Masters of Horror: The Damned Thing

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: Tobe Hooper (The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, Poltergeist)

Evil Category: a big, oily, black blob

Score: two out of five dirty ceilings

The second Tobe Hooper entry is a decent episode until the final Robert Munsch inspired (not really) puddle monster appears. The evil thing seemed to have a lot more impact when you couldn’t see it. I’ll give you a hint at its badness- it’s CGI. Acting is decent, story is nothing thrilling, but it’s watchable. It’s about a tragedy that repeats itself years later. A family is ruined and now the unseen horror is back for the next generation. It causes terror and fear within the town, but we don’t get to see exactly what It is until the end. And the disappointment I felt was underwhelming, because I just didn’t care too much. I mean, that’s all I have to say, really. This movie is incredibly forgettable, in fact, I’m struggling to remember much of it right now.

 

photo: https://goddessofhellfire.files.wordpress.com

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The Unseen (1980)

Score: 3/10

Length: 89

Rating: R

Language: English

Categories: 80s, murderer, almost horror, SPOILER

“It’s not okay, but okay.” I think that sums up the movie pretty well. I was unsure of why this movie was so virtually “unseen”, but once the secret revealed itself and the movie ended with failed attempts and unbearable moanings and gruntings, it was pretty clear as to why this film isn’t so popular. It’s about three women- a reporter and her film crew, who stay in an old museum-house due to the lack of available hotel rooms where they are visiting. The museum is owned by a strange character and his fragile sister who seem innocent enough, but there’s a something hiding beneath the floor boards that somehow kills the vacationing gals with no real motive. The deaths are not believable in the least and are made to seem like accidents, however, that doesn’t make them any less stupid. The layout of this film is all wrong and the ending takes forever. It’s a mix of dark comedy and horror, I guess, and the combination doesn’t work overly well. Junior looks like a less scary version of the adult baby in Thir13en Ghosts, but he doesn’t scare, he just makes you feel a little sad. In the end, this movie could do being unseen, but is worth seeing maybe even just for the bad puns you can make about the title.

 

photo: http://www.rockshockpop.com/

Aside

I am avoiding (for now) all the films in between and choosing the winner of the unlucky slasher flicks! The one that started it all versus a recent remake.

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Friday the 13th (1980), The Original

Directed by: Sean S. Cunningham (producer of House, Last House on the Left, and several of the Jason films)

Length: 95

Rated: X

This is the film that spawned 11 other Jason-filled slasher flicks, which is pretty impressive in itself. Maybe they’re going for 13 in the franchise, but it’s hard to believe this classic horror will not be remade again and again for all eternity. Not surprisingly, the original has the highest rating of the series, but Part VI: Jason Lives is not far behind. I believe this may also be where one of the first chh-chh-chh hahh-hahh-hahh’s was heard. It has your classic violin symphony death-scenes, your freeze-frames, and Kevin Bacon in a Speedo. The deaths are quick like a band-aid being ripped off, and the story is really as simple as: a psychotic murderer attacks camp counsellors, seeking revenge for an accident that happens years ago. And the movie industry was changed forever. If you haven’t seen this yet, be warned: Jason, the killer, doesn’t really appear until the second movie. Jason’s appearance in this film is short-lived and pretty cheesy.

Score: 5.5/10 (minus 1/2 point due to the chalkboard-clawing music and sound effects)

 

 

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Friday the 13th (2009), The Modern Remake 30 Years Later

Directed by: Marcus Nispel (Texas Chainsaw Massacre, 2003)

Length: 97

Rated: R

This more recent Jason film is produced by the original’s director, and is made to continue from his story. In this version, a bunch of idiot young adults are looking for a marijuana growth in the forest and stumble across the old, closed-down cabins of Crystal Lake. Jason, the disfigured child, is all grown up now, and apparently still lives amongst the cabins, and now has an opportunity to kill again. He kills the visitors, and then a few years later a new group arrives to search for the old missing group. At this point I’m beginning to wonder who the actual camp counsellors were that let Jason “die” and why I’ve never really seen that play out. And good ole Jason has clearly visited Canada somewhere in between as he goes from wearing a burlap mask to the famous hockey mask you are used to. This film features teen characters that die that I don’t care about, upon teen characters that die that I don’t care about. I’m not really sure why the movie was done the way it was. It really should have been kept simple without all the layers. I can only take so many disposable characters dying in totally random ways.

Score: 3.5/10

 

Verdict: Surprise surprise, the original wins. Mostly because it stuck with the same group of people and I slightly cared about them. The story and background could have been more developed, but I enjoyed the psycho-mom more than the generic Jason, though I was glad to see him. Especially in the remake’s last scare scene.

Love Jason and the Friday the 13th films? There’s a TV series announced for 2017. More info here.

Film Face-off: Friday the 13th, Old vs New

Masters of Horror: Right to Die

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: Rob Schmidt (Wrong Turn, The Alphabet Killer)

Evil Category: a burnt, revenge-seeking wife

Score: four out of five mistress body parts lost

I decided to watch this episode after reading an article about a girl in Europe who had assisted suicide after years of sexual abuse. It’s an interesting topic with good points on both sides of the debate. I actually really enjoyed this episode, and although at times it seemed like a TV drama series, there was a lot of gory horror mixed in. I would not recommend watching this while eating, as there are several bloody, slimy wife and cringe-worthy skinning scenes. The director has only worked on a handful of movies, but funny enough, I liked this episode more than most. It feels like a real movie; like has more story than should be condensed into an hour. The ending can be taken a few different ways, and I prefer the more grim option. It’s about a husband and wife who end up in a horrible car accident during a fight. The husband comes out okay, but the wife is horribly burnt and disfigured and doesn’t have long to live. He goes back and forth between the decision to let her die (and inherent a large amount of her family’s money) or let her live. Unfortunately, the decision is made a little too late, but the journey revealed in layers is exciting, interesting, and new. I feel like it could easily be remade into a full movie with even better effects and music.

