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.

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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

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

Terrifier (2016)

Score: The Movie 4.5/10
The Clown 10/10

Length: 82

Rating: NR (But DEFINITELY R)

Language: English

Categories: 2000s, recent, supernatural, murderer, gore porn

Besides the infamous shocking scene, this movie isn’t much more than gore, and I don’t think it’s supposed to be. It’s simply about a creepy clown that slaughters and kills in creative ways. A few friends with cliche Halloween costumes make moronic decisions and die. The end! It’s all fairly shittacular except for the Art the clown who is a rare gem. Art made his first appearance in All Hallow’s Eve which was an anthology film, and quite different from this one. Terrifier is all about Art (played by David Howard Thornton), and it is a terrifying performance indeed. The clown’s mannerisms and his expressions (he doesn’t speak or make any sounds) are exquisite and expertly crafted. I cannot say enough about the clown as I absolutely love the character and how he was acted. The worst part of this film is probably all the idiotic decisions the characters make. They might as well just run towards the killer and call it a day. Sorry friends, but if you ask me to meet you in a creepy abandoned building in the middle of the night, it isn’t going to happen, no matter how badly I have to pee. Even though the characters are sleazy and disposable, the “saw scene” is still heinous and hard to stomach. If you’re looking for creative gore and clown creepiness it’s worth a watch, but don’t expect a smart or engaging plot.

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”

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.

Annihilation (2018)

Score: 7/10

Length: 116

Rating: R

Language: English

Categories: 2000s, recent, sci fi, almost horror, woods, book, alien

Let me just start off with making sure it’s clear that this movie doesn’t exactly make sense. But who cares! The acting is decent, the story is creative, and the final product is really beautiful. Yes, it’s low-key ridiculous that a bunch of random scientists venture into this Bermuda triangle of sorts with no face coverage or breathing apparatus’. But once you get past the dumb details, it’s really an engaging movie. I wasn’t bored once, and I never quite knew what was going to happen next. It’s kind of hard to imagine that a sci-fi movie about nature is horror, but I suppose it’s no less horrory than a film like A Quiet Place. The group of women go on an expedition that had been preceded by Lena’s (Natalie Portman) husband. He was the only person to return from the “affected zone”, and now she is following in his footsteps, being interviewed and telling the story of her adventure (to put it lightly). The characters are formed enough for my liking, and there are just so many unique qualities to the movie, allowing me to really enjoy it. The film does seem to have the theme of cancer spread throughout it, but I’m not 100% certain that this is the movie’s main concept. Either way, I thought it was a visually striking movie that is worth a watch.

 

Six Scary Santa Shorts

When I was making Thirteen Days of Christmas Horror Shorts, I came across so many great Santa shorts I had to make a separate list. Even narrowing it down to six was hard! Here are my favorite Kris Kringles and Old Saint Nicks.

 

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6. Seasons Greetings (2015)

Length: 4:26
A girl wakes up to a present from Santa and a monster in her bed. Not much to it, but somehow this short has both fun jump scares and a cute vibe to it. Watch here

 

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5. Luchagore Christmas (2017)

Length: 1:43
The most gore (aside from the claymation) on the list, and a very sour-looking set. This super short is a great one because of the dirty, disgusting Santa, focus on disturbing details, and the gore galore. Very Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Watch here

 

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4. Christmas Presence (2015)

Length: 5:16
A babysitter arrives at an over-decorated house. It takes her a while to realize that the life-size Santa statue with the creepy white mask is not part of the family’s decor. One thing that really bothered me was that when the babysitter entered the house, you couldn’t see the glow of the outdoor lights and the interior was so sparsely decorated. Watch here

 

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3. Milk & Cookies (2017)

Length: 2:35 
When a girl doesn’t follow her father’s rules to not eat the milk and cookies, she suffers cookie-consequences. Sean Whalen as the dad in a Freddy Krueger sweater is fantastic. The snarl at greedy children on Christmas is appreciated. And best of all, the blue cookie-eater creature with the pointy nose and blood pouring out of his mouth was just spectacular. Maybe even my favorite horror Santa. Watch here

 

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2. Here Comes Santa (2016)

Length: 5:03
A child stays up to catch Santa on his video camera, but instead discovers he’s a hideous skeletal creature. Simple, cute, memorable. Watch here

 

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1. Winter Stalker (2009)

Length: 2:05
Arty and stylized, this short features Santa checking his list. He’s making a doll for Katie, and he’s been watching her closely. His voice sounds like Jigsaw, and our Santa is dire need of a bubble bath. A great short with a twist that leaves me feeling uncomfortable.
Watch here

Halloween (2018)

Score: 6/10

Length: 106

Rating: R

Language: English

Categories: recent, 2000s, murderer, slasher, recommended

Even though I saw this before (or maybe just around) Halloween, I saw it in theatres, so I’m just getting around to review it now. I was in Hollywood, wandering around in the middle of the day, when it was decided that we’d stop by TCL and check out the new Halloween. Especially as we had spotted Jaime Lee Curtis’ star earlier. It was awesome to see her as “a grandma” rocking grey hair in a similar style to her original 1987 role. It did, as mentioned, delve a little more into Michael’s character, but it stayed true to the mystery and the fact that he’s simply just a cold-blooded killer. It’s most likely because I was at the theatre, but the movie felt really fast. I wanted more hunt, more struggle to capture Michael, but I have a feeling that if I were watching it at home, I might not feel the same. Jaime Lee Curtis was fantastic, but I already forgot what the other characters were like. The kills were fast and random, true to M.M. style, and there were lots of fun throwback references. Definitely not disappointed with this movie, and glad it had fantastic timing.

