As Above, So Below (2014)
Director: John Erick Dowdle
Main Stars: Perdita Weeks, Ben Feldman, Edwin Hodge, Francois Civil, Marion Lambert
Storyline: A young woman gets a gang of explorers to venture into some catacombs underneath Paris to uncover the secret of the City of the Dead.
Review (Spoils): The young and beautiful Scarlett (Perdita Weeks) is an adventurous explorer who wants to live up to her father’s name and make sure his life and death was worth it. She starts a documentary on her choices and her travels as she tries to break into where the City of the Dead is located. She travels to the eastern lands and cracks into a hidden catacomb and takes with her video and pictures of the lost words. She uses her charm and gets help from fellow explorer George (Ben Feldman) to get it translated and they end up in Paris. In Paris they track down a bigger group of young explorers and they travel underground to find the lost City of the Dead.
We have the typical young and wild party people, the very talented and gorgeous Perdita Weeks, ghosts, jumpy camera, a stone bull, flashes of supposedly scary people, some flying blows, a nasty gored out fall, a crazy head bash (one of the best in the film), a healing stone, the cute Marion Lambert, some closer phobic moments and the same damn film as Grave Encounters.
Rating: I was expecting a lot more from this film. I read a number of reviews and they seemed to be great but once I started watching the film it screamed Grave Encounters and/or a horrible version of [REC]. I am personally so tired of the video camera view when it comes to horror films. It has been overdone like 5 years ago! As soon as I see this now in a film I scream to myself no budget but wanted to make the film anyways. When you have such a beautiful talented actress like Perdita Weeks do not waste it with this replicated horror stuff. Such a waste.
Filed under Haunting, Occult
Director: Jaume Balaguero
Main Stars: Anna Paquin, Lena Olin, Iain Glen
Storyline: A teenage girl and her family move into a remote country home and it is haunted
Review (Spoils): An old country house has a hidden old past of terror and is now claimed to be haunted. 40 years after that a family moves into the house with a new family. A young boy of the family starts to be frightened and starts to see things and act funny and drags his old sister into the worry. After investigation we learn of the 7 children hidden past of the house that is haunting it. We learn about the Darkness.
The film tries to take your basic haunting like film and uses other elements to the story of fright such as the mental issues of the father and the oddness of the son. The acting is well done and the star of the film Anna Paquin shines. The movie does not scream on the blood and gore but instead it works but sound and lighting which is a bit different then the generic haunting films we see nowadays.
Rating: The twist ending is a not a surprise and that part actuals downgrades the film. Yes, the film follows the normal formula for horror but what the director did to this film to present it is different and worth checking out. Plus it has Anna Paquin before she was really famous.
House/ Hausu (1977)
Director: Nobuhiko Obayashi
Main Stars: Kimiko Ikegani, Miki Jinbo, Kumiko Ohba, Mieko Sato, Eriko Tanaka
Storyline: A group of schoolgirls spend the summer at one or their aunts and learn that the place is haunted.
Review (Spoils): The film starts with a group of schoolgirls that have strange names and they discuss what they are each doing for the summer. When all their plans fall though they lean to a young girl named Gorgeous to travel to her forgotten Aunt’s home for the summer vacation. Through the film we learn that each girl’s name is named after a personality trait of their own (learning this through the dialogue of character development). When the girls arrive to the aunt’s house they settle right in but what they don’t know is the aunt is actually dead and the place is haunted.
Ever take acid and watch a film? Me either unless it was a long time ago…well that is what this film feels like. I personal believe if you took drugs and watched this film it would make total sense or you would die from the special effects and weirdness of it. There is so much going on in this film (outside of story) that it is one big acid trip. We have cut out edits with the camera like it’s a sitcom, Asian schoolgirls, bad dialogue, blood, floating body parts, a piano that eats people, a light fixture that eats, weird background sceneries that would make Stg. Pepper make sense, a cat that spews blood and some sexual symbolism to top it.
Rating: This film is bad so bad that it was entertaining and I can understand why it’s a cult classic. Part of me wants to watch this film a second time but hammered. We have so much going on in the film and the characters alone are a trip on their own. Warning this film is not for everyone!
Session 9 (2001)
Director: Brad Anderson
Main Stars: David Caruso, Stephen Gevedon, Paul Guillfoyle
Storyline: An asbestos cleaning crew work in an old mental hospital and it seems to be haunted
Review (Spoils): An asbestos abatement crew wins the bid for an abandoned insane asylum. This was suppose to be a quick job for the company but the staffs personal issues start to impact the work and even gets more slower for the team once one finds an old audio recording of some of the patient interviews. The one that sticks out the most is the session 9 interview with someone by the name of Simon. Things started to turn bizarre from there on in.
