
After Kes leaves her office, the Assistant Principal Callie (Joanne Whalley-Kilmer, at least it was Kilmer back then) see a snazzy dressed blond woman talking to a young boy outside the school. The woman has a few words with the boy and then leaves.
After school, Callie is enlisted to babysit the boys until Robert gets home because she’s actually his girlfriend. Once he does get home he asks Kes what is bothering him. Kes tells him about his little stabbing incident at school and they get into a small heated discussion. As Kes goes to storm out of the room like all twelve-year olds do, he bumps a model of a building that is on the table and it crashes to the floor and breaks into pieces.
Meanwhile, we see the same snazzy woman, Judith (or Jude) played by Jamie Lee Curtis. She has come home to her mother’s house, asking about her soon-to-be ex-husband and her three sons, Kes (Luke Edwards), Michael (Colin Ward) and Ben (Joey Zimmerman). She tells her mother she wants to see her boys and get her family back even though she took off and left them all three years ago because “she was being suffocated”, whatever that means. We also find out later that when the oldest, Kes, was just a baby, she took off for three months right after he was born. She came back and convinced Robert to take her back. Then, years later, she did this whole three-year getaway and now is back again. She wants her mother’s support in getting her family back together but, mama is a no-go, telling Jude that she not only supports the divorce but, encourages it. This leaves Jude feeling distraught and she decides to drive by Robert’s house that night.
When she does, she sees Robert, the boys and Callie all cooking out on the deck like a happy family. This sends her into a rage as she drives off and she chucks the groceries she just bought to stock her new apartment for the boys out of her Mercedes convertible.
The next day Jude goes to the school and talks to Callie pretending to be a parent looking at new schools. The talk briefly and she leaves.
Then, Jude decides to go to Robert’s house, which is her old house, while no one is home. As she is there, inside and looking around, Robert and the boys pull up and hear the family dog barking like mad. Robert has them stay in the car while he goes in to see what is going on. Once inside he finds Jude in his living room. They have a brief confrontation when she says she wants to come home and makes Robert angry. She explains that she wants to see the boys because she owes them an explanation and asks Robert to bring them to her apartment in town. As she is leaving, Callie pulls into the driveway and sees Jude walking to her car. They make the most hateful death-to-you eye contact imaginable and Jude drives off, leaving Callie to go inside with Robert to “talk” about what is going on. (All men know that “talk” is a four-letter word when it comes to relationships so, uh, this can’t be pleasant.)
Robert consults his attorney and though he doesn’t like it, he is advised to let Jude see the boys until the divorce and custody suits are finalized. When he takes them to Jude’s apartment Kes is apprehensive about going in and spending time with Jude. She has bought them toys (trying to win back love maybe?) and Kes isn’t falling for it. So, Jude decides to sit down and talk to Kes. In doing so, she gets started working on his fragile emotions and warping his mind with manipulation and deception, pretty much about anything and everything, including badmouthing their father and Callie, saying that Callie isn’t their real mother and that Kes can’t possibly love her.
Later while they are out, Jude calls Robert from the planetarium where he is supposed to pick the boys up and lures him there to seduce him, though she is unsuccessful. Later, while he is working late one night shortly after, she shows up at his work and tries to seduce him again. He almost falls for it this time but, instead catches himself and tells her he loves Callie and is going to marry her. Jude slaps him…hard. He then kicks her out of his office and she leaves.
The next day, at school, Callie find the word “whore” spray painted on the passenger side of her Volvo. It is assumed, of course, that Jude did it. So, Robert goes to her apartment to confront her and tell her to stop and leave them alone. Jude antagonizes him and gets him to yell as she secretly records the whole conversation.
The following day, Jude goes to the school again to talk to Callie. Callie tries to calmly reason with her but, after confirming that Callie is in love with Robert, she freaks out, trashes Callie’s office and injures herself on purpose. Then she calls out for help and nearly gets Callie fired.
Robert and Callie consult Robert’s lawyer again and he tells them sit tight and don’t give her anymore ammo to use in court.
