All posts by freekz80

Film Review: Stephen King’s Children of the Corn (1984) HORRORATHON 3

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Film: Children of the Corn (1984)
Reviewed by: Freekz80

Children. Sharp objects. Corn fields. Combine those three with a hatred for adults and you’ve got Children of the Corn!  Directed by Fritz Kiersch, this great 80s horror flick combines a strange and unconventional premise with the good ol’ creepiness of children.

Burt (Peter Horton) and girlfriend Vicky (Linda Hamilton) are travelling across the country to Seattle, Washington, for Burt’s new job. On the way, they accidentally hit a boy on the highway in Nebraska, who happens to be from the nearby town of Gatlin. They end up travelling through Gatlin, which turns out to be mysteriously devoid of adults. There, they encounter the local population of children, who don’t seem very welcoming. Burt and Vicky soon learn that the children worship a deity called “He Who Walks Behind The Rows”, a demonic deity inhabiting the corn fields surrounding Gatlin. But unfortunately for Burt and Vicky, He Who Walks Behind The Rows requires that the children of Gatlin sacrifice all adults passing through…

Pros:

Personally, I felt that most of the child actors were surprisingly decent. Though, its hard to believe that giving children the opportunity to run around brandishing sharp weapons wouldn’t make them pretty enthusiastic. In addition, the overall atmosphere of the film is pretty alien and captivating. A town completely devoid of adults? Interesting. What motivates so many children to kill innocent people? It definitely provided that creepy cult feeling, even if it was a little cheesy.

Isaac, the painfully obnoxious (if I hate him so much, he must be a good actor!) leader of the cult.
Isaac, the painfully obnoxious (if I hate him so much, he must be a good actor!) leader of the cult.

Cons: 

I didn’t feel like there was a particular moment in the movie that made me say “Wow!”. While I remained interested, I was expecting the climax to deliver a far more interesting motive for the children’s blood lust. Also, in general I felt there were decent performances across the board, but some of the choreography in the fight scenes looked a bit awkward and hard to follow. However, if one can accept the film’s cheesier scenes, this shouldn’t drain much from the film’s entertainment value.

I suppose worshiping corn is somewhat acceptable.
I suppose worshiping corn is somewhat acceptable.

Final Score: 7/10

Good

While straining a bit on the believability level, Children of the Corn remains one of the more disturbing films from the 80s. Cultist Children? Evisceration? Human Sacrifice? This controversial and creepy horror flick should definitely be watched at least once.

Horrorathon Film Review: ABCs of Death 2 (2014)

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Starring: Many actors

Directed by: Many directors

Reviewed by: Freekz80

 

So… I suppose I should explain myself. This might come as a surprise to many of you considering I rated the original ABCs of Death a 1/10. It deserved it. Oh god, it deserved it. But I decided to give the series another chance, and if there was ever a case of a sequel actually being superior to the original, besides Halo 2, this is it. These shorts actually weren’t bad. As I did with my review of the original, I’ll take a few shorts that stood out to me and review them individually.

A is  for Amateur (E.L. Katz)

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Being the first short in the lineup, it’s pretty important that this one deliver as it gives the first impression! No fear, Katz does a great job with this short. A hitman encounters some… issues while attempting a hit. It’s definitely unique in the way it plays out,  and it’s unexpected! Always a plus. ABCs of Death 2 is off to a good start!

B is for Badger (Julian Barratt)

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You know it’s good when you weren’t quite ready for the short to end. This one features a film crew looking to document some local wildlife, and they stumble upon something quite startling. Gory, incredibly gory, but that’s just the way we like it. Wow, ABCs 2 might actually be a good film!

D is for Deloused (Robert Morgan)

Pretty disturbing, if not absolutely disgusting. Essentially, a man is executed and exacts vengeance upon his killers with the help of a strange bug. I wasn’t a huge fan of the claymation here (also largely disliked it in the original film) and to be quite honest, couldn’t wait for this particular short to end. This one was a turn off.

M is for Masticate (Robert Boocheck) 

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In this short, a man is shown running down a street, tackling a victim, then attempting to eat them. That’s it.  It kept me watching without too much gore, and nothing absolutely disgusting or disturbing, which is fantastic. The use of slow motion was pretty effective as well. I definitely enjoyed it.

S is for Split (Juan Martinez Moreno)

This is another example of the finer shorts in ABCs of Death 2. A man staying in France calls his wife, only for her to be attacked in their home while on the phone. The cinematography is very well done, it’s disturbing, suspenseful, and violent. It’s great that all of that can be accomplished with nothing being blatantly overdone. It’s also got an interesting twist!

X is for Xylophone (Juilen Maury, Alexandre Bustillo)

I really have no idea what the point of this short was. This one was almost as bland and uneventful as “G is for Gravity” from the first ABCs of Death. Needless to say, I didn’t like it at all.  I guess you don’t have a whole lot to work with when you are stuck with a shitty letter of the alphabet, haha!

