Suck (2009)

Written and directed by Rob Stefaniuk. Stars Rob Stefaniuk, Jessica Paré and Paul Anthony.

SYNOPSIS:

An unpopular rock band sees changes as one of the members is seduced by a vampire.

REVIEW:

How had I not been aware of this movie until now? There are so many goddamned cameos, it should be mandatory for all rock fans to watch it. Alice Cooper, Moby, Henry Rollins, Iggy Pop and greats like Malcolm McDowell and Dave Foley and that’s just skimming the surface. For instance, how the hell have they gotten Rush’s Alex Lifeson to play a border guard?!

There was definitely sorcery at hand here, as the amount of rock stars in this movie is too damn high. I’m honestly interested in knowing how Rob Stefaniuk got everyone involved into something relatively indie like Suck. IMDB and Wikipedia say nothing of it. If it hadn’t been from the fact that it was streaming on Screambox, I wouldn’t have known the movie existed.

At any rate, Suck is a fun little dark comedy. It doesn’t have the best story and doesn’t have the best main cast (with the exception of Jessica Paré, one of our hometown stars). What it lacks in originality, it makes up with sincere efforts, good laughs and the ridiculous amount of people you’ll recognize along the way. As a package deal, it’s decent and I ended up liking it a lot more than I thought.

If anything, Jessica Paré as a glamourous rock vampire should be enough to keep you watching.

SHOULD YOU WATCH IT?

You’re sitting at home with a beer or two, it’s 1 a.m. and you’re thinking you should watch something light and relax a bit? Then yes, watch this.

The Babadook (2014)

Written and directed by Jennifer Kent. Stars Essie Davis, Noah Wiseman and Daniel Henshall.

SYNOPSIS:

A mother and son start unraveling as they get closer to the boy’s birthday, which coincides with the day of the father’s death.

REVIEW:

I was expecting a creature feature, since the trailer seemed to point towards that genre but boy, did I get something better. I’ve always maintained that real horror comes from the suspense, the stringing of the nerves, the anticipation of the scare and the imagination going wild and The Babadook delivers on all fronts. Whoever said horror died this decade needs to see this movie. No found footage, not too many jumpscares, and no oversimplified plot with condescending exposition. No wonder Rotten Tomatoes shows a fresh rating of 97% (at the time of this review).

I’m not going to say anything about the plot because I feel it would take away from the experience. What I will describe however is how stellar the two main actors are. Essie Davis is phenomenal. The emotions she goes through during the entire story would be a difficult job for any actor but there she goes and delivers something solid and entirely believable. You feel her pain, her fatigue and her anger as her situation worsens. You believe her. And while I absolutely hated the character of the son at the beginning of the movie, I have to admit that Noah Wiseman is extremely talented for someone so young; he plays Samuel so well that it makes Essie’s character Amelia all the move pitiful. I’m not going to extrapolate further as again, you need to experience this.

I’ll add that it’s refreshing to have a story where characters change and grow. Lately, it’s all about the chase and character development gets in the way of the jump scares and cheap stunts. Here, the characters evolve and change your perception of the story and that’s precisely how stories should be told.

Finally, I’ll mention the technical side of the thing. I love “one location” movies and while this is not entirely the case, most of the movie happens in the two bedrooms and the living room of the family. And it’s perfect for this story, as “one location” movies tend to put characterization forward, instead of the eye candy / distraction of having multiple locations. Also, while the film tends to be dark, it uses the shadows to add to the scenes. It’s almost as if the shadows themselves become this intangible third character, always close to the two characters. It definitely feels that way.

SHOULD YOU WATCH IT?

If you take your horror movies seriously, if you want to see something refreshing, yes. Absolutely yes.

Dylan Dog: Dead of Night (2010)

Written by Thomas Dean Donnelly, Joshua Oppenheimer and Tiziano Sclavi. Directed by Kevin Munroe. Stars Brandon Routh, Anita Briem and Sam Huntington.

SYNOPSIS:

Constantine played by Superman whose sidekick first got known for Detroit Rock City, and Peter Stormare, who needs to be in every movie I’ve been watching lately. Oh wait, story synopsis? Right. Dylan investigate the murder of a man who might have instigated a war between werewolves and vampires. So like Underworld but with Superman.

REVIEW:

Can you believe this is from the same cinematic universe Dellamorte Dellamore comes from? They’re apparently all adaptations of the same comic book. Though while Dellamorte Dellamore was (surprisingly) more accurate a portrayal, Dylan Dog took so little of the source material (besides the name) that it’s been panned by pretty much every fan of the comics. Well, I hadn’t read them and I like Routh enough (he was great in Scott Pilgrim vs The World), so I thought I’d watch it.

