Tag Archives: Murder

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.

Film Review: Inside (2007) HorrorAthon 3

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Directed by: Julien Maury and Alexandre Bustillo

Starring:  Beatrice Dalle and Alysson Paradis

Reviewed by: Brendan Graham (Phantomhour)

The night before a woman gives birth to her child is an exciting and nerve wrecking time. Now imagine, if someone broke into your house and was trying to steal the baby from your womb. Inside tackles this fear head on.

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Film Review: The Gallows (2015) HorrorAthon 3

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Directed by: Travis Cluff

Starring: Reese Mishler, Pfeifer Brown and Ryan Shoos

Reviewed by: Brendan Graham (Phantomhour)

Do you have school spirit? Neither do I, but some folks do, but in this case, this High School has a real one. His name is Charlie, and one day, 20 years ago, he died during a stage production of “The Gallows” after a prop noose goes haywire and literally hangs him on stage. Now, the school plans on doing the show once more to honor him, but the high school jocks Reese and Ryan (Played by Reese Mishler and Ryan Shoos) are not having any of that. Does the ghost let the show go on? Or do the jocks get their way and cancel the show? I kinda wish they got it cancelled…

Continue reading Film Review: The Gallows (2015) HorrorAthon 3

TV Review: Scream Queens (2015) HorrorAthon 3

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Created by: Ryan Murphy (Glee, American Horror Story)

Starring: Jamie Lee Curtis, Emma Roberts, Skyler Samuels and Lea Michelle

Reviewed by: Brendan Graham (Phantomhour)

I’ll just come out and say it. I hated Glee. American Horror Story is also hit and miss with the finales being gigantic buckets of suck. So, I was very nervous about this latest work by Ryan Murphy about a sorority house that is plagued by a murderer after an incident that happened at the house 20 years ago. This time around he was aiming for a comedy, so hopefully that means it’s funny right? I watched the first couple episodes, and while this review doesn’t represent the whole show, it gives you a taste.

Continue reading TV Review: Scream Queens (2015) HorrorAthon 3

Movie Review: Oculus (2013)

Oculus-poster-with-Karen-GillanReviewed by: Phantomhour (Brendan Graham)

I always have incredibly high hopes for horror films, and most of them lately have seemed to disappoint me. I want to be frightened. I want to care about the characters and their safety, and I want to sink into my seat with dread. Is that too much to ask? Not anymore, with the release of the magnificent, Oculus.

In the film, A young woman (Dr. Who’s Karen Gillan) tries to destroy an antique mirror with her brother (played by Brenton Thwaites), that has caused countless deaths to all of it’s previous owners, including their own parents.

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What Works:

I’ll start out with how phenomenal the cast is. A movie of this kind could have easily been taken as a silly story and acted as such, but the cast is so professional and likable, that the movie just flows beautifully. Major props to the younger versions of Kaylie and Tim, who are put through quite a bit of hell, and emote it amazingly, kudos to them.

The way the movie jumps between two time periods is also genius, and it keeps the audience on their toes around every twist and turn. This isn’t one of those movies you can text your way through, if you don’t pay attention, you’re not getting the full benefits. The script is tightly put together and the scenes are edited well, the movie doesn’t drag at all, it’s a solid ride.

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The sound design is phenomenal and creates some of the finest tension along side with the amazing cinematography. I can’t recall the last time I actually felt this legitimately frightened for the characters, as the movie went on, I gripped my chair tighter and tighter. Scary? Absolutely.

What Doesn’t Work:

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There are a few bits that proved problematic for the experience, and it mostly involves the previews for this movie. Avoid them if possible, because a lot of the greatest bits get slightly spoiled. Which is a shame for sure. The film is also full of moments where if you blink, you’ll miss some of the better bits.

Final Score:

LegendarySmart, Vicious and genuinely scary, Oculus is a horror fans dream come true, and if you haven’t already bought your ticket for this paranormal fright fest, you’re doing yourself a great disservice. 9 out of 10.

Movie Review: Nurse (2013)

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Reviewed by: Phantomhour (Brendan Graham)

As a horror fan, I can’t help myself sometimes. I have this habit of seeing pretty much every horror movie, no matter how gruesome, or disturbing, and what have you. I saw the trailer for Nurse, and I immediately knew what I was getting into….but I went ahead anyways.

By day Abby Russell (Paz de La Huerta) is a dedicated nurse, someone you wouldn’t hesitate to trust your life with. But by night, her real work begins…using her smoldering sexuality she lures cheating men to their brutal deaths and exposes them for who they really are. When a younger nurse starts to suspect Abby’s actions and compromises her master plan, Abby must find a way to outsmart her long enough to bring the cheater you’d least expect to justice.

