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?

proxy

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:

♥♥

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HM30: [REC]3: Genesis (2012)

Written by Luiso Berdejo, David Gallart and Paco Plaza. Directed by Paco Plaza. Stars Leticia Dolera, Diego Martín and Ismael Martínez.

SYNOPSIS:

A couple is getting married and everything is wonderful, until Uncle Victor’s dog bite turns worse and all hell breaks loose.

REVIEW:

I was afraid for a moment. It started with a teenager and a camera and I sighed. Then the action started and it went full-on professional shots and I cheered. Thank you for that, [REC]3.

What can I say about this movie? It’s the third of the franchise and you should be aware of it by now. Demon-possessed undead in peculiar situations, and a government quarantine. That’s the blueprint of every movie in this franchise. Unlike the other three however (two released, one coming out tomorrow), this one is happening DURING the event in the apartment building of the first movie.

And why not? Why not explore the same night in different area? You get to do a sequel without being too tied to the characters. I think it’s a fresh way to do things. It makes it stand on its own. But was it good? Well, yes. Yes it was.

There’s a definite change of pace and style, however. If you’re a fan of the other instalments, you might not appreciate how light-hearted it is. There’s are definite humoristic moments, though very subtle and it’s very much a love story… only with a lot of zombies in it. Though unlike other zomromcoms like Shaun of the Dead, this love story is taking a quasi folklore spin, where the groom ends up in a suit of armor, with a sword and the princess… sorry, the bride, looks splendid in her white dress, trying to find her husband.

I get why the general rating of that movie is split 50-50. Personally, I thought it was a nice change and as a standalone, “this is happening during [REC]” piece, it’s just fine.

SCORE:

♥♥♥

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HM29: The Den (2013)

Written by Zachary Donohue and Lauren Thompson. Directed by Zachary Donohue. Stars Melanie Papalia, David Schlachtenhaufen and Adam Shapiro.

SYNOPSIS:

A young university student is starting a sociology project by logging in to The Den, a random chat program. Ensues a series of weird events that that showing a dangerous pattern.

REVIEW:

That’s it for me. No more found footage. I won’t even watch V/H/S Viral. I’m done. Happy, The Den? You were the last nail in the coffin.

Here’s why. SPOILERS GALORE.

1) Everyone is always filming everything with the phones and laptops. Each webcam has super HD streaming and recording.
2) She records over 350 chats on her laptop. In Super HD. You’d think she made backups because no mac laptop comes with dozens of terabytes of space, right? Nope. That’s actually a point later.
3) EVERYONE RECORDS ALL THE TIME. I know I said it already but I mean, geesh, who jogs with his or her phone held at arm’s reach to record the road/his or herself?
4) The badguys are an army of hacker/engineer/policemen/ninjas. They can do ANYTHING when you log in, including installing a camera in your bedroom, emptying your boyfriend’s condo in an instant, replace LAPD officers, etc.
5) You think the movie builds up a “the internet turns us all into recluses and voyeurs” but then the ending arrives and you realize it’s just a heavy handed jab at pornography and the violence associated with it. I cringed.
6) Everyone has misshapen arms; there’s no other way these phone camera shots are possible.
7) Everyone carries a mic so they’re understood at all times, no matter how far from the camera.

I could go on but I’m spending too much energy on this.

This movie wasn’t made for people aware of technology, or people using Skype, Chatroulette or Omegle. It was made for people who believe Fox 11 news reports about 4chan.

SCORE:
1/2♥

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HM28: The Woman in Black (2012)

Written by Susan Hill and Jane Goldman. Directed by James Watkins. Stars Daniel Radcliffe, Janet McTeer and Ciarán Hinds.

SYNOPSIS:

A lawyer is sent to an old mansion that is to be sold. He discovers a dark history of child suicides and a mysterious woman in black.

REVIEW:

They wanted to make a gothic ghost story based in Edwardian times. They did.

That’s it. I don’t really have anything else to add to this. It’s pretty. Daniel Radcliffe shows he can be a good actor in a non-Potter role. it’s a textbook mansion ghost story.

