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Alien Movie Franchise – Best To Worst

Having watched Alien : Covenant for the second time a few days ago, I can now rate all the 6 films in the franchise including Alien vs Predator films which I know are not in the franchise per say but are crossover movies without the large scale backing. Still they do have the alien creatures in them and hence I add them to this list. To date I have watched all of these films atleast twice and some way more than that. So here we go; this is how I would rate them.

  1. Aliens
  2. Alien
  3. Alien : Covenant
  4. Prometheus
  5. Alien 4 : Resurrection
  6. Alien 3
  7. Aliens vs Predator : Requiem
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RIP George R. Romero

American-Canadian filmmaker, writer and editor, best known for his series of gruesome and satirical horror films about an imagined zombie apocalypse, beginning in 1968 with Night of the Living Dead, which is often considered a progenitor of the fictional zombie of modern culture. Other notable films in the series include Dawn of the Dead (1978 ) and Day of the Dead (1985). Aside from the Dead series, his works include The Crazies (1973), Martin(1978 ), Creepshow (1982), Monkey Shines (1988 ) and The Dark Half (1993).

Romero is often noted as an influential pioneer of the horror film genre, and has been called an “icon” and the “Father of the Zombie Film.” His zombie films were remade in the 2000s starting with Dawn of the Dead, Land of the Dead, Diary of the Dead, Day of the Dead & a 6th zombie movie in Survival Of The Dead in 2009. Romero died Sunday in his sleep after a “brief but aggressive battle with lung cancer,” according to a family statement to The Times provided by his longtime producing partner, Peter Grunwald. He was 77. Romero died while listening to the score of one his favorite films, 1952’s “The Quiet Man,” with his wife, Suzanne Desrocher Romero, and daughter, Tina Romero, at his side, the family said.

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The Void

The Void is a 2016 Canadian horror film written and directed by Steven Kostanski and Jeremy Gillespie, and produced by Jonathan Bronfman and Casey Walker. It stars Aaron Poole as deputy Daniel Carter, Kenneth Welsh as Dr. Powell, Daniel Fathers as Vincent, Kathleen Munroe as Allison, and Ellen Wong as Kim. The film was originally crowdfunded on Indiegogo and had raised $82,510. The film was originally shown at the 2016 Fantastic Fest and later at the Toronto After Dark Film Festival. It was given a limited theatrical release in April 2017, initially opening in 31 theaters and later expanding to 50. It grossed an estimated $55,000 on its opening weekend.

You get an 80s horror vibe with this flick, with parts of the plot reminding me of The Beyond. As the movie starts we see junkie James running from a farm house in the middle of nowhere, with a woman also running just behind him. The duo are behind chased by Vincent & his son Simon who catch up with the woman and shoot her before burning her. James stumbles onto the road and is found by Deputy Daniel Carter who puts him into his car on seeing his bruises and wounds. He calls it in and reluctantly takes James to the nearest hospital, Marsh County, which is where his estranged wife Allison works as a nurse. The hospital is about to shut down after a fire destroyed much of the basement and other parts of the building. Dr. Richard Powell, nurses Allison and Beverly, intern Kim, pregnant girl Maggie, her grandfather Ben, and patient Cliff are the only ones remaining as the equipment and files are being packed to ship to a new hospital.

Bev is caught in a trance and murdering Cliff with her skin removed from her face. Beverly moves toward Daniel who shoots her dead. Daniel collapses due to a seizure and experiences a strange vision. State trooper Mitchell comes in to the hospital to collect James after discovering a bloody scene at the farmhouse. Daniel goes outside to call in Beverly’s death from his patrol car, but is confronted by robed cultists, one of who wound him. He kills the man and runs back in. Daniel and Mitchell rush into James’ room when they hear him screaming. They find Beverly’s corpse has transformed into a tentacled creature as Daniel and Mitchell rescue James and lock Beverly in the room. In the lobby, Vincent and Simon enter and hold the group at gunpoint, demanding to get to James. James takes Maggie as hostage and stabs and kills Dr. Powell when he tries to calm him down. The creature emerges from Beverly’s room and devours Mitchell. Vincent and Simon kill the creature and regroup with the others in the lobby. Vincent and Simon accompany Daniel to retrieve a shotgun from a patrol car, while Alison ventures into the basement to collect medical supplies for delivering Maggie’s baby.

Powell rises from the ground seemingly still alive and follows Alison and captures her. On discovering that Alison is missing, Daniel and Vincent search for her and find photographs and files indicating Powell was the cult’s leader. Powell phones Daniel, taunting him and mentions the vision he experienced while unconscious. Leaving Maggie & Ben in Kim’s hands, Daniel, Vincent & Simon force James to go down to the basement with them in search for Alison. James explains that Powell has the power to transform people and he was reluctantly drawn into the cult by a woman on the promise of sex and meth. Alison regains consciousness on an operating table where Powell explains he has found a way to defy death after the loss of his daughter Sarah. Having cut off his face, Powell shows Alison that something now grows inside her. Daniel, Vincent, Simon, and James find a hidden area in the basement and end up surrounded by deformed corpses brought back to life. One of the creatures kills James as the other three men get separated.

As Maggie enters labor, Kim hesitates to perform a C-section. As Ben pleads with Kim, Maggie stands and slits his throat, revealing she is carrying Dr. Powell’s child. Kim hides as cultists enter the building and Maggie leaves. Daniel finds a pregnant Alison on a hospital bed but as he looks again sees a creature with tentacles. The vision of a pregnant Alison is one of her when she was in labour with their child and a traumatized Daniel inally attacks his wife’s mutated remains with an axe. Daniel is transported to a morgue room with a glowing triangle on the wall. Powell’s voice tells Daniel that he found the ability to conquer life and death. Powell promises that Daniel can have his child back if he is willing to die first. Maggie arrives and stabs Daniel as Powell appears without any skin in front of the triangle as Maggie kneels before him. Powell recites an incantation before the triangle as a now frightened Maggie’s torso explodes, as she births the reborn Sarah. Vincent and Simon arrive and battle the beast.

The creature attacks Vincent who pours isopropyl alcohol over it and himself, allowing Simon to kill them both with a flare. As Powell begins transforming, he tells Daniel he can be with Alison if he gives himself to the abyss. Daniel refuses and tackles him, leading both men to tumble into the void. Meanwhile, the creature pursues Simon who escapes, and is teleported back to the hospital to reunite safely with Kim. Daniel and Alison are shown in the netherworld beneath a black pyramid as they hold hands.

A slow mover that builds up in intensity and visual scares as it goes alone, the film is sure to appeal to horror fans. The ending leaves us wanting more and hoping that answers will be provided in a possible sequel or two. What is this void, what happens to Powell and Daniel & Alison in this void. What is that humongous black pyramid? I give the film a 7.5 outta 10.

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The Mummy

The Mummy is a 2017 American action-adventure directed by Alex Kurtzman and written by David Koepp, Christopher McQuarrie and Dylan Kussman, with a story by Kurtzman, Jon Spaihts and Jenny Lumet. It is a reboot of The Mummy franchise and the first installment in the Dark Universe film series. The film stars Tom Cruise, Annabelle Wallis, Sofia Boutella, Jake Johnson, Courtney B. Vance and Russell Crowe. Although I label this in the horror section, it is not a scary movie and it is not really a horror film.

