RINGS

subliminal-secret-movie-message-the-ring1

{cross-posted to Three Imaginary Girls

It’s been 12 years since The Ring 2 (TWELVE?!?! YEARS?!?!) so I suppose it was about time for Samara and her f’ed up psychic video feed to resurface, because we need something other than reality to terrify us in 2017 – amirite?

Terrify isn’t exactly the word I would use here, but Rings does have its moments — I just wish its moments had been closer together in say, a tighter 60 minute package instead of a looooooooong and slowly drawn out 1 hour and 45 minute one.

(more…)

Advertisements

31 Horror Movies in 31 Days …. Ish

Maximum overdrive

So much for getting this all wrapped up last October! Excuses are lame, so I’m not going to make them. Instead, how about I finish what I started by giving you the scoop on the rest of the Stephen King adaptations I’ve seen.

{side note: even though I LOVE The Shawshank Redemption, The Green Mile, Stand by Me, and Dolores Claiborne, I don’t really consider them horror so I didn’t include them in this list}

1408
I really wanted to like this one, because John Cusack! And Samuel L. Jackson! And a creepy haunted hotel! But unnnnnnnggggggh….I hated it. The special F/X were pretty boss, but the plot is a mess, the acting is just plain NOT good, and the chosen ending (out of several alternatives) was pretty fucking awful. I know there are a ton of people who love it, though…maybe they appreciate it as over-the-top entertainment? So while I’d say SKIP IT, I don’t know, you guys. You might like it.

Apt Pupil
It’s been awhile since I watched this one, but I remember being really impressed with how the story was translated on screen. Ian Mckellan is postivitely terrifying as Kurt Dussander, and Brad Renfro (poor Brad Renfro!) is equally so as his student? Admirer? Hater? Who knows. This is one of the stories that I was really into when I was a kid, so a lot of the nostalgia I have about Different Seasons is probably leaking over to my love of this adaptation. (more…)

Carrie, Carrie, Carrie

carrie_1976

Stephen King’s “Carrie” has  been adapted three times now, and while I’m a long-time fan of DePalma’s 1976 version, the newest addition by Kimberly Peirce is pretty damn good too. Really, the only horrible misstep is David Carson’s 2002 made-for-television version, which whole-heartedly SUCKS.

SPOILERS! SPOILERS!! SPOILERS AHEAD!!!  (more…)

Italian Horror Double Feature: Argento’s Tenebre and Dracula

Tenebrae 2

In order to save my sanity (lest it break from too many awful adaptations) I had to take a break from my Stephen King project this weekend to review a couple of horror films by Dario Argento instead.

Ah, Dario Argento. I feel like Italian horror is either something you completely love or completely hate, and I’ve been completely in love with Argento since I viewed Suspiria when I was a teen. After that, it wasn’t long before I was driving down to Scarecrow video every weekend to check out more Argento films, along with some Lucio Fucli and Lamberto Bava (Demons and Demons 2! YES). In order to love Argento, you have to love bad dubbing, melodramatic acting, and watching women’s heads crash through glass windows over and over and over … and over again. Which I do!  (more…)

The Shining (1980) and The Shining (1997)

the-shining-axe

terrifying

The two adaptations that have been made so far of Stephen King’s The Shining are a pretty stellar example of what I mean when I say that when King adapts his own work, it just doesn’t make for a good film. Stanley Kubrick re-worked King’s story into his own by adapting the screenplay himself for his 1980 film, and then a pissed-off King (who never thought Kubrick got it right), wrote his own adaptation for the Mick Garris-Directed TV miniseries of The Shining, which aired in 1997. 

While I think Garris and King’s adaptation is pretty terrible, I understand why they did it: they both felt that Kubrick made his own version of the story that was completely different from the book. Garris has a good explanation of it here. It’s an interesting story, Mick, but unfortunately almost nothing about your film was scary. The only moment I found myself gritting my teeth through was when Weber’s Jack Torrence assaulted De Mornay’s Wendy with a croquet mallet (as written in the book), and I mean BEFORE his face morphs into demon-mode — but it was still nothing close to the way I feel every single time Nicholson axes through that door to get to Wendy and Danny. NOTHING. CLOSE. (more…)

Riding the Bullet

Unnnnnnggggh. I thought I’d try to watch a Stephen King film I hadn’t seen before, and one of the choices on demand for me to pick from was this Riding the Bullet nonsense, which is a movie based on an e-Book King wrote in 2002. Again, King wrote the screenplay, and again, Mick Garris did the Directing.

