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  Belittling Horror Excessively: ...And The Rest! 04:42 AM -- Sat November 1, 2014  

SPOILER WARNING: THESE REVIEWS CONTAINS SPOILERS

13 Sins

This movie is the story of a guy who gets a mysterious phone call from somebody who's obviously watching him, offering him $1,000 to swat the fly in his car. From there, it escalates - 13 challenges ensue, with each one worth more money, and being more transgressive and illegal. He is allowed to quit at any time, but will lose all he's won if he does. It's a scary game show!

This is a fun movie. I was completely enthralled just because I always wanted to know what the next challenge would be. And of course, you knew it was going to get murdery, so I kept waiting for that. I was not disappointed, though it was surprisingly far into the challenges before they actually wanted anybody dead.

It's your typical global-conspiracy-with-magical-surveillance-abilities movie. Pretty fun. The main character is an American Martin Freeman, which instantly makes him more sympathetic, despite him gradually turning evil. There are a ton of twists crammed into the ending portion of the movie, and while most of them are pretty guessable, there's some fun stuff going on. My favorite is the absolute last scene in the movie (I don't recall, it might even have been after the credits started), which starts off seeming like your typical horror movie ending that sets up that the evil will never die... but then actually turns around and becomes the moral of the story. Our hero didn't need to get himself into so much trouble, he invited it with greed.

In the end, the body count is large but hard to track thanks to one memorable and horrible scene. It's around 14 people, 2 flies, and we can reasonably infer that a 3rd fly also died. This movie is a pretty fun 4 out of 5 Cups of Coffee.


Truth or Die

This is the story of a group of horrible college kids who abuse another kid (Felix). Long after, they're invited to Felix's birthday party, and they go, not because they like him, but because he's rich and they assume that means lots of free booze. They assume wrong, and Felix's brother kidnaps and tortures them to find out which of them sent the nasty postcard which caused Felix to hang himself. Revenge ensues.

This is in the 'torture-porn' realm of movies like Saw, but it's kind of unique in that it's more like how that would go in real life - the torturer has only one very simple Evil Torture Device, and he doesn't have any complex grand schemes or backup plans, he just struggles to keep control over things and pretty much fails.

This movie is mostly very frustrating. Though the killer is army-trained and has a gun, he still has pretty minimal control over these people. They know he intends to kill them, and yet despite a million opportunities - including the killer giving his gun to one of them - they never take the chance to stop him or escape. Well, they do eventually, but I feel like this was just poorly written. It wouldn't have been hard to make the scenario less escapable, like for instance if he actually tied up all of the victims instead of enlisting one to help him corral the others.

On the plus side, it all wraps up in a way that makes sense at the end and reveals some surprises, and ties into something that otherwise seemed like an excessively horrible personality trait for most of the movie. Turns out it was a plot point!

In the end, there's a body count of 7, and the movie passes by with 2 out of 5 Grenades. It's not really worth seeing, but it wasn't badly done for what it was. Oh yeah, and Felix's brother is harder to kill than Jason. There's really no proof he's even dead at the end of the movie, and I wouldn't count on it after all the things he shrugged off.


100 Bloody Acres

This is the story of 3 people who hitch a ride in a "bone and blood" fertilizer truck (well, there's nutrients in bone and blood...). You just know that's not going to go well. And yes, the fertilizer-making brothers decide to grind up the hitchhikers into fertilizer because apparently living people have a lot of potassium in them. Comedy? ensues.

This is a horror-comedy, but I realized about halfway through that I hadn't laughed once... it's just not a funny movie. It's light-hearted, unrealistic and sort of silly, but there aren't really any jokes. I guess you're just supposed to laugh at the situation, but I'm a tougher nut to crack than that!

I'll cut to the chase on this one, because I don't think it's worth my time. There's a body count of 6, and it earns just 2 out of 5 Diamond Rings. It's nothing terrible, but there's nothing about it to recommend. Try Tucker And Dale Vs. Evil if you want to have fun with people ending up in grinding machines!


Beneath

And our final movie of the month is the story of a coal miner's daughter (hey, they exist!), who insists on joining her father on his last day at the mine before retiring. Of course there's a cave-in and... hmm. Craziness, ghosts, zombies and murder ensue.

Once the cave-in occurs, the people have a lot to contend with. They don't even realize there are ghost zombies because they're too busy trying to ensure they have oxygen and don't get crushed by falling rocks. This lack of oxygen is very stressful for me. Her father ends up doing a whole lot of wheezing and saying "I can't breathe!" which I do not like!