Jude picks up Kes, only Kes, for the weekend. She stops in a tunnel on a quiet, winding road and teaches Kes to drive. Then they go see a movie and go back to her apartment. There, she takes a bath and calls Kes into the bathroom to talk to her while she’s bathing. During a conversation about how “connected” they are as mother and son, Jude stands up from the tub to show Kes her C-section scar from his birth. This is the final thing to creep him out and he runs out of the room. After a while, when they are talking in Kes’s room, Jude starts trying to coax Kes into helping her get rid of Callie by playing a game to scare her called “Trials” and reluctantly he agrees.
Then, all three boys go stay at their Grandma’s house, which is Jude’s mother. While there, she overhears them discussing playing this game to scare Callie and calls out Kes, telling him she’s calling his father. They get into a small struggle as he grabs her arm to try to make her listen and she falls down the stairs, injuring her badly and requiring her to go to the hospital.
At the hospital, Jude and Robert have another confrontation when Jude wants to leave and take the boys home with her and Robert refuses to let her. He tells her to stay and pretend she cares about her mother. Then he leaves with the boys. Jude goes into her mother’s room and sits on her bed next to her. As her mother is not well, she seems to be slipping in and out of the present and she starts talking about Jude’s father, how he committed a horrible sin against them and how she needs to take Jude away from him. Jude gets angry after her mother says this a few times and adds that she won’t let Jude get away with what she’s trying to do. Jude tries to suffocate her mother but, is interrupted by a nurse coming in to check on the machines beeping.
After Jude leaves the hospital she calls Callie pretending to be someone from admitting, saying that Robert has been in an accident and that she needs to find Jude Madigan, Robert’s wife, and let her know where he is. Callie immediately hangs up and calls Jude only to be told that there’s been a mistake, that Robert just left from having sex with her and hangs up. Just then, Robert walks in the door with the boys. He and Callie talk for a minute and then he goes back to the hospital to see to Grandma.
Once Callie is alone with the boys they convince her to play “trials” and she is the one on trial. As the prisoner they put Michael’s handcuffs on her and Kes puts the key in his pocket. It starts off fairly innocent but, quickly escalates as Kes is pounding at the table with his “gavel”, which is actually one of those meat pounding mallets with the points on the ends. He continues to yell and slam the mallet onto the table until Callie jumps up demanding that the cuffs be removed. Kes struggles with her and she falls to the floor, hitting her head, rendering her unconscious.
When she wakes up she is cuffed and bound to a dining chair. Kes tells them Jude says they are not to let her loose until after 10pm. As she tries to talk to Kes, he informs her that she has been found guilty of crimes against the family, of breaking up the family and preventing Jude from coming home and that her punishment is that she be banished from the house. As she continues to plead for freedom, Ben (the youngest, in his footy pajamas) bravely decides to go against Kes and get Callie some water. As Callie and Kes talk and it heats up, Kes gets more and more angry. Just as he is about to strike Callie, Ben, who is walking over with the glass of water, trips and falls on the glass. It breaks, sending a shard right into his chest near his right shoulder and he begins to bleed profusely. Kes calls Jude, as he’s done every time something has gone awry and this time, she’s not home.
At 9:30pm Robert calls. Michael is trying to tell him something has happened and Callie hollers out for help only to see Kes yank the phone line from the wall. Then they hear the dog barking again and Kes goes to find the dog.
While he is gone Callie convinces Michael to let her loose and she grabs Ben to take him to the hospital. When they get to her car, she gives Michael the keys to have him help her unlock the door but, out of fear of Kes, he refuses and she takes off with Ben on foot down the drive toward the road.
We see Jude with the dog on a leash running through the woods and we see Kes get in the car with Michael and start driving to find Callie.
Callie reaches the tunnel where Kes learned to drive and Kes shows up right behind her. He tries to stop so he doesn’t hit her with the car but, the brakes don’t work. Right outside the tunnel, Jude has the dog at the ready and when she sees the car she throws a ball into the street and lets the dog loose from the leash. He runs into the road and Kes has to swerve to avoid hitting him, sending the car flying off the side of the road and pegging it on a limb in the wall of a cliff, ready to fall into the water below. Jude watches with delight.
