Netflix

Drew Barrymore with General from Cat's Eye Drew Barrymore has spent her life in front of the camera in a variety of roles but is especially known with genre fans in recent times for her portrayal of Sheila Hammond in two series the Netflix show The Santa Clarita Diet.

Barrymore’s first role was uncredited in a made for television movie Suddenly, Love in 1978 (when she was merely two years old and played a baby boy named Bobby).

Drew BarrymoreIt wouldn’t be until two more years late, in 1980, that Drew would play Margaret Jessup in Altered States, which was also the debut film for William Hurt. Altered States reflected a disturbingly surreal element of humanity and was more psychological than horrifying.

A year later Barrymore hit the big time, starring as the adorably lovable Gertie in Steven Spielberg’s E.T -The Extra-Terrestrial. E.T. was a huge success and grossed nearly half a billion dollars at the box office and was the highest-grossing film of 1982, cementing Barrymore as quite an in-demand child star.

Drew Barrymore in FirestarterIn 1984 Barrymore scored the coveted role of Charlene “Charlie” McGee in the big screen adaptation of Stephen King’s novel Firestarter, playing the film’s pyrokinetic lead. Starring alongside industry heavyweights George. C. Scott and Martin Sheen, Barrymore dominated her screen time and delivered a powerful performance of a young girl driven by her love for her father.

A year later Barrymore would star in yet another Stephen King adaptation, in the anthology film Cat’s Eye. King reportedly wrote the screenplay with Barrymore in mind for the role as she had impressed producer Dino De Laurentiis with her work a year earlier on Firestarter.

Drew BarrymoreThrough the rest of the 80s, Barrymore played parts in shows such as Amazing Stories, The Ray Bradbury Theatre, and CBS Schoolbreak Special. It wasn’t until 1989 when Barrymore was 14 that she returned to genre films with the serial killer thriller Far From Home, as Joleen  Cox. The film was a flop, despite the fact it featured some horror alumni such as Richard Massur (IT), Jennifer Tilly (Bride Of Chucky), and Matt Frewer (The Stand).

This seemed like a decline in Barrymore’s career until three years later when she would star in the seductive 1992 Katt Shea thriller Poison Ivy. As Ivy, Barrymore befriends Sylvie Cooper (played by Sarah Gilbert) and seduces Sylvie’s father Darryl (Tom Skerritt). Barrymore delivered a sultry and fragile performance as the film titles vixen and regained her hold on Hollywood, yet again being seen as a talented actress.

Drew BarrymoreFollowing the success of Poison Ivy (which would spawn three sequels since), Barrymore appeared in Waxwork II: Lost in Time, Sketch Artist, Guncrazy, and No Place To Hide in 1992.

In 1993 Doppelganger was released. Barrymore played Holly Gooding, a young woman with a strange double. It wasn’t as successful as hoped, but has since become popular with fans.

Later that year Barrymore would play Long Island teenager Amy Fisher, in The Amy Fisher Story – based on the true story of a teenager who shot her adult lover Joey Buttafuoco’s wife. The film was well received at the time, and Barrymore praised for her portrayal of the wayward teen and the crime that shocked the world.

For the following years, Barrymore took more romantic roles and in 1995 even appeared as Sugar in Batman Forever, one of the villain Two-Face’s (played by Tommy Lee Jones) girlfriends.

However in 1996 came a pivotal moment in Barrymore’s career, taking on a role as a victim called Casey Becker rather than the lead she was originally offered. In Wes Craven’s/David Williamson’s Scream, Barrymore’s role became as infamous as Janet Leigh’s in Hitchcock’s Psycho 36 years earlier and has since been part of one of Horror’s most memorable on-screen deaths for over two decades since.

Drew Barrymore in ScreamFrom Scream, Barrymore took more light-hearted roles – for which her fans adore her- in films such as The Wedding Singer, Ever After, and Home Fries.

It was in 1999 that Barrymore launched her production company Flower Films and their first film Never Been Kissed (which reunited her with former Doppelganger co-star Sean Whalen – known as Roach from The People Under the Stairs – and Scream co-star David Arquette) was released.

Drew BarrymoreIn 2001 she returned to the genre in Donnie Darko as Karen Pomeroy. The sci-fi/thriller film still has fans divided to this day over the interpretation of what it means.

Following commercial success with the Charlie’s Angels film reboots and a dramatic role in Driving in Cars With Boys, Barrymore has built her career for the last decade primarily in producing films and starring in romantic and dramatic roles.

Drew BarrymoreIn 2017 Netflix released the first series of The Santa Clarita Diet. The show is a horror comedy, about the strange death of Sheila Hammond. However Sheila isn’t quite dead, she’s undead and has a hankering for human flesh. It is up to her husband Joel (Timothy Olyphant), daughter Abby (Liv Hewson) and their young neighbor Eric (Skyler Gisondo) to help figure out how Sheila became what she now is and try and change her back to normal.

The show has run for two seasons already and confirmation for series three has been announced. Fans are enjoying the dark humor and balance between the comedy itself and grotesque gore. It has been an enjoyable and hilarious show to watch and personally a great reintroduction to genre fans for Barrymore’s skills as a comedienne and her abilities within the genre.

Drew Barrymore and Timothy Olyphant in Santa Clarita Diet

DREW BARRYMORE: From Child Star to Cannibalistic Leading Lady

DREW BARRYMORE: From Child Star to Cannibalistic Leading Lady

Drew Barrymore with General from Cat's EyeDrew Barrymore has spent her life in front of the camera in a variety of roles but is especially known with genre fans in recent times for her portrayal of Sheila Hammond in two series the Netflix show The Santa Clarita Diet.

Barrymore’s first role was uncredited in a made for television movie Suddenly, Love in 1978 (when she was merely two years old and played a baby boy named Bobby).

Drew BarrymoreIt wouldn’t be until two more years late, in 1980, that Drew would play Margaret Jessup in Altered States, which was also the debut film for William Hurt. Altered States reflected a disturbingly surreal element of humanity and was more psychological than horrifying.

A year later Barrymore hit the big time, starring as the adorably lovable Gertie in Steven Spielberg’s E.T -The Extra-Terrestrial. E.T. was a huge success and grossed nearly half a billion dollars at the box office and was the highest-grossing film of 1982, cementing Barrymore as quite an in-demand child star.

Drew Barrymore in FirestarterIn 1984 Barrymore scored the coveted role of Charlene “Charlie” McGee in the big screen adaptation of Stephen King’s novel Firestarter, playing the film’s pyrokinetic lead. Starring alongside industry heavyweights George. C. Scott and Martin Sheen, Barrymore dominated her screen time and delivered a powerful performance of a young girl driven by her love for her father.

A year later Barrymore would star in yet another Stephen King adaptation, in the anthology film Cat’s Eye. King reportedly wrote the screenplay with Barrymore in mind for the role as she had impressed producer Dino De Laurentiis with her work a year earlier on Firestarter.

Drew BarrymoreThrough the rest of the 80s, Barrymore played parts in shows such as Amazing Stories, The Ray Bradbury Theatre, and CBS Schoolbreak Special. It wasn’t until 1989 when Barrymore was 14 that she returned to genre films with the serial killer thriller Far From Home, as Joleen  Cox. The film was a flop, despite the fact it featured some horror alumni such as Richard Massur (IT), Jennifer Tilly (Bride Of Chucky), and Matt Frewer (The Stand).

This seemed like a decline in Barrymore’s career until three years later when she would star in the seductive 1992 Katt Shea thriller Poison Ivy. As Ivy, Barrymore befriends Sylvie Cooper (played by Sarah Gilbert) and seduces Sylvie’s father Darryl (Tom Skerritt). Barrymore delivered a sultry and fragile performance as the film titles vixen and regained her hold on Hollywood, yet again being seen as a talented actress.