In ancient Egypt, Princess Ahmanet is first in line to succeed her father Menehptre, only to be stripped of her birthright when his second wife gives birth to a son. Determined to claim the throne for herself, Ahmanet sells her soul to the god Set, who gives her a special dagger to transfer his spirit into a corporeal form. After murdering her family, Ahmanet attempts to sacrifice her lover to give Set physical form, but her father’s priests slay him and mummify Ahmanet, sentencing her to be buried alive for eternity. In current times Iraq, soldier-of-fortune Nick Morton and his partner Chris Vail accidentally discover the tomb of Ahmanet after staging an airstrike on an insurgent stronghold. He is confronted by archeologist Jenny Halsey, an ex-lover, who has the backing of the military who arrives with soldiers. Nick, Chris & Jenny are told by the commanding officer Colonel Greenway to quickly investigate the tomb.

Jenny concurs that it in fact is a prison and not a tomb, being far away from Egypt. After extracting Ahmanet’s sarcophagus from a pool of mercury, Nick’s superior, Colonel Greenway, places the sarcophagus on a transport plane headed to England. In-flight, Vail becomes possessed by Ahmanet’s power due to being bitten by a camel spider while inside the tomb. After attempting to open the sarcophagus, he kills Greenway and attacks the group before Nick shoots him dead. A huge wave of crows then assault the plane, causing it to crash and kill everyone on board except for Jenny, who is parachuted off the plane by Nick. Nick awakens a day later in a morgue in Oxford, and learns from Vail’s ghost that he has been cursed by Ahmanet, who seeks to use him as a replacement vessel for Set. Ahmanet herself escapes from the sarcophagus and begins feeding on rescue workers to regenerate her decomposed body. Turning the workers into zombie minions, she lures Nick and Jenny into a trap, forcing the two to fight off the minions as they unsuccessfully try to escape. At the last second, unknown soldiers appear and subdue her.

heir leader, Dr. Henry Jekyll, explains that Jenny is an agent of Prodigium, a secret society dedicated to hunting supernatural threats whose base is under the Natural History Museum of London, and contains such objects as the hand of the Gill-man and a vampire’s fanged skull. He confirms that Nick was cursed when he unlocked Ahmanet’s tomb and reveals his intention to complete her ritual and allow Set to possess Nick in order to destroy Set and end his evil for good. Meanwhile, Ahmanet takes control of a Prodigium technician using another camel spider that sneaked into the complex and frees herself from captivity, wreaking havoc, death, and destruction in the process. Jekyll succumbs to his own dark impulses and transforms into Edward Hyde, his murderous and psychotic alternative personality, nearly killing Nick before Nick manages to stop Hyde with the serum Jekyll uses to suppress himself. Nick and Jenny then escape Prodigium, while Ahmanet steals back the dagger, summons an army of deceased English crusaders to serve her, and creates a massive sandstorm that ravages London.

Guided by Vail, Nick and Jenny flee into the subway tunnels under London, but are attacked by Ahmanet’s minions. Ahmanet captures Jenny and drowns her, hoping to break her hold over Nick. Nick puts up a fight, but gives up and lets himself embrace Ahmanet, using it as a ruse to steal the dagger and stab himself. His body is possessed by Set, who proceeds to join Ahmanet to uphold his end of the bargain until he sees Jenny’s dead body, at which point Nick regains control and uses Set’s powers to suck the life out of Ahmanet, turning her back into a shriveled mummy. Nick uses Set’s powers to resurrect Jenny, saying goodbye before becoming overwhelmed by Set’s power and disappearing. Soon, Jenny links up with Dr. Jekyll and they discuss if Nick, now fused with Set, is good or evil and whose side he’s on as Ahmanet’s corpse is lowered into a locked pool of mercury within the Prodigium base for safekeeping. It is also revealed that Nick has resurrected Vail, who protests as to what they will do now, to which Nick responds, “Where is your sense of adventure?” The two ride off in the desert as a sandstorm trails behind them, with Jekyll telling her that as long as a part of Nick’s humanity remains, he will continue to search for a way to become human again.

It’s a good film but I think it will fail to really ignite interest in the public movie going audiences for a Universal Monsters franchise reboot. Every studio is thinking franchise these days with the success of Marvel and stuff. I dunno if this was the right way to do it for monsters under its shared universe Dark Universe. I give it a 7 outta 10! It received negative reviews from critics and has grossed $151 million worldwide.

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Resident Evil : The Final Chapter

Here is another movie franchise which started out so well and gave us a couple of really good action-oriented horror films but then dwindled into “what the heck is going on; do the film makers even know what they are telling?” territory. Much like the other movie series I recently posted about – UnderworldResident Evil had become a shambles. I still enjoy watching Milla Jovovich kick ass plus she is hot as hell, so I watched.

Resident Evil: The Final Chapter is a 2016 science fiction action horror film written and directed by Paul W. S. Anderson. It is the sequel to Resident Evil: Retribution (2012) and the sixth and final installment in the Resident Evil film series, which is loosely based on the Capcom survival horror video game series Resident Evil. The film stars Milla Jovovich, Ali Larter, Shawn Roberts, Ruby Rose, Eoin Macken, William Levy, and Iain Glen.

Picking up immediately three weeks after the events in Resident Evil: Retribution, humanity is on its last legs after Alice is betrayed by Wesker in Washington D.C. Alice then encounters the Red Queen, who tells her that she must return to where the nightmare began – Raccoon City, where the Umbrella Corporation has developed an airborne anti-virus which will kill every organism infected by the T-virus. In a race against time, Alice is captured by Dr. Isaacs, long thought to be dead, who reveals that the previous incarnation was a clone of his true self. Alice escapes and arrives first in Raccoon City, where she joins forces with Claire Redfield. After holding off Dr. Isaacs’ undead army, Alice, Claire and a team of survivors make their way towards the Hive. They again encounter the Red Queen, who tells them the origins of the T-virus: it was created by James Marcus, the founder of the Umbrella Corporation to save his daughter, Alicia, from an ailment that caused her to rapidly age. James was then betrayed by his business partner, Dr. Isaacs, and killed by Albert Wesker.

Dr. Isaacs and the board of the Umbrella Corporation then intended to release the T-virus on purpose in order to cleanse the world, save the rich and powerful with cryogenics in The Hive, and later rebuild it as they desire. After confronting Wesker and Dr. Isaacs at the bottom of the Hive, Alice also learns her own true nature: she is a clone of the original and still-living Alicia Marcus, who was unable to live a normal life due to her condition. Dr. Isaacs clone brought the army of undead towards Alice and the real Dr. Isaacs. Dr. Isaacs clone could not believe that he was a clone hence stabbed the real Dr. Isaacs to death. Alice then releases the anti-virus, eliminating all infected by the T-virus. Alice survives, and gains the memories of Alicia Marcus as a reward in order to reclaim the childhood she never had. The series ends with Alice riding a motorcycle to places unknown while being chased by BOW’s, stating that her job isn’t finished yet and that it will take several years for the anti-virus to circle the globe.

I have forgotten so much of the actual storyline throughout the 6 films that I had to go back and read about them. It’s all muddled and messed up and it all feels like they are making stuff up as they go along. Kinda just like Underworld which is obvious. Again too bad as I really liked the first two films and they way that they were headed. I give this film a 6 outta 10. But it’s lovely to see both Ali Larter & Milla again.

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Ouija: Origin of Evil

Ouija: Origin of Evil is a 2016 American supernatural horror film directed and edited by Mike Flanagan and written by Flanagan and Jeff Howard. The film is a prequel to the 2014 film Ouija and stars Elizabeth Reaser, Annalise Basso, Lulu Wilson, Parker Mack, Doug Jones and Henry Thomas. Unlike its predecessor, the film’s plot focuses on a widow and her family adding a Ouija board to their phony seance business where, unbeknownst to them, they invite a spirit that possesses the youngest daughter.

