31 May 2011

The LAKE PLACID Trilogy

LAKE PLACID

Alternate German Title:
Lake Placid - Der Schrecken aus der Tiefe

USA, 1999
Director: Steve Miner

6/10







A pretty solid croc-horror-comedy, quite entertaining and funny but also quite tame and too unspectacular. The cast is gorgeous (Bridget Fonda, Bill Pullman, a hilarious Betty White...), there's plenty of brilliant dialogue and fabulous one-liners ("I don't do field - and even if I did... Maine? I'm allergic to timber!"), a beautiful-looking croc and a couple of really terrific kill scenes (Man bitten in half, bitten off heads, croc vs. bear...). Sadly it's often way too tedious, there's nearly no suspense or tension and the plot sucks.
Well, back to "Black Water" and "Rogue".
(Review from 11/2010)

LAKE PLACID 2

USA, 2007
Director: David Flores

2/10











Incredibly awful and shoddy SyFy-produced made-for-TV sequel which makes part 1 look like an arthouse masterpiece. Nearly every single actor delivers an annoying and/or unbearable performance. The CGI croc and the CGI gore look so unbelievably horrible, I couldn't believe my eyes. The story sucks, the dialogue is really bad, the script is terribly written. When ever it tries to be funny or entertaining, it totally fails.Whenever it tries to be thrilling or tense, it also totally fails.
1 point for the nudity, 1 point for 2-3 nice death scenes - that's it. Avoid!
(Review from 01/2011)

LAKE PLACID 3

USA, 2010
Director: G.E. Furst (a.k.a. Griff Furst)

3/10










A bit better than the awful Part 2 - but not much.
"Lake Placid 3" is just one more horrendously bad and superfluous SyFy-flick with a stupid and senseless plot, superlame dialogue, a badly written/paced script and a huge amount of shitty CGI effects which are about as terrible as the effects in the 2nd part. I daresay that even the worst Asylum-CGI looks better than all the ugly croc-crap in here!
At least the acting is quite ok (though the characters are all cliché-ridden and almost unbearable), the soundtrack is nice and 2-3 kills were pretty amusing.
Nevertheless, I again urge you to avoid!

30 May 2011

DEAD & BREAKFAST

DEAD & BREAKFAST

German Title:
Dead & Breakfast - Hotel Zombie

USA, 2004
Director: Matthew Leutwyler

7/10







Ah, it's good to be back!
Had a relaxing and superhot holiday in sunny Croatia. Hope y'all didn't miss me too much ;-)
Now, back to work. Check out my thoughts on this 2004 horror-comedy:

"Dead & Breakfast" is a pretty funny quasi-zomedy (with some hilarious musical-elements) which is about as entertaining as the title suggests. 
Not as great as I expected and definitely not as cool and iconic as director Leutwyler intended it to be, but still something you might enjoy, especially if you're a fan of 'Ash' and the early Peter Jackson flicks.

What I enjoyed:
~~~ The wonderful cast which includes brilliant performances from
Erik Palladino ("Had I known that it was going to feel that good to bash your brain in,
I would have it done a long time ago!"),
Jeremy Sisto ("'Lovelock'? Where the hell is 'Lovelock'?" - "Lovecock? Johnny that's your hometown, isn't it? You love cock."),
Oz Perkins ("You! Billy Ray Cyrus! Take your honey bunny, go up there and get those pussies!"),
Ever Carradine ("Are you... you?" - "I'm not sure... but I'm sure as shit none of them.")
and Jeffrey Dean Morgan ("Well, ain't you about as handy as a pocket on a shirt.").
~~~ The gore is absolutely amazing: loads of terrific "Evil Dead"-like chainsaw action, hilarious & megagory "Braindead"-like kills, gallons of cool-looking blood and a wonderful nod to the scissors-kills from "The Burning".
~~~ A really cool soundtrack consisting of amusing country tunes, rock songs, swing music and one supercool country/hiphop mash-up.
~~~ A few unforgettable scenes: the "Thriller"-tribute, the country club massacre and the gas station scene.

What I didn't enjoy:
~ There are some unnecessarily tedious scenes in the second and the last third. 
~ The ending is quite disappointing.
~ Some sloppy editing.

Overall, a gorgeous fun flick, probably best enjoyed in a double feature with "The Tripper" or "The Cottage".

btw: thanx to Tom from the "Movie & Blu-Ray Blog" who recommended it to me.

20 May 2011

Bye!


See you in June
with a new 'Horror Blog Of The Month',
reviews for new releases like "We Are What We Are" & "Lake Placid 3", 
more 'Pure Terror 50 Movie Pack" reviews
and a 'Dracula Week'.

Free and awesome: THE TUNNEL (2011)

THE TUNNEL

Alternate Title:
The Tunnel Movie

Australia, 2011
Director: Carlo Ledesma

9,5/10











Wow, just wow!
One of my most anticipated horror movies of 2011 is finally out and to my great joy, it even exceeded all my expectations!

