Category Archives: Movie Reviews

It: Movie Review from a Lifelong Fan

I just came from the 7 o’clock showing of IT, and I almost don’t know where to start.  I’ve been waiting for this movie since they announced it way back before even Cary Fukunaga was attached to direct.  If you’ve read any of my blog, you might already know I’ve been a fan of Stephen King’s It (1990) since it came out when I was 5.  Tim Curry’s Pennywise has forever earned a place in my heart.

So what did I think about the reboot?

I.

Freaking.

Loved it.

This. This is my face right now.

There were so many ways to go about this movie that, while I was excited, I was also worried that someone would butcher it.  Yes, the 1990 TV miniseries was a little cheesy with it’s extremely era-specific thumping horror beat and somewhat off-putting acting (IMHO) from the adult “Losers,” but I still loved it for what it was and for bringing so many of the scenes from the book straight to the screen.

This movie took a different path, keeping the spirit of the book while updating it for a new audience.  It might not have been scene-for-scene from the book or even close to that, but the changes they made were actually things that made since.

WARNING: HERE BE SPOILERS

  1.  The Setting:  This adaptation set the young losers in 1989 instead of 1958.  I really enjoyed this aspect of it because as someone born in the 80s, this helped me relate more to the characters and time.  It also kept it interesting for the original TV miniseries audience because it gave us a different spin.  The book itself came out in 1986, so the 50s to 80s settings made perfect sense when the TV movie was first made.  If they did that here, it would have felt stale.
  2. The Monsters:  Everyone who knows It, whether from reading the book or just seeing the 1990 movie, knows the titular character turns into whatever scares you to get the most fear for its feast.  That being said, the monsters used to scare the kids were much different from the source material to capture the tone of the time.  After all, how many kids are just straight-up scared of teen werewolves and mummies in this day and age?  Instead, we were given zombies, headless ghosts, and a sorta cameo from another Andres Muschietti movie (cough*spoiler*cough*Mama*).   I thought this was a smart choice because they were definitely scarier than any werewolf in a letterman jacket could ever be.
  3. The Characters: Although essentially the same, some of the characters themselves got a bit of an update in terms of their origins, which were a little different but for good reasons that made sense within the scope of the movie.  I didn’t care that Mike was being raised by his grandfather instead of his parents on a vegetable farm or that Bev’s mom was missing from the picture.  It worked in the story and gave us a little fodder for some of the creepier/unsettling moments.
  4. The Interactions:  Since the time period was updated, the interactions between the characters were updated to match.  I really enjoyed all the snarky jokes between friends and less wholesome overtones than that of the original.  I did not expect to laugh as much as I did, but all the mom jokes and name-calling really cracked me up.
  5. The Rating: Being a made-for-tv movie in 1990, there wasn’t a lot of gore and swearing they could get away with back then.  Well, with it’s R rating, we’re treated to a whole different ball game with this movie.  The kids cussed like sailors through the whole thing (which I very much enjoyed), and they were actually able to bring some of Pennywise’s nastier kills to the big screen.  My favorite addition because of this: THEY SHOWED GEORGIE’S ARM GETTING RIPPED OFF.  That made my day, not because I enjoy seeing children getting eaten (for the record, I totes don’t), but because it was just how I imagined it should be and made me realize the direction the rest of the movie would take in terms of gore.  Talk about a good set-up.

Those are the major differences between the book/1990 movie and this new adaptation, and I think they really were thoughtfully done and made so much sense with what they did with the movie.  In addition to these differences, another way this movie separates itself from the 1990 version was by actually bringing things in from the book that were skipped over in the tv movie: the house on Neibolt Street, the leper, and the Paul Bunyan statue to name a few.

And, speaking of that last thing, I’m really interested to see if they tackle adult Richie’s Paul Bunyan scene in Part 2.

Now, let’s talk acting.  I’d heard than Finn Wolfhard stole the show, and let me tell you: he got skills, son.  His delivery of Richie Tozier’s motor mouth was fantastic and hilarious.  Jaeden Lieberher as young Bill Denbrough was so engaging in dealing with the loss of his brother and his desire to bring down It, and Jack Dylan Grazer’s portrayal as hypochondriac and chronic worrier Eddie Kaspbrak was both funny and realistic.  Really, everyone in the ‘Loser’s Club’ did a great job in this movie.

