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JeruZalem

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

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

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

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

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

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

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The Purge: Election Year

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

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

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

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

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

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The Haunting in Connecticut

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

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

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

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

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

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The Forest

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Blair Witch (2016)

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

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

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

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

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

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The Green Inferno

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Lights Out (2016)

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

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

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

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

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

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Don’t Breathe

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

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

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

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

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

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

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The Boy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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As Above So Below

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Knock Knock

Knock Knock is a 2015 American erotic horror thriller film directed by Eli Roth, who also co-wrote the script with Guillermo Amoedoand Nicolás López. The film stars Keanu Reeves (who also co-executive produced the movie), Lorenza Izzo, and Ana de Armas. The film was released on October 9, 2015, byLionsgate Premiere, and it is a remake of Peter Traynor’s 1977 film Death Game.

Evan is a 43 year old successful architect living in huge house in the sprawling hills  outside of Los Angeles. His family life is seemingly blissful, being in love with his Spanish wife, Karen, a successful artist and sculptor herself, and their two adorable kids. On father’s day the kids give Evan their present and cake and have breakfast together before Karen and the kids go for a weekend beach trip. Evan has to stay behind as a work project came up and so it’s just him and the family pet, a small dog, in the house. On a rainy night, Evan is interrupted from his work by a knock at the door. Two young ladies drenched from the torrential rain ask him for the address to a party, seemingly lost. As their phone is dead they ask Evan if they can use his internet to contact a friend. He lets them in and gives them towels and a tablet.

The girls, Genesis & Bel, find out that they have the wrong area so Evan orders an Uber for them but it is 45 minutes away. He gives them robes and puts their wet clothes in the dryer as the girls make themselves at home. Evan tries to be a good host showing them his record collection and DJ equipment (he used to be a DJ in his youth), warding off their flirty advances by changing seats and talking about his wife. However they won’t stop and when Evan leaves the room for a bit and sees that the driver has come, he finds the girls naked in his bathroom and practically begging him for sex. Temptation finally wins and he gives in, having a threesome with the two. Then next morning, they girls don’t want to seem to leave and making a mess of his house cooking breakfast and messing up Karen’s art. He threatens to call the cops but the girls then claim that they are underage. A friend of Karen drops by and despite Evan trying to get her away, she sees Genesis who comes out, and assumes correctly that Evan is cheating on Karen and angrily leaves.

Evan finally threatens to report a break-in, they give in and agree to be taken home. He drops them off at an upscale neighborhood where they supposedly live. He then returns home, cleans the mess, and tries to go back to his work. However that night, the girls break in and knock Evan unconscious and tie him up and wreck a lot of the belongings in the house and the art and stage a mock game show. Evan is forced to have sex with Bel,  while role-playing as a school girl in his daughter’s school uniform while he is tied up and Genesis secretly tapes them. When Evan finally releases himself, he jumps at Bel and knocks her off. He charges at Genesis, who stabs him in his wounded shoulder with a fork. She then pins him to the ground and both girls proceed to tie him up to a chair with electrical cord. Luis, Karen’s assistant comes by, so the girls hide Evan and Genesis pretends she is Evan’s niece. It almost works but Luis panics upon finding the vandalized sculpture and immediately realizes these girls are lying about their relation to Evan.

Louis then finds Evan tied up to a chair, but before he can help him he hears the girls smashing the vandalized sculpture. He runs to stop them, but then has an asthma attack, and realizes they took his inhaler. The girls play monkey-in-the-middle with his inhaler, and as he tries to get it back, he slips on a piece of the sculpture and knocks his head on the edge, killing him. They turn Louis’ body into a red sculpture and dig a makeshift grave in the backyard meant for Evan. They reveal that they had spied on him before contacting him and they do this to other married men as a game; the men always say yes to having sex with the girls. They are also not underage; they lied about that to him. They bury him upto his neck and show Evan the video of him and Bel having sex and upload it to his facebook account on his phone and we see the comments from his shocked friends pouring in. They finally leave, taking Evan’s small dog with them, leaving Evan to try and dig his way out.

Evan’s wife returns a little bit later with their kids and sees the chaos in the house with lots of crude and vulgar drawings on the wall and on the family photos and the art as the movie ends. An alternate ending has Evan putting on black gloves and shows him walk up to a house where the girls are inside torturing their latest victim. Upon hearing the sound of knocking they both tense up and ask: “Who’s there?” and the movie ends.