Then when it comes to the whole ghost/zombie/madness thing, I'm honestly not sure what was going on. Some people definitely got killed by other people who had gone crazy, but other people seemingly couldn't have. The main character saw peoples' faces as zombie faces sometimes and freaked out, but it definitely wasn't as simple as people having hallucinations and protecting themselves from the 'monsters', because we saw people turning evil out of the blue, not just freaking out. I'm sure there's some explanation that covers the combination of things that happened, I'm just not sure what it is. Was it just methane poisoning their brains? Ghost possession? Doesn't feel like either of those covers everything that happened, but whatever.

That said, it was enjoyable and suspenseful. With a body count of 8ish, and a score of 4 out of 5 Oxygen Tanks, it's a pretty decent way to end the month.


So now, as I sit here with Spiders 3D playing in the background, I must bid adieu to my month of scary movies. This is I believe the fourth year of Halloween Horror reviewing, and feels like the most disappointing. Nothing worthy of 5 stars this month. A bunch of pretty decent movies, a bunch of mediocre and bad movies, and one awful movie (Absence!). But it's always fun to find out what lurks in the next movie, and I always end each October wanting to keep watching a movie a day. I just don't want to have to write reviews or draw pictures!

Yet here is one last picture, just a generic Halloweeny one! Is it bad that I'm glad I'm not forced into doing a drawing every day after this? And that I copped out by only having one drawing for the last four movies? It's just so hard...
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  Belittling Horror Excessively: The Taking of Deborah Logan 06:35 PM -- Fri October 31, 2014  

SPOILER WARNING: THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS

Hey, it's Halloween at last! By my count, I actually need to review 5 more movies to reach 31. I've watched 3 of those movies, so I have to watch two movies and write 5 reviews today. That seems like a lot, actually. So I better rip through it quick!

This is your classic possession movie, though it's not so classic because it's quite different. Deborah Logan is an old lady just beginning to suffer from Alzheimer's disease. A documentary crew has come to film her inevitable decline (not because she's anybody special, just to educate about Alzheimer's). Unfortunately, she's not just losing her wits, she's also being possessed. Teleportation ensues.

We're back in the realm of found footage! In a slight twist, this one contains some high-profile actors that I recognize, so it's not playing the "these are unknowns, so maybe it's real" game that is a wee bit played out. I'm good with that, because it's not like anybody was falling for it anyway, and famous actors usually got that way via talent, so it only helps the movie. Found-footage-wise, this is fine, nothing too believable, nothing too ridiculous, although there is no real good reason why a documentary crew would install security cameras all over the house. That is not typical documentary stuff. To be honest, I mostly forgot about the cameras, which I consider a win. I would rather be wrapped up in the actual story than arguments over whether somebody should stop filming or whatever.

Alzheimer's is very awful. It's one of my bigger fears. It's sort of like dying, only you get to be there as everybody grieves. Pretty horrendous. It also means that this woman is under medical supervision, which takes some weird possession stuff and puts it into medical hands, in an interesting twist. For example, she got a horrible rash, where her skin turned all red and monstrous, which of course was something demonic, but the doctors ran all kinds of tests and named a lot of things it could be (but wasn't).

Some other random tidbits:
  • This takes place in the town of Exuma... which is pronounced eczema. That kept bothering me the whole time! Why would you name a town that? Update: I googled, and there's a district of the Bahamas with that name. I bet they pronounce it ex-ooma.

  • It seems quite cost-inefficient for every hospital or asylum in every movie to have an abandoned wing or floor. Why not renovate that sucker and put some patients in there? I guess for the potential horror movie value.

  • The house in this movie has three attics and a basement. What?

  • The ending 'twist' is well-handled. It just hints at what has obviously occurred, rather than beating you over the head. Well, more than hints, I guess, but at least it doesn't come out and say it, or have the girl stab her parents or something like most movies.
So, in the end there is merely a body count of 2 (and several injured people who might not survive), and I think we can award this one 4 out of 5 Trowels because it really kept me interested throughout.

Here is a drawing of Deborah Logan herself. She's pretty creepy.
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  Belittling Horror Excessively: Carrie (Remake) 03:12 AM -- Fri October 31, 2014  

SPOILER WARNING: THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS

This is a remake of the Stephen King story of a girl who discovers she has telekinetic powers in high school. That's the cool thing in her life. The bad stuff is that her mom is totally nuts, and the other kids treat her badly. Some much more than others. Accurate high school life ensues.

