Archive for Vampires

The Most Underrated Horror Movies on Netflix

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

horror netflic

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!

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Review of Only Lovers Left Alive (2013)

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 19, 2016 by Xander Woolf

Dir. Jim Jarmusch
Starring: Tilda Swinton, Tom Hiddleston, Mia Wasikowska

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What’s it about?
Adam (Hiddleston) is a vampire and musician who has grown tired with the direction that humankind has taken. His centuries-old lover, Eve (Swinton), flies back to Detroit to cheer him up. While there, they receive a surprise guest: Eve’s younger sister, Ava (Wasikowska), who is uncontrollable and risks revealing their identities to the world.

What did I think?
This movie is a low-key, smart film about vampires. It relies on dialogue and imagery to get the plot across rather than action, which is an acquired taste for some people. It is not a traditional horror movie, by any means, but it deals with horrifying elements such as death, depression, vampires and the unknown.

The dialogue is witty and smart. Tom Hiddleston and Tilda Swinton work well together, creating an on-screen relationship that has real chemistry. Mia Wasikowska portrays the wild younger sister well as she causes her sister and brother-in-law more trouble than they were equipped to handle.

The movie is slow going and very quiet. It’s not scary at all, to be quite frank. I’m not even sure if I could consider it a horror movie. It would be more apt to categorize it as a drama. I was actually surprised after watching it that it was supposed to be a horror romance.

Do I recommend it?
If you’re looking for a scary vampire movie, no. If you’re looking for a smart drama that utilizes supernatural beings to help you think about life, yes. This movie isn’t for everyone, especially not every horror fans, but it’s certainly worth checking out.

wolfout

The Legend of the Richmond Vampire

Posted in Urban Legend with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 7, 2016 by Xander Woolf

Richmond, Virginia was the site of a tragic accident in 1925. On October 2 of that year, the Church Hill Train Tunnel collapsed onto several workers as they attempted to repair the tunnel for the use of the burgeoning railroad.

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Tess Shebaylo/Flickr (Source Link Below)

What’s the legend?
On that same day, it was reported that a ghastly creature escaped the tunnel and ran into the mausoleum of W.W. Pool in Richmond’s Hollywood Cemetery. This creature was said to be covered in blood and have ghastly pale, sagging skin and jagged teeth. It was never seen again.

What’s the real story?
Reports of the incident say that there was one person who was able to escape from the caved-in tunnel. This person was named Benjamin Mosby, a 28-year-old fireman who was helping shovel coal. He was severely burned from the incident, causing his skin to sag and peel. Many of his teeth were broken, causing them to look jagged.

Mosby died just hours later in Grace Hospital and the legend grew from there.

How’s it used today?
The legend holds so much power in the Richmond area that occult groups are often found gathering in or around the mausoleum. The History Channel attempted to open up the old tunnel to film a show about the 1925 incident, but it was in such bad shape that it was deemed unsafe to film or even explore. It is believed that there were at least two workers who could not be recovered from the rubble. In 2014, a local petition was started to renovate the area and create a memorial for the victims of the tragic cave-in.

wolfout

Image Source.

Black Blood Brothers

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 3, 2015 by Lilliandra Winters

Black Blood Brothers (anime series) (2006-2007)208503-aliya06
Based on the Black Blood Brothers (BBB) Manga

On my third instance of watching Black Blood Brothers, I was just as excited as the first. It’s a wonderful anime (which, unfortunately, only has one season) and it is all about my favorite movie monsters, Vampires! We follow Jirou Mochizuki (voice by J. Michael Tatum *I love you*) in his desperate attempt to keep his little brother, Kotaro Mochizuki, out of harm’s way. But, naturally, not everything is as it seems.

In this world, Vampires are not only known by certain people, but there is also a special zone in which they can live fairly freely. This zone is where our main characters are headed when they are attacked and meet the lovely Mimiko Katsuragi, who helps them in so many ways.