First of all:
Whether you're interested in horror or not, this is something you definitely need to... no, you HAVE to check out!
"The Tunnel" is the first movie in history which was released simultaneously on DVD and BitTorrent (May 19) - that means: if you wanna watch it, you can either buy the DVD or you can download the film freely and legally via Torrent. IMO a really cool and interesting distribution concept!

And now, the review:
The fact that "The Tunnel" is a mockumentary, is probably the only unoriginal thing about it because aside from that, it's an absolutely incredible mockumentary; better than "Paranormal Activity" and "Blair Witch" and on a par with "The Poughkeepsie Tapes".
It's highly thrilling, extremely suspenseful and really, REALLY frightening. The last film that has frightened me that much was [REC].

The first 30 minutes are more of an introduction: 
we get to know the well-developed characters (played by a few pretty decent actors, especially the cool Steve Davis) and get introduced to a clever and highly interesting story. 
All well filmed and edited.

Then they enter the tunnels and for the remaining 60 minutes I sat completely awestruck in front of the screen.
Due to impressive camera work, the brilliant look of the underground system, intense atmosphere, outstanding suspense, believable acting and eerie sound effects, they managed to create a mindblowing scariness which is almost unbeatable. Some scenes scared the shit out of me and made me jump out of my seat (the people who disappear, the tunnel creature's first appearance), some scenes just left me shivering on the edge of my arm chair (whenever they run through the dark and winding corridors, the bell room footage...). Brilliant, just brilliant!

In addition I have to say that it never got dull, tedious or boring. It was tense from beginning to end (thanks to brilliant pacing and a great script) and the main creature is the scariest thing since the creepers from "The Descent" and the infected girl from [REC].

I highly recommend "The Tunnel" to everyone who loves scary and frightening horror flicks
and I suggest you to download it immediately and watch it in the night, in the dark, maybe with 1 or 2 candles on. Believe me, you will be scared too!

And don't forget to buy 1 or more frames to show your support to the film makers!

Imdb
Download it here!


ARACHNOPHOBIA

ARACHNOPHOBIA

USA, 1990
Director: Frank Marshall

7/10











A harmless and oldfashioned but pretty entertaining creature feature about a spider invasion in a small US town; directed by producer Frank Marshall and produced by Steven Spielberg - though it actually looks more like a Joe Dante flick.

It's full of highly amusing moments (the first barn scene, the spider search, the jungle expedition...) but also full of tense and quite thrilling scenes (the spider in the shower, the second barn scene, the rousing climax...). 
The cast is brilliant, especially the performances from Jeff Daniels, Mary Carver and a super-hilarious John Goodman.
The spiders all look cool and creepy, the camera work is beautiful and there are lots of funny dialogue
(f.e. "Why is all the wood rotting?" - "I'll tell you why. Bad wood."
"So... what do we do?" - "Tear out bad wood. Put in good wood.").

Flaws: a few pacing problems in the middle, a few rather implausible scenes,
and IMO the kills could have been gorier or at least more brutal.

Nothing special about "Arachnophobia", but at least it knows how to entertain.

18 May 2011

Nick Hamm Double Feature: "THE HOLE" & "GODSEND"

THE HOLE

Alternate German Title:
The Hole - Gefangen in der Dunkelheit

UK, 2001
Director: Nick Hamm

8/10








When I first saw "The Hole", I thought 'My gosh, this is brilliant! This could be the start of a great career for director Nick Hamm!'...

"The Hole" is a wonderfully directed clever blend of psychological thriller, horror thriller, teen drama and mindfuck movie, and still one of my favorite flicks from the early noughties.
It has an interesting plot which is told in a quite unusual but highly original and interesting way. The script is excellently written and built up, full of totally unexpected twists and super-thrilling scenes.

The acting is terrific, especially because of an amazing Thora Birch and some great performances from Keira Knightley, Daniel Brocklebank and Desmond Harrington.
The settings look cool (the scary bunker, the beautiful public school), the camera work is gorgeous and there is plenty of really entertaining dialogue.

Highlights: the atmospheric opening, the mindblowing and super-shocking ending, the death scenes (accidental suicide, puking to death, smashed head) and Keira Knightley's tits :-)

A wonderful film I never get tired of watching!




GODSEND

USA / Canada, 2004
Director: Nick Hamm

3/10











...but now after watching "Godsend" I understand why Hamm's career never got going - or to be precise, I now understand why "Godsend" practically killed off his directing career.

"Godsend" is a boring, pointless and forgettable movie about cloning and stuff. I thought it had potential but they totally fucked it up with a dumb plot, awful pacing and an incredibly flawed script full of illogical plot holes and one of the worst endings in history.
 The direction is also pretty embarrassing. All the talent Hamm showed in "The Hole", seems to have completely disappeared here.

Ok, there are a few quite creepy and atmospheric scenes (bathtub scene, the shed), and the acting is also pretty neat (Greg Kinnear, Rebecca Romijn and of course Robert De Niro, though his character is just lame),
but overall, it's just a needless and unnecessary film.