Not bad though there are some stuff we can’t buy. The spying and the timings seem a bit too much. Luis’ death also is a bit too convenient as is his idiotic fumbling and not releasing Evan from his constraints before getting killed plus his asthma attack. Still for a black comedy, it’s an ok film. I will give it a 7 outta 10!

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The Conjuring 2

The Conjuring 2 is a 2016 American supernatural horror film directed by James Wan and written by Carey Hayes, Chad Hayes, Wan and David Leslie Johnson. It is the sequel to the 2013 film The Conjuring and stars Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga as paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren. The movie also stars Frances O’Connor, Madison Wolfe, Simon McBurney, Franka Potente as Anita Gregory, Lauren Esposito, Patrick McAuley, Benjamin Haigh, Maria Doyle Kennedy & Simon Delaney. The film follows the Warrens as they travel to the United Kingdom to assist the Hodgson family, who are experiencing poltergeist activity at their Enfield council house in 1977.

The movie starts at the Amityville horror house, where Ed & Lorraine conduct a seance so Lorraine can enter the spirit realm and investigate what happened. She meets the spirit of Ronald DeFeo who shot his siblings and parents in the house, and he guides her to the basement where the spirits of his siblings and he point her towards a mirror. Lorraine is attacked by a scary looking demonic nun who shows her a grim omen of her husband’s brutal death. in Connecticut, Lorraine Warren has convinced her husband to take a break from paranormal investigation, after the incident and the couple’s recent interview series. Meanwhile in Enfield England, a single mom who is struggling to make ends meet is upset with her younger daughter, Janet, for being caught allegedly smoking a cigarette with her best friend. Janet starts “sleepwalking” and talking to a ghostly presence which no one else can see, waking up on the living room floor and seeing the scary ghost of the old man who died there before they moved in.

Youngest son Billy is also seeing apparitions and hen Janet and her older sister Margaret wake up Peggy saying that there is a spirit in their room, the mom is convinced when a dresser is shoved across the room by itself. When the cops come in they too see a chair slide across the small hall and move into the table by itself. They offer to inform a local catholic priest and a reporter who involves Maurice Grosse a famous British paranormal investigator. They capture recordings of Janet’s voice changing into the guttural raspy one of an old man who claims to be the ghost of Bill Wilkins, the previous owner of the home. The church asks Lorraine and Ed to investigate just enough to rule out a hoax. Lorraine is nervous when the Demon nun turns up in Ed’s dreams and he paints it, which later appears in her visions but agrees to go to England. The Warrens bond with the family, especially Janet and investigate the matter. With their backs turned to Janet and with the girl holding a mouthful of water, Ed asks Bill to speak with them. This is to prove that Janet isn’t using ventriloquism and faking the sound.

More paranormal events occur, with Janet disappearing from her room to the ceiling of the living room and being held there while the figure of the old man pulls there through to the girls’ bedroom which Peggy has padlocked. Inside the room, the large number of crosses all turn themselves upside down before Janet is attacked by the ghost. Her mother saves her from the figure but the Warrens and the others aren’t fully convinced, though the Warrens do believe that there is a ghost. Despite a few other cases, the skeptic who is recording the goings on find on tape that Janet is throwing plates and other stuff by herself and bending large spoons seemingly faking things in the kitchen. At the accusation that Janet is lying, Peggy asks everyone to leave. They do but the Warrens return when playing two recordings of Bill’s voice shows them that the ghost is actually asking for help and warning them, that there is another presence in the house which is demonic.

While the Warrens and the neighbour rush back, Janet is shown to be possessed again and almost attacks Billy. The girl is taken to the house by the demonic being who is revealed to be the same demon nun. Ed rushes in to help Janet and catches her as she jumps from a window while Lorraine, realizes that she has scratched the demon’s name in her bible, while she was in her vision. She calls out the name of the demon, Valak, and commands it to hell, which destroys the nun. Lorraine is able to grab Ed before he falls and the girl is saved from death as well as the demon. The Warrens say their fond goodbyes to the Hodgsons and go back home.

Scary and gripping with really effective use of creating atmosphere and real tension, this movie had me jumping a bit in my seat as I watched in the theatre. Though at times it feels as if it’s a propaganda film for the Catholic church, crosses, Christianity and god, the acting saves this film from looking like a big farce. Sure the movie is a fictional tale with some stuff based on the Enfield Poltergeist which is obviously a hoax, but Wan does a good job of making a neat and scary film. I give it an 8.5 outta 10!