Set in 1967 Los Angeles, a widow named Alice Zander works out of her suburban home as a spiritual medium, accompanied by her daughters, 15-year-old Paulina “Lina” and 9-year old Doris; although they stage their seances, Alice’s real intent is to help people move on. The family is still reeling over the recent death of Roger, Alice’s husband and the kids’ father. After Lina suggests that Alice incorporate a Ouija board into her readings, Alice does so, and unknowingly contacts a spirit named Marcus that begins to possess Doris. This is breaking one of the three rules: never play alone, never play in a graveyard, and always say goodbye. Alice receives a foreclosure note, meaning they may lose their house. Doris contacts the board for help, believing she is communicating with her dead father, and the spirit leads her to a secret compartment behind the basement wall containing a pouch of cash. Doris, breaking another of the three rules, forgets to say goodbye to the spirits.

When she gives the money to her mother, the family has a Ouija session, believing they can contact Roger. When the board answers a question only Roger would know the answer to, a thrilled Alice begins believing that they are in contact with her dead husband. A shadowy figure starts to possess Doris and Lina finds papers written by Doris in Polish, a language they do not know. Lina brings them to Father Tom to translate. Troubled, Father Tom visits them for a Ouija session under the pretense of contacting his dead wife Gloria. Although the session appears to be successful, Father Tom later explains to Alice and Lina that Doris did not contact Gloria. Instead, for every question he asked, she read his thoughts and repeated the answers he was thinking in his mind. He reveals that the pages are entries written by a Polish immigrant named Marcus, who was taken captive during World War II by a sadistic doctor who conducted experiments on him and other captives inside the house’s basement.

These spirits knew answers that only Roger would know because they have been watching the family since the day they moved in. Meanwhile, Doris kills Lina’s boyfriend Mikey and she hangs his body. Upon seeing this, Father Tom, Alice, and Lina burn the Ouija board downstairs. When Father Tom discovers skeletal remains in the basement wall, they realize that they have been using the Ouija board in a graveyard all this time thus breaking the third rule. Father Tom finds the secret room where the experiments were conducted, and is possessed by the spirits. He attacks Alice and Lina, but momentarily seizes clarity, only to be killed by Doris. Alice is captured, while Roger’s spirit carries an unconscious Lina to her bed. Lina wakes up and recalls an earlier moment where her doll’s mouth was stitched by her father’s spirit “to shut out the voices”, realizing that she must sew Doris’ mouth shut to quiet the spirits’ voices and stop the evil. During the struggle, she successfully sews Doris’ mouth shut and Doris dies, reuniting with her father.

After this, Lina is temporarily possessed and stabs Alice. While dying, Alice sees Roger and Doris together, and happily joins them, leaving behind a sobbing Lina. Two months later, Lina remains committed in a mental hospital for the suspected murder of her mother. She is interviewed by a doctor and is unable to say what happened to Doris’ body, but states that she, Lina, will never be alone again. She tries summoning her sister inside her cell and the doctor watches, unbeknownst that the possessed Doris skitters across the ceiling towards him. In a post-credits scene set in 2013, a now elderly Lina remains in the asylum and receives a visit from someone claiming to be her niece.

The film starts of in a sweet almost rom-com way of these three ladies – mom and her two kids – trying to convince people with their gimmicks and even help people and just trying to survive. It takes a dark turn slowly and builds up in intensity and ends on a sad note. It was well enough acted with no usual horror cliches. I give it a 7 outta 10!

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The Shallows

The Shallows is a 2016 American survival thriller film directed by Jaume Collet-Serra, written by Anthony Jaswinski and starring Blake Lively. In the film, a surfer gets stranded 200 yards from shore, and must use her wits and determination to survive a great white shark attack. I guess you could label it a horror / creature feature film of sorts.

Well despite being set most on the ocean or is it the sea on a pretty beautiful but secluded beach and featuring our actress heroine trying to just stay alive, it is still is a very good film. Medical student Nancy Adams travels to a remote part of Mexico to a beach which was her late mother’s favourite place. Her mother was pregnant with Nancy at the time and she wants to see the place. From her hotel, a friendly local named Carlos drives her to the location and leaves as he lives nearby. Nancy joins two other locals in surfing through the day and stopping only for a bite to eat, during which she video chats with her younger sister and her estranged dad.

After the two men leave, Nancy stays behind to see the carcass of a large humpback whale nearby and catch the last waves but is bumped off her board by a great white who also bites her leg. She then climbs the carcass of the dying whale but the shark rams it from underneath, forcing her to swim to an isolated rock. She only has a wounded seagull for company as the shark keeps circling the whale carcass and the rock meaning she is stuck there. A drunken local sees her but thinks she is waving hello and so he waves back. He tries to steal her bag but sees her board and in trying to get that he is attacked and killed by the shark. The next morning the two locals from the previous day also return and try to reach Nancy to help her but both are killed by the shark. The headcamera on one of the surfers floats nearby so Nancy risks her life to get it. She leaves a recorded message for her sister and father.

With high tide coming, Nancy knows that the rock will be submerged and the shark will get at her so she sends the seagull whom she names Steven toward shore on a piece of surfboard, and timing the shark’s circles from the whale carcass to the rock, Nancy swims to a nearby buoy, narrowly avoiding the shark by swimming through a group of jellyfish, which sting both the shark and her. She finds a flare gun on the bouy and shoots a flare at a passing ship but they fail to see her. She shoots another flare at the shark, setting the oil from the whale carcass alight and angering it, but otherwise having no effect. The shark attacks the buoy and rips out the chains securing it to the ocean bed. Nancy straps herself to the last remaining chain and as it is ripped from the buoy, she is pulled down to the ocean floor, pursued by the shark. At the last moment, Nancy pulls out of the dive, and the shark impales itself on some rebar from the buoy’s anchor.

By morning, Carlos’s son Miguel who was playing on the beach finds the camera and plays it. He runs to his father who is able to get Nancy out of the water and to a hospital. A year later we see Nancy with her sister on a beach in Texas going to surf on boards with their dad watching nearby. A good survival film and it even has some fun moments. Not since Jaws & Deep Blue have I seen a shark that I wanted dead so much. I thought it was well done. And oh so satisfying when sharky shark bit the dust! 7 outta 10!

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The Veil

Haven’t seen Jessica Alba in anything for a long while. So I definitely wanted to check out this film which was recommended in a Horror movie fan group as one of the best films of 2016 which most people may have skipped. And plus the film also stars one of my current darlings, Lily Rabe. The Veil is a 2016 American supernatural horror film directed by Phil Joanou and written by Robert Ben Garant. Jason Blum serves as a producer through his production company Blumhouse Productions and the movie also stars Aleksa Palladino, Reid Scott, and Thomas Jane.

25 years ago a religious cult named Heaven’s Veil, had all their members commit suicide in a ritual procedure. Documentary filmmaker Maggie Price contacts the sole survivor, Sarah Hope, to film a documentary about what really happened and she also has never seen before footage. Maggie and her brother Christian inform her that their father was the FBI who led the investigation that found the cult and saw the dead bodies. He soon committed suicide leaving his kids to be obsessed with finding the truth behind Heaven’s Veil. Maggie, Christian and their crew take Maggie with them to the remote site of the cult’s residence, which is deep in the woods. Sarah starts to see flashes of memories, visions of the dead and faints. After she recovers they set up camp for the night. The next morning one of the crew, Ed, is missing as well as their van.