The gist is that shortly after trying to commit suicide (but not succeeding, obviously) this college kid Alan Parker gets a phone call that his mother had a stroke, and decides to hitchhike to the hospital to see her. Of course all the people he gets rides with are total weirdos, but the last guy, George Staub (Hi, David Arquette! How’s that movie career going?), is actually dead. Or Death. Or something — and he tells Alan that he has to make a choice: either his mother dies, or Alan does. Along the way there are hallucinations and some flashbacks to The Bullet in Thrill Village, which is an amusement park ride Alan was too scared to ride as a kid. Ah, metaphors.

Anyway! The  most exciting thing about this movie is … the trailer. And that’s it. Otherwise, it’s completely BORESVILLE all the way through. It’s not even bad enough to be good, or to watch with friends and make fun of. It just is.

Final recommendation: SKIP THIS ONE. It’s not worth 98 minutes of your time.

The Langoliers

Anguish

This is what I was doing the entire time I was re-watching this. 

OMG. I can’t even believe I watched this. Again. I guess I felt like I had to pick a terrible King adaptation for movie #2 since I started with one I genuinely enjoy.

I haven’t watched The Langoliers since its debut on television in 1995, for many, many, many good reasons. I’m not sure what possessed the powers that be to create a two-part TV miniseries out of a short novella (which by the way, was just fine reading), but that they did … and very badly.

Cheap production values, laughable dialog (Oh, Tom Holland. Sometimes you work! And sometimes … you don’t. And you don’t here.), and the most insanely terrible special F/X you’ve ever seen are just some of the highlights that I remembered, but there’s so much more to hate about this one it’s almost enough to fill an entire month full of blog entries. BUT I will try to just stick to one.

Double What

“WHY are you watching this? No, seriously. Why?”

So 9 people get on a redeye to Boston, they all nap during the flight, and when they wake up, EVERYONE except them is gone. Poof! Just like that. Even weirder, all their stuff is still there, including the jewelry they were wearing and creepy things like wigs and teeth bridges and stuff. Ew, gross.

(more…)

The Conjuring

The Conjuring Vera

{Cross-posted to Three Imaginary Girls}

Well, it seems like James Wan has found his official ghost movie shooting style, because other than the presence of paranormal/demonology experts Ed (Patrick Wilson) and Lorraine (Vera Farmiga) Warren, I feel like this film is almost indistinguishable from Insidious.

Along with hundreds of other supernatural mysteries, The Warrens are the famous real-life husband and wife team who investigated The Amityville Horror, and The Conjuring is based on one of their most disturbing cases, The Harrisville Haunting: about a family named The Perrons who move into a creepy old farmhouse and discover some not-so-nice spirits there.

The film starts with the story of one of Ed and Lorraine’s other cases, a possessed doll called Annabelle, which the Warrens now keep locked up in their household museum of psychic curiosities (WHICH I AM DYING TO VISIT!).

Herein lies my first problem: Wan’s manipulation of the doll in his adaptation is comically over-the-top. The real Annabelle doll is a giant Raggedy Ann which is actually CREEPY AS SHIT, but the doll in this movie is constructed to look so creepy, there’s no way you’d ever believe anyone would bring it into their house. Too much, Wan! Too much. (more…)

The Following

The Following

I was so excited when I heard about the bunches of new horror TV shows following the success of American Horror Story, especially about The Following—starring one Mr. Ren McCormack Kevin Bacon.

A handsome, charismatic serial killer who uses the works of Edgar Allen Poe as inspiration for his murders and the basis for his cult? A band of unhinged followers willing to do whatever it takes to earn and keep his love? And a defeated ex-FBI agent still entangled in his mess? Created by Kevin Williamson??!?!? COUNT ME IN.

But while I thought the pilot was pretty strong, The Following disintegrates a little bit more with each episode, and it’s starting to lose me. (more…)

My Soul to Take

 

I honestly couldn’t bring myself to watch this one again, so here’s my immediate reaction to it when I watched it last year, followed up by what I remember.

 My Soul to Take has sort-of an interesting premise, but it’s also sort-of a lame one. Alex Plenkov, AKA “The Riverton Ripper” is a serial killer who has been terrorizing and murdering families. And one night his brain flips a switch and murders his own (pregnant) wife and gets shot while trying to murder his daughter. (It’s worth noting that this opening, right up until they get to the hospital, is actually pretty decent. LOTS of splatter! And madness!)

But then, and here’s where it starts to lose it: RIGHT at the moment of his death, 7 kids are born in the same hospital, and Plenkov’s soul is transferred to one of them. BUT WHO?!?!?

Flash-forward to 16 years later, when all the kids born on that night hang out near the sight of the Riverton Ripper’s shooting, and uh—I guess “reenact” the scene or something? I’m unclear on this part. Because it’s so lame.

 SPOILERS AHEAD (more…)