Category Archives: Movies

Pulsing Hearts & Bloody Arrows: Scary Valentine’s Day

Even if you don’t celebrate it, I’m sure you have an opinion about Valentine’s Day.  Love it or hate it (or just plain don’t care), if you have to do any kind of shopping, you just can’t avoid all those pink and red hearts, cupid cutouts, and chocolate, chocolate everywhere.

I fall in the category of “Hey, at least it breaks up the first quarter of the year with an event.”  I use to be one of those people that just thought it was made up and stupid, but I grew out of that because hating stuff for no good reason is just dumb.

Anyway, it’s a cutesy holiday, and while I have no problem being nice to my husband, cute just ain’t for me.  Romance movies? Blah.  No, thank you.

So what kind of creepy fun can you have for Valentine’s Day?  Well, of course, there are movies, and we can’t really talk about Valentine’s Day without mentioning THE scary movie of the holiday: My Bloody Valentine.

I own both the 1981 original and the 2009 remake starring none other than the elder Winchester, Jensen Ackles.

They’re both okay.

The original was creepy when I was a kid, and I really enjoyed the (SPOILER) twist at the end.   The remake was also fun, but it was also a little cheesy – probably because it’s made for 3D, and I didn’t watch it that way.  Lots of crazy stuff flying at the screens, which is cool, but it loses a little something in 2D.

If you haven’t seen either of them and want to hear the legend of Harry Warden, you should totally watch them now.  They aren’t the best horror movies, but they’re also not the worse.

And I will say, they’re much better than another Valentine’s Day horror movie I feel like I should mention: Valentine starring Denise Richards, David Boreanaz, and Katherine Heigl.  Very meh.

Aside from movies, you have a few other options.  Valentine’s Day cards can be made creepy with a few tweaks.  I made one a few years ago for my husband (I’ll post a pic if I can find it) that had Frankenstein’s monster and the Bride on the front with the words “Made for Each Other.”  Just because it’s not Halloween doesn’t mean you have to phone it in.

You can give your Valentine some cool flowers, like this black rose:

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Also, a bloody steak seems appropriate for the day.  And chocolate. Don’t forget about the chocolate.  That’s non-negotiable (unless you’re allergic and then you get a pass).

I hope everyone has a very Happy Valentine’s Day!

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.