Child’s Play

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Masked Killer Returns

I maybe a fairly recent fan of the Halloween movie franchise – I watched the Rob Zombie versions first back in 2012 and the original series of movies in 2013 – and I may have only watched all the movies twice in my life, but I have my strong opinions about this franchise. I respect all the movies even though I have my hatred of some of them (I’m looking at the pile of cow dung that was Halloween : Resurrection) I still have strong feelings about the upcoming movie Halloween (2018 ) ignoring all the sequels of the original 1978 movie.

It’s 40 years after the original and we are to only consider the events of the 1978 original and ignore everything else. And it’s supposed to be the final ever Halloween movie as declared by the franchise’s creator, John Carpenter. In this film, where Laurie Strode comes face-to-face with Michael Myers for one final confrontation. With Jamie Lee Curtis back on board (and Carpenter serving as an executive producer and the film’s composer), one can’t feel but excited but I still feel that they are pissing on the sequels which made the franchise have such a strong and large fan following.

Anyways, I will be waiting for the film and if it comes in theatres here, I will buy a ticket and watch Mickey and Laurie face off for the final time.

The Strangers

The Strangers is a 2008 American slasher film written and directed by Bryan Bertino. Kristen (Liv Tyler) and James (Scott Speedman) are expecting a relaxing weekend at a family vacation home, but their stay turns out to be anything but peaceful as three masked torturers leave Kristen and James struggling for survival. Writer-director Bertino was inspired by real-life events: the Manson family Tate murders, a multiple homicide; the Keddie Cabin Murders, that occurred in California in 1981; and a series of break-ins that occurred in his own neighborhood as a child. Made on a budget of $9 million, the film was shot on location in rural South Carolina in the fall of 2006.

This is the kind of movie that makes me ask the question; why do Americans build or buy houses that are either in the woods or in a secluded place? Nothing good comes out of it people! This is a home invasion film that happens to a couple, James and Kristen, who have come to James’s secluded family summer home after attending a friend’s wedding. They are both sad and irritable as James had planned a romantic night for them and proposed to Kristen but she apparently said no and they are breaking up. A strange girl knocks at their door at 4 am asking for Tamara and she leaves when they say she has the wrong house.

James goes to buy cigarettes and Kristen hears banging on the door that scares her. She knows someone is in the house when her charges goes missing and a smoke detector is removed and is startled by a man in a mask outside the window as well as the Dollface, the girl from earlier, trying to get in. She slams the door shut and calls James. James comes home and is spooked by Dollface and he and Kristen try to leave in his car but the strangers smash their truck into their car. Back inside the house, Kristen and James find a shotgun and wait for the intruders in a bedroom. Their friend Mike comes over as James had called him to come pick him up and James mistakes him for an intruder and shoots him dead by accident.

While trying to get outside and find help both of them are caught and attacked and they wake up to find themselves tied to chairs. Kristen asks, “Why are you doing this?”, Dollface replies, “Because you were home.” The strangers then unmask themselves to the couple offscreen, and take turns stabbing the couple before leaving the home. Two boys distributing religious pamphlets find the door open and Kristen, who isn’t dead, screams for help as the movie ends.

Disturbing for sure, scary in a non-supernatural way this film set over a night is effective in parts. I give it a 7 outta 10 for the scares.

Hostel

Hostel is a 2005 American horror film written and directed by Eli Roth. It stars Jay Hernandez and was produced by Mike Fleiss, Eli Roth, and Chris Briggs; Boaz Yakin, Scott Spiegel, and Quentin Tarantino are executive producers. It is the first installment of the Hostel trilogy, followed by Hostel: Part II (2007) and Hostel: Part III (2011). The film tells the story of two college students traveling across Europe, who find themselves preyed upon by a mysterious group that tortures and kills kidnapped back-packers.

Two American graduate students, Josh & Paxton, on holiday are backpacking across Europe along with their Icelandic friend Oli. They have a grand time in Amsterdam, acting like total douches and having sex with prostitutes in the read light district. One night, they meet Alexie, who tells them about  a hostel in Slovakia filled with beautiful women, who are willing to sleep with any foreigners. The three friends travel to Slovakia on a train and have a strange encounter with a middle-aged Dutch business man who places his hand on Josh’s knee.

