Phantasm (1979)

Score: 4/10

Length: 88

Language: English

Categories: 70s, monster, murderer, zombie

This is about a guy and his kid brother who cross paths with “the tall man”, who is a stink-faced, lanky dude that makes the dead into weird little dwarf things?? I don’t know if it is just because this movie is from the 70’s but there are far too many unnecessarily unattractive people in it. Although the title makes it sound like a technicolour intergalactic sex fantasy, Phantasm is haphazard and dull. The various “death” settings such as the graveyard and mausoleum were unsettling, but there wasn’t much effort put into the mood. This movie probably would have been amazing to watch as a young kid in the 70’s, but without the quick sex and violence scenes. Somehow, I just didn’t get it. Phantasm was too all-over-the-place and it fell flat for me.

photo credit: http://www.destroythebrain.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/phantasm600.jpg

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Triangle (2009)

Score: 7/10

Length: 99

Language: English

Categories: 2000s, murderer, psychological

If you are looking for a jumpy, gore-packed horror, this isn’t your movie. But if you’re wanting a violent, mind-melting thriller with a bunch of death, a little blood, and a fairly fresh story, here’s your pick. It’s about a boring blond (differentiated from the other horror blonds with her lopsided lips) who goes on a yacht with some friends and gets lost at sea. Eventually, the group comes upon a ship and the characters get thrown for a horrifying loop. Thought-provoking and attention-grabbing (and holding), this one is worth your while. Think Inception plus Ghost Ship plus The Butterfly Effect. If you saw this movie and liked it, I recommend the South Korean drama, Time (2006).

photo credit: https://headinavice.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/triangle-2.jpeg

At The Devil’s Door (2014)

Score: 3/10

Length:91

Language: English

Categories: devil, 2000s, recent, Painful Movie Mondays

Other titles: Home

I watched this movie a few hours ago, and I sat down to write this, realizing I had completely forgotten what’s it’s about. Oh right… the devil is trying to get girls pregnant. Sewing the demon seed, if you will. I will note, it is one of those movies where it seems like generic titles were put into a hat and a random name was drawn. (Nothing really to do with a door.) The effort was there, attempting dinosaur-like demons and subtle scares. The acting by Naya Rivera and Catalina Sandino Moreno was decent, and I’ll admit, the little girl creeped me out. I just felt like the story was uninspired and floated along, forced. Overall, it underwhelmed me.

photo credit: http://waytooindie.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/at-the-devils-door-film.jpg

Top Ten Are You Afraid of the Dark Episodes

Seven seasons of childhood horror gold, this was one of my favorite shows as a kid (especially on Halloween with a bag of candy splayed out on the living room floor) and I still love it now.  There were so many monsters from this show that kept me up at night; even the opening sequence was shiver-inducing. I clearly have a preference for Betty Ann’s stories, but there were very few episodes/stories that I didn’t enjoy. A list of the scariest and most memorable episodes featuring Gary Glasses (Ross Hull) and a diverse, Canadian cast. Guest stars include: Ryan Gosling, Melissa Joan Hart, Neve Campbell, Tatyana Ali, and Hayden Christensen. Submitted for the approval of the Midnight Society, I count down my top ten favorite episodes.

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10. The Tale of the Dollmaker (S3E5)

It was a toss-up between this one and The Tale of the Fire Ghost for the last spot, but this is one people usually remember.

A girl stays the weekend with relatives but begins to suspect a strange dollhouse might have something to do with her friend’s disappearance. “Yeah, yeah. Not bad for a doll story.”

Told by: Betty Ann

Scariest part: When Melissa and her doll friend jump out the attic window.

Watch here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pMrUnyJVhPs

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9. The Tale of the Dream Girl (S3E10)

A haunting romance, believable acting from the main characters, and a light and unexpected twist make this the most memorable episode with a love story.

Johnny finds a school ring in his locker and puts it on his finger only to find it won’t come off. He soon discovers that it belongs to the girl of his dreams, but does she really exist?

