Pyewacket

Pyewacket is a 2017 Canadian horror thriller film written and directed by Adam MacDonald. It stars Laurie Holden and Nicole Muñoz. It was screened in the Contemporary World Cinema section at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival.

Leah Reyes is a teenager fascinated with black magic and occult practices. Following the death of Leah’s father, she becomes more and more obsessed with researching the occult. One evening she is late from coming home from a book signing and later drinking beer and smoking weed with her friends. Her grieving mother decides to move to a remote woodland house for a fresh start, forcing Leah to leave her school friends behind and join her. Leah soon feels isolated and frustrated in the new home, and after a fierce argument with her mother, she wishes death on her. Venturing deep into the forest, Leah performs an occult ritual from one of her books to summon the demon Pyewacket to kill her mother. However, Leah bonds with her mother shortly afterwards, and she soon regrets her actions.

Strange things start to happen in the house as Leah hears loud thuds from the attic but her mom can’t find anything or anyone. Also the door is open when they come down in the morning and there’s piles of dirt on the floors. At night Pyewacket appears as a dark figure in Leah’s room, unseen by her and drags her into the forest. Leah wakes up next to a tree with blood on her.  She turns to her school friends for help, and her best friend Janice agrees to stay at Leah’s house overnight to help her lift the curse. However, Pyewacket attacks Janice in the night, and the following morning Leah and her mother find her cowering in the car, too terrified to say what happened to her. Leah then seeks advice from aranormalist Rowan Dove, who advises that the only way to stop the demon is to perform the same summoning ritual in the same place, but in reverse. He also warns that Pyewacket is a devious shape-shifter and Leah must not trust anyone until the curse is lifted.

When Leah returns to the forest and begins the reverse ritual, she stops when she sees her mother lying dead nearby, but also hears her mother calling out for her. In a panic, Leah calls 911, and then her friend Aaron to pick her up. Returning to the house, Leah is confronted by Pyewacket, who first takes the form of Leah’s mother, and then of a monstrous hag. Leah hides in the attic, and when her mother returns home, Leah is convinced that she is another of Pyewacket’s illusions, so that night she douses her mother with gasoline and sets her on fire, believing that she is killing the demon. This in turn sets the house on fire, and when Aaron arrives he finds Leah unconscious outside as the house burns down. The film ends with Leah being interviewed by a police detective about her mother’s death. After playing a recording of Leah’s 911 call where she said her mother’s body was in the woods, the detective reveals that the only body the police found was a burned one in the ruins of the house. Leah is horrified as she realises Pyewacket tricked her into killing her mother.

Not at all scary but atmospheric in places. There’s some good acting from Holden & Munoz but overall the movie needs something more. For a long time we don’t see anything and it’s more like a mother-daughter drama until the latter parts of the film. 7 outta 10!

Sleepy Hollow

Sleepy Hollow is a 1999 American horror film directed by Tim Burton. It is a film adaptation loosely based on Washington Irving’s 1820 short story “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow”, and stars Johnny Depp and Christina Ricci, with Miranda Richardson, Michael Gambon, Casper Van Dien, and Jeffrey Jones in supporting roles. The plot follows police constable Ichabod Crane (Depp) sent from New York City to investigate a series of murders in the village of Sleepy Hollow by a mysterious Headless Horseman. Today was the first time I actually sat and watched the film.

In 1799, New York City police constable Ichabod Crane is dispatched to the upstate Dutch hamlet of Sleepy Hollow, which has been plagued by a series of brutal decapitations: a wealthy father and son, and a widow. Received by the insular town elders—wealthy businessman Baltus Van Tassel; town doctor Thomas Lancaster; the Reverend Steenwyck; notary James Hardenbrook; and magistrate Samuel Philipse—Ichabod learns that locals believe the killer is the undead apparition of a headless Hessian mercenary from the American Revolutionary War who rides a black steed in search of his missing head. Ichabod begins his investigation, skeptical of the paranormal story. Boarding at the home of Baltus Van Tassel and his second wife, Lady Van Tassel, he is taken with Baltus’ spiritual daughter, Katrina.

