Monday, December 19, 2011

My Soul to Take

Directed by: Wes Craven

Release Date: 2010

What a complete waste of time. I'm having less and less patience with the man who created my favorite horror villain, Freddy Krueger. Having read awful reviews of this last year when it premiered in the theaters, I waited a year until my local library was carrying the DVD. And I'm so glad I waited.

A few things to mention before I dig in - the DVD itself doesn't have a featurette, includes alternate openings and endings without commentary but includes audio commentary for the film itself. Who's going to watch with audio commentary if you haven't seen it first? I'm never watching this picture again. Such a disappointment. On to the review!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Halloween

Directed by: John Carpenter

Release Date: 1978

Still as potent and scary now as it was in the seventies, Carpenter's addition to the horror genre was top notch and spectacular. Never being a fan of this picture because I was more of a Freddy girl, after more than three viewings, Wes Craven's Nightmare is fighting with this horror picture in my heart.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Halloween: Resurrection

Directed by: Rick Rosenthal

Release Date: 2002

I watched this on Halloween and I had a blast! Check the cast: Busta Rhymes, Tyra Banks, Sean Patrick Thomas (Cruel Intentions, Save the Last Dance), Katee Sackoff (pre-BSG fame), Thomas Ian Nichols (American Pie movies), and our lead, Bianca Kajlich (Rules of Engagement).

Trick 'r Treat

Directed by: Michael Dougherty

Release Date: 2007

What an underrated horror picture this was! Talk about being way under the radar. I know friends who are horror friends who I'm sure haven't seen this picture yet. I watched this on Halloween. By myself. After watching Halloween: Resurrection and the creepy theme music. Needless to say, I had to turn every light on in every room as soon as I entered.

Michael Dougherty's film is one of the best contemporary horror pictures I've seen in a long time. Not only was I freaked out but this had the right amount of campiness and humor that brings to mind another horror/comedian that can seamlessly make these two elements work (Sam Raimi). What I rarely see in horror pictures is the Pulp Fiction approach of interwoven stories the way it was done here. This stylized editing worked so well in this picture and I loved Dougherty for it!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween H20: 20 Years Later

Directed by: Steve Miner

Release Date: 1998

A rewatch for me since I actually saw this on the big screen, I was thoroughly impressed with the story and pacing of this installment in the series. Additionally, this film was a throwback to the horror landscape in the late nineties as well as the actors starring in the picture. From the top of the dome: Michelle Williams, LL Cool J, Jamie Lee Curtis (of course), Janet Leigh (mommy!), and wait for it - Josh Hartnett's film debut! Can you believe this was his first picture and then he did The Faculty? Some shyt, I know.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

My Top Ten Horror Flicks

In lieu of my two year blog anniversary, I thought I'd share my Top Ten Horror Flicks. This is not one of those "best top ten lists" but my own list of movies that I appreciate, admire, adore, and abhor (in delight!).

Monday, October 17, 2011

Haunted House NYC: Fairy Tales

In the spirit of the Halloween season, my friends and I went to a haunted house on Friday night. Of the many there are this month, we attended one of the slightly cheaper houses - Nightmare: Fairy Tales in the Lower East Side on Suffolk Street.

"Hush" - Buffy The Vampire Slayer

Directed by: Joss Whedon

Air Date: December 14, 1999


Since it's Halloween and all, I've been watching my favorite Buffy the Vampire Slayer episodes that are creepy and scary. And "Hush," is by far one of the creepiest episodes by far.

The Human Centipede (First Sequence)

Directed by: Tom Six

Release Date: 2009

After hearing different responses to this film and how friends could not continue watching, I had to see this spectacle for myself. Guess what friends? I was  - dare I utter the "b" word? - BORED! Yeah, I said it. I was frakkin' bored to tears. This movie was an exercise in pure spectacle and shock factor. No shock for me.

Friday, October 14, 2011

American Horror Story

I just watched the pilot of the new show from the creators of Glee, Brad Falchuk and Ryan Murphy, American Horror Story.

