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.

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 leaveĀ  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!

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.)

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.

Wildling

Score: 5/10

Length: 92

Rating: R

Language: English

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

Another movie that I watched a few months ago and now have to “skim watch” it again before reviewing it because I can’t remember much. A forest girl hangs out with a forest man in furs is really all I can muster…

So now that I’ve watched the trailer and a few seconds here and there of the film, I recall that it’s about an odd girl who is found by cop, Liv Tyler. The girl has some strange fears including that of a “wildling”, a fairytale beast her father told her about, while keeping her locked up in the house to keep her safe. The girl makes a gentle attempt at living the life of a normal teenager, but eventually discovers her past and returns home- to the forest- where she belongs. Less horror, more fantasy, and nothing surprising enough for it to be memorable. It’s nothing new, but a pleasant film to watch, nonetheless.

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

 

I Am Not A Serial Killer (2016)

Score: 4.5/10

Length: 104

Rating: NR

Language: English

Categories: 2000s, recent, murderer

A teen, who is a little too serial killery himself, discovers his elderly neighbour murders for fun, or rather the CGI blob who inhabits him does. It’s well-acted, with Christopher Lloyd and Max Records (the kid from Where the Wild Things Are) and it had a nice moody tone. However, this is just another film festival flick that’s quirky and well-pieced, but boring and forgettable. I’ve seen this type of movie a million times- it’s intriguing, it has potential, but it’s just not something I’d want to revisit or recommend to anyone.

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.