Mandy (2018)

Score: 6.5/10

Length: 121

Rating: NR (clearly R)

Language: English

Categories: 2000s, recent, murderer, supernatural

If you want a metal movie without much actual metal music, this is your film. Packed with Nicholas Cage anger revenge awesomeness/hilarity, this one is a must see, but that definitely does not guarantee you’ll like it. There’s not even really a story. Wifey Mandy is killed by a strange hippie cult and their motorbike demons for no reason I can remember. There’s no twist or anything, she’s killed in front of her hubs, he’s traumatized, and does a bunch of ridiculous stuff to seek revenge with his self-made ax-chainsaw situation. I mean, this movie can be summed up as a really bad drug trip experienced in a basement full of records and guitars. Weirdly enough, I wanted a little more from the film. Mandy wasn’t likable in the least, and I feel like if you’re going for an insane Nic Cage revenge film, you should be going HARD. I also kind of wished the rock and roll aspect was a little more integrated. Perhaps one band holds the soundtrack, or just more rock and roll aspects in the movie. I didn’t even notice many songs in the movie to be honest. Loved the art house vibe, the crazy Cage acting and the whole idea, but I just wasn’t blown away by it, and this should be a movie you remember forever.

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Apostle (2018)

Score: 4.5/10

Length: 130 (aka way too long)

Rating: TV-MA (Netflix release only)

Language: English

Categories: 2000s, recent, murderer, religious

I’m just going to get right to it- I was bored. I didn’t really find this to be much of a horror flick outside all of the torturing, and even with the torturing I found it quite dull. It took me awhile to get into it, and by the time I was interested, the story seemed to be unraveling. I felt I was more interested in the cinematography than what happened to any of the characters, especially our “hero”. Don’t get me wrong, the acting was solid and it’s always fun to see Michael Sheen (especially as a cult leader in the early 1900s), but as per usual, this film really didn’t need to be stretched out as long as it was.

It’s about a guy who is looking to rescue his sister from a cult. As you can imagine, it doesn’t go very well, and in learning all their secrets, he puts himself in a vulnerable position. People are tortured and killed by religious psychos, blah blah blah the end.

A lot of people are comparing this to The Witch (which I was highly disappointed with) but even though both films are slow, I was invested in the magic and the characters in The Witch, unlike this one. In the end, I don’t feel like this film was a waste of time, but I wouldn’t go out of my way to recommend it to anyone, and I wouldn’t watch it again unless I was half-way to dreamland.

The Possession of Hannah Grace (2018)

Score: 4/10

Length: 86

Rating: R

Language: English

Categories: 2000s, recent, demon, underground, murder

Well, here we have yet another demonic possession movie with an innocent Suzie, or Sarah Anne, or Elizabeth Mary or whatever. This one features our determined heroine taking on a new job in a morgue. Everyone is skeptical of the pills she takes/ doesn’t take, and she starts to hear and see strange new things in the morgue. No one trusts her, everyone thinks she’s crazy… typical. Even when the random guy breaks in and screams about a body not being dead, no one pays attention to our girl. The tension in the beginning of the movie where only little things are happening kind of got my hopes up, but the rest was just a crackly demon-girl following people around and killing them. It lost all scare, really, and became super predictable, finishing off with an extremely corny ending. Like we care about your “journey”. No one had any background to them anyway. Even with decent make-up and acting, and a fantastic setting, I think this is one to be buried in the DVD bin (if this was Walmart, five years ago.)

Suspiria (2018)

