(2016) Havenhurst

I was drawn to this film for Julie Benz who I was a fan of in Dexter. I think her Dexter role was kind of a fluke though because that role required her natural lack of confidence and vulnerability. You’d think, holy shit, that must translate perfectly to an ex-addict but it really doesn’t. She’s a pretty weak lead in this.

I do think it’s an entertaining movie as a whole though and not at all what I expected. It’s definitely a fun little horror film with some pretty creative evilness. There’s even some intense gore speckled in, which now looking back, doesn’t really translate to the rest of the films tone but nevertheless, it’s a cool scene.

Overall, it’s nothing I’d ever rave about but I enjoyed it. There’s definitely some awkward acting portions and the premise as a whole will probably devolve into a silly concept for most. I’m not unhappy this film was made.

6.5/10

(1999) The Astronaut’s Wife

Johnny Depp and Charlize Theron are great but their performances still weren’t really enough.

The initial moments of something-is-wrong in this film are pretty great. I like the somewhat open-ended vague premise as it really could potentially lead anywhere. The direction of the film establishes pretty quickly and from there it just kind of slow jerks you without ever giving you that climax.

The CGI elements just didn’t work for me personally and kind of in the same way that they don’t work in a lot of alien based sci-fi films. The thing is, I have no fucking clue what the aliens look like so the possibilities are endless. Since I’m already never wow’d by CGI, especially from 1999, any sort of reveal is an inevitable letdown.

This isn’t an original concept and I would have loved to see them go much darker with it. It’s just such a frustrating film to watch if you get easily annoyed with characters who make irrational decisions.

4.5/10

(2016) The Disappointments Room

Objectively, what you get with this film, really isn’t all that terrible. I think that I was happy to find it at 3.9/10 on iMDB but some part of me feels like that’s a bit unjust. The problem with this film is really that, there’s not much going on.

Kate Beckinsale is pretty good but even she felt like she was squeezing everything she could out of a shallow character and still coming up short. Ultimately, especially with her performance, you get an exploitive horror film about mental illness that barely manages to scratch the surface of anything substantially interesting.

Production wise it’s pretty good- Oh shit. Okay, okay, I just remembered what I wanted to say. So the films kind of underlying secret or twist gets revealed in the middle. I truly believe that someone in post production or something thought the twist was stupid so they would kind of introduce it earlier? Maybe they still considered the ending a twist? I have no idea really.

Anyways, this was very forgettable.

5/10

(2016) It Stains the Sands Red

I’m kind of just sitting here digesting this one as I’m working out this review and I have to say that despite a very b-movie opening, this one impressed me. I enjoyed the somewhat original concept on a tired sub-genre. It was successful on a technical level as well. I quite enjoyed the bright, slightly oversaturated picture.

Kind of like how I’m working out this review as I’m writing it, I got the sense that the filmmaker was kind of working out this movie as he made it. The setup in general is kind of shallow, basic and generic but whatever. As soon as we get into the meat of the film, I’m instantly impressed at how entertaining it is just to watch this girl bake out in the desert with a single zombie following her around. It’s commendable how seemingly natural the progression was within the dynamic relationship of our protagonist and zombie. I assumed this couldn’t be anything but boring but I was proven wrong.

At some point though, this film just runs out of gas. Other characters, albeit briefly, are introduced and the lack of talent really crop dusts this film. It’s not a total ruiner but despite the practical effects remaining high quality, I sort of just can’t seem to really care about the ending.

Definitely glad I watched this one and if the premise interests you, despite not thinking it’s a great film, I can still recommend this one. I believe it’s streaming on Amazon video right now, hopefully it’ll still be on there when this review goes up.

6.5/10

(2014) Dark Was the Night

Another annoying shitty grey/blue filter that I’m not going to rant about because regular readers know how much I hate it. It’s there though and it’s shitty.

The film as a whole is I guess, upon conclusion, not as terrible as it builds itself up to be. The on screen relationships are all incredibly shallow and cliche. The dialogue is annoying and the acting is pretty shitty to boot. It’s also pretty fucking boring which is an easy blanket complaint.

The conclusion however, was actually pretty exciting. I realized that the director did a fine job not revealing too much of our monster and despite my frustration, I did admittedly just want to get a good look at the cocksucker. The monsters depiction through the film is a mix of practical and CGI effects. The practical effects are pretty dope and the CGI ones are low-budget shit.

I don’t know, it’s on Netflix. It’s not a garbage fire or anything but I don’t see a reason to watch it unless you’re incredibly bored, very run of the mill horror.

5/10

(2017) Clinical

I was totally surprised by this one and it’s 100% being slept on. Netflix always comes through with solid production, whether or not the story itself is hit or miss.

Given the psychiatrist plot and the placing in the horror category, I think anyone who’s seen enough movies will assume the same predictability I did. The story however, is original and engaging throughout. I haven’t been this enthralled by a slow burn horror in a while. It managed to trick me at multiple points and that brief comfortability with suspicious characters is admirable.

The opening scene is definitely something to note and its intensity really sets the tone for the rest of the film. I felt constantly on edge, just waiting for that big twist.

My only complaint and this is a very small one, is the slight unmatched skin tones of the make up prosthetics. It wouldn’t even be something most people notice but it was consistent enough to mention. The special makeup effects are limited in use and something the filmmakers should have been able to manage.

With all that being said, I won’t ruin anything but this film is very high quality horror. It’s a dark, deceptive story about loss and abuse.

7.5/10