Saturday, January 29, 2011

Unrest and Blessed

Don't you ever wish Rosemary's Baby had gotten some kind of lazy contemporary update? And don't you want that remake to star Julia Stiles? Well, you're in luck friends! (except for the Julia Stiles part, she was probably busy renegotiating her contract for the Prince & I 2: Back to Peasantdom.)

Instead we've got Heather Graham! Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay.... cough... cough...

And this photo is from when she had a career.
 The plot is pretty much parallel to Rosemary's Baby. Except for the super-awesome contemporary twist. Samantha (H-Gra) and Craig (Evil Guy From Resident Evil aka EGFRE - pronounced "egg-free") are trying to get pregnant and decide to try IVF Treatments. But little do they know that the IVF treatment place they go to is eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeevil. And how do you know that? Because the doctors are completely shot from above making them look eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeevil ... and that they have weak chins.

So I've made it about 39 mins through the movie and not much has happened, but I'll fill you in. Samantha is a teacher at a Catholic school called St. Rosemary's (geddit?), and she's the worse teacher ever. She spends the whole time staring at kids mournfully. I didn't know pre-pregnant postpartum depression was possible. Egg-Free's main characterization is that he's British. He's shooting for the Hugh Grant likability factor by saying saucy comments to H-Gra the whole time. To wit:

Egg-Free: You saucy minx.
H-Gra: Ha-heeeeeeeeeeeeeeee-ha (gasping for air)

Because these two have zero chemistry director Simon Fellows tries to fix this by having them laugh innaporpriately had at every single thing the other one does. And yes, H-Gra's laugh is "ha-heeeeeeeeeeeee-ha. Like a donkey.

Anyway, Egg-Free is a wannabe writer so the evil IVF people help him get a book deal for some reason. Which is kind of like Guy selling Rosemary out for fame as an actor. He goes to meet the head of some really powerful publishing house - keep in mind this movie was made in 2004 - and the publishing guy is so weird because he had relics from saints. ISN'T THAT CREEPY?!!??! AREN'T YOU TOTALLY FREAKED OUT BY IT?!?!?!!?

It's okay. I wasn't either. Anyhoozle, H-Gra gets preggers and instead of staying in the country near the IVF place they return to NYC but their apartment has been vandalized!!!!! By whom? Punks? Renegade Satan worshipers?

Also, Andy Serkis is in this. I adore Andy Serkis. I can only hope he plays some kind of embodiment of the devil a la Tim Curry in Legend.

That's right kids, you've got another live blog coming your way. It's the only way I'll be able to finish the damn movie.

Stay tuned!!!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Legitimate Horror Writing Abound!

I would love for you all to think that I'm in a monogamous  relationship with Scare-Tactic but I've been ... exploring my options...

Scare-Tactic is my true love and I'll always come back to it. Thankfully, since it's a free blog it generally takes me back too.

Just to prove it's always on my mind this is an article I wrote for about women in horror.


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Keanu Hear Me - Part Deux


11:14 pm mm... the people below me are listening to Clap Your Hands Say Yeah at an interesting volume. No doubt this will add to the tone of the movie...

11:15pm Goddammit! J-Co was just about to give Will Smith Jr a talking to then another sphere shows up. CONSISTENCY IS THE KEY TO PARENTING

11:16pm Every so often the film will halt so Klatu-Keanu can walk in slow motion. What is this, the Hipster Olympic?

11:19pm Apparently "saving the earth" and "saving us" are two different things. Methinks J-Co went to the same university as Denise Richards' Christmas Jones.

11:23pm I love the way Klatu-Keanu puts. A. Period. At. The. End. Of. Every. Word.

11:27pm So Klatu-Keanu is all like take me to your leader so I may reason with them and J-Co takes him to John Fucking Cleese, who's a Nobel Prize Winner of Biology or something. Personally, I would have taken him to Michael Palin.

11:28pm Apparently listening to Bach makes Klatu-Keanu not want to destroy our planet.

11:33pm Will Smith Jr is a little bitch and called the cops on Klatu-Keanu. As they run out, John Cleese advised J-Co to ho herself out to him. This never would have happened with Palin.