This film hits the nerve of what a true haunting film should be about. If you love ghost films and the ones that come back to memory and give you chill this is one of them. The movie is so well done and the acting is awesome. The sounds and the music stand out and add to the creepiness of the film along with the ongoing of Simon. Danvers Mental Hospital is a place that should be remembered when it comes to places of horror films. Do not expect gore and graphic scenes, except creepiness of the higher level.
Rating: A film like this are rare when it comes to horror. You have a movie that does not lean on naked chicks, blood or shock torture instead this gives you acting, story and god damn chills. And yes don’t; drop dead David Caruso is not bad in this film. All hail Simon!
Paranormal Activity 3 (2011)
Director: Henry Joost, Ariel Schulman
Main Stars: Lauren Bittner, Chloe Csengery, Jessica Tyler Brown, Christopher Nicholas Smith, Katie Featherston
Storyline: The childhood of Katie is retold through video tapes
Review (Spoils): The film starts with Katie (Katie Featherston) and her sister and her husband going through some old junk and coming across Katie’s birthday video tape. From there we learn of her childhood through the same video camera and tape style as the other films where there is a paranormal entity that is grabbing, shaking and stunning people that come across its path. We have more of 80s feel in the background of this but at the same time it really is just the same stuff.
It’s the same song and dance as the last bunch except Katie is young and it is more around her parents. We have the hot Lauren Bittner this time playing the mother and how she is being horrified by the evil ghost and how it is conquering her young daughter Katie (Chloe Csengery). Some same jumpy parts, same camera and to be honest the same damn story except we learn about more about the past of where the evil may of came from. The only difference is we had Lauren Bittner smoking a joint and looking sexy in a bedroom scene.
Rating: I’m going to be honest I really do not get the hype of this series. Even the first one was not that great…. who are these people that think these films are scary? You have no idea what a scary fucked up film really is. This series is not it. The film is not bad but it’s not great either and can be boring if you have seen the others because you have a fair idea how it’s going to go.
The Ring 2 (2005)
Director: Hideo Nakata
Main Stars: Naomi Watts, David Dorfman, Sissy Spacek, Elizabeth Perkins, Gary Cole, Simon Baker
Storyline: 6 months after the first film Samara Morgan has returned and so has the video
Review (Spoils): Some high school couple dare each other to watch the film, the girl covers her eyes and Samara returns to kill the young man. Rachel Keller (Naomi Watts ) learns of the twisted death and she starts again on the hunt to stop the video and the terror of the ghost of Samara and to protect her son.
Again with the sequels but we all knew this one was going to happen as the Ringu series if large. We have the return of Rachel and once again her acting is well done for this film but it could not save the film from the lack of sense. This film is not even close to the first one and even the CGI effects in it could not bring it to justice. We have the return of the VHS tape, some deer in the forest that randomly attack a car, the ghost of Samara wanting her mommy (really?) and a whole lot of the same shit as the first film.
The storyline in this one is very weak…..
Rating: The first film (yes it was a remake) was actually not bad and I was looking forward to this one to follow suite but instead it became and dread of boredom and lack of story. The well, the TV and the nonsense of this film killed what could have been a great series.
Director: Gil Kenan
Main Stars: Sam Rockwell, Rosemarie DeWitt, Kennedi Clementts, Saxon Sharbino, Kyle Catlett
Storyline: A young family moves into a new place that is haunted and their young daughter gets abducted.
Review (Spoils): The Bowens move into a new house which none of the three kids are too excited about. We have money issues and the youngest a girl named Madison (Kennedi Clementts ) starts to play with some imaginary friends in her new bedroom. The middle child a young boy named Griffon (Kyle Catlett) starts to complain about the weirdness of the house and before you know it the madness starts.
Basically if you have seen the original then you have seen this in a better shape and form. They took all three past films and tried to use the best parts and jammed it into this mess. Why a mess? Well there is nothing original to this at all that stands out. We have the tree, the clown doll, the rope, the goo, the TV and some over the top looking CGI. The only thing that kept me interested as a character was the young parents (Sam Rockwell, Rosemarie DeWitt ) and the oldest daughter Kendra (Saxon Sharbino). The other children fell flat and I personally did not care if they got taken away….which is bead as they are the focus characters.
Rating: Same old song and dance with this one and once again a bad remake that failed and should have never been made. I was actually bored with this film and towards the middle to the end it seemed rushed and cheesy. Why will Hollywood not learn from making remakes of so many classic horror films.