Sunday, July 13, 2008

Joshua (2006)


Warning: do not watch this movie if you are hungover. The dizzying effect of some portions rival Cloverfield, ugh.

So the movie begins with a drunk girl is flailing around in some madman's house, and this is why my girlfriends and I don't let each other wander off wasted. Shortly after, the same man is spotted picking up another tipsy girl in a bar and really, these girls need to have more common sense whilst consuming bevs in public.

In another location, the main character, Kelby, gets a call (on an old rotary phone of all things) that his father, who is on death row for killing his baby sister, is dead. He decides to go on home for the funeral where apparently some fucked up shit is waiting for him.

It turns out that when Kelby and a few of his friends were kids, they found this baby in the garbage and decided to keep him. They raised the kid as a "spawn of Satan" in this old cabin in the woods, chaining him to the wall, torturing him, and having him eat live animals, and eventually humans. Of course, Kelby thought this whole thing was over when they burned the cabin to the ground, with the kid in it.
But, of course, it's not. Creepy barfly-snatcher (James) has something living in his basement. We suspect it's Joshua, who somehow survived the blaze, but none of this is made clear quite yet. The third wheel to this whole shenanigans, Sam, loses his cool, chains everyone up, and makes Kelby tell the story of what happened. And boy, this whole thing is truly sick. And just when I thought I was becoming desensitized to all of this...
Kelby's poor fiancee, who was just along for moral support, gets grabbed up by James and held as ransom until Kelby will come over to his house of horrors and straighten all this crap out. And ohhhh, there certainly is some crap going on over there. The twist to this movie was great, and more suprising than most I've seen lately. All in all, a creepy and original movie, with average acting I guess, but I love that the lead character looks like Ash (wonder if that was planned?!)
Grade: B (The People Under the Stairs - freaky people living in the basement makes for good horror fun)

Ginger Snaps (2000)

Ginger Snaps follows these two sisters, Brigitte and Ginger. Both are suburban outcasts, obessessed with Goth and death. In fact, they both plan to commit suicide together before their sixteenth birthdays.

The plot definitely captures the mid-late 90s teen angst asthetic - the girls wear oversized hoodies and smoke cigarettes during gym class, they create an "art project" of themselves in various death scenes, and curse out the "popular" girls at every opportunity.

Anyway, in their small town, there's some sort of wild animal running around. People are finding their dogs mutiliated in their backyards, and no one is sure what's on the loose. Ginger and "B" leave the house one night to exact revenge on a certain nemesis, and unfortunately it turns out to be awful timing. Not only is it a full moon, but Ginger just happens to get her first period.

Moments later, Ginger is attacked by what appears to be a werewolf, and everything changes for the two girls. Ginger changes her look from black oversized outfits to baby tees and tight jeans. The boys at school take notice, and Ginger lets loose her voracious sexual appetite, much to some boys' pleasure and dismay. Meanwhile, "B" realizes that her sister is quickly changing into a werewolf, and she searches for a cure, involving the quite-sexy town drug dealer. Obviously, various mayhem ensues as Ginger develops a taste for blood and her sister must assist in covering up her growing list of victims.

This movie was pretty solid. It's cool to see something with werewolves (can't remember anything along those lines since The Howling) and the acting and plot move pretty quickly and have some good twists. Unfortunately the last 1/2 hour or so drags a bit annoyingly, but it all wraps up pretty well. Check it out for sure.

Grade: B+ (The Craft - goth teenagers go wild, and blood and gore ensue)

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Murder Set Pieces (2004)


Oh, Lions Gate, how you tease me. I saw your name associated with this film and I was so excited for it to be some gory, sick bloodfest that my local theater couldn't stomach. The DVD box told me that this movie was so sick and disgusting that it could barely be put on film. IMDB told me that they had to cut 23 minutes to avoid the NC-17 rating.

Maybe I am just jaded by the hundreds of hours of depraved murder that I've already viewed, but honestly, I spent an hour and a half waiting for the "shocking" part of this movie. I mean, it was kind of gross, and apparently 30 people were murdered, spilling 55 gallons of blood, but in the end, I was just meh about the whole thing.

Murder Set Pieces follows this weirdo photographer around Las Vegas. His grandfather was a Nazi and maybe he's a Nazi, but none of this is ever fully explained. He basically just picks up prostitutes and strippers and chops them up in his basement. In between, he sometimes calls his girlfriend, but somehow manages picks her little sister up from school every day. And for some random reason, they show footage of 9/11. I mean, honestly, when is there ever a reason to include that in a horror movie?

Anyway, the girlfriend's little sister thinks this guy is weird. Someone should give her a detective's job, because apparently no one else in Vegas can come to this conclusion. She sneaks into his house, and blows the cover off of everything, so good for her. This movie is seriously garbage. Oh, and the cover and title have nothing to do with anything, and frankly, that just annoys me.

Grade: F (Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning - a killer is supposed to be really scary and shocking, but ends up being a complete snoozefest)