x-xss-protection: 0 Hamumu Games, Inc. Hamumu Games, Inc.
 - Home - Games - Blog - Halloween - About - 
Page 1/5 2 3 4 5 > >>
  Hamumu Revumu: Oceanhorn 10:37 PM -- Tue November 10, 2015  

Oceanhorn

TL;DR: A modern Zelda clone! Cute.

Gameplay Gist: Top-down action-adventure. If you know Zeldas, you know this - you travel from island to island, and on each one you encounter a dungeon, during which you gain a new item that lets you do something new, then you have to beat a boss using this item. You can then move on to the next dungeon, or go back to earlier places to use your new item to reach various bonus items you couldn't get before. I didn't realize until I wrote that how Metroidvania-ey Zelda games are.

But this has all the other Zelda stuff too - when your life is full your sword shoots, there are little bloopy enemies that look like Zelda enemies, your life is made of heart icons, there's a little tune for secrets (although it seems to play at all the wrong times in this game), you smash pots and chop grass for gems, dungeons have regular keys and a master/boss key, bombs and arrows are a major element, etc. All sorts of little touches ripped straight out of Zelda. Intentionally though. This is an homage more than a rip-off.

Kombat Kuality: The combat is not great. Like older Zelda games, it's basic and not super compelling. It's also super easy. Mainly the enemies are just there because running through empty dungeons to get to each 'puzzle' would seem much more dull.

Story Stupid? You bet. It's right out of Zelda, just the most basic Macguffins to pull you along to collect all the pieces of the Triforce (not called that in this game, but yeah, that) and reach the final boss. It's a little bit compelling, in that there's definitely a sad feeling to the whole thing, like this is a run-down world that is sort of falling to pieces, and everyone you meet is the last of their tribe or something similar. But no, not much of a plot.

Wrapid Wrap-Up: All in all, I was honestly quite hooked. In hindsight now, I say the things I wrote above - not super interesting, nothing compelling about the gameplay, the puzzles are as mindless as in any Zelda (the definition of a puzzle is basically "you have to recognize that you need to use a certain item", as opposed to anything you truly have to figure out). But like any Zelda, those little rewards and cute animations keep you hooked. You just have to know what the next new item will be, and you get a thrill out of completing each dungeon, even though it feels equivalent to successfully moving the beads around on one of these:

You know? Like you solved a puzzle made to challenge an infant. But it's still solving something, and triggers that endorphin hit. So I'm hard-pressed to "rate" this game. I don't have anything great to say about it, but it was a very polished work of art, and it did its job as a game - hooked me in and kept me playing non-stop to the end. So why don't I love it? I don't know. I did when I was playing it, but that was a month ago. I guess you should play it. It's a nice game. Just don't expect anything groundbreaking or life-changing. Just some simple fun.
1 commentBack to top!
  Belittling Horror Excessively: App 01:14 PM -- Sat October 31, 2015  

Well, this is it! 31 days, 31 movies. There were several other movies I watched, which I didn't review for various reasons (there was one I didn't even feel comfortable mentioning on this website! So I'm not going to now, sorry), including about 10 extras I watched before October started, just to warm up. Netflix is really chock-full of horror movies! Not necessarily good ones, but there sure are a lot of them. Without further ado, the Halloween finale!

App

My Review: This is what the title sounds like: the story of an evil smartphone app that collects all the information about you that it can, and uses it to ruin your life. It sends your private videos to everyone around, it magically infects other nearby phones or computers every time the phone it’s on is set near one, and spreads like that, causing people to kill themselves or hate other people, or whatever. In one case, it also uses some kind of totally-not-made-up electronic power system to turn on a boombox really loud so the boombox bounces itself until it falls off the scaffolding it’s on, and into a swimming pool to electrocute someone. I was going to mock this as silly, but decided to google it first, and it turns out you actually can die from that much electricity in a swimming pool! It’s not likely or common, but it can happen. That’s actually scary when you think about the electric lights in pools and how often they have their wiring checked, if ever. Anyway, the bouncing radio is still silly.

