Sunday, February 25, 2018

THE BLOB

The Blob Movie Review

After a meteorite lands outside a small town, teenager Steve Andrews (legendary actor Steve McQueen, in his film debut) and his girlfriend Jane (Aneta Corsaut, The Toolbox Murders)  lead a charge to try to stop what emerges--a deadly life form that changes it's shape and size as it consumes more and more townsfolk. Much like the menacing blob in the movie, this film started small but would grow in popularity over the years--it spawned a remake in 1988, and is considered a sci-fi horror classic in this day and age. Speaking of age, McQueen was pushing thirty when he played a teen here--and it shows--but hey, it's Steve McQueen, so we can overlook that.

"Hey, thanks Josh!"

As the movie unfolds, several attempts are made to stop the blob, including a boy trying to shoot it with a toy gun, but to no avail.

I thought for sure the water would work

The police debate on whether this is a teenage prank or not, and the building desperation of the teens combines nicely with the spreading terror as the tension builds, all leading to an ending that is...very anticlimactic and disappointing. Still, there is plenty to like about this movie. The acting is actually pretty decent for being a 1950s B movie, it is shot nicely, and is very entertaining. If you are a fan of this genre of films, The Blob is an absolute must-see.

On A Scale Of One To Ten: 7


The Blob Movie Trailer 

Thursday, February 22, 2018

LEATHERFACE

Leatherface Movie Review

This one tells the story of young Jedidiah Sawyer, the boy who would become the serial killer known as Leatherface. After being removed from his home, Jed is seen years later in a mental institution, where he escapes with a few others and finds himself on the run. This movie serves as a prequel to the Texas Chainsaw Massacre Series, and follows the story set up by the original film and Texas Chainsaw 3D more than it does the series of films that began with the 2003 remake. The film managers to deliver in the gore and bloodshed, and packs a surprise punch here and there.

He looks surprised

Where the movie fails is in creating a good, or even interesting, story of a young Leatherface. I said this about Rob Zombie’s Halloween prequel regarding Michael Myers, and it holds true here as well—WE DO NOT NEED TO KNOW WHY LEATHERFACE KILLS!! Every single movie that has had Leatherface as a character has established that he comes from a family of psychopaths—is that not enough?! Apparently not, because this movie wants us to buy that Leatherface was...wait for it...NORMAL, but was driven crazy by...well...everybody else. I don’t buy it, and you probably won’t either. Most of this movie feels way disconnected from the already loosely tied together TCM franchise, but that’s kind of a good thing—had they taken this script and thrown away any attempt to make it a Texas Chainsaw Massacre film, it would have actually been a decent horror film. As it is, Leatherface sits near the bottom of a franchise that hasn’t had any decent breath breathed into it in over a decade.

On A Scale Of One To Ten: 5

Leatherface Red Band Movie Trailer

Monday, February 12, 2018

ANNABELLE: CREATION

Annabelle: Creation Movie Review

Doll maker Samuel Mullins (Anthony LaPaglia, Without A Trace) and his wife Esther (Miranda Otto, War of the Worlds) lose their daughter in a car accident. Twelve years later, they host six orphans and their leader, Sister Charlotte (Stephanie Sigman), after their orphanage is shut down; soon after, strange things begin to happen, with a creepy doll at the center of the spookiness.

I'd be gone as soon as I saw it

The fourth installment of The Conjuring franchise takes us back to the beginning, a prequel to the other three films that explains who Annabelle is, and why there's so much evil surrounding her. There is no shortage of scary moments in this movie, and the general mood of the film is unsettling. With the exception of one or two performers, the acting is also solid pretty much across the board--LaPaglia is strong as the grieving father, and Talitha Bateman (The 5th Wave) does a wonderful job as Janice, particularly during the third act. Annabelle: Creation follows the trend set by the Conjuring outings from this series--it is a genuinely scary film that doesn't rely too heavily on gore or jump scares, and feels like a real throwback horror flick. Some will question the lead-in this film has to Annabelle, the movie in the franchise that, chronologically, follows this one, and will point out several things don't match the story laid down by that film--I didn't get hung up on those things--and suggest you don't either--because this is a much better film and the story here is much more interesting than in Annabelle. I was reluctant to see Annabelle: Creation at first, fearing it would follow in the footsteps of Annabelle, but upon watching this, I was happy to find it to be much more like The Conjuring films--of the four, one could argue Annabelle: Creation is the best--and scariest--of the bunch. 