Told by: Sam

Scariest part: More sappy-spooky than frightening, when Donna’s ghost appears in the graveyard.

Watch here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aSfYCEVAq5A

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8. The Tale of the Bookish Babysitter (S3E6)

I loved having babysitters over as a kid and I loved reading, especially Chose Your Own Adventure-style books. I enjoyed all of the different characters, and learned a valuable lesson about watching too much TV (not really).

* I would like to note that I saw nothing wrong with this girl’s hair when I watched this as a child. I don’t think I even noticed it.

A unique babysitter gets a boy to stop watching TV and give reading a chance. But Ricky gets more than he bargains for when he unleashes the monsters of the unfinished books.

Told by: Betty Ann

Scariest part: The old man ghost coming down the hallway.

Watch here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6HSYK5VpNv8

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7. The Tale of the Twisted Claw (S1E4)

The only episode that starts off with a story- a cliff hanger to be resumed never. Even though this is not the first episode, I feel like it’s a classic; the one that started it all. (Even The Simpsons copied it).

On Mischief Night, two kids play a prank on an old lady. When they return for Halloween candy, they are given a monkey’s paw that grants wishes… with an evil twist.

Told by: David

Scariest part: When the ghost of Dougie’s grandfather comes to the door.

Watch here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-u_qZ3RY-CM

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6. The Tale of the Ghastly Grinner (S4E9)

This blue and yellow clown is probably the most recognizable character on the show. It’s a silly episode but it’s also action-packed and colourfully created.

A greasy-haired aspiring artist buys a strange comic book featuring an evil jester who turns people into blue slime-drooling zombies. Soon enough, the laughing joker comes to life, and Ethan has to finish drawing the comic in order to stop him. Microwaves and a giant eraser save the day.

Told by: Betty Ann

Scariest part: The first appearance of the Ghastly Grinner

Watch here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jQilMMDYXzg

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5. The Tale of the Thirteenth Floor (S2E4)

The pastel Willy Wonka-like factory and the aliens who do a horrible job at trying to act sane makes this a favorite episode of mine. The hairstyles are zany and the aliens’ real faces look like the Styrofoam heads used for displaying wigs.

Aliens open a toy factory in an apartment building and invite a brother and sister to test out the toys in a secret plan to lure one of the kids back to their planet.

Told by: Betty Ann

Scariest part: The man operating the elevator seriously freaked me out as a kid, but I can’t really explain why.

Watch here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pSOCeKaS68c

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4.The Tale of the Lonely Ghost (S1E3)

The title probably doesn’t spark your memory, but that little girl ghost girl sure will. Even though this has some pretty over-the-top acting and wonderfully regrettable nineties fashion, it is for sure one of the scariest episodes.

As part of a friendship initiation, a girl must stay in a house haunted by a young girl. She enters a bedroom where a ghost appears in the mirror and scribbles HELPME backwards all over the walls.

Told by: David

Scariest part: The first time the ghost appears in the bedroom mirror.

Watch here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6_eGURFyUWo

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3. The Tale of the Super Specs (S1E6)

In my opinion, this is the most original and clever episode, and I’ve watched it again and again. I feel like there aren’t enough television shows and films about subjects such as parallel universes and time travel. I really enjoy the confusion and fear the characters face over what’s real and what isn’t, and the music/sound effects are amazing. This episode doesn’t disappoint, even though the specs themselves look hokey.

Gary kicks it up a notch in this story about a teenager called Weeds who is into magic and loves playing pranks on his friends. In a specialty shop, he sprinkles magic dust on a pair of x-ray vision glasses, opening a gate into a parallel dimension. Too bad only one of the universes will survive… can Sardo (no mister, accent on the ‘do’) help to save the world?

Told by: Gary

Scariest part: When the group of figures playing basketball notice Mary Beth.

