Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Things I should be doing: A Review for Evil Dead (2013)

So let me start this out by saying that, no, I am not a huge fan of the Evil Dead franchise.

...Get back here.

Yeah I know. Those are totally not the first words you want to hear someone say when they review a remake of a 'classic' horror movie. (I refuse to call anything filmed in 1980 and after a 'classic' horror movie. Classic Horror is Hammer, Vincent Price, and Universal monsters. This is contemporary.) It's one of my downfalls, I'm sure you'll think. How can I give a proper review when I'm not even a true fan of Raimi's vision?

Chill out. I'm the perfect person to review it. And I'll tell you why.

I'm not attached to the original in any way. Those of you that are up in arms, pitchforks at the ready, are probably the worst people to review this movie. You're going to go into it thinking it's not going to be as good as your beloved original. NOTHING CAN LIVE UP TO YOUR STANDARDS! OMG THEY USED SOME CGI TO POLISH THINGS OFF WHEN THEY SAID THEY WOULDN'T AT ALL!

And I say, this is probably the horror movie that Sam Raimi would have made had he had the resources and the money. And you probably wouldn't look at it the same way.

The original Evil Dead is a landmark in the fact that it shows what you can do with a very small cast (reusing a few actors a number of times), a limited budget, and a camera on some 2 x 4s. Yes, it's groundbreaking in that respect. Bow down to Raimi and his big chinned companion, Bruce Campbell.

BUT. The remake does something very right: it doesn't give you the same characters. Sure, the cabin is probably the same one (and kind of looks like the one from Cabin in the Woods, no? Put those two movies together and that's one helluva mindfuck), and you'll see a very familiar car parked in front of it. And yes, there's an evil skin-bound book. But honestly, that's where the big similarities end.

There is no Ash. No Cheryl. No Candarian moose (though I think that's Evil Dead 2). And these are all good things. If you're so damned opposed to a remake, you can honestly think of it as an almost sequel. I mean, I did read somewhere that they're working on perhaps jamming the two together? (I heard this on wikipedia, so my source is tentative at best. Damn you wiki.) So it's not supposed to be frame by frame, and the special effects are not supposed to be oatmeal and stop motion.

I'm going to do my best not to spoil this, but HOLY GOD it was gory. Like, almost too unsettling gory. The posession makeup is as good as any I've seen before, but didn't make it so I couldn't watch (Exorcist I'm still looking at you for that title. Dammit.), and still creeped me the hell out later.

The blood. Was. Everywhere. It literally rained blood. And that's not a spoiler, you all know it happened. The tree scene that everyone is all up in arms about in different places for different reasons was there, and it was even more cringeworthy (though some girl getting stabbed in the ladyparts with a branch like she was in the original... ouch. I dunno. I think I'd rather be a victim of the second one. Less splinters.)

If I had to complain, it would be about the writing. The characters are not fleshed out enough, and sometimes you just don't.. really care. And the dialogue was not all that great. But honestly, the script was polished up by Diablo Cody, so is it really any wonder?

All in all, it's very much a movie I would watch again. I would add it to my collection, and take it out to watch with friends. I'm really very much considering a Cabin in the Woods double feature with it now, just thinking about the undertones. Wow. I blew my own mind.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Random crap and a movie review.

So you guys, if you're even seeing this, are very... patient? I mean, I always go "Okay I have to post something"... and I never do, because I either forget what I'm going to say, or what I say comes out really dumb.

Such is life, I guess.

The fact of the matter is, and I've probably said this before, if you type in "Hypnocil" into google, this blog is number 5 on the results page. This means I MUST. MUST. MUST. I must do something.

So I'm going to do a short review! Recently, I rented the movie Sinister. If you haven't watched it yet, I apologize if I give any spoilers.

(Here's where I was going to put an image of the movie poster, but looking up sinister gives me images from the movie that already creeped me out. Yeah thanks, next I'm totally going to look up "Exorcist makeup" and cry. Nope.)