As for Pennywise…?

Bill Skarsgard killed it. No pun intended.

It’s hard for me to say he even got close to being as good as Tim Curry, but *ahem* he got pretty close.  His goofy voice, creepy laugh, and dead eyes just brought the character to life in a very different way.  I was really happy he made Pennywise his own instead of trying to copy Curry’s performance because I think that would have fallen a little flat.  And I’ve got to give some credit to Muschietti for this, too, because he really made Pennywise a more dynamic character on screen.  He definitely drove the more terror-filled moments on screen.

I could go on and on, but I’m going to stop here.  If you couldn’t tell, I totally recommend this movie.   Go see it tomorrow night or this weekend. Or both.  I might.

 

Annabelle: Creation – Movie Review

You are my sunshine, 

My only sunshine.

You make me happy,

When skies are gray.

You’ll never know, dear,

How much I love you.

I’m going to take your soul away.

That’s how it goes, right?

I guess.

So the universe created in The Conjuring continues to expand, this time with a spine-tingling origin story of the wonderfully creepy porcelain doll, Annabelle.  If you’ve seen every installment in The Conjuring “series,” you should already be well-prepared for this movie.

The Annabelle doll, first introduced in The Conjuring and further expanded on in 2014’s Annabelle, finally gets her own horror movie worth a few screams.   I wasn’t too impressed with the first movie.  It just was a little too predictable and boring, but this one – oh man, this one.

Warning: Here Be Spoilers

We start with the actual making of the doll by Mr. Mullins, played by Anthony LaPaglia, and a too-cute version of hide and seek with his daughter, affectionately called Bee and played by up-and-coming child actress, Samara Lee.

Side note: If her parents aren’t fans of The Ring, I’ll eat my keyboard.

Ms. Mullins, played by Miranda Otto, joins in on the fun, and we’re shown how happy life is in the Mullins household.  This being a horror movie, we know this little love fest won’t last long.  Sorry to break it to you, but Bee (whose full name we later learn is – you guessed it – Annabelle) ends up getting killed.

Flash forward 12 years later, and 6 orphaned girls are on their way to stay at the Mullins’s home until they’re able to be adopted.  They’re given almost full run of the house except for the Mullins’s bedroom and the locked bedroom of little Bee.

One of the girls is enticed to come inside Bee’s room by an unseen entity.  Of course, this is where the doll lurks, locked in a secret room lined with pages from the Holy Bible.  The girl opens Annabelle’s chamber, and that’s all she wrote.  The evil is released, and terror befalls the house.

We learn from Ms. Mullins that she and her husband had bargained with whatever force would allow them to have their daughter back in any way.  They invited what they thought was their daughter’s spirit into the doll, but what entered was actually a demonic presence.  Ms. Mullins ended up getting half her face along with one eye carved up and charred.

Don’t mess with a demon, people.

Who? Me?

We’re treated to several jump scares, some gruesome injuries/deaths, multiple appearances by THE demonic presence, and the lurking shadow of Annabelle throughout the movie. And yes, I said treated to jump scares.  I know a lot of horror fans hate when movies rely on these, but I have to say they’re very well-balanced with actual horror in Annabelle: Creation.  It’s just enough to keep us jumpy and invested in what’s going on.

I was very impressed with the effects and very happy with how they tied the movie to the 2014 version.  I don’t even want to go into details on it.  You should just see for yourself.  I love a good tie-in/movie connection.  It’s probably why I love the Saw franchise so much with all its interconnected craziness, and I love that this movie ties into not only 2014’s Annabelle, but The Conjuring and The Conjuring 2.

Oh?  How does it tie into The Conjuring 2, you ask?  Well, the demon nun makes not one, but two appearances.  Two!  One in passing in a photograph and then with an after credits scene.  I was wriggling in my seat, I was so happy.  If you’re not already aware, the demon nun is another expansion of this universe with the release of her own movie, The Nun, coming in 2018.  I know. Exciting stuff.

And I would be remiss if I didn’t point out the acting in this film.  Everyone does a great job. Talitha Bateman plays Janice, and she’s the lucky girl that both releases Annabelle and gets possessed by the demonic presence later in the movie.  Bateman gets a huge point for the sinister portrayal of her character’s possessed self.  She’s supposed to be creepy, and is she ever.