17 May 2011

PRIEST 3D

PRIEST

Alternate Title:
Priest in 3D

USA, 2011
Director: Scott Charles Stewart

8/10







Maybe I'm too easy to impress (or maybe I was just in a good mood) but I really, really enjoyed this highly entertaining and visually awesome 3D-fest!


It's tense, amusing and action-packed from beginning to end, and to my surprise, there were absolutely no boring scenes or dull moments in it.
We get to see loads of brilliant-looking CGI effects and ghastly CGI vampire-creatures, many terrific action scenes (exploding trains, vampires destroying desert towns), many exciting fight scenes (cool 'bullet-time', man-vs-vampire-stuff), gorgeously designed settings (the cathedral town, the vampire hive, the railroad tracks) and many cool futuristic items (the digital confessional, ace-looking semi-motorcycles).


The cast is also pretty great; many enjoyable performances from Paul Bettany (as super-cool 'Priest'), Maggie Q (as beautiful 'Priestess'), Karl Urban (as superb villain 'Black Hat'), Brad Dourif (as dubious salesman) & Christopher Plummer (as phoney Monsignore).
The camera work is cool, the soundtrack is powerful, the 3D is mostly stunning and I totally loved the fantastic animated opening.

Ignore director Stewart's previous lamefest "Legion", ignore all the critics and don't watch any trailers.
Just go to the theater, grab some popcorn and coke, turn off your brain and enjoy!!


16 May 2011

More glorious short-film stuff from PATRICK REA

Last month's posts about short-film director Patrick Rea garnered a lot of interest. That's why I'm doin' another Rea-themed post to satisfy you all :-)

Here are my thoughts on 4 more movies from Rea's extensive filmography:




PAINT SHAKER
(14minute short)

USA, 2008
Director: Patrick Rea

9/10








Typical high-quality Rea stuff: "Paint Shaker" is a terrific little comedy-thriller, highly original and completely unpredictable, thanks to a brilliantly written/paced script which also includes some stunning character development.
The actors all do a great job (especially Anthony Neal Nelson), camera, light and editing are simply excellent, "Do Not Disturb"-composer Julian Bickford delivers a powerful soundtrack and the 'cool' ending is just fun.
Superb!




TORTURE PORN
(10minute short)

USA, 2008
Director: Patrick Rea

7/10










An amusing spoof on torture porn films (oh really...) like "Saw" or "Hostel".
I love the fabulous soundtrack (again from Bickford) which is very reminiscent of Clouser's Saw-theme. The acting is great, the special effects all look neat, it's beautifully shot, beautifully edited and I think they did a stunning job on all the visual sound effects.
The ending is silly and the script seems to be a bit flawed - but apart from that I enjoyed it!




MRS. BRUMETT'S GARDEN
(20minute short)

USA, 2009
Director: Patrick Rea


10/10









The best film from Rea I've seen so far (yep, IMO it's even better than "Next Caller"!!).
The awesome story about and elderly woman who sits all day in the garden, talking to the 'fairies' - much to the disgust of her husband!

"Mrs. Brumett's Garden" is an impressive suspense-drama, tense from beginning to end, full of fantastic atmosphere and with an eerie "Twilight Zone" vibe. Senior actors Shirley Wagner and T. Max Graham deliver very strong and extremely believable performances. The camera work is simple but highly effective and Harry Manfredini's score is just wonderful.
Highlight: the invisible (or imagined?) fairies. We never see them, we only get to hear their creepy voices while the camera shows colourful shots of the flower beds

Overall, an absolutely outstanding film, on a par with shorts like "Plague".




 MISFORTUNE SMILES
(17minute short)

USA, 2009
Director: Patrick Rea

6/10









An interesting but flawed story about fortune-telling and stuff.
The 2 main reasons why I didn't liked this as much as other Rea-works:
1) For the larger part it's way too tedious and slow-paced.
2) I absolutely couldn't stand Jeff East's performance
Apart from that, the other characters were all fun, the soundtrack is very fitting (again: Bickford - what a composer!), it's gorgeously filmed and the ending is just cool.

Watch it here!



Don't forget to check out my interview with  Patrick Rea
and my reviews for his movies

Furthermore,
check out the amazing trailer for Rea's forthcoming full length feature



15 May 2011

WE ARE THE NIGHT

WE ARE THE NIGHT

Original Title:
Wir sind die Nacht

Germany, 2010
Director: Dennis Gansel

3,5/10








How to destroy a promising career: Dennis Gansel is actually a terrific and ambitious German director whose previous 2 full-length features "Napola" (Int. title 'Before The Fall') and "Die Welle" (Int. title 'The Wave') were absolutely terrific. Unfortunately, he totally botched it up with this superfluous high-gloss vampire-schlock.

Ok, the film looks pretty gorgeous, due to some beautiful camera work and lighting, great editing and many fantastically designed settings. I also enjoyed the pumping electro-soundtrack. Sadly, this all doesn't help when everything else plain sucks (pun intended).