As a horror fanatic, I was excited at the idea of a horror serial on television. The mere thought of being frightened and petrified every week was a horror fan's dream come true. With the new zombie show, The Walking Dead, I'm sure a few brave networks (FX), decided to give the genre a shot. Unfortunately, for this horror fan, American Horror Story did not deliver the goods. Maybe because I pay attention to style and writing, but I saw what sometimes can work with Glee (and not) on this show which made it hard for me to enjoy.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Buried

Directed by: Rodrigo Cortes

Release Date: 2010


What a movie! This isn't the conventional creepy crawly slasher or monster picture.  Ryan Reynolds carries the movie completely stuck in a coffin buried underground.

The scariest aspect of this ninety minute movie is imagining yourself in Paul Conroy's shoes, as he's trying to figure out why he's in this box and how he's going to get himself out of it.
I have to admit, the terrorist angle to the movie was hard to stomach because it seemed like the screenwriter's statement was 9/11 related (“everyone hates America”) which I understand but don't agree with. Albeit my personal opinions regarding the political climate, I was still able to enjoy this movie.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Cabin Fever 2: Spring Fever

Directed by: Ti West

Release Date: 2009


First thing's first - where's the cabin? Maybe the title should have been changed but besides this huge omission, I was completely involved with this movie.

It is widely known on the internet horror community that Ti West publicly disowned this movie due to post-production issues with the company. Even though West states the movie isn't his because he wasn't present in post-production, I would have to disagree with him.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Cabin Fever

Directed by: Eli Roth

Release Date: 2003

Five college students on the brink of independence and entering adulthood decide to rent a cabin in the woods for the summer. In typical horror picture fashion, shit goes crazy. The question that most horror fans ask themselves when they read the aforementioned sentence is, "How is the execution of this story differ from other horror pictures with the same premise?" Real easy: those pictures aren't directed and written by Eli Roth. On a serious tip, the flesh eating virus that's spread is totally gnarly (in a great way) and the makeup effects? There's a sick scene between Jordan Ladd and Rider Strong's character that makes you cringe with disgust where you want to close your eyes, but you have to continue watching.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Slither

Director by: James Gunn

Release Date: 2006

As my first introduction to the brilliance (and sexiness) that is Nathan Fillion, I absolutely had a blast watching this picture in the theater. Imagine this slug-fest in 3D?

Friday, August 12, 2011

The Thing

Directed by: John Carpenter

Release Date: 1982 

When I started writing notes about movies, this was the first movie I reviewed which was back in 2002. Nine years later, the movie is still one of my favorite suspenseful horror films (top ten) as well as one of the best in makeup effects in the genre.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Piranha (1978)

Directed by: Joe Dante

Release Date: 1978

The campy movie produced by Roger Corman as a homage to Jaws, is everything a horror fun would expect: cheesy effects, wooden acting, never taking itself seriously, and anything else you can think of.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Rosemary’s Baby

image Directed by: Roman Polanski

Release Date: 1968

Each year at a different free summer movie event in NYC, this movie provides the thrills every time. I had the opportunity to revisit Roman Polanski's first English picture last summer at the HBO Bryant Park Summer Film Festival.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Piranha

Directed by: Alexandre Aja

Release Date: 2010

Last summer's 3D extravaganza started with a cheeky homage to Jaws with none other than the lead actor, Richard Dreyfuss wearing the same wardrobe from said picture. I kept saying, "We need a bigger boat" in my head throughout the first death scene. Having never seen the original Joe Dante version, I'm interested to see the similarities between the two movies when I finally watch it.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

The Sixth Sense

Directed by: M. Night Shyamalan

Release Date: 1999

Still holding the place as M. Night Shyamalan's Best work to date, The Sixth Sense is still as suspenseful and thrilling from beginning to end.

Watching this after knowing the twist only makes the viewer pay attention to the acute attentiveness Shyamalan took to include clues for the end result (using red) in every frame of the movie. This movie plays like a drama with ghosts sprinkled in which makes the story that much memorable.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Blob (1988)

imageDirected by: Chuck Russell

Release Date: 1988

A remake of the original 1950s version, this modern take on the classic was gore-tastic, campy, and a watchable picture.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Repulsion

image Directed by: Roman Polanski

Release Date: 1965

As a Roman Polanski and Wes Craven fan (this movie is referenced in A Nightmare on Elm Street), I decided to take the plunge and watch this picture. Upon viewing, I was glad I watched but wasn't very entertained.