Score: 5.5/10*

Length: 152

Rating: R

Language: English

Categories: 2000s, recent, supernatural, witch, girly, paranormal, remake, hotel

I watched this over an extended period of time. Like, a more than a week. It’s very long, and conveniently in chapters, so I quite enjoyed it in more of the television episode format. Almost like people of the eighties and early nineties got to enjoy Stephen King classics on tv as a mini-series, instead of being trapped in a theatre for three hours. The characters are mostly the same, and so is the story, but I didn’t often liken it to the original. In fact, although the OG Suspiria is incredibly memorable and well-known, I didn’t think of it much at all while watching the new version. Yes, it’s about ballet and witches, but I more felt it akin to watching an art-school film, and it took me closer to memories of my own art experiences (hence the high levels of pretension…). I found the many characters confusing (as I usually do when there’s more than five or six) but I still enjoyed the performances by all the great gals in the film. Even Dakota Johnson’s performance was decent, though I don’t appreciate the actress in the least. The Director, Luca Guadagnino, is virtually unknown- mainly directing shorts- but I’m curious how he came upon directing, as he is also Italian, like Argento. Tension, dread, and gore are all fairly absent in this highly anticipated film, just tipping it into flop status. There were some unexpected bits, such as the Star Wars blob and the lengthy bone-crunching scene, but I wouldn’t necessarily say it added anything amazing to the film, it just caught me off-guard, The cinematography was exquisite- a visually beautiful film from the ballet to the gore- but this isn’t a stoic piece of art, it’s a movie, and as such, it really falls flat.

* score based on watching in episodes. Would for sure be lower if I watched it all at once, as this film could do with some harsh editing.

OG Suspiria 1977 review here

Malevolent (2018)

Score: 4/10

Length: 99

Rating: TVMA

Language: English

Categories: 2000s, recent, ghost, supernatural

This is your typical team of amateur ghost hunters led by a medium who visit a house that has more than they bargain for. A woman lives in a house where she hears screaming and lazy girl ghosts are seen with stitched up mouths (which is the gore focus in this film). It’s not painful, nor is it memorable, as are most Netflix horrors. The acting is okay, the story is okay, I felt okay watching it, I fell asleep quickly after. Lack of suspense and tension and characters with mediocre personalities are key ingredients in this recipe for just another horror movie.

Incident in a Ghostland (2018)

Score: 6/10

Length: 91

Rating: NR

Language: English

Categories: 2000s, recent, murderer, gore

Although the cover looks like something I’d walk past in the video store every weekend, Incident in a Ghost Land is directed by Pascal Laugier, the man who brought us Martyrs, so there’s a definite reason why this is on my “likely decent, recent films” list. Funny enough, the film also stirred up some drama when one of the lead actors sued over an incident where she was directed to pound so hard on a glass window that it shattered, leaving her with glass shards in her face and ultimately, scars.

Don’t give up on this movie! I’ll admit, the first half is boring. I mean, I was barely keeping an eyelid open when suddenly, what felt like year later, the movie picked up and got all Texas Chainsaw Massacre-y. This film is really two parts. The part before the twist and the part after the twist. And I’ll be nice- I won’t throw any spoilers.

Our story involves a mother and her daughters who move into an old, creepy house full of antiques and unsettling collectables. They quickly discover others in the house, and have to fight for their lives against the insane killers. Some odd years later, one of the sisters is a successful horror writer, and the other has gone mad, struggling to live any sort of normal life, locking herself in the basement. Our twist is soon revealed, along with the hopeless horrors of reality.

It’s a psychological story about sisters that will leave you scarred. The best part is the ending, which is as optimistic or (more likely) as bleak as you need it to be.

 

For more about the lawsuit: https://www.joblo.com/horror-movies/news/actress-suffered-a-disfiguring-injury-filming-pascal-laugier-s-ghostland-249

Truth or Dare (2018)

Score: 4/10

Length: 100

Rating: PG-13

Language: English

Categories: 2000s, recent, murderer, demon, supernatural

This new, trendy, technology-filled teen flick is just as entertaining as Unfriended. And that’s only half an insult. These death-filled flicks remind us that it might be best to have few close friends in order to not be thrown into such totally realistic scenarios. I mean, the premise is a possessed game. And not even a board game, just an out loud game. This one forces people to do or say humiliating, revealing, or life-threatening things. Another group of young and beautiful friends find themselves in a scary situation- this time, trapped in a game they can’t seem to escape fast enough. The acting isn’t of shock of talent and the script isn’t exactly innovative. But it’s fast-paced and fun, and most of all, fresh. But. Those STUUUUUUUUUPID faces with the angry eyebrows and stretched smiles. I know they were going for sinister, but those grins are so obnoxiously awful that I barely want to acknowledge them. I would have preferred even boring, blank stares and frowns to this CGI fail. The problem is that these faces are so memorable, they define the entire movie and are the most dominant thing I remember. Perhaps because they remind me of these mannequins (pictured below) that started popping up in the mall. When people went to the mall. Anyway… I dare you to watch this movie, but truth- it’s more comedy than horror.