Callie goes down the cliff wall to rescue the boys. She gets Michael out first. Then, as she tries to get Kes, the car shifts and she slips, barely getting a grip on the hanging door to save herself from falling. Kes reaches out to help her and takes her hand. Jude is now down on top of the car, telling Kes she is stronger and can save Callie and for him to let her have Callie’s hand.
Robert shows up, having left the hospital after the phone was disconnected, and immediately uses a rope from his vehicle to climb down the dirt wall.
Kes is losing his grip on Callie and though he doesn’t want to, gives Jude her hand. Jude looks at Callie, smiles slightly and lets her go. Callie quickly regains her hold on the door hanging open and when she does, she jostles the car once more, sending Jude flying off down to the earth below. Kes sees all of this happen.
Afterwards, everyone goes to the hospital and Kes, being consoled by his father and Callie, is in shock and stares blankly at the camera.
Boy, did I think this was an awesome movie!! I thought Jamie Lee Curtis was awesome as the villain. There were also a couple of really good scare spots in the movie which I, of course, left out of the review synopsis. While I didn’t find a true suspense factor like “oh no, what’s going to happen next?”, I did find this to be an excellent thriller film.
The biggest thing I noticed in this film was that they used the lighting as a definite spook tool. There are a number of scenes that are perfectly innocuous except that the lighting makes them ultra-creepy.
Also, the scene with the mom and her son talking while she was taking a bath…this is so damaging, traumatic and just plain wrong on so many levels. She’s so manipulative and evil it just seeps from every pore.
I was very impressed by the kids acting in this film as the kid who played Kes is incredibly good. He even has his own creep factor once Jude gets her hooks in him.
One thing that I saw at the beginning which I thought was funny was, at the rating warning, it says rated R for language and a mother’s sociopathic behavior. Just a nice little joke for those who pay attention, I guess.
I would definitely recommend this movie to any horror, thriller or suspense movie fan. This is one where you just can’t go wrong. There’s no gore, it’s not a long film at only 93 minutes and it moves quickly with something happening in practically every scene. Plus, it has Jamie Lee Curtis in it and she is one of the original Scream Queens, so she’s always worth checking out in a horror flick.
I watched this movie adaptation of another Stephen King story the other night. I have to say, this was totally what I expect of Stephen King. There were a lot of big names in this film including Morgan Freeman, Thomas Jane, Tom Sizemore and Jason Lee just to name a few. I happen to be a HUGE fan of both Morgan Freeman (who isn’t?) and Thomas Jane (he was the Punisher in the movie adaptation for the comic book character). I mean, how can you not love Morgan Freeman? This is a man who didn’t even truly begin his acting career until he was like fifty years old. And he’s phenomenal in everything he does. Everything. Truly, the man is a god on screen. But, back to the movie.
This is a story about four guys; Henry, Jonesy, Beaver and Pete, all friends since childhood, and their yearly getaway at a cabin in the woods. They reminisce about their younger years and their friend Duddits, a young, mentally handicapped boy they saved from bullies when they were kids. Duddits, whose real name is Douglas but because he’s handicapped he pronounces it a little different, is a very special boy with special abilities and he passes some of those abilities onto the guys. They become somewhat telepathic, each in their own way.
While on the trip, Jonesy is out hunting and encounters a man named Rick. Rick does NOT look well…at all. He’s obviously sick and infected with…something. Jonesy takes Rick back to the cabin and tries to render as much aid as possible but, it’s not much. As they shoot the breeze, Beaver shows back up. He is just as concerned about Rick’s status as Jonesy is and they soon convince Rick to go lie down.
They soon discover that Rick has meandered to the bathroom and well, he’s having some, shall we say, stomach issues. After some concern, and some discussion, Beaver and Jonesy break the bathroom door down, only to wish they hadn’t. They soon find Rick near death and sitting on the toilet having what they assume is the worst case of train wreck diarrhea in human history…and I guess, technically they’d be right.
Blood is everywhere and when Rick falls off the toilet they find that some sort of worm has escaped Rick’s body. Now, this is not like your garden variety worm that you find in the yard while digging in the dirt. Oh no. This thing looks like something horrific and frankly, way worse than you would ever think something that could come out of a human body could look like. But, there it is…in the toilet.