Drew BarrymoreFollowing the success of Poison Ivy (which would spawn three sequels since), Barrymore appeared in Waxwork II: Lost in Time, Sketch Artist, Guncrazy, and No Place To Hide in 1992.

In 1993 Doppelganger was released. Barrymore played Holly Gooding, a young woman with a strange double. It wasn’t as successful as hoped, but has since become popular with fans.

Later that year Barrymore would play Long Island teenager Amy Fisher, in The Amy Fisher Story – based on the true story of a teenager who shot her adult lover Joey Buttafuoco’s wife. The film was well received at the time, and Barrymore praised for her portrayal of the wayward teen and the crime that shocked the world.

For the following years, Barrymore took more romantic roles and in 1995 even appeared as Sugar in Batman Forever, one of the villain Two-Face’s (played by Tommy Lee Jones) girlfriends.

However in 1996 came a pivotal moment in Barrymore’s career, taking on a role as a victim called Casey Becker rather than the lead she was originally offered. In Wes Craven’s/David Williamson’s Scream, Barrymore’s role became as infamous as Janet Leigh’s in Hitchcock’s Psycho 36 years earlier and has since been part of one of Horror’s most memorable on-screen deaths for over two decades since.

Drew Barrymore in ScreamFrom Scream, Barrymore took more light-hearted roles – for which her fans adore her- in films such as The Wedding Singer, Ever After, and Home Fries.

It was in 1999 that Barrymore launched her production company Flower Films and their first film Never Been Kissed (which reunited her with former Doppelganger co-star Sean Whalen – known as Roach from The People Under the Stairs – and Scream co-star David Arquette) was released.

Drew BarrymoreIn 2001 she returned to the genre in Donnie Darko as Karen Pomeroy. The sci-fi/thriller film still has fans divided to this day over the interpretation of what it means.

Following commercial success with the Charlie’s Angels film reboots and a dramatic role in Driving in Cars With Boys, Barrymore has built her career for the last decade primarily in producing films and starring in romantic and dramatic roles.

Drew BarrymoreIn 2017 Netflix released the first series of The Santa Clarita Diet. The show is a horror comedy, about the strange death of Sheila Hammond. However Sheila isn’t quite dead, she’s undead and has a hankering for human flesh. It is up to her husband Joel (Timothy Olyphant), daughter Abby (Liv Hewson) and their young neighbor Eric (Skyler Gisondo) to help figure out how Sheila became what she now is and try and change her back to normal.

The show has run for two seasons already and confirmation for series three has been announced. Fans are enjoying the dark humor and balance between the comedy itself and grotesque gore. It has been an enjoyable and hilarious show to watch and personally a great reintroduction to genre fans for Barrymore’s skills as a comedienne and her abilities within the genre.

Drew Barrymore and Timothy Olyphant in Santa Clarita Diet


Posted by Michelle MIDI Sayles in Categories, 0 comments
About Stephen Nemeth’s Black Friday

About Stephen Nemeth’s Black Friday

ESSEN-77 media releases the promo video/trailer for director Stephen Nemeth’s Black Friday.

The promo video/trailer is a prequel ultrashort that segues into a montage of images from the 17-minute short film. The film is already being celebrated by critics, journalists, film historians and those who look for cutting-edge experiences with teeth.

Stephen Nemeth (camera, American Guinea Pig: Bloodshock) wrote, produced, photographed, directed, composed/ performed the score and created the special effects. Nemeth also appears in a cameo as the Devil’s Advocate in the prequel ultrashort portion of the promo video/trailer. Black Friday promises to pose questions instead of answers and challenges the audiences to think for themselves about the extreme behaviors onscreen.

Stephen Nemeth was camera/second cinematographer for American Guinea Pig: Bloodshock, the second installment of the American reboot of the famous Japanese extreme horror franchise, the Guinea Pig series, and created the Behind the Scenes of Bloodshock feature-length documentary on the three-disc collectors’ edition release from Unearthed Films. In 2013, Nemeth directed the Locus series of metaphysical stalker thriller shorts and the home invading/domestic violence short Deathlust (2014). Recently he wrote, directed, and shot the music video for Chris Sullivan’s “By The Light Of Radio”, a nostalgic throwback to a simpler magical time where the radio tuner dial illuminated the bedrooms of youngsters exposing them to the sounds of 70s and 80s rock and roll artists like Tom Petty and Bruce Springsteen.

He also currently appears onscreen with Ally Sheedy (The Breakfast Club) and Peter Hedges ( novelist/ screenwriter, What’s Eating Gilbert Grape?) in Little Sister, streaming on Netflix and available on Blu-Ray from Kino/Lorber.

Keep an eye out for Stephen Nemeth’s Black Friday, and let House of Tortured Souls know what you think.

Stephen Nemeth's Black Friday (2018)

Posted by Michelle MIDI Sayles in HORROR NEWS, PRESS RELEASE, 0 comments
Altered Carbon, S01E01 [Spoiler-Free Review]

Altered Carbon, S01E01 [Spoiler-Free Review]

Starring: Joel Kinnaman, James Purefoy, Renée Elise Goldsberry, Chris Conner, Kristin Lehman

High concept science fiction set in the future is tricky to do and to do well; no, not tricky damn hard. You have to walk a fine line between establishing a well-grounded world that feels organic and realistic and also set it hundreds of years into the future. Netflix’s newest original series Altered Carbon hits the ground running with a wildly creative future neo. Set in the distant future, prisoner Takeshi Kovacs (Joel Kinnaman) returns in a new body called re-sleeving and must help a rich man named Laurens Bancroft (James Purefoy) to solve his murder in return for money and freedom. Altered Carbon’s first episode does a nice job of providing a lot of information and world-building, and it does it in a way that doesn’t feel forced or even worse of all, through terrible exposition. This isn’t as easy as it seems especially when you have so much backstory and information to get across to the audience, but it does this in a really fresh and organic way.

Besides great writing, the show as a host of great actors including Joel Kinnaman (Suicide Squad), James Purefoy (The Following), and Renée Elise Goldsberry (Star Trek Enterprise) just to name a few. Netflix has given this series the gold treatment and the budget is used to provide us with a wonderfully trippy, neon blazed, future landscape that feels realistic even though it is fantastical. I cannot say enough great things about inventive the visuals are, they truly set the stage for a cool high brow sci-fi, action mystery. The first episode also had some fun nods to the literary world, such as Edgar Allan Poe and The Raven Hotel and the actor who bears a wonderful likeness to the late great author. I will warn viewers that this is extremely sci-fi heavy so if that is not something you get into, then you may like this. Also, it goes pretty quickly so you have to pay close attention and even then a second viewing might be required. My one complaint is that the show plays a bit fast and loose with its almost overly complicated plot and hopefully, they reign that in as the show progresses.

Overall, my impression of the first episode of Altered Carbon is that it’s an engrossing, highly creative, well-acted, future noir that has a strong element of mystery that will most certainly have me watching till half my day is gone and the other 9 episodes are burnt through.

Posted by Mike Vaughn in REVIEWS, SCI-FI HORROR, SERIES REVIEWS, THRILLER, 0 comments
The Cloverfield Paradox (2018)

The Cloverfield Paradox (2018)

Hey, horror fans, whatever you’re doing STOP! Horrormadam here with the newest part of the Cloverfield Series, The Cloverfield Paradox premiering tonight 2/4/2018 on Netflix. This is the third installment of the J.J. Abrams fueled science fiction horror franchise!

The premise: After a scientific experiment aboard the space station involving a particle accelerator has unexpected results, the astronauts find themselves isolated. Following their horrible discovery, the space station crew must fight for survival.

