If you've been reading reviews on this site for long you know we're not exactly fans of the shaky cam or first person films such as Cloverfield. Skaky cam horror films to me just seem lazy. It feels like these are directors that don't know how to tell an effective and scary horror story without putting the camera in the action as one of the characters. Quarantine is a film that manages to be scary and suspenseful even though its shot this way. The film is based on the Spanish film call REC and even though I've not had the chance to see the original I'm told Quarantine is almost exactly the same film.
The film is completely shot from the point of view of the camera man and reporter from the local news. Steve Harris, who plays Scott, the camerman, who we rarely see, and reporter Angela, played very well by Jennifer Carpenter from Showtime's Dexter are spending the night shadowing a fire brigade. The fist 15 minutes of the film are made up of the light and fluffy stuff you expect to see on you local news. We're introduced to Jake (Jay Hernandez) and George (Johnathon Schaech), 2 firemen who show us around the house and explain what they do. Finally they do get a call and have to travel to a nearby apartment building. Jake and George are brought in to help a woman out of her apartment that may need medical assistance. What they end of finding is a woman who appears to be infected with something. Things start to fall apart pretty fast as one of the cops and paramedic, George, are attacked by the woman and she's shot by the second cop Danny (Columbus Short).
Most people will have it figured out as to what the infection is in this first scene, however it doesn't take away from it. When the group tries to get out of the building with the attacked fireman they discover they've been locked in. The CDC has arrived and they have quarantined the entire building. When the CDC finally does enter the building to examine those infected the obvious is confirmed and we're told what exactly the infection is and how it spreads. However the men from the CDC don't really improve the situation and soon all hell is breaking loose and more people get infected. There's some pretty horrific sequences throughout this film that are very effective. One of the best is the final scene of the film, shot in night vision, and completely ruined by the poster art that gives it all away but its still a very tense and scary scene. Jennifer Carpenter does a very good job at being scared in the final moments and the sequence is very effective.
This is one of the few movies I've seen where the shaky cam effect actually seems to work in the films favor. That said however I still feel that this movie could have been done as a traditional film and still been as effective under the right direction. The camera work manages to be fairly steady without causing as much whiplash as Cloverfield or Diary of the Dead. However there's a lot of zooming in and out that seems to be there just to try to make things feel more tense and instead it just feels irritating.
The characters aren't whiny film students or yuppie party goers so that helps a lot in actually caring what happens to them. My biggest issue with Cloverfield is the characters were unlikable, same goes for Diary of the Dead. Don't give us unsympathetic characters that are a bunch of douches. Is that too much to ask?
As far as shaky cam movies go this is one of the best. There are moments in this film that will grab you by throat and others that will keep you on the edge of you seat. Its one of the best horror films of 2008 and is worth checking out.
The more I see of this movie the more I like it. Its fantastic that a mainstream horror flick is getting a Asian female lead for once. We usually see Asian characters become White Americans, most recently with Street Fighter where a Chinese character was played by a White American girl. This new Trailer for Blood: The Last Vampire comes from Japan and features a bad rock band in the second half like most Japanese trailers. I could go on about the sad state of Music in Japan but that's for another post. Check out the Trailer Below:
The Winchester Mystery House, located in San Jose, California is haunted. Maybe not in the traditional sense; you won’t find any ghosts popping out at you, and you’ll have a pretty uneventful tour, but it’s haunted all the same. Haunted by Sarah Winchester’s madness.
Once you get a good look around, you realize just how insane poor Sarah really was. As you pass through the guided tour, there are more and more signs of her insanity; windows set into floors, stairs going nowhere, doors that open up onto a potentially fatal drop.
As I went along, I really began to feel sorry for the poor old soul. After all, she’d lost her beloved husband and her young child. And though she’d inherited millions, there are some things money cannot buy, and sanity is one of them.
And that is the most striking thing for most horror fans, for underneath all the horrors is usually the feeling that these things would not be happening but for some horrifying, life-changing event that rocks the antagonists’ world to its very foundation.
And that’s the saddest thing of all, if you think about it. It is our own frailties that make us human and--sometimes--makes us inhuman.
You should watch this DVD, even though you may never have heard of it; even if you have, you should watch it, even if you love animals and you think it’ll make you bawl like a baby (it will.)
Those of you who have heard of it probably already know the plot by now, know about the three teenagers who come to rob the old guy at gunpoint while he’s just sitting at the lake fishing, know that they end up shooting his beloved old dog just for fun.
And though it’s not a conventional horror movie--you expect it to turn all Last House on the Left at any moment--which it never does, it was labeled as such by Fangoria magazine.