Beaver acts quickly and closes the lid to the toilet and sits on it. (I personally would have opted for closing the DOOR and LEAVING but hey, that’s just me.) Then the guys start discussing what to do and settle for taping the toilet closed before they leave it and shut the bathroom door. Beaver sends Jonesy to get the tape while he sits on the lid and holds it down.
In the midst of all this happening we see what looks like a military operation with helicopters, men in fatigues with major artillery and a commanding officer named Col. Curtis (Mr. Morgan Freeman himself) who is definitely a few sandwiches short of a picnic. This is his last mission before he retires and boy, does he want to make it worth it. He has a second in command, Underhill (Sizemore), who is not as on board with Curtis’s tactics as he is expected to be. Together, along with their team that specializes in the eradication of alien forces, they are attempting to “contain” all people who have been “infected” like Rick was.
Out in the woods, Pete and Henry are driving in their SUV and damn near hit a woman sitting in the middle of the road. They swerve to avoid her and crash, leaving Pete injured. As Pete sits with the woman, who is severely frostbitten and possibly in shock, Henry goes to try and find some help. The woman unfortunately dies and one of the worms exits her body as well. Pete finds it and luckily is able to kill it.
Back at the cabin, Beaver is having a hard time keeping the lid closed and eventually he loses the battle and is killed. When Jonesy comes back with the tape, the worm creature morphs into some sort of alien and possesses Jonesy, taking over his body and mind…well, most of his mind. They call this alien personality now living in Jonesy “Mr. Gray”. Mr. Gray, in Jonesy’s body, gets on a snow mobile and heads out into the woods, a particular destination in mind.
Keep in mind that these guys can talk to each other telepathically. As Mr. Gray gets to Pete, Pete is weakened and not doing so well. Mr. Gray is able to trick Pete, as he is in Jonesy’s body, and is soon killed. Jonesy, who still has control over a small part of his mind, is able to warn Henry to stay hidden from Mr. Gray and Henry heads back to the cabin. Once he gets there he finds Beaver dead. Around him are a bunch of eggs, presumably laid by the alien. Henry says goodbye to Beaver and burns the cabin to destroy everything…and leaves.
Henry makes his way to the “containment center” which honestly, is another name for concentration camp. This place looks like a 21st century Auschwitz. Henry sees Underhill and convinces him through some slick talking that he needs to go against the Colonel’s orders, not kill all of these sick people and help him save everyone else. (No pressure.)
Henry and Underhill go find Duddits and he tells them that Mr. Gray is trying to infect the water supply starting at the Quabbin Reservoir. So, that’s where they head. Curtis, recognizing that Underhill has gone rogue and feeling there is a major threat to society, he gets in his armed helicopter and tracks down Henry and Underhill, shooting Underhill, mortally wounding him. But, Underhill is able to take him out before he dies himself.
Henry takes Underhill’s machine gun from the back of the vehicle and goes to the pump house at the reservoir. There he meets up with Mr. Gray and uses the machine gun to kill HIS worm. Not sure is Jonesy is safe or not yet, Henry sits down and tries to question Jonesy to see if it’s him or Mr. Gray talking. It turns out to be Mr. Gray and Duddits confronts him. Duddits reveals himself to be a different race of alien and the two briefly duel, Mr. Gray losing terribly in the end. Jonesy, who is back to being himself, stands and squashes the final worm just before it slithers into the water supply.
I truly thought this was an excellent movie. There was a lot of suspense and the actors were great. While Stephen King does not list this as one of his top ten favorite movie adaptations of his book, in the extras on the DVD he did say that he was happy with how it came out. I don’t usually get too into alien movies but this one was different. And while the guys had telepathic powers and they used them, they were each special in their own way and that made it even more interesting.
The Duddits character and how he was treated by the bullies is something I am sure we have all seen and it’s just wretched. The fact that these four boys step in to help this boy that they don’t know and then become lifelong friends with him is completely indicative of the good that still exists in the world, even as it’s falling apart around us.
