Oct 24, 2014

Paranormal Activity 4 (2012)

I think we can all agree that to a certain extent there are just way too many sequels out there. Hollywood thrives on established properties though which are safe in comparison to developing a new property. Paranormal Activity is also an extremely profitable property and the movies only cost a few million to make. It also helps that the return on them is pretty incredible. PA4 was able to make almost 29 times more than its initial budget which is bananas. No one can deny that Paranormal Activity movies are a smart investment.

Directors Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman return for this installment which would appear to be a good thing. Paranormal Activity 3 after all was surprisingly good for a third movie in what could've just turned into a tired horror franchise. It wasn't the case though, so they deserve the opportunity to continue their work.

Oct 23, 2014

Gone Girl (2014)

Leaving out Alien 3, there are very few directors who are as consistent as David Fincher is. Alien 3 isn't quite his fault anyway because from what I understand there was lots of studio interference. It was also his first movie and part of an established series, so I think we can cut Fincher a bit of slack.

Gone Girl is adapted from Gillian Flynn's identically titled novel from 2012. After attracting some interest from just a manuscript for the book, she even wrote the script to the film. Staying faithful to the source material, Gone Girl integrates the typical David Fincher style that I love and will keep loving. 

The Fly (1986)

I think it's been years that my sister has been asking me if I'd seen The Fly yet. Strict adherence to my system of movie selection has kept me away from it but luckily for me, my girlfriend decided that she wanted to see The Fly. Of course I'll need to go back to the original movie as well as it's sequels eventually, I knew before watching it that I was in for something special with David Cronenberg's version.

I really respect David Cronenberg as a director even though I've hardly seen anything he's done. Most of what I've seen are his more recent films like A History of Violence, Eastern Promises and Existenz. There's lots more for me to see, but The Fly definitely represents an important pinnacle in his career and I'm happy to finally have seen it.

Oct 22, 2014

Paranormal Activity 3 (2011)

Paranormal Activity 2 did something that very few horror sequels manage to do; be a competent movie. In fact, it was just a little bit better than competent if you ask me. It may not explore anything all that new, but it added some bells and whistles to the formula that were very effective in creating some scares. That mainly being the use of multiple cameras showing more than one room in the Rey household.

Now it's more than easy to be completely skeptical of Paranormal Activity 3. It's a true prequel compared to Paranormal Activity 2 which is more of a prequel and "midquel" at the same time. Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman take the helm of this installment, both who had just come off success with their documentary Catfish. The results are honestly surprising.

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.