Masters of Horror: The Screwfly Solution

Masters of Horror is a 2000s television series with a different director for each of the thirteen episodes in the season, running about an hour long.

Directed by: Joe Dante (Piranha, Gremlins)

Evil Category: vagina vendetta virus

Score: two out of five misogynistic maniacs

The second episode directed by Dante is about a virus that infects males, causing them to lash out and kill females in a world-wide femocide. Although this goes against all of the feminist bones in my body, I have to admit the idea was new and intriguing. I squirmed a little, and I was really curious about how the episode would end. Unfortunately, it ended not well. Not well at all, my friend. Aliens made of light not good. There are a lot of creative twists that could have really pulled it all together, giving you a reason to sit through the last little bit. I will say, it’s a lot better than Dante’s other episode: Homecoming, but whereas that was bad from the get-go, this one starts off strong and ends in a let-down. I mean, guys get infected by a woman-hating virus, they blame religion. Some scientists invent a chemical castration pill, but it’s too late. Woman quickly are killed off around the globe and soon there is one woman left who meets the aliens who started the wipe-out of Earth. I really don’t know what else to tell you. Some of the scenes were shot in small-town Canada and that was pretty cool. Good to know us Canadians were the last to die… I guess?

 

photo credit: https://thehorrorhoneys.com

Unfriended (2015)

Score: 4/10

Length: 83

Rating: R

Language: English

Categories: 2000s, recent, murderer, ghost

Well, I’ll be honest here, this flop was actually pretty entertaining. I mean, it’s full of teen drama and my old, three grey-haired self struggled to keep up with the apps and such, but it is new and fresh and unique, and I appreciated that. It’s very current, and it comments on social issues in the media. And social media. As I’m sure you already know, it’s a story told through the computer, with the entire movie taking place on a teenage girl’s monitor. Friends meet online and through videocams, chat conversations, online phone calls, and Facebook messages they  are tormented by the ghost of a girl they have wronged. In order to live they must confess their sins. The latter has definitely has been done before, but I don’t really know what else they could have done with the movie besides changing the ghost to a real person acting as Laura or Laura herself, not really dead. I quickly became a lot more invested in this film that I thought, mostly likely because of the low expectations I went in with. Kinda like Scream Queens. It’s a little young for me, but it’s fast-paced and there was nothing that was obviously stupid such as bad CGI monsters or horrible acting. The characters weren’t overly likable, but I didn’t dislike them either and I’m glad no emotion was brought out during this underage horror flick. It took me back to the days of multi-tasking with ICQ, MSN messenger, and then maybe my virtual pet. It’s worth a watch, but it’s not something I’d want to watch again, it’s for sure a one-time movie.

 

photo credit: http://www.comingsoon.net/

Cooties (2014)

Score: 5/10

Length: 88

Rating: R

Language: English

Categories: 2000s, recent, horror-comedy, murderer, zombie, gore porn

Warning- this movie starts off with a bunch of gross chicken scenes, so if your chicken burger and chocolate milkshake are on the way, you might want to skip this movie tonight. The chicken, which is served at the school cafeteria, is what starts the whole thing. Cooties, that is! Elijah Wood stars in this comedy-horror which reminds me of an episode of Community. Your typical zombie flick with a lot of blood, gore, and chasing and running. This film is offbeat in the way that Shaun of the Dead is, but it visits an idea that I don’t think I’ve seen before. That, of course, is cooties, the make-believe disease children tend to say opposite sex has. Or something . But this time it’s real, and it has created an army of kid-zombies. It’s a funny movie and the characters are very likable (as opposed to the ones in the book Elijah Wood’s character is writing) but I got a little bored of things as it went on. The story starts off pretty fast and I don’t know if that’s a good or bad thing, but there is too much running around for me. I’m not sure that it’s just this movie though, I’d probably say this about most zombie movies. There is a lot to appreciate about this film and it’s quirky and smart, just as you’d want it to be, but there are better zombie genre films out there. (I’d assume most others, especially lovers of the genre would rate it higher.)

 

photo credit: https://i.ytimg.com

Masters of Horror: Valerie on the Stairs

Masters of Horror is a 2000s television series with a different director for each of the thirteen episodes in the season, running about an hour long.

Directed by: Mick Garris, (Sleepwalkers, Hocus Pocus [writer])

Evil Category: a dreamed-up, dominating demon

Score: one out of five paper mache men

I’ve never seen a film start at 10 and so steadily count down to 0. It just got worse and worse as it went on and ended in peak badness. This is probably going to be spoilertastic, but I need to explain it out because  I’m going to forget what happens, (it’s so forgettable) and later, wonder why I gave it such a low score. Mick Garris, again, should not be writing horror. Maybe romance, suspense, but there is nothing scary about these episodes by the same director. So we start off strong with a writer moving into a sort-of boarding house for aspiring novelists. The characters are intriguing, and the story is set. Our hero then begins seeing a (frequently) naked girl on the stairs, but each night she is pulled away -into the walls- by a lumpy green-grey demon. The writer, of course, becomes inspired and begins his book. The episode slides downhill fast when the occupants of the house are accused of bringing their strange and sick story to life in the very house they live in. It finishes with the protagonist realizing he’s the protagonist in the story-come-to-life and then… AND THEN… he dissipates as a bunch of pages. Wow. Intense…

 

photo: http://fanpop.com/

 

Hospital Massacre (1981)