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Paranormal Activity : Ghost Dimension

Hmmm, I am not sure how I feel about this franchise now. After 6 movies I feel a bit let down for having stuck to this much maligned (and loved in some ways) franchise as it ended on a lame note. Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension is a 2015 American 3D found footage supernatural horror film directed by Gregory Plotkin in his directorial debut, and written by Jason Pagan, Andrew Stark, Adam Robitel, and Gavin Heffernan. The movie stars Chris J. Murray, Brit Shaw, Dan Gill, Ivy George & Olivia Taylor Dudley (the hot actress who I just watched in a movie with a similar theme).

The shows us the ending of Paranormal Activity 3 in which Dennis’ spine is crushed by a mysterious force and grandma Lois takes Katie and Kristi upstairs while the same entity takes the camera with them (so a demon who wants all this to be recorded? Right!). They all go into a dark room where a man speaks to the girls about “Toby” and how they are critically important to his plan. 25 years later, in 2013, we have Ryan Fleege, his wife Emily, and their eight-year-old daughter Leila are about to celebrate Christmas, when Ryan’s brother Mike moves in for 2 weeks after breaking up with his girlfriend. Along with them, is Skylar (it’s not explained as to who she is but I guess she is either the nanny or Emily’s sister. Leila seems to be talking to an imaginary friend (who we know is Tony). Mike finds a box of old video tapes, dating from 1988 to 1992. In them contains videos of Kristi and Katie with their mother and her boyfriend Dennis in 1988, whilst others from 1992 are in Lois’s house where the two are practicing supernatural abilities with the mysterious man. While watching one of the videos, Ryan and Mike notice that the girls are seemingly aware of the two’s presence: they are able to foresee Ryan and Mike’s every action as the pair simultaneously watch the video.

Ryan finds an old video camera which when he uses up spiritual beings. He tries to record things overnight to see if these being come up and at night, a black figure arises out of the ground and hovers over Leila for several hours, and she eventually talks to it. Soon, Skylar walks in and checks on Leila, only to be attacked by the spirit. The next night, Ryan tapes Leila sleeping, but a dark and demonic spirit appears on camera and forces him to drop the camera. The following day, Ryan and Emily go out for the night and leave Skyler and Mike to take care of Leila. After experiencing the entity outside, they discover a slab of concrete in the ground with Katie and Kristi and the year 1987 etched in it. They discover their house is built on the same property that Katie and Kristi used to live in before their house burned down in 1992. As days pass Leila becomes less and less talkative and this worries her parents, who call in a priest named Todd. Although he tries his best to talk to the girl, Leila ends up attacking him. Todd says that ‘Toby’ is a demon linked to a cult called The Midwives. Ryan researches the cult, and realizes they killed a family in Nevada related to a boy named Hunter, who was born on the same day as Leila. He also learns that Leila’s blood is needed to finish his transformation into a physical being. One night, Leila’s interaction with Toby leads her to open a doorway to another realm into which she disappears. Ryan and Emily find her soon after, but flee with Leila to a hotel.

They later come back with Todd to cleanse the house and trap the demon. The house starts to shake violently and Todd is dragged away by Toby (and killed I suppose). The family continues the cleansing the demon in a white sheet and finishes reciting a prayer. Leila returns to normal and the demon disappears. But suddenly Skylar vomits blood and some of it spills on Mike and they both die as if by the effects of acid. Leila then flees, and Ryan and Emily chase her upstairs, but Ryan is killed when a large arm impales him through his chest. Leila sprints away into the “portal” in her room with Emily following her; she arrives at Kristi and Katie’s mother’s house in 1988, where she finds a young Katie and finally confronts the human version of Toby. Emily pleads with the demon to spare Leila, but is killed and her body is tossed at the camera as it flips over. Leila identifies the demon “Toby” and the two walk off as the camera cuts off, ending the film.

That ending was as unsatisfying as most and doesn’t offer anything new from a whole spate of movies that I have seen in the horror/supernatural genre. I give this film a 6.5 outta 10!

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Maggie

 alt=I haven’t seen an Arnie film in which he hasn’t been the tough guy blowing up things, shooting guns and kicking ass in quite a while. Maggie is Arnold Schwarzenegger’s second horror/supernatural genre movie after End Of Days and stars him with Abigail Breslin and Joely Richardson. I can’t really say that it’s a horror film because the focus is not on horror but still this will fall in the horror genre.

