Flight 7500

Flight 7500 is a 2014 American supernatural horror film directed by Takashi Shimizu, from a screenplay by Craig Rosenberg. It stars Leslie Bibb, Jerry Ferrara, Ryan Kwanten, Jamie Chung, Christian Serratos, Nicky Whelan and Amy Smart. It revolves around a supernatural force on a plane. The film was released in the United States on April 12, 2016, by CBS Films and Lionsgate.

The movie starts with the various characters getting onto the flight (at no point do they have scenes outside of the plane). Flight 7500 is from Los Angeles to Tokyo and has air hostesses Laura and Suzy welcome the passengers on board, and Suzy questions Laura about her secret relationship with the married captain, Pete. Passengers on board include a group of two vacationing couples, Lyn and Jack and Brad and Pia, who have secretly broken up; a thief named Jake; a suspicious businessman traveling with a strange wooden box, Lance; a young woman named Raquel; newlyweds Rick and the snobby Liz; and the goth Jacinta. After the plane is hit with turbulence, Lance has a panic attack, starts bleeding and coughing up blood and dies.

Captain Pete continues to Japan, after checking with flight control and later moving the first-class passengers into economy and keeping Lance’s body in the closed-off first class. The cabin pressure drops a little later and the oxygen masks are dispensed above the seats, a thick smoke fills the cabin. After the cabin pressure returns to normal and the smoke disappears, Laura finds Raquel unconscious in the toilet and revives her with an oxygen tank. Meanwhile, the plane’s radio has stopped working and Captain Pete cannot contact Tokyo air traffic controllers. As things calm down, Jake sneaks to first-class to steal Lance’s expensive watch but the body moves. Suzy notices that Jake, and Lance’s body, have both disappeared. When Laura notices an F-16 fighter jet flying beside their plane and calls the cockpit to inform Pete, he replies that no fighter jets are present. Brad’s in-flight TV show distorts and shows an image of Lance, while Liz is startled by a reflection of Lance on her laptop screen.

Raquel returns to the washroom to do a pregnancy test and is relieved to find it negative. However, smoke begins to fill the toilet and a hand grabs her and pulls her into the floor. Brad, Pia, Lyn & Jack along with Jacinta investigate Lance’s belongings and find a “death doll,” which Jacinta explains is a shinigami — a being who collects peoples souls after they die, but only if they let go of whatever is holding them to this world. Subsequently, Suzy informs Laura that Lance’s death has made her realize she does not want to marry her fiancé, which in turn leads to Laura breaking up with Pete. Laura searches Lance’s checked luggage, entering the hold through a small hatch. A hand emerges and drags Laura away. As Suzy waits for Laura by the hatch, another hand grabs at her. Suzy runs into first class, while a cloud of smoke follows her. The smoke quickly clears and Brad, Pia, Rick, Liz and Jacinta rush to find out what is wrong.

As Suzy walks towards them, one of the overhead compartments opens and she disappears into it. While the others rush towards the cockpit, Jacinta accepts that her only option is death, and she willingly walks towards an unknown figure which appears before her. The others discover that Captain Pete, Lyn and Jack are dead. The television in the cabin suddenly switches on, showing a breaking news story that Flight 7500 suffered a catastrophic decompression, communication had been lost, and a fighter jet has confirmed the death of everyone on board. Each of the group find their own deceased body, before Brad and Pia accept their death and reconcile. Some time after, Liz awakens to find the plane empty. She hears a strange noise coming from one of the waste bins, a discoloured hand appears and Liz ducks out of frame.

It’s got a nice, familiar cast which is why I checked out this film. It’s pretty tame as far as horror movies are concerned and most of the film is kinda mostly talking. The story though caught my interest though the acting and effects aren’t anything really good. It’s about an average film. I saw Leslie Bibb & Jamie Chung and these are two babes I have a thing for, so why not? 6 outta 10!

ROSHAN’S ELEVEN: Ranking Horror Franchises

Ok so, I am a horror fan and I love franchises. For me, a horror film franchise is atleast 4 or more movies. I have always watched horror movies but I think it was in 2011 when I really started getting into with a passion. At one point I was only watching horror films and watched a bunch of them back to back for many months. I have since averaged it and do a mix and match. Here are my favourite franchises to watch ranked in order.

  1. Conjuring
  2. The Evil Dead
  3. Friday The 13th
  4. Halloween
  5. Insidious
  6. Nightmare On Elm Street
  7. The Exorcist
  8. Child’s Play
  9. Hellraiser
  10. Living Dead
  11. The Hills Have Eyes

Rating The Conjuring-verse Movies

I really like the Conjuring Universe that started off with The Conjuring (2013)  distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures and heralded by James Wan. The two main films and its three spin-offs have proven themselves to be successful at the box office, having combined earnings of over $1.568 billion worldwide, against a combined budget of $103.5 million, making it the highest-grossing horror franchise in history and one of the most critically acclaimed.

This below is my ranking of the films.

  1. Conjuring 2
  2. The Conjuring
  3. Anabelle Creations
  4. Anabelle
  5. The Nun

Halloween (2018)

Halloween is a 2018 American slasher film directed by David Gordon Green and written by Green, Jeff Fradley, and Danny McBride. It is the eleventh installment in the Halloween film series, and a direct sequel to the 1978 film of the same name, thus retconning the continuity of the previous sequels. Jamie Lee Curtis and Nick Castle reprise their respective roles as Strode and Myers, with stuntman James Jude Courtney also portraying Myers. The film also stars Judy Greer, Andi Matichak, Will Patton, and Virginia Gardner.

