Category Archives: Movies

Coming Soon 2017

For all the horror movie fans out there like myself, 2017 is going to be a fun year.  We’ve got a lot of new ideas to enjoy and some old favorites to revisit.  Here’s the list:

Movie TitleIMDb LinkRelease Date
Underworld: Blood WarsIMDbJanuary 6
The Bye Bye ManIMDbJanuary 13
SplitIMDbJanuary 20
Resident Evil: The Final ChapterIMDbJanuary 27
RingsIMDbFebruary 3
Patient ZeroIMDbFebruary 17
Get OutIMDbFebruary 24
RawIMDbMarch 10
The Belko ExperimentIMDbMarch 17
LifeIMDbMarch 24
PrevengeIMDbMarch 24
The VoidIMDbApril 7
Phoenix ForgottenIMDbApril 21
Alien: CovenantIMDbMay 19
It Comes at NightIMDbJune 9
The MummyIMDbJune 9
47 Meters DownIMDbJune 23
Amityville: The AwakeningIMDbJune 30
Wish UponIMDbJune 30
The Dark TowerIMDbJuly 28
Annabelle 2IMDbAugust 11
PolaroidIMDbAugust 25
ItIMDbSeptember 8
Friend RequestIMDbSeptember 22
Flatliners IMDbSeptember 29
Insidious: Chapter 4IMDbOctober 20
God ParticleIMDbOctober 27
Saw: LegacyIMDbOctober 27
He's Out ThereIMDbDecember 1
Keep WatchingIMDbTBD 2017

Sequels, remakes, and reboots are everywhere you look, but I’m not complaining.  Jason Voorhees gets to drop in for a visit in October along with Jigsaw, and the new It movie really has my interest.  What movies are you looking forward to most in 2017?

UPDATE MARCH 18, 2017:  The list has been updated after consulting IMDb to see what I’ve missed.  You might notice that the newest Friday the 13th movie has been removed.  I’m sorry to say that it’s been cancelled due to the poor performance of Rings.  I know, I know.  I’m sad, too, but we still have many  horror movies to keep us busy this year.

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.

Blair Witch Project: The Sequel Is Here

The sequel to Blair Witch Project – which is creatively named Blair Witch – premieres tonight in theaters.  The original revived the found footage genre when it came out in 1999, and whether you love it or you hate it, you can’t deny that the movie deserves a prominent place in the Horror Movie Hall of Fame.

If that’s not an actual something, it should be.

You might be thinking, “What about Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2?”  Well, two things:

  1. Stop thinking about it.  It’s not a good movie.  It just isn’t.
  2. The creators want us to ignore it, so that’s what you should do.

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Blair Witch follows a group of college students into the Burkittsville woods where they are predictably – as the title suggests – terrorized by a malevolent presence.   According to IMDB, the main cast for the movie is double the original at a total of 6.  Hopefully, they’re all a lot more likable than the 3 from the first movie, but it doesn’t really matter.  I doubt any of them make it out alive anyway.

I’m really interested to see how this one measures up, but I’m on the fence about whether to see it in theaters or not.  Unfortunately, I am part of the group that doesn’t do very well with shaky cam movies.  I get motion sickness quite easily, I get really nervous about throwing up, and I’m cheap so I don’t want to pay for a ticket for a movie I can’t watch. I made it through the Paranormal Activity movies because the cameras were still most of the time.  PA: The Marked Ones almost did me in, but I stayed strong.  I’m a fighter.

I actually really like the original.  Many say they hate it because it’s basically just three annoying college kids arguing in the woods most of the time, but if you’re familiar with the forest – whether because you’re a frequent camper or because you grew up around it – I think it’s easier to identify with the terror and dejection of being lost and frightened.    Yeah, you just want to punch them most of the time, but when you hear the children laughing in the woods around them, see the creepy stick figures, or see the bloody bundle of Josh’s hair and teeth, you kinda feel for them.  I mean, that’s pretty terrifying.

And the ending is one of my favorites of any horror movie.  It packs a punch.  Seriously, I would recommend anyone watch just for that part.

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Anyway, if I go see the sequel, I’ll be sure to give a quick review of my experience.  I’ll also make sure to get a Sprite to help my stomach power through.  Maybe I’ll give it a pep talk beforehand.

