Oct 21, 2014

Dark Skies (2013)

Marketed as a movie with the same producers of Paranormal Activity and Insidious, Dark Skies definitely holds promise. At least for me anyway because of the fact that it's got aliens! Whenever a horror movie is about aliens I just can't help but think of The Thing or Alien. I pretty much set myself up for disappointment each time, but that's life isn't it?

I've never seen Insidious before, but it does look pretty promising at first glance. Paranormal Activity on the other hand is up there in terms of scariness, but I understand that it isn't for everyone. Dark Skies had actually been recommended to me in the past from someone who doesn't appreciate the found footage style of Paranormal Activity one bit. As a traditionally filmed horror, I was definitely interested to see what Scott Stewart could bring to the genre with Dark Skies.

Oct 20, 2014

Zonbi asu [Zombie Ass: The Toilet of the Dead] (2011)

I don't really know what to say. There's actually a movie that exists called Zombie Ass: Toilet of the Dead. I've actually watched a movie called Zombie Ass: Toilet of the Dead. I'm definitely still alive but I'm not sure if I'm the same person anymore. I knew going in that I was in for something off the wall with a title like Zombie Ass, but nothing could have prepared me for what this movie is like.

It's pretty clear that Noboru Iguchi has made ZA:TotD with the North American market in mind, to bring us his flavour of Japanese weirdness. Case in point. it premiered at a film festival in Austin, Texas and only came to Japan five months later. Iguchi is no stranger to bizarre but intriguing movies with works like Karate-Robo Zaborgar and RoboGeisha, but I don't think he's ever gone as far in weirdness as he does with Zombie Ass. I shudder to think if I'm wrong.

Oct 19, 2014

Paranormal Activity 2 (2010)

I'm a pretty big fan of the first Paranormal Activity movie except for its extremely disappointing ending. That doesn't stop it from being a powerhouse in scariness and it's definitely not a movie you want to watch on your own, especially if it's late at night. It does a great job at suspending disbelief and patiently builds itself up as things progressively get worse and worse for the main characters.

This is my second run through the series (not including Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones) and I remember my anticipation before seeing this movie. Or was that dread? Both feelings were probably mixed in there. Paranormal Activity 2 despite its title is in fact a prequel to the first movie. More specifically, it takes place before and during the events of the first film so there are some familiar faces from the first movie that we get to see again.

Oct 18, 2014

Hocus Pocus (1993)

I never saw Hocus Pocus growing up and it would seem like I really missed out on something. At least that's what it sounds like. For a film which didn't do that well at the box office, it's a bit surprising just how well it did in terms of VHS/DVD sales as well as TV viewership over the years. Now part of ABC's 13 Nights of Halloween programming, it's the most watched movie of the entire lineup with a record 2.8 million viewers in 2011.

There's always the risk of running into one of these cult-following movies and coming away disappointed. A lot of the time I find myself siding with the critics, who weren't so impressed with Hocus Pocus when it was released. With a 33% score on Rotten Tomatoes, it's not very reassuring.

Oct 17, 2014

Abominable (2006)

Bigfoot is really cool isn't he? I mean, just imagine seeing some big, hairy and smelly beast roaming about and leaving huge footprints behind. I've watched a couple Bigfoot specials on TV in the past and I guess I'm just drawn to the absurdity of the whole thing. No I don't think Bigfoot actually exists, but he's just fascinating to me.That's why it just sounds like an awesome idea to put Bigfoot in a movie.

Bigfoot could be the makings of an interesting horror movie no? Maybe it's just me, but I can see it. I suppose that the only thing a movie like that would be good for is what could be categorized as a Bigfoot slasher. It could be done right though! With just a touch of irony I think it could be pretty fun. Anyway, I guess I'm just crazily intrigued by the novelty of a movie with Bigfoot. I want Abominable to work so bad.

Paranormal Activity (2007)

The first time I saw Paranormal Activity, I didn't watch it alone and I'm glad that I didn't. I'm not sure if I would've been able to fall asleep that night. I saw it with my sister who is a veteran of the horror genre, but luckily also not the kind of person who's constantly saying to watch the next part or warning me of any scary bits. She was just there as a silent companion, there to listen to my exclamations of shock when stuff got out of hand.

That being said, Paranormal Activity is not the kind of movie you want to watch on your own. Especially if it's late at night. In the same vein as The Blair Witch Project, it's a found footage film that was extremely cheap to make and delivers big on the scare scale. It features pretty much just two actors and one stationary camera in the home. That's all it takes.

Oct 16, 2014

The Mist (2007)

With The Mist, Frank Darabont continues his love for Stephen King stories following adaptations of The Shawshank Redemption and The Green Mile. Based on King's 1980 novella, The Mist has apparently been on Darabont's wishlist for a long time. It's definitely pretty different in terms of the kind of material Darabont has done in the past so I was interested in seeing how he handled the sci-fi and horror elements of the story.

It's been a long time since I've been hearing about how good The Mist is. I knew the story involved mist and something in the mist. I also knew that there was some hyper religious lady too, but that's really all I knew about the story beforehand. It's better to go in more on the blind side anyway. I'm the kind of person who tunes out people who talk spoilers about movies that I haven't seen, so I was pretty much where I wanted to be before watching The Mist.

Oct 15, 2014

Grave Encounters 2 (2012)

The first Grave Encounters isn't the greatest horror movie ever but it had enough for me to like it personally. The biggest problem with it in my opinion was giving a physical appearance to the paranormal activity going on inside the insane asylum instead of keeping everything in the mind of the viewer. Oh, that and the pretty poor CGI. What happened was that the scares started getting less effective the more the film went on.

That's definitely something of concern for a sequel. If the scares were already getting a bit stale, what are the scares going to be like in Grave Encounters 2? The Vicious Brothers move on from directing to only writing the script which is another point of concern. This is John Poliquin's first real directing job so I guess we'll just see what he can do.

Oct 14, 2014

Grave Encounters (2011)

Grave Encounters doesn't sound like anything all that original. It's about a group of people who lock themselves inside an abandoned insane asylum overnight, all shot in a found footage style. I was all the same intrigued by the subject because there's definitely some scary stuff you could do. Abandoned insane asylums are scary to pretty much everyone right? This was filmed in a real one that was closed down a year after the film's release. The production does a great job at making the asylum look abandoned for quite some time though.

I don't watch enough Canadian films as I've said before, so Grave Encounters is a chance for me to rectify that. Directed by "The Vicious Brothers," or otherwise known as Colin Minihan and Stuart Ortiz, there's something special about Canadian horror and I'm hoping that GE can add something there. The film apparently has a cult following and there is a sequel, so there is a chance that I might be in for a pretty good ride.

Oct 10, 2014

World of the Dead: The Zombie Diaries (2011)

Somehow, terrible British zombie film The Zombie Diaries got the green light for a sequel. Michael Bartlett and Kevin Gates return to the helm, but for what I'm not quite sure. Is there really anyone asking for a second helping of bad acting and some of the most boring zombies to grace the screen?

I suppose I'm being harsh here. I mean maybe Bartlett and Gates have learned from their mistakes. Maybe they've learned how to properly take advantage of doing a movie in found footage style and maybe they've been able to get an injection of funds to cast some better actors as well as a proper makeup specialist to make those zombies at least a little more convincing. Let's hope the dialogue is a bit better too.