(2009) The Univited

I chose this one out of HBOGO’s limited horror selection because Elizabeth Banks is semi-local to me so I feel like my chances of sleeping with her are higher, thus making her more attractive.

It’s a movie plagued by cliche’s specific to the early 2000’s and fires off twist after twist like me when I’m drunk texting girls at 3:42am thinking I still have a chance to get laid despite my Jack Daniel’s brand penis. It’s done well though and I actually sort of enjoyed watching it. It’s a remake and not to sound hipster but I’m already sure, without even seeing it, that the original was better.

It was really predictable to me only because I’ve seen so many movies of the same vain but something tells me the twists that didn’t surprise me would impress someone else, in that sense I can see this movie being successful.

5/10

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(2015) They Look Like People

This is an interesting-hmm no that’s not the right word. This is a really well made film with a suitable premise and a dark esoteric atmosphere for those that allow themselves to become invested in it. There’s no premise really needed here, just a guy questioning his sanity for a few hours.

It’s a really difficult movie for me to review because while I think it was unquestionably good and a product of talent; it was way too predictable. Despite the movie not fooling me in any way, there were incredibly creepy visual moments that kept it suspenseful. As with a lot of these indie horror movies lately, this is a reserved film that relies on a general mood rather than individual scares. The characters all seemed fleshed out and it’s easy enough to become invested in them.

I’ll be honest, the end gave me fucking blue balls, JUST DO IT (nike). Then again, I had to remind myself that the ending I wanted, wasn’t the ending the movie deserved. Anyways, this is on Netflix right now so check it out if it sounds like something you’d dig.

6.5/10

(1981) The Beyond

I really didn’t like this movie despite it having a ton of sequences I enjoyed. Also, there’s something about a horror movie attempting to depict “hell” that makes me perk up and really get engaged. Hell after all is the ultimate horror from a theoretical stance; eternal torment and damnation.

Anyways, there’s a lack of plot structure here and the narrative is incredibly confusing. I get it, hell is leaking through and that’s why all this shit is happening. Most of the time the confusion didn’t seem unintentional but for some reason, that just made it more obnoxious. There’s no need to revel in an ambiguous plot line for almost an entire movie, it’s pretentious and the overall style of building the film around this lacked depth.

It’s an awesome premise and it’s really a shame it was botched. I thought the end of the movie was genius and really creepy and awe-inspiring. I just wish I didn’t have to clutch onto the first 3/4 of the movie to be able to experience it.

This isn’t a confident negative review for me and I know I’m in the minority here so any fan of Fulci should still give this a watch. It has a ton of classic Fulci style body horror and some genuinely creepy sequences.

4/10

(1982) Creepshow

I had an absolute blast watching Creepshow and although there’s no oscar performances here, it’s just plain fun to watch. I’m psyched that a bunch of awesome horror anthologies have been released lately; it’s becoming one of my favorite film styles.

This movie kind of plays out like a slightly sillier and more vibrant The Twilight Zone. It took a minute to catch on that this was a comic book adaptation but once I understood that tone, it was much easier to enjoy.

As with any anthology, everyone is going to have their favorite segment. For me, the first segment was a little too goofy and kind of turned me off of the movie somewhat. It’s not that I didn’t enjoy it but I was a little bummed at the lack of creepiness and overall kind of choppy acting. Thankfully, I feel like the stories only improve from there. The second story is actually even goofier than the first but nevertheless it was way more entertaining, which probably had a lot to do with getting to see Stephen King act out a redneck.

My favorite segment was probably the third one, Something to Tide You Over with Ted Danson and Leslie Neilson. Leslie is just undeniably hilarious, even when he’s attempting to drown his victim.

The next few shorts are solid, no sense in mapping this all out for you, just watch it; the mystery is half the fun and I’m boring myself at this point. I probably would have enjoyed this slightly more if I watched it when i was younger but it still works beautifully as a popcorn movie if you’re looking for something to toss on.

7/10

(1986) From Beyond

From Beyond is an awesome H.P. Lovecraft adaptation from the creators of Re-Animator. So basically you know you’re in for a body horror epic when you toss this on.

My god does this one deliver on the body horror; just some absolutely incredible make-up work by the special effects team here. That’s the 80’s for you though, the effects when practical are almost always insanely impressive. The CGI however, is not and From Beyond isn’t the exception to it. Thankfully there’s very little CGI so it really didn’t bring the movie down for me.

This film is also sexy as fuck. We get this crazy story-line where two scientists have built a device that stimulates the peneal gland which causes you to see beyond out normal realm into this psychotically gross, hell-like dimension. There’s one other side effect, it also makes you really fucking horny.

It sounds stupid but that aspect really works well here because in the end the sexual desire and desire to see into “the beyond” become one in the same. We need that to keep our main characters coming back to this realm because without it, it would only take one small encounter in the beyond to make them say fuck this and roll credits.

There’s some goofy dialogue and one-liners that bog this movie down a bit but nothing that ruins it, given that it’s not taking itself too seriously to begin with. Check this out if you’re a fan of Re-Animator or body horror in general.

8/10

(1979) Zombie

Zombie just feels like THE zombie movie. When I think of zombies, I think of simple, slow moving, reanimated rotting corpses out to eat people and Lucio Fulci kept these creatures pure for me.

Oftentimes I come across “zombie” movies where the zombies will sprint and sort of just seem over-powered. What makes zombie movies so appealing to me is that lack of deliberation by these creatures. They only know two things; walk and eat. That setup makes for a really interesting survival movie. I’d say a lot of the tension it brings is similar to how Jason in the Friday the 13th series can walk so slow and methodical, yet still always manage to catch up to his victims. By the end of the movie our main cast is being completely overrun and the climax is fantastic.

The practical effects and makeup are just incredible and justifiably over-the-top. To see these disgusting corpses against the backdrop of a tropical paradise is way more satisfying than I would have expected. The only thing that could have made this movie any better is having one of the zombies fight an actual real live shark which is perfect because that’s exactly what Fulci does. The scene itself is actually the most impressive feat in the entire movie, despite how straight-to-DVD a zombie fighting a shark sounds.

Zombie is an absolute classic and a must watch for anyone into ultra-gory, action driven horror movies.

8.5/10

 

(1972) Don’t Torture a Duckling

Don’t Torture a Duckling, for all intensive purposes, is a straight up murder mystery but one that’s crafted well and kept me engaged.

One of the most enjoyable part of watching this was the gorgeous landscapes and lead actresses. It’s tough to feel fear when the movie is set in such a beautiful location. My thought process was sort of like, yeah I get it, kids die here sometimes but my god, look where you live; it’s a small price to pay really.

As far as the storyline goes, it was about as successful as they come in terms of murder mysteries considering I didn’t know who the killer was until the last moments. The entire movie is long but deliberate with oftentimes weird and ambiguous moody voodoo-like scenes that kind of elevate it into the horror category. Plus they kill kids here which I really like. Killing kids in American cinema is so taboo these days, it’s refreshing to see a couple of little poop hurricanes become the victims for once.

It’s kind of hard to talk about this movie without unfortunately dedicating a portion of this review to the ridiculous last death scene which was just silly and overdone. I enjoyed it for it’s ridiculousness but deep in my cold black heart I know it didn’t belong.

7/10