Thursday, November 19, 2015

The Collection


  With how much The Collector impressed me, I knew I was going to be watching it's sequel the same day. Lo and behold! Here's a decent sequel that tries hard and manages to be well worth a watch. The Collection is Aliens to The Collector's Alien. It's bigger, louder, nastier, and there's just... more. Especially more blood and guts. Does this mean it's better? Well... no. It's not. The first one almost had an elegance in how simple it was, it effectively utilized every second of screentime and delivered so much raw suspense and tension, it legitimately had me squirming in my seat. This one is a gore fest with some great sets, but it's rather lacking in the suspense/tension department. It feels a lot like Saw II as opposed to Saw. In this one, they find the lair of the villain from the first movie and a privately funded team of mercenaries go in to rescue the daughter of a very wealthy man. Oh boy.

The Collector


  Apparently it's possible for a total gem like The Collector to completely fly under the radar of an obsessive movie watcher/horror buff like me. Before anything else, the movie pulled me in with a really mysterious and horrifying hook within the first five minutes. Then... the opening credits. Right away the movie hit me with it's stylish editing and vibrant visual flair. It has the energy of a hardcore music video for a grungy, ear-shredding, genre song. Once the plot kicked into gear, which didn't take long at all, this movie is exceptionally well paced, things go crazy and only get crazier as the movie goes on. I'm kind of dumbstruck by how good this flick was. I had no idea it was going to be so good, but boy am I glad I watched it.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

The Fly


  There's a scene in this lurid, gross-out, sci-fi tale in which Jeff Goldblum's character- Seth Brundle, has discovered he can wall-crawl. Without the heroic pomp and circumstance a movie like Spider-Man would have, all we see is a scared man who's turning into something horrifying. But, my point is specifically about the wall-crawling. This movie was made in the era before CGI became the go-to medium for special effects. When Seth is crawling around on the ceiling, I was looking for wires or bolted down furniture- tell tale signs of an upside down set, that would obviously give him the illusion of being on the ceiling. Except, he starts to descend... down the wall, and seamlessly starts walking across the floor. The effect is so good, I forgot for a second I was looking at an effect.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Terminator Genisys


  Terminator 2 is one of my favorite movies, ever. Easily in my top three of all time. It's predecessor, is in my top ten. Terminator 3, and it's successor aren't even in my top 250. The short answer? Neither is this one. Except... it's still better than 3 and Salvation. I don't hate the casting but it's generally pretty bad. I think at this point you could've actually had Edward Furlong come back as John Connor and it would've been okay. But Jason Clarke? Really? The guy is about as threatening as a sitcom. He's arguably a worse casting choice than both Christian Bale and Nick Stahl. Of course, this is me- Terminator 2 fanboy arguing that nobody is able to live up to the standard set by a preteen from the early 90's. In fact, that's my whole attitude towards this whole movie.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Wrong Turn 4: Bloody Beginnings


  The most impressive thing about Wrong Turn 4, besides it's great practical gore effects, is how it manages to make me despise a group of 20-something party brats more than the bunch of vicious convicts from the previous movie. They're almost as annoying as the 'rookie soldiers' from The Hills Have Eyes 2. They're nothing but obnoxious sex machines. I couldn't care less about who lived or died, save for maaaybe two characters. Also, just like The Hills Have Eyes 2, this is a movie that punishes intelligent thought. When a character suggests playing it safe, or being logical, everyone scoffs at him like he's an idiot. These aren't just college brats, these are stupid college brats. Imagine for a moment how fast a movie like this would be over if the characters were actually smart?

Monday, November 9, 2015

Wrong Turn III: Left for Dead


  Not as stylish and atmospheric as the first, nor as crazy as the second, Wrong Turn 3 just seems to... exist, and little else. I suppose the way odds and such go, that even bad movies can have a few really good moments in them. Even an interesting concept behind it all. Wrong Turn 3 seeks to juxtapose a ruthless criminal against the hillbilly mutant cannibal known as Three Finger. "I don't know who's worse-" a character points out in one scene. The problem is, it's a no brainer. No matter how bad the ruthless criminal is, he won't stab you and then start eating you alive. He's motivated by survival, not a homicidal sense of fun.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Ant-Man


  Ant-Man is Marvel's latest stylish entry in their cinematic universe, and by far it is one of the most fun. Not saying it's one of the best, but certainly one of the most enjoyable. It has one thing going for it that none of their movies have had since the original Iron Man, and that would be the fact that it's simply uncomplicated. Sure there's easter eggs and nods to the other films in the franchise, but Ant-Man works independently of those movies. It's also not a dog and pony show like the Avengers movies. It's just a fun little adventure flick. With Daredevil darkening things up on Netflix, and Age of Ultron complicating the hell out of things on the big screen, it's nice to see a Marvel movie that does neither- it's just pure Saturday matinee fun.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Avenged


  I gotta admit, the poster art (sampled in the banner above) for Avenged (a.k.a. Savaged) really caught my eye and got me to look the movie up. Though granted the poster is a shoddy Photoshop job upon closer inspection, but still... it did it's job, and I tip my hat to the designer accordingly. Because this movie is friggin neat. I can tell it was a labor of love, and by one man above all. This movie was written, edited, and directed by Michael S. Ojeda. I've never heard of this guy before, but I'll be keeping an eye out for his movies in the future. He spun a wicked tale of murder, rape, and revenge and all with a big supernatural twist. Avenged is part romance movie, part horror, part fantasy, and part action movie. What more could you ask for?