But wait, that’s not all there is to it! The reason I decided I just had to watch this movie was that I checked it out on IMDB first and discovered that it has an actual app that goes with it! You install the app, turn on the movie, and the app listens to the movie through your microphone, popping up little video clips and things at appropriate times during the movie. That was fun! It was really underutilized - probably 95% of the movie, it just sat there showing its idle image and made me wonder if it was listening at all (I hope it didn’t miss some cues? My sound system is pretty weak, and my iPad is in a thick case...). And a lot of what it did was pointless, but there was some fun to be had. One of my favorites was absolutely pointless, but did add to the feel of the movie: the main character heard her phone buzz, and rolled over in bed to pick it up and see what it was doing. At the same time, on my iPad, the camera of her phone was displayed, so it rolled around and showed her face as she picked it up and held it overhead. It was just a cool connection, and made me wish that the entire movie I could look over and see the phone’s POV on my device (most of the time, the inside of a pocket).

Other things it did included showing a newspaper article about a death that had just occurred, continuing the outdoor shot as someone drove into a parking garage, to show you the building she was going into, and showing you what was happening in a room she just left. Then there was one fairly pivotal use: there are two characters in the movie that aren’t overtly shown as evil for a long time, but before it’s revealed in the actual movie, the app shows texts going between them to reveal it. That’s a pretty interesting element, although the content of the texts was silly and terrible dialogue, not at all something a real human would’ve said.

So the app stuff was a fun idea and I’m glad I checked it out, but I don’t think it’ll catch on or ever be a good idea. Mainly all it did was totally distract me from the movie. Even though it was almost never showing something, I was constantly glancing at it because when it did show something, there was no noise or advance warning (it was intended for use in theaters, so of course it didn't use sound), and it would be over in 5 seconds, so I really had to pay attention to catch it. It was pretty good symbolism for the so-into-texting-that-you-ignore-reality message of the movie, since it actually forced me to be a distracted person, constantly glancing at my device instead of paying attention to the movie (which was subtitled, so this was extra problematic).

Oh, and back to the actual movie: it was okay. As usual, the technology didn’t make any sense, though it’s suggested at the end of the movie (not really a spoiler) that the app is ‘haunted’, which means they can get away with whatever they want. Still, the plot itself didn’t make sense, as the app seems to have been created for two different purposes which don’t match up, and... it’s just weird. It’s almost like two movies crashed into each other and spilled out onto my iPad.

P.S. I watched Kung Fury immediately before watching this (I give Kung Fury 5/5 Viking Chainguns, by the way! Catch it now!), and you know the scene where Hitler shoots people through the telephone? That pretty much happens at one point in this movie too! I liked the connection.

My Rating: 2/5 AI Spines.

My Movie Idea: I’d love to come up with something for the “app with a movie” concept, but I just don’t think it’s a good idea to begin with. How about instead, something you can’t actually play in a normal theater or video player: a choose-your-own-adventure movie? But something well-written. Like it’s this big crime drama with supernatural elements (or not, depending on how it goes...) and based on the decisions you make, it could end up with lots of different twist endings: they all did it, one of them is an undercover cop, something about time travel, etc. etc. Every 10 minutes or so of movie, it’d ask you to make one of four choices. Not about what happens, but rather there are 4 main characters, and you’re asked which one you want to follow with the camera. You’d have about 10 seconds to decide, and then majority rules.

So what happens is that whichever character you follow has the most interesting life of the 4 for that segment, since otherwise it’d be a boring movie, so that dictates the plot. You follow Bob and he ends up in a high speed car chase, but if you didn’t follow him, his drive to wherever was just uneventful, and so that means there isn’t a shadowy government agency following him. You follow Janet instead, and her meeting with the guys who kidnapped her son turns into a tense Mexican standoff. If you hadn’t, she’d just appear on a phone call to Bob during his crazy drive saying “yep, I got the kid, everything went smooth!”

I suspect this movie would require an awful lot of film! Not to mention custom technology to play it. Seems fun to me, but then I like video games.
1 commentBack to top!
  Belittling Horror Excessively: Blood Glacier 02:41 PM -- Fri October 30, 2015  

Blood Glacier

My Review: So some climate scientists studying a glacier discover it’s run through with red stuff (see how the title works?). They investigate and find that it’s some kind of fungus or bacteria or some such. I’ll just tell you how it works because they reveal this early on: it’s some kind of organism that randomly combines the DNA of the creatures it comes into contact with, and grows a new hybrid creature inside the host body. Since insects are everywhere, it always involves insect DNA, which according to this movie means it grows gigantic in a day (you know, how insects are always so gigantic? Yeah), and also means it’s creepy and black and spiny and armored. So it’s sort of like a zombie movie, where every zombie is some random weird thing instead of a dead person. And it’s fun in that nobody turns into a monster, they just sort of give birth to one.