So if you forget all the sequels that we horror fans have watched and, even if the quality hasn’t been great, treasure (except for Resurrection). Let’s keep the Rob Zombie reboot films aside. Anyways, 40 years have passed after the events of the first film. true-crime podcasters Aaron Korey and Dana Haines travel to Warren County Smith’s Grove Sanitarium to visit Michael Myers. They briefly interview Michael’s psychiatrist Dr. Ranbir Sartain, a former student of Dr. Samuel Loomis, before meeting with Michael in hopes of gaining some insight into his past actions before his transfer to a new facility. Aaron brandishes Michael’s mask at him, to no effect.

They then meet Lauri Strode, who lives in a cabin in a secluded property, divorced twice and having an estranged relationship with her daughter Karen, and her son-in-law Ray, and has hit the bottle many times. She has spent her life preparing for Michael’s return, with traps, a hidden basement and lots of guns and knives. The track transporting Michael inevitably crashes and he escapes, killing some prisoners and a father & son in a car who stop to check the crash. He ends up killing a mechanic for his coveralls, as well as Aaron and Dana, who stop at the mechanic’s. He then recovers his mask and heads to Haddonfield. Laurie attempts to warn Karen, and her husband Ray, of Michael’s getaway, but they dismiss her concerns. Karen’s daughter Allyson, who is at a Halloween party leaves after finding her boyfriend cheating on her.

Their mutual friend Oscar leaves her and tries to hit on Allyson and after she leaves, he runs into Michael who kills him. Allyson hears his screams and sees Michael and runs away. Michael also goes into the house of the family that Allyson’s best friend is babysitting for and kills her and her boyfriend. Deputy Frank Hawkins, who arrested Michael in 1978, and Laurie hear the incident over the radio and head toward the house, and find the bodies. Near the house they see Michael, who then flees. Laurie begs Ray & Karen to hide in her house, as Hawkins and Sartain, who was only injured in the crash by a shotgun shot, chase after Michael and pickup Allyson on the way. Hawkins hits Michael with his car but Sartain murders Hawkins before he can kill Michael.

Apparently Sartain arranged for the crash and Michael’s escape as he wants the killer to finish his mission and kill Laurie (for some absurd reason). The obsessed Sartain is instead killed by Michael, while Allyson flees. Michael kills two police officers and takes their car, arriving at Laurie’s house and killing Ray. Laurie gets Karen to the hidden basement and goes after Michael with her shotgun Laurie severely injures Michael and severs two of his fingers, but he pushes her over a balcony; when Michael goes to check Laurie’s body, he finds it missing. Allyson comes to the house and calls out to Karen who opens the hidden basement door and Karen tricks Michael to reveal himself so she can shoot him. Laurie then appears from behind him and attacks him.

The three women push and kick Michael into the basement and then trap him in and set the house on fire. They then escape and hail a passing truck and leave the burning house, assuming that Michael has not escaped. We do hear his breathing at the end of the credits scene, meaning he is still alive. And yes there is a sequel in the making.

Generally the film is considered to be the best sequel yet and with some suspense and gory kills. Curtis’ acting is awesome and I thought Judy Greer was top notch in it too. But it felt a little too contrived and too convenient in the coincidences that leads Michael to his victims. Still, I did enjoy it for the most part. 7 outta 10!

Grace The Possession

Starring Alexia Fast, Alexis Knapp, Joel David Moore & Lin Shaye, Grace The Possession is a 2014 horror film from the first person’s point of view. Directed by Jeff Chan & distributed by Sony Pictures the film is kinda unique in that way as we see things the way the possessed character Grace, played by Canadian actress Alexia Fast, sees with the use of a head worn camera. We only see the actress when she looks into a mirror and we see her reflection or when she looks down on her hands and the rest of her body.

As the movie starts we see the her birth and the perspective the camera takes is of a floating entity, which becomes obvious when the mother looks straight into the camera and declares, “There is no God!”. Years later the 18 year old Grace is off to colleague much to the chagrin of her grandmother who does not want her to fall into sin. The demon enters Grace around this time I guess and Grace is trying to enjoy college life along with the drinking and partying that comes with it. She also has sexual interest for the first time in her life in the form of a boy she meets at the campus. Drinking makes her feel even sicker and she hallucinates that she kills her roommate by pushing her off the balcony and other scary visions.

Her grandmother brings her out of college and makes her go to see their priest, father John, and tries to control Grace’s life. Then there’s movement in Grace’s mother’s room, which her grandmother keeps her away from. Later Grace discovers, through a vision, that her mother was raped by the priest and she herself is the child born outta that. Towards the end the demon takes over and kills the grandmother and then goes to the church. The priest and a younger priest Luke, who Grace has had visions of sex before, invite an older priest & exorcist but the demon evades their attempts and kills the two older priests. Luke approaches the demon and fights it but in the end he asks the demon to possess him instead and let Grace go.

The demon agrees and possess Luke – and now we see things from his POV – and he asks Grace to leave. As the movie ends, we see Luke, now a full priest, presiding over mass in front of a full church. I dunno what that is supposed to mean and wish we had more. It’s a good enough approach to a movie and even though I liked the concept, the movie pales in comparison to many I have seen before. A lesser budget and a new director might be the reason but I do appreciate the effort. Still, 5.5 outta 10!

I Spit on Your Grave

I Spit on Your Grave is a 2010 American rape-and-revenge horror film and a remake of the controversial 1978 cult film of the same name (originally known as Day of the Woman). It was directed by Steven R. Monroe, and stars Sarah Butler, Chad Lindberg, Daniel Franzese, Rodney Eastman, Jeff Branson, and Andrew Howard.