Directed by Black filmmaker Julius Onah, and yes I am pointing out that he is black because this is an important distinction during Black History Month. On the wings of the success of Get Out, it is important to recognize all of the amazing contributions from people of color in film. Julius Onah was born on February 10, 1983 in Makurdi, Benue State, Nigeria. He is a producer and director, known for Don’t Look Back (2008), The Girl Is in Trouble (2015) and Luce (2018).

Also on board are writers Oren Uziel (Shimmer Lake, 22 Jump Street), and Doug Jung (Star Trek: Beyond, Banshee).

Actors David Oyelowo (Selma, /em>Nightingale), Gugu Mbatha-Raw (Concussion, Beauty & the Beast), Ziyi Zhang (Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, >House of Flying Daggers), Elizabeth Debicki (Great Gatsby, Guardians of the Galaxy 2, Man From U.N.C.L.E.), Daniel Buhl (Rush, Inglourious Basterds, Captain America Civil War), and Chris Odowd (Bridesmaids, Thor:The Dark World). Really great and diverse cast.

Ava DuVernay,director, producer, writer, marketer and film distributor, (Selma, Dreamgirls, Rollbounce, amongst so many other titles) said it best on Twitter and this is a direct quote:

Woman of color-led, sci-fi thriller released worldwide day + date w/ big Netflix muscle for black director, his super producer + POC cast. No advance press, ads, trailer. Straight to the people. Gamechanger. Congrats to helmer #JuliusOnah + my dears JJ, Gugu, David. #Cloverfield.

She is right, this is a game changer and very exciting. Really looking forward to it and we will have more on it after it airs.

Posted by Horrormadam in COMING SOON, EVENTS, EXCLUSIVE, HORROR NEWS, NEW RELEASES, PREQUELS AND SEQUELS, 0 comments
MOVIE REVIEW: Clown (2014)

MOVIE REVIEW: Clown (2014)

I finally got a chance to view the highly anticipated 2014 Clown. First, let me clarify because too many people are under the wrong impression... THIS IS NOT AN ELI ROTH FILM!!! The film itself was written by Christopher Ford and Jon Watts and was directed by Jon Watts as well. Eli Roth was one of the producers for the film, along with three others and six executive producers... That does not make this an Eli Roth film. So many are saying this is one of his films, and it’s not! Why not just ask Jon Watts how it was to work under Roth during the making of Clown? Then kick him in the nuts as well!

Clown (2014) / Fair use doctrine.

Now that that's out of the way... I had been wanting to see Clown since first having read about and, of course, later having seen trailer for it. Well, God Bless America, but what do I happen to see on Netflix but Clown?! I was thrilled!!!!

The storyline of Clown is of a good dad trying to be the hero to his son’s birthday party when he finds an old clown outfit and wears it to the party after the hired clown cancels at last minute. Good dad to the rescue! Now for the bad part…

After the party is over, Dad can’t get the costume off. It literally is stuck on his body. One might almost say that it is becoming one with his body. After some research, he discovers that the outfit he put on is, for lack of better words, possessed by a once demonic clown who killed and fed off children. I'm not going to say much else about the film because I do hope many of you give it a chance. It is a solid film and deserves to be watched. My review isn't so much a bad movie review as it is a let down on how much potential I think it had. There is honestly a difference!

I don't think I've been so on the line with a film in a very long time! Clown holds so many high points, very dark, very disturbing high points. Clown also holds so many low, predictable, and almost generic points to it. Just when you think it’s great, it pulls some cheesy shit and, to me, it would just fall to hell.

I didn't expect much from the film even though I wanted to see it for so long, I still didn't have very high expectations, and I was wrong. It is a good solid film. I just think if they had stuck with their original dark thoughts and finished that way, it would have been even better.

I really wanted to like it a lot more than I did. Sadly, if I were to give Clown a numerical rating, it would probably be a 3 or maybe a 4, not because of how bad it was because, honestly, it wasn't...but because of how great it really could have been!!

I will say this, the dad, or Kent, played by Andy Powers was spot on. From the role of loving father through his changing ways, shall we say, he did a great job. And I MUST, MUST, MUST say this, let’s call it, the rainbow-colored splatter: GENIUS!!!

Clown is on Netflix. Give it a shot, and let House of Tortured Souls know what you think!

Keep It Evil...

Posted by John Roisland in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
Haunters: The Art of the Scare (2017)

Haunters: The Art of the Scare (2017)

Haunters: The Art of the Scare - skulls / Image: Fair use doctrine

Haunters: The Art of the Scare, or as many simply refer to it Haunters the Movie, is a 2017 documentary brought to you by Brain Factory Production. Where The American Scream first brought us a light hearted look at local family haunts and a few years later The Houses October Built dabbled into the search for the more extreme in home haunts, Haunters: The Art of the Scare brings you the absolute best of both!

Writer/producer/director Jon Schnitzer takes an in depth look at a wide variety of home haunts through the United States of America. From jump scare haunts to over the top, all out, full contact haunts, Schnitzer serves up a little bit everything for you to sample, a smorgasbord of selections to satisfy your personal palate.

As most of you by now know, I love Halloween and everything about it. Furthermore, I love (crave, even) Halloween-themed movies, so when I first caught wind of Haunters: The Art of the Scare, I was super stoked, to say the least! There is truly nothing I love more than a documentary film about one of my passions…HALLOWEEN!!

Haunters: The Art of the Scare not only examines the art of haunting, it also embraces the passion of legendary haunt actors and shows the history of the haunt and the progression and evolution of home haunts through the years to today’s now legendary the current most extreme haunt in the world – McKamey Manor. Not too shabby considering it’s all being run out of his own home!. It even illustrates how religious organizations actually utilized home haunts to help recruit for their churches.

In-depth behind the scene interviews with haunt owners, actors, builders, and, of course, haunt audience responses cast a light on the underappreciated art of home haunts. The thing I most admired is that not only did Schnitzer capture great behind the scenes footage (it’s always amazing to see what goes on behind the curtain so to speak), but he also captured the haunters’ family lives and how having a home haunt effects and takes its toll on family. Building and running a haunt is a second full-time job for these folks, and as much support as the family gives, sometimes they just run out of things to give…

Haunters: The Art of the Scare does focus a lot on McKamey Manor, but let’s face it, when a haunt requires you to be vetted through a screening process to find out if potential attendees are physically and mentally able of traveling across the world just to go through, you know it’s worth showing! The haunt has gained such huge notoriety that Schnitzer compiled a nice guest list of horror actors and others well-known names in horror (Jen and Sylvia Soska, Jason Blum, and Jessica Cameron to name a few) to add their own thoughts on extreme haunts.

Haunters: The Art of the Scare - Jen and Sylvia Soska / Image: Fair use doctrine

Haunters: The Art of the Scare is currently airing on Netflix and should be high on your to watch list! This documentary packs a punch while still showing the true lives of home haunters!

 

Keep It Evil…

Posted by John Roisland in DOCUMENTARIES, 0 comments
MOVIE REVIEW: Bright (2017)

MOVIE REVIEW: Bright (2017)

After hearing such a negative buzz about the recently released $90 million Netflix film Bright, I decided to objectively view it for myself. A couple of days ago Netflix announced that Bright 2 is already in pre production – when in actual fact it was planned before the release of Bright itself on December 22, 2017. In the scarce time since Bright was released, the Internet has been awash with mixed reactions, from absolute adoration to complete and total loathing. Many were disappointed by director David Ayer’s recent comic book entry Suicide Squad and Max Landis‘ recent hurrah about rebooting his father’s infamous film An American Werewolf in London were skeptical that either were great filmmakers and questioned the choice of Will Smith in the lead alongside Joel Edgerton.

BrightBright is the story of our world, seen in an alternate universe in which Orcs, Fairies, and Elves inhabit alongside Humans. The Orcs are oafs who are all for a world free from the humans, who prejudge them all as criminals. The Fairies are annoying little cretins, who seemingly do no more than annoy humans. And the Elves are the highest rolling society. Wealthy, attractive and simply the royalty/ celebrities of this other world order.