Lulu Wilson, playing Linda, Janice’s best friend, also does a wonderful job, and I wasn’t surprised.  She was great in Ouija: Origin of Evil, so I knew I’d like her in this.  And this time, she got to be the one on the other side of the possession, so that’s nice.  I say she’s 2 for 2 in her horror movie origin story run.  I thought it was pretty funny that she was in both this prequel and the prequel to Ouija, which both far surpass their originals.  Keep ’em coming, Lulu.

So should you go see this one?  If you enjoyed The Conjuring 1 and 2, I say go for it.  Hell, if you enjoyed the 2014 Annabelle, I say definitely go for it because you won’t be disappointed after that train wreck.

Oh!  And bonus, they put in a little Easter egg concerning the REAL Annabelle doll.  You’ll like it.  Trust me.

Summer Chillout: The Shining

It’s still damn hot outside, and I don’t know about you, but unless I’m in a pool, the outdoors are a no-go for me right now.  I hope everyone took my advice and watched The Thing last week to cool down.  Ice and snow are just very appealing to me right now.

So this week’s Summer Chillout is kind of a no-brainer: The Shining.  

And I’m talking about the 1980 classic, not the poorly-received 1997 miniseries.  It might have been more true to the book, but it just didn’t translate as well as the Kubrick version on screen.

Kubrick’s version is dark and depressing.  The snowy setting is beautiful but bleak, and it’s such a great movie that even Toy Story paid homage to it.  Check out these huge pros for watching this one again.

The Direction:  I mean, how many great scenes come to mind when you see this movie?  Danny’s run-ins with the hallway twins and Room 237.  Jack’s makeout session with a ghost.  His conversations with good ole’ Lloyd and Grady.  Red rum. Wendy finding Jack’s repetitive manuscript.  Jack walking menacingly up the stairs toward a baseball bat-armed Wendy.  An axe-wielding Jack tearing into the bathroom.  The death of poor Hallorann.  The maze chase.  I can’t even right now.

The Performances:  Shelley Duvall’s performance gets me every time.  She was basically tortured by Kubrick to get the right shot, but you can definitely feel her frantic panicky terror while her husband follows her up the stairs threatening to bash her brains in.  Jack Nicholson is always awesome, and his iconic performance as Jack Torrance is so hard to top.  His descent into madness was conveyed perfectly by Nicholson.

Three words: Elevator. Blood. Waterfall.  Just classic.

And the cons are…nothing.  I can’t think of any.

I really hope you’ve seen this one already because if you haven’t, I don’t know what to do with you.  Just get it, watch it, and cool off. Simple as that.  Fin.

Summer Chillout: The Thing

Well, summer is officially here, and I couldn’t be sweatier.

Seriously.  It’s frickin hot around here.

There are many ways to cool down in the summer time – crank up the AC crazy high, swim, cover yourself in ice – but each of these is either expensive, requires you to be in the sun and/or around sharks, or might result in some light hypothermia.  So my favorite way to cool down is with a horror movie that reminds me of nicer (i.e., colder) times.

And my favorite movie to do this?  John Carpenter’s The Thing.

The Thing (1982) is not only my favorite movie for a summer chill session; it’s also one of my favorite horror movies period.  It’s even on my Top 20 list.

Although the movie was initially met with criticism, both it and its score are now considered classics in the movie world.  It’s even watched at British Research stations in Antarctica as part of their Midwinter celebration held on June 21.  There are so many great things going for it.

The cast is awesome.  Ultra-80’s coiffed Kurt Russell, always cool Keith David, Wilford “I have diabeetus” Brimley, and the rest of the ill-fated group of research scientists struggle to survive an attack from an other worldly being and their own paranoia, and they just make it all so believable.

The score is haunting and identifiable.  Although movies like Halloween and Friday the 13th have very recognizable themes (and good ones, too), the theme and score for this movie is probably one of my favorites.  It just sets the bleak and hopeless tone of the movie perfectly.

THE EFFECTS!  Sorry for screaming, but I freakin love the effects in this film.  I’m not totally against CGI, but practical effects are my jam.  They just look so much cooler, and the monsters in this movie, crafted by the so-talented Rob Bottin and crew, are so creepy and unique that I just can’t get over it.