Watch here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0onu8xGMhVU

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2. The Tale of B.A.D.G.E. (S5E7)

I love this episode so much I’ve considered a B.A.D.G.E. tattoo. Quirky, non-sensical, imaginative, and most of all, the hilariousness of trying to imitate the acting. The drawings of the Setterwind women and the menacing (bagpipe?) music will make you laugh out loud, but this episode definitely won’t give you the Willys.

A girl receives a music case and flute which must be used to trap an ancient evil badger-monster who talks like Yoda.

Told by: Gary

Scariest part: Definitely not when he’s doing that “shaky legs” thing in the doorway.

Watch here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JZyMpYi5Acs

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1. The Tale of the Dead Man’s Float (S5E1)

This episode gets the number one spot because it HORRIFIED me as a kid. The special effects are well-done for a kids’ show in the 90’s, and the sound effects and tension building really helped to make this pool ghoul the scariest monster on the show.

A science nerd and a swimmer discover a pool in their school’s basement. Too bad Zeke is afraid of the water, considering a bloody, scrap-covered skeleton lurks in the pool.

Told by: Stig

Scariest part: Every time the smell comes and the monster follows.

Watch here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hoi3GuxiA7A

Honorable Mention: The Tale of Vampire Town (S6E8)

This episode about a goth teen visiting a town filled with blood-suckers boasts (most likely) the worst special effects in history. The last two seasons of the show featuring a new cast aren’t as loveable as seasons 1-5, but there are a few entertaining episodes without cheesy CGI in the lot. This episode is not one of them.

See the clip here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pyGo1VhSjdE

photo credits:

http://cdn.rsvlts.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/Are-You-Afraid-Of-The-Dark.jpg

http://sydlexia.com/imagesandstuff/afraid_s3/dollmaker2.png

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v23/pinkmartini_09/Screenshot2012-11-11at104308PM.png

http://sydlexia.com/imagesandstuff/afraid_s3/bookishbabysitter1.png

http://honeyinthesun.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/claw2.png

http://img2.timeinc.net/ew/i/2011/08/04/AreYouAfraidOfTheDark_320.jpg

http://sharetv.com/images/guide/118892.jpg

http://images.tvrage.com/screencaps/14/2644/14175.png

http://img1.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20140614212514/villains/images/8/87/SuperSpecs2.png

http://img1.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20140611024715/villains/images/5/55/Badgeayaotd.jpg

http://images2.fanpop.com/images/polls/144000/144708_1227479454198_full.jpg

Evil Bong (2006)

Score:1/10

Length: 86

Language: English

Categories: 2000s, Painful Movie Mondays, horror-comedy

From the director who brought you a bunch of other horrible horror movies you’ve never heard of (and the Gingerdead Man), comes probably the worst horror movie I’ve ever seen. It’s not like I was anticipating anything amazing, but this was not even good-bad. At times it seemed like the movie was actually trying to be serious, but all it delivered was seriously bad acting. It wasn’t funny, entertaining, or scary, it’s was just… “lame, bro”, and it felt like it was written by a teenager. It’s basically about a bunch of guys living in a dorm room who smoke a magical lady bong that kills them, leaving them in a trashy strip club dream land. I wish it was as ridiculous as it sounds, but it’s just lazy and I regret watching (skipping through) it. Best part was when the Gingerdead Man made an appearance and spewed a few fresh puns.

photo credit: http://i.ytimg.com/vi/qzjCteKuiEM/maxresdefault.jpg

What We Do In The Shadows (2014)

Score: 9/10*

Length: 82

Language: English

Categories: recent, 2000s, vampire, horror-comedy, recommended, mockumentary, werewolf, witch, zombie, foreign

If you have read my ‘About’ section, you’ll know I am bored of vampires. I am also usually not so into mockumentaries. This moc-doc about three vampire flatmates and their friends, however, was the perfect amount of comedy and horror, and I loved it. The characters were unique and hilarious, really, truly likeable, and well-acted. I was entertained the whole time, and there were some very special moments (I almost died when the fashion montage occurred). I honestly don’t really have anything bad to say, it was one of the most original and witty movies I’ve seen recently.

photo credit: http://www.rue89strasbourg.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/What-We-Do-in-the-Shadows-de-Jemaine-Clement-et-Taika-Waititi.jpg

*update* The score started at 8. Then moved to 8.5, then 9. I ‘ve seen it about 7 times now, and it’s one of my favorite movies.