On A Scale Of One To Ten: 8


Annabelle: Creation Movie Trailer

ANNABELLE

Annabelle Movie Review

After being given a creepy looking doll as a present, Mia (Annabelle Wallis, The Mummy) and her husband John (Ward Horton--no word on if he hears a Who) begin to notice strange things happening around the house. There's also a double murder next door, and naturally, the two things are connected. This movie stands as a prequel to the highly successful The Conjuring, starting off with a bit from that film before taking us back to show us (kind of) where the aforementioned creepy doll from the aforementioned film came from.

Here's the creepy doll now

The story of the doll is actually based on a true story, which adds a degree of creep factor to the story, if not the film itself. The actual Annabelle doll looks nothing like the one used in the film, though there is a subtle reference to it near the end--I guess the movie makers decided the real thing wasn't scary enough.

No, this is pretty scary too

Sadly, Annabelle fails to capture the uneasy, terrifying aura of The Conjuring--the true horror of that movie is traded in for jump scares, and this movie never delivers on making the viewer feel something is going to possess her in the middle of the night. We've seen this type of film before--a pregnant woman eventually delivers a baby that is somehow connected to the demonic world, then mum spends most of the rest of the movie screaming about her child--I like to call these "My Baby!" movies, and generally speaking, if you've seen one, you've seen them all--Annabelle does little to distance itself from the pack, though there is a moment or two that will grab you by the throat. Suspense is built up fairly nicely toward the end, but alas, the final scene is disappointing. Annabelle is far from being a bad movie, but it feels very much like what it is--the weakest link of a pretty strong chain.

On A Scale Of One To Ten: 6

 
Annabelle Movie Trailer

Monday, February 5, 2018

GODZILLA'S REVENGE (aka All Monsters Attack)

Godzilla's Revenge Movie Review

In an attempt to escape the realities of his life, youngster Ichiro Miki (Tomonori Yazaki) dreams of being on Monster Island, where he befriends Godzilla and his son, Minilla.

BFF's 

The year was 1969, and Godzilla, by now a full-blown good guy, was seeing declines in the box office revenues, so when the time came for the Toho team to make another movie featuring the once-fearsome monster, they decided two things: they were bringing back the son, who first appeared in 1967's Son of Godzilla, to appeal even more to children, and instead of shooting an entirely new film, they were going to save money by using a lot of footage from previous Godzilla movies. The result was a movie titled All Monsters Attack, which received an Americanization in 1971 and released as Godzilla's Revenge, the version I am reviewing here. So the two things I mentioned earlier are what are worth noting here--the overhaul to appeal to children absolutely kills this movie, and the stock footage of Godzilla battling other monsters is the only saving grace. The story involving Ichiro is mind numbing, and the action is just as bad. The directing is awful, and everything not involving Godzilla is just painful to watch. The worst part may be the dubbing--Minilla, for whatever reason, sounds like a retarded hillbilly when he talks, and just as puzzling, when he gets ready to fight or gets excited, he makes donkey sounds--I couldn't make this up. To top it all off, none of the stuff we see happening on Monster Island is actually happening--the entire thing is in Ichiro's mind. Though I haven't seen every single Godzilla film ever made (there are some from the 80s and 90s that have escaped me), I can assume I'm not going out on a limb when I call Godzilla's Revenge the worst of the bunch. Should you dare to watch this movie--which I highly advise against--skip through everything that doesn't have Godzilla himself on the screen...for that matter, also skip through any scene Godzilla shares with his son. 

On A Scale Of One To Ten: 3


Godzilla's Revenge Movie Trailer

Friday, February 2, 2018

CABIN FEVER (2016)

Cabin Fever (2016) Movie Review

Practically the exact same movie as the original 2002 film of the same name, this one features less talented actors, less effective shots, and less overall creepiness. I'm not sure what the demand was for a remake of the original Eli Roth film, but somebody thought it would be a good idea.

"Why would anybody do that?!"

To paraphrase my girlfriend: This movie contained "no horror elements except maybe the dog", it was "like an episode of Monsters Inside Me", the twist was "stupid, because they kept showing us it was in the water the whole movie", and she asked "Were we supposed to be scared of the hillbillies?", adding "If so, I wasn't. They weren't scary at all." This all began when we were discussing lists of movies we were disappointed in, and turned to the worst movies we have seen recently--she named Cabin Fever as the worst horror movie she has seen in a while--I wouldn't go that far, but she skips most of the stuff I watch. That said, this one isn't exactly near the top of my list of best movies I've seen lately either. Watch the original, and skip this one.

On A Scale Of One To Ten: 4


Cabin Fever (2016) Movie Trailer