Oh right… it’s about Laurie and her two younger generations battling an escaped Michael Myers. Laurie is now a grandmother, living in fear and paranoia of Michael, and existing in a house on lock-down. She’s been practising for years, and finally works up the courage to hunt her hunter. A couple of journalists are looking to interview the murderer before he is transferred to a maximum security prison. They are dismayed that he chooses not to speak, and get nothing out of him before the bus driving the prisoners crashes and they all escape. Laurie and Michael chase each other through houses on Halloween and end up in her escape room for the final face-off.

Thirteen Days of Christmas Horror Shorts

Christmas is long and painful, but these mini movies are short and sweet! Here are my favorite holiday shorts under 15 minutes, from the weird and wacky to the disturbing and grotesque. Grab the eggnog and rum cookies and enjoy these stocking stuffers. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! Also check out my Top Ten Christmas Horror Movies list!

13. I’ll Be Alone for Christmas (2015)
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Length: 7:09
The first of the lonely Christmas girl films on the list, this is simply about a girl stalked by a mysterious stranger. There isn’t much for the story, as it mostly centres around a text conversation. The acting is passable, but there’s a fun little scare.

12. Ghoul Log (2018)
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Length: 2:59
Clay people with gross teeth eat a feast with their mouths open. After they stuff their faces with yule log, the giant-handed puppets are trapped in trees. Horror ASMR. Part of Creepy Christmas Film Festival.
Watch here

11. Something Under The Tree (2014)
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Length: 4:26
A little boy watches Santa from the stairs. He rushes to open the present Santa leaves him, and finds a gift that will help him to rid of the elf under the tree. I wish there were a few minutes of character build and mood setting, as you’re just dropped into the start of the scene, but I enjoyed the tension and the sour turn of events.
Watch here

10. A Very Zombie Holiday (2010)
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Length: 3:11
A black and white instructional video for vintage ladies to survive Christmas… and zombies. It’s well-made and cute, but it’s in need of a bit of pop and pizzazz.
Watch here

9. Crafty (2018)
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Length: 3:34
This strange and original claymation is about a creature and his praying mantis friend who eat animals in a frenzy and then make the bones into a Christmas tree. The bone tree is displayed on top of the stump they live in, and a human child discovers it. Weird and gory, but definitely creative. Part of Creepy Christmas Film Festival.
Watch here

8. Elf on the Shelf (2017)
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Length: 2:00
The Elf on the Shelf toy comes to life and kills the babysitter and her boyfriend in the spirit of Christmas. The choice of the babysitter over family members seems like an odd and lazy choice. What parents go out on Christmas Eve, anyway? The Elf is creepy, yet charming.
Watch here

7. Eve of the Nutcracker (2016)
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Length: 5:59
There are a few good “gal drinking on the couch alone on Christmas” shorts, but I picked this one as the best because of the on-theme ending. Our girl receives a nutcracker which then seems to end up in a different spot every time she looks. She throws it away, but the giver of the gift isn’t too happy that the gift isn’t well received and… retaliates. The make-up could use a little love since we don’t know anything about the killer, but otherwise, it’s awesome.
Watch here

6. Twas the Night of the Tree Beast (2012)
Length: 6:04
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Josh decorates his video store, but is interrupted by holiday-hater, Kevin. Josh makes a Christmas wish and his tree comes to life when it’s plugged in. Unfortunately, the tree is hungry for money… and flesh. Very Canadian.
Watch here

5. Yuletide (2017)
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Length: 10:00
This is actually a short about Krampus! It starts off by introducing the family members/actors and then shows the cranky family silently eating dinner. Kelly smashes her antique present from her grandfather and ruins Christmas. A Krampus monster is discovered peeking out from the attic, and everything goes downhill from there. The cinematography is the best part.
Watch here

4. Slay Bells (2015)
Length: 11:23
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The main character (a girl who’s turn it is to host Christmas) is expressive and over-the-top, providing us with a hilarious and dramatic holiday short that’s fun for the whole family! This year, it’s the younger sister’s turn to host Christmas, and when the family ruins everything with their judgements, she has a meltdown, but in the end, gets the gift she’s been looking for.
Watch here

3. Do You See What I See (2016)
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Length: 14:01
A masked murderer with glasses crashes a Christmas party. When it’s discovered what is seen by putting on the glasses, a strange and quirky truth is revealed. Lots of character build (almost too much) and a fun storyline make this one a safe bet.
Watch here

2. Christmas Clay Massacre (The Beauty of Horror) (2018)
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Length: 2:05
In a commercial for a colouring book (yes, really), Santa gains Krampus-like qualities and decapitates reindeer with a chainsaw.
Watch here

1. Humbug (2016)
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Length: 6:59
Probably the most memorable on the list, this horror tale shows the contrast between the goth Christmas-hater and Mrs. Christmas herself. The problem is solved when the humbug is exertisely removed from our anti-holiday gal, so she can live her life the way it was meant to be- merry!
Watch here