I just don’t have any bad things to say about this movie.  And for a bonus, try watching the prequel released in 2011, which is definitely not a perfect movie,  but has its moments.  CGI is used pretty heavily, but I really appreciated how they tied everything together.  Watch it immediately after the 1982 movie, and you’ll see what I mean.

If you haven’t seen this movie, do yourself a huge favor and introduce yourself to it today.  Turn down the lights, set the AC to an acceptable temp, and just imagine yourself in the snow and ice.

It’s only a few short months away from fall and cooler temps, so keep checking back with me each week for another chillout session.

It Comes at Night…or Does It?

It Comes at Night, a film by up-and-coming director/writer Trey Edward Shults, was released on Friday, and the critical reception made this one a must watch for me.  It currently has a 86% on Rotten Tomatoes, which – for a horror movie – is rare.

I finally got to see it last night with a friend, and we both went in without any real knowledge of the plot.  I knew it was a post-apocalyptic thriller, but other than the brief (and uninformative) trailer I saw before Get Out, I had very limited exposure to anything prior to showtime.

Usually, this is a good thing.  Horror movie trailers (and most trailers, really) just give away too damn much.

I really wish I’d learned a little more about this one beforehand.

Warning: Here Be Spoilers.

The movie stars Joel Edgerton (as Paul), Carmen Ejogo (as Sarah), Kelvin Harrison Jr. (as Travis), Christopher Abbott (as Will), and Riley Keough (as Kim) as survivors of a seemingly worldwide plague that has wiped out much of mankind.  Will breaks into the home of Paul, Sarah, and Travis, and after he’s knocked out and tied to a tree for the night, he’s interrogated before Paul agrees to take him back to his wife and son and bring them back to live at the house.

There are rules for living at the house.  Everyone must go everywhere in pairs.  No one goes out at night.  And the red door stays locked all night long.

Seems easy, right?

After bringing them in, all seems to be going well until the family dog, Stanley, sees something in the forest and runs away.  The dog shows up at the house later that night, bloody and sick, and has to be put down.  Both families agree to be isolated from one another after realizing the red door had been unlocked.  By whom?  We don’t know.  Neither do they.  All they know is there might be a risk for sickness.

Paranoia increases as Will’s family discusses leaving, and Paul’s family, afraid that someone would now know where to find them, decide not to allow that.  Fearing that Will’s child is sick, Paul and Sarah mask and arm themselves to confront the other family, and all hell breaks loose, ending in the deaths of Will, Kim and their toddler son.

At the end, all is hopeless.  Paul and Sarah try to cope with what they have just done, and although the point of the isolation was to prevent any illness, Travis still comes down with it anyway and dies.  The movie ends with Paul and Sarah staring at each other across the dining room table.

Roll credits.

I understand that this is a film about hopelessness and paranoia.  It did a great job at conveying that.  I was tense.  I felt sad for the characters, especially the dog (always the dog).  I just didn’t enjoy it nearly as much as I wanted to.

Throughout the whole movie, Travis has nightmares about his dead grandfather, the door, and the forest.  The forest seems to hold a lot of dread for him, as he frequently dreams about seeing something terrifying in the trees. He even draws a picture of scary things in the forest.  Stanley chases after something in the woods, and his barking is abruptly cut off when he’s out of sight.  It just seemed like it was leading up to some big reveal about what was in the woods.

Nothing.

And then the unlocked door.  Who unlocked it?  What happened there?

Nothing.

All in all, it wasn’t a bad movie, and if I had gone into it knowing the plot, I might have been fine.  But IMDb says in its description of the movie that “an unnatural threat terrorizes the world.”  To me that doesn’t say sickness, so that threw me off, too.

Should you see it?  If you go into it knowing that what comes at night is actually paranoia and there are no creepy creatures in the forest, you’ll probably enjoy it.

But maybe go to a matinee.  Save your big bucks for something else.

How to Enjoy a Horror Movie

If you don’t like horror movies, I don’t understand you.  I just don’t.  Are you scared?  Squeamish?  Do you just think they’re stupid?  What’s your problem?

I have always – ALWAYS – loved horror movies, so not enjoying/watching them has never occurred to me.  They’ve just been a part of my life for as long as I can remember.