Stephen King, as a writer, rarely disappoints. The movies made from his stories are sometimes hit and miss. This one was a hit. Any King fan should love this movie and practically any suspense/horror fan will like it too.
Don’t expect a slasher flick. That’s not what King does. Even IT isn’t a slasher film. Just because there is blood doesn’t make it a slasher movie. However, there is blood, because well, it’s Stephen King, and there’s action on top of that as well.
I will say that it’s always nice to watch a movie that, at the end, I feel all questions have been answered and I feel a sense of satisfaction in seeing the film. That’s what I got here.
Let Me In (2010)
Let Me In is a romantic vampire horror story directed by Matt Reeves. It is an American adaptation of a Swedish film based on the novel Let The Right One In. Set in the 1980s, it tells the story of a twelve-year-old boy and his new-found friend, a vampire girl that lives next door to him.
This poor boy, Owen (Kodi Smit-McPhee) comes from a broken home, his parents separated and going through a divorce. He is relentlessly bullied at school. The main bully, a boy named Kenny, is violent in his assaults against Owen and taunts him, repeatedly calling him “a girl”.
Owen spends a lot of his time alone. Sometimes, while alone in his room, he acts out his own fantasies, such as those where he’s hurting the bullies at school, the way they hurt him. He even pretends to stab at them with a pocket knife that he acquires.
He also goes out to the playground of his apartment complex at night to get some time and space. There he meets Abby (Chloe Grace Moretz), a young girl about twelve years old herself. Abby has just moved in next door with Thomas, her “father”. Abby and Owen quickly become friends and even communicate with each other through the walls of their apartments using Morse Code.
Now, Abby is a vampire and only appears to be twelve years old. Also, Thomas only appears to be her father. He is really more of a companion that goes out at night and kills people to collect their blood for Abby to drink. We see him do this many a time throughout the film and he even tells Abby that he is, in fact, just getting tired. You can tell he’s been doing this for a long time. He even has a whole kit prepared that he takes out at night with him.
On one such night, he runs into trouble as he is spotted lying in wait in the backseat of a car. He struggles with an intended victim and as a result the car ends up crashing, leaving Thomas trapped inside under its weight. Left with no choice, Thomas uses concentrated sulfuric acid from his kit and pours it all over his face. This renders all of his features unrecognizable, therefore he is unable to be identified by police.
Hearing what has happened to Thomas, Abby tries to visit him in the hospital. She has trouble going through the proper channels and when she speaks to he lady at the front desk and then leaves abruptly, the lady calls the detective investigating the case (along with the other murders Thomas has committed), who has parked himself outside Thomas’s room at the nurse’s station.
So, she decides to visit him outside his window instead. There, Thomas lets Abby feed on him before he jumps to his death. Later, she goes to see Owen, tapping outside his window as well. Before she comes in she insists that he must give her permission to enter. He does and she spends the night in his bed, providing he doesn’t look at her. (She is still covered in blood from feeding on Thomas.) She also agrees to be Owen’s girlfriend.
The next day, the bullies at school attempt to accost Owen while they are on a class skating trip. Owen defends himself, hitting Kenny upside the ear with a pole, splitting it open.
Later on, Owen finds out that Abby is a vampire when he attempts to make a blood pact with her and she turns. In addition, he figures out that Thomas is not her father when he finds a photo of Abby, still age twelve, and Thomas at age twelve. So, he concludes Thomas has been with her providing for her for years. He also witnesses what happens to her if she enters a home without permission when he has her enter his apartment without him saying the actual words that she can come in. When she does this, blood starts seeping from her scalp, her eyes, her ears, her nose, everywhere. Owen freaks out and says that he’s sorry and she can come in.
Now, during these last few days, the detective who is investigating figures out that Abby is tied to Thomas and where Abby lives. One morning, he decides to go to her house. At the same time, Owen is there checking on Abby. She has left a note that both Owen and the cop see. When the cop gets there and breaks in through the front door, Owen runs and hides.
The note says that Abby is in the bathroom and for Owen not to come in. So, of course, the cop goes to the bathroom. He finds Abby in the tub, under a bunch of blankets, sleeping. She is using the tub as her coffin. As he starts to pull the blankets away, Owen seizes the moment to distract him and with that Abby attacks and kills the detective.
