Holiday Hell (2019)

Score: 3/10

Length: 100 mins

Rating: NR

Language: English

Categories: 2000s, Anthology, holiday, murderer, cult

A four-piece anthology tied together by a girl looking for a girl for her sister at an oddities shop on Christmas Eve. A killer wearing a doll mask killer, an evil rabbi doll, a Santa slasher, and a cult make up the four stories, and the latter takes a mediocre film into a steep downward spiral. It’s not bad for a low budget-horror, but none of the stories really go anywhere and therefore, aren’t exactly memorable. A one-time watch, with acting you can sit through reciting cringeworthy lines.

The Lighthouse (2019)

Score: 4/10

Length: 109 mins

Rating: R

Language: English

Categories: 2000s, recent, black and white, supernatural, murder

Robert Eggers, production designer recently turned director, known for The Witch, teams up with his brother to suck all the colour out of his latest film. This is a story about two sailor men who are on duty as lighthouse keepers. They do their duties. They talk about nothing with their silly accents. They go a little cray cray. They get excited about mermaid vagina. One smokes a lot and one farts a lot. But it’s enjoyable because it’s like looking at black and white artsy photographs. I liked that this movie was simply called The Lighthouse, because if nothing else, I came here to learn about lighthouses, and I feel I’ve been adequately educated. ]I did feel immersed in this incredibly slow-burner of a movie, and I found it easy to picture myself in the setting feeling cold and damp, and bored out of my damn mind. Unfortunately, (intentionally?) I had no affections to either character, Da Foe with his rough and tough fairytale fisherman persona nor Pattinson with his affinity for seagull murder. I can appreciate that the realistic decent into madness isn’t typically fast-paced and full of thrilling events, but the most terrifying thing the film has to offer are likely the shadows on Da Foe’s face during his monologues. The lengthy singing and dancing was more than a little painful to sit through, but it might still be a great stuck indoors due to stormy weather, nothing better to do type-film.

Shout out to Amazon Prime for providing interesting trivia facts to read during slow movies.

Ghost Stories (2019)

Score: 4.5/10

Length: 144

Rating: Mature (Netflix)

Language: English

Categories: 2000s, Hindi, Bollywood, anthology, murderer, monster, ghost

There are a lot of films with this name, so don’t get confused- this is the Bollywood horror anthology film on Netflix. The same directors who worked on Lust Stories share four creepy tales. A few things you need to keep in mind- Bollywood is known for elaborate action films and romances with loads of singing and dancing. It’s not known for its horror films and rightfully so- they don’t compare to the actual horrors we see in most North American, European, and Asian films, they’re more like spooky bed time stories. So take that horror genre categorizing with a huge grain of salt. And maybe some cilantro.

The segments don’t have titles so I’m just going to make them up and review them separately.

The Old Lady – A young woman is a caretaker for an elderly, bed-ridden lady. Strange things happen in the house at night, and eventually, the nurse happens upon a horrible secret which she smelled from the start.

Egg Envy – An almost black and white story about an expecting mother, a jealous child, and feathery fears of a miscarriage.

Monster Meal – I suppose a zombie movie, but more with monsters. Most of the humans are still turning, however, our main monster looks a lot like Harry the sasquatch from Harry and the Hendersons. Funny enough, this is probably the scariest segment, due to some of the frightening acting by the affected-humans. A man visits a small town and finds two children to be the sole survivors of some sort of mutation that turns humans into apelike creatures with bad eyesight who eat humans.

Granny’s Blessing – The final film is strange and not scary, but definitely quirky. An attractive couple plan an arranged marriage, but the wife-to-be has second thoughts after learning that her fiance is obsessed with his dead grandmother.

The Perfection (2018)

Score: 3.5/10

Length: 90

Rating: Mature (Netflix)

Language: English

Categories: 2000s, Netflix, murderer, recent, girly

The first half of theis movie is actually pretty decent. Guessable, because it’s pretty much Black Swan with cello instead of ballet, but still enticing. There are two points in the film in which there’s a rewind of events. Each time this happens, the film gets worse. A lot worse.

We start with the typical waspy white girl (a character Allison Williams has down pat by now) and your typical sweet, bi-racial competition. Both girls meet in Shanghai, where their former musical academy is auditioning for new students. The former-students make fast friends and plan an excursion together which goes horribly wrong when one of the girls gets sick. The Netflix movie can be split into three parts, separated by the rewinding of events: The first part is full of gag-worthy body grossness, including vomit, diarrhea, maggots, and amputation, so I’d highly recommend you don’t start this movie with a meal. Unless it’s meal worms and you’re trying to go for a theme. The second chunk is all of our twist reveals and the action-section. It’s watchable, but you can feel the film start to slide downhill. Part three is just horrible, stupid, and ultimately laughable. I actually guffawed at the end, and that’s a rare occurrence for me unless Larry David is present. I assume they were trying to finish with the same thrills the film started with and just went way too far. We get it, it’s rape-revenge, you want something bad to happen to the perpetrators, but throwing it in at the very last moment does not satisfy anyone. If the movie cut after the second scene with the girl running, it might have won itself a few more points.

 

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!

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

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.