Cube

[Film Review] Escape Room doesn’t let interest escape despite being PG-13

[Film Review] Escape Room doesn’t let interest escape despite being PG-13

When I first saw the trailer for Escape Room I was intrigued, excited on the release of the first horror movie of the year. It reminded me of the Cube (1997) but with a bigger budget and over the top fx including the deaths such as the predecessors Saw, Hostel, Battle Royale, Belko Experiment where we need to see all of the above to satisfy our blood thirsty pallet. However, when walking into the theater I saw the kiss of death for a horror movie “PG-13” I was already writing my negative review for the film in my head. The film was actually, great! Hear me out on this because hopefully you’ll give the movie a chance which it deserves despite maybe a few minor things I wish were changed. Like Saw and Cube, Escape room has puzzles that need to be solved or suffer the consequences of death. Escape Room opens up with one of the characters (BEN) played by (LOGAN MILLER) falling through the roof trying to solve a puzzle in what appears to be a study room. The sound of the score shows us that the film is starting off intense and it doesn’t let down with a good storyline to boot. The film starts off by introducing the characters Deborah Ann Woll, Taylor Russell, Logan Miller, Tyler Labine, Adam Robitel, Nik Donai, Jay Ellis, Jessica Sutton, Jamie Lee Money whereas the official plot of the film is as follows: Six strangers find themselves in circumstances beyond their control and must use their wits to survive. The film introduces us a different room representing the person’s personal drama where as the first room “The Hot room” showcasing Deborah’s character about a fear for being burned. Which is interesting because the rooms showcase their greatest fears that helped them escape and now, we have to wonder are they to survive again. What kept me going aside from the story was there was no need for romance or even too much comedy. There is some but not a whole lot in the film to make up for the gore and violence since it’s pg-13, including making any of the female characters as sex appeal. The actors and actresses did a great job portraying real people with severe issues of PTSD that they are reminded in every room. Now don’t get me wrong the movie is violent but not over the top where it comes off silly or even as “torture porn” it showcases great scenes which left me satisfied. Yet, like always let’s discuss the bad. The film does have an interesting ending where we learn the true nature of the beast on why and kind of who is behind this. Which is great and all for some closure, but the big reveal sets up a possible franchise but at the same time deludes the film where it’s kind of loses its charm? Overall, it’s something I can forgive if they keep the momentum of the first film going forward and maybe change the reveal a little more. So, over all the film is very much worth seeing, worth owning or worth renting. It’s the first film of 2019 and it looks like it’s going to be a good year for horror.




Posted by Jai Alexis in CAST AND CREW NEWS, FEATURED CONTENT, HORROR GAMES, HORROR NEWS, MOVIE REVIEWS, NEW RELEASES, REVIEWS, SLASHERS AND BAD HUMANS, STAFF PICKS, THRILLER, 0 comments
Trailer review: Escape Room is the big budget version of Cube

Trailer review: Escape Room is the big budget version of Cube

Well it was bound to happen. A horror movie about Escape rooms. Sure, Saw (2004) and Cube (1997) might be the most legendary horror movies to feature the subject. Spawning sequels and even a Saw theme escape room in Vegas, but there hasn’t been a film quite like this. Escape room is the new film coming soon in January to be. The film plot is simple but will eventually reveal the secrets behind everything shortly: Six strangers find themselves in circumstances beyond their control and must use their wits to survive. Now on paper this doesn’t really sound convincing or even worth a watch. However, while watching the trailer I am more than excited to see a movie that’s not only going to take place in a room or just one death trap, this movie has a wide range of traps, puzzles, clues and environments that would make any horror fan intrigue. There’s no rating for the movie yet, but I’m hoping for a Rated R and not just for language. A movie like this let’s pull all the stops because most likely this could be an interesting franchise. Plus, it has some great stars like Deborah Ann Woll who you’ll remember from True blood (2008-2014) and Tyler Labine Tucker and Dale vs Evil (2010) So let’s recap a movie about escape rooms where every item is a clue and every item could lead to their ultimate demise. Six strangers connected, and this is their “Hell” no time limit but no time to waste since the room will kill them with no second thought in a clever way. This is a big deal since next year we are getting a lot of great horror movies and what better way to start the new year than with a horror movie! Jan 2019 get ready to solve the puzzle of Escape Room.