Smith plays human police officer Daryl Ward. A man run down by his job and awaiting his retirement in the coming years with some annoyance. Ward has recently been partnered with Nick Jakoby (played by Joel Edgerton), a “non-blooded” Orc – meaning he belongs to no clan and is ostracised by his own- who is simple and still learning to understand humans. Smith is not difficult to watch, but like his prior roles in films like I Am Legend and Suicide Squad, it is basically regular old Smith performance on screen. Edgerton, on the other hand, is a goofy gem. His bumbling but well-meaning performance of Orc Officer Jakoby is easily as enjoyable as Mandy Patinkin in Alien Nation (a 1988 film that I feel is echoed in this movie through some of its sentiments). I did feel the duo bounced off one another well but that Smith’s delivery was a tad too dry at times.

Joel Edgerton, Lucy Fry, and Will Smith in Bright

Joel Edgerton, Lucy Fry, and Will Smith in Bright

Like Alien Nation, Bright finds its feet exploring a subplot of awkwardness between these two cops and a division unhelped by the corruption around them. Stumbling upon a young Elf called Tikka (amazingly portrayed by Lucy Fry – famous for her role in the first season of the Australian t series of Greg Mclean’s Wolf Creek), who is frail and afraid of her heroes. Tikka is a Bright, a magic Elf with powers to unlock both good and bad forces. Tikka is being pursued by the beautiful Leilah (portrayed by Noomi Rapace from The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo film series). Leilah is cold, ruthless and has a thirst for the darker side of magic, quite literally obliterating anyone in her path with her two Elvish goons. Also pursuing our troubled trio is a pair of Elf detectives also keen to learn about what the threesome are protecting.

With enough car chases, explosions and high octane injuries and deaths, this is definitely a film that only lets up when needed and keeps a steady pace through its nearly two-hour runtime. I won’t ruin the fun of this film with more details but will say the negativity it has received online is heavily unwarranted as it is a fun and interesting watch.

Noomi Rapace in Bright

Noomi Rapace in Bright

Fans of mythical beings or action films will enjoy those aspects of Bright. I can only hope Landis and Ayer can produce the same (or better) quality film the second time around. Smith and Edgerton have both already confirmed their return in Bright 2 and it is slated for release later this year on Netflix.

Posted by Michelle MIDI Sayles in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
MOVIE REVIEW: Train to Busan (2016)

MOVIE REVIEW: Train to Busan (2016)

Train to Busan is a 2016 South Korean zombie flick that is a breath of fresh air!! The storyline... Well, like in any other zombie film: run and don't get eaten! Okay, that's the same here. Our story centers around a divorced father and young daughter who are traveling by train to get to... you guessed it, Busan. They are trying to get his daughter back to her mother. The father sadly is a workaholic and spends no time with his daughter, and that also plays an emotionally important part in the story.
While the father and daughter are travelling, an outbreak has begun and, yes, people are starting to turn into zombies. Only becoming aware of the situations via cell phones while en route, the crowded train learns the hard way at a scheduled stop that things are a lot worse than what they had expected - having been anticipating a military welcome in what was supposedly a safe area.

Without giving anything away from the film, you use your imagination as to what happens next...on its way to Busan.
What sets Train to Busan apart from other recent zombie films is how it's shot. The first thing that really hit me was how sharp and bright the colors in the film are. Most are dark and almost dingy, but this could have been used for a Clorox color-safe bleach commercial. The colors just seemed to pop and everything just seemed to be so damn clean!
The makeup and special FX used were spot on! No masks and no use of dirt and buckets of blood for decay value, all while still packing a punch and throwing a few holy shit moments at you. It was a near-perfect zombie film.
Lastly, one thing I’ve learned over the years with Asian horror films, they are either so far over-the-top-what-the-fuck-did-I-just-watch kind of film or they are extremely brutal and violent and usually very sexually oriented, often in a somewhat perverted way. I'm not saying that I don't enjoy all those qualities in a good wholesome Asian horror film, but Train to Busan possessed none of those stereotypical qualities. It is just a straight-ahead zombie film, with a great ending!
Train to Busan was directed by Sang-ho-Yeon, runs just under 2 hours long, is subtitled, and is currently on Netflix. I really can’t suggest Train to Busan enough!
Keep It Evil...
Posted by John Roisland in MONSTERS AND CREATURES, MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, ZOMBIES, 0 comments
MOVIE REVIEW: The Babysitter (2017)

MOVIE REVIEW: The Babysitter (2017)

The Babysitter All Boys Wish For But Shouldn't

Hello, I am the Horror Madam, and I am honored to be joining all of the amazing writers at House of Tortured Souls!
I thought it would be nice to start out here with a lighter horror film to get my feet wet, so I’m going to talk about a new dark comedy horror film called The Babysitter. It is a Netflix original film released this past October 2017, and it is only available on Netflix at this time.
Emily Alyn Lind and Judah Lewis in The Babysitter (2017) / Fair use doctrine.When The Babysitter starts out, it is reminiscent of a John Hughes movie: a nerdy young boy in glasses with a cute girl just waiting for the bus in front of their nice school. You realize quickly that this is not a normal boy going through puberty while pining for the girl next door, and when the girl's father pulls up in his bitchin' mid-life crisis hot rod and gives our young protagonist grief, you start to get curious. But it’s certainly not horrific. Yet.
Next, we see the boy, Cole, played by Judah Lewis (who, according to IMDb was a finalist to play Spider-Man but lost out to Tom Holland), riding home on his bike. Like you would see in any coming of age tale, Cole is harassed by some neighborhood bullies. Unlike other movies of that ilk, Cole is saved by his extremely beautiful babysitter, Bee, played by Austrailian actress Samara Weaving (who appeared in Mayhem and the amazing Ash vs The Evil Dead). You may be asking yourself, where have I heard that last name? Samara is the niece of the very talented Hugo Weaving from such great films as The Matrix and V for Vendetta. Good genes in that family.
Bee shows up with the sun shining on her making her look like a guardian angel sent from above and the song "Boys Wanna Be Her" by Peaches playing in the background, setting the stage for her character's persona. But what you see is what she wants you to see, hiding her true intentions. More on that in a moment because The Babysitter uses enough of its own foreshadowing.
Samara Weaving in The Babysitter (2017) (bikini) crop / Fair use doctrine.Now we start to see the relationship between Bee and Cole which includes a great dance scene and a short slow motion presentation of their time together including a great homage To Fast Times At Ridgemont High with Bee coming out of the pool in the same bikini that Phoebe Cates wore in said film. We also see a game that Cole made up about what would your Intergalactic Dream Team be when facing The Big Bad. Bee's answer is great and on point showing further that she is a young boy's wet dream.
Cole wants to see what happens when he goes to sleep and Bee's boyfriend comes over, so he pretends to sleep and slips down to see what is going on. There is a group of people with Bee, and they are mixing spin the bottle with a truth or dare game. This involves some very hot girl-on-girl kissing and movie quotes. Notably, one particular line involving Fredo from The Godfather. But I digress. The boyfriend in question is a teenage nerd who is very uncomfortable at the party. He is afraid to kiss Bee, but when she finally calms him down and kisses him it looks like the young man has entered bliss but that is when the madness ensues.Robbie Amell and Bella Thorne in The Babysitter (2017) / Fair use doctrine.
From that moment on, we see so many fun and extremely bloody deaths. And I am not kidding about the amount of blood, at one point I remember thinking that it reminded me of old Monty Python skits where copious amounts of blood just spurt and spurt and spurt again.
Warning: Spoilers
A fire poker is put through someone’s eye and then half the head ripped off, someone is stabbed in the head with two knives, a head is shot clean off – but it looks more like it exploded, a girl is killed with a giant firecracker and bug spray. Like I said, fun. All of these great effects were done by Shade VFX who has done so many movies but most recently some examples like Annabelle Creation and John Wick: Chapter 2.
The Babysitter was written by Brian Duffield, who also penned Insurgent and Jane Got a Gun, and Directed by McG (also from Michigan), who is best known for one of the longest-running shows on TV, Supernatural. The parents are played by Leslie Bibb from Talladega Nights and Ken Marino from We Are the Millers and Role Models, who provide even more comic relief.
I really enjoyed this movie for its clever wit, great lines, monstrously bloody scenes, and a killer soundtrack, especially a climax scene with Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen. I hope I gave you enough insight without spoiling too much, I hate when reviewers do that. So with that, I leave you with the tagline "That dream girls can be a nightmare". Or maybe they are just the Big Bad.
Posted by Horrormadam in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
PLAY OR PASS: XX (2017)