I have heard of this movie, both the original & the remake, for quite a while but I had no intention of watching it. I don’t like movies that depict rape and dwell on it and can take some torture movies but too much of it is really hard for me to take. I finally watched this one today, and it is tough to sit through without me feeling disgusted about men who gang up and physically hurt & rape women. It is also tough not to feel empathetic towards the victim in this case and cheer her on when she gets her revenge in thoroughly brutal yet innovative ways.

Jennifer Hills is a writer who moves to a remote cabin in the woods of Louisiana from NYC to write her next novel. At a gas station, Johnny who runs the place, tries to flirt with her but awkwardly gets rejected in front of his two friends Andy and Stanley. Jennifer settles in the cabin writing her novel, drinking wine and smoking marijuana. When she has plumbing problems, the caretaker sends Matthew, a stuttering plumber who has social anxiety and possibly other mental issues. After he finishes the work, Jennifer impulsively gives him a kiss of gratitude and he runs out before she can pay him. Matthew then tells Johnny and his friends Andy and Stanley about his visit. Johnny, whose ego was bruised after the gas station incident, decide that Jennifer is snobbish and needs to be “taught a lesson”.

At night the four men enter the cabin and taunt Jennifer making her do lewd acts to a gun. She manages to escape into the woods and runs into sheriff  Storch and Earl, the owner of the cabin she is renting. Storch tells Earl to go back home and leads Jennifer back to the cabin but when he finds her drugs and alcohol, he assaults her too. They make Matthew rape her first before they all take turns out in the woods, with Stanley recording it. A naked and injured Jennifer walks and falls into the river and after a brief search the men think she drowned. Jennifer though is still alive and recovers days later and comes back to the town. She stalks the men from afar and steals the tape from Stanley’s camera.

Storch finds the tape sent to his wife and confronts the other men about it. Johnny is taunted by dead birds thrown at his window and Matthew returns to the cabin where she is strangled by Jennifer as he tries to apologize. She next captures Stanley in a bear trap, smears fish guts in his face, then uses his camera to record crows pecking out his eyes. Jennifer then drowns Andy and burns his face horribly in a lye bathtub. Next, she uses pliers to pull out Johnny’s teeth and a pair of garden shears to cut off his penis, leaving him to bleed to death. She then pretends to be a new teacher for Storch’s daughter’s advanced education program and takes her to the school prak.

Storch finds out and rushes to the park but is attacked by Jennifer. When he wakes up, Jennifer anally rapes him with his shotgun and reminds him that she was just as innocent as his own daughter. She attaches one end of a string to the trigger and the other end to the wrist of the unconscious Matthew, who is seated in front of Storch. When Matthew wakes up, his movements trigger the shotgun, which fires a round that tears through Storch’s body and blows apart his face before hitting Matthew in the chest, leaving both men dead. As she hears the sound, Jennifer smiles.

Brutal  Rape isn’t something that I am comfortable in watching. I can tell you that I was so uncomfortable throughout the film from the stalking, the taunting & raping of the girl. What bizarre and innovative ways to exact her revenge. That was brutal. I label this horror and horrific. But dare I say it I got a certain satisfaction when seeing the main character getting her revenge. As a movie…..7 outta 10!

Hereditary

Hereditary is a 2018 American supernatural horror film written and directed by Ari Aster, in his feature directorial debut. It stars Toni Collette, Alex Wolff, Milly Shapiro and Gabriel Byrne as a family haunted after the death of their secretive grandmother.

Annie’s estranged mother, Ellen, who has been living with Annie and her family in their house, dies. At the funeral 13-year-old daughter, Charlie, draws her grandmother lying in her coffin, which is disapproved off by her father Steve. Following the funeral, Charlie begins to exhibit strange behavior, asking her mother who will take care of her now that her grandmother is gone. A disturbing fact is revealed when Annie says that Charlie was her mother’s favourite and even breastfed her! Annie sees an apparition of Ellen in her workshop but it disappears when she switched on the light.

Annie also attends a support group to talk about her mother’s death and her family’s history with mental illness. Peter is forced to take Charlie with him when he lies about going to a late evening school event, which is actually a party. While he is smoking pot, Charlie eats some chocolate cake which has nuts in it. Allergic to nuts, she suffers from a angioedema attack and Peter rushes her to a hospital. Charlie however opens a window to stick her head out and breath more easily and is decapitated when Peter sveres to avoid hitting a dear and Charlie’s head hits a telephone pole. Peter is stunned and goes home and lies in bed and Annie finds her daughter’s severed head in the car and screams.

Annie is befriended by Joan, a fellow support group member who says she lost her son & grandson and eventually she goes to Joan’s home for a talk. Annie starts to have violent nightmares while sleepwalking. At dinner that night, Annie explodes at Peter, revealing her harbored resentment and blame towards him in regards to the accident, to which Peter counters by telling Annie that she was the one who convinced Charlie to go; this further stresses their relationship. Joan has Annie taken through a seance but the latter has a breakdown in between. Joan instructs Annie to perform the séance with all of her family members present and one of Charlie’s possessions, which will form a link to Charlie’s spirit during the séance. On her way back home, Annie hears the tongue clicking noise Charlie frequently made in her car.

After another nightmare in which she & Peter are killed in flames, Annie apologies to her son and asks him & Steven to take part in a seance. bjects begin to move and break, terrifying Peter, and Charlie seemingly possesses Annie until Steve douses her with water. In Joan’s apartment, lit candles line the shelves, while a picture of Peter with his eyes crossed out sits in the middle of a pentagram on Joan’s table. Peter spots Joan from across the street during lunchtime at school, who screams at Peter to get out. At her home, Annie sees Joan in several photos of her mothers and is shocked that the two knew each other. Annie discovers a book with information about a demon named Paimon, one of the eight kings of Hell who requires the body of a male host in order to achieve his full potential. Annie ventures into the attic and finds a decapitated body with strange symbols on the wall written in blood and presumes it to be Ellen’s.