 

Posted by Jai Alexis in Categories, 0 comments

HELLABRATION DELUXE! Thirty-One Days of SHOCKTOBER: Day Eleven – 10/11/18

10/11 – 1997: LOST HIGHWAY

For viewers who are about linear, sensible, relatable storytelling with the whole ‘beginning-middle-and-end’ thing going on, DAVID LYNCH has always been a tough nut to crack. If you cannot accept that it’s about his own unique vision, and just go along for the ride, then it’s best to avoid his body of cinematic work. Even his more accessible films like WILD AT HEART and BLUE VELVET, still never stray far from his strange sense of playing with time, identity and very unreliable narrators and narratives. And nowhere is this more true than in his seemingly undecipherable horror-melodrama, LOST HIGHWAY.

Some critics and Lynch fans have called it a meditation on the creative process itself; others have called it yet another chronicle of dissociative identity disorder, as in Adrian Lyne’s JACOB’S LADDER, or Alexander Aja’s macabre murderfest, HIGH TENSION (a.k.a. SWITCHBLADE ROMANCE). In any case, a film where BILL PULLMAN suddenly morphs into BALTHAZAR GETTY, isn’t going to be something you casually pull up on Netflix for date night.

Fred Madison (PULLMAN) is a musician by trade, specifically a sax player.  He and his wife, Renee (PATRICIA ARQUETTE) have been having problems of late, with Fred convinced that she’s having an affair, while he’s out working. Meanwhile, they experience the kind of random weirdness that any couple in a David Lynch film would – with one of the most startling things being the tapes.

The tapes? Yep – mysterious video tapes in plain brown envelopes that just appear on the Madisons’ doorstep. And each time they play them, it’s a view of their house, with the ‘cameraman’ coming in a bit closer each time. Strange, for sure, and you’d think they’d be more alarmed about it.  But they don’t feel the need to get the cops involved…until one of the tapes turns out to have been shot not just inside the house, but in their bedroom…while they were sleeping.

But things are about to get even more effed up. At a party, Fred meets a “Mystery Man” (probably the strangest and most unsettling role that ROBERT BLAKE ever had in his career), who seems to know Fred…very well. Something this man does during their encounter plays like a party trick…or is it a warning? A way of explaining events that haven’t happened yet?

You won’t have time to think too hard about that, because shortly after that party, Renee Madison is found brutally murdered, and Fred goes up for it immediately.

But wait. If you thought things were strange before, here, hold David’s beer. While Fred is locked up in jail, awaiting arraignment, weird lights flash in the cell, Fred seems to have one hell of a headache, and then suddenly…he’s just not there anymore.  He’s been replaced by a much younger guy, named Pete Dayton (GETTY). Completely flabbergasted, since Fred Madison is their alleged perp and not Pete, the cops have no choice but to let him go.

While Fred played music, Pete’s a mechanic, and he works for a very volatile gangster who goes by the name of Mr. Eddy (the late ROBERT LOGGIA, adding another great role to his already impressive collection.) Eddy has a stunning blonde girlfriend named Alice Wakefield, and isn’t it rich, that except for the platinum blond hair, Alice could be Renee Madison’s twin sister?

Pete is immediately smitten with Alice, of course, and a dangerous affair begins between the two of them. But as if Pete didn’t have enough problems already, there’s the ‘small’ matter of how the hell he managed to wake up in Fred Madison’s cell. Pete’s parents (GARY BUSEY and LUCY BUTLER) seem to know all about how that happened, and it has something to do with a “mysterious man” they met.

Starting to get it now? No? That’s probably intentional, as it seems to be with most Lynch films.  You always seem to be just on the edge of figuring out what the hell is going on, and then the answer is snatched away again by another weird, random event or characters.

The rest of the film is just like that: feeding you clues and hints about how Fred’s and Pete’s lives intersect; their connection to Renee/Alice, and the part that the Mystery Man plays in all of it – someone whom even Mr. Eddy seems to know. And yes, Fred does eventually come back into the picture, but how it happens and what it means, takes a whole lot more time and ink to ponder than what we have here.

