Sunday, April 6, 2014

Contracted (2013)

You know Netflix goes through periods where it seems to try to force you to watch certain movies?  Like everywhere you click, this movie is front and center.  A while back it was Stitches, and lately it's been Contracted.  So finally I'm giving in and watching it to get Netflix off my back.

So I'm sorry, but right from the start, this is a stupid bitch right here.  Samantha (Najarra Townsend) attends a party where everyone's acting kind of weird towards her.  She's also recently decided to start dating a woman, when she apparently used to date guys.  However, she can't get ahold of her girlfriend, and in a bit of a drunken stupor, allows A COMPLETELY RANDOM GUY TO GIVE HER A DRINK.  Girl code dictates this is the worst decision in history.  Said dude date rapes her in the back of a car.

She meets up with her girlfriend, Nikki (Katie Stegeman) who is actually kind of a bitch.  She returns home and is bleeding in the shower, but she seems to think that's okay.  Her friend Alice (Alice McDonald), the one who threw the party, calls to say the cops called looking for some rando at her party named Brett. When she starts bleeding crazily into the toilet at work, and almost fainting in front of customers, she seems to become a bit concerned and goes to the doctor, who diagnoses her as having a head cold and a rash.

Samanthan continues to get worse, you know, with the bloody eye, the missing teeth and the worms falling out of her vagina.  If it were me, I would be FREAKING THE FUCK OUT and headed to the ER,  but this bitch just goes to bed and squirts some Visine in her eyes.  And also takes a shower in boiling hot water which she seems to believe is freezing cold.  And not only does she continue to be strangely unconcerned, but she goes into work and touches food with her nasty-ass infection.  And holy crap, is her therapist Dave Holmes from MTV?!  LoL.

I wanted to like this movie because the concept was interesting, but so much of it was just unbelievable.  The lack of getting help, even for a self-absorbed ex-addict.  Even one beautiful girl kissing another that had ROTTING TEETH.  And a guy going in raw on a girl that is legit bleeding from EVERY orifice.  And why are so many guys, and girls, obsessed with this one chick?!  I also didn't love how there was no full loop to the story...did it have something to do with the necrophilia at the beginning?  I was confused.

I will agree with some comments on IMDB that the summary of this movie is misleading and a bit disturbing.  I wouldn't call what happened to her a "one night stand" when it was actually a rape.  Not only was she way too drunk to be consenting, but she begs him to stop multiple times.

So even though Netflix is pressuring you, and there's a four star rating for some reason, I wouldn't be in a huge rush to watch this one.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Bedevilled (2010)

I've always been a fan of Korean horror/revenge movies, but recent events in my life have sparked a renewed interest.  My husband and I have started the process for international adoption, and we hope our future little one will come from Korea!  So expect to see some more Korean movie reviews than usual.

Bedevilled begins in Seoul, where Hae-won works at a bank.  The stress of the job has been getting to her, and after flipping out on a co-worker, she is forced to take a vacation.  At first she just sits at home and drinks, but then decides to reconnect with an old friend Bok-nam, who lives on a remote island where Hae-won's grandfather used to live.

Life on the island is certainly...different...and Bok-nam basically gets treated like a slave by her husband, and the other older women who live there.  She only has love for her young daughter, who she finds out is being abused by her husband.  Hae-won tries to use the trip for rest and relaxation, but she soon realizes that everything isn't alright in the little community.

After a tragedy involving her daughter, Bok-nam snaps and decides to take revenge on those who have abused and degraded her for her whole life.  The result is a bloody revenge story, where Hae-won is caught in the middle.

I really liked this movie.  It was definitely a slow burn, and plodded along at first, but then turned satisfyingly gruesome.  It's one of the few Korean horror movies available on Netflix streaming, so check it out :)

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Oldboy (2013)

I loved the original Oldboy so much that I knew writing a review for the remake would be hard.  I highly doubted that they would be able to translate this one to American cinema, and I heard nothing but bad reviews.  Going into this movie, I expected very little, and I'll venture to say that I was a bit pleasantly surprised.  This doesn't even touch the original, but there were a few little details about it that I liked.  And a lot of others that I didn't.

In case you've missed the trailers or the original Korean version, I will summarize the idea of this version of Oldboy.  An alcoholic advertising executive, Joe Doucette (Josh Brolin) is just a general asshole.  He spends a large chunk of the beginning of the film cavorting about, inhaling alcohol, throwing up on himself and begging to be let into bars.  As opposed to Oh Dae Su, who had one bout of drunkeness in the original, you feel no sympathy for this douche, who is pretty much awful all around.

He wakes up in a hotel room, which we later learn to be a prison where you can pay to stash people you don't like.  Life is miserable -- same three meals every day, but he does still get his vodka fix.  Joe is framed for the murder of his wife, and his daughter, Mia survives.  He spends a lot of time going a little crazy, and I liked the addition of the mouse + babies, which added a little bit to the crazy.  After seeing his daughter on TV in frequent check-ups for a America's Most Wanted-type show, he decides to stop drinking, begin writing letters to his daughter, and find a way to get out of the room.

