The Babadook (2014)

f46c8e78-4461-32c6-9413-7c0c5ffda446

With much anticipation, I finally got down to watching this flick. Going in, I suspected it was not going to be your every day horror film.

A single mother named Amelia, struggles with the grief of the horrific accident which took her husband’s life. Her son Samuel is a troubled young 6-year-old kid with behavioral issues, and massive source of stress for his mom Amelia. Samuel begins to hallucinate and see things and tells his mom about it with no luck of course in her believing him. The two of them find a strange book in the house called ‘The Babadook”, which they read together. The strange creature in the book is one Samuel is convinced has been showing up in his visions. Amelia’s frustration with Samuel’s violent and strange behavior reaches a boiling point, and she has him put on medication. Not very long after, Amelia begins experiencing the presence of something dark and sinister in the home, and her sanity comes into question immediately.

the-babadook1

Motherhood, loneliness, anxiety and stress all play a big part in The Babadook. It’s one of those movies that will split audiences on what is actually happening in the story, and the metaphor dangled by the director throughout the film is one that may go right over certain viewers heads, likely resulting in some questioning the quality and their enjoyment of the film.

Director Jennifer Kent, masterfully crafted a slow-building terror with terrific and  horrific atmosphere. Most of the movie looks really clean to me, but what is underneath the surface is dark as hell, and I really appreciated that contrast. The scares weren’t anything that truly made me cringe while sitting and watching, but were effectively done without any cheap tactics to get the viewer jumping off his or her seat. I found myself appreciating this film much more the moments after it finished. There were times in its duration where I felt it was maybe dragging just by the littlest of bits, but generally, as mentioned already, the pacing is superb.

A lot of reviewers love to flaunt how good this flick is in comparison to the more recent supernatural/possession horror movies. I don’t necessarily go along with that train of thought. For one, not every supernatural movies that has come out the last few years “sucked” some were decent and a few were exceptional. The Babadook should be judged in a class of its own. If someone wanted to argue that this is more of a dark psychological drama rather than a horror movie, I wouldn’t put up much of a fight against it.

Truly a must-see horror flick from 2014.

– JP Thorn

Posted in Movie Reviews | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Cannibal Ferox (1981)

image

A blatant rip-off of Cannibal Holocaust; a bunch of white – no gooders cause havok in a village in the amazon of a tribe. There’s plenty of violence against animals in this film which was bothersome but is no surprise as we’ve seen before in this genre. Film makers today would not be able to get away with that nonsense.

Some of the gore was top notch. The gut munching, and nipple – hook – piercings were pretty top shelf as far as gore is concerned, as well as a couple of instances of penile castration for that proverbial cherry on top.

image

Umberto Lenzi did a good job copying the much better controversial masterpiece – Cannibal Holocaust, but Cannibal Ferox lacked the same amount of punch and originality. 

I enjoyed the soundtrack and would love listening to it while riding a shitty boat across the amazon waters.

image

A memorable highlight for me is definitely the funny cop who’s great at summarizing what was “telefaxed” to him. Had to rewind that part a few times for laugh out loud craziness.

-JP

Posted in Movie Reviews | 7 Comments

House (1986)

image

DING DONG, YOU’RE DEAD

I had a great time watching this. It has aged really well in my opinion and the FX were excellent. The mix of comedy and horror was done just right. I love the setting and the house looks great. George Wendt was the perfect nosy neighbor and was good for a couple of laughs. William Katt in the lead role was terrific as well.

House gave off that same vibe and feeling a movie like Fright Night gives me. Just a fun ride to watch the main character go through so much crap. Ben the undead Soldier was highly entertaining to watch and the make-up looks great even by today’s standards.

I’m sure there are plenty of fans who love this flick. I need to revisit House II some time, too.

-JP

Posted in Movie Reviews | 7 Comments

FIRST LOOK: Ali Larter in Content Media’s Horror Thriller DIABOLICAL

First photo released for DIABOLICAL. I’ve always been a fan of Ali Larter, and look forward to this.

image

The film follows Madison (Ali Larter) and her children in their quiet suburban home as they are awoken nightly by an increasingly strange and intense presence. Madison desperately seeks help from her scientist boyfriend Nikolai (Arjun Gupta), who begins a hunt to destroy the violent spirit that paranormal experts are too frightened to undertake. 

- JP

Posted in Movie Reviews | Leave a comment

Rapid Fire Friday – Evilspeak and Final Exam

image

I hosted a horror movie night tonight for some friends. We watched the blu rays of Evilspeak and Final Exam; both by Shout! (Scream) Factory. 

Evilspeak was really good, especially when the action got going. Clint Howard was entertaining and had a solid supporting cast around him. I was very entertained for the most part and pleasantly surprised by how blasphemous it got at times with the chapel setting and religious imagery. Some good gore gags riled us up, too, and for a film combining fledgling computer technology with satanism, it delivered in spades.

Final Exam however was extremely disappointing; it’s possibly one of the worst slasher films I’ve ever seen and lord knows I have seen more than my fair share. There is almost an hour between the first and second kills and most of the violence happens off screen. There never seems to be any rhyme or reason for anything that happens; I’m not talking about a fancy story by any means, but at least something that makes some sort of sense as to why the people and killer do what they do. There is one solid kill involving a cheesy fight followed by a death at the gym. I’m surprised this film apparently has somewhat of a cult following and Scream Factory would bother releasing it.

The one thing that really impressed me about the bluray of Final Exam was the stunning picture quality and awesome transfer. The audio was a bit rough at times mostly during some of the dialogue. I would not recommend the purchase unless you are an absolute slasher film completist; honestly, it barely qualifies as a slasher flick at all.

– JP

Posted in Movie Reviews | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

Oculus (2013)

image

The idea of another “evil mirror” movie didn’t sound very appetizing, but something about Oculus seemed like it might have some potential to surprise, and to a certain extent, it did.

Oculus tells the tale of siblings trying to prove, or disprove, whether or not an antique mirror with a sordid history, had anything to do with the deaths of their parents 11 years earlier. One of the siblings, Tim, who had just been released from a psychiatric hospital, was thought to be the one to blame for the demise of their parents; his sister is hell bent on trying to prove that indeed, this mirror is to blame, despite her brother’s wishes to move on and start life anew. Some of the motivation for these characters (the sister in particular), is quite dubious and laughable; especially the way in which the haunted mirror is retrieved, in a less than realistic auction scene.

Oculus really implements flashback storytelling well, while seamlessly working it into the present time. Katee Sackhoff stood out in the mother role, while the rest of the cast was solid, too; especially the child actors.

I was pretty impressed that in what is mostly a confined setting, Director Mike Flanagan manages to conjure up some creative scares, though not offering up too much new in terms of the ghosts on display. The climax is well executed, even if what happens is not a total shock.

This flick slightly surpassed my expectations of what it would be, and is not a bad rental if you got the time. The obvious comparisons get made between this and Alexendre Aja’s Mirrors; I personally remember enjoying Mirrors more, as it’s scares were more effective. Oculus, however, is a much different film anyway, once you look past the mirror thing.

-JP

image

Posted in Movie Reviews | Tagged , , , , | 11 Comments

Happy Father’s Day: Top Dads of Horror

jpthorn:

This is a great Father’s Day read. Enjoy!

Originally posted on The Mind of Madness:

I Heart Dad

Hope you are all having a good Father’s Day, or making the best of it.  A couple years ago, I did a spotlight on the moms of horror so I figured it’s time I did a spotlight on the Dad’s of horror!  Let’s get it started:

View original 585 more words

Posted in Movie Reviews | Leave a comment