Maybe you have a significant other that really loves them, or maybe you’ve been called a wuss for whatever reason.  The point is, now you want to try them out.

Well, let me help you.

I recently watched The Bye Bye Man, a movie that just came out earlier this year and was universally not-so-loved by people who watched it.  Just check out the reviews.  Rotten Tomatoes currently scores it as 24% rotten.  It’s got a 37% on Metacritic, 0.5 stars out of 4 from Roger Ebert, and a 4.2 on Imdb.

So yeah.  Not a great movie.

But guess what?  I enjoyed it.  I’m not saying it’s a good movie by any means.  I just know how to enjoy a horror movie, so that’s what I did.

So how do you do it even if it’s terrible?

  1. Know thyself and pick accordingly.

Not every movie is meant for every person, and that can definitely be said for the many variations in the horror genre.  If you can’t stand gore, it’s probably not a good idea to jump right in to Saw.  If ghosts are too much for you, stay away from The Conjuring.  Oh, you run screaming and hyperventilate at the thought of possession?  How about you avoid The Exorcist?

Maybe you want a little comedy in your horror.  Maybe  you want something critically acclaimed (few and far between for horror movies).  The point is this: pick something that you might like, not something you know you’re going to hate.

I don’t watch sappy romance movies for exactly that reason.

2.   Know the rules.

If you’ve seen Scream or just have a working knowledge of pop culture, you know that horror movies have rules.  Don’t have sex. Don’t drink and/or do drugs. Don’t say “I’ll be right back.”  And so on, and so on, and so on.  These rules don’t apply to real life, but there is a formula to a lot of scary movies, especially slashers.

And if you know the rules, you can probably catch when something’s about to happen.  That’s part of the fun.  It doesn’t work for every horror movie, of course, but you can have a pretty good time catching these little clues as they come.

3.   Turn off your brain.

Yes.   I know they should be going down the stairs and out the door instead of straight to the killer’s loving arms, but this is a horror movie.  People make dumb decisions in a horror movie.  It’s okay. You don’t have to make these same mistakes when you have a homicidal masked crazy person slowly following you.  These are not instructional videos, and on that note…

4.  Don’t be “that guy.”

Everybody loves to hear a know-it-all, right?  WRONG.  Trust me.  Absolutely no one cares that you could have totally gotten out of whatever horror movie situation you’re currently watching.  It doesn’t make you cool; it makes you annoying.

Also, if you just plain don’t like the movie, don’t be an ass about it.  Not scary to you?  Don’t bitch about it.  Everyone is scared of different things.  I, for instance, have never been actually scared by a movie, but I still love them.

5.  Don’t give up.

There are as many different types of horror movies as there are stars in the sky.  Well, not really, but you get the point.  If you pick a movie you’re not really pleased with, try something new.  If you decide ghosts aren’t for you, try a slasher.  Slashers out?  Try a zombie movie.  There’s also psychological horror, possession, splatter, survival, found footage, paranormal, and various types of monster movies to try out.  There’s bound to be one you’ll like somewhere in the mix.

Scary Easter?

So I’m all about horror and making things fun and scary, but I’m really struggling with a creepy way to celebrate Easter, the most pastel of all holidays.  There just aren’t a lot of options here.  I mean, the holiday mascot is a fluffy bunny.

But I’m going to try my hardest.

First of all, the Easter horror movie selection is (not surprisingly) lacking.  There are only a handful, so I would recommend watching Easter Sunday (2014) and Peter Rottentail (2004).  I haven’t seen either, but Easter Sunday has some pretty good reviews, and Peter Rottentail just looks weird and funny in a very B-movie way.  Just Google it to look at the villain.  Michael Myers he (she?) is not, but it’s still promising.

Also a good idea would be to check out Critters 2.  It takes place near/on Easter, and there’s an excellent scene of the Easter Bunny getting attacked and killed.  Not the real one, just a guy in a suit.  Check it out:

Pretty cool, right?

Second, maybe find a way to maximize the creep factor of the day by being creative.  Start by making some spiderweb dyed eggs.  Just check out the many tutorials online.  You could even draw some skulls on non-dyed eggs with a sharpie.  That’s pretty simple.  And if you have kids that are on board the horror train (Side note: I feel like if that’s not a thing, it should totally be), give them some scary movies and gross toys in their Easter basket, which could totally be jet black, by the way.