So, basically, the movie is about a family that moves into the house where a weird murder takes place. The movie actually STARTS with footage of the murder, which was 4 family members hanged from a tree in their backyard, execution style, filmed with a Super 8. That's not a spoiler. That's how the movie begins. Watch the first few minutes of this movie and turn it off and walk away. Dare ya. You can't. It's just too... unnerving.

What happens IN the movie, more in depth, is a tale about demons and cult sacrifices, and a writer who wants to make a name of himself by investigating this murder. Yeah, btw, the guy got his 15 minutes of fame by opening up a murder case that was long since closed and giving more insight on it. So he's kind of a jerk, a big drinker, you know, what every single writer in media seems to be.

I mean granted, Stephen King was all of those things and more when he started out, but that doesn't mean we all are. Now where's the fucking bourbon? (If you get that reference, congratulations, you're obviously in the right place)

So I saw this movie with my father (who I try to see most horror movies with. It goes like this, when I was younger he'd take me to see Disney movies when they first came out, and as I started to get older and into the scary stuff, we started making that our tradition.), and I was kind of meh on it. Like, I could understand why the writer wrote this after having a nightmare based on the movie The Ring, especially when it came to the supernatural parts, but I wasn't all that impressed.

Fast forward a week later. I took said movie to the best friend's house, and a group of us girls watched it together. Maybe it was the fact that I'd had a little bit to drink, or that I was with a bunch of girls, or I kept FORGETTING the jump scares (there are a couple, and they caught me by surprise the SECOND TIME I watched it), but I did not want to leave her house and take that long drive home. And when I did, a black and white mailbox sent shivers up my spine and scared the absolute shit out of me.

Yes, I thought, and still kind of do, that the demon itself is very much a pedo in a mask (look it up if you want to see that spoiler), even though they say he is in fact a demon. And yes, that movie would have benefit by having maybe 9 more lights on at all time. Shit was DARK, and I don't mean in theme. I mean in you can't see a damn thing on the screen. But all in all, it gave me a good creep, and the Super 8 movies are crazy. Very unsettling. I'm sure had I seen the first one, the one that played at the beginning, I might have just packed my family up and moved the fuck out ASAP.

Though honestly, if I found a box of home movies in my attic, I wouldn't watch them. I learned from The Ring that you do not watch something if you are not ABSOLUTELY sure what it is. Because it will be a cursed video tape and kill you.

But Sinister did a good job. I applaud it for it's efforts. The end. Hopefully more to come (more in the blogverse, not a sequel to Sinister)

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Nightmares... on Elm Street...

So I just finished watching the original Nightmare on Elm Street for what has to be the hundredth time, not even exaggerating..

And I'm thoroughly creeped out for some reason.

It's funny. It took me a really long time to get into that series. I think what really had me go into wanting to see the whole series was all about conquering fears. I was 15 at the time, and I'd just made friends with a girl that seemed, in my mind, absolutely fearless. We had so much in common, and she was just so much stronger than me, mentally and emotionally.

So who better to face my fears with than her?

Everyone my age knows who Freddy Krueger was. Hell, most people know who Freddy is, even if they've never seen the movies. But the 80's.. it was Freddy's decade. As a child in the 80's (and when I say child, I mean I was 5 in 1988), I was terrified of this man that could come into my dreams and kill me, and my parents couldn't do anything about it. And he was EVERYWHERE. Freddy Krueger ruled the world at Halloween, and those movies played all the time: night time, middle of the afternoon, whenever. I even remember when I was moving to Florida, we drove down and spent the night in a hotel... We left the television on, and when I woke up randomly at 3 in the morning, I remember seeing a scene with lockers and a big red claw mark across them (I think this was from Nightmare on Elm Street 4)..

So needless to say, I had to get over Freddy before I could really start delving into the horror genre. I wasn't allowed to see The Exorcist just yet, though my dad was ready to allow me priviledge to rent it if I wanted to, because at 15 I was 'mature' enough. (This coming from the guy that sat me down to watch Child's Play 3 to prove that Chucky was FAKE. I was 9. None of my dolls stayed in my room after that.)