scary-mannequins-4

 

The Nun (2018)

Score: 2.5/10

Length: 96

Rating: R

Language: English

Categories: 2000s, recent, murderer, demon, supernatural, devil/demon, Painful Monday Movies

I’m really glad that I held off on this film and made my friends watch it first, because boy, were they unimpressed. I know this isn’t a James Wan, but he was involved and I had medium hopes for director Corin Hardy whose other big film was The Hollow. The trailer for The Nun was short and scary, and although this movie should have been good, let’s be blunt here- it wasn’t. I’m not going to even go into the plot, because there wasn’t one, really, and if there was one, I can barely remember it. I had assumed this movie would be about the back story of the nun/demon, but nope again, no such luck. The only memorable nun in this was the one who hanged herself at the beginning. Great make-up effects for her exposed teeth and rotting flesh. I’ll bless this film with that one positive. There are so many jump scares in this film, but they’re random and lazy. It kind of feels like they’re added in just because they’re supposed to be with no build and no effort from the director. After the awesomeness of The Conjuring and The Conjuring 2, this was a huge disappointment, and that’s an understatement. I was almost angry after watching this. because it was so bad.

I also wanted to share this review from IMDB user gareth-robinson407 because it’s hilarious and a perfect review of this film:

“Was there a plot? Nun Were there any scares? Nun Any good acting? Nun Any reason to go see this movie? Nun”

Unsane (2018)

Score: 4/10

Length: 98

Rating: R

Language: English

Categories: 2000s, recent, murderer, psychological, small space

At first I thought I was watching a made-for-TV movie, (it was shot with an iphone ffs) but then I remembered it was supposed to be directed by Steven Soderbergh, the man behind such horror classics as Erin Brockovich and Ocean’s Eleven. This is a film festival entry so I expected something artsy and different, but this one has a new way of gathering your hopes and raising them up high only to stomp them down halfway through the movie.  I got involved in the frustrating circumstances our character finds herself in quite quickly, and she’s very relatable. It felt a lot like Gothika in the beginning and I so I hoped for a twisty ending. Once you realize that’s not going to happen and that the film is more like Room, the rest is just a monotonous chore filled with details that make no sense in the real world. Most of the cast did a solid job, though intentionally or not, Matt Damon’s gravely bottom-of-voice talking was like nails on a chalkboard. With a story about a girl trapped in an asylum, you’d think this would be intriguing at the very least. But in this case, I’ve never been so surprised to be bored.

The Babysitter (2017)

Score: 4.5/10

Length: 85

Rating: TV-MA

Language: English

Categories: 2000s, recent, murderer,

Well, I failed hard. The entire purpose of this site was to review movies so I wouldn’t rewatch the same stupid movie. Fail on this one.

I watched this months ago, didn’t review it and forgot about it, and then I see it pop up on Netflix. The child kind of looked familiar, but I didn’t remember any of the movie as I was watching it except the whole weird kid and babysitter best friends thing. The other problem is the movie Better Watch Out, is very similar to this one, so I just assumed I was thinking about this film and getting them confused. I ALSO forgot to review Better Watch Out, just to up my annoyance with myself, but the good news is, these failures will probably spawn a babysitter top ten list.

So this one is pretty simple. A kid stays up past his bedtime to see what the babysitter is up to, and finds out her and her friends are part of a satanic cult. The boy is caught awake, and has to get himself out of an increasingly bloody mess. The kid does make some bad-ass moves, and there’s a lot of gore, but this movie is just so forgettable. Most of the deaths are accidental and there’s just not much to the story. It’s not really scary or funny, and it feels like a children’s horror story with a bucket of blood poured over it. The idea of doing a children’s horror sounds awesome, but that wasn’t the intention of this movie. It’s not badly done at all, it’s just at this point I’m over the generic characters and bad babysitter theme. Thank you, next.