Bunshinsaba (2004)

Score: 4.5/10

Length: 92

Language: Korean

Categories: 2000s, Asian, foreign, ghost, murderer

Other titles: Witch Board, Ouija Board

Brought to you by Toilet Pictures, this one is about a girl who puts a curse on her bullies, causing them to die horrific deaths when they are forced by a ghost to put a plastic bag over their head and light it on fire. Even though I feel like I’ve seen a million Asian horrors about little girl ghosts, I thought this sounded interesting, and the deaths were pretty real-life scary. I would recommend you read up on it first, as it’s a little hard to follow, especially if you aren’t used to Korean names, or fast-paced subtitles. I was just getting into this movie, when half-way through I realized I was lost and starting to tire of the extensive storyline and low tension. If they would have simplified the story by 50% I think it might have been terrific. It could also lose the constant panic-breathing, repetitive scenes of people on fire, and girls with long black hair tilting their head down while looking up creepily. A great idea, but overdone.

photo credit: http://image.tmdb.org/t/p/original/c9E4rGjkjviP57KG5t3iky1udag.jpg

Pizza (2014)

Score: 7/10 (for people wanting a scary horror, 5/10)

Length: 107

Language: Hindi

Categories: 2000s, recent, foreign, almost- horror, ghost

This is an amazing Bollywood movie about pizza if you love Bollywood. And it doesn’t really matter if you like pizza or not. But you better like phones, because there are tonnes of them ringing and being answered constantly. The entire movie is an ad for phones. It’s about a handsome pizza boy who lives in an adorable apartment with his pregnant girlfriend. One night, on a pizza delivery, he enters a haunted house. That’s all I really want to tell you about it, because as many dramatic B-wood films, it has a wonderful twist and story. Not really horror, per se, but quirky and creative, and worth a shot. Really a shame I didn’t get to see it in 3D, what a full package that would have been. Best line in the film: “Boss has his fingers in many pies. Who knows what toppings he’s offered to which gods!”

photo credit:http://mastitube.cc/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/pizza-3d-hindi-movie.jpg

Top Ten Horror Movies About Food

Food plays a main role in each of these delicious films, paired with a trailer and dinner suggestions.

1. Matango: Attack of the Mushroom People (1963) {Japanese}

Young adults are shipwrecked and end up on an island where they eat the mushrooms and then turn into mushroom people.

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cqaslCGn-6w

Best Served With: Just raw mushrooms and some ranch. If that’s not your thing, mushroom pizza or shitake sashimi.

2. Attack of the Killer Tomatoes (1978), Return of the Killer Tomatoes (1988)

Scientists try to save the world from mutant tomatoes.

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=txfdGlxEsG8

Best Served With: tomato soup and grilled cheese or bocconcini salad

3. The Gingerdead Man (2005), Gingerdead Man 2: The Passion of the Crust (2008), Gingerdead Man 3: Saturday Night Cleaver (2011), Gingerdeadman vs Evil Bong (2013) {Don’t you worry, I can’t not watch and review this one. Coming soon!}

A murderer comes back to life as a cookie.

Full review here: https://earlymorninghorrorreviews.wordpress.com/2014/12/18/the-gingerdead-man-2005/

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JXrJIdwe8qs

Best Served With: gingerbread cookie men and milk or try a gingerbread cocktail

4. ThanksKilling (2009), 3 (2012)

A low budget movie about college kids who are terrorized by an evil killer turkey. (The cover says: Warning, boobs in the first second! So you know it’s gotta be good. Also, there is no ThanksKilling 2 which is super weird.)

