Sunday, June 21, 2020

Abandoned – Child’s Play (2019)

I love cats in general and orange cats in particular. So six minutes in when the family’s pet made its first appearance, I ran scrambling to the content advisory list on IMDb. Nope. Oh so much nope.

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Review – The Boys in Company C

So this is what Full Metal Jacket might have been like if it had been directed by the guy who made Superman IV. In fairness, this one came out before Kubrick’s, so at least it isn’t a ripoff. Nor is it a terrible movie. Some of the Vietnam War clichés might even be forgiven because back in 1978 they weren’t clichés yet. However, the picture suffers from technical defects and script problems, including a general lack of direction and such a frequent use of the phrase “body count” that if you tried turning it into a drinking game your body would join the count. Mildly amusing

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Review – Lights Out

This movie’s plot description sounded so much like Darkness Falls that I had to watch at least a few minutes of it just to be sure I hadn’t seen it already. Turns out it isn’t literally the same story, though it has a lot of similarities. Director David Sandberg expands his chilling little short subject into a feature-length tale, and though the longer version isn’t as scary, it still works reasonably well. Mildly amusing

Review – Joker

I watched this seriously annoying movie when I wasn’t in the mood to be seriously annoyed, and that interfered with my ability to understand how it ever managed to be as popular as it was. In fairness, it does get better around 40 minutes in once the antihero is firmly established as a mentally ill ne’er do well. When he finally starts fighting back, however, things start to get interesting. Joaquin Phoenix spends more time making a serious Oscar bid than playing his role, but otherwise it’s an entertaining piece of moviemaking. If nothing else, it was interesting to actually be grateful when Thomas Wayne gets killed. Mildly amusing

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

Review – Door in the Woods

If you found a chain-wrapped door standing in the middle of nowhere, how likely would you be to think, “Hey, I should grab that ratty-looking thing and install it in my house”? Even if you’d never seen a single horror movie in your entire life, it still just seems like a bad idea. Which of course it turns out to be. I liked the casting of CJ Jones as the family’s personal psychic and helper character. But beyond that the wise decisions are few and far between. The cast spends a considerable chunk of the third act clustered around a table in the woods yapping about what kind of deal they can cut with an evil spirit in order to get their kidnapped child back. And then the demonic presence (or whatever the hell it is) turns out to be named “Empusa.” That started a debate in the audience about whether that sounded more like the name of a small town in western Kansas (welcome to Empusa, population 341), a car model (drive the revolutionary new Subaru Empusa) or a prescription medication (do not take Empusa if you are allergic to Empusa or any of Empusa’s ingredients). See if desperate

Review – The Quiet Ones

After sitting through this effort from Hammer, i felt the need to go back and watch a couple of old pictures from the (allegedly) same studio just to remind myself that they used to make movies that didn’t suck. Apparently the mighty art fallen into dismal little bits of nonsense about psychology academics tormenting a girl who can supposedly conjure a ghost exclusively using the power of her mind. For what it’s worth, saying this is based on the real-life “Philip experiments” is a little like saying Transformers is based on the work of Alan Turing. See if desperate

Sunday, June 7, 2020

Review – The Vatican Tapes

This starts out as a run-of-the-mill exorcism movie. Apropos of nothing, a young woman finds herself possessed by an evil spirit. As long as the story stays in that lane, it’s an acceptable entry in the sub genre. But then toward the end the plot takes a considerably more apocalyptic turn, either making it more interesting or just running it off the rails, depending on your point of view. See if desperate