Well, this is definitely a remake. I haven't really seen the original Carrie in full, but I've seen many parts of it, and all those parts seemed to be here! I'm not sure why they do remakes like this. The only thing akin to an update to the story is that the kids have cell phones and make videos of things. Which doesn't change the course of events in any way. The main thing that makes it a remake is the extensive crazy CGI, explosions, and mayhem in the finale. I mean everything goes seriously Michael Bay for the last fifteen minutes.

I'm not sure what else to say about this movie. It works, it's a story. It's kind of weird in that most of the people in the high school actually treat Carrie just fine. There's mainly just one psycho girl who's out to get her (and that girl is quite an over-the-top caricature of evil, along with her equally nuts boyfriend). Most of the rest of the population is not only nice to her, but actively tries to help her and stop the psycho girl from bothering her. It's too bad that in the end she murders everyone anyway.

What's weird about the big finale (spoilers I guess, but who doesn't know what happens?) is how instead of losing control of her powers and lashing out indiscriminately, Carrie really just turns evil and specifically murders everyone in a very calculated way. That doesn't feel right at all, and kind of ruins any empathy you might have for her. It seems like a sour note, really, not the right way to play it.

So in the end, there's a body count of 1 pig, 4 people of note, and a whole mess o' promgoers. This movie deserves an acceptable 3 out of 5 Melted Deadbolts.

Because I didn't want to draw people, here's a bucket!
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  Belittling Horror Excessively: Mine Games 09:33 PM -- Thu October 30, 2014  

SPOILER WARNING: THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS

Note: This movie is also known as The Evil Within, which rather strangely is the title it showed at the start of the movie, despite it being listed as Mine Games on Netflix. Also note: no kidding about the spoilers. Be prepared to be spoiled.

This is the story of... wait for it... a group of teens driving a van out to a remote cabin! Man, what a fun and unique thing to do. When they arrive, one of them finds a mine in the woods, and for some reason they all think the coolest thing ever would be to explore this mine (actually, that does sound cool). They find strange things like a wall that has "This is the first time" written on it. Oh, and also one of the kids takes anti-psychotic medication and he's been skipping it. Inverted causality ensues.

This is definitely one of my favorite types of movies: the time loop movie. They never really make sense in any complete way, but they have their own little set of internal logic that is fun to puzzle out and play with, and it allows you to feel smart and have a lot of little revelations as you see things coming. In this movie, it basically works out that everything that happens 'the first time' is taking place after 'the second time', but even with that rule in place, things are kind of wonky. It's not quite a loop, more like just two times through, in reverse order, with some weird overlapping.

There is of course no explanation for the time loop, and I'm fine with that. If I get to see a time loop, I'm not going to be picky and demand any more than that, I'm happy.

But there is another thing with no explanation or purpose I did not like: the psychic girl. One of the teens in the group is psychic and is constantly flipping out due to the effects of the time loop (for instance, she starts seeing some of the people who are going to die the 2nd time around as dead already). I can't actually figure out why she's in the movie. In the end, all her freakouts put her in a semi-catatonic state, and the killer ends up picking her up and dumping her in the cellar, possibly fatally as she tumbles down the stairs, I don't know. That's the extent of her existence in the movie. She adds nothing, and it seems like psychic powers should be an important plot point if you're going to include them.

One other big complaint with this movie: the killer, spoiler, is the psychotic guy. There is a motivation for what he does - he thinks the other people are out to get him, and I guess the filmmakers thought "needs to take anti-psychotic medication" was a big enough excuse for a seemingly-normal guy to go super paranoid. I don't know, it didn't feel right to me. He gets so paranoid that he murders ALL of his friends - including the couple that they were going to meet, who had nothing to do with anything - just to ensure they don't lock him up. In a room he knows he actually has the key to get out of (he gave it to himself earlier!). It's kind of clever in that it's the classic social trap - they want to lock him up because they think he's gonna kill them, but due to the time loop, he only wants to kill them because they lock him up. That's fun, but I just didn't buy that he would go so nuts and turn so instantly and totally evil. Not to mention capable. He does some seriously complex murdering and scheduling, and a whole lot of very heavy lifting, to pull this off.