My best friend and I rented A Nightmare on Elm Street in the middle of winter, sitting down on the floor in my spare room (where we liked watching movies the best, because there was a big full sized bed to lounge on), and watching this old movie. And loving every minute of it.

So here's a couple of thoughts on all the Nightmare movies, in a way, my current way of facing my fears, by thinking about the memories attached to them.

Nightmare on Elm Street (1984): The first, the best, the mindblowing beginning of Freddy's reign. Even on blu-ray, it still comes off as creepy. And even though I've seen the 4 hour documentary and the little specials on the dvd I have, I still can't get enough of this. It will always be landmark.

Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy's Revenge: It took about 5 tries for me and the best friend to actually see this movie, and I guess that was probably a warning. Every time we rented it from the video store, we'd come home to find the wrong Nightmare inside. The kicker was that every time, the clerks would check the movie.. but who would honestly look beyond the big NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET title inside and see that Freddy's Revenge wasn't attached to it? Honestly, I think this is one of the worst ones, and there are a ton of people that agree with me. It does have the making of what could have been a good movie, taking place in the same house and calling back Nancy's diary. But it just became a lame shadow of the original. I'm surprised the rest got made after this.

Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors: I think one of the times we couldn't get Nightmare 2, we ended up with Dream Warriors. This is one of my favorites of the series, and sometimes I'll even say I like it better than the first one. It has the return of Nancy, and just so many great ideas in the whole of the movie. Though the end makes me sad (and in one overly emotional viewing, almost made me cry) but at the same time, I can't get enough of this one.

Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master: Why bother adding parts of the cast of the last movie, if you can't get Patricia Arquette back? No offense to Tuesday Knight, but it just didn't gel right. It was like reading a fanfiction where this random girl just knows all the main characters and you're left a little confused. But at the same time, it didn't really matter. The characters you loved weren't going to last long. Alice was a great addition to the group, a daydreamer and a wonderful heroine.

Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child: If anyone ever wanted a prolife vs. prochoice horror movie, it's either this one or Rosemary's Baby. Would you want to keep a baby that might be part Freddy? Or at the same time, would you abort a baby you dream about, and he tells you how much he likes you, even if you dont' like him? It's almost heartbreaking! I get weird vibes off this one, and I can't really remember my first opinion of this one. I think this one may have been in the wrong box and we just watched it anyway.

Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare: This was the first Nightmare on Elm Street that I had the "pleasure" of seeing. I was at my aunt's house, and they had rented it. I was about.. 9 or 10, and my dad said he'd watch it with me to show me it wasn't that scary. I remember being thoroughly freaked out, of course, and even the fact that this movie was pretty damn lame in comparison to the others (watching the others and this last one even just shows that the makeup artists weren't caring at that point. Freddy looks terrible!), but I had my dad with me, and he promised that Freddy couldn't get me. It was probably the reason that I still watch horror movies with my Dad.

Wes Craven's New Nightmare: This one I saw on Starz or Showtime when I was about 12 or 13, but chickened out halfway through. Freddy was back, again, and he was going to get me! Because he was in the real world! This is also one of my favorites, and I even wrote about the Hansel and Gretl theme in it on one of my college papers, which my professor at the time absolutely loved. He'd never seen the movie, but the way I wrote about it made him want to do his own comparisons.

Freddy vs. Jason: The only Nightmare I saw in the theatre. I went with my dad (surprise surprise) and for some reason, the ending really unsettled me and gave me a series of bad dreams. Just shows you what a movie will do to someone years later if they've already gotten fear of Freddy in their heads from all those years ago. Freddy won, though. Obviously.

Nightmare on Elm Street (2010): Now that I've seen this more than once, I can say without a shadow of a doubt, that this movie sucks. The man stalking these kids is NOT Freddy Krueger. I took all this time defending this turtle-faced growly creature by telling people that they were making Freddy darker, and that you have to forget the wise-cracking Freddy and return to the roots. I think, in this case, I was the wrong one. Also, don't name your heroine the same as the one in the first movie if she's not the same character. It just confuses people. They really could have made this a completely different horror movie, and probably a better one at that, if they erased all trace of Freddy from it. Maybe a little Hypnocil would work there...