11:37pm J-Co gets captured and now Will Smith Jr only has Klatu-Keanu, which reveals his little bitchy scaredy cat side.

11:41pm Robot thing starts attacking from inside the compound by turning into a locust type thing. The movie suddenly takes a weird biblical turn.

11:43pm The government peeps decide that J-Co's flirting skills are humanity's last hope. And if that doesn't work out Jon Hamm is going with her.

11:46pm Will Smith Jr arranges to meet J-Co at Will Smith's grave. Emotional manipulation reaches maximum point. Klatu-Keanu tries to explain that "death is transformation."Will Smith Jr. cries over string music. Pause movie to vomit.

11:48pm J-Co shows up. Will Smith Jr. realizes that J.Co misses Will Smith too. Relationship issues resolved people!!!

11:50pm Oh no! The metal locusts show up!!!!! Happy-family-graveyard-scene fail!

11:53pm They make it back to the city. Jon Hamm does sexy badass driving.

11:56pm A time that will live in infamy, Jon Hamm dies in a needless car accident. No one says anything about it.

11:57pm Will Smith Jr. get metal locusts inside him. Klatu Keanu says he's dying. There is much rejoicing.

12:00am Klatu-Keanu high-five's the sphere in Central Park and all the electricity shuts off and all the locusts and spheres go away... therefore making us ... better?

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Keanu Hear Me?

I managed to watch the first half of The Day The Earth Stood Still (2008) and while it's not a horror film it's worthy of blog fodder. And it's my blog. So there.

So Jennifer Connelly is some kind of scientist and has to raise Will Smith's kid because she used to be married to Will Smith but he was an engineer in the army. "He went over to build, not to kill." See? Invasions are tricky and full of subtle complexities, unlike this movie. Anyway, the kid is a dick to her but she loves him anyway and is raising him because his biological mom died when he was a baby and apparently he has no other family or they realized he was a jerk and didn't want him.
J-Co, worried about if the earth will explode before she can get her bang-trauma fixed.
 Then these spheres show up. Then Keanu or Klatu shows up and is birthed out of whale blubber while J-Co's eyes get wider and wider. Klatu-Keanu says a lot of weird mumbo-jumbo that isn't really threatening but isn't that comforting either. J-Co decides to help Klatu-Keanu out and make a run for it which really pisses off Kathy Bates.

ALSO, Jon Hamm is in it! He's some kind of scientist overseer. He works really hard. You can tell from all his facial scruff. Also he says things like "We're out of time. I'm going to have to crash brief you in the conference room." And Jon Hamm can crash-brief me anywhere he likes.

And according to the opening credits John Cleese is in this. As what, I don't know. My guess is some kind of wackadoo genius that lives in the woods or some omnipotent rich guy.

I'm going to finish watching it tonight and maybe I'll even live blog it. Who knows what can happen in the final 50 minutes. Will Klatu-Keanu save them all? Will Jayden Smith stop being a little bitch? Will J-Co ever be in a decent movie post-Requiem for A Dream?

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Horror Movie Coolie - Judy (Karen Fields) in Sleepaway Camp (1983)

I seem to be writing a lot in response to things lately. I see something, hate it and write about something that reminds me of a better place and time. The grass is always greener I guess. And this post is no exception. I recently watched Return to Sleepaway Camp and... um... wow... It's a spectacular waste of time and that's about the nicest thing I can say about it. Sleepaway Camp the original is completely whacked out crazy with the biggest WTF ending you've ever seen.  The number of deaths may not be particularly impressive but the deaths are so inventive that they're worth the build up. It's rare to have a character that is off'd with a hot curling iron to the hoo-ha. But when you see the movie she has it coming.

Oh Judy, Judy, Judy... bitch-camper along with her sidekick Meg makes Angela's life hell and anyone who crosses Angela... well... you best not make Angela mad. But Judy doesn't listen, because Angela's a freak and with hair like that you'd think you could do whatever you wanted too.

