Sunday, June 27, 2010

Return to Sleepaway Camp (2008)

What a random-ass movie.   Years later, a camp has opened in the woods, seemingly in the vicinity of where Sleepaway Camp took place.  A chunky, annoying kid, Alan, claims to be tormented by fellow campers.  In reality, he is the instigator and is annoying everyone.

All the kids at this camp seem far too old to be at a sleepaway camp.  They're drinking, smoking pot, and hooking up...definitely not the behavior of elementary schoolers.  These kids look too old anyway.

The movie tends to center around Alan, who really is an asshole to others, but seems to be protected by someone who works there.  Meanwhile, another counselor has first rate experience with the original murders and feels Angela is at work.  Other campers begin to seek revenge on Alan for his ridiculous behavior.

The movie was pretty lame and seemingly had nothing to do with anything.  There was no relation to the original Sleepaway Camp except for the fact it occured at a camp.   There were some pretty decent deaths, but nothing worth watching it over.  The end was blah and was really just a cop-out in my opinion.  

Anyway, skip it.  Pretty boring and no real point at all.

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Babysitter Wanted (2008)

Solid babysitter-themed movie with a strong female lead and an interesting twist on the tried and true babysitter home alone plot.  Good cast including my main man, Bill Moseley. 

Angie has gone away to college, against her mom's wishes.  She arrives in her new town to find she's living in a filthy apartment with a stoner chick and no bed.  School isn't going that much better, as she feels she's being stalked by a mysterious man.

In need of cash, she responds to an ad for a babysitter out in the boondocks.  Her roommate warns her against it, but she goes anyway.  The kid seems like a bit of a creeper, but she needs the dinero, so she agrees to babysit for their son Sam on Friday night.  She arrives to find Sam asleep with indications to feed him "special food" if he wakes up.  Meanwhile, there are crazy noises surrounding the house, and there seems to be someone lurking outside.  Creepy phone calls ensue and Sam goes missing within the house.

At this point, the plot takes a sharp turn.  The creeper may not be the only villian in this story, and it looks like its a long night ahead for Angie.  She puts up quite the fight, and it's good to see a strong female heroine in a horror movie, especially a babysitter one.

Not a perfect flick, but I liked it.  Check it out.

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Broken (2006)

I've been on a bit of an Adam Mason kick lately.  This started off with the hype around Pig (which I ended up missing because I'm a forgetful idiot sometimes) and then I decided to delve into some of his other movies.  Frankly, I HATED The Devil's Chair and thought it was a ridiculous excuse for a movie.  But the plot of Broken looked promising and I decided to give it a shot.

There are a lot of dissenting opinions on this low-budget indie flick.  I'll put my two cents in and say I thought it was incredible.  It's hard to say I "loved" it, because who (even among the most demented of us) literally loves watching women being tortured and humiliated for 1.5 hours?  Broken was intense, frightening, and harrowing and left me squirming in my seat.

Broken is the story of a woman, Hope (played by Mason's wife, Nadja), who goes on a successful date and returns home to kiss her daughter goodnight.  The next thing she knows, she's trapped in a coffin in the woods, screaming to be let out.  A day passes before she's given that chance, and she's able to "escape" only to be smacked over the head again and tied to a tree.  She's instructed to remove an razor stitched into her stomach in order to release herself from the tree.  However, in a cruel ploy, this does not ensure her freedom, but only her intention to continue with this "game."

The Man brings Hope back to a campground and chains her up while tending to her wounds.  While he instructs her to wash pans and tend to a garden, it seems that he intends for her to live with him as a sort of slave.  She repeatedly inquires as to the safety and whereabouts of her daughter but the man will provide no answers.  Soon, she falls into the routine of living day-to-day with the man, and even gains the upper-hand in a few small situations.  I also was impressed with the way she used her sexuality a la I Spit on your Grave in order to create an opening for escape. 