The monsters in this movie are pretty crazy. They’re all puppets, which range from pretty good to hilarious Birdemic quality creatures (well, okay, not Birdemic... but I was reminded of that movie by a couple scenes), and they’re all sort of like “what would this mammal or bird look like if it were crossed with a bug?” so they’re pretty twisted. The movie is not afraid to show you the monsters a lot, which means it’s not really scary, but it is pretty gross.

There are obvious parallels to John Carpenter’s The Thing in this movie, though this is not a paranoid tale of wondering who is the monster (I do love those...), it’s more like a zombie movie where the monsters are all around and you need to hide out. But it does have the creepy paranoid element because anybody who’s been bitten by a monster has another monster (mixed with human DNA!) brewing inside their body somewhere. So they are hiding out, but all their injured people are bug-monster timebombs. That leads to several interesting surprises during the course of this movie, all the more so because there are tons of characters (12+? Too many to keep track of for me). It’s a strangely large cast, but they start getting whittled down pretty quick.

I definitely had fun with this movie, waiting to see what hybrid was coming up next. And there’s a final twist to it all which is just... just nuts. Actually, this whole movie is nuts, but the final twist is truly odd. This is one of those movies, sort of like The Evil Dead, where part of the fun is seeing how far (and in what directions) the creators are willing to go with their oddball ideas. Is it a good movie? That’s a tough question, but I’d have to say probably not. But it is entertaining, and that’s why I watch movies.

My Rating: 3/5 Fox-Beetle-Woodlice.

My Movie Idea: I thought of an interesting twist on a zombie movie. There’s the plague as always, but the only symptom of this virus is a specific sort of paranoia. You don’t become a raging zombie trying to eat brains. Rather, you become afraid that everyone else is a raging zombie trying to eat brains. So yeah, lots of people end up dead, but not eaten by zombies - they get killed by people who have the virus who think they are zombies! I’m not sure how that would all play out, but it would certainly be violent. And it turns the typical scene on its head - instead of the one sick guy in the room turning into a zombie, one guy in the room suddenly starts seeing everyone else as a zombie. He still goes nuts attacking them, of course, but he could also run away, which is not something zombies tend to do.

Comment on this entry...Back to top!
  Belittling Horror Excessively: Let Us Prey 06:39 PM -- Thu October 29, 2015  

Let Us Prey

My Review: Wow, this is a remake of the movie I watched earlier this month, The Traveler! Now, I don’t think it is supposed to be a remake, but it’s so incredibly similar that I have trouble believing it wasn’t at least based on that movie. It even has the same kind of super-retro synth soundtrack that sounds like John Carpenter made it.

This is once again the story of a very empty police station, into which a guy shows up who doesn’t talk a lot, and who they throw in jail. This time he doesn’t confess crimes though, he just kind of sits around fiddling with a box of matches and causing people to die magically. Oh, and at a couple points he whistles a short tune which I am pretty sure is the same one the guy in The Traveler whistled. Anyway, as before, it turns out that the cops in the station are all evil for various reasons (as are the people locked up in the jail cells), and we learn about their crimes and they get punished for them by dying horribly. There’s even a situation like The Traveler, in which two of the cops conspired to beat a suspect to death previously (hey, at least it wasn’t all of them this time).

There is one cop who is new to the area and just started there today though, and she is not evil. Or at least, she isn’t until the very end when things get downright strange and she makes a choice that I truly can’t connect to her character at all. If you have seen this movie, please answer me this: “Whaa!?!?!?!” That’s my question about the very last scene.

Everything gets explained pretty clearly in this movie, it’s not left vague and mysterious, but there is that decision she makes that just doesn’t even begin to make sense to me. Maybe I missed some key subtext in there? I just don’t know. But overall, this is a far far better movie than The Traveler. It is, like Proxy, chock full of crazy people (at least two of the seemingly-normal people in this movie turn out to be serial killers in their spare time! And those are just the people with the highest body counts, everybody else is pretty far off the rails too). Oh, and speaking of odd decisions, I still don’t understand what made the captain return to the station to do what he did. I mean, yeah, there were some weird hallucinations and he was into Bible stuff and killin’, but none of that adequately explains him flipping around into a complete nutjob. So that’s weird. I guess you could say on the whole, I didn’t understand the characters’ motivations in this movie. Even the villain, who turns out to be a pretty widely known mythological figure - his entire scheme of making these people die doesn’t really fit anything I’ve ever heard about what he does. It just seems random.

My Rating: 3.5/5 Val Kilmerlessnesses.