His investigations, although he himself is scared of the killer, will reveal that the “master” (the one who dug up the severed head of the horseman was Lady Van Tassel, from an impoverished family evicted years ago by Van Garrett when he favored Baltus and Katrina instead. She swore revenge against Van Garrett and all who had wronged her, pledging herself to Satan if he would raise the Horseman to avenge her, and also to claim the estate uncontested. Manipulating her way into the Van Tassel household, she used fear, blackmail, and lust to draw the other elders into her plot. She also killed her twin sister and her final victim is intended to be Katarina. After an escape that destroys the windmill and the subsequent chase to the Tree of the Dead, Ichabod throws the Horseman’s skull to him. Freed, and with his head restored, the Horseman spares Katrina and attacks Lady Van Tassel, giving her a bloody kiss and returning to Hell with her in tow, fulfilling the deal. His faith restored, Ichabod returns to New York with Katrina and Young Masbath, just in time for the new century.

This is a film that I always tried to watch back in the years that they showed it a lot on cable tv and when I used to watch cable tv and would also miss the beginning and hence stopped watching after a few minutes. Now I have finally see it in it’s entirety. It’s a good enough film with a good cast and cinematography is great. Nice score as well. I would give it a 7.5 outta 10!

Bird Box

Bird Box is a 2018 American post-apocalyptic horror thriller film, directed by Susanne Bier from a screenplay written by Eric Heisserer, and based on the 2014 novel of the same name by Josh Malerman. The film follows a woman, played by Sandra Bullock, as she tries to protect herself and two children from malevolent supernatural entities that make people who look at them go insane and commit suicide. Bird Box had its world premiere at the AFI Fest on November 12, 2018, and began a limited release on December 14, before streaming worldwide on Netflix on December 21, 2018.

What is this creature? What is the horror that plagues the world and makes people go insane and want to hurt & kill themselves? I have no idea. As unexplained mass suicides originating in Russia quickly spreading across Europe, it reaches the US as a pregnant Malorie is in the hospital for a quick check up with her sister Jessica. They leave hastily as a women, who is the first in the film to be infected (or the first one we see) starts banging her head forcefully against a glass wall. They leave in their car but Jessica is infected when she sees something and rams their car creating an accident. She then looks sad and walks into a speeding truck that kills her. Malorie is helped by a couple of people who bring her into a near house. A small group of survivors gather in this house as havoc descends all around them.

One of the survivors, Charlie who seems to have somewhat comprehensive knowledge of what could be happening, theorizes that an otherworldly entity has invaded Earth, taking the form of its victims’ worst fears and driving them insane before causing them to commit suicide. This is not proven but they board all the windows and settle in. Later, Greg, the home owner, volunteers to tie himself to a chair while monitoring the surveillance cameras to find the issue of the entity but kills himself by rocking his chair violently and slamming his head into a hearthstone after seeing it. The group takes in Olympia who was with another group and finds her way to them, blindfolded, by knocking on doors. She too is pregnant and expecting soon, and bondis with Malorie. most of the group go to a supermarket close by to restock. Malorie finds pet birds and decides to take them along with their supplies. The group attempts to help a coworker of Charlie who is locked outside the supermarket begging for help, and whom Charlie describes as “a little crazy.”

As they contemplate the risks of opening the door, the birds that Malorie was saving go into a hysterical fury. The group is attacked by the infected coworker, who was not killed by the entity but is instead used to infect others. Charlie sacrifices himself to save the others, who are able to make it back safely to the house. Two of the group, leave in the car without telling the others. Olympia lets in a stranger named Gary who says he was with another group but it turns out he is ary starts to take out various drawings of the entity and seems to undergo a trance, indicating that he could have already been partially overtaken by the entity when he arrived. He opens the garage door to kill Douglas. He peeks outside and is completely taken over; he then knocks out Tom and proceeds to remove all the coverings from all the windows. Despite Malorie’s warnings, Olympia fails to look away from the windows and jumps out of the window. Gary forces Cheryl to look, and Cheryl grabs a pair of scissors and stabs herself in the neck.