PLAY OR PASS: XX (2017)

Directors: Roxanne Benjamin, Karyn Kusama, St. Vincent, Jovanka Vuckovic; Writers: Roxanne Benjamin, Karyn Kusama, St. Vincent, Jovanka Vuckovic; Stars: Natalie Brown, Ron Lea, Melanie Lynskey, Peter DaCunha, Shelia Vand, Seth Duhame, Michael Dyson, Sanai Victoria, Peyton Kennedy; Rating: R; Run Time: 80 min; Genre: Horror; Country: USA; Language: English; Year: 2017
I always been a huge champion for women in horror, a group I feel like is sorely underrated and sadly ignored. So when I heard about XX a female based horror anthology, I was pretty stoked to say the least. The film opens with a brilliantly creepy Jan Svankmajer inspired stop motion animation which perfectly fits this anthologiy's tone, that of a beautiful and stylish yet off-putting bit of horror. XX opens strong with "The Box", based on a Jack Ketchum story about a mysterious man with a box that leads to a disturbing chain reaction to one woman’s family. This is by far the best segment with a strong concept that doesn’t get too carried away and strikes a perfect less-is-more disturbing quality. Next is "The Birthday Party", which I thought was one of the weaker entries. While I can totally get on board with the dark humor, the plot seemed a bit aimless and not as well developed as the others; however, I do give it bonus points for starring Melanie Lynskey. "Don’t Fall" is the next feature and, like "The Box", had a simple yet effective concept highlighted by great moody cinematography and well done creature FX. Finally, there is "Her Only Living Son", a kind of unofficial sequel to Rosemary's Baby. I`m guessing it was changed just enough to avoid legal action, but true fans of the genre will put two and two together. I have mixed feelings about this segment; while the concept is great, the ending felt rushed.

Play Or Pass:

Play

Final Thoughts:

Overall, the film has its highlights and its weak points but altogether makes for an enjoyable watch. XX is stylish and spooky in equal measure and proves that women can dominate the horror landscape just as well as men. Play this one in the dark with a group of friends.
Posted by Mike Vaughn in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
SERIES OVERVIEW: Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Return (2017)

SERIES OVERVIEW: Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Return (2017)

Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Return

This review might seem a bit out of nowhere for a horror site, but Mystery Science Theater 3000 is something near and dear to the hearts of many hardcore horror fans simply because we've all had to suffer through bad movies with our friends.
We've all been there, particularly if you lived through the video rental era. You'd wander the aisles for upwards of an hour, reading the backs of boxes, looking for the perfect movie to watch. You would grab a pizza and a few refreshing cold beverages, get home, pop in the movie and immediately be disappointed with your carefully selected choice of films. It happens, but you'd suffer through it anyway, because money was spent and you weren't about to let that crappy movie win.
I'm a bit shocked that some of the people I watched movies with back then are still my friends considering how many bad movies I made them watch. At this point I would like to formally apologize to my friend John for making him suffer through all those dreadful movies. Notice I said that I would LIKE to apologize; I'm not actually going to because those memories are some of the best of my formative years.
Which brings me to my point. Mystery Science Theater 3000 isn't just a movie watching experience; it's more like a bonding experience. You feel a kinship, not just with the host and his companions, but with everyone who has ever suffered through a bad movie.
I'll admit that when I first heard that Joel Hodgson was trying to reboot Mystery Science Theater 3000, I was skeptical. As much as I loved the show, I really didn't think it was still relevant in today's society of 140-character Twitter humor, Fail Army videos, and tasteless memes. That, and the fact that it's closing on 20 years since the show appeared on television.
Surprisingly, the new incarnation is every bit as good as the older version. Mind you, it's not the same show. It's the next step in the progression of the show. An evolution. Everything about it is new. It's much more polished with better visuals in some areas, and the old school, homemade feel in others.
Kinga Forrester and Max aka TV's Son of TV's Frank / Fair use doctrine.The story plays out the same way as the old one. Evil mad scientists Kinga Forrester (Felicia Day), and her assistant, TV's Son of TV's Frank, aka Max (Patton Oswalt), trap some poor, likable dope — Jonah Heston (Jonah Ray) — on the far side of the moon and force him to watch bad movies with his robot pals.
Even though Day and Oswalt do a great job as the new "Mads", I don't think their characters are fully developed at this point. They seem almost TOO competent compared to Clayton and Pearl Forrester. And while both are colorful and entertaining, they seem a bit generic. As a big fan of both, I'm hoping that both can embrace their respective roles and make them unique and interesting characters in future seasons.
Jonah and the bots / Fair use doctrine.Jonah Ray does a superb job filling the shoes of the hosts before him. No small feat. (Get it? Shoes, Feet. HaHaHaHa!) considering that Joel Hodgson and Mike Nelson had two distinctly different styles. He's not just filling the shoes in though, he's doing a great job of making the role his own. And although the voices of Crow and Tom Servo have changed slightly, Hampton Yount and Baron Vaughn pick up almost seamlessly from Bill Corbett and Kevin Murphy regarding the character and delivery of their respective robots.
The riffing in the theater segments is fast and concise right out of the gate, with lots of references to current events as well as throwbacks to some of the classic episodes. Just like the old show, the diverse range of topics give the new shows a great amount of re-watchability.
The host segments are lively and fun, although it's easy to tell that Ray, Yount, and Vaughn haven't quite mastered their on-screen chemistry. That sort of thing will come together over time, though.
Also, the addition of some big-name celebrities and a few familiar old faces dropping by on occasion gives the viewers an added treat. I'd tell you a few right now, but it's more fun to be surprised by it.
Overall, it's a faithful continuation of the series if you're an old fan of the show, and it's a great introduction if you're a newbie.
Posted by Richard Francis in HOSTED HORROR, REVIEWS, SCI-FI HORROR, SERIES REVIEWS, 0 comments
MOVIE REVIEW: I Am Not a Serial Killer (2016)

MOVIE REVIEW: I Am Not a Serial Killer (2016)

Quite often I get asked for movie suggestions. Often that suggestion comes with the caveat, usually along the lines of “not the usual found footage, or stupid teens”. Luckily there are a few suggestions I can give and I Am Not a Serial Killer is one of them. It's definitely not your usual horror film, and while the main character is a teen, he's not your usual clueless, horny teen.
I Am Not A Serial Killer / Fair use doctrine.
I Am Not a Serial Killer on Netflix
I am not a Serial Killer on Netflix