My Movie Idea: I feel like this practically was my movie idea for The Traveler! Not quite how I described, but it was certainly that movie done better. I didn’t have any particularly grand notions while watching this in truth. The only thing that sprang to mind mid-movie (this is a bit of a spoiler for this movie, and it’s not super interesting so feel free to skip it) was how they often have something like this: a demon or perhaps the devil driving people to die in some way. They do it because it’s visceral and a clear threat. Nobody wants to die, so an entity causing death is a good threat for a movie. But it’s not really what the devil would want. He doesn’t want people to die, who cares whether you get their soul now or in 50 years, when you live forever? What he should be trying to do is corrupt nice people to make them evil so he gets their souls later on down the line. That I think could be more interesting. Instead of making the bad people kill themselves, make the good people get confused and twisted up into being evil - perhaps by making them kill bad people! Then he gets the bad soul right now, and the good soul has gone bad, so he’ll get it later! Or he can arrange one of the other good people to kill them. Or even forget magically making them do things they wouldn’t, just talk to them and make them see things in such a way that they actually decide immoral stuff is moral, something like that. That’s what the devil should be about - twisting you around so you think you’re doing good when you’re really not. More psychological, less ramming-your-head-into-metal-bars.

Comment on this entry...Back to top!
  Belittling Horror Excessively: Dark Summer 07:51 PM -- Wed October 28, 2015  

Dark Summer

My Review: This is the story of a kid who’s under house arrest for cyberstalking a girl. He’s not allowed any computers and all that, of course, but his friends sneak one in and through Magic Hollywood Hacking, he sets up a connection and gets back to the internet. The bad news is, the girl he was stalking sends him a video chat request, and when he opens it, she just says some creepy stuff and then shoots herself right on camera. It’s pretty traumatic, but not as bad as all the weird haunting stuff that ensues for the rest of the movie as her ghost torments him in various ways.

Like the previous movie, this one starts off incredibly slow. Ridiculously slow. There’s a minute-long scene of the main character staring at a streetlamp, no fooling. But when it finally starts to pick up, it gets really interesting. There is a whole series of twists, so that what you thought was what is not what and it all turns around on itself. Even the “shocking final moment” that is required of all horror movies is a pretty good surprise. More than anything else, this feels like an episode of Buffy The Vampire Slayer, except none of the characters are full of witty quips. Which is why I wish this was an episode of Buffy, because the plot was fun, it just needed to be less slow and more funny.

There’s really not much wrong with this movie other than the very slow first half. It’s entertaining!

My Rating: 3.5/5 Ankle Monitors.

My Movie Idea: Well, why haven’t we actually gotten a Buffy movie? I mean besides the very very different one with Pee Wee Herman as a vampire. I enjoyed that movie too, but I want a true Joss Whedon Buffy movie. It’s hard to imagine what the plot could be to make it more epic than the season finales from the series, but I know Joss could come up with something. Let’s get a Buffy movie!

1 commentBack to top!
  Belittling Horror Excessively: Proxy 02:07 PM -- Tue October 27, 2015  

Proxy

My Review: I kind of doubt this movie really counts as horror at all. It’s definitely full of seriously nutso people though. The horror is that everybody might be as crazy as every character in this movie is.

The movie begins with a woman getting a sonogram near the very end of her pregnancy. Shortly after, she’s mugged and beaten, and loses the baby. When she goes to support group meetings for the trauma afterwards, she meets up with another woman who has lost her own son and husband. Then later she catches that same woman in a shopping mall screaming that her son is missing, and follows her to find that she had her son in her car, which she brings in to show the guard like “oh okay, I found him outside”. So she does have a son, and she likes to pretend she has one issue or another to get attention.

From there, things continue to spiral further out of control in crazy crazy ways. She looks into this woman, finds out she has a husband too, she gets obsessed with the woman, and... well, I feel like I wouldn’t want to spoil any of it, which is probably a good sign for the movie. But it’s not really that great of a movie, it’s just such a nutty plot that my jaw was just dropped the whole thing going “is this what is really going on here?” There are lots of twists and surprises, but I’m not sure any of them qualify as clever, just more out of left field than anything. All in all, the story ties up neatly with a lot of coincidence. It doesn’t make any sense, but not because of broken logic, just because there’s no way that many totally insane people could be living seemingly normal lives and come across each other.