Nurse 3DWhat Worked:

Ever heard of the term Grindhouse? A style of film that aims to shock with explicit nudity, scenes of disturbing violence, and lots and lots of the red stuff flying everywhere. That’s just a basic explanation of this inexplicable film phenomenon. Does it apply to Nurse? Absolutely. Three words perfectly describe Nurse, Boobs, Butts and Blood. Oh yes, there is lots of all three of them. Every few minutes in fact, but that’s not why the movie is enjoyable (I prefer my women with meat on their bones, so the blood is what I enjoyed the most)

The gore is insane, in quality, and quantity. But it’s also brought to a comedic level with how absurd each killing is after the other, you start to feel like a demented human being because of how hard you’re laughing, hooting and hollering at the screen. You’ll feel like an animal, but it’s a lot of fun to watch.

nurse-3d-4984The leading lady is amusing, she tackles this ridiculous onslaught of cheese and schlock with a cold and technical precision, that I appreciated. The rest of the cast is..well decent, can’t expect them all to be gems in a movie called Nurse 3D (for the record, didn’t see it in 3D, damn you limited release movies)

What Didn’t Work:

Good lord, who ever wrote this screenplay needs to be murdered by this nurse. The dialogue is horrendous, even for a movie that’s supposed to be over the top and funny, it’s painful to hear some of the dialogue in the film. The pacing of the film tends to be stop and go, and the movie starts to feel a little long, it almost overstays it’s welcome.

A few times throughout the film, they lose the humor, and then it confused me. Is it supposed to be serious now? Or is it just not funny anymore? This happened a few times to me, and maybe it’s not meant to be that funny and I’m just a psychopath, that might be it.

Final Score:

mediocreIt’s a lot better than I was expecting, but still in no right mind can I give it a higher score, even though it was a pretty fun movie to watch. Be warned that this movie is pretty out there, but if you can think you can stomach it, grab some drinks and some friends and give it a shot. 5.5 out of 10.

Movie Review: Stay Alive (2006) HORRORATHON

Stay Alive or Stay Awake? Both could be difficult.
Stay Alive or Stay Awake? Both could be difficult.

Reviewed by: Phantomhour (Brendan Graham)

To be a successful horror film, there are many important factors that a movie needs to have to capture the hearts and minds of it’s audiences. It needs to be exciting, it needs to have a crew of characters that you can identify with, it needs a clever premise, and it needs to have a fear factor to it to keep the audience on the edge of their seat. In 2006, we were treated to our fair share of horror flicks that attempted to do just that, and one of the contenders was a film about a cursed Video Game, and if you played the game, and if your character died in the game, you died for real. A movie with a cursed video game? Sign me up for that right?

Looks like a fun group, and hey, a Steamboy banner! They must have good taste!
Looks like a fun group, and hey, a Steamboy banner! They must have good taste!

While beta testing a crazy survival horror game, a young man is killed in a brutal hanging in the mansion in the game, and through a crazy turn of events, it happens to him in real life. At his funeral, our protagonist Hutch (Played by Jon Foster) receives all the video games from the collection including, you guessed it, the very game that killed his buddy, Stay Alive. What’s the first thing any gamer would do with a new collection of games? That’s right, play the game in honor of his buddy, getting the old gamer group together to play, including Swink (Frankie Muniz), Phineus (Jimmi Simpson),  October (Sophia Bush) and a new girl he met at the funeral, Abigail (Samaire Armstrong). Of course, after they start the game, speaking the prayer aloud and fighting their way through The Blood Countess’ Mansion (aka Elizabeth Bathory), they begin to realize that this may be more than a game, as one by one each of them dies the same way they died in the game.

What Worked: I just have to say, I would play the hell out of that game. The graphics are gorgeous, the character designs are fantastic, and the gameplay looks exciting and scary. Yes. I just said one of the best parts of the movie is watching them play the game. Usually, when you watch someone play a game, it becomes boring and frustrating, because you want to pick up the controller and play. In this case, the game doesn’t really exist, and all you can do is watch.

The cast is pretty good, I can buy that they’re gamers, and that they’re a closely knit group that resembles my own gaming circle, and that’s a hard relationship to truly convey correctly without it sounding contrite. The concept of the film works pretty well too. Countess Elizabeth Bathory has never really been the head of a horror film before, and she’s a scary bitch. If you’re not familiar with her, I will let you do the research, but let’s just say she used to murder young girls, and drink and bathe in her blood to keep herself young. Yup, she was a fucked up person, and she’s the perfect subject for a survival horror game/movie.

Look at that character customization, I'm drooling.
Look at that character customization, I’m drooling.

What Didn’t Work: Sure the video game they play is fabulous, the cast is good for the most part, and the story is interesting. But the execution is incredibly lazy, and the filmmakers miss very good opportunities to make the story an effective horror piece. The scares are formulaic and predictable, loud noises and sudden appearances, run rampant throughout the whole film, and it just starts to get obnoxious. Outside of the main cast of the gamers, the detectives especially are absolutely terrible in this film, they’re not even trying to sound enthused, it’s pretty obvious that they just want the paycheck. The script is especially lazy towards the end, the dialogue gets strenuously bad, and you start hoping that these characters will die faster so they will stop talking.

Malcolm in the Middle. I had to, I just had to.
Malcolm in the Middle. I had to, I just had to.

The main problem with the film is the game is far more interesting than anything that is happening in the real world. In contrast with the incredible graphics, and intense horror scenarios, the movie is rather dull and throughout the film, you just keep wanting them to cut back to the video game. When you’d rather watch a video game that someone else is playing rather than watch the main plot points of the movie, there is a rather large problem there.

Seriously, I want to play this game. Someone needs to make a mod of it.
Seriously, I want to play this game. Someone needs to make a mod of it.

Final Score:

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This movie had so much promise, but when the gameplay ends, and you’re stuck with formulaic scares, bad dialogue, and lots of missed opportunities, the experience is more frustrating than frightening, and that’s too bad, because there was a lot they could with the Countess Bathory story. 3 out of 10.