Ann, the sound editor, and Nick, the gaffer, leave to find Ed. The others follow Sarah, who has remembered the location of a house hidden within the forest. Inside, they find the lost footage and missing cult member Karen Sweetzer’s decomposed corpse. In a tape found near her body, Karen rants about not being controlled and briefly addresses Sarah, who they learn is her daughter, before dying. They begin watching the remaining footage. In it, Jim Jacobs, the leader of Heaven’s Veil, describes how he has uncovered the secret to eternal life. By designing drugs with his knowledge of alchemy, he hopes to free his followers’ spirits from their bodies. Ann and Nick return, only to reveal that Ed has died in a high-speed car accident. Jill, the sound editor, argues they should leave, but Maggie and Sarah insist that they continue watching the tapes and the others reluctantly agree. In the later tapes, Jim experiments with dangerous drugs to help him temporarily cross over to the spirit realm.

During one trance, he possesses a cult member and announces that he has freed the first of three bindings from her soul. Ghosts kill Nick when he leaves to restart the house’s generator; he later rejoins the others and kills Ann when they are alone. Ann and Nick return together to continue watching the tapes. Jim reveals further experiments in the footage, where he administers poison to himself. He removes the second binding from his soul, then returns once the antidote is applied to him. Disturbed by ghostly whispers, Jill and Matt, the cameraman, leave. They find Ed apparently alive. As Jill applies first aid, Matt leaves to get help. Ed kills Jill, and they return to the house. Sarah holds a seance to communicate with her mother, who demands that she entice the documentary filmmakers to stay at the house. Sarah murders Christian, who rises and joins her to continue watching the footage with the others, all of whom but Maggie are now possessed.

In the final reel, Jim reveals that the poison administered to the cult members was supposed to be counteracted by an antidote. Karen objects to giving poison to the children and allows Sarah to flee. Jim is revealed to be Sarah’s father and forces Karen to take the poison when she resists. Karen leaves with the footage for the house, where she dies. Before the cult can administer the antidote to themselves, the FBI arrive and interrupt the ceremony. Denied the antidote, the cult members all die. In the present, Sarah reveals that the cult members have possessed the documentary filmmakers, and Jim, possessing Ed, nails Maggie to a tree despite her protests that her father did not know about the antidote. The police arrive with Matt, only to be killed by the cult members, who now possess their bodies, too. Jim announces his plan to feed upon the souls of the rest of the world.

You can predict how things are going to unfold and it’s a bit boring with very little scary stuff but I did find parts of the film cool. I’d give it a 6.5 outta 10! Average run of the mill stuff.

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JeruZalem

JeruZalem is a 2015 Israeli supernatural horror film written, directed and produced by Doron Paz & Yoav Paz. The movie stars Yael Grobglas, Yon Tumarkin, Danielle Jadelyn & Tom Graziani. The film makes use of found footage style of filming but using Google Glass instead of a regular vlogging or filming camera.

The movie starts of with a Youtube video shot in 1972 where two priests  are called to record an event at Jerusalem. It is revealed that Jewish, Muslim, and Christian priests were all called to perform an exorcism on a woman who supposedly died three days before. Her son claims she was calm at first, but became violent later, injuring her husband. After failed attempts to cure her, the priests decide they have no choice but to kill the woman. In a final attempt, the woman screams while sprouting leather wings, just before a priest kills her with a gun. Now move to current times and Jewish Americans Rachel Klein and Sarah Pullman have planned a trip to Tel Aviv for vacation, a year after Sarah’s brother died. Sarah has been gifted a brand new Google Glass by her dad.

On the plane their meet Kevin, who is fascinated by religious mythology (especially the dark angel, the Golem and the undead or zombies). He suggests that Rachel and Sarah join him on his journey to Jerusalem, and mentions that he wants to spend Yom Kippur there. They join him and go to Jerusalem and stay in a hotel/hostel run by Oman and his father. While Rachel starts an affair with Omar, Kevin and Sarah grow closer. The four friends enjoy their time in Jerusalem, party, and tour the city. When they visit the Western Wall, Sarah wishes for her recently dead brother Joel to return. As soon as she puts the paper into the Western Wall, a swarm of black birds fly over the Western Wall. Next they visit Soloman quarries but Kevin sees drawings on the wall, feels nervous and says he wants to leave, Sarah joining hi. Kevin starts researching the drawings and starts to get paranoid saying that there won’t be a tomorrow. Kevin insists on leaving, but Omar and his father believe that Kevin is crazy (apparently this temporary insanity affects a few people who visit Jerusalem) and send him to a mental asylum.

At night they see planes bombing part of the city and initial reports make it out to be a terrorist attack. Israeli soldiers come and tell the citizens that they should leave the city and Sarah tries to set Kevin free from the asylum, but Rachel and Omar, being escorted by two Israeli soldiers, refuse to stop and insist that they keep moving. Sarah convinces the soldiers to help her free Kevin. In the hospital, Sarah finds and frees Kevin. While in the asylum she seems a zombie like figure with sharp wings. They manage to escape and meet Omar and Rachel at the city walls. However, the city walls are closed and the city is under quarantine. Anyone who tries to leave is brutally shot down. The four friends don’t want to give up on their escape, and Omar’s father suggests sneaking out through underwater caves he knew as a child. On their way there they are met by demons who attack the civilians, bite them, scratch them to infect them, and eat their flesh. Kevin believes that the doors to hell have been opened. Sarah soon realizes that Rachel has been infected as well.

In the caves Rachel starts to get worse and the demons start attacking the group. Sarah falls down and Rachel regains control over herself, warning Sarah to run before killing herself. Sarah accidentally kills Omar’s father with a sword taken from a statue, when Omar realizes what happened, he commits suicide leaving Kevin and Sarah alone. They meet a creature with black wings who turns out to be Sarah’s brother Joel returned to life. Joel leads them from the caves. Upon reaching the other side of the wall, Sarah realizes that she has many scratches similar to Rachel’s on her legs and arms. She turns into a demon and flies into the air, while Kevin watches on in shock. Thousands of demons are seen flying above Jerusalem as military helicopters surround the scene and fires burn throughout the city.

Shabbily done and to be truthful I never once cared about any of the characters. If you do not like the characters it is hard to get into a movie and root for them or feel bad when the horror befalls them. Not one character is likeable or relateable. Some of the dialogue is corny and you understand when you get to know that the cast is almost all Israeli (meaning the girls are pretending to be American for the movie) and I just found it a run of the mill supernatural stuff. A 6 outta 10!

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The Purge: Election Year

The Purge: Election Year is a 2016 American dystopian action horror film written and directed by James DeMonaco and starring Frank Grillo, Elizabeth Mitchell and Mykelti Williamson. A sequel to the 2014 film The Purge: Anarchy, it is the third installment of the The Purge series.

In 2022, we see a young family tied up by a man in a mask who then tells them they are going to play one final Purge game, called “Mommy’s Choice.” When the mother, Charlie Roan, refuses the man moves slowly towards the family as they struggle. We then flash forward to 18 years and two days before the purge riots have broken out in Washington DC claiming that the New Founding Fathers are using the Purge to help their economic agenda. Charlie, a Senator, is now a contended for President and is standing the election gaining ground over the NFFA’s candidate, Minister Edwidge Owens.

After Roan gets a standing ovation after she declares the Purge only serves to eliminate the poor and benefit the rich and powerful, the FFAA decided to kill her on the day of the Purge to make it look like a purge event but enlist a Neo-Nazi paramilitary solider unit. On March 20, the day before the Purge, the NFFA revokes the Purge rule that protects ranking 10 government officials, appearing to attempt to regain public favor, but is actually a front to kill Roan. On the night of the Purge the unit kills of the secret service and snipers protecting Roan and enter her house. Her head of security, former police sergeant Leo Barnes brings her out and they travel the city looking for a place to hide the night out. A convenience store, owner and proprietor Joe Dixon (Mykelti Williamson), assistant Marcos (Joseph Julian Soria), and their friend, EMT Laney Rucker (Betty Gabriel), help them out as they fight out purge crowds, a group of South African tourists and the NFAA as well as teenagers looking to attack Joe’s store.