The worst thing about the movie is the extreme slowness of the beginning half. I mean that in two ways: the traditional “long slow shots and not much movement in the plot” sense, but also holy burritos is there slow motion in this movie. At one point, the woman is in a bathtub being morose (which kind of shows you how the plot is slow, huh?), and we watch one of those 1000fps shots like on Mythbusters, of a drip coming from the faucet and falling down and splashing on the water. It’s cool to see in the Mythbusters sense, but I’m trying to watch a movie. This does not add to the plot. Then later, the pivotal scene in the movie where everything goes off the rails (a shotgun is involved) is entirely in slow motion. It’s probably 3 minutes long of slowly cocking the shotgun, firing a blast, guts flying everywhere, people screaming, water splashing, and wait we’re not done, more screaming, actual words being shouted in slow motion, cock the gun again, carefully position it, consider what you’re doing, and then another blast, more guts flying... it’s so brutally ludicrous that it looks like something from a parody movie. It was almost funny, but just whoa.

So yeah, it’s all very overly-affected, melodramatic and super-depressing. But wow, it was interesting too. It’s akin to a lot of 90’s movies, like Quentin Tarantino and the Coen Brothers, movies where there are a bunch of characters whose lives intersect in overly-coincidental ways and it all leads to a big mess.

My Rating: 3/5 Hoodies.

My Movie Idea: Watching this movie actually made me think of an old idea I had. This is a truly horrible concept, so maybe turn away now. Anyway, my movie is the story of a woman who gets pregnant as often as she can, has the baby, and then moves to a new town where nobody knows her and starts again. Where does the child go? Well, that’s the horrible part. The woman is a very unique sort of cannibal - she has children in order to eat them. Obviously that’s not all she eats or she’d die, but that’s her disgusting obsession. As to what the plot is for this movie, I couldn’t tell you, but it would obviously involve somebody discovering what she’s up to and trying to get evidence and save her latest child before it’s too late. Hard to rescue a baby that’s inside someone though, so it all hinges on a climactic sequence right after she gives birth. Probably like Proxy, it would rely on a lot of coincidence, like this is a person who also moved to the same new town from the woman’s old town, so they recognize her and wonder what’s going on.

I apologize.
Comment on this entry...Back to top!
  Belittling Horror Excessively: The Lazarus Effect 03:43 PM -- Mon October 26, 2015  

The Lazarus Effect

My Review: It’s a Frankenstein movie! But not a very good one. There’s more than a little hint of Lucy in this movie (the movie where Scarlett Johanssen gradually gets an increasing percentage of her brain activated and gains psychic powers), including the same silly “we use 10% of our brains” premise.

Oh, so the plot: these scientists are working on a drug that you can inject (along with a jolt of electricity, of course) to reanimate a corpse. They say it’s to give doctors more time to work on somebody before it’s too late, but for some reason they are testing it with days-dead animals instead of killing something and using it immediately, which makes so much more sense, both in general and for the purpose they claim. So of course they manage to bring a dog back to life, and it acts weird and vicious. Then they end up in a situation where one of them dies while they’re in the lab, so they bring her back. She becomes very evil, and starts killing them all with psychic powers, without the slightest indication of what her goal is in doing so, it’s just to be evil.

The ending of this movie (semi-spoilerish?) is an extreme letdown. It’s almost like the story had just barely gotten started. We’ve seen one little encounter with the main characters, but it’s left completely wide open as to what will happen from there. And worse than the open-ended nature of it is the fact that it’s preceded by a climax in which we have a hero figuring stuff out and defeating the evil, and that just gets undone instantly, so it just feels like we completely wasted our time watching it. It’s equivalent to “it was all a dream” which is never fair to the audience. It was really the ending that tanked this movie for me, although at no point was it ever really a good movie. Pretty lame all around. They had some ideas that could’ve gone somewhere, but they did absolutely nothing with them. And didn’t explain anything. At all. It’s truly like it was all just for the action and shock value, there was no story being told to us at all.

My Rating: 1/5 Electronic Cigarettes.

My Movie Idea: Man, I totally had an idea while watching this and forgot it since then. I wish I had written it down. Well, you could do this movie in a non-terrible way: Start with the same situation, inventing the drug, testing it on an animal, then being forced into using it to resurrect a person because it’s not like it can make them any worse. But from there, we slow things waaay down. Instead of her going on a rampage immediately, she gets checked out, she gets to go home, the whole lab is under all kinds of investigation and they are working very hard to hide the fact that they raised her, as she begins to experience weird symptoms. Mental lapses, tremors. She can’t get any treatment due to the secret cause of the illness.