I suspect the reason it was labeled as horror was because it shows just how far a human being can be pushed until he decides to push back; after all, you’d expect the lead character to go all berserk after all he’s suffered and, in a wholly unexpected way, he does.
I’m not about to spoil the ending for you, but if you saw The Orphanage, I’m warning you that the emotions you experience at the conclusion will be the same. It is a bittersweet, sad ending that will touch you to your soul and make you think twice about exacting revenge on others.
I’m giving this movie 4 out of 5 coffins. Now rent the DVD, damn it!
I'm not a big fan of Vampire movies or Vampire culture. They are the most overused monsters in cinema history, Even more so than the zombie. The vast majority of Vampire films paint the creature as an outcast, misunderstood, depressed, and alone. Its not surprising that vampire culture has such a large audience of preteens and teenagers alike. Even when I was in High school I was reading Anne Rice novels and identifying with the vampire characters. However as one ages and matures I think most grow out of this phase as they go on with their lives.
Now I find myself bored with the majority of vampire flicks out there with the exception of the Blade Films. The latest vampire film to come from Sweden hasn't really done anything to change my opinion. Let the Right One In is a very atmospheric and beautifully shot film. The story follows Oscar, a lonely and bullied boy who lives in an apartment complex. His new neighbor, a little girl named Eli, takes a liking to Oscar and soon befriends him. Eli however has a secret, she's much older than her 12 year old appearance would imply. Yep she's a vampire and she lives with an older man who's job it is to go out and kill people and drain their blood for the little monster so she won't go out and feed on her own. This man however botches one of these murders, I guess even through he's been doing it for years he makes stupid mistakes, and he's captured by the police but not before he disfigures himself with acid. He's so in love with Eli that he eventually gives himself to her so she can feed for another night.
Meanwhile Eli encourages Oscar to stand up for himself and they form a close friendship. He falls in love with her and it becomes very obvious that she needs to have someone new to take care of her and Oscar fits the bill.
Let the Right One In, takes a very long time to tell its story and while its better than most vampire fare in recent years, it really doesn't do anything new. It has the usual trappings of any vampire story, sleeping in coffins, avoiding sunlight, and even a woman who gets turned into a vampire and kills herself by sunlight. Eli, the vampire, is the typical sad, depressed character that you associate with all of these kinds of films. The only difference is that she's being played by a 12 year old. There are a couple pretty good gore scenes and in particular a great scene in a pool at the end of the film.
Let the Right One In will stand out for its amazing cinematography and direction. It takes the snowy climate of Sweden and turns it into something to marvel at. Its never really made clear when this movie is taking place but it seems implied that its sometime in the 70's or 80's. The acting of the 2 young leads in this film is also something that sets it apart from the average vampire film. Actress Lina Leandersson plays the vampiric Eli with the wisdom of someone much older. When she attacks she becomes a vicious monster momentarily, then goes back to looking innocent and sweet. The director, Tomas Alfredson, seems to have a much older actress play Eli at a couple key moments in the film that give us the idea that she's a very old monster underneath the innocent exterior.
For Vampire movie buffs or sad lonely teenagers that feel misunderstood, Let the Right One In will be exactly what your looking for. For me it just didn't live up the hype and it just felt like another vampire movie.
On a side note, The DVD release has one of the WORST English dubbed tracks I've ever heard, watch it subtitled instead.
If you can stand listening to giggling and screaming teenagers then you should check out this behind the scenes video apparently shot by actress Scout Taylor-Compton as she shows off a couple sets and asks the cast and crew questions about what they would bring with them on desert island. See Below:
Park Chan-Wook has made some very interesting and creative movies. He helped to usher in the Korean Film industry's renaissance with His best film 'OldBoy' which blew my mind when I first watched it. Now He's moved on to Horror with his new vampire film 'Thirst'. The trailer is embedded below.
I think Vampire stories are the most overused and poorly done movie monsters in horror history. So I'm not too excited by this one but I am a fan of Chan-Wook and if anyone can give us a new take on the vampire myth it should be him.
The House of the Devil Official website and Trailer debut!
After seeing the trailer for Ti West's latest indie horror film, The House of the Devil, I'm really psyched about it! Ti West has been one of the most interesting independent filmmakers working today. His horror film The Roost was a throw back to 80's era movies and Trigger Man was a very well paced and suspenseful survival story.
The House of the Devil is set in the 1980's as a College Student takes a job as a babysitter on the night of a full lunar eclipse. She soon realizes that all is not what it seems and that the house's residents want to use for for a satanic ritual.
For a movie that seems to be hated by most film critics and horror fans there sure is a lot of Coverage going around for Rob Zombie's Halloween 2. I'm not sure if is simply because the younger horror fans loved it or the older fans are hoping Zombie gets it right this time.
