White Zombie

White Zombie is a 1932 American Pre-Code horror film directed and independently produced by Victor and Edward Halperin. The screenplay by Garnett Weston, based on The Magic Island by William Seabrook, tells the story of a young woman’s transformation into a zombie at the hands of an evil voodoo master. Béla Lugosi stars as the antagonist, Murder Legendre, with Madge Bellamy appearing as his victim. Other cast members included Robert W. Frazer, John Harron, and Joseph Cawthorn.

Large portions of White Zombie were shot on the Universal Studios lot, borrowing many props and scenery from other horror films of the era. White Zombie opened in New York to negative reception, with reviewers criticizing the film’s over-the-top story and weak acting performances. While the film made a substantial financial profit as an independent feature, it proved to be less popular than other horror films of the time.

In Haiti, the newly arrived Madeleine Short reunites with her fiancé Neil Parker, with imminent plans to be married. On the way to their lodging, the couple’s coach passes Murder Legendre, an evil voodoo master, who observes them with interest and manages to grab Madeleine’s scarf. Neil and Madeleine arrive at the home of the wealthy plantation owner, Charles Beaumont. The musical chanting that the locals do at the funeral is enough to give anyone the creeps, especially at night. Charles has ulterior motives; he wants Madeline for himself and takes the aid of Legendre to get her to do his bidding.  Murder states that the only way to help Charles is to transform Madeleine into a zombie with a potion. Beaumont agrees and surreptitiously gives the potion to Madeleine. Shortly after Madeleine and Neil’s wedding ceremony, the potion takes effect on Madeleine and she appears to die.

After her funeral Neil takes it badly and drinks his sorrow but on visiting her tomb and finding it empty he seeks the help of  the local missionary, Dr. Bruner, who recounts how Murder turned many of his rivals into zombies, who now guard his estate. The two men journey to Murder’s cliffside castle to rescue Madeleine. Meanwhile Charles regrets his actions and begs Murder to release Madeline from the zombie state but the latter refuses. Charles discovers he has been tainted by Murder’s voodoo and is transforming into a zombie. Neil and Dr. Bruner enter the fortress and Madeline under the influence of Legendre is ordered to attack Neil.  She approaches Neil with a knife, but Bruner stops her. As the zombies attack Neil & Bruner, Charles wrestles with Legendre and knocks him out. The zombies, directionless fall off a cliff disoriented and dazed.

Murder awakes but Charles pushes him off the same cliff and he too falls down to his death. Murder’s death releases Madeleine from her zombie trance, and she awakens to embrace Neil. White Zombie is considered the first feature length zombie film. Modern reception to the film has been more positive than its initial release. Some critics have praised the atmosphere of the film, comparing it to the 1940s horror film productions of Val Lewton, while others still have an unfavorable opinion on the quality of the acting. 7 outta 10!

The Blackcoat’s Daughter

The Blackcoat’s Daughter is a 2015 American-Canadian supernatural psychological horror film written and directed by Oz Perkins. The film stars Emma Roberts, Lucy Boynton, Kiernan Shipka, James Remar and Lauren Holly.

Ok, this is a bit boring so it’s not for all horror fans. Not that it’s scary, it’s more of a psychological horror. The movie shows us two girls, Katherine and Rose, who are enrolled in a prestigious Christian boarding school for girls. At a winter break, these two are the only ones who haven’t come to pick them up. Rose says her parents thought they had to pick her up a few days later while Kat’s parents are unreachable. Mr. Gordon, who is in charge of the school, says that they can stay there until their parents can pick them up and leaves two sisters in charge of them.

Rose, a senior at the school, thinks she is pregnant and goes out at night with her boyfriend to whom she wants to discuss this. When Kat protests, she tells her that the  telling her a story about the nuns at the school being devil-worshipers. When Rose returns, she goes to the bathroom and hears strange noises coming from the boiler room and goes to investigate. When she looks through a window in the door she sees Kat prostrating in front of the lit boiler. Kat had picked up a phone call and hears a distorted man’s voice telling her to kill all of them. She is soon possessed by a demon and is seen being contorted in an inhuman way.  Kat tells Rose she knows her parents are dead, which disturbs Rose.