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Crimson Peak


  Sure, Crimson Peak might be predictable and people are taking issue with that because the movie carries itself like a mystery but I think in reality it's little more than a showcase of style and atmosphere. On those terms, Crimson Peak is fantastic. It's a brooding and lurid romantic tragedy with ghosts, murder, sex, and lots of eeriness. It's plot might not be it's strong suit, and the casting might be a little stale in some areas, but the majority of Crimson Peak is something to cherish. I've heard plenty of people say this isn't really a horror movie, and I guess they're right to a large degree- but it's more legitimately frightening than a lot of horror movies that consider themselves as such. Why the distinction? Crimson Peak is many things. It's a period piece, a romance, a drama, a fantasy story, a ghost story, and most certainly a horror movie. But, above all... Crimson Peak is simply great.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

The Hills Have Eyes 2


  Oh man, if liking Wrong Turn 2 made me question if I've grown fond of crappy horror movies, The Hills Have Eyes 2 had the answer, and the answer is a big resounding "No." I don't see how anyone could like this one. In this 80 something minute slog, there's maybe 5 minutes that are actually watchable and borderline good. If you lower your standards even more, maybe- just MAYBE you could possibly find the last 20 minutes approaching something resembling 'interesting'. But, in all honesty this is one of those movies that you either feel you have to see, or you're a sane person and stayed the hell away.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Wrong Turn 2: Dead End


   By all known laws of the universe, this movie should be a horrible piece of crap. It's a direct-to-video sequel to a modestly successful horror movie that had one vaguely recognizable actress in it, and this one virtually has none. So how is this one so friggin fun? Either some serious magic went down behind the scenes here, or I've become keen on shitty horror movies. I'm much more inclined to believe the former. I think the first thing this movie does right is that it never takes itself too seriously. It's a ridiculous movie and it's aware of this. It seems very conscious of the fact that it should be crap, and they must've had a blast defying all those expectations.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Joy Ride



  Another blind buy from last month's impulse grabs, this white-knuckle thriller took me entirely by surprise. I'm learning new lessons every day, and this movie taught me not to judge a book (or in this case, a movie) by it's cover. It's not a new lesson per se, but it's one that's easy to forget- or at the very least, fail to heed. For all intents and purposes, The Green Inferno should've blown me away, and this should've been a turd. Quite the opposite in point of fact. I feel bad, because in the past- I took one look at all the young hip and ridiculously photogenic actors on the poorly photoshopped DVD cover and dismissed it as lowest common denominator drivel from an era of movies that nobody is going to give a shit about in ten years.

The Green Inferno


   Director Eli Roth has a big reputation for making extremely gory movies, and the prospect of him tackling the cannibal genre tickled me pink. Especially since Cannibal Holocaust is one of his favorite movies, and probably one of the most disturbing and notorious cannibal movies ever made. How could this possibly go wrong? Right? Well, lemme just say right now I enjoyed The Green Inferno. I thought it was alright. Is it great? Not really. It's kinda silly to be honest. It's little more than a soft-pedaled intro into what's usually a much bloodier genre. Newcomers to cannibal flicks might enjoy it a lot more than veterans would. But, when all is said and done it's not a bad movie. Just an underwhelming one.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Mission: Impossible: Rogue Nation


  This was like a splash of cold water to the face after watching practically nothing but horror movies for a whole month. Swinging back into action is Ethan Hunt and his IMF team. This time, there's a whole anti-IMF agency called The Syndicate. They're set up as a major threat, like Spectre is to Bond and MI-6. Only the Mission: Impossible movies don't have that kind of franchise-long dedication, so we know by the end of the movie the Syndicate will be brought down. If you think that's a spoiler, you haven't been paying attention to these movies. Nevertheless, Rogue Nation is a fun thrill ride with plenty of familiar faces that have definitely become franchise mainstays as much as insane action sequences and death defying stunts.

Ash vs. Evil Dead


   What a way to end October and kick off November! I'm probably going to be spending most of November revisiting horror faves of mine that didn't make the cut for my October horror-thon, which most likely means I'll be digging up the original Evil Dead movies. Not to mention I just ordered the Shout Factory release of Army of Darkness, so hell yeah. Bring it on. But, even more exciting than that was the premiere of Ash vs. Evil Dead. It marks the return of Bruce Campbell to his most famous role, that of Ashley J. Williams, the protagonist of the Evil Dead trilogy. I don't know what inter-movie connectivity they have going on since the Evil Dead remake, which was apparently not necessarily a remake at all. (Scroll a little more than half way down on the page that links to) So... what does that mean for this show?