Thursday, April 22, 2010

LAKE MUNGO (From After Dark Horrorfest 4)

Lake Mungo Movie Review

After losing their 16-year-old daughter Alice (Talia Zucker), a family starts to experience supernatural events at their house, including capturing the ghost of their daughter on film. This Australian film is shot in a slick documentary style and is very effective. You see interviews with people from Alice’s life coupled with film footage of her before her death and after, with plenty of scary moments thrown in.

Alice

This all adds up to a pretty good story and movie. The acting is really good in this and the director does a great job of making the film and story seem authentic. It is pretty slow and repetitive at times as you see the same footage and pictures a few times, but that all makes sense in the end. This Horrofest film is also one of the better ones from that series and wraps up probably the best year for the series to date. Interestingly, this film is being remade already. Lake Mungo is not for everybody, as you must have patience to watch it, but I like it and recommend it.

On A Scale Of One To Ten: 8

Lake Mungo Movie Trailer 

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

DNEVNOY DOZOR (DAY WATCH)

Day Watch Movie Review

Day Watch, the sequel to Night Watch, continues the battle of the Light and Dark as lead character Anton tries to find a way to correct everything that has gone wrong. That is the base plot line as this movie, just like Night Watch before it, actually has a lot of different things going on all at once, with a ton of characters that are, at times, hard to keep straight. Day Watch is longer than Night Watch, clocking in at 2 hours 25 minutes. The special effects are still there, though they are fewer and less effective here. This movie is not quite as dark as Night Watch, which makes sense, and focuses more on romance and emotion (at times).

Make a wish

It slows at times and at 145 minutes it can be a test to stick with the film, but the last half hour of this movie is simply outstanding and worth sitting through the slower stuff in the middle. I liked the movie a lot, though not quite as much as Night Watch. I recommend it, but only if you have seen and understand Night Watch as this one builds a lot on what happened in that film

On A Scale Of One To Ten: 8

Day Watch Movie Trailer 

Monday, April 19, 2010

NOCHNOY DOZOR (NIGHT WATCH)

Night Watch Movie Review

The forces of good and evil come to a truce after centuries of battling. As part of the agreement, the forces of good form a group titled the Night Watch to be sure the evil forces are sticking to the truce. Likewise, the evil forces form a group called the Day Watch to watch the forces of good. Now the time has come for an “other” to choose his side, and his decision will tip the balance to whichever side he chooses. This 2004 Russian film, based on a series of books, is really off the charts visually.

Awful touching

It is a very dark, mysterious horror/thriller/fantasy movie filled with tons of action, special effects and an intricate storyline. The acting is really good in this, particularly Konstantin Khabenskiy as the lead character Anton. The only thing that may lose you is the story itself, which can be hard to follow at times with all the different characters coming in and out. This is the movie that Watchmen wanted to be, and is the movie that the recent string of movies based on graphic comics should use as a model. This one gets a very high recommendation.

On A Scale Of One To Ten: 9

Night Watch Movie Trailer

Saturday, April 17, 2010

KILL THEORY (From After Dark Horrorfest 4)

Kill Theory Movie Review

A group college students go to a home in the woods to celebrate their recent graduation. A killer soon joins them and places them in a game where they must kill each other before 6am, and only one of them can survive. This Horrofest film is nothing we have not seen before. The unfortunate thing about the success of Saw is that a ton of copycat films that cannot come close to Saw have come out since, and this is one of them.

Wanna play a game?

The terrible dialogue jumps out at you from the start and seldom gets better--or even interesting for that matter. The victims are hit and miss. There are three pretty likeable characters and the rest are irritating or throw away. Of course, as is typical with this sort of movie, my favorite character was one of the first killed off. There are a few pretty gory scenes and a moment or two that are a twist, but this is largely a standard, boring film.

On A Scale Of One To Ten: 5

Kill Theory Movie Trailer

Thursday, April 15, 2010

THE FINAL (From After Dark Horrorfest 4)

The Final Movie Review

A group of high school outcasts are constantly bullied and teased by the popular kids in school. Deciding they have had enough, the group plans a party to get all the popular kids in one place with plans to torture them and teach them a lesson. This Horrorfest film stands out as one of the better movies from the series. I love the premise of the film and at times found myself cheering out loud, but it largely fails to live up to the potential it has. This could have been an outstanding film but settles for being fairly good. Though there are a lot of intense scenes with interesting torture methods, there is little blood or gore in the film. There is a lot of hit or miss in this movie--some of the dialogue is really bad, but there are a few times it is really good. The costumes worn by the outcasts are really cool but the one worn by the leader distorts his voice to an almost inaudible level.