After the murder of the cop, Abby knows she cannot stay in town and tells Owen she must leave. She kisses him sweetly on the lips and climbs into a taxi and leaves.
The following day at school, the class is having swimming lessons. Kenny, with the help of his friends and his abusive older brother, attempt to drown Owen in the pool. Abby appears and comes to Owen’s rescue, dismembering and killing all of the boys.
The next day, Owen gets on a train hauling a larger trunk with his luggage, to leave town. As the train starts moving, a message in Morse Code comes from inside the trunk. Owen taps something back and their journey begins.
Okay, so this movie wasn’t horrible but, it surely wasn’t what was acclaimed by Stephen King on the front of the box. He said “The best American horror film in the last 20 years”. I just don’t know it I can say all that about it. But it was good.
I was immediately turned off a little by the way it was filmed at the beginning as there is a bunch of whispering by the actors and it was very hard to hear and understand.
It also seemed to have such a slow roll to the whole thing. This was definitely more of a love story (yech!) than a horror movie. Which was disappointing to me, I must admit.
Now, this Owen character, in my opinion, is a perfect match for the Abby character because he is truly messed up. I think that, if he hadn’t met Abby and become her new caretaker, he would have become a killer anyway in time. We see him spying on people through his telescope, peering through their windows from afar. It’s just wrong, and frankly, wicked creepy. Not to mention, all of his violent tendencies seem to stem from being bullied at school and obviously, even standing up for himself didn’t stop that so, that was bound to continue. I will say that I was not upset when the bullies bit the dust. They were just begging for karma to exact revenge on them in some fashion.
The coolest thing about this movie was the car crash scene. In the extras, they talked about how it was filmed and it really was done in an awesome way. I found the whole explanation to be extremely interesting so if you get the chance, you should check that out.
Overall, I liked this movie. It’s not one that I will watch often but, it is one that I will almost certainly end up watching again.
Rave Party Massacre (2018)
Breaking Glass Pictures was kind enough to send me this film. After watching it, I just had to do a review! This was truly a uniquely twisted movie. There was plenty I liked about it and a little I didn’t.
At first, I was getting a little impatient, waiting for someone to get hacked up. But, then I realized as I watched the movie, there is a certain way that this movie was not only filmed but, in how they are telling the story as well. You must keep in mind that this is at a rave...and it is filmed accordingly.
Our basic story, because I don’t want to give anything away, is a group of people, presumably young adults, go to a rave in an abandoned building. We have many different types of potential victims represented here.
We have a couple, Branson and Rachel, who cannot possibly get along, even in the best of circumstances.
We have Thomas, who apparently doesn’t have much of a moral compass.
Then, there’s Claire. A poor, clueless chick obviously new to the rave scene, stood up by her date.
And there’s Phillip, a quiet, harmless looking guy who keeps to himself.
Now, I will say that the way this movie is filmed is reminiscent of something like a drug induced haze. Things are happening and you can’t make sense of them until it’s right in your face.
***One note of warning: There are a lot of strobe light effects in this film because it’s set at a rave. Keep that in mind if you are sensitive to such effects.
Also, the masks that people are wearing at the rave are INCREDIBLY creepy. If that was coming after me, boy, I don’t know what I’d do.
And the pace at which the film moves really does add to the suspense factor.
Furthermore, since I’ve never attended a rave (we didn’t really have too many of those when I was younger), this movie was extra interesting to me because I got yet another idea of what a rave might be like, minus the murder.
There’s also a good amount of gore in this movie. There’s some really up close and personal kind of stuff that really just nails the slasher/horror film expectations.
And you must through the ending credits. There is stuff mixed in with the ending credits that is part of the movie. So, don’t just cut it off once the credits start rolling. You’ll want to see that.
Overall, I was glad I got the opportunity to see this. I know this isn’t like my normal movie reviews but, like I said, I don’t want to spoil anything. This movie comes out April 10. If you enjoy traditional slasher films, you'll want to check this out.
View Rave Party Massacre trailer below.