Brushing that encounter off, the three men are joined by two beautiful women, Natalya and Svetlana, at their hostel who invite them to the spa, and later to the disco. Paxton and Josh have sex with Natalya and Svetlana, while Óli leaves with the desk girl, Vala. When they wake up Oli is missing and Kana, a Japanese girl, shows them a pic of him with her friend, saying that he has left with her. At a party that night both Josh & Paxton are given tranquilizers in their drinks and Josh is tied up in an old factory and tortured by the Dutch businessman who cuts his ankles, makes him crawl and then kills him. Paxton wakes up in a store room having fallen unconscious there and tries to find Josh. Svetlana takes him to the factory where he sees Josh’s mutilated body and the Dutch businessman and freaks out.

He is caught by thugs and tied up. A German man severs two of Paxton’s fingers and the American pleads for his life in German. His hand gets free in a tussle and when the German rushes at him, he trips on some blood and cuts his own leg. Paxton takes a gun and shoots the German dead and hides among some hen takes the elevator to the top floor and enters the dressing room, where he changes into business clothes, and finds a business card for the Elite Hunting club, an organization where rich people pay to kill tourists. He also meets an American client, who mistakes him for another customer, and picks up his gun. Paxton then helps Kana, who is being tortured by the American client, kills him and helps her to escape.

In a stolen car they leave the compound pursued by guards. While driving, Paxton sees Natalya, Svetlana, and Alexei, and runs them over, killing them. Paxton and Kana make it to the train station, but after seeing a reflection of her disfigured face, Kana leaps in front of an oncoming train and kills herself. This creates a distraction, allowing Paxton to board another train unnoticed. He then hears the Dutch businessman who is there with his daughter and at a toilet stall, Paxton abducts the young girl and takes her away with him in another train while the Dutch businessman searches frantically for her.

While the first part of this film is downright silly, American frat boys yelling and being obnoxious, drinking and being stupid about sex, the torture part is chilling. 6 outta 10!

The Amityville Horror (2005)

This review was written in 2006 on another blog that I had before this one. I’ve just made a few tweeks.

This is a movie based on the 1977 book which was ostensibly inspired by a real life mass murder in Long Island, New York. A movie was made in 1979, which is still one of my family’s favourite horror movies, although I can’t remember seeing it. And I didn’t know much about the story either, so that left me as a newbie to the movie. It stars Ryan Reynolds as George Lutz and Melissa George as Kathy Lutz. The couple, along with their three children, move into what they believe will be their dream home; unaware that it previously belonged to the DeFeo family, and that Ronald DeFeo, Jr. had murdered his parents and siblings with a rifle the year before. DeFeo had claimed it was the “voices” that caused him to do it. It doesn’t take long for the Lutz family to start hearing ghostly voices, and witnessing apparitions, including the ghost of Jodie DeFeo, who appears to little Chelsea as a friend.

George is the most affected, and he eventually becomes a danger to those around him. In the true story (at least, some believe it to be true) that inspired “The Amityville Horror,” George Lutz woke up demonized every night at 3:15 a.m., the exact time a boy living in his house a year earlier killed his family The local priest is called in to bless the house, and he fails, warning Kathy to leave the house before it’s too late.

There are some creepy moments in the film, which disappointing because it ends so quickly and without proper closure as such. There were so many angles that the movie makers could have tried, in order to really make this an excellent movie. I read that this version is more true to the book by Jay Anson and not the original movie of 1979. Hence people who saw & liked the first movie may have reservations after seeing the 2005 version. The kids in the movie do a terrific job, Melissa George plays a convincing young mother torn between protecting & raising her three kids and the love she has for her new husband.

But the top marks for the movie should go to Ryan Reynolds, who plays a good disturbed character. Reynolds is know more for his goofy characters and his funny roles like “Michael Bergin” in the sitcom series Two Guys & A Girl and as “Van Wilder” in National Lampoon’s Van Wilder (and yeah Deadpool). A guy who normally makes us laugh and wince to hilarious & disgusting antics like farting & stuff, stuns in a total makeover role for him.

I give this film a 7 outta 10!

A Quiet Place

A Quiet Place is a 2018 American science fiction horror film directed by John Krasinski, who stars with Emily Blunt, his real-life wife. The film is produced by Michael Bay’s company, Platinum Dunes,  Principal photography took place later in the year in upstate New York. In A Quiet Place, a family must live life in silence while hiding from extraterrestrial creatures that hunt by sound.