Douglas blindly attempts to kill Gary with a shotgun but fails, which results in Douglas’s death. While Malorie tries to protect the newborn babies (Malorie’s boy and Olympia’s girl), Tom recovers consciousness in time to overpower and kill Gary. Five years go on and Tom & Malorie are living together and raising the kids, who Malorie has named Boy & Girl. They receive a transmission from Rick, a survivor stating that they are well and safe at a community hidden in the forest. The four decide to go to the community, but are ambushed by a group of infected survivors along the way. Without hesitation, Tom runs out to distract the group while Malorie and the children attempt to make an escape. When the group notices Malorie and the children escaping, Tom decides to open his eyes and shoot them dead. He is overtaken by the entity, but with his will, he manages to shoot the last member of the group before shooting himself.

Malorie, the children, and their pet birds, which are contained in a box to protect against the entity, make their way blindfolded down the river on a boat. They fight off an infected survivor, and survive raging rapids. The boat flips but they find each other on land only to get separated when Malorie accidentally slides down a hill. The entity attempts to convince Boy and Girl to remove their blindfolds using Malorie’s voice. Malorie is able to tell them to fight the urge. Once they are all together again, they are chased by the entity, which was implied by the camera movement and wind. The three eventually reach the community, a former school for the blind. Malorie releases the pet birds from the box to the other birds up on the ceiling and finally gives the children names: Tom and Olympia.

Unconvincing horror and the menace kinda reminds me of M. Night Shyamalan’s The Happening. It isn’t boring though and some good acting by Bullock, Malkovich and co will let you stay focused. I give it a 7 outta 10!

Overlord (2018)

Overlord is a 2018 American war horror film directed by Julius Avery and written by Billy Ray and Mark L. Smith. It stars Jovan Adepo, Wyatt Russell, Mathilde Ollivier, John Magaro, Gianny Taufer, Pilou Asbæk, and Bokeem Woodbine. The film was produced by J. J. Abrams, through his Bad Robot Productions banner, and Lindsey Weber. The plot follows several American soldiers who are dropped behind enemy lines the day before D-Day and discover secret Nazi experiments.

The movie is set on the eve of D-Day as a a paratrooper squad is sent to destroy a German radio tower in an old church. Their plane is shot down and crashes, and most of the squad was killed either in the crash or by German soldiers. Five survivors remained: Corporal Ford and soldiers Boyce, Tibbet, Chase, and Dawson, who is killed by a landmine shortly after regrouping. The remaining four led by Ford run into a young French woman name Chloe who is scavenging the bags of the dead for some loot and she agrees to take them to her village upon knowing that they are American soldiers.

At her home we meet her 8 year old brother Paul and a sick aunt, who is heavily disfigured and secluded in her room. After Tibbet and Chase depart to check the scheduled rendezvous site, a Nazi patrol led by SS Hauptsturmführer Wafner visits Chloe. Wafner sends his men away and proceeds to blackmail Chloe for sex, threatening to send her brother to the church to be “fixed”. Boyce, being an idealistic new recruit, cannot ignore this and interrupts the Nazi officer. Ford is forced to follow suit and restrain Wafner. Attempting to look for Tibbet and Chase, Boyce witnesses the Nazis burning disfigured village residents. He is chased by a dog and is forced to hide in a truck carrying dead bodies inside the church. Sneaking out of the truck, Boyce discovers an underground base which houses not only a radio operating room, but also a laboratory where the German perform various experiments involving a mysterious serum. Boyce takes a syringe containing the serum and rescues Rosenfeld, another member of the paratrooper squad who was captured alive. They escape through the base’s sewers.