Your tears make Judy's hair bigger
Like any good bee-otch she meets a disastrous end which I alluded to earlier. Okay, "end" is a strong word. It's not entirely clear if she's dead and I guess what happens to her wouldn't technically kill her but eeewwww. And nearly 30 years later they are attempting to answer that question with a short film aptly titled Judy exploring what happened to the character and starring Judy herself Karen Fields proving that you can't keep a good bitch down.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Hannibal: the Possessin'

So I saw a really shitty movie the other night. I don't really want to say what it is in case some people enjoyed it but it's called The Silemma.

The fact that they're airbrushed beyond comprehension and are still ugly as sin is pretty frightening.

Okay, okay, it was The Dilemma. Now, in my defense I had had a rough week. Just stupid stuff, nothing that won't work itself out. So I wanted a break, I wanted to see something that would get me out of my own head for at least a few hours. And oh my crapping crap did this movie ever get me out of my head. I spent the movie muttering to my friend that I couldn't take it, and why's that happening and how did that get resolved. Seriously. It's awful. And if you liked it I don't want you reading this blog anyway.

Oh, how I wish I had a time machine to teleport myself a couple weeks into the future when the schlockiest schlock that ever schlocked was released. The Rite. Increasingly crazy Anthony Hopkins playing priest AND it's "inspired by true events"???? Sign me up.

It's going to be all kinds of awful goodness and I can't wait.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Top 5 Traumatizing Kids Movies

A lot of people responded to my Top-5-Terror-Inducing-Films post with an overwhelming reaction to Ernest Scared Stupid. Apparently, I'm not alone on this. So I'm doing a Top 5 Traumatizing Kids Movies because they "be freaky".

#5 E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial (1982)
Oh man, did this get me. I cried and cried. I never actually got past the first 5 minutes of the film because it was too traumatizing when E.T. gets left by his buddies who are apparently incapable of doing a head count. I have no idea if Drew Barrymore's performance in this is as terrifying as the rest of her career but I'll never know. I actively refuse to see this movie due to its scarring effect on my life.

#4 Arachnophobia(1990)
I hope other people found these movies as disturbing as I did otherwise I'm outting myself as the biggest pussy ever. So, I've just learned Arachnophobia is a "comedy horror" film. Again, this is another movie I only made it through the first 5 minutes because that's when the spider crawls into a guy's sleeping bag, bites and kills him. What. The. Fuck. Traumatizing is a delicate word for the way it affected me. I used to sleep with my hands under my pillow because I was convinced that a spider would bite and kill me. Even today, more often than not, I'll sleep with my hands under my pillow. And guess who produced this fucker. Steven Spielberg. That's right. I hate that man. He's after me.

#3 The Secret of N.I.H.M (1982)
WHAT THE FUCK DON BLUTH????????????????? I blame this for my constant fear of tractors. Seriously, panic attacks. I don't do well at farms in general. But also, the deaths in this film are more tragic than Bambi's mom. I had reoccurring nightmares because of this movie for a year.

#2 The Dark Crystal
The Muppets are something every child should watch. They're darn funny and adorable. The Dark Crystal... well... I have reservations... Seriously, the Skeksis? What child of the 70s or 80s wasn't haunted by them?

#1 The Witches (1990)

I loves me some Roald Dahl. Most interesting people and kids I know read his books... this movie however. I'd read the book multiple times but nothing could prepare me for this.

Even as I type it's freaking me out. Also, I was convinced for the longest time that all children in paintings were put there by witches. Thankfully, I've grown out of that belief. For the most part.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The only thing more terrifying than the last five minutes of this film are the first 90!