Unfortunately, Hope's several attempts for escape are thwarted and she gains a broken leg in the process.  Soon, another captive joins them, which causes further complications.  The ending was very shocking and can be "read" in many different ways.  I liked one commentator's interpretation of blindness/muteness which would cause an impossibility of communication between the two remaining characters.  I would say more, but it would give away the twist ending.

Now for the negative.  Yes, there were some holes/inaccuracies in this movie.  Would a razor sewn into your stomach probably slice your intestines, leaving you dead?  Sure.  Did Hope seriously blow some escape attempts when she could have gotten far, far away?  Yes, but we don't know what we would have done in that situation.  I've read many comments saying that Hope's behavior was a result of Stockholm Syndrome, but I do not see that as the case.  I think she adapted to operate in a way that kept her from getting hurt, but opened her up to trust from The Man and possible opportunities for escape and/or being reunited with her daughter.

If you like French horror, extreme horror, etc. definitely check this one out.  Not for the faint of heart though.

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Friday, June 25, 2010

Movie News: Eli Roth gives us a Thanksgiving update!

Eli Roth is out pimping his new flick, The Last Exorcism, which recieved a disappointing PG-13 rating.  Next up on his plate is Endangered Species, but of course, all I'm concerned with is the state of Thanksgiving.  The Bear Jew himself spills a bit on the project. 


“I’ve been a little busy with finishing up The Last Exorcism, and Inglorious Basterds took up more of my time than I’d anticipated,” communicated Roth, “but my co-writer is working on the script and he’s supposed to come out this summer so that we can finish it together. We are outlining it right now, and so far in the first twelve pages we have thirty-nine kills, so we have to cut back a little! It’s a little too much! But yes, it’s an idea that doesn’t let me sleep at night, so I have to do it before I die, or my life will be a failure.”

Woohoo!  Something horror fans are actually anticipating is moving forward!  Perhaps a holiday 2011 release? (maybe that's too ambitious, but a girl can dream)

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Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The Gate (1987)

I remember loving this movie so much as a kid.  Of course, years pass, alcohol kills brain cells, etc. and I forgot all about it.  Then a couple weekends ago, I was watching another 80s horror movie and was reminded of this.  After Googling several variations of "that movie where the kids play the heavy metal record backwards and summon demons," I rediscovered this masterpiece.

The Gate is the story of Glen (Stephen Dorff in his debut role), his friend Terry, and his sister Al.  Glen is awakened one morning by an old tree being removed from his backyard.  He and his friend Terry find some strange rocks inside and play around with them.  The hole in the backyard keeps reopening after repeated attempts to fill it, and emanates strange noises, gasses, etc.

Glen's parents go out of town for the weekend, leaving Glen in care of his older sister Al.  Al is more interested in throwing parties and going to the beach, and is not concerned with the creepiness lurking outside.  Weird things continue happening around the house, including levitation, ghosts, sacrifices, etc. 

After further investigation, Terry and Glen determine that they are dealing with demons.  Terry finds a record from the UK that explains everything.  It details how to open the gates of hell to let the demons rule earth, but also how to close it.  At first, Glen is not on board with this craziness, but as things get more wild around the residence, he believes the record may be the answer to their salvation from the demons.

This movie is really fun and chock-full of 80s cheesiness.  It's kind of like the Goonies of horror movies, with corny/silly dialogue, creepy creatures, and a bunch of teenagers saving the day.  An underrated 80s classic, in my opinion.

I'm bacccckkkkkk

Sorry I was gone for a bit, but I was actually off getting married!  Wedding was fun and the honeymoon was both relaxing and adventurous.  But now I am back with much more time on my hands to watch and talk about horror movies. 

There's going to be some great changes to the blog over the next few months, including some awesome and more frequent banner changes, more posts, and possible addition of video pending the cooperation of my husband/webmaster.  So stay tuned.

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Friday, June 4, 2010

REC (2007)

I saw Quarantine last year I think.  I was kinda meh about it and honestly I never got around to writing a review.  But REC is a whole other animal.  I loved this movie.  My non-horror-loving future hubby loved this movie.