In Casting news this week Margot Kidder (Superman, Black Christmas) has now signed on for a role in the new film. Given her rather "colorful" real life bouts with mental illness It seems rather ironic that she's playing Laurie Strode's Therapist in this film. Unlike all the other blogs out there I tried finding a recent image of Kidder instead of one from the 70's or 80's.
Zombie has also decided on a new Title for the movie, at least for the time being H2 is now Halloween: The Devil walks Among us.
The first images of the new Young Michael have been released as well. Frankly this new kid looks colder and perhaps more fitting to be playing Michael but its hard to know. Daeg Faerch who played Young Michael in the first film is apparently too tall now to play the part. Why they're planning on showing flashbacks to Young Michael again is anyone's guess. Frankly I found the family scenes of Michaels Childhood to be the weakest aspect of Zombies film so this isn't good news as far as I'm concerned.
I was never really a fan of the original Last House from 1972 but I appreciated it for what it was. The original was very graphic and disturbing for its time, by today's standards it seems pretty tame to me. The Buzz surrounding the remake of Last House is pretty good. This one is supposedly going further with the rape scenes and gore than the previous one even though its mustered a "R" rating. Check out the trailer below.
Based on the the popular Anime of the same name, Blood: The Last Vampire is about a hot Asian school girl who kills vampires based on the trailer. I haven't seen the anime so I may be off a bit on story details. Either way if your into Asian school girls kicking vampire ass, and who isn't, then this movie is for you. Its directed by Chris (Kiss of the Dragon) Nahon and stars Gianna Jun. Its due to be released this spring in the UK, No word yet on US release dates but my money is on fall. Check out the trailer below.
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Dread central posted this pic of Bill Mosely dressed as Uncle Coffins, a horror host in the world of H2. If you're a fan of Rob Zombie's music career then you know that He has quite the fascination with the horror hosts and horror culture of the 50's and 60's. He touched on this on House of 1000 Corpses with the Horror host character and clips used in that movie. I'm starting to get a little more excited about this one now that I see this. I'm hoping that Rob manages to not only make a new unique Myers movie but also take us into his unique world of the Halloween holiday. Its been a long time since I've seen a movie that was able to capture it on film and if anyone can do it could be Rob ZOmbie. The first film sorta had this in the periphery but never spent any time focusing on it. This photo of Bill Mosely certanly shows some promise.
If you haven't seen the set photos yet from the sequel to Rob Zombie's Halloween remake you can check them out here. I'm not particularly a fan of Zombie's Halloween but I waited till DVD to watch it and by then my expectation were so low that I didn't think it was as bad as I expected. I think Zombie has improved his abilities but his weaknesses lie in his writing that always seems to be bogged down with ridiculous white trash stereotypes. His ability as a director however seems to have improved.
I was a little hopeful that Zombie would be able to shrug off the shackles of Carpenters original Halloween and make H2 his own but now I'm beginning to think that's a bad idea. On Shock to your Drop they have a bunch of set photos including a shot of Tyler Mane as Myers dressed in his iconic overalls and sporting pancake makeup and a shaggy beard. All I can say is WTF! This would suggest that Myers will be seen sans mask in this sequel and with a bad beard to boot. Why? Is he going to be in the hospital with gunshot wounds?
If that wasn't alarming enough there's also a photo of Loomis' new book called "The Devil Walks Among Us" which again just paints Loomis as a hack doctor trying to cash in on the tragedy. A far cry from the Loomis of the original films.
On a postive note however it is cool to see the film being shot in Georgia this time around so it should have more of a fall in the midwest look this time. I guess we'll see how all this turns out. I'll try to keep from passing judgment until I see the movie. H2 hits theatres in August.
One of our favorite films so far this year is coming to DVD and Blu-Ray on May 26 and the best part is its going to be in 3D! The release will feature both 3D and 2D versions and will include 4 pairs of 3D glasses! I'm looking forward to this one. The Disc will also include two featurettes "Deep Inside My Bloody Valentine" the standard behind the scenes feature and "Sex, Blood, and Screams" about the make up FX. Also Deleted scenes, Audio commentary and a gag reel. Check it out on May 26th!
Much like Freddy Krueger, Jason Vorhees has become pretty lame over the years. I mean he went from going to hell, to going to space, and then fighting Freddy in a really lame monster battle. The idea of rebooting the Friday series and starting anew was really the only option left. Friday the 13th is pretty damn successful at bringing Jason back and making him a very menacing maniac again.