Catherine Deneuve, the leading star, plays Carole, the ingenue who is frightened by sex and anything involving sex. Roman Polanski, a master at accomplishing tension, was successful in having Carole lose her mind slowly. What I didn't like was the whole movie. I can appreciate the execution of the piece and the performance by Catherine Deneuve but this picture was not for me.

Monday, June 20, 2011

The Blob (1958)

Directed by: Irvin S. Yeaworth Jr.

Release Date: 1958

This marks the first time I’ve ever seen a Steve McQueen movie (I know, don’t judge me) and he was so dashing and handsome as Steve Andrews, the teenager who discovers the blob of this monster that creates a crater in the Earth.

Having not been familiar with many fifties movies, I enjoyed the score exponentially and the old fashioned values.

When Steve is challenged to a race by his friend, he’s caught by Lt. Dave in which he says, “Don’t bring the fathers into this. I won’t do it again.” The cookie cutter image in that time period is very effective to create the suspense of this monster that we don’t even see that much on screen.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

New Nightmare

imagedirected by: wes craven

release date: 1994

Ten years after the first film premiered in theaters (and made New Line millions at the box office), Wes Craven was asked to return and close the franchise with his own take on Freddy Krueger’s character.
The whole story was very meta - which made the movie that much more creepy because we were with Heather Langenkamp (who was playing herself) and not Nancy this time. Seeing Robert Englund out of make up was strange (when I watched this for the first time in ‘94, I had no idea what the actor looked like without make up. Well, maybe a little) but had me see him as a person rather than Fred Krueger.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Scream 4

image directed by: wes craven

release date: 2011

This film starts with a bang - the meta metaness of the film within the film within the film worked well even though this went on for a hair longer than necessary.  The new faces to be sliced and diced were pleasant (Anna Paquin, Kristen Bell, et. al) and fun. As soon as the first scene started, I was sucked in. The story this time around revolves around Sydney Prescott’s book tour in which she makes a stop in Woodboro as the murders have started again. Red herrings abound ensue, amazing one-liners, and a very fitting social commentary to boot, this was a more than decent addition to the franchise (almost erases the third installment).

Scream

image directed by: wes craven

release date: 1996

Ah yes, the original movie that started it all. Drew Barrymore (the most notable star in the picture at the time of the release) plays Casey, the naive student that gets some horror trivia wrong but that doesn’t matter, because she is eventually “gutted like a fish” as Ghostface promises her.


Thus the iconic opening scene of new slasher films began in 1996. Most fans of this movie know the rest. It’s an absolutely pitch perfect slasher and suspenseful horror movie that rejuvenated the genre - funny enough, Wes Craven previously ended the Nightmare on Elm Street series with his addition to the horror genre.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The House of the Devil

image directed by: ti west

release date: 2009

Based on true events regarding satanic cult rituals in the eighties, this film is about those events.
Very slow but concise in execution, the director played up the suspense for seventy-five percent of the movie (or even more) but this drawn out narrative proved to be successful for this die-hard horror film fanatic.
The story is simple – down and out girl, Samantha (Jocelin Donahue) is seeking employment and has signed on to move into a small place near her school campus. She happens to pass by the school bulletin board and a posting for a babysitter catches her eye. She calls and after being stood up by the employer, finally agrees to a last minute job for double the price. She needs the money so she accepts the offer. Samantha’s friend, Megan (Greta Gerwig) drives her out to a secluded house in a very woodsy area and promises to come back for her after midnight. After that, the narrative moves deliberately until the punch at the end.