At school Peter becomes possessed temporarily and knows his head on his desk until he is knocked out. Steve is called from work to pick him up from school. Once he returns home, Annie shows Steve her mother’s body and the sketchbook. Annie begs Steve to burn the sketchbook so she can sacrifice herself in order to stop the haunting, but Steve assumes she has gone mad, accusing her of desecrating Ellen’s grave herself. When Annie throws the book into the fireplace herself, Steve bursts into flames instead. Annie stares in shock and becomes possessed. Peter later wakes up at night and is chased by his mother  Annie, possessed and levitating, chases him into the attic, where Peter begs her to return to her senses.

Within the attic, Peter is met with decorations of cult imagery as well as more coven members; Annie, floating within the air, beheads herself with a piano wire as the coven members look on. Peter jumps out of the window in order to escape them. As he lies on the ground, Paimon possesses his body and he wakes up. He follows Annie’s levitating corpse into Charlie’s treehouse, where Charlie’s crowned, decapitated head rests atop a mannequin. Joan, other coven members and the headless corpses of his mother and grandmother bow to him. Joan swears an oath to him as Paimon, stating that he has been liberated from his female host, Charlie, and is free to rule over them.

Though some of the movie is a bit dull and it fails to take off for a while, I think by the end the horror kicks in and we get into some scares and atmospheric scenes. Collette’s performance is top notch and adds to the effectiveness of this movie. The movie made over $79 million on a $10 million budget to become A24’s highest-grossing film worldwide.8 outta 10.

Are We Getting Zombied Out?

The Walking Dead is a phenomenal tv show – or it was for a while. From season 3 onwards the show was a massive hit and the buzz for the show was humungous. For me, I came into the show just before season 3 started. I started looking for tv shows to binge and thought why not a zombie apocalypse show. So this was 2012 I think and I binged the first two episodes and was quite into it. I enjoyed the show and looked forward to every episode and cried, cursed and pleaded when they took that dreaful 2 months break in between the 8th & the 9th episodes each season.

All that stopped at the end of season 7. I got bored. Negan was supposed to be this big bad wolf that would shake up the show and yeah for a while it was intense. But then….it fizzled out. Too many main characters, some we don’t care about. Some bad and some dull moments and way too many boring dialogue driven scenes and episodes. It wasn’t panning out. I got through season 8 partly by sticking my eyes into my phone during the episodes. I was getting a bit too tired of it all. But this season has re-sparked my interest. But I wonder are we getting zombied out?

There is another popular zombie show out there – Z Nation! When the show premiered, I was so into it. It was gory but was so funny and their characters were hilarious and had so much life. The show didn’t take itself serious at all and they had fun doing the show. Season 4 onwards, not so much. The episodes & seasons seem to be going in no particular direction and they can fall flat so fast. A lot of it is repetitive and the dialogues and drams very forced. The humour is still there and when it includes a zombie situation, it tends to be very funny. But the rest is tedious to get through. What happened?

Slender Man

Slender Man is a 2018 American supernatural horror film directed by Sylvain White and written by David Birke, based on the character of the same name. The film stars Joey King, Julia Goldani Telles, Jaz Sinclair, and Annalise Basso, with Javier Botet as the title creature. Slender Man was released in the United States on August 10, 2018, by Screen Gems, grossed over $51 million worldwide and received a largely negative reception from critics and audiences alike.

It’s no wonder that the movie had mostly negative reviews. This is one lazy movie in terms of moving the story along and scares. Also, teens – ugh! High school teens are usually the worst lot you can have for a horror film. But I still held out some hope. It was not to be!

Small town, 4 close teenaged girls at the high school who have stupid dialogues and cliched stuff. The four friends, Wren, Hallie, Chloe and Katie summon the Slender Man. A week later, Katie disappears and the other three girls go to her house to investigate for clues. The three discover that Katie had been involved in the occult and that she wanted the Slender Man to take her. Abusive alcoholic father and all – he even threatens Hallie and her younger sister Lizzie trying to find out where his daughter was. He is quickly hauled away by the cops.

The three girls decide to make contact with the Slender Man in an attempt to get Katie back in exchange for something else. Wren, who has researched Slender Man mythology, warns Hallie and Chloe not to open their eyes while the three are making contact with the Slender Man for fear of death or madness. Chloe panics, opens her eyes and comes face to face with the Slender Man. Sometime later, the Slender Man enters Chloe’s house and drives her insane.  A short while later, Lizzie, Hallie’s younger sister, suffers a major panic attack and is sent to the hospital and sedated. Hallie discovers Wren had attempted to come into contact with the Slender Man again, with the help of Lizzie.

Hallie confronts Wren about her sister. Wren tells Hallie that the Slender Man only wants them before she is taken by the Slender Man. Hallie, realizing that the only way to save Lizzie is to give herself to the Slender Man, sacrifices herself for her sister. Lizzie is able to recover and reflects on the situation that resulted in the death of her sister and her sister’s friends.

There’s these weird scenes, scare tactics that don’t work on us and some real bad acting by a couple of the lead girls. Otherwise, it’s dull, predictable and boring. I was on my phone a lot. 5 outta 10! And that is generous.

The Nun

The Nun is a 2018 American gothic supernatural horror film directed by Corin Hardy and written by Gary Dauberman, from a story by Dauberman and James Wan. A spin-off of 2016’s The Conjuring 2, and the fifth installment in The Conjuring Universe, the film stars Demián Bichir, Taissa Farmiga, and Jonas Bloquet. The plot follows a Roman Catholic priest and a nun in her novitiate as they uncover an unholy secret in 1952 Romania.

