Saturday, August 22, 2015

The Seasoning House (2012)

I did a major overhaul of my Netflix instant queue yesterday.  Whereas I used to be able to bang out 6 movies on a lazy weekend, now I'm lucky to get through one or two.  So therefore, I had to cull all the one-star stuff that I used to love to hate.  I've turned the parenting duties over to Scream King for a little while, and first up this afternoon is The Seasoning House, which I've been hearing about.

The Seasoning House is the story of a brothel in the Balkans, which mainly supplies kidnapped prostitutes for military men.  Angel, originally kidnapped to be a prostitute herself, is deemed unattractive due to a large birthmark on her face, however, trustworthy due to the fact that she is a deafmute.  Instead of being killed or abandoned, she is assigned to work for the owner of the brothel, Ivan, cleaning up and drugging the women that work there.

Sadly, women keep dying as the patrons of the brothel are raping and abusing them to an extreme degree.  Angel, who is able to traverse the house through crawlspaces, unbeknownst to the men, befriends Vanya, who communicates with her through sign language.  When she sees the group who brought her into the brothel in the first place, with one of the men violently raping Vanya, she snaps.  This leads to multiple deaths, standoffs and attempted escapes.  The movie ends on a high note, for one person at least.

This isn't a standard horror movie with blood and guts, and there's actually little to no nudity, even with the portrayals of graphic rape.  This isn't one to watch with a six pack and popcorn, but is a well-made thriller nonetheless.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

The Human Centipede 3: Final Sequence (2015)

No one is taking The Human Centipede movies seriously anymore, are they?  While the first one was somewhat of a pop culture phenomenon, and certainly made its mark on the horror genre, surely everyone gets that Tom Six is making these purely for shock value now.

As we all probably heard, Human Centipede 3 takes place in a Texas prison.  Dieter Laser plays Bill Boss, the sadistic warden.  He attempts a Texan accent for about 5 seconds and then lapses back into his voice from the original movie.  They cover this up later by saying he's German-American. His accountant is Laurence Harvey from HC2, now playing Dwight Butler. Adult film star Bree Olson rounds out the trio as the much-abused secretary, Daisy.

Despite Boss's efforts to strike fear in the prisoners, and be incredibly racist in the process, the prison is incredibly inefficient and hemorrhaging money. After trying other methods such as bone-breaking, boiling waterboarding, and castration, they decide that the best solution to make the prisoners behave is to make them into a giant human centipede.

There's really no end to the disgusting things in this movie -- a rape in the kidneys, the eating of dried clitorises, raping a woman in a coma, eating of shit (outside of the centipede!), and of course, the sight of the prison centipede itself--500 people sweating and shitting in the hot Texas sun.

Human Centipede fans should be thrilled to see the return of Laser and Harvey, and there are also several other recognizable names, such as Eric Roberts, Robert LaSardo, Tommy Lister, and Tom Six himself.  I'll admit that Bill Boss's screaming got a little old about 45 minutes into the movie...and after that, you get an hour more of it.  This movie definitely could have been trimmed significantly. Several of the scenes relied too heavily on Laser, and, of course, his incessant yelling.  But Tom Six is basically just fucking with us, right?  If you go into it with that attitude, you might get a kick out of this, alongside getting totally grossed out, and getting your curiosity fulfilled.  

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Finders Keepers (2014)

Oh, those sweet, sweet words, "a SyFy original movie."  And this one's a true trifecta: Jaime Pressly, Tobin Bell, and a possessed doll. I'm a child of the 80s that grew up fearing Chucky, so the whole devil doll thing penetrated my fragile little mind from a young age.
Holy crap, what did Jaime Pressly do to her HAIR?! She was going for a Carey Mulligan and got slapped with Demi Moore circa Ghost.  Unfortunate.

Alyson (Jaime Pressly) and her daughter Claire (Kylie Rodgers) move into a house where shit clearly went down in the past.  Claire immediately finds an extremely creepy doll and demands to keep it.  Upon befriending this doll, Claire instantly becomes a total asshat, refusing to go to school and sitting in her room, singing and ripping the wings off flies...oh, and maybe killing cats.  Possibly humans.  You know how this stuff can get out of hand.