Big mistake. Dylan Dog: Dead of Night is a hollow, by the numbers sort of horror cop movie. It’s Men in Black with less interesting people. It’s RIPD… actually, I never watched RIPD. But you get the idea. It’s Hellboy but with Superman. See what I’m doing here? I keep comparing it to other movies because it’s exactly that; a copy of other more successful movies. Though instead of being clever, or playing with the genre, it never delivers anything new. Routh as a rough/depressed investigator is not at all believable and his narration is more fitted to American Pie-esque movies than this. He’s trying to sound Noir but ends up sounding cartoony. You can see the plot arrive a mile away (even more so if you know actual Film Noir tropes) and the only moments that could entertain (Dylan fighting a bunch of vampires) is filmed in such a way that you never actually see the action; only Routh pointing guns at the camera. It’s so strange and cheap that I kept rolling my eyes.

The only actually entertaining moments come from Sam Huntington, who’s perfected his “loveable doofus sidekick” acting a long time ago. He’s funny, in a movie that doesn’t deserve him.

SHOULD YOU WATCH IT?

No. Watch Men in Black, then Blade. Then Underworld. There; you’ve seen everything Dylan Dog: Dead of Night wanted to be.

Under the Skin (2013)

Written by Walter Campbell, Michel Faber and Jonathan Glazer. Directed by Jonathan Glazer. Stars Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy McWilliams and Lynsey Taylor Mackay.

SYNOPSIS:

A woman appears in Scotland and lures lonely males to something inexplicable.

REVIEW:

This movie sure isn’t for everyone. It’s slow-paced, very minimalistic and terribly artsy. Still, I couldn’t stop watching. And considering that Johansson is usually cast for her attitude and snarky performances, it was a definite gamble to cast her as the silent black widow (no pun intended). Actually, you get to see that Johansson is more than her assets and you end up remembering why everyone fell in love with her in Lost in Translation (as opposed to, say, Don Jon).

Filming in Scotland was a good choice, making Johansson’s character seem even more out of place, while as well providing eerie backdrops as the story progresses. It feels strange and alien. Props to Glazer for this, as anyone else could have used sci-fi clichés to create tension instead of using the very Earthly, yet surreal locations seen in the movie.

Don’t come in expecting flashy sci-fi. As I mentioned above, it’s a slow-paced, minimalistic piece. If no one told you this was science-fiction as you started watching it, you would only figure it out in the last five minutes of the movie. Still, it’s an intriguing story about someone from the outside, looking in and trying to find herself (or itself… not sure of the actual gender).

SHOULD YOU WATCH IT?

Yes. It’s a weird little movie that doesn’t hold you by the hand and doesn’t need to explain everything that’s happening. It’s refreshing, in a world of sequelitis. We should encourage this sort of movie.

Another Halloween Movie Month done!

Hey everyone,

I want to thank you for once again following my daily reviews this year. It’s always fun to discover new movies and share my experiences with you.

As usual, I’ll take a break and have sporadic updates for a bit but I’ll most likely do like last year and come up with more exploitation/Fantasia Fest bouts now and again. I’m looking at you, Christmas! Nothing better to do than to watch horror movies while gobbling up some turkey, right?

I’ll leave you with some fun little info:

-105 horror movies have been reviewed here.
– Also 8 Fantasia Fest movies.-I’ve reviewed 4 1980s movies with friends and;
-12 exploitation movies with them.
-That’s a total of 129 movies in 415 days, or around a movie every 3 days.

Now ain’t that something?

HM31: Proxy (2013)

Written by  Kevin Donner and Zack Parker. Directed by Zack Parker. Stars Kristina Klebe, Joe Swanberg and Alexa Havins.

SYNOPSIS:

A mother loses her unborn baby to a vicious attack. What follows gets even darker.

REVIEW:

What is horror? If you follow Wikipedia and Netflix, this movie is horror. If you follow IMDB, it’s a thriller. Is Hannibal horror? I think so. And I think Proxy fits the bill.

What it lacks in scares, it makes up for it in shock. This movie is dark; really really dark. Enough that I wanted to stop watching after the first five minutes. I soldiered on, however. That might have been a mistake. It’s not that the movie is horrible; far from it. It’s decent enough, even though some of the acting is wooden. The lead actresses do a fine job at alienating the viewer. In other movies, that might be bad; here it’s the intended result.

Proxy is made to make you feel uneasy. It’s all about the subtle inner desires of people stuck in certain situations. It’s also there to make you think you know what’s going on… until it goes in another direction. I’ve mentioned this when reviewing You’re Next. Many hate this. I happen to like it.

There’s not much else to talk about. It’s a very slow-paced movie that deals about inner turmoil but which contains truly horrific stuff. No demons, no ghosts. Just quite a bit of murder. If you’re an expecting mother, or have a newborn, or like your young ones very much, I’d suggest to stay away from it, as it’ll most likely disgust you.

SCORE:

♥♥

Two Ave Romeros and Three Spatter Noster for your delicious sins!

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