Did you successfully survive the first week of October? Is it just me or does October fly by faster than every other month? I had a semi-successful week for horror movie watching, totaling 5 new films. It was tough, considering television shows have started up again and there’s just something…not very scary about living in Southern California. The feel and ambiance of Halloween just doesn’t exist out here like it does in New England. Fall will forever leave me homesick for the Northeast.
Tales From the Hood
I’m pretty sure @ZoltantheRaven put this movie on one night as a joke. It can take me a long time to select something to watch, so he’ll often just select something he thinks I’m going to hate, just to spur me into action. I couldn’t believe how drawn into this movie I was almost immediately, however. Being completely honest, I don’t know that I ever would have selected this movie on my own to watch. What would I know about the hood or gangs, really? But the movie was about more than that – it definitely focused on equality issues and right away the first story angered me so much I couldn’t stop watching.
For those not familiar, Tales From the Hood is an anthology of short stories released in 1995, produced by Spike Lee and directed by Rusty Condieff. The first story features asshole cops harassing a black lawyer who works towards eradicating corruption in the police department. It pissed me the fuck off and I almost forgot I was watching a horror movie. Avoiding spoilers, the jerks obviously get what’s coming to them. The following stories while often predictable, were pretty awesome. If there’s one thing I can’t rave enough about it’s the special effects. Being 1995, I definitely was not expecting such smooth and impressive stuff! The little dolls in one story were by far my favorite part of the entire film – they just looked incredible and were creepy as fuck!
I highly recommend this movie, even if you don’t think this would be your type of film. Overall the film comes across a little campy, with shots and scenes that reminded me more of children’s films, but creepy and clever none the less!
I came away from this film with one overbearing thought – I should have watched this sooner!! Why have I never watched Pumpkinhead before?? With creature effects by Stan Winston, what the hell was I thinking passing this over time after time? Seriously, Pumpkinhead is by far one of my favorite horror movie monsters now, being an epic cross of a xenomorph from Alien and a velociraptor from Jurassic Park. I had no idea he looked so amazing and stood so fucking tall! He was scary enough when they repeatedly showed him standing in doorways (allowing for manipulation from behind or to the side) but then the bastard started walking and that was it. I fell in love.
Another stand out point of this film is that the main focus is thankfully not on the group of idiot teenagers that act as catalysts and victims, but rather its on Ed Harley, the local father who has had previously experience with the Pumpkinhead monster. These teens come in and disrupt his life, almost in a Tucker and Dale manner. The film itself wasn’t too bad, although I would easily say it’s not exactly scary. Pumpkinhead is just simply epic and would be no matter what movie he was in.
Okay so Carrie isn’t exactly a first watch for me. I’ve seen it before, although it’s been a while but with the release of the remake coming up, I had to do a refresher. I think this film is just as fun now as it ever was – maybe even more so the further away from the 70’s we get. Oh Tommy Ross, your feathered mane is just soooo beautiful! Listen, kids are unfortunately cruel and it doesn’t matter how many anti-bullying campaigns you hold, they’re just always going to be cruel. It will never stop being fun watching a whole gym of high schoolers brutally attacked by a girl they pushed to the breaking point. There’s something empowering about her taking action against them as opposed to action against herself, which is unfortunately the path most non-shiner teens end up taking (I believe Carrie is the same type of character as Danny in the Shining and other Stephen King characters with abilities).
I look forward to the remake coming out this month. I’ve never been adverse to remakes, I just have high expectations for them and rightfully so. It was already done and done well, so if you’re going to do a remake, you have to have an ace up your sleeve. Of course, being an avid reader leaves me hating on films that differ too much from the books but not yet having read Carrie, I’m still in a good place about it. A classic, must-watch film.
Hellraiser IV: Bloodline
Holy crap, Adam Scott’s in this film? Wait, it’s his first film? That was so random and entertaining. I just wish most of this film had been as entertaining as that discovery. Considering this Hellraiser features many of the most famous Pinhead quotes, I expected a bit more. Without fail the cenobites are always the best part of a Hellraiser film and the rest is just kind of pulp that can really fall to the wayside. “I AM PAIN.” and “Do I look like someone who cares what God thinks?” are always spine-tingling and the Siamese Twins (Bloodline Twins) are an image you’re not likely to forget.
The film takes an odd direction – it begins in space, takes us back to the Victorian era when the box was originally made, and bounces around to “present” day. It also takes an odd stance by calling the monsters “demons” and referring to the place from which they come as “hell”. I always believed them to be an evil outside of these religious ideas, their fascination with pain putting them in a whole different spectrum. I heard there were actually scenes of Victorian era cenobites, which I’m a bit bummed not to be able to see.
Like other Hellraiser movies, this film is a must-see just for Pinhead and his cohorts. They look awesome and will always be some of my favorite horror movie monsters.
This film is another one that isn’t a first watch for me but I really want to watch the second one so I thought I needed a refresher. This was another movie that I was pleasantly surprised by when I watched it! Structured like one of those “reality tv” ghost hunting shows, I guess I expected it to be just as disappointing…but it wasn’t! This movie was actually pretty fun. I love how most of the movie is driven just by being in this old, supposedly haunted building, almost entirely in the dark. I feel like in their place, that alone would fuck with me enough, forget about the other events that keep happening. It’s a slow, painful escalation but I feel this is on purpose. Just when things start to get bad, you think you’re just going to bail, that the light is coming and there’s hope. As soon as that hope goes out the window, these characters begin the slow spiral out of control.
The goofy “psychic” Houston is by far my favorite character, simply because he attempts to come out with the same rational yet far fetching explanations I’d be trying to throw out there. He’s a bit bullied by host Lance, whose slow descent into madness is clearly documented on his handheld camera. Although a bit dragging at times, Grave Encounters is a solid horror film with plenty of overall creepiness and scares. I’ve heard the sequel is good but not better, so we’ll just have to see soon enough!