A psychiatrist, Dr. Freeman (Tobin Bell) says that it's the stress of moving, but when Alyson sees some pictures of the former residents of the house with the doll, she goes looking for Zachary (Joey Luthman).  And ooops, it turns out that he murdered his entire family and two cops, something that the real estate agent failed to mention.

So while Dr. Freeman accuses Alyson of child abuse, the doll strengthens its hold on Claire until they are physically and mentally connected.  They try to throw the doll away but you know those little assholes make their way back.  

This was a pretty predictable possessed doll movie, with nothing new to offer this sub-category.  And I'm a big fan of SyFy original movies because I feel like they can be intentionally/hilariously bad, but this one didn't fall into that realm either.  The Wikipedia summary is pure gold, though.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Wrong Turn 6: Last Resort (2014)

I'm such a sucker for the Wrong Turn movies.  I wonder if the use of the word "last" in the title means they are ending the series.  I mean there's really no reason to keep making these movies, but people like me keep watching them!

We get the typical Wrong Turn beginning.  A poor, unsuspecting couple is gettin' nekkid in the West Virginia woods only to be happened upon by deformed cannibals.  Meanwhile, two other likely-unfortunate groups are traveling to WV to check out a hotel that one of them, Danny (Anthony Ilott) inherited.

What they imagined to be a little motel in the woods is a massive, sprawling old inn complete with hot springs and a weird brother/sister/lover caretaker duo, Jackson and Sally (Chris Jarvis and Sadie Katz). Jackson tells the cannibals to leave the visitors alone, but they've never really been good listeners, have they?

As things start to go awry, Jackson and Sally become more and more excited to introduce Danny to his family, and I imagine you can guess who that is.  The longer they spend at the hotel, the more Danny wants to live there permanently, therefore turning against his friends and girlfriend.

"You don't know me anymore!  I've changed!"

So I thought the backdrop of the crumbling resort was pretty cool (it was filmed in Bulgaria, which is becoming a very popular location for horror flicks) but I was disappointed in the lack of deformed cannibals and, more importantly, creative and gory deaths.  Plus there's this weird side story about public sex in stirrups that made absolutely no sense.  It's left open, of course, to a sequel, possibly involving an inbred baby that they're excitedly trying to make as the movie wraps up.  So I won't be surprised if we see a Wrong Turn 7 (Three Cannibals and a Baby?) on the horizon.

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Hangman (2015)

Adam Mason.  On this blog, I've said some nice things, some not so nice things, and I've been totally mindfucked.  But the mindfuckery and enjoyment have outweighed the "not-so-nice" by far, and I am really excited to see his new movie, Hangman.  The official description is:

Returning from vacation, the Miller family find their home has been broken into. After cleaning up the mess they continue with their lives, shaking off the feeling of being violated. But little do they know the nightmare has just begun.

So I don't drive or own a car since I live in the city, so it never occurred to me that some creeper could watch you park your car at the airport or whatever, break into it, and just hit "go home" on your GPS.  That is frightening!  They know you're not going to be there, because you're in your floppy hat and flip flops getting ready to go chug some margaritas.

Someone breaking into your house and stealing your shit is one thing.  But someone breaking into your house and watching your home movies, eating your food, sitting on your furniture, and touching everything....ugh it's giving me goosebumps.  The victims in question are the Millers, Aaron (Jeremy Sisto), Beth (Kate Ashfield), Marley (Ryan Simpkins) and Max (Ty Simpkins).  The oddness of the break-in (nothing valuable stolen, random things moved around) creeps them out, but they try to get back to their normal lives.  But weird things keep happening, like orange juice left out on the counter, and toilets flushing at random.  Then these instances increase, pointing at adultery, breaking up couples, getting into dreams.

I'm always open to spoilers, but I really don't want to give too much away. From an overall, not-ruining-the-movie perspective, the acting was great, and the cinematic perspective was reminiscent of what I liked about Paranormal Activity, that constant wondering of where the camera will point or cut next.  There's very little blood and gore but just SO MUCH CREEPY.

The whole situation just crawls under your skin because it could happen.  Among the ghosts, jump scares, and overuse of CGI in horror these days, it's not that far of a reach that this whole movie could happen to any one of us. I was genuinely creeped out, the whole movie ties together, and it either opens up for a sequel (eh) or just to leave us all hanging.  As well as installing security systems and erasing our GPS.