Then she starts discovering bad things happening during blackouts. She is in her kitchen, chopping some onions, she blinks, and then the wall has words carved into it with the knife stabbed into the end (I don’t know what words, they’d be important though). Also her fridge is open and all the contents have been thrown on the floor. She has knowledge she shouldn’t have, but she can’t remember it, it’s only there during her lapses.

In the end, there’s so many ways this could go. She could be the goodguy or the badguy, there could be entities from “the other side” that only she can see and fight, she could be totally innocent but a psychotic murderer during blackouts, we could run scenes out of sequence or flashback to find that she has actually already killed somebody and didn’t know it until much later, so many possibilities (so many other things we could discover much too late for big twists!). Yeah, if I actually spent some time thinking this out it could be a good movie. Too bad I’m not going to!
Comment on this entry...Back to top!
  Belittling Horror Excessively: Inner Demons 09:03 PM -- Sun October 25, 2015  

Inner Demons

My Review: There’s a girl who is suffering from an addiction problem, and her family is very concerned. They get hooked up with a reality-TV show that is going to document the intervention. Thus we have found footage!

So they have an intervention, she agrees to go to rehab, and they continue to cover her recovery (or lack of one) there. It turns out her problem isn’t actually addiction. She’s addicted to the drugs because they keep the demon that’s possessing her under control. So as the drugs get out of her system in rehab, weird things start happening, including a lot of fairly silly jump scares (like she’s looking in a mirror, and the face in the mirror contorts and screams at us while she stays normal). There’s one guy in the rehab crew who believes in the truth of her problem and tries to help her and gets fired for it. Then of course in the end, there’s a big showdown and exorcism, and things happen. There’s some twists to how it all comes out, though probably nothing you haven’t seen before.

I felt like the ‘scary’ side of this movie was kind of a flop. It didn’t stress me out to watch this. But as an interesting story, it was alright. Not too bad. To be honest, I’m very sick of “if only you guys would have believed the insane supernatural story you were told, you could’ve saved her!” because in real life that is literally never the right answer. When someone tells you an insane supernatural explanation for what’s wrong with them, they’re wrong, and they probably need even more help than you thought they did. It’s funny how it’s backwards in movies - you get mad at the characters who won’t listen, but in real life, you’d think the people who do listen are gullible idiots. That’s because in the ‘reality’ of almost every movie, the magic stuff is real, and it’s often pretty obvious that it is, which makes ‘skepticism’ a truly unskeptical position - you’re ignoring the evidence. So you have to work with that, I guess. I suppose without that, you’d have a more boring movie, though I know there have been some movies where it all turned out to be fake and they can still be interesting. But as a standard thing, I think we’re better off with what we have now - magic is more often interesting than reality, so keep the magic in the movies!

My Rating: 3/5 Codex Daemonicas.

My Movie Idea: Like zombies, exorcism is really played out. So hmm, what’s left to exorcise? As I mentioned above, it’s fun and different when things turn out to be fake, but The Last Exorcism did that (well.... not really). One thing you don’t see often, though it is out there, is the flip of an exorcism movie: the parents believe their child is possessed and have exorcisms, lock the kid away, abuse them in various ways, but there’s nothing to it - the horror is the fact that parents can be so evil. I’m pretty sure this scenario has happened in real life too. It’s awful. How about this...

The dad is a meek little guy who begrudgingly goes along with what his domineering scary wife says. The kid is normal, but one day the dad comes home to find the kid is locked up and the wife has a bandage on her arm. She says he bit her and she had to put him away to protect herself. His wife says the kid is possessed and keeps him locked up, feeding him gruel through a slot in the door and stuff like that (some business about purifying his insides with plain food). The dad goes along with it but behind her back he helps the kid some, letting him out for a short time when he can, sneaking him snacks, talking to him. Always very careful not to get caught, as the wife is a cruel taskmaster. When he tries to question it and says the kid seems as normal as someone could be while locked up, she slaps him down hard.

Eventually they have an argument with the dad saying they should just get an exorcism and solve this, starving and torturing the kid isn’t a solution even if he is possessed. The wife is aghast at the notion and fighting it every step. The dad finds her almost-frightened reluctance to be odd (not to mention her change in personality in the last year, she wasn’t so bad before), and eventually consults with some kind of paranormal people who check out the house and are like “yeah, this place has mega bad vibes” and especially in the room where the child is locked up. So when the wife’s not home he arranges an exorcism after all, or maybe some kind of ‘cleansing’ to get the badness out. It doesn’t seem to fix anything, but they pronounce the bad vibes gone. The wife comes home and burns her hand on the door to the kid’s room or something, or just complains of a massive migraine going near there or whatever...