The first 90 minutes of Dario Argento's Suspiria (1977) rock, then it goes off the rails. But that's not to say I don't love it, because I do. It's easily a top 10 or possibly even top 5 movie.
Like a lot of movies I love, I understand why people don't like it. Its saturated colours, the weird dubbing, the overly-present soundtrack... It's a completely different style than most of us are used to. I believe, however, that it does deserve a place in the horror canon. Let's keep in mind that this was the 1970s which was a crrrrraaaazy time. Technicolour was still a thing and synthesizers were the new cool in music. What Argento does effectively is create the atmosphere. Every film element is used to the max to create a surrealist fairy tale.
 Horror and fairy tales often go hand-in-hand as the hero must overcome a trial in pursuit of growth and self-discovery. I've long argued that there is little better motivation than life or death. It forces characters into extremes. So, does what does Suspiria have to offer?
 Well, it influenced a hell of a lot of styles. Before Suspiria the genre was generally poorly executed. There are, of course, the exception like Exorcist and the Shining but the majority of horror films exist in the realm of schlock. The visual style of Suspiria helps elevate it beyond the standard norm. As well shot as Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Halloween and Friday the 13th are -- they lack Argento's visual flare. You can begin to see some of the trickle down of this effect in films such as Nightmare on Elm Street.
 The level and intensity of violence is notable even by today's standards. In other films the violence is meant to titillate, yet in Suspiria there is an outright declaration of aggressive violence. A lot has been made about Argento's apparent hatred of women and having seen most of his films and Suspiria several times I can't say I feel that there is an outward hatred of women. There is an awful lot of blood and guts spilled but the violence against them is not because they are women (see: I Spit On Your Grave/The Last House on the Left) but because witches be evil.
 Suspiria was inspired by Thomas de Quincey's seminal work Suspiria de Profundis which turned into the Three Mothers Trilogy which includes Argento's films Inferno and The Mother of Tears. The mythology he created involves three sisters who are witches. Suspiria deals with the Mother of Sighs who is the oldest and most powerful. This is problematized by the ending. American student Suzy Bannion meets and overcomes the witch that has been reeking havoc on her life and stabs her with a glass feather from a neon peacock. It's not exactly climax material. The last five minutes feels a little too easy. The first 90, however, have to be seen to be believed.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Horror in the News 2: Lock That Shit Down

So a friend of mine texted me the other day in response to the post about the birds dying, saying that it was all due to fireworks on New Years. Apparently this friend has never heard of a GOVERNMENT CONSPIRACY.

I think the government totes knows something. Something eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeevil.

And if you don't believe (people never do until it's too late) it's spreading....

There was another report of mass bird deaths. I think they are coming to us through the sky.

Also, witches are unionizing or something in Romania.
This is in the top 10 images that come on Google when you search "Romania Witches"

I don't like the sound of this one bit. Apocalypse Survival Team spaces are limited. Hurry now to get yours!!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Horror Movie Coolie! - Vera Farmiga in Orphan

I. Fucking. Love. Orphan (2009). I don't think there's any real discernable quality to it that makes me love it so much. It's really trashy. It's over the top. But it's well done. Yes, it has cliches. But they are entertaining cliches. It has a surprisingly strong cast and Vera Farmiga. She's awesomesauce in this. And with all these elements it makes for a strong movie that's really watchable. I've seen it a few times and dayum, it's fun.
 Farmiga plays Kate and mother to two and wife to John (Peter Sarsgaard) who are over-coming the death of their third child who was stillborn and Kate's alcoholism. Rough, right? Kate and John decide to adopt and adopt an older child names Esther from Eastern Europe. But there's something wrong with Esther.
It's starts small and Esther is smart so the fact it takes Kate so long to catch on is understandable.

But when Kate looses it, man does she loose it. Like, has to be committed looses it.
Farmiga really holds this together. She never looks like she feels like she slumming it. And she plays Kate with layers and weaknesses... y'know... what actors should do.

Trailer for Kevin Smith's Red State Now Online

In the past few days I re-watched An Evening With Kevin Smith, which makes me laugh to no end. Say what you want about the man but he's damn funny. As for his movies I feel pretty "meh" towards them. I don't hate them but I find them underwhelming. The other night I started watching Zack and Miri Make a Porno which was fine. It's just kind of there. On the other hand I think Dogma is damn good, really well-written and interesting AND funny. What more could a girl want? Answer: Kevin Smith to make a horror film. If there's one thing the Evenings With series makes clear it's that the man knows movies. He gets the lineage to them and I'm all for letting people try something new. But I also reserve the right to make fun of them when it goes horribly wrong. But I don't think Mr. Smith will have that problem.