Later they are rescued by a group of anti-purge rebels who are well armed and have supplies and medicine to treat any wounded. Roan discovers the rebels are planning to assassinate the NFAA candidate and tries to dissuade them, as she wants to win the election fairly. As the facility is attacked everyone has to leave and Roan is captured by the soldiers. At a midnite mass in a cathedral Roan is to be killed by the NFAA but the rebels along with Leo, Joe, Marcos and Laney infiltrate the event and kill off most of the NFAA goons while Leo kills the lead soldier. Joe is however killed when a priest who shoots at Roan and he steps in the way. Before succumbing to his injuries, Joe urges Roan to win the election and tells Marcos and Laney to take care of his store. On May 26, two months after the Purge, Roan defeats Owens in the presidency by a landslide while Barnes is promoted to her head of Secret Service while continuing his service as her chief of security. Marcos and Laney renovate the store and continue to run it in Joe’s honor while they watch the news of Roan’s victory and another report indicating that outlawing the Purge has become Roan’s top priority. Further reports state that many NFFA supporters have reacted to the election results with violent protests in the streets as the film ends with Marcos looking at an American flag hanging outside his store.

Hmmm, very interesting that this movie came out in the year of the American election in which Trump won. It’s an improvement on the last two films but not horror in anyway. More like an action film. The film was released on July 1, 2016 and grossed over $118 million, becoming the highest-grossing film of the series. I give it a 7 outta 10!

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The Haunting in Connecticut

The Haunting in Connecticut is a 2009 American psychological horror film produced by Gold Circle Films and directed by Peter Cornwell. It is supposedly based on Carmen Snedeker and her family, who were the subject of the book In a Dark Place: The Story of a True Haunting (1992). The movie stars Virginia Madsen, Elias Koteas, Martin Donovan & Amanda Crew.

In 1987 Sara Campbell moves with her cancer-stricken son Matthew to a rural house in Connecticut. The long drives from their home to the hospital for his treatments being the main reason, Sara decides to take the large old house from a man renting it. The following day, Peter arrives with Matt’s brother Billy and cousins Wendy and Mary, and they choose rooms. Matt chooses the basement, where there is a mysterious door. After moving in, Matt suffers a series of visions involving an old, bearded man and corpses with symbols carved into their skin. The next day, Peter learns that the house was supposedly a funeral home; the room behind the mysterious door is a mortuary.

Matt tells another patient, Reverend Nicholas Popescu (Elias Koteas), about the visions. Nicholas advises him to find out what the spirit wants. Later, Matt finds a burned figure in his room who begins to move toward him. When the family comes home, they find a shirtless Matt with his fingers blood-covered from scratching at the wall. As the family starts to strain under the stress of Matt’s illness and his behaviour, the children find a box of photographs, which show Jonah, a young man from Matt’s visions, at a séance, emitting ectoplasm. Wendy and Matt find out that the funeral home was run by a man named Ramsey Aickman. Aickman also conducted psychic research and would host séances with Jonah as the medium. At one séance, all those attending, including Aickman, were found dead and Jonah disappeared. Nicholas theorizes that Aickman was practicing necromancy in an attempt to control the dead and bind them to the house.

That night, Nicholas finds human remains in the house and removes them. Matt awakens to find Aickman’s symbols carved into his flesh. He is taken to the hospital, where he encounters Jonah. Nicholas and Matt begin to have simultaneous visions. Everyone in the séance is burnt, after a flash of bright light. The barely alive Aickman told Jonah to get out of the house, concerned that the demonic presence will get him next. The spirit traps Jonah in the crematory, and cremates him alive. Peter and Sara learn that Matt’s cancer treatments have had no effect. They then discover that Matt has escaped the hospital. Back at the house, Nicholas leaves a message telling the family to get out of the house immediately – Jonah’s spirit was actually protecting them from the spirits. Sara goes in despite the efforts of the firemen and cradles Matt. They are brought out by the fire crew and they try to resuscitate a dying Matt. As Matt slips away, he has a vision of himself standing in the graveyard where he sees Jonah, no longer appearing burnt. He seems about to follow Jonah when he hears his mother’s voice.

He returns to his body and Jonah’s spirit leaves him. Matt’s cancer disappears, and the house was rebuilt and resold with no further reported incidents of haunting. Ofcourse! Well it isn’t a great movie just about average but then I’d watch anything with my eternal crush Virginia Madsen in it. She was quite good in the film too. So is Koteas. I’d give the film a 6.5 outta 10!

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The Forest

The Forest is a 2016 American supernatural horror film directed by Jason Zada and written by Ben Ketai, Nick Antosca, and Sarah Cornwell. It stars Natalie Dormer and Taylor Kinney. Eoin Macken, Stephanie Vogt, Yukiyoshi Ozawa & Rina Takasaki have supporting roles.

Sara Price, recieves a call from the Japanese police stating that her twin Jess, who was working as an English teacher in Japan is missing and presumed dead. The reason they presume she is dead is that Jess was last seen into the Aokigahara forest, a forest at the northwest base of Mount Fuji in Japan known as a popular destination for the suicidal. Jess has always been a troubled woman from childhood, having seen their parents’ death in a drunk driving accident, which Sara did not witness. Hence Sara has always picked up after her sister and defended her.

Against the wishes of her fiance Rob, Sara goes to Japan and stays at the hotel her sister first had and then visits the school. Sara meets a reporter named Ayden at her hotel bar and as they drink she tells him about her sister. Aiden, who speaks Japanese having lived in Tokyo for many years invites her to go into the forest with him and a park guide, Michi, so she can look for her sister. As they enter the forest Michi tells Sara that Jess probably killed herself, which refuses to believe this, explaining how, being a twin, she can “feel” that Jess is still alive. Deep in the woods, the group discovers a yellow tent that Sara recognizes as Jess’s. With nightfall approaching, Michi suggests they leave a note for Jess and leave. Sara refuses, and Aiden volunteers to stay with her through the night. That night, Sara hears rustling in the bushes and, believing it may be Jess, rushes into the woods after her. Sara finds a Japanese girl, Hoshiko, who claims to know Jess. The girl warns Sara not to trust Aiden and flees at the sound of his voice. Sara attempts to chase after her but falls and loses her.

On their own Aiden and Sara walk around and lose their way. As they walk, Sara’s suspicions are raised and she demands Aiden to give her his phone and finds a picture of Jess on it. Aiden denies any involvement with Jess, but Sara runs into the forest alone. While running she begins to hear voices telling her to turn around. She appears to be unfazed by this until she hears the voice directly behind her. She turns around to see a hanging body and continues to run away. She then falls into an underground cave and goes unconscious, later she wakes up and discovers that she is in the cave with Hoshiko, who turns out to be a y?rei. Hoshiko then turns into what appears to be a “demonic figure”. Sara then runs the opposite way towards what appears to be Aiden. Aiden finds her and helps her out of the cave and, with some convincing, they continue to walk together. They find their way to a ranger station that Aiden had seen.