Rave Party Massacre 2018 trailer
Available on DVD/VOD April 10th
The Hitcher (1986)
This, in my opinion, is one of the great horror movies of the 80s. The 1980s were a big time in the horror film industry. There were new things being done all the time and the industry was moving at a very fast pace. We had just gotten through the huge slasher film craze of the 70s and early 80s and this was a nice change of pace. Sure, the greats will always remain the greats like An American Werewolf in London, The Shining, A Nightmare on Elm St., The Fly, The Lost Boys, just to name a few.
But, instead of spacing the horror activity out into specific scenes like they do with Nightmare on Elm St., the suspense and action are practically constant throughout this whole film, keeping you completely on the edge of your seat.
What we have here is the classic tale of no good deed goes unpunished. In this story it’s a poor unsuspecting dope picking up a crazy-ass hitchhiker while driving across the country.
C. Thomas Howell plays Jim Halsey, a young man who is driving a car from Chicago to San Diego as a part of a delivery service for vehicles. It’s called a “drive away”. By the time he sees the hitchhiker, he has been on the road for hours and has already dozed off at the wheel. So, he decides to pick up this man, thinking he can help him stay awake. (Side note: Jim picks up this hitcher somewhere in the West Texas desert…how the HELL did he get all the way into West Texas like that if he’s going to San Diego from Chicago? I’ve made a drive that is a few hundred miles short of that and it was basically the same route if you are going through Texas. I mean, to be that deep into Texas he had to have gone too far south out of his way. I don’t know why he didn’t just cut through the panhandle, which is where the really skinny part of Oklahoma meets Texas and crosses into New Mexico. Going through West Texas is just adding miles and time for no reason. Okay, that’s my rant on that. Sorry. Back to the good stuff.)
Our hitchhiker’s name is John Ryder (Rutger Hauer). He’s obviously not playing with a full deck of cards from the minute we meet him. He’s not in the car very long before Jim decides the free ride is over. But Ryder, he has other plans.
Not only does he refuse to get out of the car but, he tells Jim he’s going to kill him, just like he did to the owners of a car they just recently passed. Ryder holds a knife to Jim’s throat and tries to force him to say “I want to die.” Jim can’t seem to make himself say that, knowing that if he does, his life is almost certainly over. Just as Ryder is guiding him through the declaration, Jim seizes his moment and pushes Ryder out of the car.
Confident that the worst is behind him, Jim starts to relax. As he makes his drive he sees a couple of small children playing in the backseat of a station wagon. He is playing around with them, making faces and signals at them when Ryder pops his head up from out of the backseat.
Jim loses his cool and quickly speeds up to try to warn the family. He is able to get beside them but, the warning isn’t able to be fully heard or understood at that speed. He later finds the station wagon, soaked in blood, the whole family dead.
Jim goes to an abandoned gas station looking for a phone to call for help. He encounters Ryder there but, Ryder doesn’t kill him. He gives Jim his own keys that he had swiped from Jim’s car and leaves. Jim goes on to another gas station hoping for a phone as the last one didn’t work and again, he runs into Ryder. This time Ryder burns down the station and nearly runs Jim over with a truck. Jim escapes to seek refuge in a roadside diner out in the middle of nowhere.
There he meets a waitress, Nash (Jennifer Jason Leigh) and calls for help. While he is waiting, she makes him a burger and fries. He's zoned out, thinking about everything that has happened, when instead of a french fry, he almost eats a severed finger...of course put there by Ryder. But, he is nowhere to be seen.
The police come out and arrest Jim as a suspect in the gas station explosion. As they are searching him they find Ryder’s knife in his pocket covered in blood. Jim swears it’s not his but, the cops arrest him anyway.
At the station Jim tries everything he can to convince the police that they have the wrong man. Unfortunately, Ryder had stolen Jim’s wallet at some point and now Jim has no identification to prove who he is. Even though the police doubt that he is the real killer, they still lock him up, at least until they can verify who he is.
While he is in lockup he falls asleep on a cot, wiped out from exhaustion. During his slumber he tosses and turns in his cell. He wakes to find his cell door open and he simply walks out of the jail. As he goes through the office we are the desks are he sees multiple bodies, the dead police officers sprawled across the room.