When the two reach Chloe’s house ibbet and Chase had already returned. Wafner refuses to explain what the serum does, even as Ford tortures him. As the squad prepares to assault the church, Wafner attempts to escape and fatally shoots Chase. Boyce instinctively injects the serum into Chase who wakes up from being dead only to freak out as he mutates and become very strong. A scuffle ensues ending with Boyce killing Chase. Wafner escapes with Paul as a hostage and alerts a patrol. A shootout erupts where the patrol is killed and half of Wafner’s face is shot off. Back at the lab, Wafner injects himself with multiple syringes which quickly stop the bleeding. Boyce then suggests that they get back to their mission to infiltrate and destroy the tower and the lab. Chloe takes off running to distract a part of the squad that Wafner was previously with to steal a BMW R75 and rig it with explosives. Rosenfeld and Tibbet launch a frontal assault when the bike is ridden in and exploded, distracting them from the actual main purpose of the attack.

Ford, Boyce, and Chloe enter the base using the route Boyce previously used to escape. Boyce and Ford plant the explosives while Chloe looks for Paul. Chloe nearly escapes an encounter with a test subject, sending Paul outside the church and killing the subject with a flamethrower. She then leaves and rejoins Tibbet and Rosenfeld are caught up in a fight, where Tibbet is shot in the shoulder. Chloe arrives just in the nick of time to apply first aid to his wound. Wafner, now possessing superhuman strength and resilience, overpowers Ford and begins torturing him, using the same tactics Ford used. He reveals the serum was made by using the villagers’ bodies to distill an ancient tar from under the village. The aim was to create undying soldiers to serve the Reich. As Boyce distracts Wafner, the injured Ford injects himself with a syringe. He holds off Wafner long enough for Boyce to set off an oxygen tank, which momentarily stuns him.

Ford orders Boyce to leave him behind and detonate the explosives, believing neither side should possess the serum.Boyce complies and narrowly escapes as the church and radio tower collapse behind him, just as the D-Day invasion concludes in a victory for the Allies. In his report, Boyce credits Ford for the decision to plant the bombs inside the church. The commanding officer questions Boyce on talk about an underground lab in the church, Boyce denies everything, remembering Fords remark that no side should have it. The commanding officer seemingly accepts this story and informs the soldiers that they will be reassigned to Charlie Company as the war continues.

I have high praise for the visuals in the opening scene and some of the action scene. It isn’t very original but entertaining enough to keep me interested during the afternoon. I give it a solid 7 outta 10!

Supernatural To End After 15 Seasons

The CW has canceled Supernatural. It is truly the end of an era. But fans of the series will get one more season before saying goodbye to the boys forever. After fifteen years on the air, Supernatural will end on The CW after Season 15, which series star Jensen Ackles promises “will be the big, grand finale of an institution” in a farewell video. Ackles, Jared Padalecki, and Misha Collins came together to announce the news in an emotional video on social media today. “We just told the crew that though we’re very, very excited about moving into our 15th season, it will be our last,” says Ackles. “We wanted you to hear from us.”

Supernatural is currently in the midst of its fourteenth season, which saw the milestone 300th episode and the long-awaited return of Jeffrey Dean Morgan as the Winchester patriarch, John Winchester. Season 14 will wrap up on April 25, and Season 15 will follow with 20 new final episodes. It’s honestly kind of shocking that The CW finally pulled the plug on the long-running series. CW President Mark Pedowitz has always said that Ackles and Padalecki would be the ones to decide when they were done with the show, though when we caught up with the cast for their 300th episode celebration in November, Ackles had a very quick answer when he was asked how he envisioned the show ending: “I don’t!”

Fourteen seasons in, Supernatural continues to be a potent ratings performer, ranking as the CW second most watched and highest rated among adults 18-49 series in Live+Same Day only behind The Flash.

Flight 7500

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

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

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

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

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

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

ROSHAN’S ELEVEN: Ranking Horror Franchises

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

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

Rating The Conjuring-verse Movies

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

This below is my ranking of the films.

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

Halloween (2018)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Grace The Possession

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

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

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

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

I Spit on Your Grave

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hereditary

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Are We Getting Zombied Out?

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

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

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

Slender Man

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Nun

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The First Purge

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

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

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

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

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