Pastel is not a requirement.

So there you have it.  I tried and – just maybe? – succeeded.  I hope you all have a very creepy Easter.  Let me know if you have any other scary ways to celebrate.

Stephen King’s IT Remake Trailer Is Here!

Oh.  Em.  Gee.

The first trailer for the remake of Stephen King’s It is finally out, and I’ve already watched it about 20 times.  Exaggeration?  You’d think so, but no. I’m freaking obsessed with this thing, and I’ve only seen 2+ minutes of footage.  If you haven’t seen it yet (oh, you weren’t constantly refreshing your browser this morning? Weird…), check out the link below:

DID YOU LOVE IT??!?!!  (Whoa. Settle.  Stop screaming.)  Did you love it?  Because I did.

I’ve been a little worried about this one because the original made-for-tv version of Stephen King’s It holds a very special place in my heart.  As you can see, I’ve mentioned it several times on different posts like here and here.  I even gave it lucky #13 on the list of my favorite scary movies.  But after seeing the trailer, I am SO EXCITED!

Seriously.  I’ve got to stop screaming.

So to begin the trailer, we’ve got the iconic scene of Georgie’s death.  Not the whole thing.  Just a taste (forgive the wording).  And as is tradition, Pennywise, played by Bill Skarsgard, pops up in the drain.  Skarsgard looks pretty cool and creepy but doesn’t get to talk yet.  I’m really interested in hearing his voice because I just don’t know what direction they’ve taken with it.  Is it gruff like Tim Curry’s Pennywise, or is it creepy clown high pitched?  We just don’t know.

Then we have a glimpse into the lives of the members of the Loser’s Club.  I’m so happy to see them all in action.  That scene where they’re looking at a family photo slideshow was freaking awesome.  So creepy.  Those things aren’t usually very entertaining, so Pennywise just brought a little excitement.

I also was pleased to see the scene with Beth in the bathroom because it looks like they definitely upped the gore factor in this one.   Very pleased with that.

Oh, I could go on and on and on, but I’ll stop here.  We’ve got a little over 5 months until this movie comes out on September 8, so I’m sure we’ll have much more to look at before then.  Until then, keep an eye on the blog for updates, and let me know what you’re most excited about in the comments.

Also, make sure to subscribe to the blog and follow me on Facebook so you can be sure not to miss anything important.

#stephenkingsit #itmovie

 

 

The Belko Experiment: A Gore Fan’s Review

Last night, I watched The Belko Experiment, a film written by James Gunn, the same guy who gave us Guardians of the Galaxy, Slither, and the screenplay for the 2004 Dawn of the Dead.  Mr. Gunn is quite talented, and he’s already proven that he can write horror, so I was excited to check out this movie.  The trailer promised a violent, gory ride into the world of office politics.  It did not disappoint on that front.

Is it of the same caliber as Guardians?  Absolutely not, but it was pretty entertaining, although frustrating at times.  As with many horror movies, it’s very easy to settle into the “I can’t believe they’re doing that.  If I was them, I would…” way of thinking.  It’s best to just sit back, turn off your brain, and enjoy the ride.  Unfortunately, my brain’s ‘OFF’ button wasn’t working.

WARNING: HERE BE SPOILERS

Belko has been described as a mix of Battle Royale and Office Space, and I think that’s a fair assessment.  Belko is funny at times and shows the monotonous side of the workplace environment before settling into murderous mayhem.

If I find out who took my stapler, I’ll kill em.

What starts off as an almost normal morning for the employees of Belko Industries quickly devolves into the most terrifying office meeting anyone’s ever been a part of.  Ever have a group project at work go south?  Kinda like that but with more blood and exploding heads.

A voice from the building’s intercom interrupts the peaceful day by telling everyone that two people have to be killed within the next 30 minutes.  Of course, everyone thinks it’s a prank, but then the building’s defenses kick in.  Metal plates slide over the windows and doors, and before you can say “dead end job,” they’re trapped.  Everyone groups together in the downstairs lobby, and after 30 minutes pass, a few employees get some strong headaches.  Like so strong their heads explode.

BC Powder ain’t gonna fix that.