I’ll make it simpler: there is not one ounce of originality in that movie and the scares are very scarce. If anything, it looks like this movie was made in large part because Daniel Radcliffe was in it and his fans are tweens.

There. The Woman in Black is a tween horror story.

SCORE:

lasbrujas

HM27: Las Brujas de Zugarramurdi (AKA Witching and Bitching) (2013)

Written by Jorge Guerricaechevarría and Álex de la Iglesia. Directed by Álex de la Iglesia. Starts Hugo Silva, Mario Casas and Pepón Nieto.

SYNOPSIS:

After stealing gold rings from a jewelry store / bank, a group of men and a kid have to stop in Zugarramurdi, a town known for being the birthplace of witchcraft.

REVIEW:

Mind. Completely. Blown. I was feeling disappointed by this year’s movie turnout (save a few exceptions). I was browsing Reddit’s Dreadit subreddit when a post suggested everyone watch Witching and Bitching, currently on Netflix. The title seemed like one of the cheap scary movie knockoffs you’ll often find gathering dust at video stores but I shrugged and pressed play. The first surprise came when I saw the movie wasn’t American (with a title like this, forgive my ignorance). That actually gave me a bit of hope that the original title would make more sense (and it did).

I watched for a bit, not sure if I was wasting my time… and then someone dressed in a Sponge Bob mascot costume took out a uzi. A silver-painted Jesus Christ took a shotgun out of his cross and I suddenly knew I was going to be all right: I was going to enjoy this.

If you’ve liked Shaun of the Dead, you will probably like Las Brujas de Zugarramurdi too. Sure, some of the humour and behavior is definitely Spanish and perhaps a bit out of my understanding. But that’s what made Shaun such a charming title. It was different. And like the zombie film, this is essentially a relationship movie disguised as horror, without exploiting the genre in a manner I’d deem cheap. Rather, like Shaun, it uses the horror and unknown to draw parallels with the other situation at hand. In Shaun, the protagonist of the same name was fighting to keep his slacker routine, yet conflicted about going the extra mile and going out of his comfort zone, for love.Except that in this case, the routine that might kill him is composed of the living dead. In Las Brujas, José goes for the first thing he thinks of to find an excuse to take his son away from his ex-wife, due to his resentment of her and women in general. He learns to come out of his misogynistic world and accept that not every woman he meets is a metaphorical witch… though most of those he’ll meet that night are literal ones.

Heavy-handed metaphors can kill a movie but in this case, I believe that there’s enough action, laughs and weird scenes to keep one following without feeling bugged down by life lessons. Las Brujas de Zugarramurdi is fun, fast and entertaining all the way through.

Also, bonus: Macarena Gómez plays José’s ex-wife. That woman gave me confused dreams ever since I saw her in Dagon.

SCORE:

♥♥♥♥1/2

devilscarnival

HM26: The Devil’s Carnival (2012)

Written by Terrance Zdunich. Directed by Darren Lynn Bousman. Stars Emilie Autumn, Shem Andre Byron and Dayton Callie.

SYNOPSIS:

Three different people die at the same time for different, sinful reasons. They quickly find out that Hell is all tents, clowns and Aesop’s Tales.

REVIEW:

I like Repo: The Genetic Opera. It’s quirky, it has its faults but it’s entertaining. When I saw that Terrance Zdunich wanted to do another one but couldn’t (copyright, I think?), I couldn’t wait to see what the result would be. This is it. So, did I like it?

Well. It’s okay. It’s really short, though. I think I would have liked better as a real theater piece. That is Zdunich’s strength after all. Here, it feels too short for what it’s trying to be: a three act story about sin, guilt, grief and redemption. The fact that there is so much material, played so quickly, means that we never really get to care for the characters. The person steps in, there’s a couple songs performed by the same people from Repo but with Tim Burton’s secret wardrobe. Then it moves on to someone else.

It’s fine but I wanted more. As Repo‘s spiritual second act, it falls short.

SCORE:

♥♥1/2

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

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