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Showing posts from July, 2013
Well, this year I thought I would try a different approach to my horror reviewing during Halloweenmonth in October, resembling diary entries. A lot of us really just want to watch movies without having to build one long review after another. I already have a "shortlist" developing of the films I want to watch this year. I have already decided I will kick October off with The Wolf Man, using it as my banner for 2013. I'm already anticipating this month with more than a bit of excitement. It'll be here (and over) before we know it. Good times ahead, just the same.

As you can see by the title featured in James Wan's take on the whole 'demonic possession/paranormal' activity' craze flooding the marketplace of horror for the last six years, this is quite the old school, traditional attempt at causing girls in the theater to shriek (and a few guys, as was the experience in the theater I saw this film) and a steady, long-term dread built as something perhaps hides within a clothing cabinet or in the darkened area behind a bedroom door, down in the cob-webbed, spider-infested cellar, inside a crawlspace used as a hiding place from terror (the irony of this is that it was once used as a place of refuge but soon becomes an area of fear). Wan doesn't shy away from the techniques available to him today (like the scene where a sheet flies off a clothing line forming a human figure, heading towards a window, revealing the witch's demonic spirit from inside one of the girls' rooms), and he (probably at the urgings of the Hollywo…

April Fool's Day

I’ll be talking in depth about this film, so exact spoilers will be acknowledged…like in most of my reviews, the proverbial cat is out of the bag (well, like in April Fool’s Day, and so many horror films, there’s a cat popping up to scare somebody and in my reviews spoilers are like that cat: to talk about films in depth, spoilers come with the territory).

Every one or two years, I will watch certain movies. I’m not sure what it is exactly, but certain films—films that aren’t exactly great or spectacular—just seem to go down rather easily, not demanding much from you. I think you could watch April Fool’s Day (1986) almost intact on television with little censorship.
I can’t call this a slasher. To me, April Fool’s Day isn’t any more a slasher than Student Bodies (1981). Primarily because there’s no real killing, and the “clever” ruse (if you don’t see that twist at the end coming a mile away even when watching it for the first time) at the end says the slasher genre is all about pro…

Carnival of Souls

 A young woman, in a car with girlfriends that accidentally drives off a bridge when they're racing some cocky guys, walks from the lake in one piece, in a daze and off kilter. As she attempts to get back to life, something seems to be missing, a personality and a desire to rejoin the human race. When she starts to see the creepy figure of a white-faced ghoul, this woman might have to examine his purpose for constantly appearing to her...could it have something to do with that crash?
*****

Evil Dead '13

On a trip at a cabin, a group of young adults come under attack from a demonic force desiring to possess their souls could arise to power on earth. A certain book, with specific incantations, if read can release the demonic force; can any of them stop the hell certain to be unleashed on them all?
**½

after.life

A schoolteacher awakens after a car crash on the slab of a mortician who informs her of her demise. He seems equipped with the ability to talk to the dead. But is she actually dead and does this mortician truly have such a gift? Or is she alive and simply held captive by a lunatic?
***½

There are times where I just have to step back and take in the beauty. I mean, we admire the ocean waves at sunset or sunrise, the big, bright moon in the sky as the clouds dissipate, and the autumnal age of dying leaves as the summer slumbers away. Christina Ricci, as I was watching After.Life (2009) in preparation for an upcoming review for the blog, has a moment where her whole face engulfed my computer screen, and it was one of those breathtaking moments that resembles how I feel regarding events as described above.

deadgirl

Well, you sure picked a pretty shit-poor time to man-up, Rick.

When skipping class for the hell of it because of a fire drill at school, JT and Rickie are out and about, locating the derelict mental institution, just screwing around, eventually finding the body of a young woman, wrapped in plastic, soon realizing that she's not...quite...dead.
**½

madman

It was a night like tonight, many years ago…
As the camp counselors prepare for leaving after their summer season is over, one of the kids takes the tale of a reputed serial killer for granted, mocking this psycho's name (that lives on in infamy), and in calling it out loudly and brashly, seems to reawaken the monster that is Madman Marz. **
A slasher favorite for some, Madman (1982) seems to have this killer from myth (literally playing on the urban legend of the campfire psycho told to a captivated audience of teenagers and camp counselors alike) taking out camp counselors this time. This is not much different from what was popular at the time. Making its way to the slasher summer of 2013 for this blog, I will try to approach it as if watching it for the first time, although, admittedly, it has never done much for me personally.

secretary

I can’t really say I understand the dilemmas plaguing Spader and Gyllenhaal in Secretary (2002), such as the need for a certain type of fulfillment that works impulsively within. Maybe that need to write is an example of such a compulsion. When I watch a movie, that instant urging to write about it never ceases. But sado-masochism isn’t something that means anything to me personally. Spader’s need to have control and authority, and Gyllenhaal’s embracing, craving, enjoyment of such dominance, and expectance of being subservient to her employer’s demands—at the very heart of Secretary are these, and how the two characters sort of depend on each other to satiate their appetites and satisfy these indulgences are at the forefront.


What Gyllenhaal is willing to go through at the very end might seem a bit too much, a bit too far-fetched, for me personally to swallow, perhaps her willingness to remain in a certain position, at her employer’s desk, for a prolonged period of time is recognize…