Scream 2

image directed by: wes craven

release date: 1997

Some horror sequels, okay, let’s be honest, most horror sequels are subpar to the original movie. I don’t think this can be said for the second installment in this franchise though.
Plot summary goes like this: Sidney is in college, dating Derek (Jerry O’Connell), has a roommate, Hallie (Elise Neal), and life is swell until…the opening sequence with Jada Pinkett Smith and Omar Epps in which they are murdered in a movie theater during the screening of Stab while everyone has Ghostface masks, stabbing each other with fake knives. We soon learn there’s a copycat killer on the loose and that’s when things go crazy.
Talk about meta-ness to the max with all the pop culture references (especially of Friends co-stars of Courtney Cox), Gale Weathers new hair (it’s new in every movie), the star power (so many well-known people known now), and the tension as well as fun created in the first installment.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Splice

image directed by: Vincenzo natali

release date: 2010

The whole time while watching this movie I kept thinking, “I want to watch The Fly with Jeff Goldblum because it’s way more engaging than this drivel!”
Premise of the movie is simple: scientific experiment gone bad – but not necessarily Frankenstein bad just bad in affecting everyone around it bad. This is only generalizing because I wouldn’t want to ruin the movie for those interested in watching.
Albeit glowing reviews from both Metacritic.com and Rotten Tomatoes, I failed to see the greatness in the film that I saw.
Every time the tone of the movie changed every half hour, I kept wondering, “Where is this going?” And guess what? It went nowhere I cared about! By the end of the movie, I was upset I spent this much time on a picture that tried so hard to be something and is already forgettable as I write this review.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Scream 3

image Directed by: wes craven

release date: 2000

Because Scream 4 will be released in a week, I needed to refresh myself with the characters and the story.
Watching this reminded me why this installment in the series is the most forgettable with me and most fans.
Before going any further, let’s discuss plot summary, shall we?
Stab 3, the latest film based on the Woodsboro murders is in production and one by one, the actors in the movie are picked off clean. Sidney, having secluded herself in a cabin somewhere and working for a women’s crisis hotline, returns to civilization to help Detective Kincaid (played by pre-Mr. McDreamy himself Patrick Dempsey) catch the killer. As always, Sidney lives (no spoilers here, she is in the trailer for Scream 4 after all) while Dewey and Gale marry. The End.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Scream 4 Trailer

Scream 4 is premiering in theaters in two weeks!! Can you tell I'm excited? In lieu of the newest installment in the series, my friends and I are watching the prior sequels to refresh our memories.

And also, for your viewing pleasure, the trailer to Scream 4. Enjoy!


Scream 4

Monday, April 4, 2011

Insidious

image directed by: james wan

release date: 2011

From the minds that created the Saw series and Paranormal Activity, comes a new haunted tale involving a child.
As most horror movies begin, the audience is introduced with a picture perfect (nearly anyway) suburban family with two boys and an infant girl.
When Dalton, one of the oldest of the two, falls down while exploring the attic, the audience knows something is amiss. He wakes up in a coma the next day and strange occurrences start happening in the home.

Monday, March 14, 2011

My Bloody Valentine

image directed by: George Mihalka

release date: 1981

From the back of the DVD cover:
“Twenty years after a Valentine’s Day tragedy, a small town prepares for its annual holiday dance. When a box of candy arrives containing an eerie warning and a blood-soaked heart, the townsfolk realize that this Valentine’s Day romance is dead…and so are they.”

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Play Dead

Tonight, I had the privilege of watching Teller’s play, “Play Dead” in Greenwich Village.  DSC03576
Because we couldn’t take any pictures during the performance (it would reveal all the secrets and then no one would want to come!), I took pictures of the inside.
Below is the only good picture from the interior of the theater. And that’s where my picture taking stopped.
DSC03580
This show is filled with thrills, “ethereal sounds,” and great history of some sick people. The show was a mixture of a haunted walk and attraction in one – and it worked!
Discussing the details of the show will ruin the experience for you so I won’t continue any further. What I will say is that I clutched my friend in the dark (there were numerous times when you were plunged in complete darkness – even the Exit signs were turned off) many a time during this ninety minute performance and it didn’t get better each time – people’s shrieking escalated each time.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Fright Night

image directed by: tom holland

release date: 1985

“Apparently your generation doesn't want to see vampire killers anymore, nor vampires either. All they want to see is slashers running around in ski masks, hacking up young virgins,” says Peter Vincent, the fired host from the show, Fright Night on late night TV to Charlie Brewster who tries to recruit Vincent to help kill the vampire who has moved in next door.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Halloween II

image

Directed by: Rick Rosenthal

Release Date: 1981

Written by John Carpenter and Debra Hill, the sequel in the Halloween franchise provided the thrills and the screams without the blood.