Kat begins to act strangely and is unable to pray and when she is scolded, vomits. As the nuns try to nurse her, she lashes out at them. Mr. Gordon rings to tell them he will be coming back to the school. It is implied that Kat’s parents have indeed died in a car crash. The women ask Rose to shovel the driveway for him. After shoveling, Rose tries to re-enter the chaperones’ house but the doors are locked, so she returns to her dorm room. Kat stabs and kills the two nuns and then kills Rose. She cuts off their heads and is found by Gordon and a policeman at the boiler seemingly offering the heads to the demon. She yells Hail Satan and is shot on the shoulder by the cop.

Kat is taken to an hospital and as she heals a priest performs an exorcism on her and the demon is gone. She is left in an insane asylum for 9 years but kills a nurse named Joan and steals her identity and makes her way to the boarding school. She is met at a bus stop by a man who offers her a ride in his car along with his wife. It turns out to be Rose’s parents who are on to their way to the town that the boarding school is on the anniversary of their daughter’s death. Joan finds out that they are Rose’s parents and takes a knife from a restaurant and kills both the man and his wife, cuts off their heads and takes it to the boarding school.

Joan enters the boiler room with the suitcase only to find the boiler dark and cold. The demon is long gone and the school has been abandoned. She exits the school and looks back at it as she begins to sob, realizing she is truly alone. After the loss of her parents she was truly happy with the demon and wanted it to possess her. Strange ending but the movie is boring to say the least. I fell asleep at one point. 6 outta 10!

Megan Is Missing

Megan Is Missing is a 2011 American drama horror film written and directed by Michael Goi. The film is presented by way of “found footage” and follows two early-teen girls that go online to find friends but instead go missing. Produced by Mark Gragnani the indie horror flick stars young actors Amber Perkins as Amy Herman & Rachel Quinn as Megan Stewart.

While Megan is a straight A student and highly popular her best friend Amy is a loner and only has her for a friend. She lives with her mom and her dad left them when she was very young. Her step dad apparently raped her for 2 years but her mom never believed it, even if he is prison now. Perhaps due to her broken home life, Megan a lifestyle of hard partying, drugs, alcohol, and indiscriminate sex. At 14!  Together, these two girls forge a deep friendship based on their mutual needs and regularly communicate by web chat cameras or cell phone. Megan often goes online to videochat with people outside of her friend circle and meets Josh, a 17 year old skater who’s webcam is broken but he can see her.

After a series of conversations, Megan goes to meet Josh behind a restaurant and is not seen again. The police begin an investigation but after several days of finding no clues, they start to dismiss the idea of an abduction and believe that she simple ran away. Amy contacts Josh to find out if he knows anything and finding him suspicious tells the police about his possible involvement. Josh warns her off and stalks her, grabbing her out in the woods as she is making a video diary. She is grabbed by someone and taken to an abandoned building’s basement in the woods. Days later her camera is found by the cops and they see the footage.

Josh, who is a fully grown man, has her stripped to her underwear and locked in a basement cell. He degrades her by making her eat food out of a bowl like a dog and then violently rapes her. Later he says he will let her go and tells her to get into a barrel so she can’t see where he has kept her. But in the barrel is Megan’s rotting corpse and a screaming Amy begs to be let out. Josh loads the barrel into the car and then drives to a forest, where he digs a large hole as Amy screams and begs for her life. Josh pushes the barrel in the hole and fills it up before walking away, leaving Amy to die. The film concludes with a clip of Megan and Amy relaxing on her bed together, talking about their plans for the future.

Where do I start? 14 year old girls partying so much and drinking beer? Parents too dumb to smell the alcohol on them once they return? The boy who runs the party is one of the biggest douches I have seen in a film and he talks like he is 21. 14 year old girls having sex or giving head and it’s not their first time? To see Megan giving a blow job to a classmate throwing a party as a favour for letting Amy is, was disgusting to say the least. This movie is scary to say the least. Not in a ghost or scary monster kinda way. But is this what kids in cities and suburbs do? Most of the film is boring and the acting is terrible in some cases, except for the two leads. 6 outta 10!

The Final Girls

The Final Girls is a 2015 American slasher comedy film, directed by Todd Strauss-Schulson and written by M.A. Fortin and Joshua John Miller. The film stars Taissa Farmiga and Malin Åkerman, with supporting performances from Adam DeVine, Thomas Middleditch, Alia Shawkat, Alexander Ludwig, Nina Dobrev, Chloe Bridges, and Angela Trimbur. It an homage to 80s style slasher flicks and camp horror but especially Friday the 13th and Jason Vorheese.