At the station Sara hallucinates that she hears Jess’s voice from behind a door and finds a note which implies that Aiden is holding Jess captive in the basement. Convinced that he is a threat, Sara attacks and kills Aiden with a small kitchen knife. However she soon realizes that Aiden was telling her the truth and it was all her hallucinations. and finds a note which implies that Aiden is holding Jess captive in the basement. Convinced that he is a threat, Sara attacks and kills Aiden with a small kitchen knife. When she cut at her father’s fingers she was actually cutting deep into her own wrists, and is now dying from blood loss in the basement. As she succumbs to her wounds, a y?rei pulls Sara into the forest floor. Her very much alive sister is rescued by the search party and explains that the “feeling” of her sister is gone and it is assumed that Jess knows Sara is dead. As the search party leaves, Michi is seen staring at a figure and realizes that it’s Sara’s spirit.

Predictable and slightly boring and even tedious in places as the actors struggle over an uninspiring script, the movie saw a negative critical reception but was a box office success, grossing $37.6 million against a reported budget of $10 million. I’ll give it a 5.5 outta 10!

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Blair Witch (2016)

To be honest I wasn’t that impressed with The Blair Witch Project which is a 1999 found footage horror film that was a trendsetter and heavily influential. I also watched it many years later after I knew the story and the film had been talked out over and over again. Well, we get a second sequel to the film in Blair Witch. Directed by Adam Wingard and written by Simon Barrett the movie stars James Allen McCune, Callie Hernandez, Brandon Scott, Corbin Reid, Wes Robinson, and Valorie Curry.

Set 20 years after the events of the first film, Heather’s younger brother James is obsessed with finding what happened to his sister and her crew. He finds an uploaded video from a camera found in the woods and it shows a brief reflection off a mirror of a woman running into a house. James is sure that the woman is his sister. He heads into the woods, accompanied by friends Peter Jones, Ashley Bennett, and film student Lisa Arlington, who wants to film the search for a documentary and hence ofcourse a bunch of cameras and a drone. They meet the Youtubers, Lane & Talia, who found the film and uploaded it and they agree to show them into the woods to the place where they found the film, provided they can join for the rest of the trip. James agrees and the 6 of them head into the woods.

What happens next is stuff pretty much from the first film. Noises in the night, waking up from their tents to find strange stick figures hanging from the trees and even accusation of Lane of setting it up when they find twine in his bag. The group walk in circles coming back to the same spot though they left hours ago. Lane and Talia come back after being banished for a day but they claim that it has been 5 days for them wandering through the woods and that the sun has not been seen for those 5 days! Is it possible that the witch is manipulating the woods? Ashley becomes sick due to a wound on her foot, forcing the group to camp again. Peter is chased by an unknown entity, gets wounded, and disappears. Believing that he is hallucinating, Lane runs off. The next morning, James and Lisa are stunned to find that it is still dark outside and discover larger stick figures. Talia sees clumps of her hair tied to one of the figures. Ashley accuses Talia of crafting them and snaps the figure in half; Talia’s body is then snapped in half.

They are chased by an unseen force that lifts up their tent Ashley finds the drone and climbs a tree to recover it but falls and is pulled off-screen by the force. James and Lisa run and find the cabin from the first film and are separated when James feels he sees his sister and he runs into the house. Lisa sees a humanoid creature and runs from it into the house and finds a disheveled and older looking Lane who traps her in an underground tunnel. Lisa is again attacked by Lane, whom she fatally stabs. She finds James and they are chased by the force. As per the legend, James makes Lisa stare at the wall and tells her not to look at the entity. He however is tricked into turning around, believing that he hears Heather’s voice, is attacked and dragged out of sight. Lisa uses Lane’s camcorder to indirectly view what is behind her and begins walking backwards. However, hearing James’ apology again, she turns too, and is attacked.

Most of the film is a bit similar to the first film and it’s only towards the end when things pick up. I liked the sequence from when Peter is attacked till the end so I’m going to give the film a 6.5 outta 10!

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The Green Inferno

The Green Inferno is a 2013 American splatter cannibal horror film directed by Eli Roth. The film was inspired by and is a homage to Italian cannibal films of the late 1970s and early ’80s “cannibal boom”, including Cannibal Holocaust (1980), which features a film-within-a-film titled The Green Inferno. Among the cast are Lorenza Isso, Magda Apanowicz & Ariel Levy.

Our leading lady Justine who is a freshman in college, joins an activist group led by Alejandro and his girlfriend, Kara mainly because she is challenged by him and seemingly has an initial attraction for him. The group plans a trip to the Amazon rainforest to stop a company from logging and obliterating ancient native tribes there; the goal is to film the logging crews with cell phones and stream footage to raise awareness. Justine, whose father is an attorney for the United Nations, suggests she could bring attention to the issue through her father. The operation is funded by a drug dealer named Carlos, who takes the group of students to Peru via plane.

They arrive in the Amazon and head to a logging site where they begin their protest, chaining themselves to bulldozers while filming the loggers cutting down trees. The logger’s private militia then arrives on the scene, but cannot seem to break open the chains to get them away from the logging site. The protest receives viral attention on the internet when Justine is almost shot dead by one of the militia officers. The group is then arrested, but Carlos pays the police to let them go. Justine then realizes that she was a pawn: if things went badly, nobody would kill the daughter of a UN attorney. As the plane leaves, it crashes into the forest, resulting in the death of Carlos. And that’s when the shot really hits the fan. The survivors (another one accidentally is killed when he dazed and confused walks into the spinning propellers. Justine, Alejandro, Kara, Jonah, Lars, Amy, Samantha, and Daniel, the only survivours are captured by villagers, knocked out by darts dipped in a tranquilizer, who are painted in red and look really savage. While the others are imprisoned in a bamboo cage, Jonah is led onto a rock slab, tied up and the village shaman lady cuts off his eyeballs and tongue and eats it and then his head is cut off and the villagers cut the rest of him up and cook and eat him.

These were the same villagers that the group were trying to save from the loggers! Alejandro later tells the group that the mission to save the tribe was a fake, and that he had been paid by Carlos to do it, who owned a rival logging company. After Amy has a hilarious bout of diarrhea in front of the others, Samantha attempts to escape, but she is darted and the group then finds out that they’re being watched by a watchman. The 3 ladies are ordered out tested with a sharpened instrument, and Justine is revealed to be a virgin. She is then taken away, and prepared for a genital mutilation ceremony. Samantha then escapes after the watchman is distracted by a ringing phone and we see her run upto the river and hide in a canoe. The next day the group is given scraps of pork meat in bowls, and Amy after eating sees that a piece of skin at the bottom of her bowl, bearing one of Samantha’s tattoos. She then realizes that Samantha was recaptured and killed, and that she just ate her girlfriend. She then smashes her bowl and uses a shard to cut her throat and commit suicide. Lars then puts a sack of marijuana that Carlos gave him down Amy’s throat, hoping that will make the tribe sick if they eat her. Eventually, Justine and Daniel escape, leaving Alejandro (for lying) and Lars (who Alejandro knocks out, out of anger) behind. Lars later wakes up, but the tribe then eats him alive.

Daniel and Justine reach the plane but are caught and brought back. Daniel is tied to a pole and has his legs broken, covered in a green powder and is fed to ants while Justine is prepared for the ceremony. Logging machinery attracts the tribe to the jungle; the distraction allows Justine to escape with the help of a child sympathizer. Justine sees a dying Daniel and he begs her to kill him. Justine can’t do it so the child kills him and takes her to the river where she escapes two villagers who chase her and avoids a jaguar and runs into the logging team. Using a phone she took from the crash site to pretend to film the fight, so the militia would stop firing on the natives. Justine is then taken home to safety, by one of the loggers’ helicopters. Back in New York, she lies to her father and the UN, telling them she was the only survivor of the crash and that the tribe was friendly to her. That night, Justine has a nightmare that Alejandro comes back from the jungle. The next morning, she sees that Alejandro’s face on shirts is being used to promote further activism on campus by those unaware of his manipulations.