The story starts by flashing back to Jason’s mother killing off all the camp counselors at camp Crystal Lake. She dies in exactly the same manner as she did in the original 1980 version. We’re then transported to the present with a group of campers in the woods near the remains of the camp. The characters aren’t that important really but we have 2 couples and a 5th wheel who rocks out to Sister Christian. One of the campers regales the others with the story of Jason and his insane mother. This is all the background we’re given and all we need. Now let’s get on with the killing!
This time around Jason has become more of a Libertarian for our modern times. No longer is he killing people for having sex. Hell, he watches one couple have sex and lets them finish and get dressed before dispatching them. No now he’s killing people who try to take his stash. That’s right, Jason now grows weed and just wants to be left alone. The first group of campers are dispatched quickly, 2 of them while trying to take Jason’s crops, with a final survivor (Amanda Righetti) being spared due to her resemblance to Jason’s mother.
The story then jumps ahead 6 weeks with another group of kids on their way to the asshole rich prick’s cabin, Trent (Played perfectly by Travis Van Winkle). Trent is the best movie asshole I’ve seen in a horror film in years. This guy is the biggest prick but his character never gets so out of hand that he becomes a caricature. Joining Trent are his girlfriend Jenna, super slut Bree, and the 2 characters that seem to be the token minorities, Chewie and Wade. Chewie actually ends up being one of my favorite characters since he gets some of the best lines in the film.
Not surprisingly the cabin is near Crystal Lake. Clay, played by Jared Padelecki, meets the kids while searching for his sister who disappeared in the first group of campers at the start of the film. Clay doesn’t hit it off with Trent but Jenna feels sorry for him and helps Clay look for his sister.
All of the people who live in Crystal Lake, including the sheriff, know exactly what happened to Clay’s sister and who did it. He’s warned repeatedly to just leave town and forget it but of course this only strengthens his desire to get to the bottom of what happened. Clay and Jenna eventually stumble upon the camp and Jason himself.
If you are a fan of the early Friday films then you’re going to love this take on Jason. If you are a zombie Jason fan then you may not. Jason runs in this movie, he hunts people down like an animal and even uses one victim’s cries for help as bait. He’s cunning, frightening and vicious. He’s made a home of living in underground tunnels beneath the camp that allow him to hide and attack with surprise. He does this very well throughout the movie. His kills are pretty creative but his favorite still seems to be the machete. For the first time in quite some time Jason is scary again and believable. Derek Mears brings an animal-like behavior to his take on Jason and he’s fantastic. If I have a complaint its that his outfit isn’t that great. He wears a dusty old coat and pants that seem to taper at the bottom making his legs look too skinny.
Jason sports both his sack mask from Friday 2 and the iconic hockey mask. I seem to remember the producers bragging about how the origin of the hockey mask would have more significance this time but that was a lie. Jason just finds it after killing another victim. That’s it. I think Friday the 13th 3 did a better job of explaining the mask.
This movie seems to fit nicely as part 2 or 3 of the original films and is much more true to the original version of Jason then the later versions. Writers Damion Shannon and Mark Swift have redeemed themselves after the abysmal Freddy Vs. Jason and director Marus Nispel makes Jason look better that he has in a long time. Nispel directed the, better that it should have been, Texas Chainsaw Remake a few years back. While this movie seems to have the slickness of Chainsaw it has a decidedly different feel to it. It’s earthier and not nearly as grimy as Chainsaw. It’s not flashy but it looks good and gets the job done.
This film certainly isn’t Shakespeare but then when has Jason ever been about more than the kills and tits? I did enjoy this movie quite a bit and its definitely the best Friday I’ve seen since Friday 4 or 6. However, there are some problems with the film, such as the idea that Jason keeps Whitney, Clay’s sister, alive and chained up in his hideout for 6 weeks! She seems rather sane for all that time and Jason seems to pay little attention to her. It might have been more interesting if they fleshed this out more and had Jason bring her back decapitated heads or something. There doesn’t seem to be any reason for his keeping her other than the resemblance and it really isn’t enough for it to make sense.
The characters also display a big gap in their logic, not really anything new in a Friday movie, but there are definitely some strange problems. For example Trent, who seems to be Jenna’s Boyfriend, allows her to go off with Clay and never seems to mention it or wonder where she is. Then he has sex with another girl at the cabin. Jenna returns and finds them both in the room together but she never reacts to it in a way you’d expect. She doesn’t seem to care at all really.
Even with these problems the movie still is very entertaining and for most Friday fans these issues won’t even be a concern. The characters are still far above the average for a Friday movie anyway.
Friday the 13th opened to the largest audience ever for a slasher movie so theirs already plans in motion for a second outing. This one has a very “Friday” ending leaving it wide open for Jason’s Return.