I don't know, now that I write about it, I kind of like it. I mean, the other kids found their own dead bodies, so they had plenty of reason to be scared. They were all in a very strange and incomprehensible situation... maybe he would go nuts and kill them all. Or maybe I'm just underestimating his mental problems.

Anyway, the most important thing I want to share about this movie is that it is almost identical in concept to the movie Triangle. I highly recommend Triangle, a five-star horror movie that will really mess with your head. It perfectly executes the time-loop idea (I guess that sort of spoils the movie - I went into it not knowing only that there would be some sort of big twist, which made the loop a huge surprise) and all makes sense in the end. Mine Games does not reach those lofty heights, but hey, it's fun.

So in the end, I think the body count is 5 and a half (Schrodinger's psychic girl), and the movie just barely pulls out 4 out of 5 Minecarts. You can't really go too wrong with a time loop! Oh, and the final moment in the movie doesn't really make any sense in a lot of ways. That's a common issue with horror movies, always wanting to get in that shock right before the credits. It does explain why there were only two loops though!

Here's a picture of the broken bridge that is featured a few times in the movie.
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  Belittling Horror Excessively: Banshee Chapter 02:47 AM -- Thu October 30, 2014  

SPOILER WARNING: THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS

This is not a found-footage movie, though it strangely pretends to be. Everything is shot handheld, or occasionally a security camera or something, but the cameraman isn't a character in the movie and you never see him. That just sort of makes it a cheaply made movie, really. But it's the story of a woman investigating what happened on some actual found footage (the first bit of the movie), when her friend takes a mysterious drug and shortly after that disappears, with a lot of weird stuff going on. She ends up learning about a government conspiracy to give people this drug and experiment on them. Bad trips ensue.

This movie is pure Lovecraft, and a character actually calls out the story it's sort of based on at one point (I forget the name, but it's a famous one about a guy who makes a radio device that tunes into another dimension and lets the things in that dimension see him and get him). Which is probably a little tacky, but it was about 2 minutes after I said to myself "This is a Lovecraft story!"

It also pulls in the mythology, if you can call it that, of "numbers stations". I happen to have just recently learned about those thanks to Stuff You Should Know. It's some really weird stuff. There are (in real life!) these shortwave radio stations scattered around the world which are transmitting robotic voices saying series of numbers. The speculation, which makes sense to me, is that these are actually sending coded messages for spies. If you tune in at the right time, and have the magic decoder ring, you can turn the numbers into a message. The rest of the time, the numbers are just random, so your enemies will never break the code since they don't even know when they are hearing a coded message or just noise. The numbers only play for a certain time period each day, and they are always preceded by a specific sound recording to indicate the start, and that makes it even creepier. The weird creepy music that pours out of random radios in this movie is a recording of an actual numbers station. The gist of this movie is to give an alternate, and completely crazy, explanation of the numbers stations (and of the CIA's MK-Ultra program, which was about trying to mind control people with drugs). Aliens, of course. DUH.

This movie (so far) wins the Scariest Of The Month award. Some good jumps, some really disturbing (not gross!) images, and a very creepy overall feeling, the kind that leaves me nervous to go outside in the dark to put my dogs to bed. I must confess that I had subtitles turned on, as I usually do, and for some reason, the subtitles started getting ahead of the movie as it went on. Rather than get up and fix it, I took advantage of it to make the movie less scary. When somebody was wandering in the dark with a flashlight, I could see "[Aaaah! What is that!]" on the screen a couple seconds earlier, so I didn't get anywhere near the jumps I deserved. Whatever, I use the tools at my disposal to protect myself! Speaking of scares, the first one in the movie is almost identical to the scariest moment in the movie Signs. That one made me leap out of my chair in the theater, I tell you what.

So in the end, we have a very mysterious body count: I wrote down 2 for sure, and a few more question marks, because there's really no way to know when or if the characters actually died. I guess that's part of the horror. I award this movie a grand 4 out of 5 Primary Sources. It's a good 'un!

This time, I thought I'd try doing something with a lot of ink, but I don't have any reasonably fat pens, so it's a weeeee bit scribbly. This picture is actually a little creepier than what it's supposed to be. That isn't some horrible dessicated corpse, it's actually a regular person - the black holes in his face are just supposed to be shadow. He's strapped in a chair, in a pitch-black room, except for a spotlight aimed directly down at him (it's also showing the edge of a table next to him). Pretty much a failure.
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  Belittling Horror Excessively: Friday The 13th Part VII 01:03 AM -- Wed October 29, 2014  

SPOILER WARNING: THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS

Well, if we have Freddy on, we need to give equal time to Jason! Interestingly, the one Friday The 13th movie on Netflix happens to be an out-of-character episode just like the one Nightmare on Elm Street was.