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Horror Movie Challenge Update!!

So last month I mentioned that I was going to watch as many horror movies as I could before October 31st, right?

Well, I'm doing.. pretty decently.

The true challenge is 100 movies by Halloween, but that's just not going to happen. I keep forgetting or I'm just not in the mood for a horror movie.

But here's the list so far, of the ones I've watched up until now, with little notes on each one:

1. Wake Wood (crazy creepy, like Pet Sematary)
2. Exorcismus (really better than I thought it would be)
3. Candyman (not as scary as I remember)
4. Final Destination (hadn't watched this in a while!)
5. Final Destination 2 (meh, it was okay)
6. Final Destination 3 (by this point I was just in it to see how people would die)
7. The Final Destination (Don't call it "the final destination" unless it actually is..)
8. Halloween (classic. I forgot how great this movie is)
9. Halloween H20 (It was a cute 90s slasher movie.)
10. Halloween: Resurrection (3 words: trick or treat, muthafucka)
11. Let Me In (creeeeepy)
12. Cabin Fever (still disturbing)
13. Insidious (holy crap this movie scared me)
14. I Know What You Did Last Summer (I love the 90s teen horror movies)
15. I Still Know What You Did Last Summer (not as good as the original, but still watchable)
16. Friday the 13th [remake] (Call it blasphemy, but I liked this one better than the original)
17. Halloween [remake] (Everyone hates on this one, but hey, John Carpenter told Rob Zombie to make it his own..)
18. Halloween 2 [remake] (about 1/4 as good as the one before it)
19. Urban Legend (right up there with Scream as an awesome horror)
20. Urban Legends: Final Cut (meh)
21. Urban Legends: Bloody Mary (bloody stupid is more like)
22. Stay Alive (actually kind of creepy!)
23. Valentine (kind of silly, but still fun)
24. The Craft (I loved this movie when I was 15.. I still do)
25. The Covenant (the male Craft. It was alright)
26. Disturbing Behavior (meet the musical little creatures that hide among the flowers? a crazy take on mind control)
27. Scream (one of the best teen slashers out there)
28. Scream 2 (just as good as the original)
29. Scream 3 (not as good as the other two, but hey, we love it anyway)
30. Scream 4
31. Sorority Row (mentioned in my earlier post)
32. Return of the Living Dead 3 (I wanted a stupid zombie movie, I came out of it totally sad and kind of loving this movie)
33. Jeepers Creepers (left me with too many questions)
34. Jeepers Creepers 2 (made me fall asleep)
35. Dylan Dog: Dead of Night (felt like a good movie for Buffy lovers)
36. The Faculty (It didn't suck.. but I don't know..)
37. Dracula 2000 (liked it better now than originally)
38. Gremlins (realized I hadn't quite seen this the whole way through. Not bad!)
39. Gremlins 2 (just silly)
40. Trick R Treat (amazing movie. Everyone should see it)
41. Ginger Snaps (ditto)
42. Ginger Snaps 2 (decent sequel but I'm not a fan of the ending)
43. 30 Days of Night: Dark Days (Snooooze)
44. Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare (cartoonish version of Freddy Krueger with bad makeup and a director that thinks she saved the movie..)
45. Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy's Revenge (it's an okay sequel, but sucks in comparison to the first, third and New Nightmare).

So that's all of it so far! Let me know if you like the ones I hate, or hate the ones I like! I'd love a good discussion.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Horror movie challenge: As many as I can stand until Halloween..

Well, we'll see where this takes me! Currently I'm up to 33 horror movies by Halloween, and I'm going to try to see how many more I can get there.

I have to say, I re-watched the Scream trilogy (though it's not quite a trilogy anymore is it?), and I can watch them a hundred times without getting bored. Hopefully when I get Scream 4, I can say the same thing for it.

Not that I haven't watched it. I did. And it felt truly like a Scream movie, which was awesome.