If the ambiguities of TWIN PEAKS were a major turn-off for you, and/or you just don’t care for Lynch’s work, anyway, you might want to stay as far away as possible from LOST HIGHWAY. It makes it more than a little difficult to judge the quality of the performances, if you have absolutely no idea what the hell the characters are supposed to be doing in the first place. But the cast – at least to me – seemed to be doing pretty well.  And there’s the usual raft of cameos from a diverse range of actors that goes from HENRY ROLLINS, to GIOVANNI RIBISI and NATASHA GREGSON WAGNER. Hell, even RICHARD PRYOR (in his last screen appearance) turns up for a hot minute!

Technically, as with Lynch’s other films, it’s damn near perfect. DP PETER DEMING, who shot all of the SCREAM sequels after the original, THE CABIN IN THE WOODS, and would shoot MULHOLLAND DRIVE for Lynch after this, does his part to…enhance the weirdness, I guess? And of course, no Lynch film would be complete without the presence of composer ANGELO BADALAMENTI, who does one of his best jobs creeping out viewers since the TWIN PEAKS score, while NINE INCH NAILS’ frontman TRENT REZNOR kicks major ass on putting together the soundtrack, one of the best ever for a Lynch film (it introduced me to RAMMSTEIN, SMASHING PUMPKINS and a LOU REED cover I’d never heard before!)

They say that if something is a piece of art, it’s not going to be a thing that everyone can agree upon, which I guess means that LOST HIGHWAY is definitely art.

Back in my video store clerking days, I issued a challenge about HIGHWAY, to co-workers and customers alike: I would come out of my own pocket to pay $100 to anyone who could sum up the plot of this film, in a way that made complete sense as a straightforward, logical narrative.

Take this as a recommendation, a warning, or whatever you like…I never had to pay up.

Other “HONORABLE MAYHEM” of the cerebral kind released that year included CUBE, EVENT HORIZON, FUNNY GAMES, THE KINGDOM, THE DEVIL’S ADVOCATE and SCREAM 2.

Posted by Samuel Glass in EDITORIALS, FEATURED CONTENT, HALLOWEEN, OPINION, PARANORMAL, SLASHERS AND BAD HUMANS, THRILLER, TRIBUTE, 0 comments
HISTORY OF HORROR: SEPTEMBER

HISTORY OF HORROR: SEPTEMBER

By Woofer McWooferson

Join House of Tortured Souls as we celebrate significant dates in the history of horror in September. Click on thumbnails for full images.

September 1 - 7


09/01/1939 – The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1939) released
theatrically

Poster The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1939) Copyright RKO Radio Pictures


Poster Universal Pictures

09/02/1923 – The Hunchback of Notre Dame released
theatrically


09/02/1978 – Dawn of the Dead released
theatrically

Fair use doctrine.


Image credit erinc salor

09/05/1942 – Werner Herzog (director of Nosferatu: Phantom der Nacht) born


09/06/1879 – Max Schreck (actor who portrayed Count Orlok in Nosferatu) born

Public domain


Image Universal Pictures

09/06/1925 – The Phantom of the Opera (1925) released theatrically


09/07/1940 – Dario Argento (director, producer, and screenwriter of Suspira and other horror films) born

Photo by Ian Gavan - © 2012 Getty Images - Image courtesy gettyimages.com


Photo by Bobby Bank - © 2010 Bobby Bank - Image courtesy gettyimages.com

09/07/1954 – Doug Bradley (best known as Pinhead in the Hellraiser film series) born


09/07/2004 – Silent Hill 4: The Room released on the PlayStation, Xbox, and PC in North America

Image Konami

September 8 - 14


Fair use doctrine.

09/08/1990 – Bride of Re-Animator released theatrically


09/09/1954 – Jeffrey Combs (actor in many horror films) born

© Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. All Rights Reserved.


Fair use doctrine.

09/09/1997 – Cube released theatrically


09/09/2004 – Resident Evil Outbreak File #2 released for the PlayStation 2 in Japan

Image Capcom


Copyright 2005 Sony Pictures

09/09/2005 – The Exorcism of Emily Rose released theatrically


09/10/1993 – The X-Files premieres on television

Fair use doctrine.


Fair use doctrine.

09/10/2004 – Resident Evil: Apocalypse released theatrically


09/11/1987 – Hellraiser released theatrically

Fair use doctrine.


Fair use doctrine.