Y is for Youth (Soichi Umezawa)

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Alright, what the fuck? Why are the Japanese shorts always so strange and disturbing? Why don’t they ever make any sense? Is there something I need to know about? This particular short reminded me of “Z is for Zetsumetsu” from the original film, and let me clarify, that is NOT a good thing. I mean, I guess they had some… ahem… uhm, “interesting” props and special effects? That’s really about it. The execution was poor, the story is not coherent, and is essentially nonexistent.

Final Score: 

While this film definitely is an improvement over the first, it still has some flaws. I suppose that is unavoidable with 26 different directors, but I am still reviewing the film as a whole. Would I recommend you watch it? Yes, but only once. There are some great shorts, and there are some downright awful shorts. In comparison to the first film, which had literally zero decent shorts, this is a step in the right direction. But alas, a polished turd is still a turd.

…Just kidding. ABCs of Death 2 was a decent experience! 6/10.

Okay

Gore: 10/10. Some of these shorts are fucking disgusting.

Scares: 2/10. Not many, but some of the shorts are quite disturbing.

Beware: Tons of blood and other nasty body fluids, giant badgers, giant japanese dicks, and, uh… a slew of other shit that makes no sense.

 

 

 

HORRORATHON Film Review: Event Horizon (1997)

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Directed by: Paul W. S. Anderson

Starring: Laurence Fishburne, Sam Neill

Reviewed by: Freekz80 (Blake Mickatavage)

Sci-Fi Horror films are becoming increasingly rare these days, and if this is a genre you enjoy, then you can’t miss this film. Imagine if Alien and The Thing, two absolutely phenomenal and monumental horror films, had a love child together. That’s along the lines of what you’ll find in Event Horizon.

Sam Neil stars as Dr. William Weir, the mastermind behind a ship called the “Event Horizon”, which has gone dark near planet Neptune while testing an experimental gravity drive. He joins Captain Miller (Fishburne) and his crew on a mission to respond to a distress signal received from the starship. Of course, the situation doesn’t seem very promising; all signs indicate a massacre took place aboard the “Event Horizon”.

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Not the most reassuring captain’s log.

As expected, shit goes south pretty quickly. While aboard the ship, the experimental gravity drive activates on its own, sucking in Justin, one of the crew members. When they finally retrieve him shortly after, he’s completely unresponsive. He’s been changed. Dr. Weir, Miller, and company then attempt to figure out what exactly it is they are dealing with, unaware that all of them, not only Justin, have been exposed to the horrors that killed the last crew.

In my opinion, one of the best parts of this film is the plot. While not incredibly original at its roots (crew unleashes deadly power upon themselves, slowly being picked off), it is still a very refreshing take on the idea as we never actually SEE the bad guy (if you can call it that) on screen. It was quite intriguing for me to wonder and speculate as to what exactly the gravity drive led to. As the crew begins to fall apart and go completely mad, you can’t help but wonder “Why?”

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Just the beginning of what the Event Horizon will show you!

Sam Neil also gives us a great performance as Dr. Weir. Though to be honest, I was just glad to see him in a movie that wasn’t Jurassic Park. Laurence Fishburne also delivers a convincing Captain Miller, though perhaps a bit cliche as the stoic and unwavering leader character. The rest of the crew, however, was a bit bland. It is quite rare for supporting characters to ever stand out, but none of them really came close in this film. Just the typical fodder characters, heh.

In addition, while overall it was a pretty disturbing experience, I felt that a handful of the events were akin to your typical, corny horror movie occurrences. Predictable, and fairly disappointing (characters essentially deserving their deaths because of stupidity, etc.) but hey, I suppose it wouldn’t be a complete horror film without those!

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The doctor is in! 😉

 

Scares: 6/10 – Pretty disturbing overall, with some cheap jump scares. Nothing overwhelmingly frightening, though.

Gore: Galore. 9/10

Final Score: 7/10

While not my favorite Sci-Fi horror, this film is certainly worth watching, perhaps multiple times. It’s not quite on the scale of Alien or The Thing, but as I mentioned earlier, it is a refreshing spin on that sort of horror sub-genre. Certainly a collectible for any fan of horror!

Good

 

HORRORATHON Film Review: Young Frankenstein (1974)

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Starring: Gene Wilder, Marty Feldman

Directed by: Mel Brooks

Reviewed by: Freekz80 (Blake Mickatavage)

Those of you who’ve seen this film may notice that it isn’t our typical horror review! That said, this is a classic film that should be in every film enthusiast’s Halloween collection.

Gene Wilder plays the hilarious Dr. Frederick Frankenstein, a professor at a medical school in America. He is absolutely disgusted with the work of his grandfather, Victor Frankenstein, and attempts to completely disassociate himself with him. However, he soon learns that he has inherited the family estate in Transylvania, and travels there to check it out. There, he meets the strange and witty servant Igor (Feldman) and the beautiful but slightly dull assistant Inga (Teri Garr), and becomes encapsulated in the work of his grandfather. After deciding to resume the experiments of Victor Frankenstein (and comically using a brain labeled “abnormal”), the Frankenstein Monster is reborn and hilarity ensues.

