Archive for Horror Movies

Why I couldn’t finish “The Curse of Sleeping Beauty” (2016)

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , , , , , on July 14, 2017 by Xander Woolf

Curse of Sleeping Beauty Poster

Supposedly based on the Grimm fairy tale “Briar Rose,” The Curse of Sleeping Beauty follows Thomas, a reclusive artist who consistently dreams of a beautiful sleeping woman that he just can’t wake up. When he inherits a property that’s been in his family for generations, his nightmares become real. He has to free Briar Rose from her prison in order to free himself from the property.

It sounds like it could be a beautiful story… if done right.

The movie was so awful, though, we couldn’t even finish it. We got about half-way through and turned it off. This is actually a big deal for Winters and me. In our entire friendship, we’ve only ever turned off three movies.

It’s especially a big deal for me given that I love bad horror movies. I’ll watch bad horror until the cows come home, but I couldn’t finish The Curse of Sleeping Beauty. Here’s why.

1) The acting was atrocious. While the actors were all beautiful in their own right, they weren’t right for the roles. Ethan Peck, at first, seemed perfect for a reclusive artist role. As the movie went on, however, it became obvious that Thomas was supposed to care about both Briar Rose and Linda, the woman helping him learn more about the mysterious property. Ethan Peck, however, continued with his emotionless character, causing his lines to fall flat. India Eisley, who played Briar Rose, was gorgeous in her outfit, but could have spent more time with a dialect coach. Her English accent was reminiscent of that of a teenager pretending to be “posh.” Finally, Natalie Hall’s Linda attempted to be the comic relief, but the delivery of her lines combined with the overall feel of the movie made that attempt fall short. We felt as though each of these actors was only hired because of their good looks.

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2) The script was just bad. The acting probably would have been better if the script was better written. Instead, there were lines that made no sense and major plot holes. Not only that, but near the middle of the movie, the plot changed from straight horror fantasy, where one or two people deal with an evil force, to an ensemble let’s-tackle-this-together movie. The dynamic completely changed when the two extra characters were added. Thomas and Linda were all that were needed, in my opinion.

3) They mixed several cultures together. This goes along with bad script writing, but deserves a point all to its own. The Sleeping Beauty story is of French origin. The movie takes place in America (I think!). All the characters seem to be American or Canadian, with the exception of Briar Rose, who is supposedly British. Richard (Bruce Davison), shows up in a car with a European license plate. And, finally, when they determine what the actual curse is, they reveal that it’s Middle Eastern… Dear writers, pick one and stick to it!

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While those are my three big points, there were a lot of little points as well. Let’s call it nitpicks. First, Thomas’ uncle supposedly lived in the mysterious house for 40 years, but it looked like it hadn’t been lived in for quite a long time. Second, Thomas at one point says he just wants to get out of this “godforsaken town,” but there was no introduction of the town itself or Thomas’ interaction with it. Finally, there’s a scene where a bunch of mannequins are attacking Thomas and Linda, attempting to protect the secret of the house from outsiders, and I was just reminded of an episode of Doctor Who, which took me right out of the story.

I didn’t see the ending, but absolutely nothing could have made this movie worth it. I assume Briar Rose turned out to be evil and they had to defeat her. Otherwise, they never would have introduced Linda as Thomas’ other love interest. I also assume that the 53 people who had gone missing on the property were the people inside the mannequins. But, hey, I could be wrong.

Watch it for yourself and tell me your thoughts in the comments below!

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Review: Don’t Breathe (2016)

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , , , , , on March 3, 2017 by Xander Woolf

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Written and Directed by: Fede Alvarez
Starring: Stephen Lang, Jane Levy, Dylan Minnette

What’s it about?
Three amateur thieves (Levy, Minnette, Daniel Zovatto) devise a plan to steal $300,000 from a disabled veteran (Lang) living in a house in an abandoned neighborhood in Detroit. The plan goes wrong, however, when they find they’re stuck in a house with a trained killer.

What did I think?
These kids are dumb. I can’t express how dumb these kids are. First of all, the man may be blind, but blind people can hear and smell really, really well. Don’t take your shoes off and certainly don’t take steps backwards if you’re not absolutely sure there’s not a creaky floor board. Secondly, the man’s a veteran. He’s not going to be defenseless, even if he is disabled. He had four locks on his front door for Christ’s sake.

I can’t say I was really scared during this movie. The people in danger broke into a house in a Stand Your Ground state. Of course the owner’s going to use deadly force to defend himself, his money, and the girl he’s got tied up in the basement. You can’t just walk in with one pistol and think you’ll be alright. I had no empathy for the main characters, so I found that I didn’t care what happened to them. This made the jump scares and the general suspense far less effective.

I’d much rather see the story of the girl he had tied up. Sure, he explained it, but that’s a far scarier situation to be in. Make that movie. Don’t try to make me empathize with a bunch of burglars who should know full well they’re in a Stand Your Ground state. He had every legal right to kill the intruders in his home, regardless of whether or not he has a hostage in the basement.