The plot is as predictable as the sunrise and the script totally lacks bite; it's hardly ever thrilling or tense or emotional. Nearly every single character is either annoying or unlikable or both. The acting is mediocre; wooden and poor performances from Anna Fischer and Nina Hoss, many conspicuously bad extras.
Scenes that were meant to be cool, came off as completely vapid instead.
Scenes that were meant to be entertaining, were unintentionally hilarious instead.
Scenes that were meant to be dramatic or emotional, left me just cold.

In the end, what stayed in mind are a few gory scenes, a few nice dialogue lines, a cool vampire suicide and IAMX's "Nightlife". As for the rest...
I already forgot about it.

Maynard goes 3D - "HAUNTING OF WINCHESTER HOUSE"

I like 3D. I really do. In the last 2 years or so, I've seen my fair share of entertaining 3D movies at the theater, horror (Piranha, My Bloody Valentine...) and non-horror (Avatar, Up, Alice In Wonderland...).

However, I've never watched a 3D movie at home. Ok, I've seen stuff like Jaws 3D or Amityville 3D but without 3D glasses on.
So, "Haunting Of Winchester House" is the first 3D flick I've watched at home with 3D glasses on 
- a mistake!



HAUNTING OF WINCHESTER HOUSE
IN 3D

Alternate German Title:
Horror House


USA, 2009
Director: Mark Atkins

2/10







Ok, I knew what to expect of an Asylum-produced and completely cliché-ridden direct-to-DVD haunted-house-flick in 3D - still, I'd hoped that it would be at least a bit more fun.

As for the film:
"Haunting Of Winchester House" is a textbook example of an Asylum-flick, which means that nearly everything about it is just bad: the script is lame, the plot is predictable, every single actor delivers a terrible performance (no emotion, no drama, no nothing), the dialogue is awful, the settings look cheap, the special effects look crappy and there's absolutely no tension or suspense.
1-2 ok scare-scenes and a decent ending but as a whole, it's just a horrible film. 
Not recommended

As for the 3D:
This is definitely my first and last at-home-3D-experience. I admit that the 3D effects look quite cool (things coming out, some depth...) but to look through those red/blue-glasses is almost unbearable.
After the first 30 minutes my eyes began to hurt and to water. I continued watching with the glasses on/off/on/off/etc. for the next 20 minutes until I finally switched into the 2D mode for the last 30 minutes. 

Overall, a painful experience.

Wiki ~ Imdb

14 May 2011

The LOST BOYS Trilogy

THE LOST BOYS

USA, 1987
Director: Joel Schumacher

9/10











Next to "Fright Night", the 80s' best and most enjoyable vampire-flicks. Schumacher's "Lost Boys", a tremendously beautiful-looking contemporary classic, not only highly entertaining, but also perfectly epitomizing the 80s.

It has an absolutely stunning cast, consisting of a super-amusing Corey Haim ("Death by Stereo!"), an incredibly cool Kiefer Sutherland ("How are those maggots?"), a fabulous Jason Patric ("Talk about the Texas Chainsaw Massacre."), a hilarious Barnard Hughes ("Read the TV guide, you don't need a TV.") and, of course, Corey Feldman and Jamison Newlander as the amazing Frog Brothers ("Death to all vampires?" - "Maximum body count! We're awesome monster bashers!" - "The meanest!" - "The baddest!").

It has a pretty cool plot and a superbly written/paced script. It's beautifully filmed/photographed and nearly every single settings looks astonishing (the abandoned 'vampire hotel', Grandpa's house, the comic book store, the railroad tracks, etc.).
It's full of great special effects, there's loads of cool gore, the vampire make-up effects all look very cool and the soundtrack is just terrific (incl. cool tunes from INXS, Echo & The Bunnymen and Run-D.M.C.).

Highlights: the gorgeous opening, the incredible railroad scene, all the motorcycle scenes, Corey Haim taking a bath (LOL), the surf-nazi kill, the brilliant climax and the moody very last shot.

Don't matter if you're a fan of vampires or not - this is a film everybody needs to see!




LOST BOYS: THE TRIBE

Alternate Title:
Lost Boys 2: The Tribe

USA / Canada, 2008
Director: P.J. Pesce

6/10








Most fans of the first part totally hate this 20-years-later sequel and I pretty much understand why: "The Tribe" is a low-budget direct-to-DVD rehash, unoriginal, quite unnecessary and it never comes close to the genius of the original.
Nevertheless, I surprisingly enjoyed it way more than I thought I would.

Yeah, story and script are lame, the look of the whole movie is cheap (unspectacular camera work, boring-looking settings), the soundtrack is mediocre, many of the CGI effects look awful and there are just too many bland and superfluous characters.

Yet, there are few reasons why this is still watchable:
* Corey Feldman - as cool and amusing as always, including lots of nice one-liners ("Who ordered the stake?" / "Your sister's a suck-monkey." / "What are you drinking man?" - "Frog juice. Garlic, holy water and raw eggs.")
* A few more cool performances from Tad Hilgenbrink, Angus Sutherland (Kiefer's half-brother) and Tom Savini!
* A shitload of gory and brutal kills.
* Most of the time it's quite tense and entertaining.
* Many great-looking vampires.
* Lots of gorgeous nudity.