Do you plan on seeing it in theaters?

Home Invasion Horror Movies

Don’t Breathe hit theaters over the weekend, and it seems to have struck a chord with moviegoers.  It has impressed critics and topped the box office, so it got me thinking; what else can I and other horror movie fans do to satisfy our home invasion horror movie craving?

Never fear, because there are quite a few horror movies out there involving home invasions.  Here are my faves:

The Collector (2009)

This movie is pretty gruesome.  A man doing helping with maintenance at a family’s home is revealed in the beginning to actually be (SPOILER ALERT) casing the residence to break in while the family is away on vacation.   He follows through with his plan, but after he’s inside, he finds himself in a house rigged with Saw-like booby traps and the family being tortured.  It’s pretty crazy, but if you can’t take so-called  “torture porn,” you might want to watch this one with your finger on the fast forward button.

The Strangers (2008)

This movie gets a lot of flack for the poor decisions made by the lead characters played by Liv Tyler and Scott Speedman, but I still love this movie.  An on-the-rocks couple is spending some time at an isolated house, and terror comes knocking on their door in the form of a skinny, young lady looking for “Tamara.”  She ain’t, and soon the lady and a few other masked creeps begin to freak the hell out of the couple and (SPOILER ALERT) ultimately kill them in a “gut-wrenching” way.

That was a pun I just made.

Silent House (2011)

Elizabeth Olson is helping her father and uncle renovate a cabin to get ready for its sale and soon becomes isolated from them.  She gets trapped inside with intruders and has to try out a few hiding places in the house.  I don’t want to give anything else away, so just watch it.  This one is creepy and filled with some great twists and turns.

The Purge (2013)

The Purge movies have become pretty popular, and although I like Anarchy and Election Year better than the first, it’s still a pretty great example of home invasion horror.  Even a super-rich family with all sorts of security measures protecting their home isn’t safe from annual purgers after their son lets in a man trying to escape being murdered.

High Tension (2003)

This is one of my favorite French horror movies, and I love the craziness of it all.  A woman travels to her family’s country home to visit and brings along her friend.  They’re brutally attacked, and the thrill ride that follows is so stressful and insane.  I love it.

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That’s only a small portion of home invasion horror movies out there.  If you run through those, you can try The Last House on the Left, The People Under the Stairs, or the French movies Martyrs or Inside.  I haven’t seen Inside yet, but I plan on remedying that within the next week or so.

And I only recommend Martyrs if you’re ready to be messed up for a little while.  That movie, man.  It’s rough.

A Nightmare on Elm Street: TFO’s 5 Scariest Scenes

A Nightmare on Elm Street is one of my all-time favorite horror movies.  The original movie had Freddy Krueger in all his terrifying glory, before he became a murderous comedian in later sequels.  I love psychotic, funny Freddy just as much as the next person, but scary Freddy is my favorite.  Well, as much as a burned-to-death child molester can be.

These are my top 5 scariest scenes of A Nightmare on Elm Street:

5.  The Takedown

Nancy was the original Kevin McAllister, Home-Alone-ing the bad guy way before little Kevin even knew the word ‘booby-trap.’  She comes up with a plan to intentionally fall asleep and set an alarm to wake herself up so that she can grab Freddy to bring him to her world.  At first, it seems like her plan didn’t work, but Freddy pops up behind her in jump-scare fashion and then chases her through her booby-trapped home.

4.  Nancy’s School Dream

Nancy falls asleep in school while a classmate recites a scene from Hamlet.  This nightmare starts off slowly but so creepily as the classmate quotes in a whisper, “O God, I could be bounded in a nutshell and count myself a king of infinite space, were it not that I have bad dreams.”  Nancy walks outside and sees Tina’s bloody corpse wrapped in a sheet and being dragged down the hallway.

3.  Bathtub Hand

Yeesh!  Nancy falls asleep in her bathtub while reciting the famous Nightmare rhyme, and of course, Freddy makes an appearance.  Knees spread to either side of the tub, Nancy passes out, and Freddy’s knife hand slowly emerges.  The sight of those sharp fingers close to such a tender area always made me cringe.  And it still does.