So that’s the premise of this film, which starts on day 89 of the attack. We don’t get to see how the alien creatures landed or we sent to earth and how the destruction started and wiped out almost everyone on earth, including most of the animal life. But there is this one family – dad Lee, mom Evelyn, older deaf & mute daughter Regan, sons Marcus & youngest Beau. They are scavenging supplies in a store and head on their way. Beau plays with a toy spacecraft which he finds in the store and he turns it on – a few seconds later he is killed by one of the creatures before Lee can get to him.

First of all, in this kinda situation why would you have your family walk single file, with the dad carrying the older son, mom just behind him, then the oldest kid and the small kid walking way at the back of the line? That is just asking for him to do something silly (like little kids would do) and get himself kid! It’s bad parenting! Over a year later they live in a farm in the countryside and Evelyn is pregnant and is due. Lee takes Marcus fishing with him and tells him, they can talk next to the waterfall and sound of falling water as the aliens won’t hear them talking softly as the louder noise will distract them. Ofcourse this is also the time when Evelyn has to go into labour and walking down the steps she steps on a sharp nail and drops a lantern.

This alerts a creature nearby & Evelyn hides but flips a switch that changes the exterior house lights to red as a danger signal to the others, and struggles to remain silent during her contractions. Marcus & Lee runs into an old man, who screams after his wife’s body is found and is killed by a creature. A chase happens in the end where a creature is tracking Evelyn, while another hunts Regan. Lee comes to the house, leaving Marcus with some fireworks, which he fires to distract the creatures. Regan and Marcus are chased to a grain silo where the creature attacks them Regan’s cochlear implant reacts to the proximity of the creature by emitting a piercingly loud high-frequency sound that drives it away. The children escape from the silo and reunite with Lee.

Lee sacrifices himself to save his kids and escape to meet mom and the new baby. When the creature returns to invade the basement, Regan, who realizes that the sound made by the implant distresses the creature, switches the device back on and places it on a nearby microphone, magnifying the feedback. Painfully disoriented, the creature exposes the flesh beneath its armored head, which Evelyn shoots, killing it. The family views a CCTV monitor, showing two creatures attracted by the noise of the shotgun blast approaching the house. With their newly acquired knowledge of the creatures’ weakness, the members of the family arm themselves and prepare to fight back.

While the storyline is unique, using silence and sign language to great effect, less backstory leaves me a bit baffled as to how come almost everyone else is dead and no other signs of civilization seemed to have survived. Where did the alien creatures come from, how did they get here, who sent them and set them loose on our planet? The horror is genuinely fresh and the kids do a great job. 7.5 outta 10!

Deliver Us from Evil

Deliver Us from Evil is a 2014 American supernatural horror film directed by Scott Derrickson and produced by Jerry Bruckheimer. The film is officially based on a 2001 non-fiction book entitled Beware the Night by Ralph Sarchie and Lisa Collier Cool, and its marketing campaign highlighted that it was “inspired by actual accounts”. The film stars Eric Bana, Édgar Ramírez, Sean Harris, Olivia Munn, and Joel McHale in the main roles and was released on July 2, 2014.

Three marines find an underground cavern and when they explore it it goes all dark and they start to scream. Three years later, Bronx detectives Ralph Sarchie and his partner Butler are called to investigate a domestic abuse situation. When they get there the man Jimmy, one of the Marines, tries to say things are cool but when the cops see the wife with bruises and a blackeye, he bolts and escapes. Sarchie catches up to Jimmy and makes the arrest; although, not without suffering a sizable wound to his forearm that will require stitches. The officers notice that Jimmy’s fingernails are cracked and bleeding, and they assume that he is mentally ill or high on drugs.

At the Bronx a woman throws her baby into a moat and the cops investigate finding her in a feral state rapidly recites the lyrics to “Break On Through (To the Other Side)”. Sarchie notices a painter inside the lion enclosure. He enters the pen to interrogate the mysterious man, but he is attacked by the lions and barely escapes. The deranged woman is taken to the precinct where a Jesuit priest, Mendoza, who comes on her family’s request and he asks a bunch of questions to the cops. At another domestic disturbance at a house where light bulbs instantly burn out and candles will not remain lit, cops find the body of one of the painters who were working on the basement, David Griggs. Sarchie & Butler find a picture of Griggs with Jane Crenna and the child that she threw at the zoo at the desceased’s apartment. In another picture, Griggs is pictured in his Marine uniform with Jimmy Tratner and a third Marine, Santino. They realize Santino must have been the painter at the zoo.