More like an exploitation film, with certain degree of racist theme abound in the film it still does have enough entertainment value for those who like gore and blood and torture. It doesn’t have anything original at all though and is more like a homage film. 6 outta 10!

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Lights Out (2016)

I haven’t watched that many horror films this year I guess. Last year too. Lights Out is a 2016 American supernatural horror film directed by David F. Sandberg in his major directorial debut, produced by Lawrence Grey, James Wan and Eric Heisserer and written by Heisserer. It stars Teresa Palmer, Gabriel Bateman, Alexander DiPersia, Billy Burke and Maria Bello.

Here is the story, Sophie the mom in the film, was in an institution when she was a child and met and befriend another girl named Diana who had an unusual condition that made her skin photosensitive. The doctors there did some odd experimental treatment with lights that seemingly killed her (burned her out or something) when she was exposed to a bright light. However Diana still lives on and is in the shadows and is only seen as a silhouette in the dark. Her friendship with Sophie is what is keeping her here in this world and she latches onto her and controls certain aspects of her life. She causes Sophie’s first husband to leave and scares the older daughter Rebecca so much that it brought about a rift between mother and daughter.

Sophie remarries and has a son named Martin but Rebecca leaves once she is old enough. Martin comes to Rebecca saying that he is scared. His dad was killed by Diana while he was at work and Rebecca takes him in so he can sleep without being in fear of Diana, which Rebecca thinks is just in their mother’s mind. But soon she changes her position when she is attacked by Diana first at her apartment and then in their house. Rebecca confronts Sophie about Diana but she denies the accusations. Rebecca, her boyfriend Bret and Martin decide to stay overnight to protect her. Rebecca goes to her bedroom to reconcile; however, Sophie secretly passes her a note saying “I need help” before Diana tugs her back in. Rebecca realizes that she is being controlled and turns on all the lights in the house to keep her away.

Diana traps Martin & Rebecca and Bret runs out to get the cops who last a few minutes before they too are killed. Rebecca realizes that using blacklight can allow them to see Diana and discovers scrawled writings along the wall, explaining how Diana won’t let anyone “take” Sophie and that she killed Rebecca’s father. Rebecca sends Martin to Bret and goes back to rescue Sophie. Diana then attacks Rebecca violently, but Sophie confronts her with a gun, realizing she’s Diana’s tether to the world. She then commits suicide by shooting herself which makes Diana disappear. Distraught, Rebecca, Martin and Bret reconcile and vow to stay together as the cops and ambulance are at the scene.

Boring and not scary at all. It’s just about average with an unexciting premise and boring storyline. Only thing I liked about the movie is Teresa Palmer who I think is a doll. 6 outta 10!

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Don’t Breathe

Don’t Breathe is a 2016 American horror film directed by Fede Alvarez and written by Alvarez and Rodo Sayagues. The film stars Jane Levy, Dylan Minnette, Daniel Zovatto and Stephen Lang, and focuses on three friends who get trapped inside a blind man’s house while breaking into it. It received critically positive reviews and grossed over $152 million, which is fantastic for a lower budget film made on $9.9 million.

Rocky, Alex, and Money are three Detroit delinquents who make a living by breaking into homes secured by Alex’s father’s security company and selling the items they take. However the man who Money, their sort of leader and overall douchebag, sells the stuff too isn’t very much and not nearly enough to fund Rocky’s dream of moving to California with her little sister Diddy to escape their neglectful mother and her alcoholic boyfriend. The man tells Money about a Gulf war veteran living in an abandoned Detroit neighborhood has $300,000 in cash in his house, given as a settlement after a wealthy young woman, Cindy Roberts, killed his daughter in a car accident. The three stake out the blind man’s house and find out that he is blind and lives alone with just a ferocious Rottweiler for company. As the blind man hasn’t left his house for several days, they decide to break into his house at night, whereas they usually break in during the day time.

At night they drug the dog by using some meat and sneak in through a small window and search the house in vain. Find a locked door, Money shoots the lock open waking up the blind man. Money holds the gun towards him and threatens him but he is subdued by the veteran and murdered by his own gun. Rocky hides in a closet, where she witnesses the Blind Man open a safe to check on his money. After he leaves, Alex finds Rocky in the closet, and the two open the safe and take the money. Meanwhile, the Blind Man finds Money’s and Rocky’s shoes downstairs, and realizes that Money was not the only intruder. Rocky and Alex evade the blind man and go downstairs to the basement where they find a restrained, gagged woman in a homemade padded cell. She holds a piece of a newspaper towards them that lets them know that she is infact Cindy Roberts, who went missing after the settlement. The two let her free and about to go out through the storm cellar door when the blind man comes in with the gun and shoots at them. Cindy is killed and Rocky and Alex flee into the cellar while the Blind Man, enraged at Cindy’s death, shuts off the lights. After a struggle, Alex subdues the Blind Man, and Rocky follows him back upstairs. The blind man dumps Cindy’s body in the septic tank.

They come out of the basement and run into the dog, who is now recovered. Alex and Rocky are unable to unlock the front door in time before the dog attacks them, and so they flee into the upstairs bedroom, where they find themselves trapped by the barred windows. Rocky escapes the room through a ventilation duct, while the dog breaks into the bedroom and attacks Alex, who falls out of a window onto a skylight and briefly falls unconscious. Alex awakens, falls through the glass after the blind man shoots at the skylight and is subdued, seemingly dead after the blind man attacks him with a tool. Rocky escapes from the dog and falls to the basement cellar where she is captured by the blind man wakes up restrained in the basement, where the Blind Man reveals that Cindy was carrying his child in order to replace the one she killed. He prepares to impregnate Rocky with a turkey baster, using his frozen sperm, but Alex, still alive, intervenes and handcuffs him. Rocky gags him with the baster at the two friends plan to leave. They attempt to leave through the front door, but the Blind Man breaks free and shoots Alex dead. Rocky flees, but the dog pursues her.

She manages to trap the dog in her car trunk, but is recaptured by the Blind Man and dragged back to his house. Inside, Rocky disorients the Blind Man by setting off his house’s loud alarm system, then beats him with a crowbar and knocks him into the basement; the gun goes off and shoots him as he falls. Rocky leaves him to die and escapes before the police arrive. With the money Rocky buys tickets to go to California with her kid sister and sees a news report stating that the Blind Man killed two intruders (Alex and Money) in his house and survived his injuries, but, for some reason, did not report Rocky or the stolen money. Rocky then starts leaving the train station, heading out of Detroit.

Terrific, tension filled film that leaves you gripping the arms of your seat throughout the film from the time the three break into the house. Shock, gasp and gag. It’s an 8 outta 10!

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The Boy

The Boy (also known initially as The Inhabitant) is a 2016 American-Chinese psychological horror directed by William Brent Bell and written by Stacey Delay. The film stars Lauren Cohan and Rupert Evans. Shot in Victoria, British Columbia, the film was released by STX Entertainment on January 22, 2016.

A young American woman from Montana, Greta (who ironically is played by Brit Lauren Cohan) gets a temporary job as a nanny for a very rich family in England. She is driven to the secluded estate at the end of the woods/forest and is met  at the large old house by Mr. and Mrs. Heelshire before meeting the elderly couple’s young son, Brahms. When she finds out that the “son” is a porcelain doll Greta is initially amused but seeing the seriousness shown by the couple, she decides to take the job as it is good pay. As she is told by Malcolm, who delivers groceries for the couple from his store, the real Brahms perished in a fire back in 1991, at the age of eight. Mrs. Heelshire, referring to the porcelain doll, states that Brahms has met “many nannies,” all of whom were “rejected.” Before the Heelshires leave on holiday, they give Greta a list of rules to follow, warning her that Brahms is not a normal child.