Try to ignore the original as good as it gets, and you end up with a nice little b-flick that perfectly passes the time.




LOST BOYS: THE THIRST

Alternate Title:
Lost Boys 3: The Thirst

South Africa / USA / Germany, 2010
Director: Dario Piana

5/10







Most fans praise "The Thirst" as a great sequel and a step into the right direction - me not. IMO it's way more disappointing than "The Tribe".
Don't get me wrong: it's not a bad movie but for the greater part it left me just cold.

What's good:
Corey Feldman is again absolutely fabulous ("It turns holy water into slaughter."). The industrial soundtrack is very powerful, there are loads of hilarious anti-vampire weapons, the gore is cool and, in terms of entertainment, the first half hour is just stunning.

What's bad:
After the first half hour, it gets way too tedious and boring. There is just not enough vampire action, most of the characters are simply annoying, the script is far too predictable and the ending is a huge (and implausible) disappointment.
Furthermore, the whole rave-party-thing is about as lame as in movies like "House Of The Dead" or "Return Of The Living Dead 5".

An ok sequel - not more, not less.

13 May 2011

Seriously Blogger/Google... WHAT THE FUCK???

Blogger.com has been offline for almost a whole day. All posts and comments from the last 2 days have been removed (temporarily?). So far, no explanations or apologies from Google - sucks.

Gladly, I didn't lost any posts but I lost a few comments.
If you made a comment yesterday or today, please revisit and re-post. Thanx in advance.


btw, currently Youtube is offline...

edit:
Ok, finally they posted an explanation/apology.
http://buzz.blogger.com/2011/05/blogger-is-back.html


11 May 2011

The "SCREAM" Quadrilogy

SCREAM

German Titles:
Scream - Schrei! / Scream - Schrei des Todes

USA, 1996
Director: Wes Craven

9/10







"Scream" - a wonderful tribute to all the 80s slashers and, most important, the one movie that revitalized the horror genre in the stale 90s.
One of the best slashers of the last 20 years and IMO also one of Wes Craven's best flicks of the last 20 years.

Extremely suspenseful and thrilling with many nerve-wracking and stunning edge-of-seat-scenes (the outstanding opening, the "Halloween" scene, the school bathroom scene...), a few terrific kills (the 'beautiful' stabbing of Drew Barrymore, the slashing of the cameraman, the garage door kill...) but also with loads of funny moments (favorite horror movie, the rules how to survive a horror movie, Fred the janitor...) and hilarious dialogue lines ("You're starting to sound like some Wes Carpenter flick." / "Liver alone!" / "Please don't kill me, Mr. Ghostface. I wanna be in the sequel!" / "That woman was a slutbag whore who flashed her shit all over town like she was Sharon Stone or something").
Moreover, Kevin Williamson's script is fantastically written and paced (including many excellent plot twists and neatly developed characters), the soundtrack is very effective, the camera work is just beautiful (like in almost every Craven film), the killer's Ghostface outfit looks stunning and last but not least, it's full of really superb actors (Neve Campbell [#1 crush of my youth], Rose McGowan, Courteney Cox, Skeet Ulrich, Drew Barrymore etc.).

The only thing I don't like about it is David Arquette, a horribly annoying and almost unbearable actor - but aside from this minor flaw, "Scream" is of course magnificent and perfectly entertaining popcorn cinema. A true modern horror classic.


SCREAM 2

USA, 1997
Director: Wes Craven

8/10











An absolutely terrific sequel, almost as great and entertaining as the original.

Again, it's full of wonderful atmosphere, compelling suspense and gripping tension, with at least 2 super-awesome scenes that always leave me speechless: the impressive "He Knows You're Alone"-like opening with all the 'Stab'-madness and 2 stunning kills, and the heart-stopping car-scene.
Again, the cast is just gorgeous with some cool performances from Jerry O'Connell, Timothy Olyphant, Liev Schreiber, Sarah Michelle Gellar and of course, Campbell and Cox.
Again, Williamson delivered an almost perfect script, camera work and soundtrack are just great, the kills are all highly satisfying (especially the van killing and the amusing scene where Gellar gets thrown off the balcony) and the dialogue is mostly really funny ("It's some dumb-ass white movie about some dumb-ass white girls gettin' their white asses cut the fuck up." / "Bitch, hang up the phone and star-69 his ass!" / "What's your favorite scary movie?" - "Showgirls. Absolutely frightening.").

The 2 only things I don't like about it is the disappointing ending and (of course) Arquette - apart from that, it's another excellent and totally enjoyable 90s slasher.