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WOjSRoxc6mg

Best Served With: turkey dinner, turkey meatloaf, turkey dogs roasted over a fire, or a turkey sub from Subway if you’re lazy

Don’t like turkey? Try Poultrygeist: Night of the Chicken Dead (2006) instead with chicken substitutions.

5. Drive Thru (2007)

Horny the Clown (can’t make this shit up), the mascot of a local burger joint, begins killing teenagers.

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h4iIC10-UjM

Best Served With: burger and fries (with lots of ketchup), coke or milkshake or coke milkshake

6. Rumah Kentang (2012) {Indonesian}

It’s about a ghost who haunts a potato house.

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cNDi9FMBl74

Best Served With: a baked potato with the works

7. Troll 2 (1990)

A bunch of gremlins force people to drink chunky milk which turns them into plant slime so they can be eaten by the vegetarian monsters.

Full review here: https://earlymorninghorrorreviews.wordpress.com/2014/10/07/troll-2-1990/

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9KCct4RwLNM

Best Served With: green, possibly slimy vegetables (spinach, okra, etc), corn, popcorn, green jello, cakes with green icing letters
8. The Stuff (1985)

A new mass-marketed dessert turns people into sweet, white goop-craving zombies.

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_cADzGsrXxs

Best Served With: vanilla yogurt, icecream, or even just Jet-Puffed marshmallow creme (which I totally bought once and ate with a spoon)

9. Dead Sushi (2012) {Japanese}

All sushi breaks loose after a crazy man injects a special serum into a squid, turning seafood against people at an Inn.

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gM3t_uTGi-s

Best Served With: sushi, sashimi, or simply some tuna and rice (eat it fast, once people start barfing it up, it won’t look so good)
10. Pizza 3D (2014) {Hindi}

A delivery boy enters a haunted house. That’s all I’m going to say.

Full review here: https://earlymorninghorrorreviews.wordpress.com/2015/01/08/pizza-2014-2/

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FGYXzAHjnUo

Best Served With: pizza, obviously (better if you can do a butter chicken or Indian pizza flavour)

Honorable Mention:

Thinner (1996) Just eat everything while you still can!

New recommended movies: Three … Extremes (2004) (segment: Dumplings), Dumplings (2004)

* Not in any particular order.

* This is not including any movies about Cannibalism, as I’ll save that for another list entirely. Plus, you can’t order human.

 

photo credit: (from Dead Sushi) http://cdn.bloody-disgusting.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/dead-sushi-exclusive.jpg

Insidious: Chapter 2 (2013)

Score: 4.5/10

Length: 106

Language: English

Categories: recent, 2000s, ghosts, devil

Well, after the first movie (which I thought was a disaster mash-up of monsters and ghosts) it took me quite awhile to watch this. On the first try, I got no more than 10 minutes in. The blond actress they chose to play the young Elise is not only both strangely youthful and old-looking at the same time, but also a horrible actress. I think the film did a good job of tension and jumps/scares, and I loved all the fantasy “in your head” kind of stuff. There were also a few scenes showing a small room full of people with white cloth over their heads, and that was pretty freaky. But the issue is, the Victorian-dressed, just-walked-out-of-a-magazine mother ghost is just not scary. I mean, she has combed-in grey hairspray and obvious contouring make-up. Disgusting. The story of the man who dressed in the veil and women’s clothing was interesting and well done, I thought. Patrick Wilson did a fantastic job of looking both sexy and scary at different points in the movie, and I’m warming up to Rose Byrne- she was watchable in this. (Although way better in Neighbours, just hilarious.) I just can’t seem to get on board with the “Ins-hideous” franchise, but this one was by far, better than the last.

photo credit: http://horrorhomework.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/ew-insidious-2.jpg