It is deemed horror due to its graphic nature (I.E lots of blood). Jirou is definitely the romanticized vampire that we are all used to hearing about, but the Kowloon Children are the real horrors, and villains, of this story. I don’t want to give too much away.

This too-short series is not only exciting to watch but the barely-touched back story is also intriguing enough that I may read the manga. The vampire powers are vast and changing. I love the concept and wish there was more to watch.

Would you be a vampire? Because I certainly would.

WintersOver4

Review of Nosferatu (1922)

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 4, 2015 by Xander Woolf

Dir. FW Murnau, Starring: Max Schreck, Gustav Von Wangenheim, Greta Schroder
Currently on Rotten Tomatoes Top 100 Horror Movies list

Nosferatu is a classic film from the German Expressionism era. Much like The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, this film is silent and relies on sharp imagery to get its point across. This film is the first full-length feature made based on Bram Stoker’s famous novel, Dracula. It follows Hutter (Von Wangenheim), a real estate agent who is based on Jonathan Harker, as he travels to Count Orlok’s (Schreck) castle in Transylvania. While away, he discovers Orlok’s secret identity as Nosferatu. Hutter’s wife, Ellen (Schroder), based on Mina, is plagued with dreams and visions of her beloved’s immediate danger.

As I’ve said, Nosferatu is classic. I don’t even really need to review it. It’s obviously a must watch if you’re a film buff. If not, though, I’d say you can skip right to the 1931 version of Dracula that I reviewed previously. For a non-film buff, this movie will be boring. It moves slowly with long periods of inactivity. The dialogue, written down, is cheesy and uninspired.

For the film buff, though, there are magnificent shots of landscape and very interesting uses of color and imagery. It’s an interesting study of the German Expressionist era, especially when compared to The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, because it comes at the end of this period of film. While Cabinet had painted sets, Nosferatu has real, built sets. It’s much less severe looking than its predecessors, but no less creepy. They still utilize the sharp angles and the contrast of dark versus light, but it’s much less pronounced within the film itself.

This film also has iconic images used throughout the years. Everyone knows of Count Orlok’s slow and creepy entrance into Hutter’s room at night, before he sucks his blood. Also, the scene where Orlok is crouching over Ellen has been made and remade in every Dracula movie or TV show ever created. That’s the shot that everyone thinks of when they hear the word “Vampire.”

I have mixed feelings about Nosferatu, personally. It’s fascinating to see the progression of the history of film, but, watching as a person from the modern era, the movie ran too long for me. I found myself bored by Act 4 and almost completely disinterested by Act 5. This can be chalked up to many factors, however, other than the film itself. Among those factors are the fact that I more recently watched Dracula (1931), which has a nearly identical plot, and because I knew the ending.

Despite my personal feelings about this film, I suggest you see it. Not only will it help to give you a better understanding of the film industry, but you’ll also gain a more thorough knowledge about the evolution of the horror movie. Anyone interested in film needs to see Nosferatu. Next on my list: Nosferatu The Vampyre (1979).

Let us know what your thoughts are about this movie in the comments!

wolfout

Review of “Dracula” (1931)

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 27, 2015 by Xander Woolf

Dir. Tod Browning; Starring: Bela Lugosi, Helen Chandler, David Manners
#39 on Rotten Tomatoes’ Top 100 Horror Movie List

Dracula (1931) is the classic tale of the undead horror from Transylvania’s trip to London, England. Here, Count Dracula (Lugosi) meets Mina (Chandler), a woman with whom he would like to spend the rest of his eternal life.

The movie opens with Mr. Renfield’s (Manners) trip to Transylvania. The major problem I have with this movie resides in the opening scenes. Mr. Renfield is sharing a carriage with a few others, who stop in a little village in Hungary for the night. Mr. Renfield, however, must continue on his journey, as he must reach Borgo Pass by midnight. The major issue that I have here is that there is no way he would make it to Borgo Pass between sundown and midnight if he was in Hungary. It would make more sense if they had had the carriage stop in Klausenberg, Romania (like Jonathan Harker does in the book), as Borgo Pass and Dracula’s Castle are on the opposite side of Romania from the Hungarian border.