SCREAM 3

USA, 2000
Director: Wes Craven

3/10











"Scream 3" is a terrible and completely unnecessary sequel. Hated it back then and I still can't stand it.
The main reason why it sucks so hard is the horrendous script from Ehren Kruger: hardly any suspense or tension, the plot is lame, it's packed with ridiculous and/or annoyingly absurd plot points (f.e. the whole rubbish voice imitating stuff), the opening is disappointing, the ending is far-fetched and implausible and I really, really loathe the fact that the whole film largely feels like a stupid light-comedy/soap-opera. Awful.
The cast is partly good (Campbell, Parker Posey, Lance Henriksen), partly poor (Scott Foley, Patrick Dempsey, Arquette (of course!) and a surprisingly underwhelming Cox). The camera work is ok, the soundtrack is so-so, many of the settings look quite unpleasant.
A few things I enjoyed: the hilarious fax machine scene, the Woodsboro studios, the mirror room and a few funny cameos (Carrie Fisher, Jay & Silent Bob).
However, overall I'd say "Scream 3" is simply a disaster. 02-2011

 SCREAM 4

Alternate Title:
Scre4m

USA, 2011
Director: Wes Craven

5/10







Considering how bad "Scream 3" and Craven's last hyperflop "My Soul To Take" were, my hopes for the 4th entry in the Scream-franchise weren't that high - and unfortunately, it actually did turn out to be as mediocre as I expected.
"Scream 4", one of the most expected horror movies of 2011, is just an ok sequel. Not more, not less.


Things I loved about it:
~ The beginning is just bad-ass! Loved the 3 wonderfully gory kills and all that Stab 6 / Stab 7 stuff.
~ Most of the other kills are also brilliantly cool and highly gory
~ Neve Campbell - still the love of my life (though her character is writing shitty books now).
~ Hayden Panettiere - my goodness, that's one hot bitch!
~ Fuck you "Saw" franchise, here comes the Stab-A-Thon!!
~ Lots of brilliant dialogue lines and superfunny one-liners, f.e. "Fuck Bruce Willis." / "I'm not an app." / "Your lemon squares taste like ass." / "Wait, you're not supposed to kill me! I'm gay... if that helps?" / "If you want to be in the hospital, I'd be happy to put you there... in the morgue!" / "What did you do with Marnie?" - "She's on the cutting room floor."
~ It's beautifully filmed and the settings all look gorgeous.


Things I hated about it:
~ The ending. The BAD ending. The SUPER FUCKIN' BAD ending. Nothing about it was fun, nothing about it was believable, nothing about it was good. Yeah, I understand that they wanted to something REALLY unpredictable - but it just doesn't work when you have 2 actors who are completely lame as villains, an incredibly vapid motive and a totally dense and horribly written/paced script.
~ It's never really tense, thrilling or suspenseful, thanx to a mediocre direction and that piece of crap of a script.
~ The knife-in-the-forehead scene is one of the stupidest and most superfluous kills in history.
~ David Arquette is still annoying as he ever was, and Courtney Cox' performance is again quite disappointing. Not as much as in "Scream 3" but still quite disappointing.
~ The soundtrack is lame.

If there will ever be a fifth part, I'd suggest to...
- ...kill off 1 or 2 or all 3 main characters because that's what I'd call unexpected.
- ...dismiss Wes Craven and pension him.
- ...replace script writers Williamson and Kruger with someone from Europe, f.e. Alexandre Bustillo, Pascal Laugier or Sergio G. Sánchez.
- ...skip the fun and make it darker.
- ...use more suspense and less gore.

10 May 2011

recently rewatched: "CLOWNHOUSE"

CLOWNHOUSE

USA, 1989
Director: Victor Salva

10/10











Yesterday I totally felt the urge to watch "Clownhouse" again, a movie I haven't seen in a while
and... my goodness, how well this movie has aged! It's still as awesome as the first time I've watched it (sometime in the 90s).

"Clownhouse", one of very few films that deal with the subject of coulrophobia, is a powerful and unique little chiller, in terms of tension and atmosphere comparable to "Pin" or "Pulse".
Though it's mostly classified as slasher, I'd say it's more of a quasi-psychological horror-thriller. There's not much gore and the body count is low, but fortunately it's packed with an incredible high amount of breathtaking suspense and mindblowing atmosphere from beginning to end.
I shit you not when I say that in the first 2 thirds are more edge-of-seat-scenes than in any other 80s flick.

Furthermore, it's brilliantly scripted, paced and filmed. The youngster cast is very good and highly believable, it's full of eerie-looking settings (the attic, the barn, the forest road...) and the soundtrack (a blend of circus music and rousing synths) is strong and very effective.
Unbeatable highlight are undoubtedly the 3 lunatic killers who mask themselves as the 3 supercreepy-looking clowns Cheezo, Bippo and Dippo. Their looks, mimics and gestures are IMO so incredibly terrifying, it makes Pennywise look like a sock puppet.

Overall, an absolutely fantastic but sadly still quite under-appreciated must-see horror movie, highly recommended to everyone who loves a good suspense-fest.
NOT recommended to coulrophobics!!!

The only awful thing about "Clownhouse" is the fact that director Victor Salva molested main actor Nathan Forest Winters whilst shooting. Read more about it here!