Anyway, it all comes down to him realizing that not only is his wife possessed, but she was infusing evil energy into that room to do something bad to the kid (not possess him, that’s too simple... maybe eat his soul to open a portal or something, I dunno), and there’s a big showdown where she brings out all the usual stuff like throwing people across the room, and for an added dose of fun, the kid ends up beating her with a touch to the forehead and forgiveness for the abuse, because the reason the demons wanted to evil-energy-box him was that he’s actually some kind of holy person (oh maybe he IS possessed, but by an angel? That’s interesting!). Something like that. Details shmetails.
Comment on this entry...Back to top!
  Belittling Horror Excessively: Mr. Jones 05:02 PM -- Sat October 24, 2015  

Mr. Jones

My Review: Whoa man. Whoa. Okay, to start with, we have a couple heading out to a cabin in the woods (you’ve never heard this premise before, right?), to film a nature documentary - which of course means this movie is found footage. What it’s about is totally unclear. I think they’re just kind of going to film anything they think looks interesting and figure out what to do with it later. But as they’re filming stuff, they stumble across these creepy weird totems made of sticks and animal bones and mason jars all strung up together, and eventually encounter the creepy-looking guy who made them. For some reason, after stumbling across his house, they decide to sneak inside and check it out (it’s full of more totems, pretty much), and barely escape without getting caught by him as he comes home. They realize that he is the pop-culture icon “Mr. Jones”. That’s a guy who mails these totem things to random people.

So the man goes home, leaving the woman there to continue checking out the totems. He films a bunch of documentary interviews with various people about the Mr. Jones phenomenon, and that’s how we get the backstory. Mr. Jones is a weird guy, and some people believe he protects our world from the dream world with his totems. Some weird stuff like that. The man goes back, he and the woman invade Mr. Jones’ personal space some more, and then everything gets insanely weird. The end.

The last half-hour or so of this movie is entirely trippy. You have no idea what’s really happening, because it’s all basically a dream. One really interesting part is that the found-footage format sort of breaks down. You get shots the characters can’t possibly be filming, but it’s still hand-held - it turns out its being filmed by other copies of the man, who end up chasing them around (hey, it’s a dream). It’s very weird, like I said. What actually happens during this part doesn’t really add up, but it’s not really supposed to because it’s a dream. It goes on for too long, as a result - since none of it really makes sense, it’s really just giving you a style, not any substance, so you really only need a taste of it to get the idea: it’s a weird dream, anything can happen. It does wrap up in a way that works out relatively well, and has a twist to it. At least, if I understood it properly it does.

The characters are kind of annoying as usual, and make weird choices. There’s a lot of times they don’t seem to be anywhere near concerned enough about what’s happening, but that may be something of a dream thing. It’s hard to say. There are also a couple other obnoxious things in this movie. One is many many minutes of the man running through tunnels underground. It’s just rock walls and darkness, totally pointless to watch. Another is at the beginning of the movie, there are several minutes of just voice-over questions... “What if you went into the woods to film a documentary? What if you saw things that were really beautiful? How about if it was windy out? Would your relationship withstand all this hanging out?” It just goes on and on. I imagine there’s some artistic point to it, but it is so annoying. That entire sequence could be cut from the film without losing a single thing.

But in the end, I enjoyed the sum total of it. Not a ton, but I was caught up in the concept, and the way it came together was good. There was a lot of fluff to sit through, but it all felt like something powerful was lurking underneath. It leaves a lot of questions, but it resolved enough of it for me anyway.

My Rating: 3/5 Mason Jars.

My Movie Idea: Dreams. That’s a thing for movies, for sure. But it’s also something you really have to be careful with or you are making something dumb. There’s “it was all a dream, phew!” which is a total cop-out. There’s “I thought I woke up, but it was just another dream! (and another, and another...)” which is another cop-out. There’s “anything can happen because it’s a dream” which isn’t really a cop-out, it just leads to pointlessness. Who cares what happens if anything can happen?

There’s a scene in Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, where Ramona off-handedly mentions that she takes a shortcut through Scott’s dreams to deliver packages, which is why he sees her in his dreams. That is an amazing concept, just throwing dreams and reality together like that - why not just take a shortcut through a dream? So I think my movie idea relies on this.