Continue reading HORRORATHON Film Review: Young Frankenstein (1974)

HORRORATHON Film Review: Hard Candy (2005)

Hard_CandyReviewed by: Freekz80 (Blake Mickatavage)

Directed by: David Slade

Starring: Ellen Page, Patrick Wilson

 

Well… Where to begin? I suppose I’ll throw out the essentials. Ellen Page plays the vengeful 14 year old vigilante “Haylie” in this disturbing thriller film. Her target? 32 year old photographer Jeff Kohlver, whom she meets in an online chat room. At first, Haylie seems like your typical naive teenager; young, stupid, and vulnerable. Jeff, however, is quite the opposite. He is intelligent and composed, but nothing will prepare him for Haylie’s true nature.

Continue reading HORRORATHON Film Review: Hard Candy (2005)

Horrorathon Game Review: Slender: The Arrival (2013)

slender-the-arrival-walkthroughReview by: Freekz80 (Blake Mickatavage)

He’s a paranormal entity that’s been running laps around the internet for ages now. Some might say he’s become so popular, that he’s even become meme-like. Never the less, the tireless, faceless hunter returns in Slender: The Arrival.

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What a lovely residence, right? Well, it’s vacant!

Made popular by chilling stories on the SomethingAwful forums, Slender Man first made his debut in the gaming world through “Slender: The Eight Pages“. The indie horror title was free and simple yet quite frightening, and enjoyed huge success. This success resulted in the development of a more complex and intriguing game that offers just as much in the scare department while also providing a somewhat immersing story experience. Enter “Slender: The Arrival“.

The game begins with the player (Lauren) making their way through a brightly lit forest, headed toward her friend Kate’s home. Why? Kate has gone missing and nobody is quite sure what happened to her. As the player approaches the home, the seemingly warm and embracing woods steadily become dark and menacing, and you instinctively take refuge in the home. After arming yourself with a flashlight, you begin to play detective and search for clues as to what happened to Kate. Unfortunately (but expected, of course) you are forced to leave the home and enter the darkness that awaits, and thus begin your encounters with the Slender Man and his proxies.

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Slender Man isn’t the only one looking for a piece of you.

If there is one thing Slender: The Arrival does well (and many of you may expect this due to experiences with The Eight Pages) it’s jump scares. Other than a completely optional encounter in the woods, no scares are scripted and this definitely keeps the player on their toes at all times. In addition to this, atmosphere and immersion are really well done in this game. When playing in the darkness with a headset (preferably surround sound), you really feel as if you are a part of the game and the sense of hopelessness is profound. You will pay attention to every breath and every step Lauren takes, and any small noise outside of that will cause a spike in your heart rate. This, combined with the dreadful knowledge that you are always being pursued yet have no idea where your pursuer lies, makes the inevitable jump scares that much stronger. As I mentioned earlier, The Arrival also gives much more story and background than The Eight Pages does, enough to keep the player relatively interested in the progression of events.

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Of course, as with most games there are negatives. Besides a plot that actually exists, a lot of the good things about this game were also good things about The Eight Pages. While a refreshing take on the original game, it is not a new or innovative experience. Many of the primary objectives are simply The Eight Pages rehashed; Find x pages, turn on x generators, all while being pursued. Not that this wasn’t expected with a sequel, but this was also a flaw of the original game; it gets repetitive quickly. Similar to Phantomhour’s opinion of Five Nights at Freddy’s, fear can soon grow into frustration. Despite new, visually appealing environments and a mildly interesting story, I did eventually lose interest in the game, and couldn’t bring myself to complete it. That being said, even if you’ve bested The Eight Pages, I can assure you that The Arrival will give you a frightening experience for a while. Personally, I feel that picking this game up for $4.99 during a Steam sale was absolutely worth it, and I would say that the current price of $9.99 is reasonable for this horror game. Any more is a bit of a stretch.

All things considered, Slender: The Arrival gets an overall respectable 7/10 and is definitely worth adding to the horror game enthusiast’s collection.

Fear: 9/10. Immersion, pursuit, and jump scares. All very well done. Near perfect, but I knocked off a point because the scares do eventually get repetitive and frustrating.

Beware: Creepy, disfigured children, dark forests, abandoned homes, flashlights, and of course, Slender Man.

Good

 

 

 

 

 

 

Film Review: Edge of Tomorrow (2014)

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Reviewed by: Freekz80 (Blake Mickatavage)

Disclaimer: I did not read the novel “All You Need Is Kill” prior to experiencing this film!

Do you enjoy brutal sci-fi action, alien invasions, and temporal mind-fuckery? How about Tom Cruise playing somebody other than Tom Cruise?! This just may be the summer film for you!

Continue reading Film Review: Edge of Tomorrow (2014)