Mendoza believes that Jane is possessed by demons, and he explains that there is secondary evil created by humans and primary evil which comes from demons. Sarchie is skeptical, but when he reviews the surveillance footage with Butler, he hears strange noises and sees things that Butler does not. Sarchie returns to Jimmy Tratner’s house and finds a wall that was being painted in Jimmy’s home office. He scrapes away the paint to find a pictograph of an owl. At Sarchie’s home, his daughter lies in bed as a stuffed owl stares ominously at her from a shelf in her bedroom. She is awakened by strange noises and frightened. Sarchie has scraped finds a bizarre mix of Latin and ancient pictographs and some hard drives with footage from Tratner’s deployments and watches the full footage from the palm grove in Diyala.

In the cave, the soldiers found a carving of the same message that is on the wall in Tratner’s home as well as the basement and the zoo wall. With Mendoza, he visits Jane Crenna in the mental hospital and shows her the message from the cave. She savagely bites Sarchie’s already wounded forearm.Mendoza decodes the message as a kind of bridge between Christian and pagan theology which would theoretically allow demons a door to the human world. He explains that certain people are more susceptible to such messages than others. Mendoza goes with Sarchie and Butler to an apartment building where they are attacked by Santino and Jimmy Tratner. Tratner is subdued by Mendoza’s cross. Santino overwhelms and eventually kills Butler.

At Sarchie’s home, his daughter is once again awoken during the night. Her stuffed owl rolls off the shelf and advances towards her bed. As she runs screaming from the room, she sees Santino in the hallway. Sarchie arrives home to find Santino in his living room. Santino warns that he has abducted Sarchie’s wife and daughter. Santino is brought to the precinct where Mendoza and Sarchie perform an exorcism on him. Sarchie’s wife and daughter are located in an Alphonsus Painting van at a storage facility. The film ends with the baptism of the Sarchies’ second child.

While it started out and had some promise, the movie turns out to be another one of these stupid Christian theology and mythological nonsense which is propaganda by 2001 non-fiction book entitled Beware the Night by Ralph Sarchie and Lisa Collier Cool. Disappointed. 6.5 outta 10!

The Crucifixion

The Crucifixion is a 2017 American horror film directed by Xavier Gens, written by Chad Hayes and Carey W. Hayes and starring Sophie Cookson, Brittany Ashworth and Corneliu Ulici. It is based on the Tanacu exorcism that took place in Vaslui County, Romania, in 2005.

It’s another skeptic turned believer in Christian mumbo jumbo in the end kinda horror movie. In Bucharest, 2004 Father Dumitru and several nuns perform a violent exorcism on Sister Adelina Marinescu, who is believed to be possessed by the demon Agares. Dumitru and four nuns are arrested for murder when the three-day ordeal culminates in the death of Adelina. New York journalist Nicole Rawlins convinces her editor to let her investigate the case. He cautions Nicole to not allow her personal views on faith or the death of her mother to affect her objectivity.

She meets the priest and interviews him as well as one of the nuns, Vaduva who was best friends with Adelina and  local priest Father Anton who helps her with her investigations. Anton directs Nicole to speak directly to Bishop Gornick at St. Joseph’s Cathedral. Bishop Gornick tells Nicole that Adelina was mentally ill, not possessed, then goes on to infer that Father Dumitru was a rogue priest who overzealously performed an inordinate amount of exorcisms. She then has a strange encounter with mute gypsy boy Tavian Amanar outside. Anton theorizes that the demon allowed Adelina to die because it no longer needed her and could transfer its evil into someone else for another possession.

Nicole starts getting spooky visions of beings and gets scared when she finds dead insects from nowhere in her wine. Anton theorizes that the demon allowed Adelina to die because it no longer needed her and could transfer its evil into someone else for another possession. She even gets dreams of having sex with Anton. Another visit with Vaduva reveals that Adelina fell in love with a man who led her away from the church, but the relationship ended unexpectedly. Adelina’s plea for God’s forgiveness seemingly invited The Devil instead. Vaduva describes what Adelina’s exorcism was like. Nicole interviews Dr. Funar, who diagnosed Adelina as a schizophrenic. Dr. Funar recalls a demonic vision Adelina had during her diagnosis.