As the movie starts we see two nuns go into the tunnels of Saint Cartha’s monastery to retrieve an ancient Christian relic and enter through a door that reads “god ends here” (Really? He is that weak that he has to end at a door after which demons reside?) and are attacked by an unseen force, which later  takes the form of a demonic looking nun. The younger nun runs to her room and hangs herself. Her body is discovered by Frenchie, a villager who transports supplies to the nuns. On hearing the news the Vatican, summons Father Burke to Rome, where they ask him to travel with Sister Irene, a nun in her novitiate, to Romania in order to investigate the situation.

The pair travel to Romania and seek out Frenchie, who is in fact a French-Canadian named Maurice, and who leads them to the abbey. There they find a key on her and then enter the abbey where they see the veiled abbess (or mother superior) who informs them that the nuns observe a period of silence during the night and offers them lodging at the attached convent if they wish to return the next day. On his way home Frenchie is attacked by a demon but he manages to escape. Irene reveals that as a girl, she had visions particularly of a nun, causing the Church to take an interest in her. Burke is rescued by Irene after being buried alive in the graveyard by the demonic entity.

The nest day as it is cloistered, only Irene can enter the abbey and she talks to some of the nuns, who are taking turns praying. to keep the entity at bay. Sister Oana reveals the abbey’s history: it was built as a castle by a duke who was obsessed with the occult. The duke summoned the demonic entity through a rift in the catacombs but was killed by Christian knights, who sealed the rift with an artifact containing the blood of Jesus Christ. The bombings during the Second World War caused the rift to reopen, unleashing the entity. Burke identifies the entity as Valak and discovers the Abbess has been dead all along. Frenchie meanwhile heads to the abbey Irene is attacked by Valak and joins the nuns in desperate prayer to fend off the demon.

When the group reunites, Irene discovers that none of the nuns she had seen and talked to were real and she had been praying alone, later realizing that Victoria had been the last nun in the abbey and had sacrificed herself to stop Valak from possessing her body and unleashing evil. The trio retrieves the vial with the key Victoria had. Irene then informs Burke that God has called her to make her solemn vows as a nun and asks Burke to elevate her to the status of a professed nun, which he does in the abbey’s chapel. Irene is lured into a pentagram and possessed by Valak. Frenchie smears some of the blood of Christ on her face, casting out the demon. Burke is wounded by Daniel’s ghost as Valak starts to drown Irene in a flooded chamber. Irene expels the blood of Christ in the demon’s face, banishing it as the blood of Christ seals the rift.

After Frenchie resuscitates Irene, he reveals his real name is Maurice. Unbeknownst to the others, Maurice has been possessed by Valak, as evidenced by an inverted cross on his neck. As the movie ends we see a scene from 20 years later, ata university seminar, Carolyn Perron watches as Ed and Lorraine Warren present footage of their attempt to exorcise a possessed Maurice. In the footage, Maurice grabs Lorraine, giving her visions of Ed dying, which initiate the Warrens’ investigation of the Perron household haunting, as well as their encounter with Valak itself.

Slightly boring though the movie picks up pace towards the latter half, and reliant too much on jump scares, I was let down by this film. It lacks any real charm and sense of foreboding that I was hoping it would have as Valak is a real treat to watch. 6.5 outta 10!

The First Purge

The First Purge is a 2018 American action horror film directed by Gerard McMurray and starring Y’lan Noel, Lex Scott Davis, Joivan Wade, Mugga, Luna Lauren Velez, Kristen Solis, and Marisa Tomei. The fourth installment in the Purge franchise, the film is a prequel depicting the origins of the first annual “Purge”, a 12-hour span once a year in which all crime in America is legal. Written and produced by James DeMonaco, it marks the first film of the series not to be directed by him.

This movie offers nothing new to the now 4 movie franchise. It shows us that after a period of turmoil, violence and poverty mixed with lack of opportunities has led to a 3rd party named the New Founding Fathers of America, who have grown into power and form the new government. NFFA members Arlo Sabian and Dr. May Updale announce an experiment to take place on Staten Island where for 12 hours, citizens will be allowed to purge and release their inhibitions in any way they choose. The NFFA offers residents of the Island $5000 to stay in their homes during the experiment and a compensation for those participating as well. They also outfit the participants with tracking devices and contact lenses with cameras in them so that they can monitor all activity.

The movie focuses on anti-Purge activist Nya and her younger brother Isaiah, who is working for drug lord and Nya’s ex, Dmitri. There’s also Nya’s friends Dolores, Luisa, and Selina, Dmitri’s gang and Skeletor, a crazy drug addict who just wants to kill people and use the Purge as his outlet. Other than Skeletor, most purgers on the Island want to loot and steal from stores and otherwise have parties. So the NFFA sends a mercenary team in masks and outfits on to kill a bunch of people. At the NFFA headquarters, Updale starts becoming suspicious due to the Purge’s sudden change in the crimes committed, as well as the presence of masked participants.  Sabian explains that he sent the mercenaries to make the experiment look successful, and eventually to help “balance” the rich and the poor.

Updale protests this tampering of the experiment and informs Sabian her realization that NFFA only wants to eradicate the poor because they don’t want to take care of them. With Sabian’s corruption revealed, he has Updale taken away and killed, before erasing all footage of the event. Dmitri ends up becoming a mix off Die Hard era Bruce Willis and any Arnie shootout movie to kill a bunch of the mercenaries and save Nya, Isaiah and their friends who had escaped to their apartment. He is hailed a hero at the end of the 12 hour cycle and another of those stupid rap songs starts to play.

Not really sure why this prequel was needed. It’s a mix of rap music, lots of struting and posing, Black American culture and the “hood” and people dying. Skeletor was an overacting nightmare. 6 outta 10!