Amanda Cartright is a struggling actress who got typecast because of her role in an 80s slasher flick called Camp Bloodbath. As it is cult classic, even several years later she is unable to get better roles and after yet another audition where the producers know her from the horror flick, she complains about her career to her teenage daughter Max. As the two sing in the car, Max accidentally drops her drink onto Amanda’s portfolio and headshots and this distracts her and they have an accident. Amanda dies but Max survives. Three years later, her best friend Gertie’s step-brother Duncan, who is a horror film fan asks Max to show up at a double bill showing of Camp Bloodbath and its sequel, Camp Bloodbath 2: Cruel Summer.

Despite it being Amanda’s death anniversary Max reluctantly agrees and goes to the theatre with her Chris, who she is interested in and Gertie. Chris’s ex-girlfriend Vickie is also there as is Duncan. During the movie there is an accidental fire which causes panic. Using a machete that was there as a prop, Max cuts through the screen and her group all step through. They find themselves waking up in broad daylight and in the woods. A van pulls over and they realize that the Every 92 minutes, they encounter a van with two characters from Camp Bloodbath, and realize they have somehow been transported inside the movie. The group awkwardly pass themselves off as new camp counselors, and hitch a ride to camp and Amanda’s character Nancy wakes up from sleep in the back of the van which shocks Max.

Realizing that they must let the film run it’s course, they let the first couple of murders happen without interference, but when Duncan is killed by the film’s machete-wielding villain Billy Murphy, they realize that they too run the risk of becoming victims. The group decides to stop the cast from having sex, as whenever someone does so in Camp Bloodbath, they fall prey to Billy’s machete. Chris distracts Kurt, while Max persuades Nancy to stay a virgin. Vicki sticks with Paula, the movie’s final girl and Gertie bonds with Blake, a counselor. When Gertie brings up the topic of Billy Murphy, the counselors are alerted to the fact that the “urban legend” of Billy is “real” and will come to kill them. In a panic, the counselors try to flee the camp. Kurt and Paula drive off, but when Duncan emerges still alive, the car hits him then crashes into a totem pole, resulting in their deaths.

Now aware that the characters who originally survived the movie can die, Max and the others decide to save anyone they can. They dress Tina in a life jacket and mittens, to prevent her from undressing. They also decide that Max, the only remaining virgin, is the new final girl, and plot to get Billy’s machete into her hands so she can kill him and end the film. Meanwhile, Max and Nancy bond, and theorize that, if Nancy survives the movie, she can go back home with Max and be whomever she wants. The group booby trap the cabin, then Tina lures Billy to them by performing a striptease. Tina panics and is killed when a trip wire sends her headfirst into a bear trap. Blake, Vicki and Gertie are killed fighting Billy. Chris, Nancy, and Max flee the cabin, and Billy chases after them. Chris is stabbed, and Billy kidnaps Nancy. Max finds her at Billy’s barn hideout, and the two women fight him, which results in Max getting stabbed, before they both escape.

After the two retreat to the chapel, Max tells Nancy that her real life counterpart is Max’s mother. They bid each other a tearful farewell before Nancy sacrifices herself by luring Billy with a striptease. Max collapses, but, now the final girl, she awakens with the power to kill Billy. They fight and she eventually decapitates him with his own machete. A wounded Chris arrives and the two kiss, while Camp Bloodbath‘s closing credits play in the sky. Later, Max wakes to find herself in the hospital, where she is reunited with her friends. The group hears Billy Murphy’s approach tune, and realize they are in the sequel, Camp Bloodbath 2: Cruel Summer. Billy crashes through the glass doors of the hospital as the title appears. Using a drip stand as a weapon, Max lunges at Billy, before the film abruptly ends.

Funny, campy and as well as heart-felt homage to slasher films of the 80s, the film resonated with horror enthusiasts as well as comedy fans. I give this a 7.5 outta 10!

IT (2017)

It is a 2017 American supernatural horror film based on Stephen King’s 1986 novel of the same name. Produced by New Line Cinema, KatzSmith Productions, Lin Pictures and Vertigo Entertainment, and distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, it is intended to be the first installment in a planned duology. The novel was previously adapted into a 1990 miniseries. The film is directed by Andy Muschietti and written by Chase Palmer, Cary Fukunaga, and Gary Dauberman. Jaeden Lieberherand Bill Skarsgård star as Bill Denbrough and Pennywise the Dancing Clown, respectively, with Jeremy Ray Taylor, Sophia Lillis, Finn Wolfhard, Wyatt Oleff, Chosen Jacobs, Jack Dylan Grazer, Nicholas Hamilton, and Jackson Robert Scott in supporting roles.