Nicole ends up getting possessed by the demon Angares and starts violently levitating. Anton performs an exorcism, pleading for Nicole to renew her faith. Nicole has a vision of her mother as the demon is ultimately expelled from her body. Nicole returns to New York. Father Dumitru and the nuns serve seven years in prison for Sister Adelina’s murder.

Hardly effective or compelling, despite a few scares but the movie failed to entertain me or scare me. I might still be compelled to watch horror movies with demon possessions but fewer and fewer are actually good. 6 outta 10!

The Cured

The Cured is a 2017 horror drama film written and directed by David Freyne. It stars Ellen Page, Sam Keeley, Paula Malcomson and Tom Vaughan-Lawlor. Set in Ireland it shows the aftermath of a plague caused by a virus that leaves the infected in a zombie like stage, making them aggressive and cannibalistic.  The Maze Virus, had swept through Europe until a cure was found and 75% of the infected were able to be treated and they can become normal humans again. However, they remember what they did during their time as a zombie and it affects them even after they are cured. The remaining 25% of the infected stay in the same stage and are resistant to the cure.

5 years after the outbreak Senan, who is cured is sent out into the regular world and his widowed sister-in-law Abbie agrees to take him. She also has her young son Cillian who though initially does not take to Senan, later bonds with him while playing games. Senan doesn’t tell Abbie that her husband, his brother, was killed by him just after he got infected. Also released the same day as Senan is Connor, who was a promising politician, a friend of Senan who was the one who infected him. Connor is rejected by his father as he had killed his own mother while in the zombie stage.

Senan takes a job at the hospital where the Resistant are housed, and observes that the Resistant show no interest in attacking the Cured. This is a source of political tension in the community, as the never-infected suspect aloud that the Cured would love to see another outbreak of the Maze Virus, as they would be largely immune to its effects. Senan reluctantly joins Conor’s group of Cured people as they are shunned by society and are subjected to hatred. When a mission goes wrong and a military man is killed Sergeant Cantor, who is their rehabilitation officer, suspects Conor and Senan and he informs Abbie about them. Conor tells Abbie that he infected Senan and the later killed his brother,

Confronting Senan who admits this, Abbie throws him out.  It is announced in various news broadcasts that the government is planning to euthanize the 25% (5000 patients) who are Resistant, despite the assertions of a prominent virologist that a better vaccine for the Resistant is nearly developed. Senan assists Cantor in a sting operation to arrest Conor after he confesses aloud to the arson; however, Conor violently murders Cantor and flees after showing a rare emotional outburst, blaming Senan for betraying him. Conor and the Cured Alliance set in motion a drastic plan to free the Resistant from their cellblock and the infected start attacking the people in the streets and their homes.

Senan finds Abbie, who is frantically trying to retrieve Cillian from his school. Senan rescues Cillian but is confronted by Conor, who beats him savagely. A soldier shoots Conor but he escapes and his fate is unknown. Senan, Abbie and Cillian return to their apartment, but Cillian is bit by an infected and begins showing immediate signs of infection. Senan, knowing he is immune, takes Cillian, and tells Abbie he will keep him safe until another vaccine is available. Some semblance of order returns an unspecified time later as Abbie watches the news waiting for some news of her son.

Dull, boring and leaves you not rooting for anything or anyone in particular. I wanted to watch the movie for seeing Ellen Page. It’s an unmemorable film in a field of zombie flicks, numerous of which are vastly superior. 6 outta 10!

The Skeleton Key

The Skeleton Key is a 2005 American supernatural horror film directed by Iain Softley, written by Ehren Kruger and starring Kate Hudson, Gena Rowlands, John Hurt, Peter Sarsgaard and Joy Bryant. The film centers on a young hospice nurse who acquires a job at a Terrebonne Parish plantation home, and becomes entangled in a supernatural mystery involving the house, its former inhabitants and the hoodoo rituals and spells that took place there. It was released in the United States on August 12, 2005. This movie was a recommendation from a website that highlighted underrated horror flicks throughout the ages.

