Pyewacket (2017)

Score: 6/10

Length: 90

Rating: NR

Language: English

Categories: 2000s, recent, Canadian, forest, supernatural, murderer

This is yet another one of those films I was supposed to watch about a hundred times and never ended up actually watching it. I’m very sorry as a true Canadian, but I’m thrilled to see it today with my poutine, as I’ve been cheating on horror movies a lot lately with dark, sci-fi Netflix shows.

This super slow-burner is about a teenager who, in struggling with her relationship with her mother, completes a black magic ritual to kill her. In her fleeting moment of anger, she doesn’t quite realize what the demon she’s summoned is capable of, and how it will wreak havoc on her life. Although I felt like the film spent time developing characters that it could have spend building tension, it was a good idea, sort-of like a scary bedtime story. The twist was pretty obvious, but I was really appreciative that the ending wasn’t happy or neat. It definitely could have been stretched out a minute or two as I felt it was like: “TADA! Here’s the twist! The end!” Like it was just so great the movie should end right there. The demon-thing was also pretty well done- mostly shadows with some decent make-up when close-up. I could have done with a few more demon scenes thrown in there and a little more of a build-up with what happened with the freak-out friend. This witchy teenage film probably won’t leave  a lasting impression, but the acting was good, the scenery grand and familiar, and I can’t exactly fault this film for much besides being very slow to start.

Happy Canada Day!

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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.

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

Annabelle: Creation

Score: 7/10*

Length: 109

Rating: R

Language: English

Categories: 2000s, recent, murderer, toys, prequel, devil, ghost

Waaaaaaaaaaaaay better than the first one. Probably to do with the director, David F. Sandberg, who also did Lights Out. There are a few upcoming directors I’m following, and this guy might add himself to my list. The screenplay is by Gary Dauberman (Annabelle and the upcoming It and The Nun) and of course, it’s produced by James Wan. I don’t usually discuss the people behind the movie, but this is a real winning combination of horror minds. Lulu Wilson also stood out to me- I remembered her from Ouija: Origin of Evil, and Deliver Us from Evil. I hope she continues with the horror genre. So this one stuck with the demon/ ghost girl/ doll theme pretty well, although three things is already pushing it for me. I don’t particularly find dolls scary, so I’m glad the demon was involved. I feel more and more the importance of a movie’s consistency and main focus not muddied by other entities and useless storylines, so this was mildly refreshing. I was glad that the film focussed on the scares and darkness instead of lame CGI and a billion different monsters like some lazy movies…*cough*… Insidious. There were a few scenes and effects I could have done without, but overall, it was pretty solid. The acting was decent, and this film really knew how to drag out the tension. There were even a few cute touches thrown in, such as the original Raggedy Ann doll and the nun from The Conjuring, lurking in a photo. I could have done with more of a backstory to the girl and the doll and I’m still waiting to learn more about the demon. After seeing the first Annabelle, disappointment of the second installment was inevitable, however, I was quite impressed, which was most likely due to my low expectations.

*Friend score average: 6.2

The Bye Bye Man (2017)

Score: 2/10

Length: 97

Rating: PG-13

Language: English

Categories: 2000s, recent, monster, ghost, devil, murderer

With such a moronic title, this had to be good, right? I mean, if this was actually a decent movie, I’d be shocked and appalled at the title. A nauseating couple and the guy’s childhood best friend move into a house in need of some renovations for their college years. They decide to do a seance, and I suppose summon this bye bye man of sorts after our main guy says his name. Then, totally sensically, his name is said over and over and over and even written a bunch of times! The ghost-demon or whatever infects their brains, turning everyone who’s said the name into delusional killers. Mr Bye Bye is just some ghost dude in a black hooded cloak with a CGI dogbeast who enjoys pointing and poking people in the forehead. Aka a regular day waiting for an underground train. He reminds me of this guy from Beastly (which I obviously haven’t watched, but I remember the awful movie poster). he acting is bad, the script is bad, the “scares” are bad, and there is literally no back story at all to our villain. This film and its killer are exciting as instant noodles for dinner, and I have no issue saying bye bye to this stupid waste of time.

Get Out (2017)

Score: 6.5/10

Length: 104

Rating: R

Language: English

Categories: 2000s, recent, murderer, almost horror, psychological

This film was very hyped-up with super reviews but I was careful not to let it get my hopes up, just in case. It’s a good movie, with an original idea, but it seems to be more of a mystery-thriller than horror to me. Perhaps it was all the TSA jokes. It felt like a combination of The Skeleton Key, Being John Malkovich, and Under the Skin, (which are all fantastic films) and I enjoyed the mix of psychology and sci-fi. I was glad to not have to yell at the screen when things made no sense. The characters were well-thought out and well-developed. Daniel Kaluuya (you’ll probably know him from Black Mirror) is very relatable in his roles, and Allison Williams was an easy choice for the waspy white girl. The movie is about a guy who goes to meet his girlfriend’s family, but something is not right- all the help, who just so happen to be black, seem to be dazed and acting fake like they’re existing in some sort of deluded pleasantville. It’s clear they’ve been brainwashed into being servants and sex slaves, but it’s a little bit more tricky and strange than that. I thought I’d save this to the end- this is the first movie directed by Jordan Peele. You might not recognize the name, but you’ll recognize his face. He’s a comedy TV actor mostly, but appeared recently in Keanu. The comedic flare to this film makes quite a bit of sense now, but I’m still pretty shocked that he directed it.

Rings (2017)

Score: 5/10

Length: 102

Rating: PG-13

Language: English

Categories: 2000s, ghost, religious, murderer

I will start off by saying that I’ve been waiting for this movie for YEARS. The 3D version, that is. When the first Ring movie came out I was still obsessed with 3D, and I fantasized about what it’d be like to see Samara crawl out of the theatre screen and towards a terrified audience. This film was delayed several times, and I didn’t realize until I had bought the tickets that this release was not, in fact, 3D and was now just titled Rings instead of Rings 3D. I was annoyed to say the least, but let me unenthusiastically review what I did get to see, by a director who has barely any experience (he’s only released one full-length film prior to this one). The third installment in the Ring series focuses around Samara’s birth mother and uncovering the story behind her suffering. The plot is easy to follow and mostly makes sense without being looking like there was minimal effort put into it. There are, however, a bunch of character decisions that make absolutely no sense. Like why was there no one helping the guy in the totalled car? And why on Earth did she think it was a good idea to wonder around exploring by herself and leaving her boyfriend to figure out where she might be? Stuuupid. But what I REALLY don’t understand is why the tape isn’t shown to someone who is going to die anyway. Say, someone with a terminal disease. You’d think that’d be simple solution. Besides the lazy choices, the movie doesn’t have many obvious faults except that I doubt an old ghost would know how to work technology that well. A movie within a movie…. pshht. There isn’t much tension, but there are a lot of silly jump scares. The acting is fine, the make-up and effects are good enough, and the ending (which reminds me of The Exorcist) isn’t an awful one. Unfortunately, it’s hard to get over the fact that the first movie pretty scary, and this one just wasn’t.

Fun fact: The adult contortionist playing Samara shares the same last name: Morgan.

Review for original Ring movie (2002) here