I Am Not a Serial Killer on Netflix

I Am Not a Serial Killer is about a young teen who is fighting sociopathic urges and tendencies. He hasn't hurt anyone yet, but he can fill the pull and is intrigued by death. It doesn't help that he works in the family's funeral home. His personal conflicts are exacerbated when dead bodies start turning up around town. He's drawn to the victims and the crime scenes, and it soon becomes apparent that the killer, might be something more than human.
The film is based on the first novel in the John Wayne Cleaver series by writer Dan Wells. It was directed by Brian O'Brien. I Am Not a Serial Killer stars Max Records (Where the Wild Things Are), as John Wayne Cleaver and Christopher Lloyd (Back to the Future, Piranha 3-D) as his elderly neighbor Bill Crowley. That's about all the plot I'm going to give you. It would be a crime to spoil it any more. The film develops fairly quickly so you wont have to wait long.
As I mentioned, I Am Not a Serial Killer isn't your usual film with stupid teen protagonists and victims. Even though the lead is a teen, and the book is based on is considered Young Adult, John Wayne Cleaver is nit your typical teen. He's a troubled, complex character, a clinically diagnosed sociopath, fighting his darker urges. His conflict, trying to stay on the side of light, while investigating, and trying to prevent more murders is just as compelling as the conflict between him and the killer.
And the killer is no less complex, as we find out he is more than a cold blooded killer. Slowly we learn what drives him, as his killing drives John closer to his dark side. The film allows you to have some understanding of the killer and why he does what he does. Even the background characters are more than the usual cardboard, two dimensional set pieces. John's mom struggles to understand him, while he feels detached from her, we realize she is at least trying to stay connected.
Lloyd gives the usual superb performance, in a role that's a little more complex than bumbling scientist, or elderly crime lord. Powers is a relative newcomer but makes a believable teen antagonist in his first, adult, or young adult role. I really don't want to give away anymore and it's hard to talk about each character without doing so. Let's just say both roles stray far outside the usual hero/villain archetype and leave it at that.
The story does have a twist, fairly early in, and it might be less than shocking, but it lends to an interesting story. A story I wasn't expecting when I decided to watch it. The twist propels it out of the thriller category and squarely into the realm of horror. Don't let the Young Adult tag on the book scare you away, I Am Not a Serial Killer is great for adult viewing. It's not a gore fest by any means but there are some bloody, gut-filled scenes that might make some queasy.
The only real negative was in the final scenes, where there are some special effects that seem a bit less than horrifying. It really didn't bother me but I'm sure some horror fans may claim it ruined the film for them. Some people are just way too willing to let anything ruin a film for them.
So for a smart, well written, well acted film that isn't your average found footage, teens lost in the woods, inbred slasher fare, check out I Am Not A Serial Killer. It's currently streaming on Netflix. On a scale of 1-10, I'm giving it a stout 7 stars.
Posted by Allen Alberson in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
MOVIE REVIEW: Contracted: Phase II (2015)

MOVIE REVIEW: Contracted: Phase II (2015)

CONTRACTED: PHASE II (2015)

Director: Josh Forbes
Writer: Craig Walendziak
Stars: Matt Mercer, Marianna Palka
For those of you who have seen 2013's Contracted and enjoyed the film which, I personally did, you're in luck because Contracted: Phase II starts off at the exact minute that the original ended. I like that it picked up exactly where you left off – there are no holes, there are no gaps, and no wondering whatever happened to this person and that person... It's a continuation and, in my opinion, one at its best. And considering that the films were both written and directed by completely different people from the original, I was pleasantly surprised at the outcome.
Some of the same cast for the most part are present, there are obviously some new faces thrown in there because a lot of the people from the first one are dead, but are referenced to periodically to keep the story consistent. The movie unfortunately does drag little bit here and there, but then again, the original film wasn't exactly a fast-paced action horror film either.
Contracted: Phase II, definitely continues with the same feel and emotion. It does definitely stay true to itself and isn't blown out of proportion as so many sequels sadly are. The thing that I like so much about these two movies is in my opinion its original as hell!! I mean seriously, where else have you seen zombies that are contracted from a necrophiliac!
Overall, Contracted: Phase II is a good movie. It's got a couple of decent little gory almost squirmish kind of parts in the film but doesn't feel the need to have to over do it, and I appreciated that quality. I felt for this movie because it was a perfect balance.
My only gripe with the film, and this is not a spoiler, but in the first one, the disease is originated by a perv in a morgue who is banging dead chicks. In the sequel, there was a purpose for that. I didn't really care for it. I thought that just having a corpse fucker gave it a twisted edge on its own, but that's not to say that it took away from the story either.
Contracted: Phase II is now on NETFLIX . If you’re in the mood for a horror movie that isn't over the top , and not a splatter-fest or a extreme gore but is story-driven, then I think you'll like this. I definitely think it's worth a watch.
Keep It Evil...
Posted by John Roisland in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
MOVIE REVIEW: Ghost Team (2016)

MOVIE REVIEW: Ghost Team (2016)

Director: Oliver Irving; Writers: Oliver Irving, Peter Warren; Stars: Jon Heder, David Krumholtz, Justin Long, Melonie Diaz, Amy Sedaris, Paul W. Downs; Rating: PG-13; Run Time: 83 min; Genre: Horror Comedy; Country: USA; Language: English; Year: 2016
I first heard of Ghost Team from a friend of mine a few months ago. I remember he showed me a trailer for it on YouTube, and, I must admit, the trailer did make it look pretty damn funny. When you put John Heder and Justin Long together, your outcome will most likely be laugh out loud funny... Well, unfortunately, that's not the result in Ghost Team.
Louis (Jon Heder) and Stan (David Kromholtz) are roommates living down-and-out lives going nowhere fast. The two are fans of a paranormal TV show that is running a contest where the winner gets to be the next member of the show. So, when they hear of a local barn that might be haunted, the light bulbs over their heads switch on with the ingenious idea to become ghost hunters and try to win a spot on the show.
The two team up with other friends who they think might be able to help them out by specializing in different departments of their investigation, such as Ross (Justin Long), a rather gung-ho night security guard for a department store who becomes head of security for the Ghost Team. With a now full paranormal investigation crew, they head to the supposed haunted barn in the middle of nowhere in a van full of equipment that was borrowed from a local electronics store where Louis’ nephew Zak (Paul W. Downs) just happens to work.
From the beginning of the movie, I kept waiting for all the one liners and the slapstick to happen, and it just never really did. There were a few chuckles at best. It did, however, start to turn into what I thought was going to become a decent and suspenseful ghost movie. Unfortunately, after about 15 minutes of build-up, the suspense ball was dropped when we discover the reality of what their ghosts really are.
The film itself reminded me of an episode from the old Scooby-Doo mystery cartoon. The kids are out for adventure, looking for ghosts, but it lacked the pull-off-the-rubber-mask-to-reveal-who-is-underneath. The ball was dropped, and in so many ways! In short, Ghost Team as an entire film is a big let-down on many levels.
With the cast that was acquired for this film, Ghost Team had the possibility of being a great comedic piece and, even better, a great horror comedy. I am a fan of Justin Long's work, and I’m not saying that his or anyone else’s acting is bad, but the movie just did use the talent properly. This leads me to believe that the cast must have owed a lot of favors to whoever made this. Maybe with the right group of people or if I had been a little drunk, it would’ve worked for me, but I was neither. Sorry guys, but this one goes nowhere fast!
Ghost Team is currently playing on Netflix.
Keep It Evil...
Posted by John Roisland in MOVIE REVIEWS, PARANORMAL, REVIEWS, 0 comments
MOVIE REVIEW: Carnage Park (2016)

MOVIE REVIEW: Carnage Park (2016)

