October Horror/Spooky Film Review Roundup #2
October is coming to an end but I have been busy watching LOTS of films to get me into the season of spooky! There's quite a few so lets get right into it!
Set in 1799, "Sleepy Hollow" is based on Washington Irving's classic tale "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow." Faithful to the dreamy custom-bound world that Irving paints in his story, the film mixes horror, fantasy and romance and features an extraordinary cast of characters that dabble in the supernatural.
This is another Tim Burton film on my watch list this month. It's absolutely stacked with a fantastic who's who of British film pedigree as well as the always fantastic Johnny Depp. It's an atmospheric mystery movie that's filled with twists and turns and whilst it isn't the best Tim Burton has to offer it's by no means the worst! Total Score: 7/10
The Woman in Black: Arthur Kipps (Daniel Radcliffe), a lawyer, is recently widowed and grieving the loss of his wife when he is sent to a remote village to put a deceased eccentric's affairs in order. Soon after his arrival, it becomes clear that the villagers are hiding a terrible secret. Kipps discovers that his late client's house is haunted by the spirit of a woman who is trying to find someone and something she lost, and that no one -- not even the children -- is safe from her terrible wrath.
Whilst the original The Woman in Black TV movie is often described as the one of the most unnerving horror films this modern Hollywood remake can still pack a punch with jumps at times. It looks fantastic, with a great cast an a eerie setting, but it unfortunately is a very predictable plot that you can see coming from a mile off. Very much worth the watch though as it's much more chilling than gory.
Insidious: Parents (Patrick Wilson, Rose Byrne) take drastic measures when it seems their new home is haunted and their comatose son is possessed by a malevolent entity.
This film started off well with some generally creepy moments (like the other son saying he was scared when the comatosed brother walked around at night), but it fell flat in the last act with a demon that looked like a Wish.com Darth Maul sitting listening to classical music and sharpening his nails. The twist right at the end was a nice redemption and sets up for a sequel but after being recommended this film it was ultimately a huge let down. TOTAL SCORE:
True-crime writer Ellison Oswald (Ethan Hawke) is in a slump; he hasn't had a best seller in more than 10 years and is becoming increasingly desperate for a hit. So, when he discovers the existence of a snuff film showing the deaths of a family, he vows to solve the mystery. He moves his own family into the victims' home and gets to work. However, when old film footage and other clues hint at the presence of a supernatural force, Ellison learns that living in the house may be fatal.
I really enjoyed this one. With it's very creepy demon, the unique use of the home tapes and the slow descent into darkness of Ethan Hawkes character. There are alot of reliance's on classic horror movie tropes that can be a little frustrating but push the plot along times, however the films dark ending and sequel potential have me clamouring for more. A disturbing supernatural thriller!
TOTAL SCORE: 8.5/10
Muppets Haunted Mansion: The Great Gonzo – world famous daredevil artiste, has done it all, seen it all, and survived it all. But on Halloween night, the fearless Gonzo takes on the greatest challenge of his life by spending one very daring night in the most grim grinning place on Earth …The Haunted Mansion.
A bit of a more light hearted special now! I love The Muppets and getting more of their content is always a plus. This special gives more focus on Gonzo and Pepe which I have no complaints about as Pepe is one of the funniest Muppet characters, and the rest of the characters are used in bit parts/Haunted Mansion alternative versions of themselves. Full of great celebrity cameos and nods to the original Disney ride, this is a fun treat to watch with kids or alone as adults! TOTAL SCORE: 8/10
Spiral: From the Book of Saw A criminal mastermind unleashes a twisted form of justice in Spiral, the terrifying new chapter from the book of Saw. Working in the shadow of his father, an esteemed police veteran (Samuel L. Jackson), brash Detective Ezekiel "Zeke" Banks (Chris Rock) and his rookie partner (Max Minghella) take charge of a grisly investigation into murders that are eerily reminiscent of the city's gruesome past. Unwittingly entrapped in a deepening mystery, Zeke finds himself at the center of the killer's morbid game.
I saw alot of people hate on this film at launch, but truth be told I really enjoyed it. It's a great little spin off to the main Saw franchise that while trying new things has plenty of nods to the originals. Is it perfect? No, but it has a fantastic cast and some truly gruesome trap scenes. If you prefer jumps over gore you may want to give this one a miss, but I highly recommend watching it and making your own decisions instead of taking other peoples words on whether it's a good film or not. TOTAL SCORE:
Tremors: Repairmen Val McKee (Kevin Bacon) and Earl Bassett (Fred Ward) are tired of their dull lives in the small desert town of Perfection, Nev. But just as the two try to skip town, they happen upon a series of mysterious deaths and a concerned seismologist (Finn Carter) studying unnatural readings below the ground. With the help of an eccentric couple (Reba McEntire, Michael Gross), the group fights for survival against giant, worm-like monsters hungry for human flesh.
Tremors is a cheesy, sci-fi, monster horror movie with Kevin Bacon fighting off giant killer worms that suck people under the ground to kill them. That's all you really need to know. It uses alot of practical effects (some good, some hilarious) and the dialogue at times is laughable, but it's a great buddy film that gives me Gremlins vibes. Well worth a watch at least once. TOTAL SCORE: 7/10 That's it for our second round up! Coming soon we will have a even more horror reviews including a Halloween franchise special!