Friday, May 20, 2016

Review - The Witch

Oh so close. If the filmmakers had bothered to spend just a bit more time setting up the characters before launching into weird horror, I might have cared enough about the family to be more engaged with what happens to them. That said, the spooky stuff is imaginative enough to keep things engaging. Mildly amusing

Review - Manson’s Lost Girls

The Manson saga is retold once again, this time with heavy emphasis on the female members of The Family. Linda Kassabian is the protagonist, making the story stick closely to her testimony for the prosecution during Manson’s trial. The fresh perspective doesn’t really add much, but aficionados should nonetheless add it to their lists. Mildly amusing

Monday, May 16, 2016

Review - 12 Days of Terror

The Discovery Channel uses the 1916 Jersey Shore shark attacks as a flimsy excuse for a cheap Jaws remake. When I was a kid I was scared witless by a written account of the Matawan Creek attacks. Further, the actual attacks were responsible for a sea change in public attitudes about sharks, which previously had not been considered a threat to swimmers. But this movie captures pretty much none of that. Instead we get familiar characters in familiar situations, simply sixty years removed. See if desperate.

Review - We Are Still Here

They are still making these. Couple mourning the loss of their son move into an old house in the country. Evil presence. Agitated townspeople. Et cetera. See if desperate

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Review - Goosebumps

Like the book series that inspired this movie, this is mostly kiddie fare. Awkward teen moves in next door to a fictionalized R.L. Stine and his daughter. Turns out that if any of the author’s locked manuscripts is opened, it unleashes the monster from the tale. This plot device allows the picture to include several of the beasts and villains from the books. Though not exactly intellectually engaging, this accomplishes what it sets out to do. Mildly amusing

Monday, May 9, 2016

Review - Devil's Knot

The Robin Hood Woods murders once again take to the screen, this time as a narrative drama. Despite the presence of some familiar faces (most notably Reece Witherspoon), this doesn’t offer much that we didn’t already get from the extensive documentary coverage. Mildly amusing

Review - Killer Legends

The folks who made Cropsey broaden their scope to include four other real crimes with loose connections to urban legends. For example, they connect John Wayne Gacy’s crimes to the legends about killer clowns, even though the tales weren't based on the murders. Still, it’s an interesting portrait of the meta-themes common to both imaginary and real horrors. Mildly amusing

Friday, May 6, 2016

Review - That Gal … Who Was in That Thing

This is a worthy follow-up to the guy version. Naturally women working in Hollywood have a few gripes not raised by the men. So it’s worth watching for anyone thinking about pursuing a career in acting in either movies or television. Mildly amusing

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Review - The Tortured

Parents of a boy murdered by a psychopath kidnap the killer from a prison transport van, drag him off to a remote cottage and proceed to torture him. They use some interesting methods of inflicting pain, but beyond that the story keeps itself going mostly via implausible plot twists. They even stir in a red herring ending that negates what little moral value the rest of the movie had going. See if desperate.