Village of the Damned

From 1995 we have Village of the Damned is a 1995 American science fiction-horror film directed by John Carpenter and a remake of the 1960 film of the same name which in turn is based on the novel The Midwich Cuckoos by John Wyndham. The 1995 remake is set in Northern California, whereas the book and original film were both set in the United Kingdom. The 1995 film was marketed with the tagline, “Beware the Children”, and stars the late Christopher Reeve (in his last film role before being paralyzed), Kirstie Alley, Linda Kozlowski, Michael Pare, Mark Hamill, and Meredith Salenger.

In the quaint coastal town of Midwich in California’s Marin County, we see a sort of fog or mist pass through during the early morning hours and everyone including humans, animals and birds fall unconscious the same morning at 10 am. The military comes in and when their men cross the town border they fall unconscious too. 6 hours later everyone wakes up at the same time and find a couple of people died in accidents. Later they discover that 6 women, of different ages, are now pregnant including one woman who hasn’t had sex in months and a virgin teenager. None of the women seek abortions, and later all the babies are born simultaneously on one night – five boys and five girls, though one female is stillborn.

The children are all healthy and sound, but have pale skin, unusually soft, flat-sided platinum blonde hair; fierce intellect, and cobalt eyes. However, they do not appear to possess a conscience or personalities. The children display eerie psychic abilities that can result in violent and deadly consequences whenever they experience pain or provocation. Except for David, the others pair off as they know they are supposed to mate later in life. David is smaller, and is unlike the rest of the children in that he has a capacity for human emotion, and compassion. He and his mother Jill McGowan (the local school teacher) share a brief conversation about this, displaying empathy and remorse. The children’s leader is Mara, the daughter of a local physician, Dr. Alan Chaffee.

Even as a baby, Mara exhibited vengeful tendencies with regard to the use of her abilities, using her mind to force her mother to boil her arm in hot soup and commit suicide by jumping off the cliff. The children, who are by now known to have a hive mind, eventually move to the local barn as their classroom and for survival. The town folk learn that there are other colonies of blackout children in foreign countries, but due to their inhuman nature they were quickly eliminated, in some cases at the cost of destroying the entire town. Government scientist, Dr. Susan Verner, is forced to show the children the preserved stillborn baby she secretly kept to study, and the preserved corpse is seen to be undeniably alien. The children collectively force her to fatally stab herself.

An angry mob gathers to kill the children, but the leader is forced to set herself on fire and burns to death, and later the state police are mentally controlled into shooting each other in a chaotic gun battle. Using a method that Susan taught him, Alan hides his thought from the children by envisioning a sturdy brick wall and then plans to detonate a suitcase filled with explosives. The children begin to suspect that Alan is hiding something, and they slowly “destroy” the wall. Finally, Jill shows up, but the children stop her and attempt to use mind control. David, tired of this, rushes to her defense and knocks Mara over. The children turn on David, but Jill rushes him from the building. As soon as the children discover that Alan is hiding his knowledge of the bomb, it detonates in an enormous explosion, killing Alan and the alien children.

Jill and David, however, are safe in a car fleeing the site; she says that they will both move to a place where nobody knows them. David looks off into the distance as they drive away. I wish they could have made a sequel to this. I like the cast and the acting. It’s a good enough film for a late afternoon spin. 7.5 outta 10!

Phantasm

Phantasm is a 1979 American horror film directed, written, photographed, and edited by Don Coscarelli. The first film in the Phantasm franchise, it introduces the Tall Man (Angus Scrimm), a supernatural and malevolent undertaker who turns the dead of earth into dwarf zombies to be sent to his planet and used as slaves. He is opposed by a young boy, Mike (Michael Baldwin), who tries to convince his older brother Jody (Bill Thornbury) and family friend Reggie (Reggie Bannister) of the threat.

Phantasm was a locally financed independent film; the cast and crew were mostly amateurs and aspiring professionals. And it shows; in some places the acting is down right terrible and artificial but most of it is from cast members who are there in just one scene and have only a line or two of dialogue. What I was surprise by was the quality of the transfer to bluray; this does not look like a movie released in 1979 but more like a few years later. If only the acting and the storyline as well as the direction was as good.

There are way too many scenes that are like too sudden and at times seem ridiculous. The way that Mike keeps following his brother Jody on foot, the sudden change of scenery, the overall ridiculousness of the reasonings and decision making makes no sense. Anyways, the Tall Man turns out to be an alien who is getting people killed – by morphing into a chick and banging guys and then stabbing them right after orgasm – abducting the corpses, then somehow shrinking them to dwarfs, reanimating them and making them work for him on his planet. In the end I don’t know if these events actually happened or did Mikey dream it all? His brother is dead in a car accident and Reggie is taking care of him.

But Reggie was shown to be killed in the events earlier or the dream. What was going on? In the end the Tall Man appears in Mike’s bedroom and abducts him through the mirror. To…I suppose his home planet. How? I dunno! It’s all so strange. I don’t get why this film has so much praise piled on it going by reviews. I give it a ….6.5 outta 10! I am not sure about checking the remaining 4 films in the franchise now.

Bone Tomahawk

Bone Tomahawk is a 2015 American western horror film directed, written and co-scored by S. Craig Zahler in his directorial debut, and stars Kurt Russell, Patrick Wilson, Matthew Fox, Richard Jenkins, Lili Simmons, Evan Jonigkeit, David Arquette and Sid Haig. Produced by Jack Heller and Dallas Sonnier, the film had its world premiere at the Fantastic Fest on September 25, 2015 and was given a limited release on October 23, 2015, by RLJ Entertainment.