Cool

There are even a few things dropped early in the film that make a big difference later. The acting is pretty bland with the exception of newcomer Lindsay Seidel, who is very convincing and effective as outcast Emily. The beginning and end of the film wrap everything up nicely. I enjoyed the film for the most part and I would recommend it.

On A Scale Of One To Ten: 7

The Final Movie Trailer

Friday, April 9, 2010

SKJULT (From After Dark Horrorfest 4)

Hidden Skjult Movie Review

Kai Koss (Kristoffer Joner) returns home after nineteen years to inherit the home his abusive mother left him when she died. Once there he is subject to painful flashbacks and a presence in the house that is terrifying. This Norwegian Horrorfest film (English title: Hidden) reminds me a lot of a Japanese horror: a slow build with tons of clues dropped on you throughout, all leading to a good ending--this is how it is supposed to go at least. Unlike some of the better Japanese films, this one struggles in keeping your attention while slowly building the story.

Something here

I actually almost fell asleep a couple times in the first hour and had to pause the movie to make a cup of coffee to make it through the rest. The ending, while not great, is pretty interesting and does leave you thinking about what you just saw. The film is not overly violent or gory but there are a couple decent death scenes. I would actually tend to call this one more a psychological thriller than a horror film. I have a feeling this one may be better the second time around, but for now it is just an average movie.

On A Scale Of One To Ten: 5

Skjult Movie Trailer

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

THE REEDS (From After Dark Horrorfest 4)

The Reeds Movie Review

A group of friends from London set off on a boating trip through waters dense with reeds. After making a wrong turn and getting lost, they find themselves facing an unknown evil that is killing them off one by one. This movie tends to move at a slow pace, leading up to a pretty decent final fifteen minutes. The acting is fair--not great but not bad by any means. The directing leaves a bit to be desired as it is full of scenes too dark to see what is happening.

So dark

The story itself seems somewhat void and the end is one that, while decent, seems to be trying to do too much, and reminded me a lot of another film I saw recently (I don’t want to name the film for fear of a spoiler) that pulled it off much better. This is not what I would call a “good” movie, but this Horrorfest film is one of the better ones from that series.

On A Scale Of One To Ten: 6


The Reeds Movie Trailer

Saturday, April 3, 2010

THE GRAVES (From After Dark Horrorfest 4)

The Graves Movie Review

Sisters Abby (Jillian Murray) and Megan (Clare Grant) Graves (I used to work with a woman named Megan Graves. She looked like she could actually be Jillian Murray’s sister) are driving through the desert in Arizona when they come across an old mine town that promises a tour filled with ghosts. The girls take the tour, only to be chased by a family of killers and an entire town of religious fanatics, and if we know anything from horror movies, it is to stay away from the religious and small towns in the desert (actually, avoiding the desert entirely is probably a safer call). This Horrorfest movie is just really, really bad, from the director plugging his own comic and website to poor CGI to a terrible performance from Grant. The dialogue is laughable. The plot is ridiculous. There are only two things that saved this film from being probably a 2 grade: Tony Todd (Candyman, Final Destination) and Bill Moseley (The Devil’s Rejects, House Of 1,000 Corpses) both bring the awesome as a Reverend and killer respectively (though both are in the film way too little).

Bill Moseley awesomeness

Also worth mentioning is that Amanda Wyss (A Nightmare On Elm Street) makes two very brief appearances as well. This is a bad movie all the way through, sort of what I have come to expect from After Dark Horrorfest after all these years.

On A Scale Of One To Ten: 4

The Graves Movie Trailer

Thursday, April 1, 2010

DREAD (From After Dark Horrorfest 4)

Dread Movie Review

Quaid (Shaun Evans), a man who has suffered terrifying nightmares since seeing his parents murdered when he was six, meets Stephen (Jackson Rothbone), a college student studying film, and proposes a filmed study on fear. Stephen agrees, and they begin filming students who talk about their fears while learning more about their own fears. Quaid soon becomes obsessed and wants to take the study beyond what anybody expected.

Don't be scared

This movie, based on a short story by Clive Barker (Hellraiser series) draws you in immediately with its interesting plot and directing. The scene of Quaid’s parents’ murder is particularly brutal. It slows down at points but never enough to lose you. The main actors, Evans and Rothbone, along with supporting actress Laura Donnelly, do a pretty wonderful job here, making the experience that much more enjoyable. The last fifteen minutes of the film is must see. This is the first film I have seen of the latest After Dark Horrorfest series, a series I have found pretty disappointing through the years (but I have still seen them all) and if this film is any indication of the latest series, it will easily be the best year yet.

On A Scale Of One To Ten: 8

Dread Movie Trailer