Caroline, a hospice worker, takes a job as the caretaker of an isolated plantation house in Terrebonne Parish, Louisiana. The elderly lady of the house, Violet Devereaux, needs help looking after her husband Benjamin, who was mostly paralyzed by an apparent stroke. At the insistence of the family’s estate lawyer, Luke Marshall, Caroline accepts the position. Things are not as it seems, though. She learns that the original owners lynched their hoodoo practising servants, Papa Justify & Mam Celine, when they were found in the attic including the owners kids in a ritual. The kids who lived there till they were old supposedly sold the house to Ben & Violent in 1962.

Using a skeleton key that Violet gave her, Caroline explorers the attic in between taking care of Ben, who even crawls out of the window and falls onto the ground. Caroline finds help me scrawled onto his sheet which then goes missing. Caroline borrows a phonograph record called the “Conjure of Sacrifice” from the attic, which is a recording of Papa Justify reciting a Hoodoo ritual. Caroline surmises that Ben’s stroke was induced by Hoodoo, but believes that his paralytic state is a nocebo effect induced by his own belief, rather than something supernatural. Taking advice from her friend Jill, Caroline accesses a hidden Hoodoo shop in a nearby laundromat, where a Hoodoo woman gives her tools and instructions to cure Ben. After conducting the ritual, Ben regains some ability to speak and move, and he begs Caroline to get him away from Violet.

Caroline tells Luke about her suspicions towards Violet, but he remains skeptical. A blind proprietor at a gas station tells them about the Conjure of Sacrifice, which she learns is a Hoodoo spell wherein the caster steals the remaining years of life from the victim. Increasingly convinced of Hoodoo’s authenticity, Caroline fears that Violet will soon cast the spell on Ben. Caroline discovers that Violet is unable to pass a line of brick dust laid across one of the house’s doorways, confirming her suspicions. She drugs Violet and tries to drive off with Ben but the gates are chained and locked. Hiding Ben, Caroline goes to meet Luke but finds out too late that he is Violet’s accomplice and he brings her to the house.

Caroline flees to the attic (pushing Violet down the stairs and breaking her legs in the process), calls 9-1-1 and Jill for help, and casts what she believes is a protective spell. Violet, having caught up with her, reveals she actually trapped herself inside a protective circle. Violet pushes a full-length mirror at Caroline, which reflects one of the original owner’s children, then Violet, and lastly Cecile. A recording of the Conjure of Sacrifice plays, and the two switch bodies. Violet (revealed to be Mama Cecile, who had been occupying Violet’s body through the Conjure) wakes up in Caroline’s body, and force-feeds Caroline (now in Violet’s body) a potion that induces a stroke-like paralytic state.

Luke (revealed to be Papa Justify) arrives upstairs, and it is revealed that Mama Cecile and Papa Justify have been conducting the Conjure of Sacrifice on new people since their supposed lynching. At the end of the movie Papa Justify and Mama Cecile in Luke’s & Caroline’s body remain in the house as an ambulance takes away the paralyzed dying bodies of Violet and Ben.

Good film, though it drags a bit and I am fascinated by the plot and the hoodoo practice. A bit more excitement would have made the film better. 7.5 outta 10!

ROSHAN’S ELEVEN: Ranking The Friday The 13th Movies

Since I just did a ranking of the Halloween movies a couple of days ago and since I also have been re-watching the Friday The 13th movies, here is my ranking of the 11 movies that we have had so far, which includes the reboot but does not include Freddy vs Jason as I keep that separate. This is my list of best to least liked and it will be different from your list. So here goes:

  1. Jason X (2001)
  2. Friday the 13th Part 2 (1981)
  3. Friday the 13th Part III (1982)
  4. Friday the 13th (1980)
  5. Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives (1986)
  6. Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood (1988 )
  7. Friday the 13th (2009)
  8. Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan (1989)
  9. Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter (1984)
  10. Friday the 13th: A New Beginning (1985)
  11. Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday (1993)

Ranking The Halloween Movies

Since we have a new entry from the Halloween movie franchise to be released in October, I thought this was a good time to rank the 10 movies that we have had so far, which includes the reboot and it’s sequel. This is my list of best to least liked and it will be different from your list. So here goes:

  1. Halloween H2O : Twenty Years Later (1998 )
  2. Halloween (1978 )
  3. Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers (1988 )
  4. Halloween (2007)
  5. Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers (1995)
  6. Halloween II (1981)
  7. Halloween II (2009)
  8. Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982)
  9. Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers (1989)
  10. Halloween: Resurrection (2002)