2.  Glen’s Death

Poor, poor Glen.  Cute, baby-faced Johnny Depp.  He just didn’t take this whole thing seriously enough.  I don’t know what exactly happened to him when he was pulled into and under his bed, but it certainly wasn’t pretty and it left his parents with a hell of a mess to clean up in his room.  Even when I just have this movie playing in the background while I’m doing something else, I always take a second to watch this scene.  His mother just walks in to a fountain of blood exploding from her son’s bed.  So much blood, so much gore.  Always a fan.

1.  Tina’s Death (and Long-Armed Freddy)

Poor Tina. You just had to do it with your boyfriend, didn’t you?  Don’t you know that’s forbidden in a horror movie?

After she and Rod have some (unnecessarily loud) sex in her mother’s bedroom, Tina falls asleep and has one of the creepiest nightmares of the whole series in my humble opinion.  I don’t know what it is about Freddy with his long-ass arms scraping down the alleyway, but it’s the scene that has stuck with me ever since I was a little kid.  Creepy. As. Hell.

Tina’s death is also arguably one of the most iconic scenes of the series when she’s dragged screaming and bloody from her post-coital bed, up the wall, and across the ceiling.

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Bonus Scary Scene:  The End. What was up with that damn mommy mannequin?

What about you?  What do you think was the scariest scene?

International Clown Week: Laughs & Scares

We’re at the tail-end of International Clown Week, and there’s no way I can just ignore a whole week that celebrates those creepy bastards.  After all, one of my favorite horror characters is a clown.

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Not him, but he’ll do.

So I present to you (drumroll):

7 Fun and Creepy Clown Facts

1.  The fear of clowns is called coulrophobia.  Scientists say this widespread fear is due to the “uncanny valley” effect in which something looks almost human but not quite, creating an unsettling feeling.

2.  Serial killer John Wayne Gacy used to perform as a clown for children’s parties, fundraising events, and parades.  His performing name was Pogo the Clown.

3. Johnny Depp is terrified of clowns.  He’s stated they “have a potential for real evil.”

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Him? Nah…

 

4. American Horror Story’s Twisty the Clown caused an uproar in the clowning community because the character was so scary.  Many professional clowns are against the scary clown trope because it promotes coulrophobia.  Their anger is understandable because that has got to be bad for business.

5. Masks from Killer Klowns from Outer Space were used to make some of the trolls in the movie Ernest Scared Stupid.

6.  Actors from the TV miniseries of Stephen King’s IT stated that they avoided Tim Curry on set because his portrayal of Pennywise the Dancing Clown was too damn frightening.

7.  Two separate budding filmmakers frightened residents of their respective towns by dressing up as clowns and appearing creepily in places.  The incidents occurred in 2013 in Northampton and in 2014 in Staten Island, and both kept their identities a secret for a while, increasing the mystery and fear.

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If you feel like celebrating clowns and all the fear they incite, you still have time.  Why not watch some scary clown-related movies like Stephen King’s It, Carnival of Souls, or Poltergeist (murderous clown doll, anyone?)?

Or maybe just dress up as a clown and pop up in random places around your home town.  You know.  Just to get the word out.

Lights Out: Movie Review

If you’re a reader of my blog, you know that I was super excited for the movie Lights Out.

I was not disappointed.

The movie is directed by David F. Sandberg, the director of the short film of the same name, and although he hasn’t directed a feature-length film before this, he did a fantastic job setting a creepy tone and not relying too much on jump scares to captivate the audience.  And others in the industry must have thought so, too, because he’s been hired to direct the sequel to Annabelle.

The movie opens with a very scary scene with Billy Burke and the star of the short film, Lotta Losten.  (Side note: Since she doesn’t have any speaking lines in the short film, I never realized Losten wasn’t American.  I was pleasantly surprised by her accent.)  I’m not going to give anything big away.  I just want to say that the film’s monster/ghost/supernatural being is very well done, and the opening put everyone on edge.

I believe I heard more than a few screams and jumps within the first 10 minutes.