I watched the two Jeepers Creepers movies last night, and well.. I was a bit confused. I didn't understand until AFTER the movie, when I was on the wiki page for it, why the beast sewed parts up. Okay, I still don't understand why he sewed them up. Or preserved them. Or had that ceiling o' bodies. If someone can explain that to me?

Jeepers Creepers 2, I kept falling asleep on. Not a good sign.

I'm watching Sorority Row, which incidentally is on Showtime's BEYOND channel. I actually like this movie. I find it amusing and not too badly acted. Okay it's kind of silly, and poor Carrie Fisher has to take care of a bunch of spoiled bitches who get killed, but hey.. at least she's awesome?

More to come, soon, I hope.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Okay. Yeah. I'm Here.

I said this last time, I'm saying it again. Blogs are fucking hard work. Anyone that bitches because someone doesn't post on their blog enough? Try blogging.

First you have to write about something that interests you. Then you have to blog about something that interests you AND the people that may or may not be reading this.

And then you have to actually.. you know, write it.

I want to call myself a writer, but you know, it's not an easy thing to be.

So maybe I'll just start with a quick rundown of what's been going on in my life since.. last May.

I went to Monster Mania in Maryland (September), and I didn't blog about it. I didn't even write about it in my livejournal, how lame is that?

So... let's talk about that!!

So you know, Monster Mania is a horror movie convention that takes place a few times a year, and being stuck on not knowing what I wanted for my birthday, I perused their site randomly and... ZOFMGFFF and all that, TIM CURRY was going to be there.

I've loved him since I was 9. I blame him for my obsession with British men.

So anyway, I decided for my birthday I wanted a ticket to this crazy shindig in Hunt Valley. I mean hell, half the cast from Nightmare on Elm Street 3 was going to be there too, and that's one of my favorites! Meeting NANCY? HELL YES!

UNFORTUNATELY, Tim Curry had to cancel about a week after I bought my ticket. I'm under the assumption that he heard I was coming and ran screaming into the night. But that was okay. Robert Englund was going to be there. I got to meet Freddy Krueger.

He was pretty damn awesome. You want to be in a room with a guy who's not only been CLASSICALLY trained as an actor, but has spend 20 years being an iconic horror figure, and is very loving about it. He loves Freddy, he knows all about the character. He's so incredibly intelligent it makes my head spin. I could listen to Robert Englund talk all day. Really. And he liked my two vhs set of Nightmare on Elm Street. He went "Retro! This is fantastic!!" It made me happy.

You don't know how awesome people are until you meet them in person. These actors were amazing. Heather Langenkamp is one of the nicest women I will ever meet, she's adorable. And for a woman that tells you in her movies to never fall asleep, she told me to go to bed because it was past 2! (It was so cute, I couldn't stop grinning, and violently texted my best friend to tell her that NANCY TOLD ME TO GO TO SLEEP!)

I met John Saxon, and my dad was a bit starry eyed over him. You see, I didn't realize how great a man, and how big an actor John Saxon really is. He was... so incredibly nice. You know, I keep saying that, but it's so true. This man totally just, got it. It was like when we met David Carradine at Spooky World when I was younger. They're just so happy to see not only one generation, but two that are like "I know who you are!" (my favorite thing was when my dad said he remembered watching David Carradine when he was younger, David said "oh I remember you, you sat right there in front of the tv". Funny guy.)

Everyone just seemed so happy to welcome these guests over the weekend. Kane Hodder LOVED my father (well who doesn't love Santa, right?). This girl who was in some random movies where I'm sure she was naked most of the time was there with her 4 kids, and she couldn't keep her hands of my dad, and even dragged him to meet her husband. She was practically in love with my dad, and it was amusing as hell.

I'm saving some of the best for last because honestly, Rodney Eastman and Ken Sagoesfrom Nightmare 3 were so sweet, and Jennifer Rubin and Brooke Bundy were adorable (Brooke was so thrilled to meet me because I had the same name as her daughter!).