 

photo: http://www.grimmovies.com/

Inside (2007)

Score: 5.5/10

Length: 82

Rating: R

Language: French

Categories: 2000s, murderer, foreign, gore porn, slasher, spoiler, holiday

Also known as: Labour Pains and À l’intérieur

Perfect for Mother’s Day, but dated on Christmas Eve, this gore galore film is about a woman stalking a recently-widowed pregnant lady. After being in a car accident, the with-child photographer mopes around her house and pushes away her mother until she finds herself being watched by an unknown woman. Shortly after she goes to the police, “la femme” makes her move. A bloody battle ensues between the characters, the cops, and everyone else who stops by the house. The French know how to orchestrate a bloody and bleak movie, and with all the belly-cutting, my poor tummy hurt by the end. A few parts were hard to… stomach. Lots and lots of the red stuff. There are also a lot of shots of bad CGI babies in the womb, and while the idea wasn’t bad, the effects are definitely dated now. The are other annoyances such as every time Sarah lays down, her hair is sprawled over the pillow like she’s preparing for a Pantene commercial. And not to state the obvious, but there are a few characters that seem to live a little too long with the injuries sustained. The film turns into a mess by the end, and I know that this sounds sinister, but (SPOILER) I would have preferred to see the last scene with the baby a still-born. There are a few interesting chunks of the movie, and I like the mixed emotions that the soon-to-be-mothers create with their strangely reversed roles. I found, however, that they took an okay idea for a film and threw blood at it.

 

photo credit: youtube.com

The Abandoned (2015)

Score: 4.5/10

Length: 86

Rating: NR

Language: English

Categories: 2000s, recent, haunted house, almost horror, murderer, ghost, underground, asylum

As I continue to watch this film, I realize that the title pertains more and more to the story and I LOVE that. Too often are there films called House on… or ‘Blank’ Lake or something vague like The Chosen or The Determined or The Gassy. It’s also kind of funny because the original title was: The Confines, and although that’s not a bad title for this movie, The Abandoned has so much more meaning. Anyway… it’s about a young, single mom who starts a new job as a second security guard in an empty, unfinished mansion. While wondering the extravagant halls, she finds a locked door that leads to an old room scattered with children’s toys and drawings. Evil things lurk, yadda yadda. The film is pretty well done, and it moves along at a decent pace. It even has a few twists at the end, and this was not a movie I expected any twists from. I thought the story was going to stay in the usual ghost direction, but it took the path of a thriller movie instead- a family-centred ending where everything is not-okay-okay. The one big problem is that although the environment is impressively scary, the incredible monotony of watching a security guard’s daily duties is akin to a dull headache. And the YouTube video really ruined things for me.

 

photo credit: http://www.dreadcentral.com/

Sensoria (2015)

Score: 4.5/10

Length: 81

Rating: NR

Language: Swedish

Categories: 2000s, recent, foreign, almost horror, ghost, haunted house, murderer

This Swedish film is about a newly-single woman moving into a haunted apartment. It doesn’t sound like anything outside the average every day, and although the story isn’t exactly the norm, it doesn’t exceed expectations. Frequently during the movie, the tension, scare, and drama would have a short spike… and then on to the next scene. If it would have been held onto a little longer, the scenes could have really solidified the scares and helped the movie build to a climax. The first half of the movie introduced our sad protagonist, and followed her around the apartment as small but strange things happened around her flat. The second half felt like a slow wrap up of the melancholy story, exposing pasts that were interesting but didn’t invoke much emotion. It’s funny that the films tagline is: “Every apartment has a past”, considering I just moved into a newly built apartment and there for sure is no past. Her home seemed incredibly strange and creepy with an old, hospital feel. Not sure if the terrifying attic storage rooms and laundry rooms are normal in Sweden, but this Canadian felt uncomfortable with the unfamiliar feel of the apartment. I’m very glad for my well-lit storage space and in-suite laundry. What does Sensoria mean? I have no idea, and neither does this film.

 

photo credir: http://www.leedsfilm.com/

The House on Pine Street (2015)

Score: 5.5/10

Length: 112

Rating: NR (everything seems to be NR lately… is this such a difficult task?!?) I’d guess PG-13

Language: English

Categories: 2000s, recent, haunted house, psychological, murderer

This seems like your average everyday “pregnant lady moves into a haunted house and the devil is trying to steal her baby” situation. It’s got the older and only slightly interesting house, the title that has nothing to do with anything, and the typical douchey husband who doesn’t believe his wife. However, much to my surprise and pleasure, it doesn’t really turn out the way you might guess. The end isn’t shocking or profound or anything, more of a “well that makes sense, I’m cool with that situation” finale. Like, say, finding your missing underwear behind the dryer. There’s a touch of tension and a sprinkle of suspense, but there isn’t anything overly horrific about the film. Probably a good idea for those who like their horror movies with a little bit of milk. The main actress, Emily Goss felt familiar, though  upon investigation, I don’t think I’ve actually seen her in anything. She was very believable and her role was well-played, and although her hair was horrible, she was quite likable. Almost everything in this low-budget offer was decent. Still, there’s just nothing over-the-top entertaining about it. Interesting fact about this film- it was partially funded by a Kickstarter campaign.

Side note: I’m noticing reviews where they say “it made no sense” or “it’s left up to your imagination”. I can’t understand how people believe this, as the movie was very clear to me and left nothing unanswered. Not sure what’s going on there.

 

photo credit: http://www.variety.com