In the film there is a pandemic which causes infected people to become zombie like creatures after a few weeks of getting bitten by an infected person. Having been infected by a zombie, teenager Maggie calls her dad, Wade, in his Mid-western farm and tells him not to look for her. She is caught by the authorities and taken to a hospital for treatment. After 2 weeks of searching for her Wade finds her in the hospital he brings Maggie home to care for her until she must eventually be quarantined. During their return, a zombie attacks Wade at an abandoned gasoline station and he breaks its neck. Maggie doesn’t see this.

Once they reach home, plans are made to send Wade’s two younger kids (by his second wife Caroline) to live with their aunt. Maggie, having said goodbye to her step-siblings, withdraws in her room and doesn’t come out much or go to see her friends. When she falls from her swing she lands on her finger on her infected arm but feels no pain despite the bone breaking. Terrified she cuts off the finger from which a black liquid oozes out, causing her to panic and she runs out into the woods where she encounters her neighbour Nathan and his young daughter who are both zombies now. Wade comes up to them and kills them both and calls the sheriff. Although he is remorseful the sheriff finds his decision right and blames the wife Bonnie for hid her infected family from the authorities. Bonnie visits Wade that night, decrying the dehumanizing treatment of the infected and revealing that Nathan had locked himself in with his sick daughter, becoming infected himself, rather than abandon her to death among strangers in quarantine.

After a doctor checks on Maggie’s status he warns Wade that the time is soon coming for him to either quarantine Maggie or give her a lethal injection which is painful. The doctor also advises to shoot the girl as it is quicker. Wade and Maggie talk about her mom and how Wade met her. Despite finding maggots inside her decaying arm Maggie strives to achieve some sense of normalcy by going out with her friend Allie to a party, after being encouraged by Caroline, and kissing Trent – an infected boy who she used to date before the outbreak. Trent tells her of horror stories of the infected in quarantine. A couple of days later Caroline is stunned when Maggie smells “food” and realizes that it’s not something being cooked in their kitchen but rather human meat that Maggie smells. Later Maggie finds Trent, who had smelled his father as “food”, locked up his room refusing to come out. Though she tries to talk to him, the cops come by and take Trent away to quarantine by force.

Back at home Maggie finds a trapped fox that she tries to free but can’t help herself and bites off some it’s flesh. Wade kills the poor creature and Caroline leaves, urging Wade that it is time to take Maggie to a hospital. He doesn’t do so but keeps a loaded shotgun ready with him incase she turns completely and attacks. At night as Wade pretends to fall asleep, an almost completely zombified Maggie comes down her skin now gray and her eyes blackened. She stops at his side and sniffs him but kisses him lightly and goes out to the top of the house and jumps to her death.

Although it is a bit dull…..ok a lot dull….the acting is certainly really good. Arnold finding more serious character roles as he approaches his 70s (he is 68 people) and can’t do those high octane action movies anymore. Abigail is awesome as the girl knowing that her end is near but I feel that the movie could have done a lot more with the story. I give it a 7 outta 10!

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The Vatican Tapes

I didn’t know much about this movie other than having watched a bit of a clip online. Decided to check it out and see if it was worth it. It was…ok I guess. The Vatican Tapes is a 2015 American supernatural horror film directed by Mark Neveldine from a screenplay written by Christopher Borrelli, which is in turn based on a story by Chris Morgan and Christopher Borrelli. The film stars Olivia Taylor Dudley, Kathleen Robertson, Michael Peña, Djimon Hounsou, Dougray Scott, and John Patrick Amedori, and was released on July 24, 2015, by Lionsgate.

An ordinary but pretty 27 year old, Angela Holmes, is celebrating her birthday with a surprise party hosted by her live in boyfriend Pete. Her sheriff dad Roger Holmes, disapproves of her choice in men (it looks like he would disapprove of anyone) is staying with her for the weekend. Angela cuts her hands badly on the knife and goes to the hospital for treatment. Soon she starts to display increasingly disturbing behaviour erratic and strange behaviors, which finally catches the eye of local priest Father Oscar Lozano. She causes a car crash which hospitalizes her and while at the hospital she ominously picks up a baby at the maternity ward, seemingly to harm it. When the police investigates, she points to one of the detectives towards the window where a raven sits (the messenger of Satan) and he stares at it and then proceeds to take two light bulbs and pierce his eyes out. She also seems to know about stuff that she shouldn’t know, like details about the love life of her doctor and the things she is doing with a married man.