09/11/1992 – Candyman released theatrically


09/12/1958 – The Blob (1958) released theatrically

Fair use doctrine.


Photo by Apger - © MPTV - Image courtesy mptvimages.com.

09/12/1992 – Anthony Perkins (actor who portrayed Norman Bates in the Psycho films) dies (b. 1932)


09/13/1913 – Paul Wegener (director of The Golem: How He Came Into the World) dies (b. 1874)

Photo by A7A08A39_023.jpg - © Archives du 7e Art/Deutsche Bioscop - Image courtesy photo12.com.


Fair use doctrine.

09/13/1991 – Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare released theatrically


09/13/2005 – Supernatural premieres on television

Fair use doctrine.


Fair use doctrine.

09/14/1960 – The Little Shop of Horrors (1960) released theatrically

September 15 - 21


09/15/1974 – The Ghost Galleon released theatrically



© Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. All Rights Reserved.

09/16/1963 – The Outer Limits premiered on television


09/16/2002 – Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance released on the Game Boy Advance in the US

Box art. Fair use doctrine.


Movie poster. Fair use doctrine.

09/16/2005 – Cry_Wolf released theatrically


09/17/2004 – Silent Hill 4: The Room released on the PlayStation, Xbox, and PC in Europe

Image: Konami.


Fair use doctrine.

09/17/2004 – Resident Evil Outbreak released on the PlayStation 2 in Europe


09/18/1963 – The Haunting (1963) released theatrically

Movie poster. Fair use doctrine.


Movie poster. Fair use doctrine.

09/18/1998 – The Dentist 2: Brace Yourself released theatrically


09/20/1940 – The Mummy’s Hand released theatrically

Movie poster. Fair use doctrine.


Fair use doctrine.

09/20/1975 – Asia Argento (actress in many horror films, daughter of Dario Argento and Daria Nicolodi) born


09/21/1947 – Stephen King born

Fair use doctrine.


Movie poster. Fair use doctrine.

09/21/1984 – The Company of Wolves released theatrically in the UK

September 22 - 28


09/22/1986 – Castlevania released for the Nintendo Entertainment System

Box art. Fair use doctrine.


Movie poster. Fair use doctrine.

09/22/1995 – Se7en released theatrically


09/22/1999 – Resident Evil 3: Nemesis released for the PlayStation in Japan

Box art. Fair use doctrine.


Movie poster. Fair use doctrine.

09/23/1988 – Dead Ringers released theatrically


09/24/2001 – Silent Hill 2 released on the PlayStation, Xbox, and PC in the US

Fair use doctrine.


Movie poster. Fair use doctrine.

09/24/2002 – Vampires: Los Muertos released on video in the US


09/24/2004 – Shaun of the Dead released theatrically in the US

Movie poster. Fair use doctrine.


Movie poster. Fair use doctrine.

09/25/1959 – The Mummy (1959) released theatrically


09/25/1994 – Alone in the Dark 2 released on PC

Box art. Fair use doctrine.


Movie poster. Fair use doctrine.

09/25/1998 – Urban Legend released theatrically


09/26/1962 – Carnival of Souls released theatrically

Movie poster. Fair use doctrine.


Fair use doctrine.

09/26/1970 – Sheri Moon (actress in House of 1000 Corpses, The Devil’s Rejects, Toolbox Murders) born


09/27/1985 – The New Twilight Zone premiered on television

Fair use doctrine.


Box art. Fair use doctrine.

09/27/2001 – Silent Hill 2 released on the PlayStation, Xbox, and PC in Japan


09/28/1987 – Friday the 13th: The Series premiered on television

Title card. Fair use doctrine.


Fair use doctrine.

09/28/2007 – Moonlight premiered on television


09/29/1955 – The Night of the Hunter released theatrically

Movie poster. Fair use doctrine.


Movie poster. Fair use doctrine.

09/29/1995 – Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers released theatrically

September 30


09/30/1984 – Tales from the Darkside premiered on television

Title card. Fair use doctrine.


Movie poster. Fair use doctrine.

09/30/1988 – Elvira, Mistress of the Dark released theatrically


09/30/2005 – Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow released on the Nintendo DS in the European Union

Box art. Fair use doctrine.

Posted by Alan Smithee in HORROR HISTORY, 0 comments