The film, ofcourse, is about a terrifying supernatural creature, who is ancient and cross-dimensional. This evil creature feeds on children’s fears and awakens every 27 years from hibernation to feed. It has a variety of powers that include the ability to shapeshift, manipulate, and go unnoticed by adults. In the novel, It is an eternal entity that is almost as old as time itself. It is the natural enemy of Maturin (The Turtle), both of whom exist in the Macroverse. After arriving on Earth, It would sleep for approximately 27 to 30 years at a time, then awaken to wreak chaos and feed (primarily on children’s fear). It is able to take many more forms than the film depicts, including werewolves, bats, leeches, and sharks. It could embody any of a child’s worst fears. It explains it prefers to kill and devour children, not by nature, but rather because children’s fears are easier to interpret in a physical form and thus children are easier to fill with terror. It says this is akin to “marinating the meat.”

The movie, changes the time setting as 1989 Derry, Maine instead of the late 60s and starts off with George Denborough meeting IT when his paper boat goes down a storm drain in the rain. Georgie’s arm is chewed off after It pretends to be a pleasant clown and the boy is then pulled into the sewer. Georgie’s older brother Bill keeps looking for him even a year later and with his friends Richie, Eddie, Stan and new boy Ben looks for clues as they try to avoid being harassed by a gang of bullies led by Henry Bowers. Also joining the “Loser’s Club”, as the original 4 boys names themselves is Beverly Marsh, who has an abusive father and home-schooled African-American boy Michael. Each has their own incidents with the bullies as well as with It, who brings to life their greatest fears and plays on their minds. Yet the 7 friends search for what happened to the boys and girls who have gone missing in their hometown.

A few weeks later, while meeting up at Bill’s garage, the group deduces that Pennywise is using the sewers to move around unseen. After narrowly escaping an attack by Pennywise in Bill’s garage, the Losers Club go to the house on Neibolt Street where Bill deduces “It” to be hiding. The group is separated by IT who tries to pick them out one by one but after chasing three of the boys, It is temporarily stunned by Beverly who spears Pennywise through the head with a fence post, forcing him to retreat through the well in the basement of the house. Eddie who was hurt, is guarded by his over-protective mother and the group is splintered but after Beverly fends off her father who tries to rape her, Pennywise abducts her in order to lure the rest of them to him. It also recruits a slowly going insane Henry to kill his father and attack the group.

The boys get their gear and descend down the well in the Neibolt house but Mike is caught by Henry. The younger boy manages to get the upper hand though and knocks the bully down the well to his death, before joining his friends at the bottom. ennywise traps Stan and starts to eat him, but the others chase him off. They then find Pennywise’s lair, consisting of a mountain of circus props and children’s toys, where they find a catatonic Beverly with the bodies of the other missing children kept in a form of suspended animation. Ben kisses Beverly, which restores her to normal. Pennywise tries to trick Bill by posing as Georgie, but the deception fails. As a last resort, Pennywise offers to spare the other Losers if they sacrifice Bill. Instead, the losers attack “It” as group. Realizing that he no longer has any power over them, Pennywise escapes down the pit. The floating children float back into the ground as the Losers discover Georgie’s yellow slicker, the others comforting Bill when he emotionally breaks down from accepting Georgie’s death.

A month later Beverly informs the group of a vision she had of them fighting Pennywise 27 years later. The Losers form a blood oath that they will each return to Derry should Pennywise resurface. After departing one by one, Bill kisses Beverly. As the end credits roll, a title card appears reading “It: Chapter One” and Pennywise’s manic laughter is heard in the background; this dictates that the story of “It” will continue in the sequel, “It: Chapter Two”.

Well acted and well directed, the movie brings back so many memories of my favourite novel of all time and the excellent mini-series that came in 1990. The kids add so much to this film with excellent chemistry between them while Bill Skarsgård goes bonkers in his role as the evil clown. 8.5 outta 10!

RIP Tobe Hooper

Tobe Hooper, the horror director best known for helming “The Texas Chain Saw Massacre” and “Poltergeist,” died Saturday in Sherman Oaks, Calif., according to the Los Angeles County Coroner. He was 74. The circumstances of his death were not known. The 1974 “Texas Chain Saw Massacre” became one of the most influential horror films of all time for its realistic approach and deranged vision. Shot for less than $300,000, it tells the story of a group of unfortunate friends who encounter a group of cannibals on their way to visit an old homestead. Though it was banned in several countries for violence, it was one of the most profitable independent films of the 1970s in the U.S. The character of Leatherface was loosely based on serial killer Ed Gein.