She ignores the instructions and spends her days drinking wine and reading, calling her sister and befriends Malcolm, who clearly is flirting with her. She reciprocates his feelings but also tells him that she came to the UK to be away from her ex who was abusive. Strange things begin to happen—a child’s sobs are heard in the hallways, phone calls are cut off and Brahms seems to move on his own, vanishing before reappearing in other sections of the house. On an evening she is to go out to the town with Malcolm, her dress and chain disappear while she is showering and is locked overnight in the attic and served a peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwich outside her door, she begins to believe that Brahms’ spirit lives on in the doll. Meanwhile, the Heelshires are seen on a coastline writing a good-bye letter to Brahms and filling their pockets with rocks before committing suicide by drowning. Greta starts to follow the rules thinking she is helping a ghost and demonstrates Brahms’ ability to move by himself, Malcolm begins to frequent the house.

He informs Greta that the real Brahms was friends with a young girl about his age, who disappeared after a playdate with him in the forest. The girl’s body was later found with her skull crushed. Malcolm warns Greta not to stay in the house, but Greta, having previously suffered a miscarriage, feels obligated to care for Brahms and begins to follow his rules. Later in the attic, she finds photos of Brahms with his childhood friend Emily. One evening Greta finds her ex-bf, Cole, playing pool in the house. He has tickets for the two of them to go back and is surprised that she is taking care of a doll and not a real boy. Malcolm arrives while the three of them eat dinner. Malcolm leaves the house but stays in his car in case anything bad happens. Greta puts Brahms in bed and asks him for help and later on, Cole becomes even more enraged by the appearance of a message written in blood, as he presumed that Greta wrote it to scare him away. Malcolm comes in hearing the argument and Cole takes the doll and breaks it on the floor.

Immediately after, the house begins to shake, and the lights flicker. Cole goes to investigate a mirror in the room, when suddenly the mirror smashes open and the real adult and very much alive Brahms crawls through the shattered mirror. It is revealed that he was living within the walls of the house the whole time. Wearing a similar porcelain mask on his face, Brahms kills Cole using a broken piece of the doll and chases the other two. They eventually escape to the attic where she discovers the room Brahms was living in, with a straw doll on a bed wearing her dress and jewellery, and embodying her image. Greta realizes that Brahms has been alive all along and was the one who was moving the porcelain doll throughout the house, stealing her possessions, and watching her every move. The Heelshires offered Greta (and the nannies before her) as a form of sacrifice to Brahms for “his keeping”. Brahms catches up and is attacked by Malcolm, who he wounds but Greta escapes through an opening.

On hearing Brahms say that he will kill Malcolm, she comes back into the house and tells him that she won’t leave. She then orders Brahms to go to bed, treating him as she would the doll (Brahms is still a feral child in this regard). After Greta tucks him into bed, he asks for a good night kiss, which she begrudgingly accepts. She stabs him with a screwdriver she hid in her pocket and is thrown against the wall by Brahms who then tries to strangle her. Greta then reaches down to the screwdriver (still stuck in his stomach) and twists it in deeper causing him to drop her and presumably die. Afterwards, she escapes, rescuing Malcolm and leaving the Heelshire estate gate open behind her. The film cuts to a scene of the open gate and then to a hand putting the porcelain doll back together, implying that Brahms is still alive. The film ends with a final glimpse of the repaired doll’s face.

It was ok not scary at all and has some good moments but overall it’s not very memorable. 6.5 outta 10!

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As Above So Below

As Above, So Below is a 2014 American horror film written and directed by John Erick Dowdle and co-written by his brother Drew. The film was produced byLegendary Pictures and distributed by Universal Pictures, making it the first film in Legendary’s deal with Universal. he film was released August 29, 2014, and stars Perdita Weeks, Ben Feldman, Edwin Hodge, François Civil, Marion Lambert, and Ali Marhyar.

Scarlett, a professor and a scholar of alchemy continues her dead father’s work searching for the philosopher’s stone, a legendary alchemical substance capable of turning base metals into gold or silver and grant eternal life, discovered by Nicolas Flamel. After escaping death and/or being caught by authorities, she manages to find the “Rose Key” in a cave in Iran and takes pictures of the inscriptions before the cave collapses. She then heads to Paris and meets up with former lover George, a restorer of ancient artifacts who explicit knowledge of ancient as well as modern languages, to help her decipher the writings. Along with Benji the cameraman, they translate Flamel’s headstone, which contains a riddle that leads them 370 feet underneath the streets of Paris. She enlists the help of a guide called Papillon, his girlfriend Souxie, and friend Zed to search the Catacombs of Paris.

The group head in through a narrow side entrance and George almost decides not to go in (as he has claustrophobia) but a chasing cop makes him go in with the rest. After crawling through a narrow tunnel which collapses, they encounter female cultists who are singing and appear possessed. They find themselves in a blocked tunnel that Papillion is reluctant to breach, as the only people who have gone through, including Pap’s friend La Taupe (The Mole), have never been seen again. But as they go in they find La Taupe, who seems to have lost his mind, still alive and they follow him as he agrees to guide them out and informs them the only way out is down. They eventually find a tomb with a preserved Templar Knight, a mound of treasure, and the Flamel Stone. Removing the stone, Scarlett realizes too late that the treasure is a trap, and the room collapses. La Taupe is lost under the rubble and is left behind by the group.

Using the Flamel Stone Scarlett is able to heal the group’s injuries. They find a drawing of a door with a star of David on the ceiling which alerts them to a door hidden on the ground and gGoing through the opening, they find a tunnel marked with the phrase “Abandon all hope, ye who enter here” in Greek, identical to the entrance to Hell in Dante’s Inferno. In an inner room they find La Toupe who kills Souxie when she approaches him to help and then disappears in one of the tunnels. As they go in deeper Benji, who is alone on top for a few minutes tying a rope for the others to use, is pushed to his death by one of the female cultists. They encounter a burning car and an occupant, an incident from Pap’s past who pulls in Papillon and sinks into the floor. With his legs sticking out of the now solid ground, the others try in vain to pull him out but he is dead. As they continue, they see apparitions of terrifying spirits and demons. Statues in the wall come to life, and one violently attacks George. After trying to drag him further, George murmurs, “Vitriol”, another riddle from earlier, and Scarlett realizes the Flamel stone itself is yet another trap. Only by returning it will she find the real stone.

Scarlett battles a pool of blood and hands that try to grab her, sees an apparition of her hanging from a rope and then her dead father she returns to the crypt and finds a polished mirror, which is when she realizes she has the magical abilities of the stone. She returns to George, kissing him as heals him. She explains to George and Zed that as this place provides an alternate form of reality, they must fight their way through. As the hooded demons chase them, they find and jump down a deep hole. They first believe there is no logical way of surviving the fall but survive. At the bottom, they see the hole is no longer there. Eventually, Scarlett, George, and Zed find a manhole on the floor, which when pushed down delivers them right side up onto the surface, on a street overlooking the Notre Dame. Scarlett and George hold each other while Zed walks away, finally safe. In an ending log, Scarlett concludes her documentary by stating that her mission has been accomplished.

It was an ok movie, with an interesting premise. I wasn’t very happy with the camera stuff being like found footage but I guess it added to the frantic and claustrophobia feeling at times. Though parts of it I wasn’t too impressed, I especially liked the last 25 minutes or so. It helped that the lead actress is so cute, look at that smile and those lips. I’ll give it a 6.5 outta 10!