My favorite guy to meet though? Ira Heiden. You might not know his name off the top of your head, but if you've ever seen Nightmare 3, you'd know The Wizard Master. You want to meet a super awesome guy who's just so incredibly friendly, funny, and will remember you the entire weekend AND ask if you're having fun AND STEAL YOUR IPHONE SO HE CAN MAKE SURE THE PICTURE YOU TOOK OF HIM WAS GOOD? AND MAKE YOU TAKE ANOTHER CUZ HE WASNT SURE IT WAS PERFECT? Yeah. Totally have a crush on him right now.

I'm okay. Really.

I got some superb bootlegs (Evil Dead the Musical! Carrie the Musical!), a Pennywise hoodie from the awesome ass people at Fright Rags (you want to see Kristy light up at the table? Mention you know who she is because of Johnny Boots over at Freddy in Space. Great people, seriously) that scares me enough so I have to turn it inside out when I hang it up.

That was my best moment of 2010. This year? It's been a little rocky. I lost my car to some black ice (I wasn't hurt) but actually ended up with the same exact kind to replace it, only a newer year and much better parts. It's been dubbed The Aluminium Falcon.

I'm hoping hoping hoping that I get to go to another Monster Mania, and that my big vacation of the year wasn't dedicated to a weekend at Cape Cod on the offseason where I gave Santa Clauses nametags and numbers so children could pick which one they thought was the 'real' Santa. (I wish I were kidding. I'm so not.)

So here's a start. I'm going to work hard on this. It was hard at first to come back because, well, honestly? I lost my password. And I forgot the email associated with. And I just generally sucked.


I'm going to see Scream 4 next week at midnight. And hopefully we'll have something to blog about then.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

The New New Nightmare.

Okay. So I got to see the new Nightmare on Elm Street (or as some people are calling it, Nightmare '10) the night it was released. 11:59pm that Thursday, I was in the seats, ready for a new saga to begin.

Now going into it, I knew a couple of things. One, this wasn't going to be the Freddy Kreuger that we all knew in the 80s. This Freddy was darker, and dare I say, maybe even INNOCENT of what he was being accused. Two, that this was a reimagining. Like Halloween before it, it was going to be completely different. It wasn't a sequel.

That said, I knew that Freddy wasn't going to be the same Freddy. Nancy wasn't Nancy, and well, Glenn Lantz wouldn't get eaten by his bed. So I settled into that thought, and maybe that was a good thing.

Because I liked it.

I thoroughly enjoyed the movie. It was dark, it made me jump. The deaths (for the most part) were pretty damn gory (the first one actually SHOCKED me). The kids were pretty smart, and I liked seeing into Freddy's past. I liked how they didn't just say "oh we convicted him, he got off, so we torched him". No. This felt pretty real.

Now granted, maybe if the names were changed, this could have been another horror movie, maybe one that more people would have enjoyed. But then they'd be on their blogs talking about how that movie was just a rip off of Nightmare on Elm Street. I mean, sure, new!Freddy's makeup wasn't the same as our old Freddy, but honestly? I wasn't a big fan of the original Freddy's makeup. It looked weird, and didn't bring to mind a burned man.

It brought to mind pizza. (Don't believe me? Check out Freddy in Space's Freddy or Cheese Pizza post)

The new Freddy's makeup looked like he was burned. Maybe around the mouth it was a little strange, but it was more realistic. If the original Nightmare makeup had been on this one, and we hadn't yet seen a Freddy Kreuger, we would have cried foul. We would have said "that looks so crappy! it's so fake!".

My only big problem was that Nancy (why did they need to name her Nancy? It wasn't like the Halloween reimagining where all the characters were the same. Nancy and Freddy were the only ones with similar names, and this Nancy's name was Holbrook), while a good actress, didn't enunciate. She mumbled, and I'm sure a lot of people had no clue what she was saying.

Oh and also, her art sucked. She looked like she worked 'so hard' on it.. and it was stick figures. I could call myself an artist too, if that's the case.

But otherwise, I really did enjoy the movie. I left Robert Englund's Freddy outside the door, and Jackie's Freddy didn't hinder anything. He didn't make me yell about the new Freddy in town, but I don't regret going to see the movie.

And I may go see it again, just to be sure.