The Austin, Texas born Hooper spent the 1960s as a college professor and documentary cameraman. His short film The Heisters (1965) was invited to be entered in the short subject category for an Academy Award, but was not finished in time for the competition that year. He directed The Texas Chain Saw Massacre in 1974. He later directed The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 in 1986. In 1982, Hooper directed Poltergeist, which was based on a story by Steven Spielberg. He also directed cult Scifi film Lifeforce. Another horror film was the Mangler, based on a story by Stephen King. In October 2009, Twisted Pictures, the company behind the Saw films, bought the rights to The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and made a new Chainsaw film in 3D, Texas Chainsaw 3D (2013).

In 2010, writer and actor Mark Gatiss interviewed the director for his BBC documentary series A History of Horror; Hooper appeared in the third episode. Hooper’s first novel, Midnight Movie, was published on Three Rivers Press in 2011. His supernatural thriller film Djinn premiered at the 2013 Abu Dhabi Film Festival. In May 2017, Tobe Hooper was attacked by a former girlfriend. Director Ridley Scott has stated that his work on Alien was influenced by Hooper’s The Texas Chain Saw Massacre more than any other B-level genre product.

Annabelle: Creation

Annabelle: Creation is a 2017 American supernatural horror film directed by David F. Sandberg and written by Gary Dauberman. It is a prequel to 2014’s Annabelle and the fourth installment in The Conjuring series. The film stars Stephanie Sigman, Talitha Bateman, Anthony LaPaglia, and Miranda Otto, and depicts the possessed Annabelle doll’s origin.

We get to see the origin of Annabelle (why do they have to do prequels? Why not tell the story properly). Porcelain doll maker Samuel Mullins & his wife Esther lose their daughter Beee (Annabell) to a car accident back in the 1943. Later what they think is their daughter’s spirit contacts them and the mourning couple are happy to transfer its essence into one of Samuel’s crafted porcelain dolls. Even though they only get glipses of their daughter from time to time it seems to be enough for the couple until they realize that it is infact a demon that has possessed the doll and it gouges out one eye and part of Esther’s cheek. The Mullins have the doll locked in a closet in a room and have priests paste pages from the bible on the door and the wall in order to prevent the demon from escaping.

12 years pass and the stupid couple then allow Sister Charlotte and six girls left homeless by the closing of their orphanage into their home offering them a temporary residence. Samuel forbids the girls to enter the locked bedroom which was Bee’s but that night Janice, who was crippled by polio, enters the room which she finds is mysteriously open. She finds a key for Bee’s closet and unlocks it, unwittingly releasing the demon, who begins to terrorize the girls, displaying a special interest in Janice. A night later Janice is picked up and thrown down to the ground floor, injuring her more. The next day while taken out on her wheelchair by Charlotte and left alone for just a minute she is dragged to a shed by the demon where in Bee’s form the demon possess her. Janice’s screams are heard by the others but she tells them she got frightened because she couldn’t open the door.

Only her best friend Linda notices the change in Janice. She admits to Samuel that Janice had snuck into Bee’s room and found the doll two nights earlier. Charlotte talks to Esther who tells them about the demon and the doll and that night the demon viciously kills the Mullins before turning it’s attention to the girls. The girls are chased to the shed and back and a possessed Janice pursues Linda. Eventually Charlotte, who was attacked earlier, is able to lock Janice in the same closet along with the doll. The cops are called but they find only the doll there as Janice through a hole in the closet wall and relocates to an orphanage in Santa Monica. She now goes by the name “Annabelle” and is adopted by the Higgins family. We then see “Annabelle” grow up and kill her parents  her adoptive parents in their bedroom, which catches the attention of their next door neighbors, the Forms, setting off the events of the first Annabelle film.

I must say that the casting is top notch with a serious Anthony LaPaglia almost unrecognizable from his earlier comedic roles and the girls did fantastic jobs. The movie though was a bit boring, even during the chase scenes and I was napping. You only get to see the monster in small glimpses. It’s better than the original but I was more excited for the pizza dinner I was going to afterwards. I would give it a 7 outta 10!

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 and the 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 vs Predator
  7. Alien 3
  8. Aliens vs Predator : Requiem

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.

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.

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.

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.

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!

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!

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.

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!

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!

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!