All this seem dangerous enough for Lozano to call (who you gonna call) the Vatican and lead exorcist Cardinal Bruun who travels all the way to the US to chase the demon away from the girl. The cardinal arrives from Vatican City, armed with holy water and the camcorders and proceeds to exorcise the demon from the girl – only thing is, it’s no ordinary demon but apparently possibly Satan himself. Angela coughs up three eggs (what???) and spouts off some ancient language that mocks the church and stuff and later the house blows up killing everyone except Lozano and the girl. She wanders off and starts to perform “miracles” healing people etc. She is hailed as possibly divine or a charlatan and as the movie ends, Lozano is recruited by the Vatican where he is shown clips from various tv sources the rise in popularity of Angela. This is important because as the church states, the anti-christ will come performing such “miracles” and a false religion will rise around him/her and people will be misled to worship it.

It held some promise but ended up being more of the same. A few creepy things stand out and Olivia Dudley does a good job but overall it is very forgettable. 6 outta 10!

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Extraterrestrial

Extraterrestrial is a 2014 sci-fi horror film that was directed by Colin Minihan, based on a script by both Vicious Brothers. It stars Brittany Allen, Freddie Stroma, Jesse Moss, Aaja Savic and Melanie Papalia, as a group of friends that must defend themselves against an alien onslaught, with veteran actors Gil Bellows & Michael Ironside playing supporting roles. Emily Perkins also has a small role in the film.

We start the film with a woman running towards a gas station store in a small town out near the woods, asking to use the phone. The clerk does not open the store as it is closing time so she gets into a phone booth next to it but after she calls 911 she is attacked by an unseen creature. As the clerk comes to check after hearing her screams he finds the booth has been lifted into the air and watches it fall right back down. He calls the sheriff’s office who can’t find much evidence of what has happened. Later we see April who has come to stay the weekend in her parent’s old cabin in the woods and take photos of it as it is to be sold. Joining her are her boyfriend Kyle and their friends Seth, Melanie & Seth’s girlfriend Lex. On their way they are given a warning by sheriff Murphy for Kyle setting of fireworks while in the car. Once they reach the cabin the 5 drink and smoke marijuana. April & Melanie run into Travis, a Vietnam vet and old friend of April’s dad, who has all kinds of conspiracy theories.

As night descends Kyle proposes to April but she hesitates as she has a job offer in NY while he still is in college. Suddenly they see something crash in the woods and upon investigating find that it’s a UFO. After returning to the cabin they hear noises upstairs, and after getting April’s father’s gun find nothing but an open door. After finding an alien on the patio April shoots it to death. They then try and drive to town but find that the road is blocked. Lex is suddenly abducted as another UFO appears above them and beams her up. The rest flee back to Travis’ place, hoping for some answers. Travis gives them his theory in that the aliens and the US government have had a treaty since Roswell; they abduct people while the government is left in control to clean up the mess. They only have one rule: No Human must Engage Them. Since April shot one of them, it was considered a breach in the treaty, and now the aliens are out for blood. The kids run back to the cabin and board up the windows, while Travis stays behind to fight, only to get either abducted or killed.

Back the cabin, Seth mistakes the cops for aliens and shoot at them and he is handcuffed and put into the back seat of the car by deputy Mitchell. Sheriff Murphy investigates the barn nearby and finds Melanie’s dog lying dead and mutilated (just like some similar cases of cattle being mutilated in the area) and is startled by a alien who he shoots at but which escapes. It is revealed that Sheriff Murphy’s wife mysteriously disappeared and he finally believes that it was aliens that took her. As Murphy and Deputy Mitchell (Sean Rogerson) argue about Murphy’s wife, an alien appears in front of the car and controls Murphy’s mind to shoot Deputy Mitchell and himself. Before the aliens can get Seth, he is saved by April and they return to the cabin. Seth tells the group that they got into Murphy’s head before he abandons the group. As he is running though the forest he is attacked by the aliens who are about to abduct him. He handcuffs his arm to a tree but he is still abducted, and his severed arm is left dangling from the tree.

As the aliens begin attacking the cabin, Kyle locks April and Melanie in the basement so they don’t get abducted. Meanwhile, Kyle hides in the bathroom with a knife, hoping to ambush the aliens. When he walks past a mirror, an alien jumps out and abducts him. Melanie secretly overdoses on meds and dies leaving April alone. April, armed with a crowbar, prepares to face the aliens but she finds out that they are leaving and realizes they have taken Kyle. She signals the UFO by setting off one of Seth’s fireworks and she is abducted. April wakes up covered in slime and on another planet, where she finds out that the aliens are experimenting on humans. Seth is shown strapped to an operating table. He is covered in a strange slime and little larvae like robots, and has a triangle shaped drawing scarred onto his stomach. He is anally probed, and then dies from his wounds. April finds Kyle and revives him. They hug and the aliens return them to earth. Kyle and April walk through the woods and upon seeing soldiers, they run towards them. They are shot, and as they are dying, April gives Kyle the engagement ring, which he takes and puts on her finger before they are executed.