CARNAGE PARK (2016)
Ashley Bell, Pat Healy, Alan Ruck
So it's getting to be a late Saturday night and being the party animal that I am I flop on the couch, grab the remote, turn on Netflix, and start to waste time looking hopefully for a good movie. As always, I go straight to our beloved horror section, and I actually happen to stumble across Carnage Park. I knew was a relatively new release and figured why not, I don't have much else to do.
The story is of young Vivian (Bell, The Day, The Last Exorcism) who is kidnapped by two bank robbers in a small town outside the California desert. The two outrun the cops by driving off into the desert hills on an old dirt road that they come across. Thinking that they have made the easy escape, the two criminals are shot and killed by a skilled marksman who's watching them out in the hills. It is from this point on that Vivian is forced into a deadly game of cat-and-mouse.
So, hearing that, Carnage Park doesn't sound that bad... well, it's not great either.
Mickey Keating, director of Carnage Park, is trying for a late sixties feel. The beginning of the film was almost obnoxious the way it was done, then tried slipping into a near Tarantino hip feel, finally ending up trying to mock Rob Zombie in so many different ways.
And it must be pointed out that just because you're able to find an old model Nova to use as a cop car, an old Chevy Impala for the getaway car, and put a tinted lens over your camera, it really doesn't give a retro feel. The point that it was supposed to be dated is there, but, honestly, anyone could have picked up on it. It really had nothing to do with how it was shot.
Carnage Park is a borderline disappointment as the film had decent potential, and the star acting was pretty good and actually the one thing that held it together. Pat Healy (Compliance, Cheap Thrills) as the shooter was really good,...just wish there was actually more of him, and Alan Ruck as the sheriff looks the same as he did in Ferris Bueller's Day Off.
Now I'm not saying that the movie is Godawful because it's not although I did catch myself watching the clock and kind of wondering when is this ever going to be over.
It did have the potential to be a much grittier and bloodier film, and I really wanted to like this a lot more than I did. As many of you know, my love for Netflix is not a strong one anymore. Still, if you're a crazy, wild, Saturday night party person like I am and you can't find anything else worth watching either, sure go ahead and give Carnage Park a view... Hopefully you'll like it more than I did.
Keep It Evil...
Posted by John Roisland in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
MOVIE REVIEW: Satanic (2016)

MOVIE REVIEW: Satanic (2016)

EDITOR's NOTE: As I was reviewing some articles for publication, I noticed that both John Roisland and Dixielord had both reviewed the same Netflix movie: Satanic. What's more, both of them felt the same as I did. Therefore, House of Tortured Souls presents our first ever dual review. Enjoy!
By John Roisland
SATANIC is a 2016 film about four friends who get messed up with the devil. Or that would be the nice way of putting it.
First, I must say, I do enjoy movies about the occult and dark magic, so when i saw the title of this film, I thought, 'Wow, pretty balls move to go right for the throat' . You've gotta have a solid winner and know what you're doing to use a major or strong word for your title. For example, The Exorcist , Titanic, and, hell, even Gremlins used their bold titles, and they owned them. Sadly enough, Satanic did not.
The story begins with the four friends stopping into a occult store while in LA only to piss off an employee and get chased out. The four follow the store employee home after he gets off work and find the center of what appears to be a ritual killing of a young woman.
After being seen and chased away from the property, they run into the should have been sacrificed girl the next day at a coffee shop. They hang out and talk to her, eventually inviting her back to their hotel, where they drink some beers and talk occult until the girl apparently curses them after she paints a Penatgram on the wall and then slits her own throat.
With this now supposed Satanic curse on them, weird things start to happen around as well as to our four bumbling idiots. I'm sorry, I'm usually not one to tear up on a film, and I have seen much worse. The film from the get go has a made for television feel, almost like your watching a series. The movie itself really doesn't go anywhere, and its a shame because it really could have. It had a lot of potential.
There was at the very end one of those, "Oh yea, huh," moments and that was about it. The acting was god awful and had a few decent special F/X in it. It just felt like they were rushed almost. Like they had the ideas, but forgot to add a few.
So this, now playing on Netflix streaming, was unfortunately one that I had hoped would have been much better, but was merely something to kill time with. And this, from the producers of The Walking Dead, sorry guys.
Keep It Evil...
By Dixielord
Satanic Panic was all the rage when I was a teenager. It seemed there was always reports of mutilated pets, and graveyard gatherings. Now we know that for the most part the Satanic Panic was just urban legends blown out of proportion. Still, that's no reason we can't make films about them. Ti West delved into Satanic Panic with The House of the Devil, and just this year we went old school satanic with The Witch. Now the new film Satanic explores satanism as an evil force while using the panic years as a device to drive the film.
Be careful of looking for doors, you might find one - Satanic
Satanic, which stars Sarah Hyland (Modern Family) and is directed by Jeffrey Hunt (The Vampire Diaries) is the story of four friends on their way to Coachella, who decide to make a detour to visit sites involved in the Satanic Panic, including the Manson murders. Always looking for a new thrill the visit a magic store and follow the cashier home, hoping to witness a magic ceremony. They stumble upon what they believe to be a human sacrifice. They interrupt the ritual, which any good horror movie fan can tell you, isn't a smart thing to do. Attempting to help the young girl, they get more than they bargained for and the fun quickly turns into fear. They follow the girl down a path that leads straight to hell, or at least a reasonable facsimile.
I found myself enjoying the film throughout most of the early part of the movie. Alice, played by Sophie Dalah, is suitably creepy and any time shes on screen it's fun to watch. There isn't a whole lot new to the story but it is executed fairly well. There's only one real gory scene, but its very bloody and comes out of nowhere. The fact that up till then the film is pretty bloodless makes it more shocking and builds up expectations that the last half of the film will be a monster.
Satanic
Some Satanic spoilers ahead!
And that's where Satanic fumbles. Instead of building on the insanity of the hotel room scene it dials it back. There's still an intensity, but it always falls flat, and we go back to it being a bloodless film. Instead of seeing our four teens picked off one by one in a gruesome manner, they just disappear. It becomes repetitive, and well, you just know each time whats about to happen.
The scene in the hotel room held out such great promise, not just with the gore, but with the dialogue. With talk of doors, and the labyrinth beyond, you are almost expecting cenobites or at least something really esoteric and horrifying. Sadly Satanic doesn't deliver on this. Alice says “Hell is a beautiful confusion, and there's pain”. It's a great line, but I just felt let down with the final revelation of what hell actually was.
These teens don't take the Satanic Panic seriously
There's a lot wrong with Satanic, but it is still watchable. I think with a better ending it could have been a really good little film. But it is what it is, and what it is, is just meh.it's a good for a rental or a boring day, Netflix rental, but I wouldn't purchase it. A generous 5 out of 10 stars.
Posted by Woofer McWooferson in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
MOVIE REVIEW: Sweet Home (2015)

MOVIE REVIEW: Sweet Home (2015)

By John Roisland
Sweet Home is a 2015 release I caught on the endless wall on Netflix. One would think there's nothing more romantic than a quiet house to yourself, candlelit dinner for two, in order to celebrate one's birthday... or so one would think.
Sweet Home is a story of the young realtor who decides the old, abandoned, and soon to be condemned apartment building that she is inspecting would be the perfect spot for a romantic evening. She quickly plans to take her boyfriend to the building for a little alone time and birthday candlelight dinner since neither of them can get their roommates out for the evening.
Our young protagonist blindfolds her boyfriend, brings him to the secret location, and then removes the blindfold to reveal the area she has decorated with a throw rug, candles, and a feliz cumpleanos banner.
The evening goes well for the smiling and laughing couple until they exit their apartment and spot three thugs wearing ski masks walking down the hall. As it turns out, the masked figures had just murdered an elderly man who was holding out and refusing to leave the building. Scared, the young couple tries hiding and, of course, make noise and are found out. It then becomes a game of cat-and-mouse. Through accidents and slips during chasing, two of the thugs are eliminated. The third, while trying to punch a hole through a peep hole, gets his hand stuck. Thinking quickly, the young couple inside tie his wrist to a fixture in the apartment and take off.
The third, stuck in the door, uses his cell phone to contact someone obviously very very important. He apologizes profusely for having called and interrupted his evening and asks him to send help.
Moments later a car pulls up and out steps a large man wearing a hooded raincoat and rain boots who enters and chains the door locked from the inside. There is now no escaping from the cleaner! I am here till you this man is straight from Hell with a heart that is cold as ice. A true professional with all the tools of the trade, and not afraid to use them at all.
Watching the young couple from this point on became pretty exciting due to the fast-paced and downright gritty action. I have to admit that there were a couple of unexpected curve balls, and I was pleasantly surprised. Adding the deeply dark character of the cleaner really added an entirely new feel to the film.
I recommend Sweet Home as I was pleasantly surprised and really enjoyed it. The only thing that caught me was trying to figure out where the film was really taking place. The woman had a French accent, the old man that was murdered spoke Spanish, her boyfriend is British, and the three thugs sounded Canadian. Other than that, it was a good movie, , so check out.
Keep It Evil...
Posted by John Roisland in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
MOVIE REVIEW: Baskin (2015)

