Sunday, July 20, 2014

Ravenous (1999)

Ravenous is one of those movies that have been creeping on me from my Netflix queue, always popping up into my recommendations and swearing I will love it.  So finally on a quiet Sunday afternoon, I took the plunge.

This movie has an interesting concept, a tale of soldiers who have to resort to cannibalism in the midst of wartime.  Captain John Boyd (Guy Pierce) gets promoted and sent to a small base employing only 8 people, most of which appear fairly useless.  A man named Colqhoun (Robert Carlyle) arrives, and tells a story of being lost in the Sierra Nevadas with his wagon train, and having to resort to cannibalism to survive.  He explains that they began with eating a person who had already died, but then began to proactively kill the others.  Knowing he would soon be killed, Colqhoun escapes, but believes the others may still be alive.

Colonel Hart (Jeffrey Jones) takes a crew, including Calqhoun, and they set off to rescue the possible survivors.  However, one of the locals warns that once you consume human flesh, you become stricken with an insatiable hunger, much like that episode of Always Sunny.   Throughout the trek, they realize that Calqhoun is maybe not all that he seems...

There's a lot going on in this flick and it's not a basic people were hungry so they ate other people type of thing.  Apparently this movie was intended to be pure horror but became a black comedy due to its sometimes-silliness and little ironies.  I guess not to mention the stereotypical characters, which do appear intentional.

I liked this movie.  It had a cool story but made no efforts to make it a serious historical movie or Donner Party reenactment.  It contained actual cannibalism and genuine horror, along with a lot of tongue in cheek and some amusing over-acting.  

Monday, July 14, 2014

Devil's Due (2014)

Literally the thing I'm most interested about in terms of this movie is the prankvertisement they used to promote it...a horrifying baby robot rolling around the streets of NYC.  If you haven't seen this thing, you have to watch it.  Anyway, it did it's job and drew me into putting Devil's Due on my Netflix queue.

Much to Scream King's dismay, this movie is not about a devil baby riding around terrorizing people.  It's about a young couple Samantha (Allison Miller) and Zach (Zach Gilford) who are on their honeymoon in the Dominican Republic.  Sam was an orphan and knows nothing about her family history, and they go to a fortune teller that frightens both of them by knowing much about her life, and claiming that people are "waiting for her."  While trying to get home later, they grab a cab, which promises to take them to a really fun party.

In a scene out of Turistas, they get hammered at this basement party, and an entire chunk of the night goes missing from their memories.  Weeks later, they find out that Sam is pregnant, and while the couple tries to be happy, Sam exhibits increasingly strange and violent behavior leading up to her due date.

Like most horror fans, I'm kinda over the whole jump scare thing, and there was plenty of it in this movie.  It was a little bit Paranormal Activity and a little bit The Exorcism of Emily Rose, plus they had a little cult backstory thrown in.  I kinda wanted to dislike this movie because of all the cliches, but I actually really ended up getting a kick out of it.  There's some truly creepy parts, and I'm a sucker for possession movies.  Hopefully this is on Netflix instant soon, because I can't see too many people taking up a spot on their precious DVD queue for this one.  It is worth a watch though.  Just don't expect any roaming robot babies.