In a sense, this is standard Jason: He pops up out of the lake, walks around killing teenagers, and then gets stopped so he can re-awaken for the next movie. Plot over. The unique element here is that he is awakened by a girl with telekinetic powers, who ends up battling him with said powers. It's basically Jason vs. Carrie. Side note: this movie was originally planned to be Freddy vs. Jason (something they ended up doing later), but when they couldn't swing that, they came up with the telekinetic girl to replace Freddy. She is quite different from Freddy though.

This is really exactly what I expected from a Friday the 13th, except for the magical battle at the end. Jason is, as always, a zombie who isn't hungry, though he clearly exhibits full human intelligence. His motivation is nonexistent - he sees people, he kills people. His methods are nondescript - he grabs something sharp and stabs it into them. Boring. The kills are actually super tame, nearly always cut away before anything happens. This is done in a very clunky way that just looks like the tape got cut short rather than an artful edit. A little research told me that this is because the movie originally got an X rating, and they had to trim it way back, so all the good stuff was snipped (poorly). Seems like they went too far, but hey, it was the 80's.

The ending of this movie is totally honey nut clusters. Spoiler: the girl with the powers somehow summons the spirit/corpse of her dead father out of the lake to strangle Jason and drag him down. There's no way in which it begins to make sense, and the list of problems with it is too big to even start in on. It is the equivalent of the Monty Python foot coming down and squishing him.

Some quick notes from the movie:
  • The Crystal Lake sign is written in one of my favorite fonts, Insaniburger. You can find it all over this website!

  • This movie opens with a "Previously on..." montage, which is super weird for a movie to do, and not particularly helpful (much like the "THEN" montage that starts most episodes of Supernatural, but without the rockin' tunes)

  • If Jason can stab through a person's body with his bare hand effortlessly, why is he wasting time with weapons?

  • At one point, he kills someone by throwing a knife at them. This is entirely too human and skilled for him. It just doesn't feel right at all!
So in the end, we have a hefty body count of 16, and a well-earned 1 out of 5 Live-In Therapists. It's close, because they're both terrible, but I have to admit this might be marginally better than the awful Nightmare on Elm Street film from yesterday. At least it has a psychic girl to spice it up. Overall though, I will still rank Freddy a hundred miles above Jason anyday.

Here's a scribble of something that could be Crystal Lake.
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  Belittling Horror Excessively: Nightmare on Elm Street 2 06:35 PM -- Tue October 28, 2014  

SPOILER WARNING: THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS

This is the story of Freddy's Revenge. Or at least, that's the subtitle of the movie. In point of fact, Freddy engages in precisely zero revenge in this entire movie, and I think they just called it that because it's the first sequel. This story is actually a very non-traditional Nightmare on Elm Street, in which Freddy (some dead guy who normally kills people in their dreams) is trying to get into the real world by possessing the body of a teenager who's moved into a house on Elm Street, in which much action from the first movie apparently took place. Claw scraping ensues.

I wanted to dip into the classic serieses this year, which I guess I always shoot for, but this was the only Elm Street movie on Netflix, which is pretty disappointing, as it completely ignores the entire premise of Elm Street. There are definitely some dreams here, including the really cool opening scene of a bus driving right out of town and straight into the underworld, but most of what happens is actually Freddy running around in the real world... I was going to finish that sentence with "chopping people up" but honestly most of what he does is flipping over tables and gesturing angrily. He's really not that threatening (he's actually a skinny guy, not very imposing) other than his completely random magical powers like making everything get hot, or shorting out electrical things, or locking doors with his mind, or walking through hedges (well, we can all do that one, he just can do it without getting stuck). This movie completely disregards the formula of Elm Street, and that's what I had been looking to see, so I was pretty disappointed.

I was also disappointed because it's really dumb. The plot is pretty much nothing (Freddy gradually gets more control, then eventually burns up and re-dies because the kid's girlfriend loves him), and without a comprehensible mythology or set of rules behind it, there's not even anything to think about. You have no idea what will happen from one moment to the next because what can happen is anything. There's no explanation as to how Freddy comes to inhabit this boy's brain, or why he's the target. It just happens. A normal Freddy movie is full of rules, and the goodguys win by taking control of those rules. This is just random nonsense, including exploding parakeets, cheesy lightning, a near-total lack of quips from Freddy, terrible acting (shockingly bad for a big Hollywood movie), and really bad foley work. I don't normally notice foley work at all, but when picking up a claw glove causes loud clanking noises, it stands out.