The movie is in black and white, which makes the darkness of the story a little creepier. Dracula’s castle – as well as the Abbey in which he lives in England – is covered in giant cobwebs, with furniture in disarray and crumbling stonework. There are giant spiders, opossums and armadillos everywhere. Surprisingly, no rats. My main issue with this is that, yes, it looks creepy and creates an atmosphere, but are we to believe that Dracula doesn’t want a night of R&R in the parlor every once in awhile? I mean, he’s super old.

The atmosphere is also created by complete silence, sounds of running water and howling animals. There isn’t much of a score to this movie, other than the occasional dark undertones to create emphasis. Also, something that confused me in the beginning was that the overture was a song from the ballet Swan Lake. You all know which one I mean. It’s the main song. We all heard it in Black Swan.

Of course, the dialogue in this movie is iconic. Not only is the dialogue used for exposition – such as when the Hungarian locals are warning Mr. Renfield about Castle Dracula – but also used to set the atmosphere. The way Dracula speaks is iconic in it’s own right – slowly and with that oh, so familiar accent. There are also amazing lines in the film, such as, “There are far worse things awaiting man than death,” spoken by Dracula himself, and “The strength of the vampire is that people will not believe in him,” spoken by Van Helsing (Edward Van Sloan). The script is just amazing in its own right.

The acting is also spectacular. The way Mr. Renfield goes from calm, collected businessman to raving lunatic is just superb. And Dracula’s creepy air of superiority is so well done. Not to mention Van Helsing, how he comes off as some bookworm professor, but becomes exactly what is needed to defeat Dracula. And the hospital staff are all just so funny.

Apart from the film’s amazing script and superb acting, this film did have another flaw. The ending was anti-climactic. After all that build up about how Dracula is dangerous and has lived hundreds of years, he was so easy to kill. Van Helsing just waltzes right into Dracula’s Abbey, finds his box in the basement and just stakes him right in the heart. And then it’s just over. We don’t know what happens to Mina. We don’t know what happens to Dracula’s undead wives (Dracula was a player). It was just done. But maybe that was the style back then. I haven’t watched enough old movies to really attest to that.

Despite my two misgivings about this film, I highly recommend it. It’s a classic. Give it a watch and tell me what you think!

wolfout

The Legend of The Black-Eyed Kids

Posted in Urban Legend with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 26, 2015 by Xander Woolf

The legend of the Black-Eyed Children tells of paranormal creatures that resemble children with pale skin and black eyes. These creatures are usually seen hitchhiking, panhandling or just standing on the doorsteps of residential homes. These children are usually asking for help, a ride home or to be let inside out of the cold.

Those who have reported encounters with the Black-Eyed Kids (BEKs) often describe a feeling of danger or dread. They report that the BEKs feel supernatural and unsafe, though they can never explain why.

In the encounters, they usually appear in pairs, are confident, yet avoid eye-contact, and keep their faces turned down. It is also said that they speak with a maturity far beyond their age. Not only do these children possess the mannerisms and speech patters of adults, but they also sometimes possess the voice of an adult.

All reports of BEKs have the same thing in common: these Black-Eyed Kids and their requests for help create an unsettling sense of danger in the adults with whom they speak. Some people even believe that the children may use low-level mind control to try to get their victims to comply with their demands.

Many people believe that the BEKs are spirits of lost or murdered children that are the “harbingers of ill will and personal doom.” Many others believe that they are vampires, as it does appear that they cannot enter a house or vehicle without the owner’s permission. Some even believe that they are extraterrestrials trying to blend into society.

There are no accounts as to what happens should one actually let a BEK into their home or car, which could possibly mean that those who do are killed.

Would you help a BEK in need?