I dunno if I would actually label this movie as horror. It’s restricted to us a couple of scenes of tension or horrific acts. Set in the 1890s two robbers Purvis and Buddy, are making a living robbing and killing travelers. Spooked by the sound of approaching horses, they hide in the hills and encounter a Native American burial site. Buddy is killed by an arrow, and Purvis escapes. He hides his stuff in the next town and goes to the bar. His appearance arouses the suspicions of the backup deputy sherrif Chicory, who alerts the town’s sheriff Franklin Hunt and the two approach Purvis and ask him about the things he hid.  Sheriff Hunt shoots Purvis in the leg when he tries to escape. Hunt sends John Brooder, a local educated man and known womanizer who witnesses the shooting, to fetch the town’s doctor.

Town foreman Arthur O’Dwyer is resting his broken leg at home with his wife, nurse Samantha who is called to help Purvis as the doctor is passed out drunk. She stays back as Purvis has a bad fever. At night an unseen person or persons kills a stable boy and steals horses. They also abduct Samantha, deputy Nick and Purvis offscreen. Hunt thinks they could have been natives and calls a local resident who is a native. He informs them that the murder of the stable boy and the abduction seems to be the work of a troglodyte clan. He tells Hunt of the clan’s dwelling place, “Valley of the Starving Men”, and warns him that they are a group of cannibalistic savages. Hunt goes after them with Chicory and Brooder, who volunteers, and Arthur who despite his injury won’t stay behind.

On their way to the valley, two strangers stumble across their camp. Fearing they are scouts for a raid, Brooder kills them and they set up a cold camp elsewhere to avoid being attacked. During the night, a group of raiders ambushes them, injure Brooder’s horse and steal the rest. After a day of walking, a fight breaks out between Brooder and Arthur, exacerbating Arthur’s broken leg. Chicory sets his leg and leaves him behind to recover, while he, Hunt, and Brooder move on. At the valley arrows are shot at the three men and Brooder is injured badly but they kill two attackers. Brooder makes them leave and takes out 3 more before being killed himself. The attackers capture Hunt and Chicory and imprison them in their cave. The men find Samantha, and an injured Nick, imprisoned in a nearby cage.

They inform Hunt that the tribesmen have already killed and eaten Purvis. They witness Nick removed from his cell, stripped, brutally scalped, and bisected alive, then consumed in a truly brutal scene. Samantha estimates the number of hostile cannibals to be around twelve (reduced to nine earlier by Hunt’s posse). Hunt uses some opium tincture in a flask and lure the troglodytes to drink it.  only one drinks a fatal dose, and only one becomes unconscious. Meanwhile, Arthur wakes up, follows the men’s trail and discovers the valley. He kills two tribesmen and notices an object embedded in their windpipes. After cutting one out, he realizes it is like a whistle. He blows on it, luring another tribesman close, then kills him.

The leader, with wild boar tusks, gets angry and with another of his men pull Hunt outta his cell and cut him in the abdomen. He then takes Hunt’s rifle and shoots him in the arm and abdomen. Arthur arrives and kills one of the tribesmen, while Hunt kills the leader with one of the tribe’s bone tomahawks. Arthur frees Samantha and Chicory, while a mortally wounded Hunt stays behind with his rifle. He prepares to kill the surviving cannibals when they return, to prevent them from terrorizing Bright Hope. As the three leave the cave, they see two pregnant females, who are blinded and have all their limbs amputated. After a bit they hear three gun shots and they smile knowing that Hunt has killed the remaining 3 and they make their way home.

It was quite a bit dull and dragging. I feel that the movie should have been shorter as there were long periods of little activity and just walking or talking. The movie lacks in excitement or even intrigue. When the team get captured though things begin to pick up. 6 outta 10!

Child’s Play 2

Child’s Play 2 is a 1990 American slasher film and the sequel to Child’s Play, written by Don Mancini and directed by John Lafia, one of the co-writers in the first film. It is the second film in the Child’s Play franchise and set two years after the first film; the plot follows Charles Lee Ray (better known as Chucky) continuing his pursuit for Andy Barclay, who was placed in foster care, and transferring his soul into him after being resurrected. The film stars Alex Vincent, who returns as Andy Barclay; Gerrit Graham and Jenny Agutter as Andy’s foster parents; Christine Elise as Kyle; and Brad Dourif as the voice of Chucky.

The sequel is set 2 years later, the toy company PlayPals determine that there is nothing wrong with the dolls and start production again. Somehow the Chucky doll, is refitted and brought to the factory. One of the men working on Chucky is killed by electrocution. As a result, the CEO of the company, Mr. Sullivan (Peter Haskell), orders his assistant Mattson (Greg Germann) to cover the accident and get rid of Chucky. With Andy’s mother in a mental institute, the boy us now in foster care and is sent to live with  Phil (Gerrit Graham) and Joanne Simpson (Jenny Agutter). In his new home, Andy meets his new foster sister Kyle (Christine Elise).

The electrocution resurrects Chucky and he finds out Andy’s foster home address and kills Mattson in his car. At the house, Chucky finds “Tommy” a Good Guy doll in the Simpson’s house, that had scared Andy, and activates him by accident. He destroys it using a destroys him with Joanne’s ornament. Chucky then buries the doll in the garden and takes his place as “Tommy”. Phil punishes Andy and Kyle, believing one of them broke the ornament. After Andy spends the rest of the day with Kyle, he is attacked by Chucky, who ties him up and gags him with socks in order to possess him, but the ritual is stopped by Kyle. After Andy claimed Chucky tied him up, Phil throws Chucky in the basement. Chucky, left alone, comes back to life and discovers a major nosebleed of his, meaning he’s going human again. Therefore, he realizes that if he doesn’t get in Andy’s body in time, he will remain as a doll.