After the opening, Teresa Palmer stars as Rebecca, the daughter of Sophie, a bipolar woman played by Maria Bello.  Sophie’s mental issues interfere with the raising of Rebecca’s little brother, and Rebecca must get involved to help her brother get out of the sad situation.  Of course, this is a horror movie, so we know this situation involves an evil entity.  And if you’ve seen the trailers, you know the entity causes some problems in their family life.

I don’t want to spoil the movie, so I don’t want to go further into detail.  I will say that the effects, music, and acting make this one a must-watch.

The Babadook: 5 Scariest Moments

My husband and I just finished binge-watching season 6 of Game of Thrones.  Don’t worry.  No spoilers here if you haven’t seen it, but let me just say –

IT. WAS. AWESOME.

So where does the post title come in?  Well, this season had a new recurring character played by Australian actress, Essie Davis.

Ms. Davis stars in The Babadook as Amelia, an exhausted mother to a – let’s just say – very special child named Samuel.  After seeing her in Game of Thrones, I just really wanted to watch the movie again.  So that’s exactly what I did yesterday morning.

Davis is amazing in this movie, and although little Samuel really annoys the living crap out of me in the first half, I’ve got to say that Noah Wiseman does really well in his role, too.  Mr. Babadook himself is a remarkably scary figure, bringing to life childhood fears of the boogeyman and making this one of the scariest movies in recent memory.

So let’s count down the 5 scariest moments of The Babadook:

5)  The First Reading

Samuel chooses this book for his mother to read to him one night, and we’re first introduced to the incredibly creepy titular Babadook.  Although this scene doesn’t happen very far into the movie, you’re already well aware that the little guy has some problems, so when Amelia starts to read the story, the tension is heightened because you know this isn’t going to end well.  And it sure doesn’t, leaving Samuel a crying mess and Amelia yet again beaten down by life.

4)  The Second Reading

The book shows up at their house after Amelia has shredded it and put it in the trash bin.  When Amelia reads through it again, there are new pages added to show the probably fate of Amelia, Samuel, and Bugsy, their adorable little dog.  And then the phone rings.  When Amelia answers, all she hears is the word “Babadook” spoken in a creaky, creepy voice.

3)  The Chase

Amelia has been possessed by the Babadook after letting him in and chases Samuel about the house after killing Bugsy.  Her eyes are crazed, and her hands are out to her sides and curved into claws, mimicking the Babadook’s stance.  When she yells at Sam, her voice morphs from her soft-spoken tone to a deep, menacing one.

2)  The Bedroom Battle

Just when you think everything’s okay, little Samuel reminds us that you can’t get rid of the Babadook right before he’s pulled upstairs by an invisible force.  Amelia runs after him and faces her fears by screaming at the Babadook, materializing in the dark side of her bedroom, to leave them alone.

1)  The Fireplace

My favorite scene of this movie is when Amelia is running from the Babadook and ends up in a heap by the fireplace.  The Babadook’s hat falls from the chimney, and Amelia lurches away from the fireplace.  Her terrifying, slow crawl creates such tension in the scene.  Gets me every time.

 

Independence Day Trilogy: A Patriotic Tribute to Horror

Happy 4th of July! We Americans are celebrating our independence hard today with hamburgers, ice cream, and fireworks, and if you’re like me, you’ll want to add a little fright to the mix.

Unfortunately, there aren’t too many Independence Day-themed horror movies out there, but there are at least enough to add a little horror to your holiday.  So if you were wondering what kinds of horror movies to watch on the 4th of July, wonder no more.

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I recommend starting with the horror-comedy Uncle Sam (1996), because I think it’s always best to start off light and end fierce with make-your-own trilogies.  There’s a science to it, people.

This movie is about a Desert Storm veteran who returns from the grave on Independence Day to punish the unpatriotic citizens of his hometown.  And he does it with a super-cool Uncle Sam mask.  Full of blood and gore and absurdity, this is a great flick to start off on.

Next up in the unofficial 4th of July Horror Movie Trilogy is I Know What You Did Last Summer (1998).  Jennifer Love Hewitt shows off her “talents” in this movie about a group of friends who runs over a stranger after an Independence Day celebration and covers it up by dumping the body. Of course, said stranger comes back to terrorize them resulting in madness and mayhem for them and fun for you.