I prefer to watch foreign movies in their native languages with the subtitles on.  I think dubbing takes a lot away from the emotion, intensity and intention of the movie.  Living in NYC has taught me some basic Spanish, so I could pick up a little of the dialogue as it was.

REC is the story of a news crew filming a late night show called "While You Are Asleep."  They follow people on jobs that occur overnight.  This time they are shadowing a Barcelona fire station when the men are called to the scene of a woman trapped in an apartment building.

The fire crew arrives at the apartment building to find that all is not right.  The woman is not really ill as much as infected by zombie-itis.  As people are hurt and things blow up, the people of the apartment building are shocked to find themselves quarantined in their own building.  As tensions rise, the residents and civil servants begin to turn against each other as the ordeal turns into a fight for their lives.

This movie is shot entirely from the view of the cameraman, and mostly narrated by the reporter, Angela.  It's not really Blair Witch bumpy, but unique enough to make it different from a typical movie.  This flick was short, fun, and scary and I definitely recommend.

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Thursday, June 3, 2010

Antichrist (2009)

It took me a long time to get in the mindset to watch this movie, after all I had read about it.  Then one night, I was super-depressed about my wedding, drank wine, and decided I could face this flick.

Antichrist is from Denmark director Lars Van Treir, but is very French horror-esque in it's emotion and intensity.  Van Trier tackled it directly after a long bout of depression and this is exhibited in the film.

The movie addresses a husband and wife (never named) and their child.  While they are having sex all over the house, their toddler wakes up, explores, and falls out the window to his death. The husband, a therapist, grieves and moves on, but the wife is having a lot of difficulty.  She is very depressed and the husband feels she is overmedicated.  He decides to take her psychological care into his own hands.

This care isn't going so well as the wife is trying to distract herself with continuous and sometimes violent sex.  In an effort to make the wife face her fears, the husband brings her to a cabin where they spent their summer while she worked on a thesis.  However, this appears to make things worse.   They keep seeing weird animals and signs and the wife is sinking deeper into her depression.  Meanwhile, the husband finds the coroner's report on their son, which shows his feet as being deformed.  Further investigation yields numerous pictures of the boy with his shoes on the wrong feet.

Things all go downhill after this as the wife seriously loses it and becomes increasingly violent towards the husband.  There's more creepy imagery and creatures and boy, this movie was trippy.  I found this movie to be interesting, although I can't necessarily say I "liked" it.  It was very avant-garde and symbolical with heavy messages about sex and death.  The sex and violence are both quite graphic, as there's full frontal of both male and female as well as severing of sexual organs.

I'd only check this out with an open mind and a couple of drinks.

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Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The Road (2009)

I'm not entirely sure what this movie would be catergorized as, but there were cannibals involved and people being held hostage in a basement so they could be eaten, so I suppose I can review it here.

I don't think I have to reiterate my obsession with apocalypse movies, as I've mentioned it several times before.  This movie was really intense and haunting.  In fact, after I watched it Saturday, I ran out and bought the book and read the whole thing in a day.  I will report that both movie and film were excellent.

The Road is about a post-apocalyptic world, although we never find out what causes the destruction of earth.  A man and his son are traveling south in order to avoid another winter in wherever they are living.  Their surroundings are a bleak and barren landscape -- there are no animals or vegetation, and it is always dark.  There is ash and dust covering everything, and the weather is often rainy or snowy.

There is very little food, and roaming bands of cannibals waiting to pounce on traveling humans.  The man and boy spend their days trekking, foraging for food, and keeping watch for danger.  The man's health is failing and he worries that his time to care for the boy is limited.

This movie was really deep and eerie as it truly sucked you into the story and the landscape.  The desperation of the time and place was well portrayed and there was a significantly scary basement scene.  It followed the book almost exactly, except for a few altered details.  Not a typical slasher flick, but definitely one not to be missed.

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