Chucky follows Andy to school and gets him in trouble there and even kills his teacher. Phil is thinking of sending Andy back to the foster center. Later that night, Andy tries to kill Chucky with an electric knife in the basement, but Chucky attacks him. Phil goes to investigate the commotion but Chucky trips and neck-snaps him, killing him. Joanne, convinced that Andy murdered Phil, sends him back to the foster center. Kyle discovers the buried doll in the garden and realizes Andy was telling the truth all along and rushes in to warn Joanne only to find her dead. Chucky burst from the blankets of the bed behind her and attacks Kyle. Kyle is then forced by Chucky to drive him to the center to find Andy. There, during a false fire alarm, Chucky kills Grace and orders Andy to take him to the PlayPals “Good Guys” factory for the transfer.

At the factory Chucks tries to complete the ritual but it is too late and he seems to be stuck in the dolls body. Kyle arrives and together with Andy they evade Chucky and then pours molten plastic all over him. Andy then saves Kyle by pulling her off of a conveyor belt, and shows her Chucky’s melted body. Kyle thinks that the doll is dead, but Chucky jolts up and struggles with her, until she shoves a helium tube in his mouth, resulting in his head exploding. After Kyle and Andy escape the factory, Kyle tells them they’re going home. Andy asks where that is, to which Kyle says she doesn’t know.

A good sequel to the first movie and one I remember watching all those years ago. It’s a solid cast as well. I give it a 7 outta 10!

Child’s Play

Child’s Play is a 1988 American slasher film directed and co-written by Tom Holland, and produced by David Kirschner from a story by Don Mancini. It is the first film in the Child’s Play series and the first installment to feature the character Chucky. It stars Catherine Hicks, Dinah Manoff, Chris Sarandon, Alex Vincent, and Brad Dourif.

This is a classic horror franchise and film which I watched at the age of 14 I guess, which was in 1990. I remember a cousin of mine telling me about it and I’ve watched it twice and today was my first view of the movie since those early 90s. I also remember renting the 2nd & 3rd films in the franchise and I have also seen Bride Of Chucky on cable a many years ago.

Charles “Chucky” Lee Ray is a criminal & serial killer who is shot by homicide detective Mike Norris on his way to a getaway car. His accomplice, Eddie, panics and leaves him behind. Charles is shot in the leg and tries to hide in a toy store nearby but Norris follows him and fatally shoots him from afar.  Realizing that he is soon going to die, he transfers his soul into a “Good Guys” doll via a Haitian Vodou spell. A bolt of lightning causes the shop to explode. Mike survives the explosion and enters the shop, only to find Charles’ dead body and all the “Good Guys” dolls on the floor. With the store destroyed and a crime scene, the doll ends up being taken by a hobo who sells it a day later for a smaller rate to widow Karen Barclay, who’s son is turning 6 that day.

Later that evening, Karen’s friend Maggie Peterson babysits Andy and is annoyed when Andy disobeys her saying that Chucky wants to watch the news. After putting Andy to bed, Maggie is hit in the face with a hammer and falls out the window to her death. The police search the apartment. Detective Norris deems Andy a suspect, much to the annoyance of Karen, who orders Mike and the police to leave once they complete their investigation. The next day Chucky gets Andy to skip school and head to Eddie’s lair. While Any is urinating Chucky sneaks into Eddie’s lair, turning off a stove’s pilot light but turning up the gas. As Eddie shoots the stove, the house blows up, killing him. Andy, once again a suspect, is placed in a psychiatric hospital. That night, Karen discovers that Chucky’s batteries were never inserted, and that Andy was telling the truth about Chucky functioning on his own power. While she is inspecting the doll, Chucky comes to life, bites her arm, and escapes.

She finds Norris and shows him the bite wound that Chucky made. He does not believe her and leaves. Chucky tries to strangle Mike from the backseat using a cord but Mike burns Chucky with a cigarette lighter. After that, Chucky attempts to stab Mike. Mike shoots him and Chucky retreats. After that, Mike finally agrees to help Karen. Chucky tortures John, the voodoo practitioner who taught him the spell him, and he says that the longer he stays in the doll, the more human he will become that he has to transfer his soul to the first person who he revealed his true identity to which is Andy. Before bleeding out and dying, John tells Norris that although Chucky is a doll, his heart is fully human and vulnerable to fatal injury.

Chucky attacks Andy at his home but Karen and Norris arrive and stops Chucky from completing the ritual to transfer his soul to Andy. Chucky slashes Norris Mike, then goes after Karen and Andy. Soon, the pair trap Chucky in the fireplace and burn him alive. Karen and Andy leave the room to help Mike, but a heavily burned Chucky follows them and attempts to kill them, since burning him alive didn’t work. Chucky is again thought to be killed when Karen shoots off his head, arm, and leg. Mike’s partner Jack Santos arrives at the apartment, and disbelieves the trio’s story just before Chucky’s body then bursts through a ventilation duct and tries to strangle Jack. During the struggle, Karen tells Mike to aim and shoot at Chucky’s heart (as John told them to do) which Mike does finally killing him.

While Mike, Jack and Karen go to the hospital, Karen turns off the bedroom’s lights and Andy looks back at Chucky’s burned remains before closing the door. This itself in an indication to the audience that the producers wanted to make sequels from the beginning – Andy’s look indicates that he knows that this is not the end. They did a great job finding the right innocent kid for the role. Brad Dourif, who had 3 appearances in Star Trek Voyager as a psychotic Betazoid,  is an apt choice for the mainly voice role as Chucky and he and Catherine Hicks (from Star Trek IV : The Voyage Home) are the Star Trek connection to this role. 7.5 outta 10!