So in the end, the body count is quite unclear - 2 parakeets, 6 people, and possibly around 6 more killed at the pool party, but it's not made clear. The final score for this embarrassing chapter in Freddy's existence is a dreary 1 out of 5 Dreams of Better Times.

For this movie, I was just imagining what life was like before Freddy died. Nothing creepy about a gardener who uses a claw glove to trim the hedges!
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  Belittling Horror Excessively: The Blair Witch Project 09:01 PM -- Mon October 27, 2014  

SPOILER WARNING: THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS

Ah yeah suckas... we going to the original! I figured since I watch so many found-footage movies, and I haven't seen Blair Witch since it originally came out (in the theater!), and I am always comparing found-footage movies to it, that it was about time I actually watched it again and saw how it holds up. Actually my thought process was more like "Hey, Blair Witch is on Netflix! [add]" but I find my retroactive justification also of interest.

This movie is the story of 3 documentary filmmakers who wander out into the woods to film a movie about the legend of the Blair Witch. They end up very lost, and river-map-kicking ensues.

Well, I have always said this was one of the scariest movies I've ever seen, so did the fear hold up? Absolutely not. The main kick in the teeth to any sense of fear with this repeat viewing is simply that: it was a repeat viewing. Spoiler alert (you really should see this movie unspoiled if you can, it is pretty intense): when you know that nothing is ever going to pop out of the woods at you, then the endless shots of creepy woods are no longer scary. It was that anticipation and the unknown that was so nerve-wracking. Because in truth, nothing happens in this movie. Almost.

But nonetheless, the movie as a whole did hold up for me. It's interesting to see it now, after a decade and a half of clones, and I honestly think it's right at the top of all the found footage I've seen. Maybe not as a piece of entertainment, there are probably others (which I can't think of offhand) that are more interesting than people being lost in the woods while nothing happens, but in terms of the elements that are unique to found footage, the pretenders have still not surpassed the original. This movie looks totally real - perhaps because it practically is. Everything in it is ad-libbed and most of it consists of the actors reacting to things they didn't know were going to happen. It also is not nauseating and awful in the use of the camera, and the rationale for always filming is handled much better than in almost every other found-footage movie (they even turn off the camera sometimes, if you can imagine that!), though it's still not plausible by any means.

As a video documenting 3 people getting lost in the woods and freaking out, this is utterly convincing. I saw a lot of talk about bad acting in this movie, and I think it's insane. I can't picture how you could act more realistically than they did. You may not want to hear people be screechy and whiny, but that's what happens when you're lost in the woods.

As a magical ghost/witch/whatever story, it falls a lot flatter. The legend is really just a bunch of disconnected tales, and the few supernatural things that occur have no relation to any of the tales. They hear a lot of sticks snapping in the woods around them, something scratches at their tent, and their packs get tossed around and rummaged through while they're gone. None of which relates to the legend at all. In fact, I'm not really sure what the legend is, because the ending connects to this story they heard about a serial killer, but he wasn't the witch, so who knows. Maybe he was possessed by the witch (who is a ghost. I think witch means ghost in this movie. Or it's just a witch who's dead, and thus a ghost). Anyway, it all manages to be plenty creepy, it just doesn't make any sense when you try to piece it together.

So, in the end, we have 3 bodies of course (otherwise these wouldn't be lost tapes!), and a score of 4 out of 5 Wet Maps. It really is good, and I think better than the found-footage which has come out since. Though I have seen many people say Blair Witch itself is a "rip-off" of The Last Broadcast. I haven't seen that, and I'd like to. Anyway, watch this one with the lights off!

Fun facts I learned on IMDB after watching:
  • They considered, but didn't shoot, an alternate ending where a giant stick man chased them through the woods (now that would've been something to see!).

  • The actors had to stay in character, actually out camping, for 8 days straight, and if anybody did have to break character for any reason, they used the safety word "taco" first.

  • They were given less food each day to make them more and more irritable.