08 May 2011

Happy Mother's Day - with MOTHER'S DAY (2010)

MOTHER'S DAY
(reinterpretation of "Mother's Day", 1980)

German Title:
Mother's Day - Mutter ist wieder da

USA, 2010
Director: Darren Lynn Bousman

8/10




Despite the same title and a few similar plot elements, this has (fortunately) nearly nothing to do with the silly 1980 backwoods slasher of the same name. In fact, it's an excellent and ultra-violent home-invasion horror-thriller and IMO Darren Lynn Bousman's best film since "Saw 2".

From beginning to end, it's highly tense and extremely gripping. Due to a well-written/well-paced script, it's 'entertaining' throughout the whole runtime without ever getting boring.
The acting is largely great; Jaime King, Patrick John Flueger, Frank Grillo and Deborah Ann Woll all deliver very believable performances - though Rebecca De Mornay outshines them all! Her powerful performance as deeply disturbed psycho-mum is simply breathtaking!

Furthermore, it's full of scenes that are brilliantly gory (lots of heads and faces shot off, stabbings, death by boiling water, death by acid powder...), scenes that keep you on the edge of your seat (the burning hair, the "Saw"-like scene with the 2 girls forced to kill each other...) and even a few scenes that are slightly disturbing (f.e. when mother wants her son to get cherry-popped).

A surprisingly awesome must-see-film that restores my hope in Bousman's future projects.

I SAW THE DEVIL

I SAW THE DEVIL

Original Title:
Akmareul boatda

German Title:
I Saw The Devil - Rache ist ein tiefer Abgrund

South Korea, 2010
Director: Kim Ji-Woon

7/10




A powerful South Korean revenge-thriller from the director of the stunning "A Tale Of Two Sisters" - sadly, not as brilliant as I expected it to be.

What I liked:
It's packed with loads of awesome suspense (f.e. the girl waiting for the towing service),
really cool action (f.e. the kick-ass car-door scene)
and brutal kills / super-violent torture scenes (a good deal of cut off / cut through body parts, stabbings, decapitations, etc.).
Lee Byung-hun and "Oldboy" Choi Min-sik's performances are absolutely overwhelming, Mogae Lee's calm camera work is outstanding and I'd say that every single setting / film location looks just amazing (including the most atmospheric greenhouse since "High Tension").

What I disliked:
At about 140 minutes it's faaar too long.
Many scenes felt too long / too stretched, many scenes were just tediously tiresome. They could have easily trimmed it down to 100-110 minutes.

06 May 2011

Horror Blog Of The Month: CINEMARVELLOUS!

Another month, another marvellous Horror-blog!

MAY I introduce to you:


Technically it's not a pure horror blog, since creator Nebular a.k.a. George, a nice guy from Bulgaria, reviews all genres
- yet, he has a soft spot for everything horror-related,
which makes "CineMarvellous!"  THE Number1-Blog when it comes to
short-and-sweet reviews for recently released horror flicks;
plus: it's one of the most beautiful looking blogs out there.



Maynard:
Hi George! Who are you and why do you blog?

Alec:
Who am I? Well, my name is George and I am what I am – a complete film geek from South-Eastern Europe, who loves to watch, talk and write about movies. It all started 7 years ago with a movie journal over at Rotten Tomatoes, but in 2008 the editors of RT screwed up pretty much everything with an unnecessary ‘update’ of their website, so I moved to Blogger. Till then, I didn’t know about its existence, which is a shame, coz Blogger is absolutely amazing and, most importantly, it gives you the freedom to write about anything you like, plus it’s 100% free. Though, sometimes I miss my old RT journal, I don’t have any regrets whatsoever about moving to Blogger and starting my own site. It changed my life completely, and I am truly grateful to all my friends, readers and supporters, and to the creators of Blogger, of course. 

I blog because I have huge passion for movies, not only horror movies, but cinema in general. I love different genres, such as martial arts, sci-fi, fantasy, and even animated features, though horror remains my most favorite movie genre of them all.

My blog is not the typical horror movie blog, it’s more of an “all-rounder”, but it includes a huge horror section in it, a section that features hundreds of reviews and numerous horror movie-related top lists. Check it out, and I hope you guys like it.

Which movie made you a horror fan (and why)?

I’ll mention a few titles from my childhood, that had a huge impact on me, and made me become the horror geek that I am today: 
“The Evil Dead” and its brilliant sequel, “Gremlins”, “Child’s Play”, “Dead Alive”, and of course, “The Exorcist”. I think all these horror classics speak for themselves, and no explanation is necessary.

Who is your favorite horror director (and why)?

If you expect me to say “big” names like Wes Craven, John Carpenter, Dario Argento, George A. Romero, or the Master of Suspense, Mr. Alfred Hitchcock, you might be disappointed. I know it’s lame and most true horror fans will “Boo” me, but I prefer contemporary horror film-makers, such as 
Guillermo del Toro 
(The most passionate and creative master of visionary horror), 
Jaume Balagueró 
(Pure genius, who knows what he’s doing, and fully understands the meaning of true horror), 
and the one and only, 
Mr. Sam Raimi – the man who made me fall in love with horror movies in the first place.