Score: 3/10

Length: 89

Rating: R

Language: English

Categories: 80s, murderer, slasher, psychological, holiday, asylum

Other Titles: X-Ray

It’s not a dead giveaway from the title, but I’m excited to bring you a Valentine’s Day movie! All of the other ones are easy to find as they all have the word ‘Valentine’ in the title. This has the usual plot- a girl rejects a boy’s valentine, so as an adult, he returns to kill her. People seem to be very intense when it comes to rejection. Barbi Benton is intriguing and easy on the eyes, but she’s definitely not a scream queen. At times she sounds like yowling alley cats, and not the ones from Cats: The Musical. And although I liked the tension of not really understanding what’s going on, I never did find out what really was going on besides the obvious killer dressed as a doctor. I mean, was it the norm in the eighties to be naked in order to have your heartbeat checked? It also repulsed me thinking that it was okay to smoke in a hospital and to fumigate a floor while all the other floors in the building were occupied. And in order to get your test results, did you really have to roam all over the building looking for your doctor? It’s a pretty mindless slasher, but I liked a few things- the film was shot in an abandoned hospital, and Susan Jeremy’s hair looked like it had really gone through the experience of insanely running around the building all night. I appreciate the little things. There are a lot of unanswered questions, but you just have to take it at surface level.

 

photo credit: http://klubkrik.ru/

Masters of Horror: Family

Masters of Horror is a 2000s television series with a different director for each of the thirteen episodes in the season, running about an hour long.

Directed by: John Landis (An American Werewolf in London, Twilight Zone: The Movie)

Evil Category: skull-smitten psychopath

Score: two out of five bare-boned scrub-downs

This is rated as one of the highest in season 2, and I get why (I guess) but I still didn’t really like it. It’s about a man (yes, another episode about a middle-aged white guy) who has created his own disfunctional family. Unfortunately, they are just skin and bones! A couple moves into the neighbourhood in search of a new life after their daughter passes away, and they quickly make friends with their lonely neighbour. Not everything is as it seems, and there are some great twists in this episode, something I haven’t seen a lot of so far of in Masters of Horror which is surprising for a series. Although the ending is really refreshing, the whole episode really dragged for me in the middle. There was too much fluff where there could have been tension, and I don’t know why, but the lazy job of the skeleton’s wiring really bothered me. The acting is good, the idea is fine, blah blah blah, the surprise ending was too little too late. I am really hoping to see some shocking, scary stuff in the upcoming episodes, as this would have fit in better as an story for Desperate Housewives. (Okay, I’m being a bit harsh, but my bad episode tolerance is a little on the low side right now).

 

photo: http://2.bp.blogspot.com/

Masters of Horror: Sounds Like

Masters of Horror is a 2000s television series with a different director for each of the thirteen episodes in the season, running about an hour long.

Directed by: Brad Anderson (Session 9, Stonehearst Asylum)

Evil Category: white guy noises

Score: three out of five suffocating siren sounds

I really appreciate the idea of this episode, as it’s very true to life and that can sometimes be the scariest thing of all- knowing that this could actually happen to me. It’s about a man who tragically loses his child. Due to depression with his current situation, he gradually starts hearing every little irritating sound tenfold, which obviously creates the framework for insanity. This episode reminds of the days before PVR/DVRs when I was forced to watch commercial and the Advil or Tylenol commercials almost made me feel like I had a headache too. There’s nothing shocking or frightening, it’s more the fear of hearing loss that really gets to you. Everything is realistic, and I enjoyed the slow escalation. I felt I could empathize with the main character, as I too have sensitive hearing and I also manage a call centre (though my job is A LOT more fun than his). The vibe felt a little more like a horror-drama (which is the feeling I’m getting from a lot of the Masters of Horror episodes in season 2), but I still liked it- I found it quite smart. I was remind a little bit of Black Swan and the idea of pushing yourself over the edge. There’s nothing that really makes this episode stand out, but it’s an interesting and different offering. (I could definitely have pictured Chris Bauer as Dexter Morgan’s brother and I’m sad that this look-alike connection was never made.)

 

photo: http://www.popoptiq.com/

Masters of Horror: The V Word

Masters of Horror is a 2000s television series with a different director for each of the thirteen episodes in the season, running about an hour long.

Directed by: Ernest R. Dickerson, TV Director (Tales From the Crypt, CSI, Criminal Minds)

Evil Category: throat-ripping manpires

Score: two out of five frantic force-feedings

This episode starts off fantastically- teen gamers  who are used to scares and violence in another world decide to test their fears in this one. They start off by maneuvering through a mortuary, where they discover and uncover various states of dead bodies. There’s actually a lot of of tension here, and it’s easy to picture yourself in the situation. Unfortunately, as soon as the vampire story seeps in, it’s all downhill from there. That hill is also very gradual, and it feels like you’re rolling down for days. The story moves along very fast but too much happens too quickly and the struggle to keep my attention weighed heavily on me as I forced myself to make it to the end. This episode holds no surprises, and although it’s gory, it’s also quite goofy. There almost needs to be a category called grown-up Goosebumps episodes, because this is exactly where this episode goes. I was really hoping the the ‘V’ stood for violence, because of the video-game obsessed kids, or I’d even take vagina, in the hopes of an episode resembling Teeth, but I had no such luck. Really disappointed with the one, mostly because it starts off so strongly, and then it just turns into a lame, wishy-washy vampire story with no real satisfaction or ending. If I were describing The V Word to a friend, it would sound like: “This happens, and then this happens, and then this other stuff happens, and then in the end people die I guess? I forget.”

 

photo: http://application.denofgeek.com/