Finally, let’s wrap this thing up with the always classic Jaws (1975).  You can’t very well have a 4th of July Horror Movie Trilogy without it.  I’m not even going to go into details with this one.  It’s Jaws, for god’s sake.

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Well, there you have it.  The Official Unofficial 4th of July Horror Movie Trilogy.  I’m feeling pretty good about this one.

And for a little extra credit: if you’re just way too pumped after your hella patriotic firework display, you can throw a little of The Purge (2013) or The Purge: Anarchy (2014) into the mix. Sure, they don’t have anything to do with the 4th, but you have to admit that the new founding fathers from these movies have created a super-patriotic holiday, sans fireworks.

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I hope everyone has a fun and safe holiday!  Let me know what you think of the trilogy in the comments.

Father Knows Best: What Horror Movie Dads Have Taught Us

Happy Father’s Day!

My post for Mother’s Day was about the many valuable lessons horror movie mothers have passed on to us throughout the years.  They’ve taught us quite a bit, but what about good ole dad? Horror movie fathers have loads of wisdom to pass down, too, so let’s look at just a little bit of what they’ve taught us.

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Lesson: Keep a classic suit in your wardrobe. It’ll come in handy more often than you think.

Father: Man (The People Under the Stairs)

Poor Mommy and Daddy just had so much to deal with: an insubordinate “daughter,” a basement full of mutilated “sons,” and then Fool came along to bring their world crashing down around them.  They dealt with it as well as they could have, and Daddy taught us a great lesson by showing us how handy a classic suit can be in a pinch.  His “organized” search for Fool and Alice in the walls of his house included an easily-cleaned, aerodynamic gimp suit that allowed him to freely move about the house without fear of getting messy or scratched or…whatever.

Lesson: Don’t let age slow you down.  You’re only as old as you feel.

Father: Grandfather (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre)

Wow.  We can learn so much from this old man.  He sets such a good example for his children.  Just because you’re old, dusty, wheelchair-bound, and look a little like a mummy, this doesn’t mean you’ve got to slow down.  Oh no.  Sally was on the menu, and Grandpa was going to serve her up.  Sure, his aim was off and he lacked any amount of strength, but that didn’t stop him.  Sally got away in the end, but I bet if Grandpa had given her head a few more whacks, things might have gone differently.

Lesson: Don’t give up on your dreams. (Bonus lesson: Always wear a jacket.)

Father: Jack Torrance (The Shining)

Jack Torrance was an aspiring author, and he was willing to go the distance to achieve his dreams.  Going the distance in this case was becoming the winter caretaker in an empty hotel and dragging his wife and son with him to enjoy the solitude and snow.  That’s pretty dedicated.  And yeah, it all went to hell pretty quickly, but if he hadn’t been targeted by some malevolent ghosts, by God he would’ve written that novel.

Also, after his – let’s just say – breakdown, he taught us the importance of wearing the appropriate attire to chase your son through a maze in the freezing cold.

Lesson: Look both ways before you cross the road.

Father: Louis Creed (Pet Sematary)

Lessons are often learned after a mistake, and boy, did Louis Creed make a big one by not passing on some crucial, basic rules to his son, Gage.  I guess you could really argue that Gage was actually the one to teach us the lesson, but Louis’s actions afterward kinda help to drive that one home.  So remember kids: look both ways before you cross the road, or you’ll get killed and your dad will have to bury you in cursed ground to bring you back and then you’ll go on a killing spree and kill everyone you know and love.

Lesson: If it seems too good to be true, it is.

Father: George Lutz (The Amityville Horror)

Step-dads are fathers, too, and George Lutz was a great one.  He tried his best to provide for his new family, including buying a lovely home in Long Island for all of them to enjoy.  He got it for a steal, too, and although they were told about the house’s history, it seemed like  it was a deal they couldn’t pass up.  Well, they really should have.  George sorta got possessed by the evil spirits haunting the house, and after finally breaking free of their hold on him, he was able to get him and his new family out of the house and away from it forever.

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There you have it – five excellent lessons we can all benefit from.  To all those horror movie fathers out there, based on real life and fictional, thank you for all you’ve taught us.