The acting was pretty good, though, despite the premise. Though, to be honest, not a lot of talking happened in this movie. The few times the main characters did talk (which, of course, was at the worst times), they were immediately bombarded with a bullet. They barely even had full conversations during the exposition, which I can get behind. The less talking, the less any particular actor can ruin a scene. Though, they all did facial expressions really well. And, because they had to be quiet to avoid this killer, there was no fake horror movie scream. Thank you for that, Fede Alvarez.

Do I recommend it?
Yeah, it’s pretty much just like every other horror movie, so you might as well go watch it. The main characters make bad decisions, so at least it’s a good opportunity to yell at your screen, if you haven’t done that in awhile.

Review: Final Girl (2015)

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 26, 2016 by Lilliandra Winters

Dir by: Tyler Shieldsfinal-girl.jpg
Writen by: Adam Prince (screenplay), Stephen Scarlata (story)
Starring: Abigail Breslin, Wes Bentley, Logan Huffman

I was browsing through my Netflix horror section and came across Final Girl. This was a film that I had passed several times. The cover picture has always caught my eye, especially since I recognized the lead actress for her earlier work (Haunter and Scream Queens). I was fairly sure she was a child actress (She is: Little Miss Sunshine) and I was interested in seeing what she had to offer as an adult. Not only that, but the description enticed me, as many do:

A man teaches a young woman how to become a complete weapon. Later she is approached by a group of sadistic teens who kill blonde women for unknown reasons. The hunting season begins.

It isn’t any longer than other movies, so why not? I instantly began to recognize other actors. Besides Wes Bentley, I also knew Cameron Bright and Alexander Ludwig. I wondered how this would all play out and hoped for the best.

The premise of the movie is interesting enough. A young girl’s parents die. She, being intelligent, was brought into what I can only assume is a special program. This is where the story ripples for me a little bit. It is suddenly years later and Veronica (Breslin) and William (Bentley), who originally brought the Veronica into the program, are obviously much older. I’m assuming late teens. Now, I would imagine that she was being trained all of these years, but that isn’t what is even remotely portrayed here. It actually comes off that she had little to no training up to this point and is just now learning, as he is explaining to her what she must do. This part is the most confusing. He seems to be cramming all the information she needs to succeed in her mission into a mere day or two, but why? Why not use the years you’ve had with her?

Here’s the long and short of it. Four boys (Huffman, Bright, Ludwig and Reece Thompson) love to dress in tuxes and take girls out into the woods and hunt them. After this group has killed many young women, Veronica is tasked with infiltrating and taking them down. Simple and elegant.

I very much enjoy the idea, but the execution is sloppy. The beginning of the movie doesn’t add up and it feels rushed. We don’t need a training montage of her as a child learning to kill people, but why does she begin her training so late in the game? She could have showed more skill if she had been trained for years. What happened in all that time? It almost seems that the middle of the movie was thought up first and they slapped together a beginning and an end. The end wasn’t confusing, but didn’t leave me feeling accomplished. The ending was honestly something I’d expect more from a TV show than a movie. So much is left unexplained that you end up questioning the entire experience.

That all being said, I enjoyed the dialog for the most part. I found most of the actors to be spot on, but Veronica felt off. Breslin’s role never clicked for me. Her choreography was well done and I was impressed at her fighting scenes, though. I enjoyed the glimpses into each character, which didn’t drag me down with unnecessary details; just enough to gain a small bit of understanding and intrigue.

I would like to tell you exactly how I feel about the movie as a whole, but, as I sit here typing this, all I can tell you is that I’m indifferent. I neither liked nor disliked the movie, which is an uncomfortable feeling, since I enjoy passing judgement in this manner. So, I leave you with a mostly well acted, but rushed story with good choreography?

I don’t know. Watch it for yourself and let me know what you think in the comments below!

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The Most Underrated Horror Movies on Netflix

Posted in List with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 6, 2016 by Xander Woolf

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Guest Post By: Cassie from Culture Coverage

Are you a fan of the things that go bump in the night? What about the ones that creep in the woods unnoticed? If you are, Netflix has got you covered with all things spooky and creepy to add to your queue and have a scream stream fest.

From an anthology of horror shorts to art house films on a super budget, these Netflix scary stories are sure to put a little jump in your step, and a just a tad of fear into your next Netflix & Chill session.

1. The ABCs of Death
Starting off with this delicious anthology, The ABCs of Death is like a giant kid’s storybook full of goodies, except these goodies come in the horror contingency from more than two dozen directors and spell out (literally) how to kill. For anyone looking for a good couple of shorts to bring big scares, The ABCs of Death is beautiful, deadly, and most of all, a horror flick lover’s dream.

