Devil (2010)

M. Night Shyamalan’s “Devil” is about a detective whose wife and son were killed in a hit and run who. He is sent to investigate the suicide of a person who jumped from a skyscraper. In the same building, a group of people is trapped in an elevator. One by one people start dying. Who’s doing it? Everyone is a possible suspect with a shady past. Very cool movie. with a creepy ending.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

DarkWolf (2003)

I always seem to miss straight to DVD movies. Dark Wolf stars Kane Hodder as a biker guy who transforms into a werewolf on the prowl for his mate and will wreck anything in his way. Cameo by Tippi Hedren (The Birds, Marnie) who knows all about werewolves, but that doesn’t seem to aid in her survival for long. A detective takes the hot babe/female werewolf into hiding to protect her, but her scent lingers on anyone she’s touched and she and her friends are in BIG trouble. There is a really odd, lengthy and unnecessary nude photography session with 2 chicks in body paint. Kane shows up nude at the door looking for his woman (afterall, werewolves shred their clothes when they transform). I found the CGI transformations to be cheesy, but then after spectacular effects like in American Werewolf in London, I suppose I’m spoiled.

Rating: 1.5 out of 5.

Children of the Corn (2009)

Children of the Corn is a remake that is supposedly faithful to the book. Having never read the book, I was happy with the 1984 version. Instead of that guy from Wings and whatsherface from Terminator we have a black girl and a redneck just back from Nam driving across the country. She’s kind of a bitch and nags too much. They end up in the town where there are no adults because the creepy kids have murdered them all. They obey their leader, a Bible spouting kid named Isaac. We still get our ginger minion Malachai who is still pretty dark and evil but no Courtney Gains. There is no happy ending in this version. Only thing I liked about this version was that Isaac was actually played by a kid, which made him that much creepier. Other than that, pass.

Rating: 1 out of 5.

Buried (2010)

Buried is filmed so simplistically and is so compelling. Ryan Reynolds is a truck driver working Iraq. He wakes up in a coffin with only a lighter and a cell phone. On the other end of the phone is a terrorist demanding money for his release. The movie is a breathless race against time to find a way out. I don’t think I could watch it again as it is so claustrophobic and his struggle is agonizing. Great movie though.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Bloodsucking Freaks (1976)

I don’t even know what to think of this movie. Definitely twisted. A freaky bald guy with a creepy beard and a sadistic black little person sidekick puts on “artsy performances” of torture porn. Little does the audience know, he really kills the girls on stage and has an entourage of naked slave girls he has tortured into submission. The ones that can’t be broken are locked in a cell in the basement and fed scraps of what’s left from the stage show. When a popular critic gives a negative review, he kidnaps him and a prima ballerina for his new show. The ballerina’s boyfriend hires a P.I. to find her. When they go to save her, they discover this sick subculture and she is too brainwashed to get out while she can. The movie ends with the crazy slaves girls being released from the basement and mutilating all the men. Final scene before the credits shows them dancing around eating various body parts- I’ll spare you the graphic details but considering the women have reigned over the men I’m sure you can imagine….. Blech. This movie is vile and really turned my stomach.

Rating: 1 out of 5.

Blood Song (1982)

Blood Song came out in 1982 and is included on a double feature DVD with 1983’s Mausoleum, complete with “grindhouse experience” trailers. Since the only good thing about Mausoleum was the cover art, I am only going to review Blood Song. Donna Wilkes is a familiar face from Jaws 2 and Angel. Here she plays a young handicapped girl that receives a blood transfusion from Frankie Avalon, who just escaped from a mental institution. After serenading his victims with the world’s most obnoxious instrument, the recorder, he hacks them up with a hatchet. Some nice over the top psychotic behavior from Avalon- definitely a far cry from Beach Blanket Bingo!

Rating: 1 out of 5.

Black Christmas (1974)

Black Christmas

Starring the amazing Olivia Hussey, Margot Kidder, and John Saxon, Black Christmas set the standard for slasher flicks. This is where many of the familiar horror cliches were born- don”t answer the phone, don’t go upstairs, don’t stay in the house, don’t have sex, don’t drink, don’t do drugs… This movie is about a maniac that targets the girls of a soriority. There are nice side stories going on and great character development. This isn’t a mindless T&A flick like most sorority horror movies. The 2 things that creeped me out the most are the brutal suffocation of young girl who sits in a rocking chair looking out a window in the attic and is never discovered and then the unsettling shrieks and profanities of the “obscene caller” that torments the residents of the sorority. This movie is a classic must see for any horror fan and the remakes are just appalling so avoid them at all costs.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

After.Life (2009)

Afterlife

After.life stars Christina Ricci as a young woman disenchanted with her relationship with her boyfriend played by Justin Long. After a misunderstanding over dinner, she drives off with a fury and gets in a car accident. She awakens on a mortician’s table. Liam Neeson plays a mortician with the ability to talk to the dead. As he prepares her for her burial, she argues that she is not dead. He assures her she is in fact dead and should perhaps not have taken her life for granted when she had it the chance. Really cool movie. Visually gorgeous and just a chilling story line.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

[REC]

REC

I just watched [REC] not realizing it was the original version of Quarantine which I saw last year in the theater. Hard to believe this zombie/sickness genre is still so popular. Since the plot is the same for both movies this is a double review. A young female reporter is shadowing some firefighters for a news documentary. She and her cameraman follow them to an apartment building in response to a call about a sick person. Sick is an understatement. When the alleged infirmed start rabidly biting people we know somethings up. The police quarantine everyone to the building to prevent the infected from escaping. Lucky for us, the cameraman films everything and we soon learn survival is looking bleak. There is a big reference to Romero’s Night of the Living Dead when an adorable little girl with “tonsillitis” suddenly turns zombie and starts attacking. Filmed in a documentary style with a shaky handheld camera, this is face paced and engaging. You feel their isolation and hope someone comes out of of this alive. the last 10-15 minutes are the most intense so wait for it. I happen to think the Spanish version is better but if you can’t deal with dubbing or subtitles just watch Quarantine. Same effect.

Rating: 2 out of 5.