Thursday, May 22, 2008

P2 (2007)

This was a fast-moving and creepy little movie, filled with terrible decision after terrible decision by the main character, Angela. But I guess if she made a good decision at the beginning, there would be no movie, right?

P2 follows a young woman that works in a law office, and she's stuck late on Christmas Eve. In fact, she is the last person in the office when the security guy comes to check the floor. She goes back down to the parking garage with him to retrieve her car and join her family in New Jersey. Side note: I do not know a single person in Manhattan who has a car, so this whole scenario is completely unrealistic to me.

Anyway, she's having car problems, and luckily, Thomas, the lot attendant/security guard is there to help. But poof! Suddenly Angela is chained to a table wearing an incredibly skimpy dress, and preparing to eat a microwaved Christmas dinner. Instead of just going along with Thomas-the-crazy's little ploy (which is my plan if I ever get kidnapped) she rejects his advances and acts like an all-around bitch, obviously not helping the situation.

She plays the "I have a big football player boyfriend" didn't work for Drew Barrymore, and it's certainly not going to work for this chick. Thomas-the-psychopath is way out of the realm of reality and is apparently developing some strange aversion to his name.

Anyway, she manages to break free, but is ultimately trapped in the parking garage anyway. We're lead on an ongoing cat and mouse game through the levels of the parking garage, with the theme being chase, maim, kill, repeat.
This movie was pretty solid. Wes Bentley is effectively creepy, and although the chick could have been played by a million other 20-something actresses, A for effort.
Grade: C (Joy Ride -- 1.5 hours of people making dumbass decisions, but a decent thriller all around)

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Madhouse (2004)

Another random horror masterpiece from Lions Gate. Natasha Lyonne gets billing on the cover, even though she plays a random pysch patient that's barely in the movie. Oh well, good to see she's off the streets.

Madhouse is about a med student (Clark) who interns at the psychiatric hospital in order to graduate. The hospital is rundown and gross, and there's a place in the basement where they keep the worst of the worst. Kinda like Silence of the Lambs but with more poop and flies.

Once a nurse gets murdered, Clark begins investigating in order to try and find the culprit. He interviews all off the nuts in the basement, which the directors succeeded in making sincerely creepy and disturbing. This hospital seems to have no rules or regulations, as the patients walk the premises day and night, spouting off random observations. In the meantime, the intern begins "seeing" a young child (pictured on cover) roaming the hospital at night.

More murders and suicides keep occuring, and one of the patients in the basement is giving Clark cryptic clues as to who could being doing all of this. In the interim, Clark is doing one of the cute nurses, Sara, so everything is getting very complicated. For a while, it seems it's pretty obvious who the culprit is, but a few twists and turns puts that theory to rest, and the ending is a bit of a shocker.
My verdict? This was a substantially freaky movie, especially with all of the crazy visions and weird psychos locked up in the basement. The idea wasn't a groundbreaking one, but the plot moved quickly, the acting was decent, and the imagery was creepy as hell.
Grade: C (The Funhouse, not a standout classic, but not the most awful thing I've ever seen)

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Incubus (2005)

I was really holding out some hope for Tara Reid. I liked her in Van Wilder, Urban Legend, etc. and although Taradise was a huge trainwreck, it had it's moments.

Incubus is just absolutely awful. This movie skipped the theaters (thankfully) and went straight to the internet, where you could pay to download it, and then somehow, I dug it out of the clearance bin at Blockbuster for $3.99, hoping it might be good for a few laughs and some cheap blood and gore.

Incubus follows a group of 20-somethings as they get into some sort of car accident. They're all fine, but they have no cell phones or way of getting anywhere, so they randomly begin walking through the woods. They stumble across an old mental hospital and decide to take shelter there, as they believe freezing to death is imminent. (it doesn't seem that cold out)

The doors are all locked so they decide to scale to the roof and go in that way. They randomly produce hiking gear and drop through some sort of skylight. Except for one girl, who just decides this is all too much for her, and peaces back into the woods. So this leaves 3 guys and 2 girls to fend for themselves.
Now the DVD box describes the mental hospital as "littered with bodies." Let me just inform you that there are exactly two bodies, and no one is really tripping over them. A more thorough investigation begets a weird naked dude locked in this room and hooked up to a whole bunch of machines. Tara Reid apparently immediately knows that this is some guy who killed his parents and they're doing some sort of crazy testing on. There's no file or anything, so I have no idea how she came to this conclusion.
They all start running around the hospital and there is just some terrible editing. Sometimes Tara's shirt is soaked through with blood, sometimes it's fresh and clean, and there's a couple of more crazies running around this place. The dialogue is awful, and all of the characters should really be named "Captain Obvious" as they wander around the hospital making random observations and fail to just get. the. fuck. out. of. there.
The back story to the locked-up guy is straight rip-off of The Cell, but nowhere near as interesting or creepy. The ending was obviously just picked out of a hat, or written completely wasted, becuase it makes no discernable sense whatsoever.
Grade: F (Turistas - a vague attempt at copying something else, with no redeeming value whatsoever)

Rest Stop: Dead Ahead (2006)

Rest Stop is the first movie from Raw Feed Films, which appears to be along the same lines as Lions Gate, who obviously can attribute a lot of their early success from taking the horror films that no one else wanted.

Rest Stop begins with a young couple leaving Texas for California. Sadly, this girl is a major wuss right from the start, and before anything happens, I'm questioning her chances to survive so much as a bee sting. After a little soft core porn and some attempts at "artistic" nudity, they're on the road again and pulling over at a rest stop. Remember those old rest stops with just grass and a little building before the "service areas" that are around today? There are definitely still some in way upstate New York on the way to Canada, and they sure are creepy.

Anyway, I digress. The girl, Nicole, goes into the creepy little building by herself and it is a total pit. Upon returning, she sees that her boyfriend and his car is gone. It's at this time she realizes that this truck they saw earlier in the day is now stalking her, and probably has her boyfriend, eeek. So she breaks into the ranger's office on-site, and tries to use the CB radio to call for help. Now didn't this chick learn anything from Joy Ride? The psycho is always on the other end of the CB. However, she's under the impression that police are coming, but yet she proceeds to GET DRUNK. As much as I'd want to forget about this whole situation, I probably would stay sober in case the guy comes back, but that's just me.

So the guy keeps coming back as Nicole runs back and forth between the ranger's office and the bathroom, even running into another "victim." She also manages to catch a ride for a hot minute with this crazy family in a trailer, and yeah I know the scene made no sense, but it was seriously creepy. When the cops finally do show up, WOAH, it's Joey Lawrence! Madness ensues, and of course the police officer never calls backup before his motorcycle is destroyed. There's more death and destruction and the "follow up" conclusion was effectively creepy.

I liked this movie, and I'm aware that I'm in the minority on this. Yes, it was annoying that she never did just walk down the highway, but I think the premise was that if she tried that, he would have picked her up shortly on the open road. The film had genuine creepiness, and envoked that claustriphobic in the open feeling, used by Texas Chainsaw Massacre and the like. The soundtrack was cheesy, but the acting wasn't bad. I'm planning on watching again (and avoiding old rest stops, for pretty much ever)

Grade: C (The remake of Texas Chainsaw Massacre - not a classic, but creepy and pretty damn scary)
Editor's Note: I really liked this freakin' movie. But after viewing with my fiancee and my horror-freak sister, they made me feel like a complete retard for rating it so favorably. So, Kate and Jer, grade changed for you. Let me know if you have any other input...jerks ;0)