2. The House at the End of Time
Spanish language horror flicks have never had a better run and The House at the End of Time is in the same vein that makes del Toro’s the most lauded (and awarded) horror flicks of all time. The main protagonist, Dulce, is a mother who learns of apparitions in her house, and after getting attacked, leaves the house. But later in her old age, she comes back to confront the demons who plagued her there and finally settle the score. For fans of thrillers like The Haunting in Connecticut and The Messengers, The House at the End of Time is a foreign masterpiece that belongs on your list of must-sees.

3. Monsters
A little bit of genre mixing goes on in Monsters, as this tiny indie horror flick takes place in a disease ridden post-apocalyptic world inhabited by alien creatures. As one road weary journalist seeks to take an American tourist to the safety of the US on the other side of the US-Mexican border. Premiering at South by Southwest in 2010 and being made over three weeks, in 5 countries, with a $500,000 budget, you can’t get much more homegrown than this—and it all pays off in a directorial debut by Gareth Edwards. For viewers that like the scare to be unpredictable, authentic, and deliberate, this is the flick for you.

4. Dead Snow
Nazi zombie movie? Check! Dead Snow is one of those traditional horror flick set-ups; medical students hoping for a break head into the icy woods for peace and relaxation only to come across stories of a band of Nazis getting lost in the woods and becoming the undead (sounds awesome, right?). For fans of zombie flicks and excellent historical epics, this just might be the movie to convert you into sitting down for the every zombie-historical crossover, and certainly for the next two movies in the Dead Snow trilogy.

Pro Tip: Not sure if you’ll be able to stream this wherever you are? Take into consideration a Virtual Private Network. It’ll work out all the kinks of wondering whether you’re going to get offered the same Netflix selection everywhere. Perfect for disabling geolocation, a VPN saves you from having to fret, and at the same time protects you from data stealing identity thieves on public WiFi. It’s a win-win.

5. A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night
Vampires never had such a creepy awakening as in Ana Lily Amirpour’s Iranian flick self-labeled as a vampire Western. With the main character known only as “The Girl,” this story is as much about bloodsucking as it is about defining the human characteristics of the undead as the main falls head over heels for a mortal boy who’s embroiled in the care and keeping of his addiction rattled father. In the vein of vampire movies that speak as art house films, A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night might be more terrifying, not for its inclusion of the extraordinary, but because of its humanity.

Still looking for more horror to binge on? Check out this list for great finds of the scary kind, or even just of the thriller sort. Great horror doesn’t always have to leave you shaking in your boots, but it’s generally a great sign if it surprises!

Happy watching!

About the Author: Cassie is an entertainment and online security blogger, who specializes in all things movies and getting around geo-restrictions. She is always open to new suggestions for which flick to watch next. Leave a note in the comments about a movie (or movies!) you love, and she’ll get right to watching or debating its finer points!

Review: Pieces (2016) SHORT FILM

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 3, 2016 by Xander Woolf

Written and Directed by: Dan SunleyA4-POSTER-v2.4-FULL-CREDITS-CYMK.jpg
Starring: Kristy Guest, Kate Sandison and Louise Willoughby

What’s it about?
While dealing with the loss of her grandmother, Isabella (Guest) is tasked to pack up the now empty house alone. While sorting through Nana’s (Sandison) old stuff, she comes across a single puzzle piece attached to a note that reads, “FINISH IT.” When night falls, a disturbing presence is unearthed and Isabella must decide her fate.

Here’s the Trailer:

What did I think?
Pieces is a truly terrifying film about losing a loved one and the search to find out why. What started out as curiosity over a single puzzle piece turned into finding the line between this world and the supernatural world. This film is not only haunting, but also impactful.

The tension that builds throughout Pieces had me on the edge of my seat. This was masterfully done through the use of imagery, silence, sound and music. It was the perfect combination for a horror short.

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The casting was done well. Each of the women in this film were believable and strong characters. Kristy Guest did an excellent job as the lead in the film. Her Isabella was believable and strong, which isn’t always the case with horror female leads. Kate Sandison was both sweet and terrifying while Louise Willoughby pulled off the naive best friend.

Do I recommend it?
Most definitely. Overall, this short film is amazing.

To find out more about this film and when you can expect it to be released, please visit their website.

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Top 10 Movies to Watch for Valentine’s Day

Posted in List with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 14, 2016 by Lilliandra Winters

As you wander the stores looking at cheap chocolates and lame cards, it’s obvious that it’s that time of year. Valentine’s Day. We plan to spend the day thinking about how much love hurts. Here are just a few of our favorite horror movies to watch on Valentine’s Day:

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Horror Movies to Review

Posted in Other with tags , , , , , , , , , , on January 22, 2016 by Xander Woolf

In keeping with this week’s theme of asking you what you want from us, I’d like to know what horror movies you’re interested in.

Do you have a favorite horror movie that you want to see us talk about?

Is there one coming out that you want to know more about, but don’t want to spend money on it yet?

Are there indie horror films you’re not sure about that you want us to watch and report back?

Let us know in the comments below, though our Contact Us link or on Facebook!

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