  • When they're running through the woods in terror at night, and Heather yells "What [on earth] is that!?!" she's actually referring to a member of the crew who's standing on a hill in an all-white outfit with a ski cap on. He's not visible on camera, which is probably good because what would that be in the context of the movie?
For this movie, I decided to step back into the past to my own creation which was itself inspired by the Blair Witch originally - the Happy Stick Witch! (note: I don't think she actually looks anything like this, but I did it from memory. Should she have hair? Seems like she should)
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  Belittling Horror Excessively: Grabbers 01:58 AM -- Mon October 27, 2014  

SPOILER WARNING: THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS

This is the story of a comet crashing in the ocean near an Irish island. Like any comet, this one is filled with aliens. They are tentacley and like the water but are happy to chase people onto land too. What they aren't happy to do is come in contact with alcohol. So if you'll pardon the stereotype, the inhabitants all get seriously drunk in order to keep the monsters from attacking them, and proceed to try to put a stop to them. Rain ensues (otherwise the monsters couldn't get to the people!).

This is like a Simon Pegg/Nick Frost/Edgar Wright movie, but without any of those people. And it does suffer for the lack. So as that implies, it's a horror-comedy, and it's fairly light-hearted, with none of the characters really being quite as terrified as they ought to be facing giant balls of tentacles, and making jokes.

However, that's where it sort of falls down - it is light-hearted and amiable, but there really aren't very many jokes. It's like the mood is there, but I'd say there are probably only 10-20 jokes in the entire movie, many of which are minimal at best. So you're smiling a little bit the whole time, waiting to be amused, but you never quite get there. It's likeable, just not funny.

New fact I learned: Irish cops are called "garda".

In the end, we have a body count of 10, plus 20 or so whales, and a score of 3 out of 5 Gardas. It's fun, but not fun enough. It's hard to complain, like it's good all around, just not great. Nothing really... grabs me. Eh? Eh? Now that's comedy.

Here is what the tentacle monsters in this movie look like:
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  Belittling Horror Excessively: Barricade 07:01 PM -- Sun October 26, 2014  

SPOILER WARNING: THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS

This is a story about pro wrestlers pummeling each other... Or so you would think when you see that it's produced by WWE Entertainment! In fact, it's actually the story of a non-wrestling man whose non-wrestling wife has died recently, so he's having to take his non-wrestling kids on a trip to the cabin (yep, trip to a remote cabin!) his wife had wanted them to go to before she died, all by himself. It's stressful and depressing, and none of them are too in the mood for fun. Lucky for them, horrible (non-wrestling!) evils lurk in the darkness, so they don't have to worry about fun! No wrestling ensues.

This is one of those depressing horror movies, more sad than scary. It's loaded up with cheap false jump scares, like the classic scene of somebody stepping through the door suddenly along with a shriek of violins when they turn out to just be somebody who is supposed to be there, and who you should've heard coming rather than being surprised by. When it gets down to the actual scares, it's alright... there's something mysterious stalking this house, and they end up going back and forth trying to decide if they need to get out or "Barricade"(tm) themselves inside the house to be safe.

Big spoiler alert, it's time to reveal the big twist! There's not much to this movie other than the twist - the family goes to the cabin, they are sad, everything seems weird, time skips, people act strangely. There's a lot of fairly pointless action, repeated times where he has to search the house for his suddenly missing kids again and again... and then the twist is that the father had a high fever messing with his head for most of the movie (an absurdly short incubation time, by the way - he contracted it from the guy they met a couple hours earlier). So all the weird stuff either didn't happen, or was things he did while feverish, and then didn't recognize he had done later. It all makes sense in the end, as they flashback through it (not to too much excess, thankfully), and you see what really happened, which is that he mostly did all the right things to save his kids from this disease, he just didn't know he had done them. So that's pretty good.

It was an interesting and semi-original twist, a different form of "it was all a dream" that could actually happen. Although the one thing I found really odd was the way the sheriff, who the father tied up and stuffed in the attic while insane, reacted to it all. I couldn't quite understand it. He seemed pretty cool with having been kidnapped in the end, although then he adds, "He'll get what he has coming..." ominously, which makes him seem quite the opposite of cool with it. It was strange.

In the end, this is probably going to be the record low body count for the month: 1 death. And it earns an acceptable 3 out of 5 Monster Nails. Not the greatest movie ever, but it works.

This movie inspired me to draw a barricaded front door, because that's something in the movie. Plus I wanted to nail it shut because until they actually did nail it shut in the movie, they left that thing open way too much! It drove me insane that in a snowstorm, he'd run outside and leave the door open. Was he raised in a barn?
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