ROSHAN’S ELEVEN : Stephen King Movie Adaptations

This here is my little ole list of top & favourite movie adaptations of Stephen King’s novels, novellas, short stories or his original script work. I haven’t watched all of them so this is based on just what I have seen. This list may change depending on when and if I do watch more of them. So here goes:

  • It (2017 & the mini-series)
  • Carrie (1976)
  • The Mist
  • The Green Mile
  • Shawshank Redemptions
  • Pet Semetary
  • Cujo
  • Dolores Clairborne
  • Thinner
  • The Running Man
  • Apt Pupil

Friday The 13th

Friday the 13th is considered an unlucky day in Western superstition. It occurs when the 13th day of the month in the Gregorian calendar falls on a Friday, which happens at least once every year but can occur up to three times in the same year. Today is a Friday the 13th!

The fear of the number 13 has been given a scientific name: “triskaidekaphobia”; and on analogy to this the fear of Friday the 13th is called paraskevidekatriaphobia, from the Greekwords Paraskeví (meaning Friday), and dekatreís (meaning thirteen). The superstition surrounding this day may have arisen in the Middle Ages, “originating from the story of Jesus’ last supper and crucifixion” in which there were 13 individuals present in the Upper Room on the 13th of Nisan Maundy Thursday, the night before his death on Good Friday. While there is evidence of both Friday and the number 13 being considered unlucky, there is no record of the two items being referred to as especially unlucky in conjunction before the 19th century.

As a child I was frightened by the original movie of the Friday the 13th franchise, which came out in 1980 and have 12 films have grossed over $464 million at the box-office worldwide, and having seen it a few years later. My cousins made up all scary stories about Friday the 13th when we were kids to the point that we scared ourselves. I ofcourse love the film franchise and am watching it right now.

Pumpkinhead

Pumpkinhead is a 1988 American dark fantasy horror film. It was the directorial debut of special effects artist Stan Winston. The film has built up a cult following in the years since its release. The first in the Pumpkinhead franchise, it was followed by a direct-to-video sequel, two TV film sequels, and a comic book series. The movie stars Lance Henriksen, John D’Aquino and a very young Mayim Bialik in a small role.

Ed Harley as a child watched one night as his father refused to open the door to their farm house for a neighbour & friend who was being chased by a mysterious creature. From the window young Ed watches the creature, Pumpkinhead kill the man. Many years later, a grown up Ed runs a small store in the country, raising his young son Billy. One day, a bunch of young folk from the city comes in to do some dirt biking and to stay in a cabin in the woods. As Ed leaves to run an errand, two of the men start to ride their bikes and accidentally one of them, Joel, runs over Billy when the boy chases behind his dog. It was an accident but Joel has a prior record and leaves for the cabin with his girlfriend and the others go after them, leaving Steve to be with the injured boy.

Ed comes and is devastated and furious, unwilling to listen to Steve’s explanation. Not having a hospital or doctor nearby, Billy dies and Ed goes to see a supposed witch, who says she cannot bring his son back. Instead, Harley says that he wants revenge; the witch agrees to help Harley, but she warns him that vengeance comes with a terrible price. On her orders, Harley goes to an old graveyard in the mountains, digs up a disfigured corpse, and brings it back to the witch’s home. The witch uses blood from father and son to resurrect the corpse, which rises as a gigantic, spindly demonic monster named Pumpkinhead.

Well, Pumpkinhead goes after the young people and kills them off one by one, starting with Steve and then Maggie. Ed starts to experience the killings and is traumatized and begs the witch to stop the killings as he is now remorseful but she says that it can’t be stopped. A repentant Joel tried to attack the creature with a knife but is killed. A local boy named Bunt, who showed Ed the way to the witch’s house, joins the remaining group and is taken by Ed to the latter’s cabin. The creature’s face now starts to resemble Ed more and more and when it attacks Chris & Bunt, it is accidentally stabbed in the arm by a pitchfork both Harley and Pumpkinhead cry out in pain, and Pumpkinhead releases Bunt. Harley notices that Pumpkinhead’s head is turning more human, then realizes that he and Pumpkinhead are one: the only way to kill the monster is to die himself.