As the movie ends soldiers clear out the debris and dead bodies while a senior officer approaches a man in a suit (man in black) asking “What should we do with the bodies?”. The man in the suit replies, “What we always do”. This scene could be a hommage to the Men in Black and The Cigarette Smoking man from The X-Files. The film doesn’t really pick up and though has some promise, fails to deliver. The best scenes, uptil the final moments, are when Bellows or Ironside are on screen. 6.5 outta 10!

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Poltergeist (2015)

Rebooting movies from the Scifi and horror franchise seems to be the way that Hollywood does things nowadays. Poltergeist, the latest, is a 2015 American supernatural horror film directed by Gil Kenan, written by David Lindsay-Abaire and produced by Sam Raimi. A reboot of the 1982 film of the same name, the film stars Sam Rockwell, Rosemarie DeWitt, Jared Harris, and Jane Adams.

The story is basically the same – the Bowen family has moved into a house that fits their price range after dad Eric gets laid off. Amy wants to write, while Eric looks for a job, and also take care of their 3 kids: eldest daughter teenage, Kendra; their son, Griffin; and youngest daughter, Madison. From day one Griffin feels that there is something strange about this house and on their first night strange noise are heard and Griffin finds a box of toy clowns in a hidden compartment in his room. In the middle of the night, lights and electronic devices start turning on and off, as some unseen force appears to move through the home. Griffin sees his sister Madison talking to o an unknown presence inside the television. She tells Griffin someone is coming, and he attempts to unplug the TV, causing the lights to go out of control. Madison then tells the family they are here.

Amy & Eric write it off as Madison talking to her imaginary friends but when they are out to have dinner at a friends house one night they learn that their house was built on an old cemetery, but the bodies were moved to a better neighbourhood. Kendra is attacked by black goo coming out of the basement when she investigates strange sounds and is grabbed by hands from a corpse. Griffin is attacked by the clowns but he destroys one and escapes from his bedroom. He finds Madison in her room, scared, crouching at a corner, and tells her to stay while he goes to find Kendra. Madison is then lured into her closet and becomes lost in an unending void. As she sees her bedroom drifting away further, she is dragged into the darkness by ghosts. Griffin, while running around the house, is grabbed by the branches of the old tree outside their house, which pulls him out to be hanging on the tree. Eric & Amy come home to find him in the branches of the trees and a frantic Kendra who can’t find Madison.

After hearing Madison’s voice coming from inside the tv Amy and Griffin visit the Paranormal Research department for help. The staff sets up equipment in the house, and install GPS locators on everyone in the house. While trying to contact Madison, Eric is ambushed in the closet by a ghost resembling her. Angered, he breaks down the closet wall, throwing a chair into the darkness inside the closet, and as the chair falls back into the living room of the house, it reveals a possible portal Madison can escape through. The investigators realize that this haunting is a poltergeist. Dr. Brooke, calls her ex-husband, an occult specialist and television personality Carrigan Burke. Carrigan explains that Madison is a possible psychic, able to communicate with spirits. He reveals that the poltergeists are trapped and are angry because only the headstones were moved to the new cemetery, but the bodies remained, and plan on using Madison to free them from their purgatory.

Using a rope that they toss into the vortex they try and use a toy drone to guide Madison back to them but when it is destroyed inside the vortex, Griffin decides to enter the realm and bring his sister back. When he finds Madison, the poltergeists attempt to destroy the rope to trap them, but they both escape. The family get in their car and begin to take their leave from the house, but the poltergeists drag them back into the house and attempt to abduct Madison again. The family saves her from being sucked into the portal, and Carrigan decides that as the only other psychic, he must go into the vortex and lead the spirits into the light. The Bowens flee as the house is torn apart by a giant light. The investigative team run to their equipment, looking for a sign that Carrigan managed to get back. As the Bowens look for a new house, the realtor shows them a house with lots of closet space and an old tree in the backyard; the Bowens drive away laughing. During the end credits, it’s revealed that Carrigan survived the incident and is back filming his ghost program, now hosting the show with Dr. Powell.

The movie does not offer anything new to the story, other than perhaps some awesome updated CGI and special effects. The movie lacks the charm of the original and fails to be memorable. 6.5 outta 10!