scary movie

Nightmare on Elm Street

Year: 1984
Directed By: Wes Craven
Written By: Wes Craven

RYAN’S REVIEW

This is the film you should be watching for Halloween. It is as scary as they come and it’s a horror legend. This film has created a franchise that has lived and thrived for thirty years now. To date there have been nine movies and countless other media featuring the character of Freddy Kruger. It all started with this movie and when you watch it you understand why it has lived on in this fashion. The long standing success of the franchise led to an unnecessary  remake about four years ago that nobody should waste their time seeing.

Classics should never be touched. It’s a crime to remake a popular classic film for the sake of making money. There was nothing wrong with this original film and nothing to be improved upon. This was a great movie that scared us with an original idea and effects that were far ahead of their time. They did things in this movie that had never been done before and it looked great. Johnny Depp falling into his bed and exploding into the ceiling is insane. Freddy stretching through the wall look great. Technology didn’t need to improve upon these effects even if it could. This movie shouldn’t be touched and it angers me to think a new generation of fans might bypass the original and just watch the new one. The new one wasn’t as well received and I don’t even know that I saw all of it. It can splash all the blood and provoke a scream now and again but it can never recreate the magic of the film made in 1984.

Despite the presence of this franchise throughout my entire life I haven’t seen many, if any at all, of the sequels. I was born the same year this movie came out and for as long as I can remember I have known about it but not dared to actually sit down and watch them. In my oldest memories Halloween always stands out and Freddy has always been present during the holiday in some capacity. Be it a neighbor who gets a kick out of dressing like him for trick-or-treaters or simply trick-or-treaters themselves he was always around and I thought he was really scary. So I think I subconsciously avoided this series for as long as I could simply because it reminds me of the fear I felt as a kid when things were much scarier. I am more interested than ever now because this movie so thoroughly impresses me and I will seek out some of the films that follow. If anybody has any thoughts on the quality of the sequels leave us a comment and let us know if they are worth our time.

Happy Halloween everyone and check out this movie once the kids has eaten their candy and had their sugar crash. When the doorbell finally stops ringing and you can sit back to look for your own fear for entertainment watch this movie. It’s scary and it’s for real. It’s a perfect evening for a scary movie and you can’t go wrong with this one.

AMBER’S REVIEW

I had never seen this movie before. I know it’s a classic, but my step sister was always terrified of this movie so I never wanted to see it. I know why she was terrified now; this  movie is one of the creepiest hrror movies I have ever seen. Freddy is creepy looking and does scary, gory things and the whole plot line is terrifying in itself. I felt extremely sleepy the whole movie, just knowing that she couldn’t sleep or he was going to get her. Overall, this is a great movie, and stands legend today for a really good reason. I think this might become a regular Halloween movie for us from now on.

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The Cabin in the Woods

Year: 2012
Directed By: Drew Goddard
Written By: Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard

RYAN’S REVIEW

For the life of me I can’t remember what it was that prompted Amber and I to see this film for the first time. With the unoriginal crap generally hitting theaters these days from the horror genre being what they are we usually don’t waste our time with them. It must have been a really slow season for movies hitting the On Demand channel but whatever the reason we took a chance on something we otherwise never would have seen. We started watching it casually and more or less taking it for more of the same before it really started to surprise us. This movie has a rather interesting twist on the same old same old and I really liked it. I tend to like horror movie satires and this one is specifically cool because I love a scenario in which everyone dies and the whole world hangs in the balance only to fall over the edge.

Like any other typical horror movie this one is about a group of teenagers who go on an outdoorsy trip and scary things start to happen to them. Only in this one those things are happening because men for unknown reasons are manipulating the whole situation in the most interesting ways. These two interesting fellows are at the controls casually doing their jobs, on what is alluded to being a big day for them, using technology to set up the five happy college kids in terrifying situations. You don’t really understand what their job is but you know that they are controlling everything for some reason.  The mystery behind it only makes the movie more interesting and exciting when these guys start to turn up the volume.

The lead role in this very typical group of young people is the obvious jock played by Chris Hemsworth. I find it really funny that at one point he is standing at a gas pump and for absolutely no apparent reason he is holding a football. He is just such a cliché character and it comes so natural to the mighty son of Odin. I love when Thor tries his Evel Knievel move after a vaguely heartfelt speech of abandonment and simply crashes to his death against an invisible wall. His monologue is the kicker because he is promising to bring back help and all of that, but really he is just leaving them behind to escape on his own. I laughed so hard the first time I watched it when he crashes into that wall and dies so unceremoniously. It was at that moment that this movie had me, I specifically remember looking to Amber and saying “I love this.”

My favorite character in this group of obvious characters is the obvious one, being the stoner guy who plays “the fool.” Everybody is acting crazy and he is just looking at them asking, “really?” I also love that he uses his cleverly disguised bong as a weapon when faced with danger. I read that Fran Kranz, who play the fool, needed to do a lot of research in order to play this stoner character including learning how to smoke and roll joints. I find that funny too, it must have been hard putting in that kind of work for his job. In the scene where they are all jumping into the lake he isn’t participating because apparently the guy is too ripped to take his shirt off. Taking that into consideration his prep work makes sense, the ripped guys aren’t usually the pot smokers. As for the rest of the group, or the scholar, the whore, and the virgin. They were all interchangeable and nothing more than pretty faces playing their role.  I don’t think any of them were noteworthy and any actor could have been cast in each of the parts with no notable difference in the film. .