Before the creature can kill Tracey, Harley shoots himself in the head. Pumpkinhead momentarily collapses to the ground, then grabs Bunt again. Tracey takes the gun and Harley begs her to finish him off. Harley, now fully changed, tries to attack Tracey. She shoots him until both he and Pumpkinhead fall to the ground dead and the creature’s body bursts into flames. Later that night, back in the pumpkin patch, the witch buries Harley’s now-disfigured corpse in Pumpkinhead’s grave, ready for the next person seeking vengeance, and still wearing the necklace his son Billy made him.

Very atmospheric with the remote setting and country woods location and the night time scenes with winds and leaves falling over. This cult film is perfect for a Halloween night screening. Surprisingly good enough for a 7 outta 10!

The Babadook

The Babadook is a 2014 Australian supernatural psychological horror film written and directed by Jennifer Kent in her directorial debut,and produced by Kristina Ceyton and Kristian Molière. The film stars Essie Davis, Noah Wiseman, Daniel Henshall, Hayley McElhinney, Barbara West, and Ben Winspear. It is based on the 2005 short film Monster, also written and directed by Kent.

Amelia is a still grieving widow with a 6 year old son named Samuel, who is slightly troubled.  Her late husband, Oskar, was killed in a car accident that occurred as he drove Amelia to the hospital during her labour. Samuel starts to begin to show erractic behaviour like insomnia and claiming to see a monster against which he builds inventive weapons. An exhaused Amelia, who works in an institute that takes care of elderly people, gets upset when the school confiscates one of Sam’s weapons, a crossbow type thing. One night, Sam asks his mother to read a pop-up storybook called Mister Babadook. It describes the titular monster, the Babadook, a tall pale-faced humanoid in a top hat with taloned fingers who torments its victims after they become aware of its existence. Amelia is disturbed by the book and its mysterious appearance, while Sam becomes convinced that the Babadook is real. Sam’s persistence about the Babadook leads Amelia to often have sleepless nights as she tries to comfort him.

Soon after, strange events occur: doors open and close mysteriously by themselves, strange sounds are heard and Amelia finds glass shards in her food. She attributes the events to Sam’s behaviour, but he blames the Babadook. Amelia rips up the book and disposes of it. At her birthday party, Sam’s cousin Ruby bullies Sam for not having a father, in response to which he pushes her out of her tree house and breaks her nose in two places. Amelia’s sister Claire admits she cannot bear Sam to which Amelia takes great offence. On the drive home, Sam has another vision of the Babadook and suffers a febrile seizure, after which Amelia makes a successful plea for sedatives to a pediatrician. The next morning the Babadook book appears at her door reassembled and new words taunt her.

The words and images imply that she will kill their dog and Sam by breaking their necks before killing herself. Terrified, Amelia burns the book and runs to the police after a disturbing phone call. However, Amelia has no proof of the stalking, and when she then sees the Babadook’s suit hung up behind the front desk, she leaves. Amelia starts to become more isolated and shut-in, being more impatient, shouting at Samuel for ‘disobeying’ her constantly, and having frequent visions of the Babadook once again. Her mental state slowly decays further and she exhibits erratic and violent behaviour, including severing the phone line with a knife and brandishing it aggressively at Sam seemingly without realising. This mental decline culminates in several disturbing hallucinations, most of which involve the violent murder of Sam with herself as the willing perpetrator.

She then sees a vision of her dead husband and is happy initially until it asks her to bring the boy to him. Babadook then chases her and finally possess her and Amelia goes to get Sam but he evades her and uses his weapons against her, knocking her out and then tying her. hen she tries to strangle him, he lovingly caresses her face, causing her to throw up an inky black substance, an action which seemingly expels the Babadook. Amelia saves Sam and after another vision of her husband’s death, she furiously confronts the entity which is forced to retreat to the basement. She locks it in there and soon she and Sam recovers and begins life again. Amelia is attentive and caring toward him, encouraging him with the weapons he makes and being impressed at Sam’s magic tricks.

As they movie ends they gather earthworms in a bowl and Amelia takes them to the basement, where the Babadook resides. She places the bowl on the floor for the Babadook to eat. However, as the beast tries to attack her, Amelia calms it down, and it retreats to the corner taking the earthworms along with it. Amelia returns to the yard to celebrate Sam’s birthday.

The film’s theme is basically grief, not grieving and mourning fully and repressing it so much that it takes a dark form inside of you. The film is slow to build and I even found it a bit boring for about 30 minutes, plus the kid really is annoying for most of the duration but the last 30 minutes or so is quite intense. 7 outta 10!