The trailer looks amazing. Completely different from anything else he's done. I have a huge crush on this crush on this trailer. Like, I want to ask it to dinner and treat it right and introduce it to my parents.

Terrible Performances in Horror History: Wes Craven

This feels strange to say but I really don't know if I like the man's work. He's incredibly intelligent and made two seminal films (Nightmare on Elm Street and Scream) but the rest of his stuff ranges from boring to god-awful.

Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) and Scream (1996) are still great films and hold up surprisingly well. Nightmare on Elm Street still embodies surreal horror at its best and Scream hit the mark on meta-horror, proving that such a thing can actually exist.

But Craven did a lot of shit. I know The Last House on the Left (1972) and The Hills Have Eyes (1977) are horror classics and have influenced blah, blah, blah... but man are they boring. And weird! But not interesting weird, amateur weird. It's like he ran out of a way to fill 90 minutes and filled it with random characters and goofy moments that don't make sense. It's hella irritating.

He took an interesting turn in after Nightmare on Elm Street and got all sentimental on us. Like, gag inducing sentimental. I remember The People Under The Stairs as the VHS case that gave me the creeps. There was a skull and a freaky looking house. But it's actually kind of heart-warming if you like lame endings. There was nothing scary or sinister about that darn movie at all. The actual people under the stairs should have been freaky, not sad lost souls that deserved to be freed. SO. LAME.

Craven tried his hand at meta-horror in Wes Craven's New Nightmare (1994) and almost succeeded. If you haven't seen it it's almost worth checking out. The basic premise is the the ghost/genie thing of Freddy Kruger was trapped in the film and since the films finished he has been set free. This is yet another movie that starts off incredibly high-concept and promising but comes up with easy solutions that feel underwhelming after you've watched characters struggle for the previous 90 minutes. It feeds into the overly sentimental with Heather Langenkamp's kid becoming the reason for playing Nancy again. Craven was starting to paint himself into a corner and the only way out is to give the character a kid for whom she would do anything for. It's not terrible character motivation. It's just boring.

Then the Scream trilogy happened. The first one is still great but the second and third are just... sad. Then My Soul to Take (2010) happened. This is one of those movies that gives horror movies a bad name. It's set in a small town. There's a serial killer who gets murdered but the guy has split personalities. And each of the personalities gets reincarnated in one of the seven kids born in the town that night. Then the kids start dying. So which personality is the murderer? It's so buried in cliches that I want to retch. I wouldn't be so down on this movie if Craven hadn't come out and say it's one of the most important horror movies to date. To quote from an interview with Fangoria Craven said:
"I really feel like in some ways, MY SOUL TO TAKE is so different from anything I’ve seen. It’s not ripe for deconstruction yet, but I do feel like the ironic-deconstruction business has been done now too. I mean, SCREAM 4 has its own approach to that. It does take into account that it has been done, and asks the question of, what’s coming next? That was very much a thought in my mind as I was doing [SOUL]—do something you haven’t seen before. It might have elements of NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET and so forth, but the idea of souls and also a male lead as opposed to female lead—I haven’t touched on that since SHOCKER. That’s more of what was governing my thinking, just following through this child-father idea and the linkage, and of being raised in a family where many important truths were hidden. Innocence, in a sense, is at a certain point very destructive to your growth. There are things you have to know and do."

And the best part about My Soul to Take? It was in 3D. And the characters in the film sit around and talk about who they think the killer is for the whoooooooooooooooooooooooooolllllllllllllllllllleeeeeeeeeeeeeee thing. You know what's better than watching people talk? Watching them talk in 3D. No. Wait. That thing sucks. 

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Horror in the News

I don't know if there's a better way to start the new year than with some freaky ass shit going down.

In particular, this. Approximately four thousand birds fell from the sky in Arkansas on New Years day with no discernible cause detected.

This is how shit starts. No joke. Remember The Happening and how it starts with the bees dying and then everyone will eventually get this expression on their face.
And who needs that? If anyone is interested I'm starting a bunker and I'm looking for alternates for the zombie survival team I have assembled. Those with the best theories on why the birds died will be given top priority.