The real golden nuggets in the cast are the men playing the parts of the mysterious operators, and the woman who appears at the end as the boss behind it all. The operators are played by Richard Jenkins and Bradley Whitford and they have great chemistry working together. Their opening scene was specifically written to confuse the audience and make them think they were in the wrong theater. Richard Jenkins, playing the older of the two operators, is a flawlessly talented actor who can do a bit of everything. I specifically like him for his humor because he can be so funny. He is generally unknown by name but everyone recognizes him because he is in so many films. Bradley Whitford has been around forever but I remember him most for playing the bad guy in Billy Madison. In this film he is great playing alongside Jenkins. I specifically like how casual he is with the whole process of his job. Whether he is chit chatting on the ride to the office, firing an automatic weapon against monsters, or dying at the hands of the merman he seems so casual I find it funny. These guys are great together and the way they are portrayed keeps the movie so interesting as it progresses. I love when they think that they have accomplished their goal and they start to party. They are popping champagne and celebrating while over their shoulders Kristen Connolly, who plays “the virgin,” is being brutally beaten on the big screen.

The end of the film features Sigourney Weaver in the top dog role as the boss making a final plea to the two survivors to do what is right for the sake of mankind. I love Sigourney Weaver and her part in this movie is the cherry on top that makes everything so cool. Joss Whedon is a fanboy and all fanboys love the woman who taught us women could be badass in the role of Ripley. Also playing a significant part in another fan favorite, Ghostbusters, Signourney Weaver is near and dear to the hearts of us all.  This seems to me like her cashing in an easy paycheck but her presence gives the film credibility. As always, she brings it when she is on-screen, her performance capped off what was already a fun and exciting movie.

This movie was filmed and shelved for a few years before ever hitting theaters 2012. It just happened to hit the big screen the same year as another hit by Joss Whedon and Chris Hemsworth, The Avengers. In the time that elapsed between shooting and release Hemsworth became an actor of more notoriety. He had made his place in the Marvel superhero world in 2011 when Thor came out so when this film was released his name was in top billing. It made his unceremonious death a bit more surprising when we watched it the first time and all the funnier because it was unexpected. This was not the only film in which that happened to Hemsworth. The remake of Red Dawn was also shot and sat on the shelf for a couple of years before release. I remember that happening but can’t remember the reason. I was very much disappointed by the decision to remake that classic movie about a real conflict with whatever asinine thing happened in the new one.  I don’t know how he did in that film or what befalls his character in it because I will not waste my time watching it, those are precious hours and minutes I cannot get back and feel right about losing.

This is a fun movie from a really cool and continually up and coming filmmaker in Joss Whedon. Depending on how the next Avengers film does, which all indications are that it will be even more awesome, this guy will have his ticket punched and there is no telling what he is capable of doing. I read that he and Drew Goddard wrote this movie rather quickly. It was something he did in his downtime for fun. That says a lot about what he is capable of in the future. This movie has been a welcome addition to the collection and I think it is more than worth your time to see.  This is the time of the year for scary movies and it’s great to have a fun one to throw into the mix.

 

 

AMBER’S REVIEW

I went into this movie thinking it was your everyday scary movie about a cabin in the woods. I think it was fun to go into it like that. I was completely caught off guard with this movie, and in a good way. This is so different from the usual horror flick and that’s what makes it worth watching.

cabinI like this poster! It’s a great way to subtly introduce the movie’s plot. The coloration is great and adds an eerie feeling to the plot of the movie. The typography is not horrible, but could have been handled in a better way. Overall, I really think this poster and movie work so well. It is a refreshing take on a Halloween-esque movie.

Event Horizon

Year: 1997
Directed By: Paul Anderson
Written By: Philip Eisner

RYAN’S REVIEW

I watched this movie when it first came to home video in 1998 and it scared me so bad it’s taken me 15 years to come back for seconds. I was 13 or 14 when I first saw it and at that age I would never admit how bad it scared me but I can admit it now.  This movie literally scared the ever loving shit out of me and watching it last night did bring some of that fear back to me.  Of course I’m not scared now the way I was when I was young but there was a nostalgic feeling of fear that came over me while we watched it. There are so many creepy things in this movie and I can really see why and how it got to me so bad as a kid. There are a few things wrong with this film but that doesn’t change the effect it will have on you.  This movie is scary as hell, literally, and that makes it an excellent movie for the season.

In this movie we see the fears of the characters come to life right before their eyes.  For reasons they don’t understand they are suddenly having hallucinations of their greatest fears.  With a variety of different fears the movie is able to hit on several levels to get to everyone in the audience one way or another. If the burning man that appears before Laurence Fishburne or the kid that Kathleen Quinlan sees don’t get to you then Sam Niell’s eye gauging definitely will.  For me, one of the scariest parts was when Neill is down in that tiny tunnel and starts hearing things.  He looks around in this small space that he could easily get lost in and he isn’t sure if he is actually hearing things or if he is just panicking.  That kind of fear, the type when you are all alone in a scary place and unsure what’s going on really gets to me.  The not knowing if something is really there or if it’s all in your head is terrifying under those circumstances.  After all these years it still makes me cringe.

I heard once that there was something like 30 minutes cut from this film specifically to get it down to an R rating.  I don’t know where that time would have fit in but if I had to guess I would think it came from the video of the lost crew.  When they finally clean up the image enough to see what happened what they see if horrifying.  There is a man who has pulled his own eyes out and is holding them in his hand while chanting creepy Latin phrases. There appears to be some raping going on, everyone is screaming, and flames blaze in the background.  These people had accidentally traveled into Hell and the consequences were frightening.  I imagine there was plenty in that scene that might have been deemed too much for the theater audience by the MPAA.

I think where this film goes wrong is in the ending, but I’m inclined to chalk it up to being a product of its time.  In the end the tone changes to something like Laurence Fishburne vs. Sam Neill when that shouldn’t be the case.  Yes Sam Neill was simply the image taken by the ship but there should be no one against the other.  There should only be Neill i.e. the ship dispatching Laurence Fishburne in horrifying fashion. How could anybody hope to fight back against a ship that has transformed into an evil object by travelling to Hell and back? It shouldn’t be possible and there should be no room for the type of heroics we see from Fishburne in the end.  I like that in the end the ship is still alive and the nightmare continues for the survivors, but what precedes it almost makes it loose its flavor.  There is a theme in far too many horror films that the good guy has to win.  Freddy is eventually beaten by the teenagers he torments, Jason is eventually beaten by the teenagers he torments, Mike Myers is eventually beaten by the teenagers he torments……..Laurence Fishburne needed to have a fist fight with a demonic Sam Neill in the climax of this film.  That’s just how it was done in the 90s.  I tend to find the no win scenario much scarier and we see more of that these days.

I think Laurence Fishburne was great in this movie, until the end when he has his hero moment that is.  I have always been a fan of Fishburne because I come from the generation of The Matrix, and Morpheus can do no wrong.  Of course that isn’t true though; Fishburne has become irrelevant over the years as Morpheus got further and further away in the rear view. He got an important part in Man of Steel though, and whether he was the right choice or not is irrelevant.  It’s an opportunity, and I hope it gets him back into the limelight in the future. Sam Neill just has a look to him that really shows the potential for being evil.  I thought he was awesome in In the Mouth of Madness and I think he specifically looks wicked in this movie both with and without eyes. With the lacerated face he looks beyond wicked and something more like demonic. Neill really hasn’t had many memorable roles in his career but when he gets a good one he plays it to the fullest.  This film is a good example of that.

Aside from those two there are several other cast members who many will recognize.  Of course Kathleen Quinlan tops that list.  She was past her prime when this movie came out but she is a great actress with a long and distinguished career.  Lucius Malfoy is also seen in the background long before he was made relatively popular by the Harry Potter films.  I am talking about Jason Isaacs, who recently starred in a network TV show I didn’t watch, I think it was called Awake. Joely Richardson has one of the more significant roles in this film being one of the two final “survivors.” I was a big fan of Richardson from her work on Nip/Tuck. That show went on for far too long and her character was not always written in the brightest light. That’s putting it nicely really, they writers loved to make this woman about as slutty as she could get.  I think if they could have gotten away with it she probably would have engaged in a relationship with her own son.  Still, for a long time I was a big fan of the show and I liked her role on in despite what they had her do.

This is a scary movie.  In fact it is probably far and away the scariest of all the movies we have watched for this month so far.  It has a bit of a science fiction feel to it that but that doesn’t take away from the horror effect.  Science fiction and horror are often intertwined together with great success.  This movie doesn’t qualify as a success because it was a box office bomb but it succeeds where it matters.  Check this one out if you are looking for something to scare you as Halloween approaches and you won’t be disappointed.   

AMBER’S REVIEW

Apparently this was a horror movie. I am almost certain this should be qualified as a sci-fi movie. Of course, I fell asleep before it all went horrible, infinitely, wrong. (See what I did there?) I didn’t get to see all the gruesome horror, but apparently it must be a gory movie because under the Halloween titles in Netflix, they have this one listed as bloody and gory.

event-horizon-poster-2 Here is the poster for this movie. They made the characters blue and faded them out. I think you guys know how I feel about floating people. However these floating people are technically in space so that provides a little bit of self controversy. I don’t know what to think about that. I hate, however, HATE that they colored the whole poster blue to create that mood. You can do that without colorizing the whole thing people. Stop taking the easy way out. The font isn’t anything special, just another techy font. You can find them for free all over the place. I just realized there was a planet behind their heads. I HATE THIS POSTER. What a terrible way to try and get people in to see this film.