MOVIE REVIEW: Baskin (2015)

By John Roisland
2015 brought us the Turkish horror film Baskin. From first hearing about Baskin - reading what little information was being given out - to finally trailers of the movie when first announced, I knew I had to see this film! Baskin had been talked about as the be-all end-all of all horror films. It was claiming to be as one of the scariest and the goriest films to have been made.
I was beyond thrilled when our little friends over at Netflix decided to actually put something worthwhile and relatively new to their horror section. Baskin begins with five Turkish police men who, after dining at a small, dark, and dismal cafe, drive their police van through what seems to be the darkest and creepiest of back roads. While traveling and singing (yes, I guess Turkish men sing love songs to each other), a call comes across the radio from another police vehicle in distress. The location is right up the road, so they respond and immediately hightail it to the location. While en route, they hit what they thought looked like a naked man who ran into the street causing them to run off the road and into a ravine. No one is seriously injured, so on foot they go back to the road where there's no body and no visible evidence that anything was hit.
They soon run upon a family with a small campfire. The family eventually gives directions to the location that the police seek, but warns them not to go. Before leaving, the officers note that the family had buckets full of frogs... Hundreds of frogs.
The cops walk through the woods and make their way to the location, which is a rather large old decrepit building of some kind. They find the empty police car that had radioed for help, lights still flashing. As they slowly enter the building, friends, THIS is where things start to get good! Until this point, the movie was moving kind of slowly, but it still kept the viewer's interest. The things that the police officers run into and witness inside are visions straight from Hell - tortured bodies, cannibalism, and blood everywhere.
It seems that the building is some sort of portal or or threshold, if you will, through one of the gates of Hell. When our five enforcers enter, things quickly get bloody for our law fighters. Unfortunately, it didn't quite live up to my expectations. I did enjoy the film as it moved fairly quickly, yet I wish the build up had been stretched out a bit longer. It seems they took all that time and built it up, they would have rid it out a bit more.
The scenery/set they used for Hell i thought was perfectly designed, much of a dungeon feel to it. The film is subtitled, and I do not know if there is a dub version. I think dubbing takes away from the film. The special effects were good, the overall story was good, and it was an overall solid horror film. It is a dark and twisted film where the director's vision is projected perfectly, but it falls short because of all the media hype that it got upon its release - particularly reports claiming it was the ultimate horror film. It's not, by far, but it's still an enjoyable flick. I'm always up for a good foreign horror film, so I do recommend you check it out and give it a shot. At least it was fairly original... and that alone to me is worth a watch!

Posted by John Roisland in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
MOVIE REVIEW: Holidays (2016)

MOVIE REVIEW: Holidays (2016)

By John Roisland

Holidays-Torrent-2016-Full-HD-Movie-Download

Holidays is a 2016 horror film i just checked out. I want to say i liked it, but it’s not one that I think I'd add to my library.

Holidays is another anthology film set much like the ABCs of Death, in that they gathered up a handful of writers and directors, and instead of them pulling letters out of a hat, a calender was thrown in the mix and each was given a holiday to make a short on.

Holidays-2016-m

Holidays tackled include:

  • Valentine’s Day (a nerdy swimmer in high school cutting out a team member’s heart to give to their coach)
  • St. Patrick’s Day (a woman giving birth to a snake with a pompadour)
  • Easter (a deformed half Easter bunny and half Jesus)
  • Mother’s Day
  • Father’s Day
  • Halloween
  • Christmas ( Seth Green puts a smile on your face)
  • New Year’s Eve

 

The New Year’s Eve segment, directed by Adam Egypt Mortimer, who brought us Some Kind of Hate in 2015, stole the show.
Ending the year and the film was New Years Eve

The big name throwing his hat into the ring is Silent Bob himself, Kevin Smith who brought us Red State in 2011 and Tusk in 2014 and countless non horror films. Smith brings us a rather different event for my personal favorite holiday, Halloween... webcam porn. I'm gonna leave it at that for you to check out, but i will tell you that it IS in Smith style and one other thing, i clinched!

All writers and directors added their own dark twist and flare on not only the holiday, but added a bit of folklore into some of them as well. Some pieces I obviously enjoyed more than others, as I'm sure you will as well. Some were moved along, some tended to drag, others honestly made me wonder just what the HELL did I just watch!?!

HOLIDAYSREVFEAT

I for one am a huge fan of anthologies, maybe because if one sucks, you know its not going to be much more than 10-15 minutes long, or maybe its because my brain can only comprehend for that amount of time. Regardless, i enjoy and welcome them.

Holidays is worth a watch and is currently on Netflix. Run time is about 1 hour and 45 minutes, and the film actually is not rated. But, no, this is not one for the kiddies!

I give Holidays a 6/10

 

Keep It Evil..

Posted by John Roisland in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
MOVIE REVIEW: The Girl in the Photographs (2015)

MOVIE REVIEW: The Girl in the Photographs (2015)

By John Roisland

The Girl in the Photographs. Fair use doctrine.

Some people say that art is murder and murder is art, and in this little movie I found on Netflix, it seems so. The Girl In the Photographs is a 2015 horror film that was directed by Nick Simon, who also brought us The Pyramid in 2014.

When Colleen (Claudia Lee from Kick Ass 2), a local girl in Small Town, USA is targeted to find murder pix posted in her grocery store where she works, she freaks a bit, and because there's no proof, local police just chalk it up as a prank with bad taste. It’s soon found out the a serial killer (Luke Baines) is on the loose. This killer dismantles his victims. poses their bodies to mock famous glamour model magazine shots, and then photographs the victims (hence the name...The Girl In the Photographs) to leave for Colleen. When the word of this does finally hit the Internet, Peter Hemmings (Kal Penn from Harold and Kumar), an LA hotshot photographer who once lived in this same small town immediately takes a road trip back home with a few models as well as his entourage and set up shop for a week to do a photo shoot with some of the local women.

His game plan, to taunt the killer by having Lee star as his local model for his shoot, goes south when the killer shows up unannounced at the final party before they all leave to head back to LA, taking Lee with them in promises of making her the new big model

I'm not going to give away any spoilers, what kind of ass hat would I be to do that? But what I will tell you about The Girl In the Photographs is this: I was pleasantly surprised, not only with this film in its entirety but with the ending was as well. It managed to surprise me some, so it wasn’t 100% predictable. I really enjoyed that! It's a slasher film a with brain that still delivered on a good amount of suspense and gore!

The Girl in the Photographs. Fair use doctrine.

I also very much enjoyed a surprise 2-3 minute scene that starred Katherine Isabelle, from Ginger Snaps and, of course, American Mary, that opened the film. Way to go, Netflix. It’s about damn time! So if your scrolling Netflix horror endlessly looking for something that catches your eye, give The Girl in the Photographs a shot. I think you'll surprised.

Keep It Evil.

Posted by John Roisland in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments