Tusk (2014)

Score: 1/10

Length: 102

Language: English

Categories: 2000s, recent, Painful Movie Mondays, murderer, monster

I’m usually pretty chill with my reviews, but I FUCKING HATED THIS MOVIE. I am actually angry about watching it. Why did no one warn me? Now I understand all the lopsided grins my friends gave me when I asked about it. It doesn’t help that I’m not a Kevin Smith fan by any means, except for Dogma, I guess. I’m also not too into Human Centipedey seamstess surgeon gone wrong style of movies. I knew going into this that it was about a dude (Justin Long, nonetheless) who is turned into a walrus by a twisted serial killer. But I was thinking more of a gore flick of creepy hilariousness with… just the tusks. It was not funny, it was idiotic. And Johnny Depp… wow, I wish I hadn’t witnessed this. The only thing I liked about this mammal mess-up was seeing adult Haley Joel Osment.

photo credit: https://pmcvariety.files.wordpress.com/2014/08/tusk-toronto-film-festival.jpg?w=670&h=377&crop=1

The Canal (2014)

Score: 7/10

Length: 92

Language: English

Categories: 2000s, recent, recommended, ghosts, murderer, haunted house, foreign

I prefer madness over gore. And there was still some great massacring. I also prefer ghosts to monsters, and there was no bad CGI in sight. I especially like in this mash-up how they trick you into liking the characters because they are “just like us” with those Ikea bedsheets I seriously have on my bed right now. The acting, especially by the lead, was engaging, although each character seemed to have a different accent. The concoction of thriller, mystery, and horror was a delightful mix, although a tad Matzo ball soupy- watered down and with big chunks of story just floating around. There’s a guy- he moves into a house with his family. When they are settled in, he discovers she is cheating on him with some dude with a man bun. Poor buddy goes mad while becoming obsessed with the former house owners and their murder story. And guess what. The movie actual revolves around a canal- it isn’t just another dumb horror title.

photo credit: http://www.fangoria.com/new/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/FangoTheCanal2.png

Top Ten ‘Strangers in a Small Room’ Movies

Here I will count down the top ten mystery/ thriller/ horror movies featuring group isolation in a small space where the victims have to play a game to win/ free themselves/ stay alive. (In order from worst to best.)


10. Nine Dead (2010) 3/10

A typical mystery thriller where nine people are handcuffed in a room and advised one will die every ten minutes if they don’t find the reason they have been brought together. The usual stereotypes: angry black guy, old white guy, cocky Italian guy, and also the not so common characters: gay pedophile and intense lawyer lady played by the one and only Melissa Joan Hart. Felt like I was watching an NBC drama.

trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B0D9yqV3Aas


9. House of 9 (2005) 4/10

A generic group of “diverse” people are locked in a house and forced to ration while they wait to see if anyone will win the cash prize and be the last man standing. A little cheesy and humdrum but well-paced with a twist ending.

trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YqH-ZpPNPNs


8. Unknown (2006) 4.5/10

A sausage fest of B-list actors are stuck in a warehouse and slowly regain their memories, ultimately trying to decide who the bad guys are. It’s crippled with boring monologues, but the second half is full of little twists and although they aren’t shocking or dramatic, they were fun to watch unravel.

trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R_5Yh17oDOE


7. The Killing Room (2009) 5/10

It’s really hard to get past Nick Cannon’s ridiculous piercings, but this film about a few test subjects being watched and evaluated by the government has a great backstory to hide its bland characters (not to say the acting is lacking).

trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VoqAszG5EYc


6. Fermat’s Room (2007) 6/10

This Spanish thriller is about four mathematicians who are brought to an isolated location to solve a puzzle, but instead they find themselves rushing to figure out enigmas and connections before they are squashed by a shrinking room. Even though this was not a horror and I had a feeling about the twist from the start, I found this entertaining and I enjoyed all the secrets revealed. 

trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SJ9y4SCLvNc


5. Would You Rather (2012) 6.5/10

A dinner party to die for, where the guests must play a gruesome game of ‘would you rather’ to earn a cash prize. The claws come out as strangers have no problem receiving the pain or deferring it. Really gory, but the idea of it is fun and the tension is high. Nice little twist at the end. 

trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=it5XICr93wU


4. Exam (2009) 6.5/10

This little thriller-mystery from the UK does an excellent job of character building right from the get-go. It’s about potential job candidates who are given a piece of blank paper and a set of rules and told to answer the “question”. It’s one of the more original ones for the genre and it’ll keep you alert with its consistent pace and excitement.

trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bkdt2Sygew0


3. Devil (2010) 7/10

Strangers are trapped in an elevator with the devil, but are unable to tell which of them is possessed. The lights go out, and one by one they die until only good and evil are left. A fun little ‘guess who’ mystery game. 

trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C7l3nzjHYTg


2.The Cube (1998) 7.5/10

This film and its sequels come from Canada, and can be described as a rubix cube mind-fuck where strangers with different skills have to navigate through a giant cube full of rooms set with killer booby traps. It’s pretty ninetiestastic watching it now, but it’s timelessly creative, nonetheless.


trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MY5PkidV1cM


1. Saw (2004) 8/10

The first installment of the horror series takes place in a dirty bathroom in a warehouse and has loads of twists. Two men must prove that life is worth anything to them (and will probably have nightmares for the rest of their lives about that creepy mask.) 

Full Review here

trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HKPy5RWuqNA

Seen all of these? Also try:

Vile (2011), Are You Scared (2007), The Experiment (2010), Death Tube (2010), Breathing Room (2007), Hunger (2009)


The Circle (2015), full review here

The Belko Experiment (2016), full review here

The Clinic (2010), full review here

Black Rock (2012)

Score: 4.5/10

Length: 83

Language: English

Categories: 2000s, recent, girly, thriller, woods

I love the sense of calm I feel when right off the bat the characters who inevitably are going to have bad things happen to them are made unlikable. Three girls go on a trip to an island and then a sudden rapey incident ruins the trip and they spend their time trying to survive instead of tanning. The girls’ lines are ridiculous, especially the ones from the mouth of Kate Bosworth’s character, and it’s hard to listen to conversations this stupid when it’s not an intended B movie. I will admit that it’s pretty realistic overall, and I liked the Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants woman-pushing-through theme. Lots of tension, but in more of a thriller style than a horror.

photo credit: https://rogermooresmovienation.files.wordpress.com/2013/05/black-rock-horror-movies-2013.jpg

Housebound (2014)

Score: 3/10

Length: 107

Language: English

Categories: 2000s, recent, horror-comedy, almost horror, murderer, Painful Movie Mondays

This is a New Zealand film starring some girl who looks like Noel Fielding, who is forced to live with her mother and uncovers the real story behind the ghosts in the house. There are so many dirty, cluttered, dark spaces I just couldn’t keep up. I get that this is supposed to be dark humour mixed with horror, but the result is a monotonous, dusty storyline that bumps along save a few bloody explosions. I don’t have much to say about the movie and it didn’t have much to say back.

photo credit:http://images.best-horror-movies.com/housebound-kylie-mom.jpeg

Life After Beth (2014)

Score: 6/10

Length: 89

Language: English

Categories: 2000s, recent, zombie, horror-comedy

A cute little teen romance about a boy and his girlfriend… who comes back from the dead. The idea is pretty old and tired, and I think we’re all over zombies for awhile, but I still appreciated the tenderness of the storyline and the movie’s quirk and wit. I thought Aubrey Plaza (aka the voice of Grumpy Cat) did a nice job of being an angsty teenage princess of the dead and Dane DeHaan made the film believable by making his character so relatable.

photo credit: http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/sites/default/files/2014/01/LifeAfterBeth.jpg

I Saw The Devil (2010)

Score: 4/10

Length: 141

Language: Korean

Categories: 2000s, Asian, foreign, murderer

Also Known As: Akmareul boatda

I’m going to warn you that this is another film with a bad title- it has no devils in it, just a disgusting rapist murderer. It’s about a man’s revenge on the repulsive killer who murdered his pregnant wife. Unfortunately he’s not really looking to kill, but instead spends most of the movie chasing him, beating him up, and letting the killer go. The best thing this film has going for it is the ridiculously attractive main character. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not a bad movie. Strong story and acting. Gore and cinematography is well done. Too bad it’s nearly three hours long making it feel repetitive and tedious. Not sure why any horror feels it’s good enough to drone on for over two hours, but this one did and it completely ruined the movie. I skipped through about a half an hour of it and immediately rolled over and fell asleep when it was done.

photo credit: http://sumgyeojingem.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/mirror-image-who-is-the-monster1.jpg

Spring (2014)

Score: 4/10 (as a horror)

Length: 109

Language: English

Categories: monster, 2000s, recent, murderer, almost horror, sci-fi

If you are looking for a scary, thriller, suspense film this is not your movie tonight. It should be considered as more of an indie sci-fi romance drama. If thought of in that way, it was a cute little film about appreciating all life has to offer. As a horror, it’s a gross girl-monster eating animals (including her pet rabbits). I like the flow of the movie and how it seemed for the most part, true to life. The acting was strong, but really I’m just trying to find good things in this milk and water film shot in beautiful Italian locations.

photo credit: http://www.fangoria.com/new/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/Spring1.jpg

It Follows (2015)

Score: 8.5/10

Length: 100

Language: English

Categories: recent, 2000s, recommended

I heard about this movie after the Underground Film Festival had already left and gone and I was horrified (har har) that I missed the chance to see it on the big screen. A few weeks later it was to be released in select theatres due to it’s popularity and positive reviews. I finally just got to see it and I. loved. it. I am super scared of anything to do with stalking and this featured stalking in a really strange and creepy way that I’ve definitely had nightmares about. I can’t get enough tension in a horror film and boy, did this one go hard. I actually had a headache after from being so tense the whole time. I was thrilled! I don’t really want to say anything about it other than what you should already know… teens have sex and then something follows them around. I will say that there were a few nonsensical decisions made by the characters, but the music/ sound effects were some of the best I’ve heard and the make-up and brilliant idea to costume in various states of undress was both unsettling and intense. Lastly, I love that I’ve never seen a movie quite like this- that’s pretty rare, especially for the horror genre.

photo credit: https://filmfork-cdn.s3.amazonaws.com/content/It%20Follows.jpg