Your alltime horror favorites are...

Yay for this question! OK, so here’s my TOP 10 Favorite Horror Movies of All-Time:
  1. Jaume Balagueró's “[REC]” (2007)
  2. Neil Marshall's “The Descent” (2005)
  3. William Friedkin's “The Exorcist” (1973)
  4. Hideo Nakata's “Ringu” (1998) & Gore Verbinski’s “The Ring” (2002)
  5. Pascal Laugier's “Martyrs” (2008)
  6. Steven Spielberg's “Jaws” (1975)
  7. Ridley Scott's “Alien” (1979)
  8. John Carpenter's “The Thing” (1982)
  9. Roman Polanski's Rosemary's Baby (1968)
  10. Tom Holland's “Child's Play” (1988)
And now my TOP 5 Favorite Horror Comedies of All-Time:
  1. Joe Dante's "Gremlins" (1984)
  2. Peter Jackson's "Dead Alive" (1992)
  3. Sam Raimi's "The Evil Dead 2: Dead by Dawn" (1987)
  4. Sam Raimi's "The Evil Dead" (1979)
  5. Ruben Fleischer's "Zombieland" (2009)
What's the worst horror movie you've seen so far?

I’ve seen so many terrible horror movies over the years, it’s really hard to pick only one. 
That’s why I’ll name… 10! 
So, the ten worst horror movies I’ve ever seen, in no particular order, are:
        • Alone in the Dark (2005)
        • Eye See You (2000)
        • It Waits (2005)
        • FearDotCom (2002)
        • The Thirst (2006)
        • Satan’s Playground (2006)
        • Urban Legends: Final Cut (2000)
        • Soul Survivors (2001)
        • Haunted Forest (2007)
I gave 0 stars out of 10 to all these completely awful and literally unwatchable horror flicks! They just shouldn’t have existed.

Most of my friends don't like horror films. How about your friends?

Yep, exact same thing here. Most of my friends get easily scared by horror movies, especially the girls you know. I remember a couple of years ago I ‘forced’ five of my friends to watch Jaume Balagueró’s “[REC]” (without me), and after that, all five of them have had nightmares for weeks. All five were so terrified, they told me they almost wet their pants while watching it. They said to me: “You’re crazy, dude. This film was insane! We shouldn’t have watched it.” I found this reaction rather hilarious. LOL. C’mon – they were just overreacting. :) 

So, that’s why I watch horror flicks all by myself, well, most of the time.

Choose:
Jason? Freddy? Michael? Other?

If I have to be brutally honest, I have to say that I don’t find either of these particularly scary, and you know why? Because all of them hardly talk – they’re just muted psycho killers with masks, who slaughter people without any real motive. B-O-R-I-N-G! 
Candyman, on the other hand, is in totally different league – the way he talks and the things he says make my bones chill. He’s absolutely intimidating and downright terrifying, and I just love him. So, I choose Candyman!

Choose:
US horror? Euro horror? Asian horror? Other?

OK, this one is easy. European horror, definitely! I adore Spanish, French, British and Scandinavian horror cinema! In general, Spanish horrors are highly-atmospheric and creepy as hell, French horror films are unpredictable and twisted, British horrors are unique and unusual, and Scandinavian horror flicks are always well-executed, tense and entertaining.

Asian horror is kinda pretentious and often repetitive (Long-haired ghosts, anyone?), however, movies like “Ringu”, “Dark Water”, and “A Tale of Two Sisters” are pure genius!

American horror movies are either remakes / reboots, or sequels / prequels, or, well, lacking in originality. At least they look good. 

Do you prefer watching horror at home or at the theater?

Definitely at home, alone, at night, with the lights turned off. The darker and the scarier the whole atmosphere is – the better! I enjoy watching horror flicks at the theater, too, but it’s rarely as effective as watching them at home.

What music do you like?

This may surprise you, but I’m a huge fan of house music. I love listening vocal, progressive and groovy house, but, no, I’m not a party animal, I just love the rhythm, the beat and the energy this type of music provides to its listeners.

What do you read?

Honestly said, I’m not the biggest reader in the world. I’m currently reading Steven Jay Schneider’s “101 Horror Movies You Must See Before You Die”, and I think it’s a fascinating book, though I don’t agree with some of the writer’s picks.

Tell me the first 3 things that come to your mind when you think about Austria:

1. Neatness
2. Spectacular architecture
3. A high standard of living

I reckon these 3 things describe your beautiful country quite perfectly.

Anything else you wanna tell us?

Be yourself, enjoy life, love, eat, watch horror movies, have fun, and don’t be afraid to show your feelings and express your emotions. At the end of the day, that’s what life is - a vortex of emotions!

And guys, I just wanted to tell you that English isn’t my first language, so please, don’t be too hard on me.

Maynard, thank you so much for this interview, it’s been a tremendous pleasure!



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