IT FOLLOWS

Maika Monroe in IT FOLLOWS

{Cross-posted to Three Imaginary Girls}

“It’s slow, but it’s not dumb.” ~ Hugh, IT FOLLOWS

Imagine going on a date with someone you really, really like, enjoying a romantic lakeside talk, cozying up in the car for some hot sex—then having that person drag you out into the middle of nowhere, tie you to a chair, and explain that by having sex they’ve infected you with something that will FOLLOW you. And you have to keep running from it, because it won’t stop until it catches up to you and kills you. (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…)

Deadly Blessing

This 1981 entry into the Craven canon unfortunately suffers from extreme BOREDOM.

 Deadly Blessing is about Martha (Maren Jenson, who played Athena in the 70s Battlestar Galactica) a woman whose husband is an ex-Hittite, and who is being stalked by a mysterious figure in black who likes to murder people in various ways. It doesn’t take long before the figure offs her husband in a tractor “accident”, and Martha’s city friends arrive (Sharon Stone! What.) to help comfort her … but somehow just make things worse.

Craven’s script implies that the blame lies within the Hittite community, possibly with William (distinctive actor Michael Berryman), who also appears to be stalking her, and is obsessed with calling her, and well, everyone else who isn’t a Hittite, an Incubus. Yes, even if they’re female. (I do not think that word means what he thinks it means).

Ernest Borgnine also throws the term around liberally, making wild eyes at the three heathen women and angrily slapping his adult son around, just because. There’s also a clearly imbalanced mother & daughter who also live just outside the Hittite community and are harassed by them on a daily basis too.

SOME SPOILERS AHEAD  (more…)

Lost Girl Kicks Ass

I was skeptical about this whole “fae” thing, but as it turns out, SyFy’s Lost Girl is filling the void that Buffy left in my fantasy-loving heart.

Main character Bo is a sexy succubus with the power to drain the life out of men or women, or you know – touch them and make them do her bidding. Rough gig, huh? Anyway, she avoids joining up with either the dark or light fae gangs, which makes her extra-desirable, kinda like the sexy wolfman/cop Dyson (who can help heal her by gettin’ busy RAWR).

It’s glossy and super-sexed up, but I am growing to LOVE IT – even if at least one of the episode’s plots was so Buffy it hurt (hello! Sorority house sacrifices to a creepy swamp-dweller is a little too familiar, writers).

Bonus: Goth-girl Kenzi makes an excellent sidekick. “Holy shitballs” exclamations, crazy antics, and a clever kick of Whedon-like humor make her super endearing.

I recommend you check it out, as it’s replaced Grimm as my supernatural go-to lately, along with The Fades (post forthcoming) and Being Human. Also, last episode’s head-chopping off incident proved they don’t shy away from good splatter.

Hatchet II

I thoroughly enjoyed Adam Green’s Hatchet, and I was really looking forward to seeing the sequel – especially because of all the “banned from theaters” controversy – but also because, HELLO: Tony Todd rules.

Unfortunately, Hatchet II didn’t quite live up to the hype.

[SPOILERS] It started out really strong, picking up right where the first movie ended with Danielle Harris’s character, Marybeth, struggling to free herself from the grasp of deformed murderer Victor Crowley. Director Green moved right into the gross-out horror, which involved a guy being dragged across the floor by his own entrails, and Green’s trademark buckets of bloody splatter. I laughed, I cried. It was perfect…

Enter Tony Todd, reprising his role as Reverend Zombie – and then it’s about 50 minutes of exposition, planning, and well, frankly, boring, boring, boring until we get to some more death. Sorry, but that is just too damn long to keep me hanging in a movie that’s made with a tongue-in-cheek plot.

I think it’s pretty easy to pinpoint the exact scene where the MPAA said “Ohhhhh NO. No way, you are not releasing that.” Which is pretty silly, really, because (like in the first film) the gore is so ridiculously over-the-top that there’s no way any of it looks real. But hey, they made Clive Barker trim the knife-to-the-rat scene in Hellraiser, but left the hooked face-off maneuver intact, so we all know they’re cracked anyway.

I’m not saying the F/X aren’t hilarious and great, because they are (I love the excessive amounts of blood spray!) – the last scene, in particular, is pretty damn fantastic – they just took an awful long time to get there. The first film clicked things along at a pace that made sense, so the gory pay-off was even more awesome.

Still worth a watch just because I appreciate Green’s work (which reminds me that I need to address Spiral sometime). Just don’t be afraid to use that FF button…

Oh, and Tony Todd still rules. Of course.

Poltergeist

31 Horror Movies I Own #7: Poltergeist
“You moved the headstones, but not the graves!”

Another Tobe Hooper masterpiece, Poltergeist is one of those rare horror movies that ages well. Despite its 1982 filming date, it doesn’t really feel that dated (unless you pay attention to the electronics…) and still holds up.

The story of the Freelings and their encounter with the group of ghosts living in their house could come of as campy and comical, especially with the inclusion of Zelda Rubenstein’s squeaky-voiced Tangina. But this thing is so well written and packed with suspense, that it reads as straight-up terror. (more…)