Not surprisingly, everyone panics, and one of the characters figures out that the tracking chips implanted in the employees when they each took their jobs are to blame for the violent migraines.  Tracking chips, you ask?  Well, Belko is located in Bogota, Colombia, and the employees were told the chips were implanted to locate them in case of a kidnapping.  Just a normal day in Colombia, I guess.

Now that everyone knows Mr. Intercom was serious, he gives them another task.  This time 30 people have to die within the next 2 hours or 60 will be killed.  This is where things turn into a free-for-all between those who still believe in the sanctity of human life and those who just say “Screw it. Let’s get to killin.'”

I don’t want to give everything away here, but let’s just say lots of people die.  Very violently.  I was extremely impressed by the special effects in this film.  They gave us not one but two head smashing scenes and so many head explosions that I lost count.  I’m a gore fan, so I was not disappointed there.

The one thing that did bother me is the main character.  Now, I don’t really know how I would react in that situation – and it goes without saying that I hope I never do – but the main character just really got on my nerves at times.  Good ol’ Mike Milch, played by John Gallagher Jr., is appalled at the idea of killing his friends and co-workers like any normal person would be, but he takes it to a level that I just found annoying.  This is where I wished my brain could have turned off, but it just wasn’t happening.  I found myself not really rooting for anyone to live or die and just sat back to enjoy the violence of it all.

Okay, I take that back.  I did root for John C. McGinley’s character to die.  He did a really good job playing a creep in this movie, so yeah – he needed to go.  There was also another annoying character or two that I wasn’t sad to see kick it.  I guess I just didn’t really root for anyone in particular to live.

So should you go see The Belko Experiment?  It definitely placed third out of the three movies I’ve seen in the past few weeks, which includes Logan (So awesome!) and the highly-praised Get Out, but I think it was absolutely worth the price of the ticket.  Like I said earlier, I enjoy gore and violence in movies, so if that’s not your thing, this movie isn’t for you.  But if you’ve dreamed of killing any of your co-workers, this movie might be a cathartic experience.  Enjoy it, and let me know your thoughts in the comments.

And just as a side note: If you haven’t seen Get Out yet, what the hell is wrong with you?! Go! Go now!

Ouija: Origin of Evil (2016)

Last week, my husband stumbled upon a movie cash code that I thought was lost forever, and when I redeemed it online, I learned that it expired at the end of the month.  That didn’t give me much time, and since it’s so close to Halloween, I couldn’t NOT go to a horror movie.  That would have been stupid.

My choices were limited as Boo! A Madea Halloween and Ouija: Origin of Evil are the only horror movies in theaters right now (side note: What the hell is up with that?).  I gravitate toward scarier, of course, so Ouija it was.

I have to say that the movie very much exceeded my expectations.  I enjoyed the first one to an extent because I will pretty much like any horror movie I watch, but it wasn’t the greatest.  Just your average teen ghost/supernatural thriller.  It had a few scares, but overall it wasn’t anything to freak out about.  This one was a different story.  It had a creepy plot and didn’t rely solely on jump scares to frighten the audience.

Warning: Here Be Spoilers

I’m not going to go into too much detail here.  The actresses and actors involved did a wonderful job, but the standout performance of the movie was Lulu Wilson, who starred as Doris.  If you remember the first movie, that is the ghost’s name from the original. Doris, like many creepy kids in horror movies, started off cute and just went downhill really quickly after messing with a – dun dun DUN! – Ouija board.  If you weren’t already aware, that was a mistake.

I guess I just didn’t file the original in my brain for very long because I didn’t get until almost the end that these characters were actually connected to the original movie.  I felt pretty stupid, but it also made me enjoy the movie a lot more since I had one of those “Oooohhhh” moments as the movie was reaching its height,

I am completely fine with horror movies that don’t have a very happy ending, so the ending of this movie was – I felt – very appropriate and enjoyable.  My mom disagrees, but I think it takes something away from the creepiness of a film to have everything work out just right.  Since I finally realized near the end that these were the same characters, I figured out where it was heading, and I thought they did a great job of playing it out.

I also want to point out the nod to The Exorcist when the priest, played by Henry Thomas, stops outside the Zander home with his bag of religious goodies.  I love shit like that.

My recommendation is that you go watch this one in theaters to celebrate the holiday.  I’m a fan, and it even made me want to watch the first movie again.