It’s about somebody going into dreams, not to do something to the dreaming person, but just because the dream is a way to get somewhere else. Perhaps there is an ultimate-security room. There is no way to get into this room at all, except to use some kind of funky technology that powers this door that goes into a dream of someone sleeping in an adjacent room, and you have to get them to dream about a door, which you open to enter the room. Obviously, whatever is in there is really really valuable. Also here are a few exciting moments in this movie: when the person going through the dream ends up damaging the psychological state of the dreaming person, when somebody ends up trapped in the room because the dreamer wakes up, when somebody ends up trapped in the dream itself when the door gets shut and the dreamer isn’t dreaming of a door, the dramatic countdown regarding the fact that if the person wakes up when you are in the dream, you cease to exist completely.

Other than that, I don’t know what happens in the movie, but it seems like it could be an interesting Charlie Kaufman kind of crazy thing, where nothing in the movie makes any sense in reality, but it’s all a metaphor for some other stuff. Too smart for me to actually write!
Comment on this entry...Back to top!
  Belittling Horror Excessively: Tremors 5: Bloodlines 02:51 PM -- Fri October 23, 2015  

Tremors 5: Bloodlines

My Review: It’s Tremors! I’m a Tremors fan, but I just mean the original movie. I’m pretty sure I saw one of the other sequels once, but it left little to no impression. All I really recall is that it had two guys who were fulfilling the role of the two heroes of Tremors - not playing the same characters, but obviously rehashing the same thing. Pretty disappointing. But I was sad when I got into this movie and realized how much mythology I had missed.

The original Tremors is a great movie, highly recommended. Horror comedy about giant worms tunneling underground and sucking people under. But I discovered by watching this movie, that since the first film, we have learned much more about the graboids’ life cycle, and it turns out there are other variations on them. There are flying creatures and walking creatures too. Seems like that’d make those intervening movies interesting, but I strongly suspect they were actually direct-to-video garbage nonetheless.

So to this film: This is the story of Burt Gummer, who was a survivalist nut in the first movie, but has now become a famous reality show star, having cameras follow his graboid-hunting exploits. He is called away to Africa this time due to reports of graboids there, which he believes to be impossible. Then for the rest of the movie they run around trying to kill them, and (spoilers? Nah) finish off the last one with a completely impossible death-trap. There’s some interpersonal junk too.

This movie falls flat. It’s supposed to be funny, but it isn’t really. The biggest problem I think is the character of Burt Gummer. He’s just not very interesting to build a movie around. He gets wacky at one point when he’s trapped in the burning sun for hours, but even wacky, he’s just not interestingly wacky. It may just be nostalgia (I haven’t seen the first movie in at least 10 years), but I think the same character was much more fun in the first movie. Maybe it’s just the fact that somebody like this doesn’t fit as a main character. He’s just too unlikeable.

Aside from that, there’s no particularly exciting monster chases. There’s a scene where his cameraman (the other main character) is walking through a pitch-black cave that he knows is the nest of the graboids, and his only source of light is flares, which only give him short periods of light. This could’ve been unbelievably nerve-wracking, but it’s just not presented in a scary way at all. He kind of fumbles along, comes across a single monster at one point and manages to avoid it easily, and that’s that.

There’s also hacky writing, like incredibly obvious foreshadowing (for example, this girl who for some reason uses a car battery to electrocute the ground to make worms surface for fishing bait... hmm, wonder if that will have any relation to the giant killer worms at any point???), and really cardboard characters and relationships doing everything exactly how you would expect. And broken physics - a car that’s lit on fire will somehow explode if a flaming arrow hits it. It’s the arrow that pushes it over the top into explosion territory. Just not good.

My Rating: 2/5 Graboid Eggs.

My Movie Idea: This is a vague one, but this movie got me thinking about the idea of humankind’s place in the world. The Earth is a safe place for us. I mean, we have completely mastered it, we are the deadliest thing here by a mile, and as a society, nothing here poses any threat to us (except us...). So what if that changed? Aliens are boring, so the best I can think of is just digging a hole that breaks into an underworld that we never knew existed, and all these subterranean creatures come storming up onto the surface. Not smart ones, just wild animals, but animals so dangerous that life on Earth completely changes. How different would the world be if you spent every day fighting for survival rather than punching buttons for a paycheck?

In the end, the philosophical idea is interesting, but the reality of it as a movie is nothing new at all: it’s every zombie movie, every alien invasion, all kinds of other things. I just had fun thinking about it, though I don’t know how to make it a special and different movie.
1 commentBack to top!
Page 1/5 2 3 4 5 > >>
Copyright 2018, Hamumu Games Inc.