Then, while on the run, Jim sneaks himself onto a bus. Just so happens to be the same bus that Nash is on. When the police pull the bus over and demand Jim to exit, he does, stating that he is unarmed and turning himself in. The cop that has him at gunpoint isn’t hearing any of it, because he thinks Jim killed his friends, and actually tries to manipulate Jim into a confrontation so he can shoot him.
This is when Nash gets really involved and uses Jim’s discarded gun (thrown down when he surrendered) to keep the trigger-happy cop and his partner at bay while they escape in the police cruiser.
A chase ensues and they end up crashing. A police helicopter is also hot on their trail and is moments from catching them in a vulnerable position after the wreck when Ryder shoots it down, causing the cops cars to also crash and allowing Nash and Jim to flee on foot.
They run until they come upon a motel, where they think they will finally get some rest. While Nash wants to call her father and tell him she’s okay, Jim tells her she can’t do that. Not until they figure out what to do. So, later while he showers as she pretends to sleep, she calls her father and lets him know she’s alright and what is going on.
Then, Ryder shows up. He abducts Nash from the motel room and holds her hostage in a terrible way. He ties her hands to the front of a semi-truck that is parked outside. He then ties her ankles to the back of the truck he is in, his foot on the clutch, ready to roll out and pull her body clean apart.
The police are there and grab Jim while he is searching for Nash in the parking lot. They tell him to get in the truck and talk to Ryder, to save Nash’s life.
Jim gets in and talks to Ryder only to be unsuccessful and Nash dies.
However, after her death, they are able to immediately arrest John Ryder and take him into custody.
Later, an officer is giving Jim a ride (where to, I’m not really sure) and Jim is trying to explain that they’ll never be able to hold Ryder, that he’ll escape and he’ll kill again. The cop doesn’t believe Jim. No matter. Jim takes matters into his own hands stealing the cops gun and leaving him stranded so Jim can go after Ryder’s prison bus, now on its way to take him to the actual jail.
When he catches up with the bus, everyone is dead and Ryder is armed with a shotgun. He jumps from the bus while Jim is following it and crashes into Jim’s windshield as the bus crashes. Jim hits his brakes to throw Ryder from the car. Doing this makes his car stall and as he nervously and frantically tries to start the car, Ryder taunts him to run him over. Jim obliges just that.
Afterward, Jim gets out to go inspect Ryder’s body. He seems dead. After Jim starts to walk away, Ryder stands up behind him, ready to kill. Jim, armed with a gun of his own again, shoots Ryder several times, killing him and ending the terrible nightmare he’s been living. He walks off alone, traumatized and exhausted beyond belief.
I truly love this movie. I think it’s a classic hitchhiker movie. A simple nice gesture turns into horrific trouble for this young man. Now, he knows he’s not supposed to pick up hitchhikers. He even says that his mom told him never to do this. And yet, he ignores the training and get instinct he has in order to try to keep himself awake while on the road. Why he can’t pull over and sleep is beyond me. He almost seems like he’d be breaking the rules or something if he stops to rest. I mean, pulling over for a couple hours is WAY better than picking up a serial killer hitchhiker.
This film is full of suspense and action. Our killer threatens quietly yet, he is heard loud and clear. The Ryder character also had a stalker type quality to him. He loves the chase he has created between himself and Jim. It’s a cat and mouse game for him. Rutger Hauer does an excellent job at this. His performance is superbly chilling. He delves right into the homicidal, disturbed mind of this hitchhiker, letting it ooze all over the screen as he plays it out on film.
Howell is good in this movie too. He is so young in this film. It was made three years after The Outsiders. Being so young helped him on this film I think. It allowed him to be more vulnerable, resulting in a more authentic victim portrayal.
I would totally recommend this to any horror fan. Though it was made in the 80s, it still has a great quality to it and is sure to be enjoyed by horror fans everywhere.
(P.S. Yes, I know they did a remake of this movie. No, I haven’t seen it yet. I am debating on whether or not I want to give another remake a go.)