Of course, before he can do that, he is released, and told he has a specific amount of time to find his captor, and his reason for this extended kidnapping.  This is where Samuel L.Jackson appears, and in my opinion, he is totally miscast as the warden for the building where Joe was held.  The female savior in this version is Marie (Elizabeth Olsen), who is a social worker with way too much enthusiasm for helping some weird dude she just met.  Michael Imperioli is Chucky, Joe's favorite bartender in his drinking days.

The main "scenes" from the original are somewhat reflected in the remake, including the dumpling tasting, which not only falls flat, but makes little sense in an American movie, and the infamous hammer scene, which is downright laughable in this version.  The backstory is different, and involves a weird father-daughter-son molestation situation, which effectively creeped me the fuck out.  The final confrontation between Joe and his captor lacked the insanity and intensity of the original, although the infamous "twist" still managed to shock.

Overall, I didn't think this movie was as completely horrible as I expected, but it just really added no value, nor had much of a reason to be made.  But isn't that kind of the case with all remakes these days?  Well, except Texas Chainsaw Massacre and The Hills Have Eyes.  ;)

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Among Friends (2012)

I want so much to like this movie.  I love Danielle Harris so much and I'm just pulling for her to do well.  The concept of this movie sounds very much like April Fool's Day and I was a little confused at first as to whether this movie actually takes place in the 80s, or if they are attending a costume party  Seems like it's the latter.  But hey, Kane Hodder is the limo driver!  Yay!

So the group of friends assembles at their rich friend Bernadette's house to play some sort of murder mystery.  But right from the start, there's various drama going on, and it seems that one of the friends they expected to join them is actually missing.  After searching for a few clues around the house, they sit down to dinner, where more clues are revealed.   Unfortunately, most of the dinner guests become paralyzed from the waist down.  All except Bernadette, of course, who reveals that she has been secretly videotaping everyone without them knowing.  She says that they can each ask questions about what is going on, but she gets to do something to them in return.  You know, like a little haircut:

Bernadette continues to show videos of her friends getting up to nonsense, all while making them pay for various transgressions like asking her to stop the videos, or begging to know what happened to their friend, Lilly.  It turns out they've all been cheaters, hoes, and rapists, and according to Bernadette, they all need to pay.  There's a lot of whining, begging, and pleading, a little gore, and a lot of vomit.  There's this whole trippy sequence with this chick on mushrooms that gave me a headache, and then the whole movie kind of ended abruptly.

I'll say that even with it's flaws, this was a nice first effort from Danielle Harris.  She makes a cheeky cameo in the mushroom scene as a grown-up Jamie Lloyd, and you know she wasn't going to make this flick without Jennifer Blanc-Biehn and Michael Biehn.  The 80s theme was a cute nod to her roots, and although this one was definitely rough around the edges, it was a decent directorial debut.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Prisoners (2013)

Is Prisoners a horror movie?  Probably not technically, but this movie seriously freaked me out and therefore I am going to write about it.  So haters, go ahead and hate.

If you are planning on watching Prisoners brace yourself because it is a long-ass movie.  But for me, it is one of those that did not seem to drag, and I feel it used its minutes wisely.  This movie is about two families whose young daughters, Anna and Joy, go missing after a miscommunication during a holiday get together.  Basically, they end up leaving the house alone when they were supposed to walk with older siblings.  Immediately, a mysterious RV and its driver, Alex Jones (Paul Dano) is suspected of the kidnapping.  After much interrogation, Alex reveals nothing, and must be released on lack of evidence.  But upon leaving the police station, he is attacked by Anna's father, Keller (Hugh Jackman).  After implicating himself in quiet statement to Keller, he and Joy's father, Franklin (Terrence Howard) kidnap Alex, with the intention of torturing the information out of him.

Meanwhile, the lead detective on the case, Loki (Jake Gyllenhaal) has moved on from Alex to other suspects, including a creeper who buys lots of children's clothes, and runs from the vigil when Loki spots him.  Keller and Franklin continue to torture Alex for information, in some pretty sadistic ways.  There is also Alex's weird aunt, Holly (Melissa Leo) and a priest with a dead body in his basement.  Throw in some bloody children's clothes, a bunch of snakes, a guy who draws mazes all over his house, and a history of missing kids in the area, and you've got a movie with a lot of moving parts.

I don't want to give too much more away, but I really liked how this movie played out.  I sometimes find "plot twists" to be kinda predictable, but I was pretty surprised by the several in Prisoners.  Captivity of any kind always gets to me, so maybe that's why this movie resonated with me so much. Also, I really found it interesting to see the lengths a person would go to in order to protect/save their children, you know, like locking a kid in the bathroom and torturing him for days.  Either way, I would recommend Prisoners if you have a quiet evening ahead to really dig into it.